Kamdev Singh: The Original Godfather of Indian Politics

  • Title : Kamdev Singh: The Original Godfather of Indian Politics
  • Author : Santosh Singh
  • ISBN 13 : 9789394407534
  • Year : 2022
  • Language : English
  • Binding : Softcover
  • MRP : Rs 399
  • Selling Price : Rs 339
  • Discount : 15%
Add to Cart


When did the criminalization of politics actually begin in India? How did 'booth-capturing' begin as a way of influencing elections, and who were the politicians that patronized it? Who is the man, virtually unknown today, who could be considered an originator of the criminal-politician nexus in the country? This book tells the true story of Kamdev Singh (1930-1980), a semi-literate cowherd from Bihar's Begusarai who would go on to hobnob with Delhi's political elite. The street-smart Kamdev went from selling coal to trading ganja, and was soon the biggest smuggler of contraband in the region, his operations stretching all along the Indo-Nepal border and in major Indian cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur. By the late 1960s, Kamdev had become a political wheeler-dealer. For decades, his writ ran state politics. Political parties used his muscle power to take on rivals and affect the course of elections. This culture of criminalization continued in Indian politics long after the don's death. This book also provides a glimpse into Kamdev Singh's benevolence - he would fund marriages and organize last rites for families that couldn't afford to. This ensured popular affection in his stronghold, and made it difficult for law enforcement to arrest him. He was finally killed in 1980, in a massive police operation during a period of governor's rule in Bihar, when there was little chance of intervention from his political patrons.