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Watch: The Criminal History of Bundelkhand’s Dadua

Dadua’s story is what legends are made of, when truth is really stranger than fiction.

This is the second in a three-part video series. Watch part one here.

In a three-part series on the dacoit Dadua, who was born Shivkumar Patel, Khabar Lahariya explores the oeuvre of his legend and legacy, mapping the picture of a man as complex as the land he was born in. We listened to the ‘Dadua ke kisse-kahaani’ that have become part of the oral storytelling in Bundelkhand, pored over criminal records and case files registered against Dadua in both Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, and even paid a visit to a temple instituted in his name in the village of Kabraha, with an actual idol. They say if you visit the temple you can say you’ve actually seen Dadua, because he remained an invisible presence even while he was alive.

Part two could mistaken for a 1980s Bollywood film, what with stories of Dadua storming into houses and greeting the elders in the manner customary to Bundelkhand – by touching their feet – before shooting them in the head. Twice. This story is what legends are made of, when truth is really stranger than fiction.