‘Bastar: A Naxal Story’ Ending Explained & Film Summary: Is Lanka Reddy Dead?


Bastar: A Naxal Story, directed by Sudipto Sen, is inspired by true events and makes us privy to the Maoist movement that has plagued the foundations of the nation. The film showed us how misinformation and propaganda form the core of the movement and how intellectuals and left liberals make sure that the international organization looks at them with a sympathetic viewpoint. Obviously, there is no denying that the creative team has taken certain liberties in the depiction of the events, and a lot of things have been changed to dramatize the narrative and increase the entertainment quotient. So, let’s find out what happened in the film and if IPS Neerja Madhavan and her team are able to accomplish what they set out to do.

Spoiler Alert

What was Vanya Roy’s agenda? 

At the beginning of Bastar: A Naxal Story, we saw that there were four people on the hit list of Lanka Reddy, the leader of the PGLA army. The entire area was under the influence of the Maoist movement. Neerja Madhavan was the IPS officer who topped the most wanted chart, and Lanka Reddy had made it his mission of his life to catch and kill her. Apart from Neerja, the Salwa Judum leader, Rajendra Karma, and his colleague Srikar Rao, Uday Singh, the CRPF commander, and an SP from Dantewada were also on the hit list. Neerja had also made it her mission in life to not stop before she destroyed the entire Maoist movement. She knew the ground reality, and she was moved by the plight of the innocent village dwellers who suffered without any fault of their own. 

As shown in the film, left-wing liberals like Vanya Roy, Yamuna Nagar, and Narayan Bagchi created a fake narrative that made the Maoists victims and the state machinery the abusers. They made sure that the center wasn’t able to take any extreme steps, and they collaborated with international organizations like Lashkar to get funding, arms, and ammunition. Vanya Roy held a meeting with the leaders of various terrorist organizations, and she made sure that, together with them, even the local parties funded their movement. Vanya had contacts at high places, and she used her influence to keep the movement running. She also earned huge profits in the process, and though everybody knew about her intentions, nobody could do anything due to the lack of evidence. 

How did Neerja capture Narayan Bagchi? 

Lanka Reddy learned that a man named Milind Kashyap had received help from Neerja Madhavan, and he hoisted the Indian tricolor in front of his community. Lanka got to know that Milind was against their agendas, and he wanted the Maoist movement to end. Lanka decided to teach that man a lesson, and in front of his wife, Ratna, and the children, he murdered him brutally. It is said that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and the agony and grief that a woman felt after seeing her husband die in front of her eyes had its consequences. Ratna joined the police force, and she made it her mission in life to take revenge on Lanka Reddy.

Meanwhile, Neerja was able to capture Narayan Bagchi, but she hadn’t imagined in her worst nightmare what Lanka Reddy would do in response to that. Lanka and his soldiers killed 76 CRPF jawans in cold blood, and they sent a strong message to the establishment that they were not scared to wage a war if the circumstances required them to do so. It was an audacious act, and they were only able to do it because they had the support of a lot of local politicians. Neerja, in a meeting with the home minister, told him that it was his fault that the soldiers lost their lives. She asked for backup that night, but the home minister didn’t give her permission. He wanted to look out for his own vested interests, and he didn’t care if the soldiers lived or died. 

Did Vanya and Yamuna Nagar win the case? 

Advocate Utpal Diwedi knew that winning the case against Vanya Roy and Yamuna Nagar was going to be an uphill battle. The narrative of the state was strong, but it lacked evidence, and Utpal Diwedi informed Neerja about it. The left liberals presented a narrative where the CRF was responsible for all the misery of the people, while the prosecution said that no matter how hard anybody tried to develop the area and do something for the welfare of the people, the Maoists always came in their way and made sure that they weren’t able to do that. There was an 80-kilometer road that was planned to be made, but people like Lanka Reddy made sure that it was never made. The Maoists didn’t want the area to have good connectivity, as they knew that if that happened, they wouldn’t be able to hide in the forests for long. Vanya Roy and others like her knew that if the special police officers were not operating in the area, then the law enforcement authorities wouldn’t be able to enter the forests, as it was pretty difficult to map the entire area. That is why a motion was passed to stop the inclusion of the SPOs in the police force. Utpal Diwedi presented a strong narrative, but all his efforts went to waste as the court found the evidence to be insubstantial. Narayan Bagchi was released on bail, and all the charges against Vanyaa and Yamuna were quashed. The court also put a ban on the recruitment of the SPOs, and that was a huge blow to the entire state machinery that wanted to curb the Maoist movement. 

Were Neerja and Ratna able to catch Lanka Reddy?

The complaint against Vanya Roy and Yamuna Nagar was quashed, and even the SPO was banned from operating in the area. It was a huge blow for Neerja and Rajendra Karma, and they knew that all their plans had gone down the drain. But Rajendra Karma wasn’t ready to surrender so easily. He spoke on the news channel about how more than 50 relatives of his were killed by the Maoists. The war was personal for Rajendra, and he went to Neerja and asked for her support. Neerja was bedridden as she had gotten injured during the attack, but she knew that the innocent villagers would take what was theirs, and they would be able to punish the perpetrators. Rajendra Karma was passing with his entire contingent through the forest when he was stopped by the Naxal forces. Rajendra was shot dead, but Ratna was somehow able to escape from there. Ratna, after the death of her husband, came face-to-face with her son, Raman for the first time. She was shocked to find out that he had joined the rebel army, even when he saw how they murdered his father.

Ratna asked her boy to come with her, and Raman had a change of heart when he looked into the eyes of his mother and realized what a blunder he had committed. Raman and Ratna were able to escape from there, and on the other hand, Lanka Reddy was about to cross the state borders as Vanya Roy had gotten him immunity. Vanya Roy and others knew that it was necessary for him to be alive, which was why the entire state machinery of the specific states was trying to make sure that he was out of the reach of Neerja. But Ratna, together with other villagers, caught hold of him. The cries of her husband still echoed in Ratna’s ears, and she wanted Lanka Reddy to tremble with fear just as her husband had.

In Bastar: A Naxal Story‘s ending, Ratna killed Lanka Reddy with her own hands, and when the news of the terrorist’s demise reached Neerja, she felt proud of what she had been able to achieve. A judicial inquiry was being conducted against Neerja, and she told the officers on the scene that the man they were trying to save had been killed by the villagers. Neerja told the officers that she was ready to face the consequences of her actions, as she knew that whatever she had done was for the welfare of the nation and innocent villagers. Neerja had lost a lot, but the fact that she had been able to make the lives of the people better gave her so much satisfaction. She knew that somebody had to make sacrifices to bring about a change in the scheme of things, and she was happy that she did her level best to usher in a new era where peace and tranquility would prevail. 

The movie is currently streaming on Zee5 Global.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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