16 January, 2021

Inside The PWG

Armed with AK-47s—and a lot of tribal support—the Naxalites form a guerilla zone deep in the jungles of Central India

Inside The PWG

Every drop of my blood I scatter like a seed To liberate my country. Though battered and broken Like the wave in the sea I will be born again and again.

—Cherabandaraju, (Revolutionary Telugu poet)

CAN moonlit nights be terrifying and fraught with danger? I had never thought so. But deep in the jungles of Bastar and moving with a People’s War Group (PWG) squad is like trudging through a battle zone. There is information of ‘enemy’ movement in the vicinity. Enemy in this part of the world means the Madhya Pradesh police. Despite the lurking possibility of an encounter, we are ordered to cut across a patch of open paddy fields where one is exposed to danger. I feel a sense of helplessness as I march with three armed guerrillas in front and two behind me. In perfect silence—there is a complete embargo on speech. Anything can happen. Including a sudden burst of bullets. We could be dead and no questions would be asked. Perhaps a single column in Bhopal newspapers would...



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