An Iron Harvest
C P Surendran
John is the young Che Guevara-like leader of a Maoist revolutionary organization, Red Earth, active in Kerala, India. John's classmate, Abe, has gone missing in police custody, though he is a political innocent. John suspects Abe has been tortured to death. Death in police custody was a regular feature of the dark days of the 19-month Emergency,... which the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared in a fit of pure paranoia in June 1975, the year of the story. Not able to withstand the brute force of the State, Red Earth begins to disintegrate. But for John, the unlikely revolution he is working at has already taken on the intimate emotional intensity of a vendetta. The fast-paced action of "An Iron Harvest" revolves in measured grooves around the characters of John, Sebastian, Abe's elderly father, and the sadistic, sexually troubled Deputy Inspector General of Police, Raman, a killer without a conscience. In bare terms, this is the story of one death and three people. "An Iron Harvest" is based on a real life incident.