Shaitan, the brand-new Disney+ Hotstar crime drama written and directed by Mahi V Raghav and K. Ravi Kumar, was all about blood, gore, and explicit scenes, and the underlying theme remains revenge. The show ended with the police catching up to ex-Naxal Baali and killing him in cold blood under the charges of multiple murders, which were inconsequential for them initially. Baali chose to eliminate one of their party favorites, a Naxal leader turned politician, Sambanna, and suddenly Baali became a thorn in their side.
Baali should have known there are no friends and foes in politics, but he tried to be idealistic in the hope of seeking justice for his sister. But unfortunately, nothing went as per his plan because he was betrayed by the people he chose to help. Before Baali, all of his family members were killed because, just like him, they were on the path to seeking revenge. Their deaths pushed him over the threshold, and they couldn’t stop him until he was cornered and killed. It was an undeserved death because Baali showed the capability of being a leader that could garner support against constant oppression and hypocrisy carried by people who claim to be the caretakers of the needy and the poor.
Shaitan also ended with Nagi Reddy showing interest in seeking political power and quitting the police force. He left his police job only because he couldn’t bring himself to work with the people who betrayed Baali, and the reason for his death haunted him. His reason for joining active politics was to blackmail the state home minister and probably keep a close watch on the man who was responsible for many unspeakable horrors aside from scams while in power. Nagi may have his ambitions, as per the voice-over of Baali from beyond the grave. Maybe Nagi wanted absolute power to make changes in the surroundings and probably get some monetary gains from it. On the surface level, this might seem like the only obvious reason to join politics, but Nagi Reddy might have plenty of other intentions. The last scene is of a helpless goat herder woman being sexually assaulted by a group of men, witnessed by the woman’s son. The message given out states that crime begets more crimes, and this vicious cycle never ends.
Shaitan Season two would pick up where the first season ended; we would see ex-police officer Nagi Reddy campaigning for his by-election seat, and just like any other election, there would be drama and plenty of allegations being thrown at him by his opposing candidate. Nagi, as a person, should be expecting this and more, and most probably, the person standing up against him would be an ex-Naxal leader of another communist faction who wants to get into active politics. It would be difficult for the Nagi to win because the ex-Naxal would have a better chance to gather more sympathy and votes in the name of his or her previous profession, where they protected the local population. Nagi would not lose hope, despite his background as a police officer.
The second season of Shaitan will most likely have Nagi winning the by-election for his party and starting to make the Naxal reforms a reality. There is a chance he might ask the opposition leader to help him formulate small governance changes that would help the oppressed and the poor and probably encourage them not to use weapons anymore. Nagi probably realized the Baali’s method of killing would never work. To live up to Baali’s dream of providing justice, Nagi will finally reveal that he wanted to take revenge on people who betrayed Baali and him, and staying in power would only help him reach this goal. One won’t be surprised if Nagi Reddy is harboring, funding, and growing another Naxal group in the hope of taking down the existing state government that mercilessly killed many civilians and Naxals who were working for the poor.
Nagi might have had a change of heart while in the company of Baali and might have switched allegiances, seeing how people were exploited just because they were poor and had no means to have their grievances heard. There is a chance that the boy shown at the end of season one, as predicted by Baali, might end up becoming a Naxal as well, who would be in the group run by Nagi Reddy. Nagi Reddy will be the protagonist in the second season, and probably just like the system did with Baali, he will be cornered by the state, but this time, unlike Baali, Nagi will come out triumphant through strategies that will let him stay in power.
The problem with Baali was that he never understood politics, but Nagi, this time, would be familiar with the game, and he would twist it for his benefit and, hopefully, for the underground Naxal outfit. An ideal system is not what Nagi and his supporters would be seeking. Just a structured way to make sure none of the outcries and calls for help would go unheard. Of course, there would be corruption, which is at the core of every politician, and Shaitan Season 2 will also touch up on that. One can only hope this time around; the story will be about politics more than revenge because, honestly, a well-written political crime drama fits better with the viewers than a violent revenge drama.
Nagi will also fight against Mary Joseph, who, instead of choosing to be with the people she was supposed to support, ended up becoming the stooge of the government and working as per their orders. This is exactly why Nagi left the police in the first season, and the second season will now see their power dynamics change. With Nagi becoming the person to whom Mary must report, it would be interesting to see in the next season how this dynamic works. Will there be some hatred, or will they follow a civil, professional relationship?
If ever a second season is announced, Shaitan would again take us through the Naxal conflict in the state of Andhra Pradesh and history with the local politics. It’s high time mainstream Indian cinema and the avid cinemagoer got to know about this conflict. I’m not sure how real the portrayal of the Naxal conflict in this show is, but I’m hoping we get to see more of it in the second season of Shaitan.