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Naxalism as an Ideological Dead-end
by S. Ganguli for Prometheus_Media   
Rated "R" by the Author.
Last edited: Thursday, September 17, 2009
Posted: Friday, July 08, 2005

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As I have no intention of conversion by preaching, members of SFI, DYFI, CITU may not please read this article, and stick to Mr. Karat and Mr. Lin. Naxals please listen to Dipu and Jogin.

Naxalism as an ideological dead-end

"When the winter comes, can spring be far behind?"

When the Naxals are so bad, can others be far better?


The term 'Naxal' came into being, after the name of the place where the armed insurgency took place, along with the formation of a fraction of the Indian Communist Party. Its chief ideologue, credited to be the founder of the Party, was an established Indian Communist leader; but the followers were in-experienced and poorly trained. They were driven by idelogy, but lacked competence to deal with Indian national and international leadership; essentially they could not compete with Sidhu-Jyoti-Runu (I had written elsewhere that 'ideology makes a soldier die in a battle, but competence is required to win a war'). The activities grew in West Bengal, and touched Bihar and Andhra Pradesh. The current level of activities of the "Naxals" are minimal and sporadic, albeit they can cause siginificant damage to the institutions  at times.

Naxals believed that the Indian political and legal system served the interests of foreign powers, and that the independence celebrated by the vast majority of Indians was never achieved in reality. The military-industrial complex, the judiciary with the pre-existing dominant Hindu morals, the educational institutions, and the financing mechanism in the urban centres of growth in India, were all to the benefit of the powerful institutions and men outside India who lacked sensitivity to the downtrodden masses inside India. Accordingly Naxals formulated political theory and plans of actions,  that they believed would make India a better, and fairer nation making  her economically and politically free, and offering fair social justice to all. Naxals believed that the only way to achieve such radical changes in the Indian society was to capture political power  by violent means. By way of achieving their goals, their members undertook armed actions against the civic bodies, the police, and the politico-legal system in general. In return, the members of the Party and their supporters were treated as criminals and terrorists, and the Police and the Army dealt with them mercilessly ---- a government response often considered barbaric by some. After several years of violent and vicious actions and retaliations, divisons among the leadership and supporters arose, the strength and power of the Naxalites dwindled, making room for moderate communists who accepted a political role within the 'Indian Democracy' (inclusive of the existing legislature, judiciary, Police, and military-industrial complex) .

The Naxals were followers of the Chinese doctrine, Mao Tse Tung in particular; material support from main -land China is doubted though. Some low-level Naxals personally fantasized themselves to be "related" to the legendary Subhas Bose --- who, they  believed, was  languishing anonymously in a prison camp in Syberia (a surmise never proven to be true ). It is said that the Chinese  believes in 'number'. Even if half of China were to be decimated in a neo-colonial war, Mao Tse Tung could have still survived with the rest of Chinese  population, and their descendents. Mao Tse Tung was popular for his views on "let hundred flowers bloom",  "let the poisonous weed spread fully, and then destroy the poison completely", and "construction with/after destruction". Any of these theories, in practice, may call for possession of  more power (force) and confidence, than the "Naxals" assumed to begin with. The doctrine of 'number' is not applicable to Irelend, Israel, Palestine, Denmark, Luxemburg and other small nations with less population.  In addition, the Chinese believed in "democratic centralism", and  small scale industires ("steel in the back yard") ---- concepts that may not appear foreign to many Republicans in the USA, and Gandhians (broadly defined) in India.


The title of this article may appear very similar to another essay that appeared in a Marxist journal a long time ago  ---  much before the dissolution of the Soviet Russia.  That essay dealt in detail the lineages of thirty odd factions of the "Naxals". Had the esteemed author of the other paper written on "Is communism an ideological dead-end?" or "Is Hinduism the future world religion?", he would have asked more profound questions.

What is Wrong With The Naxals?

Mao was successful in forming a government. Stalinists and Nehruvites had been more successful on a "socialist platfform" in Indian politics. Naxals had not been successful in ruling the country even after 40 years of activities.

 PS: You are welcome to finish an article in these lines, since I may take some time to complete (I may have to consult reference libraries; usually I write from memory). 






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