Naxal movement and its hope ridden dead end

Nothing should be as heart-warming as to see that 80 thousand Adivasis and Naxals celebrate Naxalbari in Bastar. It is an extraordinary feat of mobilization. The event conducted in the most extraordinary circumstances. No political event in India these days is comparable to it.

Naxalbari celebrations in South Bastar, Dandakaranya on 25th, 26th May 2017

Not so long ago, Naxal movement and the conceptual renderings or reflections of it used to present an alternative view of politics, from economics and International relations to the culture and campus discussions. Never a dominant view, but this Naxal-inspired argument about everything would temper and have an impact on the liberal, left and even mainstream points of view.

A combined effect of the systematic cruel murders as state policy (Encounters of students and Civil Rights activists) and the larger changes in Indian polity (emergence of Hindu Nazis) and, one fatal flaw in the very Naxal conception of politics/theory/Imagination that caused the Ghettoization of Naxalism. Where once its political and discursive territory was far beyond the realms of where Naxals had direct political influence and impact – now it remains confined to its immediate territory

(It must not be forgotten that the way media represents Naxals and the Police oppress them, nobody has ever come close to explaining the wonder of the sociological wonders, the mind-bending fact of how Naxals recruit the cadre and maintain their sympathizer networks. Not even those who lived inside for decades in the revolutionary movement can give you a fully convincing explanation.)

These peculiarities created a situation now that the most disciplined, honest, skilled and, respected organized force in Indian politics – Indian Maoism – has virtually nothing to say about the Hindu Nazist India. A colossal waste of far-reaching consequences.

Naxals have their reasons for not being able to tell BJP from Congress or CPM. To be sure, all these parties have an absolutely same attitude to Naxals (killing as many of them as cruelly as possible) or the Adivasis (the same fate of the Naxals plus resource plunder/religious conversion and forcing and seducing them to the informer work plus collaboration). More to the left of the mainstream worse it would be for Naxals and Adivasis.

But, these parties are not the same for the mainland India’s mainstream population, where a lot of politics do take place. Naxals never managed to get this simple point however, either in their political theory and theoretically-guided practice.

Naxals say nothing or do anything about it. Their inability and conscious refusal to see the differences between the different “bourgeoisie parties”/”ruling classes” is a tragedy which is unnecessary and the costs are to be borne by the whole left movement and now the whole society. It is also an enormous wastage of the most prestigious moral capital.

Let us not forget that the ultimate guarantor of the lives of Dalits used to be Naxals. It would be them who punished the biggest culprits in some atrocities against Dalits, it is Naxal entry and the underground work and the infiltration in the resistance struggles that allowed the state organizations to do something for the Dalits, take their movements seriously, when atrocities were perpetrated. Also the exemplary nature of that fear in the perception of the rural landlords/upper castes and their supporting state bodies (in the case of Karamchedu atrocity, Naxals killed even the close relative of the then Chief Minister). For some inexplicable reason, the same logic did not apply for the persecution of Muslims even in its lynchings stage. Naxals virtually did nothing to stop these. They didn’t even issue a warning against the murderers.

This was not just the Hinduness of the Maoist party but the long-standing incapacity to make the basic distinctions, thus missing the obvious distinctions within the political spectrum – a “Subjective Empiricist”- limitations caused an intellectual Ghettoisation of Naxals, but it harms the rest of the country more.

However, long live Naxalbari spirit and Adivasi struggles/resistance.


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Chittibabu Padavala Written by:

Chittibabu Padavala is a Dalit Activist and Journalist

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