50 Years Later

50 years later it is the same old story of how to redefine the Movement and develop unity in action. Where is a breakthrough? That’s a rhetorical question posed by all groups and individual radicals now celebrating the 50th anniversary of Naxalbari uprising. The task of the far left to move unitedly was daunting in the seventies and it is no less daunting even today. Whatever lip service is paid to the Spring Thunder’s 50th anniversary, its significance as a historic event and as a link to the thought and practice of Mao has been obscured in many ways because of the abandonment of revolutionary perspectives.

People in Modi’s India are in a direr state demanding a basic change. And yet there is no outfit on the far left that is in a position to offer convincing alternatives. As for the official left the less said the better because they have already surrendered to money bags. Fascism believes it can impose its will on objective reality, and does not shrink from rewriting history, both past and on-going. The official left cannot resist it. But the far left too has failed to work at the concrete projection of a liberatory banner to act as a polarising force for those opposed to the turn toward fascism. The theoretical void is undeniable but to deny the ground reality while taking shelter in the past simply cannot deliver. By imitating the official left nothing tangible will be achieved. Breaking with the official left in 1967 was the turning point in India’s radical movement.

The debate no longer centres around ‘Parliament’ or ‘no parliament’. It’s really surprising that they have no issue of their own on national and international questions. The official left’s vague slogans dominate their political discourse because they are afraid to unleash people’s power. They are likely to go the Euro Communism way. Unity was elusive at the beginning in the seventies and it is elusive still.

After five decades of searching for an alternative path of political mobilisation without any success it is meaningless to continue ‘blame game’. Today there is no point in blaming it on this line of action or that. The hard fact is that mass line is still missing. For the armed campaigners in the jungles of central India, it is next to impossible to get rid of self-imposed isolation.

They have banned themselves right from the beginning from broad masses. The Chinese idea of liberated zone has failed to create any lasting impact on Indian people. To follow the Chinese path and that too mechanically in the era of globalisation and rise of religious fundamentalism in its most cruel and medieval form makes little sense. How to redefine the state character and re-alignment of class forces in the changed context has been a burning question for quite some time. But nobody is eager to do painstaking work to reflect the objective reality. Maoists never question themselves why people, barring tribals in some pockets, refuse to see them as liberators.

Then some groups place too much emphasis on caste without formulating any concrete action-programme for caste annihilation. Their anti-caste crusade revolves around reservation or job quota as the notorious casteist outfits in north India do. But the caste crusanders of north India are not really in favour of caste annihilation. Strangely enough, there is no common enemy that can unite revolutionary forces under one umbrella. Sometimes hindutva fascism gets prominence in their discourse without really affecting the hindutva brigade and sometimes they shout loudly about the irrational behaviour of the Indian corporates only to keep it on record that they are against corporates.

The far left is in search of proper slogans to motivate masses in their millions without which nothing will change for the better.

After 50 years their stance on imperialism has very little substance to frighten imperialism. Today imperial capital means multi-national capital. Why they are reluctant to raise concrete slogans against multi-nationals is a mystery. 'No' to multi-national capital should be the only slogan to fight imperialism. Maoists, after all are effectively resisting multi-national capital. But for the moderates who have opted for parliament for the moment, no anti-multinational movement is launched anywhere in the country. They react to spontaneity, having failed to show the lead.

Socialism is already a 'dirty' word. So is communism. But nobody takes it seriously when revolutionaries talk of revolution. But on the 150th anniversary of 1867 publication of the first volume of Karl Marx's capital, it is better to return to basics instead of moving in a circle.

Automation – replacing workers with computers, robots and other machines – is a palpable form of ever-growing domination of dead labour over living labour. It is the highest source of destruction of jobs and replacement of higher-paid with lower-paid jobs and full-time jobs with part-time, temporary or other precarious jobs. New theoretical orientation that began with the 'Spring Thunder', seems to have lost its course in the middle. Shaking the earth to the core was the net result of 'Spring Thunder' and the country needs another shake. Unfinished challenges in that event need rethinking.            


Vol. 49, No.48, Jun 4 - 10, 2017