The Maoist movement in India is as intriguing as it is predictable. It is intriguing for the way it seems to so resolutely mark itself against the current spirit of our times that favour localised protest, unorganised, autonomous and leaderless struggles; against dominant and given notions of representative democracy, and for its clarity of purpose with a defi nitive focus on what needs to be achieved for the basic classes, and for doggedly questioning some of the very fundamental aspects of power. But it has also in so many ways remained unchanged, its ideas look fairly rehearsed and repetitive, and its strategies have set in a degree of ennui. It is always diffi cult to refl ect on a movement that defi nes itself in such clear and categorical terms that there is always the possibility of one’s refl ection going beyond the parameters the movement has set itself.
The issues on which one wishes to engage them could well be beyond their immediate concerns. The strategy of armed insurrection – based on Mao’s strategy of “surround the cities” – is so well-defi ned that its interrogation in a proper sense looks possible only after its goals are realised. A critique that is based on prompting, with good reasons, the limitations could always be brushed aside as a mere intellectual activity or way too abstract for the movement to be so privileged to take them up here and now. Thus, the movement’s belief that practice – as in political action – alone can guide, though Lenin had in so many words declared that “there cannot be revolutionary practice without revolutionary theory”.Read Complete Article