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Time for introspection

Time for introspection
Highlights

Time for introspection. The incidents in Chhattisgarh brought to the focus the unending saga of State-Maoist conflict. Maoists believe that Parliamentary democracy is an illusion and revolution is the reality.

Mindless militarism and violence will only invite greater state repression resulting in further oppression of the oppressed

The incidents in Chhattisgarh brought to the focus the unending saga of State-Maoist conflict. Maoists believe that Parliamentary democracy is an illusion and revolution is the reality. But, people today are not pushed to a wall to choose between armed revolution and sham democracy.

The ideological bankruptcy of Maoists is evident from the writings of the Marxist classics itself, in Frederich Engels’ Introduction to Marx’s Class Struggles in France: “…votes secured by the Communists accurately informed us concerning our own strength and that of all hostile parties, and thereby provided us with a measure of proportion for our actions second to none, safeguarding us from untimely timidity as much as from untimely foolhardiness.

In election agitation it provided us with a means, second to none, of getting in touch with the mass of the people where they still stand aloof from us; of forcing all parties to defend their views…; and, further, it provided our representatives in the Reichstag with a platform from which they could speak to their opponents in parliament, and to the masses without, with quite other authority and freedom than in the press or at meetings.”

Lenin in Leftwing Communism: An Infantile Disorder also said, “…It is very easy to show one’s revolutionary temper merely by hurling abuse at parliamentary opportunism, or merely by repudiating participation in Parliaments; it’s very ease, however, cannot turn this into a solution of a difficult, a very difficult, problem.”

Before his arrest, Charu Mazumdar, the legendary leader of Naxalbari struggle, was preparing a document for circulation among his Party members in which he was reported to have commented that “the system of individual annihilation has been overworked, and many mistakes have been committed.” Failing to realise these mistakes, Maoists continued to tread a path of violence which ultimately proves to be futile, though the issues raised by them especially on ‘Jal, Jungle, Jameen’ are more relevant today than ever before.

The unabated tribal deprivation, destruction of livelihoods in the name of development, blatant appropriation of natural resources, leaving the people impoverished are absolutely unacceptable even in the name of democracy. Thus any democrat would sympathise with these concerns often raised by the Maoists. The bone of contention is whether the milieu can be changed through armed insurgency leaving helpless tribals to be caught in the cross-fire.

Maoists should also realise that it is impossible to overthrow the powerful Indian State with sporadic armed activity as Lenin himself said, “Certainly, without a revolutionary mood among the masses, and without conditions facilitating the growth of this mood, revolutionary tactics will never develop into action.”

Mindless militarism and violence in the name of armed revolution will only invite greater state repression resulting in further oppression of the oppressed. Instead, Maoists embracing mass mobilisation would go a long way in strengthening democracy in India.

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