ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Alpa ShahSubscribe to Alpa Shah

Humaneness and Contradictions

Based on long-term ethnographic field research in the Adivasi-dominated forests of eastern India, this article explores how and why the Naxalites have persisted in the subcontinent and the challenges that beset revolutionary mobilisation. The focus is on how communist ideology for a casteless and classless society translated into the humaneness of revolutionary subjectivity, creating relations of intimacy between the guerrilla armies and the people in its strongholds. Crucially, also analysed are a series of contradictions that constantly undermine revolutionary mobilisation, tearing the Naxalites apart and destroying them from within.

India's Democracy: Illusion of Inclusion

Interrogating Inclusive Growth: Poverty and Inequality in India by K P Kannan, New Delhi: Routledge, 2014; pp xx + 310, Rs 795. Persistence of Poverty in India edited by Nandini Gooptu and Jonathan Parry, Delhi: Social Science Press, 2014; pp xiv + 432, Rs 745 .

Class Struggle, the Maoists and the Indigenous Question in Nepal and India

This article compares the Maoist movements in Nepal and India, with a focus on their respective relationship to indigenous politics. The unprecedented rise of indigeneity and ethnicity in post-war Nepal was, in large part, a consequence of the Maoists' People's War, which paid special attention to the case of Nepal's Janajatis through, what we call here, the "indigenous question." In comparison, the Indian Maoists have paid less attention to the indigenous question than their Nepali counterparts, though they have created their guerrilla zones in Adivasi-dominated areas. While the Indian Maoists' relative lack of attention to the indigenous question creates a situation in which class struggle can be presented primarily as an Adivasi movement, the danger in Nepal is that the sole focus on identity has undermined more radical demands for state restructuring. In both cases, a limited politics based on rights for particular groups has had the effect of replacing broader--even international--struggles, which have the potential to address more fundamental socio-economic inequalities by challenging the dominant politics of production, reproduction and redistribution.

Resurrecting Scholarship Resurrecting Scholarship

What we are seeing in India is not the classic agrarian transition. Poor Indians with homes in rural areas are no longer simple peasants or rural wage labourers. They are also dependent on migrant wage labour, on working in the rural non-farm economy and on petty commodity production and trade in the capitalist economy. This calls for revisiting the relevance of categories such as "poor peasant", "middle peasant", "rich peasant" by exploring the significance of the links that almost every single rural household seems to have (for its reproduction) with the wider economy beyond the village confines.

'Annihilation Is the Last Choice'

Gopalji is the spokesperson of the Special Area Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) [CPI (Maoist)]. In a recent interview in a forest in Jharkhand, eastern India, he talks of the party's goals, the quest for "New Democracy", the nature of development, its beneficiaries and its victims, the concrete achievements of the party, and the question of violence.
Back to Top