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Women in the Maoist Movement

Class Struggle and Patriarchy

​In the 50 years since Naxalbari, women have made a significant contribution to the growth of the Maoist movement, breaking free from many of the shackles that bind women down in Indian society. This article discusses the role of women and the question of patriarchy in this stream of the Naxalite movement on the basis of the literature available.

In an unpublished letter, “An Open Letter to Krishna Bandyopadhyay,” written to Krishna Bandyopadhyay in 2008,1 Nishita (probably a pseudonym) expressed her affinity with Krishna and then argued why, in spite of the prevailing patriarchy within the Naxalite movement, she (Nishita) chose to stay and fight, claiming that women have succeeded in occupying almost half of the Maoist sky. Krishna herself had ended her article published in this journal by saying,

But today I feel that if all of us had continued and sustained it, we women would have stood side by side with the men and had an equal say in decision-making. Perhaps the history of the Naxalbari movement would have been written differently then. (Bandyopadhyay 2008: 59)

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Updated On : 29th May, 2017


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