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

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Lessons of Naxalbari

N Krishnaji In the Wake of Naxalbari: A History of the Naxalite Movement in India by Sumanta Banerjee; Subarnarekha, Calcutta, 1980: pp xii + THE Naxalbari movement was hailed as "Spring Thunder over India". The analogy is in a sense inappropriate for this was no seasonal burst; it had roots in the past and its quick spread to other areas changed the horizon of politics in India as no other left movement has since Independence. It held promise but it failed. But the questions it raised are still relevant, The nature and course of the movement in Naxalbari, Srikakulam and other areas is historically linked to the earlier experience of Indian communists. Tebhaga, Telengana and the subsequent preoccupation with electoral politics are all parts of this experience. But in some respects it was unique in Indian history. The movement that followed in the wake of Naxalbari in areas such as Srikakulam made a more forceful demonstration than did Telengana that armed struggle can be real; and that liberated zones, peoples' courts, and seizure of political power need not remain entirely imaginary.

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