Social Scientist. v 2, no. 15 (Oct 1973) p. 55.

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Contribution to


Class Character of State Power in India

S NAQVI, differing from the conclusions of the Second All-India Confer* ence on "The Class Character of State Power in India", has presented an alternative analysis {Social Scientist^ August 1973) which depicts the state as being a wholly bourgeois state; deduces from this a very confused strategy for the Indian revolution, and, with some misgivings, in the end pleads that his position should not be confused or equated with that of the "all too familiar Trotskyite position of refusal to recognise stages of revolution each with its own pattern of class alignments".

In fact the thesis propounded, far from being Trotskyite in na-ture, most clearly resembles the right revisionist thesis of the Indian State. When it comes to strategy, a confusion over class alignments, the friends and enemies of the revolution, results in a mixing of the two stages—People's Democratic and Socialist—and a total absence of any reference to the leadership of the revolution. In other words what is presented is an eclecticism which amounts to a variant of the right reformist position on the character of the Indian state, with a theoretical component of the ultra-left.

The central defect of the analysis, in our opinion, lies in the total confusion on the question of the class composition of the society, and the domination of one section of the bourgeoisie over the state structure. This in turn arises from the failure to identify and correctly assess the primary and essential features of the Indian economy, classes and the state, and the dialectical interrelationships between them. Hence the entire strategy goes wrong. The root of this failure must be sought in Naqvi's methodological inconsistency, though in this Naqvi, perhaps, is not alone. There are others in India and abroad, who accept Marxism and Marxist dialectics, but mix up theory with pragmatism, the dialectical interconnection of different aspects of reality with pure empiricism. Apart from the imprecise and unscientific nature of some of his formulations, it is this methodological jumble which makes many of his formulations valid in one context and untenable in another—all in the same article. While a full critique would require joining issue on practically every detail, which is not possible here, we shall try below to take up the main features of Naqvi's analysis to illustrate the main contention of our criticism.

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