The armed-struggle tradition within the anti-imperialist upsurge has been a neglected area of study. No doubt this tradition itself was a diverse one; and none of the tendencies within this tradition managed even temporarily to acquire hegemony over the upsurge. Nonetheless the attention devoted to this tradition is way below what it deserves. We publish as the lead article of this issue of Social Scientist an assessment piece by Amit Gupta who has been working on this tradition for quite some time. The piece draws attention, interestingly, to certain striking similarities between the strategic perspective of the "terrorists" during the First World War and that of Subhash Bose during the Second; and it raises the question: why did this tradition, especially the Communists, not succeed in acquiring hegemony over the anti-imperialist struggle? He underscores their inability to combine the anti-imperialist struggle with the anti-feudal one, but this still begs the question. The paper does suggest a "subjective failure" on the part of the Communists but the matter clearly deserves further examination.
The anti-imperialist struggle in India is far from over. What is often seen as the end of that struggle is but the end of only one phase of it. The question of hegemony over this struggle therefore is not a settled issue. Given the big bourgeoisie's recent proclivity to acquiesce in imperialist designs for recolonising the third world, a whole new era of opportunities for carrying forward the anti-imperialist struggle may be opening up once again before the Communist tradition. To be equal to the task however it is important to learn from past mistakes. For this, asking questions such as those raised in this paper is essential.
The theoretical structure which Javeed Alam has been erecting in recent years continues to be a focus of debate. In a recent issue of Social Scientist we had carried a detailed critique of his book. In the current issue we have a critique of his article "Indispensability of