Social Scientist. v 6, no. 72 (July 1978) p. 21.


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NAXALITE MOVEMENT 21

statements are really meant or are being advanced to hide the real counter-revolutionary intentions. A reading of Naxalite literature would prove how deep this sense of mistrust is among them regarding the CPI (M).

Lastly, perhaps the biggest stumbling block is the history of the 1967-72 period, the confrontations between the two,, the killings, and the hatred generated by all this. This partly explains why, even after their recognition of the inadequacies of their earlier stand, and despite their disillusionment with the Chinese party after the ^Lin Piao' and ^gang of four' episodes, many of the Naxalites have hesitated to join the CPI (M). This emotional barrier between the two cannot be easily dismantled; this is as true of the Naxalites as of the CPI (M) rank and file.

All this does not exclude the possibilities which exist for the Naxalites and the CPI (M), and indeed many other groups to join hands on specific issues—whether localised or national in scope—be it the civil liberties campaign which has not lost its relevance with the accession to power of the Janata government, or the partial struggles of the poor peasants, workers and the middle class. To a great extent such united action i

While the ideological conflict between the Naxalites and the CPI (M) will continue—and the conflict by its very nature might even be an antagonistic one—there is no reason why this cannot be resolved in a non-antagonistic way. It is important for the Naxalite leaders of various persuasions to ensure that they are not used by the government and the ruling classes to weaken the CPI (M) and other leftwing parties, as they were in West Bengal during 1967-72. A major lesson of that period is that an attack against the GPI (M)—particularly the government led bv the CPI (M) in West Bengal—would eventually be turned into an attack against all tvpes of leftwing forces including the Naxalites in the second phase. Taking the country as a whole, the left is too weak to indulge in the luxury of fratricidal war which will only benefit the ruling classes, and confuse the people. While ideological conflict and polemics will persist as long as there are many leftwing parties, it is important that they make the ruling classes, and not one another, the main target of their attack.

Present Position of the Movement

At the time of writing this postscript on the Naxalite Movement, the picture one gets of the movement is as follows. Although a large number of the Naxalites have been released from prison, very few of them have joined active politics; some have dropped out because of disillusionment with the way the movement has py'ogressed during the intervening years, and some others are unwilling to make hasty decisions regarding their political work without first giving themselves time to reflect and to make a thorough assessment of the movement. While



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