Thanks for your elaborate comments. I have no major disagreements with your analysis and suggestions for what the left should do. In fact, I am also suggesting that the left has to build a simultaneous democratic movement among the tribals taking up their genuine livelihood issues (which no doubt has been neglected seriously by even the Left in the neo-liberal phase as you mention) and a mass resistance to the Maoists (from among the tribals as otherwise the Maoists will not allow the left to pursue the first objective). This is easier said than done but is worth the effort given the earlier experience of the Left vis-a-vis the dynamics that plays between the Left-extremism and right-wing ruling classes to weaken the communists with the largest mass-base.
As for the questions you have raised regarding what I am suggesting as a correct Maoist strategy: The reference to the Long March that I have given is to elucidate the processes and outcomes that can grip a communist movement in the wake of a 'left' deviation. The Long March in the 30s was led by Mao at a juncture when the Japanese imperialist forces had occupied Manchuria and other parts of North China and needless to say that there is no scope for copy-pasting that revolutionery path in the current Indian context which is completely different. It is surprising that you drew such a parallel. On the contrary, the parallel drawn with the Chinese experience is not to say that the Maoists should have established their 'armed struggle' base closer to where the population is (as you got it) but to suggest that they should have established their 'revolutionary' base amongst the people. Doing which, they would have automatically appreciated the worth of a democratic movement (including contesting elections), mobilising the people (tribal and non-tribals) for their emancipation and also realized the ample scope of doing revolutionary work within the current political structure in India. Although there may be points of time where armed resistance may be necessary to class forces even on the course of this democratic revolutionary path. CPIM and the Left in India already has a long experience of that during the sixties and seventies.
The Indian Maoism according to me is a refracted resistance to the oppressive capitalist system. The only positive thing that the Maoists have probably done is to shift the attention of the nation to the grossly backward tribal regions (agreed that for the Left there was no reason to neglect such regions in the first place). But the entire worth of the Maoist revolution ends at that and does not go even one step further as they themselves become part fo the exploitation. Here the point of setting up revolutionary bases far from the agrarian population in a country like India comes into relevance. The reference (A. Roy's article) you give regarding the increase in wages for tendu leaf collectors by the Maoists is a sham. When the lowest minimum wage in the country (the so-called oppresive bourgeois system) is no less than Rs 70 and is as high as Rs 160 in a state like Kerala (Refer to Nirnalanshu Mukherjee piece on this website), the Maoists have ensured Rs. 30 for the tendu leaf collectors. A movement which ensures no more than Rs. 30/day to workers does not fall in any category of progressive movement. They cannot afford to increase the wages of the tribals to more than this because then their share in the business which runs in crores of rupees will be depleted and the financing of their movement jeopardized. Mass (mass as in basic classes and sections of the population which supports the reviolution at some stage or other) financing is a pre-requisite for any revolutionary movement as opposed to the money-raising that the Maoists do from the contractors and local mafia. The latter mode of financing will inevitably convert the guerillas into agents of ruling classes. Examples of such fallouts of leftwing deviations can be amply found in the long history of the Chinese revolution.
Apologies for the hurriedly written comment, which I guess gave you the impression of my naivity regarding the present capitalist system and troubled you to write a detailed elaboration on the contemporary capitalist system.
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