The riot of red flags

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(Posted with the kind permission of Himal Southasian, www.himalmag.com). 

The strategies and tactics of the Naxalites are there for all to see, but the Indian establishment is yet to understand this agenda of ‘protracted warfare’.   

India’s Naxalite movement – to which contemporary Indian Maoists directly trace their lineage – emerged as a wildfire insurrection in 1967 in the Naxalbari area of North Bengal. After a few years of dramatic violence, however, that movement was comprehensively suppressed by 1973, with the entire top leadership of what was then the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), either jailed or dead. What little remained of its splintered survivor organisations was destroyed during Indira Gandhi’s Emergency of 1975. It was with the formation in 1980 of the People’s War Group (PWG) – under the leadership of Kondapalli Seetharamaiah, an erstwhile Central Organising Committee member of the CPI (ML), in the Telengana region of Andhra Pradesh – and the reorganisation of the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) in Bihar in the mid-1980s, that the movement resurfaced in some strength.

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