People Power - The Naxalite Movement in Central Bihar

People Power - The Naxalite Movement in Central Bihar

Product ID: 15904

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Author: Prakash Louis
Publisher: Wordsmiths
Year: 2002
Language: English
Pages: 344
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8187412070


In Naxalbari where it originated, the militant agrarian movement seems to have faded away. But in central Bihar it has been alive and gathering strength for over three decades since 1968, defying State repression and recurrent episodes of massacres by the feudal elements. This is the region in the eye of the storm, with mushrooming caste-based private armies of upper-caste landlords to counter the upsurge. It is also the arena where the various militant groups are waging their war of attrition, placing in doubt the very ideology of class struggle. In five districts of central Bihar-Bhojpur, Jehanabad, Gaya, Patna, ad Aurangabad-three left-wing groups are active: CPI (ML) Party Unity, Maoist Communist Centre, and CPI (ML) Liberation.

Contemporary radical agrarian movements have sharpened consciousness on issues like uneven land-ownership, low wages, caste women and similar structural oppression and exploitation of the lower strata of society. Agricultural labourers and small peasants, who predominantly ail from the lower-caste category and who are the most deprived and marginalized section of Indian rural society, charted out a vanguard role in the agrarian movements, spurred on by the militant political organizations which exerted themselves to sharpen the consciousness of the caste, class and gender contradictions.

The main objective of this enquiry is to examine the socio-economic setting of central Bihar in order to understand the radical agrarian movements-their origin, historical growth, ideological principles, the actors involved, the strategies followed, and the outcome.

Except for newspaper reports, the Naxalite movement has not received sufficient sociological examination from social scientists. The present study aims at highlighting the internal dynamics of agrarian movements, peasant consciousness and local leadership, which rise up in militant revolt in favourable conditions.

This study attempts to unravel the causes behind the emergence of the Naxalite movement in central Bihar, its evolution over the last three decades, the actors involved, the path the movement has taken, the achievements, and the failures. While briefly spelling out some salient feature of militant peasant movements, it also seeks to present the social milieu that germinated these movements, and the impact the latter had on the socio-economic, political, and cultural landscape of Bihar.

To achieve the objectives, this study has sought to focus on both the internal and external forces of agrarian movements in central Bihar.

Interviews were conducted with the individuals fighting for peasant rights, various militant peasant organizations, those opposing the struggle, and state-level government officials for comprehending agrarian movements. A serious effort was made to follow on the spot at least two cycles of plantation and harvesting, a period during which the struggle becomes much more intense.




INTRODUCTION: A Revolution in the Making

Agrarian Movements as Social Movements

Agrarian Movements in India: A Historical view

Central Bihar: A Socio-Economic Profile

The Semi-Feudal Agrarian Structure

Dissent and Protest: The Beginning of a Beginning

The Simmering Agrarian Unrest

The Flaming Fields of Central Bihar

Assessment and Conclusions


CPI (ML) Policy Resolutions on the Agrarian Question
CPI (ML) Party Unity: The Peasant Struggle in Gaya-Patna Border Zone
MCC: March Ahead along the Path of Armed Agrarian evolutionary Struggle