The Maoist ‘postponement’ of the general strike has drawn diverse reactions. Ruling parties have projected it as a victory of democracy, constitutionalism, and law and a massive defeat for the Maoist ‘politics of blackmail’. Sections of the media and civil society that had urged the Maoists to pull back feel it is a result of popular pressure exerted by the peace rally on Friday morning. And while some Moist leaders and cadre are reported to be confused, demoralized, and angry at the leadership for letting go, others are hopeful that this will pave the way for an agreement on peace and constitution.
The responses are naturally shaped by one’s own location on the political spectrum. But what it ignores is that there is a complex set of factors that led to the Maoist decision. The non-Maoist euphoria also glosses over the fact that the strike was not the problem; it was only a symptom of the problem. And while the strike is off for now, those underlying issues remain unresolved.
The Maoists made four miscalculations. Continue reading Tactical Retreat?