• India;
  • agrarian questions;
  • semi-feudalism;
  • Naxalites;
  • Communist Party of India (Maoist);
  • Communist Party of India (Marxist)

This special issue is concerned with agrarian questions in India and their importance for, and impact on, political analyses and strategies of the Indian Left. In the 1970s, the development of Left politics generated the modes of production debate and many of the communist parties used their interpretations of agrarian change then to guide their Indian path to socialism. More than 40 years on, ongoing changes in economic and social relations in the agrarian sector and in society at large make it important to revisit those earlier debates and conclusions. On the basis of the papers of this special issue, the introduction outlines the development of capitalism in the Indian countryside, its relation to the development of capitalism in India and to neoliberal globalization. It raises the question of how rural class relations have developed in different parts of the country and discusses the extent to which Indian Left politics has analysed and strategized such development.