SN Nagarajan: One of the most interesting theoreticians of the Indian Communism

By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, Editor Word for Peace

Sathyamanagalam Nagarajan, also known as “SN”, is trained as a biologist. But interestingly, he is one of the most interesting theoreticians of the Communist movement inIndia.In his 50s, he is possibly an original Marxist thinker in the land who conceptualizes a direct continuity between traditional Indian thought and contemporary Marxist theory. He is vehemently opposed to the predictable confrontation between traditional philosophy and Marxist dogma.In fact, he makes the former a basis for the future of Indian Marxism and constantly propounds the need for a sensible meaningful dialogue.

SN Nagarajan One of the most interesting theoreticians of the Indian CommunismWhile this makes him very popular with alternative thinkers and those who believe that the future ofIndia depends very largely on our understanding of the past, it leaves him as a loner within the Marxist fold.A champion of critical theory and free expression and an intellectually original Marxist, he does not walk the beaten path (see: Illustrated Weekly OfIndia, April, 1985).

S.N. Nagarajan has masterly penned down a book on the same subject entitled Keezhai Marxism History, Politics, Philosophy (Kaavya, 16 Second Cross Street, Trustpuram, Kodambakkam, Chennai). This came as a seminal work in this area of study and seems to be a compendium of writings of Nagarajan, a well-known Marxist in Tamil Nadu, who introduced the concept of Keezhai Marxism, meaning Eastern Marxism, which marks a deviated approach to the study of Marxism. In the communist movement for over 50 years, he had conflicts with the communist parties and turned to Marxist studies, embracing Maos ideology. By his commitment to Eastern Marxism, the author is identifying himself as a Maoist and with Maos leadership of a rural proletariat or peasant revolution. As per the Marxist-Leninist theory, it is only the proletariat industrial working class that could lead a socialist revolution, as the one led by Lenin in Russia during November 1917.

Nagarajans individuality stands out right through the publication and even on subjects such as feminism, and Dalitism. His thoughts may vary at times on certain aspects but he does not give up identifying himself with Eastern Marxism. He says that even materialists should accept that the universe is only in the materialist form. His acceptance of spiritualism is a deviation from the materialist concept of the classical Marxists.

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