The Maoist movement in India is a direct consequence of the tragedy of India ruled by her big bourgeoisie and governed by parties co-opted by that class-fraction. The movement now threatens the accumulation of capital in its areas of influence, prompting the Indian state to intensify its barbaric counter-insurgency strategy to throttle it. In trying to understand what is going on, and, in turn, to re-imagine what the practice of radical democratic politics could be, it might help if, for a moment, we step aside and reflect over the questions: What is Maoism? What of its origins and development? What went before its advent? What are its flaws? Where is it going? Where should it be going, given its legacy? As I write at this lovely time of the festival of lights -- Diwali -- in India, I hope to bring back into the glow this body of thought and practice that the stenographers of power have consciously, deliberately distorted. I am fully aware that those whose job it is to transcribe the opinion of the dominant classes will -- having already presupposed what Maoism is all about -- accuse me of pushing an ideological agenda, and will dismiss what I have to say as illegitimate. Nevertheless, let me persist.