Tuesday, June 20, 2006

SUCI's criticism of the CPI( Maoist )

On recent attempt to revive Naxalite movement

Proletarian Era, central organ of the Socialist Unity Centre of (SUCI),Vol. 39 No. 13, February 20, 2006

For the past few years, a resurgence of Naxalite movement is being witnessed in certain parts of eastern . People’s War Group (PWG), one of the Naxalite factions, was found active in certain districts of Eastern Andhra Pradesh and Orissa while Maoist Co-ordination Centre (MCC), another group, was reportedly behind some incidents in Jharkhand and Bihar . While the PWG, a faction of the erstwhile CPI(ML) was created in 1969 by the Naxalites by splitting the CPI(M), MCC with Naxalite thinking was formed in 1967 as a separate outfit. These two groups were opposed to each other and had in fact been engaged in bloody conflicts since the end of eighties with several casualties on either side. However, at one point of time, they began talks with each other and ultimately in September 2004, these two factions joined hands to float CPI (Maoist), a new political outfit, and escalated the operations in certain select rural pockets, mainly terrains and forest areas predominantly inhabited by poor tribal people in Andhra, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal . Some commotion has already been created around the revival of the Naxalite type of movement and hence it is necessary to examine how far this movement is effective in giving vent to the simmering discontent and wrath of the toiling people bleeding white under ruthless capitalist exploitation and canalizing the same in the right direction given the context of Indian situation today. Moreover, the new party formed with the amalgamation of one splinter group of the original CPI(ML) created in 1969 by the Naxalites by splitting the CPI(M), is calling itself Maoist. So it is important to analyze if the theoretical position as well as the line of action of the nascent outfit is in conformity with the preachings and teachings of Mao Zedong, the great communist leader and authority and architect of Chinese Revolution and what will be the fallout of the activities of the aforesaid new outfit.

Political formulation of CPI (Maoist)

As a form of struggle, the CPI (Maoist), it is observed, is ambushing on the police force, attacking police barracks and stations, breaking jails and armoury, causing blasts in public places, allegedly blowing of railway tracks, indulging in selected individual assassinations and abductions, bank robberies, loots and so forth in certain pockets of rural India particularly the tribal belts of the six states mentioned above

The theoretical position as formulated in the documents released during formation of the CPI (Maoist) is : “…the character of Indian society is semi-colonial, semi-feudal. The Indian revolution would have to pass through two stages. The first must change the semi-colonial, semi-feudal society into an independent New Democratic Society. The targets of the revolution would be imperialists, bourgeoisie and landlord classes… The motive forces for the revolution are to be the peasants, workers and petty-bourgeoisie, with the national bourgeoisie being vacillating allies. The immediate aim is to be achieved through the path of a protracted people’s war starting from the rural areas… Hereafter the principal task of the party is to … transform the existing guerrilla zones into base areas, thereby advancing towards the New Democratic Revolution’’. (quoted in The Statesman dated 7.9.2005.)

To the discerning and acquainted, the formulation is found to be exact repetition of the aims, objectives and means of achievement declared by the protagonists of the Naxalite movement spearheaded by the then CPI(ML) in the late Sixties and early Seventies.

Origin of Naxalite movement

Let us recall what happened in the Sixties and Seventies and what the consequences were.

The Naxalite movement originated at Naxalbari sub-division in the northern extremity of West Bengal in 1967. A section of the CPI (M) leaders and cadres having disagreement with the utterly reformist constitutional politics pursued by the party, snowballed the movement. It started with a movement on the demand for recovery of benam land, that is, land held under false names unlawfully and distribution of the same to the landless and poor peasants. This, no doubt, was a part of the democratic movement for land reforms which, if could be organized under correct revolutionary leadership and elevated to the height of militant peasant’s movement, could well-neigh succeed to realize the demands within the present capitalist political-economic-social framework. At that time, the First United Front Government of which the SUCI was a constituent was in power in West Bengal . Under pressure from the SUCI, the United Front Government invited the Naxalite leadership to discuss and settle the issue. But the Naxalite leadership spurned the offer and turned the agrarian movement for seizure of illegally held land by rural kulaks and moneybags virtually into a struggle for seizure of state power.

Theory and practice of erstwhile CPI(ML)

The erstwhile CPI(ML) also like the undivided CPI and then the CPI(M) held that , like pre-revolution was a semi-feudal, semi-colonial state. The comprador bourgeoisie and feudal landlords, who were stooges of imperialism, were ruling the country in league with the imperialist forces. And as a strategy, the then CPI(ML) began armed hostilities against the police and individual killings in the name of annihilating class enemies and zamindars, engaged in bloody skirmishes with the CPI(M) activists and other political rivals and exploding hand bombs in public places. It seemed that to the then CPI(ML) leadership, unleashing individual terrorism was considered essential to succeed in its mission. Further, the then CPI(ML) leadership assumed that the new party it created overnight by breaking away from the non-Marxist CPI(M), had automatically emerged as a correct revolutionary party that could right away bring about a revolutionary upsurge.

Thus, based on the theoretical formulation that was no different from the ones propounded by the CPI and the CPI(M), the then CPI(ML) from the moment of its birth through a split of the petty-bourgeois CPI(M) took it for granted that possessed all the qualities of a proletarian revolutionary party and being convinced about the success of a prototype of the strategy of Chinese revolution, virtually began a struggle for seizure of power palpably ignoring the essential task of fulfilling the objective and subjective conditions of revolution so clearly postulated in the science of Marxism-Leninism.

Pre-conditions of revolution

Let us recapitulate what our party, led by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, a foremost Marxist thinker of the era, pointed out at that time. As already mentioned, success of revolution depends on fulfilment of essential pre-conditions, both subjective and objective. As a result of the continuous onslaughts of an exploitative class rule, the suffering of the people spirals, poverty, deprivation, unemployment, destitution, misery soar sky-high. All these coupled with the endemic crisis of the prevailing economic system and the concomitant instability automatically create favourable objective condition.

But mere creation of favourable objective condition does not, ipso facto, make a revolution successful. Subjective condition, too, has to be fulfilled and both must coincide. Ripening of subjective condition pre-supposes adequate preparation and favourable disposition on the part of the toiling people at large to hasten the process of revolutionary transformation of the society.

And only a correct revolutionary party built up in the process of Leninist principles and armed with correct revolutionary theory covering all aspects of life can raise the political consciousness of the people to this level and impel the vast masses on to the path of revolution by unleashing an all-encompassing socialist movement, organizing the people through painstaking ideological struggle, steeling them in mass and class struggles and decisively enlisting their support in favour of revolution. So, emergence of a correct revolutionary party with a correct revolutionary theory covering every aspect of life is an essential pre-requisite for maturing the subjective condition. Let us now proceed to see if the CPI(ML) had fulfilled any of the pre-requisites.

Stage of Indian revolution

First, we take the question of determining the stage of revolution, which constitutes the base political line. Was the characterization of the Indian state as semi-feudal, semi-colonial one akin to pre-revolution correct? Our party, under the leadership of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had then, through elaborate, penetrating analysis based on Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong thoughts, shown that after transfer of power through compromise, the Indian national bourgeoisie was saddled in command of the Indian state. Wielding the sovereign bourgeois state machine, the ruling Indian bourgeoisie got engaged in the freest possible development of capitalism in the country under the circumstances. Unlike in , capitalism had not only become the principal economic form in , but had consolidated itself and had grown stage by stage to give rise to monopolies, powerful finance capital and financial oligarchy. The Indian monopolists had already been exporting capital abroad and setting up joint ventures in foreign countries in collaboration with the respective native bourgeoisie. Thus , which had already become a junior partner of International Trust and Cartel, was fast growing as an imperialist country.

Next comes the question of agriculture. Pre-dominance of agriculture does not mean that feudalism is dominant. There are definite guidelines for ascertaining the economic character of agrarian economy. According to Lenin, penetration of capitalism in agriculture could be judged by three criteria: growth in the number of landless agricultural labourers, concentration of land in the hands of a few, and transformation of agricultural produce into the commodity of the national capitalist market. On that basis, capitalism did make decisive inroad in Indian agriculture long back – a fact the CPI(ML) perhaps did not take into cognizance.

Thus with a modern bourgeois state in place and the national bourgeoisie firmly entrenched in state power, it was capitalism which stood as the main enemy of the people. As Lenin said, “The main question of every Revolution is the question of state power.” Further elaboration was given by Stalin, “In the hands of which class or which classes is power concentrated; which class or which classes must be overthrown; which class or classes must take power – such is the main question of every Revolution.” (Problems of Leninism). On the basis of these teachings, it is clear that Indian revolution could not but be anti-capitalist socialist revolution and all preparations were to be made accordingly ; strategy and tactics had to be chalked out appropriately.

Condition of pre-revolution was different

On the other hand, we had pointed that in pre-revolution , there was no inkling of a capitalist democratic government and social order. The whole of was never brought under the military-administrative control of any one single imperialist force either and its different parts were under the control of different imperialist forces while the peasantry was grueling under severe feudal oppression and exploitation by the feudal landlords and warlords. It was a localized, self-sufficient agricultural economy instead of a unified national economy.

We also reminded that in the words of Mao Zedong, “The characteristics of are that she is not independent and democratic but semi-colonial and semi-feudal, that internally she has no democracy but is under feudal oppression and in her external relations she has no national independence, but is oppressed by imperialists. It follows that we have no parliament to make use of and no legal right to organize the workers to strike. Basically, the task of the Communist Party here is not to go through a long period of legal struggles before launching insurrection and war, and not to seize big cities first and then occupy the countryside but the reverse. … All this shows the difference between and the capitalist countries.” (SW : vol. II, p-219). In Chinese revolution, the national bourgeoisie, showed Mao, “was a class with a dual character of both having a contradiction with imperialism and fettered by feudalism as well as lacked the courage to oppose imperialism and feudalism thoroughly because of being flabby economically and politically and having economic ties with imperialism and feudalism.” So Mao with his revolutionary acumen utilized the vacillating position of the Chinese national bourgeoisie against the target enemies of revolution – imperialism and feudalism – to bring about revolution. But in the Indian context, the national bourgeoisie, as already mentioned, has been the class in state power and has to be overthrown by revolution. However, if one was to accept the formulations of the then CPI(ML), the national bourgeoisie was to be viewed as an ally of revolution. How does one reconcile to that? Would it mean that big industrial houses, top monopoly groups would come forward and join the rank of revolution? Who then would be the target class of revolution?

Next, while discussing the point of participation of the peasantry as a whole in the revolution, we raised the obvious question as to how could this contention of the then CPI(ML) be true when the principal form of exploitation on the peasantry in the countryside was capitalist in nature perpetrated by the rich peasants, the rural bourgeoisie? So if this stark reality was wished away and the whole peasantry was lumped together as an ally of revolution, then would it not, for all intent and purpose, serve the interest of the jotedars or rural kulaks? And in that event, the very struggle of Naxalbari to recover benam land from the rich peasants or jotedars would suffer from an inexplicable self-contradiction. We are not sure if the then CPI(ML) leaders were aware of it.

It is therefore clear that Mao Zedong, in the process of concretizing Marxism-Leninism on the Chinese soil, correctly analyzed the concrete situation of obtaining then, and accordingly deduced the class composition and co-relation of forces to the specific position of different classes and their precise role in the revolution. Based on all these, he chalked out the strategy of revolution. Lest anyone should make the blunder of blindly copying the Chinese model of revolution by drawing historical parallel, Mao, during his discussion with the representatives of the Communist Parties of Latin America in 1956, categorically sounded a word of caution, “The experience of the Chinese revolution, that is, building rural base areas, encircling the cities from the countryside and finally seizing the cities, may not be wholly applicable to many of your countries, though it can serve for your reference. I beg to advise you not to transplant Chinese experience mechanically. The experience of any foreign country can serve only for reference and must not be regarded as dogma…” (SW. Vol. V, p-326).

Now, one can judge for oneself if the then CPI(ML) was correct in assessing the Indian condition, took cognizance of the Indian reality, followed the guidance provided by Mao Zedong or blindly copied the Chinese model, imposed Chinese condition on Indian reality and erred in determining the concrete character and process of class struggle at work in Indian society. If the party was not following a correct revolutionary theory judged on the anvil of Marxism-Leninism Mao Zedong Thought, could it lead revolution to success? Let us recall one of the fundamental teachings of Mao Zedong – “…the correctness or incorrectness of the ideological and political line decides everything.” (SW. Vol. P-441)

Process of formation of a correct revolutionary party

Apart from a correct revolutionary theory, the other base requirement for emergence of a correct revolutionary party is the correct process of its formation. The Leninist process stipulated conduction of arduous, painstaking but essential all-embracing ideological struggle encompassing the leaders, organizers and members on the basis of dialectical materialism to develop uniformity of thinking, one process of thinking, oneness in approach and singleness of purpose to give rise to a band of professional revolutionaries whose individual life and party life merged into one and who, through constant common activity and constant common discussion and association, could lay the firm base of ideological centralism in the party. And only when organizational centralism is built up on the basis of this ideological centralism, that can ensure democratic centralism, sine qua non for a proletarian revolutionary party. Unless this process is successfully completed there cannot be formal emergence of a party. Earlier, when Ajay Ghosh had become the general secretary of the undivided CPI, he had admitted that the CPI had been, from its very inception, reflecting an anti-working class outlook. We know that in a class-divided society, a party cannot but reflect the thinking of this or that class. It cannot be a supra-class entity. So, if the CPI had been reflecting a non-working class outlook, it must have been reflecting bourgeois or petty-bourgeois class outlook. Hence, can a revolutionary party of the working class be formed out of a bourgeois or petty bourgeois party by just engineering a split? That is why, when a section of the leaders and cadres of the undivided CPI accused the top leadership of practicing revisionism and came out to form overnight the CPI(M) in 1964 claiming the new outfit to be a genuine revolutionary party our party, led by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, through a detailed rational analysis following the Leninist guideline, had shown that except for certain changes in vocabulary and tactical approach, there was no difference between the CPI and the CPI(M) and despite all tall claims the CPI(M) leaders merely succeeded in splitting a petty-bourgeois party to give birth to another petty-bourgeois party.

Unfortunately, the CPI(ML) leaders who broke away from the CPI(M) post haste in 1969 to establish a separate party, also avoided the painstaking but indispensable ideological struggle to found a genuine revolutionary party of the proletariat. Like the CPI(M) leaders, they also thought it sufficient to dissociate from the parentage to be transformed into revolutionaries. At that time, we, through a detailed analysis based on the invaluable teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, showed that the then CPI(ML), notwithstanding their passion and urge for revolution, did not subject themselves to this Leninist struggle to achieve ideological centralism through an all-embracing socialist movement; consequently, it had not been able to give birth to collective knowledge, a collective leadership and the leader of the revolution had not emerged as the concrete conception and personified expression of the collective leadership. Since it had hastily given a formal structure to the party before fulfilling the essential pre-conditions, the party would not be a homogeneous Leninist working class party but a petty-bourgeois party, mechanically and not democratically centralized, with a formal and bureaucratic leadership instead of a collective leadership, with groupism and factionalism, parallel thinking inherent in it. Exactly that had happened. The then CPI(ML) also underwent multiple splits, the nascent CPI(Maoist) being one of such splinters. Each faction is calling itself genuine Marxist and chiding others as deviators.

Guerrilla warfare as a strategy

Alongside the questions of correct revolutionary theory and formation of correct revolutionary party, we at that time, also discussed the aspect of effectiveness of guerrilla warfare as a strategy in the given context of capitalist . As pointed out by Comrade Ghosh, “…due to particularity of contradictions in every country, the revolutionaries, wherever they conduct guerrilla wars against the ruling clique, will have to concretize, elaborate and add to the tactics of guerrilla warfare, depending upon the specific situation.” (SW. Vol.II p-245) Explaining why the ‘red political’ bases created in rural areas through guerilla tactics in semi-feudal, semi-colonial , could succeed, Mao Zedong categorically said, “It can exist and develop only under certain conditions…. Two things account for its occurrence, namely a localized agricultural economy (not a unified capitalist economy) and the imperialist policy of making spheres of influence in order to divide and exploit.” (SW:VoL.I, p-64).

Contrasted to such peculiarity obtaining in pre-revolution , Indian bourgeois state has a well-knit centralized administration, advanced communication system, a well-equipped modern army with sophisticated weaponry. It is obvious that it is not possible to combat this army and state machine following the Chinese strategy.

Task of enlisting broader mass support

Moreover, there was another inherent weakness which the then Naxalite movement suffered from. As we know, before going in for a direct uprising, armed struggle and in a specific situation, the guerilla tactics, it is imperative to mobilize widespread and popular mass support in favour of revolution. In his treatise on strategy and tactics of guerilla warfare, Mao repeatedly stressed that Red base areas could neither be developed nor sustained without mass support. One would recall that Mao Zedong himself, in the concrete Chinese situation, built up numerous cooperatives and peasant organizations to ensure that the people, imbued with revolutionary ideal, stand by the communists fighting the enemy adopting a guerrilla strategy concretized in the form of encircling the cities from the villages.

The revolutionary party of the proletariat as the vanguard of the revolutionary proletariat class, no doubt, spearheads the proletarian revolutionary struggle but the party members and the activists constitute only a small section of the toiling masses. They themselves cannot bring about revolution unless the larger sections of the toiling people rally behind revolution. That is why Lenin said, “Victory cannot be won with the vanguard alone. To throw the vanguard alone in the decisive battle, before the whole class, before the broad masses have taken up a position either of direct support of the vanguard, or at least of benevolent neutrality towards it, and one in which they cannot possibly support the enemy, would be not merely folly but a crime. For this, the masses must have their own political experience.” (Left Wing Communism an Infantile Disorder) Mao Zedong also observed that a revolution does not take place just because a party decides to have it. A revolution comes about only when tens of millions of people decide that it is of no use in going on living as before.

But no serious attempt was seen on the part of the then CPI(ML) to enlist broader mass support in favour of its theoretical viewpoint as well as adopted strategy. Perhaps, as pointed out by Comrade Ghosh in 1969, the then CPI(ML) was following a line almost akin to highly erroneous Debray theory which, in a sense, amounted to negation of the very indispensability of fulfilling the necessary pre-condition for revolution and held that by organizing stray act of individual terrorism, a general feeling of insecurity could be generated in the country and revolution would then automatically come about.

People, not barrel of a gun is the decisive factor

Could be that because of following such a line, the then CPI(ML) leaders and activists often referred to one of the observations of Mao Zedong that “Political power grows out of the barrels of the gun…” Expunged from the context, it sought to give an impression as if Mao’s emphasis was on gaining proficiency in the use of fire arms only and hence the extremist line of individual terror was endorsed by him. But the truth was just the reverse. Mao made this comment when he was explaining a particular tactics of struggle and stressing before the party workers its due importance in the then particular prevailing situation of semi-feudal, semi-colonial China, there warlords subserving one or the other imperialist forces, had their own army and they were engaged in wars among themselves. To take on these warlords for creating and holding on red bases in the countryside, the communists had to take up arms. In Mao’s words, “…because of the feudal division of the country, those which have more guns, have more power. Placed in such an environment the party of the proletariat should clearly see to the heart of the matter.” Hence, “… without armed struggle the proletariat and the communist party would have no standing at all in China, and it would be impossible to accomplish any revolutionary task” (SW.Vol.II, p-222-24) But was such an observation in negation of the fact that it is the people imbued with correct ideology constitutes the most powerful gun in the revolutionary battle? Mao himself provided the clarification, “…the so-called theory that ‘weapons decide everything’… constitutes a mechanical approach… weapons are important factor in war, but not the decisive factor, it is the people, not things, that are decisive. The contest of strength is not only of a military and economic power, but also of a contest of human power and moral.” (SW.Vol.II, p-143).

Democratic movement or seizure of power : queer confusion

All these theoretical flaws and inconsistencies naturally led to various confusions in their approach. As we mentioned at the outset, the movement in Naxalbari crystallized based on the most legitimate democratic demands of retrieving benam land. But when the first UF government at our insistence, invited the leaders of the movement to sit for a talk and settle the issue, they did not respond, though during the phase of democratic movement, such conciliatory negotiations were part of the process. Anyone familiar with the complex process of revolutionary build-up knows that mere militant character does not transform a democratic movement into a decisive battle for seizure of power as in its course, any democratic struggle, due to certain specific factors, might assume militant form. So long a movement with the objective of realizing certain specific demands remains within the category of democratic struggle, irrespective of the form it acquires, the movement follows the given course and concludes with the settlement of the demands. But the then CPI (ML) leaders by refusing to come to the negotiation table, indicated that they were not considering the Naxalbari movement a democratic one. Thus they brought the poor peasantry in the vortex of movement by talking of recovery and distribution of benam land, but apparently shifted to the struggle for seizure of power. They, however, did not give any explicit call to the people for seizure of power but conducted in such a way as if they had launched the final assault for social transformation. Caught in this abtruse a stand, neither could they wrest the democratic demands nor make any advance in launching the decisive battle for revolution.

Denounment of Naxalbari movement was disastrous for democratic movement

Hence, other than creating some commotion at the initial phase, the movement could not win the support of either the poor peasants, share-croppers and agricultural labourers at large or the urban middle class and workers. The toiling people could not view this movement as a struggle for their own cause. On the other hand, they did not have the mental preparedness to go in for armed struggle. Hence they stayed away from the movement. The ruling bourgeoisie and its state machine seized this opportunity and in the name of containing violence and insurgency unleashed a reign of terror with the help of its coercive apparatus. Unbridled power was conferred in the hands of the police-administration, draconian acts were promulgated and in a planned manner, many of the hard earned democratic rights were snatched away to curtail and truncate the scope of democratic movement. Indiscriminate killing of suspects in police encounters, both genuine and fake, lock-up deaths, arrests without warrant, harassment, intimidation scared and frightened the people beyond limit. On the other hand, the people had hardly any idea as to what the movement of Naxalbari was aiming at. What precisely was the politics guiding it. Only they found the activists of the movement organizing some acts of individual terror and violence. The people at large, therefore, thought they were the worst casualties in the whole episode. A deep frustration ensued and its immediate effect was that the people turned back from the path of democratic movement. Hence, a tremendous harm was caused to the process of development of legitimate democratic movement.

Thus, as a concomitant of flawed theoretical formulations and incorrect steps and devoid of broader mass support, the Naxalbari movement, notwithstanding courage, sacrifices, and emotion of many of the activists and protagonists, gradually petered away. The then CPI(ML) got disintegrated into innumerable groups and sub-groups, engaged in internecine squabbles and accusing each other of betrayal and pursuading wrong line. Some of the then CPI(ML) cadres returned to the CPI(M) and CPI while many ceased to be in active politics. And capitalizing on this, the branded bourgeois parties and the pseudo-Marxists like the CPIM), CPI succeeded in creating a parliamentary illusion among the people considerably turned off the path of democratic movement, even in West Bengal which was held in high esteem as the citadel of militant mass movement in the country. It was indeed tragic but inevitable.

In analyzing the root cause of this tragic development, an invaluable teaching of Mao Zedong becomes very relevant. He said : “Communists must always go into the whys and wherefors of anything, use their own heads and carefully think over whether or not it corresponds to reality and it is really well-founded; on no account should they follow blindly and encourage slavishness.” (SR: p-227) He also warned: “Some comrades, disregarding the subjective and objective conditions, suffered from the malady of revolutionary impetuosity. They will not take pains to do minute and detailed work among the masses, but riddled with the illusions, want only to do big thing. This is remnant of Putschism (i.e., relying on a small section of masses and attempting to series of local uprisings. (SW. Vol. II, p-107)

CPI (Maoist) has same theory and strategy

From all the discussions made above, it would be revealed that CPI (Maoist) is having no difference with the then CPI(ML) either in its theory or practice. Rather, we observe a re-enactment of what happened in the sixties. Like the then CPI(ML), the CPI(Maoist) is also found to be arbitrarily imposing the condition of semi-feudal, semi-colonial on the objective conditions in capitalist . The modus operandi of the CPI(Maoist), as is obvious to every discerning person, is also a, so to say, replica of the operations of the then CPI(ML). So, though most unfortunate, yet it is a fact that such a movement based on incorrect political line and bereft of necessary public support will be smashed by the ruling class without much effort.

This time also, it is observed, that in the movement conducted by the CPI(Maoist), there is same queer confusion over the question of democratic movement vis-à-vis struggle for seizure of power. The movement has begun by highlighting some of the genuine demands of the tribals and rural poor desperate for some redressal of the acute problems of backwardness and wrenching poverty. Some localized movements were also organized over these legitimate democratic demands and the poor people did respond to those. But it is obvious that the people’s responses at local level are based on the urge for seeking some relief, some amelioration of the suffocating situation. So far, we have not yet come across any indication to think that there is anything beyond soliciting such reprieve within ambit of democratic movement.

For example, in Andhra Pradesh, such democratic movement did materialize at certain select pockets and it was possible to achieve some of the legitimate demands by accentuating the movement in right direction. In fact, under people’s pressure, the Congress-led Andhra Pradesh government agreed to sit with CPI(Maoist) leaders on the negotiation table. The CPI (Maoist) also responded and the talks commenced. But during the talk, the CPI(Maoist) leadership did not make any endeavour to mobilize strong public opinion in favour of the just demands for forcing the government under pressure of movement to concede to the same. This gave the Andhra government a scope to break the talks and it alleged that the CPI(Maoist) was not interested to come to an amicable settlement and instead were out to create anarchy and violence, disturbed the process of development of the state. Regrettably, the government to a great extent succeeded in carrying the people along with it. Thus the way the CPI(Maoist) conducted themselves was reminiscent of the old line of the then CPI(ML) of the Sixties and early Seventies which neither spelt out if it was a democratic struggle nor clarified whether battle had commenced for taking over the state power.

Similarly in West Bengal , we found that at one stage, the CPI (Maoist) expressed intention to have dialogue with the government. Here also, we sincerely feel, the CPI(Maoist) leaders should have committed themselves to marshal the support of the toiling people of West Bengal in favour of their struggle which was very much possible. But we did not find them that interested in this regard as were they equally reluctant to build up intense democratic movement on legitimate demands of the people. On the other hand, they too, like the then CPI(ML), are indicating as if they are in the midst of the struggle for seizure of power. But for that also, they have not been found to organize the people in the manner desired as per the guideline provided by Marxism-Leninism. Such ambiguity over the former struggle coupled with the kind of activities the CPI(Maoist) is indulging in, does have serious ramifications in so far as development of genuine revolutionary movement is concerned. According to whatever information is available, both the central and the state governments with the help of local police, CRP and Rapid Action Force, are mercilessly torturing the people in the pockets dominated by the CPI (Maoist). With the deployment of the military danger of which is looming large, the situation is going to worsen further.

Terror unleashed by separatist-chauvinist forces

Let us turn to another development that has, of late, been having a not only a deleterious impact on the unity and solidarity of the toiling people but are out to rip asunder the very fabric of Indian polity. It does have a bearing in the context of the convergence of the activities of the CPI(Maoist). As a result of grinding capitalist exploitation of 58 years, there is simmering discontent and seething rage among the people. But in order to ensure that the people’s wrath do not get channeled to revolutionary movement via the route of democratic movement and capitalism is shielded from the public eye, the ruling bourgeoisie is continuously waving various cobwebs to disrupt the unity of toiling masses, pitting one section against another, fomenting communal frenzies, casteist feuds and ethnic strife. Under the patronage of the ruling monopolists and the regional bourgeoisie, innumerable separatist, parochial, chauvinistic forces are raising their ugly heads in different states to divert people’s attention from the real cause of their penury and privation and instead, poison their mind with all kinds of divisive thoughts. These forces are also indulging in abduction, intimidation, and extortion, individual killings and serial blasts and even instigating one community to dastardly massacre people of another community. Thus they are creating an environment of terror to bully the people. More they are escalating these acts of violence, killing and intimidation, more is the alienation of the people from all social and political activities. The people are feeling so terrified that they are moving into shells and developing a typical aversion towards any kind of agitational path or protest movements. In a set up of fear psychosis, the common masses are in fact loath to even lend an ear to any political talk.

On the other hand, the ruling monopolists in tandem with the regional bourgeoisie, itself giving birth to such regional terrorism, provincial jingoism and racial rancour to throw a spanner in the desired unity of the toiling masses belonging to various caste, creed, religion and ethnicity, is, in the name of suppressing such regional insurgency and subversive activities, indiscriminately wielding its coercive power to throttle any voice of protest or dissent. So the people are becoming casualty in both ways. At the same time, with the degeneration of the separatist parochial movement into secessionist movements, the ruling class is deploying military to crush all such movements. In the process the people are subjected to worst form of brutal oppression and torture. There is practically a reign of terror unleashed on them. This is the picture of most of the North Eastern states where no concerted action against such state-terrorism is observed as because the various sections of the toiling people stand divided, one pitted against the other under the vile influence of various incendiary preachings. As a result of all this the people, scared and confused, are on many occasions turning into tacit approver of all such anti-democratic highhandedness of the state and government presuming that it would restore normalcy in their life and put an end to the reign of terror and anarchy. Staying out of the ambit of conscious democratic mass movement to press for their just demands, the level of political consciousness of the masses is also on a steady dwindle paving the way for various pernicious thoughts, warped mindset and fascistic machinations to tighten their grip. As a result, it is the revolutionary movement, which is affected most, since it is proving exceedingly difficult to bring the panic-stricken people back on the path of legitimate democratic movement conducive to building up the cherished revolutionary struggle.

Revolutionaries do not terrorize people

Unfortunately, the moves and activities of the CPI(Maoist), are also perceived by the people as something terrifying, disruptive of normalcy and something detrimental to their interest. Could be such is not intended consciously by the CPI (Maoist) leadership. But objectively there is such an adverse effect on the people who are thus further drawn away from the desired course of democratic movement. It needs to be realized in this connection that proletarian revolutionaries do not need to terrorize people to ram home political advantage or scare them to join revolutionary struggle. They possess invincible weapon of Marxism-Leninism to win over people to the side of revolution. While organizing the people on the platform of legitimate democratic movement to press for burning demands of life, the communist revolutionaries, through sustained, painstaking philosophical-ideological struggle, raise their political consciousness to rouse them on the basis of the appeal of the noble ideology. It is true that in a revolutionary battle, it becomes necessary to resort to violence to combat and defeat the bestial violence unleashed by the ruling class and its coercive state. But, the people, in ferment for revolution, never perceive this necessary violence as terror or scare as was seen during revolutionary upsurges in , , and other countries. However, such mood and disposition of the people, everyone will agree, is in no way a reality in the context of the modus operandi of the CPI (Maoist). Sans people’s support, no true revolutionary can think of venturing in mounting final onslaught on the class in power.

International situation should be favourable for revolution

Another extremely important aspect needs to be discussed here. When we talk of fulfillment of subjective conditions for revolution, we mean that both national and international situations should be conducive to successful accomplishment of revolution in a country. While on the national plane, a correct revolutionary party with a correct base political line must through successful completion of the scientific course acquire necessary strength, both ideological and organizational, to give a call for ultimate overthrow of capitalism, it has to be ensured that the power of world imperialism-capitalism does not wield, in relative terms, that power to countermand the revolution, both before and after, and world people’s opinion is decisively on the side of revolution.

From that perspective, is the international situation favourable for revolution today? Everyone is aware that after dismantling of the Socialist Camp, there is a temporary set back in the world communist movement and the imperialists led by US imperialism are on a rampage, interfering if not intruding into the internal affairs of various countries with alacrity. There is also an adverse effect of the incessant anti-Marxist, anti-Communist propaganda aided and abetted by the capitalist-imperialist powers. In such too hostile a world situation, it has become imperative that a fierce anti-imperialist militant peace movement is developed throughout the world with the communists at the core. It is only by such a concerted action round the globe that the biting power of the world imperialism-capitalism could be blunted to a considerable extent, favourable opinion in support of revolution could be re-established and glory of Marxism-Leninism Communism restored. People roused afresh in favour of revolution would then be able to restrain the ruling capitalism-imperialism in their respective countries from direct intervention in crushing revolution in any country. We had seen this during the revolution. Accomplishment of this task, therefore, forms a part of the core activities required to mature subjective conditions for revolution.

Task of fulfilment of subjective conditions at national plane

Similarly, at the national place, the immediate task for expediting maturing of subjective condition in Indian reality, is to build up, on the edifice of higher culture and ethics, a militant democratic movement conducive to anti-capitalist socialist revolution over legitimate demands of the people and in the process evolve the instruments of people’s alternate political power like the Soviets in Russian revolution, exhaust all forms of parliamentary illusions, isolate from the people all variants of social democratic forces working as a compromise between labour and capital to thwart growth of revolutionary struggle and thereby firmly establish the ideological-organizational leadership of the real revolutionary party of the proletariat over the masses. It is in this sense that we strongly consider the present stage as the phase of intense democratic mass movement which in its cumulative effect, creates the necessary ground and conditions favourable for final overthrow of capitalism.

Task before any revolutionary force worth the name who is keen to shoulder this task of historically determined course of Indian revolution, is to come forward and try to unite all left and democratic forces, who like our party are committed to democratic movement and unanimous over the question of raising the genuine demands of life based on a minimum common programme. Such united movements will add momentum to the democratic struggle and hasten the revolutionary process. At a particular stage of intensification of the revolutionary struggle in continuity of the democratic struggle will emerge the class-based united front of the revolutionary forces, a sine quo non for successfully accomplishing the ultimate object of overthrowing of exploiting capitalism. With grave concern, we apprehend that if the CPI(Maoist) persists with its current line which, as we have been repeating again and again is no different from that of the then CPI(ML), the consequences are bound to be the same – disastrous for it, baneful for the people, debilitating for the class and mass struggles. We place before the CPI(Maoist) leadership all these vital aspects for its calm and cool consideration. If it thinks otherwise, it is incumbent on it to place its viewpoint before the toiling people of the country for their judgement.

Mao Zedong — a great Marxist authority

Last of all, we would like to discuss another aspect of their movement which is of grave importance. We have been observing that the CPI(Maoist) is carrying out its activities by taking the name of Mao Zedong, a name that stirs and inspires every proletarian revolutionary and spurs them to rededicate themselves to the cause of revolution. While upholding him as a great Marxist authority, it befalls on it to ensure that its theoretical formulations are free from any kind of error and are in full conformity with his thoughts and teachings.

Further, we would like to draw the attention of the CPI(Maoist) leadership to another vital aspect. By calling themselves Maoists and naming the party as CPI (Maoist), the leaders of this new outfit, by implication, are giving an impression as if there is something known as Maoism, distinct from Marxism-Leninism. But is it the reality? Is there anything as Maoism? We know it was Karl Marx who was first to formulate the comprehensive philosophy of Dialectical Materialism as science of all sciences and based on that indicated the inexorable law and the historically determined course of social progress through successful culmination of the class struggle between labour and capital. This most advanced social thought was personified in him. So, after the name of the thinker, we call this ideology as Marxism. It was great Lenin who in the course of his historical struggle to concretize Marxism on Russian soil, besides developing and enriching, added certain new theses to the treasure-house of Marxist theory of knowledge, to the fundamentals of Marxism in the fields of economic, politics and philosophy – hitherto not there in the understanding or concept of Marxism. That is why, we call it Marxism-Leninism.

Stalin, worthy continuator of Marx-Engels-Lenin, correctly observed that “Leninism is Marxism in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution.” It may be recollected, in this connection, that holding Mao in high esteem as a giant communist leader in continuation of Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh observed, “…it is impossible to grasp Marxism correctly without continuously applying concretizing and elaborating it and to that extent enrich it since anyone applying Marxism, is applying it in a particular condition with respect to some specific contradictions, he will have to, in course of this practice, develop and enrich Marxism to some extent. In course of applying Marxism in the concrete conditions in during the Chinese revolution, in the spheres of politics, culture, military science as well as on the theoretical plane – MaoZedong developed and concretized Marxism and, in that sense, enriched its understanding. That is why our party considers MaoZedong a leading Marxist authority. But it would be wrong to say that MaoZedong Thought is the Marxism-Leninism of this era, since it is tantamount to accepting Mao’s thought as Maoism.” (SW Vol.I p.418) It was renegade Lin Biao who during the 9th Congress of the CPC when he had wrongfully usurped power in his hand, mischievously imposed the term Maoism and said that “Mao Zedong Thought was Marxism-Leninism of the era”. But after expulsion of the Lin Biao clique, the CPC, during its 10th Congress in 1973, when Mao was in full command, rectified the position and in his report Comrade Chou Enlai corroborated Stalin’s explanation, “This is entirely correct. Since Lenin’s death, the world situation has undergone great changes, but the era has not changed. The fundamental principles of Leninism, are not outdated, they remain the theoretical bases, guiding our thinking today.”

By naming the party as ‘Maoist’, the CPI(Maoist) leadership has been, knowingly or unknowingly, influenced by the distorted definition provided by renegade Lin Biao clique as the contention of Maoism is implicit in calling one Maoist.

Zou Enlai resented the then CPI(ML) calling Mao Zedong its Chairman

In this connection, it is worthwhile to recall another pertinent episode. During the sixties and seventies, the then CPI(ML) leadership used to say, “Chairman of China is our Chairman.” But it was revealed later that Zou Enlai, during his first meeting with a delegation of the then CPI(ML) strongly resented this highly erroneous proposition by saying that Mao Zedong who was the Chairman of the Communist Party of China could not be called Chairman of another party. We, therefore, suggest to the CPI(Maoist) that there should not be any kind of phobia in using the name of great Mao Zedong as any such indiscriminate and erroneous use of his name will not only bring any good to anybody but on the contrary, badly affect the authority of such a giant Marxist leader.

Our appeal to CPI (Maoist) leaders for reappraisal

Having discussed all these vital and crucial aspects elaborately and expressed our deep agony and concern, we sincerely hope that the CPI(Maoist) leadership will reappraise its theoretical position as well as tactical line, as not even for a single moment we, the real Marxists, can forget the invaluable teachings of Mao Zedong that : “The correctness or incorrectness of the ideological and political line decides everything. If one’s line is incorrect, one’s downfall is inevitable even with the control of the central, local and army leadership. If one’s line is correct and even if one has not a single soldier at first, there will be soldiers, and even if there is no political power, political power will be gained. This is borne out by the historical experience of our party and by that of the international communist movement since the time of Marx…. The crux of the matter is this. This is an irrefutable truth.” (Report of the Tenth Congress of the CPC)


No comments:

Post a Comment

NOTE : The Comments section is provided in the interests of free speech only. It is mostly unmoderated, but comments that are off topic, offensive, slanderous, or otherwise annoying stand a chance of being deleted. The fact that any comment remains on the site IN NO WAY constitutes an endorsement by Naxal revolution, of any view expressed, fact alleged, or link provided in that comment.