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Lumpen Politics of CPM----A Maoist Critique!
Mr. Anil Biswas has been entrusted by the CPI(M) with the responsibility to take the ideological cudgels against the Maoists and their party the CPI(Maoist). Mr. Biswas and his party think that the supposed attack with the pen along with administrative repression would demolish Maoists’ morale. Alas! Mr. Biswas and his party’s bombardment against the Maoists proved to be a miserable failure. For theory, the CPI(M) and its leader Mr. Anil now repeat nothing new to weaken our sharp ideological weapons, instead the degeneration and double-talks reaching their nadir while lending credence to abject surrender to the lap of the World Bank, the DFID, the MNCs and the World Bank’s trusted men like Manmohan Singh, Montek Singh, etc. We at least welcome the CPI(M) and its ‘Left-Front’ in West Bengal for staying put in power more tenaciously in order that the people and in particular the section of left forces under parliamentary illusion are seeing in their own eyes to what hellish end the CPI(M) can reach. And why the Naxalites long back in 1967 predicted that the CPI(M) call of preparation for ‘partisan war’, the red-capped CPI(M) cadres parading in the processions, etc. were all gimmicks, a drama to divert the activists from the path of Naxalbari.
The unexpected victory of the CPI(M) in 1977 and the undisturbed stint for more than 27 years in the existing exploitative structure with, to borrow the CPI(M)’s realisation, has been possible for ‘a responsible trade union’, ‘a stability’ i.e. the party’s and administration’s highhandedness to keep under control Bengal’s proverbial militancy. Anil’s party has already purged itself of the veil of secret love for the imperialist finance capital and the World Bank. The WTO programmed globalisation has torn apart all secrecy and this social-fascist party has now come into the open to be bed fellow of the imperialist institutions, the MNCs and also the Indian National Congress which it called even a few years ago the party of the big bourgeoisie and landlords.
As degeneration demands distortions, slander campaigns and mingling with the state repressive instrument Anil and his party commit all such acts without an iota of shame. Yet, it will be a mistake to think that this social-fascist organisation will hurry to remove the word ‘Marxist’ from its name, or its leaders will speak in support of the World Bank, real estate sharks, lumpen and corrupt elements, etc. minus the words ‘communist party’ and Marx’s, Engels’ and Lenin’s names. It is to be added here that the CPI(M)’s masters too know that banishing the revolutionary kernel those names are imperialist or capitalist friendly and attractive too to deceive the masses.
The supreme irony of the present history is that degenerate revisionist butchers can use the signboard of the communist party and only when expediency demands other suitable boards they put up for carrying on fight against socialism, It is a fact, a brute fact indeed that Andropov, the Russian ruler in the 1980s, was the head of the KGB during the rise of Solidarnose in 1980-81. It was he who was instrumental in setting up people like Mikhail Gorbachov at the helm of the revisionist Russian communist party in 1985. Similarly Boris Yealtsin, who helped formally dismantle the
In any case, we expected a sound polemic stuffed, even for sheer distortions, with the science of Marxism-Leninism and a presentation of a superior order in the context of the developments the world over. We are sorry to state Anil’s 38-page critique or one can say rubbish adds nothing new to really face the Maoists’ revolutionary politics. However, the new thing that surfaces in his writing is a justification of the so-called development with the ‘help’ of the World Bank, DFID, MNCs, etc. The recent Salim group’s invasion of agricultural land, i.e. the CPI(M)’s call for ‘Land to the industrialists (imperialist or native) and foreign compradors’ has been dealt with here briefly to show off the further unmasking of the CPI(M)-led ‘Left’ Front in India. Obviously ‘Salam Salim’ is not the end of the journey of the revisionist CPI(M).
This is our critique and we do know the police machinery shall be pressed into service by the social-fascist Buddhadeb government not to propagate this Maoist rejoinder. We do not like to indulge in character assassination or slanders, we stick to cogent facts and basically concentrate on Mr. Anil’s, i.e. the CPI(M)’s apparently strong points and leave out the trifles. Simultaneously we place the road map of the Maoist policy to seize power in
Revolution Betrayed: The betrayal
of the CPI and the CPI(M)
In course of world revolutionary movements two revolutionary paths emerged. One is insurgency waged by Com. Lenin in
When the leadership of a party with communist signboard carries an outlook of liberal bourgeoisie since its birth how will it think over seizing the state power? At the time of the Russian Revolution Lenin fought with the right opportunistic line of the Mensheviks to advance the Russian revolution. Lenin established the path of the revolution, organized the party and led the movement. In the mid-July of 1917 after completing the February Revolution when preparations were going on to seize the power, Lenin categorically told in his article ‘on slogan’ regarding the question of the political power in this way: “And the political substance is that power can no longer be taken peacefully. It can be obtained only by winning a decisive struggle against those actually in power at the moment, namely, the military gang, the Cavaignacs, who are relying for support on the reactionary troops brought to
In his brilliant investigation of peasant movement in
Those who followed the peaceful process to capture power were identified as revisionists and those who practiced and supported armed revolution were known as revolutionaries. Then onwards a bitter struggle between the paths of revolution vs. counter-revolution has been going on. It will continue in future also because revisionism in course of its development has been playing the direct role of counter-revolution.
In our country the undivided CPI’s leadership (majority in the CC) never supported the armed revolution. Before 1947 the then CPI always supported the Congress and its leadership and tried to trace out progressive elements within the Congress. It led to avoid armed revolution, and the question of seizure of political power by overthrowing British imperialism was not on the agenda of the party. When the Telangana armed revolution continued against the Indian Army, the then majority CC leadership of the CPI opposed and then withdrew it. Later they never thought over revolution on this or that pretext.
Peaceful transformation theory of revisionist Khruschev came on the agenda in the 20th Congress of the CPSU(B). At the time of anti-imperialist struggle itself the CPI joined the constituent Assembly and tried its level best to basically confine itself to the peaceful process and Gandhian forms against the British. Many a form of struggles emerged and the workers, peasants, and petty bourgeoisie fought on partial issues under the leadership of the CPI. But the party leadership never put forward an agenda for the tearing apart the Union Jack under its direct leadership. Why? Anil Biswas is now arguing against guerilla war and talking much on the Indian conditions but he avoided to tell about the situation between 1925 and 37 between 1940 and 45 period and other periods when different rebellious mass movements emerged on the scene. The CPI lower level activists led even some and others were spontaneous movements due to the maturity of the conditions against the British Raj. So many movements started peacefully but turned violent, which were inevitable due to the situation of that particular period.
When we received letters of 3 fraternal parties an agenda was prepared for militant struggle but it was not carried out by the party because the leadership never showed such a consciousness to seize the power under the leadership of proletariat. When the party was banned, when the Telangana armed revolution was practically led by the Telengana comrades and on a number of occasions there emerged scope, possibility, and conditions to organize agrarian revolution and the people actively participated in all the struggles. But a revolutionary party a completely new party which can lead the revolution and the people for it was absent and the CPI was unwilling to play its proper role. The central committee of the CPI adopted the line of right opportunism, which never accepted armed revolution.
Just before the 1st Party Congress of the CPI the CC gave the call in 1943 “Raise the united voice, we need Gandhi to end the national crisis”. [Resolution adopted in the C. C. meeting held on 15th February 1943. In ‘Communist der Karmaniti, Bharater Communist Party’, August 1943] Instead of fighting against imperialism the 1st Party Congress held in 1943 urged upon the party members: “…The Communist Party exhorts every member to popularize the role of the Indian allied armies as defenders.
In the threatened areas, Communists must offer organized co-operation of the people through their mass organisation and party units to the British or Indian troops for offensive as well as defensive preparations.” [‘Unity in Action For National Government’, Political Resolution adopted in the First Party Congress of the CPI. In Documents of The Communist Movement in India, Vol. IV (1939-43), NBA, Calcutta, August 1997, p. 600]
This was the understanding of the undivided communist party. According to the teaching of Com. Stalin, correct political line is necessary to advance the revolution in any country. After that cadres will be motivated to implement the line that will be advanced properly. But in our country cadres sacrificed every thing but the Central leadership failed to put proper line before the cadres and the people. As a whole the CC or the majority in the CC never prepared itself as a proletariat class leader to learn which Lenin advised to Russian Communists and how he transformed the party into a revolutionary party fighting economism practiced in the name of Marxism, wrong theories of the 2nd International, the Mensheviks and the Narodniks. Lenin prepared the CPSU(B) as a true revolutionary party, which ultimately led the Russian revolution to success and for the first time a soviet power was built and it existed on the earth and influenced the entire people of the globe. We learn from the CPSU(B) history the following.
“As to the structure and composition of the Party itself, Lenin considered that it should consist of two parts: a) a close circle of regular cadres of leading Party workers, chiefly professional revolutionaries, that is, Party workers free from all occupation except Party work and possessing the necessary minimum of theoretical knowledge, political experience, organizational practice and the art of combating the tsarist police and of eluding them; and b) a broad network of local Party organizations and a large number of Party member enjoying the sympathy and support of hundreds of thousands of working people.
“I assert,” Lenin wrote, “1) that no revolutionary movement can endure without a stable organization of leaders that maintains continuity; 2) that the wider the masses spontaneously drawn into the struggle…. the more urgent the need of such an organization, and the more solid this organization must be ….3) that such an organization must consist chiefly of people professionally engaged in revolutionary activity; 4) that in an autocratic state the more we confine the membership of such an organization to people who are pro-fessionally engaged in revolutionary activity and who have been professionally trained in the art of combating the political police, the more difficult will it be to wipe out such an organization, and 5) the greater will be the number of people of the working class and of the other classes of society who will be able to join the movement and perform active work in it.” (pp.138-39)
We did not prepare this type of Leninist party in India at the time of anti- feudal and anti British Raj struggle. Anil Biswas and his party never accept the negative role of the leadership who were never eager like true revolutionaries for the seizure of power through armed revolution. Now in his article Anil Biswas claims that Indian soil and the people will never opt for guerrilla war and armed struggle. To say this means he is totally negating the history witnessed during the colonial period. Anil actually echoes the pet anti-communist theory that India being a spiritual land can not endorse any violent communist revolution! So, we understand that a proletarian party should forget class struggle, the question of overthrowing feudalism and capitalism as such thought is itself a wrong concept. Well said! Anil Biswas Babu!!…Long live the CPM and its leadership to serve the oppressor class without preparing the mass for revolution and for the people’s democracy and then proletarian dictatorship. Political swindlers like Anil, Jyoti, Sundaraya and their ilk, however, never forget to claim inheritance to the Telengana peasant revolt, the peasant upsurge in Punnapra Vyalar, etc. which the majority CPI leadership – many of whom later joined the CPI(M) – simply betrayed. Why then Mr. Anil Biswas simply rejects any possibility of implementing the Chinese Path of guerrilla war even during the colonial period and why his party leaders try to bask in the reflected glory of the Chinese path adopted by the Telengana heroes? This is most dirty type of modern revisionism.
After the right opportunist role of the CPI, Indian masses witnessed ‘left’ opportunism for a brief period. Left sectarianism of Ranadhive is well known to the Indian masses. Sundaraiah, Basvapunnaiah, Rajeshwar Rao who once spoke of armed revolution took a ‘U’ turn and later remained confined to the parliamentary pigsty for ever. The leaders like Jyoti Basu, Ranadive etc. speak of Telangana, Anil Biswas borrows a few sentences from Lenin and Mao but put iron heel on genuine Maoist movement. These leaders never play the vanguard role because they practice revisionism and now prove themselves as counter revolutionaries.
Anil Biswas wrote an article in the CPM’s magazine ‘The Marxist’, Oct-Dec 2003, issue entitled ‘The Communist Party and Organisation’ in which he referred to Lenin, Mao and Stalin and posed himself as a good disciple of them and their theory. He wrote, “V I Lenin always stood opposed to the theory that spoke about the spontaneous development of society. Lenin was always careful to distinguish between “trade union consciousness” which the workers could acquire spontaneously (Selbsttätigkeit) and "social democratic consciousness” which it was the Communist Party’s function to develop among them. The “new kind of a political party” that the Bolsheviks sought to build and towards which they waged a struggle within the then Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) was based on the postulate that the socialist movement must not be left alone to spontaneity in any circumstances if it was to be a viable success. We recall in this connection the dictum of Mao Zedong who while speaking about revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the workers-peasants called upon the proletariat to be the “soldier-activists of the revolution” and to accomplish “with grit and resolve” the “programme of the revolution.” (On Contradiction, original text, 1937) Mao did believe that otherwise the Communist Party was in danger of losing its relevance as the centralised vanguard of the proletariat. J V Stalin firmly believed that politics and ideology should be “in command, all the time” in organising, motivating, and driving forward the communist Party”. (Underlines are ours)
Then Mr. Anil we have to believe it that Jyoti babu, Buddha babu, Kakababu and obviously you Anil babu and such babus of the babudom in the name of communist leaders are ‘soldier-activists of the revolution’ in India! Do your cadres themselves trust you the babus? Facts tell that the least little spell of earlier deception now does not sell at all. And the exiting state allows you to propagate all such views and act just the opposite.
In our country the CPM is not at all developing even the trade union consciousness, not to speak of revolutionary consciousness. Rather it has developed mafia consciousness and dog fights in the party. Politics and ideology were never in command because they lost their credibility, as communist, then how is it possible for the CPM to practise any thing for the oppressed classes. But without writing all this, they cannot pose themselves as Marxists. They are practising social fascist ideology. Lenin said that who talks for socialism and practise revisionism will be social fascists.
The CPM accepted the Marxism of the 2nd International and it preferred to act as followers and agents of the Congress in the guise of Communists. Its leaders have always (except some CCMs at the time of the Telangana struggle and later) followed right opportunist line and never showed proletariat class-consciousness before and after 1947 to achieve the task of the proletariat dictatorship. The Telangana resistance was praised by all revolutionaries and it symbolized as a movement which sustained and was strengthened against the Nizam and later against the ‘Socialist’ Nehru. It is an irony who had openly or covertly opposed the Telengana peasant revolt later after its infamous withdrawal became its verbal supporters.
Jyoti Basu wrote in his article titled, ‘The Communists and the Indian Freedom Struggle’ [Published by CPI(M) as 50th Anniversary Independence Series] that, “In 1946 the communists inspired Punnapra-Vayalar uprising in Travancore. Almost at the same time the peasantry in Telangana rallied under the red flag to rise up against feudal exploitation. This revolt, lasting for five years between 1946 and Oct. 1951, was the largest guerrilla peasant uprising in modern India. This revolt took away at least 4000 peasant lives. Such peasant uprisings for a better social order will continue to inspire us in building a society devoid of exploitation of man by man”
Jyoti Basu who was the CM of the West Bengal state for more than two decades never could think over armed uprising. Not only this he was the person who was instrumental in suppressing the great Naxalbari uprising which once again showed the path of Telangana to the Indian masses who joined in the struggle as a part of world socialist revolution. Jyoti Basu will praise Telangana, suppress Naxalbari to serve comprador bourgeoisie and big landlords, what can be more perfidious than his double speak?
Ranadive wrote another article titled, ‘The role played by communists in the freedom struggle of India” in which he wrote “It is obvious that the C.P. did not play a decisive role in the freedom struggle, otherwise the Indian people would not have been facing the miserable conditions they are facing today, with poverty and unemployment increasing with the spectacle of a nation at discord, victims of every divisive force. The leadership of the freedom struggle remained firmly in the hands of the bourgeois leadership of the Indian national Congress. Even when mass struggles sometimes went beyond, the limits set by the congress, when people turned to armed resistance, the consciousness of the masses accepting the leadership did not change and therefore the struggle could not spread all over India.” (Stress is ours)
Here one can see the way of approach and the assessment of the ‘proletariat’ party’s leadership. The party veteran leader expressed that
1) Leadership was in the hands of bourgeoisie
2) Sometime People turned to armed resistance
3) the consciousness of the masses was that they were accepting the leadership of the Congress,
But he never said that
- the CPI never thought of emerging as an alternative to the Congress as a genuine revolutionary party.
- The CPI itself was serving and accepting the Congress leadership,
- The Communist Party had no agenda nor any role to properly lead the people for armed resistance and develop the people’s liberation army (PLA).
Even our eyes were not opened when conditions matured so beautifully that an armed uprising was inevitable. This was the pathetic condition, class collaboration of the then central committee. After ’47 also the CC never thought over organizing, moulding and driving the party for underground work to seize the political power. The blame was thrown on the masses always but the so-called vanguard leadership never expressed apology nor did it offer any self-criticism for its mistakes and for the collaborationist theories and anti-revolutionary role. The CPI and the CPI(M) were blaming the people that mass consciousness did not develop to participate in the revolution. Revisionists have never felt it as their failure not to develop people’s consciousness. Was it possible for us to overthrow the British Raj and to change the colonial and semi-feudal system without concrete programme guided by Marxist Leninist ideology? It is the great duty of the Communists always to play the leading role to mould the mass opinion towards struggle.
So, our party, CPI(Maoist) programme correctly said that “The victory of Great October Revolution of 1917 in Russia, under the leadership of comrade Lenin, the Marxist-Leninist ideology was disseminated in our country. Under the influence of this ideology, and as a result of heroic and militant struggles waged against British imperialism by the proletariat, the CPI was born in 1925. But despite innumerable opportunities, the leadership of the proletariat and its party could not establish itself in the liberation movement. The leadership of the Communist Party continuously refused to recognise the real character of the Gandhian leadership. Thereby it failed to demarcate itself and fight against it along with taking the correct revolutionary path and revolutionary initiative. Rather, they continued to trail behind the Gandhian leadership and turned their back in linking the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of the Indian revolution. This leadership also failed to integrate itself with the brave Indian people, particularly the peasantry. They also refused to learn and follow the triumphantly advancing Chinese revolution under the leadership of comrade Mao Tse-Tung and the Chinese communist Party. They did not take the path of armed struggle for the seizure of political power in the national liberation movement. Even though the objective revolutionary situation was extremely favourable in India at the time, yet the opportunistic leadership of the communist party always turned their back to take the correct path of protracted people’s war and the armed national liberation war. Actually the leadership of the Communist Party helped in derailing the anti-imperialist people’s militant movement and dragged the revolutionary masses behind the Gandhian leadership through forming an opportunistic alliance with it. Most of all, this leadership betrayed the great Telangana armed revolt of the peasantry and entrenched itself in the mire of parliamentarism and revisionism in the deceptive name of using parliament” (Party Programme, CPI(Maoist) pp. 8-9)
Anil Biswas wrote in his article that, we the Maoists are totally negating the history of Indian Communist movement. Actually we are making both positive and negative assessments dialectically without having any bias or prejudice against history. We are also a part and parcel of the past history, and representing its positive aspects but never hesitate to never disown the negative ones. So our first party congress was considered as a continuation of the VII Congress, after which we disassociated ourselves from the CPM. We uphold the positive aspects as contained in our Programme in the following words: “…brave revolutionary ranks of the Communist Party stood by the side of the fighting people and led many revolutionary struggles. They laid down their valuable lives to achieve the lofty aim of completing the Indian revolution as a part of the world proletarian revolution.” (Ibid. p.9)
Actually people were always involved in struggles and a number of armed revolts were witnessed against imperialism and feudalism from the Santhal rebellion of 1854-56 to the culmination of the First War of Independence of 1857, which were the beginnings of Indian Democratic Revolution. But the undivided CPI since 1920s had no clear revolutionary programme, strategy, tactics and practice to be placed before the Indian Masses. So we have to understand that most Indian ‘Communist’ leaders were grown with liberal bourgeoisies outlook, not with a genuine Marxist-Leninist ideology, politics and work methods, style to advance the Indian revolution. This basic truth is not acceptable to Anil Biswas like people waving red flags to crush a red revolution in India. History shall not forgive them.
Maoism & the question of the Chinese Path
Anil Biswas negates both these aspects. Often these two are assumed to be synonymous. Biswas too gives that impression. That is not so. First let us clarify what is meant by the above two concepts.
Maoism is considered as the further development to proletarian theory after the contributions of Marxism-Leninism. By the Chinese Path we mean the path of protracted peoples’ war (PPW). Maoism is applicable to all countries whether they follow the path of protracted people’s war or that of insurrection. The path of PPW is applicable to particularly those backward semi-feudal, semi-colonial countries where uneven economic development, peasantry being the principal force, etc. allow for this path to be implemented. Neither does adopting Maoism nor following the Chinese Path mean replicating the Chinese revolution as is made out by Anil Biswas. In fact today the CPC has abandoned Mao and the new bourgeois leadership is close to the CPM, and naturally not to the Maoists of the world. So, when we say that in India we follow the Chinese path we mean we adopt the path of protracted people’s war and that too is based on Indian conditions.
In Vietnam the liberation struggle through people’s war was conducted by the entire people in all fields during a long period, using various kinds of forces to fight the enemy in all theatres of operations towns and cities, rural and mountain areas mobilizing both armed and political forces, from the long-haired army, the white-haired army to the children’s army, combining guerrilla warfare in all places with decisive blows of the main forces, combining military, political and diplomatic means, combining the strength of the nation and that of the epoch. The two wars of resistance waged in 30 years against the French and American aggressors represented a great mobilization…by the theory of the ‘art of people’s war’ [Ho Chi Minh, A Man, a Nation, An Epoch a Cause, Pham Van Dong, External Publicity Division, Minister of External Affaris, Government of India, New Delhi, pp.24-25]
This people’s protracted war i.e. the Chinese Path was conducted in Laos, Combodia, Malay and many other countries. Such war is still on in Nepal, the Philippines, Peru, Columbia, etc.
We have explained this aspect in detail later.
Question of Maoism
All developments in nature and society take place through evolutionary development and revolutionary leaps. So also it is in the realm of thought. Just as Marxism and Leninism were qualitative leaps in the realm of proletarian theory so also is Maoism.
But Anil Biswas says that Mao’s contribution had only relevance to the Chinese revolution and that too only upto 1956. This is what Deng like revisionists and the present leadership in China also say. The CPM is merely mouthing the present official line of the CPC. It is saying nothing new. It is no great discovery of Anil Biswas regarding Mao’s role in the Great Leap Forward; the so-called mistakes have also been pointed out by Deng and Co.
But before coming to elucidate Mao’s contribution on the basis of which we will establish that it is a leap in the realm of proletarian theory we shall first take up some of the confusions that Biswas tends to create.
1) Thought and Ism
Biswas says that the Chinese themselves did not call Mao’s contribution as an ‘ism’ and it was only in the 9th Congress that it was called a Thought; and this Congress has been written off by Biswas as being a “Lin (Piao) Congress” with “anarchic decisions”. He further adds that Kisanji and Prachanda in their interviews have added more to the confusion and that what they say are full of contradictions.
Unfortunately the issue is quite straightforward and the confusions and contradictions are created by Biswas to confuse and obfuscate the issue. It was not in the 9th Congress but in the 1940s that the term Mao Tse-tung Thought was first used. In the 9th Congress it was said that it was not merely applicable to China but had universal significance.
In India and internationally all Maoists have seen Mao’s contribution to the theory of proletarian revolution as a leap and have adopted as their guideline Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse-Tung Thought. Mao’s contribution was put on a plane with that of Marx and Lenin. But as the Chinese first used the term “thought” and not “ism”, that term remained and there is no Chinese wall between ‘thought’ and ‘ism’. It is sheer mechanical understanding to tenaciously cling to the view that till the victory of socialism the world over no new creative thought will further emerge. It might take many decades to destroy capitalism, for that matter imperialism, but it is pureale to say either Leninism will be obsolete or no development of Marxism-Leninism and Maoism will take place. It is clear negation of the dialectics of development. Immediately after Mao’s death the revisionists took power so there was no possibility for Mao’s contribution to be fully compiled and assessed in China. Later some international parties began to use the term Maoism instead of Mao Thought. As the use of the term ism more clearly defines Mao’s contribution than the term “thought”, many parties in India and the world too switched to ‘ism’. The use of the term ism is more scientific than that of “thought” and more aptly defines Mao’s contribution to proletarian theory; and just because the then CPC used “thought”, and there was no use of the term Maoism during Mao’s lifetime as mentioned by Biswas, does not mean that we should mechanically copy what was done then. Does Mr. Anil know that Marxism as ‘ism’ came into use in the international communist movement after Marx’s death and so also happened in case of Leninism? As far as the erstwhile MCCI and the PW go there is no change in the understanding of Mao’s great contributions to proletarian theory while using the term thought or ism. It has been seen as a qualitative leap in the Marxist arsenal right from the start.
It is those within the M-L camp who resist using the term ‘ism’ argue that Mao’s contributions cannot be equated with those of Marx and Lenin. For the genuine Maoists there is no confusion as to the role and contributions of Mao. So, it is Mr. Biswas who is seeking to add to the confusion when none exists. Of course the CPM and Biswas have never considered the significance of Mao’s contribution; and inevitably their practice is not just revisionist but counter-revolutionary, joining the ruling class parties of the country. As revisionists, even their acceptance of the theories of Marx and Lenin are only in name, not in essence. Did the CPI(M) ever accept Mao thought? Why then so much fuss over Maoism? Mr. Anil and the CPI(M) never had shown guts to accept Mao Ze Dong Thought since it meant plunging into revolutionary struggle for seizure of power, not sticking to the election-victory by any means to stay in power in some states in this set up. So the regular mention of non-existence of Maoism in the CPI(M)’s mouthpiece Ganashakti is to by pass the crucial question of Mao Thought/ism itself. Such an effort is ridiculous and meant for basically hoodwinking the CPI(M) cadres. In their recent articles the CPI(M) leaders have now developed a sudden penchant for quoting in an abstract way some quotes from Mao. Is it not to show it that the CPI(M) like the anti-Mao present CPC leadership is also using this great Marxist’s name to denigrate him by wholesome rejection of the contributions of Maoism?
Marxism is not a dogma, it is a guide to one’s practice With the CPM adopting all World Bank, IMF, etc. policies in the states they run there is no question of its following Marxism. Anyhow let us now briefly explain why we see Mao’s contributions as a leap in the development of proletarian theory.
Maoism as a leap
It matters little whether we call it a leap, a higher stage, a new contribution, etc. the essence is that in the realm of development of proletarian theory it marked a qualitative development. There would have been many great Marxist-Leninists in the interim period between Lenin/Stalin and Mao, but none contributed so significantly to the development of theory as did Mao. So, today it is the integral science of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism that constitutes Marxism of the present times. That is why we are of the opinion that without the ideological and theoretical weapon of Maoism, Marxism itself will be incomplete, and it will be difficult if not impossible to create revolution in one’s country and further advance it towards socialism and communism. No doubt as with any dynamic thought, this too will develop in the future.
We find that Mao contributed to all realms of Marxist science — ideology, political economy, proletarian strategy and tactics (including military science) and scientific socialism. Combining the Chinese Revolution and the international proletarian revolution with the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism, Com. Mao has protected, inherited and developed Marxism-Leninism to a newer and higher stage. The theory of protracted people’s war was developed through revolutionary struggle for a long 28 years in colonial, semi-colonial, semi-feudal China — in a situation totally different from capitalist Europe, where Marxism till then had developed. His theory of the New Democracy is also a unique contribution to the arsenal of Marxism-Leninism.
Mao defined the working class in China as a motive force and the leading force and the peasantry as the main motive force of the people’s democratic revolution. One of his major contribution lies in mapping out the course of revolution in the peasantry dominated backward china, i.e. through a protracted people’s war proceeding from the countryside to the cities. This is the great theoretical contribution made by Mao in the Marxist movement for the liberation of the colonial, semi-colonial dependent countries.
Mao Tse-tung made invaluable contributions in greatly developing the proletarian philosophy of dialectical materialism including the theory of knowledge. Through his penetrating study of society and human thought and particularly fighting against the dogmatists he made a conceptual leap in understanding and developing the law of contradiction. He pointed out that the law of contradiction – the unity and struggle of opposites – is the fundamental law of motion governing nature and society including the human thought. He expounded that the unity and identity in all things and processes is temporary and relative, while the struggle between opposites is constant and absolute. His articles On Practice, On Contradictions, On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Amongst the People, Talks on the Question of Philosophy, and a vast number of writings during he Cultural Revolution are his enormous contribution to the realm of philosophy. It was Comrade Mao, the great Marxist, who contributed profoundly in the philosophical field when he differentiated between two types of contradictions – antagonistic and non-antagonistic – in resolving the problems in the course of struggle and strengthening the socialist system.
In the realm of the political economy of Socialism, Com. Mao Tse-tung made tremendous advances, particularly analyzing the concrete laws of motion governing Socialist Construction, by undertaking a deep and critical analysis of the then ‘Soviet Economics’ and by taking lessons from the positive and negative experiences of socialist construction in Soviet Russia. During this penetrating analysis he defended and highlighted the positive achievements of the socialist construction while at the same time criticised some of its negative aspects. On the basis of this analysis including the analysis of the Chinese experience itself, com. Mao developed a new conception thereby making a major breakthrough in this field. In his masterful writing “Ten Major Relationships” Com. Mao underlined and developed new concepts for building Socialism, such as “take agriculture as the foundation and industry as the leading factor”. He brilliantly developed the relations between the change in the production relations being effectively balanced with the changes in the productive forces. His Tachai and Taching models, worker’s control, communes, reforms in education, health care, housing, etc were all the results of the emphasis he gave to the development of the production relations to keep pace with the growth in the productive forces.
With this higher stage of conception and understanding of the laws of socialist construction Com. Mao formulated some important guidelines in the form of slogans such as “Grasp Revolution, Promote Production”, “Never Forget Class Struggle” and “Take Class Struggle as the Key Link” in carrying out production in the correct direction. Refuting the revisionist theory of “Only Expert”, com. Mao enunciated an important guideline by emphasizing the interrelationship between expertise and revolutionary politics or “Red and Expert”.
Then regarding proletarian strategy and tactic Mao provided a vast arsenal of new ideas. For the entire backward countries of the world he developed the concept of the New Democratic Revolution as part of the two-stage revolution to socialism. In the realm of strategy he worked out for these countries the concept of protracted people’s war as opposed to the insurrectionary path adopted in Russia and, till then, considered the only viable model for revolution. He developed the theory of guerrilla warfare and other forms into a military science through which a smaller force can defeat a bigger and vastly sophisticated force through the means of people’s war. One of the greatest contributions of Com. Mao to military science lies precisely in his interpreting guerilla warfare on a strategic level. Formerly, guerilla warfare was only considered as a tactical problem. He said that throughout the period of war, guerrilla warfare and mobile warfare of a guerilla character are the chief forms of fighting. One of Mao’s important contributions was to develop the military line of the party. There is a vast wealth of writings on this question. The science of people’s war elaborated by Mao is used by all revolutionaries throughout the world.
Party leaders, Mao said “should themselves conduct investigation in the rural areas to get to know one or two villages” and “dissect one or two sparrows” in order to later lead the struggle in the countryside. Another essential idea of Mao is that the Party ought to give back to the masses what it has apprehended and clarified from the opinions of the masses. To do this, it is necessary for the party to get the masses’ opinion and to practice the mass line. In making investigation, one must not “look at the flowers on horseback”; one must get off the horse and look at them closely. Precisely on the question of concrete matter as unity of multiples and unique revolves one of the essential, questions of materialist dialectics, as Marx stated. On this question revolves all deviations from Marxism.
Thus he explained the basic method of leadership by showing how correct ideas are formed in the leadership by taking the ideas of the masses and concentrating them, and again going to the masses, persevering in the ideas and carrying them through.
Then he evolved the question of the United Front as one of the three strategic weapons of the revolution in backward countries. “ The Party established a national united front with the bourgeoisie and with the break up of the united front, engaged in bitter armed struggle with the big bourgeoisie and its allies. During the last three years, it has again entered into a period of a national united front with the bourgeoisie. It is through this kind of complex relationship with the Chinese bourgeoisie that the Chinese Revolution and the Communist Party of China have progressed in their development. This is a special historical feature, a feature peculiar to the revolution in colonial and semi-colonial countries and not to be found in the revolutionary history of any capitalist country.” [Stress ours]
Here lies one of Mao’s great contributions to the treasure-house of Marxism-Leninism. This makes it crystal clear how and why it is necessary to differentiate between the comprador and the national bourgeoisie and the need for the revolutionary tactics of united front with the section of bourgeoisie opposing imperialism and the struggle with the compradors; what Mao who led to the successful completion of the first neo-democratic revolution in a semi-colonial country said that this feature was not be found in the capitalist countries is obviously a weapon for such a revolution and contribution to the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary struggle in the third world countries.
Mao further developed the Leninist concept of the proletarian Party. In order to effectively play the leading role in the movement Mao paid great attention to the question of the continuous proletarianisation of the Party. He evolved the method of using the method of criticism and self-criticism, closely linked with and relying on the vast masses of the People. Apart from fighting against bourgeois ideology and various shades of revisionism Com. Mao developed the profound understanding of how to develop and preserve and enhance the proletarian character of the party through waging active and relentless struggle against the influence of bourgeoisie tendencies inside the party ranks at all levels. In addition Mao’s dialectical presentation of the understanding of democratic centralism was a significant contribution to the Marxist theory of organisational principles. He stressed on creating ‘a political situation in which we have both centralism and democracy, both discipline and freedom, both unity of will and personal ease of mind and liveliness’ both inside and outside the Party and said that “Otherwise it will be impossible to arouse the enthusiasm of the masses. We cannot overcome difficulties without democracy. Of course, its even more impossible to do so without centralism. But if there’s no democracy there won’t be any centralism.”
He led the CPC in the struggle against modern revisionism led by the CPSU, the first socialist country in the world. Mao Tsetung led the international struggle against modern revisionism through initiating the Great Debate. During this great struggle he not only defended Marxism-Leninism but also developed it in some aspects. This struggle was focused on all the major questions particularly on the dictatorship of the proletariat. He set forth a new general line for the international communist movement, which paved the way for the genuine Marxist - Leninist forces for struggling against and revolting from revisionism thereby advanced towards forging and building new ML parties based on ML principles all over the globe.
Among his great contribution to the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism is launching the Great Debate with the capitalist roader revisionists who usurped power in the Soviet Union after Com. Stalin’s death and exposing the degeneration of the Soviet Union into social-imperialism.
This phenomenon was new and could not be apprehended immediately. Firstly, Khruschev, Breznev and their ilk’s forsaking the principles of Marxism-Leninism in words and deeds needed to be comprehended and the imperative need for discovering the essence of this revisionism through experience.
After the World War I Marxists witnessed the nefarious role of the revisionists of the Second International assuming the posts of the governments. They became a party in the assassination of Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemberg and other working class, leaders. These types of revisionists enjoyed crumbs from the exploitation of the oppressed peoples. Comrade Lenin from 1915 onwards called them social-imperialists. In his words “Fabian imperialism and social-imperialism are one and same thing: socialism in words but imperialism in deeds; opportunism becoming imperialism [Third International Tasks, July 14, 1919]
After the World War II Marxists had no problem in identifying British Laborites, French, German, Italian social democrats, etc. as representatives of the monopoly bourgeoisie in those countries.
But the case of the U.S.S.R, a forward post of international revolution, was different after Com. Stalin’s death. It was the pertinent question which class the revisionists represented. The dangerously harmful Khruschevite politics, the great-power chauvinism of the soviet revisionists emerged on the scene. Mao who extensively studied this new phenomenon, the role of the rulers’ of the U.S.S.R who gradually converted the socialist state into a social imperialist one.
Mr. Anil Biswas, representing the CPI(M), has tried to conceal his Himalayan ignorance and the role of his Party’s Khuschevite degeneration by saying that “we have long back brought out our view on the khitchri concept of ‘social imperialism’.” [p. 145]. It is really a ‘Khitchri concept’ for the degenerate social democrats flaunting the red flag since, to borrow Lenin’s concept, they are mouthing socialism and simultaneously serving imperialists and their native agents exploiting the Indian masses. To prove their great for-sightedness about the ‘deviations-distortions’ in the Soviet Union Anil has said that in the 1960s and 70s the CPI (M) spoke and that particularly in the CPI(M)’s 14th Congress in 1992 “the faults in building up socialism were to a great extent identified”. [p.14]. What is notable is that the CPI(M) like hypocrats have always consistently justified the social imperialist position of the Soviet Union led by beaurocratic capitalism using the legacy of Lenin. However, with basically and fundamentally siding with the Khruschev’s, Breznev’s and also Gorbachov’s leadership in respect of its internal and external policies, the CPI(M) like some other parties made some ritualistically ‘comradely criticism’ of the Soviet leadership. This social-fascists’ 13th Congress held on Dec. 27 1988 to January 1989 had shown bold optimism stating that the previous three years had witnessed “changes favouring the forces of freedom, democracy, peace and socialism”. And it was the great role of the Soviet Union backed by “other socialist and non-aligned countries” facilitated this progress. This CPI(M) Party Congress, instead of visualizing the ferment and imminent change towards avowedly capitalist country after years of the rule of mainly beauracratic capitalism, heaped all praise on the Soviet Union as a force “looking forward to quick economic progress” against the reverses in the capitalist countries. It almost echoed the CPSU views on the malady gripping the Soviet Union and expected the measures taken by the CPSU was sure to overcome it. [Political Resolution of the Thirteenth Party Congress, Trivandrum, December 27, 1988 to January 1989, p.1 and pp.4-6]. And once the Gorbachov regime tumbled down the social democrat parties like the CPI(M) sat into a huddle to cook rationale as to how to explain to their party followers and masses about their earlier glorification of the revisionist system as because the CPSU was at the helm and the unforeseen scenario of the Soviet Union and the consequent rejection of the Soviet’s domination as well as the reins of the pro-soviet parties. This emboldened U.S. imperialism so much that in the process it directly interfered in certain countries calling themselves ‘socialist’ for the usurpation of power by reactionary and religious forces.
Finally, and most important of all, Mao’s greatest contribution came with the launching of the GPCR. It is here that his contribution was the greatest in evolving the science of how to advance towards socialism after witnessing the reversal in the USSR and the powerful growth of capitalist roaders in China. The GPCR did not merely make gigantic leaps in the realm of proletarian culture, but in philosophy and its day to day application, in political economy on how to develop the economy to ensure its advances on the socialist path, in organizational methods within the party, and most important of all, in further developing proletarian and communist values on a mass scale. It, in essence, showed how the class struggle had to be led in the period of socialism in all aspects of the economic base as well as the superstructure, including in the party. The concept of the GPCR allowed the masses for the first time to ‘Bombard Headquarters’ and expose the leaders deviating from Marxism. In the name of Communist Party as the highest level of organisation revisionism did not allow the masses to openly fight and expose the revisionists. It was the great people’s movement the GPCR.
William Hinton wrote in Shenfan (p.163) that Mao Zedong’s and Liu Shaqui’s two different lines “reflected two different approaches to China’s problems and called for the implementation of very different policies. ……, and Liu Shaoqui’s thesis, “the call for the consolidation of the new democratic system, was in fact a call for building capitalism.” [Ibid. p.163]
On the emergence of the GPCR Hinton vividly writes in 1993 that “At every step of the way, however, Mao’s line met opposition and resistance, primarily from a more “orthodox” group at the Party center that crystallized around Liu Shaoqui, a man who considered the Party to be above external supervision and capable of self-rectification without immersing itself in great mass movements of the people. The Liu group disregarded the masses as creators of history, relied on planners, stressed technology and expertise, hierarchy and one-man management, pushed material incentive as the key to management, pushed material incentive as the key to progress, and neglected transformation of each individual’s world outlook as necessary groundwork for the building of socialism.
Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is an integrated whole. Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (henceforth MLM) is the most advanced and scientific ideology of the world proletariat. Not only that, MLM is the all-powerful weapon, by which we can combat and defeat bourgeois ideology and all brands of revisionism, including that which may don the garb of Maoism. Quite naturally it is not to the CPM”s liking.
Marxism arose as a science of the laws of motion of nature, society and human thought, a science of revolution at a moment in history when the proletariat made its appearance as a revolutionary class capable of shaping the destiny of the society including its own destiny. Marxism is the ideology of the proletariat that was further synthesized and developed to new and higher stages. From Marxism it developed into Marxism-Leninism. Thereafter, it further developed into Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. It is not a science pertaining to a particular field of knowledge but a science representing a whole comprehensive philosophical system, political economy, scientific socialism, and the strategy and tactics of the proletariat in comprehending and transforming the world through revolution.
This detailed explanation of Maoism was necessary to counter Anil Biswas’s negation of it. For those involved in revolutionary practice one sees the enormous need for it, which is lost to the likes of Biswas who live in the stratosphere of the ruling elite hob-nobbing with the business world.
Comprador Big Bourgeoisie
Mr. Anil Biswas has mechanically and conveniently dabbled with the nature of the Indian big bourgeoisie. He has actually repeated the old cold view of the CPI and CPI(M) to garland the Indian big bourgeoisie supposedly having a progressive role in leading the freedom movement in India. The moot point pertaining to the crucial question of revolution as to the roles of various classes is which classes are our friends and which are the enemies of the revolution. The question of Indian bourgeoisie, their divisions, etc. had been hotly debated in the CPI particularly since the 1950s. The Dangeites discovered great progressive role of the Indian bourgeoisie (except a very small section) embodied in the Nehruvian policies, internal and external. Contrarily, Gopalan, Rammurty, etc. who formed the CPI(M) later theoretically emphasized the wavering character of the big bourgeoisie, its collaborative relationship with imperialism though ‘It was this class which led the struggle for independence’. It was notable here that there still remained another view in the CPI and later in the CPI(M) which clearly stated that in a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country like ours the big bourgeoisie never did lead the freedom struggle against British imperialism and such bourgeoisie are comprador in nature. If Anil Biswas had the minimum intellectual honesty he would not have taken refuge in mechanical definitions and academic jugglery. Nor did he try and look at the stark reality today, particularly in this phase of imperialist globalization.
It is worth mentioning that the birth of the CPI(M) did not bring about any ‘decisive break with revisionism’ with the Dangeites as was claimed in its 7th Congress. Before the 4th Party Congress of the CPI a series of writings in a number of issues of the Forum came up and it is found that the majority of them showed all praise for the Nehru government. If the 4th Party Congress decisively changed the course of the CPI history by its overtly pro-government slant, the 5th Congress pushed it further. The Political Resolutions passed highlighted the significance of the Kerala government under E.M.S. Nambordiripad as “a government led by the Communist Party have attracted world-wide attention and constitute the single biggest event in our national political life…” [Resolution of the Communist Party of India, adopted at the Extraordinary Party Congress, April 1958, A CPI Publication, p.4]. This Kerala model of government formation under the existing system became the sole aim of the CPI and later of the CPI(M). Quite in tune with this line of approach the 6th Congress in 1961 comprising both the rightist CPI and the would-be CPI(M) leaders extolled the soviet help in industrialization, criticized the policy of concessions to foreign and Indian capitalists but simultaneously warned that it would be wrong to conclude that Indian government was turning into a lackey of imperialism or compromising India’s freedom. [Jatiya Ganatantrik Kartabya Sadhaner Janneye Jatiya Ganatantrik Front, Bharater Communist Partier Sastha Congress Grihita Rajnaitik Prastab, Vijayawada: 7 to 16th April, 1961, pp. 4-9]
In December 1964 after the split of the CPI P.C.Joshi wrote “A note on the Programme of the CPI”. This reliable presentation of the CPI position observed that the Indian state is “A Bourgeois Democratic National State”. [P.C.Joshi, A Note On the Programme of the CPI, CPI Publication, 1964, p.4]. Joshi further specified the objective as “the transformation of the path of independent capitalist to independent non-capitalist development.” [Stress is original, Ibid. pp. 30-31] The Joshi explanation built the foundation of the CPI line of extending support to the Congress government for a “shift to the left”. And the leaders of the CPI(M) phrase-mongers took the same basic line of Joshi-Dange group but for years never forgot to use anti-congress vocabulary with the backdoor support to the Congress needing its help in crisis situation.
The characterization of the Indian big bourgeoisie, the support to the Congress, the acceptance of the principled position on the ‘freedom’ of India in the real sense, etc. spring from the politics of reformism in Marx’s name. Anil had to further justify all such bogus view in order to justify the CPI(M)’s intensity of love for the Congress about which it so long convinced the people of Bengal, Kerala, etc. as the organisation of the reactionary classes, the love marriage consummated by way of providing blood and oxygen for the sustenance of both. Rejection of semi-colonial India and justification of non-comprador character of the Indian big bourgeoisie by Anil Babu are actually to hoodwink the honest CPI(M) followers and the people who have begun to be inspired by the genuinely struggling progress of the CPI(Maoist) in West Bengal.
We should refer to the hotch-potch analysis of the Indian state character, a result of the compromise position hammered out by the theoretically dominant centrist group led by E.M.S Nambordiripad and the rest mainly comprising left phrase-mongers. It said “…the present Indian state is the organ of the class rule of the bourgeosie and landlords, led by the big bourgeoisie who are increasingly collaborating with foreign finance capital.” [CPI(M) Programme, 1964, art.56] This increasingly collaborating character, however, in the opinion of the CPI(M) theoreticians does not by way of the law of motion lead of a fall in the lap of foreign finance capital. The CPI(M) believes in the genesis and development of the Tatas, Birlas, etc. through basically long-term antagonism with the British Capital. With the taken-for-granted view of independent big bourgeoisie and of the genuinely independent country, the above view on ‘increasingly compromising’ role of the big bourgeoisie is immediately contradicted in the programme keeping the room for alliance saying shamelessly: “….contradiction and conflict exist between the Indian bourgeoisie including the big bourgeoisie and foreign imperialists.” And so “this stratum of the bourgeoisie will be compelled to come into opposition with state power and can find a place in the people’s democratic front’ [Ibid, art.108 and art.106]. Some historians closer to the CPI have been pedalling for long such a distorted view on “the long-term antagonism and short-term accommodation and dependence” of the big bourgeoisie in India during the freedom movement which advanced “towards a bourgeois nation state and independent development.” [Bipan Chandra, The Indian Capitalist Class and Imperialism Before 1947, In Berch Berberoglu (ed) Class, State and Development in India, Sage Publications, New Delhi, 1992, p.56] When the main leaders of the CPI(M) led the mock-fight with the CPI right revisionists they at least mouthed the enigmatic view of ‘increasingly compromising role’ of the big bourgeoisie with imperialist capital. And the mock-fight or in their words ideological battle with the right revisionist ended with the same old CPI formulations on the fundamentals in theory and practice with ‘left’ phrase-mongering. The theoretical and practical degeneration of the CPI(M) with such anti-Marxist, anti-revolutionary reformist position has been crytal clear through the turnng of a social democratic party into a double-faced social fascist organisation ‘increasingly compromising’ with the imperialist finance capital, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, landlords particularly during its 28 years of rule in West Bengal.
It is indeed astounding that Anil Biswas should say this today when there is a gigantic leap in the imperialist penetration of the country with full support and encouragement from the ruling elite, particularly the big bourgeoisie. Today, even a child can see how the big bourgeoisie serve the imperialists and facilitate their increasing penetration in the name of ‘economic reforms’. The entire ‘economic reforms’ being pushed through by the politicians and bureaucrats are not only not being resisted by this big bourgeois class, they are the most active and vociferous promoters of these ‘reforms’. In fact, in tune with imperialist demands, they keep shouting that the pace of reforms is too slow. One only has to take a look at the regular statements of the CII, FICCI, ASSOCHEM (the Chambers of the big bourgeoisie), to understand their compradorial character. But more on that later. Let us first turn to the arguments of Anil Biswas.
Anil Biswas, utilizing a single sentence form the Sixth Congress of the Comintern, issued the sermon: The Indian big bourgeoisie can not be comprador. The CPI(M) and Anil Biswas provides another argument to disprove the compradorial character of the Indian big bourgeoisie. Biswas writes (and what the CPI(M) has repeatedly stated), that they were not comprador because they could develop an industrial base of the Indian bourgeoisie, unlike that of the Chinese bourgeoisie. Anil Biswas takes a handle form the aforesaid sixth Comintern presentation of this class to show that the Indian bourgeoisie did not comprise mere brokers of the contending industrialist powers or mere importers of finished goods and exporters of raw materials from India — which he describes as the meaning of comprador.
Firstly it is not the understanding of Marxists that compradors are mere “brokers” or “mere importers of finished goods and exporters of raw materials” as explained by the CPM or the earlier Khruschivite revisionists. This is the traditional meaning of the word comprador whose origin was Portuguese meaning ‘purchaser’ and coming into use to refer to a local merchants acting as a middleman between foreign producers and a local market. Anil Biswas sticks to this roots of the word comprador, and uses a single sentence quoted from the 6th Congress of the Comintern avoiding the main formulations of the Comintern to buttress his argument. But the fact is that in Marxist vocabulary it has never been used merely in that literal sense alone. Also the Third International has used it in variously on different occasions and there was much controversy on the issue. It was Mao and the CPC who clearly defined the comprador bourgeoisie as those dependent on imperialism for their existence and growth. The Comintern too in many other places gave this understanding, as during the period between the 5th and 6th Congresses. But for the CPM it is convenient to stick to the aforesaid incomplete definition in order to prove the supposed independence of the Indian big bourgeoisie. In fact even in China the four big houses Mao refers to were also involved in manufacturing and were not mere “traders”. Our Bengali babu Sri Anil Biswas, a veteran “Marxist” theoretician cum Polit Bureau member of the betrayer anti-Marxist, die-hard anti-revolutionary CPI(M) has declared with the sub-heading “Big Bourgeoisie are not Compradors, Nor the Country is Semi-Colonial.” The radiance of his argumentation to prove the old rotten view is simply a repeatation of the CPI(M) position taken when the hotch-potch U.F. government with Jyoti Basu as Deputy Chief Minister killed the struggle peasants, in Naxalbari in May 1967. Babu Anil Biswas writes like a teacher “…The industrial base of the Indian big bourgeoisie was far stronger than that of the Chinese big bourgeoisie. They did not merely play the role of brokers (Dalal) of the contending imperialist powers. In reality, they played their role in the freedom movement. Upon possessing state power in the aftermath of independence, the big bourgeoisie took recourse to a special type of capitalist development. After the freedom the big bourgeoisie had a dual character of contradiction and compromise with imperialism. As the revisionists made mistake to realize this dual character, so did the sectarians of the 60s…”[p.18]. It is understandable that the ‘sectarians’ were none but the followers of Mao Ze Dong. What is interesting to note is that the ‘revisionists’ of the CPI were not fundamentally out of sync with such a view of almost glorifying the role of the Indian big bourgeoisie.
Long back Comrade Lenin clearly warned the need for making a distinction between the reformist and revolutionary movements in the backward and colonial countries “….since the imperialist bourgeoisie is doing everything in its power to implant a reformist movement among the oppressed nation too. There has been a certain rapproacment between the bourgeoisie of the exploiting countries and that of the colonies,…[V.I.Lenin, Report of the Commission On the National And Colonial Question, In Lenin, On National Liberation and Social Emancipation, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1986, pp.285-286, stress in original]. All Marxists know about the fact that since the second half of the 1920s Commitern paid far greater attention to India as a part of the colonial question. Before the Lenin-Roy thesis clearly pointing to the ‘rapprochement’ and Lenin’s clear view on the imperialist bourgeoisie’s nefarious role “to implant a reformist movement” in countries like India the relationship of the big bourgeoisie vis-à-vis colonial masters and various movements in such colonized countries were not so much poignantly clear in the Commintern. And then from the 2nd half of the 1920s, the Comintern paid greater attention to India as a part of the colonial question. The cunning Anil Biswas with a single sentence form the Sixth Congress of the Comintern issued the sermon: Indian big bourgeoisie can not be comprador. An extract from The Communist International on Indian between the Fifth and Sixth World Conference (1924-28) provides an analysis on the colonial bourgeoisie. About the British policy it clearly stated that “the industrialization of India under the control of British finance capital, and with the co-operation (not on equal terms) of the Indian bourgeoisie was giving the latter a semblance of power” [Extract from the Communist International between the fifth and sixth world conferences 1924-25, report (up to May 28) On the Position in all Sections of the World Communist Party”. In G.Adhikari (ed.) Documents of the History of the CPI, Vol. IIIC, 1928, Peoples’ Publishing House, New Delhi, p.455] What do the CPI (M) and its theoretician Mr. Anil Biswas have to comment on this basic fact?
In India, as in the rest of the third world, the Indian comprador is much different from as it was in China. On this there is no difference with the CPM. But just because it is not a replica of the Chinese does it mean that it is not comprador? But when one deals with theory we do not seek mechanical replica of the original. If that were the case there would be no need for theory but mere formulas. Marxist theory is no mathematical formula but gives principles to be applied in the concrete conditions of the country. We are not going to go into the arguments of the Portuguese definition nor seek to counter one quote of the Comintern with numerous others on the same issue to buttress our argument. The question is as to what the principles are and what their application to the reality is.
Regarding the principles we have already seen Mao’s definition. What then is the reality in India? As Lenin had said nearly a century back, imperialism has enmeshed backward countries like India in thousands of threads of control and dependency all of which have got hugely intensified in this period of so-called globalization. In India, first one has the class of top politicians, bureaucrats, army and other officials, etc. who act as the most servile agents of the imperialists due to the huge amounts they earn through kick-backs, commissions, underhand deals, etc. Next you have the vast network of foreign companies, foreign financial institutions or so-called Indian ones with foreign domination (like HDFC, ICICI and hundreds of others). These have increased hundred fold in the last decade. Here too the top echelons have little of no maneuverability and must act as servile agents of the imperialists. Then finally one has the comprador big bourgeoisie (like Ambani, Birla, Tata, etc) who have vast amounts of foreign capital in their total equity, and are tied to the imperialists through thousands of other links like market, outsourcing, technology, etc. In fact it is this latter class, whom the CPM, considers as independent, that have most vociferously been pushing the imperialist-dictated ‘economic reforms’ in the country. Why? If they were at all independent, it should be they who should have been such elements should have been resisting the massive imperialist onslaught. But that is not so, even though they have the economic and political clout in India.
Today, the very stock market is controlled by foreign capital, banks and insurance are systematically being taken over, mining is going into their hands, consumer industries are defacto in their control, the entire IT sector is fully dependent on imperialist outsourcing, etc, etc. So, what independence is the CPM talking of? Besides, it is estimated (See Globalisation, Attack on India’s Sovereignty, by Arvind; New Vistas Publication) that over 15% of the countries national income is being robbed by the imperialists each year and this huge wealth is being sucked abroad. This is no less than that during colonial times; without any of the expenses of colonial rule. What else is this but neo-colonialism? Anil Biswas and his cohorts live in a make-believe world far distanced from the reality. Here, we cannot go into all the details of imperialist controls but this has detailedly been brought out in the above mentioned book and also elsewhere. But Anil Biswas and others are blind to the reality.
Anil Biswas goes out of his way to show that the big bourgeois class in India is quite different from that in China. Quite obviously so. The two countries, while both being backward, are different to the extent that pre-revolutionary China existed over half a century back and in this period there have been much changes in the world. But the question that arises is what the nature of the big bourgeoisie in India is. Why does not Anil Biswas analyse their character rather than resorting to comparisons and formalistic definitions?
Anil Biswas says “…The industrial base of the Indian big bourgeoisie was far stronger than the Chinese big bourgeoisie. They did not merely play the role of brokers (Dalal) of the contending imperialist powers. In reality, they played their role in the freedom movement. Upon possessing state power in the aftermath of independence, the big bourgeoisie took recourse to a special type of capitalist development. After the freedom the big bourgeoisie had a dual character of contradiction and compromise with imperialism. As the revisionists made mistake to realize this dual character, so did the sectarians of the 60s…”[p.18].
Firstly Anil Biswas has no where defined what is the nature of this so-called special type of capitalist development. Secondly as has been shown the big bourgeoisie did not have a dual character of contradiction and compromise with imperialism but was dependent on imperialism. It is true that they are not mere “brokers” but that does not mean that they have an independent nature with a supposed dual character with the preponderance of contradiction with imperialism. Thirdly their role in the freedom movement was mainly to act as a safety valve to divert the movement into peaceful channels. The very formation of the Congress party was set up with that intention by the British. Though often the movement went beyond the control of the leaders their essence was for compromise and capitulation to imperialism. There has been much documentation of this even by the CPGB historian R.P.Dutt in his book earlier editions of the India Today. But Anil Biswas would prefer the revised view of R.P.Dutta taken after Khruschev assumed power who was close to the CPI and a leading member of the CPGB. In fact at one stage even the CPI had said that the independence was fake. Still 1955 it officially accepted the real impendence coming closer to the Soviet view under Khruschov and plunging into electoral politics.
Throughout the world we find a bourgeoisie that is comprador and do not just take the form of traders, though even these exist. In fact in this period of globalization the dependency of the third world bourgeoisie has tended to become more and more pronounced and unabashed. This is clearly to be seen in India, but the CPM turns a blind eye to this. This is but natural as the CPM in the two states it runs is implementing all the policies dictated by the imperialists — World Bank, IMF. etc. They are not only pampering the comprador big bourgeoisie in the name of inviting investment and creating jobs, they are now even bringing in huge amounts of foreign capital. Particularly it is focusing on capital associated with US, Japanese and German financial giants. It is therefore not surprising that the CPM would resort to cutting the foot to fit the shoe — adjusting their theory to fit their practice vis-à-vis imperialism and the big bourgeoisie.
In their baseless polemic against the CPI(Maoist) they use words like, increasingly compromising, maneuvering, cooperating with, tilt towards imperialism etc. etc; the question here is none of the above, which may well be true, but the basic question is as to whether the big bourgeoisie in India is independent or dependent on imperialism. They say it is the former, but the reality shows the latter. Whatever outwardly big appearance of the Indian big bourgeoisie we face in India they can not act outside the structured relationship of chronic dependence. Nor can they break loose from the gigantic powers of the imperialist way of neo-colonialism.
It is nobody’s argument that the Indian big bourgeoisie are not stronger than those of the Chinese. It is the question of defining the class enemy in the revolutionary struggle; which of course is beyond the CPI(M)’s imagination. Comrade Mao himself said that among the enemy classes to be targeted for uprooting from China through people’s war were ‘The commercial bourgeoisie’ and ‘The industrial bourgeoisie’ among other classes [Mao Tse-tung, Oppose Book Worship, May 1930, p.32] And Mao was categorical to identify the Chinese big bourgeoisie as a comprador bourgeoisie. If Anil’s or the CPI(M)’s argument is believed then the big Chinese bourgeoisie was also not comprador. In China too the big comprador bourgeoisie was not merely involved in trade as middlemen. The childish argument of the CPI(M) is solely based on the comparable industrial strength between the big bourgeoisie of these two countries. This is ridiculous as it does not consider the functioning of the big bourgeoisie within the general frame of basic dependence on the imperialist system. Secondly, what Anil Biswas stresses swearing by the incomplete definition – obviously suppressing lots of revolutionary decisions and analyses of the Commintern – the Chinese bourgeoisie could not be comprador since they were not solely involved in the aforesaid role of merely import of foreign goods and export of raw materials. Actually speaking, Anil Biswas as well as his party is a bundle of contradictions for preaching the old Khruschevite line on the one hand and, on the other, mouthing phrases from Marx, Lenin, et al.
India is no doubt different from China; the big bourgeoisie too has its differences; but in essence it is dependent on imperialism for its existence and growth — and is therefore comprador. Anil Biswas and his CPM would surely know this as they have extensive dealings with this class in the states that they rule.
Fake Independence and the Mercurial Stance of Undivided Communist Party: CPM’s Hotchpotch View on Semi Colony and Neo colony
It is not the CPI(Maoist) to declare such a bitter truth for the first time in India. The editorial in the People’s Age (the CPI mouthpiece) of 21st January 1948 said that it is “a blasphemous lie to assert that freedom has been achieved…. our national leadership has accepted sham freedom.” The Second Congress of the CPI under Ranadive leadership had taken many adventurist policies but rightly called the power-transfer of August 1947 as sham independence. So also the editorial of the Lasting Peace of 27 January, 1948 assertively stated, “a sham independence (was) bestowed on India” [Cited in M.B.Rao(ed). Documents of the Communist Party of India, vol. VII, 1948-50, PPH, New Delhi, 1976, p.viii] It is well known to the serious readers of the Marxist movement in India that after the extremely rightist policy of the CPI under P.C.Joshi he was ousted from the post of General Secretary and B.T.Ranadive assumed the highest post and pursued a ‘left’ adventurist policy conforming to the line of Tito.
Ranadive had to go and by this time the Telangana Uprising kindled the fire of revolution on the Maoist lines. The Telangana struggle put the CPI leadership under strong pressure to accept some of the formulations of the Andhra CPI unit. The C.C. members from Andhra submitted their critique of the CPI PB’s vacillating position and the failure to ‘learn from the Chinese experience’. In their critique, popularly known as the Andhra Thesis and accepted by the Polit buro of the CPI for the time being, they made serious criticisms of the Polit buro’s ‘Tactical Line’. They clearly charged the PB with reviving the position on the Mount Batten Award, mistaking the “distinction between the colonial and semi-colonial countries on the one hand and the independent, capitalist, imperialist countries on the other”. [‘Report on Left Deviation Inside the CPI’ (Draft Critique submitted by the member of the CC in its May-June 1950 meeting, In M.B.Rao (ed) Documents…Ibid. p.786]
Like the CPI(Maoist) the Andhra C.C. members also then quoted from comrade Lenin’s “preliminary Draft Theses on the National and Colonial Questions” for the second congress of the Communist International. We quote what they quoted from Lenin. It runs
“Sixth, that it is necessary constantly to explain and expose among the broadest masses of the toilers of all countries, and particularly of the backward countries, the deception systematically practiced by the imperialist powers in creating under the guise of politically independent states, states which are wholly dependent upon them economically, financially and militarily…” [Ibid. p.790]. The Andhra C.C leaders also justly criticized the tactical line of the P.B. for “starting with relegating the aspect of imperialist oppression and enslavement into the background, ended with clean bypassing the national-liberationist aspect of our struggle and nullifying the distinction between the revolution in independent imperialist countries and revolution in colonial and dependent countries…”[Ibid p.795]
The CPI(Maoist) is fully at one with such a view and is devoted to rekindling the fire of Telangana. Mention should be made here that the revisionist CPI leadership within years backtracked and from 1955 officially declared that what it called fake independence before was actually real independence. Thus the view on semi-colonial India was dismissed and the CPI and then the CPI(M) have faithfully following that revised position to dive into the path of parliamentarism.
Anil Biswas is saying nothing new when he dismisses very easily and perfunctorily the crucial fact of ‘Transfer of power’ on 15th August 1947, reducing the colonial status of India to a semi-colonial one. It is known to many veterans of the communist movement that even the CPI in 1947-51 period officially rubbished Indian independence as sham. The 1951 CPI Programme also identified India as semi-colonial and semi-feudal. The leader of the British Communist Party [CPGB] and great theoretician influencing the CPI leaders in the 1940s and 50s Rajni Palm Dutt held the view in 1947-48 period that the so-called independence was merely a “a change from the direct rule of imperialism to its indirect rule”. (India Today, Editions of 1947 and 1948).
When the CPI had preferred plunging into the rosy path of parliamentary politics, even shelving the 1951 programme, it re-discovered and re-identified the ‘independent progress of India’ under Nehru. Khruschev’s betrayal provided a handle to the majority of the CPI leaders and the theory of ‘peaceful transition to socialism’ possibility of ‘fundamental social change’ in a number of ‘capitalist and former colonial countries’ by “winning a stable parliamentary majority backed by mass revolutionary movement” of the working people, etc. were easily courted by them. [Quoted in the Report of CPSU, In The Fourth Congress Documents, In Mohit Sen (ed.), Documents of the History of the Communist Party of India, Vol. III (1951-56), Peoples’ Publishing House, New Delhi, 1977 p. 295].
The Palghat Congress of the CPI in 1953-54 had already started singing pro-Nehru song in its way to strengthen ‘freedom’ and acclaimed the “significant” role played by the Indian government “In a number of important international issues”. [Political Resolution of the Communist Party of India, Adopted by the Third Party Congress, Madhurai, 27th December 1953 to 4th January 1954, In Ibid. p.295]. The Tebhaga struggle had already ended and the revisionist CPI leadership withdrew the Great Telangana Armed Uprising. And by then the path of electoral politics accepting Indian “democratic system” made the CPI abandon the past official announcement on the fake independence embodied in the semi-colonial, semi-feudal system. It is worth remembering that even the Second Party Congress of the CPI raised such calls like “complete severance from the British empire and full and real independence”, “self-determination of nationalities including the right to secession”, etc. [Political Thesis adopted at the Second Party Congress of the CPI, In M.B.Rao(ed), Documents of the History of the Communist Party of India, Vol. III, 1948-50, PPH, 1976, pp. 85-87]
The ideology of reformism demanded of the CPI to abandon openly the earlier view-points on the Transfer of Power by consent in 1947. Already the extended plenum of the C.C. of the CPI held in 1952-53 went into raptures to declare that in the 1952 elections “The entire party went into election campaign immediately after the all-India party conference held in October 1951”. This plenum also had shown signs of sympathy for the colossal burdens on all classes “including industrialists and merchants and other class of common people.” [The Extended Plenum of the Central Committee held in Calcutta from 30th December 1952 to 10th January 1953, PPH, New Delhi, 1977, pp. 199, 201]
This journey in the path of parliamentarism with the bizarre policy of equal love for Nehru, industrialists along with the common people, abandoning the fundamentals of revolutionary Marxism, led the CPI to declare the independent status of India suppressing the surrenderist policy of the government and the comprador big bourgeoisie to imperialist interests. Notable is that with Khruschev’s new line and the CPI’s topsy-turvy the CPGB theoretician Rajni Palme Dutta too uncermoniously turned a somersault by rejecting his earlier view on the fake independence of India in 1947 and joined the chorus of revisionism to declare India as an independent, bourgeois state and that the independence was “a landmark of world history”. [Rajni Palme Dutt, India Today, Preface, Manisha Granthalaya, 1970]
Anil Biswas in his writing preferred rambling to prove the independent – not comprador character – by any means but ended up in proving the CPI(M) theorization inherently contradictory as well as bankrupt. However, except parroting the Dange view on the so-called national bourgeoisie Biswas and his party have nothing to write new. What is lacking in his so-called critique of Maoists is virtual silence on the part under the sub-heading “….the country is not semi-colonial”. Perhaps Biswas felt tired of proving by any means the independent, freedom loving character of the Indian big bourgeoisie and so averted further delving into the question of refuting the Maoist theorization of semi-colonial India. Although Anil’s and the CPI(M)’s hotch-potch theory on the independent capitalist development by virtue of the supposed positive role of the big capitalists like the Tatas, Birlas, etc. and the implied view on ‘independence of India’ convinced Anil Biswas that the less is said on the latter, the better to avoid showing off big holes in the whole theorization.
Let us deal with the Maoist position on semi-colony with our acceptance of Comrade Lenin’s brilliant pronouncements. While dealing with the transitional forms of state dependence in the stage of imperialism based on finance capital Lenin clearly stated: “Since we are speaking of colonial policy in the epoch of capitalist imperialism, it must be observed that finance capital and its foreign policy, which is the struggle of the great powers for the economic and political division of the world, give rise to a number of transitional forms of state dependence. Not only are the two main groups of countries, those owning colonies, and the colonies themselves, but also the diverse forms of dependent countries which, politically, are formally independent, but in fact, are enmeshed in the net of financial and diplomatic dependence, typical of this epoch. We have already referred to one form of dependence — the semi-colony.” [Lenin, ‘Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism’, Collected Works, XXII, Moscow, 1974, p.263, stress in Lenin’s].
Anil Biswas smacks of his and his party’s bankrupt position. While weaving a web of fantastic theorization on the independent character of the Indian and other third world big bourgeoisie in the present period he takes recourse to idealist fallacy without any foundation in Marxism-Leninism. Rejecting the above formulation of comrade Lenin this revisionist coward writes, “It has been the main and general tendency of the owners of capital the world over to try to cooperate with the international finance capital and to be its partner. Indian big bourgeoisie has taken recourse to such cooperation standing own their on strong basis. It is not business of the comprador bourgeoisie. The flow of international finance has surely influenced the Indian big bourgeoisie with regard to their economic decision and role. While keeping intact their own capital, they are used to taking necessary decision to increase profit. Besides that, from the position of their own strength with the help of foreign investment they are entering new field. If ‘dependence’, ‘co-operation’, ‘relation’ express the compradorial character, then we have to say the capitalists of the whole of the third world are compradors. To tell the truth, then the bourgeoisie of many European countries are to be called comprador bourgeoisie for their keeping close relations with and partial dependence on imperialist capital….”[p.19]
We learn many an anti-Leninist sweeping decision from the above and all are premised on the stock-in-trade preconceived view that the India is independent and her big bourgeoisie have grown enough strength to dictate their own terms while dealing with the tycoons of the industrial west. First, Anil Biswas rejects the ‘diverse forms of dependent countries’ in the stage of imperialism based on finance capital. Based on such assumption, Anil Biswas and the CPI(M) are driven to the conclusion that despite influence of the ‘international finance’ the supposed ‘free’ country’s bourgeoisie do have independent role regarding profit making for “keeping their capital intact”. The novelty of Anil’s brilliance leads him to offer the second gem. He then sets up an enemy (here it is none but the Maoists) to drum into his/her ears that ‘dependence’, ‘cooperation’ and ‘relation’ do not mean loss of independence as occurs in case of compradors. Here also Anil Biswas slips into another contradiction.
The tenor of his entire write-up is a deliberate and conscious effort at holding a brief for the Indian bourgeoisie’s independent and freedom-loving powerful character. Here Anil has added ‘dependence’ to co-operation’ and ‘relation’ of the Indian big bourgeoisie vis a vis the international finance capital. What a pathetic condition of the CPI(M)’s supremo in West Bengal! We are forced to believe that the entire tie-up in different names between the small partners and their big tycoons is as innocuous and pure as ‘co-operation’ and ‘relation’! And as the state of India being led by this class of big bourgeoisie – so the CPI(M) Programme says – the inflow of capital through the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, MNCs, etc. is pure and simple ‘cooperation’, ‘relation’, etc. This is the pet argument of all the successive governments at the Centre and of the current CPI(M) led government that in such deals no strings are attached.
Anil Biswas himself pats on his own back by such silly comments considering it that his frivolous way of presentation shall let down the Maoists and assure the captains of foreign capital an unrestrained flow of capital to India, West Bengal in particular. With such pronouncements Anil Biswas actually wants to arrogate to himself the role of a Khruschevite “Lenin” by dismissing comrade Lenin’s farsighted view on a number of ‘transitional forms of state dependence’, ‘diverse forms of semi-colony’. With such use of words like ‘cooperation’, ‘relation’ Anil conceals the fact that they are possible only in conditions of equality and mutual understanding, but never in conditions of monumental dimension of giant powers poised for domination and exploitation of the people and resources of the countries with whose big bourgeoisie (obviously weak and tied to the former in numerous ways) they lend, yet the sophisticated foolish Anil Biswas problematises his and his party’s scheme by including ‘dependence’ – as if this were a mere word, not a concept. The anachronism becomes glaring. To belittle comrade Lenin’s view on dependence under the cloak of “formally independent” but actually semi-colony, Anil Biswas shrewdly pushes the Khruschevite thesis of independence of India under the leadership of the big bourgeoisie.
So for Anil Biswas and his party ‘dependence’ on imperialist capital is “cooperation”, “relation” and such sugar-coated pills with which that social-fascist organisation, the CPI(M) and its leadership has been justifying globalization, FDIs, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and such imperialist finance capital to smoothly make inroads into India, West Bengal imparticular. There always exists multi-dimensional loot and the great drain of resources, natural and man-made. We may recall the brilliant exposure of so-called selfless imperialist ‘aid’ by Teresa Hayter in Aid as Imperialism that created a lot of flutter in the 70s. Hayter writes, “It may help to crate and sustain within third world countries, a class which is dependent on the continued existence of aid and foreign private investment and which therefore becomes an ally of imperialism.” [p.9] This ‘dependence’ in the cloak of ‘co-operation’, ‘relation, etc. not only limited to comprador bourgeoisie, this ‘dependence’ also breeds a servile class of elite and politicians as well as political parties like the Congress, CPI(M), etc. Those spineless forces are danger to the Indian people and society.
Anil Biswas then sucks up the big bourgeoisie of the Third world by superciliously trampling underfoot Lenin’s and Mao’s lessons on the so-called signboard of freedom of the backward third world countries at one stroke. Armed with the CPI(M)’s revisionist thesis (the revised official view based on the topsy turvy of the CPI on the supposed genuine independence attained on 15th August 1947 under the leadership of the big bourgeoisie) on free India from the clutches of imperialism Anil Biswas generalizes it with the power transfers in countries of the 3rd world as symbols of genuine independence and the big bourgeoisie of those countries are genuinely national having revolutionary role in those countries, they are not compradors. This formulation of bankruptcy is placed in a round about way when Anil Biswas scrambles to prove the CPI(M)’s fallacious view by way of a vainglorious attempt, weak at its very core, interrogating the Maoists: “If ‘dependence’, ‘cooperation’, ‘relation’ express the compradorial character, then we have to say the capitalists of the whole of the third world are compradors.” Who cares to listen to Anil’s and his party’s sermon concealing neo-colonial exploitation and playing second fiddle to imperialist capital’s owners and ambassadors? Instead of citing numberless deals and cases of plunder, we only help Anil Biswas and his social-fascist party to fortify their position further with a cue from what the U.S. ambassador in India Mr. Mulford really said in a speech on 1st September, 2005 at a meeting of the C.I.I. in Chennai: “American capital does not want to come to rule India. The aim behind this coming is solely for fulfilling the dream of India’s development” (sic.) [Source: Kalantar, 7th September, 2005]. Does not Mr. Anil speak his Master’s Voice?
Anil, in his flight to the world of absurdity, thinks that Maoist formulation of semi-colonial and comprador character of the Indian big bourgeoisie has been demolished with the above generalization. Actually he befools himself and his party’s followers. In his over-statement through the generalization of the non-comprador character of the third world’s big bourgeoisie and their ‘genuine independence’ he foolishly challenges the Maoists: “To tell the truth, then the bourgeoisie of many European countries are to be called comprador bourgeoisie for their keeping close relation with and partial dependence on imperialist capital”. Here also the premise of the argument is to put on the same footing the big bourgeoisie of many European countries and the Indian or other third world’s big bourgeoisie. However, the clever Anil Biswas has added phrases like ‘keeping close relation’, ‘partial dependence’ etc. to avoid bitter controversy but with such phrases Anil Biswas has actually compounded his and his party’s problem further. We can also echo in Anil’s voice that the English capital has close relations with the U.S. finance capital, and it is ‘partially dependent’ on the latter on certain cases, so also is the case of Italy, Canada, France, East-European countries, etc. But what does it suggest? Does it suggest that the growth, development and flourishing of the big bourgeoisie in those European countries particularly with the U.S. hegemony of the current stage reduce them to a mere subservient and completely dependent role tied-up to the U.S. capital without any freedom like the Indian big comprador bourgeoisie? Do their relations, etc. (among the European continental countries) are comparable to India’s, or for that matter third world’s big bourgeoisie’s perpetually dependent role in multifarious ways except the possibility of courting the capital from the U.S. or any other capitalist country? Anil Biswas had better brush up his knowledge bank despite his behind the scene engagement in state administrative duties by taking a look at classics by Marx, Lenin, et al. However, it is our opinion that people like Anil Biswas can not do the basic homework as is evident in their production of page after page of shallow writings.
Anil, representing the CPI(M), is dangerously oblivious to the fact that in the capitalist countries in Europe the growth and development was not dependent on the imperialist masters as in India. The Tatas’, the Birlas’, the Goenkas’ infamous birth lay in the cradles of British colonialists. How come then Anil Biswas crows about the supposedly same status of the big bourgeoisie of the capitalist west confusing them with that of the third world, especially India’s big bourgeoisie? The Maoists are not fools like the ideologues of the CPI(M) to characterize the former as compradors.
Let us shed some light from the pages of history. Some comrades in the Soviet Union cried that after the World War II “the USA has brought the other capitalist countries sufficiently under its sway to be able to prevent them going to war among themselves and weakening one another; that the foremost capitalist minds have been sufficiently taught by the two world wars and the severe damage they caused to the world capitalist world not to venture to involve the capitalist countries in war with one another again….” [ J.V.Stalin, Economic Problems of Socialism In The U.S.S.R, Foreign Language Publishing Press, Peking, 1972, pp.32-33].
It is well known to the people with minimum knowledge about the rise of the U.S.A and the fall of the U.K after the end of the World War II and the U.S. efforts with Marshall Plan and various measures to play the leadership role in the capitalist world along with suppressing communism worldwide and to encircle the socialist camp. Comrade Stalin categorically rejected the view of permanent U.S. hegemony in the aftermath of the war-torn economies of other capitalist countries (of course having genuine independence and free development of capitalism). Comrade Stalin’s farsight proved true with the passage of time. He asserted “Outwardly, everything would seem to be “going well”; the U.S.A has put Western Europe, Japan and other capitalist countries on rations; Germany (Western), Britain, France, Italy and Japan have fallen into the clutches of the U.S.A and are meekly obeying its commands. But it would be mistaken to think that things can continue to “go well” for “all eternity”, that these countries will tolerate the domination and oppression of the United Sates endlessly, that they will not endeavour to tear loose from American bondage and take the path of independent development.” [Ibid. p.33]
The pronouncements are clear and straight-forward. Such possibility of those war – ravaged economies to come out on their own was a reality since those were independent capitalist countries, temporarily finding themselves under U.S. domination. Stalin concluded brilliantly: “…..Would it not be truer to say that capitalist Britain, and, after her, capitalist France, will be compelled in the end into conflict with it in order to secure an independent position and, of course, high profit?” [Ibid. p.34]. And here lies the truth of comrade Lenin’s thesis that the struggle among the capitalist countries for markets and their desire to crush their competitors are inevitable. For this Comrade Stalin adds that Lenin’s thesis of the inevitability of war is not obsolete. Mr. Anil Biswas and his party, the CPI(M), imagine that the Indian big capitalists are on equal footing with the French or British capitalists and so this leads to the extreme view that they may develop so much strength and courage to be imperialistic like the latter to crush west European competitors even at the risk of war. Sorry to state that Anil’s and his party’s thesis would have us believe about such imaginary culmination. Only a mad can blow up out of proportion that ‘American bondage’ of France, Great Britain, etc. after the war is same as the colonial or neo-colonial bondage structurally binding a 3rd World state like India to Great Britain or latter to the U.S.A., U.K, etc.
Now we like to add a few more words on Anil’s [and that of the CPI(M)] pronouncement that India is not semi-colonial but independent. We may start with reference to Mr. Attle’s statement made in British Parliament on 20th February, 1947 on the transfer of power. In point 14 Attle, the chief of British government made it clear that “HMG (His Majesty’s Government) believe that British commercial and industrial interests in India can look forward to a fair field for their enterprise under the new conditions. The commercial connection between India and the United Kingdom has been long and friendly and will continue to be their mutual advantage.” [In Dhirendra Nath Sen, Revolution By Consent? Saraswati Library, Calcutta, 1947, Appendices, p.318, Emphasis ours].
This was a clear statement a few months before the actual Transfer of Power. And obviously the phrase “the mutual advantage” sounds like Mr. Anil Biswas’s ‘relation’, ‘cooperation’, etc. The actual meaning lies in the fact of advantage for the British capitalists and then of the Indian big comprador capitalists nurtured and developed in the lap of the former. The top of the Indian big bourgeoisie, in the CPI(M)’s view a leader of the freedom movement, declared in 1946 itself “I don’t believe this [British capital in India] will ever be expropriated. The British firms will carry on”. [G.D.Birla’s Statement in Hindustan Times 11th April 1946, cited in Rajni Palme Datt, India Today, Bombay, 1947, p.160]. This is mutual love for mutual advantage.
We are not referring in detail to the volcanic situation in the post-war period created by the revolt of the R.I.N., the militant mass demonstrations, the large-scale strikes by Post & Telegraph workers and others, the Tebhaga struggle, etc. that shook the British rule in India. Simultaneously, it should be remembered that with the decline of the British power, America began to make inroads in the economic field. In a leading article, Eastern Economist wrote in July 1945 that “It is a happy sign that Americans have begun taking intimate interest in Indo-American economic relations.” It also stated that as America could “maintain conditions of full employment by large-scale manufacturing and export of capital goods, India’s post war requirements can, therefore, be absolutely dovetailed into each other.” [“India Britain and the U.S.A”, Eastern Economist, 13th July 1945, Cited in Suniti Kumrr Ghosh, The Indian Big Bourgeoisie, New Horizon Book Trust, Calcutta 2000, p.262]. So alongside the British capital, the American capital too started extending its stranglehold over the Indian economy on the eve of so-called independence.
What Mr. Anil Biswas and his party wants to hush up is the naked reality that after 15th August 1947, India became a Dominion of His Majesty’s Government. So many people along with Mr. M.K.Gandhi died in 1948 not as Free Indian Citizens but as British Subjects! What a novelty of ‘freedom’! Such dishonest social fascists suppress the glaring facts that “In their own interests…. the British volunteered to train us in the art of ‘democratic way’ of life and the services of a British Governor – General, Lord Mount batten, to preside over the destiny of the newly created ‘Independent Dominion version of the Government of India Act. 1935…” [Dhirendra Nath Sen, ‘The Paradox of Freedom’, Vidyodaya Library Pvt. Ltd., Calcutta, 1958, p.1].
The peddlers of such “genuine” freedom suppress the fact as to how the last governor under the direct colonial rule of the British could assume the office of free India’s governor general; how two British governors and one Indian governor during the British period could continue in their respective posts after the “freedom” of India; how could the British generals remain the head of the army, navy and air force after the transfer of power? Why the appeal was made to the British army officers and soldiers to serve as before for the “free India’s” security? Why 49% percent British army officers and 94% British soldiers responded to “free India’s” call to stay back in India? Those revisionist liars shall never disclose the fact that the ‘India Allowance’ for the ordinary British soldiers was hiked as high as 50 percent. Those dishonest leaders under the garb of ‘Marxists’ hush up the crucial fact that the rebel soldiers of the Historic Naval Revolt (1946) and the soldiers who joined the I.N.A were not allowed to serve the “free India’s” military service. Their ‘offence’ was that they were patriots!
The entire system of bureaucracy, judiciary, etc. remained as usual after the Transfer of Power. And the same colonial Acts and even various sections of the Acts were retained intact. The height of the paradox of ‘freedom’ was reached when during the “Freedom at Midnight” or to borrow Nehru’s words, “Tryst with Destiny” on the 15th day of August 1947 the ‘freedom’ was celebrated according the first prioty to the colonial regime’s national anthem “God Save the King” and only after then the national anthem of “free” India “Jana Gana Mana….” It was not surprising at all that though the tricolour was hoisted on that day at Delhi, Union Jack was allowed to keep fluttering. This is ‘indepence’ by consent! [N. Mansergh, editor in chief, Constitutional Relations Between Britain and India: The Transfer of Power 1942-47, London, 1971-81 – Vol. XII, Cited in Suniti kr. Ghosh, India and the Raj, Vol. II, pp.317-25]
The Transfer of Power also led to the membership of the British Commonwealth headed by the British King. These are only some of the instances to be known by the people of India. Let Anil Biswas and his party answer how to justify this ‘Transfer of Power’ in the name of freedom, not a semi-colony what the Maoists have enough courage and theoretical basis to declare, to the chagrin of all such people and parties enjoying various sorts of opportunities and benefits in the post 15th August, 1947 India. Mr. Anil Biswas and his party project things in such a fashion as if the CPI(Maoist) has introduced this view of India’s ‘freedom’ out of nothing.
Anil’s [i.e. the CPI(M)’s] knowledge of Marxism and comprehension of the post-world war II situation leading to the transfer of powers to many countries are really full of revisionist radiance and flight of fantasy. Anil Biswas does not know what neo-colony is! His sarcasm against the Maoists proves him as a simpleton of the first degree. Poor Anil Biswas says “If the analysis of the Maoists is accepted then it amounts to saying that with the break-down of the old colony imperialism took recourse to neo-colonial tactics….” [p.20] Mr. Anil makes such utterances in wonders as if the Maoists are inventing something new. He is in great confusion as the much-known Marxist-Leninist concept of new-colonialism, if accepted, will automatically destroy the whole CPI and later the CPI(M) formulation of the state character, to the disturbance of their native and foreign masters.
It is an indisputable fact that the two consecutive world wars, the march of socialism throughout the world and the massive volcanic eruptions of people’s anti-colonial struggles forced the imperialist master to come to terms with the big bourgeoisie and feudal landlords of the third world countries like India to transfer powers on the condition that the new rulers will safeguard the interests of imperialism. This indirect rule in the form of neo-colony has remained as the perpetual dependence on imperialism as evident in the so-called free countries like India. Secondly, the decline of the enormous powers of the British imperialism and vast changes in the international scenario with contradictions among the imperialist countries provided some bargaining space to the new rulers but by no means this bargaining of different degrees meant the change of character of the ruling comprador bourgeois.
During the Great Debate the CPC under Mao Ze Dong while defining the general line of the international communist movement unequivocally stated that after the World War II the imperialists have not surely abandoned colonialism, rather they have assumed a new form which is neo-colonialism. Rejecting the revisionist propaganda of the Soviet Union which Mr. Anil Biswas and his party clings to, the CPC referred to the important feature of such neo-colonialism as witnessed in the world is the change of their old method of direct rule under a compulsive situation and they have taken recourse to a new form of colonial rule and exploitation depending on their trained and selective agents. The CPC referred to the fact how the imperialists led by US imperialism were forming military alliance, establishing military base, making “Federation” or “Community” and also through their puppets do trample and control those countries which have announced freedom. The CPC in its polemics with the revisionist headquarters of the CPSU referred to economic ‘aid’ and various other forms by which the imperialists keep those “free” countries as markets of their commodities, as source of raw materials and for exporting their capital to loot those countries and exploit their masses. Besides that, those imperialists interfere into the internal affairs of those so-called free countries and make use of the UNO to carry on military, economic and cultural aggression on them. And when all such steps fail to carry on neo-colonial measures in a “peaceful” way, the imperialists engineer coup de ta , resort to subversive activities or direct intervention and aggression.
Comrade Lenin referred to many types of semi-colonies, this neo-colonialism has assumed greater importance particularly since World War II. Comrade Lenin also referred to the fact how under the guise of political freedom of mainly the backward countries how the imperialist countries build up dependent states economically, militantly and through the investment of capital.
Can Mr. Anil Biswas refute any of the formulations about neo-colonialism as stated above? Can Mr. Anil Biswas dismiss the fact that this phenomenon of moribund capitalism at the stage of imperialism is more dangerous and more subtle with many different forms of imperialist exploitation and intervention have been the order of the day particularly since the World War II? Can our CPI(M) ideologue dismiss the neo-colonial rule of India with a number of imperialist countries now led by US imperialism? Anil’s party, the CPI(M) has the habit of using the words like ‘imperialism’, ‘Indian big bourgeoisie’s wavering role’, ‘US pressure’ and what not but as the CPI(M) programme has dictated to define India’s status as ‘free’ since 1947 can the Anils, Buddhas, Karats say otherwise even facing the stark reality of neo-colonialism in India? In any case, we the Maoists put the counter question to Mr. Theoretician Anil Biswas could you say where imperialism is absconding for decades after the “freedom” of almost all the 3rd world countries? The CPI(M) deserves our pity for such childish talks as presented by Mr. Anil Biswas and his party suffering from acute parliamentary cretinism!
However, Anil’s party further compounds the problem while rejecting semi-colony, neo-colony and such Leninist, Maoist formulations. The CPI(M) even went many paces ahead in its habitual tall talks to prove its anti-imperialist position. In its latest Congress it even talked about ‘re-colonization’ under the globalisation spree and Anil Biswas too being used to double talks – one in party’s theoretical mouthpiece and the other in support of West Bengal ‘Left’ Front’s total surrender to imperialism and native exploiters – has recently not only talked of ‘class struggle’, of fight against imperialist institutions like the World Bank , WTO, globalisation and all such high-sounding words, he even said “Under the exploitative drive of neo-colonialism, the so-called developed nations indulged in rapacious economic exploitation in the lesser-developed nations of Africa, Asia and Latin America.” [People’s Democracy, October 09, 2005]. We take note of the conscious use of the phrase “lesser – developed nations” – obviously an escape route to keep India under the CPI(M) propped Congress government and the ‘Left’ government in West Bengal, etc. out of such ‘rapacious economic exploitation’. Still it begs the question what do you understand by the “exploitative drive of neo-colonialism”? However, here too the wily hypocrat used the CPI(M)’s pet theory like “tilting towards imperialism” or “drive of neo-colonialism”, etc. i.e. the process shall not see an end and India like countries shall ever remain independent and its big bourgeoisie shall flourish and flourish with full independence despite some compromising tendency. So it is natural for Anil Biswas & Co. to declare at one go India is neither semi-colony and the Indian big bourgeoisie are not compradors, a Khruschevite thesis first accepted by the Dangeites and then the Namboodripads of the CPI(M).
Why Protracted Path of China?
Is Guerrilla War Suitable for Indian Concrete Conditions?
Protracted War which traverses the path of defeat..victory..defeat..final victory: 1946-51 Telangana struggle followed the Chinese path and advanced forward. Andhra CCMs proposed the line of Chinese path. But the majority in the CC later withdrew this glorious struggle. Undivided CPI had a lot of such records and the written history proves them too. But Anil without any qualm is claiming that even in “pre 1947 it was not possible to advance through the Chinese Path.” He gave the reasons as – centrally administered Indian conditions, capitalist development and link with international capital, way of life, ideology the people have and so on..
Revisionists never accept that revolution will advance. Life and the system will be changed depending on the conditions and the role played by the vanguard party. Way back in late 1988 the so-called IPKF had been sent to Srilanka to crush the movement of the Tamil militants within two weeks because the Tamil people were not supposed to be warriors. But the ‘great’ Indian Army stayed for two years, faced defeat and turned back. The ‘great’ American army is now facing serious resistance in Iraq and it will turn back with shame. People are the real fighters and heroes. One should respect them.
At the same time one should assess properly the objective conditions in a country where the revolutionary forces are preparing for war. Our party assessed the changing condition and its impact on the war in detail. Let us see chapter VI under the sub title “The Principle Characteristics of India’s revolutionary war” of our document in which four points are explained. They are “1. India is a vast semi-colonial and semi-feudal country with uneven political, economic and social development, with favourable terrain for guerrilla warfare, that has witnessed a long period of armed struggle by the peasantry and also now witnessing the ongoing agrarian revolutionary guerilla struggle in which the peasantry is playing a heroic role.
2. Our enemy is big and powerful having centralized state machinery and a well-equipped modern army.
3. The Communist Party, the guerilla army and the agrarian revolutionary movement in India are still weak.
4. Our country is a prison-house of nationalities where some nationalities are engaged in bitter struggles against the Indian state to achieve their right to self-determination.” (Strategy & Tactics, p.38-39)
The above characteristics are further analyzed and said that, “The above four principal characteristics determine the line for guiding India’s revolutionary war as well as many of its strategic and tactical principles. It follows from the first and fourth characteristics that it is possible for our Party and People’s army to grow and defeat the enemy. However, it also follows from the second and third characteristics that it is impossible for our Party and our People’s army to grow very rapidly or defeat our enemy quickly. Hence the revolutionary war in India will be of protracted nature.” (Ibid, p.44)
Firstly the acute unevenness in the economic and political development in India shows it glaringly that the people’s war will pass through a zig zag path like in China. Despite the distorted development of capitalism we strongly accept it that for the existence of an army of proletariat the people’s democratic revolution will be led by this class both ideologically and physically. The vast majority of India’s population being the peasants, ours is an agrarian revolution to uproot the semi-feudal system existing in collusion with the comprador bourgeoisie and imperialism. From comrade Mao’s teachings we learn that in the backward countries of the third world the revolution can not but assume protracted people’s war. Contrary to this, the countries where capitalism is the main form of exploitation, where bourgeois democratic rights got established, where the proletariat can prepare itself through long legal, parliamentary and other bourgeois democratic forms, the revolutions will take the form of armed insurrections as happened in Russia.
The objective situation of extreme unevenness in India makes it clear that it is not possible to launch a country-wide insurrection at a time. The vast countryside along with huge gaps in communication and transport system provides ample opportunity to the revolutionaries to establish red powers in different areas and develop many of them as base areas in the concrete situation in India.
India is also a land of rivalries between several imperialist powers, exploiting classes, political parties and factions. All this provides great opportunities for the revolutionaries to grow in strength capitalizing on the contradictions in the enemy ranks.
The Chinese experience of guerilla war is most suitable in such an objective situation to grow into a stupendous force with every passing day by attacking the vulnerable areas of the enemy at different geographical regions. This way the centralized armed forces will be forced to get scattered as well as weakened, making it possible for us to move ahead.
Being a backward country India is a theatre of irreconcilable contradictions between various nationalities and the central and state machineries, forcing the state armed forces to get constantly and increasingly engaged in battles. This feature further weakens the Indian ruling classes and their armed forces, to the advantage of the revolutionaries in India.
All those aspects justify our position on basically following the Chinese path. Indian specificities shall further help us deliver blows after blows on the enemy.
In short, the victorious struggle in Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchia and the on-going struggles in Peru, Nepal, Philippines and many other countries of the 3rd World cogently prove it that Indian revolution will follow the path of the Chinese revolution. Any revolutionary path is beyond the imagination of Anil & Co. So it is natural that those dark forces will be ever ready to oppose our tactics and strategy.
It is true that we are weak in strength in comparison to the enemy forces but we are definitely a steadily growing force. Mr. Anil Biswas has expressed his sarcasm for our Party’s expectation of the possible changes in the correlation of forces in course of people’s war. Yes we the Maoists in the battle front can chart out the future course of eventual weakening of the enemy on the basis of India’s objective conditions and our increasing subject strength as well as from the rich experiences of the Chinese Revolution and revolutionary wars in many other countries. We say that people’s war following the Chinese Path is a protracted war in our semi-colonial and semi-feudal conditions. Obviously it can not be a path of simultaneous armed uprising like in Russia but even in the broadly Chinese path Indian characteristics are also taken into account.
This Chinese path i.e. a protracted war by the initially small guerrilla force led by our communist party against a powerful state makes it imperative for us to start off the war with the underground preparations. In Russia comrade Lenin’s Bolshevik party devoted itself doing the spadework for the coming opportune moment of insurrection. In this period of activism legal, parliamentary forms were made use of alongside non-parliamentary activities. Like China in India too the starting point of communist activities is synonymous with the launching of armed struggle. That does not mean we reject all other possibilities of using legal or open work. They are necessary but secondary in nature in the continuing agrarian revolutionary activities.
Our weakness in regard to our armed forces, areas of operation, weakened international communist movement, existence of a social fascist party with a considerable following along with the existence of many other powerful political parties, the existing state with a fake democratic cover, etc. are only temporary features. Many of such obstacles will be removed and are being gradually removed with the surging forward of our great struggle. Comrade Stalin clearly said that revolutionary movements grow by leaps and bounds. In India too we are growing like the CPC during the period of people’s democratic revolution.
In short, by following the Chinese path of protracted war we the Maoists have emerged on the scene as the real force to destroy the semi-colonial and semi-feudal system. However, our mistakes might stall this process only temporarily but victory is ours. Let Mr. Anil babu live in the cosy path of legal Marxism and cast aspersions on the Maoists, the people of India and also the state understand too well who the real Marxists are in India and which power is emerging with great speed and depth to sweep away all the fake Marxists like the CPI, CPM along with all the reactionaries in India.
Guerrilla war will sustain and develop: The changing conditions of India and other backward countries, the imperialist penetration into the entire globe and the transformation of the colonies after the world war II into neo-colonies of different types and all such factors have had their impact on the development of the war. As Mao said, “All the guiding principle of military operations grow out of the one basic principle: To stive to the utmost to preserve one’s strength and destroy that of the enemy.” So, in the entire period of our guerrilla war the enemy will try its level best to crush our forces when they are growing. At the same time the PLGA will try to harass, resist and push out the enemy forces to establish its control and build new people’s political power.
To intensify guerrilla war, active mass participation is an essential one. Guerillas will fight in the plains and even in cities. But the ideal for the guerrilla forces is favourable terrain and adjacent plains. Here a long period is needed to consolidate our forces due to the strength of the enemy and the development of the roads, communications and such other factors. Naturally we shall first concentrate in the favourable terrain to preserve our forces and prepare for battles, which should be fought on guerilla principles.
The entire period of people’s war has three stages. Now our forces are relatively weak and the enemy is waging strategic offensive. However, the enemy too is preparing its forces with its short and long term plans. The strategic areas where we are working already the enemy deployed big forces there, and fortifications of police stations and camps on the one hand and construction of new roads on the other are going on. That means through the tactical counter offensive plans we are resisting enemy within the strategic defensive stage of ours. Whereas the enemy is trying to push us further interior for isolation from the masses through its concentrated encircling offensive campaigns (CEOC) within the strategic offensive stage. But the nature of our TCOC will be limited at the beginning and CEOC of the enemy will be well co-coordinated campaigns for certain period. Later to keep its control the state governments and the Centre and from within the command structure of various forces will increase their pressure on us. However, they will fail as we consider simultaneous development of political movements and people’s resistance in political and military front as essential part of supporting the people’s war.
In the past two decades the war of resistance led by our party achieved a good experience, which will be useful to advance the war. Due to the unevenness in the struggle to develop the resistance in 10-12 states it took time. Even now in some states no doubt we are a weak but a rising force.
After the Second World War imperialism has developed low intensive conflict policy, through which the enemy forces will also be adopting the guerrilla forms in their operations. These methods will be studied to defeat them. But this will also be followed as campaigns of operations on the enemy forces.
However, the formations of the PLGA will develop in a process, whereby it will grow further to form regular units because without having regular army units it will not be possible to push the enemy from our favourable areas. Here Anil referred to Mao to argue that if the small formations continued for long they will perish and the struggle will not advance. It is true; the units of the PLGA should be transformed into bigger and better fighting units to defend themselves from the enemy and that process is going on.
To transform the Guerrilla Zone into Guerrilla Base or Base we need regular units, which can be engaged with the enemy and guerrilla war can be changed into mobile war and positional war. No doubt in the Indian conditions it will take some time. But the rapid changes in the world order and the crisis-ridden society will give more scope to organize the people for the people’s war.
To Transform the Guerrilla Zones into further consolidated areas the destruction of the enemy power and forces is a must. Here Anil and all the parliamentary parties attack us. They will say that we are sitting in the deep forests far away from the people and committing mindless violence. In comparison to others Anil exercised well and tried to use Lenin and Mao frequently with convenient stress on the Indian conditions. However, in his eyes Marxism-Leninism is not both a telescope and a microscope.
Through the past experiences we understood how to advance and how to retreat depending on the situation. However, we have made some mistakes in our advancement. Certainly we will learn further to advance. But without understanding how to wage guerrilla war further, the advancement may become slow and the organized enemy will attack further. Modernisation of the enemy forces or the changing conditions of the state armed forces with the support of the reactionary parities like the CPI(M), CPI, Congress, BJP, etc. are a crucial reality. We do not wear blinkers on our eyes. Imperialism means war. Politics is the continuation of war. So the war should be fought further perfectly.
Indian Base Areas Will not be formed like in China
Anil in his article commented that due to many changes in the world and India liberated bases cannot be built like in China. Yes, we too accept this and have planned depending on the concrete conditions of our country. Anil and his accomplices engaged in the anti-Maoist conspiracy thoroughly read (read misread) our Strategy and Tactics document. Nowhere did we write in the document that we are going to build base like in China. Why then Anil is maligning us? If such fellows openly reject any theory on base areas written and practiced by Mao, then their sincere cadres will challenge them. Already in the ML camp itself, some people are accepting the Chinese path but they are never taking up arms nor do they think over developing bases. Then their own cadres are challenging them to translate the line into practice. For that reason the rightist camp of the so-called ML leaders failed to convince their cadres.
We are not daydreamers to dream for ready-made basis in Indian conditions. Even in China too they lost bases many times over to the enemy and the main forces were shifted from there to relatively better bases. But the CPC never changed the armed formations and fought with the enemy forces unwaveringly. They adopted the policy depending on the given conditions; if one base area was established it did not necessarily survive till the end in all cases.
Mao in his article “Problems of Strategy in Guerrilla War Against Japan”, [Chapter VI (Vol. 2)] dealt in detail on base areas there and the sub-headings there were “1) The type of Base areas, 2) Guerrilla Zones and Base areas, 3) Conditions for establishing Base Areas, 5) Forms in which we and the enemy encircle one another”. He explained in his lucid way.
“What, then, are these base area? They (base area) are the strategic base on which the guerrilla forces rely in performing their strategic tasks and achieveing the object of preserving and expanding themselves and destroying and driving out the enemy. Without such strategic bases, there will be nothing to depend on in carrying out any of our strategic tasks or achieving the aim of the war. It is a characteristic of guerrilla warfare behind the enemy lines that it is fought without a rear, for the guerrilla forces are severed from the country’s general rear. But guerrilla warfare could not last long or grow without base areas. The base areas, indeed, are its rear.” ( Selected Works of Mao Tse-Tung, Vol- II, Foreign Language Press, Peking 1975, pp.93-94)
He further explained the conditions that should be fulfilled to establish a base: “A base area for guerrilla war can be truly established only with the gradual fulfilment of the three basic conditions, i.e., only after the anti-Japanese armed forces are built up, the enemy has suffered defeats and the people are aroused”. (Ibid, p.99)
Now let us see what we wrote concretely: Chapter VII of our Strategic and Tactics document dealt with the issue of how Maoists here will establish Guerrilla zones and base areas. Our party has a clear understanding about how to select proper places at first to sustain, preserve and how to strengthen our forces. This lesson we took not only from China but also from the specific history of our country for establishing bases. We had the experiences then of 46-51 Telengana, Naxalbari, Srikakulam, etc. to draw proper lessons. We wrote: “Basing on the laws of protracted people’s war in India, in order to confront an enemy, who is far more superior in strength, the revolutionary forces will have to select areas, in which the enemy is relatively weaker and which are favourable to the revolutionary forces, and develop the revolutionary war there. Our country has many such areas that are strategically important for the people’s war where Liberated Areas can be established. These Bases will act as the lever or fulcrum for coordinating and advancing the people’s war in the country and for seizing political power countrywide.” [Strategy & Tactics, pp.50-51]
Due to the uneven development struggle will break out in the forests and in the backward areas. That happened in 1946, 1967 and in the 1980’s. Generally, backward plains are the struggle centers, however it needed to expand into favorable terrain and other pockets within a short time. Otherwise we could not sustain so long and it is against the laws of protracted war. Mao said that “the plains are less suitable than mountains.” That does not mean we will not work in the plains. Actually if we check the history we find how our party initiated anti-feudal struggle in North and South Telangana plains and within a short period we extended to Dandakarnaya to transform it into our guerrilla zone and later we have considered to develop it into our base area. In Bihar too we initiated anti-feudal struggles in Magadh region and then extended to favorable terrain areas. However in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa states majority areas had provided us with favorable terrain.
Even in Karnataka we started anti-feudal struggle in Raichur district, which is totally plain area. So we shifted to Western Ghats, which has a favourable terrain, people and sharpened contradictions. Let us see West Bengal experience also. We selected Bengal-Jharkhand-Orissa borders as a guerrilla zone and sent cadres accordingly. Why we selected this area? Our party had an understanding regarding the social fascist CPM. How it will try ruthlessly to crush us. We have had Naxalbari, Kolkata, Debra and other experiences. In any circumstances we need a support area where our forces can stand to advance the struggle facing the ruthless state-based offensive attack of the CPM. What we expected history has proven it as correct.
Our party initiated class struggles in areas which are mainly plains (Gorbeta) with some light forest and plantations cover and that too is plain land. If we confined ourselves only to the Bengal part the intensification of guerrilla war would not be not possible facing the heavy deployment of paramilitary forces by the CPM led ‘left’ front.
So, to establish bases we have to intensify the guerrilla war by developing a mass base and it is a general condition. We had that mass base in majority guerrilla zones of the south, central and East Indian pockets. Whereas in Telangana we sustained and advanced over 15 years. Later now we are facing an ebb in North and South Telangana. When the guerrilla war broke out in the mid ’80s onwards we resisted the enemy forces. To wipe out guerrilla forces and mass base the enemy attacked very frequently on us. Keeping the Indian conditions in mind we extended the guerrilla war into a vast area covering 1,20,000 sq. km. area under the impact of the guerrilla zone. Again our party has been trying to regain control in Telangana. That battle is going on. But Anil misleads the readers in his article by giving a false and dark picture of our struggles to show Maoists are a miserable failure. But we communists hold aloft the red flag in as many as 12 states.
In the Chinese conditions itself Mao said “Many regions will remain guerrilla zones for a long time” and further he said that “To sit by idly, neither moving nor fighting, or to move about without fighting, would be an intolerable attitude for a guerrilla unit.” (Ibid, p.93) It means the armed units should be engaged in battles with the enemy regularly to sustain and extend the area. This constant battle is very much needed.
Whatever mistakes we have made, time-to-time lessons are also drawn by our central committee. Due to this approach we extend the struggle to newer and newer areas. The terrain and people’s support gave us a scope to sustain in the past 25 years. This extended area, small guerrilla units among the people and recruitment of the local youth are all paving the way to build guerrilla bases where people’s democratic power in embryonic from has taken birth and is growing towards the base area. The present area of guerrilla war is never comparable to the areas fought in China. Yet we are on the move.
Even in China for the growth and transformation of guerilla zones into base areas they had to flush out the enemy forces and then built bases. Some areas were built directly as bases. In an adverse condition some bases will be lost then they will remain as guerrilla zones. At the time of strategic offensive too, if revolutionaries make biggest mistakes then again strategic equilibrium or strategic defensive stage will come. A reversal in the process, so to say. In Mao’s words, “Mistakes in our leadership or strong enemy pressure may cause a reversal of the state of affairs described above, i.e., a guerrilla base may turn into an area under relatively stable enemy occupation. Such changes are possible, and they deserve special vigilance on the part of guerrilla commanders.” (Ibid, p.97)
So, some times our units and area may shrink, but taking the support of nearby areas again our forces will be built because we have the mass base. If that is not there where from new recruits come in the midst of war and serious enemy attacks. Advance, retreat, again advance to newer and vaster areas is the process to strengthen guerrilla bases and forces. The area under our control and influence is bigger in size with greater mass support and greater number of committed cadres than in the struggling areas of Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and many Latin American countries. We are glad to say that the size of our struggling areas is greater than that of current guerrilla zones of Peru, Philippines, Turkey, etc.
At the same time China’s development was entirely different in comparison to ours. China got the help of the USSR, Vietnam depended on China and Russia. Today there are no red China and red Russia with the communist role of internationalism. The Maoists know this from the beginning. At the time of Naxalbari the Chinese Communist Party was with the Naxalbari struggle and the CPI(ML) instead of supporting the CPI(M). Soon the world socialist base turned into a revisionist base and started maintaing relations with the Indian revisionists. In an adverse conditions we are advancing. Where the party and guerrilla forces are weak, we are receiving help from where we are strong in our country. All the areas are interlinked. So we keep sustaining and the enemy is getting more and more scared.
Let us take a look at Nepal. The CPN(Maoist) built its bases on its own not as it occurred in China. Even then the CPN(Maoist) is controlling 80-85% of the total area of Nepal and only a few days back some cities and districts HQ come under the control of the PLA. Before establishing the bases there was no regular war between the two opposite armies. The PLA is there with Nepal’s own peculiarities and it is growing by leaps and bounds.
Let us look at Srilanka and the LTTE. They have no proletariat ideology but they have active support base among the Tamils. So they sustained. Due to their accurate calculation on the enemy forces they could defeat the strong Indian forces also with the mass support.
In Indian conditions the process is different but now with the extended area, suitable terrain and the people tested in the class struggle will give sleepness nights to the enemy forces. The areas that the Maoists selected certainly represent the advancement of thinking on building the bases. That is why our party clearly cautioned that, “while taking into account factors favourable to the enemy, we must, in the course of carrying out the protected people’s war, take many more precautions and we should establish liberated areas by developing guerrilla zones keeping in mind that it is not possible to build liberated areas in quick succession.” (Strategy & Tacics, p.45)
‘Spectre’ of Revolutionary Marxism Haunting
Social Fascist CPM
Now let us check once again how Sundaraiah expressed his and his party’s supine position after the of India-China war on armed struggle and on going underground. Rejecting the fear of “Preparations for Telangana type Armed struggle” Sundaraiah gave the undertaking, “Let me once again categorically deny the slander that we are preparing to go underground for making preparations for a Telangana type armed struggle to coincide with a future Chinese invasion of our country…..If we have had any thought of going underground, how is that myself, instead of going underground, had started setting up our party head quarters at New Delhi and fixing up cadres for our English and Hindi organs be published from there? How is it that I had shifted my headquarters of our party?” (Documents of the Communist movement in India, vol. XI, p.47, NBA, Kolkata)
In this background we have to understand Anil Biswas’s article and his understanding regarding armed struggle and guerrilla war. The party and its central and state leadership from 1925 to 67 abode by the peaceful means and always avoided the question of seizure of political power by armed struggle. At the time of the Telangana armed struggle its leadership accepted protracted path. Actually, the armed struggle was advanced and it sustained in Telangana. But the central leadership did not even try to extend this armed rebellion to bordering states or countrywide. The majority CC supported Ravi Narayan Reddy, the betrayer of the Telangana armed struggle, when it was advancing and finally the struggle was withdrawn.
At the early stage of the movement there was no clear-cut idea, regarding the seizure of power. But in course of anti-feudal struggle the party’s Telangana leadership first accepted the Chinese path and advanced the struggle. At that time Chinese revolution advanced boldly towards a victory facing many a hardship, ebb and tide. After the advancement of the Telangana armed peasant movement the party leadership had no idea as to how a vanguard of the revolution will play a correct role to organize its own class.
In the history of the Indian democratic revolution, the CPI leadership had not shown the communist consciousness which is a must for a vanguard party. The history of the Indian Communist movements can be divided into periods beginning from 1925 to 46 (the period ending with the Tebhaga movement in Bengal, that started spontaneously and the CPI supported them and withdrew against the opinion of militant leaders of Kakdwip and other places); 1946-51 (out-break of Telangana struggle and later official withdrawal was announced by the CPI leadership) later 1952-67 (parliamentary politics period) and 1967 (revolutionary forces broke away from the CPM and Naxalbari spring thunder echoed countrywide) onwards as revolution vs. revisionism. Struggle went on. At the time of Great Debate itself Mao warned, “Revisionism is the main danger”.
The transformation of the CPM into a ruling class party was completed and in the Indian context the revisionists turned into social fascists and the struggle between revolutions vs. social fascism was sharpened. But the mask of Marxism they wore was not torn completely. To misguide the masses the CPM was cleverly utilizing its Marxist phraseology without any militant struggle. Indian social fascists are now playing a role model as saviours of the existing system against the revolutionary movement. When the democratic revolution has not been completed in a country like ours, imperialism, feudalism, comprador bourgeoisie shall never allow a peaceful process towards the seizure of political power. If a revisionist party adjusts itself for a few assembly and parliamentary seats or legislative power in one or two states it can never play the role to seize the power. The Communists will always lead the people to achieve victory in their own country and will play a vanguard role to win the world revolution.
So the current debate is a useful one to further polarize the forces to intensify the class struggle in India as a part of world revolution to counter revisionism and social democracy on a global scale.
In Oct. 3-9 issue of ‘Peoples Democracy’, Anil Biswas wrote an article captioned, “Once again haunted by the ‘spectre of communism’. In this article he gave a sub-title ‘Inevitability of class struggle’ in which he referred to Marx and Engles freely to show himself as if he were a genuine communist and stands for class struggle. He wrote “In a social set-up overwhelmed by class exploitation, there is no way one can expect democracy to function. Whatever little there is by way of democratic norms comes out of the womb of class struggle and is never a merciful gift of the ruling classes”.
He further explained that class struggle would be in three forms viz. economic, political and ideological struggles. There is no mechanical separation among the forms of struggles. Anil Biswas clearly avoided the form of war that must be the main form to seize the power. All other forms will assist to advance the war once it breaks out. Here lies the cunning nature of the CPM leadership. In one para he wrote that “economic struggle alone can never change the character of exploitation, not can it end exploitation. Capture of state power alone can lead to a change in the correlation of production relationship.” Even he wrote that “struggle is waged in various forms, in and outside of the parliament towards the ultimate aim of winning of the state power by the working class.”
To lead even low level political and economic movements there is no compulsion on your party to be a communist. Bourgeoisie will always try to rally the masses with them on certain political and economic demands that will enable them to fortify their power. To overthrow feudalism, bourgeoisie fought many battles in Europe by putting political demands. In our country parliamentary parties in the Opposition and even the NGOs are exposing the party in power on certain issues at a particular period. To cover its ‘Marxist’ face it needs more attractive slogans and calls than any other parliamentary parites. True Marxists will lead the political and economic struggles to seize power.
Anil Biswas babu perhaps you have heard the proverbs like ‘The cat goes to temple after killing mice to take sanyas’ and ‘Devils chant the mantras’. Now your role is the same. You and your party belong to the ruling classes suppressing the little democracy left in your ruling states, and being confined to parliament and legislative assemblies you chant from Marxist classies and quote from Marx, Engles et al and talk occasionally of class struggle and seizure of power. Well! ‘Comrade’! Long live the CPM and its Central Committee under your ideological and organisational leadership! You enjoy the prerogative of this mammoth state machinery: chant Marxist phrases unopposed and hunt with the state to kill revolutionary Marxists in India.
Indian Revolution is a Part of World Revolution
Our document on strategy and tactics clearly asserted that, “The history of social development throughout the world since the emergence of class divided society is the history of class struggles itself. In the process of social development the revolutionary struggles of the peoples of different countries proceed through different stages and these struggles will have their peculiar characteristics too; but they are always subordinate to the general laws of development of the history. The motion of development of world history through class struggle is towards the very establishment of a society without class and without exploitation, towards socialism and communism. The revolutionary movement of the Indian people is also advancing through different stages; it has got its own peculiarities too. But it remains within the general laws of development towards socialism and communism.
The world-historic objective of the international proletariat and its vanguard, the Communist Parties of the whole world, is in full conformity with the laws of development of history. The historic goal of the working class of India, as well as of the whole world, is to establish socialism and communism in the world as a whole.
The Great October revolution was nothing but an inevitable outcome of the revolutionary struggles of the international proletariat and the people and the Great Chinese Revolution was the continuation of that process. The Indian Revolution too is an inseparable part of the revolutionary struggles of the international proletariat and the people.” (Strategy and Tactics, p.11)
The document further said that “India, a vast country inhabited by 105 crores of people, rich and abundant in natural wealth, is one of the strongest bases of imperialism. And that is why the progress and success of the new democratic revolution of India, directed against imperialism, comprador big bourgeoisie and feudalism, will not only liberate the Indian people from the ruthless exploitation and oppression of imperialism but will also elevate to a new stage the struggle of the people of the whole world for independence, democracy, socialism and peace. The success of the new democratic revolution of India and the establishment of a people’s democratic state in India will play an important role in accelerating the world proletarian revolution and will signify an important historical advancement towards the establishment of a new world free of imperialism, capitalism and the exploitation of man by man.” (Strategy and Tactics, p.13)
In this background, here we have to see Anil’s arguments. Anil Biswas wrote that the contradiction between socialist camp and imperialist camp still exists. Our documents says that, “Another fundamental contradiction-the contradiction between the socialist camp and the imperialist camp-that had characterised the world for almost six decades from the Great October Revolution, went out of existence at present with the restoration of capitalism in the last Socialist Base of the world proletariat, People’s Republic of China, after the demise of Com. Mao in 1976.
However, the struggle between socialism and capitalism will continue to exist through out the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution. Today it is manifested chiefly in the ideological, political and cultural spheres and as a struggle between the two contending classes - the proletariat, representing the forces of socialism, and the bourgeoisie, representing capitalism. The victory of revolutions in one or a few countries and the re-emergence of a socialist camp will once again bring the fourth fundamental contradiction into existence.” (Strategy and Tactics, p. 12)
The CPI(M) considers the present China, Cuba and North Korea as socialist countries. So, naturally the CPM will find socialism in the post-Mao China under so-called market-socialism. The CPM claims itself a genuine Marxist party, adopting Marxism in the concrete conditions of India. So certainly, it will claim, the contradiction between socialism and imperialism still exists.
If one analyses the class character of the CPM one finds easily that it never represents revolution. Let us see its tall claim. Recently when its ideologue and first ranking leader Sitaram Yechury led a multiparty delegation team to Nepal. Peoples Democracy the central official organ of the CPM, reports on Nepal visit in the first week of October 2005 claiming that “The solidarity visit was fruitful” and “as a gesture of reciprocation the Indian delegation invited a delegation of the seven party alliance in Nepal to visit India at their convenience.” The leader of Indian delegation further assured that, “There cannot be any question of India harbouring Nepali Maoists”.
When the Nepali Maoists are fighting to overthrow the monarchy and have established base areas and a revolutionary army and are controlling more than 85% land of the Himalayan Kingdom and representing absolute majority of the masses the CPM extended all support to the state of Nepal, and Nepali bourgeois parties, and revisionists were welcomed and supported by the CPM. It only glaringly shows that counter revolutionary forces like the CPI(M) never support revolution and always represent the interests of oppressor classes politics. Actually the delegation represents the views of Indian expansionism using the name of Marxism and to serve better the Congress/UPA government the delegation went to Nepal with a big fanfare. One can remember the proverb: birds of the same feather flock together.
Our Stand On Elections
In European countries capitalism and its institutions came into existence through intense fight against feudalism. Whereas in our country feudalism and imperialism co-existed and the parliamentary institutions were formed with the blessings of the British Crown. Before it was Constituent assembly and after 1947 we had a parliament yet the laws and rules have not changed much. An independent and feudal India changed into colonial and semi-feudal India and then into a semi-colonial and semi-feudal India.
When the first General elections took place in 1952, the undivided CPI participated in it. However, participation in the electoral process started during the colonial period itself. At that time of the first general elections the Telangana armed revolution was withdrawn to participate in general elections. Within the Party it was a big debate whether to continue the Telangana struggle or to withdraw. The majority of the CC opted for elections. The Telangana cadres and masses opted for continuing the struggle. At this juncture a delegation went to Russia to meet Com. Stalin and after coming back, they falsely propagated that it was advised by the then international leadership to participate in elections.
It should be remembered that the leaders of the Congress considered that the British rule was necessary and a boon for India. The colonial government supported by the opportune-seekers portrayed a rosy picture of the British sense of justice and fair play’. Under the growing pressure of the freedom movement, in the year 1861, the ‘British government decided to install a legislative body in India. The Indian Council Acts, 1861 came into being. Right in the following year emerged India’s first legislature. In a state like Bengal, the Legislative Council of Bengal was born in 1862 and within 30 years its membership rose to 20, out of it 7 were elected. The colonial government introduced the process to derail the mounting militant outbursts and diffuse the tensions.
The significant steps that followed were (i) Morley-Minto Reforms (1909) enabling one Indian to be a nominated member of the Governor General’s Executive Council, along with an increase in the representatives, to the central and state legislatives. (ii) The Montague Chelmsford Reforms of 1919-20 creating two central houses delivering some limited responsibilities to some Indians along with allowance of some responsibilities to the Indian ministers as regards states, an improved dual-rule system and (iii) the most important, the Government of India Act 1935 — ironically that also constitutes two-thirds of the so-called free Indian’s Constitution — bringing about a change for greater participation of the natives in India. The 1935 Act, under the colonial system based on Lord Linlithgow proposals, was initially opposed by the CPI and the Congress but was soon accepted as a step forward, ‘marking a non-violent path to freedom and democracy’. Indian business magnets and Gandhian leaders soon jumped to the prospect of ministry-making under this Act. with all its limitations, even “remaining silent about Dominion Status” [Sumit Sarkar, Modern India, Macmillan India Limited, New Delhi, p.338].
On the very next day of the RIN revolt, on 18th February 1946, the British Prime Minister Attlee announced the formation of a Cabinet Mission comprising Lord Pethic Lawrence, Sir Strafford Cripps and Mr. A.V. Alexander. The Cabinet Mission declared a plan on the future Indian constitutional set-up prior to the transfer of power. On June 26, 1946, P.G.Griffiths, leader of the European Group in the Indian Central Legislative Assembly, said in a speech: “India, in the opinion of many, was on the verge of a revolution before the British Cabinet Mission arrived. The Cabinet Mission has at least postponed, if not eliminated, the danger”. On 6th July 1946, the Congress Working Committee approved the Cabinet Mission Plan. Later, on 5th March, 1947, Stafford Cripps said in the British Parliament that there were two alternatives before the British Government either to maintain British direct power in India by a considerable reinforcement of forces or to make a political transfer of power on the 1947 settlement. Cripps was candid to declare that the second option was the best possible one. This alone could ensure British presence through the transfer of power to the Indian reactionary classes, making them junior partners in defending British interests and avoiding an anti-imperialist revolution.
British imperialism studied the gravity of the situation. The February Declaration of 1947 led to its expected end by dishing out the notorious Mountbatten Plan to grant Dominion Status with the partition of India. The February Declaration made it clear that no constitution for India drawn up by a Constituent Assembly be acceptable if not “in accordance with the proposals” contained in the Cabinet Mission Plan. Revealingly it further warned that if the Indian Constitution is not approved by Britain, the British government would have to “consider to whom the powers of the Central Government in British India should be handed over”.
This notorious Declaration of February 1947 was the significant policy statement for the peaceful transfer of power on 15 August 1947. This makes it abundantly clear what role the Constituent Assembly in India could play, lacking in any power of formulating a Constitution for India. The very Constituent Assembly was also not formed on the basis of universal suffrage of the Indian people in a condition free from imperialist pressures, conditions and manoeuvres. It was not the sovereign will of the people and the preliminary preparations for the formation of the Constituent Assembly were carried out by the governors of provinces according to the directive of June 16, 1946 from the British Governor General. The legislatures formed under the Government of India Act 1935 had the so-called elected representatives based on property and qualifications along with membership of Princely states. What is notable is that the provincial governors, acting on the strength of the Government of India Act 1935 called the provincial legislatures into session to elect representatives to the Constituent Assembly. The more ridiculous side of this farcical democratic basis of “free India” is that the most important personalities like Jinnah, Nehru, Ambedkar, etc. were not even ‘elected’ members of such legislatures formed and dictated by the colonial rulers.
A few words are necessary to shed light on the CPI role vis a vis the above farcical process. Soon after the operation of the Government of India Act 1935 the CPI joined the anti-revolutionary process and could send, in 1937 itself, its leader Bankim Mukherjee to the united Bengal legislature. In 1945, Jyoti Basu, Rup Narayana Roy and Ratan Lal Brahman could become the members of the Bengal Legislative Assembly. And then the CPI had sent Soam Nath Lahiri to the Constituent Assembly. The training in the notorious colonial “democratic” process, in however small way, had ultimately helped in opening the floodgates of parliamentarism in the future.
Already, we have seen in this article the CPI leadership did not show any interest nor did it make any concrete analysis and plan to rally the people under its leadership (the then undivided CPI) to overthrow the Raj. Due to this wrong understanding and liberal bourgeois outlook, economism and class collaborationist opportunistic outlook of the 2nd International the party leadership left the path of struggle and shifted to Delhi, to build an open and legal party which continues to participate in elections without any preparations for armed struggle.
This right opportunism of the leadership further consolidated and took a full shape when the international communist movement got divided over two lines for capturing the state power. One was the path of peaceful transformation advocated by the Russian leadership and the other was for armed struggles, may be protracted or insurrection, depending on the concrete condition of a country. The path of peaceful transformation suited to our great leadership’s world outlook. So the Danges, Nambudripads, Gopalans, Rajeshwars, Sundaraiahs etc. all jumped to the politics of elections and pledged not to go underground and not to build an underground party, the people’s liberation army for ever. So the forces within the Party that always represented the revolutionary outlook revolted against the bourgeois headquarters of the party and the spring thunder over India started pealing from Naxalbari.
Marxism was made into a dogma not as a guide to practice by the revisionists. Marx and Engles fought with these dogmas and enriched the dynamic theory further. Then Lenin further fought the dogmatic understanding of the 2nd Communist International (CI) and formed the 3rd Communist International to unite the workers of the world in order to win the world socialist revolution.
Way back in 1871 Marx made a devastating criticism of parliamentarism. The parliament as a body is formed once in three or six years to decide which member of the ruling class was to represent and repress the people. Lenin wrote that professional Cabinet Ministers and parliamentarians, the traitors to the proletariat and the “practical” socialists of his day had left all criticism of parliamentarism to the considered bourgeois anarchists, and, “on this wonderfully reasonable ground, they denounce all criticism of parliamentarism as “anarchism”!!”[V.I.Lenin, State And Revolution, In Marx Engels Lenin, On Historical Materialism, p.355]. Lenin added this in a mood of exposure: “To decide once every few years which member of the ruling class is to repress and crush the people through parliament – this is the real essence of bourgeois parliamentarism, not only in parliamentary – constitutional monarchies, but also in most democratic republics.” [Ibid, p.355].
Lenin bitterly criticized the revisionist cowards of Russia who opposed the steady revolutionary preparation for insurrection. He wrote: “One of the most vicious and probably most widespread distortions of Marxism resorted to by the dominant “socialist” parties is the opportunist lie that preparation for insurrection, and generally the treatment of insurrection as an art, is “Blanquism”. [Ibid. p.579]. Lenin adds that Bernstein also accused Marxism of Blanquism. [Ibid. p.579]. Blanquism means the seizure of power by a minority’. It is an utterly revisionist view preached by Indian revisionists that the actual preparation for the revolution will start when the majority of the people switch over to the revolutionary front. The situation for the revolution in Russia was created by the objective condition and mainly by the bold non-parliamentary preparations made by the Bolsheviks. Even in April 1917 Lenin anticipated two possibilities: “Possibly the peasantry may seize all the land and all the power” and that “…. It is possible that the peasants will take the advice of the petty-bourgeois party of the Socialist-Revolutionaries, which has yielded to the influence of the bourgeoisie, has adopted a defencist stand, and which advises waiting for a Constituent Assembly…” [From V.I.Lenin, Letters on Tactics, Marx Engels Lenin, On Historical Materialism, Ibid. P.517.] Comrade Lenin did not bother when the Socialist Revolutionaries charged the Bolsheviks with Blanquism for making the preparations for materialising the upsurge.
Lenin’s Bolshevik Party participated in elections in the European context but such participation was not obviously for ‘providing relief’ from within the exploitative system but to root out the illusion of bourgeois parliaments. Indian social democrats like the CPI, CPI(M) etc. have had enough of experience in parliaments, legislative bodies in India but is there any voice heard to expose parliamentary democracy? Rather we find the reverse i.e. how to add to the dangerous illusion itself. They even dream a false dream of social change by using the Parliament in India. The CPI, the CPI(M), etc. have also joined the ministry in the crisis-ridden semi-feudal, semi-colonial set-up.
When the Socialist Revolutionary Party and the Mensheviks joined the bourgeois ministry Lenin made a devastating criticism. Lenin said “…Revolutionary democratic phrases to lull the rural simple simons, and bureaucracy and red tape to ‘gladden the hearts’ of the capitalists this is the essence of the ‘honest’ coalition”.[Ibid p.557, Emphasis by Lenin]. This is also the actual role of Indian social democratic parties. And if one ransacks the huge body of CPI or CPI(M) literature one hardly finds such Leninist critiques of parliamentary politics. Revisionists cannot change themselves. They only justify participation in the socalled democratic process of semi-colonial semi-feudal India, which actually needs agrarian revolution through protracted people’s war.
Hitler attempted to capture power in Bavaria in the early 1920s by a coup when the communists enhanced their strength formidably in parliament and outside parliament. But he resorted to constitutional electoral means plus terror tactics with the full-throated backing and material support of racist sections of the bourgeoisie. Thus pushing aside and traumatizing the communists and other anti-Fascist forces, the Nationalist Socialist Party of the Nazis became the largest party in the Reichstag in 1931 and 1932, and Hitler was installed as chancellor by President Hindenburg in 1933. And then the edifice of the bourgeois parliamentary system exposed the skeletons in the cupboard when electoral competition was finally abolished. Obviously this was an extreme situation of acute crisis of the capitalist system. And it should be stated that Hitler had already Storm Troopers and Mussolini’s party in Italy had set up fascist militia.
The present parliamentary system that emerged prominently in England and European countries during the anti-feudal struggles played some role during bourgeois democratic revolutions. Such parliaments at that stage reflected some democratic aspirations of various classes of people.
However, at present the most fundamental task of elections is legitimizing the right of some parties and individuals by any means to serve the existing system. An atmosphere is created by the state and all parliamentary parties in India including the CPI, CPI(M), that the upcoming election must bring in Himalayan responsibilities on the people to exercise their precious right and as if their failure shall push them towards the doom’s day. The Indian people have grown habituated to such rhetorics during every election.
Elections, stability of the system, providing a semblance of democracy are all state matters. No class rule behind the state can afford to ignore the very crucial task of winning the support of the people. ‘Participatory democracy’, Parliamentary democracy’, ‘Greatest democracy’ and all such rhetoric have come up to strengthen the stability of the existing class rule.
The great successful revolutions, the Russian and the Chinese - with socialism existing for decades was turned upside down by the revisionist camps and social fascist governments when capitalist roaders within the party captured party head quarters after the demise of Stalin and Mao. The Khruchves, Dengs who were in the party advocated capitalist ideology and captured the power and strengthened the hands of imperialism and the revisionist parties where genuine communist ideology taught by Marx to Mao took the back seat.
In all the countries where capitalist roaders captured power with their revisionist rubbish destroyed the socialist base politically, economically, culturally and in every negative sense possible. In India the CPI(M), CPI, etc. have enjoyed the crumbs of power through electoral victories in not more than three states. The CPI(M) claims that in West Bengal its 29 years stint has been possible for people’s struggle. Anil babu where is that people’s struggle? Can you deny the actual reality that such a long stay in power in West Bengal has been possible only by his party’s purging off even the threat of militant economic movement, let alone the actual movement and by providing the great safety value to the ruling classes as their agents to tide over all crisis the system is facing by misdirecting the people’s wrath?
Revisionism in the garb of parliamentarism was also obvious in France and Italy after the rout of fascism in World War II. During the period of the anti-fascist war, the French Communist Party organized a 500 thousand (five lakh) people’s armed force at one time liberated Paris. Thorez, the modern revisionist general secretary of France (CPF) returned to France in November 1944 after a period of self-exile abroad and handed the armed forces to the bourgeois classes in exchange for an official covetous post of vice-premiership and participated in the elections. It was the first National Assembly in November 1945 under the auspices of the de Gaulle government. France was, till then, seething with wrath against the new set-up. The CPF did not ask the people to boycott elections, it participated in it and formed the “Left majority” in the Assembly. But the fond hope of the revisionist leaders was shattered within years with the amendments to the electoral law by the ruling French bourgeoisie. The CPF saw a downturn in the elections of 1951 securing 103 seats but lost 79 seats. In the ensuing elections in 1958 with a further revision of the electoral law and the loss of the earlier militant role of the CPF, it secured only 10 seats. In 1968 when the youth movement spread to France the CPF lost its prestige and credibility further by its calculated indifference and evasive role. The CPF, which had a glorious role in the anti-fascist resistance struggle, is now a paralytic parliamentary force in the arena of electoral politics.
Like Thorez in France, Togliatti and his trusted coterie in the Italian Communist Party derailed a great prospect of advancing towards socialism after the fall of the fascist regime of Mussolini during the World War II and after. The Italian Communist Party boasted of a 256,000 strong armed guerrillas and insurgent workers. They liberated Milan, Venice and more than 200 other large and small cities and executed fascist chieftain Mussolini. Like Thorez, Palmiro Togliatti, the general secretary of the Italian Communist Party, returned from abroad after 18 years to Italy and began to preach the dangerous capitulationist line of bringing in socialism “not by resorting to force and insurrections” but by going through the process of reforming the social structure. His parliamentarism, like that of Thorez, later received the praise from Khrushchev and other revisionist parliamentary parties like the CPI in our country. Togliatti too destroyed the huge potential of advancing towards socialism after the heroic resistance by the party’s armed force and militant workers against the fascist Mussolini regime.
The Chinese Khrushchev Liu Shao-Chi too advocated a similar line after the war of resistance against Japan ended in 1945. He too preached that “armed struggle in general has come to a stop” and that “the main form of struggle in the Chinese revolution has now become peaceful and parliamentary, this is a legal struggle and parliamentary struggle” and “all political issues should be solved peacefully”. [Quoted in Satya Ghosh, “Boycott Elections” some Lessons of Recent History, Liberation, 3 January 1969]. Had Mao Tsetung and the revolutionary leaders of China not bitterly fought and rejected such capitulationist parliamentary politics China would not be transformed into a People’s Democratic Republic on 1 October 1949.
So also the revisionist leadership in the CPI readily accepted such a capitulationist theory in the 1950s and then the CPI(M) too theoretically and practically accepted such parliamentary revisionism adding some catchy left phrases. And now Indian parliamentary revisionism of the CPI or of the CPI(M), etc. has grown into a dangerous enemy of revolution in this country.
In Chile Com. Salvador Allende who came to power by peaceful means tired to change the law and rule of the country was brutally murdered in 1973, where ‘our’ CPM bosses transformed themselves into lawmakers using the mask of Marxist phraseology to misguide the people. The Indian big bourgeoisie understood the essence of the CPM’s ‘Marxism’, so they put up Buddha as a role model Chief Minister of India. An uncompromising Allede of Chile or Aidit in Indonesia will be murdered and the Buddhas will be praised for taking the peaceful process to power by supporting the Congress without joining the ministry at the Centre or accepting the plum post of the speaker by the CPM’s MP Somenath Chatterjee. Mr. Karat like people will try to ‘guide’ or to be guided by Sonia, the U.S. ambassador David Mullford, the World Bank President, etc.
Social democrats preaching revisionism cleverly try to make it a point that many people in India do still have expectations from the existing parliamentary system to deliver the goods. Well, we do accept that despite frequent elections and all their murky features many people still cast their votes. Several factors lie behind such false consciousness and it is a fact that the reactionary parliament will still continue.
Firstly, the state, the political parties in parliamentary politics and particularly the crude parliamentarism preached by the CPI, CPI(M) like parties are to be held responsible for such misplaced hope.
Secondly, the lack of a strong revolutionary alternative will take some sections of the masses to the polling booths or those sections are coaxed into voting by the leaders of the ruling class parties and even many are forcibly led to the polling booths by the goons of the parliamentary parties.
Thirdly, in the stage of protracted people’s war with the existence of two state powers, one the highly powerful Indian state of the ruling classes and the other the burgeoning alternative revolutionary power centers in the villages, expected to gain strength through battles with the former, many people, except the conscious sections, shall not altogether reject the existing state along with its organs at one go, particularly the legal, administrative and parliamentary system.
Fourthly, and what is most important is, in the path of people’s war in a country like India with extreme unevenness in the economic, cultural, social and political spheres, it does not lead to a simultaneous explosion of the crores of oppressed people throughout the country, or to a series of revolutionary upsurges within a short span of time in the early stage. In the long-drawn armed struggle, the parliamentary system of the bourgeois-feudal classes, particularly in a country like ours, will continue with all its perverted as well as increasingly refurbished features for many years like caste, communal and other varied factors. Here it is in order to state that even after the great October Revolution in 1917 capturing the main power centers in the cities, the revolution had taken a few more years to crush the remaining bourgeois power centers in the villages.
Here in India, the great worshipper of parliamentarism, the CPI(M), reiterates formulas senselessly learned by rote to kill Marxism by presenting a somewhat soft, state-friendly version of Marxism in the name of these great Marxist founders. The CPI(M) leaders have got used to resorting to the cunning way of quoting from Lenin’s book “Left-wing” Communism – An Infantile Disorder, written against the wrong tactics of some European parties working in a specific context, deciding to skip participation in the bourgeois parliament. Such revisionists never pointed to the wealth of Lenin’s Writings concentrating on building a revolutionary party, making preparations for revolutions and also the need for boycotting elections during the revolutionary upsurge. Even in that valuable book meant for correcting the mistake of the West European Marxist parties (i.e. in the insurrection path), comrade Lenin stated the possibility for such participation in parliament “to expose, dispel and overcome these prejudices…” [‘bourgeois-democratic and parliamentary prejudices” of the peasantry and workers [V.I.Lenin, “Left-Wing” Communism – An Infantile Disorder, In Marx, Engels, Lenin. On Historical Materialism, Ibid. p. 656] This too was in the context where the seizure of power by armed force was the central task of the revolution and any occasional participation was linked to it. Besides, in the Russian experience the Bolsheviks sometimes participated, sometimes boycotted, utilizing whatever tactic served the central task best — i.e. preparations for the armed uprising. But here, the revisionists while utilizing Lenin’s quotes, participate day-in and day-out in all parliamentary/legislative elections without any link to the armed struggle.
Imperialism will try to survive by using all the possible methods and will always try to smash communism because it bears diametrically opposite class ideology, which is engaged in a bitter class war. The two ideologies try to overthrow each other. For the bourgeoisie to stay in power and to strengthen the bourgeoisie dictatorship are the main aim. Imperialists adjusted with feudalism to continue in power and the native agents backstabbed the revolutionary fruits and those agents try to enjoy the fruits of power from inside. Even US imperialism assisted to dismember the USSR and now sanctioned ban on Russia trying to come out from its economic crisis. Here in India too Indian ruling classes absorbed the parliamentary left and put it in front of the people for their survival. This is the lesson for us to learn from the Indian parliamentary experience.
So boycott elections is the way to advance the agrarian revolution. There is no doubt that all forms of struggle come into the category of tactics. But some forms will be outdated in a given conditions. So the elections as a form of struggle are of no use in the Indian condition. The role of the CPM, the CPI and other parties like the RSP, the FB are helping imperialism and feudalism to get a breathing space to face from the outbursts and rebellions of the militant masses.
Simultaneously, it is to be made clear that boycott of elections does not mean abandoning myriad forms of people’s struggles. Nor does it mean not intervening in the on-going electoral political process. It only means that instead of supporting this or that party, or putting up candidates, one widely propagates the politics of boycott. Practice has shown there is enormous response to this propaganda, even if people finally go and vote due to lack of a powerful alternative. The level of the campaign depends on our subjective strength in a particular area, and will assume various dimensions. In the areas of intense struggle, with popular support of the people, and its armed detachments, the boycott call would be an action slogan concretely resisting the farcical electoral process through a mass upsurge (like what is often seen in Kashmir). Here, the Old Power will be sought to be smashed and the New Power established. In areas where the movement for alternative people’s power has developed and the enemy forces are actively locked in battles with the revolutionary forces, the boycott call will mainly assume the form of an agitation slogan. On the other hand, in other areas where revolutionary movements are at a low ebb or yet to take shape, the election boycott, for a period of time will be a mere propaganda slogan. But in all areas the political focus will be the same.
So, Anil Biswas and co. need elections as a line for their survival and to serve the semi-feudal and semi-colonial system as faithful servants. If the Maoists get engaged in a war to destroy the system itself they will be called anarchists and phrases from Marx to Mao can be put forward to confuse the masses. The CPI(M) will claim that its struggle with the Maoists is an ideological battle, but thousands of forces will be deployed to crush them in West Bengal. Even at the time of last elections to suppress the people 25 army helicopters roamed about West Bengal. Midanapore, Bankura and Purulia district, which carried the message of resistance to the people, witnessed the actual show of the CPM.
The people who are living in the guerrilla zones generally boycott elections. The administration, police and the parties in power utilize force to see it that votes are cast. It is another thing whether they will cast votes or oppose.
The CPM and other parliamentary communists and socialists are losing day by day their electoral appeal. The trend of wining the seats has declined all over India except in Bengal for various reasons. Even those so called CPI(ML) parties which have been participating in elections never have recorded expected performance as they claim to use the parliaments as centers for revolutionary politics. Secondly they failed to develop any real tactics to advance the revolution. Till the final victory the drama of elections will be continued. Without a strong red army and base areas total boycott and stopping the very process of election will not be possible, but the politics of boycott and the reasons for boycott and the debate on the forms of boycott, about the stand taken by Maoists etc. will continue. Whatever it may be, our strategy and tactics document defined our approach towards elections in the following way, “In the concrete conditions of semi-colonial, semi-feudal India where bourgeois democratic revolution too has not been completed and uneven social, economic and political conditions exist, the objective conditions permit the proletarian party to initiate and sustain armed struggle in the vast countryside. In the name of preparation for armed struggle, participation in election will only sabotage the revolutionary movement. No peaceful period of preparation for revolution is required in India, unlike in the capitalist countries where the bourgeois democratic revolutions were completed and armed insurrection is the path of revolution.” (Strategy & Tactics, p.47)
Further it concluded that “Hence we can conclude that boycott of elections, though a question of tactics, acquires the significance of strategy in the concrete conditions obtaining in India as it is not at all compatible with the strategy of protracted people’s war.” (Ibid. p.48)
Leading Day to Day struggle of Masses
To cover up their misdeeds and alienation from the masses the CPM supremo in West Bengal Anil Biswas is hurling stones at us by saying that the Maoists never stand by the people in their day-to-day struggle. He also pointed out the supposed shortcomings the Maoists are facing for their own understanding. It sounds like if they come over, it will be ok. Thanks to Anil babu for his logic and suggestions! But he cleverly avoided to disclose actually what role his party and its government is playing in West Bengal where they have been in power and where there is virtually no opposition, so to say. Let us see some points he has raised.
According to the political line of our party it will organize mass movement on political and day-to-day economic issues. While mobilizing the people it should set its task according to it. Once the armed struggle was started all preparations would be to intensify the revolutionary war in multiple ways. According to Mao, “... War is the main form of struggle and army is the main form of organisation. Other forms such as mass organisation and mass struggle are also extremely important and indeed indispensable and in no circumstances to be overlooked, but their purpose is to serve the war. Before the outbreak of a war all organisation and struggle are in preparation for war....After war breaks out, all organisations and struggle are coordinated with the war either directly or indirectly.” (‘Problems of War and Strategy’; Selected Works of Mao Tse-Tung, Vol.-II, p.221)
Our main, principal and immediate task will be to establish liberated areas. So whatever initiative we will take will be to rally the masses ultimately for this purpose. We are saying it clearly. A communist will rally the masses to prepare them to take part in the struggle for the seizure of state power.
In the Past 25 years the erstwhile two parties viz. the CPI(ML) People’s war and the MCCI initiated, developed, advanced and led directly the oppressed masses of 6 states mainly Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Dandakaranya, Chhattisghar, Orissa and we have made our prence conspicuously felt in some districts of another 8 states like Maharastra, Madhyapradesh, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, West Bengal, Uttarpradesh, Punjab, Haryana and having general political influence in another 4 states. Besides that some forces stand in our fold in states like Kerala, Delhi, Gujarat and Uttaranchal. We led hundreds of varities of mass struggles in open, secret, legal and illegal forms and in many places we fought in joint forums – in many places we fought in joint fronts and even under cover organisations where all types of open and legal activity of our party and revolutionary mass organisations are virtually banned.
See for example in Dandakaranya (which is comprised of some districts of Chhattisgarh and some of Maharastra) the two state governments never permitted us for open activity even for a mass rally in any name. So in the past 25 years we hosted thousands of rallies small and big where people attended with full of revolutionary spirit by breaking the orders of the ruling classes. It goes to Andhrapradesh to prove how lakhs of people participated in our open rallies when the Congress permitted our open and legal programmes for a few months after the lifting of official and unofficial ban in vogue since 1978.
In Bihar some time we got permission and rallied masses for more than a decade and half. But later particularly since 2000 onwards we, the erstwhile two parties, were not permitted in general to organize open rallies. Even when we formed the CPI(Maoist) our public meeting at Patna too was disturbed and the state govt. virtually clamped a ban. Even our ‘friend; Anil Biswas and his lieutenant Buddha never permitted our open programmes in South Bengal districts such as Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia.
When we entered Uttarpradesh, Chhattisgarh and Madhyapradesh the state administrations showed all hostilities and deployed armed forces within a few weeks. To say this does not mean that we are not justifying our shortcomings but the reality is that we have not generally got any legal and open opportunity to stand by the oppressed masses in their day-to-day struggle. Facing many a hardship we sustained and stood by the people in all their difficult times to rally them for small and big struggles.
The glorious history of our movement and the people’s acceptance of us as their leaders is our strong point and base for sustaining, advancing and extending to newer areas with a strong committed cadre and people who have been steeled in the firmness of the class struggle. Let us see some important struggles of day to day life of the masses in forests, plains, urban, sub-urban and working class areas, educational institutions and the remote places of the rural belts. Our struggles touched upon the social problems and resolved many contradictions among the masses and the contradictions between the oppressed and the oppressor. To do all this thousands of comrades were martyred and thousands of thousands had to bear the brunt of the state violence. People lost their properties worth crores of rupees, hundreds of man-days were lost due to the worst ever-highhandeness of the state and central armed forces.
Land struggle: Our Bengali babu Mr. Anil Biswas has set off a false propaganda that we Maoists do not lead land occupation struggle. Actually speaking, for such votaries of so-called land reforms through state blessings can not realise what the revolutionary land reforms mean. Land issue is the key issue to be resolved in the entire period of agrarian revolution. When we were weak we rallied the masses for all types of lands including waste lands, forest lands and the lands occupied by the landlords and bad gentry of the villages. In some areas we led the people to occupy temple lands and absentee landlords’ lands. Later when our mass base gradually increased especially in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharastra, Chhattisgarh peasantry occupied lands of the landlords under our party leadership. When the peasants entered the land of landlords’ states armed forces too entered and thousands were arrested. Where feudal authority was the final word the landlords and other influential sections of the villages keep in possession the lands of the government. Even to protect those landlords administration tried its level best by sending out its armed units.
When the landlords left the villages the poor and landless peasantry occupied them and it was distributed by the Krantikari Krushak (Peasant) Committees (KKC) or sometimes by land distribution committees formed by the village masses under the guidance of our party. In some places we issued land papers of our own where those areas remained under the guidance of KKC or Revolutionary Peoples’ Committee – the embryonic from of the People’s democratic government. On the whole the poor and landless peasants have got 10 to 12 lakh acres of all types of lands in the past two decades of struggles. What Mr. Anil Biswas has said is baseless and a deliberate lie. Ours is not obviously state supported efforts as are common with the CPI(M).
Some lands in Andhra Pradesh could not be cultivated by the peasantry, where the movement was weak. To cultivate the entire land occupied in the land struggle is not possible due to various reasons. For the limitation of the frame and purpose of this article we are not writing in detail though we have facts, figures and the analysis of land struggles with us.
Whereas in some states the CPM/CPI land grab is basically confined to submitting applications to Tahasildars, the BDO and the collectors. If the leader of the local unit of the CPM knows the laws then through his methods a few hundred acres government waste lands are given on temporary basis i.e. 1-2 years of pattas to the landless peasantry. In many cases the influential leaders themselves of the CPM were the landlords, whose lands were occupied in certain areas of Andhra Pradesh. Even in some cases they were killed by the revolutionary masses. The killings in West Bengal, even among the ruling ‘left’ partners, are a part and parcel of land disputes. In Goaltore, Gorbeta and Sarenga we fought for land with the CPM landlords and the neo-rich who had developed rapidly in the past three decades of the CPM rule.
Wage Struggle: As a part of rectification of our 1970’s left sectarianism, in the dark days of emergency (The CPI, the CPM’s position on emergency is well known to the people) we entered the villages and rallied the masses in Andhra Pradesh on wage struggles. For increased wages of agricultural laboures and Kendu (Bidi leaves) leaf labourers we organized them in struggle forums and the struggles were a great success. Anil Biswas like cowards were roaming about the roads of Kolkata at that time. So they never bothered to study the ongoing history of the people in our country. In Bihar we fought on the same issue and built the confidence of the people.
If the wage struggle starts in one village it will spread to 30-40-50 villages also at a time and unity among the agricultural labourers gets increased. In the past 25 years we rallied thousands of labourers to participate in these struggles. In all the construction sectors daily mazdoor wages, particularly the wages of bamboo cutting labourers’ rates, were increased in around 2000 villages in Andhra Pradesh, Maharastra, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, which Anil Biswas can never imagine. The wages of one and two rupees in 1983 now have increased to Rs. 80 to 95. The wage rate of bamboo cutting mazdoors increased 15-20 times in 5 states. Kendu leaf collection rates also increased every year. Our Party has been leading these struggles standing in the forefront. The wage, which people gets is supposed to meet their minimum household needs but it is not even enough to buy rice.
Less wages are the general phenomena in the South and North Bengal districts. The CPM will always claim that under its rule the life of an agricultural labour is going well. The fact is that in any government department work and in agricultural work government decided rates are not received by the majdoors. So, for the minimum wages our party and the revolutionary mass organizations are trying to rally the people through wage struggle. This will not be acceptable to Anil Biswas and his CPM. General rate for different types of work in majority villages is Rs. 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50. It will depend on the area, work, the unity and consolidation of the semi-proletariat of that area and our party comrades are moving among the people to rally them into struggle while Anil-Buddha-Biman controlled ‘left’ front government is sending thousands of troops to suppress us.
If a poster appears on the day-to-day demands of the people in any village of Midanapore, Bankura-Purulia-Nadia and elsewhere in West Bengal within an hour or two special police batches will come and remove it. Earlier till 2001 CPM’s village leaders removed those posters, and since they were questioned infront of the people now the Alimuddin street and the Writers’ Building are sending the troops to tear them. Anil Biswas will not accept this bitter truth. But the alacrity of the administration and the CPI(M) offices to stop postering by the Maoists only proves how much they fear us and our views.
Struggle Against All Forms of Feudal Oppression: After the set-back of the 70s again we initiated our work in the plains of Magadh, Telangana and others areas. After a break-through in the anti-feudal struggles, we picked mass leaders as party organizers to send them to newer areas to develop class struggle. The Peasants fought under our leadership against the tyrant landlords and other bad gentry. In some strategic parts the erstwhile two parties the CPI(ML)(People’s War) and the MCCI entered to build up anti-feudal struggle. At some places our party had to rally the people to fight with the tribal heads who control the power like autocrats.
At many places big and small landlords developed their own cult figures in the villages and controlled every thing. Without destroying the feudal power, alternative people’s power can never emerge. So, the people were mobilized in both open and secret forms depending on the concrete situation of that particular area. Those landlords who fought against the people with the help of the police and organized others were captured and brought before open people’s court for trial and the PLGA units implemented the verdict of the people. In Magadh and Telangana majority of the landlords surrendered, a few were punished and a section shifted to cities. The land of the majority of the landlords was seized and distributed. Within 6 to 10 years time feudal hold on the villages was torn asunder. Our party led a bitter anti-feudal struggle. They resorted to scores of forms of repression. Repressors were countered, resisted and defeated. Then only our movement sustained and advanced. Telangana witnessed many more struggles with a strong mass bases. New forms of resistance developed and the worst ever repression was let loose in comparison to 46-51 period. This is a fact which the CPM leadership dislikes to accept. But the fact will not change despite the likes and dislikes of such people.
Caste oppression is the worst type of oppression in rural India. We fought and are still fighting against it. In Bihar and Andhra landlords generally belong to the upper castes. We led massive struggles against feudal practices like upper caste domination, untouchability, bonded labour engaging the Dalits and other backward castes. Those struggles helped establish our leadership among the oppressed people. This built a strong unity among the oppressed and the barricades of casts were broken. All those struggles were fought daily and our party led them directly. In the earlier period the party organized armed squads and led these struggles, later the village party; mass organisations and people’s militia units led them.
Anil Biswas like people have never led this type of anti-feudal struggles. In post 1946 period of Telangana, Tebhaga and Punapra Vayyalar struggles the cowards like Anil Biswas and his veteran comrades were never seen on the struggling fronts. The revolutionary sections of the undivided CPI fought these struggles, and those comrades who revolted had been representing the revolutionary aspirations of that glorious past and they later joined struggles in Naxalbari, Srikakulam, Mushahari, Kanksha and other areas led by our party. Whereas the CPM bosses are using the glorious history of the late 40’s till today for their revisionist class collaborationist practice and to get some seats in the elections.
Naxalbari burst forth in the backward areas of North Bengal. Comrade Lenin visualized the breaking down of the chain of capitalism first in the most backward, weakest part of the western world. Again current struggles have been going on in Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia. Most backward areas are witnessing the struggles once again. But this time also the CPM, the counter revolutionary party, has been facing revolutionary struggle as it witnessed during its UF government in 1967 in West Bengal. We are sorry Mr. Anil Biswas. Revolutionary struggles do not spare the reactionaries standing in the way. The CPI(M), the Congress or the BJP – none can avoid Maoist revolutionary fire.
Before the outburst of Naxalbari it was an ideological battle with them. Later their roles and characters changed totally. So, the current battle is not only ideological but it also becomes military battle as state administration is controlled by the CPI(M). Without fighting such a reactionary force in the battlefront it is impossible to defeat it. The ideology of the CPI(M) is social fascism, pure and simple.
The CPM is well consolidated at Panchayat level and is executing its total control on the village through it. If panchayat accepts one daily mazdoor then only he will get work, loans, shelter, social relations and what not. If one opposes the neo-feudal class suppression then he or she loses all. These new rulers are more aggressive than the old traditional type of landlords.
Grampanchayat system is the power-executing centre for the CPM. It is more corrupt, and by which all the resources of the Panchayat and government-sanctioned money will be controlled by the Panchayat leaders belonging to the CPM. A neo-feudal class has emerged in rural Bengal. This class is close to the CPM and this class will only get the loans and work. Even daily majdoors will not get work anywhere if they oppose the CPM’s diktats. In this adverse situation we are with the people. Hundreds of people moved to gherao the panchayat in Salbani area of Midnapore in 2001. Within 20-30 days the total situation changed. And within 30 days big contingents of police forces were deployed. Massive arrests went on. Agricultural labourers and other peasants of these areas were arrested and kept in jails for 6 months or one year and later now they are moving from one court to another regularly. More than 1400 were booked in different cases.
People’s Courts: To control the village landlords we organized the panchayat (village courts) to resolve the disputes among the people. Majority of the rural Indians never approached the government courts for justice. They followed the traditional system. When revolutionary politics began to spread in the backward areas and people were organized in the mass organisations the form of resolving the contradictions among the masses was utilized by us, by changing its nature and content. Then onwards almost all the 12 states witnessed frequent sitting of people’s courts.
Anti-liquor Movement: It was the first ever popular movement led by our party in Andhra Pradesh. The Party stands by the traditional caste ‘Gouda’, who depends on sales of toddy and in all the villages the business was controlled by landlords turned contractors or the landlords themselves. The Gonds fought first with them under party’s leadership, later the struggle was consciously taken up by the party as anti-liquor struggle in which people participated in large numbers.
Students’ Struggles: Way back in the late 60’s our party trained the students mainly in political movement. This tradition was restarted after the set back of the Naxalbari struggle. So after the dark days of the Emergency our students’ unions rallied the students in all their just demands and this tradition has been continuing in various parts of this country. But due to serious enemy offensive and the ban on students’ unions in Andhra Pradesh concentration of our work there is to some extent weak. Hundreds of student leaders were martyred in the battlefront in the past two decades. In some places work is going on but currently it is having no such strength to impact the countrywide movement. In the period 1996-1999 in Andhra Pradesh alone more than 130 full time youth leaders were shot dead by the state special forces. In the rest of the states youths are the main pillars in our mass organisations, party and the PLGA. However we have political influence on majority of the students and youth but consolidation is now weak. Our party will fulfil this task in the coming days.
Contrary to this development of ours the SFI led by the CPM has been turned into a goonda bahini without any commitment in Bengal. It never initiated any political struggle in the past two decades rather it is struggling hard to check its honest members from joining the Maoist movement. As it is now the rulers’ organisation in Bengal so with whom will it fight? The SFI has been used as a muscle force by the CPM leaders. In the rest of India its presence is weak and is never recognized as a struggling union. However, according to its 2003-2004 report the SFI had 32,88,760 total membership of which West Bengal had 13,03,482; Kerala- 8,57,729; Andhra Pradesh-4,92,528; Tamilnadu and Tripura had more than one lakh each, but this force never stands to lead anti feudal and anti-imperialist struggles or any mentionable political movement. Then what is the purpose of this force? In similar manner youth organisations’ membership was shown as 1,42,89,210 of which West Bengal’s share was 75,73,243. The role of this youth force is well known to the Bengali people how Alimuddin Street controls it for non-Marxist activities.
Struggles on Women’s Issues: Women’s mass organisations under the leadership of the CPM turned into a basically non-political body. In our struggles women’s participation started from wage struggle. In rural India majority of the women are wage labourers. Oppression on them is very common. In Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Dandakaranya, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and many other states our party rallied women and they fought under the party’s leadership courageously. Half of our PLGA fighters are women. This is a glorious history in women’s movement in India.
Struggles were built against dowry, child marriages, forced marriage, rape and all types of atrocities and equal wages for men and women, was widely popularized among the people. So widely such issues are taken that in remote areas too women’s organisations and party units carry on them with utmost seriousness. But the main aim of all these is to advance the war and to strengthen the party, the army and the united front
In the CPM’s political organisational report of the last Congress were 5 pages (119 to 123) were allotted to report on women’s front activities but concretely speaking that is no report describing what struggles they have led for women. They reported with all pride that in the propaganda for “election campaign” women participated and that there was little scope to work “against the communal forces” and social impact of neo-liberal policies. So the Maoists and the fake Marxists stand far apart on women’s question in India.
In the same report under “Violence against women” it is stated that some mobilization was made directly in Haryana, Bihar and Tamilnadu” (p.122) But ‘our friends’ Anil-Buddha-Biman trio’s police attacked and harassed the participants when a forum called, ‘Forum against violence on women’ organized a seminar in 2003 in Kolkata. This was the actual struggle in the women’s front taken by ‘great’ Anil Biswas and police Buddha by means of harassing hundreds of women in Midnapore-Bankura-Purulia districts. Mothers and sisters of our party, of the PLGA and mass organisations have been facing police high handedness regularly.
Struggles for Remunerative Prices: Apart from land, daily wages, anti-liquor and other anti-feudal struggles, revolutionary peasant organisations rallied peasantry on many issues. The Party propagates its stand first then underground kisan unions, different cover organisations, joint fronts, issue-based temporary committees are formed to lead the struggle. Here the nature of struggle forms and the purpose itself are totally different in respect of the CPM and the CPI(Maoist) positions.
So, for remunerative prices for paddy, cereals, sugarcane, chilli, tamarind were taken up by the peasants under our leadership. For forest produce also we took struggles in many forms. When the forest department did not accept the demanded rates the local small business men purchased it or in some cases the party opened collecting and purchasing centers under different covers because all the struggles and participants are facing innumerable problems under the state.
When peasantry suffered from regular draught co-operatives were formed to collect and supply paddy seeds to the needy peasantry.
Struggle for agricultural development: In the backward areas where cultivation methods were not much developed and the capital for cultivation was less in all the cases the party initiated forming different organisations. Such as vikas committees in 5 states. Even in the plains of Telangana (Majori area comprising 75%-80%, some plain parts of West Bengal, Uttarpradesh and North Bihar were covered by us in different forms for the above stated purpose. At every step peasantry fought with the state apparatus which is acting as a stumbling block.
The peasants demand water for irrigation, the government wants to build roads in the name of development, but actual purpose is to despatch armed forces quickly. So, we rallied people and built new tanks, repaired old tanks and canals, wells and sank wells, etc. for drinking water, formed seeds and fertilizer cooperatives, etc. Telangana, Dandakarnaya (parts of Maharastra and Chhattisgarh), Jharkhand, Bihar and Andhra-Orissa border are the main centres of revolutionary struggles for real development.
Government Reforms: Our party led people have seen in their own eyes the govt. reforms in the past 10/15 years. When the anti-feudal struggles succeeded and revolutionary movement advanced the central and state governments planned reforms along with repression. In the name of counter revolution, the World Bank and imperialist agencies pumped money into the rural India. At first Govt. departments tried to supervise the works but failed due to public protects. Later the govt. pushed the NGOs to work in struggle zones and they tried to bribe a section of the leadership but failed in their efforts. However, a few individuals joined with the NGOs, government administration, mainly with the armed forces. Thousands and thousands of rupees was declared as allotment but was not spent for the people or on the said projects. Ruling class leadership and officials swallowed more than 1/3 of the allotted amounts. Majority of villages stopped taking govt. projects due to the education imparted by the party. Some alternatives were also discussed and planned by the masses where collective labour and sramadan programmes were initiated mainly in more than 4000-5000 villages of the 6 states.
In such government sponsored reforms the West Bengal state government organized Ban Surakha Samiti (BSS), a pet project of the World Bank. West Bengal comes first to implement this scheme. Through this scheme also the CPM tried to control the villages and filled its men in it. Similar projects were started in Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Madhyapradesh where we are working. On this issue also we fought with the state and the central govt. and imperialist agencies. We have organized parallel organisations to protect the forests. People fought against forest mafia and against indiscriminate felling of tress by the landlords and rich peasants. The RPC, the KKC and other mass organisations regulated the felling for the necessary use of the village people.
The Food for work programme of the Central government was also not yet implemented properly. Our mass organisations audited the records and seized the rice, wheat and distributed them freely to the needy. Fair price shops were also checked and demand was made to supply ration properly. Some time hundreds, some time thousands mobilized to take part in such movements.
The majority of rural India the villages witnesses weekly markets. Businessmen sell their goods for high prices. Struggle committees and other types of mass organisation units are formed to check and control the prices.
Against privatisation we fought in Andhra Pradesh, where the Privatisation of Road Transport Corporation (RTC) was stopped. Teachers, employees, women supported and participated in Nationality struggles, the struggles for separate state. On ecological issues, etc. people participated under our leadership. Actually thousands of party members and thousands of mass organisation activists and leaders led masses on their partial issues regularly. Very few examples we quoted in answer to Mr. Anil Biswas’s attack and misinformation and the conspiracy of misguiding the people to justly his party’s and government’s anti-people policies. Anil Biswas has actually resorted to slanders against us to cover his organisational weakness and crisis in the party and the government.
The CPM and its leaders will also rally the people but for different purpose. The CPM and its ‘left’ front parties are transforming the consciousness of the masses to improve their vote percentage in Assembly and Parliamentary elections. To do this they will issue catchy calls and organize some meetings but all they add nothing to develop revolutionary consciousness of the people.
Forming of Embryonic form of People’s government is the main trend today: Anil categorized the CPI(Maoist) as an anarchist organisation. But the CPM itself knows that, the Maoists are not anarchists but the most potential organisation to overthrow the system. After the merger of the erstwhile two parties imperialists, comprador big bourgeoisie and feudals decided to concentrate their attacks on the newly formed party. No doubt the ruling classes has advantage and the current phase of the offensive attack has been categorized as strategic offence by the enemy, whereas it is the strategic defence for the Maoists. The Maoists initiated tactical counter offensive campaigns (TCOC) within the strategic defence and the ruling classes initiated Concentrated Encircling Offensive Campaigns (CEOC) within the strategic offensive stage. The purpose of these campaigns for the both is to keep initiative to gain control on the situation. Many a campaign is needed for us to deliver blow after blow on the enemy forces to flush out the enemy’s armed forces from guerrilla zones to build base areas.
Around a dozen guerrilla zones were selected by the Maoists, which are spread in 10 states, where the majority of the Indian people live. Seven sisters and Jammu & Kashmir have been always engaging the Indian big bourgeois and big landlord classes, whatever ups and downs the movements have faced in their journey towards their goal. So, around 18 states have been engaged in a bitter fight to overthrow the ruling classes. Anil’s party and its mentors are neither infavour of class struggle waged by us nor are they in support of the ongoing Nationality struggles. Even in their long period of rule in West Bengal separate statehood movements, like Gorkha land and Kamtapuri have been facing them. Due to the CPM’s weak organisational position it had to make some compromise and a special council was formed for the hills, whereas the Kamatapuris’ struggle is a becoming a real threat for the govt. in North Bengal, where already all types of crisis deepened and contradictions sharpened ever than before.
Let us see the trend of struggle by the Maoist forces in various guerrilla zones. Of course the concept of the guerrilla zone and base areas itself is ‘anarchist day dreams’ for the leaders of the CPM. But they know the reality better than any other partner in the left front of Bengal and the UPA in Delhi.
Revolutionary peasant committees executed to a certain extent political power in the Guerrilla Zones (covering a huge area of Andhrapradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisghar, Orissa, Jharkhand, Bihar, etc.). To consolidate it further the Maoists completed their ground work on the following slogans and formed Revolutionary People’s Committees (RPC) at different levels, which are the embryonic centers for the people’s democratic political power.
“In the guerrilla zones and in those areas where our work is going on with the task of forming Liberated Areas, we should organize the people into struggles by rallying them around the following concrete slogans: This takes place through the Revolutionary Peoples Committees, as part of the politics of capturing the state power.
1. Overthrow feudal authority; establish people’s political power.
2. Take over the lands of the landlords, the lands of the government, and of other exploiting institutions and distribute them to the poor and landless peasants!
3. Build armed people’s militia!
4. Stop repayment of debts and interests to landlords and moneylenders!
5. Stop paying taxes, cess and levies to the government!
6. Right over the forest belongs to Adivasis and the toiling people, Stop the plunder of forest wealth by imperialist, CBB and big contractors!
7. Develop agriculture and cooperative movement! Increase production and achieve self-reliance in every sphere!
The implementation of the above slogan, by mobilizing all the anti-feudal forces into struggle against imperialist exploitation and the exploitation of landlords and comprador bureaucrat bourgeoisie classes, will be the immediate political task. As a result of the political mobilization that takes place on the above slogans, the peasantry will intensify the class struggle in the form of armed struggle in a big way; it will provide innumerable warriors for the expansion of the PLGA and for the development of PLGA into the PLA. It will ripen the conditions for the establishment of the liberated area.” (‘Strategy & Tactics’ , CPI(Maoist), p.67)
We the Maoists make it clear that among the above slogans majority were completed and some are in the process of completion. The process is taking a sharp turn in many special areas (zones). In the past 25-30 years of the struggle many achievements were consolidated and the level of the movement has qualitatively changed. Two opposite classes are preparing themselves regularly to advance their roles where armed forces and war transformed into the main form of organisation and struggle. So, all the ongoing work is linked to advance the war. So, the consolidation of the power organs is going on in the vast rural belt according to the line of protracted people’s war. On the one hand contention for power and on the other consolidation of power have been going on in different areas depending on the concrete objective and subjective situation.
Feudal power, tribal authority and the administration of the state have been destroyed in certain pockets (Due to the technical reasons, we are bound to avoid the names of the places. For this revolutionary readers may excuse us) and guerilla war increased in intensity in comparison to the mid 90s. To establish people’s power the embryonic centers of power are vigorously working. A new system of power, which is an alternative to the existing one, has been born in whatever rudimentary form it may be. The departments like agriculture department, people’s judicial department, finance department, people’s defence department, people’s education and cultural department, public health-social welfare departments, forest protection department and public relations department were formed and are functioning.
Last year somewhere in guerrilla bases the village party committee of an RPC took the following review along with the new tasks.
“1. We have to explain our understanding to the Party members and other organizations in the village. We must stabilize them in this work.
2. We must provide an understanding to the people about the aim and objective of our development activities.
3. The Committee members must not stay in one area but move in the villages, organize the people and implement the program adopted.
4. We must not confine to crops but also adopt a plan for the needs of agriculture like cattle, ploughs seeds and fertilizers.
5. In addition to the collective work we have to support the farmers in their personal work like house works whenever possible.
6. We have to form committees in the villages where until now we conducted without them.
7. We have to prepare some more whole time activists.
8. In addition to production we have to discuss and build movement political issues also.”
This is the positive aspect of the work, real communist dedication to advance the agrarian revolution in India.
After the merger of the two erstwhile parties the area and prospects to from the RPC has qualitatively changed. The combined strength of the party, the CPI(Maoist), will certainly give a push to consolidate the people’s power which will take a leap forward for the people’s alternative system and obviously it will be a great jolt to the decaying, crisis ridden existing system.
Communal Fascism was defeated by us in Midnapore in West Bengal: Anil Biswas is making criticism of us that we have no role in the anti-communal movement. That we can see later, let us see first how Anil’s CPM is fighting against the communal forces. If we see the picture of Kerala we find how social fascism patches up with communal fascism and vice versa. In Anil’s own state West Bengal if 6 years back here in Midnapore areas such as Gorbeta, Chandrakona Road, and other blocks a section of social fascist leadership and its henchmen turned into leaders and muscle power of the TMC-BJP-combine force and the same reactionaries switched over to the CPM when the BJP and the TMC-combine force was defeated by us. In Midnapore, Bankura and Hoogly districts we fought with the TMC and the BJP bitterly. The CPM leadership at the village level fled the villages and took shelter somewhere in the camps arranged by the government. But our party, mass organisation comrades waged a real war on the BJP-TMC forces.
When we entered there we convinced all the people who were then divided into two basically opposite camps viz. TMC-BJP camp and the CPM-CPI camp. We took pro-people stand and checked the terror unleashed by both sides. At that time what did Anil babu’s party leaders do? Our party members, mass organisation and armed squads worked day and night among the people. But our friend Anil Biswas and his right hand Buddha sent CPM’s goonda bahini and paramilitary forces to crush the Maoists. After these developments in the whole area the CPM has never taken any mass struggle on the day-to-day issues of the masses. Actually the entire CPM organisations have been geared up to set the para military forces against us to ensure their existence. Whatever cock and bull stories Anil may weave out the stark reality can not be changed on one’s will and wish.
We will proudly say that the advancement of the communal force was resisted and defeated by us in Midnapore, Bankura and Hoogly. This is known to the people of South Bengal in particular and West Bengal in general. The sleepless nights of more than 400 to 500 villages were changed when our party initiated resistance against the BJP and Trinamools Raj. In course of this resistance at first we punished the BJP leaders. They too tried their level best and killed 13 of our comrades in which 4 comrades belonged to a single family in Sandipur village. Every one knows these truths. Those who were sympathetic to the Red flag stood by us at the time of bitter fight with the BJP and the Trinamool combine.
But the scenario changed the other way when we made tactical mistakes in assessing the cunning CPM. At the time of our struggle against the BJP-TMC combine, the CPM took it as an advantage and at the time of retreat of the BJP-TMC, the CPM occupied the village where our forces were weak. The CPM forces then started the attack on us. At first we retaliated but heavy contingents of para military forces entered in the name of maintaining peace for the assembly elections. This situation was fully utilized by the CPM. At the same time a section of our own leaders turned into right opportunists and lost confidence in fighting with the CPM. This hampered our consolidation work. When the CPM first attacked us, we retaliated. This was our fight in West Bengal against the communal forces, where the CPM fled the villages and never fought the battle.
What role did Buddha play with Advani and Co. and what role have the CPM’s parliamentary members played while hobnobbing with the communal forces? Our people know all very well that the CPM never built a consistent movement in any state and countrywide. Against Narendra Modi and other killers of Gujarat riots or in any other serious case the CPI(M) could do nothing but issue some written protests. Every time the CPM leadership made underhand dealings but it never felt to blurt out serious anti-communal voice openly. In any state where minorities were butchered the CPM state/dist. committees only issued statements but they did not fight a real fight with the communal forces. They left the battle ground in their own ruling state then how the minorities will believe them?
Kerala is a relatively strong state for communal and social fascist forces. There the CPM role has been the same. In other states the picture is the same where they can mobilise some masses. There is no evidence that proves that the CPM took any firm stand to safeguard the rights of the minorities. In Punjab what role did the CPM play? What role has the CPM been playing in support of the Kashmir struggle? In Hyderabad (AP) what role did the CPM play to safeguard the interests of the Muslim people in its whole history? In the Bombay riots what role the CPM played to save the Muslims and what did the CPM do to save the Tamils and Non-Marathis when ‘Shivsainik Tandav’ went on in Maharashtra? In Karnataka what role did the CPM play? Forget all. If one can go and ask Muslim people they will paint the real character of the so-called Marxists.
Dear academics in the CPM and its science forums and elsewhere please think over the way how your bosses are showing hypocrisy in the fight against communalism. The communalists are organizing their units very well and they are opening thousands of schools from most advanced metros to the most backward forest villages in many forms. The majority of the people in general can not grasp the nature of these schools used as the cover the communists are hiding in.
Neither in its ruling states nor in the rest of India the CPM did open schools which represent even anti-communal curriculum, forget progressive outlook or Marxism-Leninism. Anil-Buddha-Biman trio’s police will pick our comrades who dare to possess Communist Manifesto, Lenin’s writings or such type of Marxist-Leninist literature. The ‘police Buddha’ will act on the arrested comrades and will break their hands for carrying the ‘dangerous’ books and crush the fingers so that they can not write on Marxism in future.
This ‘police Buddha’ force has been now running schools in Belpahari, Salbani and other areas. Probably Buddha is expecting his cops will brainwash the students to inject ‘Buddhism’ (Not the Goutam Buddha’s Buddhism) which he is preaching aggressively to the Bengal people to salute the MNCs and Comprador big bourgeosie of India.
This is the ongoing struggle of the CPM against the communalization of the education system!
Let us cite another example how our party has been engaged with whatever resources it possesses to spread education to the masses and students. In many forest pockets Adivasi people have been practicing their own tribal rituals and customs. Once Christianity entered these pockets and since past 15-20 years back Hinduism has been entering very aggressively and construction of temples was coming up rampantly. Our party approached the people, discussed with them and finalized that aggressive entry of Hinduism, Christianity should be stopped. According to it steps were taken. Mr. Anil, can we consider this struggle as a part of mass struggle?
In Bihar, Jharkhand, Dandakaranya and other areas we are organizing schools. The syllabus was written. Teachers with some knowledge in Marxism, Leninism and Maoism were appointed by the RPC and the KKC. But governments’ armed forces are destroying the schools and arresting the teachers. The whole village is resisting. This struggle was transformed into struggle between the people and the armed forces. Have the people gained economic consciousness or political, please think over. Can the student community learn Marxism from these schools or from ‘Police Buddha’s schools in West Bengal? There is no scope for the CPM leadership to think over these matters, but the academic friends who have unknowingly joined the CPM may think over how to participate in the real anti-communal struggle.
Struggle against different forms like resistance against informers, coverts‘sendras’, ‘salva judums’, etc.: To advance a war by a weak force is much difficult. Every step should be properly judged before advancing. A modern state which has many facilities will use them against the revolutionaries. People will be mobilised to participate in all the struggles waged against the state. Actually in every struggle where the state will be targeted, the state target at every step will be to crush the revolutionary, pro-people and anti-state struggles.
A set-up of informers has been built secretly by the state to know the information of the revolutionary activities. Generally in the rural side where government mechanism and feudal power were destroyed, as a policy the state adopted the method to pick up the persons who can be purchased or tamed by force, who can help the state to act against the people and the revolutionaries. They will be recruited as informers. A few individuals who are helping the state turn against the village and the villagers and even their own family members. The informers will pass on information to the police regarding the ‘suspicious’ activities of the persons. People are eyes and ears to the movement. Informers generally will be given many opportunities to change their attitude. What is more revealing is that the CPI(M) offices and activists are now the main informers of the police in West Bengal.
We can cite the examples of Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia In most cases of killing informers, the party and the people warned them not to act for the police. They did not listen. When their existence became a question of surveillance they had to be punished after a trial in the People’s Court basing on the opinion from the people. Anil-Buddha-Biman instigate the people and the CPM workers to keep eyes on every person who comes to village, to which house he or she goes, etc. This was one of the dangerous methods to prepare a section as informers to act for the police. These methods will be checked. Covert is also a form developed by the police depending on the weak elements.
Weak persons leave the organisation or surrender to the state to save their lives. In these cases the party and the people are trying to control and rectify them. When it will not work they will be punished in different forms.
In all the 12 states new employment opportunities were stopped. Recruitment in the police department is only going on and for every recruit the police is putting a condition that if he or she can pass on information about the Maoists then only they would get final posting orders. Majority are rejecting such proposals. But some are yielding and people are catching them in 80% cases. 5-10% were punished and a few persons escaped and joined the jobs.
Anil criticized these killings as mindless. Like the police department he also passes the punished informers for innocent villagers. But he never stopped to prepare informers to crush the peoples’ struggles. Apart from the informers Anil & co. formed an organisation known by the name ‘Gana Surakaha Samiti’ (GSS) depending on anti-socials, informers and surrendered persons working for the sake of money. Shyam Singh, a police officer of the SOG, was the publisher of the GSS literature using the pseudonym Dibakar Chowdary. Runu Guha Neogi, the most notorious officer of the 70’s, was the mentor of Shyam Singh. With such worst type of cruelty and hypocricy how will the CPM fight politically aganist us? A shadow police organisation of the state armed forces shall play anti-people role. Police officials, secret leaders and activists of such criminal organisation are busy pasting posters, distributing anti-Maoist leaflets, etc. one can not deny that such organisations like Gana Suraksha Samiti are the ‘Left’ Front’s present secret political wing to conduct CPI(M)’s ideological battles against the Maoists! This type of organisations will not do political fight. These counter revolutionary organisations should be defeated by using all types of forms.
‘Sendra’ (Mass hunting) and ‘Salva Judum’ another two forms were organized by Babulal Marandy of Jharkhand and Mahendra Karma of Chhattisgharh respectively. As a class these two belong to landlord class. Karma’s farther was an MLA since in first general elections in 1952, later his son continued the family ‘legacy’ farther. If they were punished the CPM would counter us by saying Adivasis were killed. Ganshakti would write that the Adivasis are not with the Maoists. The BJP, Congress and so-called Marxists all are singing the same song. To resist us all those above forms perpetuated by the state is a part and parcel of the class struggle. In every country where revolution succeeded and where it failed such methods were adopted. Without struggle, without punishing the class collaborationists people’s struggles will not advance.
Neck deep economism –revisionism-counter revolutionary
Character of CPM in working class movement
Regarding work among the working class and urban areas we have enriched our understanding in comparison to the past. We have consolidated our work in some urban centers and working class in the coal fields located between Dhanbad and Ranigunj, in Western coal fields of Maharashtra, among jute workers, tea garden workers and in many industrial units in West Bengal, etc., etc. in areas like Singareni, Hyderabad, Vishakapatnam, Warangal in Andhra Pradesh.
We are working in many other states including Delhi to build urban and working class movements. Urban petty bourgeoisie generally followed our calls. But the iron heel of the state, including your own ruling state has always been putting obstacles to our work. In key industries we politically influence workers, so your CITU tactics now and then stands challenged.
About our shortcomings what Com. Charu Mazumdar and in the recent interview Com. Kishan told are true. Our outlook is clear and we will improve our work in the way Com. Kishan told. The Centre and state governments maintain consistent repression, particularly in the name of encounters even the employees of road transport workers were shot dead in the period of Chandrababu Naidu in AP. It is the legacy continued under the Congress CM Rajasheker Reddy. Apart from this in the Indian working class and urban movement the role of revisionist trade unions, particularly of the CITU of the CPM, is playing negative role. Our ‘friend’ Anil Babu never accepts this truth because the earth under his feet will move. The CITU as a leading union in the working class since last 37 years and even earlier its ‘avatar’ for another 5 decades has a total history of economism and betrayal to the cause of the working class. More than 80 year passed in the history of the parliamentary Marxists like the CPI, CPI(M) with basically economism, opportunism, betrayal, pro-ruling class, and pro-imperialist role of the majority of the leadership using the name of ‘Marxism’ while many honest activists sacrificed their lives considering it that they were fighting for a good cause.
Actually, Indian trade union movement since its birth has been basically playing the role of reformist union. In some incidents in its history it played the role of militant economism but it was not transformed of into revolutionary union front as Lenin led in the Russian Revolution. Comrade Lenin taught
“Economism and that we shall never rid ourselves of this narrowness of our organizational activity until we rid ourselves of Economism generally (i.e., the narrow conception of Marxist theory, of the role of Social-Democracy and of its political tasks). And these attempts were revealed in a twofold direction. Some began to say; the masses of workers themselves have not yet advanced the broad and militant political tasks that the revolutionaries are attempting to “impose” upon them; they must continue, for the time being, to fight for immediate political demands, to conduct “the economic struggle against the employers and the government” and, naturally, corresponding to this struggle which is “easily understood” by the mass movement must be an organization that will be “easily understood” even by the most untrained youth). Others, far removed from any kind of “gradualaness” began to say: it is possible and necessary to “bring about a political revolution”, but that does not require building a strong organization of revolutionaries to train the proletariat in the steadfast and stubborn struggle.” (V.I.Lenin; What Is To Be Done; Foreign Languages Press, Peking, 1970; pp.129-130)
Those revisionist unions degenerated politically and got exposed before the workers, but when we are weak and not able to play our role as an alternative at this juncture CITU’s calls influence the workers to some extent. Without overcoming our own weakness we will not be able to rally the working class under our leadership. Their negative impact will continue for sometime. So we will educate the working class that to rectify economism, to stop betrayal of the CPM, CPI and other non-proletarian trends we have to intensify the class war and the ongoing-armed revolution. Then only the Indian working class will play its leading role and lead the struggles on all fronts standing in the front row.
Anil Biswas is attacking us that we will not participate in any such struggles rather we will neglect all the forums formed to lead anti-imperialist and the anti-LPG struggle and on other demands too. Yes, we criticize the so-called left front partners and a section of so-called ML too for politically misguiding various movements in the name of leading struggles. Actually, Indian revisionists, the CPM and its partners like the CPI, RSP and FB had never shown any considerable difference to lead the various issues of immediate concern. Without accepting the truth Anil Biswas is accusing us. Since when the CPM joined the UPA, the CPM has kept falling at the Congress feet, and Buddhadeb Battacharjee and Manmohan Singh - the grand father and brain behind the LPG policies – are making honeymoons, so how can Indian people keep confidence in the CPM? But, our ‘friend’ Anil Biswas is claiming that we are isolated and that they are advancing the mass movements by staying in the fore front. The CPI(M) leaders know it too well the dire straits they have landed in.
Suppress Voice of Dissent in Bengal Murders are common for CPM
We killed less than a dozen village leaders or bad gentry or informers [who incidentally were CPI(M) members] or ‘Marxist’s sarkari men, and now Anil Biswas is trying to label us as annihilationist. But the reality is that the hands of top to bottom leadership of the CPM are soaked in blood. The leadership of the local committee (LC) to district committee has been well armed without license. Arms are dumped in the name of ‘gram rakkha Bahini’ and ‘peace force’ units and all the party officials are well armed in the name of facing the ‘danger’ called Maoists. The State police and the Centre know this. The lawmakers have never bothered about it. The TMC activists captured ex-minister Sushanta Ghosh four years back with a carload of weapons but the then SP freed the vehicle. Media Published a number of times photos of the armed gangs and news of CPM dadagiri. But no one was booked under the Arms Act or any act in the past 28 years. At the time of elections in the streets of Kolkata, in the entire rural belt one can hear the echoes of bomb blasts. Bihar and Rayalaseema of Andhra Pradesh may come next to West Bengal in bombaji and murders.
Real estate contractors and their henchmen, ruffians and extortionists operate freely with the CPI(M) blessings in West Bengal. Can anybody deny it? Even for lucrative postings or for jobs, in most cases, Alimuddin street’s diktat is final. The nexus between the anti-socials and the CPI(M) is now crystal clear to the people. Here lies no ideology, no politics except the politics of self-aggrandizement. Can Anil babu avoid the fact that intra-party killings over economic gains have been the order of the day? At present from the CPI(M) activists to their leaders Marxism, Leninism or any revolutionary ideology is nothing but a taboo – is it any exaggeration of the Maoists? Go to any village or any city or town, the skeletons in the CPI(M) cupboard tumble down every moment, every day with an increasing pace.
We the revolutionary Marxists can not but expose the revisionists and social fascists and punish the anti-people goons along with reactionary classes. So we accept class enemy annihilation as a form of struggle. Before executing the verdict of the people’s court at least twice the details of the accused will be checked following the norms of mass line and class line.
In course of development of the history we over reacted on revisionist forms of organisation and made some left mistakes and practiced annihilation as the major form for a very brief period. After realizing this mistake again we corrected it. When we resorted to annihilation in any state of this country we have done it, including in west Bengal, as a part and process of class struggle and as a form of struggle. We are considering it necessary and will do it in the future also. Where and when we make mistakes we make self-criticism openly. But the CPM never showed the sincerity rather always showed its cunning nature. When it became compulsion it disowned the killer members like in the case of tea gardens. But when the killers are powerful persons they disown the incidents like in Chota Angaria and its leader Tapan Ghosh.
In the CPI(M) ruled Bengal, the leadership of these social fascists always provoked, guided and led its gooms in arsons, loot, dacoity, rape, killings and what not. The CPM never spared even its life partners in the ‘left front’. They have been killing the SUCI, TMC, Congress and the BJP activists and supporters year after year and the number has been only increasing. But our wise leader Anil Biswas never tells the truth but always says his party cadres were killed. Yes very few CPM goons were killed. If any one checks the percentage of the list of the killed persons a small number will go to the CPM. Where murders have become a common feature and the so-called Marxists are the main culprits what right do they have to talk on the counter violence? When they are killing 100, how much the weak opponent can do to retaliate in protest? That is happening in Anil’s Bengal. Anil Biswas you should stop the hues and cries, better it is not to kill others at random. But the way you have built the state CPM unit, now, it is not in your hands too. So the Frankenstein shall now act on its own. Basmasura hasta, like the Basmasura of Hindu mythology. Whether the line, which is being practised by the CPM, is the symbol of democracy or white terror people should judge. Yes! people are the judges to support between the CPM and the CPI(Maoist)!
We as true revolutionary Marxists will advance our class struggle and punish class enemies for the greater interests of the oppressed masses. Anil babu, Listen!
People are laughing at anti-imperialist struggle claims of the CPM
After CPI(M)-led government’s rule of 29 years the Chief Minister of West Bengal declared that globalisation is a must. The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) in its meeting in September 2005 gave a ringing endorsement to the line and approach taken by Mr. Buddhadeb. Any person with a minimum of commonsense understands what is all about the CPI(M)’s paper thunder on globalisation and if at all this deceiving party can go against imperialist globalisation. We know that some traditional pockets of the undivided communist party as located in West Bengal, Kerala, Tripura, Punjab, etc. might respond to the low-keyed calls of the CPI(M) for at best some rallies, postering etc. against globalisation, privatisation and all such imperialist dictated policies which are faithfully practiced in West Bengal. Under the CPI(M)-led rule, the same CPI(M) masks in its apparent posture of anti-globalisation, anti-privatisation in the states where it failed to make an entry, let alone assumption of power through certain printed literature to deceive the people. When Buddhadeb is acclaimed by the Indian big comprador bourgeois lobby and the imperialist institution as the most pragmatic chief minister one can easily realize the classes this CPI(M) represents in India. The CPI(M)’s man Mr. Somenath Chatterjee, the speaker of Lok Sabha, has proved his hard core pro-globalisation stance for many years now. When the NDA was in power he was a staunch supporter of reforms to completely open the doors for imperialist institution and the MNCs in India. He himself peddlaed for materializing the McKinsey policies of reforms in West Bengal agriculture. And now Buddhadeb roars “Reforms or perish”. Whatever ‘displeasure’, ‘grievance’ ‘opposition’ to this or that position of the current UDA government are expressed by the CPI(M) they are all ‘Left’ gimmicks as a part of electoral politics and to bargain for some more share of power.
Now the people are laughing at the continual double-talks and double-faces of the CPI(M) holding in one hand the flag of imperialist globalisation, privatization and liberalisation and in the other hand a faded capitalist friendly red flag. The CPI(M) leadership claims its support to the UPA government is based on the so-called Common Minimum Programme but the reality is summed up in the voice of the World Bank President: “World Bank has praised the Left parties for their ‘broad-based vision’ on social sector and infrastructure development and said the UP government’s Common Minimum Programme was in tune with the Bank’s objectives…….It does not seem to be a red flag at all’, he said referring to the Left parties….” [Times News Network, 23.11.2004]. Mr. Anil babu, listen, thus said your Master! And now a days the praises from such classes of people have so much piled up that even dogs cry when you feign to be anti-imperialist.
In its latest drama during the military exercise of the Indian air-force with the U.S. air-force. Dipak Sarkar, the CPM district secretary of West Medinipur said, “We will disrupt the exercise at any cost.” [The Telegraph, 6th November, 2005) The CPI(M) leaders indulged in tall talks as if the protest against Indo-US air exercise will cross all limits. [Statesman 9th Nov, Kalantar 7th Nov, Ganashakti, 7, 8 and 9 November, 05] In Kolkata the police department took upon itself the great duty by forcibly stopping all the main city arteries running towards Dum Dum airport for hours together to exaggerate the presence of rallists under the CPM leadership. Things proved to be a ludicrous whimper. In Kalaikunda the gathering could not exceed more than a few thousand, obviously not lakhs as claimed by Mr. Anil Biswas and the people present at the show were more moved by the exercise than expressing protests. CPI(M)’s protests vanished within a day while the exercise went on. The rally was acually meant to pep up cadres before the 2006 polls.
The pro-US slant became more and more obvious with the CPI(M) Finance Minister Mr. Asim Dasgupta left for the USA on 7th November, 05. Among other assignments Dasgupta decided to have meetings with the US imperialism’s industrial masters in Boston, New work, etc. to woo them for investing in West Bengal. [Dainik Statesman, 7th Nov. 05]
While projecting a big show of protest the Ganashakti or Mr. Anil Biswas never disclosed the fact that it was going to be a “dissent by consent”. There was nothing this time comparable to the storm raised 37 years ago when the huge politically anti-US crowd took to the Kolkata streets barricading the path of World Bank president Robert McNamara. A day before the tamasha Pranab Mukherjee clearly told that he had spoken to Mr. Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and everything had been “sorted out”. All dailies reported about this “sorted out” except the CPM daily. Mukherjee made it clear that what the show would “do on the road will not matter on the run way”. [The Telegraph, 5th November, 05]
People are now laughing at what the CPI(M) says and does in reality in West Bengal.
CPM Always Unleashes White Terror But Never Faces State Terror
Between 1925 and 62 occasionally the undivided Communist Party faced some repression and ban by the British Raj and then by the Congress regime in 1948, since when the party had withdrawn the Telangana armed resistance then onwards no ban, no actual repression, no harassment by the ruling classes of India except for a brief period on the pro-china forces during Indian attack on China. Because once the CPM, CPI, etc. assumed power instead of facing state attack they are instigating the state and its own terror machine on the masses and their leader the CPI(Maoist).
If you check the pages of history between 1967 and 1977, the CPI(M)’s role was firstly to put down the revolutionary forces, misdirecting the focal point of struggle with left phraseology and then total inactivity with some sort of underhand understanding with the Siddhartha Shankar Ray’s Congress government in West Bengal. The early 1970s was the peak period of Maoist movement and West Bengal witnessed how the CPI(M) – police nexus with green signal from the Congress government could lead to large-scale killing of the revolutionary Maoists and getting them arrested. West Bengal also stood witness to the massacres of our comrades and supporters in Kashipur-Burrahanagar in 1971 with a clear entente between the Congress and the CPI(M) with the backing of a huge number of state armed forces. This Congress-CPI(M) sweet relationship was seen in 1969 when these revisionist swindlers came out to help Mrs. Indira Gandhi stave off a crisis in the Congress party itself. The present marriage through the propping up of the UPA ministry by the CPI(M) led so-called ‘left’ is the culmination of the decades long love affair between the two parties. However, once it was out of power as in 1969 it primarily resorted to display its force by calling bandhs or some mass programmes in the legal way but the main aim behind such apparently fighting mood was to forestall the large scale dissidence in the CPI(M) itself and the tempo of bidding farewell to the CPI(M) revisionism to join the Maoist path by many of its activists and lower level leaders. Sometimes lathi charge can be faced, jail bharo programmes can be called or courting symbolic arrests with much fanfare can be entertained but one misses the repression, police torture, brutality by the state and all such acts of state terror in case of the CPI(M) leaders and activists. Further that the ‘left’ tempo created by the CPI(M) has been now reduced to organizing blood donation camp by the workers (The Political Organisational Report of the West Bengal State Committee admitted it in 2005), persuading the unemployed youth in Kolkata and other towns in West Bengal to maintain road traffic control, to organizing musical soiree by presenting film stars and star artists of the tinsel world, etc. The followers of the CPI(M) have now been tamed well to complete their ‘left’ duties by casting votes (and false votes) in favour of the CPI(M) candidates. Mr. Anil babu, could you dismiss any of the above complaints? Go to the people and you can get many more.
Against this degeneration, the Maoist history of practice is undoubtedly glorious for its dedication, death-defying courage and revolutionary practice. We faced set back in early 1970s but as communists can not be finished off we reorganized ourselves against all odds and successfully expanded our activities to several number of states. If we leave apart the number of martyrs of Naxalbari, Srikakulam struggles, etc. of the late 1960s and early 1970s in the ongoing people’s war we had lost around 7000 communist heroes in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, North Chhattisgarh, Dandakaranya, Madhya Pradesh, Maharastra, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, UP and West Bengal. False encounter killings have been common in may states, including West Bengal. New Armed Special Forces were built in the past two decades. Forces deployed to stem the tide of our movement increased by many many times. Elite Commando Forces, Black Cats, etc. have been pressed into service. Indian Reserve Batallions have been formed. Informer network has been widely built up. And it should be clearly stated that the Jyoti or Buddha dispensation in West Bengal has been a committed party to this massive state operation against the Maoists. Is it Marxism Mr. Anil babu?
Under the Sarkari shadow all protest programmes or calls of the CPI(M), CITU, etc. turn into damp squibs. They have reduced the weapon of Hartal to a ‘Left’ government’s approved holiday. Buddhadeb has issued sermon that gheraos must not be resorted to. He repeatedly expresses his wrath against the workers to pamper the industrialists. What type of class consciousness is being instilled into the minds of the workers, peasants, youth, students, etc. is best known to Buddhadeb, Anil and their ilk in Alimuddin street. Actually speaking, under the ‘Left’ Front dispensation even the struggles for minimum demands have been almost banned to appease the capitalists, landlords and their foreign mentors. Revisionists turned social fascists can never represent the interests of the common people. Let us take a look at the ongoing development in Bengal districts like Midnapur, Bankura, Purulia, Bardhaman, Birbhum, Nadia, Murshidabad, etc. and see the real role of the CPI(M). Does it stand for the common toiling people fighting for the realisation of their demands? No. Rather the CPI(M) government sends armed forces to quell the rising of the wretched of the earth. So it is natural that the people will revolt against this government and it is the duty of the Maoists to lead such revolts, expose the social fascist forces and instill into the minds of the people revolutionary consciousness. We are not only leading the people’s war, the party will lead all the struggles of the people like the struggle for getting drinking water, for wage-rise, remunerative prices of the peasants’ produce, for the preservation of forest, for fighting against mafia gangs and all such people’s demands in West Bengal. And we know we can materialize even the common minimum demands of the people fighting against Buddhadeb’s police force, the CPI(M) gangs and all such reactionary forces now grown stronger under the ‘Left’ Front rule in West Bengal.
If we come out from Bengal we find our party always stands by the people in their day-to-day struggle. We will lead day-to-day struggles and at the same time we will ask the people to get ready and prepare for more and more battles which are needed. Once we had some sectarianism regarding waging partial struggles. This is very very past history. Anil Biswas will think only on petti-demands and ask the people not to cross the laxman rekha prepared by them.
We are rallying the people in open and secret forms. 5 to 30 thousand people will participate in our secret meetings in 6 states – Andhra Pradesh, Dandakarnaya, Andhra-Orissa Borders, Bihar, Jharkhand and in parts of Maharastra-Madhyapradesh on many occasions. Our PLGA will guard the venue of the meeting. Militia will guard all the roads which lead to the venue of the meet. The nearest paramilitary camp stationed at a distance of 3 to 5 KM can not trace out the venue of the meeting. Anil Biswas like people have never heard this type of meetings. 1 to 5 lakh gathering in open meetings are common to us in Andhrapradesh where the CPM never could rally more than a few thousand pro-CPM people. In many other states even after having all facilities and mechanism it could never rally more number of people. Still Kolkata is the only rallying centre for them due to long years in power and Subash Chakrabortry type of leaders and para goondas and dadas are there to take the masses to Brigade Parade ground. How much pressure will be built upon the masses we can easily understand. What is also notable that a large number of people now come by bus or other transport to visit places in Kolkata. The partisan masses that once the CPI(M) claimed to have roped in have pathetically thinned over years. Many of the city visitors are found in the TMC or Congress rallies in Kolkata. In all the meetings we prepare the people for struggle and people repose confidence in the role of the party.
One of the comments of Anil’s was on our party’s role in the ongoing people’s struggle. Thanks my dear friend, your daydreams may live long. If you accept we have mass base and are advancing then your credibility will lose. Rallying some people in the states and putting some demands in parliament or assembly will not serve you long to sustain. Because the power which you are wielding and stand as a pillar to the existing system can not help lead any popular movement.
After the split in 1967 as the history witnessed till date there was no popular movement under the CPM’s leadership even according to their much publicized programme. Our party, PLGA and revolutionary mass organisation will meet upon the people daily and call all the village people to discuss various issues like political development, day to day struggle, military related aspects and organisational aspects of Kantrikari Kisan (Peasant) Committee (KCC), Revolutionary People’s Committee (RPC) and the party’s various departments functioning to develop activities, mass organisations and they are all functioning. Priority will change from area-to-area and according to the situation.
Generally at the time of enemy’s concentrated offensive campaigns within the strategic offensive phase the planning for resistance will be given top priority in all battle zones where revolutionary war is advancing. In the areas where preparations for guerrilla war are in progress there resistance and mass mobilization will be given priority. From 1990 onwards extension of the movement without resistance became a problem because of heavy deployment of state and central armed forces. Here the intention of the government is clear that at any cost it will try to check our party and guerrillas to move among the people to consolidate its power and to further the expansion of revolutionary activity. So upsurge in mass movements will certainly emerge because the general crisis of capitalism which encompasses our country is triggering further socio-economic and political crisis towards sharpening the class contradictions. As Mao Said “Historically, all reactionary forces on the verge of extinction invariably conduct a last desperate struggle against the revolutionary forces, and some revolutionaries are apt to be deluded for a time by this phenomenon of outward strength but inner weakness failing to grasp the essential fact that the enemy is nearing extinction while they themselves are approaching victory.” ("The Turning Point in World War II" (October 12, 1942), Selected Works, Vol. III, p. 103.)
According to this guideline we will plan our work. Anil’s outlook, practice and our ideological, political outlook and practice are diametrically opposite. In the name of socialism they are the warriors for the Indian ruling classes and imperialism. Whereas we are fighting with the warriors and their masters to change the system and society.
Anil Biswas quotes from Mao in his article a number of times. A few readers may be impressed that Biswas Babu may have confidence in Maoism (Sorry! Mao’s writings!). Biswas and company already distorted Marxism and now they will use Mao as a new shield, to protect themselves and to see their younger generation does not to get impressed by the Maoists. Already media reported that mock assemblies were organized in a number of places in Bengal to educate the youth not to be inclined to Maoism. Anil and his collaborators must be a failure to expect that the youth will not prefer the new dawn breaking in the embryonic form of people’s political power in Dandakaranya, Jharkhand, Orissa, Bihar, etc. We have confidence in them because they nurture vibrant revolutionary aspiration.
Regarding mass line also Anil Biswas wanted to teach us something. To adopt mass line as revolutionaries we always follow Mao. Mao said to depend on advanced element of the masses and rally middle section and win over the backward. Generally we follow this. Some times due to non-proletarian trends particularly due to sectarianism and bureaucracy at different levels we fail to grasp Mao’s teachings. Then party intervenes to educate and check the wrong trends.
The erstwhile CPI(ML)(PW) initiated an education and rectification campaign whereas our wise friend Anil Biswas never bothers how to remove mafia gangs from his party; criminalizetion, lumpenization etc. are the main character of the CPI(M) leadership and cadre, where it rules, and anti-socials rule on the people; worst gang wars and factionalism for power, rampant corruption, degeneration of all types of moral values and what not have overwhelmed Anil’s party! They know it all. So to convince a section within the CPM and the people Anil as a member on a sub committee on party organisational affairs, wrote in the central organ ‘The Marxist’ Dec. 2003, “The principal content of the rectification campaign was the struggle against parliamentary opportunism. The deviation was not limited to the people’s representatives of the Party. A crass ignoring of the tasks of organising mass struggles and building up and strengthening the Party organisation marks the parliamentary deviation. Another important issue of the rectification campaign concerned the fight against the erosion of the principle of democratic centralism. From these deviations appear factionalism and individualism within the Party. The third content was the preservation and safeguarding of Communist principles and progressive values. The fourth issue had to do with the advancement of ideological education in the Party and to improve the political-ideological standard of the party members.”
This rectification was not taken till now and in the future also the CPM leadership will not be able to initiate it. Because it is, rotten-decaying and crisis ridden social fascist party. In the CPM party more aggressive bureaucratic leadership comprising people like Buddha, the Indian Gorbachevs have emerged on the center stage. The comprador big bourgeoisie, the imperialists and the feudals also want this transformation to survive themselves. Is it exaggeration, Mr. Anil babu?
But to cover up this degeneration he will spew venom on us by saying we depend on individuals, not on the mass or that we are cornered in some small pockets. We ourselves are saying that our party is relatively weak, we are exgaged in building a strong Bolshevik party which will lead the revolution in India and strengthen solidarity movement in South Asia to transform the region into a real focal point of the world revolution, which can rally all the genuine revolutionaries of the world to wage relentless political war on neo-revisionists and social fascists.
Anil advises in his article in page 29 that Maoists need courage for open work and talent to answer the queries of the public. Thanks! Anil Biswas babu! If our party, the PLGA and revolutionary mass organisations have missed any point in your ‘kind’ suggestions they will try to follow. Every activist needs courage, abilities to convince the people on many issues and it is very much needed. Further, the mass line which Mao advocated ‘from the masses to the masses’ is practised by us to check non-proletarian tendencies in the movement. While for the social fascists, mass line or Marxism is not for practice it is only to cover their misdeeds and fascist type of activities. Anil Biswas tried out arguments and they are the same old arguments of the past without any change to prove that Naxalites do not know anything other than Khatam activity. So, they repeat, we are not showing keenness about the people and their struggles; this problem comes from the sectarianist ultra left outlook transforming the Maoists into anarchists. And that due to this ultra left understanding we are not preparing to work openly. So it was asked by the Anil Biswas to work openly.
Actually what he wants is that if we transform into revisionists and advocates of elections then the so-called left can carry on the mock fight with the bourgeoisie. The acceptance of ‘main-stream politics’, ‘independent India and its achievements’, the support to globalisation, to obey the state, etc. will be gladly praised by the CPI(M) and its leadership and only then they will allow us ‘democracy’ to preach and practise a state friendly politics. And if we stick to our principled position Buddha will send his armed forces and the CPI(M) will act as local agent to cursh our movements in the name of fighting ‘anarchism’, ‘terrorism’, etc. Anil Biswas may nurture such a fond hope that the CPI(Maoist) will lay down arms and reject the Chinese path but we are sorry for not fulfilling his day-dream.
In fact to mobilize the masses we will use all available forms, legal, semi-legal, illegal, etc. suitable for strengthening the people’s war. Whatever Anil & Co. might think we will always stand by the people in their life and death struggle against the state and the governments. In this process we have lost thousands of our great people’s fighters, sons and daughters of this land, 13 states of the country in particular.
The World Bank Supported Land Reforms:
A Road Map Against Agrarian Revolution
The propaganda of the CPI(M) about the first successful land reforms in India has by now been a clitched one. Yet we take a look at how and why the masters in the West or New Delhi are so much pleased with the CPI(M)’s land reforms programme and its much propagated success story within the semi-feudal and semi-colonial set-up? What is that land reform Mr. Anil Biswas is so much jubilant about?
In the 1950s Prasanta Mahalanabis estimated about 18% of the total cultivated land [1.3 million acres] might be obtained as above ceiling surplus as fixed by the Land Reforms Act. As a consequence of the massive Tebhaga Movement the 1955 Act in Chapter III dealt with Bargadars (share croppers) in Article 15 regarding “certain safeguards for land cultivated by bargadars”. However, the dependence on beaurocrats and pro-jotedar bias of the Congress government very little could be done to implement the Act. The Food Movement and then the anti-Congress discontent throughout West Bengal inspired the peasants to seize vested lands. The Naxalbari uprising changed the course of peasant movement in India. The explosive situation in West Bengal under the United Front led by the CPI(M) put an alternative model of peasant movement against the seizure of power. The impact of the Naxalbari movement was extradinary and far-reaching to all corners of India. All of a sudden not only the CPI(M), CPI, etc. the Congress Party led by Mrs. Indira Gandhi woke up to the urgency of land reforms in a Constitutional way. Soon after the AICC session in Bangalore Mr. Gandhi urged upon the chief Ministers for taking up land reforms at a conference in November 1969. Mrs. Gandhi warned, “We must act now, when there is still time and hope; we dare not to fail because the consequence of failure will be beyond our control”. Addressing this conference the Home Minister Y.B.Chyavan sounded the necessary warning: “Unless the green revolution is based on social justice, I am afraid, the green revolution may not remain green”. The then CPI(M)’s Land and Land Revenue Minister Hare Krishna Konar – the betrayer of the agrarian revolution and the supporter of state repression against the Naxalbari peasant upsurge – told the press after attending that conference “…If land reforms were not implemented soon and fully in the country, green revolution would not remain green, and might become red. There would be upheaval in the rural areas.” [Economic Times, Nov. 30, 1969]. We the Maoists rightly point to what Mrs. Indira Gandhi, Mr. Chyavan and the CPI(M) theoretician on the peasant front rightly pointed for implementing state sponsored land reforms to stem the tide of bursting out peasant upheaval in India. Not only the rising fascist P.M. Indira Gandhi and social fascist CPI(M) leader Mr. Konar invited Mr. Lanejinsky, the World Bank’s expert and formerly Mc. Arthur’s advisor to India, the latter expressed concern after a visit to Bihar where the Maoist movement was then spreading. He generalized the land reforms scenario in India considering it as the “deepest of doldrums” which could just possibly “turn to raising hell as easily as raising crops” [Statesman, Oct. 27, 1969]. It is significant that the architect of the CPI(M)’s land reforms programme Mr. Hare Krishna Konar met Ladejeinsky, sought his valued advice and invited him to Calcutta. An evidently satisfied media then heaped all praise on Mr. Konar for being alive to the Naxalite challenge and for realizing the service of the World Bank expert Ladejeinsky. Thus began the beginning of the land reforms drama under the parliamentary Marxists with the blessings of the World Bank and the Indian National Congress. The Bill what Konar wanted to place before the Assembly conformed to the Ladejeinsky –Indira land reforms proposal like land ceiling of 25 acres on the basis of the family, hereditary rights to new owners of land; setting up of peasant committees to be associated with officials; land tribunals to hear appeals at district and state levels, etc. While Jagjivan Ram, the then Union Food and Agricultural Minister recommended that the barga system should be abolished immediately and bargadars should be declared as ‘tenants’ [Statesman, Nov. 28, 1969] So Ladejeinsky, Indira, Jagjivam Ram like people too outsmarted our “firebrand Marxist” Hare Krishna Konar in the prescription of land reforms. What is noteworthy is the grave concern from the official of the World Bank to the “Marxist” Hare Krishna Konar about the indispensable need to chart out a course of land reforms that could really check the Red Revolution in India, an agrarian revolution to be precise on the Chinese lines.
The great stir and the militant mood of the peasants on whom the CPI(M) did develop greater control through administrative and organized parliamentary skills could materialize the constitutional land reforms programme to some extent. However, the vast mass of agricultural workers and landless basically remained outside the ambit of the Harekrishna Bill. It is notable that with the exit of the UF government, the notorious Siddhartha Shankar Roy government did not generally dare to reverse the process by forcibly taking away the lands occupied by the peasants, instead this Congress government in West Bengal reduced the family based ceiling level to 52 bigha or 17.29 acre from Hare Krishna proposed 25 acres. Further that Siddhartha Shankar government conceded even a little more than two thirds of the produce to the bargadars, on the condition if bargadars bore all the expenses for cultivation. However, no serious effort was taken to implement the Act. The unexpected victory of the Left Front and assumption of power in 1977 made it think of the prospect of winning the favour of the poor peasants. Thus the land reforms acts including the amendment by S.S.Roy government started materializing with great enthusiasm. What was new was that bargadars were now not reguired to prove themselves as bargadars, instead the landowners were to prove their raiyati right on the land. This helped check ejection form land at will. Later the ‘Left’ Front did not lower the land ceiling in any considerable way. Moreover, such high-sounding words like ‘Operation Barga’ could not make bargadars the rightful owners of land by destroying the feudal system and it was not the agenda of the Indira Government, nor of the World Bank, nor the ‘Left’ Front.
The interesting side of the ‘Operation Barga’ operation and waste land distribution is that all they started clear signs of ebbing since the ‘Left’ Front victories in the general elections in 1982 and the Panchayat elections in 1983. Secondly, under the ‘Operation Barga’ about 14 lakh bargadars cultivating 8% of the land were registered [Economic Survey 2002-03]. For argument’s sake, if unregistered bargadars too enjoy some sort of stability and constitute another 14 lakh peasants, the impact of the much propagated ‘Operation Barga’ is limited to only 16% of the land. The CPI(M) theoreticians exaggerated this bargadar registration to such a height that it was even presented as the continuation of the course of the Great Santhal Rebellion! Various researches have confirmed it that share cropping does not exceed more than 20% of the land and limited to paddy cultivation and a bargadar earns in a month as much as does a contract labourer in a factory.
It is worthy of mention that with the lack of seriousness and political will after easy election victories 3.2 percent bargadars were forced to part with their rights by way of their ejection even before 2002. With the pro-rich bias of the ‘Left’ Front bargadars came to be increasingly trifled with as expressed in the CPI(M)’s peasant front diktat to its cadres in its 32nd session in 2003: “….(It) is highly important to initiate movement among bargadars against the opportunist tendency prevailing among bargadars about not to cultivate properly or not to part with the share of the owners of the lands….” [Paschimbanga Pradeshik Krishak Sabha, 32nd Session, January 23-26, 2003, p.15] This warning against avoidance of looking after the interests of the owners and productivity, etc. is nothing but the same policy the CPI(M) has been insisting on for the workers for many years now while in power. Mr. Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who is now the trusted blue-boy of the World Bank, MNCs, etc. went into raptures during the 26 years celebration of the ‘Left’ Front by such tall claims “…. The most distinct picture of our success lies in the fact that in our State 72 percent cultivable land is in the hands of the poor and marginal peasants…15 lakh bargadars have been recorded! It is a fundamental matter. After coming to power we have rescued 11 lakh acres of land and got it distributed…. This ownership character of cultivable land, what we call land reforms – within this structure….” [In Saral Biswas (ed) Partir, Rananini Ebong Bamfront Sarkar, p.18] Such way of demagogy of the ‘Marxist’ CM sunk into parliamentarism is also found in the tall claims of other governments at the Centre and states. Facts, however, do not substantiate such tall talks. The World Bank, other international financial bodies and some economists favouring the CPI(M) pat on the backs of the CPI(M) leaders for raising such a constitutional model of land reforms to avert agrarian revolution. The CPI(M) too feels inspired to refer to such praises. Now let us cite some findings on how the peasantry is deceived and what the land reforms praised by the international finance capital so much have actually brought about.
In 1976 per capital daily net food production during the Congress rule in West Bengal was 419 gms. While in the rest of India it was 479 gms. The same figure was 364 gms and 462 gms in 1981, in 1997 it was 451 gms and and 504 gms and came down for West Bengal to the tune of 444 gms and 502 gms for the rest of India and then further dropped to 451 gms for West Bengal in 2000 and 501 gms for the rest of India and this further dipped to 413 for West Bengal in 2001. [Source: Ajit Narayan Bose, Paschimbanger Arthaniti O Rajniti] This clearly shows that per capita food production could not be enhanced owing to much-touted land reforms. What is an irony is that during the first 10 years of the ‘Left’ Front rule when the so-called land reforms, the Panchayat system were in full swing the per capita food production rather decreased. Yet there was no less drumming into the ears of the masses by the CPI(M) propaganda machine about the great success story of the so-called constitutional land reforms. For such dwindling of production and also in certain years its increase too some extent practically depended on the inclement weather to a great extent – an all India phenomenon, to be precise. Some economists have even refused to link up agricultural production to the partial and constitutional land reforms. It is very relevant to put it here straight that out of the total of all vested land distributed so far about 60% was distributed during the previous Congress regimes itself in West Bengal when the ‘Left’ Front’s limited land reforms programme was yet to be kickstarted. As a whole during this long rule of the parliamentary ‘left’ the net result till 2001 September was that the total vested land distributed was 10.58 lakh acres and the number of registered bargadars working on land was 11.08 lakh acres. This totalled only 15.5% of the net cultivable land. The rest 84.5% land ownership remained outside the ambit of the land reforms!
The CPI(M) policy makers had to face the bitter reality of receding agricultural production and the inherent constraints of their constitutional land reforms keeping the semi-colonial and semi-feudal structure intact. So the alternative was to take recourse to the much discredited World Bank prescription of Green Revolution to cope with the situation. Mr. Anil Biswas, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Mr. Karat and such people betray the people at every step but always try to refurbish their image as ‘left’ parroting Marx, Lenin, Stalin as the occasions demand. The agricultural crisis was not clearly admitted but rather in the name of development under ‘More Improved Left Government’ those betrayers adopted the New Agricultural Policy – a policy to woo the World Bank, WTO and the MNCs and deceive the peasantry. Now the global American Consultant McKinskey was entrusted with the responsibility to save the ‘Left’ Fornt government by showcasing West Bengal as the most lucrative destination for the transnational corporations. Mckinsey observed in its report that the fragmentation of land was a major impediment to foreign investment in agriculture. Immediately the CPI(M) state secretariat in a meeting in July 2002 decided to introduce a Bill to pave the way for overturning the earlier ‘Left’ Front land reforms policy. McKinsey report had recommended crop diversification from the traditional paddy and jute cultivation to aromatic rice, pineapple, litchi, mango, potato, green vegetables and even floriculture. It also advised a master plan to be prepared defining the geographic areas for agro-centred specialties in particular kind of crops and food production catering to the local, inter-state and foreign markets. The Report advised “Make the transition from agriculture to agribusiness.” [Times of India, 23.10.2005], Quite naturally the CPI(M) government in the above-said bill proposed the merger of separate pieces of land into a single plot. The Times of India (June 28, 2003) wrote that the Bill “will also allow several plot holders to form a company and enter into agreement with potential investors in food processing and agribusiness – the latest thrust area of Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government…” This is the current mantra of the peddlers of ‘development’ through foreign investment and depriving the rights of the peasants on their land. Mckinsey also prescribed contract-based cultivation between the peasants and the MNCs and creation of variety in agricultural produce and it received the green signal from the NDA regime. Multinational food companies like Pepsi, HLL, Cargil, RPG, ITC and domestic majors like Dabur, etc. have already begun exploring investment opportunities.
Mr. Anil Biswas in his attack on the Maoists has charged us with having no faith in the possibility of development within this state structure. If all the above becomes the mantra of development by tying the Indian peasantry and other toiling masses with the imperialist globalisation programme is the sign of development we assertively say that we are on the opposite pole. We clearly say that such measures of ‘development’ was actually started by the British rule and further carried on on a wider scale by the existing state which the CPI(M) considers as wheels of the of ‘development’ engine making an atmosphere of pro-globalisation or rather rallying a section of the people with some illusory gains. This is pure and simple parliamentarism of the worst type.
Quite naturally with the shift in agrarian policy of the ‘Left’ Front the vigorous effort is on to up the land ceiling limit and the agro-business venture is going on full steam in West Bengal. In tune with the Mckinsey prescription the state conference of the CPI(M) in February 2002 prescribed the notorious capitalist theory of productive force bluntly saying that “…It is also essential to adopt modern technology for bringing about change in the crop pattern towards production of cash crops and increase in agricultural production. It is not possible to tackle the situation unless the poor and marginal farmers have their access to irrigation, fertilizers, improved seeds, agricultural implements, etc.” [Left Front Government Our Tasks, Resolution adopted by the West Bengal State Conference of the CPI(M), February 2002. In The Marxist, April-June 2002, p.80]. This is nothing but a cunning spade work for justifying the handing over of the small plots of land to others who can arrange cash crops, with irrigation facilities, access to fertilizers, improved seeds and so on. This prescription is also for the so-called Green Revolution with left phraseology.
Here we must say it that those revisionists and yes-men of international finance capital had already introduced the ‘Green Revolution’ policy and it gained momentum when the partial land reforms proved a failure to increase agricultural production. It is noticeable that before the ‘Left’ Front’s assumption of power in 1977 the use of fertilizer per acre in West Bengal was well below the all India level. But by 1980-81 this rate outstripped all-India level by using 10% more fertilizer per acre of land and by 1995-96 its use was 35% more than all India level. And by 2000-01 when the over all fertilizer use got further reduced in India West Bengal recorded 31% more than all India level (Source: Ajit Narayan Bose, Paschim Banger Arthanithi Rajniti, p.129] In the same way, the use of HYV seeds was 33.6% for West Bengal while it was 30.2% of the cultivable land in India. And in 1995-96 such seeds were put under 54.1% land area in India, in the ‘Marxist’ led state it soared to 74.6% of the cultivable area. [Source, Ibid] We all know how the prices of those inputs have increased many times beyond the reach of the poor farmers. Prof. Ajit Narayan Bose has shown from various government published sources that between 1980-81 and 2000-01 the area for the cultivation of pulse and cereals (poor people eat them for the low prices) has reduced respectively by 48% and 52%. On the other hand there has been a huge increase (more than 4 times) in the cultivation of boro paddy in West Bengal in this period. This variant of paddy is notorious for excessive consumption of water (48 inch per acre for boro cultivation, 12 inch per acre for wheat and 10 inch per acre for oil seeds) This is clearly the disastrous step of the ‘Left’ Front for showcasing rapid rise in paddy production. We have ample evidence from Punjab, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, etc. how such policy of so-called Green Revolution has caused disaster to the peasants, particularly poor peasants.
Already land alienation and the rise of a neo-rich class pose a threat to the poor peasants. M.S.Swaminathan, the father of the so-called Green Revolution, whose expertise is tapped by Buddhadeb gave the sermon after a long meeting with the latter and commented like the Mckinsey’s road map: “what Bengal lacks is investment, but the role of private investors is to help the farmers and any kind of contract cultivation should be mutually beneficial and not exploitative….” [The Telegraph, May 7,2003]
We must keep in mind that agriculture is not only the provider of raw material to the industrial sector. It provides raw materials to agro-based industries which have a current weight of 21.2 percent in the index of industrial production (Base 1980-81=100) and weight of 17.6 percent in the index with base 1993-94=100. Another important aspect is that it is the generator of agricultural income that enables rural demand for industrial products to take place. An eminent economist Rangarajan (1982) estimated that a one percent increase in agricultural output tends to raise industrial production by 0.5 percent. As now the agricultural production has been constantly decelerating for some years now the negative impact is obviously felt in the industrial production as such. [Uma Kapila, Indian Economy Since Independence, Academic Foundation, New Delhi, 2004-2005, pp.201-202]. So Indian industrial scenario in the productive sector can not but give only a dismal picture.
Now we cite below which class outlook the ‘Left’ Front is pursuing and why the so-called urbanization and industrialization are merely a hoax in West Bengal with stagnation in both agriculture and industrialization.
In the production of food per head in West Bengal has already lagged behind all-India level of food production for long and in 2001 the net production of food per head in West Bengal came down to only 413 gms while that of all India level stood above 500 gms. What is striking is that during the period of much-hyped land reforms from 1976 to 1986 the net food production per head dropped from 359 gms to 149 gms. The same picture of decline is evident in jute production, cereals, etc. we have stated above that about 84.5% lands remained outside the ambit of land reforms till 2001. Many economists have identified the fall in food production lying in the ‘Left’ Front’s policy of adopting the policy of so-called ‘Green Revolution’ and the slight and temporary increase during the ‘Left’ rule in some years was brought about basically by ‘boro’ cultivation destroying the water level and by excessive dependency on HYV seeds, fertilizers, etc.
The Economic survey for 2002-2003 clearly shows that at the top layer of the rural society in West Bengal lies 13.2% families occupying 48.9% land. While the picture for India as a whole in this period shows that 14.2% families have kept in their ownership 68.5% land. This clearly shows that the land ownership pattern of West Bengal does not show any sharp contrast to India as a whole in respect of land concetration.
The CPI(M) mouthpiece Ganashakti has drawn a similar parallel in respect of the conditions of the khetmajoors in West Bengal and India as a whole. It discloses the dismal scene in West Bengal stating clearly that in West Bengal “Despite playing very important role in the development of agriculture, not the least of development has reached the Khetmajoors. As majority of the Khetmajoors belong to the scheduled tribes and castes and other backward people both socially and economically they have lagged behind further…”(Ganashakti, 6 October, 2005)
According to the census 2001 the total number of peasants was 129.64 lakh. This count was not based including the ‘marginal’ peasants who had worked for less than 6 months a year. Among them 56.13 lakh are peasants in govt. record. In other words they are either owners of cultivable land or sharecroppers. And the rest 73.51 lakh are landless khetmajoors. Thus it stands out that among the peasants 56.7% were landless khetmajoors. In the year 1991 the percentage of khetmajoors was 46.11% and their number was 54.82 lakh. Thus we can easily dismiss the ‘Left’ Front claim of development when the poverty striken khetmajoors’ number and percentage have both increased alarmingly. Facts disprove the lies of the ‘Left’ Front. More that that such khetmajoors cannot get work generally for more than three months a year.
The wheels of ‘development’ have particularly crushed the poor peasants. The number of landless khetmajoors was 32.72 lakh in 1971, 38.92 lakh in 1981 and it increased to 50.55 lakh in 1999. And now the number has further spiralled to 73 lakh and 18 thousand. Is this development Mr. Anil Biswas?
With the jugglery of statistics the Chief Minister Buddhadeb is preaching on full steam that West Bengal is completely self-sufficient in food and agriculture and has stood first among the states in India. Actually speaking during the 26 years of its tenure from 1977-78 till 2003-04 the food production increased from 89.70 lakh tones to 160 lakh tones i.e. the rate of increase per year had been less than 2.3%. While the CPI(M) leader claims it that the irrigated land in West Bengal during the ‘Left’ Front rule has come first in India to speed up production of food. The actual reality is that statistics shows that in 2002-03 West Bengal came fourth (UP being the first with 3.67 crore tonnes) with 1.44 crore tonnes. Still now cereals and fish are brought from other states in West Bengal. The comprehensive National Sample Survey (1999-2000) clearly shows that the rural population below subsistence level in Indian villages as a whole was 27.1% while it was 31.85% in West Bengal. Secondly the survey states that the rate of rural employment per head in India was 1.3% while it was 1.2% for West Bengal. Thirdly per head expenditure for West Bengal in this period was Rs. 454 while the all India figure for it was Rs. 486. That Survey blasts the ‘Left’ Front claim to great success in ‘development’ in comparison with other states. Actually the shift from agriculture to industry, as the ‘Left’ Front claims, is based on the clear understanding that nothing could be further done through agriculture despite so much cries on success in land reforms and the panchayat system.
The present minimum wage has been fixed by the government as Rs. 64.80 but it is actually the maximum wage as in most areas khetmajoors are deprived of this minimum stipulated wage. The CPI mouthpiece the Kalantar writes that in every block despite the presence of government inspector to oversee the matter in most cases that minimum wages are not being implemented. In some parts of Bankura, Purulia, West Medinapur, the most poverty stricken of states, most of the landless khetmajoors are found. (Kalantar, 23 October 05).
In such a situation bargadars who received land has been losing the gains of partial land reforms everywhere and the rich are further gaining to increase their land possessions It was even admitted by the CPI(M)’s 20th State Conference Report (p.89). The tall talks of agricultural development and land reforms are now proved to be a dismal failure. In the period of imperialist globalisation West Bengal’s rural scenario clearly shows the rise of a new class of rich having close links with the CPI(M) or its partners and by way of muscle power and political clout this new class represents the CPI(M)’s politics, with the nearly complete ebbing of interests of earlier poor or middle peasants in politics A sort of depoliticisation that is seen everywhere under the ‘Left’ rule too evident among the toiling masses in rural Bengal.
To add to their misery, it is found in the latest sample survey that both in West Bengal and India as a whole 50% of the peasants are in debt, generally paying a very high interest to the usurers. [Sanbad Pratidin, 18 September, 05] The CPI(M) literature speaks too much on the pathetic condition of the peasantry in Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka, etc. but never discloses the reality in West Bengal.
Sometime past among 33,000 rural families in 16 states were surveyed by one semi-govt. institution National Council of Applied Economic Research covering 300 aspects of human livelihood between 1992 and 1995 and the revealing fact was that in respect minimum needs for mere living 16% of the rural people in villages could not spend Rs. 3 in a day and the rest 19% could barely spend Rs. 5 per day. Leaving apart the rising inflation rate since 1994-96 we could easily say that the conditions worsened further. The worst states in the survey were Orissa, West Bengal, Bihar, UP, MP and Rajasthan with the per head income of the rural people in a year was 3028/-, 3157/-, 3169/-, 4166/- and 4229/-. This survey clearly showed that in West Bengal itself 50% rural people was below subsistence level.
With the all-round failure on the peasant front being too evident the CPI mouthpiece declared that since the 1990s stagnation has been persisting in agriculture [Kalantar 3 Sept. 05]. And when the productive industrial sector is facing acute ‘crisis with massive closures, retrenchments, lay-offs, etc. now the CPI(M) has been for sometime past knocking on the doors of the World Bank, DFID, Mckinsey, Price Waters, etc. to wriggle out of this crisis. The CPM minister Mr. Kanti Biswas had to find alibi for the new policy, basically a mix of Keynesian and post-Keynesian models. Mr. Kanti Biswas, a CPI(M) minister of the ‘Left’ Front bluntly writes “….Whatever development is made possible for the agricultural system, there can not be great increase for employment opportunities. Agri-based industry has been emphasized. Without industrialization no such great advantage can be brought forth – this stark reality has to be understood…” [Ganashakti, 12 October, 2005] Mr. minister Kanti Biswas actually speaks from McKinsey Report and in tune with the World Bank approved reforms. The stark reality what our CPI(M) double-dealers never dare to clearly speak to the people. But who can conceal the open prescriptions of the CPI(M)’s new masters?
We the Maoists clearly challenge the tall claims of industrialization. Indian city scenario does prove it cogently that the industrial units, even if some take off in reality in this system can not absorb the army of unemployed, increasing with every passing day. Now it is the capital-intensive industries such Industrialisation is for jobless growth.
The CPI(M)’s Alibi for Industrialisation: A Hoax
If simplified, it can be said that the village helps in industrialization by way of providing food for the workers, supplying raw materials for the industries and creating the market. This complementary relationship does not posit the village against the city, rather it makes it clear that the more the productivity of the village, the more the enrichment of the industry. Of course in such a general proposition we defer for the time being the very crucial question of the possibility of productivity, social justice, political, economic and cultural rights of the peasantry as lying in the fundamental question of land reforms, independent economic development and such other relevant issues.
India is a third world country where this complementary relationship between the village and the city is essential. This is more so in respect of the question of decentralization of power and economy, in which the village too can emerge as the core of industrialization process. The village cannot exhaust itself solely by supplying raw materials for industry. And the other most important question is that industry can not sustain without producing goods for the village and in condition of low economic standards of the villagers. Like foolish Buddha we cannot call for the destruction of villages. One writer Kevin Lynch wrote “Imagine that the growth of population and the evolution of technology have organized the entire globe – that a single world city covers the usable surface of the earth. The prospect is a nightmare. One instantly has a vision of being trapped in endless rows of tenements or little suburbon houses. Of no escape from the continual presence and pressure of other people. The city would be monotonous, faceless, bewildering. It would be abstract, out of contact with nature; even the man-made things would not be handled or changed. The air would be foul, the water murky, the streets crowded and dangerous. Bill boards and loudspeakers would force their attention on everyone. One could be at home in sealed room, but how could one farm or hunt or explore? [Kevin Lynch, The City as Environment, (ITIES a scientific American book, New York, 1971, p.192]
We also want Unnayan (development) and industrialization but in whose interest? The glossy many lanes roads, fly-overs, shopping malls, cleansing of the ghettos on the sides of the canals, ejection of the poor hand to mouth people from the rail-tract sides, etc. are development, we the Maoists hate and oppose them.
Excessive industrialization and urbanization without considering the vast numbers of people in a country like India destroy the complementary relationship between the village and the city. Here we must reckon the fact that here too for now we do not refer to the character of capital, imperialist, comprador or native behind the process of industrialization or urbanization, we emphasize the fact that certain industrial or manufacturing units are obviously better located in the village like grinding mills, oil-extracting, casting, various types of repairing of machines, weaving, etc. At a later stage of a balanced development the village can also be the core centre of small/medium industries and this is rationally realizable in a situation of overturning class relations from the top to bottom. To be more precise, the degree of industrialization and urbanization that a basically village-based country like India can afford must be based on the economic uplift of the vast rural masses and the capability of the industrial or urban centers to absorb the migrant villagers. If the landless mass of peasants migrate to cities with little scope of employment and live in acute distress in shanties or ghettoes we can never call it a balanced real development. We have however to accept the fact that this complementary relationship between the city and the village is not inelastic and non-dynamic. Actually, the development of cities is the simultaneous development of the villages.
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee like sycophants during their visit to Indonesia after the failure in the agricultural sector might find fault with agriculture to woo the Salim group with dollops of anti-peasant offers but that can never solve the crisis, nor can they provide ‘relief’ what the CPI(M) steeped in parliamentarism justifies for its power-greedy politics. This is actually inviting disasters for thousands of peasants. In any case, in our brief survey we find that before 1900 no society of Europe could be called as predominantly urbanized in the modern sense and by 1900 only Great Britain could only be regarded as so. Modern cities or urbanization i.e. a switch form a spread-out pattern of human settlement to one of concentration in urban centers through migration from villages went in tandem with the industrialization process. While the industrial revolution brought about vast changes in the urbanization process, the modern cities/urban centers of the west with 1 lakh or more people were made possible by the breaking down of the feudal order. It was obviously a positive march of capitalism over the destruction of feudalism. It was still then a progressive capitalism over the past feudalism by moving on to the path of industrialization and urbanization. This capitalism in the end of the 19th century itself turned into a decaying system and then imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism did not only carry on exploitation of labour for super profits, annexing new lands, etc. but also became the gigantic power for destroying environment. We the Maoists are not obviously, to borrow George Lukac’s words, “Romantic anti-capitalism” or the post-modern conservatives. What we stress is that industrialization or urbanization for the actual extraction of super-profits, destruction of nature, production of basically luxury goods, lethal weapons and the sway of speculative capital, etc. – all working closely in the country like India with the support of native dalals – through the dictates of the World Bank, the IMF, the IDBI and the MNCs at the cost of our bio-diversity, water bodies, eviction of peasants from land, etc. are only for steady inflow of finance capital to strengthen the noose around Indian masses. Besides that the current trend of financial capital is not for industrialization to absorb the unemployed but basically for so-called urbanization and increasing consumerism as an ideology to mesmerise the people to go in for goods at high prices basically not essential for livelihood.
When Buddhadeb thunders from Indonesia that industry is progress and agriculture is backwardness in the stage of moribund imperialism he actually wants to destroy the agriculture of West Bengal, to the satisfaction of the World Bank, MNCs, etc. This shall also further strengthen the ‘Promoters’ Raj in West Bengal. The Buddha theory of so-called industrialization under the semi-colonial and semi-feudal condition at this present stage of imperialist globalisation devastating nature and destroying man-nature relationship is a dangerous design. Long back Marx, who hailed the positive role of capitalism at the early stage had also forewarned in this way “All progress in capitalist agriculture is a progress in the art, not only of robbing the workers, but of robbing the soil; all progress in increasing the fertility of soil for a given time is progress towards ruining the long-lasting sources of that fertility. The more a country proceeds form large scale industry as the background of its development, as in the case of the United States, the more rapid is this process of destruction. Capitalist production, therefore, only develops the techniques and the degree of combination of the social process of production by simultaneously undermining the original source of all wealth – the soil and the workers.” [Marx, Capital, Vol. I. pp.637-38, quoted in John Bellamy Foster, Marx And The Environment, Monthly Review, July-August 1995, p.109]
Marx’s materialism is obviously not the ‘Baconian’ domination of nature and economic development. It contained the assertion of ecological values, the assertion for a balanced man-nature relations. It is opposed to a spiritualistic, vitalistic view of the natural world tending to be the worshipper of nature.
Mao opposed the theory of productive forces emphasizing politics in command in the context of his fight against the capitalist roaders. In India too the CPI and the CPI(M) on different occasions voiced in favour of pure industrialization citing the examples of the first world countries.
The motive for super profit, destruction of nature and production of lethal weapons etc. have been closely associated with the present moribund capitalist system and the extent to which those dangerous features have reached any conscious Marxist or even a democrat must think twice before extending support to any industrialization or scientific experiments. However, in Buddha’s case the sole aim is to ensure the so-called urbanization with a very small number of factories (at a time when industries are getting closed and industrialists themselves prefer speculation to setting up industrial units) as the investment/ ‘aid’/ ‘grant’/loan strings of the WFID, World Bank and the MNCs bind the state and its people, the peasantry in general to maintain stability of the system. And Buddhadeb finds such way out in vain in order to stave off the crisis emanating basically from agricultural stagnation in the Semi-feudal set-up.
Development theories and the CPM
Generally speaking the theorists of modernization distinguish between traditional, transitional and modernized societies. While the development theorists speak of underdeveloped, developing and developed societies. However, both of those Western schools of thought basically American emphasize the process from tradition to modernity or from underdevelopment to development. Both of them arising, particularly after the post-World War II, emphasized to take into account the volume of Gross National Product (GNP) and the degree of industrialization through state capitalism or/and private-owned capitalist industries. Since the 1970s those theories burst asunder with the pathologically poverty-ridden condition of the most third world countries. While accepting those models or within the parameters of those Western models – emerging as they did against the Soviet or Chinese models of socialism or people’s democracy – some critics started giving some thought to the question of basic needs and gradual upgrading of the quality of life. Thus the Western modernization paradigm, based on American behavioral approach now began to spare a few thoughts on economic imperatives while development economics, in turn, started looking forward to the anti-Marxist behavioral and institutional aspects of development.
Marx favoured industrialization on the destruction of feudal or pre-capitalist social formations. It is also a fact that Marx in the Communist Manifesto visualized the progress registered by industrialization but simultaneously he formulated the anti-thesis of the process as inherent in capitalism itself with the emergence of the socialist system under the proletarian leadership. Simultaneously, it was Marx who was not a worshipper of capitalism examined the ills of capitalism. His Capital is the dissection of the capitalist system itself to show its internal contradictions leading towards its doom to yield place for the socialist system. Secondly, Marx in his lifetime virulently attacked the growing imperialist role of the Western capitalist countries. In his mature age most of his writings on the capitalist system a trenchant criticism of the barbarous role of the capitalist countries in internal as well as external relationships with the backward countries.
What the present day votaries of development under the so-called ‘More improved’ Left Front in West Bengal push forward is nothing but the World Bank’s development model in the new bottle. It is notable that in the 1960s as United Nations designated the decade of the 1960s as the ‘Development Decade’ with the target of an annual growth rate of 6% of GNP stressing a faster rate of growth in relation to the population growth. Such a model too placed a notion of economic development exaggeratedly stating: a planned alternation of the structure of production and employment. The size and share of the rural agricultural sector was to decline; those of the urban industrial sector, involving the growth of manufacturing and service industries. Do we not find certain striking similarities in such phantastic programme between the CPI(M)’s or in other words Anil Biswas’s brief for the World Bank sponsored development model and the above pronouncements. Here too is the notion of the trickle-down effect or to say it more lucidly, the crumbs of the swollen bourgeoisie landlords and other vultures to pass on to the poor down trodden. And as was expected by the revolutionary Marxists, the U.N. programme based on the dangerous views of pumping in foreign ‘aid’, import of technology, seeds, fertilizers, etc. proved a miserable failure.
The crisis of the decades preceding the onslaught of globalization tore off the veneer of the western model of development for a country like ours in semi-colonial and semi-feudal condition. In the state of parliamentary cretinism the CPI(M) cries hoarse about the rich getting richer and the poor poorer in all states of India except in the ‘Marxist’ paradise called West Bengal or in the state where the CPI(M) receives the Indian state’s blessings to stay put in power. Actually, the problem is that such a development model or the whining for development from anti-Marxist Anil Biswas & Co. is rooted in the noble task of development for the interests of a small section of the rich or nauveau rich, the America dominated World Bank, WTO and the MNCs for being the mentors of the degenerate and decaying CPI(M).
Samuel Huntington, the notorious pro-American theorist who provides the moral support to the present American designs in Iraq in his much-publicised book ‘The Clash of Civilizations’, wrote a book in 1976 under the title “The Change: Modernisation, Development, and Politics” [In Cyril E.Black (ed), Comparative Modernization, New York, The Free Press, 1976, pp.30-31]. Huntington like Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee stated without mentioning the structural presence of semi-feudalism that efforts were underway towards transforming rural agrarian centres into urban industrial centers and that both modernization and development are a global process with the ideas and techniques being diffused from the centers of development (i.e. west) to the other parts of the world. Huntington added that such industrialization, etc. was meant for human well-being both culturally and materially. But the whole model of so-called development crashed within years, showing glaring incongruity between the tall promises and the structural constraints of the 3rd World.
The imperialist stranglehold, the land relations, the built-in inequalities, etc. all proved to be insurmountable in such development model. The cries for development as our CPI(M) leaders with their abject surrender to the enemies of the people, both international and national, would ultimately lead to more and move dependency on imperialist capital and further dacay in West Bengal’s economy. The critics of such development within the existing structure with increasing dependence on the imperialist penetration have also raised several questions like environmental disasters; agricultural decay; inroads of consumerism, the culture of adjustment with the system itself through a well-synchronised policy of extracting consent by way of various types of rewards and other means; the increasing defence budget, etc. Buddhadeb endeared himself, to the compradors of Indonesia, by such glib talk like agriculture is backwardness, and industry is a forward movement. All revolutionary Marxists also do know that countries like India were looted by the imperialists perpetually gagging up the real development of those countries. We also know the crucial question that after the Great October Revolution bourgeoisie can not lead to success the democratic revolution in the backward countries.
The entire CPI(M) policy for ‘development’ is structurally based on the World Bank, WTO prescriptions for free flow of finance and some amount of industrial capital for industrialization, urbanization, westernization. And all such processes of West Bengal are pure and simple way of devastation of the West Bengal economy as a whole, agriculture in particular. We have to comprehend in what context and to whom to appease Buddhadeb thundered against Bengal agriculture in favour of destroying the agricultural field in the name of development. Why did the reciprocal patting immediately came from none but the avowedly pro-globalisation policy like Mr. Monmohan Singh, Montek Singh and such mentors of Buddhadeb? It is in order to state that Indira Gandhi dismissed the critics of development in the third world through industrialisation at the cost of environment. She like Buddhadeb and the CPI(M) leaders sent out the message loaded with tall talks that for these societies poverty is the greatest pollution, removal of poverty amounting to improvement in the quality of environment. [S.C.Dube, Modernization And Development, The Search for Alternative Paradigms, Vistaar Publications, New Delhi, 1988, p.8] Here lies the shedding of crocodile’s tears for the poor both in case of social fascist Buddhadeb and the autocrat, fascist Indira Gandhi.
What Buddhadeb and his ilk don’t disclose that agriculture is not the demon, the demon lies in the massive inequalities in respect of distribution, rising usury, inroads of the MNCs, sprouting shopping malls, high ways by encroaching upon and destroying paddy field, the presence of so many Amlasholes, rising inequality in land possession, etc.
For the alternative model, it is true that each and every country must have some specificity that will impart their stamps on the developments of the respective societies. This does not mean, as some theoreticians argue, that each and every society must evolve its own alternative and that alternatives before man in society are infinite. We the Marxists-Leninists-Maoists do not entertain such a view based on cultural relativism. The alternative to the capitalist model, so far as our Marxist experiences teach us, can not but be the socialist model with obvious specificities of the societies, the economies and the cultures concerned.
American and European economists and political theorists of third world development on the capitalist lines offer the modernization theory under different names to lead “from tradition to modernity”. Edward Shills, S.N.Eisenstadt, Almond and Verba, etc. to name a few, propagated modernization of the backward regions basically in the post-World War II situation. What those theoreticians simply avoided were the class rule, class composition of the society and state’s class composition. They avoided such crucial questions after the October Revolution in the Soviet Union and the Chinese Revolution with a diluted presentation of the privileged classes as ‘elite’ leadership. Those theorists practically justified the western capitalist model of modernization in the post-war neo-colonial stage of the 3rd World Countries. The challenge to such hybrid capitalism came from the Marxists as well as many non-Marxist writers. Yash Tandon from Uganda had long ago questioned the basic assumptions and definitions implied in the European notion of a centralized state or the conception of ‘consociational democracy’ being imposed on Africa with multi-tribal societies. J.A.Silva Michelena from Venezuela has questioned the whole theory of the Western model of modernisation forming the mainstay and theoretical rationale provide by Pye, Rustow, Silvert, Deutsch, Almond and Verba, etal.
Many years back Condido Mendes of Brazil, commenting on the experience of the southern countries of Latin America, elucidated the general critique of so-called modernization theory to show how different historical conditions made even some of the most prevalent concepts change their meaning when applied to particular configurations. He criticized the concept of ‘elite’; a common ‘civic’ culture, participation, etc. which did not emerge with structurally decided economic dependence and where there is the absence of a genuine national bourgeoisie. Mendes said that the emerging civic pantheons are thus extremely equivocal, without a clear-cut cultural anchor. Development in such states has thus to “be necessarily conceived in discontinuous forms, as rupture lurks in all that went before.” The conclusion was devastating. He declared in such conditions it is difficult to see how the existing models of development can furnish any meaningful explanation. [Cited in Rajni Kothari Rethinking Development, In Search of Humane Alternatives, Ajanta Publications, 1988, Delhi, p.173]
Development Programme of the Congress and the CPM: After the transfer of power, the model of development taken up by the ruling Congress Party under Nehru was to develop/modernize the economy to catch up with the developmental process. In such a model development was equated with establishment of factories, dams and to go in for such other indicators. The question of uplift, nay equality, of the oppressed masses was simply negated or the assumption of the planners in the 50’s and 60’s was the percolating effect of development at the top would automatically raise the standard of living of the poor millions.
Such a development model did not visualize development as a process encompassing all the aspects of the economy, politics, culture, health, education, environment, etc.
Gandhian alternative to the Marxian model was based on an absurd premise with such grandiose belief that a new society would emerge (obviously maintaining the fundamentals of class relations) on the principles of social responsibility and moral disinterestedness with the integration of property ownership.
In fact the whole lot of development theories have been premised on the concept that if the production of consumer goods and services are augmented. i.e. if the Gross National Product or the current Gross National Income is raised the solution to the problem of development will be naturally solved. This view is also well expressed in the West Bengal’s so-called left government’s policy and the CPI(M)’s party and mass-fronts literature.
Buddha’s view on agriculture as symptom of backwardness echoes social Darwinism accepting the survival of the fittest. This view was preached in the 19th century by the rising big advanced technology would have the rightful place in the process of development replacing the weak. Buddha here not only drums up for the technological development, he preaches the view that the occupation of agricultural land by the foreign investors in collusion with the CPI(M) symbolises progress, the progress to be bought about by the worshipping of industrial of technological sector as naturally more powerful and advanced than agricultural sector. This has two devastating consequences. Firstly, like the development theories sponsored by the World Bank, Ford Foundation, Rockfeller Foundation, etc. Buddha and his party accept the so-called development and that is also within this grossly unequal system – at the cost of peasants inclusive of many bargardars. Secondly, such a view automatically endorses, though not explicitly states, though not explicitly states, the ‘percolating effect’ theory of the Indian planners, ignoring the consequences of such a rash drive for garlanding the MNCs and foreign institutions to ensure displacement of peasants from land, creating unemployment and all that.
Yet the symbols of the CPI(M)’s development are like highways fly-overs, mega cities, shopping malls, motorable roads for car race and the majestic well-decorated buildings on premier lands in Kolkata and other places. The poor in the villages must be thrown to the brink to yield place to the more powerful rich classes. The industries – implanted finance capital pumped in (they are also not boons but banes for secret deals shall never be known) are progressive forces in Buddha’s view and so agriculture, chronically suffering from maladies, must be destroyed. The funny aspect is that the displaced will also have no right for a living since the CPI(M) sponsored development will never increase employment. This patent fact should not be raised or questioned as it is a taboo in the CPI(M)’s police regime.
It is in order to note it that in the imperialist globalization model the western consumerism and western type industrialization, wide-range network of speculative capital are pushed into the third world countries like India the vilest interests. What is alarming is that despite the expansion of the capitalist economy five times than what was before fifty years, there lies a yawning gap in the world to the tune of seventy times between the income of the rich and the poor (UNDP 1994, 1998). The peddlers of ‘development’ or Unnayan actually sweep such a glaring fact under the carpet. The UNDP report 2005 has ranked India 127th among 177 countries surveyed on the composite index of a long, healthy life, literacy and gender equality in 2004 too. (The Telegraph 8th September 2005).
So-Called Development With FDI: If in the world capitalist system two poles are conceived one the imperialist, capitalist world of the West (except Japan in Asia) and the other in the vest third world countries, the latter can not sustain substantially without cutting off their links of dependency on the former. Such countries can’t avoid imperialist plunder.
Not only the hacks of imperialism, the social-democratic parties intending to develop Nehru type so-called socialistic system can never accept such a clear view. The “success” story of Mexico, Brazil, Taiwan, South Korea, particularly of the so-called ‘Asian Tigers’ have already proved that under the aegis of U.S. imperialism land reforms, health facilities, spread of education were taken up to set up as models against the socialist countries. The Chinese Revolution goaded the U.S. imperialist power into pouring ‘aid’ and investment generously. One can not ignore this stark fact that under the Marshal Plan South Korea received the maximum U.S. ‘help’ far exceeding the amount received from it by the whole of West Europe. Besides that, the huge presence of the US army stationed in many of such countries indirectly helped receive some sort of economic advantages as a spilling over effect. In fact, despite the induced changes from above through the imperialist plan to reduce backwardness of those countries, Samir Amin states, they turned into sub-contractors of imperialist monopolists. It is crystal clear that blending of imperialist plunder and internal class exploitation might apparently jack up economic growth for some time yet the real income of the direct producers will invariably come down or stagnate as was seen in Brazil and South Korea. Apart from this, such so-called development through mass production of luxury goods and building up of fly-overs, roads etc. can not make such countries break loose the shackles of imperialist control.
The Globalisation protagonists projected South Korea and Taiwan as models of development in East Asia. The economics crashed in the 1990s. What the World Bank and its allies pumped in moving fast from one country to the other was no productive capital but basically speculative in nature. Which follows no systematic rules and based on inherent instability. Till the beginning of the 1990s it was Mexico as the rising symbol of globalization. Like India (and West Bengal under ‘Marxist’ government) Mexico opened its door for liberalisation and foreign investors hummed to the fertile ground as vultures. Ultimately a serious crisis set in reducing the poor Mexicans to a miserably unstable economic state. No real Marxist organisation can afford to ignore this basic fact that the fundamental purpose of current globalization is to remove all barriers for the free movement of capital to dovetail the backward economics of the third world to the aggressive policy of reaping super profits by the MNCs. The temporary growth generated by such inflows of capital can not sustain for too long a period nor can it open substantial opportunities for the unemployed in distress. Instead it strengthens the neo-colonial noose around those countries.
Now let us shed light on the regular topsy-turvy of the CPI(M) sitting tight at the helm of West Bengal government for more than 28 years. The most ridiculous aspect of this CPI(M) staged drama is that for the vast Indian sub-continent it keeps on parroting the need for fighting the imperialist globalisation programmes of liberalisation and structural adjustment but for West Bengal its prescription and practice are just the opposite.
The CPI(M) since its first Congress (7th Congress) in 1964 has been talking about making inroads into the Hindi belt and other regions. But the results so long have been a dismal failure. For sometime past this Party, deeply sunk into parliamentarism, has gone whole hog for piggy-back politics by striking electoral alliance sometimes with the Congress, sometimes with the RJD, sometimes with such other reactionary forces for entry into other regions. And for those vast parts of India the CPI(M) tries to project itself as an unflinchingly left organisation meant for the workers, peasants and other common people. One easily finds it that for those states the CPI(M) is at least in mouth poses as a vocal fighter against globalisation programme. The reverse policy stares out from the CPI(M) documents for West Bengal, Tripura, etc. where it is in power. Buddhadeb, Yeachury, Jyoti Basu and their gang of swindlers have no shame to accept globalisation for the CPI(M) ruled states. The discrepancy is appalling. Let us quote from the CPI(M)’s political Resolution (Adopted at the 18th Congress, April 6-11, 2005, New Delhi)
“Finance Capital dominates current-day capitalism. Its expansion drives the imperialist assault on the economics of less-developed countries. Its current offensive involves not just opening the markets of less-developed countries to commodities and foreign direct investment form the advanced capitalist countries, but also opening up the financial sector to permit free play of speculative finance in stock and capital markets in the search super profits. The inflow of such capital imposes a sharp decline in public expenditure in the recipient countries.” [Para 1.28, p.7]
The fact is that the CPI(M), particularly after propping up the UPA ministry led by the reactionary Congress Party shall never resort to any militant policy to fight against the assault on the Indian economy by the imperialists, the U.S in the forefront. In the past two years it has proved itself as a mere low-keyed opposition to the central policies of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation only to come down to a compromise on those fundamental questions. Chidambarans, Manmohons and their ilk know it too well and even publicly observe that the ‘Left protest’ never stands in their way to implement the same old policies started during Narshimha Rao ministry and flourished to the full under the NDA dispensation. While for West Bengal the CPI(M) led U.F. under Buddhadev shows no qualms about foreign direct investment, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and such imperialist efforts to actually destroy West Bengal economy like the blue boy of the World Bank Mr. Chandrababu Naidu. Actually the last Party Congress (18th Congress) after elaborating on the dangerous globalisation policy and its assault on the backward countries in its Political Resolution and Political Organisational Report concluded with such vague toothless call.
“The struggle for an alternative socialist order has to be based on the revolutionary socialist formation of the existing order. This is turn, needs an engagement (i.e., joining issues) of the revolutionary forces with the existing world realities with the sole objective of changing the correlation of forces in favour of socialism.” [CPI (M), Political Organisational Report, 18th Congress April 6-11, 2005, p.29]
Such new jargons and phrases like ‘engagement’, ‘existing world realities’, ‘changing the correlation of forces’ were then repeated with the actual aim of urging the CPIM followers to accept compromises in the ‘existing world realities’ and that by way of alliance and re-alliance with all hues of political forces in the parliamentary political arena by which the CPI(M) will worm its way to achieve the goal of socialism. Why should they call for revolutionary destruction of the society and prepare for it? Such efforts were cunningly incorporated in its first (7th) Congress progamme and then in the name of ‘existing world realities’ or saving the Left Front, UPA government, etc. the CPI(M) and its leaders now show no hesitation to accept the ‘realities’ of the World Bank, FDI, cordial relations with the earlier NDA government, banning such efforts like militant struggle, nay the question of preparing for revolutionary overturning of this existing system. The new vocabulary like ‘engagement’ actually means accepting the unholy marriage between the CPI(M) and the reactionaries being solemnized by the ringing endorsement of the imperialist institutions, MNCs and Indian comprador bourgeoisie.
Unnayan Mantra of CPM is reversal of basic Marxism
Mr. Anil Biswas has charged the Maoists with sarcasm that we are against “development”? He writes “It is clearly seen in the programmes of the Maoists that they think it that from within the existing state structure no development is possible. They think that raising slogan for partial development amounts to committing betrayal of the revisionist path. It is their idea that raising the slogan of development without arms in hand is synonymous with the act of agent (Dalali) of the ruling class…..” [p.37]
Anil Biswas here plays the cunning trick by mixing up the very question of energetic participation of the people like him and his party in the distorted development process and the relevance of movements on partial demands. Anil Biswas wants to conceal the facts of his party’s turning into the agent of the ruling classes by confusing the readers by way of equating the movements for partial demands with that of the so-called slogan of development. We the Maoists are clearly on the opposite pole on the question of so-called development being carried on since the British period till date within the colonial, semi-feudal structure first and then the semi-colonial, semi-feudal state structure of the present.
We take a look at the history of Kolkata under the British rule we also find the ‘development’ through ‘improvement’ activities like the policies on public health, lighting of the city, drainage system, conservancy under health officer, disposal of carcasses, water supply, ‘public safety’, etc. Apparently speaking, all such policies and measures taken by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation are for ‘development’ in the ‘Left’ Front’s perception. Now the Left Front has been over active in building up flyovers in and around Kolkata and they are projected as quantifiable steps of development. Comrade Mao said that all the rulers need public opinion in their favour and it is a reality that even the notorious regimes take up some amount of measures as had been taken by the colonial rulers in the then Kolkata. As regards improvement of the Kolkata Road System – what Buddhadeb should accept as ‘development’ – Lord Wellesley in his Minute of 1803 had spoken like our CPI(M) ministers. He said “…..It is a primary duty of Government to provide for the health, safety and convenience of the inhabitants of this great town, by establishing a comprehensive system for the improvement of the roads, streets…..”
He did not stop at that. What he said was actually the need for ‘development’ strengthening the colonial set-up. Wellesley clearly said, “The appearance and beauty of the town are inseparably connected with the health, safety and convenience of the inhabitants, and every improvement which shall introduce a greater degree of order, symmetry and magnificence in the streets, roads…….will tend to ameliorate the climate and to promote and secure every object of a just and salutary system of Police.” [Municipal Kolkata, Its Institutions In Their Origin And Growth, Compiled by S.W.Goode, Macmillan India Ltd, Reprint 2005, p.237, stress in ours]
The above colonial administrator’s Minute speaks Volumes on the beauty of the roads and the roads as necessity for the colonial security system. The projection of the flyovers, high ways in the Buddha regime as symbols of ‘development’ is closely related with the security of the state administration like in the colonial period. Can Buddhadeb Anil and such people deny such stark reality? Mr. Anil might spread such falsehood like “No Barrier Exists Between class struggle & Development”, [People’s Democracy, October 232, 2005]. We the Maoists hate such ‘development’ view under the supervision and leadership of the World Bank, DFDI, etc. and such efforts at passing it as a part of class struggle.
It is absolutely bogus that Maoists dismiss the partial demands of the common people. It is also pure hypocrisy when the CPI(M) uses the red flag and invites the MNCs, World Bank, ADB, etc. to create an atmosphere of illusion about this structure of the exploiting state in the name of development. Mr. Anil Biswas has also written with all boasts that “The CPI(M) looks upon the question of development from a class outlook and against specific socio-economic backdrop”. (p.38)
Now we place below for what and whose development programmes the so-called ‘Left’ front is so vigorously implementing now. And for which classes and in whose interests the earlier clamour for ‘relief’ for the common people through participation in state governments the CPI(M) is now changing so vocally about ‘development’.
There are certain theoretical aspects of globalization for which we approvingly borrow from the CPI(M)’s own documents and see its two-faces. Mr. Sitaram Yechury, the Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M), states in the same Marxbadi Path (August 2005) that “The essential aim of this globalization is to destroy all barriers and to tie up the developing economies in such a way that makes it possible for the multi-national corporations to extract super profit. They are trying to attain this aim making use of this international-wide trio – the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO. Their aim is quite clear – i.e. to make those developing countries as their colonies of financial exploitation….”[p.43].
This has been stated over and over again by the CPI(M) before and now too as theory for the non-CPI(M) ruled states, the central governments in India and other countries. But for the CPI(M) ruled states like West Bengal those three U.S controlled institutions are angels for such fake left’s development programme. Let us hear from the mouth of CPI(M) Finance Minister Asim Das Gupta, “The World Bank is distancing itself from the IMF……And we are doing business we intend to do on our terms again…..The World Bank, IMF were very similar till four years back. Distance is emerging now….Yes they are listening, they are not imposing…..” [The Indian Express, 14.12.2004]. And as a tout for imperialist globalization and seller of the CPI(M)’s pro-reforms development theory Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had gone a step forward at a conference of Kolkata Consular Corps to declare this piece of gem, “It is a wrong notion to brand us anti-reforms. Let me make it absolutely clear that we are pro-reforms. We also understand that the process of economic reforms is irreversible. All we want is that the reforms should have a human face….” [Times News Net work, 10.06.2004].
So now we have to believe that the much touted reforms programme sponsored and led by the enemy of the world people the U.S. imperialism and implemented in India can have a “human face” and the World Bank has changed its heart for the CPI(M) government in West Bengal. On several occasions before the captains of Indian and foreign industries, among whom the CPI(M) polit Bureau member and West Bengal Chief Minister Mr. Bhattacharjee finds a pleasant bliss and ease, such expressions have been blurted to send the message: Don’t heed to what the CPI(M) cries out in public, don’t trust to the CPI(M)’s appearances before the masses. Trust in what the CPI(M) does.
The captains and their representatives understand too well that the ‘development’ urge or the support for ‘reforms’ is the incontrovertible proof of the CPI(M)’s acceptance of the so-called globalization programme. The matter was made abundantly clear by Mr. AB Mitra, the secretary general of the FICCI during his visit to the U.S. Mr. Mitra confidently clarified that the CPI(M) is unlikely to crate problems for economic reforms in India: “Please differentiate the noise and the sound of the left. Noise is the cacophony, and sound is substance and that will be no different on the forefront of the reform movement in India.[www.indusbusinessjounal.com/news/2004/06/15/. cited in ‘UP DATE’, Kolkata]
Now let us see it is whose ‘development’ plan that the pro-reforms CPI(M) and its allies are so much talking about in the name of “second phase of reforms” or “restructuring” wholly depending on the World Bank, DFID (Department For International Development, a U.K. govt. body for providing grants), Asian Development Bank ( a sister organisation of the World Bank), JBIC (Japan Bank for International Co-operation), etc.
The deputy country head of DFID India, Mr. Howard Taylor was candid enough to say, “Our relations with West Bengal have strengthened over the last two years. This is because, first, the state has emerged as the driving force in the reform process and secondly, it has adopted a transparent and professional approach in cutting down the huge losses in the state PSUs…” [Times of India 19.05.2005]. The DFID on which our ‘Marxist’ government depends so much for the current ‘development’, or in other words reforms for imperialist globalization has its own policy as found in its official programme. We quote from the programme certain relevant facts.
DFID “is the British government department responsible for Britain’s contribution towards international efforts to eliminate poverty….” “……the British government believes that the elimination of global poverty is a matter of enlightened self-interest. Poverty breeds insecurity and conflict……It also undermines trade, business and investment opportunities….”. “In today’s globalised world decisions made by western governments have an impact on poor people in developing countries. DFID, in the UK and overseas, works to ensure that policies in different areas such as trade and investment, debt relief and global environmental concerns consider and promote the needs of poor people.”[www.ukinindia.com, cited in ‘UP DATE’, Kolkata]
Then this great helper of the CPI(M) govt. states it more clearly “….And, if we don’t take action now to reduce global inequality, there is a real danger….” and so “The challenge is to connect more people from the world’s poorest countries with the benefits of the new global economy. And that means globalization must be managed properly – to benefit everyone”. And then this imperialist government organisation speaks clearly in the CPI(M) voice: “Government in poorer countries have to create conditions at home that will help the poorest people in their communities find work or a market for their goods that will sustain their families….it’s now widely accepted that efficient markets are indispensable for effective development. Developing countries must attract foreign investment.” Like Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Anil Biswas the DFID also clearly states “….States which invest in basic infrastructure such as water and sanitation, transport, electricity and telecommunications can play a major part in giving poor countries an access to global markets.” [www.dfid.gov.uk; accessed on 6.4.05, cited in ‘UP DATE’, Kolkata]
Thus the DFID is categorical about the investor friendly environment and various sorts of poverty minimizing programmes to help remove “insecurity and conflict”. The 10th 5 year Plan document of India, a framework for carrying on globalization and reforms clearly admits “The 10th plan is a basis for an Indo-UK development partnership”, iterating the position on DFID’s work and the approval of policies on reforms followed by Andhra Pradesh, MP, Orissa and West Bengal”. [India: ‘Country Plan, Nov. 2004; www.dfid.govt.uk;]
Now see what Mr. Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee emphatically said after his trip to southeast Asia “Reform, perform or perish”. Prakash Karat, the supremo of the CPI(M) endorsed this position saying “we the CPI(M) are not dogmatic. With time, our party has changed its stand on various issues. We are open to change and have changed.” [The Telegraph, 1st September, 2005]. Is it not a fact that when the CPI(M) speaks against ‘reforms’, ‘globalization’ etc. it is a hoax?
Let us see how the so-called development programme of the DFID and that of the ‘Left’ Font is the same with the British imperialist department, like some others, pouring fund for the purpose. The DFID programme for West Bengal clearly states “DFID is working with the ADB, UNICEF and others and seeking opportunities to support public sector efficiency and initiatives to tackle the state’s fiscal situation, with a focus on freeing up additional resources for pro-poor spending. DFID continues to follow up the fiscal reform agenda in a limited way with Go WB (Govt. of West Bengal) by proposing to support 28 million Pound Public Sector Enterprise Restructuring Programme.” [westbengal state.htm; accessed on 22.01.05].
So the great role the DFID has taken upon itself for saving the poor, PSEs and obviously the ‘Left’ Front in implementing the reforms. Mr. Nirupam Sen, the CPI(M) leader, minister and ideologue for justifying ‘reforms’ or ‘development’ stated “we have another understanding with DFID. The money we save after the restructuring will be funded in social sector. If you call it a conditionality we will agree….” [Marxbadi Path, Vol. 24, No.2, November 2004]. Is it not a pleasing bliss for the British government that the CPI(M) is committed to implementing the DFID programme of reforms under globalization the with a human face”? Here the CPI(M) will readily answer in the most ridiculous way that like the World Bank, DFID too has changed with its dollops of pro-poor programmes.
Mr. Anil Biswas in a recent article has once again taught how the MNCs are out to disburse ‘the extra-ordinary capital accumulation’ in the process of globalization of capital with the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO providing “the leadership” “to clamp down once again an economic colonialism over third world nations”. [People’s Democracy, October 09, 2005]. Biswas has not also spared the US as one of the leading perpetrators of the “barbaric drive at world domination”. (Ibid) However, the imperialist institutions and the MNCs have now been quite habituated to such stingless verbosity. More than that they know that the CPI(M) has a propaganda machine which has been ever busy to impress upon people’s mind that those are not bad at all for West Bengal as the “Left Front” is in power. We place below what the World Bank programme is and how they converge with the ‘Left’ Front programme of ‘development’.
The World Bank in its official statement on strategy has “included a focus on states undertaking reforms, in order to support the leaders of change and serve as a catalyst to the state level reform process.” The World Bank in consultation with India is helping the states like West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Maharastra, etc. which “are engaged in a dialogue on cross-cutting reforms that are focus of adjustment lending (fiscal management, governance, service delivery, the power sector and the investment climate) regardless of their eligibility for adjustment lending…..ADB has also had a longstanding engagement with West Bengal.” In this World Bank document we also find what the CPI(M) announces: “strengthening Fiscal Management and Reallocating Public Resources to Priority Areas For the Poor”. Then with such a great concern for the poor in the process of reforms under the globalization scheme the World Bank also prescribed “steps to increase the voice of the poor and strengthen decentralization”.
The World Bank in this document has also urged the Indian policy makers to remove the “limits on foreign direct investment (FDI)”, “impediments to the functioning of land and labour markets”, the “dominance of state-owned enterprises”. It has also promised help in India’s power sector reforms, large investments in infrastructure (for flood control, drainage, storage, sanitation, waste water treatment, etc.) with “greater resource mobilization form users and efforts to leverage scarce public funds with private funding..”. It declared, “in the power distribution and transmission, road, water and sanitation and solid waste sectors, involvement of the private sector needs to be encouraged through a variety of models including public-private partnerships.” The World Bank is also promising assistance for ‘privately provided health services”, ‘public private partnerships” in the health sector. [Country strategy for India, Report No. 29374 – In, World Bank, September 2004; cited in ‘UP DATE’, Kolkata]
Can Mr. Anil Biswas and his Party prove that the West Bengal government is really against the World Bank strategy? Is it not the CPI(M), its ministers and theorists justifying the World Bank strategy, seeking its assistance and implementing the same? Instances are so many that one feels it nauseating to hear and read the CPI(M) literature against reforms, globalization, world Bank, etc.
The ‘Left’ Front has been pursuing the World Bank, IDBI diktats with some left vocabulary and pragmatism like “Go and tell the World that we are changing. We Marxists are not fools to cling to obsolete ideas. In West Bengal, the left is right. And this is the right place for to invest” (Buddhadeb’s speech at CII summit, The Indian Express, 14.02.2005]. Yes we have been saying for years that such so-called Left is rightly Right. Marxism can not allow holding power in a semi-colonial and semi-feudal structure in the name of development sponsored by the imperialist capital. The entire politics is to destroy protests and revolution in India.
We the Maoists and all the conscious people look at the degradation of the CPI(M) as a social-fascist party. Why not Mr. Anil Biswas will thunder against the revolutionary struggle of the Maoists in India, West Bengal in particular, when both Uncle Sam and the CPI(M) sniff terrorism in such struggles and when the CPI(M) Chief Minister announces as ‘obsolete’ the Marxist view points against World Bank, FDI, IDBI and such imperialist loot? Yes, we the Maoists are against such massive penetration of imperialist finance capital for what the ‘Left’ Front describes as ‘development’. When the CPI(M) leaders face challenge or the skeletons of so-called development tumble down the pet argument, as Mr. Anil Biswas too has taken prior guard in his tirade against the Maoists, is that ‘Don’t forget the limitations in the existing structure’. Such pet argument is never found in the CPI(M) literature highlighting the dream-come-true development under the ‘Left’ Front rule.
The most ridiculous thing that the CPI(M) leaders frequently say is that the World Bank, Asian Development Bank or foreign investors do always impose some conditionalities for any government at the Centre or the state but for the ‘Marxist’ led ‘Left’ Front govt. it is always minus any string of conditionality! Then one might question with what magic weapon the CPI(M) does neutralize the immensely aggressive powers of controlling the world economy and why those blood sucking powers become angels of generosity in West Bengal? It is a black lie that such institutional and multi-national capital will not impose any condition.
Similarly, no government, central of state does ever openly disclose the conditionalities imposed by such investors or providers of loan, grants, etc. As the taste of an apple lies in its eating the practice of the ‘Left’ front in the name of development amply proves it that the diktats on the so-called development programmes of the IFDI, World Bank, etc. that the CPI(M)’s ‘Left’ Front government pursues so faithfully is the cogent proof of accepting the conditionalities of the imperialist capital. Can Mr. Anil Biswas and his ilk deny it? Can such people reject the claim tinged with romance of love declared by Dr. Stephen Howes (the World Bank’s lead economist) in the following words: “As for the fiscal reforms, I believe both the World Bank and the West Bengal government are finding many things common in their perception.” [Financial Express 01.12.2004]
This common perception emanates from the politics of reforms in the name of development, serving the interests of multinationals and Indian compradors. The fiscal reforms include attacks on wages, pensions, subsidies, salary bills, for so-called decentralization, for the removal of limits of the foreign direct investment, power sector reforms, etc. And the ‘Left’ Front has agreed to follow all such diktats or conditionalities. Yet we have to accept the fact since the party attaches a ‘Marxist’ tag to its name it cannot stop left-phrase mongering now well accepted by the captains of international capital as sheer cacophony.
As India is a semi-colony, not only from the U.S and the U.K, finance capital from other countries too is funneled in West Bengal. In the list of foreign direct investment American companies top the list. They are followed by Japanese, French, German and other capitalist countries’ capital with which Buddhadeb like people want to bring about the second stage of reform for the resurgent Bengal. The moot point is through the implementation of privatization; liberalization and globalization policies dictated by the international finance capital which classes gain and which lose out devastatingly.
Cruel facts tell us that the wheels of so-called development programmed by the DFID, World Bank, etc. as stated above have mainly benefited a small layer of the population, already rich for mainly being close to the CPI(M)-led ‘left’ circle. While the cream is being skimmed off by the multinational companies, the noose of aid as imperialism, political, economic and cultural domination of imperialist finance capital tying firmly the whole of West Bengal. Here we refer to another voice of the CPI(M) from Delhi: “MNCs make financial investment in any country elsewhere – not for the welfare of the people of the host country, but for the maximization of their profits. Similar is the case with the big indigenous capitalists also….”[People’s Democracy, 14th August, 2005]. The CPI(M) ideologue here remains completely mum as to the consequences of the loaded cries for ‘Unnayan’ with the sumptuous flow of the MNCs in West Bengal. Let us look at facts.
The New Economic Policy of the ‘Left’ Front government is reflected in its new industrial policy. Buddhadeb receives our compassion for clarifying the industrial policy adopted in 1994. In his own words “….What is the crux of that Industrial Policy? In a word we are inviting here private capital. We are saying that as there lies the necessity of the state sector there is similar importance of the non-government sector, we are saying this openly and emphatically……”[In Saral Biswas (ed), Partir Rananiti, Ranakausal Ebong Bamfront Sarkar, NBA, p.24]. The result was that from 1980-81 to 1998-99 the number of factories was reduced by 13.15 percent, the number of workers lost jobs by 27.12 percent, the number of workers on a factory basis come down by 15.97 percent and the total employment slid downwards to 28.02 percent. In the organized sector (from 1991 to 2001) the workers’ population came down by 3.98%, 21.62% and 9.42% in the primary, secondary and tertiary sector respectively [Labour in West Bengal, 1999, 2001]
The CPI(M) wants to prove that after making the solid foundation in agriculture it now eyes industrial development. We have seen the actual reality in agriculture. In the industrial sector too we find the same picture of decay. As from 1991 to 2001 though the number of organized industrial units increased at the rate of 6.62%. in that period in the organized sector total job reduction was recorded at 4.78% i.e. the industrial sector failed to absorb the landless and unemployed rather the unemployment further increased with such unbalanced industrial progress, thought at a snail’s pace. Facts tell that between 1985 and 2003 with the new factories coming into being the number of jobless workers further increased. As in 2003 432 factories were closed leading to 6 lakh and 35 thousand jobless workers. And in the same year new 238 new factories could provide employment to only 9120 persons. Actually the capital intensive factories failed to absorb enough number of workers. In 1999 in West Bengal the average number of workers in each organized unit stood at 149.46 and it came down to 133.48 in 2001.
Now the policy of introducing new technology without people’s concern and the anti-labour policies of the industry owners have thrown out thousands of workers. Hard facts prove that between 1985 and 2003 the number of workers lost services far exceeded the number of workers employed in new factories every year. Simultaneously between 1991 and 2001 in 545 industries the capital investment was to the tune of Rs. 19,775.20 crore but this huge amount could afford jobs to only 62,404 persons. With the high pitched noise on development and progress the stark facts tell that in the past two decades the number of lock-outs has been steadily increasing. In about 92% cases of closures lock-out is the main culprit. (Naba Dutta, Banglar Shilpa O Shramiker Itibitta, Nagarik Mancha, January 2005, pp.73-80)
In another study it is said that in the past 15 years more than 29 factories were closed, workers retrenched were 12 lakh and fresh employment was only 43 thousand and 799 persons. While the working class receives the blows the CITU like unions in the name of saving the ‘Left’ Front Government or ‘responsible trade union’ allow the attacks on the workers in all forms to go unabated. All such instances prove that in West Bengal new industrial units, thought a few in reality, would never absorb considerable number of workers. The crisis is perpetual. The CPI(M) CC member cum minister Nirupam Sen made things crystal clear”….We have to resort to various measures to attract capital. It is not possible to set aside from our discussion what industrialists demand, why should the industrialists be eager to invest in this state if it is not known what they demand and if some necessary measures are not taken accordingly.” [In Anil Biswas (ed), Unnatataro Bamfront Aamader Bhabna (More Advanced Left Front Our Thinking) NBA, May 2002, p.28]
This makes it immensely clear what the counterrevolutionary polities of the CPI(M) is on the working class front. This social fascist government even does not care to revise the minimum wages after every four years. Of the 52 types of jobs in the list of every 4-year wage revision, in the last 20 years no minimum pay revision was done in 22 types of jobs. In case of 15 types of jobs for the past one-decade no minimum wage revision was made. [Naba Dutta, ibid, p.81]. This minimum wage is the necessary wage for survival. How come one expects a better performance of healthy living of the common toiling people under the steamroller of liberalization, privatization and globalization regime in West Bengal?
The argument or justification for reducing the number of workforce in the sugar-coated names like ‘Golden Handshake’, ‘VRS’, or simple reduction of staff or work-force in a surreptitious way by not any fresh employment, etc. have been going on since the ‘Left’ courted the globalization programme in West Bengal. The pet argument is that if those stern measures are helpful for the industrial units, government and government assisted institutions can help them sailing well then why not to opt for them? The most crucial question arises who are the gainers of the World Bank, DFID, etc. sponsored policies and ‘assistance’ in West Bengal? Obviously the eagles are eyeing West Bengal for super profits and what is showcased by the ‘Left’ Front and the captains of industries as “Destination East” is devastation for the common people in West Bengal.
As retrenchment is the keyword in the LPG Schemes the state’s ‘Marxist’ government is going to axe 10,000 employees with the West Bengal State Electricity Board through ‘early separation scheme’ considering them as “surplus” (Ananda Bazar Patrika, 04.03.2004). Similarly this World Bank, DFID dictated Buddhadeb government has decided “restructuring and reviewing the transport sector” after discussion with those masters. (The Telegraph 30.11.04 & 21.01.05). This will deprive services of many thousand. Also contract basis service has come up in medical, teaching and other sectors. All such steps in the name of ‘development’ under more-improved ‘Left’ Front clearly betray the actual nature of the anti-workers, anti-service holders programmes chalked out by the masters in the U.S.A or the U.K or in such other countries and implemented in West Bengal ruthlessly and in a planned way. Now a new story is heard that the good aspects of globalization should be utilized. The entire programme of GPL is meant for squeezing the common people and creating a small class of the rich and careerists who alone can procure some fringe benefits.
What is to be understood is that now the investment potentials of the imperialist finance have grown many times but the constraints lie in rewarding investments and profits. This hugely accumulated finance capital needs pumping it into the economies of the 3rd world countries. And the CPI(M) is plying that role in West Bengal to make room for such imperialist capital.
World Bank, DFDI, etc. Are the Key Players Behind Mr. Anil’s ‘Unnayan’
For some time past, particularly after Buddhadeb’s grand tour of Indonesia and Singapur and his servile appeasement to Salim group of industries’ owner Mr. Santosa the CPI(M) leadership has suddenly turned into a worshipper of industry. Now its theoreticians have started saying that it is industry which alone can solve the problems of West Bengal. Actually speaking, a charmed and mesmerized Buddhadeb for the grand reception and the reciprocity of love of the Salim group heads sang so many songs of privatization, industrialization, liberalization there that the CPI(M) supreme leaders had to come out in support of the Bengali babu CM Mr. Prakash Karat too changed his tune and declared that after successful land reforms in West Bengal the destination is now industrialization, We the Maoists had to crosscheck again from the CPI(M)’s imperialist master’s prescriptions and found it that the capital friendly ‘Marxists’ are not on the wrong track.
The CPI(M)’s sudden switch over to clamouring for industrialization has already eyebrows of many people. Mr. Anil writes in his critique “The CPI(M) considers the question of Unnayan (development) from a class outlook and the concrete socio-economic context”. He criticizes the media people who do not consider development when foreign goods are easily available. In a mood of reaction Mr. Anil expresses his ‘Marxist’ voice to hoodwink, simply to hoodwink with the customary left posturings, the retorts, “So the struggle for development means the struggle of the majority of the people of the country …………” [p.38]
A simple child can ask Mr. Anil where is the ‘struggle’ for Unnayan led by your party in West Bengal? Why do you follow Uncle Sam’s dictates through the World Bank, IMF or Blair’s prescriptions at every step for the imperialist globalization? Is West Bengal not getting flooded with foreign goods and so-called services from the masters of globalization depending on Buddhadeb like people?
We the Maoists are clear that the euphoria on ‘development’ created by the ‘Left’ Front is simply for the inflow of Western capital under the imperialist globalization. The recent call for industrialization is a cover for greater role of foreign imperialist capital after the stagnation of agriculture. This is actually a ploy of jobless growth, the scheme under globalization. It is worthy of mention that employment in Asia has not kept pace despite the so-called recorded economic growth rate. The reality is that the rate of unemployment in the region i.e. 4.4 percent in 2004 appears to be among the lowest in the world, the anomalies and peculiarities characterizing the labour market, such as a large informal sector, underemployment and the low skill levels actually mask the extent of the problem. As a whole in the whole of south Asia the real wages in the 1990s has been flat or declining. It is also notable that though China’s industrial output under the bourgeois revisionist rule increased by 9.5 percentage points from 1900 to 2002, the share of employment in the industrial sector in total employment fell by –0.3 percentage points. The CPI(M) too speaks too much on its growth model paving the path of industrialization and urbanization. It is notable the in South Asia, according to Transparency International, the most corrupt country in the World is Bangladesh. Yet its growth rate is 5 percent per year, with per capita GDP growing at over 3 percent. All such statistics do not justify the actual poverty and staggering unemployment in Bangladesh. The CPI(M) creates an atmosphere in West Bengal that this present system can deliver enough for the army of the unemployed through industrialization and urbanization.
The CPI(M) has now been landed in a tricky problem as to how to come out of the imbroglio being neck-deep in parliamentarism. Being true to its character the Buddha government has now been hungry for foreign funds in industry and is now all set to involve the World Bank to conduct a study for improving the FDI climate. The World Bank against which the CPI(M) literature has been so much vocal to project its ‘left’ image will do that job in association with the confederation of Indian Industry (CII) or the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the organization of the Indian comprador big bourgeoisie to recommend the ‘short, medium and long-term reforms to immediately improve the climate for overseas investors.” [The Telegraph, 26 September 2005].
In the same day’s daily in another news we see Buddhadeb blaming the people “creating unrest in north Bengal” at the CPI(M)’s meeting in Siliguri organized by the Darjeeling district Committee. Mr. Buddha also cried like Mr. Anil that “while his government was trying to put North Bengal on the path of development, these elements were misleading the people in an effort to impede progress in the region.” If the World Bank, WFID, Indian big bourgeoisie and the MNCs are so much appeased to “develop” West Bengal we can really understand the actual voice of Mr. Anil and his party regarding the so-called development of West Bengal. When Mr. Anil speaks of class out behind ‘unnayan’ we easily understand whose class outlook spurs the CPI(M) to consider so much on agri-business, industrialization, urbanization, etc. Not only the World Bank, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and our ‘Marxist’ ‘Left’ Government have now taken a joint programme for the sanitation services in West Bengal after the USAID Director Geroge Deikun and Mr. Ashoke Bhattacharya, the CPI(M) minister huddled together on 26th April, 2005. This programme mainly relates to the municipalities with the US fund for sanitation, garbage collection, ‘to improve the financial positions of municipal governments” with “market based-financing” [Source http:// mumbai.us consulate.govt/www whindpur 204.html; accessed on 03.05.05.] An ebullient Mr. Bhattacharya confirmed that the projects of USAID are slated to be implemented in the Durgapur-Assansol belt and in the Siliguri area (Business Standard, 27.04.05) He also added that the ‘Left’ Front govt. would seek further help form USAID for the development of 126 municipalities for funds raising from capital market. This is all for the ‘development’ of West Bengal Mr. Anil would have us believe. It is necessary to add here that the World Bank, DFID, ADB, etc. have been for some time past emphasizing the ‘improvement’ of West Bengal’s infrastructure, particularly roads, communications, power, etc. The ADB has given $ 210 million as loans for the West Bengal Corridor Development Project with “implicit conditionality” to provide foreign business houses as much orders as to make super profits. A US Website (http:/strategis.ic.grr –7557f.html; accessed on 30.03.2005) reported that this project will provide US business with as much lead this time as possible concerning procurement and consulting opportunities” This project is intended, it claims, for “improvement of National Highway 34, which is the artery of north south transport corridor and the eastward connection to the border of Bangladesh”. This is the part of urbanization process led by Mr. Anil-Buddha and their party’s present masters in the west.
What Mr. Anil has sung for ‘development’ is actually the development of the international masters and their native agents as well as the political minions like the CPM, Congress, BJP, etc. Actually speaking, what is on course in West Bengal and elsewhere is actually jobless growth through urbanization and such efforts to ensure the investment of finance capital of the West to rake in huge profits in the otherwise stagnant economic atmosphere. The ‘left’ in West Bengal have now no qualms to invite global real estate players to do business in West Bengal. The international property consultant, Chestertom Meghraj is setting up office in Kolkata. It is the Indian Subsidiary Chestewtorn, Blumenauer Binswanger, a consortian of three consultant majors of the world with 160 offices world over. [Times of India, 3/3/04]
Meghraj is followed by the American firm NAI Global in alliance with the local real estate, big shark, N.K.Realtors. The US firm operates in 300 markets and 40 countries. This is “A strategic alliance with mall development and retail consultancy major, Asia Property Group with the help of NAI-NK Entity to prepare the retail platform [Times of India, 27.04.05] The Times of India [09.02.2005] reports that, Kolkata is now all set for entertainment boom. And the investment on multiplexes in Bengal could even rise to Rs. 1000 crore. FICCI president said, “six multiplexes would open in West Bengal soon” More clear stance came in the Times of India of 13 May 2005 which said, “the govt. has changed its stands on using industrial land, for industries alone. They have taken the market route to unlock the land in closed industrial premises in and around the city…..the proposal entails some changes in the Urban Land (ceiling and regulation) act….” The news item further adds that the volume of land locked in closed industries in the state is 40,000 acres of which 30 percent will be found if the govt. makes changes in the act. Thus Mr. Anil’s Marxist govt. is throwing open the Urban land market in the name of development. The wheels of such “development” and for giving some ostensible beauty looks thousands have been evicted under the ADB scheme, who got settled along the canals at Tollygunge and such places in and around Kolkata. The ‘Left’ Front following the international masters is now actually translating the globalization scheme in the health, education, culture and all other sectors. Mr. Asim Dasgupta, the finance minister of West Bengal, told the Indian Express on 14 December, 2004, “……everybody pays fees. Fees are much below the private sector and above the government sector”. Already the World Bank has been invited to the health sector and the state CM went a step forward asking the people who can afford to go to the private nursing homes. The wheels of “development” have taken their toll on the employment in the health sector. Now the private agencies hire people to clean and maintain the wards in all the Kolkata hospitals. Buddhadeb, who goes gaga over the inflow of foreign capital, said that, the success of private-public ventures in housing projects could not be neglected in health care. [The Telegraph, 24.08.2004]
All the main important cities and towns in West Bengal have now been the hubs of promoters working developing a nexus with basically the ruling parties and the administration. The Dainik Statesman (11.08.05) refer to the confession of the director of land and land tax department Mr. Sukumar Das who made it clear that more than 50,000 acres of cultivable lands have already been grabbed by the promoters in West Bengal. This land grab ensured amassing huge fortunes for the promoter while the landless have spiralled to a staggening 72 lakh. So, it is a reality that the expansion of the cities and the emergence of new towns under the ‘Left’ rule have brought about immeasurable gains for certain classes, both native and foreign.
The blue boy of the MNCs and the World Bank and Manmohan Singh’s “role model” the CPI(M) Chief Minister Buddhadeb has now gone whole hog for ousting a large number of peasants form their home-steads and cultivable lands to keep the doors ajar for the penetration of the MNCs and other imperialist institutions. In his latest move, this Bengali babu CM, blessed by the party polit bureau headquarter in New Delhi had flown to Indonesia with begging bowl to Salim Group of Indonesia, a lumpen big bourgeous organization, nurtured and developed directly by American imperialism after massacres of lakh of Communists in 1965. Salim came to the limelight during the notorious Suharto’s rule and was involved in importing goods in flour mills, cement factories, chemicals insurance, hoteliening, etc.
One should know that Salim tied up with Suharto to float Asia biggest flour mill. It is the buzzword in Indonesia that Madam Suharto came to be known as “Madam 10 percent”, for receiving amount that of commission form every venture of the Salim group. [Dainik Statesman, 30.08.05]
The secret deals between Bhattacheajee and Salim Group chairman, Anthony Salim will never be known by the peasants who would be driven out of their lands measuring more than 5000 acres in South-24 Parganas and Howrah. The lackey of the MNC’s, World Bank etc. Buddha as a special guest of Indonesian people’s enemies justified his nefarious positions declaring. “We accept reality…”, “we are for hundred percent privatization of airport in West Bengal”, etc. Buddha’s sermons and immense wisdom initially put the CPI(M) top brass in an awkward predicament as to how to justify one hundred percent privatization of airports etc. Yet the Delhi based leaders came out in support of Buddha who now changed his voice slightly. It was clear to the people that despite occasional flutters in an apparent protest to the UPA govt. the CPI(M) leadership also moves to the same aim towards privatization and globalisation.
However, back home with heaps of ridicule Buddha “the Pushy reformer abroad”, and fake Marxist at home instituted a topsy turvy and stated that he wanted only 49 percent FDI in airport and only the entry of Singapore banks and that he was against the FDI in retail business [Times of India, 30.8.05]. However, the CPM CC patted on Buddha’s back and Mr. Prakash Karat made such shameless statement that “the work for industry and improving infrastructure is on course on the basis of land reforms and success in agricultural productions”. [Gansakti, 06.09.2005] The nonsensical utterances in support of building flyovers, shopping malls, entertainment center etc. for the rich at the cost of livelihood of thousands of peasants only make it crystal clear why Montek Singh (whom Jyoti basu called World Bank’s man a few months back) extended all help in Buddha’s bid for inviting Salim Group and why the prime minister Mr. Manmohan Singh (the pioneer of WTO sponsored GPL policy in India) feted Bhattacharjee “for business deals in Singapore and Indonesia” [The Telegraph, 04.09.05] and put him up as a role model for other Indian states.
The devil lies in the tall and double talks and Mr. Anil’s party goes to the extent to declare in the headlined news of the party mouth piece: “Foreign Investment In the State In Consideration of the Interest of the Poor.” [stress in Ganasakti front page dated 4th September 2005]. Here the declaration is from our wise and pragmatic leader Mr. Anil! However, Anil mouthed his specious arguments against conditionalities. This is a black lie and reminds us of what the American ambassador told in a CII meeting in Chennai on 1st September 2005. This ambassador for strengthening the neo-colonial noose around India declared as politely as Mr. Anil Biswas that American capital does not want to come to rule India. The aim behind this coming is solely for fulfilling the dream of India’s development (sic) [Kalantar, CPI’s Bengali Daily of 7th September 2005] We want to know how does it happen that Mr. Anil Biswas, the American Ambassador, Mr. Manmohan Singh and obviously the CPI(M) do speak in the same voice on the much touted ‘development’? Does such “development” go against the imperialist globalization? We the Maoists are quite clear about the policy of Left Front’s urbanization and so-called industrialization, the former is basically for the rich and the latter is a vague effort while the closures of factories and retrenchments have become the order of the day. If saving the system of semi-colonial rule and carrying on so-called development schemes are projected as progress or the result of people’s struggle or symbol of Left Front’s progressive rule we can say that similar developments were pioneered by the colonial British Raj, then the Congress govt. and now the ‘Left’ Front to maintain status quo to contain people’s revolutionary spirit against the system itself. We pity Mr. Anil for weaving out stories on ‘development’ when West Bengal is ruled by his social fascist party, when the policies are now directly chalked by the world bank, WFID, etc. to destroy the possibility of a red revolution led by the Maoists here. Mr. Anil recently said that Maoists are attacking us “as if we are deviating form Marxism” [Ganashakti, 10.10.05]
Do the above policies of surrender to imperialist masters and the social fascist rule of the CPI(M) led ‘Left’ Front leave an iota of doubt that Mr. Anil and his party are against the globalisation spree of the UPA government following the diktat of the World Bank, MNCs, etc.? Not even a mad will say in the affirmative.
A Case Study of Amlashole village
Let us place below some concrete facts from our study on the farce of development going on in Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia which have for some time past hit headlines of the dailies for the Maoist movements.
It is really an irony that the so-called chariot of ‘development’ has entered those struggling areas to stem the tide of the Maoist struggles. For the past five decades those areas remained completely backward and now with the surge in Maoist-led struggles roads are laid out in full swing actually for the plying of police and para-military jeeps and convoys in the basically tribal areas. Simultaneously the state armed forces are patrolling in large numbers, arrests of revolutionaries and sympathizers go on unabated with the offer of scanty relief for the distressed people. Chirakuti and Kankarajhor road laying programmes have drawn the attention of the people of West Bengal. Such ambitious programme is to cost Rs. 5 crore but for the agricultural development the ‘Left’ government shows its back. This ‘development’ programme has also taken care to set up large number of police camps. This has been the practice of the armed gang of each police camp to visit 15 villages daily to unleash terror.
Alongside the government programme, various political parties and NGOs now pour into Amlashole, the darkest spot of ‘development’ under the ‘Left’ Front government. But the poverty-stricken tribals of Amalashole received only heaps of promises. At present 70 families reside in Amlashole. Out of them 18 are Shabar, 35 Munda and others comprise 7 families. The government now gave Rs. 20,000 as loan and grant to each Shabar family, of which 10,000 for buying goats and the rest Rs. 10,000 to be deposited with the Bank. Out of this 20,000, Rs. 10,000 is grant and the rest Rs. 10,000 is loan. The plan was mooted that with the kids of goats the loan would paid off. Alas! all the goats died reaching the village. Then how to repay the loan?
The government is building homesteads under Indira Abas Yojna for 18 families there spending Rs. 20,000 for each. Actually the cost of building such houses can never exceed Rs. 10,000. The corrupt administration in cahoots with the CPI(M) leaders will pocket that huge amount.
In Amlashole the farce does not end there. Here three dams have been built up. But the irony is that even during the rains the water will not accumulate there. Then why such ventures by the ‘Left’ government? The local people understand this bitter reality. From any of the dams one cannot expect water even for only one bigha land. Here for potable water a well has been sunk spending Rs. 20,000 and for renovating an old well Rs.36,000 has been sanctioned. The fact is that even during the rainy season one can not use them for getting water.
Similarly a new school has been set-up here spending Rs. 3,65,000. However, the school is actually not for learning but for the use of police forces to be stationed there.
What has been presented above is the tip of an iceberg about the dangers of so-called development bulldozer run by the CPI(M) – police administration nexus in Amlashole, the chronically poor area now famous for the Maoist led struggles.
Police forces in ‘Unnayan’ game: a Sinister design
In the ‘Unnayan’ plan the police department is also a player under the CPI(M) rule. During the Congress rule in West Bengal the CPI(M) demanded reduction in police budget and increase in budgetary allocation for education. While the budgetary allocation during the Congress Chief Minister Bidhan Roy’s tenure of 10 years increased from rupees 5 crore to 10 crore, during the assumption of power by the Left Front the police budget was increased from rupees 47 crore to 58 crore 25 lakh and 75 thousand and now in the budget of 2004-05 the allocation in the police budget spiralled to rupees 1324 crore 88 lakh and 53 thousand. [Dainik Statesman, 13 November 2005]. Is it not development Mr. Anil babu? Is it not strengthening the state’s armed forces instead of crushing it, Mr. Anil babu? In whose interest the ‘Left’ Front, NDA govt., UPA govt. are so generous to spend money for the armed forces?
In the recent meeting at Hyderabad on 19th September with the States Chief ministers the Home Minister also advised that the police forces should be involved in the so-called humanitarian development work to stem the tide of Maoist movements in India. A new Police Act is also on the anvil to “inject a strong element of human rights and attitudinal changes into the thinking and functioning of the men and women in Khaki” [The Statesman, 10th October, 2005]. Actually speaking, a deep conspiracy has been hatched to project the armed forces as angels in the areas where militant movements are on course and police or para-military bullets are randomly used against the people. The ‘Marxist’ CPI(M) has now been pioneers in this act of intervention by the police on the civil society in many ways. In West Midnapore, the fields of militant peasant struggle, since 2001 31-company BSF, CRPF and EFR forces have been permanently stationed and very recently on Buddhadeb’s request to the Centre 1000 specialty trained CRPF forces have been despatched there to contain the spate of Maoist struggles. Like the frequent T.V. coverage of aggressor American forces fondling the babies in Iraq here Buddhadeb’s butcher policemen are now keen enough to play such a role in the Maoist influenced regions. The trigger happy policemen are now conducting the schools in Banspahari, Bhulaveda, Simulpal and Lalgarh of West Midnapur. Are they teachers? It is a damming indictment to this government when 2001 census report says that still now 31% people in West Bengal are illiterate. Among them most are tribals and women. The more shameful thing is that throughout West Bengal under the fake Marxists’ rule in more than 10 thousand primary schools only one teachers is available for each school. [Dainik Statesman, 15th September, 2005]. So now the police will take two responsibilities: fight Maoists and teach students. They are teachers in anti-Maoist CPI(M) regime, they provide assistance to students in various ways and also take on guardians’ role to take the innocent children to visit cities. On 5.9.05 from Maoist-influenced 30 villages in West Midnapur boys and girls were taken to Kolkata for brain-washing as well as sight-seeing. In this extraordinary effort children were shown the Writers’ Building, Governor House, the Victoria Memorial, zoo, etc. (AnandaBazar Patrika, 6.9.05). The CPI(M) mouthpiece Ganashakti now provides almost regular space to prove that police in khaki and armed with rifles in West Bengal dismisses the Leninist view on the state and the role of the armed forces. We are citing some reports form the Ganashakti. In one issue the caption was “Villagers built up police camp stopping the Puja”. At Shyampur in Howrah district “The villagers around Sitapur under Shyampur police station build up the police camp to receive police help in their danger… about 2 lakh rupees was spent to built up this new police camp ….For receiving help (to build the camp) the local Durga puja was cancelled for this year….”. This report appeared in the Ganashakti during the first week of October, 05.
Another report in the Ganashakti on 5.10.05 with the heading “The police staff gave away new clothes for the flood affected victims” states how the non-gazetted police staff samity came out to help the affected people at Hingalganj and Sandesh Khali in Bashirhat sub-division in 24 Pargans (North). Similarly in another report (Ganashati, 6th October 05) on Hoogly dist. eulogizes the bond between the police and the common people “….In the Bhadreshwar police station premises 300 distressed people were distributed cloths by the police staff”.
We the Maoists strongly oppose such deliberate conspiracy of the Buddhadeb government to project the police forces as ‘people’s friends’ and to make the poor people victims of such ‘blessings’ to instill into their minds the anti-Marxist politics of police-people good relationship. This is also the actual class line of ‘development’ that Mr. Anil Biswas and his mentors are so desperately trying to implement in West Bengal. The Siddhartha of the 1970s has been further enlightened as Buddhadeb who howled to the cheers of police top brass at the Science City Auditorium in Kolkata on 18th September, 2005 that “From all sides we have segregated the Naxalites in this state”. The occasion was to confer ‘Prasansa Padak’ [Reward of Praise], ‘Nistha Padak’ [Reward for Sincerity], etc. to the skilled butchers of the police forces. Buddha even added “we have defeated them (the Maoist) administratively, politically and ideologically” [Source: Ganashakti, 19.9.05]. Manmohan’s and the World Bank’ s role model Mr. Buddhadeb at least disclosed one bitter truth that administration was used to defeat the Maoists. So far as politics and ideology are concerned there is no taker (except Manmohan, the World Bank, etc.) of hypocrisy from the common people but Buddha must have received all praise from the Home Ministry at the Centre and its international masters for his brutal dependence on the administration and establishing the state’s armed forces as people’s friends. This is a dangerous role what even Siddhartha of the 70s could not practise so skillfully! Now the civil society, democratic rights, schools of children, etc. will be looked after by the armed forces in West Bengal and it is also the new World Bank dictated ‘Marxism’ of the notorious CPI(M) in West Bengal.
The above critique of Anil Biswas’s slander campaign against us or, in other words of the CPI(M)’s social fascist policy of fake Marxism has taken up the important aspects pertaining to our principled positions, CPI(M)’s degeneration and the revolutionary Maoist alternative. Our friend the cunning Anil preferred rambling from this point to that point on most questions without any polemical attitude and on certain other issues he simply reiterated the much publicized old Dange line or the utterances of the CPI(M) during the spring thunder over India in 1967 and after.
Mr. Anil Biswas’s 34 pages printed tirade in Bengali (its English translation has also come out recently) against the Maoists is conspicuous by its clear, tangible and all-pervading fear now gripping the CPI(M) camp for the growing influence of Maoism and the Maoist party, the CPI(Maoist). The psychological defeat and intense unease are all too evident. In West Bengal we are a growing but small force till now. Yet our ideology and bold presence against the backdrop of CPI(M)’s dirty politics of surrender to the state and its foreign mentors have created so much shuddering impact to the fake Marxists that Mr. Anil was entrusted by the social fascists to write such a whopping trash. Buddhadeb boasts of his government’s roaring success in finishing off the Maoists. Then why such a huge write-up? The reasons are not far to seek. Firstly this will send the message to the ruling classes and imperialists, Uncle Sam in particular, how the CPI(M) challenges the Maoists in writing too and secondly, it will convey the message to those brutal class forces how the CPI(M) falls in line to train the guns on the Maoists.
What is found is that Anil and his party after swimming in the luxuries of the legislative power in West Bengal for 28 years are now vocally preaching the World Bank view on globalisation and practicing it quite sincerely too. The decay and utter degeneration clearly justifies the politics of Naxalbari as diametrically opposite to the comfortable parliamentary path to social change. Even the genuine Khuschevite or its Indian edition Dangeite revisionism is paled into insignificance considering the tricky use of Marxian idiom simultaneous with open and blatant marriage with the Congress, openly following World Bank diktats and the brutal use of state’s armed forces against the Maoists and any other forces opposing the CPI(M) power. Even the big comprador bourgeoisie and the feudal forces – old and new – are quite frank and generous enough to heap all praises on the CPI(M)-led government in West Bengal. Anils, Buddhas are now laughing stocks, and the ruling classes repose all faith in the CPI(M) to allow this party to carry on further. All movements what even the bourgeois liberals and social democrats are so much enamored of have been bidden adieu to save and protect the ‘Left’ Front with the support of the Indian ruling classes.
Certain things are quite evident. So-called land reforms have begun to prove a failure for some years past. Land concentration in the hands of a rich minority is the general trend in India, West Bengal is no exception. The ‘Left’ Front under the CPI(M) shall not allow any democratic voice to express itself. And finally, the Maoist alternative is the principal enemy of the social fascist CPI(M) and this makes it amply clear where we stand as revolutionary Marxists in India. Anil & Co. will find place in the garbage heap of history.
In recent times a few other write-ups have appeared in the CPI(M) journals against us. Mr. Sushanta Ghosh, the notorious minister, has recently written a longish article in Ganashakti, a rubbish which does not merit a reply from us.
Sitaram Yechury chose the occasion of Maoist blitzkrieg in Jehanabad on13 November, 05 in Bihar to actually denigrate the Maoists and repeat the peace-loving position to the satisfaction of the state in a full page attack against the CPI(Maoist) in the People’s Democracy on 27th Nov. 2005.
Yechury starts the write-up as a great worshipper of the Indian state thus: “The audacious assault conducted by the CPI(Maoist) at the Jehanabad jail raises serious questions of security and intelligence lapses.” He then repeats the same rubbish like Mr.Anil Biswas and once again quoting from the CPI(M)’s programme at the end clearly tries to assure the CPI(M)’s international and native masters with such old undertaking: “The Communist Party of India (Marxist) strives to achieve the establishment of people’s democracy and socialist transformation through peaceful means……” Yechury, the CPI(M) ideologue, assuringly wrote that “social transformation of India”, “can neither replicate the Russian or Chinese or for matter of any other experience in the world.” Thanks Mr. Yechury, Mr. Anil’s comrade, for writing so many words against the violent course for the real transformation of this existing system! Yechury hates the violent path and any revolutionary violence that Marx considered as a midwife to bring about a new society from the womb of the old. Yechury acts coy and imaginatively sets up the CPI(M)’s enemy who, he says, will use the politics of Maoist violence against the CPI(M)’s innocuous parliamentary creed. In his words
“Such violence is often described as Left extremism. In the process, there is a concerted attempt to denounce communism as fostering a ‘cult of violence’ and equating ‘anarchism with revolutionary activities.” Yechury brings in the RSS and sadly complains that this organisation equates “such anarchic violence (of the Maoists) with the revolutionary work that the CPI(M) is engaged in”.
Any conscious reader will realize the actual object of such self-justificatory plea: we are not for violence of any type. Our Party’s “Marxist” tag is merely an identity for contesting elections.
We the Maoists have an ideology and the revolutionary experience in practice. Our clear view on Anil’s i.e. the CPI(M)’s dangerously shameless theory and practice of state-friendly, imperialist friendly politics has been discussed quite in detail. We hope this will reject the lumpen politics of the Indian social-fascist, the CPI(M) and spread our revolutionary politics to every nook and corner of India, West Bengal in particular.
Yet we must make it clear here that the CPI(M) led ‘Left’ Front’s police forces will not allow us to reach out to the common people with our critique of Mr. Anil Biswas’s article. Actually speaking the Police Raj in West Bengal cannot permit the Maoists to openly participate in a debate with the social fascist CPI(M). With all constraints against us we shall try to reach out to as many people as possible with our view on revolutionary struggle holding aloft the red flag of Marxism Leninism and Maoism. Our path is thorny and blood-soaked. With the people on our side the final victory is ours.
It's good sign from the part of Maoists to reply revisionists as it will intensify the debates on the question of revolutionary theory and practice. I copied it to text file and it comes up to 77 pages!ReplyDelete
And this reply reveals a lot of Maoists' wrong understandings. I will point out only two (out of my cursory reading).
This reply says: "In course of world revolutionary movements two revolutionary paths emerged. One is insurgency waged by Com. Lenin in Russia and another the Protracted People’s War led by com. Mao in China."
This is a wrong understanding of Leninism among Indian communists. Both CPSU leadership under Stalin and CPC leadership under Mao were mum and helpless before this kind of dogmatic understanding. Path is developed by objective conditions and not predefined one. Marxism is defined as concrete analysis of concrete situation. So Marxism necessitates reaching at the uniqueness of each situation. Otherwise it is abstract analysis. And Leninism stands for 360 degree of flexibility of tactics, no dogmatic positions like 'illegal is right' or 'participating in parliament is wrong', etc, etc. Creating mutually excluding dichotomy between Chinese path and Russian path is because of not having comprehensive grasp of the ground reality in India.
Secondly, the Maoists criticizes the CPI before 1947, as if it the legacy of it is entirely of present day CPI and CPM. I can't understand this. The name of the party of Maoists also includes 'CPI'. We must understand that the CPI is the party organized by the call of Comintern or Third International, whatever limitations and drawbacks it had. They are part of the history. Negating the legacy of of CPI till 1964, and CPM from 1964 to 1968 amounts to negating Lenin, Leninism and Third International. The urge for 'purity' from revisionism should not force you to call yourself bastard. Only thoughtless people will do such mistakes.