MARTYRS’ DAY, AN OCCASION TO ADVANCE IDEOLOGICAL OFFENSIVE! - K N RAMACHANDRAN
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03 August 2020

It Was on 28th July comrade Charu Majumdar, the first General Secretary of the CPI(ML) died in police custody in 1972. It is also the day comrade T Nagi Reddy, General Secretary of UCCRI(ML) died in 1976 while in underground during emergency Central Committee of the CPI(ML) Red Star has called for observing it as the All India Martyrs Day to remember all the comrades who led and participated in the ideological, political inner-party struggle in CPI(M) against its neo-revisionist stand, leading to the Naxalbari Uprising in 1967, all the leaders and participants of this great mass uprising, leaders and activists, the Communist Revolutionaries, who were directly or indirectly part of the All India Coordination Committee of the Communist Revolutionaries (AICCCR) formed in 1968, and all the comrades who became martyrs in these struggles. The state committees can decide the dates to be observed as martyrs’ days based on this general understanding, and according to the practice followed so far to remember the martyr comrades from the states

The Central Committee has taken this decision as part of its efforts to settle accounts with the sectarian past and to unite all the CR forces who have general agreement on the analysis of the present international and national situation, and on the strategic approach for capture of political power by mobilising the working class and oppressed people under the leadership of a powerful communist party built on Bolshevik lines.

Remembering martyrs is not a ritual for the Communist revolutionaries. Presently, internationally and nationally, the working class and the oppressed peoples are going through a period of unprecedented exploitation and impoverishment, when utilizing Covid19 pandemic as a cover, the global imperialist system and its junior partners in power in countries like ours have launched barbaric attacks on the toiling masses, even on the humanity as a whole, dragging them to the verge of ecological catastrophe and extinction of the human species on earth through horrific plunder of labour as well as nature. The international communist movement is confronting the gravest ever challenge today; it has only one alternative before it, overthrow the imperialists of all hues and their junior partners and lead the working class and all oppressed classes and sections towards a socialist future. But, in spite of the objective condition reaching such a critical phase, many of the ‘left’ forces are either tailing behind the ruling system, or compromising more with it. All of them have removed revolution from their agenda in practice!

How could it happen? The Communist Manifesto explained that capitalism is re-creating the whole world in its own image. So, the working class can save the world only by overthrowing it and building a socialist world. From the Paris Commune onwards all advances made by the working class and its party were with this orientation. But nothing is static. When obstacles are faced every force tries to advance according to concrete conditions. It is true with the working class, it is also the case of capitalism.

For example, when finance capital emerged, capitalism faced crisis from its own inherent contradictions and growing resistance from the working class, it underwent transformation to monopoly capitalism, imperialism, with the world divided among the imperialist forces. But as the leaders of the Second International could not understand this transformation, they compromised with it, leading to its collapse. Only when Lenin analysed imperialism scientifically, developed the strategy of revolution according to concrete conditions, built the Bolshevik party fighting against Mensheviks and Narodniks, the October Revolution could take place, Soviet Union was formed, socialist construction launched and the Communist International was formed which helped the growth of ICM. This advance of the socialist forces reached its hitherto highest levels by early 1950s, when it had reached a stage when it could challenge the imperialist system and even overthrow it, if it had developed the Marxist-Leninist understanding according to the new situation and continued the struggle against imperialism and its lackeys.

This was a great challenge since the imperialist system which had faced many crises including the Great Depression in 1930s, emergence of fascism in its camp and Second World War, had equipped itself under US leadership in the post-War years, transforming colonial plunder, when it used pre-capitalist forces and relations as its social basis in the colonies, to neo-colonial phase, when the ‘de-colonized’ neo-colonially dependent countries were exploited and controlled mainly through enhanced export of finance capital and technology, along with market control. To facilitate this IMF and World Bank and later WTO were formed. ‘Land reforms from above” dictated by WB, and Green Revolution like policies, with finance capital and technology followed by market system entering the agricultural sector aggressively from 1950s itself started the transforming the relations of production. India was no exception. As a reflection of these changes, the mode of production debate had started in 1960s beginning itself (in Economic and Political Weekly and other publications) and some of the intellectuals closely related with the Naxalbari movement were also participating in it. But the evaluation of a new era of ‘total collapse of imperialism and worldwide victory of socialism’ in the ‘Long Live the Victory of People’s War’ and the characterisation of India in The Spring Thunder Over India in People’s Daily following Naxalbari Uprising, (both representing the sectarian Lin Biaoist line which had its sway over the CPC during 1966 to early 1970) as ‘semi-colonial, semi-feudal’ and path of revolution as ‘protracted people’s war’, had influenced the communist revolutionaries so much that, in spite of other differences, all upheld the slogan: ‘China’s Path is Our Path. Though Mao had repeatedly stressed on the importance of concrete analysis of the concrete situation for developing our understanding, and that he started with the study of Honan Uprising, we failed to recognize and study the vast differences between semi-colonial China and colonial India, what were the changes taking place in our country including the growing trend of capitalist relations in the agricultural sector by the time of Naxalbari itself. Such a sectarian strategic understanding naturally led to ‘annihilation of class enemy’ like sectarian tactics also. As a result, we lost the great opportunity of organizing the millions of students, youth, workers, poor peasants and agricultural workers including dalits and Adivasis, women, who came forward greatly inspired by the Uprising and call for revolution, in to a Bolshevik style communist party capable of using all forms of struggles to develop class struggle to capture political power.

Though the challenge posed by the socialist camp collapsed in the main with the usurpation of power by capitalist roaders in China in 1976, the imperialist itself was passing through one of its own cycle of crisis by that time. To overcome it, the British followed by US imperialists came forward with the neoliberal policies which called for abandoning all welfare policies and withdrawal of the state from all fields of production and services. IMF-World Bank called for globalisation-liberalisation-privatisation to promote corporatisation of all fields. When it was formally introduced in India in 1991, the CPI(M) leader and Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu declared that ‘there is no alternative to it’!. World over these social democratic parties went for implementing it, weakening themselves further. In almost all the neo-colonially dependent countries, the finance capital entered aggressively in all fields, intensifying the corporatization of the agricultural sector also. In a way the recreation of the world by the capitalist imperialist system reached unprecedented levels, though feudal remnants were continuing in few areas and influence of feudal culture also continuing along with imperialist culture. But, the dominant feature is that the economy of these countries got increasingly integrated with the global imperialist system. In such a situation, if Mao had stated there is no China Wall between the two, one getting transformed in to other, the line of demarcation between the democratic and socialist phases of revolution becoming thinner or disappearing. As accumulation of wealth in the hands of a very small section is increasing, the attacks on the enormously large working class, the peasantry and oppressed people, including the dalits, Adivasis, women and other backward sections are also intensifying. In present pandemic like situation it takes horrific forms. As all the major contradictions are becoming sharper, people’s uprisings are becoming an increasing feature, the state as an instrument of suppression also taking neo-fascist forms in increasing number of countries. According to these changes a new narrative of revolution is needed. But what is happening? Very few forces are prepared to come out of their old out-dated frames and to think daringly. They are holding on to their old ‘positions’ religiously. This is the great obstacle today to unite the communist forces and building a powerful Bolshevik style party capable of leading the numerous struggles of various classes and people’s uprisings taking place in this vast country.

In words all accept that “ideological political line determines everything”. But this line can be developed only through ‘seeking truth from facts’, making serious studies on what are the changes taking place, developing Marxism according to present conditions and applying it. Facts about the changes taking place around us are visible if we look around. We have to collect them and take their help to develop our understanding. This is not happening even after repeatedly calling for the studies. When RSS has shown how it has used its reactionary ideas to become a material force and come to hegemonic positions, the Marxist-Leninists are facing the great challenge of developing their revolutionary ideas to become a greater material force capable of overthrowing all forces of reaction and advance to revolutionary capture of political power.

Hundreds of thousands of comrades have sacrificed their lives for revolution. Today remembering the martyrs becomes meaningful when we dares to overcome our mistakes, develop our revolutionary line according to present conditions and dare to struggle and dare to make revolution.

The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.