Official Website of Communist Party of India, Marxist - Leninist (ML) Redstar - Editorials

Political Significance of Bhangar Movement

IN the context of the countrywide preparations for organizing the 50th anniversary of the Naxalbari Uprising, the Bhangar Peasant Movement has become a bright red spark which is enthusing the oppressed classes and sections all over the country. It inspires them to get mobilized and to initiate and spread people’s movements for land, livelihood, environment and basic democratic rights to get organized and struggle. It has the potential to spread to more and more areas so that it becomes a prairie fire enthusing the masses all over the country.

As the TMC leading the state government which came to power utilizing the people’s anger against the displacement at Singur and Nandigram, and the BJP which is reaping victories utilizing the Hindutua polarization very well recognize the dangers posed by the Bhangar people’s movement to their regimes. So both the state and central governments are resorting to all suppressive measures to put it down through most heinous means. They refuse to discuss with the people’s Committee for Protection of Land, Livelihood and Environment to resolve the people’s problems. They are arresting the leaders of the movement, imposing UAPA provisions, refusing bail to them. They have created a reign of terror in the area after the 17th January police firing. Under the ongoing fascicisation of Indian polity, the state government has unleashed police and goons to frighten the people.

But in spite of all these, the message of Bhangar is spreading to more areas; large number of people have send appeals to the governor and chief minister of the state to hold discussions with the Committee and to resolve the issue; in spite of the arrest of comrades Sankar Das and Kushal Devnath, leading comrades of the Solidarity Committee, the People’s Convention at Kolkata was successfully held; following the visit of WSS-AIRWO delegation, the OPDR also sent a fact finding team to the area; increasing number of teams from mass organizations are visiting the area expressing solidarity; the CPI(ML) Red Star W. Bengal state committee comrades along with the General Secretary met the families of the martys, the injured people, went around the damaged houses, shops and mosque and declared the resolve to extend all out support to the movement. Meanwhile the Committee has spread its activities to more areas, for ensuring the proper distribution of the welfare funds to the villagers. It is visible that the villagers are strengthening themselves to continue the struggle till victory.

In this context, the CPI(ML)Red Star calls on all party committees and appeals to all struggling left and democratic forces to support the movement more firmly by spreading Bhangar like movements to more and more areas according to concrete conditions there, and to continue the solidarity actions in support of the Bhangar struggle.

Observe 22nd April, the Party Day

IT was on 22nd April, 1969, the formation of the CPI (ML) took place. The communist revolutionaries, waging an uncompromising struggle against the CPI and CPI(M) leaderships who were directly or indirectly parroting the revisionist line of the CPSU leadership as put forward in its 20th Congress, 1956, reorganized the communist movement in the country on this birth centenary day of Lenin. The Naxalbari Uprising had already taken place in 1967 in the course of the ideological struggle against all shades of revisionism and parliamentary cretinism calling for land to the tillers and political power of the people. It had enthused the toiling masses like a “spring thunder”.

Though it was suppressed by the CPI(M) led United Front government in W. Bengal led by CPI(M), very soon millions of dalit, adivasi, working class, peasant, student and youth masses took the message of Naxalbari Uprising; militant mass movements spread to many states. Naxalbari Uprising was becoming a spark which gives birth to many more such uprisings. The formation of CPI (ML) provided a great fillip to the unfolding movement. But very soon, the failure to make a concrete analysis of the Indian situation and the mechanical upholding of the “Chinese Line” led it to left adventurist “line of annihilation”. Soon, the ideological, political, organizational weaknesses within, and the barbarous suppression by the state and central administrations led to great losses and to its disintegration by 1971-72.

When the CR forces took up the task of reorganizing and rebuilding the movement they had to fight against the hitherto theoretical-political weaknesses and the state terror that led to the setback, making a concrete analysis of the vast changes taking place internationally and within the country under the neocolonial phase of imperialism; they had to develop the Marxist-Leninist theory and practice according to present conditions in the country, and based on them the program and path of revolution. While taking up these difficult tasks, they had to continue the ideological-political struggle against the right opportunist line of social democracy followed by the CPI (M) led forces on the one hand, and against the anarchist line pursed by the CPI (Maoist) like forces. It is by uncompromisingly fighting against the state forces on the one hand and against these right and left deviations in the movement on the other, the CR forces have made important gains during these years.

While observing the Party Day all party committees have to take the message of our gains from playing the leading role in Bhangar like movements of the peasantry/rural poor, the lessons of the significant workers’ struggles as in North Karnataka, the housing right movement of the increasing number of slum dwellers as in Odisha, experience of the numerous movements in different states for “land, livelihood and environment”, lessons of participating in the caste annihilation movement as well as in the struggle for genuine secular values fighting against all shades of communalism/religious fundamentalism, advances in the struggles against the corporate raj which make the people increasingly dis-empowered etc. Let us observe the Party Day with revolutionary determination to intensify the people’s movements for advancing towards people’s democracy and socialist transformation.

A Budget to Make the Corporates Happy

THE central budget for 2017-18 combined with the railway budget presented by the finance minister Jaitly on 1st February has made the corporate forces extremely happy as their responses reveal. Though the biggest financial operation taken up during the last three months was the demonetization of the 86% of the currency in circulation, which has devastated vast masses and decelerated the economy of the vast majority, no analysis, even a report of how much of the currency was returned, is given in the budget speech by the finance minister. It is a criminal omission as even now many of the ATMs are not functioning, there are many reports of presence of vast quantities of new 500 and 2000 denomination fake notes and continuing crisis in the finance sector. On the whole, the announcement of opening doors more widely for the FDI, removal of all curbs for FDI-FII inflows through tax haven routes, all round promotion of digitization, public-private-participation (PPP) in more areas, privatization of the remaining public sector enterprises more speedily etc have gladdened the native corporate class and the MNCs. All hitherto neo-liberal benefits for the private sector are going to be further enhanced. At the same time, there is no mention of what happened to the promise of 20 million new jobs every year by Modi in the budget, especially when demonetization has destroyed more than 2 million employments during last two months! No enhancement of funds for education and health. There is going to be total cut down of all welfare policies and subsidies in the name of providing Rs. 1000 as Universal Basic Income (UBI) alternative for targeted 80%! But the banks are allowed to write off more bad loans of the corporate houses as Non Performing Assets (NPA). At the same time no plans for getting backs these bad loans of the elite class.

As far as the Railways are concerned, though the privatization started by the UPA government and speeded up during last two years under Modi have led to sharp increase in major train accidents, they are not even mentioned seriously; on the contrary there are enough hints that the privatization will be speeded up in all areas under railways. At a glance, this central budget will intensify privatization, commercialization and elitization of all sectors, and further impoverish the masses. Modi intends to impose these ultra rightist economic moves agenda under the sledge hammer of communalization! Modinomics is to serve the Trumponomics!

The Economic Survey tabled in Parliament, a report card of the economic performance of FY17, says that a Universal Basic Income that reduces poverty to 0.5 percent would cost between 4-5 percent of GDP! While expressing concern at this 4-5% of GDP for the UBI, the Survey do not even mention about 10 times of this amount due from the corporate which was written off as bad loans or Non Performing Assets by the public sector banks, or how much tax arrears of the elites are written off. After cutting down all former welfare policies and subsidies, the Universal Basic Income (UBI) alternative of providing Rs 1000 for the poorest 80% is proposed as a powerful idea, worthy of serious discussion! The UBI is suggested as an alternative to the various subsidies and social welfare schemes that aim to reduce poverty. The demand for a minimum wage of Rs. 22,000 and implementation of an unemployment wage of at least 50% of it for all unemployed demanded by the progressive forces is not even discussed in the Survey.

The Survey points out that there are “number of implementation challenges” due to which there is a risk that UBI would become an add-on to, rather than a replacement of, current anti-poverty and social programs, which would make it fiscally unaffordable. The Survey talks about the UBI only as a powerful idea “whose time even if not ripe for implementation, is ripe for serious discussion.” At the same time, without any mercy, justifications are fielded to write off universal public distribution system of food grains, allotments for education and healthcare, implementation of housing for all etc. On the whole the Survey is another attempt to promote the corporate forces on which the budget focusses, while impoverishing the 80%, who are downtrodden. 
REPORTS from Kolkata and other parts of West Bengal show that support for the Bhangar movement is increasing day by day. The Bhangar Support Committee is becoming broad based with more struggling left, democratic forces and individuals. Seeing it as a continuation of the Singur, Nandigram movements which shook the state a decade before, they are coming forward in support of the movement. Preparations are progressing to organize a People’s Hearing in the beginning of April with prominent jurists, scientists and democrats participating. Meanwhile solidarity committees are being formed in more states. A fund collection in support of the movement is also started. A Convention is planned in the middle of March at Kolkata which will be attended by a Party team. It shall go to Bhangar to hand over the fund and to declare solidarity with the movement. All possible legal actions are taken for the release of the comrades, Pradip Singh, Sharmistha and the 11 members of the Committee. Demand for release for these comrades and against imposing UAPA against leaders of people’s movements is raised by more and more forces. Mamta government is going to understand that however hard it tries, the people’s movement in Bhangar cannot be crushed and the ultimate victory will be that of the struggling people. The chief minister has repeated in the state assembly that if people do not want the project will be cancelled. But no action is taken to discus with the People. In this context the Committee for Protection of Land, Livelihood, Biodiversity and Environment has started a signature campaign the result of which will be announced soon and handed over to the chief minister to show how overwhelming is the opposition to the project.

At Bhangar assembly constituency in South 24 Parganas of W. Bengal, about 16 acres of very fertile agricultural land was forcefully taken over by the state government intimidating the poor peasantry using police and goons of the ruling TMC party in the name of constructing a power station. Few months ago it became clear that the land was actually taken for the Central Power Grid Corporation which started the construction of the grid lines threatening the land, livelihood and environment of thousands of families of the poor peasants. When the people started protesting with the support of the state committee of the CPI(ML) Red Star developing a democratic mass movement under the banner of Jomi, Jeebika, Vaasthuthahntro, O Parivesh Raksha Committee ( Committee for Protection of Land, Livelihood, Biodiversity and Environment) the state government started using state forces and goons to suppress it.

Though from the beginning of December, 2016, this Committee has submitted numerous memorandums to the local, bloc, thane, district and state authorities to resolve this serious problem affecting hundreds of thousands of the people through discussions. But, instead of discussing with the affected people, the police with the goons of ex MLA Arabul Islam and present MLA and minister, Abdul Razak Mollah of TMC (who was MLA and land revenue minister in the Left Front government before resigning from CPI(M) in 2015 and joining TMC) were harassing and attacking the people. In spite of a number of mass mobilizations in the area, followed by a march to Kolkata Raj Bhavan, and then a successful road block on 11th January, the authorities refused to talk with the committee. Instead they went on with provocations, attacking the villages leading to lathi charge and using tear gas followed by firing in which two youth were killed. State terror was further intensified, arresting 11 members of the Committee as well as comrade Pradip Singh, state secretary of the CPI(ML) Red Star and comrade Sharmistha, central committee member of the party and General Secretary of the AIRWO, imposing UAPA provisions on them. After remanding to police custody since 25th January, on 8th February they were sent to Alipore jail.

The CPI(ML) Red Star strongly condemns these heinous actions of the Mamta Banerjee led TMC government to suppress the movement. It extends revolutionary greetings to the villagers who are continuing the resistance struggle for getting the grid line project cancelled with increasing determination. It calls for intensifying the solidarity campaign at all India level in support of the Bhangar movement. 
FORTY EIGHT YEARS ago the historic Naxalbari Uprising took place in continuation to the ideological struggle against the revisionist leaderships of CPI and CPI(M) who had abandoned the path of agrarian revolution, the path of class struggle and revolutionary seizure of political power. It had brought revolution back to the agenda of the masses in a big way, inspiring millions to come out in the rural and urban areas against the reactionary ruling system. These revolutionary upsurges in many parts of the country led to the formation of CPI(ML) with the clarion call of completing the People's Democratic Revolution (PDR). Though the left adventurist deviation coupled with the barbarous suppression by the central and state governments led to serious setbacks and disintegration of the party and the movement by the early 1970s, the historic significance of these developments cannot be minimized.

The developments during the last four decades have only increased the significance of this revolutionary breaking away from the various hues of revisionism. Today the revisionist camp led by the CPI(M) stands more exposed for its implementation of the neo-liberal policies wherever its Left Fronts came to power, and for aligning with the ruling class parties under one pretext or other. It has led to parliamentary cretinism and class compromise. However hard it may try to overcome the setbacks suffered by it through the Political Tactical Line it adopted in its just concluded 21st Congress and through the Plenum to overcome organizational problems later, cannot help it as it is not prepared to move away from the line of class collaboration and parliamentary cretinism.

On the other hand, those who still pursue the left adventurist line have degenerated to anarchist positions. The challenge before the communist revolutionaries is to intensify the theoretical struggle against these deviations, while continuously developing the program and path of revolution according to present conditions, to develop the Bolshevik model party surrounded by class/ mass movements and to advance the class struggle in all fields to lead the PDR to victory.

But sections of the movement who still claim to uphold the Naxalbari Uprising have embraced rightist positions and become part of the CPI (M) led front. In spite of many setbacks, the CPI(Maoist) still persist in the anarchist path. It is in this situation, fighting against these deviations, the CPI(ML) Red Star has developed the program and path of PDR according to present conditions, developed the orientation for further developing the party and class and mass movements and successfully convened the Tenth Party Congress.

It is in continuation to the revolutionary enthusiasm created by the successful 10th Congress of the Party, the Central Committee has called to Observe 25th May, the Naxalbari Day, with the central slogan: Carry Forward Agrarian Revolution; Bring Revolution Back to the agenda with revolutionary enthusiasm all over the country !

Write Off Loans to Save Peasants from Suicide

THERE are reports of large scale peasant suicides from practically all states. In the northern states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, and in many more the recent untimely rain, hail storm and even floods have destroyed or harmed the wheat, potato and other crops seriously. All these peasant families had taken loans from banks and usurers; and the fear of what will happen to their family if the loans are not repaid is driving them to suicide. The central and state governments are trying to belittle the seriousness of this question by announcing some subsidies and sops. What is required is the writing off of all bank loans and urgent help in repay loans taken from the usurers. It is the case in UP, Punjab and all other affected states. A countrywide campaign demanding writing off of loans and struggles for it by mobilizing the peasants are the immediate tasks to be taken up to save the distressed peasants from committing suicide.
Page 20 of 20

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.