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52ND NAXALBARI DAY OBSERVED

On 25th May, 52 years ago, it was on this day the West Bengal state and central forces fired on demonstrators at Naxalbari killing 11 comrades including infants to suppress the People’s Uprising advancing in the region calling for ‘land to the tiller’ as part of agrarian revolution. It heralded a new chapter in the history of the communist movement in our country. Today when the corporate-saffron fascist forces have returned to power with more strength, and when the agrarian question has become more acute under the neoliberal regime, the relevance of Naxalbari Uprising has increased. The struggle for agrarian revolution including the land to the tillers slogan according to the present situation has become more relevant than ever as the oppression of the Adivasis and dalits on the one hand, and the suicides of the farmers due to intensifying agrarian distress on the other are increasing day by day. This critical situation calls for intensifying the revolutionary mass movement for re-structuring the society, to learn from Naxalbari Uprising and advance towards people’s democracy and socialism. Long Live Naxalbari Uprising! Red Salute to the martyrs and leaders of Naxalbari Uprising!.

On this day CPI(ML) Red Star comrades from North Bengal districts and leaders of the AIKKS assembled at the martyrs column at Naxalbari under the leadership of Central Committee member com Pradip Singh Thakur, remembered the martyrs and the departed leaders of the movement and pledged to carry forward the message of agrarian revolution put forward by the Naxalbari Uprising according to present concrete conditions. In other states also Naxalbari Day was observed by the party committees with various programs

The TUCI condemns the decision of the Central Government to reduce the rate of contribution towards ESI. No doubt there is at present a reserve of over Rs. 80000 crores with the ESIC. However, this is an illusory surplus. The fact is that though the collection of the ESI is going up and though the number of persons covered has increased massively, the facilities have not kept pace. The number of beds available under the ESI Scheme has hardly grown in proportion to the growth of the coverage. At the same time, the conditions in most ESI hospitals are abysmal and very often even the basic medicines and facilities are not available. This shows that the Government has been using the ESI Scheme as a convenient conduit to collect money which is then lent to Government and state establishments through FDs and bonds at a nominal rate.

The present cut in rates is now an attempt to give further benefits to the corporates in the country. Employers in the country will profit to the extent of thousands of crores of rupees each year by this concession.

The Directors of ESI had suggested that a reduction in the rates be made with the rate for managements being brought down to 4% (from 4.75%) and the rate for employees being brought down to 1% (from 1.75%). However the Government has disregarded this suggestion and reduced the amount to be contributed by managements even further to 3.25%.

The Government’s argument that this is being done for the benefit of the employees so that they can get more carry home wages and that due to the reduction of the burden on the employers more workers will be brought into the formal sector holds no water. If this was the case, the government could well have taken on all the burden upon itself as a social burden. As a principle, TUCI believes that social security is the burden of the employer. It is the employer who was responsible for all Workmen’s Compensation before the enacting of the ESI Act. The State may take over this burden from employer but then this must be recovered by proper taxation of the employers. The present move is merely a further unfolding of the neo-liberal principle whereby the whole of the insurance sector, including for employees, will be handed over to the private sector.

The TUCI calls upon all workers and all democratic individuals and organisations to vigorously oppose this move of the Government which is a step to privatising the future safety and well being of all employees.

Workers of the world unite !

Oppose the move to reduce the contribution to ESI for managements !

We demand proper functioning of all ESI facilities and enhancement of facilities provided !

RCF MEETING HELD AT BHUBANESWAR, ODISHA

The Meeting of All India Coordination Committee of RCF Calls to Face the Challenge of Fascist Manuvadi Philosophy with the Materialist Lokayat (Charvak) Philosophy and Values of Renaissance Movement.

The All India Coordination Committee meeting of the Revolutionary Cultural Forum (RCF) was held at Bhubaneswar (Orissa) on 22nd and 23rd June. It was attended by Tuhin (Chhattisgarh), Rajendra Pratap Singh (Delhi), Pravin Nadkar (Maharashtra), Asim Giri and Sankar Das (W.B.), Ravi Palur and K. Balakrishnan (Kerala), Rakesh and Sukanti (Orissa), Sukhbindar and Vineeta (Punjab). The RCF Unit of Orissa was formed.

On 22nd June a cultural evening against warmongering, jingoism and communal hatred was organised at Ma Tarini Basti. (There was a tremendous struggle for 3 years against the demolition of slums and the Basti Suraksha Manch did not allow any slum to be demolished.) In the cultural evening, Sukanti Jena, Neha Barik, Palash, Asim Giri, Tuhin, Rajendra Pratap, Pravin Nadkar, Sankar Das, Sukhbinder, Vinna, Pooja and Sujata presented revolutionary songs and poems. Rakesh conducted the program.

In the meeting, tribute was paid to Andhra Pradesh revolutionary singer Ramrao and legendary playwright, literary and actor Girish Karnad. The meeting expressed deep concern at the way in which fascist, manuvadi attacks in every sphere, especially culture and education, were being perpetrated under the directives of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) all over the country and with the direct help of Indian and foreign corporates like Ambani-Adani. In the face of the fascist manuvian philosophy behind these attacks, the RCF will face the challenge with India’s ancient materialistic philosophy, Lokayat (Charvak) philosophy, from Buddha philosophy to the values of Indian Renaissance. Speakers at the meeting said that Modi’s second coming means a flood of extreme-right-wing, neoliberal, corporate exploitation and every section of the oppressed public will be dominated by the most degenerate financial magnates in every region. This will increase the poverty and misery of the wider public. In the meeting it was decided to run a joint cultural campaign with the progressive cultural organizations against the distortion and communalization of India’s history and culture.

The meeting adopted resolutions against the effect of the New (National) Education Policy (NEP), which will promote privatization / commercialization and saffronization in the field of education, with the help of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the WTO, against the directive of the arrest of Pa Ranjith (Tamil Nadu) director of Tamil film “Kala” (who had said that the Chola rule of Tamil Nadu was against the Dalits) and for the freedom of expression in the face of attacks on journalists across the country and in the favour of journalistic security law, against the killing of youth Tabrez in Jharkhand, mob-lynching of minorities and dalits under the guise of Jai Shri Ram, against the issue of arrest orders of London’s singer Hard Kaur (who had condemned Yogi Adityanath for the atrocities on women, dalits and minorities in UP), against caste suppression, against growing superstition and religious hypocrisy in favour of scientific consciousness, against religious fanaticism and casteism, in favour of peace, Secularism and Ganga-Jamuni Tahajib of India.

Comrades discussed deeply on the rise of neo-fascism in the International and National levels as well as the methods of resistance. The consensus has reached that traditional methods of cultural resistance along with non-traditional methods and out of the box methods should be implemented to reach out to students and youth.

Tuhin

General Secretary,

Revolutionary Cultural Forum

23 July 2019

A Summary of the minutes of Preparatory Committee meeting held on 27 May 2019, Nagpur is given below. In this meeting representing the CPI(ML) Red Star, CC member comrade Vijay and representing the AIRSO comrades Akshay and Satwik participated – RS.

Introduction : Human activities are estimated to have caused ~1°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels. Inter-governmental cooperation to tackle climate change began in 1997, but has had little impact in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Many studies warn that without drastic and immediate cuts in GHG emissions, temperature rise by 2100 may be between 3-4oC, causing drastic changes to the environment and putting earth’s ecology and human society to great risk.

Climate change poses a particularly high risk to South Asia. The Maldives will drown, Pakistan and Bangladesh are in the top-10 most vulnerable nations and India and Nepal in the top-20. If the national governments have been sluggish in tackling climate change, the people must take a cue from the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres’s recent speech in New York where he said that unless a course change is made by 2020, we face the possibility of a runaway climate change with disastrous consequences. He called the current situation an “emergency we face.”

To reduce the risk of climate change impacts, the people of the world must now ask for urgent and appropriate measures to be implemented, and for the people of the world to have a direct say in global governance.

Accordingly, in May 2019, the South Asian People’s Action on Climate Crisis (SAPACC), a rainbow coalition of organizations was setup by a Preparatory Committee consisting of representatives from 12 organizations.

The core demands of SAPACC are:

a          Emissions control, consumption reduction, sustainability index: North nations’ emissions must become net zero by 2030, and South nations’ by 2040. Gross global consumption should be reduced to sustainable levels and a sustainability index should be agreed upon to measure efficacy of sustainability objectives.

a          Responsibility for climate change related losses: All nations should take responsibility for climate change related injury, displacement and property loss to people, and damage to the environment, in proportion to their historic emissions.

a          Consumption equity: By 2040, global energy consumption equity should be achieved such that the ratio between the lowest and highest per capita energy consumption of people everywhere in the world is d”2.

a          Decentralized autonomous social structures; transparent democratic decision making: Decentralized and autonomous local self governing bodies of communities must have oversight powers over provincial and national governments, and international cooperation agencies. Decisions at all governance levels must be democratic and transparent.

a          Restoring the environment: Air, water, land, soil, and to the extent possible biodiversity, should be restored to their earlier quality.

SAPACC will bring together scientists, farmers, youth, workers, women, etc, from all the South Asian nations to ask for a people’s climate emergency to be declared in South Asian countries, and for the implementation of the above demands, and ask South Asian governments to table a resolution in the UN to have a global climate emergency declared.

SAPACC is convening a 3 day launch meet in the third week of September 2019 either in Delhi or Hyderabad with delegates from all South Asian nations. SAPACC will co-opt co-organizers who agree with the above demands for the September 2019 launch meet. The launch meet may be preceded with pre-launch conferences on themes such as Climate change impact on women, youth, workers, farmers, Climate science and policy, Climate change and the law.

Like-minded civil society organizations that agree with the above core demands will be invited to become co-organizers of the launch meet. The budget for the launch meet was estimated to be Rs 8-10 Lakh, and would be raised through crowd-funding.

Prior to the September 2019 launch meet, build-up programmes, such as talks in different places, the setting up of websites, etc, would be done to mobilize civil society groups. Post-launch programmes suggested include the setting up of a journal, holding people’s assemblies in each country, etc.

SAPACC’s Preparatory Committee elected Mr. Sudarshan Rao Sarde as its convener, and Mr. Sagar Dhara and Mr. Soumya Dutta as its co-conveners. Dr Sanjeev Kulkarni, Mr Sudhir Paliwal, Mr Vijay Kumar, Ms Karnika Palwa and Mr Sajjan Kumar, along with the convener and co-conveners will form the Working Committee that will take decisions on a weekly basis. The Preparatory Committee will have overall supervisory control of SAPACC in the runup to the September 2019 launch meet.

We need you to stop climate change turning into a crisis: SAPACC requests your cooperation and support for organizing the September 2019 launch meet, and to campaign for the five demands listed above. Whether you are a small organization or an individual, you could volunteer time till the launch meet to do the many things that are required to organize a large international meet. Or you could also help collect money through crowd funding methods.

It is only with you that SAPACC can take its message to people and the governments of South Asian countries. Thank you.

For further queries, please contact: South India — Sudarshan Rao Sarde and Sanjeev Kulkarni; North India — Soumya Dutta, Sajjan Kumar, Karnika Palwa and Vijay Kumar; West India — Sudhir Paliwal; East India — Sagar Dhara; Other countries: Sudarshan Rao Sarde: Soumya Dutta: Sajjan Kumar. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Central Committee of CPI(ML) Red Star discussed the above minutes and other papers on Climate Change and the report of com.Vijay and decided to issue the following Call: Organize broadbased Climate Change Groups at state level or  Area Level uniting comrades from class/mass organizations and like minded forces. The Preparatory Committee has now decided to hold the South Asia Convention at Hyderabad on 21st to 23rd September. Organize meetings wherever possible, form Committees against Climate Change, organize public programs to mobilize the masses for this, and suggest names of comrades to participate in the Hyderabad Convention. Connect it with the International Strike on 20th September against Climate Change. Let us actively take up the question of Climate Change and struggle for an egalitarian, people oriented and sustainable development paradigm. n

Under the leadership of Trade Union Centre of India (TUCI) workers engaged in various sectors have been struggling for the last one and half years for minimum wages and against the contract labour system which is a neo liberal policy imposed by the state and central governments.

The Modi-2 government wants changes in labor law so that corporate capitalists can earn super profits and so it also wants to remove all democratic and trade union rights of the working class. The Kumaraswamy government in Karnataka has not implemented the existing labour laws in various sectors, especially government sector. In this way they are showing actual support to the Modi government by attacking the working class and peasantry.

In this critical situation workers in the power sector in north Karnataka, irrigation sector and mining sector are continuously fighting for their wages, bread and livelihood. The state government is trying to suppress their struggles through various methods.

Tungabhadra irrigation workers who are in charge of supply and maintenance of water to 906000 acres command area of Raichur, Koppal and Bellary districts have not been paid their salary for 14 months. Instead, the authority is threatening their job security through imposing contract labor system!

In the state-run Hutti Gold Mines, 4054 workers produce10kg gold everyday and they reached 99%production target fixed by the management but their wage revision settlement is still pending. Even after successful negotiation, the government is not approving their fine wage agreement. Workers have been fighting for this since the last 18 months.

Raichur is now a major power hub in Karnataka. The Raichur Thermal Power Station was established in 1985. It produced 1750megawatts per day. It employed more than 1600 contract labours in the hard work of coal and ash handling but they were not paid living wages. The National Power Grid Station was established in 2014 in city-attached area and its transmission capacity is 760MW. Here 22 workers were terminated for demanding minimum wages and the conciliation is still pending.

The Yeramaras Thermal Power Station (YTPS) was established by the state government in 2016 without heeding the opposition of the people of Raichur to the project. It is said to be the only super critical thermal power plant in India with 13250 crores investment by state and central governments. More than 500 workers including those who had lost land to the project were terminated illegally 6 months ago and workers organised under TUCI have built up a struggle. The workers say: “We have lost our land and livelihood to YTPS, so how can YTPS authority terminate us from our jobs now? We want reemployment and wages.” They carried on a hunger strike for 23 days but still the authority did not respond.

In the above context, under the leadership of TUCI, the Tungabhadra, Hutti gold mines, RTPS and YTPS workers challenged Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy’s village-stay programme. When this was announced, the Raichur district administraton approached the TUCI leadership and promised a meeting between the CM and the TUCI leadership at Yeramaras Guesthouse on June 26.

But the meeting was never held. The Chief Minister did not even bother to listen to the problems of the workers. In protest, around a 1000 workers came out to the main road blocking it. Actually the workers had encircled the guesthouse and the road. The CM’s special bus was not allowed to leave for at least 30 minutes. Then the CM came out and shouted that the workers voted for Modi and came to him when they were in trouble! The workers responded by sloganeering against the Modi government. The CM then shouted for the police but the police were too paralysed to take action because of the workers’ strength and militancy.

Later, many people’s organisations and leaders of political parties condemned the chief minister’s attitude towards the struggling workers. TUCI Karnataka state president and union leader comrade R. Manasayya said "we are fighting at Yaramaras Thermal Power Station! The communists, not BJP. We are fighting for job security for five hundred workers who have thrown out of work. We are fighting for payment of months of salary due to Tungabhadra workers also."

The demonstration of June 26 once again exposed the attitude of the ruling classes to the burning issues of the working class. The TUCI leadership seriously condemns the irresponsible state government. It has called for an indefinite dharna by the Tungabhadra workers at Freedom Park, Bengaluru, since July 3, demanding their 14 months’ due wages and job security. TUCI demands that the matter be raised in the monsoon session of the Assembly which will start on July 12. n

Many scholars opined that the main struggle within the philosophical circle of India was between the theist and the atheist lines. The Marxist philosophers understood this struggle as the struggle between idealism and materialism. The importance of Debiprasad lies in the fact that he tried to understand this struggle much more deeply and in the course of that he showed that this struggle originated from another specific struggle, which was, the struggle between two social systems — patriarchal society and the matriarchal society. Therefore, the struggle between idealism and materialism originally sprang out from the struggle between patriarchy and matriarchy. Later this struggle in philosophy became the spiritual tools of different classes, which were developed inside the Indo-Aryan society, in order to establish their own domination. This explanation about the history of the struggle among different philosophical trends is obviously a new one as almost no Indian scholars, neither Marxist nor non-Marxist, put their labour to unfold the history of matriarchal past of our country and its reflection in philosophy. Therefore, when Debiprasad discussed that how the development of materialism in India is closely connected with non-Vedic matriarchy and the origination of idealism with the Vedic patriarchy, obviously a new light is thrown in the discourse related to the history of philosophy.

Secondly, the reading of the book Origin of Family, Private Property, and the State written by Engels gives an impression that the primitive communist society was matriarchal in nature. However, with the origin of the private property the communistic organization of the society was broken and class division was developed. Along with that the matriarchal society had to be changed into patriarchy in order to retain the private wealth within the family. Therefore, patriarchy replaced long-established matriarchal society and Engels called it ‘world historic defeat of the woman race’. Therefore, it is quite obvious from this explanation that the change of society from matriarchy to patriarchy follows a linear direction which cannot be reversed. Debiprasad did not agree with this view at least in case of the Indian scenario. He noticed that the peculiar history in India witnessed a reversal from patriarchy to matriarchy once again when the basic economic activity of the society changed from hunting-gathering stage to agriculture. And this early agricultural matriarchal society acted as the social basis of the origination of proto-materialist notion like Tantra. From this view he reached yet another new concept that materialism was developed as the first ever philosophical trend in India, not idealism.

All these new sights regarding the history of philosophy and on the philosophical battles in our country coupled with the history of societal development are extremely important in order to understand the actual socio-political reality of our country and at the same time these ideas could have played important role to develop Marxist theory and praxis. But alas! The Marxists of our country never paid attention to the valuable works of Debiprasad, god knows why?

Debiprasad handled three sets of opposite ideas and reality at a time in order to enter in a detailed discussion on the origin of Indian materialism and found the very connection among them magnificently. Materialism and idealism, matriarchy and patriarchy, non-Vedic society and Vedic society — these three sets of opposites came into his discussion and Debiprasad unfolded the actual relation among them.

We have already noted in the previous chapters that according to Debiprasad, one of the main issues of debate between materialism and idealism was cosmogony. The Vedantist cosmogony was idealist according to which the universe was created from idea. On the other hand the Lokayata cosmogony put forward one sort of materialist idea which says that there is no difference between soul and body (deha) and the universe was originated from unification of prakriti (female) and purusha (male). We have also seen that the Lokayata cosmogony and Tantrika cosmogony are all the same. Debiprasad told us that Tantrika cosmogony and Lokayata cosmogony or Carvaka cosmogony was all the same, or more accurately one transformed into another. Then, there was another question raised. Which one originated first? Tantrism or Lokayata? According to Debiprasad, Tantrism was an ancient idea which consists of a bunch of old beliefs mainly naturalist or proto-materialist in nature. The importance of Debiprasad is that he is the only Marxist philosopher who tried to understand that which social condition is responsible for the originof the concept like Tantrism. Before going into that question we wish to introduce Tantrism very briefly to our readers as elaborated by Debiprasad. 

The central concept of Tantrism is Vamacara. Many scholars understand the term ‘vamacara’ as the ‘left hand practice’. The word ‘vama’ appears to them as ‘left’ and by ‘left hand practice’ they want to mean a bunch of mysterious rituals which are not common in conventional wisdom (Vedic concepts and rituals). It is true that in our country the struggle between Vedic and non-Vedic ideas and culture is the main source of the philosophical struggle. Therefore, in this background the above mentioned explanation of vamacara is widely accepted in the academic circle. However, Debiprasad did not agree with this explanation. He argued very clearly that Tantrism originated much before than composing of the Vedas. Therefore, according to Debiprasad, in comparison with the Vedic rituals and beliefs Vamacara was so uncommon rituals and that was why it was originally meant as ‘left hand practice’ — this concept is very much farfetched. He clearly declared that Vamacara is nothing but the rituals of the females. Debiprasad understood the term ‘vama’ as woman. He explained that the women were in the centre of Tantrism and Tantrika rituals. Vamacara was deeply associated with Kamacara which meant nothing but sex (kama) rituals. We have already seen that in order to criticize the Lokayata view the conventional Vedantist philosophers always portrayed these sex rituals as perversion.

Elaborating the Tantrika view Debiprasad proved that the sex rituals in ancient materialist or proto-materialist views in India was not perversion at all, on the contrary, unlike the Vedic tradition in Tantrika practices sex rituals always were dominated by the females. Vamacara originally means the rituals exclusively by the women. It does not mean that in these rituals male folks had no part to play, however, their role was only to assist, and again the final aim of the Tantrikas, irrespective of their biological gender, was to become female (vama bhutva yajet param). Let us enter into more elaborate explanation of Tantrism.  

The most important part of Vamacara is the practice of yoga, or yogasadhana. According to Tantrika belief there is another nerve cord inside the central nerve cord of every human body, which is called chitrini. Further, there are seven special points on chitrini which are actually seven seats of energy or power (shakti). The power residing in these seven points are differently named. The power residing in the nethermost point is called Kalakundalini. The immediate aim of Tantrika Jogacara is to arouse the dormant Kalakundalini in the nethermost center on chitrini. Once Kalakundalini is aroused or awakened she gradually moves upwards and starts piercing all the intermediary positions in order to finally reach the uppermost point on the chitrini which is called sahasradalapadma. That is why the Tantrika yogasadhana is often called as satchakraveda sadhana or a practice to pierce seven points. It is an extremely important point in Tantrika view that it clearly stated that the highest seat of consciousness resides on sahasradalapadma on chitrini which is actually placed in human brain. So Debiprasad said: “The main contribution to some of the sciences — particularly to anatomy and physiology — came in our country from the Tantrikas. They discovered long ago that the brain was the seat of consciousness.” (Lokayata/pp 335). He quoted a passage from the book Positive Sciences of the Ancient Hindus (1915) written by the eminent philosopher of Brahmo Samaj, established at the time of Bengal Renaissance, Sir Brajendra Nath Seal which says the following: “In Charaka and Susruta (as in Aristotle) the heart is the central organ and seat of consciousness; but in the Tantrika writings (as in Galen) the seat of consciousness is transferred to the brain or rather the cerebrospinal system.” (Seal/PSAH/218-19).   

Now the question is that what is the nature of this force like Kalakundalini?  Debiprasad put forward a splendid discussion where he clearly pointed out that the nature of this force is nothing but female force. In Tantrika literatures the seven points on the chitrini which are considered as the places of the power or forces often termed as Lotus or Padma, like Asthadalapadma or Sahasradalapadma etc. Here, the term ‘padma’ is a technical term which means female genital organ or vagina. Debiprasad said: “Seven padmas, literally lotuses, are conceived as situated on seven different positions of the susumna-cord. Modern writers on Tantrism usually call these nerve plexuses. But the point is that in Tantrism the lotus (padma), like many other terms, is conceived exclusively in a technical sense. In Tantrism the lotus is invariably a symbolic representation of the female genital organ.” (ibid/pp 281). Therefore, the nature of the forces which are originated from the female genital organ are undoubtedly female. So Debiprasad opined: “So, if the Kalakundalini and other saktis residing in the seven padmas of the susumna are at all energies or forces, we cannot but conceive them as female forces or feminine energies. Thus there are seven seats of femininity on the central nerve-cord.” (ibid/ pp 281-82).  

What happens when this female force is awakened and reaches in the highest seat of consciousness, that is, Sahasradalapadma, by piercing all the intermediary points? Answering this question Debiprasad leads his readers into an extremely interesting and path-breaking discussion. He answered that when this force reached in the highest seat of consciousness the female force united with the masculinity that resides there along with femininity and ‘everything dissolves into a kind of non-duality, because, evidently, everything is lost into the pure all-absorbing femininity which is aroused within’. A total transformation took place in the consciousness of the Tantrika. The Tantrika may be a female or male biologically, however, he transforms into a female in consciousness. Debiprasad said, “Thus the essence of the Tantrika yogasadhana consists in arousing and vitalizing the female principle residing in her nethermost centre and then transmitting her to her highest centre, the seat of consciousness, after piercing all the intermediary positions. It is thus nothing but an effort towards a total transformation of the personality into femininity.” (ibid/pp 282). In Tantrika literature it is called, vama bhutva yajet param, that is, the highest goal of practice (sadhana) is to become female.

Debiprasad showed that kamacara, (the sex rituals) were very important component of vamacara. Sexual practices (kama), that is, the urge to be united, occupy special place in Tantrika beliefs and rituals. Actually vamacara is nothing but kamacara and the opposite is also true. However, we have already noted that in Tantrism sexual practice is neither led by the male nor for the male which can be seen in Vedic society. On the contrary, here, the sexual practices are led by the female and for the female. The role of the male folks is only to assist and that too, the ultimate goal of the sadhana is to become female, transforming the personality of the Tantrika into femininity. That is why in Tantrism we see that the important components of female sexuality, like, female genital organ or menstrual blood are considered as most auspicious and holy in stark contrast of patriarchal religious ideas. The menstrual blood has extremely important place in Tantrika text where it is called as sky flower (khapuspa) which is also a technical term like ‘padma’. Several technical terms of this kind can be seen in Tantrika text, which represent different components of female sexuality. Another important aspect of Tantrika sadhana is its practice related to five Mas. These five Mas are Madya (wine), Mamsa (meat), Matsya (fish), Mudra (fried corn) and Maithun (sex). All these are important components of sex rituals to facilitate the Tantrika yogasadhana in order to transform the human consciousness into all-absorbing femininity, vama bhutva yajet param.

Debiprasad engaged in a long discussion with Tantrism and directly raised a question that on which type of socio-economic basis a belief-system like Tantrism could be developed. He discussed the matter so magnificently that without his help we could answer that only in a matriarchal society this type of belief-system could originate. The Vedic society was a patriarchal society. All the major deities in the Vedas were male. Indra, the Lord of the War, full of masculine vigor was most prominent among them. A lot of praises had been devoted to him in the Rig Veda. Therefore, it is quite natural that the Vedic society could not be the society where Tantrism could originate. However, without being satisfied only with this Debiprasad continued his investigation in order to reach deeper understanding. What is the actual significance of female power in Tantrism? Why the sexual practices or sex rituals are so prominent and dominant in Tantrism? We have already seen that kamacara is the actual practice of the women and irrespective of biological gender the Tantrikas are engaged in the sadhana to become female. Therefore, the prominence of sexual act is not at all inspired by any kind of masochism which was very common in patriarchal Vedic society and its thoughts. If then, what was actual inspiration behind the dominance of sexual practices in Tantrism?

Debiprasad showed that the real inspiration behind widespread sex rituals in Tantrism actually remained in the desire of production. In the lower stage of agricultural society where there was almost no development in the arena of natural science, people were mostly ignorant about the real reasons behind agricultural production, there from the utmost uncertainty of production one kind of practice was developed. Debiprasad called it Magic. In this society the concepts relating material production, sexual reproduction, female force and fertility can mix together in order to give birth to the magical belief-system like Tantrism. Here, we can recall what Engels said regarding the basis of societal structure. Discussing the base and superstructure Engels said that the production and reproduction of immediate life was the base of a society, and it had twofold characters. He opined that if the production and reproduction of essential materials for livelihood is one aspect of this activity, another aspect is to produce and reproduce the human species itself.

Debiprasad showed that in the society of the early agriculturists how the magical beliefs came out from this ‘double helix’ of these two aspects of production and reproduction. Before entering into the subject we must admit that Debiprasad was the only Marxist who deeply investigated theology and in connection to that he investigated about the origin of religion. The Marxists of our country even today lack proper understanding regarding religion and cannot say anything more than ‘opium’ and ‘sigh of the oppressed’. This is a fatal lacuna in a country like India. If the important works of Debiprasad were taken into account this situation could not have arisen. Debiprasad established with due emphasis that religion did not exist always. In the course of the societal development, with the origin of class division, religion came into being. Then what was there before religion? “Magic”, answered Debiprasad. Now the question: what is that magic?

In a series of lectures in 1986 organized by the Kolkata University on religion and society Debiprasad put forward an elaborate discussion on the origin of religion. Those lectures were later published in a book under the same title: Religion and Society. Debiprasad discussed on ‘before-religion’ in one of those lectures. He said that in the primitive society where human beings had very little knowledge about the mystery of the nature, thus production was uncertain, food crisis was high, there the humans took refuge in a special instrument to overcome the difficulty which is called magic. From this instrument sacrificial ceremonies and rituals were developed in later period. Magic was an illusion which used to visualize the people that as if they were getting the desired objects. It was not like the ceremonies which were devoted to please the gods. The primitive people were people of action. They were not separated from production. Therefore, magic was an imagination that the desired incidents were taking place. When rain was badly needed people used to assemble in a particular place and a dance used to get started and the gathered people imagined that the raining was taking place. In the early pastoral society of the Vedic Aryans in India the strong presence of magic can be seen. Similarly, Debiprasad showed that in the early agriculturist societies magic related rituals were very common not only in India but in a vast areas of the globe. The reason explained by him: “To the early agriculturists, it was not known why or how the plants really grew. The process from sowing to reaping was with them greatly mysterious. Besides, the technique was poor and consequently the prospect of success was extremely precarious. That is why it required patience, foresight and faith.” (Lokayata). Therefore, in the pre-Vedic early agriculturist society in India where the people had almost no material tools to overcome the difficulties in the production it was imperative for them to take refuge in magic. Magic was the tools which helped the people to imagine as if they were controlling the objectivity. Debiprasad told magnificently: “imposing illusion on reality”. Tantrism developed from the magical beliefs of the people in the early agriculturist society of India.

Now the question is what is the relation between the early agriculturist society and the female force? Debiprasad led his readers to a splendid and path-breaking discussion in order to answer this question. Let us know his opinion in a nutshell. However, before that we should note that when in “Communist Manifesto” Marx-Engels declared in 1848, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”, they had no knowledge of pre-history. In the year of 1888 Engels put forward a note to the English edition of “Manifesto” which says: “That is, all written history. In 1847, the pre-history of society, the social organization existing previous to recorded history, was all but unknown. Since then, Haxthausen discovered common ownership of land in Russia, Maurer proved it to be the social foundation from which all Teutonic races started in history, and by and by village communities were found to be, or to have been the primitive form of society everywhere from India to Ireland. The inner organization of this primitive Communist society was laid bare, in its typical form, by Morgan’s crowning discovery of the true nature of the gens and its relation to the tribe. With the dissolution of these primaeval communities society begins to be differentiated into separate and finally antagonistic classes. I have attempted to retrace this process of dissolution in: Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State.”   

Morgan and Engels both portrayed the same picture about the transition from primitive communist society to class divided society and its relation with another transition from matriarchy to patriarchy. According to them the primitive communal society was based on matriarchy. From the very beginning of the human society indiscriminate sexual relation between women and men was found, however, as the time passed by, the range of this indiscrimination was reduced and different phases of evolutionary process of the family structure can be seen. However, all these phases belong to a general category which is called matriarchy based on Mother-right. Debiprasad quoted eminent English anthropologist W.H.R. Rivers in order to provide a definition of mother-right where it says that it is “a form of social organization in which the rights of a person in relation to the other members of his community and to the community as a whole are determined by relationship traced through the mother. In this condition the duties which a person owes to society, the privileges which he enjoys and the restrictions to which he is subject are regulated, and their scope is determined, by the relations in which the person stands to his mother’s relatives and his mother’s social group.” (Lokayata/pp 238).

The emergence of private property had to break this matriarchal society based on mother-right. The uncertainty of the father of a child became a roadblock for the private property to keep within the family.  Morgan said: “With property accumulated with the masses and assuming permanent forms, and with an increased proportion of it held by individual ownership, descent to female line was certain to overthrow, and the substitution of the male line equally assured.” (Ancient Society/ L. H. Morgan/K. P. Bagchi & Co./ Kolkata, 1982/ PP 355).

Engels accepted this formula of Morgan and put forward the same theorem regarding the relation between transition from matriarchy to patriarchy and the transition from classless society to class society in his book OFPPS. However, the main flaw of this theorem lies in the fact that here it is pre-assumed that the accumulating private property had to be owned by the male only and not by the female. But what is the basis of this pre-assumption? The theorem does not answer this question. Debiprasad never raised this question, however, he was clearly not satisfied with this formula and his objective inquiries and researches on the Indian society in particular and other oriental societies in general led him to realize a different picture altogether regarding the transition from matriarchy to patriarchy. Our Marxists never paid attention to this valuable discovery made by Debiprasad.

I shall put forward an elaborate outline of Debiprasad’s thought on this subject in order to understand the relation between matriarchy and materialism in our country in the next issue of Red Star under the title of Remaining part of "Further Studies in Indian Materialism". n

Imperialism, the world’s mightiest military machine and number one sponsor of terrorism at a global level, now led by Donald Trump, is engaged in an all-out offensive against world people to preserve its imperialist interests. The consequent US economic, political and military machinations on the part of US have led to a sharpening of inter-imperialist contradictions. The setbacks suffered by left forces and the world-wide shift of ruling class politics to the far-right leading to fascistic tendencies have enabled US imperialism to forge ties and alliances with such reactionary regimes to ensure its geopolitical interests in different parts of the world. Trump administration’s renewed pressure tactics and ‘carrot and stick’ policy on the Modi regime should be seen in this context. In fact, a number of unilateral restrictions on trade including withdrawal of tariff concessions to India which were taken and informed to Modi government in March 2019 have been kept in abeyance in view of the Indian General Election. Though the Indian ruling classes with their time tested allegiance to US imperialism are satisfied with a ‘decent’ position in the neo-colonial order led by US imperialism, the latter has been rigid in dealing with India in all issues connected with US neo-colonial interests. But the Modi regime in tune with its continuing subservience to US has not done anything worthwhile to protect the interests of India. Its inability to properly intervene in favour of high-tech professionals from India when Trump imposed a series of legal and financial hurdles on them is just an example. Most ignominious  is Indian commerce minister Piyush Goyal’s assurance on June18 to US firms Facebook, Dell, Amazon, SAP, Google, Cognizant, Paypal, IBM, VISA, and Microsoft regarding upholding of their corporate interests in India vis-à-vis RBI’s directive on data localisation.

However, immediately after the second coming to power of Modi with a thumping majority, in continuation of his aggressive trade moves such as cancellation of half-a-century-old preferential trade treatment based on the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) with effect from June 2019, the Trump administration has made certain new initiatives to transform India as a perpetual dumping ground of strategic US weapons. To facilitate this, US State Secretary Mike Pompeo’s India visit is scheduled towards the last week of June 2019 to be followed by the planned meeting between Modi and Trump during the upcoming June G-20 Summit in Japan. As a prelude to this high-level meeting, a Bill sponsored by both Republicans and Democrats seeking amendments to the US Arms Controls Export Act for bringing India on par with NATO allies, Israel, Australia, Korea and New Zealand and for selling high-tech military weapons under ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) list has been moved in the Senate. When this Bill brings appropriate changes in the National Defence Authorisation Act 2020 (since both Republicans and Democrats have the same imperialist interests, the Bill is likely to sail through the Congress), then America will be able to stockpile key weapons in India extending considerable executive powers to US president to export and deploy these weapons for real-time military operations. In continuation of India’s signing of the Communication, Compatibility, and Security Agreement (COMCASA) with US during Modi’s first innings and in the context of the ongoing bilateral discussion on Basic Exchange Cooperation Agreement (BECA) both as foundational agreements for defence cooperation between both countries, the aim of this US initiative is to maintain India as its junior strategic partner in South Asia.

The Modi regime is still keeping a silence on the US warning and threat of sanctions against India’s buying Russian-made S-400 Triumph missile defence system as it is not in consonance with the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) adopted by US parliament. Similar has been Modi’s approach to Trump administration’s unilateral termination of the GSP scheme and on the ultimatum on halting cheap oil imports from Venezuela and Iran. Of course, to dilute India-Russia defence deals and to wean away India from Russian influence, the US is reported to have informed its junior partner on its willingness to transfer high-end defence equipment like National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS II), the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD), Patriot Advance Capability (PAC-3), and the fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet, etc. Obviously, these are very tempting to the saffron regime in India.

Revealingly, at a time when the Erdogan regime of Turkey and certain Latin American countries like Bolivia are eager to maintain their ‘relative national independence’ by taking advantage of the sharpening inter-imperialist contradictions, this American servitude of the Indian ruling regime, true to its class character, is condemnable. Recently, in spite of still being a crucial “NATO ally”, Erdogan has pushed ahead with the purchase of S-400 missile from Russia and amidst US threat of sanctions declared that it is “impossible to cancel deal with Russia”. Evo Morales of Bolivia has openly declared his country’s decision to cut off ties with the Bretton Woods twin, IMF and World Bank, America’s neo-colonial economic arms.

Therefore, ‘the saffron nationalists’’ talk of nationalism is only for hoodwinking the broad masses of people and is a camouflage for acting as an agent of US imperialism. The Modi regime’s actions including its responses on the latest Yankee machinations amply show its self-satisfaction to act as its junior partner under the umbrella of US imperialism, and above all offering itself as a launching pad for Pentagon’s geopolitical interests in the Indo-Pacific directed especially against imperialist China which is contending with the US for world hegemony. If the said Bill that is initiated by both factions of the US ruling class materialises as scheduled, then surpassing Saudi, India will become not only the biggest arms importer from US, but the latter can more nakedly penetrate into India’s defence system too.

However, it would be very naïve to construe these developments under the RSS-led Modi regime as an overnight development. During the Nehruvian period Russia had been the major supplier of arms to India. But, with the onset of neo-liberalism, US imperialism displaced Russia as India’s biggest military supplier and under the pseudo-nationalist Modi regime, most of India’s military exercises are along with US imperialism as the big brother. To counter China’s growing influence particularly in Asia and in the Indo-Pacific region, US imperialism is bent on using India as a regional bully. And in tandem with these military ties, economic cooperation between the two is also growing very fast. As its manifestation, during the quarter century of neo-liberalism, volume of trade between the US and India has increased more than ten-fold. According to strategic analysts, under Modi’s second term, the US-India economic integration may accelerate the trade volume between the two from the existing $150 billion to around $500 billion in five years

As noted above, behind this intensifying military and economic ties between the US and India, long drawn-out common interests between US imperialism and saffron fascists are at work. That is, even much before the formal neoliberal promulgation of “war on terror” and Islamophobia by US imperialist think-tanks by the turn of the 21st century regarding which the RSS shares the same wave-length with the Yankees, the pro-American orientation of the saffron forces has deep-rooted historical tradition. In other words, the pro-British servility of the Hindutva forces during the colonial period continued unabated, albeit in a nuanced form, during the post-1947 period through its abject servitude towards US imperialism, the supreme arbiter in the postwar neo-colonial global order. 

This inherent US allegiance of pseudo nationalists including their far-right orientation could be easily guessed from a letter reportedly written in the early seventies glorifying the US by Golwalker, the biggest-ever RSS theoretician, to the US president Lyndon Johnson. At a time when the whole world was rising up against US imperialism for its crimes against humanity in Vietnam, this letter was entrusted to Atal Behari Vajpayee who was visiting US in 1971. Eulogising US and its ‘democracy’, among other things, Golwalker wrote in the letter thus: “By God’s grace USA is the leader of the free world. Dharma and Adharma are today engaged in a worldwide war. In this war, the US heads the side of Dharma.” It should be specifically noted that this declaration of RSS’s unconditional loyalty to US had come at that critical juncture when world public opinion had gone against US imperialism because of the Vietnam War.  When the Seventies came to a close, the Sangh Parivar’s stand against Soviet-supported Indira Gandhi’s Emergency had immensely contributed to an increase in RSS’ prestige and credibility among US policy makers who were leading the Cold War against the Soviet Union.

Though certain Hindu organisations like the ISKON headquartered in New York since 1965 had their operations in several American cities, it was from the 1980s onward that a sudden spurt in the growth of RSS-related organisations became conspicuous in the US. The International Hindu Conference organised in New York in 1984 was a milestone in this direction. In tandem with the steady growth of BJP, the political party floated by RSS after Emergency in continuation of  erstwhile Jan Sangh, as neo-liberalism advanced, encompassing a wide spectrum of Hindu fundamentalist outfits and saffron ideologues, the ‘Overseas Friends of BJP’ started its operations in USA. This marks the beginning of intense ‘lobbying’ in the US by networks of wealthiest Hindutva groups connected with RSS/BJP emulating the Jewish lobby. Emergence of a network of professional organisations with far-right political undertones under the cover of Indian American Forum for Political Education, Indian American Committee for Political Awareness, US-India Political Action Committee, etc. effective lobbying was made possible first with the formation of Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans in 1993 followed by India Caucus in US senate in 2004. In fact, the Senate caucus dedicated to India was the first of its kind in USA. In creating favourable pro-India opinion for Vajpayee’s nuclear test (1998), Kargil War (1999) and US India Civilian Nuclear Agreement (2008) this lobbying was very effective. Further, the Caucus members played a major role in highlighting the economic and military significance of India becoming America’s strategic junior partner.

The ascendancy of the far-right, Hindutva and openly pro-American BJP to power in 2014, added a qualitative dimension to this trend. Modi’s frequent visits to US following the removal of US visa restraints against him being prime minister, boosted this Indo-US nexus further. Immediately after coming to power in 2014, Modi had a meeting with 40 Congressional Representatives in Manhattan followed by another meeting with a 50-member delegation of the ‘Overseas friends of BJP’ and a convention organised by it to interact with the Diaspora. The US interest in hosting and sponsoring such meetings is obvious—to exploit India’s expanding consumer and capital markets, to ensure India’s perennial dependence on US weapons as well as transform India as the dumping ground of its weapons, and to utilize India’s infrastructure and its status as the south Asian big brother for Pentagon’s geopolitical interests in the Indo-Pacific region vis-à-vis China. And the Hindutva “Indian lobby” in the US has fully reconciled with Trump’s “America First” policy. A convergence of common interests is also visible pertaining to the doctrine of “war on terrorism” targeting Islam enunciated by US imperialism.

In fact, in the context of US election that brought Trump to presidency, modelled after “Republican Jewish Coalition”, the “Republican Hindu Coalition” (RHC) came into being in November 2015 through the coordinated efforts of various far-right and reactionary Hindu outfits and the RHC had a fairly widespread election campaign including fund-raising and mobilising millions of dollars in the process with the slogans “Trump for Hindu Americans”, “Trump Great for India”, “saviour of humanity”, etc. for Tump’s victory.  Wholeheartedly supporting Yankee efforts to combat “radical Islamic terrorism”, the RHC situates itself as “a single, unified platform for Hindu Americans to have a respected voice on the policy table in the United States as well as India.” It is the Indian counterpart of this arch-reactionary and obscurantist RHC that adores Trump as the saviour of Hindutva from “Islamic terrorism” and performs ceremonial rituals worshipping him as God. 

The upshot of the argument is that it has been the rapid rise and strengthening of Islamophobic and xenophobic RSS-sponsored Hindutva lobby having close proximity to US policymaking that facilitated the increasing economic and military integration of India with US imperialism as the latter’s junior strategic partner.  Today, ultra-rightist Hindutva forces in the US including  RHC while faithfully serving American  imperialism are also in the forefront of  propagating  Kashmir issue as a conflict that pits the aggrieved Hindu victim against Islam in a disputed  territory cleverly ignoring  the fundamental national question of Kashmir and covering up the heinous militarisation going on there. To be precise, the strategically important and ultra-neoliberal political, economic and military initiatives which are evolving with respect to Indo-US relations are to be evaluated in the broader context of the ascendancy of neo-fascist far-right in the ruling political spectrum in both India and USA. n

The Central Committee meeting at Bengaluru has decided to observe the Centenary of the Communist Movement in India, considering the meeting at Tashkent in Soviet Union on 17th October, 1920, in which its first committee was formed as its beginning. The Centenary programs shall start with a meeting in Delhi on 17th October 2019, to be followed by the programs in different states till 17th October, 2020. At a time when the Communist movement is facing severe challenges, the CC calls on all Party committees to organize programs all over the country raising the banner of communism high.

Like in other parts of the world, the Russian Revolution of 1917 served as a great inspiration to revolutionaries in India who at that time were engaged in the struggle for the liberation from British rule. Many of them were living in exile and had been in contact with Lenin and the Bolshevik Party and in 1913-14 some of them had formed the Ghadar Party. But it was in 1920 that the Communist Party of India came into existence.

The ground for the formation of an émigré Communist Party of India was prepared by the Second Congress of the Third International (1920). The Comintern Executive Committee (ECCI) set up a sub-committee, the ‘Small Bureau’, to begin the process. The Bureau organised the First Congress of the Peoples of the East at Baku in September 1920, specifically aimed at fighting imperialism in Asia. This was followed by the formation of the Communist Party of India on 17 October, 1920 at Tashkent. The seven members were M. N. Roy, Evelyn Roy-Trent, Abani Mukherjee, Rosa Fitingov, Mohammad Ali, Mohamad Shafiq and Acharya. Shafiq was elected as the secretary of the party, Roy as secretary of the party’s Bureau based in socialist Turkestan and Acharya as the chairman who signed the minutes. At the first meeting on 17 October, the organization adopted its name as the ‘Indian Communist Party’. The inaugural meeting also adopted the principles of the Comintern and decided to work out a programme of the CPI that was ‘suited to the conditions of India’. A preliminary discussion was held on membership procedure and affiliation to the Comintern. The meeting was concluded with the singing of ‘The International’.

M.N. Roy, as the principal organiser of the party, successfully recruited young ex-Muhajir students from India. Roy and Evelyn Roy-Trent, his wife and comrade at the time, played a key role in bringing Mohammad Shafiq, Mohammad Ali and other ex-Muhajirs into the fold of the nascent communist party. The former Muhajirs (Muslims on self-imposed exile from colonial India) were losing their faith in Pan-Islam and enthusiastically joined the early CPI as its founders and earliest members. They had started their journey from India as Muhajirs and joined the process of hijrat, or religious exodus from the land ruled by the infidel (British colonisers). This was an anti-colonial impulse which gained ground among a section of Indian Muslims during the First World War and its immediate aftermath. It was expressed through anti-imperialist Pan-Islamism and showed a marked tendency to align with other anti-colonial tendencies and groups. The aim of the Muhajirs was to reach Afghanistan and Turkey. Some of them had made their way through the North West Frontier Province to Afghanistan, and from there to Soviet Central Asia. In the Bolshevik territories, they underwent an ideological transformation.

The minutes of the CPI of 15 December, 1920 reveal the induction of three others as candidate members who had to complete a probation period of three months for full membership of the party. The same meeting also elected a three-member Executive Committee with Roy, Shafiq and Acharya. The party was registered in Turkestan and recognized by the Comintern as a group with a consultative voice during the Third Congress of the Communist International in 1921. Many of the ex-Muhajirs who joined the party in early 1921 travelled to Moscow and enrolled in the newly started University of the Toilers of the East.

The formation of the CPI was followed by the establishment of an Indian Military Training School in Tashkent. The school functioned from October 1920 to the end of May 1921. Its students, such as Rafiq Ahmad and Shaukat Usmani, later shifted to the University of Toilers of the East in Moscow. According to Muzaffar Ahmad, one of the pioneers of the communist movement in India, at least twenty-one names of young Muhajir students could be identified from the records. They had joined the Tashkent Military School and later some of them had enrolled at the university in Moscow. Of them, ten were arrested when they returned to India to form a communist movement. They were tried in the Peshawar Conspiracy Case and convicted to various terms of rigorous imprisonment. Shaukat Usmani who had been convicted in the Kanpur Bolshevik Conspiracy Case of 1924, was re-convicted along with Mir Abdul Majid in the Meerut Conspiracy Case of 1929. Muzaffar Ahmad dedicated his memoirs of the CPI to Abdul Majid and Ferozuddin Mansur, two of the pioneering ex-Muhajirs turned communists from India.

Though the émigré communists faced persecution when they tried to return, their activities from abroad boosted and preceded the emergence of the communist movement on a wider scale within India. The formation of the party in Tashkent was followed by initiatives by the émigrés to connect with activists such as Muzaffar Ahmad, S. A. Dange, Singaravelu Chettier and others who were inspired by the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and were turning towards Marxist-Leninist politics and organising small communist groups in Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Lahore and Kanpur in the course of late 1921 and 1922.

The history of the communist movement from its first meeting in October, 1920 is a complex and chequered one. There were great achievements and serious setbacks during this period. There were intensive inner party struggles also. These struggles led to many crises and splits, including the first split in undivided CPI in 1964 leading to formation of the CPI (M). The inner party struggle within CPI(M)  continued, leading to Naxalbari Uprising in 1967 and to the formation of CPI(ML) in 1969. Following the emergence and domination of the left adventurist line in it, the disintegration of it into many groups happened by 1972. It is still divided into a wide spectrum of organizations. The communist movement, or what is known under this banner, is presently ranging from CPI, and CPI (M) at the right extreme, to the CPI (Maoist), with its anarchist line, on the other extreme.

It was in this situation, the CPI (ML) Red Star, from the time of the formation of the Central Reorganization Committee (CRC) in 1979 initiated efforts to reorganize the movement ideologically, politically and organizationally based on Bolshevik lines, struggling against the modern day Mensheviks led by CPI(M) on the one hand, and against the modern day Narodniks represented by the CPI(Maoist).  In continuation to these efforts, it convened the Ninth Party Congress at Bhubaneswar in 2011 after a gap of 41 years from the time of the (Eighth) Congress at Kolkata, upholding the great revolutionary heritage of the communist movement, and developing its ideological, political and organizational line according to the analysis of the vast changes that had taken place in the concrete conditions at the international and national levels. In this Congress, analyzing the intensification of ecological destruction under the neoliberal development paradigm, the contradiction between capital and nature was included in the Party Program as a fifth major contradiction. Analysing the cardinal importance of fighting against the caste system, it was also decided to launch the Caste Annihilation Movement.

Following this, the Tenth Party Congress was held at Lucknow, from 25th February to 2nd March, 2015. The decision to organize the Party Congress in the Hindi heartland was taken at a significant juncture in the history of the country when ultra rightist-saffron fascist forces had come to power replacing the decade long rightist rule of Congress led UPA, and when the left movement was facing great challenges. The successful convening of the Tenth Congress marked a further advance in the development of the party at ideological, political and organizational levels. It also marked the merger of sections of the communist revolutionary organizations with the party before and during the Congress. It has created a better situation for Communist Resurgence as the Resolution on the Theoretical Offensive adopted by the Party Congress pointed out.

This re-organization of the party and its development in all fields were based on the analysis of the ideological political challenges faced by the Communist movement in India from 1920s. The Tenth Congress developed the Party Program, Party Constitution and Path of Revolution along with the Political Resolution and the Resolution on Theoretical Offensive.

At the same time, even after the successful convening of the Tenth Congress it was a fact that so far only a small fraction of the very large number of communist rank and file spread out in the various organizations at all India level, who are holding red flag and professing Marxism-Leninism could be united. While taking up this task, in order to avoid past mistakes, it was necessary that the history of the hitherto unity efforts is scientifically evaluated. During the last four decades there were numerous efforts for unity from the side of the Marxist- Leninist groups who were agreeing on the analysis of the character of Indian state and society as semi colonial and semi feudal, stage of revolution as democratic, and strategy of revolution as ‘protracted people’s war’. But either they could not unite, or if united, their unity did not last long. On the whole, all of them refuse to recognize the vast changes taking place in the concrete situation under neo-colonial onslaught and to develop their ideological political line. As a result, most of these organizations are on the decline and some of them are facing further decimation.

The Eleventh Party Congress was organized by the CPI (ML) Red Star at Bengaluru from 27th November to 1st December, 2019, when the neoliberal/corporate-saffron fascist onslaught under Modi rule had intensified to dangerous levels demanding all round offensive against it from the struggling left and democratic forces. The Political Resolution adopted by the Party Congress states: “…. the uncompromising struggle against saffron fascist forces needs to be carried forward uniting with all the genuine secular, democratic and left forces having a principled stand against neoliberal policies. As opposed to the opportunist ruling class alliances,  this alternative capable of bringing about a political and class polarization led by working class, peasantry and all the oppressed will strengthen itself and can more effectively and vigorously lead the struggle against corporate- saffron fascist forces. Raising high the banner of this principled and class-oriented political initiative is thus the need of the hour. If such an initiative is not forthcoming at this juncture, when the communist revolutionary forces are not strong enough to lead a nation-wide struggle against neo-liberalism and saffron fascist onslaught, as hitherto experience has time and again proved, it will only get marginalized and further weaken the Left forces both politically and organizationally. As such, this line of independent left assertion with clear-cut revolutionary political orientation is indispensable for enthusing the broad masses of struggling people in the country and for overcoming the depoliticizing situation propped up by the ruling system”.

It is a basic Marxist–Leninist teaching that “the correctness of the ideological political line determines everything”. A glance through the severe setbacks suffered by the international communist movement (ICM) which had reached a very high level of growth by 1950s, with one third of the world people living in the socialist countries and national liberation movements gaining strength in the Afro-Asian-Latin American countries, to the present situation of severe setbacks when all of them have deviated to capitalist path with the first socialist state, Soviet Union, disintegrating. Refusing to learn from these, as the CPI(M) led Left Front pursued the neoliberal policies and degenerated to social democratic positions, in spite of long periods of LF rule during the 17th Lok Sabha elections they were severely decimated in both Bengal and Tripura. Refusing to take lessons from this, still in its last bastion, Kerala, the LDF is arrogantly pursuing the suicidal path of imposing neoliberal policies on the people, going against the Marxist- Leninist teachings. At this critical phase, it is imperative that the communist forces make a self-critical evaluation of hitherto experience, and take up the concrete analysis of the concrete situation, developing the Marxist-Leninist understanding, program and path of revolution according to these changes. It is always the primary challenge before the communist movement.

So, for evaluation of the reasons for the setbacks suffered by the communist movement and for achieving the genuine unity of the revolutionary forces, the first and foremost task is to find out the ideological political reasons responsible for these setbacks. Based on this analysis, concerted efforts are needed to overcome the mistakes and to develop the theory and practice of revolution according to the present conditions. The most important reason for the failure, or setbacks suffered by the unity efforts so far, is that they were made without making any serious attempts to analyze and overcome the past mistakes and without trying to develop the ideological political line and programmatic approach according to the concrete conditions of present times. These shortcomings should be seen self-critically. At a larger context, the reasons for the International Communist Movement facing severe setbacks and declining to present levels, after reaching such glorious heights by 1950s, can also be traced to this aversion to confront the ideological challenges, to the aversion for always seeking truth from facts.

Presently with the return of Modi rule after the 17th Lok Sabha elections in India, and almost similar developments all over the world, with neo-fascist forces coming to power in most of the countries with the agenda of intensifying neo-liberal/corporate policies, the imperialists, their compradors and lackeys have intensified the onslaught on the revolutionary communist movement. Both right and left deviations have helped the class enemies in this reactionary venture. In this situation, let us utilize the occasion of the Centenary of the Communist Movement in India for unleashing a counter attack on all forces of reaction based on Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, and for striving hard to unite all genuine communists for the building of a powerful communist party in country. n

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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.