- Introduction: The coming to power of the Modi-led BJP again with a thumping majority poses a serious challenge to the toiling and oppressed masses. Not only there is a further sharp turn to the far right, footsteps of fascism are growing louder by the day. Soon after Modi-2 took over there has been a spurt in mob lynchings and attacks on dalits and minorities. There is talk of implementing NRC in other states apart from Assam, thus creating a situation where millions may be deprived of citizenship rights by one stroke of the pen. Measures like the new draft education policy are a thinly veiled attempt at imposing the Hindi-Hindu-Hindustan paradigm on the younger generations and striking at the root of our culture of diversity and democracy. Fascisization of all fields is taking place more aggressively. Virulent national chauvinism is being peddled as answer to all problems, thus creating a culture of communal frenzy and majoritarian violence. Voices of dissent are being summarily throttled. The RSS Parivar is on an offensive to transform India into a Hindu Rashtra by 2024. Side by side, Modi’s neo-liberal economic policies continuously intensifying corporatization are aimed at pauperization of the masses. The projected privatization of all public sector enterprises, changes in labour laws to please the corporate, the abject surrender to US threats, the growing rate of unemployment, farmers’ distress, aggravating climate crisis – all these are making for a situation of unprecedented catastrophe. The latest developments, scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution and dividing J&K in to two union territories by Modi-2 is a direct attack against the democratic rights of the Kashmiri people. The valley is under total military occupation, with all movements of people, communication and all civilian facilities stopped with the state put under 144 and curfew imposed. While these steps have internationalized the Kashmir question even when Modi is repeating it as an internal matter, it aso threatens whatever federal values still remaining in the Constitution.. This belligerent corporate-saffron fascist offensive can be effectivey challenged and defeated only if party building is effectively take up.
- The Political Resolution adopted by the 11th Party Congress, after analyzing the present situation has pointed out the importance “to urgently engage in building up the Party, strengthening class/mass organizations and developing peoples movements and class struggle”. In continuation to it, analyzing the situation following the ascendance of Modi-2, the Central Committee in its June, 2019, Resolution has called: “to combat this all round intensification of neoliberal/corporatization policies and fascisization of all fields, the Central Committee calls for: Firstly, take up the party building as the first and foremost task, trying to merge all genuine communists and streamlining the party committees at all levels; strengthen class/mass organizations, and develop people’s movements in all fields and at all levels according to the concrete situation;......”. It is evident that unless the task of party building is taken up as the primary task all other tasks shall remain unfulfilled. In the present situation of ever intensifying fascisization, this task has become paramount. Only under the leadership of an ideologically, politically and organizationally powerful communist party, surrounded by class/mass organizations/movements, the development of class struggle and people’s movements this task can be effectively carried forward, and the united front activities according to the demands of the present situation can be initiated and developed.
- The Political Organizational Report (POR) adopted by the Eleventh Congress has explained the various aspect of party building including the necessity for theoretical offensive required for it as follows: “(5.a.3….while considering the magnitude of the theoretical challenges confronting the communist movement, as explained in The Resolution, (Resolution on Theoretical Offensive adopted by the Tenth Congress), what we could do in this field so far is still very little……” It has explained in detail the necessity to intensify the theoretical offensive to continuously develop the Party’s programmatic approach, Path of Revolution and the organizational tasks. An over-view of the organizational strength and functioning of the present state committees, which are still insignificant considering the magnitude of the challenges before us, also underline the importance of taking up the party building in an all embracive manner.
- Unification of Communist Revolutionaries
As the POR called for, the present situation, more than ever, demands the unity of the communist revolutionary (CR) forces to defeat the ruling class forces and to advance towards people’s democracy and socialism. After last five decades long practice of parliamentary cretinism, the CPI(M) led Left Front has suffered severe decimation .On the other extreme, the left adventurist stream also has alienated from the people further. In this situation, we have to expand the call to unite all communist forces who are prepared to struggle against these deviations and to pursue Marxist-Leninist theory and practice according to the concrete analysis of present international and Indian situation. Based on this understanding, as explained in the POR, during the last one decade, especially after the Bhopal Special Conference in 2009, we have merged with many sections/organizations of communist revolutionaries. This process is still continuing. Presently, when almost all the parties/organizations within the broad “left spectrum’ are undergoing a major ideological and political churning, there are good possibilities for merger of many of them with Red Star, leading to a new communist polarization. We have to intensify our efforts in this direction. The experience of the Bhangar people’s resistance struggle has created more favorable conditions for advancing unity talks with the communist forces.
- This question of winning over the communist forces to the party should be taken up at three levels: Firstly, though their number may vary considerably from state to state, there are many former members of organizations belonging to the ‘communist spectrum’ who can be won over and enrolled after convincing them about our party line; Secondly, there are many groups of comrades, especially in states where the left movement had good influence, who have left their previous organizations due to ideological or political or organizational differences, for winning over whom also initiative should be taken; Thirdly, active efforts should be made to find out organizations who are nearer to our party line and to win over them through protracted discussions and, if necessary by even working together with them for some time forming coordination committees..
- Party Membership: Though we have our presence in 17 states and SCs/SOCs in 16 states, our party membership in 2018 was only a little over 4,000. Even among them, many are not fulfilling the responsibilities as explained in the Party Constitution. During this year’s membership renewal process, such inactive members should be convinced to overcome their weaknesses, or, if this is not possible, should be weeded out. Considering the enormous tasks we have to take up in different fields, this membership is absolutely insufficient. Urgent steps should be taken to increase the membership. The following steps should be taken up for accomplishing it:
- We have formed Party Sub-Committees in all class/mass organizations and movements at central level. They are constituted at state level also at least in few states or in few fields. Make these committees active and through them take up the enrolment of party members from all fields, especially from among the workers, agricultural workers and peasantry. Considering the fairly good number of membership in TUCI, AIKKS and ABM a good number of members can be recruited from these areas.
- Though two thirds of the population in our country are under 35 years old, our membership among them is very limited. This is linked to our weakness in building the student and youth organizations in spite of repeated decisions. Give more emphasis to this field and recruit larger number of candidate members from students and youth.
- Women constitute half of our population. Without giving emphasis to women’s liberation, party cannot advance the revolutionary movement. But proportion of women among our party members and their presence in party committees are deplorable. Attention should be given for recruiting large number of women as party members.
- The results of the 17th Lok Sabha elections show severe decimation of CPI(M) and CPI, especially in W. Bengal and Tripura. During the last decade, large number of members of these parties and of the ML organizations have become inactive. Some of the comrades associated with us in the past had also become inactive. An active campaign should be organized and hold continuous discussions to win over them to our Party line and to enroll them as party members.
- The experience of Bhangar movement has taught us that successful waging of such people’s movements become a gold mine for recruiting large number of party members including whole timers. It will be reflected in the growth of party membership in Bengal this year. Similarly in all areas where mass movements are developing, proper emphasis should be given to bring the struggling people nearer to the party and to recruit new members from among them to the party.
- Give emphasis to building grass root level party committees: During the last few years the CC has emphasized repeatedly on the importance of organizing and strengthening party committees at the grass root level, that is party committees at Branch, Local and Area levels and Party Sympathizers’ Groups. Decline of our mobilization strength for party programs, and our poor performance in the elections even in the districts where we have waged many struggles are connected to the weakness of our party at grass root level. With the strengthening of the three tier panchayat system, all the ruling class or main stream parties are giving lot of emphasis to capture these Gram, Block and District panchayats, deploying even their senior cadres to them. Since enormous funds are available for these panchayats, they have become very corrupt. As we are not giving proper emphasis to build grass root level party committees and to provide party education and political guidance to them, even few of our own comrades elected to them also became corrupt and left the party. We have to seriously evaluate these negative experiences. Give utmost political and organizational importance to strengthening grass root level party committees. In districts where our party committees are functioning, select gram and block panchayats where our party presence is there; strengthen the Branch committees at village/town/municipal ward level and Local Committees at Gram/Town panchayat levels; chalk out people’s programs/our alternative development and democratization concepts, and wherever possible form people’s committees to capture the panchayats, struggling against the main stream parties. By striving to make these panchayats to function according to our political and organizational line, consistently strengthening the direct participation of the people in its activities through strengthening the functioning of the neighborhood committees. In this way we shall be able to take class struggle to the grass root levels. (see the Appendix).
- Strengthen the District Committee functioning: The district committees link the state committee with the grass root party committees, and in the party structure of the communist party it has to play an important role. It should have an office and regular office functioning, including the practice of issuing press statements on important developments. It should coordinate the working of area committees and the grass root functioning below them. It should collect the levy regularly and ensure the propagation of party organs and literature. It should maintain levy register and account register. It should send circulars to lower level committees on the one hand, and send regular written reports to state committee.
- Strengthen State Committee functioning: In a multinational/multi lingual country like India, the state committees have to play a very important role if we have to lead the revolutionary movement and party forward. But many of our state committees are very weak. Many of them have no proper office or office functioning. They do not bring out the state party organ or issue statements on important developments. We have to wage consistent struggle against the influence of liberalism on the one hand and against sectarianism on the other to strengthen the state committee functioning, taking practical steps for it.
- Give Emphasis to party Education: As explained in the POR adopted by the 11th Party Congress (quoted above), in spite of repeated efforts necessary emphasis is not given to party education at state and district levels, though central party schools are regularly conducted from 2010, party schools are not organized at lower levels including translation of all central party school papers in most of the states. All the state committees should ensure that immediate steps are taken to overcome this weakness. In the present situation of increasing fascisization of the country and the problems created by alien thinking within the “left spectrum” leading to its splintering, the importance of party education by organizing regular party classes has increased more. It also calls for making necessary basic Marxist classics available to the comrades. The state committees should give ever-increasing attention to this.
- Conclusion: With the coming to power of Modi-2 and intensification of fascisization, the concrete conditions in our country are going to face fast changes. As we intensify our struggle in all fields, it is natural that we shall come under increasing state repression, and we should be prepared to face it. While we shall continue to utilize all possibilities for open work to link the party with the masses, our party committee system and organizational functioning should be properly streamlined so that it is capable of confronting all eventualities. Let us strengthen our party building with all our might, overcoming all past mistakes and present weaknesses.
Appendix: On linking the Party Building at Grass Root level with the 3-Tier Panchayat System.
- While giving emphasis to party building, along with giving emphasis to grass root level party building, Ie, of Area, Local and Branch committees, their activities should be linked to our active participation in the functioning of the 3-tier panchayat system. In the Central Party School in 2013 we had discussed a paper on Our Approach to Participation in Local Body Elections. Even after so amny years, still we could not make any advances in this field. Not only that, as we failed or as we are very weak, in developing grass root level party building linking with revolutionary participation in the panchayat system, and preparing our comrades accordingly, almost all our comrades elected to panchayat samithis so far by and large got influenced by corrupt practices and left our party.
- Under these circumstancess, what is happening under the Bhangar Jomi Committee is significant. As the struggle was reaching its peak, confronting the armed attack of the TMC goons we could fight only six seats of Polarhat panchayat where we won with more than 90% support, while in all other 9 seats TMC won without contest or by capturing booths. When the Bhangar Agreement was signed, apart from the compensation to the affected people, the state government agreed to implement a number of projects in the affected area for the people. Now the TMC is trying to convene the full panchayat samithi and impose its hegemony so that it can control all these projects plus other panchayat projects sanctioned by the government. As it shall lead to a situation like what was happening in the past, the Jomi Committee is waging legal struggle as well as struggle in the streets to continue its control in the areas from where our comrades have won. In this way we are struggling to use the panchayat system to consolidate the gains of the Bhangar movement. It calls for regular attention of the leading comrades also. In this way the WB state committee is striving to maintain and expand our political and organizational influence in this area. It is a good example to be emulated in other areas/states according to concrete conditions.
- Numerous past experiences teach us that wherever such struggles take place, as the gains are not consolidated through effective utilization of the panchayat system and strengthening of our mass base through it, very soon our gains were lost or very little of it is continuing. Many decades of parliamentary experience of traditional communist parties also teaches that if the parliamentary institutions including the 3-tier panchayat system are not used in a revolutionary manner as part of the class struggle, they can lead to negative results. It is in this context, however micro level it may be, the present militant functioning of the Bhangar Committee after signing of the agreement should be viewed.
- Presently under neo-liberalism, both imperialism and comprador Indian ruling classes are effectively utilizing local self governments for their neocolonial objectives in the same manner as they make use of central and state governments. All the ruling class parties like BJP, Congress, regional parties and CPI(M)-led parties are functioning as proponents of this neoliberal approach to local bodies. In this context, it is imperative on the part of the struggling left forces to put forward a class approach to local body elections. It should expose the so called top-down decentralization imposed under the labels of “participatory democracy”, “participatory development” and “empowerment” by imperialist centers. It has to show that such decentralization is not intended for genuine people’s political power at the local level. On the contrary, it leads to increasing global centralization of finance capital by making local bodies as its appendage.
- At the behest of neo-colonial agencies such as the World Bank, as part of downsizing the welfare state, all erstwhile social welfare and developmental tasks of the central and state governments are put on the shoulders of fund-starved local bodies who are increasingly made direct dependencies of WB, ADB and other funding agencies. In spite of the economic burden imposed on them, the right to collect land revenue, which is now with the State government, is not set apart for local bodies. The bureaucratic set up of the local bodies has also changed little in the midst of many talks on decentralization. Even today, the elected representatives of the Panchayat system are not vested with any real powers. All the financial and executive powers are vested with the executive officer or secretary of the Panchayat system at village, bloc and district levels. More precisely, the elected local bodies still lack autonomy regarding resource mobilization and executive powers of implementation.
- Taking these aspects into consideration, according to the concrete conditions prevailing in different parts of the country, we should put forward a people’s alternative of bottom-up decentralization which is inseparably linked with the development of class struggle aimed at basically altering the existing property relations and power structure.
- The Party should actively participate in local body elections with this ideological clarity and with a political program so as to transform local bodies as primary centers of people’s political power. For this, participation in local elections should be linked with the uncompromising struggle and campaigns for redistribution of land on the basis of land to the tiller, confiscation of land held by land mafia, distribution of such lands and surplus land among landless, agitation against displacement, against all super-imposed neo-colonial projects, and so on.
- The genuine decentralization means the workers, peasants and all other oppressed sections and classes, the masses of the people, wielding political power at the local level. It is invariably linked to the abolition of imperialist strangle hold over the country and basic changes in the class relations which are maintained through the present “top-down” decentralization. Instead of this, a “bottom-up” decentralization as people’s alternative replacing the existing class relations and hegemony of imperialist finance capital is indispensable. A restructuring of the property relations including land relations in favour of the landless, entrusting land to the real tillers, is an essential component of this. In spite of the rhetoric on decentralization and empowerment of panchayats, the Indian state keeps the people in the dark and imposes various neo-colonial projects violating their jurisdiction. In numerous court cases where panchayats vs MNCs are involved, mostly the courts uphold the neo-colonial loot of the latter against the rights of the former.
- The Party should reject the neo-liberal decentralization experiments pursued In different states. It should try to draw lessons from the experiences of Paris Commune, the “Soviets” and “People’s Communes”. They should take lessons from them and make efforts for applying them in accordance with the concrete conditions prevailing today. Along with the development of struggles by class/mass organisations, a people’s development agenda should be placed before the people. All State Committees should prepare a manifesto clearly specifying the Party’s program including specific demands for land, shelter, food, drinking water, employment, education, healthcare, etc. with respect to local body elections according to concrete conditions. Along with this, an effective organizational initiative for utilizing local bodies in the interest of class struggle should be evolved.
While addressing the UN Climate Conference after Greta questioning the world leaders “How Dare You…..” destroy the nature and create environmental catastrophe, denying everything for future generations, India prime minister Modi has repeated in his speech that his government is protecting the environment and will continue to struggle for it! But what the BJP government is doing in Maharashtra? Even when there is an option available to protect the nearly 3,000 trees in Arey and save the forestry there, after managing to get orders from the pliable High Court, before the court order is published in Gazette and website and waiting for 15 days as per legal orders of the environmental ministry, the Fadnavis government has allowed the contractors to start cutting the trees stealthily yesterday night itself, so that before the courts open on Monday the butchering of the nature can be completed! As hundreds of environmental activists, youth and students including the Adivasi families got mobilized and resisted this illegal criminal act, hundreds of them are forcibly taken in to custody in the night, prohibitory orders are clamped down, and as latest reports show about 300 trees are already cut. It is a bloody criminal act. What Modi is talking about protecting environment is nothing but bullshit! Nothing can be expected from the government led by this ‘loyal friend’ of Trump who has openly laughed at all environmental movements and their warnings!
Only people of Mumbai alone can save the Arey trees and environment by militantly resisting the criminals engaged in this act and throwing them out of Arey! We appeal to all sections of people to come out and stop this carnage of nature!
CPI(ML) Red Star
5th October 2019, 08.00 AM
Observe the Century of Communist Movement in India from 17th October, 2019 to 17th October, 2020;
Participate in 17th October meeting at Bhgat Singh Bhavan, Sainik Nagar.
Following the discussion in the 1919 Congress of the Communist International, it was on 17th October, 1920, the first meeting of the comrades who were engaged in organizing the Communist Party of India was held at Tashkent, in then Soviet Union. So, on 17th October, 2020, we are completing a century of the communist movement in India. The Central Committee of CPI(ML) Red Star in its 8th to 10th June, 2019, meeting decided to observe the Centenary of the Communist Movement in India for a year from 17th October 2019 to 17th October 2020. On this occasion we have published an over view of A Century of the Communist Movement in India by com. KN Ramachandran, updating the overview published in English and Hindi under the title Nine Decades of the Communist Movement in India before the Ninth Congress of the CPI(ML) Red Star was held in November, 2011. It is published in our website www.cpiml.in.
Following the severe setbacks suffered by the international communist movement after reaching a stage when it looked like the “East wind of socialism shall defeat the west wind of imperialist system” as Mao Tsetung stated in 1955, and the mainstream communist parties CPI and CPI(M)in India degenerating to social democratic positions following the Soviet revisionist path, while the CPI(ML), formed by the communist revolutionaries challenging the revisionists, disintegrating following the left adventurist line it followed, internationally and nationally the communist movement is not strong enough to challenge the imperialist camp and its lackeys who are intensifying the loot of the working class and the oppressed people and the nature through neoliberal/corporatization policies, impoverishing the masses and devastating the nature.
Following the 2008 crisis, the imperialist system is going through a cycle of crises. Finding it difficult to overcome these crises, most of the rightist parties which were in power are now replaced by the ultra rightist, neo-fascist forces in an increasing number of countries. In this situation, the reactionary camp has further intensified the attacks on the communist movement. So, as we had already pointed out while organizing the Century of the Communist International during 1917-18, the communist movement can overcome the present setbacks and advance the revolutionary movement all over the world only by intensifying the ideological political offensive against the imperialist forces and their lackeys on the one hand, and waging uncompromising ideological struggle against both right opportunist and left adventurist deviations within the movement. As pointed out by the Resolution on Theoretical Offensive adopted by the 10th Congress of the CPI(ML) Red Star, it calls for thorough evaluation of the past experiences and developing the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism according to present situation. The Central Committee of Red Star has called for observing the centenary of the communist movement in India with the expectation that it will provide an opportunity for the communist revolutionaries to come together and forge unity in the process of this theoretical offensive.
Explaining the significance of this campaign focusing on the centenary of the communist movement in India we have already published an article in the July issue of Red Star monthly, which is also available in our website. As the first program of this campaign, a meeting is organized on 17th October at Bhagat Singh Hall (c-141, Sainik Nagar, near Nawada metro station) from 5pm to 9pm. We invite all communist revolutionary forces and friends to attend this meeting and to participate in the theoretical offensive for rebuilding the communist movement.
CPI(ML) Red Star.
The aggressiveness of the attacks on any criticisms against the government as anti-national by RSS parivar has intensified sharply after Modi-2 took over. Governments are elected by the people. According to the Constitution, the people and their fundamental rights enshrined in it are supreme. So, people have full right to criticize all actions of the government. Nobody has the right to attack it as anti-national. Those who does it are anti-constitutional forces. After Modi-2 abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution and down-graded the state to two union territories, these jingoistic attacks on anyone criticizing these arbitrary actions have further increased. At the same time, the clamp down over people of the state, especially, Kashmir valley is continuing! A major section of mainstream media is hysterically justifying these violations of the rights of the people and suppression of the media’s rights in the state. All criticisms against these draconian acts are dubbed as anti-national or pro-Pakistan.
Modi-2 and RSS parivar are treating J&K as India’s property, similar to Pakistan’s stand. Both refuse to recognize J&K people’s right to decide its future. The United Nations’ Human Rights Declaration calls for the right of self determination of all nations. India is a multi-national country and its Constitution declares it is a federal republic, not a nation. The unity of federal India is based on the unity of the peoples of various nationalities inspired by the ethos created by the anti-imperialist independence struggle, and if their right of self determination is harmed this unity also will be in danger, which the RSS parivar, intoxicated by their Akhand Bharat concept, is forgetting.
When the British colonialists signed the instrument of transfer of power with leaders of India and Pakistan, it covered only the areas under direct British rule. The large number of princely states had the right to remain independent or join India or Pakistan signing their own agreements of accession. The governments of India and Pakistan succeeded to merge the princely states within their regions signing agreements with them, sometimes even using force as India did in the case of Hyderabad Nizam. As far as J&K, Manipur, Nagaland Sikkim and Baluchistan were concerned, they were not part of British India and as per the agreement, had right to remain independent or merge with either India or Pakistan. Though the leaders of both India and Pakistan had assured they will not act like the successor states of British colonialists with regard to redefining the international boundaries and for the right of self determination of these areas, soon both proved their expansionist intentions; Indian government soon integrated Manipur and Nagaland using military force. Pakisthan did the same with Baluchistan. In 1975 India annexed Sikkim also. When J&K king Hari Singh wanted to maintain it as an independent country, initially both agreed to it. But soon Pakistan tried to annex J&K using armed intervention. So Hari Singh sought military help from India which agreed to assist him after an instrument of accession was signed, based on which the Article 370 of the Constitution was later adopted.
As the UN interfered, it enforced ceasefire and a Line of Control, with both governments agreeing to withdraw their armed forces and hold a plebiscite for the people of J&K to decide their future. But, as both the governments were not for an independent J&K, both colluded to abort the plebiscite and to keep the J&K divided during the last seven decades. The imperialists were happy to keep this spot hot enough, so that they could continue their divide and control policy in the region, and loot fortunes by selling arms and equipments to both. In the interest of the ruling class and corrupt political class on both side, both the governments were competing to whip up hatred with each other, arming themselves to the teeth (even with nuclear arms now)and fighting three wars and indulging in continuous skirmishes, which has benefitted and fabulously enriched the corporate giants, while forcing the vast majority of the people on both side to terrific miseries and impoverishment!
With BJP, the political front of RSS with Hindurashtra goal, consolidated its power in India challenging the Islamic state of Pakistan, the scenario far worsened. For both J&K became a major bone of contention. Modi rule could become a reality and could come back to power by strengthening the majoritarian Hindutva, only by whipping up Islamophobia and hate Pakistan campaign every minute. If Pakistan is already in acute economic crisis, India is also now caught in the vortex of slow down. As the imperialists, especially US imperialists want to overcome their own economic problems and inter-imperialist rivalry with China by using these junior partners smartly, they promote. jingoism on both sides. The conflict between India and Pakistan is bound to reach unprecedented levels, especially after the arbitrary moves of Modi-2, at the peril of the people of J&K and in India! India’s defense minister has announced possibility for re-thinking on ‘no first use’ of nuclear arms. It is soon reciprocated by Pak prime minister announcing his preparedness even for a nuclear war! On 28th August Pakistan test fired a ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear arms. One Pak minister talked about war breaking out in October. It is reciprocated by India’s defense minister declaring not only J&K, even the areas beyond Line of Control are integral part of India! On both sides, jingoistic forces and corporate media are busy in whipping up hatred and war hysteria, while Trump and company are enjoying the game played by Imran and Modi!
In this dangerous situation, it is the right of the people to talk boldly and correctly: J&K is not the property of the reactionary governments of either Pakistan or India. Its future should be decided by the people of J&K through a plebiscite or referendum after both India and Pak withdrawing their army from both sides of the Line of Control. In order to achieve this, all progressive democratic forces should create public opinion to demand repealing of the arbitrary action of 5th August by Modi-2, withdrawal of the army to barracks, and immediate withdrawal of the curfew and clampdown from the whole region. If a nuclear war is unleashed by the religious fundamentalist and fascistic forces, the war mongering governments on both sides, it will be catastrophic for the whole South Asian region. So all progressive forces in this region should mobilize the peoples of the whole region to condemn this jingoism of both these governments and work for building up anti-imperialist unity against their reactionary govts., with the vision of a South Asian People’s Unity!
We appeal to all struggling forces to come together and demand the withdrawal of all suppressive acts of the fascist Modi-2 in J&K! Let us demand bilateral discussion between both governments to politically resolve the J&K problem, involving the people of J&K and based on their right of self determination! Expose and try to defeat the war mongering of both governments and create public opinion against a nuclear war which will be catastrophic to people of not only both the countries, but to whole of South Asia! Just because BJP’s or any other government is in power, we are not its slaves, we have the right to expose and oppose its anti-people deeds! Oppose and resist the barbarous policy of Modi-2 and RSS parivar dubbing all their critics as anti-national! We are the patriots who oppose imperialists of all hues and their lackeys and stand for genuine secular democratic federal India, while Modi-2 and RSS parivar are imperialist stooges who preach Akhand Bharat, but disintegrate country through their divisive Brahmanical manuvadi Hindurashtra! Intensify the struggle for federal people’s India, for unity of people of South Asia! n
1.1 The nine decades long history of the Communist movement in India is a very complex and one marked by many ups and downs. “From First to Ninth Party Congress: Nine Decades of the Communist Movement in India” (in brief Nine Decades), published before the Ninth Congress of the CPI (ML) has put forward a brief analysis of the Communist movement in India already. In this paper for the Party School it is taken as a basic study material along with other references given at the end. At the same time, an in-depth analysis of the history of the Communist movement in India cannot be reduced as a theoretical practice. It calls for further studies in the course of the experience gained by putting in to practice the basic documents adopted by the All India Special Conference of November, 2009, as updated based on the Party Program adopted by the Ninth Party Congress of November, 2011, in the coming years. Based on the evaluations so far made and our revolutionary practice, we can make the analysis of the Party history as one of the tasks of the next Party Congress or of a Special Conference convened for this purpose. What is tried here is an over view of the inner party struggle during these decades and the experience gained from them which shall help our future advances.
1.2 While making such an analysis we should be clear about one basic aspect. If we have to make the past serve the future, our evaluation of the past should be uncompromising as well as self-critical. If such analyses are influenced by emotional approaches that they will minimize the importance of the past leaders or negate their contributions, they will neither help us to overcome past weaknesses and limitations or to make the past serve the present. Every communist should be always led by the basic understanding that the International and Indian communist movement after reaching great heights have suffered severe setbacks due to past weaknesses and mistakes committed in the past, and that they can overcome the setbacks and make further advances only by rectifying those weaknesses and mistakes by making concrete analysis of the changes that have place at international and national level and through an objective evaluation of the past experience. While doing so one has to be objective and ruthless, should not be subjective and sentimental.
1.3 As the Nine Decades point out, there were great achievements and severe set backs during this period. Some of these happened as a result of mechanically following the evaluations and directives from the international communist leadership, which were put forward without making a concrete analysis of the world situation and the strategy pursued by the imperialist camp in different phases. But some others were due to the mistakes committed by the leadership of the Indian communist movement while analyzing the concrete situation in the country and in applying the general line put forward by the ICM according to these conditions. Both these factors played their role in the setbacks suffered by the Indian communist movement. Both of them still adversely affect and retard the reorganization of the communist party in India based on Bolshevik principles. So any serious evaluation should go in to both these aspects.
2 Formative Period
2.1 The communist movement started becoming politically and organizationally active in India in the 1920s. By that time the Communist International (Comintern) launched in 1919 had stated that the world is divided in to a handful of imperialist countries and large number of countries under colonization, colonies, semi-colonies and dependent countries. It stated that the world proletarian socialist revolution consisted of socialist revolution in the imperialist countries under the leadership of the working class and people’s democratic revolution in the countries under colonization. It explained that the bourgeoisie which had come up in the countries under colonization are linked to the imperialist camp in many ways, and in the main serve its interests. It is incapable of leading the democratic revolution to complete victory. So Lenin, giving leadership to the Comintern, explained that only under the leadership of the working class and its vanguard party, the communist party, the people’s democratic revolution can become victorious and lead it to the socialist revolution. As the Communist Party of China under Mao’s leadership correctly grasped all these three basic concepts and led Chinese revolution according to the concrete conditions there it became successful in leading the PDR to victory.
2.2 Contrary to the concrete conditions of semi-colonial China, India was a colony under the centralized rule of British imperialism. It had initiated the Zamindari system and was using the semi-feudal relations as the social base for colonial control. Through English education it had built up a powerful bureaucratic colonial administrative system. The bourgeoisie aided and strengthened by it was basically comprador in character, serving the interests of the colonialists. Though this class gave leadership to Congress and later Muslim League like parties, it was satisfied with dominion status under British raj. Under popular pressure though ‘Purna Swaraj’ was later accepted as its slogan, it was satisfied with continuing as member of the British Commonwealth as was proved after the transfer of power. So, as Comintern had explained, it was abundantly clear that this class cannot lead the democratic revolution to complete victory.
2.3 As Comintern had taught, the working class and its vanguard party, the Communist Party, had to lead the PDR pursuing the path of mobilizing and making the working class as the leader of the revolution, with worker-peasant alliance as its basis. For this it has to bring forward the peasantry through the struggles for the agrarian revolution. It had to struggle against the comprador bureaucratic bourgeois- landlord class led Congress to establish the leadership of the working class in the national liberation movement and democratic revolution, while trying to win over its progressive sections to the side of revolution through a process of ‘unity and struggle’. But in spite of the commendable work done in organizing the working class, the peasantry through anti-feudal struggles and other revolutionary classes and sections, and in leading many significant struggles in different areas, the CPI leadership failed to make a concrete analysis of the real character of Indian bourgeoisie and the Congress leadership and in the main tailed behind it. As pointed out in the 1932 Open Letter of the Communist Parties of China, Germany and Britain : “the biggest mistake made by the Indian Communists consists in the fact that in reality they stood aside from the mass movements of the people against British imperialism…The self isolation of the Communists from the anti-imperialist mass movement…The conclusion to draw from this is that the formation of an all India Communist Party, the isolation of the national reformists and the development of the people’s revolution under the leadership of the proletariat can only be achieved when the Communists determinedly liquidate their self-isolation from the anti-imperialist struggle of the masses”. In spite of the teachings of the Comintern and fraternal advises from other parties, the CPI leadership refused to abandon their ‘self-isolation’ from the anti-imperialist movement.
2.4 During the early 1940s when the Hitlerite forces attacked Soviet Union, it forged alliance with the US-UK forces to defeat the fascist menace. Erroneously evaluating this Soviet policy, the CPI called for supporting the war efforts of the British imperialists and got isolated from the masses. In its approach to forming united front with like minded forces to carry forward the anti-British struggle, it committed the serious tactical mistake of not making united front with the dalit forces led by Dr. Ambedkar on the one hand, and with the Congress section led by Subhas Chandra Bose who had rebelled against the Gandhi-Nehru leadership. In spite of these grave mistakes, during the post-Second World War years when another excellent objective situation emerged with the outbreak of Telengana-Tebhaga like epic movements, revolt by the Naval forces, numerous working class struggles etc. which provided a historic opportunity to unite the people against the machinations of the colonialists with the Congress and Muslim League leaderships to transfer power to them after communally dividing the country, the CPI leadership once again surrendered the leadership of the struggle to the Comprador classes which were leading both Congress and Muslim League. In effect it became an accomplice to the communal division of the country under the so-called ‘de-colonization’ policy initiated by the imperialists in the post-War period. The CPI leadership in its Resolution of June 1947 hailed the Mountbatten Award for ‘de-colonization’ as “an opening for new opportunities for national advance”.
3 Post-1947 Period
3.1 But soon, after the Cominform Resolution of September 1947, the CPI changed its earlier positions in December 1947. It made a somersault and stated that the Mountbatten Award was “an abject surrender and a final capitulation on the part of the Indian bourgeoisie whose government was one of national surrender and that of collaborators”. The Second Congress of the Party at Kolkata from 28th February to 6th March rejected the Party line from the 1943 First Congress as erroneous and reformist. The Strategy and Tactics of the Struggle for National Democratic Revolution in India known as Kolkata Thesis, called for combining the democratic and socialist revolutions to be completed by the armed overthrow of the Indian State. This line put forward under the leadership of B.T.Ranadive who had replaced P.C.Joshi as the general secretary went against the Comintern line which called for completing the PDR and advancing to socialist revolution. Besides it had neither prepared the working class for it nor linked the ongoing great Telangana struggle with it. This sectarian line isolated the Party from the masses and Nehru government brutally suppressed it, causing severe setbacks to the Party and class/ mass organizations.
3.2 The May 1950 Plenum rejected the Kolkata Thesis and elected C. Rajeswar Rao, then representing the Telangana line, as new general secretary. When the 1st June, 1950, Party Letter called for pursuing the ‘Chinese path’ of revolution in continuation to the earlier ‘Andhra Letter’, a major section of the Central Committee opposed it. The functioning of the CC and PB became extremely difficult. A Central Plenum was once again convened in December 1950. Soon a delegation went to Moscow which based on the discussion with the Soviet leaders came out with a Party Program, Tactical Line and Policy Statement, later adopted by a Special Conference in April 1951.
3.3 The Party Program called for “withdrawal of India from the British Commonwealth of nations and the British empire.The confiscation and nationalization of all factories, banks, plantations, shipping and mining owned by the British in India, whether in their name or under signboard of Indian companies. It also called for the removal of the British advisers in India from the posts held by them. In foreign policy it called for honest and consistent policy of peace in alliance with all peace loving nations and united front with them against aggression. The policy of alliance with Pakistan, Ceylon and Nepal was also put forward.
3.4 The Tactical Line stated: “While resorting to all forms of struggle, including the most elementary forms, and while utilizing all legal possibilities for mobilizing the masses and leading them forward in the struggle for freedom and democracy, the communist party has always held that in the present colonial set up continued in India and in view of the absence of genuine democratic liberties, legal and parliamentary possibilities are severely restricted and that therefore the replacement of the present state upholding the imperialist-feudal order by a people’s democratic state is possible only through an armed revolution of the people. The concrete experience of the last three years in India after the so-called transfer of power has only confirmed this thesis” The Policy statement adopted by the Conference explained: “The experience of the last three years have taught the people of our country that the government and the present system cannot solve their main problems of life. It cannot give them land and bread, work and wages, peace and freedom. They are coming to realize the necessity of changing the present government which mainly serve the interests of the feudal landlords and big monopoly financiers and the hidden power behind them all, the vested interests of British imperialism. The communist party therefore has adopted a programme in which it says that: it regards as quite mature that the task of replacing the anti-democratic and anti-people government by a new government of people’s democracy. In this manner this Party Program and Tactical Line adopted for the first time after the formation of the CPI reflected the concrete conditions in the country to a great extent.
3.5 But the new leadership, which took over in the 1951 Conference with Ajoy Ghosh as its General Secretary, instead of putting it in to practice and developing the line put forward in these documents, started diluting them. For example, it made a compromise with the Congress government on the eve of 1952 general election agreeing to withdraw the great Telengana struggle and to dissolve all secret party fractions working inside the units of the armed forces, for getting all restrictions over it removed. It was done in the name of “restoring peaceful conditions in Telengana and to mobilize the entire people for an effective participation in the ensuing general election”. Instead of utilizing parliamentary struggles to intensify the class struggle for the capture of political power, the tendency of giving primary importance to electoral struggle started emerging from the time of the first general election itself. In the 1952 elections, though the Congress could retain control at centre and in the states, it had started losing its popular support. The CPI could emerge as the main opposition at centre and in many states. In spite of it, true to its class character, the Congress government, instead of reversing its anti-people policies, intensified the suppression of the peasant movement for land and the people’s struggles against its reactionary policies. For this purpose, on the one hand it utilized the service of Vinoba Bhave led Bhoodan movement like reformist movements to create illusions among the people. On the other hand, it opened the agrarian sector for the neo-colonial policies introduced by the US-led imperialist forces immediately after the Second World War using the penetration of finance capital, market forces and modern technology, leading to the green revolution. The CPI leadership failed to correctly evaluate the class orientation of these imperialist led policies and went on compromising the anti-feudal and anti- state struggles increasingly.
3.6 The third Party Congress was held in 1953 at Madurai when the Party was shifting to the rightist path as a result of its failure to make a concrete analysis of the international and national developments, when the US led imperialist camp was making all out campaigns and aggressions to combat the growing strength of the socialist camp and the national liberation movements. For example the Political Resolution adopted by the Congress evaluated that: “due to the unity and the militancy of the people and the weakening position of the monopolists, landlords and government, many of the struggles succeed in winning concessions which though limited in themselves, heighten the confidence of the masses in their own strength and further weaken the government”. While it is true that many concessions could be won because of the growing unity and militancy of the people’s movements, the CPI leadership failed to see two major factors influencing these developments in the then situation: firstly, the presence of a powerful socialist camp; secondly, the ‘welfare policies’ pursued as part of the neo-colonial policies vigorously introduced by the US-led imperialist camp during the post-War years to combat the growing socialist camp and to resolve its own internal crises. It had introduced the Keynesian policies, including the welfare state concepts and penetration in to agrarian sector, transforming the feudal landlords in to rich peasant/ agricultural bourgeoisie through ‘land reforms from above’, so as to facilitate the penetration of finance capital, market forces and new technology through the IMF-World Bank-MNCs and numerous other imperialist agencies. The evaluation of the Political Resolution that the monopolists, the landlords and the government are getting weakened was an erroneous one contrary to the real developments taking place internationally and within the country. Though the leadership left the 1951 documents without making any major changes, in essence there was no attempt put it in to practice and the right trend was gaining strength very fast.
4 The Highway of Revisionism
4.1 The Fourth Party Congress was held in April, 1956 soon after the conclusion of the 20th Congress of the CPSU in which the Krushchovite revisionist line succeeded to achieve total control over the party, army and state in Soviet Union. But presenting his report on it, Ajoy Ghosh concluded his remarks in this way: “The 20th Congress is a landmark in the history of the international communist movement. On the basis of mighty victories it showed the way to still greater victories…Eschewing all dogmatism and doctrineirizm, it tackled the current problems in a bold way, creatively developing Marxism- Leninism. It has shown that possibilities have opened out and how these can be realized for uniting all patriotic, democratic and socialist elements in every country for advance in every sphere, for new successes, for the cause of people and the working class”. He supported the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) as a great step forward, while the future history revealed how this class collaborationist movement, about which both Soviet Union and China had similar outlook in 1950s, was based on an erroneous analysis of the international situation and the then class forces which led to further intensification of the setbacks to the ICM later. But his efforts to make the Party Congress swallow what was stated by Krushchov on the line of peaceful transition to socialism and his justification of the vilification of Stalin in the name of ‘personality cult’ were hotly contested and no unanimity could be achieved. A decision on these vital questions was left for the decision of the CC.
4.2 In spite of this inner Party struggle, the Political Resolution adopted by the Fourth Congress reflected most of the revisionist positions put forward by the Soviet revisionist leadership. Rejecting the 1951 formulation, it adopted that India achieved political independence through the 1947 transfer of power and thus reversed whatever revolutionary orientation it had. The Party Program was amended as follows: “In more recent years as a result of the weakening of the camp of imperialism and the immense strengthening of the socialist and democratic camp, of the mighty advance of the struggle for peace, freedom and democracy all over the world including in our country, India has been able to assert her sovereignty and acquire the status of a politically free country”. In spite of the amendment made in the draft Political Resolution, it basically reflected the line of peaceful transition put forward by the Soviet revisionists, or could be interpreted so, as the Dangeists later did. It evaluated that imperialism had weakened and colonialism had disintegrated. The CPI leadership mechanically repeated the stand of the Soviet revisionists which led to their theory of ‘peaceful transition to socialism’. Mechanically toeing the Krushchovite line it failed to recognize that the US led imperialist camp was not weakening, but strengthening itself through the neo-colonial offensive.
4.3 The Fifth Party Congress was held at Amritsar in Punjab in 1958. By this time the line of the 20th Congress of the CPSU and the secret report which denounced Stalin had led to the beginning of the Great Debate in the ICM regarding the basic postulates of Marxism-Leninism. It had its influence within the Party also. The rightists attacked Stalin heinously and advocated alliance with the Congress. Using the Sino-Indian border conflict, they started joining the anti-China phobia spread by the ruling classes. At the same time, during the 1957 general elections the Congress became further weakened. In Kerala the CPI could come to power. The practice of this government under the existing reactionary ruling system, including the manner in which the party could use the government to develop the class struggle became a question of major discussion. While the leadership tried to utilize the presence of the CPSU delegation to win over the delegates to the Soviet revisionist line, the inner Party struggle during the Party Congress further intensified. Still, on the whole the rightist line could win support of the majority of the delegates as reflected in the success achieved by the leadership in getting the Party Constitution amended in such a way that the Party was transformed into a mass party in line with the parliamentary cretinism which was gaining strength. In the absence of an alternate line, the inner Party did not lead to any form of polarization in spite of the sharp differences within the Party.
4.4 Following the Fifth Congress, as the rift in the ICM deepened and the compromise declaration of the meeting of 81 parties at Moscow in 1960 could not resolve them but only delayed an open split, almost the same thing happened in CPI also when the Sixth Party Congress was convened in 1961 at Vijaywada. By that time the Soviet revisionist leadership had started turning the contradictions within the ICM in to an antagonistic one. Under its provocation the Sino-Indian border conflict was used as a weapon to attack China and the CPC which was spearheading the Great Debate against Soviet revisionism. The rightist leadership of the CPI dubbed all those who wanted a peaceful settlement of the border dispute, a legacy of the colonial period, as Chinese agents similar to the attack from the government leaders. Meanwhile on the evaluation of the dismissal of the CPI government in Kerala by the Congress government at centre also differences surfaced. Though there were no basic differences regarding the reformist line followed by this party led government, on the extent of co-operation with the Congress sharp differences came up based on the Soviet analysis of the class character of these governments in the ‘de-colonized’ countries. Soviet analysis was that these countries have become independent and the predominant character of these governments is national bourgeois. It argued that collaborating with them peaceful completion of democratic revolution and transition to socialism is possible in these countries. The rightist leadership in the CPI, mechanically upholding this line analyzed the Indian state and Congress as those predominantly led by national bourgeois. It advocated the line of National Democratic Revolution (NDR) which called for peaceful completion of democratic revolution and transition to socialism by aligning with Congress. Though the main opponents of this line did not reject the Soviet revisionist line outrightly, they analyzed that the Indian bourgeoisie is having a dual character, collaboration as well as competition with imperialism. Based on this approach they called for continuing the line of PDR, of course diluted based on this ‘dual character’ line. They did not have basic agreement with the criticisms of the CPC against Soviet revisionism. When the Sixth Congress was convened, though these differences had surfaced sharply, as happened at Moscow in Vijayawada also a split did not take place, and a compromise leadership was elected with S.A Dange as chairman and EMS as general secretary. Though the Party did not split, for all practical reasons it was functioning as one party with two centres.
5 First Split in the Communist Party and Formation of CPI(M)
5.1 The most important thing happened soon after the Sixth Congress was the further intensification of the two- line struggle within the ICM and later its formal split in 1963 with the publication of the open letter by the CPSU ON 30TH March and the reply to it from the CPC on 14th June which was titled “A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the ICM” along with Nine Comments on important issues concerning the ICM. According to CPSU a new has emerged when imperialism has weakened and colonial era has ended which has opened the way for the peaceful co-existence and peaceful competition with the imperialist camp and peaceful transition to socialism. It denounced the positions of CPC as sectarian and called on other socialist countries for even breaking state to state relations with it. Challenging this outright revisionist line which went against the concrete analysis of the international situation, the CPC document called for: “Workers of all countries unite, workers of the world unite with the oppressed peoples and oppressed nations, oppose imperialism and reaction in all countries, strive for world peace, national liberation, people’s democracy and socialism, consolidate and expand the socialist camp, bring the proletarian world revolution step by step to complete victory and establish a new world without exploitation of man by man” It denounced the CPSU line as a total negation of the 1957 Declaration and 1960 Statement of the Moscow meetings of the communist parties and called for revolutionary reorganization of the communist forces. It explained that colonialism has not ended but replaced by neo colonialism, which is more “pernicious and sinister” through which imperialism is trying for world hegemony in more barbarous forms. Without taking positions on this vital theoretical struggle known as the ‘Great Debate’, no communist party could move forward at this crucial juncture. At a time when the CPSU leadership had degenerated the first socialist country to capitalist path by pursuing an outright revisionist line the struggle waged by the CPC under the leadership of Mao was historic. At the same time there were three major flaws in its approach: firstly, it did not point out and substantiate that the 1960 Statement was a compromise one; secondly, while it criticized the Soviet revisionists for abandoning proletarian internationalism, it did not take any initiative to convene a meeting of the Marxist-Leninist forces based on its 1963 documents; thirdly, while the stand of Chinese government with regard to the border dispute with India was by and large the correct one, instead of keeping restraint in spite of all provocations from the side of the Indian government, going for a border war damaged its international image. Because of these limitations in its approach, at such a critical juncture the CPC could not play the vital role needed to polarize the Marxist- Leninist forces.
5.2 The comprador ruling classes represented by the Congress government and all rightist forces were utilizing the split in the ICM for intensifying their onslaught against the communist movement. When the central government arrested large number of communist leaders, dubbing them as ‘Chinese agents, the rightist Dangeist leadership utilized this opportunity to capture the party organization, mechanically pursuing the Soviet revisionist line. Based on it they advocated increasing class collaboration with the Congress government and did not even condemn the arrest of large number of communist leaders. They were creating conditions for an inevitable split. It was in this situation, the arrested leaders who came out by 1963 called for convening a Special Congress based on the membership at the time of the Vijayawada Congress with the condition that the majority position arrived at this Congress should be accepted by all. As the rightist section refused to accept this proposal, 32 members of the Central Committee walked out of CPI and in a Convention held at Tenali in AP April, 1964, the CPI(M).was formed.
5.3 Though the section who spearheaded the split did not address the fundamental questions confronting the ICM and the Indian communist movement then, it was a historic step forward in the history of the Indian communist movement. The leadership of the CPI(M) did not make a total break from the revisionists and made serious compromises resulting in they taking a ‘centrist line’, which was basically a line of collaboration with the rightists. Though it made a superficial criticism of the Soviet positions, it refused to uphold the contributions made by the CPC in the struggle against the Soviet revisionists through its Great Debate positions. When it stated that the Indian bourgeoisie is having ‘dual character’, it did not point out whether it was basically collaborating with imperialism, or comprador in character. Though it claimed to uphold the 1951 documents, it did not put forward a tactical line or path of revolution in line with the 1951 positions. The centrist positions it took became explicit in the Seventh Congress held in November, 1964. Soon the centrist opportunist line started dominating the party in all fields. In 1967 general elections, it collaborated with sections of rightist forces, revisionist CPI and even communal forces while forging electoral fronts and later formed governments in Kerala and Bengal continuing this opportunist line, exposing the extent to which it had embraced parliamentary cretinism. While claiming to oppose the revisionist line of CPI, it was advocating a neo-revisionist line, with more pragmatic approaches.
5.4 From the time of the Fifth Congress, and especially from the time of the Sixth Congress itself, it was clear that though a major section of the CPI was opposing the openly revisionist line of the leadership, it had no clear orientation regarding the international and national line to be pursued based on Marxist-Leninist positions and concrete conditions of the newly emerging situation. Though there were forces who wanted to make a break with the revisionist forces, their polarization in to an alternative force had not taken place. But soon after the 1964 split and formation of the CPI(M), especially after the Seventh Congress, the inner party struggle in CPI(M) started intensifying, with the communist revolutionary section putting forward their ideological political positions upholding the Great Debate positions put forward under the leadership of Mao. Through a series of articles written between 1965 and 67, which later became famous as ‘Eight Documents’, Charu Majumdar attacked the CPI(M) line as neo-revisionist and criticized it for abandoning the path of agrarian revolution. Upholding Mao’s contributions to Marxism-Leninism, he called for advancing the revolutionary struggles under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought (MLMT). The inner party struggle started intensifying in other states also, as the neo-revisionist character of the CPI(M) leadership became increasingly explicit. The communist revolutionaries (CRs) characterized Indian bourgeoisie as comprador in line with the Communal International analysis and called for completing the PDR under the leadership of the working class based on worker-peasant alliance, intensifying the agrarian revolution.
5.5 In spite of the theoretical vacillations and compromises of the leadership, formation of the CPI (M) breaking away from the arch-revisionists had inspired the communist rank and file in a big way. Numerous struggles broke out in many areas against the reactionary policies of the central and state governments. When the food prices went up and food scarcity intensified by 1965, in Bihar, Bengal like states food riots broke out involving millions of people. At this time the government tried to suppress the party by arresting large number of comrades by dubbing them as ‘Chinese agents’. This only strengthened the anti-government mass movements. It was in this situation the 1967 general elections took place and contrary to the promises made during the split with the revisionists, the CPI(M) forged opportunist alliances and formed state governments in Bengal and Kerala. The initial enthusiasm created by it soon vanished as these governments instead of becoming instruments for developing class struggle, started in the main functioning similar to those led by Congress and other ruling class parties. This led to the intensification of the inner party struggle spearheaded by the CRs leading to the breaking out of Naxalbari Uprising in May 1967, demanding implementation of the revolutionary agrarian reforms based on ‘land to the tiller’ slogan, linking it with the struggle for the overthrow of the reactionary ruling system.
6 Second Split in the Communist Party and Formation of the CPI(ML)
6.1 The CPI(M) led Bengal government suppressed the uprising resorting to brutal police action with the deployment of the central forces deputed by the Indira Gandhi government also killing 11 comrades in police firing on 25th May. It started repressive policies against the CRs in the party. When the Burdwan Plenum was held in 1968 to evaluate and take stand on the developments in the ICM, while claiming to uphold the ‘Indian path’ to revolution, in essence, like CPI, it also toed the Soviet revisionist line. In this situation, the CRs rebelled against the leadership. Soon the All India Co-ordination Committee of the CRs, the (AICCCR) was formed, uniting all the CRs who had come out of the CPI(M). On 22nd April, 1969, under the leadership of CM the CPI (ML) was formed calling for the overthrow of the comprador Indian state by intensifying the agrarian revolution. Though it was a great step forward, the sectarian line which had started influencing the movement right from the beginning started creating severe setbacks to it soon.
6.2 In the struggle against the Soviet revisionist line, in continuation to the struggle that had taken place in the 1960 Moscow meeting of the 81 communist parties and in reply to the Open Letter of the CPSU of 30th March 1963 which led to formal split in the ICM, the CPC had put forward A Proposal Concerning the General Line of the ICM which called for: Workers of all countries unite; workers of the world unite with the oppressed people and oppressed nations; oppose imperialism and reaction in all countries; strive for world peace, national liberation and people’s democracy and socialism; consolidate and expand the socialist camp; bring the proletarian socialist revolution step by step to complete victory; and establish a new world without the exploitation of man by the man. Along with it Nine Comments on the cardinal issues confronting the ICM: The Origin and development of the differences between the CPSU and the CPC, On the question of Stalin, Is Yugoslavia a socialist country, Apologists of neo-colonialism, Two different lines on the question of war and peace, Peaceful co-existence: two diametrically opposed views, The leaders of the CPSU are the great splitters of our time, The proletarian revolution and Krushchov’s revisionism, and On Krushchov’s phoney communism and its historic lessons for the world, were put forward explaining the various aspects of the General Line of the ICM. During this period a bitter two line struggle was taking place in the CPC between the socialist roaders led by Mao and the capitalist roaders. By launching the Cultural Revolution in 1966, in continuation to this two line struggle taking place from the time of its Eighth Congress in 1956, the capitalist roaders like Liu Shaochi and Deng Tsiaoping could be removed from the positions of power. But by that time with the publication of the book: Long Live the Victory of the People’s War by Lin Biao, a left adventurist line had started emerging which characterized all the former colonial, semi-colonial, dependent countries of the colonial period ( the categories explained by Lenin in Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism) as semi-colonial, semi-feudal like pre-revolutionary China, and advocated People’s War as their path of revolution. Soon this sectarian line, contrary to the evaluation of the momentous developments taking place in the world after the Second World War presented earlier by the CPC in the Apologists of Neo-Colonialism, started gaining dominance and became the official line in Ninth Congress of the CPC in 1969. It advocated that a new era of total collapse of imperialism and worldwide victory of socialism has emerged. As the Cultural Revolution and Chinese media had come under the sway of this sectarian line by 1967, all the Marxist-Leninist organizations which emerged fighting against the Soviet revisionist line and parties toeing this line in their own countries, without making any independent evaluation of the international and national situation, started mechanically following the Chinese Path. In India though there were sharp differences among the CRs regarding the approach towards trade unions, on party formation, on the principal contradiction, on path of revolution etc, all of them accepted the Chinese Path including its evaluation of Indian situation. As a result, the movement as a whole came under the sway of left adventurist line, whether one practiced it or not.
6.3 In the First or Eighth Congress of the CPI (ML) held in 1970, this left adventurist line along with the annihilation line for initiating the guerilla struggle was adopted under the leadership of Charu Majumdar. Out of the four major contradictions adopted by the Congress: the contradiction between imperialism and broad masses of the people, between feudalism and broad masses of people, capital and labor and among the ruling classes, the contradiction between feudalism and the broad masses of people was analyzed as the principal one, the resolution of which will lead to resolution of all others. Line of annihilation of landlords was adopted as the beginning of the guerilla struggle. In line with the Cultural Revolution going on in China, an urban movement was also launched. The upsurge created by the Naxalbari uprising had a countrywide influence for some time attracting a good section of the cadres from CPI (M) and large number of youth and students. But soon, with the abandoning of the mass line and pursuit of the annihilation line the masses started getting alienated from the movement. At the same time, brutal onslaughts were unleashed by the central and state governments against the movement. By 1972 it suffered severe setbacks and got disintegrated to many groups.
6.4 The first split in CPI (ML) had taken place in 1971 itself. Even before that some sections of the CRs had kept themselves away from the Party due to differences on the approach to party building etc. But neither they nor those who splitted in 1971 and later did not raise any criticism against the adoption of the Chinese Path of People’s War based on semi-colonial, semi-feudal evaluation of India which was in effect the basic causes for the emergence and strengthening of the sectarian line. All of them were mainly focusing their attack on the absence of mass line and annihilation line as the reasons for the setbacks. Criticisms were mainly targeted against Charu Majumdar.
7 Main Trends among the CRs and Efforts for Party Reorganization
7.1 During the last four decades numerous efforts were made by the CRs who were disintegrated in to numerous groups from 1972. If these efforts have not become fruitful still, the main reason for it is that these efforts were mot made based on correcting the errors committed in the concrete analysis of the concrete situation which played the decisive role in the adoption of the sectarian path by all. During the last four decades, in spite of numerous efforts the reorganization process did not advance mainly for the same old reasons. For example, after 1972 though the then existing CPI(ML) and non-CPI(ML) groups could be divided broadly in to those who adopted mass line and those who did not, both these sections continued to uphold India as semi-colonial, semi-feudal and path of revolution as people’s war. Neither trend found it necessary to go for a concrete analysis of the post- Second World War international and Indian situation including the changes in the mode of production in the agrarian sector taking place under penetration of finance capital and imperialist agencies leading to land ceiling laws and Green Revolution like developments. As the regrouping of the splintered groups did not take place, when the mass upsurges did take place in the middle of 1970s in some regions, except for some groups, others could not play any significant role in them. Similarly when the internal emergency was declared and the state terror intensified, the splintered groups did not evolve any unified understanding about it. Though many of these sections played a role in resisting this onslaught unlike CPI and CPI (M), no major initiative could be taken at all India level.
7.2 After the revocation of the emergency in 1977 when thousands of CRs came out of the jails and the unity and party reorganization efforts were taken up, the international and Indian situation had undergone important changes. Internationally, soon after the death of Mao, the capitalist roaders had usurped power in China reversing the socialist transformation taking place there. Diametrically opposed to the 1963 General Line documents, they had put forward the class collaborationist ‘Theory of Three Worlds’(TWT) and advocated China as a ‘third world country’. They had theorized against any effort to reorganize the Communist International dissolved in 1943 and against proletarian internationalism. Under it they had analyzed Soviet social imperialism as the main enemy and even went to the extent of joining hands with US against Soviet Union. Internally, the under the land ceiling laws and the Green Revolution like developments in many regions old feudal landlords were increasingly replaced by rich peasants and agricultural bourgeoisie who were leading movements in many states for more subsidies and better prices for agricultural products. The reorganization process in later years proceeded based on the position taken by the different groups towards analyzing the emerging international and Indian situation. Except CPI (ML)Liberation, though almost all other groups have condemned the capitalist roaders in China and do not uphold it as a socialist country, many of these overtly or covertly still uphold the TWT.
7.3 Overwhelming number of the CPI (ML) as well as non-CPI (ML) groups are still sticking to the continuation of the analysis that India is semi-colonial and semi-feudal, and path of revolution Is that of protracted people’s war. Among these, one section took the Lin Biaoist stand rejecting the 10th Congress positions of the CPC. By and large this trend, soon splitted to many small groups. After sporadic attempts for squad actions by few of them, it got extremely weakened. It is reduced to few petti-bourgeois intellectual groups now.
7.4 Among the anti- Lin Biao sections, one section led by com. Kondapalli Sitharamiah formed the CPI (ML) People’s War group and stuck to continuation of the practice of guerilla struggle. Another group, CPI (ML)Party Unity was also following almost the same line. These two and the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) adopting Maoism as their guiding line, have merged and formed the CPI(Maoist) in 2004. It is persisting in pursuing an anarchist line doing great harm to the revolutionary movement in the country.
7.5 The CPI (ML)Liberation still upholds China as a socialist country. Naturally it is influenced by this reformist line and in its 2007 Congress adopted the possibility of peaceful completion of democratic revolution. It is influenced by outright reformist trends and is facing serious ideological political differences. As a result, like in 2007 it is facing the threat of another possible split in its next Congress. As a result of these internal convulsions, its once powerful mass base in Bihar has also weakened. It is for a grand alliance with CPI and CPI (M) and as a result is fast degenerating to reformist path. In spite of all these deviations, it is still opportunistically continuing to analyze India as semi-colonial, semi-feudal and path of revolution as protracted people’s war.
7.6 Between the reformist Liberation and anarchist Maoists, similar to the stand still taken by them a good number of groups continue to uphold India as semi-colonial, semi-feudal in character and path of revolution as protracted people’s war, though none of them are putting it in to practice in any form. As their line is contrary to Indian reality and as most of them are not pursuing any significant practice, all of them are on the declining path. In some of these organizations, though not formally splitted, different sections are pursuing different lines In spite of unity on the semi-colonial, semi-feudal analysis and on upholding people’s war, even after all these decades they are so sectarian that any form of unity is eluding them. And if unity like the formation of CPI(ML)Janasakthi had taken place, within a short time it led to more splintering. Unless they take up concrete analysis of the present social conditions and dare to change their approach accordingly, neither they can overcome the present crisis nor contribute towards party reorganization and revolutionary practice.
7.7 Even a glance through the present Indian situation make it clear that vast changes have taken place in the mode of production in the agrarian sector under neo-colonization when finance capital, technology and market forces have entered the agrarian sector in a big way. The feudal, semi-feudal, pre-capitalist relations have changed to capitalist relations, with only feudal remnants left in some areas. After seeing these changes, and not recognizing that these capitalist developments are taking place under imperialists’ neo-colonial domination, a section of the CRs in some areas reached the evaluation that India is a capitalist country, and so the stage of revolution is socialist. But soon after, the Communist League of India (CLI) like forces which took this line faced a number of splits. It has weakened them further. There are few microscopic pro-Hoxha, neo-Trotskyist factions also pursuing this line.
7.8 It was in this complex and difficult situation a section of the CRs, who were also a part of the anti-Lin Biao, pro-Charu Majumdar section till the post-emergency years, started trekking a different path as soon as the news of the capitalist roaders usurping power in China reached them. As it could happen, they had reached the conclusion that a deeper analysis for the severe setbacks suffered by the ICM even after the Cultural Revolution is required. Similarly, they disagreed with the stand taken by almost all other groups during the post-emergency years who supported the rich peasant-agricultural bourgeois led struggles in which no demands of the agricultural workers were included. Besides the emergence of this class itself called for deeper study. Based on a study of the concrete situation and on the positions put forward by the CPC in the Apologists of Neo-Colonialism, this section constituted as Central Reorganization Committee-CPI(ML), took initiatives in both international and Indian levels for the reorganization of the movement based on a concrete analysis of the post Second World War developments.
7.9 At international level joining hands with those Marxist-Leninist organizations who had denounced the usurpation of power in China by the capitalist roaders and the class collaborationist TWT they had put forward, who had denounced the opportunist Enver Hoxha leadership of Albania and who were upholding Marxism-Leninism-Mao Thought, it brought out a joint statement in 1979 and called for building an international platform of the ML forces upholding proletarian internationalism. Along with this, as the CPC document explained, it stated that after the Second World War colonialism had not disappeared as the Soviet revisionists argued but have taken a new form, neo-colonialism, which called for more studies including the transformation in the forms of plunder of US led imperialism during the post-War decades. These initiatives through a process of bitter struggles which went through the reorganization of CRC-CPI(ML) in to CPI(ML)- Red Flag in 1987 and then to CPI(ML) in 2005 reached the stage of successfully convening the Ninth Congress of the Party in November 2011 It adopted the basic documents explaining the transformation of the colonial, semi-feudal India in to a neo-colonial one which is working as a junior partner of imperialism, the Party Program according to the study of present condition, and the path of revolution according to concrete conditions of India. Side by side it could play an important role in the founding of the International Coordination of the Revolutionary Parties and Organizations (ICOR), in 2010 as a first step towards the reorganization of the Communist International.
7.10 The CPI(ML) has traversed a long path in reaching the present stage. The ideological political line it has adopted according to the concrete conditions of today has helped it to develop continuously in to an all India organization leading numerous struggles in different fields, when all the different organizations from the right opportunist CPI(M) to anarchist CPI(Maoist) are facing crisis and declining politically and organizationally. The task before the Party is to establish itself as the Party of the proletariat capable of leading the PDR to victory and advancing towards the socialist revolution uniting all the genuine communist forces during this process. n
The aggressiveness of the attacks on any criticisms against the government as anti-national has intensified sharply, especially after Modi-2 took over. Governments are elected by the people. According to the Constitution, the people and their fundamental rights enshrined in it are supreme. So, people have full right to criticize all actions of the government. Nobody has right to attack it as anti-national. Whoever does it should be charged for anti-constitutional crime. After Modi-2 arbitrarily abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution and for the first time downgraded a state to two union territories, , these jingoistic, intolerant attacks by those in power, their pracharaks and boot lickers on the affected people as well as on anyone criticizing the arbitrary action by the government and the clampdown over people of Kashmir valley are attacked as agents of Pakistan!. A major section of media is hysterically spreading this venom. As the Supreme Court, the uppermost constitutional authority which has right to interpret the Constitution and express validity of the 5th August action by the Modi-2 remained silent for three weeks even after many petitions were received challenging the government action, there was anxiety among the democratic forces. But on 28th August, even after the Attorney General and Solicitor General repeatedly expressed the government’s advise for everyone to maintain restraint, the decision taken by it to hear all pleas against government action by a Constitution Bench from the beginning of October is a welcome step.
All leaders of Modi-2 and RSS parivar claim that J&K is India’s property! First of all they should accept the basic principles. The United Nations’ Human Rights Declaration itself declare that all nations have the right of self determination. A country or nation is a community of people, not just a geographical entity. Indian Constitution declares India is a federal country, not a nation; Bharat Desh, not Bharat Rashtru. The unity of this federal India is based on the unity of the peoples of various nationalities who decided to continue their unity based on the ethos created by the anti-imperialist independence struggle and based on their right of self determination! RSS parivar’s Akhand Bharat existed only in the pages of Vedas, Upnishads and epics. None of the emperors from Asoka to Mugals could unite all the areas in the sub-continent. The credit for forcefully uniting the many hundreds of big or small princely states or subordinating them forming the British India goes to imperialist Britain! Even then they allowed many princely states to remain as their dependents within it. Same time there were some princely areas, J&K, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim and tribal areas in Northeast which could not be made part of British India; so they were outside.
British colonialists signed the instrument of transfer of power with leaders of India and Pakistan only covering the areas under direct British rule. According to the agreement, the princely states had the right to remain independent or join India or Pakistan signing their own agreements of accession. The governments of India and Pakistan succeeded to merge the princely states within their regions signing agreements with them. As far as J&K, Manipur, Nagaland and Sikkim were concerned, as per the agreement, they had right to remain independent or merge with either India o Pakistan. But though the leaders of both India and Pakistan had assured that they will not act like the successor states of British colonialists with regard to redefining the boundaries and for the right of self determination of the these areas which were outside British India, soon both proved that they were not less chauvinist or expansionist than the colonial government. Indian government acted very fast and integrated Manipur and Nagaland using military force. In 1975, putting pressure over the king, India annexed Sikkim also. When J&K king Hari Singh wanted to maintain it as an independent country, initially both agreed to it. Pak government even signed such an agreement also with Hari Singh. But it soon changed its line, and tried to annex J&K using army. So Hari Singh sought military help of Indian government which agreed to assist him after an instrument of accession was signed, based on which the Article 370 of the Constitution was later adopted. As the UN interfered, it enforced ceasefire and a Line of Control, with both governments agreeing to withdraw their armed forces and hold a plebiscite for the people of J&K to decide their future. But, as both the governments were not for an independent J&K, both colluded and contended to abort the plebiscite and to keep the J&K divided and in horrific condition during the last seven decades. The imperialists were happy to keep this spot hot enough, so that they could continue their divide and control policy in the region, and loot fortunes by selling arms and equipments to both. In the interest of the ruling class and corrupt political class on both side, the governments were competing to whip up hatred with each other, arming themselves to the teeth and fighting three wars and indulging in continuous skirmishes, which has benefitted and fabulously enriched the corporate giants, while forcing the vast majority of the people on both side to terrific miseries and impoverishment!
Once the BJP, the political front of RSS which wants to make India a Hindurashtra, came to power, the scenario far worsened. If the very existence of Pakistan’s army and present corrupt political establishment and their hegemony over the people depends on raising the J&K question which they claim as their property and hatred against India, the Modi rule could become a reality and could come back to power by strengthening the majoritarian Hindutva, only by whipping up Islamophobia and hate Pakistan campaign every minute. If Pakistan is already in acute economic crisis, India is also caught in the vortex of recession and slow down. As the imperialists, especially US imperialists want to overcome their own economic problems and inter-imperialist rivalry with China by using these junior partners smartly, they promote. jingoism on both sides. The conflict between India and Pakistan is bound to reach unprecedented levels, especially after the arbitrary moves of Modi-2, at the peril of the people of J&K and in India!
And now this contradiction has reached such a dangerous level that India’s defense minister announcing possibility for re-thinking on ‘no first use’ of nuclear arms. It is reciprocated by the Pak prime minister announcing his preparedness even for a nuclear war! On 28th August Pakistan test fired a ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear arms. One Pak minister talked about war breaking out in October. It is reciprocated by India’s defense minister declaring not only J&K, even the areas beyond Line of Control are integral part of India! On both sides, the jingoistic forces and corporate media are busy in whipping up hatred against each other and war hysteria, while Trump and company are enjoying the game played by Imran and Modi!
In this dangerous situation, it is the right of the people to talk boldly and correctly: J&K is not the property of the reactionary governments of either Pakistan or India. Its future should be decided by the people of J&K through a plebiscite or referendum after withdrawing the army from both sides of the Line of Control. In order to achieve this we should create public opinion to demand repealing of the arbitrary action of 5th August by Modi-2, withdrawal of the army to barracks , and immediate withdrawal of the curfew and clampdown from the whole region. If a nuclear war is unleashed by the religious fundamentalist and the fascistic, the war mongering governments on both sides, it will be catastrophic for the whole South Asian region; so all progressive forces in this region should mobilize the peoples of the whole region to condemn this jingoism and work for building up anti-imperialist unity against their reactionary governments with the vision of a South Asian People’s Unity!
We appeal to all struggling forces to come together and demand the withdrawal of all suppressive acts of the fascist Modi-2 in J&K! Let us demand bilateral discussion between both governments to politically resolve the J&K problem based on the right of self determination of the people of J&K! Expose and oppose the war mongering of both governments and create public opinion against a nuclear war which will be catastrophic to people of not only to people of both countries, but also of whole of South Asia! Just because BJP’s or any other government is in power, we are not its slaves, we have the right to expose and oppose its anti-people deeds! Oppose and resist the barbarous policy of Modi-2 and RSS parivar dubbing all their critics as anti-national! We are the patriots who oppose imperialists of all hues and stand for genuine secular democratic federal India, while Modi-2 and RSS parivar are imperialist stooges who preach Akhand Bharat, but disintegrate country through their divisive Brahmanical manuvadi Hindurashtra! Intensify the struggle for people’s federal India, for unity of people of South Asia!
CPI(ML) Red Star