FROM COLONISATION TO NEO-COLONISATION
1.1 Our country, India, is one of the biggest countries of the world inhabited by more than 1.2 billion people. It is a multi-national, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi- religious country with vast diversities and complex character. The caste system continues as a distinctive inhuman feature of the Indian society.
1.2 During its millenniums long pre-colonial history, it had evolved its own specific socio-economic village system with its own mode of production, which was largely self-sufficient and had specific agrarian relations and other features. For long it was pursuing its own course of development through a process of various pre-capitalist phases of class relations, as was happening in various other countries or regions also.
1.3 But the advent of colonial forces from early mercantile capitalist days interfered with and started violently changing this course of development. The indigenous development of productive forces taking place in the sub-continent was violently crushed. It was through more than a century long ruthless colonization process, formally starting with battle of Plassey of 1757, British imperialism ultimately succeeded in formally transforming India in to its colony after defeating the First War of Independence of 1857. From the very beginning the British colonialists started transforming the agrarian relations through the introduction of Zamindari and Ryotwari systems. Through these steps feudal, semi-feudal relations were consolidated to serve as the social base of colonial domination. To facilitate the plunder of the vast resources and to help capitalist accumulation, a merchant class was promoted as middlemen who later got transformed in to the comprador bourgeois class who served the integration of Indian economy with the British colonial system. Through the introduction of English education system, a comprador bureaucratic class to serve the colonial state apparatus also was developed. Along with these, while the colonial policies contributed to erosion of the stringent character of the caste system in some fields in at least superficial ways, it promoted it to utilize it as a support base to colonial rule. To safeguard colonial rule the ‘divide and rule’ policy was also promoted by fomenting communal strife.
1.4 From the time British imperialism started establishing its colonial domination, starting with adivasi revolts in many regions, various sections of people had launched numerous agitations against them. Different streams of renaissance movements on the one hand and the bourgeois democratic influences on the other started playing their role in creating socio-political awareness against the colonial rule according to the concrete conditions and the level of social development in different areas. The First War of Independence of 1857 was the first organized patriotic revolt of the Indian people against colonial rule. Though it was brutally suppressed through heinous ways including communally dividing the people, a series of people’s upsurges in different areas took place continuously challenging the colonial rule. It was in this situation, under the active involvement of the colonialists, the Indian National Congress was formed as a safety valve to contain people’s anger against the colonial rule. Even when the emerging comprador bourgeoisie, big landlord class and bureaucratic sections had their sway over the Congress, at the same time, it became an arena for the national movement against the colonial rule. As a result, the Congress started spreading its influence all over the country. But because of its class character it did not unleash the revolutionary zeal of the masses against the colonial rulers. It was satisfied with demanding dominion status within the British common wealth.
1.5 The industrial development taking place at various centers had led to the growth of the working class and to the trade union movement by the last decade of 19th century. Soon they started entering the political arena. The October Revolution in 1917 gave new impetus to national liberation movements all over the world. The communist movement emerged, and under its initiative the demand for full independence became the rallying point, which the Congress also had to adopt. The 1920s also saw emergence of different revolutionary forces like the one led by Bhagat Singh. The outbreak of working class struggles and anti-feudal movements also started becoming a feature of these decades. The Communist International had put forward the guiding principle of People’s Democratic Revolution under the leadership of the working class to be followed in countries like India which were under various forms of colonial domination. The growing anti-feudal and anti-colonial struggles had created conditions for the growth of the revolutionary forces. In spite of all these, the leadership of the CPI failed to make concrete analysis of the comprador character of the emerging big bourgeoisie and its influence over Congress and develop a revolutionary line analyzing the concrete situation of India. It failed to establish the leadership of the working class over the independence struggle. Instead, by and large, it surrendered the leadership of the national movement to the Congress and to the Muslim League. Even after the great victory of the anti-fascist forces led by the Soviet Union in the Second World War, in spite of the great upsurge of the national liberation movements and the outbreak of the Naval Revolt, the Telengana-Tebhaga movements and powerful working class struggles, the leadership of the CPI failed to rectify its erroneous line.
1.6 The post- Second World War period brought momentous changes at the international level. Under the leadership of the Soviet Union the socialist camp and the national liberation movements had emerged as a powerful force. On the other hand, British imperialism had weakened and the US emerged as the leader of the imperialist camp. In this situation, in order to counter the challenge of the socialist camp and to spread its hegemony at the global level, the US-led imperialist camp initiated the transformation of colonial forms of plunder and domination into neo-colonial forms, building necessary tools for it and transferring power in the colonies to the representatives of the comprador classes. British imperialism facilitated this policy by resorting to communal partition of the country and transferring power to the Congress and the Muslim League which were representing the comprador bourgeois-big landlord class interests in India and Pakistan.
INTENSIFICATION OF THE CRISIS UNDER NEO-COLONIZATION AND NEW CHALLENGES
2.1 In the post- Second World War (SWW) period, even while the era still continued as the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, under the imperialist system in its neo-colonial phase, the major contradictions at the international level continued as the contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed nations and peoples of the world, the contradiction between capital and labor, the contradiction among the imperialist countries and among the monopoly groups, and the contradiction between the imperialist system and the socialist forces. At the same time, during this period, especially after the crisis of the 1970s, with the mad rush for exploitation of natural and human resources utilizing the unprecedented technological advances under the imperialist perspective of development, ever- intensifying ecological devastation has started becoming a major factor both at the international and the national level. It has given rise to a new, fifth major contradiction, at both international and national levels, the contradiction between capital and nature, along with the other four major contradictions. Among these five major contradictions, the contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed peoples and nations continues as the principal contradiction at the international level.
2.2 After the 1947 transfer of power, the Congress government serving the interests of comprador bureaucratic bourgeois-big landlord classes serving imperialism opened the country for the penetration of foreign capital from all imperialist countries on a larger scale. While refusing to implement the land reforms based on “land to the tiller” as promised during the independence struggle, it went for ‘land reforms from above’ in the name of land ceiling laws etc, initiating the replacement of old feudal land relations. As a result, a new type of landlord class started emerging and coming in to dominance who started to open the agrarian sector to capital-market forces and technological innovations under ‘green revolution’ like policies.
2.3 With the transfer of power, India which was a colonial and semi-feudal country, was transformed in to a neo-colonial country with agrarian relations subjected to fast changes, as imperialism had abandoned its colonial policy of utilizing feudalism as its social base. The four major contradictions in the country during the colonial period were the contradiction between imperialism and the nation, between feudalism and the broad masses of people, between capital and labor, and contradiction among the ruling classes with the contradiction between imperialism and the nation continuing as the principal contradiction. Under neo- colonization they transformed in to the contradiction between imperialism and the people, the contradiction between capital and labor, the contradiction between the landlord classes and the broad masses of the peasantry and the contradiction among the ruling classes. As explained above, the contradiction between capital and nature has emerged as a fifth major contradiction in recent times. And the principal contradiction has transformed to the contradiction between the alliance of imperialism, comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and landlord classes on the one hand and the broad masses of people on the other.
2.4 During the post-1947 years, under the Keynesian policies pursued under neo-colonization by the imperialist system and under the impact of the powerful socialist camp coming to existence during the 1940s and of the mighty national liberation movements and growing working class struggles, the Congress government, representing the interests of Indian ruling classes, initiated many welfare policies, went for nationalization of core production sectors and for building of a powerful public sector. But by 1970s as stagflation became the commanding phenomenon and the imperialist system started facing serious crisis, the imperialist countries led by US started replacing the hitherto Keynesian policies with ‘neo-liberal’ policies through the much advertised globalization-liberalization-privatization regime utilizing the IMF-World Bank-WTO trio, the MNCs and numerous other imperialist agencies. With the formal imposition of these changes in India in 1991, a reversal of the earlier policies was initiated fast. A sea change has taken place in the financial sector and in all other socio-economic-cultural fields.
2.5 Under ‘neo-liberal’ policies, all public sector undertakings are already privatized or are in that process. All public and government undertakings in the field of banking, insurance etc and other service sectors including transportation, communications, energy etc are also being privatized at a fast pace. During this process the state controlled enterprises are forming joint ventures with the MNCs. The corporate houses and MNCs are given monopoly in all fields including control of water, forest, land, mining etc. allowing them to wantonly loot the natural and human resources.
2.6 Under these new economic policies all the hard won rights of the working class are snatched away. The contract system, casualization of labor and ‘hire and fire’ are the rules of the day. Even eight hour work time, minimum wages and other democratic rights are denied. While the dalits, adivasis and other backward sections who are the actual tillers are not provided land, even whatever land is owned by the poor and marginal peasantry are snatched away for various ‘neo-liberal’ projects and by land mafias. Corporatization of agriculture is increasing with the corporate houses - MNCs given full entry to the agrarian sector. It is forcing hundreds of thousands of peasants to commit suicide and millions of poor peasants and agricultural workers to migrate to cities. Right to public distribution system, free education, housing, healthcare, water, electricity, transport and employment is denied to the masses. ‘Futures trading’, entry of corporate houses and MNCs and state withdrawing from procurement-distribution sectors along with hoarding and black marketing becoming rampant, leading to sky-rocketing price rise. Many millions of retail traders are pauperized as a result. All these have led to unprecedented pauperization of the masses.
NEO-COLONIZATION INTENSIFIES ALL MAJOR CONTRADICTIONS
3.1 Analyzing the emerging class relations following the October Revolution, Communist International (Comintern) had explained that firstly, whatever progressive character the bourgeoisie in the capitalist countries had was disappearing in the monopoly capitalist or imperialist stage, and secondly, the bourgeoisie which had emerged in the Afro- Asian- Latin American countries under colonization is basically collaborating with imperialism and is incapable of completing the tasks of national and democratic revolution. In the neo-colonial phase, though this bourgeois class which has become the most influential section of the ruling class in the neo-colonies is contending to some extent with the imperialist powers for its enrichment according to the extent of their development, it is basically collaborating with imperialism. The comprador bourgeoisie is not only the agent of the imperialists, but also is a conscious part of monopoly capital who goes on to take decisions for the interest of the monopoly capital. In that sense it can still be called comprador in character. The comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and the big landlord class constitute the ruling class in India.
3.2 British colonialists promoted upper caste Hindus to strengthen their colonial state apparatus. At the same time, they were pursuing ‘divide and rule’ policy fomenting communal rivalry between Hindus and Muslims. The communal division of India amidst communal massacres and the communal appeasement policy of Congress governments from the very beginning went on increasing the communal strife. It provided a fertile ground for the Hindu fundamentalist forces mainly spearheaded by the RSS through its political arm, Jan Sangh, presently BJP, to grow, and for the Muslim communalist forces also to gain strength in response. The role played by the CPI(M)-led forces in the Janatha Dal-led alliance during 1989 general elections along with BJP also helped the strengthening of the Sangh Parivar.The heinous and dangerous policy of the Congress government in 1992 which allowed the RSS Parivar to demolish Babri Masjid to divert attention from the imposition of imperialist globalization policies, has led not only to the communal fascist BJP coming to power at center in 1998 and consolidation of its grip in few states, but also to the growth of all religious fundamentalist forces, especially the Hindu fundamentalists. These policies have led to the communalization of society to a large extent. In spite being described as secular in Indian Constitution, the Indian state has increasingly become a Hindu state for all intent and purposes, where the rights and security of the religious minorities are under constant threat. The increasing pauperization of the masses is also providing a fertile ground for the growth of the fundamentalist forces, thus derailing the anger and discontent of the masses.
3.3 As part of its attempts to cling to power, Congress utilized the caste based vote bank politics, going against the demand for launching a powerful movement for the annihilation of the caste system raised during the renaissance movement and independence struggle. The very purpose of the reservation policy was defeated with the ruling class parties trying to perpetuate the caste system with an eye on vote bank politics. At the same time, anti caste campaigns and caste annihilation demands became weaker. Though the Mandal Commission Report provided new enthusiasm for the backward sections to demand their rights, in order to divert attention from its central recommendations like land reforms and ensuring social justice, the dominant caste forces and remnant feudal social formations like khap panchayats etc soon intensified the caste based strife to unprecedented levels. As a result, contrary to the spirit of the recommendations in the Report, it was utilized for carrying forward the caste based politics. The caste system, which is a special feature of the dominant Hindu religion, continues all over India still as a result, taking newer forms in some places, with many specific characteristics in different areas and influencing all the religions to some extent with its ugly features like caste hatred, caste discrimination, caste oppression, untouchability etc. Under privatization and liberalization policies, existing democratic rights like reservation are also diluted and snatched away. For this purpose new formulations like “creamy layer” and “reservations based on economic backwardness” are coming to the fore. A vigorous struggle is required for eradication of the caste system and stigma of untouchability, utilizing the weapon of class struggle and a revolutionary program for awakening the masses.
3.4 Contrary to the promises during the independence struggle, though more than six decades passed after transfer of power, consecutive governments have refused to recognize the right to self determination of all nationalities. Even for achieving linguistic states the people had to wage long struggles. Military is deployed in Jammu and Kashmir and Northeast for six decades or more refusing to implement their right of self determination through political settlement. As the uneven development under neo-colonization is intensifying, giving rise to demand for separate states, they are either ruthlessly suppressed or opportunistically utilized to divide the people. In the absence of progressive decentralization, devolution and democratization of political power, people’s strife based on nationality and ethnic questions is also intensifying.
3.5 The adivasis who constitute nearly 10% of the Indian population have a great history of struggling against the British colonialists and fighting for their rights after the transfer of power. But consecutive central and state governments have not established even their autonomous councils in a progressive manner or protected their right to their land. On the contrary in the name of expanding mining and establishing corporate projects they are displaced in ever larger numbers. They are exploited massively as the cheapest source of labor under the ‘neo-liberal’ policies. Further, as a result of discriminatory policies and absence of efforts from the government side to uplift the condition of the adivasis, they are being kept away from participating in advanced production relations and from improving their living conditions. It is as if they are doomed to either depending on the forests or continuing as the cheapest source of labor.
3.6 The women who constitute half of the population were victims of worst forms of exploitation under feudal and colonial domination and under religion and caste system. As a result of numerous struggles many laws like the one against domestic violence are enacted and 50% reservation in local bodies is implemented, though the ruling class parties are reluctant to extent this reservation to state assemblies and parliament. These cosmetic reforms too have largely remained confined to paper. Under neo-colonization new types of attacks are mounting against women. The enslavement under patriarchy and the system of private property has taken new forms. Along with gender discrimination, female infanticide and sexual harassment are also intensifying day by day. Even the female body is wantonly commercialized.
3.7 Under neo-colonization, due to the policies implemented in the name of development which actually serve the interests of imperialists and their lackeys, ecological devastation has become an ever intensifying factor. ‘Global warming’ like phenomena and the nuclear catastrophe created by the nuclear arms race, existing nuclear plants which are ‘nuclear time bombs’ as once again proved by the meltdown of Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan. Refusing to learn from the intensification of the contradictions with Pakistan following the nuclear arms race started by it from Pokhran nuclear blast, presently Indian government has signed the nuclear agreement with the US imperialists, further surrendering whatever sovereignty the country had. The construction of new nuclear plants under imperialist dictates threatens further environmental disaster. The imperialists are dumping industrial and nuclear waste in countries like India. All these developments have made the struggle for ecological protection one of the basic components of social progress.
3.8 In order to perpetuate the reactionary ruling system and to promote neo-colonization, along with medieval and feudal culture and various forms of superstitions, the imperialist cultural values are also promoted brazenly, commercializing and commodifying culture. Utilizing extensive growth of information technology and electronic media, culture is increasingly linked with the market interests of imperialist system and its lackeys and turned in to an industry. The education system is commercialized and used for subordinating the new generation to neo-colonial system and to spread imperialist cultural values. The communal forces colluding with imperialists and their lackeys are communalizing all spheres of social life including culture. All these are intended to create a sense of national servitude and for destruction of all progressive and democratic cultural consciousness.
3.9 Along with price rise, unemployment/underemployment, and all round criminalization of the society, corruption has become one of the worst malaises, destroying the social fabric. It has taken gigantic proportions with the speculative capital playing all pervasive role under ‘neo-liberal’ policies. The corruption in the state apparatus including the government machinery from top to bottom, the defense and police services, the electoral system, and even the judiciary have reached unprecedented levels. So are the political leaders and most of the so-called elected members of various bodies. All these explain the extent to which the ruling system has degenerated and become anti-people under more than six decades of neo-colonization, exposing its heinous and pernicious character. Though the media almost entirely controlled by the corporate houses and the ruling establishment appears to expose the evils of the ruling system, in reality it is serving to perpetuate the hegemony of the imperialists and their lackeys in all fields.
DEVIATIONS IN THE COMMUNIST MOVEMENT WEAKEN THE STRUGGLES FOR THE PDR
4.1 The role played by the Communist movement in India during various phases of its nine decades of existence should be evaluated on the basis of the above over view of the colonial past and neo-colonial present and based on the analysis of the present situation. It will help to evolve the program of the PDR according to present concrete conditions. A glance through the activities of the communist movement during the colonial days show that in building the Party and class and mass organizations, in waging working class struggles, in organizing anti- feudal movements in many regions and in establishing the Party at all India level there were significant achievements. But experience during this period shows that in spite of these the leadership of the CPI failed to assimilate the orientation put forward by the Comintern that because of its collaboration with imperialism, the bourgeoisie in the colonial countries and the political party/parties serving its interests (Congress and Muslim League in the case of British India) are incapable of taking up the tasks of the democratic revolution, and that it can be completed only under the leadership of the working class and its vanguard party. As a result, from the time of the independence struggle, in effect, it tailed behind the Congress leadership, inflicting severe damage to the movement. Or, in spite of many glorious struggles, the CPI leadership failed to establish the leadership of the working class over the independence struggle and to advance the People’s Democratic Revolution.
4.2 Though the Second Congress of the Party in 1948 tried to correct this right deviation and exposed the reactionary character of the transfer of power, it adopted a line of left deviation which caused immense set back to the movement. Against these right and left deviations, though the protagonists of the Telengana line who had put forward in the Andhra Letter came to the leadership for a brief period, they also failed to make a concrete analysis of the Indian situation and develop a path of revolution accordingly. It was in this situation, with the help of the CPSU leadership, the first Party Program, tactical line and policy statement, were drafted and adopted in 1951.For the first time, it was an attempt to put forward a path of revolution according to the concrete conditions of India. Though it was a significant step forward, its major weakness was that as the Soviet leadership had failed to make a concrete analysis of the transformation of the imperialist plunder and domination from colonial phase to neo-colonial phase after the SWW, this weakness was reflected in it. The rightists who came to the leadership, first diluted and then abandoned this line in practice. It withdrew the Telengana struggle and in practice abandoned the line of agrarian revolution. In this manner, even before the open emergence of Soviet revisionism in the 20th Congress of the CPSU in 1956 and its degeneration to ‘apologists of neo-colonialism’, the leadership of CPI had started taking revisionist positions.
4.3 Upholding the Soviet revisionist positions, the rightists in the leadership of the CPI interpreted the stage of revolution as that of National Democratic Revolution, and the Congress leadership as one which predominantly represent the national bourgeois interests. It also called for completing the NDR peacefully collaborating with the Congress leadership. At a time when people’s resentment against the reactionary economic policies was mounting, tailing behind the reactionary Congress, the CPI leadership once again failed to provide leadership to their struggles. As a result, the inner party struggle intensified and in 1964 the first split took place in the communist movement and CPI (M) was formed.
4.4 But the leadership of CPI (M) did not make a break with the Soviet revisionist positions. It refused to join the ideological struggle waged by the CPC against them. Though the documents adopted by the Seventh Congress in 1964 analyzed the dual character of the big bourgeoisie, they refused to see its predominant comprador character. Following parliamentary cretinism, it refused to work for the implementation of the Party Program if voted to power at any level. On all basic questions it took a ‘centrist’ position, and in effect toed the Soviet revisionist line. In 1967 elections the Congress had faced major reverses and a major split in 1969. Once again it was an opportunity for the left forces to come forward and put forward a revolutionary alternative to provide leadership to the people. But, once again the leaderships of both CPI and CPI (M) failed to play this historic role. They characterized the Congress section led by Indira Gandhi as progressive and helped her minority government to survive. The Soviet social imperialism also had thrown its weight behind her government by that time as part of its contention with US imperialism for control over Indian political scene.
4.5 Immediately after the Seventh Congress of the CPI (M) in October 1964, the Communist Revolutionaries (CRs) within it had started an ideological struggle against its centrist line and against Soviet revisionism based on the ‘Great Debate’ documents of the CPC. When the CPI (M) led governments were formed in Bengal and Kerala in early 1967 and they refused to implement distribution of surplus land with the government, plantation owners and landlords to the landless poor peasants, the CRs launched the Naxalbari uprising in Darjeeling district of Bengal for capture and distribution of land in May 1967. It was also a political struggle against the revisionist line of the leadership which refused to create conditions for implementing the Party Program when elected to power within the ruling system. The uprising was brutally suppressed by the CPI (M)-led government with the assistance of Indira Gandhi government at center. In this situation, struggling against the revisionism of CPI and neo-revisionism of CPI (M) leaderships, first an all India coordination of CRs (AICCCR) was formed, followed by formation of CPI (ML) in April,1969 upholding Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought as its guiding ideology. It brought democratic revolution back to the agenda and created a countrywide revolutionary upsurge. But, very soon CPI (ML) came under the influence of the left adventurist line which had come to dominance in the CPC during its Ninth Congress in 1969. There was no theorization to link the revolutionary upsurge to the working class movement. The theory of physical leadership of the working class in the revolution was replaced by the theory of merely establishing the ideological leadership of the working class and the role of the working class was relegated to merely joining, supporting and strengthening the peasant movements. This along with various other deviations led to the movement facing severe suppression and setback and getting splintered by 1971. As a result, when the mass uprisings broke out against Indira Gandhi government soon after, and when the internal emergency was declared later, followed by the severe defeat to Congress in 1977 elections, due to the weakening of the left movement under revisionist and sectarian deviations, it was the BJP and other rightist forces who succeeded to occupy the space lost by the Congress.
4.6 During the last two decades, after the imposition of the ‘neo-liberal’ policies, the line of the CPI (M) -led Left Front wherever it came to power has become almost synonymous with that of the ruling class parties. On the other hand, the CPI (Maoist), analyzing ‘Maoism’ as the Marxism-Leninism of the new era, as put forward by the 1969 Congress of the CPC, is stubbornly pursuing its anarchist line refusing to learn from the severe setback caused by the sectarian line in early 1970s. Besides there are a number of CPI (ML) groups who like the ‘Maoists’ persist in the ‘semi-colonial, semi-feudal, protracted people’s war line’, though they do not practice it. There are some groups who advocate that India is a capitalist country and the stage of revolution is socialist, as if Indian revolution has already settled accounts with imperialism. All of them refuse to take any initiative to make an analysis of the present situation and to develop their line even after internal differences in approach have come up within most of them, making them almost inactive. The Marxist-Leninist line can be put forward and developed only by waging consistent struggles against these erroneous lines.
4.7 The international and national developments during last six decades after the SWW have established that the colonial forms of direct control and plunder were replaced by neo-colonial forms by the imperialist system led by US imperialism. The power was transferred to the Indian ruling classes and their main political party, Congress, based on the ‘de-colonization’ process, which was part of the neo-colonization. It is also proved that the imperialist system led by US, in spite of repeated crises confronted by it, has proved its capabilities for survival by constant changes in its policies. It has become more barbaric and hegemonic, contrary to the evaluation of 20th Congress of the CPSU and 9th Congress of the CPC. Following The degeneration of socialist Soviet Union to capitalist path, its transformation in to a social imperialist power and later disintegration, after usurpation of leadership by the capitalist roader China also got transformed in to a social imperialist power, colluding and contending with the US-led imperialist camp for world hegemony.The comprador character of the bourgeoisie in the neo-colonies is further exposed, even though, as in the case of some of these countries, its contention for accumulating its own wealth and to develop its own areas of influence have increased. The case of Indian ruling system trying to become a hegemonic power in South Asia under ‘strategic alliance’ with US is a good example for this. The transformation that is taking place in India is not on the path of independent capitalist development, but on a ‘crony’ capitalist path under the sinister and pernicious neo-colonization process. Under it India is turned in to a ‘junior partner’ of the imperialist system, especially US imperialism, or its ‘strategic partner’ as the ruling classes claim.
4.8 Under the imperialist globalization policies the attack on the international proletariat and the oppressed peoples has further intensified, demanding closer unity of the Communist parties at the international level to combat the imperialist system and the comprador ruling systems in the countries under neo-colonization. It calls for strengthening solidarity among them. In this context, the dissolution of the Comintern in 1943 and, though, the Cominform was formed as a platform of the communist parties in power, the failure of the international communist movement to take initiative to reorganize it for such a long time after its dissolution calls for serious evaluation. The steps presently taken in the direction of reorganization of the Communist International by the revolutionary parties call for such an evaluation based on the principles of proletarian internationalism.
4.9 From the time of the historic victory of October Revolution in 1917, establishment of the first socialist state, Soviet Union, and founding of the Communist International, imperialist barbarism or socialism is the clarion call before the world proletariat and oppressed peoples. Inspired by it the international communist movement leapt forward to significant advances by the 1950s when the East Wind of Socialism looked like overwhelming the West Wind of Imperialism. But the weaknesses that had started surfacing in the movement in putting proletarian internationalism in command while taking up the socialist transformation in countries where the proletariat and its allies had captured political power, in recognizing the transformation that was taking place in the imperialist plunder from colonial to neo-colonial forms during the post-SWW years and in developing the unity of the socialist camp that had emerged against imperialism etc caused severe setbacks to the ICM and are still posing serious ideological-political challenges before it. Along with it the six decades of neo-colonization which has made significant changes at global level in all spheres also calls for scientific analysis and further development of the theory and practice of world proletarian socialist revolution. Under neo-colonialism, especially after the initiation of ‘neo-liberal’ policies and the consequent global expansion of finance capital, the whole world is experiencing a form of de-industrialization and the unprecedented phenomena of jobless growth. This has led to upsurges and even uprisings of the working class and the oppressed peoples in many countries and many regions of the world. It has posed new challenges before the communist parties about developing the strategy and tactics of revolution at international and national level according to present concrete conditions.
4.10 Following the 2008 meltdown faced by the imperialist financial centers starting from the US, a stream of proletarian upsurges was witnessed in West Europe to North America. In 2011 world people are witnessing massive uprisings in a number of North African and West Asian countries, which were dubbed as dens of Islamic fundamentalism by US imperialists and their lackeys for long, for democracy and other basic rights. They are trying to overthrow feudal monarchs and dictators maintained by the US imperialists and their allies there. All imperialist countries are rocked by a new wave of working class upsurges. India is no exception. Here also the working class, the peasantry and all oppressed sections are coming on the streets against price rise, corruption, unemployment, displacement from their land and occupation etc. What is lacking in all these countries where these people’s uprisings are taking place is a revolutionary party capable of leading them to revolutionary changes. This is the challenge confronted by the Communist Party in India as elsewhere. The Party Program for the PDR in India is put forward at such a critical turning point, trying to address these challenges before the Indian people, the world proletariat and oppressed peoples.
PATH OF INDIAN REVOLUTION
5.1 The Indian state is the organ of class rule, that is the dictatorship of the comprador bureaucratic bourgeois-big landlord classes serving imperialism, over the working class, the peasantry and all sections of exploited and oppressed masses. This reactionary state can be overthrown and be replaced by the People’s Democratic State only by mobilizing the working class as the leader of the revolution, forging its alliance with the peasantry and building the People’s Democratic Front based on this worker-peasant alliance, uniting the middle classes and all patriotic sections including the elements of the national bourgeoisie who are ready to fight ‘neo-liberal’ policies.
5.2 The historical developments and concrete conditions of the country in the present neo-colonial phase of imperialism determine the present stage of revolution which is People’s Democratic. The CPI (ML) upholds Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought as its guiding ideology, applying it to the concrete conditions of the country and integrating it with the concrete practice of revolution. It is committed to complete the People’s Democratic Revolution and to advance towards socialist revolution.
5.3 The Path of the PDR in India is determined not by mechanical application of the Soviet or Chinese or any other path as happened repeatedly in the past, but by the concrete conditions of the country and international situation. While developing this revolutionary path, the experience of the revolutionary people’s movements of the country and the experience of all hitherto revolutions that had taken place at international level should be assimilated. Rejecting parliamentary cretinism and the line of sectarianism and individual terrorism, upholding path of revolutionary mass line, it resolves to utilize all forms of struggle and organizations to mobilize the working class and all revolutionary classes and sections for a massive countrywide people’s uprising to overthrow the Indian state and to seize political power.
5.4 The CPI (ML) reiterates the declaration of The Communist Manifesto: The communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win”. “The path of Indian revolution calls for rejecting all shades of parliamentarism and reformism and pursuing the path of revolutionary seizure of political power. It means combining the countrywide struggles of the working class with the revolutionary agrarian struggles, combining all other forms of struggles with it”(The Path of Revolution).
PROGRAM OF PEOPLE’S DEMOCRACY
6.1 The People’s Democratic State will be distinguished by a Constitution providing for progressive abolition of the right to private property and implementation of the principle of social ownership of all the means of production. Such a Constitution will be drafted by a Constituent Assembly to be elected on the basis of universal suffrage and truly representing the workers, peasants and other oppressed masses arising from the committees which have grown out of the struggle along with all other revolutionary sections. Such a Constitution will be based on the principle of all powers to the people, with the power being transferred to the various committees of the workers, peasants and oppressed people which have arisen out of the revolutionary struggle at all levels from the village to the national level. Such a Constitution shall provide for the right to recall at all levels to ensure the accountability of the elected representatives and shall do away with the schism between the executive power and the legislative power. This means that all officials at all levels, including judges, police chiefs, municipal officials etc. will be elected and all of them subjected to recall.
6.2 The president of the union shall be elected by members of the People’s Congresses at Union and State level and shall function under the rules and policies promulgated by the People’s Congress of the union. The principles of the representative system of government shall be followed. The present army shall be dissolved and replaced by a People’s Army constituted and led closely linked with the People’s Democratic State and shall be linked to production. The police, para-military and numerous other repressive arms of the present ruling system shall be replaced by People’s militia under the control of the local elected bodies. The entire central and state laws continuing from colonial days and later introduced, which are anti-people, shall be replaced by new people’s laws.
6.3 Confiscate all imperialist capital, liquidate all imperialist debts and scrap all unequal treaties or agreements with imperialist countries and agencies which are against people’s interests. Quit IMF, WB and WTO and initiate international trade based on equality and well being of all nations. Prohibit operations of MNCs. Stop flow of all speculative foreign capital to the country. Free the country from all forms of imperialist exploitation, interference and bullying. Educate the people against NGOs and all such imperialist promoted agencies and put an end to their functioning.
6.4 Nationalize all enterprises, capital and properties of the comprador bureaucratic bourgeois class or corporate houses and mafias. Stop all avenues for corruption from top to bottom. Get back all deposits of scamsters in foreign banks and in other institutions and confiscate them. Unearth and confiscate all black money including that deposited in mutts and similar institutions. Confiscate the wealth of mutts and all religious institutions. Punish all corrupt.
6.5 Implement revolutionary land reforms based on “land to the tiller”. Abolish all pre-capitalist relations in the agrarian sector and confiscate and distribute all land with the landlords, plantations, corporate houses and MNCs and mafias. Abolish all forms of bonded labor and usury. Stop corporatization of agriculture, entry of agro- MNCs in to agricultural sector and develop agriculture with the perspective of food security for all, giving full attention to ecological conservation.
6.6 Implement six hour working day and five day week progressively in all sectors. Redefine need based minimum wage and implement it. End contract labor system, casualization of labor and ‘hire and fire’. Ensure right to organize, to collective bargaining and to wage strike and other struggles as fundamental right of the working class.
6.7 Implement comprehensive national industrial policy. Develop healthy relation among heavy, medium and small industries, and between urban and rural regions. Progressively abolish dependence on foreign technology by developing indigenous research and development policy. Develop the service sector including banking, insurance and credit institutions putting people’s interests in command. Develop infrastructural projects taking the overall interests of the community in to consideration.
6.8 Ensure universal public distribution system, free and compulsory education, healthcare for all, housing and employment for all. Develop a comprehensive sports policy and implement it with people’s participation. Develop a people’s cultural policy.
6.9 Abolish all black laws. Ensure democratization of the administration and society at all levels. Abolish death penalty from the statutes.
6.10 Stop all forms of gender discrimination. Create conditions for women to liberate from the grip of patriarchy and religious-caste based oppression. Stop all forms of attack on women at work places and elsewhere. Stop female infanticide. Ensure women’s equality in all fields, property right to women and equal pay for equal work. All women shall be employed in socially productive labor. Measures shall be taken to ensure the abolition of the present family system which serves as the economic unit of the society and to build a progressive democratic family system.
6.11 Guarantee protection, healthcare and education for all children and abolish all forms of exploitation of children including child labor. Ensure the protection of senior citizens in all respects.
6.12 Ensure right of self-determination for all nationalities. The People’s Republic shall strive to unite people of various nationalities not by force but by their voluntary consent. Settle the Jammu and Kashmir and Northeast questions by withdrawing army from there forthwith and through political means ensuring the right of self determination to all nationalities. Ensure right of the people to receive education in their mother tongue, equal treatment for all languages and such other democratic rights.
6.13 Abolish all forms of exploitation and oppression of adivasis. Protect their right over the natural resources, when progressive development projects are taken up. Establish autonomous councils with full powers and ensure their democratic rights.
6.14 Ensure genuine secular character of the state structure. Abolish all discriminations based on religious ground and protect the religious minorities. End all efforts by religious fundamentalist forces for communalization of the society. Prevent mixing of religion in state affairs and political life of the country. Stop religious institutions from entering public domain like education, healthcare and such other fields. Evolve secular, democratic and progressive common civil code as part of democratization of the society. The People’s Democratic state shall strictly implement the secular principle of separation between state and religion.
6.15 Continue campaigns and democratic movements for abolition of the caste system fully and of all other social inequalities. As part of it, stop all forms of caste based oppression, caste discrimination, untouchability, and khap panchayats like reactionary institutions. Implement reservation like democratic rights till all social inequalities are abolished. Ensure land to the dalits based on the slogan of “land to the tiller”.
6.16 Based on the understanding that the contradiction between capital and nature has become a major contradiction at both national and international level, concrete plans should be worked out to protect environment and to develop the perspective on development taking this important question in to consideration.
6.17 Implement secular, gender-friendly, democratic and scientific education system accessible to all. Stop commercialization and privatization of education. Ensure free, uniform and compulsory education for all children, ensure facilities for higher education to all. Abolish all elitist schools, stop discrimination and differentiation in the field of education. .
6.18 Develop people’s democratic and gender-friendly culture fighting against the influence of feudal and imperialist cultural values. Promote scientific outlook in all fields. As imperialism and its lackeys are utilizing the influences in the superstructure to subjugate people to their plunder and hegemony, the question of developing Cultural Revolution based on hitherto experience of the former socialist countries as a continuous process should be given great significance, especially in the context of the capitalist restoration in all these socialist countries.
6.19 Based on equality and peaceful co-existence, establish closest relations in all fields with the neighboring countries. Resolve all boundary disputes through friendly negotiations.
6.20 Uphold proletarian internationalism. Strive to reorganize the Communist International. Unite with all progressive, anti- imperialist forces all over the world and strive to establish fraternal relations with the revolutionary forces against imperialism, especially US imperialism, and its lackeys. Actively struggle against US led aggressions and barbaric hegemonic moves creating havoc everywhere.
6.21 Extend solidarity with people all over the world in the struggle for democracy and socialism. As several institutions and agencies built up during the post-Second World War period including the UNO are serving as the tools for intensification of neo-colonial plunder and hegemony, the People’s Democratic Republic should initiate active moves to progressively build alternative international centers of People’s Democratic and socialist countries based on the principles of proletarian internationalism.
STRENGTHEN THE PARTY AND ADVANCE ALONG THE PATH OF PDR
7.1 The struggle for the People’s Democratic Revolution is continuing for almost nine decades in India, from the very beginning of the Communist movement here. During these decades momentous developments have taken place internationally and nationally. Even when the present era continues to be the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, in the post-SWW period, imperialism with US imperialism taking over its leadership has replaced the colonial forms of plunder and domination with neo-colonial forms. The challenge before the CPI (ML) in this neo-colonial phase of imperialism is to carry forward the task of completion of the PDR and advancing to socialist revolution according to the present conditions.
7.2 The CPI (ML) is presenting this draft Party Program not only before its members, but also before the membership and supporters of what can be broadly called the left movement in general and all the progressive democratic forces with the hope of initiating a broad discussion based on it and active steps to put it in to practice. It is our hope that such a step along with the continuation of the unity efforts to bring together the Marxist-Leninist forces based on the ideological political line put forward, shall help to speed up the historic task of reorganization of the Communist movement at all India level, providing a new fillip to advance towards the completion of the People’s Democratic Revolution and to march forward for the realization of socialism and communism.
[Adopted by the Ninth Party Congress of the CPI(ML) held in November 2011]