Path of Indian Revolution
2. International Situation
3. National Situation
4. Strategy of People’s Democratic Revolution
5. Class Analysis of Indian Society
6. Building the Party at All India Level as the Vanguard of the Indian proletariat
7. Mobilizing Working Class as Leader of People’s Democratic Revolution
8. Building Revolutionary Peasant Movement
9. Mobilising Women for Revolution
10. Mobilising the Youth
11. Organising Student Movement
12. Tasks in the Cultural Front
13. the Caste Question
14. The Nationality question
15. On Utilising Parliamentary Forms of Struggle
16. From Joint Activities to Strategic United Front.
17. The Agrarian Question and Agrarian Revolutionary Programme
18. On The Path of Indian Revolution
19. The Tasks of PDR and Approach to Proletarian Internationalism
1.1 THERE are significant differences between drafting a Path of Revolution in a country in the first half of 20th Century and in the present circumstances. Then the Third International or Communist International (Comintern) formed in1919 and led by the CPSU, had put forward the strategic line of the International Communist Movement (ICM) and the tasks of the Communist Parties in the capitalist countries as well as in the countries under imperialist domination for advancing the World Proletarian Socialist Revolution. But in the present situation when the ICM as well as the Communist Parties in each and every country have suffered severe setbacks and have gone through momentous experiences, both positive and negative, it is a much more complex task. A mere repetition of certain so-called time-honoured concepts or mechanical repetition of certain experience of revolutionary struggles in Russia, China or elsewhere along with repetitive assertions about the need for applying them according to concrete conditions in ones own country are not sufficient today. Similarly after the departure of Marxist teachers like Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin and Mao, and after the degeneration of CPSU, CPC and other erstwhile Communist Parties with rich experience to capitalist path, there are no ‘authorities’ also to look forward to for guidance. The task before each Communist Party is to evaluate hitherto international and national experience and develop its own Party Program and Path of Revolution based on the concrete analysis of the concrete conditions today. It should dare to throw out out-dated concepts or concepts proved obsolete in practice, and go forward developing and applying the theoretical guide line provided by Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought and proletarian internationalism, not in a dogmatic way, but with a historical and dialectical materialist perspective.
2. INTERNATIONAL SITUATION
2.1 THE Marxist theory emerged and the practice based on the orientation provided by it started developing when capitalism was emerging as a world system of plunder of human and natural resources for accumulation of wealth by the capitalist class and its agents, when the contradiction between increasing socialization of the mode of production and the private appropriation of wealth was intensifying, when capitalism was trying to rebuild the world in its own image, and when colonization of the world by the handful of capitalist countries was initiated. When the contradiction between capital and labor went on intensifying in the capitalist countries, inspired by The Communist Manifesto’s call: Workers of the world, unite, and the formation of the First International under the leadership of Marx and Engels, Western Europe and North America witnessed numerous working class upsurges threatening the very foundations of the capitalist system. In the Paris Commune the working class experienced the seizure of political power for the first time, even though it was for a brief period. Confronted by the growing proletarian challenge, and due to its own internal contradictions, with the merger of industrial capital and bank capital giving birth to finance capital, capitalism transformed itself to monopoly capitalism, imperialism, advancing from primitive accumulation of capital to export of finance capital as the principal form of exploitation. The territorial division of all regions under the domination of the imperialist system among the imperialist powers was completed, subjugating these countries to colonial, semi- colonial and dependent conditions. The focus of revolution shifted from the imperialist countries, where the contradiction between capital and labor was relatively diluted by the transformation of major sections of the working class leadership to ‘labor aristocracy’, to the weak links of imperialism including the countries under colonization.
2.2 According to these changes in the concrete conditions, the ICM also went through important transformations. Assimilating the experience of the Paris Commune, the First International was dissolved. Soon it was reconstituted as Second International (SI) which played an important role in inspiring the working class movements. But its leadership failed to correctly analyze the basic characteristics of the imperialist system when it emerged.. As a result, the leadership of the social democratic parties leading the Second International proceeded to compromise and collaborate with the imperialists of their own countries. The SI faced liquidation. It was in this context Lenin developed the Marxist theory through his epochal work: Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism.
2.3 Lenin developed the theory and practice of proletarian revolution in the new era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, developed the Path of Revolution in Tsarist Russia according to the concrete conditions there, led October Revolution to victory which led to the birth of Soviet Union and gave leadership for the formation of the Third International, an international of the communist and workers parties when social democracy had become a hated name. Under the leadership of Lenin the strategic revolutionary concept of world proletariat, the general orientation of the revolutionary theory and practice for the imperialist countries as well as for countries under colonization, the Bolshevik concept of party building etc were put forward. Based on the experience of the CPSU, concepts like democratic centralism, dictatorship of the proletariat, the problems confronting the building of socialism in a country surrounded by imperialist system etc were explained. The building of socialism in Soviet Union, the advances made by national liberation movements under the inspiration of Comintern and the historic victory of the world people with the Soviet people at their head in the war against fascist forces during the World War II, the intensification of the contradictions of the countries under colonization with the imperialist powers led to the emergence of people’s democracies in Eastern Europe, victory of Chinese Revolution in 1949, all-round advances made by socialist forces and creation of an international situation, by the beginning of 1950s, when the East Wind of socialism looked like prevailing over the West Wind of imperialism.
2.4 But during this period the imperialist system also was undergoing epochal changes. After World War II, US imperialism replaced Britain as the leader of the imperialist camp. Developing its own experiences of imposing hegemony over Latin American countries and Philippines for many decades, the Brettenwood twins, IMF and World Bank, were built up from 1944 and later GATT. Export of finance capital was taken to unprecedented levels. Britain and other imperialist countries were compelled to ‘de-colonize’ their colonies, that is replacing direct colonial administration with the rule of local ruling classes, which were subservient to imperialist forces. Various military alliances were built up in continuation to the dropping of atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to impose US hegemony wherever possible. And based on Keynesian concepts ‘welfare state’ illusions were promoted against the development models pursued in the socialist countries. The old form of colonialism was being replaced by a new form, neo-colonialism, with finance capital and the market system including ever expanding speculative capital along with MNCs and various imperialist agencies dominating all walks of life, with the economy of all countries being integrated to global economy increasingly. In order to facilitate these changes the development of science and technology taking place at a very fast pace during WW II and during the post-war years were also put in to service. As a result of these developments and new manoeuvres by the imperialist camp, the class struggle during the post-war years became unprecedentedly complex.
NEW CHALLENGES BEFORE THE ICM
2.5 DURING the post-W W II decade the ICM confronted two contradictory situations. On the one hand, as already noted, the advances made by it during these years were momentous. On the other hand, the problems faced by CPSU in the course of the socialist transformation in Soviet Union, problems of developing proletarian democracy, problems concerning development of the Leninist understanding about imperialism according to concrete conditions, approach towards the ‘de-colonisation’ and ‘neo-colonialism’ in general initiated by the US-led imperialist camp etc were raising serious challenges. Already, the erroneous evaluation of the tactical line put forward by CPSU under Stalin’s leadership of forging an alliance with US, Britain and France to defeat the fascist axis powers had led the CP of USA to take a liquidationist line under Browder’s leadership and CP of India abandoning the struggle against British imperialism in the name of strengthening ‘Peoples war’. After the War, the Titoist leadership in Yugoslavia embraced a reformist path of development by opening the country for entry of imperialist capital. In this situation, though Cominform was formed after the dissolution of Comintern in 1943, serious problems regarding the development of struggle against imperialist camp led by US imperialism which had unleashed the neo-colonial offensive were faced by the ICM. After the death of Stalin in 1953 these problems aggravated, and the CPSU leadership who usurped power embraced the path of ‘peaceful competition’ and ‘peaceful co-existence’ with imperialism and ‘peaceful transition to socialism’, abandoning the path of continuing the class struggle under the dictatorship of the proletariat to accelerate the socialist transformation.
2.6 Abandoning the socialist path the CPSU leadership started embracing capitalist path and the Soviet Union started transforming to bureaucratic state capitalism. Leaderships of the Communist Parties in Eastern Europe and a large number of communist parties which were also getting influenced by revisionist positions, swayed by the prestige of the Soviet Union, soon started embracing the capitalist path.
2.7 It was the greatest challenge faced by the ICM till then. All basic Marxist-Leninist principles like seizure of political power in the imperialist countries as well as in countries under imperialist domination, the socialist transformation in countries were proletariat had seized political power, the theory and practice of continuing class struggle under the dictatorship of the proletariat and proletarian internationalism were challenged by Krushchovite revisionism. It was in this situation that the Marxist-Leninist forces led by the CPC and Mao Tsetung launched the Great Debate against the neo-revisionist path and put forward the Proposal Concerning the General Line of the ICM. Mao Tsetung launched an intensive movement, the Cultural Revolution, in the course of developing the theory and practice of class struggle under the dictatorship of the proletariat. Those were historic steps to combat the neo-revisionist onslaught.
2.8 In spite of the overthrow of the capitalist roaders in the course of the Cultural Revolution and in spite of the intensive ideological struggle following it, Mao and his followers could not succeed to stop the surfacing of various alien tendencies again within the CPC. In this situation, utilizing the turmoil following Mao’s death the capitalist roaders succeeded to degenerate China also to the capitalist path. Though the national liberation movements in Vietnam, Laos and Kampuchea scored great victories in mid-1970s, in the overall atmosphere of degeneration of Soviet Union, China and other socialist countries to the capitalist path, and the ‘neo-liberal’ offensive launched by imperialism, especially US imperialism, in the context of the Stagflation which was posing serious challenges to them, these victories could not help to overcome the severe setback suffered by the ICM. In this situation, with the disintegration of Soviet Union in 1991, the imperialists and world reaction celebrated it as the ‘end of history’, and ‘end of class struggle’ and declared socialism is obsolete. Attacks on socialism reached a new peak.
2.9 But with the beginning of the 21st century positive changes are visible all over the world. Anti-imperialist movements, especially against US imperialism, have gained strength in spite of the aggression and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan in the name of ‘War on terror’. The Iraqi, Afghan, Palestine people’s wars of resistance have intensified, with the US imperialists threatened with another ignominious retreat. In Latin America many countries have joined Cuba in opposing US hegemony. Opposing ‘neo-liberalism’ they are seeking an anti-imperialist path of development. Working class struggles are intensifying even in the imperialist countries. The contradiction between the oppressed peoples and nations on the one hand and imperialism on the other, between labour and capital, between nature and capital and between socialist forces and imperialism have intensified along with the inter-imperialist contradictions which are also getting sharpened. Once again conditions for the advance of the proletarian revolutionary forces all over the world are slowly emerging overcoming the severe setbacks of the past decades. The Path of Indian Revolution should be put forward taking in to consideration these experiences of the ICM from the time of publication of The Communist Manifesto in 1848.
2.10 On the positive side, ‘imperialist barbarism or socialism’ has become the central slogan once again before the world people. Enormous experiences are gained from the revolutionary struggles for capturing political power, on building the communist parties and class/mass organizations, on utilizing various forms of struggle to develop class struggle, on building socialism and about continuing struggles against various alien trends including right opportunism and sectarianism. But the severe setbacks mentioned above have given birth to immense problems also.
2.11 They have posed many complex problems to be resolved. They include: how to concretely analyze the present situation and develop strategy and tactics to capture political power according to it, fighting against dogmatism, sectarianism and anarchism, how to develop all forms of struggle without becoming victims of reformism and parliamentary cretinism, how to build a Bolshevik style party as the vanguard of the proletariat, how to develop class and mass organizations mobilizing millions of members with People’s Democratic perspective, how to develop the concept of democratic centralism always giving paramount importance to developing democratic values with centralism based on democracy, how to transcend bourgeois democracy and develop proletarian democracy with the organic practice of the concept, ‘‘let hundred flowers bloom, hundred thoughts contend’’, how to combat hitherto experience of degeneration of socialist countries under proletarian dictatorship to bureaucratic state capitalism, how to develop the concept of Cultural Revolution throwing out decadent systems and values and creating conditions for emergence of socialist values; how to develop continuous socialist education to imbibe revolutionary concepts; how to put proletarian internationalism in command while leading the national revolutionary struggles etc. It is not possible to resolve all these complex problems as a pre-condition for launching revolutionary struggles. But these and many more such issues continuously coming up during pre and post revolutionary periods should be given cognizance when a Marxist-Leninist party is putting forward its approach towards the Path of Revolution.
3. NATIONAL SITUATION
3.1 OUR COUNTRY, India, is one of the biggest countries in the world inhabited by about 120 crores of people. It has rich revolutionary traditions. It is multi-national, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious, with specific characteristics like caste system, a historically determined ugly and inhuman feature.
3.2 India in its pre-colonial days had its own specific agrarian relations and other features. It was taking its own course of development in various spheres. But colonial forces interfered and violently distorted this. British imperialism conquered India defeating other contesting colonial forces, transformed it in to its colony and imposed a centralized state system. It conquered the hitherto dominant feudal forces, transformed the hitherto existing agrarian relations through the introduction of Zamindari/Ryotwari like systems and utilized them as its social base. The caste system was retained and religious divisions were promoted for its ‘divide and rule’ policy.
3.3 As part of capital accumulation, for the plunder of vast resources of India, a merchant class acting as middle men was promoted, violently destroying the nascent national productive forces in the country. Along with promoting semi-feudal, pre-capitalist relations, capitalist relations were introduced transforming the new merchant class to capitalist class, paving the way for the emergence of a new class, comprador bourgeoisie. Through the introduction of English education, a comprador bureaucratic class was created to serve the colonial system. Through these colonial measures the process of integrating the country to the British colonial system was speeded up.
3.4 The intensification of the colonial plunder and subjugation to it gave birth to various forms of people’s resistance to them. The different streams of social renaissance movements emerged according to concrete conditions and level of social development in different regions giving rise to democratic values, modernity and patriotic feelings. But the colonial system could blunt their organic growth through the upper caste, land owning classes, the comprador bureaucratic bourgeois sections and the caste-based and communal forces. In spite of these, the resistance of different sections of anti-colonial forces grew paving the way for the outbreak of the First War of Independence in 1857 which shook the very foundations of the colonial rule. Following this the British government brought the country under its direct domination with a more centralized ruling system.
3.5 Within a short time, the national movement against colonial rule started getting strengthened again, in the main led by the Indian National Congress. Though the Congress leadership was basically reformist in character, and was representing the interests of the big landlord and emerging comprador bureaucratic bourgeois classes, the movement assumed mass character many times, crossing the borders set by the leadership. The emergence of the revolutionary forces led by Bhagat Singh in 1920s and the beginning of the Communist Party with the formation of the working class movement and other mass organizations created conditions for the call of Purna Swaraj and intensification of independence struggle.
3.6 The crushing defeat inflicted on the fascist forces during World War II under the leadership of the Soviet Union, weakening of British and other colonial powers, and the upsurge of national liberation movements all over the world including mass revolutionary upsurge in the post-War years in India, compelled the colonial powers to replace the direct colonial rule with neo-colonial forms of plunder, and to transfer political power to subservient local classes. The British colonial rulers, in continuation to its ‘divide and rule’ policy, communally divided the country provoking violent fratricidal killings and bloodshed and transferred power to the comprador classes represented by Congress and Muslim League. Thus this country was transformed from a colony of British imperialism to a country under neo-colonial domination by various imperialist powers, especially US imperialism.
3.7 In the post-1947 years, while pursuing a policy of ruthless suppression of Telengana and other struggles led by the Communist movement in particular, and all people’s movements for various demands in general, the Congress government pursued reformist policies like abolition of Zamindari Act and introduction of land ceiling acts on the one hand, and implemented various welfare policies in the context of the Keynesian policies introduced by US-led imperialist camp to confront the challenge posed by the socialist camp, on the other. The Indian state introduced the Green Revolution under US dictates and utilized the land ceiling acts to replace the feudal landlords with a new class of landlords ready to utilize the modern inputs, to promote capitalist mode of production in the agrarian sector and to speed up the integration of Indian economy with the global imperialist system. Implementing the directives of the Bombay Plan and in the context of the existence of a powerful socialist camp, industries, infrastructure building and service sector were developed on a major scale in public sector. Later when socialist Soviet Union degenerated to a social imperialist superpower and the inter-imperialist contradictions between US and Soviet Union started intensifying, this contradiction was reflected in the Indian ruling classes also. In the main this inter-imperialist contradiction was utilized by the Indian State for manoeuvring for its benefits, and to pursue an expansionist policy in South Asia.
3.8 These policies of the comprador bureaucratic bourgeois-landlord classes led Indian State collaborating with imperialism went on intensifying its contradictions with the Indian people, which got manifested in various ways. The land reforms from above did not give land to the tiller, but only created a new landlord class. The economic policies followed by central and state governments went on increasing the burden over the people like price-rise, unemployment and pauperization of growing sections. It increased the uneven development also sharply. When the great Naxalbari Uprising once again brought agrarian revolution back to people’s agenda, when peoples of Kashmir and Northeast intensified struggles for right of self-determination, and when workers, peasantry and other sections went on waging numerous struggles for their rights, the Congress government pursued a policy of ruthless suppression, often resorting to black laws and deployment of army. As people’s upsurge went on intensifying, the internal emergency was clamped down during 1975-77. These developments led to the contradictions among ruling classes and among the political parties representing them also coming to the fore, and to the end of Congress monopoly of power at centre and in the states. The 1980s witnessed economic crisis as reflected in the acute balance of payments problems on the one hand, and intensification of communal, casteist like divisions on the other. India, which was mortgaged to imperialist powers under neo-colonization, came under acute turmoil. Imposition of imperialist globalization on the one hand, and demolition of Babri Masjid like acts and later Indian State becoming active partner in the ‘War on Terror’ of US imperialism on the other hand, followed. Indian State came under ever-increasing sway of the ‘neo-liberal’ policies promoted by US Imperialism in its bid for world hegemony.
3.9 During the last two decades, the Indian State has almost abandoned all so called welfare state policies. The ruling classes have succeeded to snatch away all rights won by the working class and imposed contract labour system and ‘hire and fire’ policy in all sectors. The government procurement of food grains and public distribution system (PDS) is almost demolished. MNCs and corporate houses are allowed almost total domination in industries, services, infrastructure building and in wholesale and retail trade. They are allowed uninhibited entry to agrarian sector, intensifying the land accumulation in fewer and fewer hands. More and more sections are thrown out of land through SEZs, new industrial centres, real estate lobby and land mafias. Commercialization of education, health-care, services, etc. is taking place at ruthless pace. As a result of these policies, the integration of Indian economy with global imperialist system is going ahead at a maddening pace. The grave consequences of this integration at the behest of imperialist powers, especially US imperialism, are now felt in all fields following the global financial crisis with its epi-centre in US. The recession and depression have spread fast to India like countries, exposing the hitherto tall claims of the ruling classes and their political representatives. While those responsible for it are bailed out by the state at people’s expense, millions of workers are thrown out of jobs and all sections of people are further pauperized.
3.10 Throwing away whatever progressive aspects the Indian foreign policy had, and whatever sovereignty the country had, Indian state under the comprador rulers is intensifying its so-called strategic ties with US imperialism. At the same time, the gap between the rich and poor has widened phenomenally. Almost half the people are under poverty line, with almost 25% reduced to destitution, when 60-70% of the wealth is accumulated in the hands of less than 10%. The present price rise has unprecedentedly intensified the misery of the vast masses. Contrary to ruling class claims the prices of essential commodities are continuing to rise. Adivasis, dalits, women and all other oppressed classes and sections are facing acute devastation. Along with these, the imperialist dictated ‘development policies’ have devastated ecology, leading to global warming like impacts. The overall objective situation is one of ever-intensifying neo-colonial plunder and oppression, unprecedented sharpening of all internal contradictions, a situation which demands an all out intervention by the Communist Party to overthrow the existing anti-people, reactionary system and usher in people’s democracy and socialism.
4. STRATEGY OF PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION
4.1 OVERCOMING the revisionist degeneration of the leadership of the Second International and developing Marxist positions according to the challenges posed by capitalism in its highest, as well as moribund stage, imperialism, was the revolutionary task before the Bolsheviks led by Lenin. Taking up this challenge, Lenin put forward the Marxist analysis of imperialism, and the general conclusion that “imperialism is the eve of the socialist revolution”. Lenin taught that “without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement” and that “the role of the vanguard can be fulfilled only by a party that is guided by the most advanced theory”.
4.2 Pointing out that “the proletarian revolution is impossible without the forcible destruction of the bourgeois state machine and the substitution of it by a new one”, Lenin put forward the revolutionary concept that in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution “the proletariat must carry the democratic revolution to its completion by allying to itself the mass of the peasantry in order to crush by force the resistance of the autocracy and to paralyze the instability of the bourgeoisie. The proletariat must accomplish the socialist revolution by allying to itself the mass of the semi-proletarian elements of the population in order to crush by force the resistance of bourgeoisie and to paralyze the instability of the peasantry and petty-bourgeoisie”. Again he reiterated: “From the democratic revolution we shall at once, and in accordance with the measures of our strength, the strength of the class-conscious and organized proletariat, begin to pass to the Socialist revolution. We stand for uninterrupted revolution. We shall not stop half way.”
4.3 Elaborating these Leninist teachings Stalin stated in 1918 commemorating the first anniversary of October Revolution: “The great world-wide significance of the October Revolution chiefly consists in the fact that:
1) It has widened the scope of the national question and converted it from the particular question of combating national oppression in Europe into the general question of emancipating the oppressed peoples, colonies and semi-colonies from imperialism;
2) It has opened up wide possibilities for their emancipation and the right paths towards it, has thereby greatly facilitated the cause of the emancipation of the oppressed peoples of the West and the East, and has drawn them into the common current of the victorious struggles against imperialism;
3) It has thereby erected a bridge between the socialist West and enslaved East, having created a new front of revolutions against world imperialism, extending from the proletarians of the West, through the Russian Revolution, to the oppressed peoples of the East.”
4.4 Based on the Marxist-Leninist teachings, the Communist International concluded that the bourgeoisie in the era of imperialism has lost its earlier revolutionary character, that the emerging bourgeoisie in the countries under colonization under the guidance of imperialism are colluding with imperialism, and that this bourgeoisie is incapable of leading the bourgeois democratic revolution to its completion. In the new era ushered in by the October Revolution, the whole course of bourgeois democratic revolutions have undergone a fundamental change, as explained by Mao Tsetung in “On New Democracy”:
“It is an era in which the world capitalist front has collapsed in one part of the globe (one-sixth of the world) and has fully revealed its decadence everywhere else, in which the remaining capitalist parts cannot survive without relying more than ever on the colonies and semi-colonies, in which a socialist state has been established and has proclaimed its readiness to give active support to the liberation movement of all colonies and semi-colonies, and in which the proletariat of the capitalist countries is steadily freeing itself from the social-imperialist influence of the social democratic parties and has proclaimed its support for the liberation movement in the colonies and semi-colonies. In this era, any revolution in a colony or semi-colony that is directed against imperialism, i.e., against the international bourgeoisie or international capitalism, no longer comes within the old category of the bourgeois-democratic world revolution, but within the new category. It is no longer part of the old bourgeois, or capitalist, world revolution, but is part of the new world revolution, the proletarian-socialist world revolution. Such revolutionary colonies and semi-colonies can no longer be regarded as allies of the counter-revolutionary front of world capitalism; they have become allies of the revolutionary front of world socialism.
“Although such a revolution in a colonial or semi-colonial country is still fundamentally bourgeois-democratic in its social character during its first stage or first step, and although its objective mission is to clear the path for the development of capitalism, it is no longer a revolution of the old type led by the bourgeoisie with the aim of establishing a capitalist society and a state under bourgeois dictatorship. It belongs to the new type of revolution led by the proletariat with the aim, in the first stage, of establishing a new-democratic society and a state under the joint dictatorship of all the revolutionary classes. Thus this revolution actually serves the purpose of clearing a still wider path for the development of socialism. In the course of its progress, there may be a number of further sub-stages, because of changes on the enemy’s side and within the ranks of our allies, but the fundamental character of the revolution remains unchanged.
“Such a revolution attacks imperialism at its very roots, and is therefore not tolerated but opposed by imperialism.”
4.5 The Communist International asserted that in the countries under colonization, in the colonial, semi-colonial, dependent countries, the tasks of national liberation overthrowing the rule of imperialism and the tasks of democratic revolution overthrowing all feudal, semi-feudal, pre-capitalist relations of production are intertwined. The People’s Democratic Revolution combines these two tasks, only after the completion of which a country can advance towards socialist revolution. Explaining this point in the Chinese context Mao said:
“Imperialism and the feudal landlord class being the chief enemies of the Chinese revolution at this stage, what are the present tasks of the revolution?
“Unquestionably, the main tasks are to strike at these two enemies to carry out a national revolution to overthrow foreign imperialist oppression and a democratic revolution to overthrow feudal landlord oppression, the primary and foremost task being the national revolution to overthrow imperialism.
“These two great tasks are interrelated. Unless imperialist rule is overthrown, the rule of the feudal landlord class cannot be terminated, because imperialism is its main support. Conversely, unless help is given to peasants in their struggle to overthrow the feudal landlord class, it will be impossible to build powerful revolutionary contingent to overthrow imperialist rule, because the feudal landlord class is the main social base of imperialist rule in China and the peasantry is the main force of the Chinese revolution. Therefore the two fundamental tasks, the national revolution and the democratic revolution, are at once distinct and united.”
4.6 THE salvos of October Revolution had brought Marxist-Leninist teachings to India. And from early 1920s the Communist movement started taking roots here. The formation of the Communist Party, its activities to mobilize the working class and to lead it in the struggles along with the mobilization of the peasantry in the anti-feudal movements it gave leadership to, and the revolutionary work among other revolutionary classes and sections spread the influence of the Party fast in the objective conditions of ever sharpening contradiction of the Indian people with imperialism and feudalism. But in spite of these advances, the leadership failed continuously in correctly analyzing the concrete conditions in the country and applying the Marxist-Leninist concepts put forward by the ICM which were being successfully implemented in China according to the conditions there. As a result, the leadership of the CPI came under the influence of both right and ‘left’ deviations continuously. It failed to analyze and understand the tactical line pursued by the Soviet leadership during the Second World War to defeat the fascist forces, and as a result of which it took a line of abandoning the anti-British struggle, seriously harming the revolutionary movement.. Though numerous revolutionary upsurges took place all over the country from the great Telengana struggle to the Naval uprising in the post-war situation, once again the leadership failed to declare a clear-cut approach to the national liberation struggle and about establishing the leadership of the proletariat in it. On the other hand, the leadership tailed behind the Congress and Muslim League, the parties of the comprador big bourgeoisie. It could not oppose the British imperialist’s moves to divide the country communally and to hand over power to the comprador classes represented by these parties. In short, in spite of excellent objective situation during the colonial period, quite contrary to what happened in China, the CPI could not advance the cause of the PDR due to its shortcomings to make concrete analysis of the then Indian situation and the class character of the - Leninism and Comintern suggestions in the concrete conditions of India and to establish the leadership of the working class in the independence struggle.
4.7 In the post-1947 period, in spite of extremely favourable situation created by the national and international developments, once again the leadership went on deviating or vacillating from one extreme to another, always refusing to assimilate and pursue the revolutionary line of the Communist International, of completing the tasks of national liberation and democratic revolution by establishing the leadership of the proletariat and allying with and leading the class of landless and poor peasants in the agrarian revolution which is the axis of the democratic revolution. Even after a Party Program and Policy Statement were adopted after discussion with the CPSU leadership in 1951, they were soon abandoned, the Telengana struggle was withdrawn, and right opportunist parliamentary cretinist line started influencing the leadership. Once again it was the refusal to make a correct evaluation of the class character of the big bourgeoisie which is a comprador class basically collaborating with imperialism, and vis-a-vis of the Congress leadership, which led to the line of class collaboration and revisionism of the leadership. The degeneration of post-Stalin CPSU leadership to capitalist path speeded up this process. And soon the leadership of the Party abandoned even the 1951 analysis of dual character of big bourgeoisie. It was analyzed as predominantly nationalist, and the line of National Democratic Revolution to be peacefully completed allying with big bourgeoisie and its party, Congress, was adopted, completing its degeneration to revisionist path.
4.8 This led to serious and prolonged inner-party struggle. But the split in 1964, leading to the formation of CPI (M), its Seventh Congress and adoption of a Party Program did not focus on the revisionist line of CPI leadership. Refusing to take any stand in the struggle against the capitalist line of CPSU leadership waged by the CPC, the CPI (M) leadership took a centrist stand. By 1967 when it formed opportunist alliances in the general election and formed ministries led by it in West Bengal and Kerala, it had abandoned even the 1964 Program including the agrarian revolution based on land to the tiller slogan. The inner-party struggle against the neo-revisionist line of CPI (M) leadership intensified, leading to the great Naxalbari struggle, once again bringing forward agrarian revolution to the forefront in the agenda. By 1968 Burdwan Plenum the degeneration of CPI (M) leadership to neo-revisionist line was in the main completed, and the communist revolutionaries coming out of CPI(M) formed the AICCCR and called for intensifying agrarian revolution to complete the tasks of New Democratic Revolution. Thus it took more than four decades of bitter ideological-political struggles for categorically establishing the Marxist-Leninist line in the leadership of the Communist movement.
4.9 The history of the ideological-political struggle among the Marxist-Leninist forces who were divided in to CPI (ML) formed in 1969 and non-CPI (ML) forces in the beginning, and the CPI(ML) and non-CPI(ML) groups later was focused on analyzing the character of the Indian State and on evolving and putting in to practice a Path of Revolution based on the experience of the International Communist Movement and the movement in India. If the domination of sectarian line in the CPI (ML) in the beginning created obstacles for developing a Path based on revolutionary mass line, later the disunity among the ML forces with some of the groups deviating to rightist positions, while another section persisting in the sectarian line in more rabid forms, and the failure of the mass line forces to unite in to a single party and develop a Path according to the concrete conditions in India created serious problems. In the meantime, though some of the groups had put forward their own Path documents, none of them have so far succeeded to build up the party organization with countrywide influence, to build up powerful class/mass organizations at all India level capable of developing countrywide struggles, to mobilize and politicise the working class in any significant manner to make it the leader of the revolution, and to mobilize and lead the landless, poor peasants and agricultural workers as the main ally of the working class, to carry forward the agrarian revolution with land to the tiller slogan in any significant manner because all of them are clinging to the analysis of India as semi-colonial, semi-feudal, and to the path of protracted people’s war rejecting its transformation into a country under neo-colonization. The significance of the Path document put forward now should be seen in this context. The unprecedented sharpening of all internal contradictions in the country after the imposition of imperialist globalization and the growing participation of the working class, peasantry and all other oppressed classes and sections in numerous struggles have created an excellent objective situation to put this Path in to practice.
4.10 The Party should give conscious leadership to mobilize the agricultural workers, landless and poor peasants to relive their historic traditions by creating rural upsurges to carry forward the tasks of agrarian revolution. The agrarian revolution based on the ‘land to the tiller’ slogan according to the concrete conditions of today and for the elimination of the still surviving feudal remnants and pre-capitalist relations is integrally linked to the anti-imperialist task of breaking down the grip of the tentacles of imperialist system over the Indian society as a whole. The Communist Party as the vanguard of the Indian proletariat based on worker-peasant alliance should strive hard to build the strategic united front winning over all genuine anti-imperialist, patriotic, democratic classes and sections according to the concrete situation and state of development of the people’s struggles for overthrowing imperialism, comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and landlord classes for replacing the present Indian state with a People’s Democratic State. The Path of Revolution should squarely address this cardinal issue.
5. CLASS ANALYSIS OF INDIAN SOCIETY
5.1 ON THE class approach to the PDR in India, the Party Program state: (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 As Mao Tsetung pointed out, determining the enemies and friends of revolution is a most important question in chalking out the Path of Revolution. The basic reason why the revolutionary struggles could not win victory so far is the failure to make a correct class analysis according to concrete conditions in the country, to establish the leadership of the working class, to mobilize the peasantry through agrarian revolution, to forge worker-peasant alliance, and thus to unite with the real friends to attack the real enemies. To overcome this weakness the Path of Revolution should be evolved based on the class analysis of Indian society in present concrete conditions. As significant changes have taken place in Indian society during the last six decades after transfer of power, they should be taken in to consideration while making this analysis.
5.3 Regarding the Comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie, the leading class among the ruling classes, CPI (M) like forces are continuing to create confusion to conceal their class collaborationist position by defining comprador as a puppet class. They argue that this term does not reflect the contradiction of the Indian ruling classes with imperialism. In this debate continuing from 1960s, since the 7th Congress of 1964, the Communist Revolutionary forces have repeatedly pointed out that their basic difference with the 1964 Program is not in defining the Indian big bourgeoisie as having dual character, collaboration and contradiction with imperialism, but not defining which is primary within these two in the present situation. While the Indian big bourgeoisie and the bureaucratic class have contradictions with imperialism, which is often reflected in their maneuvers to utilize the inter-imperialist contradictions for their benefit, their collaboration with imperialism is basic which is reflected in their counter revolutionary character. It is repeatedly proved during these decades. Their transformation in to a capitalist class or a class making huge investments in other countries, or some of the corporate houses finding place among the first ten monopolies in the world does not change the basic fact that it is continuing to collaborate with imperialism, to compromise with the pre-capitalist relations of production and to obstruct the independent development of productive forces in the country. So whether one call it a Junior partner of imperialism or dependent bourgeoisie, its basic character remains the same, it is a comprador class serving imperialist interests in the main. Presently, the Congress and BJP are the major political representatives of this class.
5.4 The stand taken by all the ‘socialist revolutionaries’, neo-Trotskyites and new-left like forces, who have defined it as an independent capitalist class and India as an independent capitalist country (which inevitably means another imperialist country in this era of imperialism) stand fully exposed especially after the imposition of the ‘neo-liberal’ policies, intensifying the neo-colonization.
5.5 The big landlord class include the rich peasants and the agricultural bourgeoisie who have grown in to a powerful class from the time of ‘green revolution’, various sections of land owning mafias and remnant feudal forces. It serves to integrate the agricultural sector with imperialist economy facilitating entry of imperialist capital and MNCs to every sphere of agriculture from production of seeds to procurements of produces, and allies with the comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie to perpetuate the neo-colonial plunder of the country.
5.6 The elements of the national bourgeoisie in the present situation in our country is inconsistent in its attitude towards Indian revolution. It is inter-twined with the comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie increasingly and is collaborating with imperialism more than ever for its existence, especially after the imposition of neo-liberal policies. It is increasingly feeling that the revolution shall threaten its ambition to attain the status of big bourgeoisie, more than ever. In this situation even whatever revolutionary character this class had in the past is getting weakened. So the possibility of it or, a section of it becoming an ally of the PDR has become a very distant possibility now, though it may partially materialize when the PDR advances decisively under the worker-peasant alliance.
5.7 The petty bourgeoisie, including the middle peasants, both because of its size and class character is a significant one. Under conditions of intensifying onslaughts of imperialist globalization in every field including the cultural field, the vacillating character and illusions of this class has increased manifold. The lower middle class which constitute more than half of this class and may be called its left wing, are facing ever intensifying miseries under the globalization-liberalization-privatization regime and as a result of which large sections of it have fallen to the level of workers loosing all property. Still, under the neo-colonial conditions even most of them have not abandoned petty bourgeois illusions. Adapting itself to the conditions created by the imperialist globalization, investing whatever they have on providing higher professional education to their children, influenced by speculative capital enormously, embracing religious fundamentalist and communal positions in a big way, influenced by casteist/savarna/neo-Brahministic positions increasingly and contributing activists and leaders to the political spectrum in a major way, the petty bourgeoisie as a whole, especially the upper and middle strata of it, have almost lost whatever revolutionary character it had as a class earlier to a great extent. More and more of its younger generation are coming under the sway of imperialist and reactionary culture like consumerism, alcoholism, criminal character and hatred towards the toiling masses. All these point towards the fact that possibilities of it joining the revolutionary struggles as a class in a major way now is comparatively less compared to the past. This situation should be concretely analyzed and methods of winning over more and more of them, especially of the lower middle class should be worked out. As the intensification of all internal contradictions are creating unprecedented conditions for mass upsurges, objective conditions for more and more sections of this class joining the people’s movements shall improve.
LANDLESS, POOR PEASANTS AND AGRICULTURAL WORKERS
5.8 THIS CLASS, the real tillers of the land, constitute majority of the population comprising 50% to 65% in different areas according to concrete conditions, and include the adivasis, dalits, and most backward and oppressed sections of society. They include the poor peasants, share croppers in areas where semi -feudal relations still persist, those who have taken land for tilling under lease, agricultural workers who include large numbers of migrant workers and those who are engaged in a variety of unorganized sectors, handicraftsmen, peddlers, etc.
5.9 As Mao Tsetung stated the peasant problem is essentially their problem. So when peasantry is mentioned in general it constitutes these sections, not the middle peasants and rich peasants as repeated not only by CPI(M), but also increasingly by many of the so-called revolutionary sections, even ‘Maoists’. Agrarian revolution with land to the tiller slogan means creating conditions to revolutionize the agrarian relations by making this class the owner of the agricultural land, as a first step towards co-operative and collective farming.
5.10 INDIA is a country with such a powerful, large working class that without mobilizing and politicizing them to make them the leader of revolution, the completion of the PDR and advancing to socialist revolution is impossible. Leave alone the pre-revolutionary China, the working class in India is much more numerous than it was in pre-revolutionary Russia or any other country where the revolution has taken place. So the working class movement assumes far greater importance here.
5.11 Under liberalization-privatization raj the proportion of the working class in the unorganized sector has enormously increased under the contract labour and hire and fire systems. Even the modern industrial proletariat is coming under this category increasingly. Through closures, modernization, outsourcing, VRS etc. the number of workers and employees in organized sector is dwindling rapidly. By denying regular hours of work, regular wages, security of service, social security etc. the organized sector is being constantly converted to unorganized sector. Therefore, though the comparatively better organized workers of the organized sector forms the main force of most of the trade unions today, future organization work requires concentration among the unorganized sectors who alone can give new leadership and a new direction to the working class struggles. The task is to mobilize and lead them to local, state-wide and country-wide struggles, creating an atmosphere of working class struggles and upsurges anew. Urgent, conscious plans should be worked out with this orientation.
6. BUILDING THE PARTY AT ALL INDIA LEVEL AS THE VANGUARD OF THE INDIAN PROLETARIAT
6.1 THE Communist Party is the highest form of class organization of the proletariat, it is the advanced detachment of the proletariat. The Communist Party [CPI] was formed in India under the guidance of the Communist International as a Bolshevik style party surrounded by class and mass organizations and based on the organizational principle of democratic centralism. During the 1930s and 1940s it succeeded in expanding its influence to all India level, in building the working class and peasant movements along with other mass organizations. It succeeded in carrying forward the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal movement and gave leadership to Telengana, Tebhaga, Punnapra-Vayalar like historic struggles. In spite of it, due to the failure to concretely analyze the national situation and to draw correct lessons from the Comintern positions, and to concretely analyze the international developments, the CPI leadership could not develop its independent initiative and establish the leadership of the working class in the ongoing national liberation movement in the country and lead the PDR to victory. After the transfer of power in 1947, it failed to carry forward the class struggle based on the 1951 Party Program and Policy Statement. Its leadership soon started toeing the revisionist line put forward by the post-Stalin CPSU leadership. As a result of these, the first split in the communist movement took place in 1964 and the CPI (M) was formed. But the CPI (M) leadership did not make a complete break with the revisionist line of CPI and soon came under neo-revisionist positions. It was following this, in continuation to the inner-party struggle taking place within CPI(M), the Naxalbari uprising took place upholding the agrarian revolution with land to the tiller slogan. Following the Burdwan Plenum, when the centrist line of the CPI(M) leadership in the on going Great Debate between CPSU and CPC, in essence toeing the Soviet revisionist line, became clear, the CRs came out of the CPI(M) and formed the AICCCR fighting against revisionism of CPI and neo-revisionism of CPI(M).
6.2 It was a historic turning point in the Indian Communist movement which paved the way for reorganizing the Party based on the revolutionary line of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung thought, as the vanguard party of the Indian proletariat. But sectarianism soon dominated the leadership of AICCCR and the CPI (ML) formed in 1969. It failed to unite all the CRs in it. Taking lessons from it, a serious effort to bring together the CPI(ML) groups, those who had left CPI(ML) and formed other organizations, those who were never part of CPI(ML) earlier, the new generation comrades, and the genuine communist forces coming out of CPI and CPI(M) who basically uphold the ideological–political line put forward by the Ninth Congress of the Party into a single party is very much needed presently. As the completion of the tasks of the PDR and advancement towards socialist revolution is possible only under the leadership of a powerful Communist Party with country-wide influence, the unity task should be carried forward trying to unite all like minded CR forces in the Party. As this is an essential pre-condition for victory of the PDR, this task should be given paramount importance.
6.3 Firstly, the present concrete conditions compared to the situation in Russia, China and other countries when revolution took place there are vastly different. Today party building is taking place when almost all parties built up under Comintern guidance have degenerated to capitalist path with bureaucratic organizational structures. The erstwhile socialist countries have degenerated to bureaucratic state capitalism or to open capitalist/imperialist countries. The PDR is also taking place when issues like approach to dalit and adivasi questions, ecology, women’s liberation etc have assumed unprecedented importance. Massive storage of nuclear weapons on the one hand and its proliferation on the other, and the plans to build new nuclear power plants when the movement to dismantle existing nuclear plants are gaining strength are also serious issues to be taken up. Similarly, the growth of religious fundamentalism, casteism, racism etc. in newer forms are creating unprecedented problems. The PDR is also taking place when the imperialist camp is intensifying its ideological onslaughts through alien theories and NGOs, when the advantages gained under the development of science and technology are utilized by the imperialist camp for its counter revolutionary offensive.
6.4 Secondly, when CPI (M), CPI like parties have totally degenerated to ruling class positions, replacing class struggle with class collaboration, and embracing the path of peaceful transition and parliamentary opportunism, their continuing to use the banner of Communist Party is confusing many and used by enemy camp to tarnish Marxist theory and to destroy the image of the communist movement. Under the social democratic influence a section of the ML forces have also degenerated already to parliamentary opportunism. Struggle should be intensified without any let up against these right opportunist trends of all hues.
6.5 Thirdly, a section of the erstwhile ML forces like CPI (Maoist) has degenerated to anarchist positions. In practice they still continue the ‘annihilation line’. In effect advocating and practicing ‘armed struggle’ as the only form of struggle, they have abandoned mass line, got isolated from the masses and have in practice abandoned all organized mass movements. They have joined with NGOs on the one hand, and with chauvinist, parochial forces on the other hand. ‘Maoist bogey’ is utilized by the ruling classes and state machinery to confuse the people and as a cover to suppress all democratic movements and struggles. Some of the ML forces are refusing to settle accounts with these anarchist forces and collaborate with them, harming the unity process. Uncompromising struggle should be waged against these anarchist forces in order to strengthen Marxist-Leninist positions and to carry forward the unity process. It is not opportunist collaboration, but uncompromising struggle which is the only way even to help them to rectify their erroneous line and transform to mass line.
6.6 Fourthly, it should be a Bolshevik-style party surrounded by class and mass organizations. Whether sectarianism is opposed merely in words or in practice is proved by the approach towards building class/mass organizations. In a country of nearly 120 crores of people, tens of millions of workers, landless-poor peasants and agricultural workers and other revolutionary sections can be successfully mobilized for countrywide campaigns and struggles if the Leninist approach towards Bolshevik party building surrounded by class/mass organizations is studiously pursued. Concepts like ‘Front’ organizations without a democratic program and mobilization of people are nothing but manifestations of sectarianism
6.7 Fifthly, it should be a party with countrywide organization and political influence. The concept of ‘area-wise seizure of political power’ and ‘base areas’, influence of localism etc. under the line of ‘protracted people’ war are presently used as cover for ‘self-satisfied’ opportunism, of continuing activities reduced to certain pockets of influence. Significant changes that have taken place in the concrete situation in recent decades, especially after the launching of neo-liberal offensive by imperialism and the native ruling classes call for a countrywide offensive by the revolutionary forces mobilizing tens of millions. So, political and organizational initiative should be taken for party building at all India level uniting all forces that can be united.
6.8 Sixthly, the possibilities available today for open activities to launch vigorous ideological and political campaigns, to win over politically advanced sections and for party building should be fully utilized. Already there are numerous instances of spontaneous struggles in different regions against SEZs, so-called ‘development’ projects etc. The sky-rocketing price rise and rampant corruption are creating conditions for food riots and mass upsurges in many areas. Possibilities for countrywide mass upsurges cannot be overlooked in this situation. The Party should be able to provide leadership to the coming upsurges and organizational and political work should be taken up with this perspective. At the same time, building of party fractions among the working class, organizing fractions in sensitive areas including state apparatus and within the police, para-military and military included, should be given importance. In short, while giving emphasis to utilize present opportunities for open activities fully, capability to switch over to other organizational forms according to any changes in concrete conditions should be continuously developed, so that there are no contradictions between open and secret, legal and illegal organizational forms, and in utilizing all forms of struggles.
6.9 Seventhly, the ideological-political education and training which keeps the party politically vigorous and organizationally active should be given prime importance. Marxism is not a dogma, but a guide to action which should be continuously developed to cope up with the changes taking place in the concrete conditions internationally and nationally. The party should be capable of taking up this challenge and prepare the whole organization accordingly.
6.10 Eighthly, democratic centralism should be organically practiced so that the democratic atmosphere for inner party struggle always exists. It is easy to talk about the undesirability of individual authority and bureaucratic practices. But even after the serious setback suffered by the ICM no proper lessons are drawn from them, so that the above, negative factors can be combated and a lively democratic atmosphere can be maintained within the party and class/mass organizations. Replacement of committee system and collective functioning by individual authority and democratic functioning by bureaucratic methods are important reasons for the existence of so many groups claiming to uphold Marxist-Leninist line even when there are no basic differences between their lines. It gives rise to ‘theory of many centres’ obstructing the unity efforts. So these negative tendencies should be vigorously fought.
7. MOBILIZING WORKING CLASS AS LEADER OF PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTION
7.1 MARXISM is the revolutionary ideology of the proletariat, the most advanced class engaged in the most developed and advanced fields of production. The task of the Communist Party, the vanguard of the proletariat, is to transform it from a ‘‘class in itself’’ to a ‘‘class for itself’, capable of leading the revolutionary transformation of the society, by providing leadership to the people’s democratic revolution advancing towards socialist revolution. The Indian proletariat and its vanguard party have to shoulder the responsibility of completing the long-pending tasks of democratic revolution and national liberation by mobilizing all anti-imperialist, anti-state forces, for settling accounts with imperialism, the comprador bureaucratic bourgeois and the big landlord classes including the remnants of feudalism, and lead the people towards socialist revolution.
7.2 One of the most important and specific features of Indian society is that unlike all other erstwhile colonial, semi-colonial and dependent countries, from the second half of 19th century itself there was a comparatively large working class here. They started getting organized from the last decades of 19th century and soon the working class had started fighting for their democratic and trade union rights.. By 1908 when the working class in Mumbai launched a political strike against the arrest of Tilak, Lenin had congratulated them stating that the working class in India have matured even to launch political struggles: ‘‘they have come of age’’. As the industrialization received a boost following the colonial policy of British imperialism during and after First World War, the strength of the working class also increased considerably. Trade union movement soon spread to all major industrial centres and numerous struggles also took place. With the beginning of the activities of the Communist movement from 1920s the work among the working class in general and the trade union activities in particular advanced faster. By 1926, the first TU centre, the AITUC was launched as the platform of Indian working class in which the Communists and socialists had considerable influence. So, unlike most of the other colonial, semi-colonial, dependent countries, in India the call of the Communist International (CI) that it is the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, and only the working class can give leadership to the bourgeois democratic revolution and national liberation to lead them to victory and to advance from there to socialist revolution had special significance. It was not just a theoretical question alone like in many other countries but a practical question of establishing the proletarian class leadership in the movement as this class had already become quantitatively and qualitatively a powerful one. So, while chalking out the Path of Revolution how this task can be taken up by the Communist movement in the country and how concrete political and practical steps to establish the class leadership of the proletariat in the People’s Democratic Revolution, overcoming all negative experiences, can be developed should be given cardinal importance.
7.3 An evaluation of the political history of the mobilization of the working class by the Communist movement in India reveal that the first major setback in this field occurred following the decision of the CPI leadership in 1941 to call off all working class struggles in the name of strengthening the anti-fascist war. With the launching of the Nazi blitzkrieg against Soviet Union in 1941, the Soviet and Comintern leadership evaluated that the hitherto inter-imperialist war had transformed to a People’s War and called on the world people to launch an all out counter-offensive to destroy the fascist forces which had become the principal threat. Against the German-Italian-Japanese Axis Powers, Soviet Union allied with US, Britain and France to carry forward the anti-fascist offensive. Following this, based on an erroneous evaluation of this Comintern call and the concrete conditions within the country, the CPI leadership called for suspending the anti-colonial movement in the name of supporting the People’s War as Soviet Union had allied with Britain. All strike struggles were called off and working class movement suffered a severe setback. It caused severe harm to the hitherto efforts to establish the working class leadership in the national liberation movement.
7.4 The Congress leadership which had so far refused to utilize the favourable opportunities provided by the outbreak of the inter-imperialist war to intensity the independence struggle, utilized this opportunity and called for Quit India movement in 1942. The Congress supporters in AITUC as well as the socialists, who are die-hard anti-Communists, joined hands to weaken the Communist leadership in the working class movement which later led to the splits in the AITUC, paving the way for formation of INTUC and HMS. Though immediately after the War, once again the working class launched significant all India struggles and the Mumbai workers once again launched a political struggle in support of the 1946 Naval Mutiny, the split in the working class movement went on widening. This was another factor which helped the British colonialists to communally divide India and to hand over power to the comprador classes in India and Pakistan.
7.5 In the present situation, establishing the leadership of the working class in the PDR, concretely means mobilizing and organizing them so as to make them capable of launching countrywide movements for the rights of the working class and against the neo-liberal policies which are intensifying the neo-colonial slavery. The intensity of struggles should be continuously raised to resistance struggles including the raising of barricades and beyond. The working class movement should give leadership to the agrarian revolution with land to the tiller slogan, mobilizing the landless and poor peasants and agricultural workers who constitute majority of the population. It should be made capable of providing leadership to the anti-imperialist movement, to the struggles waged by all other oppressed classes and sections, to the struggles against decadent, caste-based, communal forces, and to the struggles for building the party and different class and mass organizations and in leading them in numerous struggles. The serious weakness of the CPI leadership was its failure to establish this leadership of the working class in the anti-feudal and anti-imperialist movement. Soon after the War, from 1946 millions of landless and poor peasants including adivasis, dalits and other oppressed sections were drawn in to historic Telengana, Tebhaga like movements. The agrarian revolutionary struggles were developing in many regions. But though the Second Congress of CPI denounced the reformist positions of past years, it refused to take lessons from the advancing Chinese Revolution and the agrarian struggles in the country. It called for an urban-cantered insurrection, refusing to establish the leadership of the working class over agrarian revolution. Though this mistake was temporarily rectified in the 1951 Party Program and Policy Statement, soon they were side lined. As the party leadership went on sliding to reformist positions the AITUC leadership went on becoming a victim of sectarianism which speeded up the split in the working class movement on the one hand, and of reformism and economism and putting labour aristocracy in the leadership on the other. After the split in CPI and formation of CPI (M) in 1964, as the CPI (M) leadership also degenerated to CPI positions by 1967 in the main, the AITUC was splitted to form CITU without any basic qualitative changes. In spite of the tall claims by the CITU leadership, as the attacks of the ruling classes and their state apparatus went on intensifying against the working class, neither it nor any other TU centres came forward to provide leadership to the working class against the capitalist class and the reactionary ruling system The working class leadership, split to numerous centres, went on degenerating to economism, reformism and opportunism.
7.6 Following the great Naxalbari struggle when the AICCCR was formed it had adopted a resolution briefly mentioning this degeneration of the working class movement and calling for its reorganization and unity on revolutionary lines. But as sectarian positions soon dominated the CR forces, the mechanical evaluation of the legalist character of existing TU centres and domination of trade unionism and of the influence of reactionary, communal, casteist, reformist and revisionist forces over the working class movement led to the erroneous conclusion that ‘‘class/mass organizations are highways to revisionism’’. Soon the work among the working class was abandoned and in practice the Communist Revolutionaries failed to establish the leadership of working class in the PDR including the agrarian revolution. Going to the other extreme the cadres working in the trade union movement were called upon to abandon it and go to the villages to lead the agrarian revolution. What happened was a negation of the Leninist teachings on building a revolutionary working class movement. It was after the severe setback suffered by the CPI(ML) forces by 1972, they tried to pursue mass line and started work among the working class including building trade unions and TU centres. Still their strength in the working class movement is negligible.
7.7 After the imposition of imperialist globalization in 1991, under the neo-liberal regime the working class is confronting ever intensifying challenges. Almost all democratic, wage and TU rights achieved through a century of bitter struggles are mostly snatched away. Contract labour system and ‘hire and fire’ are the rule of the day. What is witnessed is extreme forms of wage slavery. The number of workers in the organized sectors are dwindling fast, with ‘labour aristocracy’ gaining domination among their leadership. The tens of millions of workers in the unorganized sectors, whose number is increasing day by day and who have become the main force among the working class are denied all democratic and trade union rights. Many black laws are imposed for it. Even struggles for economic demands, right to form unions, etc have become extremely difficult
7.8 Along with de-unionization, de-politicization and dominance of caste based, communal, parochial feelings, alchoholism and anarchic tendencies have become the order of the day among the workers. The present situation can be reversed, the mobilization of workers can become possible and their politicization can be initiated again only by launching major political offensives involving the working class against the neo-liberal policies, the ruling classes and the ruling system.
7.9 While leadership of the major TU centres like BMS and INTUC are not opposing foreign investment and are actively involved in mortgaging the interests of the working class and the country to imperialist interests in the name of the ‘development policy’ under imperialist globalization, leaderships of TU centres like AITUC and CITU are satisfied with making a show of ritualistic opposition to imperialist globalization. They are reflecting the ideological-political line of their political leaderships, have abandoned even traditional struggles and degenerated as apologists and propagandists of the ruling comprador system and its policies. They also advocate that ‘there is no alternative to imperialist globalization.’ Except in words, in practice they have abandoned organizing the workers in the unorganized sectors. While BMS like centres openly practice Hindutua communal policies, there are many unions under other communal, casteist, parochial banners. Abandoning agrarian revolution, some of the TU centres have affiliated the agricultural workers to them. There are apolitical NGOs-led trade unions and their centres also. Many erstwhile CR cadres have reduced trade union work to fighting individual worker’s cases in the labour courts and collecting commission for it. The so-called “Maoists” have reduced their trade union work to mere floating of TU banners as front organizations. Thus labour aristocratic, reactionary, reformist, apolitical and anarchic tendencies are dominating the trade union scene. This is a reflection of the degeneration of the working class movement at international level on a major scale for the last 5-6 decades. In this situation, calls for unity among the working class based on one union in a factory or enterprise or trade etc without trying to address the above problems only add to the de-politicization of the working class, which is making them subservient to the rule of capital. In this situation when reactionary, reformist and revisionist ideas are dominant, under active involvement of imperialist think-tanks many theories like post-modernism, identity politics, empowerment theories, NGO-ism etc are propagated which violently oppose class politics. The concept of working class as the leader of social revolution, the necessity of overthrowing the reactionary class rule and the imperialist system and the very basics of Marxist theory are abandoned.
7.10 The task before the Communist Party is to uncompromisingly fight against all these alien tendencies. Its main direction of work should be to establish the leadership of the working class as the leading class of the PDR. It involves two major fronts of activities, which are inter-related, that of mobilizing and organizing the working class at all India level into a powerful movement and of conscious activities to politicize them as the leader of revolution.
7.11 The first part involves taking initiative for uniting all the trade unions functioning in various states and regions urgently in to a single TU centre with a radical program and democratic constitution. Immediate steps should be taken to bring together other like-minded trade unions and TU centres based on this program to build a federation or confederation. Conscious efforts should be made to utilize present possibilities to organize hundreds of thousands of construction workers and other workers in unorganized sector by developing suitable cadres and deploying them to these fields. As early as possible all India and state level leaderships should be developed, an immediate campaign program should be drafted, and all India campaigns and struggles should be developed focusing on vital demands of the working class. Along with economic, democratic, trade union demands, political slogans also should be put forward calling on the working class to spearhead anti-imperialist, anti-ruling class and anti-state struggles with slogans like Throw out imperialist, globalization, IMF-World Bank-WTO, MNCs and imperialist promoted ‘development’ policies, and struggle for a people’s alternative development policy ensuring food, clothing, housing, education, healthcare and employment for all. Major propaganda offensives should be launched with this orientation along with developing militant struggles. In this way a militant atmosphere can be created challenging the stagnant, reactionary and revisionist TU centres. This will create conditions for advancing the unity efforts among the working class. In this process necessary united front tactics should be developed and utilized according to concrete conditions.
7.12 The working class includes politically advanced, backward and middle level sections. This is reflected in the trade unions also. The “Trade union can be developed as political schools” of the working class and the politicization of the working class based on the revolutionary orientation of the party can be carried forward by organizing party fractions within them at appropriate levels and maintaining organic relation between these party fractions with the party organization. Whatever may be the ideological-political weakness of the party organization and consequently the trade union centre, from early decades the Bolshevik practice of building party fractions was studiously followed by the CPI and later CPI (M). Even now, in spite of degeneration to capitalist path the CPI (M) is following this practice to a great extent making it capable of maintaining its strength in TU field. Our Party should learn about the practice of building party fractions within the TU movement at different levels from the experience of the communist movement at international and national level. Without taking up the organizational task of building up party fractions the advanced section of the working class cannot be imbued with the basic understanding about the Party’s revolutionary ideology and the Path of Revolution put forward, the TUs cannot be turned in to political schools and the working class cannot be developed as the leader of Indian revolution.
7.13 In all organized sectors major TUs led by the leading TU centres from BMS, INTUC to CITU are already existing. They include strategic sectors like railways, docks, telecommunications, defense industries, coal, steel, electricity etc. Already the TUs in these sectors are splitted to various centres. It is immediately not possible to build our own TUs in these sectors. On the contrary what is immediately possible is to build party fractions secretly in all these sectors, in whichever union it is feasible. Hitherto experience shows that it is possible more in the ‘left’ unions if necessary secrecy is maintained. Political propaganda should be carried forward in a planned way through these cells to win over sizeable sections of workers or employees in due course of time. Through these party fractions in all trade unions, politicisation of the working class, preparing them ideologically and politically, fight against legalism, reformism and economism, strengthening of worker-peasant unity, struggle against all alien tendencies, sending advanced worker comrades to build party among various sections including workers in the new working class areas and sending worker comrades to agrarian sector to mobilise the landless-poor peasants and agricultural workers for agrarian revolution etc should be taken up. More important is the preparation of the trade unions to launch political struggles in line with the needs of the PDR.
7.14 Another important task of the revolutionary trade union movement and the party fraction work within it is to prepare it for taking up international tasks. From the time of degeneration of CPSU to revisionist path the WFTU had lost its revolutionary orientation. From that time the international working class movement became very weak and presently it is virtually reduced only to a mere concept. Necessary steps should be taken to study the present conditions of working class movement in different countries, to establish relations with like-minded TU centers and to initiate efforts to rebuild the international working class movement upholding the slogan “Workers of the World, unite” to develop international level struggles against imperialism and its agents. Presently, the founding of ICOR has become a positive factor in order to take up the task of building international unity of the working class. While rendering all help for the development and functioning of the TUCI as an effective trade union center capable of mobilizing the working class on a massive scale for protecting and expanding their wage, trade union and democratic rights , Party should play an active role in politicizing the working class to make them the real leader of the PDR.
8. BUILDING REVOLUTIONARY PEASANT MOVEMENT
8.1 EXPLAINING Lenin’s analysis about the significance of peasant question in Russian revolution, Stalin said: “Are the revolutionary potentialities latent in the peasantry by virtue of certain conditions of its existence already exhausted or not; and if not, is there any hope, any basis, for utilizing these potentialities for the proletarian revolution, for transforming the peasantry, the exploited majority of it, from the reserve of the bourgeoisie which it was during the bourgeois revolutions in the West, and still is even now, in to reservoir of the proletariat, in to its ally, Leninism replies to this question in the affirmative, i.e., it recognizes the existence of revolutionary capacities in the ranks of the majority of the peasantry, and the possibility of using these in the interest of the proletarian dictatorship. The history of the three revolutions in Russia fully corroborates the conclusions of Leninism on this score” (Foundations of Leninism). This Leninist stand is fully reflected in the Comintern’s analysis of the peasantry as the main ally of working class in the democratic revolution.
8.2 Analyzing the role of the peasantry in Chinese revolution, Mao Tsetung wrote: “The peasant movement is a colossal event, In a very short time in China’s central, southern and northern provinces, several hundred millions peasants will rise like a mighty storm, like a hurricane, a force so swift and violent that, no power however great, will be able to hold it back. They will smash all trammels that bind them and rush forward along the road to liberation. They will sweep all the imperialists, warlords, corrupt officials, local tyrants and evil gentry in to their graves. Every revolutionary party and every revolutionary comrade will be put to the test, to be accepted or rejected as they decide. There are three alternatives. To march at their head and lead them? To trail behind them, gesticulating and criticizing? Or to stand in their way and oppose them?” (Investigation of Peasant Movement in Honan). The decision of the CPC led by Mao to march at their head and lead them forward led to the historic victory of the Chinese revolution.
8.3 In India also in spite of the hesitations on the part of the leadership of the CPI, wherever the comrades decided to march at their head and lead them, mighty agrarian movements emerged, masses rallied behind the party. Wherever the CPI and CPI (M) have still influence among the masses even after their degeneration are those areas where these movements took place. By 1952 CPI leadership had abandoned the path of agrarian revolution in practice. After initial utterances CPI (M) leadership also trailed this path. The great Naxalbari uprising took place challenging their reformist path and once again brought the agrarian revolution back to the agenda of Indian people. The revolutionary agrarian struggles started emerging in many areas. For a long time the hangover of the sectarian line had stunted the growth of these struggles. Undaunted by these, fighting against reformism and sectarianism, peasant question is once again coming to the forefront of the political scene.
8.4 But various types of deviations are hindering the development of the agrarian revolutionary movement. First, not only CPI and CPI (M), some of the CPI (ML) groups also have degenerated to the path of ‘peaceful transition’ and parliamentary opportunism. Though they still retain ‘agrarian revolution as the axis of the PDR’ in their program, they have abandoned the path of both. Secondly, though the CPI (Maoist) repeatedly emphasizes the role of agrarian revolution as the axis of the PDR, it is far away from mobilizing the hundreds of millions of landless, poor peasants and agricultural workers for agrarian struggles and the PDR. Instead it is still satisfied with persisting in the ‘annihilation line’ in new forms, abandoning the revolutionary mass line. Thirdly, many of those groups who claim to pursue mass line, while organizing peasant organizations abandon the class line of agricultural workers and landless and poor peasants, who constitute the class of revolutionary peasantry. In practice they are confined to giving priority to the demands of middle peasants and rich peasants. In theory, even before building a revolutionary peasant movement with a correct class line and mobilizing the peasantry for land struggles, they put forward proposals about advancing to protracted people’s war as a pre-condition against the concrete situation in our country.
8.5 The tasks before the Party are: Firstly, firmly uphold the class line of the agricultural workers, landless and poor peasants, the revolutionary peasantry, consisting of adivasis, dalits and other most oppressed sections. Secondly, build up agricultural workers and landless, poor peasant organization with specific program upholding the path of agrarian revolution as the path forward. Build up these organizations at state level and co-ordinate them at all India level. In line with the agrarian revolutionary program, form land struggle committees starting from village level with the initiative of agricultural workers and landless, poor peasant organization to launch struggles with land to the tiller slogan.
8.6 Immediate slogans against forced labour, usury, communal and caste oppression, women’s oppression, for higher wages, for distribution of banjar land, against forest contractors etc. should be raised and struggles organized. While taking up campaigns and struggles for immediate demands, they should be linked to the line of agrarian revolution. Thus the link between the immediate and basic demands should be established. The formation of the AIKKS as an all India organization of the agricultural workers, landless and poor peasants, and the formation of the All India Krantikari Adivasi Mahasabha (AIKAM) and All India Coordination of Slum dwellers and Houseless People are important steps to develop all these sections with a revolutionary orientation for their immediate demands as well as for basic slogans.
9. MOBILISING WOMEN FOR REVOLUTION
9.1 IN “Origin of Family, Private property and State” Engels has explained how the process of enslavement of human beings by human beings started with the enslavement of women under male chauvinism in the family system that emerged which led to the origin of the private property, and to the origin of the state to protect the private property. Women became the first private property. Though class struggle continued under slave system, feudal system and the capitalist system and a socialist camp emerged with the seizure of political power by the proletariat and allied classes in a number of countries, the question of liberating ‘half the heaven’ is not yet given the importance it deserves. As Mao Tsetung pointed out after the first wave of Cultural Revolution in China, the seizure of political power in pre-revolutionary countries and socialist transformation in post-revolutionary societies shall face ever-surmounting problems so long as effective ways for the liberation of these ’first slaves’ remain elusive. All the religions preach perpetuation of this slavery. Their enslaved conditions make the women carriers of the superstitions and reactionary traditions, customs and ideologies which are transferred to the children. Though most of them still remain a private property of men in practice, and the private property system has become most barbarous under imperialism, women under the present family system have become the most important propagandists of its perpetuation. In spite of the many steps taken for the emancipation of women, the failure of the post-revolutionary societies in dealing with the question of women’s liberation effectively along with the continuing stranglehold of feudal values, religious beliefs and imperialist culture played an important role along with various other factors in the restoration of capitalism there. In spite of it even today the weakness of the party in mobilizing the women who constitute 50% of the population in the party, class and mass organizations, and in various fields of activities is sharply manifested in different forms.
9.2 The condition of women in India is much more backward compared to that of the imperialist countries. The resistance to bring forward even superficial changes to it like providing 33% reservation to them in the elected bodies reveal the state of affairs. The influence of Manu smrithi’s declaration that ‘women do not deserve independence’ is still dominant. The caste system and all religions perpetuate women’s backwardness. The rule of capital and market system under neo-liberalism has intensified women’s miseries further. Woman and their body have become commodities for sale increasingly. The present family system, even where it is transformed to nuclear ones, still remain basically male dominant and conservative. While dowry system and denial of equal right to family property is rampant, even decadent systems like Sati, Child marriage, devadasi system, naked dance by women to please gods etc. still continue, at least in some areas. Growth of communal forces and religions fundamentalism, often sponsored by the ruling system, have worsened women’s condition. Though the bourgeois feminist movements have pockets of influence in urban areas, they have failed to address the real issues of the masses of women as they do not address the relation between the stranglehold of private property in all fields and women’s liberation.
9.3 Under the influence of the neo-colonial culture as more and more female foetus are destroyed before birth in Haryana, Punjab like states, compared to thousand men there are only 750 or below women in these areas. As a result, a new type of women trafficking is taking place to these areas. Women are ‘married’ from other states to do household work and to produce children. It is yet another form of women’s slavery.
9.4 In this situation conscious efforts are needed for organizing women at different levels to vigorously take up the task of women’s liberation as a part of the ongoing struggle for the People’s Democratic Revolution, involving ever larger number of women. The formation of AIRWO as a revolutionary women’s movement is a significant step in this situation. The Party should take active steps to develop it in to a mass organization by providing all assistance required to mobilize ever larger number of women in to its field and to develop its activities.
10. MOBILISING THE YOUTH
10.1 YOUTH in our country has a glorious history of actively participating in the social renaissance movement, in the independence struggle and later in the anti-imperialist, anti-feudal struggles led by the Communist Party. The role of Bhagat Singh and other revolutionary youth who rallied in the Hindustan Republication Army challenging the colonial forces still inspire the masses. But with the transfer of power by the colonialists in 1947 and the beginning of the emergence of revisionist tendencies in the Communist Party in the 1950s, the youth started getting frustrated and influenced by retrogressive ideologies. Many joined reformist and even reactionary forces. When the Naxalbari uprising created a revolutionary upheaval through out the country, once again lakhs of youth joined the revolutionary movement. But the influence of sectarian tendencies together with the ruthless suppression by the state forces once again caused setback to this upsurge. The CR movement failed to mobilize the youth in to a countrywide organization with a revolutionary program. It did not respond to this question when the CPI(M)-CPI forces become social democratic in nature and the communal forces were making belligerent moves to influence the youth. Though there were a spurt of progressive activism during and after the internal emergency period, it was short-lived. At all India level the participation of the youth in the left movement went on decreasing.
10.2 In the mean time under increasing neo-colonization, especially after the imposition of neo-liberal policies, the challenges faced by the youth have intensified unprecedentedly. Unemployment and under-employment have become rampant. Even the already employed people started loosing employment. At the same time vested interests started promoting imperialist culture, and criminalization among them to prevent the frustrated youth from joining the revolutionary movement. As a result large sections of youth are presently influenced by retrogressive thinking and practice. They are recruited in large numbers by communal, casteist and chauvinist forces on the one hand, and by the ruling classes as their storm troopers and mafia gangs on the other.
10.3 A similar situation is rampant at international level also. It is a fact that youth in large numbers are joining the resistance struggles in Iraq, Afghanistan and other West Asian countries against US-led aggression and occupation, they are playing an important role in the anti-imperialist advances in the Latin American countries, and their presence is felt in the anti-war movement in US and other imperialist countries and in the upsurges against the imperialist system. But compared to the present intensity of the contradiction between imperialism and world people, the role played by the youth is not as powerful as it was during the revolutionary decades of last century. Factors like the weakening of the socialist forces with the degeneration of the erstwhile socialist countries to capitalist path, the severe setback suffered by the ICM, and the weaknesses shown by the Marxist-Leninist forces in confronting and challenging the counter-revolutionary offensive of imperialists and their lackeys are responsible for it.
10.4 The Communist Party should seriously take these international and national realities in to consideration, launch a vigorous offensive to politicize the youth with a militant program at all India level so that the youth can be brought forward to play the significant role they have to take up in this period for advancing the PDR. The orientation of the RYFI as a mass movement of youth should be developed to serve the revolutionary transformation of the society to overcome the weaknesses of the left forces in this field.
11. ORGANISING STUDENT MOVEMENT
11.1 STUDENTS as a social strata is a major force in our country. The neo-liberal policies of globalization-liberalization-privatization have reduced education in to a mere commodity, increasingly depriving it of whatever social character and orientation it once had. The commercialization of the education system and the neo-liberal syllabi are taking a large section of students undergoing higher education away from social realities. The commercialization has made higher education in to an elite sector reserved for mostly the upper caste, upper class students. The syllabus, methods of education and the atmosphere prevalent in these ‘centers of higher learning’ especially in the professional colleges are basically a continuation of the colonial education system, though its present content and forms have changed to serve the neo-colonial plunder. If Mcaulay’s education system was intended to create a class of babus to serve the colonial system, the present system is developed to serve imperialist globalization, the capital-market raj. It is well established that the content and form of the education system in a society in a particular period is determined by and implemented for protecting the interests of the then ruling classes. The education system is utilized by them to mould the students in accordance with their ideology and political-administrative needs. As a result, a large section of students, especially of the professional colleges, mostly the private, capitation fee, ’self-financed’ colleges grow up cut away from social realities, with hatred towards the lower castes, lower class people and with the spirit of subservience to imperialist forces, especially US imperialism. Instead of patriotism, what is dominating in them is the attraction towards everything imperialist, mostly ‘US patriotism’.
11.2 This present state of affairs is basically different from the one that was dominant among students during the independence movement to a large extent. They were imbued with patriotism and influenced by liberatory ideology and empathy towards the downtrodden. During the independence movement, a good section of the students rebelling against the casteist, religious, feudal and backward conditions they were coming from, militantly joined the struggle against British colonialists. Similarly many of them rallied in the student movement led by the Communist Party. But the deviations in the Communist movement which made it incapable of putting forward a revolutionary alternative and leading struggles for it, frustrated many and weakened the left student movement. Naxalbari uprising and the crisis of the ruling system in the 1970s once again paved way for mighty student upsurges. But due to the influence of sectarianism in the Communist Revolutionary movement, during last three decades, though there were spurt of activities at local level, the revolutionary left influence among the students has remained weak by and large at all India level.
11.3 On the contrary a large section of the students, especially the elitist and middle class sections among them are attracted to the communal, casteist, chauvinist organizations and organizations led by Congress, BJP like leading ruling class parties. They are imitating the corruption and cultural degeneration of their political elders. Most of them uphold neo-liberal values and education policy. They compete to divide the students communally, caste-wise, and in the name of reservation policy. They refuse to fight commercialization of education, criminalization of the campus life, increasing dominance of reactionary culture etc. This is one of the most important challenges faced by the democratic student movement.
11.4 But the apathy shown towards these developments or the lack of initiative on the part of the CR forces to overcome this situation is shocking. A few of them are happy with some localized gains, forgetting about the pitiable condition of their all India organization, if they have any. There are many who do not give any importance to this issue. There are CR groups claiming decades of history, but without a dozen students with them. This situation is suicidal. Today the communal, fundamentalist, casteist like forces start winning over children from the primary or even pre-primary level itself. Even leaving apart these sections there are nearly 15-20 crores of students in our country. In chalking out the Path of Revolution, how to organize this important strata of the society in a broad-based democratic student movement is an aspect that should be seriously considered.
11.5 Our party which had student organizations in some of the states has brought them together under AIRSO with a broad-based democratic program. It consists of slogans like stop commercialization and eliticization of education system, ensure universal, compulsory and free education for all up to secondary level based on a common syllabus and in their mother tongue, put an end to privatization of education, stop religious and caste based organizations from interfering in the education system, stop ‘self-financed’ like education markets, develop a democratic, secular, scientific, education system under social control etc. and fight the decadent, reactionary culture trying to dominate the students. Party should not be satisfied with statements which claim that development of revolutionary struggles will inspire the students to join them. It is a very partial truth. The hitherto history of the ICM and experience in India shows that efforts for organizing a powerful student movement at all India level is one of the pre-conditions which will help to develop the revolutionary movement at a broader and deeper level. It will influence the society at broader level, give rise to militant movements and provide a continuous flow of cadres to the revolutionary movement.
12. TASKS IN THE CULTURAL FRONT
12.1 WE are living in a period when imperialism and reaction are developing and implementing class strategies in newer and newer forms for exploitation and oppression of the world people. The universal and all-pervading hegemony of capitalism and capitalist relations of production are establishing their domination over all sectors of human thought and scientific knowledge. To serve their reactionary goals imperialism and world reaction are utilising religion, caste, race, linguistic divisions etc and art, literature and cultural forms linked with them to a large extent. The commercialization and commodification of culture is utilized by them to dominate all progressive ideas. The quantum revolution that took place in the field of physical sciences in the beginning of 20th century and the technological advances that followed along with the development in other fields of science and technology including that of organic sciences, telecommunication, cybernetics, information technology (IT) etc are utilized to serve imperialist interests. The human development in the intellectual field are also utilized in this way. The spread of knowledge is taken to an irrational and religious level. Similarly, people’s achievements in the fields of art and literature, in the cultural and scientific-fields in general are suffocated, vulgarized and commodified to serve imperialist interests. The hegemony of the ideology of private property and imperialist culture along with continuing influence of feudal culture, religion, casteism are utilized to subvert revolutionary advances in various fields and to serve the imperialist system.
12.2 We are putting forward the Path of Revolution to complete the tasks of PDR, to realize People’s Democracy and to advance towards socialist revolution at a time when drastic changes in the socio-political-cultural fields have taken place unlike the Russian situation during October Revolution, and the conditions in China and other countries when revolutions took place there. Drastic changes in these fields have taken place during last five decades in India compared to the condition during the struggle against British imperialism and during the Telengana-Tebhaga struggles etc. Though the socialist forces had reached a challenging position by early 1950s, the condition has drastically changed. Erstwhile socialist countries have degenerated to capitalist path and almost all communist parties built up under the guidance of Comintern have degenerated to revisionism and social democracy due to various weaknesses and failure in continuing the class struggle in the fields of philosophy, politics, culture etc, or in the field of superstructure in general, corresponding to the changes taking place or attempted in the field of relations of production, and according to concrete conditions in each country and in the international field. Even after the contribution of Mao Tsetung in developing the theory and practice of continuing revolution in the socialist countries through the Cultural Revolution, the capitalist roaders could not be prevented from seizing power. All these momentous developments point towards the need of linking the revolutionary struggles for seizure of political power with mighty efforts to fight and defeat the pre-capitalist, petti-bourgeois and bourgeois mode of thinking and culture prevalent in the society, and which were and are trying to gain domination in newer and newer forms. It is in this context Lenin had called on all Communist Parties to wage continuous struggle against religion, superstitions and private property etc as part of the party education. Evaluating the Chinese experience including Cultural Revolution, Mao had called for continuous struggle against decadent culture and for revolutionary culture right from the beginning of party work, and had stressed the need for a Long Revolution of continuous Cultural Revolutions to defeat attempts for capitalist restoration. All these show that right from the beginning of the party work revolutionary tasks in the cultural field should be vigorously taken up. The serious weaknesses in this field led to the severe setbacks to the ICM providing opportunities for the capital-market raj and worship of private property reaching hegemonic positions.
12.3 Presently with the degeneration of a major part of the erstwhile Communist movement in India to capitalist path, emergence of ‘New Left’ and other pseudo-left ideologies aiding alien tendencies and increasing influence of imperialist promoted ideologies like post-modernism, identity politics, empowerment theories, NGO-ism etc the progressive and revolutionary values influencing the society and helping it to advance forward are seriously eroded. The growth of RSS Parivar has led to all religious fundamentalists and communal forces gaining dominance in fields of education, culture etc. Progressive ideas like “annihilation of caste” is replaced by caste-based vote-bank politics. Imperialist culture including consumerism, alcoholism criminalization etc is dominating. The social consciousness is violently replaced with individualism, selfishness, sexual anarchy, male chauvinism in more vulgar forms. Commodification and commercialization of everything that was once held in esteemed positions have become the order of the day. Without challenging these retrogressive, fundamentalist, imperialist and reformist trends, without unleashing uncompromising struggles against them, conditions for growth of progressive values and revolutionary movement cannot be created. Mechanical concepts like reducing class struggle to merely economic factor are proved basically faulty. For creating conditions of social revolution, vigorous campaign to liberate people from counter-revolutionary cultural influences is required. Cultural Revolution should be taken as a continuing process, both in the pre and post revolutionary periods.
12.4 Though Naxalbari uprising gave birth to a new earth quake in the cultural field also, it was short lived. Soon, similar to what is happening in the economic and political fields, in the art, literature and cultural fields also along with feudal remnants, the neo-colonial, imperialist onslaughts have intensified in newer forms, strengthening the anti-people atmosphere. The table of these reactionary trends is very long including new imports in art, literature and cultural fields, commercialization of education and all welfare sectors, neo-colonial projects in the field of research, cultural project of World Bank and other many new incarnations of religions fundamentalism, advocacy of casteism and racism in new forms, attacks on women’s liberation, black acts to curb art and literature etc. It is obstructing the people’s upsurges in all fields. What is required is an all out offensive to reverse this situation.
12.5 Though many efforts are made to take up revolutionary cultural activities opposing the counter-revolutionary trends, they are localized, not widespread or protracted. They remain superficial or confined to immediate slogans, do not go to basic ideological issues involved. There are many among the revolutionary ranks who do not recognize the significance of a revolutionary cultural offensive. The lessons of Cultural Revolution are not seriously assimilated. Even when it is tried, its political aspects and failure are only stressed. Transforming the human thoughts and culture as a continuous process, as a basic task to be taken up right from the beginning as Lenin stressed and Mao repeated is not given the emphasis it needs. So while developing revolutionary activities the emphasis to be given to the work in the cultural field should be underlined. The content of cultural movement should be seriously debated and developed. Forms of organizations to be built in the cultural field also should be developed. While this task should be taken up at state level and regional level providing all the emphasis it needs, vigorous efforts are called for to build all India cultural movement taking up its theoretical and practical aspects seriously. The steps taken to launch the cultural offensive at all India level have led to the formation of an All India Coordination with this perspective. Both at state and central level the offensive should be carried forward to serve the revolutionary transformation of the society.
13. THE CASTE QUESTION
13.1 THE Party Programme states: “Continuous campaigns and democratic movements for the abolition of the caste system fullyand of all other social inequalities. As part of it, stop all 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””. Though these tasks are clearly stated, in spite of the efforts from the period of social renaissance movements for the annihilation of this social plague, in newer and newer forms it still persists making the life miserable for the oppressed castes. The caste system still divides the society. The mechanical understanding that once revolution takes place caste question will get weakened and disappear still dominate many of the so-called left forces. It may weaken, but whether it will disappear or come back in new forms with more vigour even after revolution cannot be stated conclusively when one goes though the experience of erstwhile socialist countries, where racism and religious fundamentalism have re-emerged in vulgar forms. Still, many left forces do not give the due importance to this question it deserves. Fighting casteist oppression and campaigning for caste annihilation is not in the agenda of many organizations, or even when it is included no concrete plans of actions are put forward. It is the consequence of the reality that even after 150 years of experience of the communist movement the mechanical imposition of the China Wall between revolution in the economic base and revolution in the superstructure is not removed. That is why the close relation between class struggle and struggle against the caste system is not correctly understood and the mechanical approach that class struggle will solve all questions like the caste problem is still put forward repeatedly. This mechanical approach should be replaced by the dialectical relation between struggles at these two levels. Or a comprehensive understanding about class struggle itself has to be developed.
13.2 The caste question, or the oppression based on caste system, instead of weakening has only strengthened in new forms during the last six decades. It is incorporated in to the ruling system through the emergence of caste based parties serving ruling class interest, and through the creation of caste based vote banks. Along with these identity politics, tribalism like reactionary ideologies are created and promoted by imperialist centres to channelize the struggles against oppression based on caste, tribal system etc. to harmless paths, to keep these down trodden sections away from revolutionary path. The weakness of the communist movement so far in developing uncompromising struggle against caste system also has helped the efforts to institutionalize caste system and tribal oppression through various means by the imperialists and the comprador rulers. In a society like India, caste question is basically an agrarian question. Casteist oppression was intensified by keeping the dalits away from land ownership, reducing them to mere tillers. They were compelled to do all menial jobs to serve upper caste sections. So the backbone of the caste system can be broken only through agrarian revolution based on land to the tiller slogan. Along with intensifying the struggle to carry forward this agrarian revolutionary program, vigorous campaigns and movements should be taken up against various forms of caste based oppression on dalits and adivasis and other backward sections including untouchability in various forms still prevalent all over the country. The caste based discrimination against the dalits in various forms should be fought. Inter caste marriages should be promoted. The reservation based on the caste system should be defended and struggle against diluting it should be waged, as a democratic right of the socially and economically backward sections. Along with these the reactionary ideologies like identity politics, tribalism etc should be exposed and fought against. In this way a vigorous struggle to annihilate caste system should be continuously waged combined with the intensification of agrarian revolutionary struggles as part of the PDR.
13.3. It is with this perspective the Party has put forward an Approach Paper on Caste Question for discussion at all levels. It calls for building of an organised All India movement for taking up the question of annihilation of caste. This task should be taken up as early as possible and campaigns should be launched as a first step to achieve this goal as part of the revolutionary offensive for the PDR.
14. THE NATIONALITY QUESTION
14.1 ON the resolution of nationality question, the Party Program states: “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.” India is a multi-national country where even the reorganization of the provinces under British rule and the princely states, in the main, on linguistic basis took place in 1956 only after bloody struggles by the people. During the last five decades, the consecutive central governments propagating the chauvinistic slogan of ‘’national integration’ or Akhandvad have taken away many of the Constitutional rights of the states.
14.2 Besides, the struggle of Jammu and Kashmiri people and the peoples of Northeast are being suppressed deploying military forces, rejecting the demands for resolving them politically. When struggles of sub nationalities or ethnic groups for state-hood or autonomous regions take place, they are also suppressed refusing to resolve them politically. Meanwhile with the development of capitalist mode of production, especially after imposition of imperialist globalization which has speeded up the entry of FDIs, FIIs, MNCs etc and strengthened the capital- market raj, uneven development, pushing up or pushing down various regions in the ladder of ‘development’ is becoming a stark reality. Instead of opposing the imperialist dictated ‘development’ policies implemented by the central and state governments responsible for it, different ruling class parties as well as comprador and petti-bourgeois classes are utilizing it to demand statehood to these backward regions. In spite of the negative experience of such small states already formed where the conditions of neither the region nor the vast masses have undergone any positive changes, demands for new states are continuously raised. In order to unite the people on class basis and to advance the PDR, the Party should have a clear perspective toward these questions, which are often manifested as divisive policies.
14.3 British colonialists who had forcefully ’united’ the princely states into a colony for facilitating their plunder had pursued a ‘divide and rule’ policy utilizing religious, caste, racist ideologies and the feudal forces to crush the unity emerged through the anti-imperialist struggles. This unity is again subverted by the comprador ruling classes after transfer of power. The Communist Party should struggle for unity of all nationalities based on their right of self-determination. The inherent weakness of the various movements of nationalities and sub-nationalities led by national bourgeois and petti-bourgeois classes reflect the very weakness and vacillations of these classes in present situation. These movements refuse to take anti-imperialist, anti-feudal positions or to raise land to the tiller slogan and democratization of the society. The task of the Communist Party should be to unite with these struggles. If should be a policy of “unity and struggle”, unity with the cause of right of self determination or autonomous region, while struggling against all chauvinist tendencies and pro-imperialist, pro-state positions.
14.4 The Marxist understanding is that “a nation is a historically constituted stable community of people formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life and psychological make-up manifested in a common culture.” But the demand for the new states coming up based on the backwardness created by the uneven development intensifying under imperialist globalization is basically a diversionary tactics employed by the ruling classes and petti-bourgeois sections to divert attention of the people from the real causes of backwardness. They are coming up in a concrete situation when the class struggle against the principal targets of revolution, that is, imperialism, comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and landlordism has not advanced. The Communist Party should educate the masses about the real reason for their backwardness, about what is happening in the new states already formed based on the ‘backwardness’, about utilization of the proliferation of the states to cut at the root of a real federal structure with increasing rights and powers to the states by the Indian state and the central government. It should try to vigorously develop the struggles of the working class and the landless-poor peasants and agricultural workers, of all exploited and oppressed sections, while taking a non-antagonistic approach towards these struggles.
14.5 As Marxism teaches the nationality question and the various movements emerging directly or indirectly linked with it are bourgeois questions. These movements are vacillating more towards imperialism and the comprador ruling classes. When imperialism, especially US imperialism, has a hidden agenda of Balkanisation of the country, and when many of the demands for new states are raised to divert people from the cardinal issues confronting them, the Communist Party should seriously guard against becoming a tail of these movements. On the contrary, an approach of Unity and struggle should be pursued, in order to win over the masses of peoples influenced by these struggles, to advance the struggles for PDR with the perspective that along with other basic issues all the nationality related questions should be linked to national liberation, to overthrowing the rule of imperialism, comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and landlordism. The revolutionary struggles should reflect this Marxist approach.
14.6. When the struggles like the one for a new Telengana state gains strength in the socio-economic-political situation as explained above, with massive people’s participation in the prevailing concrete situation, the Party will have to unite with this demand, while struggling against the positions of the bourgeois-petti bourgeois leaderships and parties spearheading it.
15. ON UTILISING PARLIAMENTARY FORMS OF STRUGGLE
15.1 INDIA is a country where election to provincial and central level legislative assemblies were introduced from the colonial days. After the transfer of power, under the Constitution adopted in 1950 the parliamentary system was made systematic at all levels. Today, from elections to Lok Sabha to Panchayat level and even to co-operative societies and various other institutions are held regularly drawing large sections of people. Even in pre-revolutionary Russia, experience in participating the elections was partial and limited. In China and other countries where revolution took place, there were no such experience regarding utilizing parliamentary system as a form of struggle to develop class struggle. Still drawing from the experience of Second International and of the Communist parties in European countries, Comintern under the leadership of Lenin had pointed out the need to struggle against parliamentary cretinism on the one hand and politics of boycottism on the other hand. Taking lessons from these and evaluating the experience of the Communist movement in India from the time of undivided CPI, the methods of utilization of parliamentary forms of struggle to develop class struggle should be developed.
15.2 On the utilization of elections the first serious challenge faced by the undivided CPI was in the first general elections in 1952. CPI was leading historic Telengana struggle and many other militant movements in different parts of the country. It was also leading secret fractions within the units of armed forces. Whether to leave all these and participate in 1952 elections in a legal way or to continue these struggles and utilize the elections as a form of struggle to help them was the challenge before it. The party leadership opted for the reformist path. The election results revealed that legalism did not help the party. It received considerable support and its candidates won with huge majority where it had led militant struggles and won mass support. Refusing to take lessons from this, CPI went on surrendering to parliamentary cretinism, especially after adopting the Soviet revisionist line of ‘peaceful transition’.
15.3 In 1957 CPI won majority in Kerala assembly along with few independents and formed the state government. Even though the education and land reforms bills it put forward were basically reformist, the Congress government at centre could not tolerate a communist party led government in a state, and in the name of the violent agitation led by Congress joining hands with all communal, casteist and other reactionary forces, it was dismissed after 28 months. But this dismissal increased CPI’s vote share in 1960 elections, though it failed to get majority, and increased its prestige all over the country. Instead of drawing correct lessons from these developments, CPI leadership further diluted its approach to elections under bourgeois system and totally surrendered to parliamentary opportunism in line with the class collaborationist line it had taken by that time.
15.4 In the 1967 elections, and in the ministry formation and its functioning in W. Bengal and in Kerala, the CPI (M), in alliance with CPI, also followed this parliamentary cretinist path. In tune with their revisionist and neo-revisionist lines, both abandoned the revolutionary path of utilizing elections to develop class struggle, to mobilize the masses for the PDR. Both embraced the path of continuing their activities within the frame imposed by the bourgeois Constitution. This degeneration was very fast. In 1969 when Congress split and Indira Gandhi government lost majority, instead of voting it out, both propped it up, proving their further degeneration to bourgeois parliamentary path.
15.5 Violent reaction to this degeneration and the influence of sectarianism dominating the movement then, led the CPI (ML) after its formation in 1969 to adopt ‘boycott of election’ as a strategic line. Even after many CPI(ML) groups abandoned this line, those who continues to follow the sectarian line, like the ‘Maoist’ trend, are still pursuing it. All other sections started utilizing the parliamentary form of struggle very soon. But some of these sections soon adopted opportunist united front tactics and started degenerating to parliamentary cretinism. But unlike the CPI(M)-led LF, which has gained power in three states and a sizeable strength in parliament, the rightist trend emerging from the CR forces could not advance much. It is in a declining path. Only way out before it is to align with the CPI(M)-led LF or get reduced to the level of a local force, or perish.
15.6 The boycottist experience, on the other extreme, has proved totally negative. Even after giving the boycott call, the CPI(Maoist) has adopted opportunist tactics like supporting some of the ruling class party candidates clandestinely, or openly of late. Nowhere it has succeeded to ‘enforce’ its call of boycott. The methods it resorts to enforce boycott only alienates it further from the masses. The CPI(Maoist) is so dogmatic and its thinking so mechanically that it has so far failed to make a concrete analysis of its line like the UCPN(Maoist) in Nepal has done, changing its approach to parliamentary forms of struggle. A section of the CR forces, even after adopting mass line and participating in elections, is pursuing a passive boycott approach by refusing to effectively utilize it as tactics to mobilize the masses.
15.7 Struggling against both right opportunist parliamentary cretinism and dogmatic boycott line, the Communist Party should try to effectively utilize the elections as a form of struggle to propagate party line among the masses and to put forward a people’s alternative to the imperialist dictated development policy of the ruling class parties. As Lenin has pointed out, bourgeois parliamentary system has become historically obsolete. The ruling class and their main political parties are perpetuating the capitalist-imperialist system in the imperialist countries and the comprador rule in countries like India through the manipulation of elections utilizing money and muscle power on the one hand, and creating communal, casteist, racist, parochial vote banks on the other, effectively utilizing the state machinery and monopoly media. It is getting exposed more and more before the people. Still on an average 50% to 80% votes are polled in the elections. Only when upsurges linked to nationality question as in Kashmir or North-east were taking place the voting had gone below 10%. In 1952 elections even without much campaign by the Party candidates, in area of peasants and worker struggles Communists were successful with people voting massively for them. In 1977, as a reaction to the fascist oppression during the emergency rule at all India level, and against earlier suppression of people and massacre of CR forces in West Bengal, Congress faced massive defeat at all India level and also in the elections to W. Bengal assembly. These instances show that though revolutionary changes cannot be brought out through bourgeois parliamentary elections, they can be utilized, combined with continuous development of workers and peasant struggles to mobilize the people for advancing class struggle by putting forward a people’s alternative against the ruling class and effectively campaigning for it. Apart from the above instances in India, elections in Nepal where the UCPN (Maoist) emerged as the strongest party and the elections in Venezuela and other Latin American countries where anti-US forces have come to power with a people’s agenda, prove this. In India the degeneration of CPI and CPI(M), who are known to vast masses still as the communist parties, to ruling class positions and the boycott line pursued by the CPI(ML) in the beginning and by CPI(Maoist) like forces still has so far blocked the effective utilization of elections as a form of struggle to advance class struggle. Even now, some of the so called mass line forces are participating in elections only to “dispel the illusions of the people on the parliamentary institutions” and prepare them for armed struggle!, as they claim. It is a negative approach as explained by Lenin in his work the Left-Wing Communism an Infantile Disorder.
15.8 People will be disillusioned with bourgeois parliamentary institutions only when the Communist Party succeeds to develop country-wide movements to focus on people’s issues, to mobilize the masses in their millions against the ruling system and to put forward a people’s alternative against the ruling class alternatives. After the degeneration of erstwhile socialist countries and the ruling system built up there by the Communist Parties to capitalist path, mechanical repetition of ‘seizure of political power by armed struggle’ alone cannot win masses to revolutionary path. It calls for the effective development of massive people’s upsurges in the pre-revolutionary situation utilizing all forms of struggle including parliamentary system. The Communist Party should be able to evaluate past weaknesses and to promote serious discussions to develop perspectives of people’s democratic state and proletarian democracy taking into account what happened in Soviet Union, China and other countries. How to replace the bourgeois parliamentary system with more developed system of democracy which shall help to advance towards socialism and communism is a major challenge before the ICM. Debate on the parliamentary system should be developed with this perspective.
15.9 India is a country of 120 crores of people with the bourgeois parliamentary system well entrenched in every nook and corner for many decades at all levels. Neither the social democratic path of parliamentary cretinism, nor the anarchist path of boycott is going to help in developing creative ways to transcend bourgeois parliamentary system and to advance towards completion of the PDR. The Communist Party should utilize the bourgeois parliamentary system along with all other forms of struggle to develop class struggle in all fields, to unleash mighty people’s upsurges so that it can advance towards the revolutionary seizure of political power and put into practice people’s democracy.
15.10. While doing so, the positive and negative experience of participation in parliamentary elections should be subjected to serious evaluation. The degeneration of Liberation like forces to parliamentarism so soon also should be evaluated. Our own experience from 1999 also should be evaluated. As Lenin had explained, using the parliamentary struggles is like using a double edged sword. If not correctly used and the experience continuously evaluated and lessons taken, it can cut our own throat. Two Approach Papers circulated by the CC for study regarding participation in elections and on utilizing the local body elections are dealing with these questions. It is not participation in elections which lead a Party to revisionism, but it is the erroneous ideological political line which leads to it. So, the argument that it is the parliamentary participation which leads to revisionism should be opposed. At the worst, one can say is that the incorrect use of parliamentary elections shall speed up this degeneration.
16. FROM JOINT ACTIVITIES TO STRATEGIC UNITED FRONT
16.1 IN a vast country like India where our Party and class/mass organizations are still comparatively weak, and the level of struggles launched on various issues is still low, in order to take up the numerous issues confronting the people, issue based joint activities have to be taken up joining with like-minded forces. These types of joint activities are possible in the working class field uniting with other trade unions or TU centres to struggle for worker’s problems, in the agrarian front uniting the poor and landless peasants and agricultural workers and even sections of middle peasants to struggle for problems faced by them, in the women’s front joining hands with other like-minded women’s organizations to fight for issues faced by women, in the youth front, in students front, cultural front, in ecological front, etc. A broad-based, issue-based, democratic approach should be developed to take up issues through these fronts or forums. Though these are based on issues and shall continue for a brief period only, they help to high light various people’s issues. Such joint activities will help the Party and class/mass organizations to spread out their activities to more areas.
16.2 Experience shows that under slightest provocation the state machinery unleashes black laws and terror tactics against the people. Democratic rights are taken away. Even peaceful mass movements are brutally suppressed. Functioning of party and class and mass organizations are obstructed. Even activities of civil and democratic right organizations are put down. Against such day to day developments united democratic and civil right movements should be developed according to concrete conditions.
16.3 Advancing a step forward from these issue based joint activities, as these struggles and the strength of the class/mass organizations further increase, possibilities for formation of platforms or united fronts at state or country levels, lasting longer period, to take up more basic issues can be developed.. Possibilities shall emerge to build intermediate level fronts, which shall help the development of class struggle. Every such possibility should be fully utilized.
16.4 For overthrowing the Indian state led by the bourgeois-landlord classes serving imperialism and to create conditions for establishing people’s democratic power, protracted efforts should be made according to concrete situation and level of development of people’s struggles by the Party to build up the strategic united front based on worker-peasant alliance and uniting with all genuine anti-imperialist, patriotic, democratic classes and sections. The Party should continuously develop its united front tactics to serve revolution.
17. THE AGRARIAN QUESTION AND AGRARIAN REVOLUTIONARY PROGRAMME
17.1 WHEN the transfer of power took place India was a vast agrarian county with 80% of the people dependent on agriculture. Historic Telangana Struggle, Tebhaga movement and other revolutionary agrarian movements against the dominating feudal, semi-feudal agrarian relations were sweeping across the country under the leadership of the Communist Party during those years compelling the government to put an end to Zamindari system. But the withdrawal of the Telangana struggle and abandoning of most of the other agrarian struggles by the CPI leadership just before the 1952 general elections gave a serious blow to these people’s movements.. The Congress government was utilizing a two pronged attack to crush these struggles: promoting the Bhoodan movement of Vinobha Bhave to divert attention from revolutionary land struggles, and launching brutal attacks by para- militaryand police forces on them. Soon under the advice of US imperialist experts, a land reform from above was introduced including land ceiling in most of the states replacing the feudal landlords by and large with new generation landlords who were ready to embrace the ‘green revolution’ launched under imperialist guidance. Conditions were created for the entry of capital, along with fertilizers, chemicals, new seeds and other inputs into the agrarian sector. This was the beginning of another step, more intensive than the one pursued during the colonial phase, for the integration of the agrarian sector to the imperialist system.
17.2 The land reforms introduced were not revolutionary land reforms from below based on “land to the tiller” slogan, but were imposed from above creating a new class of landlords. The land ceiling proposed was flouted in practice through various methods allowing the landlords to own huge land holdings far above the ceiling. The real tillers including the adivasis, dalits and other oppressed sections continued to remain landless or owning small house plots.
17.3 The ‘green revolution’ set in the following tendencies: firstly, it created conditions for the entry of modern inputs and capital to agrarian sector; secondly, it increased the area under cash crops; thirdly, it introduced capitalist mode of production; and fourthly, it paved the way for furthering overall land concentration with about 60% land held by the landlords who constitute 5-10% of population linked to agriculture. Overall impact was further integration of agrarian sector to imperialist capital-market system.
17.4 The historic significance of the Naxalbari struggle is that it brought back the agrarian revolutionary struggle abandoned by the CPI leadership in early 1950s to the agenda, challenging the ruling class policies including the ‘green revolution’. Following Naxalbari agrarian struggles were launched in Srikakulam, Debra Gopiballabhpur, Mushahari and other areas putting forward land to the tiller slogan, mobilizing adivasis, dalits and other oppressed sections in large numbers. But sectarian tendency started dominating the movement and the ‘annihilation line’ obstructed the development of the mass struggles for land. Though a rectification was initiated by major sections of CPI (ML) and other CR groups from the beginning of 1970s, and significant mobilization of the poor and landless peasants and agricultural workers took place in Bihar and AP in the land struggles, there were no consistent efforts to take up a study of the vast changes already taking place in the agricultural sector under neo-colonization or todevelop the agrarian struggles according to the concrete conditions.
17.5 The anarchist trend represented by CPI(ML) People War, Party Unity and MCC, which later merged to form CPI(Maoist), is upholding armed struggle as the only form of struggle and pursuing the old annihilation line in new forms. Though it talks about the seizure of political power it has not put forward any perspective for it except continuing its armed actions in some pockets. It has no concept of developing agrarian revolutionary movement mobilizing the poor and landless peasants and agricultural workers. On the other hand, some of the CPI(ML) groups, which have adopted the ‘line of peaceful transition’, have reduced agrarian struggle to legalistic forms. Some others are mainly organizing middle peasants and a section of rich peasants in their peasant organization and have, in effect, abandoned the struggles based on land to the tiller slogan, similar to what was done by CPI and then by CPI(M) in the past. While pursuing these different policies all of them have an important similarity that whether they had put forward a Path of Revolution document or not, they cling mechanically to the concept of protracted people’s war based on their semi-colonial, semi-feudal analysis. The task before the Party is to develop mass agrarian revolutionary movement according to present conditions with land to the tiller slogan mobilizing the poor and landless peasants and agricultural workers who constitute 50-60% of India’s population under the leadership of the working class.
17.6 Agrarian revolution means wiping out landlordism, including all still surviving remnants of feudal and pre-capitalist land relations, and to make revolutionary changes in the land relations based on land to the tiller slogan. Launching of agrarian revolutionary struggle should be done in two phases. First phase comprises of organizing the poor and landless peasant and agricultural worker’s organization with agrarian revolutionary program to make revolutionary changes in land relations along with mobilizing them initially based on immediate slogans and struggles to realize them. Then proceed to campaign for the urgent distribution of land declared surplus under ceiling laws, government land lying vacant, forest land lying fallow, land used for bio-fuel cultivation and farm lands whose lease period is over, land illegally occupied by plantations and farm owners and land mafia, etc. to the poor and landless farmers and agricultural workers. In urban centres and suburbs there are tens of millions of families without minimum housing. Organize them and campaign for house-sites or housing. In continuation to these campaigns, organize land struggle committees from village level in rural areas and housing right committees in urban and suburban areas. Lead these campaigns to pinpointing the lands to be distributed and then to occupation of those lands, distributing them to the landless under the leadership of these committees. Volunteer squads may be formed under these committees to help the land occupation, and protection of the land and housing sites occupied. But vigorous campaigning and mobilization of the masses in ever-larger numbers should be the main weapon to be utilized during this phase of the struggle..
17.7 The main tasks during this first phase is to bring back revolutionary land struggles abandoned by the reformist and sectarian trends to the agenda and prepare the poor and landless peasants and agricultural workers for it. How much time will be taken to advance from campaigning to land occupation in different areas will depend upon the concrete conditions in each area and on the extent of subjective preparations including the strength of the committees. By taking this line of agrarian revolutionary movement to the most oppressed adivasis, dalits and other oppressed sections, campaigning for distribution of above mentioned government and forest lands to the landless, and proceeding to the capture of land, a revolutionary atmosphere can be created among the masses to proceed towards the second phase.
17.8 The second phase starts with putting forward the agrarian program to make revolutionary changes in the land relations. According to concrete conditions in different areas a ceiling for land required by a family entirely depending on agriculture, land sufficient for such a family to cultivate and subsist on should be declared. For example like 5 acres of irrigated land or 10 acres of un-irrigated land for a family of five. For those families mainly depending on income other than from agriculture, ceiling of land for housing and place of profession or business should be declared. Land required for community purposes also should be decided. Land records for each Panchayat/Municipality should be prepared by the land struggle committee of the area concerned. Surplus land should be declared and poor and landless peasants and agricultural workers should be mobilized for campaigning and then taking over the land, starting with the land in the possession of big landlords, land mafias, corporate houses, MNCs, etc. In urban and suburban areas where housing right committees are functioning, based on a general principle and according to conditions in each area, an urban land ceiling should be declared, surplus lands, buildings, flat, etc. should be found out and the land records should be announced to facilitate campaigns and then struggles to occupy them.
17.9 The state committees under the guidance of the CC should select areas where our party organization is fairly strong and where AIKKS has started functioning and capable of deploying cadres from outside also to initiate the land struggle. Social and political condition of the area, class divisions, state of class contradictions etc should be studied and the first and second phases should be planned and fighting slogans should be formulated after discussion in the party committees and in the ALKKS committees. Land struggle committees should be formed combining AIKKS committees with representatives of trade unions and other class/mass organizations working in that area. The first and second phase of agrarian program should be formulated and campaigned. Conditions for land capture should be created and land occupation and distribution should by started under the Panchayat level land struggle committees, which are united fronts at the Panchayat level led by the Party committees.
17.10 While launching the campaigns, forming the land struggle committees and starting the phase one and phase two struggles the following points should be given importance by the party committees. Always ensure the class line by recruiting agricultural workers and landless and poor peasants to the committees. Always persist in investigation and study of concrete conditions in the area and class analysis. Whenever questions come up consult with the people. Win over the support of the middle peasants and other progressive sections in the area for the struggle. Ensure the active involvement of trade unions and cadres of mass organizations led by the party in the campaigns and land struggle committees. Ensure the involvement of women in ever-larger numbers and while land is distributed women should by given equal rights. Build up volunteers squads under the land struggle committees, guided by party committees. Destroy the authority of the big landlords and other enemy classes in the village by effectively utilizing the elections, winning over the three- tier Panchayat committees, co-operative societies, etc. in the area under the control of the land struggle committees. Do not confuse contradictions among the people with contradiction with enemy, and always handle contradiction among the people non-antagonistically, in a healthy manner. Vigorously try to expand the area of land struggles continuously. While the struggle for the land is the fundamental one and it should be carried forward vigorously, the land struggle committees at different levels should handle and resolve struggles for higher wages, against usury, cancellation of the landlords and merchants, struggle for the reduction of rents, struggle against forced labor, struggle of the adivasi people against forest contractors, against women’s oppression, against casteist oppression, etc. also winning over more and more sections of the oppressed classes to the agrarian movement. In short, like Soviets in Russia, these committees should be developed as the local centers of people’s political power.
17.11 The experience of the great Telangana struggle, Tebhaga movement and other big and small agrarian struggles led by the undivided communist movement till early 1950s, the experience of Naxalbari and Srikakulam struggle, the Debra- Gopiballabhpur and Mushahari struggle, the agrarian struggle in the plains of Bihar and AP, etc. show that whether starting from partial demands or land issue, all of them ultimately lead to the fundamental question of land, to the question of throwing out all pre-capitalist relations and making revolutionary changes in the land relations based on land to the tiller slogan. Starting with the contradiction against the landlord classes and feudal remnants if any, it develops to contradictions with big bourgeois-big landlord state and with the imperialists behind it. So the Party should lead the agrarian struggle, in whichever form it may have started, to the fundamental question of land and vigorously try to expand it to more and more areas, to more and more states according to concrete conditions there, firmly upholding revolutionary mass line, uncompromisingly struggling against reformist and sectarian tendencies which shall be trying to dominate the movement always. Utilizing all forms of struggles and organizations, always prepared and be flexible enough to change from one form of struggle to another according to concrete conditions, and never loosing initiative in the struggle.
17.12 While developing the revolutionary agrarian movement in such a vast country like India with so much diversities and unevenness is an unprecedentedly difficult task. This great size and its vast population themselves can be turned into great advantages for revolution once they are correctly understood and scientifically utilized always relying on revolutionary mass line. In the past and present when any Path of Revolution is drafted by different forces, it is always seen that all of them agree on the basic differences between concrete conditions of China and India not only during 1920-1940 period, but also, in a more profound way, between present India and pre-revolutionary China. But after starting discussion on developing the agrarian movement all of them hastily goes on to assert that despite all dissimilarities, the path the Indian revolution should be the path of protracted peoples war with the essential features of Chinese revolution. As a result, none of them give any importance to utilize the concrete conditions in this vast country by expanding the party all over the country, by launching the countrywide struggles of the working class including their massive struggles including raising of barricades, as in the past and launching agrarian struggles in all regions according to concrete conditions and by depending upon the vast masses as the greatest shield against the enemy. Once the agrarian revolutionary movement among the 60-70 crores of adivasis, dalits and oppressed sections, the agricultural workers and landless and poor, peasants is consistently expanded and once the leadership of the 15-20 crores of the working class on the agrarian revolution is increasingly established consistently following the revolutionary mass line, no force on this earth can stop the onward march of Indian revolution. Discussion on developing volunteer squads, self defense squads or any other forms of squads, unarmed or armed, should be taken up in the context of development of the agrarian revolutionary movement to more and more areas, in the context of utilizing all forms of struggle, and after studying how the contradiction between the agricultural workers and landless, and the powerful Indian working class, the leading class of Indian revolution, on the one hand, and the ruling classes on the other is going to sharpen in coming days.
18. ON THE PATH OF INDIAN REVOLUTION
18.1 INDIA is a very vast country of 1.2 billion people. It has extreme diversities and unevenness. The objective conditions of the country are becoming more and more favorable for social change, for a social revolution to overthrow the reactionary Indian State led by the comprador bureaucratic bourgeois-landlord classes serving global imperialist interests.
18.2 Putting forward the revolutionary path for India today is a much more complex and difficult task to be taken up compared to taking up such a job in 1920s or 1930s when the Communist movement was in its infant stage in the country and when there was the Communist International with extensive revolutionary experience of Soviet Union to guide it, or in the post-1947 years when the country was going through a revolutionary ferment, or in 1967 after Naxalbari uprising. Today, in spite of almost five decades of intensive struggles against revisionism and neo-revisionism, the CPI(M) and CPI are still existing, the CPI(M)-led Left Front is still strong, besides playing an important role in the parliament as a social democratic party serving ruling class interests. They still pose themselves as Marxist-Leninist parties in spite of their degeneration to social democratic positions. With the help of corporate media they get extensive coverage. For most of the people they are the Communist parties still. So long as these degenerates are thoroughly exposed ideologically and politically, they shall continue to remain a threat to the strengthening of the revolutionary party. On the other hand, though the influence of the sectarian, anarchist trend represented by CPI(Maoist) is presently confined to some pockets in four or five states, the Indian State and the corporate media give extensive coverage to them. Thus the CPI(Marxist) and CPI(Maoist) apparently taking extremely opposite stands, acts as two sides of the same coin against revolutionary Marxism. Besides, there are a good number of right opportunist or sectarian or anarchist trends posing as Marxist-Leninists in different states. Even some of the groups advocating post-modernism, identity politics, empowerment theories, NGO-ism, etc. promoted by imperialist centres are claiming themselves as Marxist-Leninist, adding to the confusion. It is an extremely difficult and unprecedented task to wage ideological struggles against all these numerous trends and establish the revolutionary Marxist-Leninist positions in present day conditions.
18.3 Another major problem is the disunity of the Marxist-Leninist forces who advocate mass line and who have apparent identity of views on many of the basic issues. Even if all of them are united, the Marxist-Leninist Party will be weak compared to the gigantic tasks to be taken up in a vast country like India. In such a situation, this disunity among the Marxist-Leninist forces who are opposed to both right opportunism and sectarian, anarchist trends is another crucial challenge faced by the revolutionary movement. These challenges have to be boldly faced and the subjective forces of revolution have to be strengthened, in which building up a powerful Bolshevik style party with all India influence is the most cardinal task. While carrying forward this task, the Party has to intensify its efforts to build up a revolutionary people’s alternative challenging the ruling class alternatives, which are basically united in serving the existing ruling system. For this, the Party has to utilize all forms of struggle effectively, with the perspective of seizure of political power, to complete the tasks of the People’s Democratic Revolution by developing revolutionary struggles based on concrete conditions in the country.
18.4 Evaluating the general orientation of the Path of Revolution, the Party Programme of CPI(ML) states:
“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.”
18.5 The great Telangana Struggle of 1946-51, in continuation to other anti-feudal struggles in different parts of the country, the naval revolt and Punppra-Vayalar uprising and numerous working class struggles of these years were the largest and most advanced revolutionary upsurges in the country. Telengana struggle taught how revolutionary agrarian struggles focusing on land to the tiller slogan led by the Communist Party and with the class line of landless, poor peasants and agricultural workers, who constitute the revolutionary section of the peasantry, can lead toward the formation of village committees, organization of volunteer squads, development of resistance to landlords-police-goonda violence, and to the beginning of armed struggle against the reactionary state. The great Naxalbari uprising led to revolutionary uprising of landless, poor peasants and agricultural workers, including adivasis, dalits and other oppressed sections, in Midnapore, Mushahari, Lakhimpur-Kheri and Srikakulam, the latter reaching a higher level in terms of massive participation of the revolutionary sections of the peasantry and the resistance struggle they waged. Though these struggles spread to the plains of AP and Bihar later, due to the domination of the sectarian line the movement could not be carried forward. The cardinal problem before the revolutionary movement was, and is, that while assimilating the revolutionary experience of the Telengana-Naxalbari struggles, how to develop a Path of Revolution confirming to the concrete conditions of India when it is under neo-colonization. Though the line of ‘protracted people’s war’ is repeated hundreds of times, why it could not be carried forward anywhere successfully after the Chinese Revolution and whether it can be applied in Indian conditions was never debated seriously.
18.6 The ICM has the glorious history of the victory of October Revolution in Russia, the victories of revolutions in East European countries during 1944-45 with the defeat of fascist forces, the victory of the great Chinese Revolution in 1949 and later victories of national liberation and democratic revolutions in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea and Cuba. The revolutionary movements in these countries have suffered severe setbacks later in the course of socialist revolution and socialist transition. The Marxist-Leninist forces should take appropriate lessons from these revolutions as well as from their setbacks. But taking their experiences do not mean mechanically copying the experience of any of them or pursuing an eclectic mixture of their experiences. Taking experience from them means studying their experience, taking lessons from them and applying them according to the concrete conditions in our country. The history of the ICM shows that in all these countries where revolution took place, there was no mechanical application of the path of other revolutions, each revolution took its own course according to concrete conditions of each country. Even after the victory of Chinese Revolution, its experiences were not mechanically followed in Korea, Vietnam, Kampuchea or Cuba. A concrete study of the conditions of India and China during 1930s and 1940s shows that in spite of many similarities, at that time itself, there were more differences than similarities. And compared to then Chinese conditions, the present Indian conditions are basically different. So, contrary to what was asserted by the CPI(ML) during its initial period, the line of protracted people’s war, the theory and practice of which was developed by Mao Tsetung according to the Chinese conditions, cannot be applied in present Indian conditions.. The theory and practice of Indian revolution should be developed entirely based on the concrete conditions of present day India, assimilating whatever experiences can be assimilated from all hitherto revolutions, including the Chinese Revolution.
18.7 Though Indian revolution is presently in the People’s Democratic stage, though what happened in the post-revolutionary situation in the socialist countries, especially in Soviet Union and China may not directly affect it, after such a severe setback suffered by the socialist revolution in these countries, a Communist Party cannot pursue its revolutionary struggle without taking these factors also into consideration. For example, the experience in areas like party building, in developing the concept of democratic centralism, in developing appropriate methods for inner-party struggle, in guarding against emergence of bureaucratic tendencies, in organically developing concepts of building mass line and class/mass organizations, in avoiding the mistakes of mechanically de-linking the class struggle in economic base from that in the superstructure, in avoiding, for example in India’s context, the de-linking of anti-caste struggle from class struggle, in correctly dealing with the contradictions among the people, and in drawing appropriate lessons from the Cultural Revolution.etc have to be given cognizance to.
18.8 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 working class with the revolutionary agrarian struggles combining all other forms of struggles with it and organizing countrywide mass uprising for seizure of power. It also demands class analysis in general and class analysis in each concrete situation, in different regions, and developing the tactics of united front in all phases of struggle according to the demands of concrete situation.
18.9 India is a very vast country of 1.2 billion people with extreme diversities and unevenness, a country under neo-colonization where neo-colonial plunder is taking ever-intensifying forms under the neo-liberal policies, where the principal contradiction is between the alliance of imperialism, comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and landlordism on the one hand and vast masses of the people on the other. The tasks of revolution is to overthrow the rule of comprador bureaucratic bourgeois-landlord classes serving imperialism, completing the People’s Democratic Revolution, and advancing towards socialist revolution. It involves the tasks of mobilizing the people, and launching and developing the countrywide class struggle in all spheres leading to mass upsurges, mass insurrections including armed uprisings interspersed with other forms of struggles wherever necessary leading to the capture of political power.
18.10 Mobilizing the people for revolution includes building up of the Party, mobilizing and politicizing working class as the leader of revolution; organizing the landless, poor peasants and agricultural workers; organizing the women; the youth and students; and developing a vigorous cultural movement as already explained above. While mobilizing all these sections of people for their immediate demands, they should be mobilized with a revolutionary perspective on ideological, political, national and international issues also. While launching struggles for immediate and economic demands, political campaigns should be organized to educate the masses for social change. Utilizing the present possibilities, all out massive campaigns propagating revolutionary program should be launched. Agrarian revolution according to present conditions should be brought to the forefront once again. The Party and class/mass organizations should develop skill to float all forms of organizational initiatives and to utilize all forms of struggle to propagate about and advance the cause of the revolutionary alternative to existing ruling system.
PREPARING THE WORKING CLASS FOR COUNTRYWIDE UPSURGES
18.11. AS already pointed out, as far as Indian revolution is concerned, the leading role of the working class, whose number is increasing continuously and presently is more than 200 million, is not just a theoretical one. Contrary to the democratic revolutions so far including the Chinese revolution, the working class have to be mobilized and prepared to provide physical leadership to the revolution. Or they are capable of doing so not only because of their numbers, but also because they are the class capable of paralyzing the whole industrial, communication, finance and service sectors through their countrywide strikes and other forms of struggle and prepare conditions for the countrywide uprising. Historically, in 1908 itself Lenin had congratulated the working class of Mumbai for organizing a political strike against the arrest of Tilak. Later, in 1946, when the Naval ratings organized the revolt against British authorities the working class had come out in the streets of Mumbai expressing militant solidarity with them. During that time the railway workers and workers of other sectors had come out in strike struggles challenging the colonial rulers which could be linked to the ongoing Telengana-Tebhaga like struggles and converted in to a countrywide uprising if the CPI leadership had such a vision. Though such a line was put forward in 1948, as the then leadership had no vision of uniting the urban uprisings with the agrarian revolutionary struggles going on in the countryside it could not make any headway. In mid-1960s though the food riots had rocked many parts of the country, and it could be combined with a countrywide working class struggle to challenge the ruling system, by that time the leaderships of CPI and CPI(M) had abandoned the path of revolution. What is pointed out here is that the growing strength of the working class had created conditions for a revolutionary upsurge repeatedly, and such possibilities have increased manifold today.
18.12. The neo-liberal onslaught of the MNCs, corporate giants and the private sector-public sector managements snatching away all the rights of the working class earned through more than a century long bitter struggles, the imposition of contract labour system-casualization-‘hire and fire, and the unprecedented price rise, corruption and privatization- commercialization of all essential services have made the working class bitter and angry. In spite of the main trade union centers led by ruling class and reformist party leaders are consciously preventing any resistance against these under various pretexts, the recent workers struggles in Gurgaon and a number of other places are indications of the possibility for a workers upsurge if conscious efforts are made. As the tens of millions of workers in the core sectors like railways, mining, steel, energy, ports and communications, banking, insurance, and in the modern industrial centers are dissatisfied, it portends the possibilities for a mighty uprising of them in the coming days, as it is happening in US and other imperialist countries as well as in the countries under neo-colonization.
18.13. This problem should be approached at two levels: firstly, the TUCI should be prepared to make an all out effort to take initiative to forge a confederation of the likeminded forces and to make continuous efforts to launch struggles focusing on burning issues. It should make all out efforts and try to become a catalyst force to force the major trade union centres like AITUC and CITU to participate in struggles focusing on the severe attacks against workers’ rights and against price rise, corruption etc. Secondly the task of preparing conditions for inspiring the workers to become the leader of the PDR should be taken up by the Party with all the importance it deserves. The Party shall concentrate on organizing the working class as a “class for itself”, elevating it to the position of leader of the revolution. Through ceaseless propaganda and agitation the working class should be politicized. Every effort should be made to develop the struggles for immediate demands to struggles for the social system which perpetuate and intensify their wage slavery. In short, the problem of mobilizing, politicizing and leading the working class to street battles against the managements and the ruling system should be taken up with the revolutionary urgency it calls for.
18.14. These are days when, as Lenin once stated, decades may pass when nothing looks like happening, but decades happen in weeks. But it just do not happen. To make decades happening in weeks, the Party should work hard to build fractions among the working class, and make them capable of politicizing the working class for the coming upsurges and to lead them. The topmost priority should be given to this task of preparing the working class to physically become the leader of the revolution. We should make things happen in the working class field with this orientation. The Party and the Party fractions among the working class along with the vanguard elements among the working class should bring out propaganda material, organize campaigns with them in selected industrial centres, organize study camps and participate in every important struggles breaking out in order to politically influence them. In this manner conditions for an upsurge of the workers in selected areas should be consciously prepared. And these vanguard elements should be prepared to extend all out support to the workers’ spontaneous struggles, .and to politicize them. Through continuous efforts conditions for making the working class capable of leading the revolutionary upsurges should be prepared.
DEVELOPING REVOLUTIONARY AGRARIAN STRUGGLES
18.15 LAND question has become the central issue more than ever with the entry of MNCs and Corporate houses to agrarian, real estate, infra structural like sectors. Millions of acres of agricultural land is diverted for jatropha like plants for bio-fuel production, millions of acres being snatched from the peasantry for SEZs and industrial centres, for real estates and infrastructure building, etc. with land concentration becoming a more serious issue than ever. While the MNCs, corporate houses, real estate lobby, landlords and land mafias have cornered millions of acres of the agricultural land, throwing out millions of peasants and agricultural workers, flouting even existing land ceiling laws or amending them, 50-60% of the landless, poor peasants and agricultural workers own just 10-15% of the land. Besides, tens of millions of families in the urban and suburban areas are deprived of even nominal housing when less than 10% of the rich and super-rich own most of the multi-crore flats and bungalows. The disparity on the question of ownership of land has reached unprecedented and extreme levels. As a result, the struggle of the landless, poor peasants and agricultural workers, the real tillers, for land for cultivation, the struggle of those whose lands are snatched away for SEZs, real estates and industrial centers, and of those who have no housing have become one of the central issues.
18.16 In this situation, revolutionary agrarian struggles with land to the tiller slogan and against displacement have become the main forms of struggle involving tens of millions of the peasantry, along with developing struggles of all other revolutionary sections complementary to it. In every state millions of acres of land already declared surplus by government under ceiling acts, banjar lands, de-forested forest lands, lands illegally occupied by plantation owners and landlords, plantation lands whose lease period is over, Math lands, lands cornered by real estate lobby and land mafias flouting existing laws, agricultural land left uncultivated are not distributed to the landless in spite of repeated promises. Even the 1975 Adivasi Land Protection Act to return adivasi land occupied by non-adivasi landlords is still not implemented. The AIKKS committees forming village level land struggle committees should occupy these lands after extensive campaigns arousing the masses and distribute them among the landless under the leadership of the village committees as explained already This struggle should be combined with the struggle against bonded labour like exploitation of tenants and agricultural workers by landlords, usury, caste and communal oppression and other atrocities of the landlords and state machinery. These struggles launched based on the organized strength of the landless sections for land and against the landlord class and feudal remnants shall arouse their class consciousness and prepare them for higher forms of struggles. This occupation of land and their distribution under village committees, preparing the peasantry to resist landlords and feudal remnants leads to the beginning of establishment of embryonic forms of people’s political power of the landless, poor peasants and agricultural workers and other toiling masses under the village committees. By pursuing revolutionary mass line, the masses of the peasantry should be mobilized in peasant associations, agricultural workers union and village committees. Once this phase of the land struggle is successfully launched in more and more areas, and the political consciousness of these oppressed sections is continuously aroused, the preparation for the next phase of land struggle declaring new ceilings for agricultural land for a family whose main occupation is farming and only housing and business sites for those not engaged in cultivation can be campaigned for, popularized and the masses mobilized to put it in to practice as explained above.
18.17. Once this struggle for the capture and distribution of lands owned by landlords and other such ‘private’ owners is started, the real confrontation with the landlords and the state machinery will start. Occupation of these lands is a challenge to the very existence and continuation of the domination of the landlords. Only this occupation and cultivation of these lands by the real tillers shall put an end to social-political exploitation of the ‘rural gentry’. By this time, the activities among the working class should be developed to such a level that they are mobilized to declare strikes struggles and other forms of struggles for their own demands and in support of the land struggle. The women should be mobilized in resistance struggle in large numbers. The youth and student movements focusing their demands should be developed so that they are capable of paralyzing the state machinery. Propaganda by cultural squads should be organized to arouse the masses to widen the areas of land struggle. By this time village committees should be organized in more and more areas, involving larger number of landless sections in the struggle. Volunteer squads and self-defense squads should be formed in larger numbers under the village committees to help the expansion of the struggle and to defend against landlord-police-goonda attacks.
SUCCESS OF THE LAND STRUGGLE DEPENDS ON WIDENING OF THE STRUGGLE AREAS AND STRENGTHENING OF PEASANT AND AGRICULTURAL WORKERS ORGANISATION
18.18. IMPERIALIST globalization and its barbarous consequences is compelling the working class, the landless, poor peasants and agricultural workers, the youth and students and women to get mobilized and struggle for their existence. Mobilizing all these sections, many more areas in the country can be turned in to struggle areas. The successful advance of the revolutionary struggle demand an organic linking of tens of millions of the working class, the women, the youth and students with the struggle of the revolutionary section of the peasantry to advance the agrarian movement. The difference between present concrete conditions and those of the Telangana phase should be correctly understood. Today in every area the class contradictions are becoming more and more intensified in various forms. This important aspect along with the vastness of the country and prospect of developing struggles in ever-larger areas are positive factors unfavorable to the enemy, the Indian state, and favourable to the revolutionary forces. The Party Central Committee should guide all the state committees to launch struggles in as many areas and sectors as possible. This is the phase of casting the net wide. To help this, development of the party and class/mass organizations at all India level, deployment of cadres in selected areas and pursuing a correct cadre policy should be taken up on an emergency basis. Once this line of action is effectively carried forward, possibilities for uniting likeminded forces and organizing issue based united fronts at various levels under the initiative of the party and class/mass organizations shall also increase in support of this movement.
18.19. The question of expanding the land struggles joining hands with the ongoing resistance struggles against usurpation of agricultural land for SEZs, new industrial centres and real estates, and the struggle for housing rights by tens of millions of families in urban and suburban areas can be effectively taken up raising the burning issues in every state, every region. The attention of the whole Party and class/mass organizations should be focussed on these questions. Extensive campaigns should be organized. And the land struggle should be launched in ever-wider areas with the involvement of tens of thousands of people as the formation of the village committees advances. Rather than involving in unending discussions about armed struggle and how to develop it, what is required now is launching of country-wide struggles for land, development of appropriate forms of organizations at various levels, evolving appropriate slogans and programs to involve ever larger number of people in them, and weakening the ruling system by hitting it at tens of thousands of places. International and Indian experiences show that once the people in ever larger number are aroused, and they get involved in militant struggles against the landlords and the ruling system under the conscious leadership of the Party, after the development of struggles to a stage, the armed resistance against state repression shall develop wherever necessary. In this the Party has a lot to learn from the upsurges that took place in Latin American countries in last decade and from the uprisings taking place in West Asia and North Africa and elsewhere including struggles like the Occupy Wall Street. So the real problem confronting the revolutionary movement is how to initiate these struggles in ever larger areas and to link these people’s resistance with all other forms of struggles and to sustain them in a protracted manner so that these uprisings of the people develops in to seizure of political power.
18.20. Recent experiences teach that there were a large number of big or small4 mass upsurges against imposition of imperialist globalisation connected projects in a number of places, in a number of states. Some of them have taken protracted nature and are continuing even after one or two years. Even after ruthless suppression deploying huge contingent of state forces the centre and state governments are forced to abandon many of these projects or postpone them. The resistance struggles of the peoples of Northeast and Kashmir linked to nationality question are also continuing even after decades. Once the Party become capable of establishing the leadership of the working class by mobilising and politicising them at an ever-larger areas in as many states as possible, armed resistance of the people against state forces and mass upsurges are bound to break out in a large number of places. What happened during 1945-1950 period is a very good example for it.
18.21. In the concrete conditions of India, especially in the present conditions, concepts like ‘area-wise seizure of political power’ and ‘establishment of base areas’ based on the concept of the path of protracted people’s war should be subjected to serious introspection. Application of such concepts has to ‘cutting the size of the feet according to the size of shoes’ as is proved internationally and within our country. The challenge is to develop the revolutionary struggles combining all forms of struggle according to concrete conditions of India leading to mass upsurges, insurrections and armed uprisings interspersed with development of guerrilla struggles wherever possible and necessary. It is a Path suited to India’s vastness and the objective conditions here. This path should concentrate on mobilising the masses in ever larger number and seizure of political power through a combination of all forms of struggle.
19. THE TASKS OF PDR AND APPROACH TO PROLETARIAN INTERNATIONALISM
19.1 THE struggles to complete the tasks of the PDR and advance towards socialist revolution is carried forward in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, when imperialism, especially US imperialism, is striving frantically to impose its world hegemony, but confronting ever intensifying resistance at home and internationally. Under imperialist globalization, neo-colonization is intensified integrating the economies of the African-Asian-Latin American countries to global imperialist system, opening these countries further to the domination of IMF-WB-WTO trio and MNCs and speculative capital in general. An absolutely reactionary development perspective, devastating the lives of vast masses of people and creating conditions of impending ecological disaster is imposed. In spite of all these, the imperialist system could not ward off the serious general crisis of finance capital now unfolding. Once again intensifying recession has gripped US and other imperialist countries. It is termed a worse crisis than the great depression of 1930s. In order to overcome it, the imperialist headquarters are hatching conspiracies for the only way left to resolve it: transferring the burden of this grave crisis to the working class in their own countries and to world people, especially to the people in the countries under neo-colonization in a much more brazen manner than presently taking place. It means more wars of aggressions, more occupations, more plunder of human and natural resources at global level, more monopolization and mergers intensifying the speculation regime, more pauperization of the vast majority of the masses, and more ecological destruction. This is leading to unprecedented intensification of the contradiction between imperialism and oppressed peoples and nations, contradiction between capital and labour, contradiction between capital and nature paving the way for intensification of the contradiction between imperialist system and socialist forces. It is throwing up the gravest ever challenge before proletarian revolutionary forces at global level. The only way out before them is to intensify efforts more than ever, utilizing the growing inter imperialist contradictions also, to throw out the imperialist system and its lackeys so that a socialist future can be created.
19.2 Marx and Engels analyzed the capitalist system as an international system of plunder and called for “Workers of the World, Unite” to overthrow it. As capitalist system reached its highest stage, the moribund stage, imperialism, colonizing the whole world, the Comintern called on the “Workers and Oppressed Peoples and Nations, Unite’ to overthrow the imperialist system. Thus the international character of this proletarian revolution was emphasized by the Marxist teachers right from the beginning. Presently under the neo-colonial phase in which imperialist globalization has brought the whole world under the capital-market system, the economies of all countries integrated more and more to imperialist system, the MNCs and various imperialist agencies have transcended plunder beyond the boundaries of countries, and as manufacture and trade has become more internationalized than ever, the international character of proletarian revolution has further increased. The Communist Party, as the vanguard of the proletariat is leading the PDR in India as an integral part of world proletarian socialist revolution. And as a contingent of the great army of the international proletariat, it is the responsibility of the Indian proletariat to dedicate itself to contribute as much as it can to fulfill the historic mission of emancipating the whole of mankind from the yoke of imperialism and its lackeys by carrying forward the primary task of national liberation and democratic revolution as fast as possible and marching forward to socialist revolution, upholding proletarian internationalism.
19.3 The international unity of the communist movement suffered a severe setback under the capitalist roaders in China who obliterated the contradiction between socialist forces and imperialism from among the four major contradictions in the world. They degenerated China also to capitalist path, to a social imperialist power. Mechanically following them many Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations also obliterated this contradiction, and proletarian internationalism was side lined. The influence of this erroneous tendency is still prevalent among many revolutionary forces. It should be struggled against and defeated.
19.4 After the severe setback suffered by the ICM, once again the anti-imperialist movement is gaining strength all over the world. The Iraqi and Afghan peoples have intensified their resistance war against the US occupiers, which is facing the threat of another ignominious withdrawal. In Palestine the resistance against. US-Israel axis is growing. In Latin America more countries are joining the anti-imperialist front against US. In Nepal, putting an end to the two and half centuries old monarchy is a significant development. Against US-led aggressions, against the attacks on working class rights, etc. many struggles are reported from the imperialist countries, especially after the latest crisis of the finance capital. Even in Africa the imperialist manoeuvres are rebuffed in many countries. All these movements call for International support and solidarity actions.
19.5 These solidarity movements can be developed only if a platform of like-minded Marxist-Leninist parties and organisations at international level can be organised as their political ideological core. This will be an initial step towards reorganizing the Communist International. The founding of the International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organizations (ICOR) is an important step in that direction.. While intensifying the revolutionary struggle within the country, the Party should take initiative to strengthen ICOR and develop active co-operation among the ML parties drawing lessons from past experiences of the ICM. It will enthuse the revolutionary movement in the country and develop proletarian internationalist spirit among the revolutionary forces.
20.1 THE Path of Indian Revolution is put forward by our Party, as the above analysis shows, after the ICM has suffered severe setbacks. Though anti-imperialist resistance struggles, especially against US imperialism, is taking place around the world and though in some countries they have made significant advances, the strength of the Marxist-Leninist forces as a whole is still not considerable. In India, a very vast country with extreme diversities and unevenness, in spite of nine decades of Communist activities with a history of many historic struggles involving tens of millions of people, presently the strength of our Party, the only organization with a fairly large all India presence, is still not considerable. The challenge posed by right opportunist and ‘left’ sectarian trends is still very serious. Though Naxalbari uprising once again brought back PDR to the forefront of the revolutionary agenda, the Marxist-Leninist movement during the last four decades has not made any significant advances yet, capable of changing the course of history. The Path of Indian Revolution should be approached keeping these points in mind.
20.2. Though there are certain superficial unity among the organizations upholding Naxalbari Uprising, there are basic differences among them. In spite of superficial unanimity on questions like upholding Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, many of them approach the Marxist-Leninist world outlook more as a dogma, not as a living ideology, a guide to action. They repeat quotations but do not go into the essence of Marxist teachings recognizing the need to develop them according to concrete conditions of today when imperialism has unleashed a neo-colonial offensive. Instead of learning from the hitherto experience of the Communist movement, most of them are trying to mechanically apply them without a concrete study of the situation where it is applied. So, as far as the CPI-CPI(M) stream is concerned its path is reduced to a social democratic, parliamentary cretinist one, becoming part of ruling class politics. The path of those who insist that the stage of revolution is socialist, is out rightly reformist, serving as apologists of neo-colonialism. Contrary to these, whatever may be their claims and practice, a number of organizations ranging from CPI(ML) Liberation, to the anarchist leadership of CPI(Maoist), all of them in the name of upholding Mao Tsetung Thought and Naxalbari are advocating the path of ‘protracted people’s war’, under various interpretations. Starting from their ‘semi-colonial, semi-feudal’ understanding they proceed to a mechanical application of Chinese Path in Indian conditions.
20.3. Fighting against all these trends, which are separately and together become obstacles to the advance of Indian revolution, the CPI(ML) is putting forward the theoretical approach to neo-colonialism and the Path of Indian Revolution according to present concrete conditions.. It stresses that the building of a Bolshevik style communist party surrounded by class/mass organizations at all India level, an aggressive utilization of all forms of struggle to develop class struggle, and an advance towards the capture of political power starting from mass upsurges to mass uprisings and countrywide insurrections is possible only by developing the path of Indian revolution according to concrete conditions of neo-colonial phase of imperialist onslaught, assimilating the experience of all hitherto revolutionary struggles at international level and in our country.
20.4. This Path of Revolution is charted not as an A to Z of Indian revolution. It give emphasis on building the Party uniting all like-minded forces, on building class and mass organizations with countrywide influence, on developing countrywide campaigns, struggles, movements putting forward a revolutionary people’s alternative against the ruling class alternatives, on mobilizing and politicizing the working class as the leader of revolution, on developing agrarian revolutionary movement with land to the tiller slogan according to concrete conditions in different regions arousing the revolutionary section of the peasantry and on preliminary steps to build people’s resistance including armed resistance wherever possible against state oppression as part of creating conditions for countrywide uprising of the people leading to seizure of political power demolishing the ruling system. It also emphasizes on developing a revolutionary understanding on utilizing the parliamentary form of struggle without falling to either parliamentary cretinism, or boycottism, or to a passive or negative approach to it. It has desisted from charting the path of revolution providing the last word on the course to be followed till its completion. In its present form it is a guide for consolidating the existing forces and for developing people’s upsurges in the present phase. As and when the situation undergoes changes, based on these guidelines the path can be further developed and of course the struggle to be followed can be explained more sharply.
20.5. This Path of Revolution is charted as a guide to action for the present phase of democratic revolution. Analyzing the past practices and the ideological struggle developed based on them, it is stressing the course of practice to be developed in all spheres in the present phase with the perspective of people’s democracy and advancing towards socialist revolution. The CPI(ML) places this Path of Indian Revolution before the Communist Revolutionaries and the left masses for a serious discussion on it, and calls on them to join the efforts to pursue the Path charted in it so as to learn more from practice and to lead the proletarian revolution forward.
[Adopted by the All India Special Conference of the CPI(ML) held in November 2009]