Tuesday, July 13, 2010

C.P.I. (Maoist)-an assement

Harsh Thakor

[The view presented in this article does not reflect the view of this blog. There are so many debates on the theoretical line of Indian revolution. This article revisits some and opens few.] 

Today, the C.P.I. (Maoist) is carrying out a major movement in the areas of Jharkhand, Bihar and Dandkaraya. Without doubt they have committed serious errors and have serious theoretical flaws, but any Maoist critique must applaud their effort. To have created such bastions of revolutionary struggle in Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Dandkaranya is an achievement of historical proportions. In Lalgarh they made great efforts to enhance the movement. Base areas have yet to be created but with great tenacity they have defended their guerilla zones. The fact that they have heroically resisted the enemy forces f or a period of 30 years and form a Central Peoples Guerilla army to become the strongest Maoist party in the World when no Socialist Country in the World exists and when the forces of globalization are acting as tentacles is one of the greatest achievements in the annals of the world Communist Movement.

The merger of the Maoist Communist Centre of India with the Peoples War group was s a remarkable event as Earlier the erstwhile C.P.I.M.L (Peoples War) and Erstwhile C.P.I. (M.L) Party Unity (Before and after they united in 1998) insisted that the 1969 Charu Mazumdar C P.I.M.L. was the re-organised party and not just a revolutionary organization. Now both the Charu Mazumdar C.P.I. (M.L) and the Maoist Communist Centre are recognized as the 2 original revolutionary parties... The most outstanding work of the Maoists has been in Chhattisgarh where they have been able to create alternative democratic Organs..In Lalgarh they merged with the masses like fish in water literally swimming with the tide. Above all they are now working with an All-India perspective spreading all over like wildfire.


Earlier Some historic meetings and rallies took place of mass fronts led by such forces like the rally of the 1992 and 1994 rallies of the All-India Peoples Resistance Forum ,the 2000 conference of the A.I.P.R.F., The All-India Revolutionary Student Federation conferences In 1985,1989,1993 ad 1997,as well as the 1985 and 1990 conferences of the Andhra Pradesh Rytu Coolie Sanghams.(Peasants organization)Almost 4 lakh peasants assembled for the Rytu Coolie Sangham conferences and on the day it looked like a red flame burning all over the place. The ‘Go to-Village campaigns of the Andhra Pradesh Radical Students Union will also have a permanent place in history where students integrated with the revolutionary peasant struggles for the first time..The author will never forget the 1994 A.I.P.R.F.rally in Calcutta where the gathering of the road masses looked like a tornado appearing and the 1997 All-India Seminar in Mumbai on the sham of 50 years of independence. I t dealt with all aspects from Democratic Rights to anti Imperialist, to revolutionary Peasant Struggles, Working Class Struggles and Nationality Struggles. What was also unforgettable was their All-India campaign against state repression in Andhra,Bihar and Dandkaranya in 1999,mainly in Bihar and Punjab. They covered area after area like a river flowing and literally lighting a torch against state repression. In earlier phase in Andhra Pradesh(erstwhile Peoples War group) it brilliantly braved the State forces inspite of intensive repression in Andhra Pradesh in 1985 and 1991.A powerful Students and peasants Movement was built and the mass organizations heroically survived working underground in conditions of repression. A series of conferences were staged by fronts combating severe repression. The erstwhile Party Unity group built revolutionary mass movements in a huge range of spheres from Democratic Rights,to land distribution, minimum wages, struggle for fishing rights , International issues, protests against Communalism. Etc.which spread from in Jehanabad and Palamau to other areas like Bhagalpur Gaya,etc.Inspite ofa ban on the their peasant organization, Mazdur Kisan Sangram Samiti, the organization resurrected itself to work under the banner of the Mazdur Kisan Sangrami Parishad.

The Maoist Communist centre survived for 35 years against the onslaught of the Indian State with phenomenal tenacity in Bihar and Jharkhand conducting a series of military actions comparable to the intensity of that of the Chinese Communist Party and forming revolutionary peasant committees..It did remarkable work in building the Nari Mukti Sangh-a classical Revolutionary women’s Front It’s final merger into the C.P.I(Maoist) is a historical achievement.

Defective mass revolutionary approach and military line.


Several Inter-Group Clashes occurred in the early and mid-1990’sbetween the People`s War Group and other groups like the Chandra Pulla Reddy Group, where the masses were reduced to helpless spectators. Armed Squads combated members from other groups struggling to maintain their bases! This was an incorrect approach to the question of mass line and political struggle. One Group always feared the entry of another group in their area of work..Later the same trend was reflected in clashes between the M.C.C and the erstwhile Party Unity Groups in Bihar. The The major hurdle of historical importance in the revolutionary movement was the period of armed Group clashes between the squads of the Maoist Communist Centre with the Party Unity Group from the mid 1990-s. Group members attacked and killed each other. It showed the wrong understanding towards mass revolutionary line in certain aspects. This had a damaging effect on the revolutionary movement.It reduced the masses to helpless spectators. Peoples War Group maintained that cadres from other groups were killed on entirely tactical grounds and they were not clashes in their statements and documents’

At the conclusion of the decade of the 1990’s 3 important leaders of the People’s war Group were slain in a police encounter. A massive anti-repression programme took place in Andhra Pradesh in December 1999.Such Comrades were truly the best sons of the land heroically laying down their lives for liberation. Various communist Revolutionary Groups belonging to various groups participated...The People`s War Group launched retaliatory Actions to give a severe blow to the Indian State. After the armed Actions the People`s War Group made a self-critical assesment stating"Even when there were ample opportunities to educate and involve the People,our cadres only resorted to protest actions.These are incorrect actions. Because of non-participation of people in such actions,the outcome of such actions, is contrary to the impact we wanted"Thus this group was not aware that such armed actions of Party Guerilla Squads, by themselves cannot succeed in their basis and ultimate objective of defeating the reactionary State.Infact the people have to own such actions and voluntarily participate in them with revolutionary political Consciousness and confidence in their own organized strength.Even in the post encounter Joint Protests the leading rank of the People`s War Group remained pre-occupied with either the representative team protests or armed retaliatory actions.-thus their organized attempts for militant mass attempts for militant mass political mobilisations remained Sparse. True the C.P.I.Maoist has mass support in major areas in Bihar, Jharkhand and Dandakaranya , has guerilla zone s in some respects similar to those of the Chinese Revolutionary period during their armed struggle and have carried out magnificient retaliatory actions in self defence against enemies-t(particularly in Chattisgarh by the P.G.A.) and been the only revolutionary Organization to have ever seriously attempted protracted Peoples Warfare in recent times. However their pockets of revolutionary resistance are dictated by their Armed squads. Even if they partially integrate with mass movements armed squads often are used to give shelter to mass organizations and replace peoples independent actions. They are losing more and more cadre day by day and are unable to consistently replace the fighting forces lost..In West Bengal,Jharkhand and Chattisharh retaliatory actions took place in retaliation of torture and killing of mass sympathizers and cadres, like the blowing up of a police jeep or landmining and killing innocent people .In revolutionary struggle ethics is an important question and revolutionary violence does not justify the killing of innocent people. The C.P.I.(Maoist)have eliminated may people suspected of being police informers who could have been innocent on grounds of their safety.In the authors view this is violation of revolutionary ethics.

Base areas and Guerilla Zones

 It must be noted that nowhere in Andhra Pradesh,Dandkaranya,Jharhand or Bihar has any struggle been developed even half as strong as the Telengana armed struggle.. Quoting the eminent intellectual and critique of Naxalite Movement Sumanta Banerjee ‘It should be pointed out however that despite their survival for almost four decades, the Naxalites do not yet control any large area comparable to the `liberated zone' that the Chinese Communists could establish in Yenan within a decade or so in the 1930-40 period. They have not been able to reach out to the masses of the peasantry in the vast countryside of other parts of India, and have expanded only to a few isolated pockets and stretches of areas inhabited mainly by tribal and landless poor. Closeted in their rural underground shelters, the Naxalite leaders have ignored the task of setting up bases among the large number of workers both in the organized industrial and the unorganized sectors. They have also failed to build up a regular army like the Chinese People's Liberation Army, or the Vietnamese military organization – that helped both the Chinese and the Vietnamese to effectively fight their enemies.. The failure to establish a `liberated zone' has frustrated their original strategy of setting up an alternative order to bring about agrarian and social reforms. Instead, all their energies are now devoted to defensive actions to preserve their pockets of influence, and offensive assaults which are degenerating into acts of terrorism against soft targets like village headmen or junior government employees.’ In the author’s view the military line has shades of Che Guevera’s focoist tendency.. Historically there is a difference between revolutionary base areas and guerilla zones. Quoting Mao’s writings on military line, “When guerilla Warfare began, the guerillas could not completely occupy the places, but could only make frequent raids, they are areas which are held by the guerilla forces when they are present and the by the puppet regime when they are gone. Thus they are not guerilla bases but zones. These zones can be converted into bases by consolidating guerilla warfare and after large portions of enemy troops have been annihilated, and the puppet regime destroyed.The mass organizations also formed as well as people’s local armed forces. The extent to which the enemy is destroyed is the vital factor.” The C.P.I. (Maoist). in implementation of line often confused the difference between forming a guerilla zone and a base area. Today the trend is similar. In their zones they retaliate and defend their areas through their guerilla squad actions and are not able to replenish their losses. They do not have sufficient support of the broad masses. There is insufficient development of mass agrarian revolutionary struggle and revolutionary democratic movement. A maoist mass military line has not been built.For many a action there is lack of adequate preparation of agrarian revolutionary Movement. What was defective was the nature of squad actions not properly evaluating the co-relation of the enemy with the masses..Over-emphasis has been placed on armed struggle without combining effective mass struggles. To a considerable extent the military actions reflect anarchist tendencies and have not adhered to a the maoist mass military line Today it’s all India Front the Revolutionary Democratic Front can hardly function openly like the A.I.P.R.F could earlier. t has been dealt a severe blow In states like Orissa and West Bengal, and is for all moral purposes banned in states of armed Movements. Unable to withstand the counter-onslaught of the state the mass organizations of such groups were virtually crushed and forced to function underground. Now mass struggle is completely substituted by armed Struggle. They have not created the level of preparation for armed struggle which was done In the Telengana Armed Struggle of 1946-1951 where work was initiated in the AndhraMahasabha ,or in the 1924-1927 period in China where Peasant associations were formed and a base was built for mass agrarian revolutionary Movement., or even the preparation period for he launching of armed struggles in Phillipines or Peru I the periods of 1959-1968 a 1968-1980 respectively. A lthough M.C.C built a classically Red Defence corpses, there was hardly adequate development of agrarian revolutionary Movement in many areas to launch all-out struggle against the State.Infact it almost totally neglected open mass work and did not even form a mass based peasant organization. Similarly although Andhra Pradesh had a strong peasant Movement in the late 1970’s often even in the stage before armed Struggle was officially launched in 1980,acts of “Individual annihilation of the class enemy's were initiated. Slogans were raised by the student Organization not compatible with the mass consciousness.”The Party Unity group ‘”in Bihar although forming huge open fronts like the M.K.S.P or Bharat Naujavan Sabha were unable to devise a correct policy in attaching armed wings to peasant fronts. Today the Peoples Guerilla Army has been formed, without the development of base areas or developed Agrarian Revolution. Even in the period of launching armed struggle the C.P.C. gave attention to the building of mass Movements.

Theoretical Weaknesses

On the trade Union Front the C.P.I.(Maoist) has not been able to form democratically functioning trade Unions and often has ended up giving political slogans of revolutionary Armed Struggle not compatible with the political capacity of broad sections of the Working Class.The Working class was not fully explained the link between their interests and the agrarian revolutionary movement but slogans glorifying heroes of Armed squads are raised by the Peoples War Group. The relationship of the movements in the towns with the major cities is like a bark of a tree with its branches. There are strong tendencies of forming mass organizations as front organizations. Only when the major section of a mass organization accepts the politics of the revolutionary party can mass organizations function as front organisations.Although such sections have formed mass organizations there are still tendencies of confusing the mass organizations with the Party. Historically, the ideology of MaoTse Tung thought was introduced in manifestos of mass organisations, which was an erroneous tendency.This was true of organizations like Radical Students Union and All-India League for Revolutionary Culture.Although on the practical plane they lead a powerful mass democratic movement there is still not enough democratization as needed in a mass movement within a mass organization. Mass organisations were used as party platforms. Mao always stressed on separating the role of the mass organisations with the Party .He always stressed that The Chinese Communist Party had to be differentiated from the Youth league and the Peasants Associations. True major rallies have been led containing sympathizers but this is not necessarily mean that the mass line is being carried out..

They have also wrongly replaced the term ‘Maoism’ with ‘Mao Tse Tung Thought.’This is wrong understanding of the present era which is actually the era of ‘Leninism.’Even after the Chinese revolution it was called the “thought of Mao Tse Tung” and not ‘Maoism. Replacing Mao Tes Tung Thought with Maoism means replacing the era of Imperialism or Leninism .To the author this does not make a difference to the practical work but has an implication to the theoretical era.It is significant that C.P.I(Maoist) adopts the thesis that it is the era of the “total collapse of Imperialism”which was adopted by the Charu Mazumdar CPI(M.L) 40 years ago.The C.C.P,always mantained that it was the era of Leninism and Imperialism . A very important question is that of the International Line. and approach towards the formation of a Communist International.....Today the organization still maintains relations with the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, which is defective. The R.I.M.is virtually defunct because it made hasty arrangements for he formation of a new Communist International where the proletarian revolutionary development was most inadequate worldwide .

There is also an erroneous understanding with regards to the Dalit or scheduled caste movements. The Organization has not applied a correct class analytical study and often replaced class struggle with Caste Struggle.Dalit Parties which collaborate with Ruling Class politics have been supported like he Dalit Panther and Republican Party of India. The Dalit Mahasabha has been supported in Andhra Pradesh. Even In Bihar in the agrarian revolutionary movement there has been a strong tendency to support Ruling class Dalit Organisations.Killings have taken place often on caste line instead of implementing class struggle.)It is significant that even in earlier periods the organization (that time Peoples War Group) supported the 1989 Chinese Student Movement as well as the movements in East European Countries toppling the Revisionist Regimes in Eastern Europe in 1989 ,not taking into account the petit bourgeois nature of the agitations ,virtually devoid of proletarian content. Similarly they have supported nationality struggles devoid of proletarian content like the J.K.L.F.in Kashmir,L.T.T.E.in Sri Lanka, the U.L.F.A in Assam Etc.True they have correctly defended the right of nationalities to secede but have not analyzed that the nationality struggles are led by petit-bourgeois ideology . The C.P.I.Maoist regards itself as the re-organised Communist Party and that after the merger of C.P.I.M.L (Peoples War Group. with the Maoist Communist Centre the Proletarian party was formed.This is also wrong as there are other genuine groups in in the revolutionary camp.They ignore the groups from the Chandra Pulla Reddy or Nagi Reddy Line. Another erroneous tendency is accepting Election ‘boycott’ as a strategic slogan and rejecting participation in election throughout the revolutionary Course.Even Comrades Lenin and Mao asserted that in certain situations participation in parliamentary elections could be tactically deployed.There has also been a trend in areas to impose the slogan of ‘Boycott the Election’, instead of stressing on ‘building the revolutionary organs of Peoples Power.”

Final Complement

One of the greatest tributes to the C.P.I. (Maoist)is the courage which they are displaying in openly projecting their struggles, line and policies in journals like Peoples March and on blogs on the internet. They have made an International stamp. ‘Peoples March’ has heroically combated the repression of the State and even come back after facing a ban. Such an open journal of serious revolutionary organization was unheard in the previous decades. It is not for nothing that they have won the hearts of people worldwide including intellectuals like Arundhati Roy or Amit Bhattacharya.A veteran comrade of the Naxalite Movement in India,Com Sunder Navalkar staunchly defends the organization, feeling it is the only serious revolutionary force in India implementing a mass line and defends their practice as being almost perfect. However she disagrees with the organization on the question of upholding ‘nationality struggles’,upholding “Maoism’ and lacking ‘urban’ work.(I have marked all these points earlier )Even Com.Suniti Kumar Gosh acknowledges that they have mass support.

Great efforts have made to rectify the past errors and a serious plan to start urban work with mass-line approach has been launched. In areas where they have faced severe repression they have even floated effective platforms for survival. If they could extricate themselves from their wrong trends it may not be a long time before the India New Democratic Revolution would emerge.The manner in which they have combated the state repression in different junctures through organizing people’s court or famine raids was remarkable as well as their protests in term of armed actions or mass protests. .The C.P.I. (Maoist) is burning a red flame in the annals of International Communist History.

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