HISTORIC DOCUMENTS – CHARU MAZUMDAR.
The Congress government has arrested one thousand communists during the last one month. Most of Central and Provincial leadership are in jail today. Gulzarilal Nanda has announced that he will not accept the verdict of the electorate (and he has not), and he has started telling absurd stories about guerrilla warfare. This offensive against democracy has begun because of the internal and international crisis of capitalism. The Indian government has gradually become the chief political partner in the expansion of American imperialism’s hegemony of the world. The main aim of American imperialism is to establish India as the chief reactionary base in South-East Asia.
The Indian bourgeoisie is unable to find any way to solve its internal crisis. The perennial food crisis, its ever increasing price level, are creating obstacles for the Five-Year Plan, and as a result of this, there is no other way for the Indian bourgeoisie to come out from this crisis excepting importing more and more Anglo-American imperialist capital. As a result of this dependence on imperialism, the internal crisis of capitalism is bound to increase day by day. The Indian bourgeoisie has not been able to find out any other way except killing democracy, faced with the instructions of American imperialism and its own internal crisis. There were imperialist instructions behind these arrests, since the American police chief ‘Macbright’ was in Delhi during the arrest of the communists, and the widespread arrests took place only after discussions with him. By killing democracy there can be no solution of this crisis, and the Indian bourgeoisie also will not be able to solve this crisis. The more the Government will be dependent on imperialism, the more it will fail to solve its internal crisis. With every passing day, the people’s discontent will increase, and with every passing day, the internal conflict of the bourgeoisie is bound to increase.
Imperialist capital demands the arrest of communists as a precondition before investing; so also it wants a temporary solution of the food problem. To solve this food crisis, some steps to stop trade and profiteering in food are necessary, and it is for this that control is necessary. In a country of backward economy like India, this control invariably faces Opposition from a large section. This conflict of the bourgeoisie is not mainly a conflict between monopoly capitalists and the national bourgeoisie. This conflict is mainly between the trading community and the monopoly industrialists. In a country of backward economy, trade in foodstuff and essential commodities is inevitable for the creation of capital, and control creates obstacles in the creation of this capital, and as a result of that, internal conflict takes the form of internal crisis. India is a vast country. It is not possible to rule the 450 million people of this country by following a policy of repression. It is not possible for any imperialist country to take such a big responsibility. American imperialism is writing in death pangs, in keeping its commitment to those countries of the world which it has assured of giving aid. Meanwhile, an industrial crisis has developed in America. It can be seen from President Johnson’s utterance itself that the number of unemployed is increasing in the country. According to the official statement, four million people are absolutely unemployed; 35 million people are semi-unemployed and in factories also semi-unemployment is continuing. So the Indian Government will fail to suppress the ever-increasing discontent of the people. This attack on democracy will inevitably transform the people’s discontent into struggles. Some indication of the shape of the protest movement of tomorrow is available from the language movement of Madras. So, the coming era is not merely an era of big struggles, but also an era of big victories. The Communist Party therefore will have to take the responsibility of leading the people’s revolutionary struggles in the coming era, and we shall be able to carry out the responsibility successfully only when we are able to build up the party organisation as a revolutionary organisation.
What is the main basis for building up a revolutionary organisation? Comrade Stalin has said: “The main basis for building up a revolutionary organization is the revolutionary cadre.” Who is a revolutionary cadre? A revolutionary cadre is he who can analyse the situation at his own initiative and can adopt policies according to that. He does not wait for anyone’s help.
Our Organisational Slogans -
1. Every party member must form at least one Activist Group of five. He will educate the cadres of this Activist Group in political education.
2. Every party member must see to it that no one from this group is exposed to the police.
3. There should be an underground place for meetings of every Activist Group. If necessary, shelters for keeping one or two underground will have to be arranged.
4. Every Activist Group must have a definite person for contacts.
5. A place should be arranged for hiding secret documents.
6. A member of the Activist Group should be made a member of the Party as soon as he becomes an expert in political education and work.
7. After he becomes a Party member, the Activist Group must not have any contact with him.
This organisational style should be firmly adhered to. This organisation itself will take up the responsibility of revolutionary organisation in the future.
What will be the Political Education?
The main basis of the Indian Revolution is agrarian revolution. So, the main-slogan of the political propaganda campaign will be–make the agrarian revolution successful. The extent to which we are able to propagate the programme of agrarian revolution among the workers and the petty-bourgeoisie and educate them in it, to that extent they will be educated in political education. Every Activist Group should discuss the class analysis among the peasantry, the propaganda of the programme of agrarian revolution.
LONG LIVE THE REVOLUTION
Make the People’s Democratic Revolution Successful by Fighting Against Revisionism (Second Document)
As revisionist thinking nestled in the Indian party for a long time, we could not build up a correct revolutionary party. Our primary task today is to build up a correct revolutionary party fighting uncompromisingly against this revisionist thinking.
(1) The first among revisionist thought is to regard ‘Krishak Sabha’ (peasants’ organisation) and trade unions as the only Party activity. Party comrades often confuse the work of peasants’ organisation and trade union with the political work of the Party. They do not realise that the political tasks of the Party cannot be carried out through the peasants’ organisation and trade union. But it should be remembered at the same time that the trade union and the peasants’ organisation are one of the many weapons for serving our purpose. On the other hand, to regard peasants’ organisation and trade union work as the only work of the Party, can only mean plunging the Party in the mire of economism. The proletarian revolution cannot be made successful without an uncompromising struggle against this economism. This is the lesson that com. Lenin has given us.
(2) Some comrades think and are still thinking today that our political task ends with the launching of a few movements on demands, and they regard a single victory through these movements as a political victory of the Party. Not only has that, these comrades sought to confine the responsibility of carrying out the political tasks of the Party within the limits of these movements only. But we, the true Marxists know that carrying out the Party’s political responsibility means that the final aim of all propaganda, all movements and all organisations of the Party is to establish firmly the political power of the proletariat. It should be remembered always that if the words “Seizure of Political Power” are left out, the Party no longer remains a revolutionary Party. Although it will remain a revolutionary Party in name then, it will be actually reduced to a reformist party of the bourgeoisie.
When speaking of seizure of political power, some mean the Centre. They think that with the gradual expansion of the limits of the movement, our only aim will be to capture power centrally. This thinking is not only wrong; this thinking destroys the correct revolutionary thinking within the party and reduces it to a reformist party. At the World Trade Union Congress in 1953, the well-tested and well-established Marxist leader of China, member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, asserted firmly that in the coming days the tactics and strategy of the unfinished revolution of Asia, Africa and Latin America will follow the footsteps of China. In other words, the strategy and tactics of these struggles will be area-wise seizure of power. It was not only that comrade and member of the Central Committee of the Chinese Party, but Com. Lenin also mentioned area-wise seizure of power in his writings. Above all, the working class in Russia gave a concrete proof of Lenin’s conclusion when they kept the town of Kronstad under seizure for three days. In the era of socialism, all the elements of area-wise seizure of power are present in our framework.
A burning instance of the fact that this is possible is the Naga rebellion. The main condition of this area-wise seizure of power is weapons in the hands of the revolutionary forces. To think of seizing power without arms, is nothing but an idle dream. Our Party has a very long history of struggles. We gave the leadership to the peasants’ and workers’ movements in the extensive countryside of North Bengal. Naturally, we shall have to examine and analyse the movements of the past and draw lessons from them and we shall have to move forward anew in the present revolutionary era.
Analysis of the concrete events and experiences of the Tebhaga Movement in 1946 and 1947
The participant peasants in this movement numbered about six million. It should be remembered that in the entire peasant movement this was a golden era. In the massiveness of the movement, in the intensity of emotions, in the expression of class hatred, this movement was the highest stage of class struggle. To help understand that stage, I am citing a few moving instances of that movement.
A day’s event:–
I was then living underground in the interest of the movement. I have personally witnessed the tide of the revolutionary movement. We have seen how a single little note made a man ten miles away come running like a mad man. On the other hand, we have also seen standing beside the husband, a newly wed young Muslim woman who was subjected to demoniac barbarous assault by the class enemy. I have heard the pathetic appeal of that unarmed husband–Comrade, can’t you take revenge? The very next moment, I have seen the intense hatred of the exploited against the exploiter; have seen that aweful spectacle of killing a living man in cold blood by twisting his throat.
Comrades, the above mentioned incidents demand from us some analysis.
Firstly, what was the historical reason as a result of which this massive form of that movement in those days could create intense hatred against the class enemy?
Secondly, what again were the causes which turned that vast movement into a failure?
First, it was the slogan of seizure of political power that created the massive form of that movement of those days, created the intense hatred against the class enemy. On the opposite side, it was this slogan that made the class enemy adopt his class role. It is the expression of this that we find in the barbaric rape of the young peasant woman and the beastly violent attack to smash the movement. On the other hand the peasants also did not hesitate to attack the class enemy. This raises the question: Why couldn’t power be seized even after this ? It couldn’t be seized for one reason only–it was because the fighting people of those days looked to the centre for arms; we then lost faith in the path indicated by Lenin. We hesitated in those days to accept that bold declaration of Lenin to carry forward the revolution by collecting arms locally and seizing power area-wise. As a result, the unarmed peasants could not stand up and resist in the face of arms. Even those who fought defying death had also to retreat finally. The lesson that has to be drawn from the mistakes of those days is that the responsibility of collecting arms lies with the local organisation, not with the centre. So the question of collecting arms will have to be put up before every Activist Group from now on. ‘Dao’, knives, sticks–all these are weapons, and with their help at opportune moments, firearms will have to be snatched. The events described above are manifestations of revisionist thinking in its theoretical aspect. Now, from the organisational point of view, those mistakes will have to be found out which were hurdles in the way of a correct leadership of the vast movements of those days, so that they may not find a nest afresh in the revolutionary Party. To smash all those mistakes in the Party, the Party will today first have to establish its leadership over the mass organisations. For, a review of the history of the party over a long period would reveal that as a result of the revisionist thinking of regarding leaders of trade unions and peasant organisations (krishak sabha) as the real representatives of the people, the party was reduced to a party of a few individuals. Because of this thinking, the party’s political activities became inert, and the proletariat also became deprived of a correct revolutionary leadership. All movements became confined within the bonds of movements on demands. As a result Party members became enthusiastic over a single victory and despondent over a single defeat. Secondly, as a result of overestimating the importance of this organisation, another type of localism is born. Comrades think that the Party will suffer a serious loss if any comrade is shifted from his area and they take this as a loss to personal leadership. From this localism another type of opportunism develops. Comrades think that their area is the most revolutionary; naturally nothing should be done here so that there is police persecution. Because of this viewpoint they do not analyse the political situation of the entire country. As a result, commandism develops and organisational and daily propaganda work suffers. As a result, when there is a call for a struggle, they assert that they will not do any small work and commit adventurism. Naturally the question arises–what are the methods which help to get out of these deviations? What are those Marxist directives which become essential tasks for building up a revolutionary party?
Firstly, all works of organisation of the future will have to be done as complementary to the Party. In other words, the mass organisations will have to be used as a part of serving one main purpose of the Party. For this reason, naturally, Party leadership will have to be established over the organisations.
Secondly, immediately from now the entire effort of the Party will have to be spent on recruiting newer and newer cadres and on forming countless Activist Groups consisting of them. It should be remembered that in the coming era of struggles, the masses will have to be educated through the illegal machinery. So every Party member from now on will have to be made habituated to illegal work. To get used to illegal work, it is an essential task for every Activist Group to paste illegal posters. It is only through this process that they will be able to act as the bold core in leading struggles in the era of struggles. Otherwise, the revolution will be reduced to a petty bourgeois idle dream.
Thirdly, it is through these active organisations that the Party will be able to establish its leadership over the mass organisations. So from now on we shall have to help the members of the Activist Groups so that they can fearlessly criticize the leaders of the mass organisations, and their work.
Fourthly, the work of the mass organisations will have to be discussed and decided upon in the Party before it is implemented in the mass organisations. It should be remembered here that the policies of the mass organisations have been wrongly practiced so long in the Party. To hold discussions on Party decisions is not called democratic centralism. This thinking is not in accordance with Marxism. And from all this thinking the conclusion has to be drawn that the Party’s programme will be adopted from below. But if it is adopted from the lower level, then the correct Marxist way is not implemented; in all these activities there inevitably is bourgeois deviations. The Marxist truth of democratic centralism is that the Party directive coming from higher leadership must be carried out. Because the Party’s highest leader is he who has firmly established himself as a Marxist through a long period of movements and theoretical debates. We have the right to criticise Party decisions; but once a decision has been taken, if any one criticizes it without implementing it, or obstructs work, or hesitates to implement it, he will be guilty of the serious offence of violating Party discipline.
As a result of having this idea of Party democracy as that of a debating society, the road for espionage inside the Party is thrown open. Naturally, the revolutionary leadership of the Party then becomes bankrupt and the working class is deprived of a correct revolutionary leadership. This petty-bourgeois sort of thinking inside the Party leads the Party on to the verge of destruction. And this is the manifestation of petty-bourgeois thinking inside the Party. Their comfortable living and attitude of undisciplined criticism reduces the Party to a mere debating society. This thinking becomes a hurdle in the path of building up a Party of the proletariat–strong as iron.
Fifthly, the undisciplined life of the petty-bourgeoisie draws them towards undisciplined criticism; that is, they do not want to criticize within the limits of the organisation. To get rid of this deviation, we should remain conscious of the Marxist viewpoint regarding criticism. The characteristics of Marxist criticism are: (1) Criticisms must be made within the Party organisation, that is, at the Party meeting. (2) The aim of criticism should be constructive. That is, the aim of criticism is to advance the party from the point of view of principles and organisation, and we must always be vigilant that there is no unprincipled criticism within the Party.
Come, comrades, in the present revolutionary era, let us complete the People’s Democratic Revolution by fighting uncompromisingly against revisionism.
LONG LIVE THE REVOLUTION
What is the Source of the Spontaneous Revolutionary Outburst in India (9th April, 1965 – Third Document)
Comrades, Two events occurred in the world in the era after the Second World War. As, on the one hand, the naked form of the defeat of the so called Fascist powers was exposed before the people, so also, on the other, the world socialist state system under the leadership of Comrade Stalin created confidence in the minds of the people. As a result, a spontaneous revolutionary outburst was witnessed throughout the entire world. Above all, the success of the Chinese revolution in 1949, without the war itself, brought about a new revolutionary high tide in the midst of this spontaneous outburst about which the Communist Party of India could never make a correct assessment. As a result the revolutionary change in the whole of Asia, Africa and Latin America brought about by this great revolution was never noticed by us. Hence, we failed to understand the significance of this bold revolutionary slogan, the clarion call of the 650 million revolutionary people–”See, we have on our own taken ourselves on to the path of socialism. No, even US. Imperialism failed to check the tremendous motion of our irresistible revolutionary current.”
But the fighting people did not make the mistake. That revolutionary spark spread to Vietnam, Cuba, and every country in the whole of Latin America.
The people of India responded to that call. We saw the expression of this in the spontaneous democratic revolution of 1949 which was dimmed by us in trying to confine it within the narrow bounds of socialist revolution. Not only that, there was an attempt to negate the significance of the entire Chinese Revolution by openly criticizing the source of this spontaneous movement, the great Chinese Revolution and its Great Leader Comrade Mao Tsetung. Above all, later on, it was as a consequence to the denial of this Chinese Revolution that the slogan was raised within the Party that the revolution will be achieved not through the Chinese path but only through a truly Indian path. And from here itself was born today’s revisionism. It was because of that left sectarianism of those days that we were unable to guide that movement along the correct path.
But, no, Comrades! The tide of that revolutionary movement of 1949 could not be exhausted, because no imperialism could wipe off the Chinese Revolution, the Red Flag of hope of the city of Peking.
We saw again that ebbing movement turning into a huge tide in 1951 during the Korean War. It is a full blossoming of this that we saw in spontaneous meetings, processions, in greeting the counter attack made unitedly by China and Korea. It was the objective form of this that we witnessed in the great victory of the Communist Party in the 1951 election.
And it was the fighting-form of this, that we saw in the spontaneous erection of barricades by the fighting masses in 1953-54.
We could not understand. But the bourgeoisie could understand, could recognize the form of the fighting masses, and could know its course. It realised that this great revolution could no longer be ignored, so to dupe the people it turned its face towards the socialist State, towards the great Chinese Revolution. That is why it participated in Panch Sheel, in the Bandung Conference.
Decadent imperialism also realised that it was not possible to carry on in the old method. So it took a new form, introduced a new method of exploitation by giving dollars as gift. Neo-colonialism began.
When imperialism and all the reactionaries of the world were grouping for a way out, to save themselves, the revisionist policy of the traitor Krushchov in 1956 made its appearance before them with a light of new hope. The reactionary government of India found a way to create illusion about Krushchov’s independent capitalist path. But the reactionary government knew that it was impractical, illusory. That is why the reactionary government of India’s bourgeoisie entered into a secret pact with the U.S. imperialism in 1958.
That is why in 1959 as it launched an attack on democracy, on the one hand, by suspending the constitution in Kerala, so also it started, on the other hand, slandering against the source of the spontaneous movement, the great Chinese People’s Republic. It provided shelter to Tibet’s imperialist agent, Dalai Lama. But when in spite of this the people spontaneously started along the path of struggle, the bourgeoisie without any delay shot dead 80 people. Thus the last possibility of peaceful transition to socialism ended.
But, no, Comrades, even then the people did not stand still before the governments might. The spontaneous strike of 1960 spread all over India on a massive scale, because the light of Chinese Revolution, the container of a force hundred times, thousand times stronger than this force, is showing them the way. That is why, comrades, even without the Communist Party, the people started on the path of struggle.
When the fighting people of this spontaneous struggle, being defeated with arms, were thinking of still harder struggle, the slogan of alternative government of 1962 could not create revolutionary enthusiasm in their minds. Because they wanted a reply to the question–What will happen if the Kerala episode is repeated in Bengal? We could not give a correct answer to this question. We could not put forward this correct and bold slogan at that time–In the event of the Kerala episode recurring in Bengal, it is armed struggle that would be the only way of overthrowing the government.
But the bourgeoisie did not make any mistake in noticing the image of the militant masses. That is why in 1962 the panic stricken Indian government attacked the source of the struggle of the fighting masses; it attacked the great Chinese Democracy. But two events occurred as a result of which the bourgeoisie itself dug its grave. First, because of the defeat of the armed forces of the bourgeoisie, the naked form of the weakness of this government became as clear as daylight before the fighting masses. The fighting masses found a new light of struggle. Secondly, because of the unilateral withdrawal of the Chinese troops from the Indian areas, the poisonous influence of perverted nationalism could not touch the peasants. The bourgeoisie became panic-stricken; it imprisoned the communists.
But it could not stop the spontaneous struggle. Work stopped in Bombay. The “Dum Dum Dawai” was started. To get out of this terrible situation, the bourgeoisie released the communists and tried to utilise their internal conflicts. But the notorious letter of Dange, the running dog of imperialism, spoiled their hope. A new revolutionary Party was formed, Krushchov fell from power, and world revisionism received a terrific blow. The pillar, by depending on which the bourgeoisie had started attacks against China, began to shake in Viet Nam. The bourgeoisie saw the danger and found themselves, with their back to the wall, unable to make any retreat. So it attacked imprisoned two thousand communists. But the fighting masses gave their verdict in Kerala, the government saw the outburst of spontaneous movement. It tore off the last mask of democracy.
But no, this spontaneous movement cannot be prevented even by imprisoning hundreds and thousands of communists and resorting to thousand ways of repression. Because the Chinese Revolution cannot be destroyed. No stormy wind can put off the light of that Revolution. The delirious bourgeoisie knows that, so it has started raving about its own weak spots. It is trembling, imagining an organisation being formed within the military. It has started seeing the ghost of Telengana.
Yes, Comrades, today we have to speak out courageously in a bold voice before the people that it is the area-wise seizure of power that is our path. We have to make the bourgeoisie tremble by striking hardest at its weakest spots. We have to speak out before the people in a bold voice–See, how poor, backward China, within sixteen years, has with the help of the socialist structure, made its economy strong and solid. On the other hand, we have to expose this traitorous government which has, within seventeen years, turned India into a playground of imperialist exploitation. It has converted the entire Indian people into a nation of beggars to the foreigners. Come, Comrades, let all toiling people unitedly prepare for armed struggle against this government under the leadership of the working class, on the basis of the programme of agrarian revolution. On the other hand, let us lay the foundation of the New People’s Democratic India by building liberated peasant areas through peasant revolts.
Let us together, shoulder-to-shoulder, roar:
Long live the unity of the workers, peasants and the toiling masses!
Long live the imminent armed struggle of India!
We shall have to carry on daily the struggle against revisionism, adopting the tactics of area-wise seizure of power. Certain revisionist ideas are firmly rooted inside the party. We shall have to carry on the struggle against them. We are discussing some questions here.
(1) The question that has assumed importance today in the struggle against revisionism is the complete support given by the Soviet leadership to the reactionary ruling class of India. They have announced that they will give India an aid of Rs. 600 crores during the Fourth Five Year Plan. The idea that Soviet aid is strengthening India’s Independence is extremely wrong. For, there is no class analysis behind this. We shall have to place clearly before the people our views against this support. If support is given to the government of India which is following the path of co-operation with imperialism, and feudalism, it is the reactionary class which is strengthened. So Soviet aid is not strengthening the democratic movement of India, but is increasing the strength of the reactionary forces in co-operation with US-led imperialism and the Soviet. It is the Soviet-US. Co-operation of modern revisionism that we are observing in India–a satanic association against the people’s liberation struggles in the future. We are seeing from our experience in India that the dominance of the big monopolists exists on the production of the big industries that have grown in the public sector with Soviet aid. So the State will not be able to control the power of the monopolist employers through public sector industries, it is the monopolist employers who are controlling the production of the public sector industries. Our experience is the same in both the cases of steel and petroleum.
(2) The question that has become important to us to-day is bourgeois nationalism. This nationalism is extremely narrow and it is narrow nationalism that is today the biggest weapon of the ruling class. This weapon they are using not only in the case of China, but also on any question like Pakistan, etc. By raising the slogan of national unity and other slogans, they want to preserve the exploitation of monopoly capital. We should remember that the sense of unity of India has arisen as a result of anti-imperialist movement. As the Indian Government is carrying on compromising with imperialism, that sense of unity is being struck at its root. There is only one aim at the root of the slogan of unity given by the present ruling class, and that is unity for the exploitation by monopoly capital. So this slogan of unity is reactionary and Marxists must oppose this slogan. The slogan–”Kashmir is an inalienable part of India”–is given by the ruling class in the interest of plundering. No Marxist can support this slogan. It is an essential duty of the Marxists to accept the right of self-determination by every nationality. On the questions of Kashmir, Nagas, etc., the Marxists should express their support in favour of the fighters. The consciousness of a new unity will come in the course of the very struggle against this government of India of imperialism, feudalism and big monopolists, and it is in the interest of the revolution that it will be necessary to keep India united then. That unity will be a firm unity. It is from this consciousness of nationality that there have been struggles in South India against the imposition of Hindi and 60 people have lost their lives in this year of ’65. So if the significance of this struggle is belittled, the working class will isolate itself from the struggles of the broader masses. It is in the interest of the working class that the efforts for development of these nationalities should be supported.
(3) “Establishing class analysis in the peasants’ movement”. At the present stage of the revolution the entire peasantry is the ally of the working class, and this peasantry is the biggest force of the People’s Democratic Revolution of India and it is by keeping this in mind, we shall have to march forward in the movement of the peasantry. But all peasants do not belong to the same class. There are mainly four classes among the peasants–rich, middle, poor and landless–and there is the rural artisan class. There are differences in their revolutionary consciousness and ability to work according to the conditions. So Marxists must always try to establish the leadership of the poor and landless peasants over the entire peasant movement. The mistake that is often made while analysing the class of the peasants is to determine it on the basis of the title deeds of land. This is a dangerous mistake. It has to be analysed on the basis of their earning and level of living. The peasant movement will become militant to the extent we establish the leadership of the poor and landless peasants over the entire peasant movement. It should be remembered that whatever fighting tactics is accepted on the basis of the support of the broad peasantry, it can never be in any sense adventurism.
It should be remembered that all these years, basing ourselves on the support of the non-peasantry we have looked for narrowness of the peasant movement, and whenever repression came we thought that there must have been some adventurism. It should be remembered that no movement of the peasants on basic demands will follow a peaceful path. For a class analysis of the peasant organisation and to establish the leadership of the poor and landless peasants, the peasantry should be told in clear terms that no fundamental problem of theirs can be solved with the help of any law of this reactionary government. But this does not mean that we shall not take advantage of any legal movement. The work of open peasant associations will mainly be to organise movements for gaining legal benefits and for legal changes. So among the peasant masses the most urgent and the main task of the party will be to form party groups and explain the programme of the agrarian revolution and the tactics of area-wise seizure of power. Through this programme, the poor and landless peasants will be established in the leadership of the peasant movement.
(4) From 1959, on every democratic movement of India, the government has been increasingly launching violent attacks. We have not given leadership to any active resistance movement against these violent attacks. We gave the call for passive resistance in the face of these attacks, like the mourning procession after the food movement, among such instances. We shall have to remember Comrade Mao Tsetung’s teaching–”Mere passive resistance against repression drives a wedge in the fighting unity of the masses and invariably leads to the path of surrender.” So, in the present era during any mass movement, active resistance movement will have to be organised. The programme of active resistance has become an absolute necessity before any mass movement. Without this programme, to organise any mass movement today means to plunge the masses in despondency. As a result of the passive resistance of 1959, it was not possible to organise any mass rally on the demand for food in Calcutta in the years 1960-61. This organisation of active resistance will arouse a new confidence in the minds of the masses and the tide of struggle will arise. What do we mean by active resistance? First, preservation of cadres. For this preservation of cadres, proper shelters and communication system are necessary. Secondly, teaching the common people the techniques of resistance, like lying down in the face of firings, or taking the help of some strong barrier, forming barricades, etc. Thirdly, efforts to avenge every attack with the help of groups of active cadres, which has been described by Comrade Mao Tsetung as “Tit for tat struggle.” At the initial stage, in proportion to their attacks, we shall be able to avenge a few attacks only. But if even a little success is gained in one case, extensive propaganda will create new enthusiasm among the masses. These active resistance struggles are possible in cities and in the countryside, everywhere. This truth has been tested in the Negro resistance movement of America.
(5) There is no clear-cut idea in the Party about the underground organisation. A secret organisation does not grow merely if a few leaders stay underground. On the contrary, these very leaders face the danger of getting isolated from the Party ranks. If party leaders go underground and work as leaders of open mass organisations, they will invariably get arrested. So the underground leadership will have to go forward with the work of building a secret Party. So, it is not a fact that the task of forming a secret Party is solely that of the underground leaders; every Party member should work for the secret organisation and through those new Party cadres the Party’s links with the masses will be established. Only then the underground leaders will be able to work as leaders. So in this era, the main call before the Party is–every Party member will have to form a Party Activist Group. These Activist Groups will have to be enthused with revolutionary politics. This task of forming Activist Groups will be the main task for all Party members of all fronts. How soon we can raise these activists to Party membership will depend on how many new activists these activists will be able to collect. Only then we can get a large number of Party cadres unknown to the police and all the difficulties of underground leaders in maintaining links with the party ranks will disappear. Some revisionist ideas among us, about political and organisational matters and mass organisations etc. have been pointed out here. Today Party members will have to think anew about every mass movement. In the style of our movement, in our organisational thinking, in other words in almost every sphere of our lives, revisionism has built its nest. As long as we cannot uproot it, the new revolutionary Party cannot be built; India’s revolutionary possibilities will be hindered. History will not forgive us.
There are some comrades who get scared at the mentioning of armed struggles, and go on seeing the spectre of adventurism. They think that the work of building a revolutionary party has ended with the very adoption of the programme in other words with the adoption of the programme that is the strategic documents at the Seventh Congress of the Party. Merely from some resolutions on movements adopted at the Party Congress, they arrived at the decision as if besides the present stage of revolution and the class composition, the tactics of the present era had also been decided at the Seventh Congress. From their words, it appears as if peaceful mass movement itself is the main tactics of struggle of the present era. Although they do not openly state Krushchov’s tactics of peaceful transition to socialism, what they want to say almost amounts to the same thing. They want to say that there is no possibility of revolution in India in the near future. So at present, we shall have to move along the peaceful path. In the era of world-wide struggle against revisionism, they cannot openly state the revisionist decisions. But they are abusing as adventurist and police spies anyone who is speaking of armed struggle. Yet, even if we leave out the mass movement of Kashmir, the government has killed at least 300 people during the last eight months, the numbers of prisoners have risen to several thousands and one after another, the States have been shaken by mass movements. What programmes are we placing before these agitators? Nothing! On the other hand we are dreaming–under our leadership organised peaceful mass movements will grow up. This itself is a shameless instance of revisionism. We are still unable to realize that in the present era we cannot build up peaceful mass movements. For, the ruling class will not give us and is not giving us either, such an opportunity. We should have drawn this very lesson from the tram fare resistance movement. But we are not taking that lesson. We have become anxious to organise satyagraha movements, we are not realizing that in the present era this satyagraha movement is bound to fail. It does not mean that satyagraha movements are altogether outmoded today. All types of movements have to be carried on at all ages; but the form of the main movement depends on the ruling class. The present feature of our age is that the government is fighting every movement by violent attacks. So for the people, the armed resistance movement has appeared as the most important necessity. So in the interest of mass movements, the call should be given to the working class, the fighting peasantry and every fighting people: (1) Take to arms; (2) Form armed units for confrontation; (3) Politically educate every armed unit. Not to give this call means pushing without any consideration the unarmed masses to death. The ruling class wants that, for in this way they can break the strength of mind of the fighting masses. The agitated masses today attack railway stations, police stations, etc. Innumerable agitations are bursting forth upon government buildings, or on buses, trams and trains.
This is like that Luddites’ agitation against machines. The revolutionaries will have to give conscious leadership; strike against the hated bureaucrats, against police employees, against military officers; the people should be taught–repression is not done by police stations, but by the officers in charge of police stations; attacks are not directed by government buildings or transport, but by the men of the government’s repressive machinery, and against these men that our attacks are directed.
The working class and the revolutionary masses should be taught that they should not attack merely for the sake of attacking, but should finish the person whom they attack. For, if they attack only, the reactionary machinery will take revenge. But if they annihilate, everyone of the government’s repressive machinery will be panic-stricken. We should remember that the teaching of Com. Mao. Mao Tsetung’s: “The enemy’s armoury is our armoury.” To build up that armoury the working class should take the lead. It should give leadership to the peasantry in the villages, and those very armed units will be transformed into guerilla forces in the future. If these armed units also are trained in political education, they themselves can build base areas for struggles in the countryside. Only through this method we can make successful the People’s Democratic Revolution. By forming these fighting units among the working class and the revolutionary classes, we will be able to build up that revolutionary Party, the Party which can stand firmly on revolutionary Marxism-Leninism and can carry out the responsibility of the coming age. The government is failing to supply food to the people, so the people have become agitated. So it is in the interest of the reactionary bourgeoisie of India that India has attacked Pakistan. The US imperialist plan of the world war is also operating behind this war. By attacking Pakistan, the ruling class again wants to create a tide of bourgeois nationalism. But this time it is clear like daylight that India alone is the aggressor. So, as a result of the defeat of the Indian army, the anti-government struggle will fast crystallize among the masses. So Marxists want today that the aggressive Indian army should be defeated. This defeat will create new mass agitations. Not merely wishing that they should be defeated; Marxists at the same time should make efforts so that this defeat becomes imminent. In every province of India agitations should be created on the lines the mass agitation in Kashmir is progressing. The ruling class of India is trying to solve its crisis by imperialist tactics. To resolve the imperialist war we should advance along the path determined by Lenin. “Turn the imperialist war into a civil war”–we should understand the significance of this slogan. If we can realise the truth that the Indian revolution will invariably take the form of civil war, the tactic of area-wise seizure of power can be the only tactic. The tactic of seizure of power of China is the only tactics. The tactic which was adopted by China’s Great Leader Com. Mao Tsetung–the same tactic should be adopted by the Indian Marxists.
From this year’s experience the peasants have seen that the government did not take any responsibility of providing food to the poor peasant, but on the contrary the repressive machinery of the government was unleashed the moment the peasant masses took to the path of any movement. Over and above this, by attacking Pakistan, more burdens were imposed upon the peasants. So the poor peasants should get prepared for next year. If they are deprived of the crops in the field, they will have to die of starvation next year. So prepare yourselves now. How can the struggle to preserve the crops be conducted? (1) Organise armed forces in every village. (2) Make arrangements so that these forces can collect as much arms as they can and fix secret places to keep the arms. (3) Fix places for hiding the crops. In our past days we did not make any permanent arrangement for hiding the crops. So most of the crops were either destroyed or fell in the hands of the enemy. So permanent arrangements should be made to keep the crops hidden. Where can they be hidden? In every country of the world, wherever the peasant fights, crops have to be hidden. For the peasant, the only place to hide the crops can be under the earth itself. In every area, every peasant will have to make a place to hide the crops under the earth. Otherwise by no means the crops can be saved from the enemy. (4) Besides armed units, small bands of peasants should be formed to keep guard, and maintain communications and other work. (5) Every unit will have to be given political education and political propaganda should certainly be carried on. It should be remembered that it is only the political propaganda campaign that can make this struggle more wide-spread and strengthen the fighting spirit of the peasant. Two to three months are now left for harvesting. Within this period the Party units in the peasant areas should carry on political and organisational preparations to continue this work, and should attain good grasp of the tactics of secret work.
The Main Task Today is the Struggle to Build up the True Revolutionary Party through Uncompromising Struggle against Revisionism (12.8.1966 – 6th Doc)
The Party leaders after long imprisonment, after the Party Congress, for the first time had a session of the full Central Committee. The central leadership of the party which was formed through struggles against revisionism, adopted an ideological resolution and declared bluntly that all the criticisms made against the Indian government by the great Chinese Party were wrong. At the same time they have stated in the resolution that criticism of Soviet revisionist leadership should not be made public now, as otherwise the people’s faith in socialism will decrease. That is, the mask must not be torn off the attempt that is being made by the Soviet revisionist leadership in collaboration with the U.S. imperialism to establish world hegemony.
The leader of the Great Chinese Revolution, the Communist Party of China, and its leader Com. Mao Tsetung, are leading today the proletariat and revolutionary struggles of the world. After Lenin, Comrade Mao Tsetung has today filled Lenin’s position. So the struggle against revisionism cannot be carried out by opposing the Chinese Party and Com. Mao Tsetung. The purity of Marxism-Leninism cannot be maintained. By opposing the Chinese Party, the Indian Party leadership has forsaken the revolutionary path of Marxism-Leninism. They are trying to pass off revisionism by putting it into a new bottle. So Party members should understand this clearly today that in the struggle against revisionism, this Party leadership is not at all our comrade-in-arms, not even an associate.
Soviet revisionist leadership in collaboration with the US imperialism is today trying for world hegemony. They are acting as enemies of every national liberation movement today. They are trying to establish the revisionist leadership by splitting the revolutionary parties and are shamelessly acing as agents of the US imperialism. They are today the enemies of the people’s liberation struggles in every country, enemies of the revolutionary struggles, enemies of revolutionary China, even the enemies of the Soviet people. So no struggles against American imperialism can be made without carrying out an open struggle against this Soviet revisionist leadership. It is impossible to lead the anti-imperialist struggle if it is not realized that the Soviet revisionist leadership is not a partner in the anti-imperialist struggle. The party leadership, far from following this path is rather trying to convince the people through different writings that the Soviet leadership, inspite of a few mistakes, is basically opposing the policies of the Indian government, and is still moving along the path of socialism. That is, they are trying to conceal in a cunning manner the fact that the Soviet leadership is transforming the Soviet Socialist State into a capitalist state gradually and that the Soviet-American collaboration itself is because of that.
So, in the political and organisational analysis of India during the last two years, there has been no mention of imperialist, particularly American imperialist interference, although from Johnson to Humphrey, all the representatives of US imperialism have repeatedly declared that they will use India as a base against China. Such an important question did not come to the notice of the Central Committee at all. So in the political and organisational resolution, no word of caution has been uttered for party members against the imperialist counter-offensive. On the contrary, after reading the entire resolution it appears that there has been no particular change in the situation; that in some cases rigours have increased and they can be fought through ordinary movements. The Party leadership is absolutely silent about the new feature in the struggles during the last two years–the expression of revolutionary violence against counter-revolutionary violence–this new emerging trend of mass movements. They posed the questions of mass movement in such a way that the simple conclusion that follows from it is that our main aim during the coming elections will be to establish a non-congress democratic government. In no part of their resolution it was mentioned that this election was being held to hide the exploitation and indirect rule by imperialism. The reactionary government of India through this election wants to spread constitutional illusion and behind that, under imperialist instructions wants to build up our country as a counter-revolutionary base of South East Asia, and wants to stem the resistance of the people by violent attacks on the revolutionary sections of the masses. The experience of Indonesia has taught us how violent today dying imperialism can become. It was the responsibility of the Party leadership to prepare the Party members to face this situation and to hold up clearly that the only way was revolutionary violence and to organise the entire Party on that basis. The leadership of the Indian Party not only did not do this work, but it has also made any talk about revolutionary resistance illegal within the party.
The party leadership is raising the hue and cry of adventurism whenever it hears about “revolutionary resistance” or “armed struggle” But at the same time they indiscriminately use the words “dehoarding of stocks,” “gherao,” “continuous stride,” etc. But whenever there is any talk about resisting the repression that invariably follows these struggling tactics, they regard it as adventurism. The slogan of “State-wide continuous strike” is nothing else but a petty-bourgeois like ultra-Leftist slogan. On the one hand this ultra-Leftist slogan and on the other, in regard to the political question, a desperate desire to forge unity in the electoral field which means acting as an appendage of the bourgeoisie.
So this Party leadership is refusing to take the responsibility of the democratic revolution of India and as a result of that they are resorting to the cunning tactics of modern revisionism, that is, the path of being revolutionaries in words and an appendage of the bourgeoisie in deeds. So the revolutionary party can come up only through the destruction of the present party system and its democratic framework. So to abide by the so called ‘form’ or “constitutional frame work” of this party, means to render Marxist-Leninists ineffective and to co-operate with the revisionist leadership.
So from the party leadership to the ordinary workers, all those who believe in Marxism-Leninism, must come forward before the party members with the revolutionary views of Marxism-Leninism. Only then we can start work on building the revolutionary Party. The Indian government has been forced to retreat in the face of the India-wide mass outburst. As a result, the scope of democratic movement has increased in the period preceding the elections. The government is organising the counter-revolutionary forces in this period. The revolutionary forces also will have to take full advantage of this apparently democratic atmosphere. The fighting tactics adopted by the masses during the recent mass movements, were nothing but “partisan” struggles of an initial stage. So the revolutionary forces must lead in an organised manner those “partisan” struggles and before the massive counter-revolutionary offensive starts, Party members must be well-trained in the tactics of these struggles through theories and concrete application.
The meaning of the Party Activist Groups today is that they will be “combat units”. Their main duty will be political propaganda campaign and to strike against counter-revolutionary forces. We should always keep in mind Mao Tsetung’s teaching–”Attacks are not for the sake of attacking merely, attacks are for annihilating only”. Those who should be attacked are mainly: (1) the representatives of the state machinery like police, military officers; (2) the hated bureaucracy; (3) class enemies. The aim of these attacks should also be the collection of arms. In the present age these attacks can be launched everywhere, in cities and in the countryside. Our special attention should be paid especially to peasant areas.
In the post-election period, when the counter revolutionary offensive will assume a massive character, our main base will have to be established in the peasant areas. So immediately now, we shall have to clearly put up before our organisation this view that with the development of sense of responsibility among working class and revolutionary petti-bourgeois cadres, they will have to go to the villages immediately. So with the development of the sense of responsibility among the working class and petty bourgeois cadres, they will have to be sent to the villages. In the period of counter-revolutionary offensive, our main tactics of struggle will be that of Great China, the tactics of encircling the cities with villages. How fast we can silence the counter-revolutionary offensive depends on how soon we can build up the people’s armed forces. It is true that in the beginning, we can achieve some success, but in the face of massive counter-revolutionary offensive, we shall have to retaliate in the interest of self-preservation alone. Through this long-drawn difficult struggle, the People’s Revolutionary Army will grow up–the army which is inspired by political consciousness, and made firm through political campaign movements and encounters. Without this type of an army, it is not possible to make the revolution successful, it is not possible to protect the interests of the masses.
Comrades, instead of running behind spontaneous movements, partisan struggles will have to be developed in an organised manner today. Not even six months are left. If we cannot begin this struggle within this period, we shall have to confront the difficult task of organising in the face of imperialist attacks.
Communist Party of India, Maoist Centre
During the last two years, the spontaneous struggles of the petty-bourgeois youths and students have created a stir from one end of India to another. Although at the beginning the demand for food was the main demand, but gradually the demand for ousting the Congress government has become main. Chairman Mao has said: “The petty bourgeois students and youth are a part of the people and at the inevitable conclusion of their struggle, the struggle of the workers and peasants will reach a high tide.” So hardly had the struggle of the students and youth ended, the peasants’ struggle has begun in Bihar. Hundreds of peasants are harvesting and carrying away the crops. They are seizing the hoarded stocks of crops of landlords. This struggle is bound to spread in the coming days to West Bengal and other states. The government is resorting to violent repression to supress the agitating peasants. Chairman Mao has said: “Where there is oppression there is bound to be resistance against it.” So we are witnessing spontaneous resistance in the struggles of the students and youth. The peasants of Bihar are carrying on resistance spontaneously. The official spokesmen are repeatedly declaring that they would resort to further repressive policies to preserve peace and order. So the responsibility of consciously building up resistance struggles has come up before the revolutionary working class and its Party.
This era is the era of active resistance movement. Active resistance movement will open up the source of the revolutionary genius of the revolutionary masses. It will spread the tide of revolution all over India. So in this age, to lead legal trade union or peasant association movement can never be the main task before the revolutionary cadres. Trade union or peasant association (Kisan Sabha) movement cannot be the main supplementary force in the present age of revolutionary tide. It would not be correct to draw from this the conclusion that trade unions or peasant associations have become outmoded. For trade unions and kisan sabhas are basically organisations to build up unity between Marxist-Leninist cadres and working class and peasant masses. This unity will be consolidated only when Marxist-Leninst cadres move forward in the work of building up the revolutionary party among the working class and peasant masses with the tactics of revolutionary resistance movement. The revolutionary working class and Marxist-Leninist cadres will have to go forward in the face of peasant struggles to give active leadership to the peasants’ struggles through resistance or “partisan” struggles. The reactionary government of India has adopted the tactics of killing the masses; they are killing them through starvation, with bullets. Chairman Mao has said: “This is their class character. They launch attacks on the people even at the risk of being defeated.” There are some leaders who faced with these indiscriminate murders, get scared and seek protection. Chairman Mao has said about them: “They are cowards and unworthy of revolutionary leadership.” There is another group of people who boldly face death. They try to avenge every murder–they alone are revolutionaries and it is they who can show the masses the path.
Apparently the government might look powerful, because it has in its hands food and arms. The people do not have food; they are unarmed. But it is the unity and firm spirit of these unarmed masses that smash all the arrogance of reaction and make the revolution successful. So Chairman Mao has said: “The reactionary force is actually a paper tiger.” In the present era, our main task will be on the basis of three main slogans.
First, unity of workers and peasants. This unity does not mean that the workers and petty-bourgeois masses will give only moral support to the peasant movement. This slogan means the realization that the peasants are the main force of the revolution in a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country like India, the unity of peasants and workers can grow only on the basis of class struggle. So on the question of seizure of state power, Chairman Mao has said: “It is the liberated area in the countryside which is the concrete application of workers-peasants unity.” So it is the responsibility of the workers, and particularly of the petty-bourgeois masses to develop peasant movement for building liberated areas. So Chairman Mao has told petty-bourgeois students and youth about movement: “Whether they are revolutionaries can be determined only by how much they become participants of this movement.” Those who will not participate in this movement have the danger of becoming reactionaries.
Secondly, the revolutionary resistance movement, armed struggle. The reactionary government of India has declared war against every struggles for democratic demands of the masses. Inside India, it has created a playground for imperialist and feudal exploitation, and in its foreign policy it has turned India into a base of reaction in collaboration with imperialism and modern revisionists. The people of India have become rebellious against this intolerable situation. In this situation, the revolutionary resistance movement or armed partisan struggle of the revolutionary Marxist-Leninist Party against reaction and the passive resistance movement of the revisionist party, have today become the main part of the Party’s politics. So every Party member and revolutionary cadre will have to grasp this tactic of struggle. They should learn to practice it and temper the revolutionary spirit of the masses through propaganda among the masses. The success of the struggle is depending on how far we can popularise the politics of armed struggle through propaganda of it among the masses.
Thirdly, the building up of a revolutionary Party. In this revolutionary situation in India today, our Party organisation is not capable of giving leadership. Without being firm in theory, clear in politics and without a mass base in respect of organisation, it is impossible to give leadership in this revolutionary age of today.
(1) On the theoretical question –It should be remembered that the Party leadership of the world’s first socialist state, the Soviet Union, has been captured by a revisionist clique. As a result, revisionist influence has fallen on the Communist Parties of different countries of the world. In our country also as this revisionist influence was felt, the need for forming a separate Party was felt. And as a result of that, a separate Party was formed at the 7th Congress. The formation of a separate Party does not mean that the fight against revisionism has ended. Revisionism speaks of fighting against imperialism, feudalism and the reactionary force, but in deeds it widens the path of collaboration with these forces. Marxism-Leninism firmly opposes these forces, avenges their every attack, and mobilizing the masses through long-drawn struggle alone destroys these reactionary forces. The old ideas become manifest in (i) not accepting the leadership of the great Chinese Party against international revisionists; (ii) in not accepting the new developing forces; (iii) in not making the working class conscious of this new realization; (iv) in not aiding the struggle of the peasantry, which is the main ally of the working class.
(2) Political:–The People’s Democratic Revolution will have to be seen as the task of this moment. Chairman Mao has said, “No dying force gives up its power easily: freedom comes out only from the barrel of a gun.” So in our politics the main part will be armed struggle for seizure of power. The common people have started this armed struggle spontaneously. The main aim of our politics will be to establish consciously this armed struggle on mass base. The basic three points are, (i) Worker-peasant unity under the leadership of the working class. (ii) Consciously establishing armed struggle on mass base, and (iii) firmly establish the leadership of the Communist Party. It is imperative not to leave aside any of these three tasks. This politics will have to be propagated extensively among the masses.
(3) Organisational:-The mass base of the Party will have to be extended. We have seen during the last few years, thousands of militant cadres come to join the work of the organisation during different movements and struggles, try to give leadership to the struggles, but the moment the movement stops, they again become inactive. Today, in the age of the revolutionary upsurge, people of many backward areas are coming forward on the road of struggles, and it is through those struggles that many young militant cadres are joining the work of the organisation. If we can educate these cadres in our revolutionary theory and politics, the Party can get its mass base. We shall have to begin working boldly on collecting these cadres and on forming secret groups with them. These cadre-groups will carry on political propaganda and will act as units of armed struggle. The striking power of the Party depends on how far we are able to form these groups in increasing numbers among workers and peasants. With whom we are forming the groups and organisational details, like shelter, dumps, etc., should certainly be kept secret. But our theories, politics and the slogan of Party formation must never be kept secret. In the age of armed struggle, every Party unit must be participants in the armed struggle and be a self-reliant leader. The general elections are coming. During these elections the discontented people desire to and will listen to politics. Before the elections, every party will try to propagate their politics among the masses. We shall have to take advantage of these elections to propagate our politics. Let us not be confused by the false slogan of non-congress democratic government. We shall have to take to the masses courageously the politics of our People’s Democratic Revolution, that is, the politics of worker-peasant unity under working class leadership, of armed struggle, of establishing the leadership of the Party. If we fully take advantage of this it will not be possible for any leftist leader to oppose us. We shall have to take full advantage of this opportunity
In the post-election period our apprehensions are being proved correct by the actions of the party (CPI-M) leadership itself. The Polit Bureau has directed us to “carry on the struggle to defend the non-Congress ministries against reaction”. This suggests that the main task of Marxists is not to intensify the class struggle, but to plead on behalf of the Cabinet. So a convention of party members was convened to firmly establish economism within the working class. Immediately thereafter, an agreement for a truce in industry was signed at the Cabinet’s initiative. Workers were asked not to resort to gheraos. What could be a more naked expression of class collaboration? After giving the employers full right to exploit, the workers are being asked not to wage any struggle. Immediately after the Communist Party joined the Government that was installed as a result of a mighty mass movement, the path of class collaboration was chosen. The Chinese leaders predicted long ago that those who had remained neutral in the international debate would very soon take to the path of opportunism. Now, the Chinese leaders are saying that these advocates of a neutral stand are in reality revisionists and they would soon cross over to the reactionary camp. In our country we are experiencing how true this prediction is. We have witnessed the betrayal of the working class. To this is to be added the announcement of the Communist Party leader, Harekrishna Konar. In the beginning he promised that all vested lands would be distributed among the landless peasants. Then the quantity of land to be distributed was slashed. In the end he informed that the existing arrangement would be left undisturbed this year. Remission of land revenue was left to the mercy of junior land reforms officers (JLROs). The peasants were shown the path of submitting petitions. They were further told that forcible seizure of land would not be permitted. Harekrishna Babu is not only a member of the Communist Party’s Central Committee; he is also the Secretary of the Krishak Sabha in West Bengal. It was in response to the call of the Krishak Sabha led by him that the peasants had waged a struggle for recovery of vested and benami land in 1959. In the interest of landowners the Government had resorted to repression and had given decisions in favour of eviction, yet the peasants had not given up possession of land in many-cases and had stuck on to the land on the strength of village unity. Did the Krishak Sabha leader support their movement after becoming a Minister? No. The meaning of what he said was that vested land would be re-distributed. Who will get it? On this point the JLROs would seek the Krishak Sabha’s views. But would such views be accepted? No such assurance has been given by Harekrishna Babu. But if the JLROs reject the Krishak Sabha’s views, the peasants would under no circumstances be permitted to occupy land forcibly. Harekrishna Babu lost no time in making himself clear on this point. What is this? Is it not acting like a bill-collector of the government and jodetars? Even Congressmen would not have dared plead on behalf of the feudal classes so unashamedly. Therefore, obeying the instructions of the party leaders would mean blindly accepting the feudal classes’ exploitation and rule. So the responsibility of the Communists is to expose the anti-class and reactionary role of this leadership to Party members and the people, to hold on to the principle of intensifying class struggle and march ahead. Suppose the landless and poor peasants accept Harekrishna Babu’s proposal and submit petitions. What will happen then? Some of the vested lands are no doubt fallow, but most of it is cultivable land. There are peasants in possession of such lands. Today, they are enjoying the land by virtue of licenses. Or, they are giving a share to jotedars. When that land is redistributed, it will inevitably result in frictions among poor and landless peasants. Taking advantage of this, rich peasants will establish their leadership over the entire peasant movement, because as the rich peasant has opportunities for canvassing, so also he is a partner of feudal influence. Therefore, Harekrishna Babu is not only trying to forsake the path of struggle today, but he is also taking steps so that the peasant struggle may not become militant in future also.
Yet we have adopted the programme of a people’s democratic revolution and the task of that revolution is to carry out land reforms in the interest of the peasants. Land reform in the peasant’s interest is possible only when we are able to put an end to the sway of feudal classes over the rural areas. To do this, we shall have to seize land from the feudal classes and distribute it among the landless and poor peasants. We shall never be able to do this if our movement is confined to the limits of economism. In every area where there has been a movement for vested land it is our experience that the peasant who has got possession of vested land and secured the license is no longer active in the peasant movement. What is the reason? It is because the poor peasant’s class has changed within a year–he has turned into a middle peasant. So, the economic demands of poor and landless peasants are no more his demands. Therefore, economism causes a breach in the unity of fighting peasants and makes the landless and poor peasants frustrated. Advocates of economism judge every movement by the quantity of paddy in maunds or of land in bighas that the peasant gets. Whether the peasant’s fighting consciousness has increased or not, is never their yardstick. So they do not make any effort to raise the peasant’s class consciousness. Yet we know that no struggle can be waged without making sacrifices. Chairman Mao has taught us that where there is struggle, there is sacrifice. At the initial stage of the struggle the strength of reaction must be greater than the strength of the masses. Therefore, the struggle will be protracted. Since the masses are the progressive force, their strength will increase day after day but as the reactionary forces are moribund, their strength will decline steadily. So, no revolutionary struggle can be successful unless the masses are roused to make sacrifices. From this basic revolutionary outlook, economism leads on to the blind alley of bourgeois outlook. This is what the party leaders are trying to achieve through their activities. A review of all our past peasant struggles will show that the Party leaders have imposed compromises on the peasants from above. Yet it was the responsibility of Party leadership to establish the fighting leadership of the working class over the peasant movement. They did not do this before, they are not doing it even now. Now they are suggesting reliance on laws and the bureaucracy. Lenin has said that even if some progressive legislation is enacted but bureaucracy is given the charge of implementing it, the peasants will get nothing. So, our leaders have gone a long distance off the revolutionary path.
Agrarian revolution is the task of this very moment; this task cannot be left undone, and without doing this, nothing good can be done for the peasants. But before carrying out agrarian revolution, destruction of State power is necessary. Striving for agrarian revolution without destruction of State power means outright revisionism. So, destruction of State power is today the first and principal task of peasant movement. If this cannot be done on a country-wide, State-wide basis, will the peasants wait silently? No, Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought has taught us that if in any area the peasants can be roused politically, then we must go ahead with the task of destroying State power in that area. This is what is known as peasants’ liberated area. The struggle for building up this liberated area is the most urgent task of the peasant movement today, a task of this moment. What shall we call a liberated area? We shall call that peasant area liberated from which we have been able to overthrow the class enemies. For building up this liberated area we need the armed force of the peasants. When we speak of the armed force we have in mind the arms made by the peasants. So also we want arms. Whether the peasants have come forward to collect awns or not is the basis on which we shall judge whether they have been politically roused. Wherefrom shall the peasants get guns ? The class enemies have guns and they live in the village. Guns have to be taken forcibly from them. They will not hand over their arms to us voluntarily. Therefore, we shall have to seize guns forcibly from them. For this, peasant militants will have to be taught all tactics, right from setting fire to the houses of class enemies. Besides, we shall secure guns from the armed forces of the Government by attacking them all on a sudden. The area in which we are able to organise this gun-collection campaign shall quickly be transformed into a liberated area. So, for carrying out this task it is necessary to propagate extensively among the peasants the politics of building up armed struggle. It is, moreover, necessary to organise small and secret militant groups for conducting the gun-collection campaign. Simultaneously with propagating the politics of armed struggle, members of these groups will try to successfully implement specific programme of gun-collection. Mere collection of arms does not alter the character o f struggle–the guns collected have to be used. Only then will the creative ability of the peasants develop and the struggle will undergo a qualitative change. This can be done only by poor and landless peasants, the firm ally of the working class. The middle peasant is also an ally, but his fighting consciousness is not as intense as that of poor and landless peasants. So he cannot be a participant in the struggle right at the beginning–he needs some time. That is why class analysis is an essential task for the Communist Party. The great leader of China, Chairman Mao Tsetung had, therefore, taken up this task first and was able to point out infallibly the path of revolutionary struggle. So the first point of our organisational work is establishing the leadership of poor and landless peasants in the peasant movements. It is in the process of organising peasant movement on the basis of the politics of armed struggle that the leadership of the poor and landless peasants will be established. Because, of the peasant classes, they are the most revolutionary. A separate organisation of agricultural labourers will not help this task. Rather, a separate organisation of agricultural labourers encourages the trend towards trade union movement based on economism and intensifies conflicts among peasants. The unity of the allied classes is not strengthened, because in our agricultural system the exploitation of feudal classes is foremost. Another question that comes up in this very context is that of compromise with small owners. What shall be the Communists’ outlook in this regard? In regard to compromises we shall have to consider whom do we support. So, we cannot support any other class as against them. In the peasant movement (in India) the Communists have always been compelled to give up the interests of poor and landless peasants in the interest of the petty-bourgeoisie. This weakens the fighting determination of the poor and landless peasants. In regard to middle and rich peasants also we should have different stand. If we look upon rich peasants as middle peasants, the poor and landless peasants will be frustrated. Again, if we look upon middle peasants as rich peasants, the fighting enthusiasm of the middle peasants will diminish. So, the Communists must learn to make class analysis of peasants in every area in accordance with Chairman Mao’s instructions.
Again and again the unrest among the peasants of India has burst forth. They have repeatedly sought guidance from the Communist Party. We have not told them that the politics of armed struggle and the gun-collection campaign constitute the only path. This path is the path of the working class, the path of liberation, the path of establishing a society free from exploitation. In every State throughout India the peasants are today in a state of unrest, the Communists must show them the path. That path is the politics of armed struggle and the gun-collection campaign. We must firmly uphold this one and only path of liberation. The great cultural revolution of China has declared a war on all kinds of selfishness, group mentality, revisionism, tailism of the bourgeoisie, eulogy of bourgeois ideology–the blazing impact of that revolution has reached India also. The call of that revolution is–”Be prepared to resolutely make all kinds of sacrifices, remove the obstacles along the path one by one, victory shall be ours.” However terrible the appearance of imperialism, however ugly the snare laid by revisionism, the days of the reactionary forces are numbered, and the bright sunrays of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung thought shall wipe off all darkness.
So the question naturally arises: Is there no need for peasants’ mass struggle on partial demands in this era? Certainly the need is there and will be there in future also. Because India is a vast country and the peasants are also divided into many classes, so political consciousness cannot be at the same level in all areas and among all the classes. So there will always be the opportunity for and possibility of peasants’ mass movement on the basis of partial demands and the Communists will always have to make full use of that opportunity. What tactics shall we adopt in conducting movements for partial demands and what shall be their objective? The basic point of our tactics is whether the broad peasant class has rallied or not, and our basic objective shall be the raising of the class consciousness of the peasants–whether they have advanced along the path of broad based armed struggle. Movements based on partial demands shall intensify class struggle. The political consciousness of the broad masses shall be raised. The broad peasant masses shall be roused in making sacrifices, the struggle shall spread to newer areas. The movements for partial demands may take any form but the Communists shall always propagate the necessity of higher forms of struggle among the peasant masses. Under no circumstances shall the Communists try to pass the type of struggle acceptable to the peasants as the best. In reality the Communists shall always carry on propaganda among peasants in favour of revolutionary politics, i.e., the politics of armed struggle and gun-collection campaign. Despite this propaganda, the peasants will possibly decide to go on mass deputations and we shall have to conduct that movement. In times of white terror the effectiveness of such mass deputation must in no way be underestimated, because these mass deputations will increasingly draw peasants into the struggle. Movements on partial demands are never to be condemned but it is a crime to conduct these movements in the manner of economism. It is a crime, moreover, to preach that movements on economic demands will automatically take the form of political struggle, because this is worshipping spontaneity. Such movements can show the path to the masses, help them to develop the clarity of outlook, inspire in making sacrifices. At every stage of struggle there is only one task. Unless that task is done, the struggle will not reach the higher stage. In this era that particular task is the politics of armed struggle and the gun-collection campaign. Whatever we may do without carrying out this task, the struggle will not be raised to the higher stage. The struggle will collapse, the organisation will collapse, the organisation will not grow. Similarly, there is only one path of India’s revolution, the path shown by Lenin–building up the people’s armed forces and the republic. Lenin had said in 1905 that these two tasks must be carried out wherever possible, even if these were not feasible in regard to the whole of Russia. Chairman Mao has enriched this path shown by Lenin. He has taught the tactics of people’s war and China has attained liberation along this path. Today that path is being followed in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaya, Philipines, Burma, Indonesia, Yemen, Leopoldville, Congo, in different countries of Africa and Latin America. That path has also been adopted in India, the path of building the people’s armed forces and the rule of the liberation front which is being followed in Naga, Mizo and Kashmir areas. So the working class will have to be called upon and told that it must lead India’s democratic revolution and the working class will have to carry out this task by providing leadership to the struggle of its most firm ally, the peasantry. So, it is the responsibility of the working class to organise the peasant movement and raise it to the stage of armed struggle. The vanguard of the working class will have to go to the villages to participate in armed struggle. This is the main task of the working class “Collect arms and build up bases of armed struggle in rural areas”–this is called the politics of the working class, the politics of seizure of power. We shall have to rouse the working class on the basis of this politics. Organise all the workers in trade unions–this slogan does not raise the political consciousness of the working class. This does not certainly mean that we shall not organise any more trade unions. This means that we shall all not get the Party’s revolutionary workers bogged in trade union activities–it would be their task to carry on political propaganda among the working class, i.e., to propagate the politics of armed struggle and gun-collection campaign, and build up Party organisation. Among the petty-bourgeoisie also our main task is political propaganda and propagation of the significance of peasant struggle. That is to say, on every front the responsibility of the Party is to explain the importance of peasant struggle and call for participation in that struggle. To the extent we carry out this task, we shall reach the stage of conscious leadership in the democratic revolution. Opposition to this basic Marxist-Leninist path of the Party is coming not only from revisionists. The revisionists are taking the path of class-collaboration straightaway, so it is revolution; the bourgeois parties had come to power and there was power in the hands of workers’, peasants’ and soldiers’ soviets also. Because of the existence of this dual power, leadership of the working class became effective and only when in these soviets the petty-bourgeois parties handed over power to the bourgeoisie did it become possible for the working class to accomplish the October revolution.
They do not analyse the objective conditions of India. They do not take lessons from the struggles that are being waged in India. The main cause of success of the Russian revolution was the correct application of the tactics of the united front. The question of united front tactics is equally important in India too. But the tactics of India’s democratic revolution will be different in form. In India also, in Naga, Mizo, Kashmir and other areas, struggles are being waged under petty-bourgeois leadership. In the democratic revolution, therefore, the working class will have to march forward by forming a united front with them. Struggles will break out in many other new areas under the leadership of bourgeois or petty-bourgeois parties. The working class will also enter into alliances with them and the main basis of this alliance will be anti-imperialist struggle and the right to self-determination. The working class necessarily admits this right, together with the right to secession.
Although those who dream of revolution in India along the path of October revolution are revolutionaries, they are not capable of providing a bold leadership because of their doctrinaire outlook. They do not realize the significance of peasant struggles and thus unconsciously become propagandists of economism within the working class. They are unable to assimilate the experiences of the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America. A section of them becomes disciples of Che Guevara and fails to emphasise the task of organising the peasantry, main force of India’s democratic revolution. Consequently, they inevitably become victims of Left deviation. So we shall have to pay special attention to them and help them gradually educate themselves. Under no circumstances should we be intolerant in regard to them. Besides, there is amongst us a group of revolutionary comrades who accept the Chinese Party and the Thought of the great Mao Tsetung and also accept that as the only path. But they view the book ‘How to be a good Communist’ as the only road to self-cultivation and are consequently led into a serious deviation. The only Marxist road to self-cultivation taught by Lenin and Chairman Mao is the path of class struggle. Only through tempering in the fire of class struggle can a Communist become pure gold. Class struggle is the real school of Communists and the experience of class struggle has to be verified in the light of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought and lessons have to be taken. So the main point of Party education is application of the teachings of Marxism-Leninism in class struggle, arriving at general principles on the basis of that experience and taking back to the people the principles summed up from experience. This is what is called ‘from the people to the people’. This is the basic point of Party education. These revolutionary comrades are unable to realise this fundamental truth of Party education. As a result they commit idealist deviations in regard to Party education. Chairman Mao Tsetung has taught us that there cannot be any education apart from practice. In his words, ‘doing is learning’. Self-cultivation is possible only in the process of changing the existing conditions through revolutionary practice.
Revolutionaries of the world unite!
Long live the revolutionary unity of workers and peasants!
Long live Chairman Mao Tsetung!