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Interview with Comrade Ganapathy, the General Secretary of Communist Party of India (Maoist)

Posted by ajadhind on November 19, 2010



Recently some media persons including Rahul Pandita from OPEN Magazine sent some questions to Comrade Ganapathy, the General Secretary of CPI (Maoist). The martyrdom of Politburo member and party spokesperson Comrade Azad, the continuous losses to the Central leadership of the party, the issue of talks with the government, the deluge of militant mass movements in many areas, the situation of the revolutionary movement in the urban and plain areas, party stand on contemporary issues like Kashmir people’s movement, Commonwealth games, judgment on Babri Masjid are some of the issues on which Comrade Ganapathy concentrated and gave his replies. We hope this interview would be useful to know about party’s stand and understanding in the present situation.

– CC, CPI (Maoist)

Question : Many people think that your party had suffered a severe backlash with Azad’s death. What are the circumstances which led to his death? How would you assess the role played by Azad in Indian Revolution? How do you plan to overcome his loss?

COMRADE GANAPATHY : True, our party has suffered a severe backlash with the death of Comrade Azad. Azad was one of the topmost leaders in our party. He has been leading the Indian revolution since a long time. In our country, People’s War is intensifying with each passing day. With the aid and support of imperialists, particularly the American imperialists, the Indian exploiting ruling classes are trying to suppress the revolutionary movement and are carrying on ruthless atrocities in an unprecedented severe manner. In this war between the people and the ruling classes, the enemy had particularly concentrated on comrades like Azad who are leading the revolution and schemed to murder them. It is as part of that conspiracy that comrade Azad was caught and killed in the most brutal and cowardly manner. The Home minister Chidambaram, who is leading from the forefront the ‘War on People’ launched by Sonia-Manmohan-Chidambaram gang, central intelligence agencies and Andhra Pradesh SIB  are directly responsible for this gruesome murder.

Comrade Azad was leading the entire urban movement on behalf of our Central Committee and was also looking after political propaganda, party periodicals, party education and other such crucial responsibilities. He was a most reliable mass leader. He maintained close relations with many comrades at various levels and with the revolutionary masses. In the midst of severe repression, he worked selflessly and unflinchingly in spite of the many risks involved. It is under such circumstances that the enemy came to know about his whereabouts somewhere and could catch him by laying in wait.

In July, Azad was to go to Dandakaranya. He was to participate in the political education training program planned for the party leadership cadres there. He had a contact with the Dandakaranya comrades in Nagpur city on July 1. But he and a journalist named Hemchand who was traveling with him were caught even before they reached the contact place. Both of them were taken to Adilabad forests and were killed the same night. Those who have seen his dead body said that they seemed have given him some sedative injection as soon as they caught him. This means that the enemy had caught him in a planned manner with the clear aim of killing him. They killed Hemchand Pandey too so that the truth about his murder doesn’t come out. Both their bodies were thrown in the Jogapur forests in the Wankidi mandal of Adilabad district and a fake encounter story was concocted as always.

Entire people along with our Party condemned in one voice this fake encounter and comrade Azad’s murder. Many revolutionary parties, democratic and civil rights organizations had demanded judicial enquiry on this fake encounter. Intellectuals, journalists, writers and students from many states along with those in Andhra Pradesh had accused that the Central and state governments were responsible for Azad’s murder. Many wrote articles and gave statements. Thousands attended the funeral procession of comrade Azad which was held in Hyderabad on July 4th. Many Maoist parties from all over the world had condemned the murder of comrade Azad and written letters to our CC hailing his services to the Indian revolution. On this occasion, I send my revolutionary greetings and gratitude to all these organizations and individuals on behalf of our CC. It is such democratic and revolutionary consciousness which would help sustain people’s movements.

Azad was attracted to the revolutionary movement while he was studying in the Warangal Regional Engineering College in 1972. Azad who was exceptionally brilliant in his studies had played a dynamic role in the revolutionary movement too. He played a role in the formation of the Radical Students Union (RSU) in 1974. He was elected as the state president of RSU in 1978. He was one of the founders of the All India revolutionary student’s movement and guided it from its inception in 1985. He played a key role in conducting a seminar on Nationality Question in the then Madras city in 1981. Later he took up the responsibility of building the revolutionary movement in Karnataka and build up the Maoist party in Karnataka for the first time. He attracted many comrades like Saketh Rajan into the party. When opportunistic elements tried to split the party in 1985 and in 1991, comrade Azad had played a crucial role in keeping the party united and strong and in defeating their opportunist politics with a proletarian outlook. He worked tirelessly for twenty years as a CC member and Politburo member from 1990 till now. We cannot separate Azad’s life from the revolutionary movement’s history of the past forty years. Particularly, he played a key role in the ideological, political spheres, party education and running of periodicals and such. He fulfilled the responsibility of the party spokesperson since three years as ‘Azad’ in the most excellent and exemplary manner. He used his intellect and sharp pen outstandingly in fighting back the ‘War on People’ led by the Chidambaram gang. He stood as the voice of the people against the rulers and exploiters. In the development of the party’s political line, in the development of the party, people’s army and mass organizations, in extending the movement, in the emergence of new democratic power organs and in all the victories won, Azad’s ideological, political work and practice played a key role. Unflinching commitment in face of any odds and during the ebb and flow of the movement, great sacrificing nature, selflessness, simple living, indefatigable work for the revolution and for the interests of the people, astounding study, study of changing phenomena in the society from time to time, being with the people always are some of the great proletariat ideals established by Comrade Azad. Though he is no more, it is undeniable that he would serve as a revolutionary role model to every revolutionary and particularly to the youth, students and intellectuals.

It is true that it would be very difficult to fulfill the loss because comrade Azad’s life has been completely intertwined with the advancement of the revolutionary movement. He was a great revolutionary who was steeled in the ups and downs of the movement. Revolutionary movements give birth to leaders in this manner. In turn, these leaders lead the revolutionary movements down the path of victory. The sacrifice of many leaders is also inevitable in the revolutionary movement. The very conditions which give birth to the revolutionary movements and help its advancement would give birth to its leadership too. This has been proven repeatedly in the world revolutionary history. So the material conditions which are favorable for the rapid advancement of the revolutionary movement in our country today would give birth to thousands of leaders like comrade Azad. The ideological-political and practical work done by comrade Azad and the communist ideals he established have created the base for such an eventuality. The martyrdom of a Surapaneni Janardhan had placed an ideal in front of many comrades like Azad. Likewise many more revolutionaries would be born by taking the sacrifice of Azad as an ideal. They would lead the Indian revolution. The enemy could eliminate the physical presence of Azad but it would be impossible to stop the ideas he had spread in the party and among the people from turning into a material force.

In our history though we had lost important leaders many times and had faced many ups and downs, we had always stood up again and could advance the movement. We are still attracting educated cadres into our party from various parts of our country. We are confident that we would be able to fill the void created by Azad’s death by training them up well in practice. The ruling classes are ecstatic that they had broken the jar of knowledge by killing Azad. But those fools do not understand that thousands of Azads would be born from the land where that knowledge had been spilled. Azad had haunted the ruling classes with his political attacks when he was alive. Now even after his death he is haunting them. The ruling classes startle at the very mention of his name.

Before the death of Azad too, we had lost important leadership comrades in fake encounters and many more had been arrested. These losses are heavy too. But we would definitely overcome these losses and would definitely advance the revolutionary movement firmly.

Question : In the interview you gave to Jan Myrdal and Gautam Navlakha you said that your party was ready for talks with the government. In the letter written by your spokesperson Azad to Agnivesh, he said your party was ready for simultaneous ceasefire from both sides. Now that the government had killed Azad in a conspiratorial manner, do you think it is possible to hold talks? Are you still reiterating the stand taken before the death of Azad?

COMRADE GANAPATHY : In fact, you should put this question to Chidambaram and Manmohan Singh. For the past one and half year, comrades Azad, Kishenji and I have been stating our party’s stand regarding talks a number of times. The government has been hiding the endless brutal violence it had been perpetuating on the people and has been announcing each time that talks would be held only if Maoists abjure violence. Chidambaram has been repeatedly shouting these words from the roof top. Keeping in view the war declared on the people and the difficulties they are facing due to it, Azad had continued declaring till the end that our party would be ready for simultaneous cease fire if the government is ready for it. His intention was to lessen the travails of the people to any possible extent. He mentioned the same demand in the letter written to Swami Agnivesh. Chidambaram and Manmohan Singh had not only killed him in a conspiratorial manner but are shamelessly performing the same charade once again. The fact is that the government doesn’t feel any actual need for holding talks. If the peace wished by intellectuals, democrats and the people is to be established, then the most meaningless thing would be to demand that the counter-violence by people should be stopped while the government continues with its killing spree. When Chidambaram announced that Maoists should stop violence for 72 hours and Kishenji responded by giving a time of 72 days, Chidambaram’s answer was to target Kishenji and to intensify the attacks in order to kill him. Azad who had written the letter to Agnivesh was targeted and killed. As part of Operation Green Hunt nearly one lakh paramilitary forces and three lakh state forces have been deployed. Of these the major forces are Special Forces. Every day, every hour and every minute these forces are perpetuating countless atrocities on the people. They are targeting the people and democrats who are opposing this and putting them in jails under UAPA and other draconian laws of the states. Except for the reactionaries and their stooges in the media, nobody else is supporting this war on people in our country. Even if there are a few individuals who support it, it is not because they know the facts but because they innocently believe the false propaganda of the government. We feel that there is absolutely no conducive situation for holding talks now.

People like Agnivesh are asking us not to retreat from the dialogue process and to come forward for talks even after the cold-blooded murder of comrade Azad. We want to ask them if they would be able to stop such conspiracies and plots the government is hatching to kill our party leaders. Doubtless, comrade Azad was killed by the government in a conspiracy. The post-mortem and forensic reports too prove this beyond doubt. So we request all democrats, peace-loving intellectuals and human rights’ organizations to come forward with the firm demand that judicial enquiry should be conducted on Azad’s murder.

It is crystal clear that there is no conducive atmosphere for talks. In spite of this we request the people and democrats to demand the government to prove its commitment towards the process of talks by coming forward to implement the following steps.

1)  Stop Operation Green Hunt. Withdraw the paramilitary forces. If the government stops its offensive on the people, then the counter-offensive of the people would also stop. As many intellectuals are saying, if the offensive of the government doesn’t take place then there would be no need for the people to resist.

2)  Ours is a political party like many other parties in this country and the world. Our party has an ideological and military line and aim and correct, clear-cut policies on matters relating to culture, caste, gender, nationality, ecology etc. Even according to the laws formulated by these ruling classes, democratic rights would apply to our party. So the ban on our party should be lifted. Ban on our mass organizations should be lifted. Absolute democratic opportunities should be created for mass mobilization. Only in conditions where we could work democratically, we can come forward for talks.

3)  In Andhra Pradesh, comrade Riyaz who had participated in talks with the government in 2004 was caught and murdered after torturing him brutally. Others who participated in talks were targeted and attempts were made to assassinate them. Now comrade Azad who was working to facilitate the process of talks was murdered. So, it is not possible to believe the government and send underground comrades for talks. Therefore if the government releases our leadership comrades from jails, then they would directly represent our party in the talks.

So, you people should think about these three demands and place them before the government. We want to make it clear once again that any questions regarding talks should be put to the government first and not to us.

GK Pillai, Prakash Singh, Chidambaram and such likes are saying that we would come into line only if pressure is built up on us through intensification of fascist military offensive on our party and massacring the people. They are living in a fools’ paradise. Building pressure, creating illusions in the name of talks, deceiving and destroying the party – this is the strategy of the government. In fact, our party is fighting for peace too. They believe only in suppression and they are incompetent in facing us politically and ideologically. People are fighting under the leadership of our party with the lofty aim of establishing permanent peace by ending the exploitation, oppression, brutal suppression and violence in our country and in the whole human society. We see the issue of ‘talks’ and ‘peace’ as part of class struggle too. When class struggle intensifies, it would be in an armed form. In other circumstances it would be conducted in peaceful methods too. So it is completely false that our party would come for talks if pressure is built up.

And then, a false propaganda is being conducted through the media that there are differences in our party regarding talks and that they are mainly on the lines of erstwhile MCCI and erstwhile People’s War. This is hundred percent false. This is nothing but false propaganda by the enemy to create doubts in peoples’ minds about our party to carry on their aims. Our Unity Congress has taken a clear stand on the matter of talks. The struggle between correct ideas and wrong ideas is a continuous process in the party. We would solve our differences of opinion by abiding the principle of democratic centralism and in the light of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. This would only lead to the development of the party. We achieved great unity with the merger of the two parties. Now any discussions or conflict of ideas which takes place in the party would be in the form of ideological and political discussions in a united party and not in the form of differences between erstwhile MCCI and erstwhile CPI (ML) (People’s War). We categorically state that the differences would never ever take the form of conflicts before the merger.

Question : You are saying that the government has declared a war on the people. The government is saying that there is no war and that Operation Green Hunt is a figment of imagination of the media. It is very clear that coordinated attacks are carried on your party in all states. How is this offensive going on? How are you facing it and plan to face it?

COMRADE GANAPATHY : It is not just us who are saying that the government had declared a war on the people. All the people are saying so in one voice. All the people of the areas where this war is going on are saying so. All the democratic organizations, progressive forces and democrats of our country are saying very clearly that government is carrying a war on the people and are condemning it. The government is carrying on war on people and is blatantly lying that it is not the case. While Longkumer, Kalluri and Viswaranjan announce that the Operation Green Hunt is going on, on the other hand Chidambaram shamelessly declares that there is no such thing. It is increasingly getting exposed how terrible, how cruel fascist act this Green Hunt is and how dreadfully it is being carried on. In fact, in the various states where Maoist movement is present, nearly one lakh paramilitary forces are deployed. If we look at the number of police forces deployed in 9, 10 states against our movement it would be nearly three to four lakhs. What is the reason for deploying such a huge contingent of forces? What are these forces doing on a daily basis? Why are they increasing carpet security and construction of base camps, special training schools and jungle warfare schools? Why is the police budget of each state increased to such huge amounts and so rapidly? Why did the government release a package of thirteen and a half thousands of crores of rupees at once? Why huge sum of over one trillion rupees was allotted for internal security? Why are the central and state governments spending thousands of crores of rupees annually with the evil design of eliminating our movement? Why is the government carrying on mopping up campaigns in our strong areas like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, Maharashtra, North Andhra and North Telangana? Mopping up means destroying everything. Anybody can be killed, arrested, missed, raped and property, houses, harvest and everything can be destroyed. All this is nothing but fascist rule.

It is as part of this war that the enemy is concentrating on our leadership and killing them in the most brutal manner and putting them in jails by arresting them in an undemocratic and illegal manner. The government has chosen armed repression as the main form and carrying on this war. However, in support of this it is carrying on the offensive in all other spheres, i.e., political, ideological, psychological, cultural spheres in a multi-pronged attack.

That is why the people are consolidating themselves under our party leadership with a clear strategy, intensifying the people’s war and establishing a new political power, new economy and new culture as an alternative to the present rule of the exploiting classes. Under our party’s leadership our PLGA, our new power organs and people are fighting a life and death struggle against MoUs worth billions of rupees which the central and state governments had signed with MNCs and big comprador corporate houses in many states such as Odisha, Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh etc. That is why, people are saying that this callous government is lying when it says that this is not a war. People, democrats and revolutionary forces are strongly and unitedly opposing and equally strongly fighting back the war on people which the government is intensifying day by day. Democratic forces, anti-imperialist forces and revolutionary proletariat all over the world are also strongly opposing and protesting this war on the people waged by the ruling classes of our country.

I want to clearly state one thing here. This war on the people is a brutal war launched by the government to suppress our just movement. This is an unjust war politically. This war by the ruling classes is carried on with a clear political aim. This would permanently continue the exploitation and oppression of the people. The self-defence war waged by the people also has a clear political aim. We are fighting with the aim of establishing a new society by destroying the exploitive and oppressive system. These two aims are completely at the opposite poles. At present revolutionary war is being waged in our country. The rulers are waging counter-revolutionary war against this revolutionary war. Both of these are seriously confronting each other. They represent the interests of two completely opposite classes.

Firstly, we want to fight back this war politically. The political aim of our resistance war is very clear. Depending on how deeply the vast masses understand this, how much they consolidate themselves, how much they arm themselves, we will be able to end this war as soon as possible. We are striving hard for the same. That is why we are fighting the enemy in a multi-pronged manner in all spheres.

Question : Chidambaram and Manmohan Singh are repeatedly asking you to ‘abjure violence’. But the attacks of your people’s liberation guerilla army are continuing. Don’t you think this is making it difficult to arrive at a solution? In the background of your recent attacks at Tadimetla (Dantewada), Kongera (Narayanpur), Silda (West Bengal) and Lakhisarai (Jharkhand), some people are expressing their anxiety that you are responding only with military means. They are saying that this would facilitate the deployment of army and that it would lead to more violence and greater loss of lives of ordinary citizens and adivasis. What do you say?

COMRADE GANAPATHY : Our central leadership has clearly stated our stand many times on this issue. I will do so one more time. It is nothing but a big deception and charade by the government to ask the people to abjure violence while the state continues its violence. It is violating its own laws and is massacring the people. So it is very necessary that every democrat and any politically conscious person questions the government on this and demands that it stop the violence and war on the people. They should demand that it is the government which should abjure violence. When the government says that we are practicing violence, it is just like a thief shouting ‘thief, thief’. It is trying to divert attention from the real issue by doing so.

People whose consciousness has risen would not sit quiet and suffer these attacks carried on with the aim of looting their resources and to turn them into permanent slaves using the government mercenary armed forces. They would resist them by arming themselves. All the members of our people’s guerilla army are none other than masses who have armed themselves voluntarily. These masses who had been exploited and oppressed like slaves since generations have understood the laws of historical development of society and are fighting by arming themselves. Our party is repeatedly making this clear – there is only one way for the people to achieve their liberation and that is the armed way. It means arming themselves, forming themselves into an army and waging an armed struggle. When crores of people of our country increase their political consciousness and build up a vast, strong army and when this army fights effectively, it would be possible to put an end to this exploitative rule. The soon this happens, the better for the people. That is why our party gives a call to the youngsters of this country every year on the occasion of the anniversary of the formation of our PLGA to arm themselves. This call is increasingly spreading widely among the people. The attacks carried on recently by our people’s army under the leadership of the party and with the active support of the people at Tadimetla (Mukaram), Silda, Lakhisarai, Kongera etc., are all military attacks. Who is anxious about these attacks? Is it the ruling classes and its mercenaries or the people? People are celebrating each occasion of a successful raid like a festival. Each such attack is giving a political message in a practical manner and showing them the path of liberation. The people understand this exactly in this manner. On the contrary seeing all these, the ruling classes are trembling with fear.

However, people who do not understand our movement and those who are not clear about it are anguished about the losses on both sides. We can understand their anguish. But the people cannot stop their war and resistance just because they are anguished. What they should understand is why is such an intense war going on? Why are hundreds of people participating in each attack? Where are we getting the active support of the people? Why are we getting it? If they try to understand this it would become clear. Then they would realize the need for such big attacks, more such big attacks and the need for more such attacks to take place more frequently. Then even they would celebrate whenever such attacks take place. They would also wish whole heartedly that such attacks should take place. But enemies of the people would always oppose them and they would resort to bigger attacks on the people in a more reactionary manner. They would foolishly choose suppression as the only way and would be hated by the people. As a result, they would again become victims of bigger attacks by the people.

As to the question if our attacks are facilitating the deployment of army – if people do not fight back, if they silently bow their heads and suffer exploitation and oppression which are going on since centuries, then there is no need even for police and paramilitary, leave alone the army. Then there would be no need for the ruling classes to carry on attacks too. As people have gained consciousness and have understood the real story behind exploitation and oppression, the fraud of parliamentary system and fake democracy, as they are fighting for land to the genuine peasants and for genuine democracy for the people, the rulers are resorting to serious suppression fearing that their foundations are being shaken. These fools who do not realize that their policies would only lead to an intensification of the people’s resistance, are making all preparations to deploy the army. In fact, the army had planned for counter-revolutionary Salwa Judum military campaign during Vajpayee’s rule when Advani was the home minister. The home ministry approved it. The Congress which came to power after Vajpayee’s government was toppled at the centre and the BJP which came to power in place of Congress in Chhattisgarh implemented this decision. From then onwards, the army has been very actively using all its commands (Northern, Central, Southern, Western and Eastern), has formed special structures in all of them and has been giving all kinds of advices to the state police departments through them. It formulated the strategy for the war on people and is providing all kinds of training, intelligence, technology and deployment plans to the central home ministry. It applied LIC policy formulated by the imperialists to suppress the Maoist movement in the concrete conditions of India and is implementing it with its own characteristic features and with increasing intensity. At present the army is not directly participating in attacks carrying guns. But army officers, some specialists and intelligence officers are directly giving guidance to the counter-guerilla operations in our strong areas. This has been happening since three, four years. So it is not true that they would be deploying the army because of us doing some attacks. They would deploy the army as part of their evil design to suppress the peoples’ struggles. Counter-insurgency forces are built inside the army for this purpose. They are building new cantonments, air-bases and helipads, as if on the borders, on a war footing. They are restructuring the whole state system in accordance with their counter-insurgency policies. This means that the rulers had made all kinds of preparations to perpetuate unprecedented level of atrocities, massacres and destruction on the people of our country. Our party feels that all revolutionary parties, democratic organizations and intellectuals, nationality liberation organizations, anti-imperialist patriotic organizations and the entire Indian people should realize this and resist this actively and intensely without any delay. The people of our movement areas are also thinking in similar terms and are hoping for it.

It is true that the deployment of the army would lead to more violence on the poor and the adivasis and would lead to greater loss of lives. When people are fighting in self-defence it is the exploiters and their stooges who constitute just five percent of the population that are suffering casualties. But in the violence perpetuated by the state, it is vast masses of oppressed people who are facing losses. People who are in the form of PLGA, the Maoist party, mass organizations and Janathana Sarkars are losing their lives. So one should understand this.  When ordinary citizens and adivasis are suffering losses on such a large scale, one should firstly question as to why this is happening? It doesn’t serve any purpose to make confused arguments, either innocently or deceivingly, that innocent people are dying. In this background of loss of lives, the oppressed people and the vast masses are putting a straight question to everybody – are you on our side or on the side of the rulers? It means there is no neutral ground left in between. So we request all those who express anguish about loss of lives to rethink in the background of this question.

On this occasion I want to bring some things to your notice. On June 12th, 2,000 state police and central paramilitary forces had attacked a political camp being held by our party’s Eastern Regional Bureau in Korhat forest of Jharkhand. Cobra forces, BSF and Jharkhand STF were involved in this attack. Three Air Force helicopters were used. Though the government said that 2,000 forces were involved, in fact more forces were involved. There were only two guerilla companies of our PLGA in that area. Our weapons were inferior. What was the reason for thousands of government forces to carry on this massive attack on our party and PLGA which are in that position? Is this war or not? Why are they hiding the glaring fact that this is a war? Why did they have to wage this war? Since the attack was done by mercenary forces, since it was done for the interests of a few exploiters, whether it was the commandos or Special Forces that had attacked, could not withstand the heroic resistance of our guerillas. Our comrades who have high political consciousness and sacrificing nature have fought back this attack bravely. In our counter-attack some Cobras have died and more were injured too. But the officers who led this attack do not even have the guts to announce how many of them were injured and how many had died. They are afraid that if the facts are announced, the morale of their forces would come down.

Between 25th and 27th of September, again in Jharkhand, the government forces attacked on a huge scale, a political camp being conducted by our Eastern Regional Bureau in Saranda forest with information. The police and paramilitary higher officials had themselves announced that five thousand (equivalent to a regiment) troops were deployed and helicopters were pressed into service. In fact, the number of troops which attacked would be much more. So one can understand how big a war the government is waging. What would you call this if not war? Once again, why are they hiding the fact that it is a war even after attacking at a regiment level? Would they perhaps agree when they attack with a division level force? On whom are they waging this war? Here too, like in Korhat, our comrades bravely retaliated this enemy attack. In Korhat comrade David lay down his life. In Saranda too a comrade was martyred. The enemy forces faced more losses. But to hide this fact, they resorted to false propaganda that three of their men were killed and ten to twelve Maoists were killed, huge quantities of weapons and other material were seized and training camps were destroyed by them.

Under the guidance of US imperialists, the number one enemy of the world people and taking the help of Israel, one of the cruelest governments of the world and a stooge of US, the Indian government is waging this war. Whatever the government may say, how much ever Sonia, Manmohan and Chidambaram gang and their boot-licking intellectuals may lie, the massive attacks in Korhat and Saranda were nothing but war. We are also candidly and clearly announcing that all our attacks have been carried out as part of our war of self-defence. Ordinary people are facing huge losses in the unjust war waged by the government. So we are once again appealing to all people to oppose and resist this unjust war.

Question : The ruling classes of our country are saying that Maoists are not sincere about people’s issues and they are not bothered about people’s welfare and that their only aim is to ‘overthrow the democratically elected government using armed force and establish communist rule.’ What is your explanation for this?

GP: The ruling classes are not at all morally qualified to hurl accusations against Maoists, who are sacrificing their lives for the people or to comment on their concern and commitment regarding people’s interests, people’s welfare and people’s development. Our aim is to overthrow this ‘democracy’ and ‘parliamentary rule’ which are nothing but means for the dictatorship of the feudals and comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and which stand in complete opposition to 95% of the population’s interests, using armed force and to establish new people’s power. We feel it is wonder of the wonders to say that these elections and parliament are sacred and that the present rule is the highest form of democratic rule!

We are telling the people to overthrow this dictatorial government and build a government of their own which is genuine democracy of the four classes, i.e., workers, peasants, urban middle class and national bourgeoisie. People are consolidating themselves and fighting for it. Anybody who knows the ABC of politics would know this. But the rulers are saying that the constitution and parliament are sacred and above class interests. This dictatorial and bourgeois parliament and state machinery which they had established by colluding with the imperialists would serve none else than those classes. They may be sacred for those classes but they are a big menace for the people. So it is their birth right to pull them down. It is their democratic right. They should establish a genuine democratic political system which constitutes new legislative bodies and a new constitution.

And, we are not the ones who are obstructing development. It is the ruling classes who are doing so. People are performing agricultural tasks while fighting back the horrible violence and destruction perpetuated by fascist gangs like the Salwa Judum, police and paramilitary in Dandakaranya. The militia is doing sentry in defence near the fields and reaping the harvests. The People’s Liberation Guerilla Army is safeguarding the harvest of the people. The mercenary forces of the government are attacking such units and killing them. The government forces are wreaking havoc in the adivasi areas by destroying their property, burning homes and whole villages, seizing hens, pigs, cattle and what not from the hapless poor people, destroying the fields and burning the harvest. This enormous destruction is the development policy of the rulers. Here, it is crystal clear that who are the bitter enemies of the people’s welfare.

Of course, we are calling upon the people to overthrow this unholy state. We are calling upon the people to destroy this menace of the people and to liberate themselves. Only through this liberation struggle the people would be able to establish new power and be able to achieve all-round development with an alternative line in all spheres. The development we are talking of is definitely not the one dictated by the IMF and the World Bank and also not the development policy proposed by Ahluwalias, Rangarajans, Manmohan Sings, Chidambarams and Pillais. The development policy we are proposing would change the relations of production qualitatively and thus would lead to the qualitative development of the productive forces. It is a real development policy which says that one should oppose placing the sovereignty of our country at the feet of foreign firms, that it should also be an independent and a self-reliant one, that the resources in our country should be used not for the imperialists but for the people. Many intellectuals and researchers who have visited our areas had already written that an alternative political power is being established in our areas. Many are realizing that we are having an alternative line in all spheres like in ideological, political, organizational, military, economical, cultural, and ecological spheres. Observers have written clearly about the increasing development in all these spheres, though at a primary level.

Question : Many democrats had raised their voices against Operation Green Hunt. But don’t you think that your party would lose sympathy with incidents such as beheading of Francis Induvar, Jamui massacre, blasting of bus in Dantewada and Gnaneshwari Express accident? What is your explanation about these incidents?

COMRADE GANAPATHY : Firstly, I am sending my revolutionary greetings to all the democratic forces which are opposing and protesting this cruel and unjust war on the people waged by the government. Now coming to bad propaganda and the accusations on us, we do not have any hand in the incident which led to the accident of Gnaneshwari Express. Already our West Bengal party has clearly issued statements in this matter. This incident occurred due to the conspiracy hatched by CPI (M) and the central intelligence agencies. Though judicial enquiry in this matter has been handed over to the CBI, Umakant Mahato who was portrayed as the main accused was caught and killed in a fake encounter. This is also a part of that whole conspiracy. Our party which is fighting with the aim of liberation of the people had never conducted any raids or attacks targeting the people or with the aim of killing them and would never do so in future too.

Our party had already clearly given a statement stating the facts which led to the bus blasting near Chingavaram in Dantewada district. Our party had issued an apology too for the mistake. In the case of Induvar’s beheading Com. Azad had already answered clearly. Our party’s stand on such issues is very clear. When exceptions occurred our party had given explanations. But the ruling classes are intentionally doing bad propaganda to defame the revolutionary movement and the people’s resistance. The Gnaneshwari Express case is an evident example of this.

There is a lot of difference between the Induvar issue, Dantewada bus blast and the Gnaneshwari incident. Near Chingavaram, our targets were clearly the Koya Commandos and SPOs. These blood thirsty forces had raided a village named Kutrem, killed three adivasis, raped women and were returning. But we did not know that there were people inside the bus. The information we had was that SPOs had got into the bus after forcing the people to get down. On the roof top of the bus too it was these armed killer gangs who were traveling. So we considered it a military target and attacked it. We do not have any hand in the Gnaneshwari accident. In Induvar’s case, our party had given a clear explanation. While resisting the killer gangs and the endless cruel violence perpetuated on them, people may in some places, very rarely as an exception, resort to such acts as part of taking revenge. Unless we understand the uneven social conditions in our country, we will not understand this problem. The conditions in urban areas are different in one sense. In the remote rural areas, where there is the cruelest feudal and upper caste oppression, where people are suffering from the inhuman violence perpetrated by Salwa Judum, Sendra, Harmad Bahini and such killer gangs, where they are victims of the huge destructive campaigns of the state, the resistance of the people may sometimes take such forms too. Even in the urban areas, in the bastis where people are victims of the notorious usurers, slum lords, politicians, mafia gangs and police officers hand in glove with the gangsters and politicians, the resistance of the people may take such forms too. The killing of the notorious rapist and goon in Nagpur by the basti women is just one instance out of many such incidents. This is just an explanation as to why such things happen and it is very clear that our party doesn’t carry on such incidents as a policy. Our attitude is that we should educate our people and ranks in this matter. Some intellectuals who lick the boots of the corporations are doing such bad propaganda on us by making a mountain out of a molehill.

In the Jamui incident, a reactionary gang sponsored by the government had caught eight of our comrades in Phulwaria-Kodasi village and killed them in the most heinous, brutal manner by chopping off their limbs. When such incidents happen, we will never be able to safeguard our movement or our people if we keep quiet and do not act. That was why we were compelled to counter attack. In this attack, nine people died including three main goonda leaders. It is extremely sad that a woman and a child were caught in flames and had died accidentally. All the other seven were hard-core criminals, killers and lumpen elements. Our Bihar-Jharkhand Special Area Committee had issued a clear statement on this. It was published in the Bihar papers and in the Maoist Information Bulletin-17.

On the whole, the governments and some paid intellectuals in their service who blow their trumpet are falsely implicating us and trying to defame us. In some incidents where we committed mistakes, they are not even bothering to listen to our explanation and are continuing the bad propaganda on us. So our request to the people and pro-people intellectuals is not to get deceived by the government’s psy-war. Our people’s army which had been formed to defend the interests of the people would lay down lives for the people but would never try to harm the people. So try to know the facts behind each incident. We are always prepared to accept any proper criticism and are always ready to correct our mistakes, if any.

Question : The police and paramilitary forces which are losing their lives in your attacks belong to the poor and middle class families. On the one hand you say that you have taken up arms for their liberation and on the other hand you annihilate persons from these classes who join the police and paramilitary forces. Does this not send the wrong message to poor and middle class families? How do you look at this problem?

COMRADE GANAPATHY : Any politically thinking person should understand that the state and state machinery are the means of the ruling classes for carrying on exploitation and oppression. The crucial components in these are the police, paramilitary and military. The number of the exploiters is always very limited. They would not even constitute five percent of our population. But they hold the means of production under their control and have built up the police and military to exploit and suppress the vast masses who constitute the majority. The rulers are recruiting them from among the people. That is why, the majority of these forces belong to the poor and middle classes. These forces are waging war on the people on behalf of the exploiting classes. As these are the forces that stand in the forefront in the war, it is inevitable that they would die in the self-defensive war of the people. But if exploitation and oppression are to be ended, if oppressed people are to be liberated and this agonizing situation is to end, then this war of self-defence is inevitable.

In our areas some individuals from the police and paramilitary forces meet us. They help us and we help them too in various forms. Only when the government forces come to attack us carrying guns, we are attacking them in self-defence. Our repeated appeal to the lower level personnel in the police and paramilitary forces is – please do not betray your own class, don’t serve the exploiting classes, don’t attack the people and revolutionaries on your own consciously in a revengeful manner, join hands with the masses and turn your guns against the real enemies and not on your class brothers and sisters. What you are doing is not service to the people but service to the exploiting classes. So stop serving the exploiting classes like slaves. Don’t just think of your livelihood, please think about the people, think about the country.

Our appeal to their families is that they should see to it that their family members do not serve this exploiting system for temporary interests; encourage them to be on the people’s side. When these families reside in our areas, our people’s governments will ensure that they get proper livelihood and necessary help as part of whatever the oppressed people get. We want to make this clear on this occasion to those families one more time.

Question : At present it looks as if your movement is confined to the remote forest areas and adivasis. You are not getting large scale recruits from urban areas and universities as you used to get in the past. Some people are also thinking that you can never extend to urban areas. Isn’t this worrying you?

COMRADE GANAPATHY : After merger, we have emerged stronger in some areas and become weaker is some areas. Among the areas where we have become weaker, there are some plain areas and some urban areas. Among the areas where we strengthened ourselves, there are some remote areas and some plain areas. Such ups and downs may be inevitable in a protracted war. It is not true that we have been completely eliminated from the urban areas and plains as some people are propagating or as some others believe. As I had mentioned before, India is one of the countries where Maoist movements are on going in the world. Imperialists and the ruling classes of our country are together intensifying the offensive to suppress our movement. When they so concentrate and carry on attacks, we may suffer losses. And we have suffered losses. This is just one aspect of the problem.

We have gained many experiences in the urban areas. We have enriched our policy on urban work. We have studied the changes in the economic and political conditions of our country and the world and had formulated a program accordingly. Communists never work according to their wills and wishes. They work by studying objective conditions in the society. Basing on the positive and negative lessons we have learnt, we are trying to overcome the losses.

The second aspect of this problem is that we may suffer losses due to enemy attacks, but on the other hand due to their suppression campaigns, their pro-imperialist policies and anti-people acts they are getting more and more isolated from the people. This means that they themselves are creating the conditions for the people to turn against them. It is true that at present we are not able to mobilize workers, students and intellectuals as we had done in the 70s and 80s. There have been some considerable changes and phenomena in those conditions. It has become very complex to work in areas where the enemy is strong and in the trade union movement where the revisionists have entrenched themselves. This is not just the case in India. This condition is prevailing in the whole world. But revolutionaries would definitely overcome this. In order to liberate this country we have to concentrate on organizing the peasantry. At present we would strengthen our movement among the peasantry and definitely extend to the urban areas. On the other hand, this peasant movement is inspiring the urban and people and is having a great impact on them. So, the days when we would vastly organize peasantry of plain areas, the suburban people and urban people are not that far off.

Today, the workers in our country are once again facing the conditions which the workers had faced in 19th century Europe. Most of the workers are turning into contract and casual labourers. They are forced to work for 12 to 16 hours in horrible conditions. Government is changing all labor laws to facilitate the imperialist exploitation. Workers’ families are forced to live like slaves in the barracks built for them. Everything is being restructured. The enemy may be happy about the losses he has inflicted on us. But since people are suffering, they are fighting against them in various forms. Our party would definitely lead these struggles bravely and firmly. All the conditions required for the proletariat and the urban masses to rise like a storm and destroy the exploiting system are gradually ripening.

The Indian government has finished implementing the LPG policy of second generation reforms and is going to take up third generation reforms. Under these circumstances, it is bringing many kinds of changes in the education policy according to the needs of the imperialist capital. In the background of the imperialist-dictated changes taken up by the ruling classes in the education policy, education opportunities are diminishing for the poor children and for women belonging to working class, peasantry, adivasi, dalit and religious minority families. Privatization of education is decreasing the opportunities with each passing day. At present, education mainly means corporate-dominated education. This education system mainly caters to the interests of the domestic and foreign corporations. This is creating a big chasm with the students, teachers, parents on one side and the ruling classes on the other. Within a short period this would erupt. Our party is recognizing the need to study and lead this. We will do everything possible in this matter.

Allowing imperialist capital into retail market and the increasing grip of the imperialist and corporate companies over our country’s economy in order to overcome the economic crises have led to the bankruptcy of the small traders and small and medium bourgeoisie in the urban areas. In the name of beautification of cities slums are evacuated and middle class people are chased away to the suburban areas. The life of the working class and slum population is in turmoil. Among these people, there are many people who had migrated to the cities from our movement areas. All this is speeding up the process of these cities and towns turning into gun powder centres. We are studying all these phenomena and trying to work among them with proper tactics.

All the riches between villages and mega cities have been produced by people from poor rural areas. It is the poor, dalit and adivasi labourers who are spilling their sweat and blood for the construction of huge mansions and infrastructure by Indian and foreign corporate lords. The majority of the workers and employees who work in the shopping malls and companies are from rural areas. Either in terms of social, economic and cultural ties or in terms of movement relations villages and cities are not two unconnected islands as such. They both are influencing each other. This is creating a strong base for our extension. So it is ridiculous and unreal to say that we would never be able to extend to urban areas. If rural areas are liberated first, then basing on its strength and on the struggles of the working class in urban areas, cities would be liberated later. Along with the liberation of cities the comprador rule and imperialist control would also be forced to end in our country.

Question : What is your party’s response to the recent deluge of people’s movement in Kashmir and the repression carried on by the government armed forces on it? What is your solution to the Kashmir issue?

COMRADE GANAPATHY : Kashmir people have been fighting for their independence and right to self-determination for the past sixty years. Countless atrocities, massacres and violence are being perpetuated by the Indian government to suppress this struggle. More than 80,000 Kashmiris have been murdered. Though Indian rulers claim that they have eliminated militancy, the Kashmiri people have been rising in waves during various instances. Recently, in the protest marches held from June 11th, more than a hundred Kashmiri youth were killed in firings by police, paramilitary and military. With a deployment of 7 lakh military and paramilitary forces, Kashmir valley has been turned into the most militarized zone in the whole world.

Our Party strongly supports the just movement of the Kashmiri people. Their demand for ‘Azadi’ (independence) and right to self-determination is fully justified. Kashmir belongs to Kashmiris. It has never been an integral part of India. Neither India nor Pakistan has any right on it.

Our party condemns this horrible repression on the Kashmiri people in the most serious terms. Indian people should condemn in one voice the government massacres continuing in Kashmir. Our party is making it clear that without doing this, it is not possible to effectively fight back or defeat the ruthless offensive of the ruling classes on the fighting people of India. Our party is concretely putting forth the following demands to resolve the Kashmir issue.

1. The massacres by the Indian government’s armed forces in Kashmir should be immediately stopped!

2. Withdraw paramilitary and military forces from Kashmir immediately!

3. Immediately annul the AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) which authorizes the military to indiscriminately kill people!

4. Conduct plebiscite in Kashmir and let the Kashmiris decide their future on their own!

5. Release all political prisoners unconditionally!

Question : Commonwealth games are creating a furor all over the country. What is your party’s stand on these?

COMRADE GANAPATHY : The ruling classes conducted a big farce in the name of Commonwealth games by spending 70,000 crores of rupees in a callous manner with least bother or concern about the poverty, hunger, illiteracy, unemployment, diseases, homelessness, displacement, floods and other such unbearable problems of the majority of our population. While 77 percent of the people are living on less than 20 rupees per day they amassed crores of rupees under the pretense of games. The crores of rupees supposed to be spent on stadiums, roads, buildings that are built for the games and in buying various equipments found their way into the pockets of corrupt officials, ministers and contractors. The labourers worked in these construction works were exploited by giving them appalling wages.

On the other hand, the lives of working class and middle class people were in turmoil due to these games. In the name of beautification of Delhi, hundreds of thousands of slum people, roadside vendors and beggars were chased away. Daily movements of the people were restricted in the name of security. All this was nothing but an exercise carried out for profits of corporations and commissions of ministers and officials. Particularly, to divert the youth from their basic problems, to make them live in an illusory beautiful world and to douse their growing discontent too, these games were held. The people gained nothing from these games except heavy tax burden.

Moreover, these Commonwealth games are themselves a remnant of the colonial past which reeks of slavery. The past colonies of Britain join it. Except the comprador rulers who serve the neo-colonialists (imperialists) none of the citizens who aspire for the country’s independence and none of the patriots could ever digest the fact that our country is a member of it. Any country with self-respect would reject membership of such an association. We appreciate the participation of players from various countries in games as part of some forums. But this could be supported only when they are held on an equal basis, without all this extravaganza and when it does not compromise the sovereignty of those respective countries.

Question : The Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court gave a judgment dividing the disputed site into three parts. What is your say on this? What is the solution you suggest for this dispute?

COMRADE GANAPATHY : Our party has stated very clearly our stand on the demolition of Babri Masjid many times in the past 18 years. Recently comrade Abhay, spokesperson of our CC has in a statement clearly stated our party’s stand on this. It is really very sad that the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court distributed the disputed site into three parts. There is no scientific basis for this at all. Nor is there any historical evidence to support this. Our party has been consistently and clearly saying from the beginning that Babri Masjid should be rebuilt on the same place where it stood. It is a crime of Himalayan proportions to demolish it. Our party’s stand is that the whole site should belong to the Muslim community. Through this judgment, injustice was done to the Muslim community.

On the question of arguments about the birth place of Rama which is supposed to be the spot where Babri Masjid was erected, when we look at the history of India, there were no Masjids at all at one time, you know! Just as Hinduism and Buddhism spread from the countries of India and Nepal to the entire Indian sub-continent and to some East Asian countries, all religions including Islam have spread to various parts of the world from their place of birth. So, by showing this reason and by making this judgment a model every Masjid can be turned into a disputed site, conflicts can be given birth to. Every minority community’s praying site can be demolished. Now this danger has come to the fore more clearly. After this judgment there is every chance for the insecurity among the minority people to increase further. As our party spokesperson Abhay has stated, the people should stay alert with the fundamentalists, particularly, the Hindu fundamentalists. In Bhiwandi, Mumbai, Karnataka, Hyderabad, Gujarat and Odisha all the incidents which took place in the name of religious riots were plotted and perpetrated by the ruling classes, particularly the Hindu religious chauvinists. This judgment has given legitimacy to the demolition of Babri Masjid. Now this court judgment has created conditions for the aggressiveness of Hindu religious chauvinists to increase in various forms on the religious minorities. So we are opposing this court judgment. Our party opines that only when people of all religious minorities including Muslim minority, secular forces, democratic forces and oppressed people of our country fight unitedly and isolate the fundamentalist forces, particularly Hindu religious chauvinist forces, a proper solution could be found for this issue or other such issues.

Question : Mamata Banerjee had demanded judicial probe into Azad’s murder. The CPI (M) party has been repeatedly hurling accusations about the close relations between Trinamool Congress and the Maoists? Are you having some undercover relations with Trinamool even while describing it as a bourgeois party? How do you justify this?

COMRADE GANAPATHY : We are not at all surprised that Mamata Banerjee had demanded judicial probe into Azad’s murder. Anybody who is familiar with the political situation of Bengal would not be surprised with this.  Democratic organizations and renowned personalities and mass organizations are demanding judicial probe and that the murderers of Azad should be held in trial for murder and punished. This demand represents the people’s aspirations. She demanded judicial probe by taking this into consideration. Why would she have any respect or affection for Azad? Who would feel that Azad had been murdered in the most unjust manner? People only who think that the political aim for which Azad had fought is justified, only those who support it and only those who are committed to genuine democracy would sincerely condemn his murder. Others may condemn it for various reasons. Mamata is also one of them. They would do so for their own interests. Though she had made this demand taking into consideration her clashes with CPI (M), and the upcoming elections, it is a welcome demand. Her demand would to some extent help the struggle of the people.

Moreover, for the past fifteen years or more, severe clashes are going on between Trinamool and CPI (M). Sometimes in some places this is taking the form of armed clashes too. The CPI (M) formed armed social fascist gangs like Harmad Bahini and is attacking Trinamool, Maoists, democrats and people to suppress them. Trinamool took up arms to fight CPI (M). So, in order to fight back these attacks and to come to power in the next elections it is natural for Mamata to speak some words to attract the people. In our country, nearly for the past 30 to 35 years the characteristic feature which is continuing in the Bengal politics is that the ruling classes have set up armed clashes with each other. We don’t find this in most of the other states. Though this contradiction between the ruling classes is very severe in various forms in other states, it is not at the level of armed clashes. This contradiction got reflected in Nandigram and it was useful for the people. In the parliament and municipal elections held later, Trinamool won more seats. Now in the upcoming assembly elections the competition would be even more tough. If she has to come to power now, she is compelled to talk as if she is on the people’s side. People who hate and abhor CPI (M) would definitely teach it a lesson. Now the entire people and democrats of Bengal want to escape from the tiger they are facing on the front side. Now for them the tiger in the front is more dangerous than the bear which is at their back. But after they chase away the tiger they cannot escape the bear’s hug. Our party would continue to caution the people about this danger too. We would ask them to chase away the bear too in the future. They would have to certainly fight against the bear too. Unless people get rid of these two menaces, any one of them would continue riding on the back of the people.

Tomorrow, even if Mamata Banerjee comes to power, she would not seize the lands of land lords and distribute them to the poor peasantry nor would she seize the industries of the imperialists and big bourgeoisie. People would not have a chance to participate freely in the elections too. This means that even if she comes to power there won’t be any fundamental change. However, if Trinamool comes to power after a long rule of social fascists, it would definitely try hard to gain a tight grip over the administration. During this period keeping in view the election promises she had made, she may temporarily stop attacks on the people. But this would be only temporary. Later, people would have to fight against her government too.

And our party doesn’t have any open or undercover relations with Trinamool. But on some occasions even ruling classes may talk in the interest of the people. They would take up some pro-people demands on some occasions for mobilizing the support of the people and for votes. They would even conduct some struggles. Such struggles also exist though their scope is very limited. When such people talk in the interests of the people, we would examine them concretely. As the contradictions among the enemies are indirect reserves for the proletariat, depending on the concrete situation our party would clearly state its stand. Our party would never support or oppose such things blindly. But people should seriously try to understand their class nature and their political and economic policies and should not entertain any illusions about them. If such illusions exist, it would be a task of our party to bring them out of it.

When our stand is so clear, it is not at all proper to say as if we have relations with her party and as if we are justifying it.

Question : The Home ministry has recently hurled accusations at you that you are getting weapons and money from foreign countries, especially from China, Myanmar and Bangladesh. They are also alleging that you are getting help from the separatist organizations in North-East. What is your explanation?

COMRADE GANAPATHY : This allegation is part of the psy-war against us by the ruling gangs to portray our Party as a terrorist and traitorous organization and isolate us from the people. Our weapons are mainly country-made. All the modern weapons we have are mainly seized from the government armed forces when we attack them. The enemy himself knows that seizure of arms is our main source for getting weapons. Our party supports the various nationality struggles waged for the liberation of their nationalities and their right to self-determination. We have political memoranda of understanding with some of the organizations which are leading the struggles there. We have published open statements about these in our magazines too. As a revolutionary political party which represents the vast masses and as a party which would lead the government that would be completely responsible for this country after we come to power, we would establish relations with countries having different political systems in the world on the basis of Panchsheel policy. Now and later too we would decide about maintaining these relations with various organizations and parties in the world in the interests of the world revolution. This is one of our candid basic policies. We have announced this policy through our party programme long back. We would also buy weapons to fulfill the needs of our people’s war from domestic and international market. This is the third and last source for our weapons. And the allegations made by Chidambaram-GK Pillai about getting weapons and money from those countries are nothing but baseless rubbish.

In fact, it is the Indian government which is buying weapons, war material and modern technology from US, Russia, France and other imperialist countries, from Israel and other countries to suppress the people’s democratic movements, nationality liberation struggles and revolutionary movements. With this huge arsenal the Indian expansionists are becoming a peril for the South Asian countries and this is also increasing the arms race with Pakistan. It is sending officers from here to notorious intelligence agencies like the Mossad and CIA for training in order to target the comrades leading the revolutionary movements and kill them. It is the ruling classes and their military higher officials who are wasting the people’s money, filling their pockets with billions of rupees in the name of commissions in these transactions and betraying the country as traitors downright. Everybody should condemn this, question this.

Question : Recently there have been allegations that the Maoist leadership is getting funds on a large scale from mining industries and other corporate companies. What is your answer to these allegations?

COMRADE GANAPATHY : This is also part of the foul propaganda of the government on us. They are even alleging that we are collecting five thousand crores of rupees annually. GK, PC and Prakash Singh never tire of harping on our ‘extortion’. This is the falsest allegation that has been made on us. We out rightly reject this. Perhaps their eyes are used to seeing commissions worth thousands of crores of rupees and out of habit they see our collections too in those terms. If we could have collected even one percent of that amount, we could have done so much for our people! In fact, our party mainly collects donations from the people and funds from the traders in our guerilla zones. We have a clear people’s financial policy. And our party also collects rational levy from contractors who take up various works in our areas. A considerable part of these funds is spent for welfare of the people through our people’s power organs. As for mining organizations, our people are fighting their best not to allow them into our strong areas. Our party is leading these struggles, it is supporting them. So the issue of collecting funds from them does not arise, you know. The police officers, government officials and ruling class parties who illegally collect crores of rupees from various organizations, pocket commissions and stack away their money in Swiss banks do not have any moral right to point a finger at us.

Question : What is your assessment about Obama’s policies regarding withdrawal of US army from Iraq and Afghanistan, Indo-US nuclear deal and nuclear liability bill which was passed recently? How do you see Obama’s visit to India who’ll be coming next month?

COMRADE GANAPATHY : The economy of US broke down as US had to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to continue the war in Iraq and with thousands of US soldiers dying by getting bogged down in this war and Bush losing his face as he waged the war with the arrogance that he would be able to take hold of it within a few months and could not do so. Due to these reasons, leave alone Obama, even Bush had to talk about withdrawal of forces long back. The very attack on Iraq by US is a heinous crime against humanity. In fact, the US had not fought any heroic war there. US has superior force. But what it did was to rain lakhs of tonnes of bombs on Iraqi cities and towns, kill millions of Iraqis, create havoc and destroy one of the oldest civilizations of the world and its rich heritage, culture and society. So from the day it occupied Iraq, US has been continuously facing the resistance of  the rebels, patriots and freedom-loving people of Iraq.

The US imperialist completely destroyed the state, army, judiciary, legislative bodies and administration machinery built by Saddam and is building a neo-colonial state by keeping their puppets in the front. It formed a new state with the puppet forces. It could destroy Saddam and his followers but it could not solve the new contradiction which had cropped up between the people and its puppets. They are unable to suppress the people’s resistance. The army withdrawn by Obama is less and that which he is continuing is more. Recently when Iraqi national forces conducted a huge raid, the US army in Iraq barracks immediately stepped out.

After Obama came to power, more than 30,000 additional troops were sent to Afghanistan by him. A fake election farce was conducted amidst severe opposition of the Afghan people and he had his puppet Hamid Karzai elected. Ninety percent of the persons dying in US bombing are ordinary citizens. NATO troops under US leadership are indiscriminately killing Afghan citizens. The atrocities committed by US are so horrible that even their puppet Karzai was forced to open his mouth. In West Pakistan, they are killing hundreds of ordinary citizens in drone attacks. Till date, Karzai’s power is confined to the cities. Afghan people have never bowed to the rule of any intruder in their whole history. They chased away the imperialists and occupiers from their land enduring all kinds of travails. Exactly as in the case of Russian imperialists, Afghan land would prove to be the graveyard of the US imperialists too. Obama is implementing the same diplomatic policies followed by Bush in Middle and South Asia, if not more callously. The US strategy for world hegemony to gain control of Caspian sea gas and establish permanent bases in Afghanistan to surround China is bound to fail.

During UPA-I, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ignoring stiff opposition from the people, had civilian nuclear deal with the US passed proving himself a trustworthy servant of the US imperialists. The Nuclear Liability Bill which has been passed by the Parliament recently is nothing but a continuation of this servility. Regarding the Bhopal gas leak accident which led to gruesome death of thousands of people and disaster for hundreds of thousands of people in Bhopal, the wounds in the hearts and minds of the people of India continue to pain till this day. And now the UPA government has in a most shameless manner dared to prepare this Bill enabling many more ‘Bhopals’ to make their way and ensuring even if such holocausts take place, the foreign capitalists responsible for those would be set free with far less ‘liability’ (just like Warren Anderson and Dow Chemicals were set free). While BJP has helped UPA government in passing this Bill, the parliamentary Left parties who call themselves Communists, have once again proved their compromising nature by not opposing this traitorous Bill firmly and not initiating people’s movement against this. Manmohan Singh worked hard to ensure this Bill passed before the arrival of Obama.

US imperialism, which has been plundering the poor countries across the world, suppressing the oppressed nationalities, pushing the notorious thugs and dictators into the power, bullying those countries who wouldn’t cooperate, going to any extent to loot oil, minerals and all other natural wealth and sources, is the no. 1 enemy of world people. Its leader Barack Obama is such a person whom the entire humanity must hate. As his predecessor George Bush had accumulated the hate across the globe, US imperialist masters brought Barack Obama in a plan that people could be deceived with his skin color. Though Obama was so much rhetorical opposing the policies of Bush, after entering into the White House, all the policies and decisions taken by him till this day are nothing but continuation of the Bush administration. In fact the difference between George Bush and Barack Obama lies just in their color and in the name of their representing parties. There is no difference between them in exploiting and suppressing the world people, oppressed nationalities, countries and working class of the US. It’s an irrefutable fact that this black color President was selected by the most notorious white vultures of US monopolistic corporations.

The comprador ruling classes of India are busy laying red carpet to welcome Obama. Welcoming Obama means nothing but a betrayal to the values of sovereignty, freedom, independence, self-reliance, peace, justice and democracy. Inviting Obama to our beloved country means showing servility to its warmongering, invasive, exploitative and hegemonic policies. Therefore, on behalf of the Central Committee of Communist Party of India (Maoist), I call upon entire people, revolutionary and democratic organizations and all patriotic forces of India to register your protest in various forms and to raise the slogan ‘OBAMA! GO BACK!!’ loudly in one voice.

Question : Finally, how do you assess the main successes and failures after you held your Unity Congress in 2007? What do you feel about the future of Indian revolution on the whole?

COMRADE GANAPATHY : Our Unity Congress held in January, 2007, took up the main, immediate and central task of intensifying the people’s war all over the country, developing guerilla war into mobile war and developing the People’s Liberation Guerilla Army into People’s Liberation Army (regular army) with the aim of establishing Base Areas. As part of it, our Congress gave us many tasks such as intensifying mass struggles, extending the movement, building and strengthening the United Front. For the past three and half years, our entire party fought by keeping everything at stake to fulfill these tasks basing itself firmly among the people. In this process, we achieved some significant successes. We faced some serious failures. We gained many valuable experiences. We learnt some important lessons. On the whole, when we look at our successes, we can surely say that the necessary foundation for advancing the Indian revolution down the path of victory by gaining more successes in future has been strengthened further.

If we look at the successes….

1. In the past three and half years, in many areas of our country a deluge of mass struggles erupted under our party’s leadership. Especially in Dandakaranya, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, people participated on a large scale in struggles against the loot of their resources by the Indian and foreign corporations and particularly against the displacement of adivasis. Though the Indian ruling classes formed goonda gangs like Salwa Judum, Sendra, Nagarik Suraksha Samiti and Harmad Bahini and perpetrated terrible violence and atrocities on the people, they fought bravely under our party’s leadership and with the support of our PLGA. In Kalinganagar, Singur, Nandigram, Lalgadh, Narayanapatna, Dumka, Polavaram, Lohandiguda, Raoghat, Pallamad and many other places people mobilized on a large scale and participated in struggles. Nandigram, Lalgadh and Narayanapatna came to the fore as new models of mass struggles. In the various programmes we took up on political issues, we mobilized lakhs of people. People responded greatly to our political programme of boycotting the elections to various state assemblies and the parliament. In our movement areas, people boycotted elections on a huge scale and brought to the fore very strongly the need for people’s political power. As part of Operation Green Hunt carried on with coordination between the central and state governments since mid-2009, people were massacred. In spite of it, thousands of oppressed people, especially the adivasis and women participated in several programmes against state repression and on various political issues in Dandakaranya, Bihar-Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.

2. Another important victory is the emergence of people’s democratic political power at a primary level and its strengthening and extension as an alternative to the state system of the feudal, comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie, run with the support of the imperialists. In our main guerilla zones of Dandakaranya and Bihar-Jharkhand, Revolutionary People’s Committees (RPCs) have been formed and are functioning. They are strengthening and extending. In Lalgadh and Narayanapatna which have newly emerged on the political scene of our country, the people’s power organizations which were formed at a primary level by having people’s development at the core even amidst severe enemy offensive have attracted the attention of the people of our country. They overthrew the rule of the local exploiting classes and are running people’s rule at a primary level. These new political power organs are working in the spheres of education, health, sanitation, water facilities and agriculture development etc having people’s real development as their aim. They are a great inspiration to the oppressed people, the democratic organizations and intellectuals all over the country. They are coming to the fore as the genuine people’s alternative system. As an answer to the fake development model of the exploiters, these new political power organs are bringing forth a genuine development model of the people.

3. In the past three and half years, the guerilla warfare intensified and is continuing at a higher level. Our people’s guerillas conducted valiant attacks on the police, paramilitary and commando forces that are resorting to endless atrocities and violence and massacring people to accomplish the interests of the exploiting classes. Our guerillas eliminated hundreds of mercenary troops and seized hundreds of modern weapons and ammunition and improved our armoury. The guerilla war going on under our leadership is giving inspiration and self-confidence to the people. Defending the people’s political power which is developing at a primary level and defending the lives and properties of the people, our people’s army had emerged as the real saviour of the people. Though the enemy is carrying on many suppression campaigns, implementing carpet security by deploying lakhs of police and paramilitary forces and carrying on attacks continuously, with the active support of the people our PLGA is growing ever more.

4. Particularly, when we observe from our Unity Congress onwards, the emergence of our party on the political scene of the country as a major alternative political force is another significant success. People increasingly understand that our political line is correct. Now, citizens of our country are showing more interest in knowing about our stands and solutions regarding many problems faced by our country. For the past 63 years people are frustrated with the bankrupt politics of the various exploiting ruling class parties, revisionists who call themselves left parties and the Hindu religious chauvinists. It is now clearly seen that they are getting increasingly influenced by the politics of Maoists and moving nearer to it than in the past. We believe that this would serve as an assurance for the formation of a strong, broad and countrywide united front in the future.

Along with these main successes, we had faced some serious failures and losses too. The main ones are…

1.  As we had lost leadership forces in the enemy attack we faced serious losses. After completion of our party Congress, a considerable number of our CC members were caught by the enemy and were either killed in fake encounters or put in jails. This is the very big hindrance we are facing in achieving our goals. No doubt, this would have a grave impact on the Indian revolution.

2.  Due to the severe offensive of the enemy and our failure in understanding it properly, formulating proper counter tactics and implementing them, we were weakened in some areas and we retreated from some areas.

These are our main successes and failures. Meanwhile, the living conditions of the working class in our country are increasingly becoming worse. The peasantry is increasingly becoming penniless due to the policies imposed by the feudal and imperialist exploiters and are resorting to suicides in lakhs. In the name of new policies, the penetration of foreign capital into the fields of education, health, industry, defence, transport, media, trade etc has intensified. The exploitation, oppression and control of the imperialists increased to an unprecedented level since 1947. Severe repression is continuing on the Kashmir and North-East people who are fighting for their national liberation and right to self-determination including the right to secession. Due to the policies followed by the Indian expansionists by colluding with the US imperialists, they are bitterly hated by the people of South Asia. The socially most oppressed sections of dalits, adivasis, women and religious minorities that constitute are suffering from several problems. The state is unleashing terror on those forces which are fighting against these problems. Civil rights are becoming completely absent. None of the basic problems of the people are in a position to be solved in this present setup. The announcement by the Prime Minister that we would become a strong economic force in the 21st century and would achieve a two-digit economic growth is a big sham. While corporations belonging to the likes of Ambani, Tata, Mittal, Jindal and Essar are amassing enormous wealth and increasing their ‘development’ rate at a rapid pace, they are throwing the vast masses into the whirlpool of insufferable poverty, hunger, unemployment etc.

When we examine all these problems, it would become increasingly clear that the fundamental contradictions in our country, i.e., the contradiction between feudalism and the vast masses, between imperialism and Indian people, between capital and labour and the contradiction among the ruling classes are intensifying further. Our party is advancing forward with an attitude of taking up the problems of the people. Our political line lays emphasis on the solution to these problems. We believe that the Indian revolutionary movement would advance down the victory path only through the People’s War waged under our party leadership while strengthening our people’s army with the aim of establishing Base Areas and the United Front formed by uniting all these forces under the leadership of the proletariat. We also believe that its future would depend on how this process advances. On the whole we are looking at the future of the Indian revolutionary movement with great optimism.

Our party is serving as a beacon of hope for the oppressed masses of our country. In the midst of this decadent, corrupt and loathed system our party shines like a bright star. We are not at all saying that we have ready made solutions to all the complexities existing in the world revolution and the Indian revolution. But we have a correct political line. We are confident that we can solve all these problems in a process of making the new democratic revolution a success as the first step towards socialism and communism. We believe that all the problems faced by the society can be solved in the light of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. Likewise we will learn from international experiences too. We will apply Marxist-Leninist-Maoist ideology to the concrete practice of Indian revolution. We will fight dogmatism and empiricism which raise their head in practice. We will firmly adhere to mass line and dedicate ourselves to fulfill the aspirations and hopes of our people. We will determinedly fight the left and right opportunist trends and revisionism which may crop up in our party and in the international communist movement. However, there are chances for mistakes and accidents to happen in the process of revolution. So, we would accept our mistakes with a genuine self-critical attitude and humility. We will correct our mistakes. We will advance in the path of revolution till the final victory in this great war waged to establish a society where there is no scope for hunger, injustice, poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, price rise, displacement, untouchbility, discrimination, social evils etc by liberating our beloved country from the exploitation and oppression of feudalism, imperialism and comprador bureaucratic capitalism. Our party has emerged out of the innumerable sacrifices of our cadres and leaders. They lay down their lives unflinchingly for people’s democracy and communism. These selfless, exemplary martyrs are the ray of hope in our society. We will definitely hold high their esteemed revolutionary tradition. We will establish their lofty human values in this society. We will steer clear of avoidable losses and display communist consciousness, courage, determination and sacrifice to fight back the cruel enemy. In this process, our party would steel itself in the flames of class struggle.

Many areas have already developed into guerilla zones in our country. In many areas people’s state power came into existence in an embryonic form. The PLGA is growing in strength and capacity. Guerilla war is intensifying. This new power is developing as the primary form of a new democratic state. But in comparison with the more than 110 crores of our population and the vastness of our country, our party is very small. We have to travel very far. True, the path is thorny. But if we continue in the revolutionary path, the future would brighten a lot.

Contrary to the parliamentary parties and all kinds of reformist organizations, the CPI (Maoist) which is based on a cadre that has unflinching faith in their aim, a sacrificing nature and dedication is shining like a bright sun, lighting up all the darkness surrounding our country. Indian people want revolution. They are advancing in the path of People’s War for building a new society. The dawn of New Democratic revolution is unfolding. Let us march into the bright sunlight of the new society which is unfolding on the horizon. Lal Salaam !

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Jan Myrdal Interviews CPI(Maoist) Leader Ganapathy

Posted by ajadhind on April 9, 2010

Jan Myrdal Interviews CPI(Maoist) Leader Ganapathy
Posted by Rajeesh on February 15, 2010
Posted by Ka Frank on February 14, 2010
This interview was posted in Sanhati.
In Conversation with Ganapathy, General Secretary of CPI(Maoist)
Jan Myrdal and Gautam Navlakh, January 2010
Far inside the jungles of the Eastern Ghats we met the general secretary of the CPI (Maoists) Ganapathy aka Mupalla Laxman Rao. After welcoming us and inquiring from us whether we, in particular Jan Myrdal, faced any problem having to travel the rough terrain, the interview began. Following is the summary of the interview with him. We have retained the interview in the form in which it was given, read and approved by him with some minor language changes. In particular we draw attention of readers to the General Secretary laying down concisely his party’s stance on the issue of talks in light of the disinformation spread by the Union Minister of Home P Chidambaram that CPI(Maoist) had “scoffed” at the Indian Government’s offer for talks. Indeed he told us:
To put concisely the main demands that the party has placed in front of the government [of India] for any kind of talks are 1) All-out war has to be withdrawn; 2) For any kind of democratic work, the ban on the Party and Mass Organizations have to be lifted; 3) Illegal detention and torture of comrades had to be stopped and they be immediately released. If these demands are met, then the same leaders who are released from jails would lead and represent the Party in the talks.
However, we consider the full text of the interview of importance for all those who want to know more about the policies of the party which the Government of India considers its main internal security threat.
Q: How do you envisage the linking of this struggle with a general struggle in India in terms of class ? Chairman Mao after 1935 took the Long March to Yenan created a base for national level and part of which was the united front with the Chiang Kai-Sheik. Thereby it became the main national power in China. How do you envisage becoming to a national power in India?
A: In China, in which condition Long March to Yenan took-place and created a base and a part of it formation of a United Front with Chiang Kai-Sheik for national level is different to our present situation of New Democratic Revolution(NDR) of India. Chinese revolution had took-place in first half of the 20th century. Since then several significant changes have occurred in the world. Those are, firstly emergence of a Socialist Camp and its subsequent down fall, secondly downfall of colonialism and emergence of neocolonialism, thirdly emergence of so-called parliamentary system as the common political system throughout the world, fourthly, a long gap emerged in the revolutionary upsurge after success of revolutions in Vietnam, Kampuchea and Laos in-spite of some upsurges and significant struggles in several countries. If we look into the entire world history, after emergence of working class on the globe, it is confronting with the bourgeoisie class and all other reactionary forces and seized power from them in Paris for a short-while and then in Russian, China and several European countries for a long time and shocked the entire globe. In this trajectory, there were various ups and downs in the World Socialist Revolution but nonetheless the struggle continuous. It is like waves at times and it slowed down, but it never ceased. So we have to see any revolution of a country in the light of historical context.
In relation to our revolution, first of all I would like to introduce our history in a short account to understand the present condition correctly. Our unified Party, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) was formed on 21st September 2004 by merging two Maoist revolutionary streams of India, the Communist Party of India(Marxist Leninst) [CPI (ML)]and Maoist Communist Centre (MCC). Our great beloved fore-founder leaders and teachers, Comrades Charu Mazumdar(CM) and Kanhai Chatterji(KC) who led an ideological and political struggle ceaselessly for a long time against revisionism and modern revisionism of Communist Party of India and CPI(Marxist).
Through this struggle only backbone of the revisionist parties’ had broken down which resulted in a breakthrough in the Indian communist movement. By the result of this great struggle in all spheres by comrade CM and other genuine Maoists, the great Naxalbari armed peasant uprising broke-out like a Spring-Thunder. Then a new history began. Then onwards our two great leaders upheld the red banner of Naxalbari and lead the New Democratic Revolution. The revolutionary movement spread like prairie-fire to almost all parts of the country in a different scale. During this revolutionary course in a short period two Parties, CPI(ML) and MCC were founded on 22nd April 1969 and 20th October 1969 under the direct leadership of comrades CM and KC respectively. Due to several historical reasons we failed to form a unified Maoist Party at that juncture itself. But our basic ideological and political line, path and strategy of the revolution, and several other basic positions on important questions which we confronted at the same time were basically same.
The Indian ruling classes unleashed a reign of terror on all revolutionary movements starting with the Naxalbari armed agrarian uprising. At the end of 1972, after the arrest and martyrdom of comrade CM and even prior to it we lost a large number of leaders and cadres in the hands of the enemy. Due to these loses we suffered a countrywide setback. Prior to the martyrdom of comrade CM, intensive internal political and ideological struggle started against right arch-opportunist clique SNS and others in 1971 itself. Party had disintegrated into several groupings due to our serious tactical mistakes, state terror, severe losses, lack of proper leadership and negative effect of two line struggle within the Communist Party of China. Since 1972 July to 1980 our Party, the CPI(ML) was dominated by several splinters most of them lead by right and left-adventurist leadership and disarray spread over. But on the other side, under the leadership of MCC armed agrarian revolutionary peasant struggle in Kanksha took-place and it suffered a setback in a short period due to state terror but steadily expanded to Bihar, and to some extent to Assam and Tripura.
We uphold basic ideological and political line of a genuine Maoist Party, learned lessons from practice, seriously engaged in the class struggle and firmly stood for correct positions on several ideological and political questions which confronted in the country and international arena. Due to these positions only from CPI(ML) Stream, on 1978 the CPI(ML)-Party Unity(PU) and on 22nd April 1980 CPI(People’s War)(PW) emerged. Due to this only once again we, MCC, PW and PU Parties build armed agrarian revolutionary movement in different parts of the country, particularly Andhra Pradesh and Bihar. We strengthened our Party, revolutionary mass movement and armed struggle considerably in 1980s and 1990s which culminated in the great unity and formation of our new party in September 2004. Since 1977 a large number of genuine Maoist forces had merged and consolidated in the CPI(ML)[PW], MCCI and CPI(ML)-PU and also still this process is continuing to some extent after the formation of the new Party. But in this period most of the right and left Maoist groups had been gradually disintegrated and disappeared and some of the right groups still exist even though they are weak. Still a tiny section of Maoist forces exist but they are suffering from sectarianism for a long time.
We opine that our struggle within the CPI and CPM is an integral part of the great struggle conducted in the International Communist Movement headed by the Communist Party of China under the direct leadership of comrade Mao. We also opine that the internal struggle with in the CPI(ML) which took-place for several years is connected directly or indirectly with the internal struggle of the CPC even before and after Mao’s demise. Modern revisionist Deng clique which usurped power in China damaged much not only to our Party and revolution but also to the world revolution. We firmly stick to Mao Thought and opposed Deng clique and Lin Piao clique. Our experience clearly shows that Indian revolution had influenced a lot with the positive and negative developments of International Communist Movement (ICM).
We, the Indian Maoist Party has traversed through a tortuous path for a long period. After formation of Unified Party, most favorable situation emerged for the advancement of revolution. We lost this good chance between 1969 and 1972. The biggest boon of this merger has been the result of synthesis of over 35 years of experience of Indian revolution. It has given us enriched basic documents in terms of strategy, tactics and policies. Our merger brought about a significant change from two different parties working in distant separate areas or small pockets to a Party with an all India character. Before merger, in-spite of both Parties having CC, there was a serious limitation to them in functioning as Central Bodies with all India perspective. But after merger, our understanding further enriched about the uneven development of the country and uneven development of the revolutionary movement. Now we can plan at an all India level in a better way. It is not at complete but at least the disadvantages have been done away with. A clearer and enriched line has emerged in terms of both India and world context. And other aspect in this advantage, is that it had its effect internationally too. Before this, mostly we could not see this much of international support. But, still it is nascent, nonetheless it had developed. In recent years, we suffered several losses. Despite which we have to think how to avoid this much of losses. But our CC has said that we should avoid mistakes to avoid losses and boldly face the enemy and go ahead.
At present in our country other Maoist Parties are not in a position to provide leadership to the masses due to their right deviationist line and limited strength. The progressive and democratic forces are lacking any revolutionary basic program of action and also at present they are having a limited area of influence. Besides all these limitations no party has people’s armed force to defend. I reiterate that at present no one Party or Organization is capable enough to be a rallying centre for all revolutionary, democratic, progressive and patriotic forces and people.
Hence, at present juncture our Party can play a significant role in rallying all revolutionary, democratic, progressive and patriotic forces and people. Because our party has an all India character, good political militant mass base in several States, a People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) fighting enemy in several States and emerging New Democratic People’s power in Dandkaranya [an area in central India
which comprises predominately tribal districts of five states of India
namely Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and
Orissa], Jharkhand and some other parts of India. We have a clear-cut understanding to unify all revolutionary, democratic, progressive, patriotic forces and all oppressed social communities including oppressed nationalities against imperialism, feudalism and comprador bureaucratic capitalism. Our New Democratic United Front (UF) consists of four democratic classes, i.e. workers, peasants, urban petty-bourgeoisie and national bourgeoisie. If we wish to form a strong United Front then it must be under the leadership of proletariat, basing on worker and peasant alliance. If we wish to form a strong United Front then it must be supported and defended by the People’s Army. Without People’s Army people have nothing to achieve or to defend. Hence enemy is seriously trying to eliminate our Party leadership with the aim of destroying a revolutionary and democratic centre of Indian people. So the condition has matured further to rally around one centre and revolution could go ahead under the leadership of the CPI(Maoist).
At the same time, the world economic crisis, the anti-people and pro-imperialist policies of the Indian ruling classes and the rising state repression, infuriated the masses in the country increasing the revolutionary scope now that there is a single revolutionary party. For a long time, since Comrade CM’s martyrdom, India was lacking a single revolutionary platform. Even in the international scenario, there were many cleavages in the Maoist movements. In this particular juncture the emergence of our Party provides new hope to the people.
I want to say that the Party has no illusion about the so called parliamentary system and knows well Indian state’s might as well as we clearly know our limitations and shortcomings, even after unity [formation of Communist Party of India (Maoist)] and the weaknesses of Maoist forces in the country and other countries.
The favorable revolutionary conditions, the widespread bitter class struggle rising in Indian society and the development of the armed struggle are being keenly observed by the enemy who is taking it most seriously. So, no opportunity is being given to these struggles by the Indian ruling classes who are also compradors of imperialism. So immediately in the context of world revolution also putting together the experiences of Philippines, Peru, Nepal, and India, imperialism is most concerned about the development of a bitter class struggle emerging in India. In the present situation of world, if the Maoist revolution in India can advance to a new stage, it will become a grave threat to world capitalist system. That is why imperialism, particularly America has taken these developments seriously.
So, on the one side, there are more favorable conditions for revolution, and on the other side there is enemy’s full onslaught to suppress the revolution. In this situation, our entire plan is to fully utilize the favorable conditions while resisting the enemy which will determine our plan.
In this context, at present, main hurdle in the way of Indian Revolution is the all-out war unleashed by the enemy. This war is principally against Maoist movement but not limited to this movement and aimed enough against all revolutionary, democratic, progressive and patriotic movements and the movements of oppressed communities of our society including oppressed nationalities. At this juncture, all these forces have to think together how to face this mighty enemy and for this how to unite to go ahead.
How can we resolve the problem of all-out war? For resolution of any problem, we have to analyze it deeply to identify the root cause of the problem. Firstly, why this war? Who’s imposing it? On whom it is imposing? What is the nature of this war? How long it continues? Can we accept this war or not? Who should counter it? How to counter it? What is the aim of resistance to war? etc.
This war is meant for destroying the revolution which is gradually emerging as an alternative political power to the existing reactionary political power in the country and plundering massive minerals and other rich natural resources of the vast areas of Adivasi people and other local people from Lalgarh to Surjagarh. They are imposing this war on those who are against this war, i.e. Maoist revolutionaries, Adivasi and local people of the vast forest areas, workers, peasants, urban middle class, small and medium bourgeoisie, Dalit, women, religious minorities and oppressed nationalities, democratic organizations, progressive and patriotic forces who comprise more than 95% of the population. It is completely an unjust war. This war is imposed by the Comprador Bureaucratic Bourgeoisie, Feudal forces of this country and imperialists, particularly America. These are real looters, plunderers, corrupters, blackmailers, hoarders, scamsters, murderers, conspirators, oppressors, suppressers, autocrats, fascists, most reactionaries and number one traitors. These reactionaries plan to continue this war for a long time till they achieve their goal.
Any Maoist, democrat, progressive, patriot, and people will not accept this unjust war imposed by the rulers. People will completely oppose this unjust, most cruel, inhumane and treacherous war. It will be defied by all people of our country and people of world. This unjust war is totally against the interest of the people and the interest of the country. People will unite and counter this unjust war by waging a just war. People will never tolerate any kind of unjust war. In the history of entire class society people never tolerated any kind of unjust war forever but they fought back every unjust war by paying price of their own blood and ultimately won it. Immediate aim of this just war is to defeat the unjust war completely and then advance towards changing present social conditions which are giving scope to unjust wars. If we look at the political developments of the country, this inhumane all-out war is giving a tremendous scope to unite vast masses of people and certainly it will become counter productive to the ruling classes.
After 15th August 1947 we never saw such integration of Indian economy, defense, internal security, polity, culture and entire state with the imperialists, particularly with the US imperialists. Nuclear Deal and several defense deals, glaring interference after terrorist attacks in Mumbai on 26th November 2008 and Union Home Minister Chidambaram’s visit to US and crucial agreements related to internal security are some glaring instances. Due to this significant change the Indian expansionists are playing a crucial role in the South-Asia. The fundamental contradiction between imperialism and Indian people has further sharpened. It will give great scope to unite people against imperialists and fight back imperialism.
From several decades entire Kashmir and North East are under military and paramilitary domination. On the other hand drastic change has been seen in internal security due to role of military in the internal security. Indian army was deployed at the time of historic Telangana armed agrarian revolution (1946-52) and for a short-while [in
1971] in some pockets of West Bengal after great Naxalbari peasant armed uprising of 1966. But today in long term perspective, the Indian army is being reorganized. Under the dictates of global war against terror, three years back Indian army has declared its new policy [Doctrine of Sub-conventional Warfare] to deal with internal security and needs of the modern war with other countries. Under this restructured plan Indian army is training a large number of its forces according to needs of wide-spread counter-insurgency operations. Now onwards Indian army is being used in a vast area of our country against its own people in the name of internal security. If it [Indian
Government] is really a people’s government, how can it use its own army against its own people? The Indian state is functioning as an autocratic and fascist rule in the garb of democracy. All the gains that were made by revolutionary and democratic people’s struggles are being challenged by the fascists. But this will also force the vast masses of the people to unite and resist with whatever means to defend and ultimately it will also become counter-productive to the ruling classes.
We must also talk about the current world economic crisis, particularly crisis of US imperialists and other imperialist countries. This crisis is in certain aspects even deeper than the great depression of 1930s. But capitalism does not die on its own without a revolution. Now to come out of this crisis imperialism will try to increase exploitation of working class and middle class of its own countries and increase plunder of third world countries. Multi National Corporations (MNCs) and Comprador Bureaucratic Bourgeoise (CBB), the collaborators of imperialists are concentrated on the large tracts extended from Lalgarh in Bengal to Surjagarh in Maharashtra. To exploit this rich region, primarily Adivasi (tribal) region, state and central governments have signed 100s of MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding). Indiscriminate loot of this region will destroy environment and bring long term ecological changes. The most oppressed community of Indian society, the Adivasis and local people have come under a great threat. Probably for the first time in the world, such huge populations of indigenous people are being threatened. A new situation is being created and with a concrete program these oppressed sections must advance. It is evident that without the emancipation of these people, we cannot advance nor the Indian revolution succeed. Our Party is working on this problem and more and more people will unite and fight back the arch enemies of the Indian people, namely the imperialists, CBB, feudals and fascist state.
People of North Eastern oppressed nationalities and Kashmiri are fighting for their liberation from decades. They have advanced to some extent and faced unprecedented sufferings. But they did not succeed and still they are continuing their fight. While we have had some successes in guerilla warfare, they (oppressed nationalities) see some hope in the Maoists. There is a new hope that if the Maoist revolution advances, it will hasten the national liberation struggles also. In this context, in accordance with MLM (Marxism Leninism and Maoism) the Party had always maintained the position of the right to self-determination including secession of all oppressed nationalities. They (oppressed nationalities) understand this policy and their fight need to be strengthened. This has to be utilized to unite with them and try for a united front. For instance, when the Naga forces were deployed in Chhattisgarh or when the Mizo battalions were placed here, there were some protests in Nagaland and Mizoram respectively by soldiers’ own family members as well as by the democratic people. They said that they oppose the war on people; they don’t want to send their children for suppressing other people. Strategically it is creating a better condition to unite people of all nationalities, workers, peasants, middle class and national capitalists, and the suppression going on everywhere on the people is gradually becoming counter-productive to the rulers itself.
Overall, enemy has declared all-out war on the people in the name of internal security, and in the name of danger from Maoists. We are relatively strong in several rural areas of the country. But at present our forces are weak, we are weak in urban areas, and we are also weak in workers and among petty-bourgeoisie. People’s army too is weak and its weapons are inferior to the enemy. These are our weaknesses in general. To strengthen the people’s army and work in urban areas are some of most important urgent tasks. The Unity Congress of our Party has clearly announced a strategic plan and has given enriched documents for improving in these fields. On the other hand, social contradictions are sharpening very fast. Along with above urgent tasks, our Party is concentrating to unite more and more people. If we succeed in this, we can make a leap in the revolution. We are hopeful about the emergence of a united front. In this new situation, it is one of the foremost tasks of Indian revolution. We strongly feel that it is not only our task but the task of all revolutionary, democratic, progressive forces.
Along with this, contradiction within the enemy classes are sharpening. It can be seen in Nandigram and to some extent in the Lalgarh struggles. We are utilizing this contradiction and it is necessary to utilize everywhere to advance the class struggle. We are also working with other democratic organizations and people and some individuals belonging to ruling classes on different issues of the masses by forming tactical fronts. We and all fighting Parties, Organizations and people have to understand the importance of unity between them and formation of a united front. We are providing impetus to unity of the people and building a strategic united front and tactical fronts. This strategic united front will be between the oppressed people against imperialism, feudalism and comprador bureaucratic capitalism. In spite of intensification of the contradiction between imperialism and Indian people our country is not attacked by any imperialist country or has not become a direct colony by any other means. So, at present our condition is different from that of China in mid 1930s in which CPC formed an anti-imperialist united front against Japan imperialism.
Q: How would the Party deal with the difficulties in the formation of the united front and along with the objective conditions, what does the party think about the subjective conditions in today’s scenario?
A: Comrades, as the first aspect, Maoist party would like becoming a centre for the people of the country and their development, represent their aspirations. We are representing above 95% of population. There is more favorable objective condition for uniting people and people also want a party that will serve their interests. We are not working for partial reform within the bourgeois and exploitative system. We are fighting for the socio-economic demands of the people as well as for the qualitative change of the very basic structure of the society. If we succeed in clearly explaining it to the people, we will succeed to mobilize and organize them in the war and will win.
Whenever protracted people’s war, as well as national liberation war had been fought, experience shows that without mass base, army, liberated area, people did not succeed in forming a strong united front. In course of revolutionary struggle, forming army and establishing base areas we can form several tactical united fronts and even fragile strategic united front. We have to strive hard to mobilize masses in the war against their enemies and build own army and establish stable base areas and march forward to build a strong united front.
Q: What are the ways and methods to win-over friends?
A: For broadest possible unity, we cannot have sectarian approach towards friends of NDR [new democratic revolution]. At present several forces are lined up against the enemy. We have to let them develop too. In the united front on some issues, there would also be representatives of oppressive classes. We can not expect them join our ranks, which is a long way ahead. Right now we need to firmly stick to our strategic goal, and for that tactically we need to remain flexible.
More clearly, there are two different kinds of United Fronts. One, between people, and the other between people and enemy (a section/group/ persons from enemy classes) using the contradictions among the enemy. Party has to do that. This scope is there to some extent on some issues. We call it the indirect reserves of the revolution which can be used carefully. If we have clear understanding that they are not our class allies, then we would not have right opportunist deviations. We need united fronts of this kind for the success of the revolution. The Indian Left largely, like CPI and CPM, had trailed behind the bourgeoisie and degenerated.
Last aspect is each class has a separate class interest and a world view. The united front in this sense is also a struggle front. But overall if the struggle is against the main enemy, then this struggle becomes secondary, while unity becomes primary. The real issue is how this struggle and unity can be balanced and used effectively. The enemy classes will never side with the people. Even after the seizure of power, struggle will continue within the society for a long time. So, united front and class struggle should continue simultaneously. For that it is an utmost important task is to concentrate on the ideological and political education of the masses. If we can do this successfully, then we can win-over those sections too and allow them to join our ranks. These parties also have people under a corrupt leadership. If we can win-over the people through political and ideological struggle, we can win-over large number of their primary membership. Revolutionary breakthrough is linked to this process. The Chinese and Nepalese Party have developed through leaps and bounds by doing the same. Both the cadre force as well as the army can expand through this politically and ideologically also. If this dialectical relationship between the united front and the political and ideological struggle can be handled carefully, we will succeed in forming a strong united front and isolate the main enemy.
Ideologically the bourgeois class influence can be removed on the basis of the historical lessons of Marxism as a scientific theory. By doing this, we can win-over people and even change their world outlook and transform them with Marxist outlook.
We have talked about our basic understanding of a united front. About the subjective conditions the revolutionary intellectuals and democratic people are aligned in a favorable position for people. But this has to be made practically beneficial. The second question being the fierce repression, how can all this be achieved?
We recognize that we are a small Party still. But our real strength lies in Marxist ideology, the classes it represent, its line and policies. And to achieve united front what are the methods? CBB, landlords and imperialists are the enemy against whom vast masses need to be united on the basis of mass line and class line. If we keep to the interests of the masses and use both the mass line and class line correctly, we will definitely succeed and develop from a small force to a big national force.
Q. But practically how do you do it?
A. I talked about our strength even while we are physically small. I described where our main strength lies. But physical strength is also needed to fight. We need powerful army and strong mass base along with strong Party. This is practically a must. If this is not there, no matter how strong we are ideologically, it would lead to failure. So, we have to grow. For this, while facing the enemy repression, we have to use the correct tactics. In our assessment, enemy is going for all-out war. But it is creating its own trap. If we can understand that and effectively handle our guerilla war, we will succeed.
In practical terms there are two issues. One, Ruling class contradictions: There exist old contradictions in the society and new contradictions that will emerge among the ruling classes that must and should be utilized for the advantage of the people. Not only to defeat enemy and for immediate gains, but for a longer revolutionary purpose, this is required. We should strengthen our mass base and fronts which are the main shields of our power. Comrade Mao said that for developing army and war people are the decisive. We must mobilize the vast masses against the enemy and utilize the contradictions of the enemy to smash them one after another.
Second, while waging guerilla war in Andhra we had a setback; but we have not completely abandoned; nonetheless it is a setback. From Godavari valley (in Andhra Pradesh) to Maharashtra, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand to West Bengal border, we have to intensify and expand guerilla war. Enemy must be resisted by our forces but it must be according to our advantage basing on the concrete situation. At present we have to utilize cleverly the tactics of hit and run basically. We have to develop guerilla war into mobile war and guerilla army into a regular army. We need active involvement of people. Our strength lies in the people. The enemy will strive to limits us to armed confrontation only. And they want to limit us to a limited area. They are dividing our areas into various sections and encircle us. But we can also chase their base camps like honey bees by mobilizing the people. In areas where the enemy camps are located, even in those villages, we have Revolutionary People’s Committees where work is still going on. Hundreds of people built up ponds in complete knowledge of the security forces in the camps.
So as the enemy is splitting our masses, we are also trying to expand our base, and trying to encircle the enemy camps/bases. We have to keep in mind the strategic importance of guerilla war. They are bringing 1 lakh (100,000) soldiers. They have decided to bring and deploy Rashtriya Rifles (a special contingent of Indian army’s counter-insurgency force) from Jammu and Kashmir. But still Lalgarh to Surjagarh means crores (one crore equals ten million) of people. If we succeed in actively mobilizing the masses to fight back the enemy forces, then we can make this very war a basis for revolutionary change. It is definitely a challenge before us but we are confident that there is an advantage in the long run which cannot be achieved in a short period. But unlike what the enemy wants, to finish this in a short period, we want to stretch this war and transform the situation to our advantage favorable to the revolution.
They are trying to limit our area, while we are attempting to expand. They are building Gram Suraksha Samithis to fight so-called anti-socials and thereby doing their best to contain us. But people are inviting us. Even new, less experienced cadres who are meagerly armed are being asked to visit these areas by the people. For example, Sonebhadra in the Orissa, the villages invited us themselves. Then again our plans to expand from Raigad to Nayagad in the form of Operation Ropeway under which the Nayagad Raid was orchestrated enabled us to expand into this area in as little as 8-10 months. So, the Nayagad raid not only had military significance but also political significance as there was strategic reasons behind the raid. Then again Operation Vikas was undertaken to expand into the Manpur (Chattisgarh) area in the plains. And people are inviting us and their confidence is on the high. If we expand in this way, we will grow definitely and expand the guerilla war. If we proceed like this and successfully stretch the war, then in the longer run the political and economic situations are bound to change and under pressure the state will crumble. Presently, the state is willfully spending in military expenses, but as the war stretches and expand in to newer and newer areas, the more it will spend in the longer run it would lead to failure. We are waging our war with this strategic plan.
I already explained the second aspect of this question in my answer to your first question.
Q: Is it possible at this juncture for the Party to be at the centre of United Front? For instance, while working in Delhi where the Party is weak, how does it envisage an united front?
A: It is an utmost important task to keep the Party in the centre of united front. I already answered first aspect of your question in my answer to your first question.
About my second aspect for your question, in Delhi if you could do that it would be easier to work. But that is not the condition today. So, the party after analyzing the situation, decided to keep the party in centre through various other means possible. There are other means – through other Maoist forces, democratic and other progressive forces. And therefore, in places like Delhi, where there is limited scope for the Party directly, we have to work in other ways. Our forces must rise to the occasion, deploy capable forces for united front, identify the most reliable forces and organize a joint understanding at any important place. Different arrangements need to be made. Other democratic, progressive and Maoist forces need to be brought together and in the interim they should be made to lead.
Q: The situation in the early days of the Lalgarh movement was such that intellectuals in large numbers came out in support of the Lalgarh movement. But of late, the intellectuals have had differences in terms of the later stages of the movement, and the focus has been shifted to such issues as opposition to laws like Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). How do you perceive the situation?
A: If I had the latest state committee report, it would have been easier for me to answer this question. But still I would like to say that initially there was lot of support among urban intelligentsia. Now depending upon the enemy’s onslaught and the nature of struggle, it will also lead to changes in reaction to the support base. Some people may also go over to the opposition side of the Lalgarh movement. In Bengal, our influence in the Civil liberty groups and in urban areas is not much strong. We need to do more to develop this. We need to strengthen our work in urban areas. A lot would depend on our work there and the development of Lalgarh movement to a higher stage. There is a lot of difference between working among the basic masses and working among intellectuals as the latter involves several complex factors. In this context, if the intellectuals are united around any issue, even being UAPA, considering that it is not in contradiction to the larger struggle, it would be positive for us. Those who cannot come to directly support the violent phases of the movement can come together in other issues like that. So, demands may change but these must be slogans of the people. And both Lalgarh and new slogans need to be balanced.
I would say that the Party will definitely take positive criticisms from any quarter of people even those who may not agree with our basic line but stood up for people. We welcome criticism from people to rectify our mistakes and strengthen our Party. The movement against UAPA is bound to be used in immediate and long term interest of the people. And in general terms, as such any mobilization in this field in the longer run is not contradictory to the interests of the Party.
Q: Where do you place democracy in the working of the Party? Meaning the right to strike, the right to dissent, and the right to freedom of expression.
A: This is a very important question; however there is no confusion in our Party. We need a new democratic state in which other than CBB, the landlords and imperialists all others will have real or genuine freedom. Other than enemies of the people, for everybody there would be real or genuine democracy. In addition, I may say that while preparing Policy Program of Revolutionary People’s Committees (RPCs)/Jantana Sarkars, we have studied the experience of Graam Raajyaas of historic Telangana armed agrarian revolution, Policy Program of Chinese Soviets, People’s Barrio committees of the Philippines, Revolutionary People’s Committees of Peru, United Revolutionary People’s Councils of Nepal and also studied the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. In accordance with above we have all the fundamental rights including that every voter has the right to recall any elected person. Even has the right to bring any one in position of authority who works against interest of the people to court in order to prosecute them.
In terms of the four great freedoms declared by Chairman Mao during the Cultural Revolution, other than the character posters on the wall, all the rest freedoms have been ensured by the Policy Program of the RPC/Janathan Sarkar. As the level of development in the Janatana Sarkar advances we would also follow the freedom for character posters. According to the constitution no physical punishment for political opposition will be allowed, anybody had right to politically differ and even unionize. The Indian state is trying to control dissent and therefore people want revolution. We would not repeat the same mistake. Besides, for any mistakes in prosecution, the person has the right to appeal to the village Revolutionary People’s Committee, to higher levels and even to the Party. For instance, in one of the extension areas, there was an incident where in collusion with the Inspector General of Police, 33 members belonging to two villages became agents of the enemy. In this context our comrades went and handled the issue. While villagers wanted to give capital punishment to the main agent of the police, party interceded to give a chance to that person to realize his mistake.
Q: In a united front, everybody might not join. Some Maoist outfits and democratic organizations can even remain outside. How will you handle that?
A: Those in opposition are people’s enemies and more than 95% of the oppressed people would be against them. But even 5% is a big number in the Indian context. Our Party believes that over the course of the protracted peoples’ war it gives scope to destroy the enemy’s political power both directly as well as culturally as many followers are helped to transform. In China, Madam Sun Yet Sen till the last day was in power, although never a member of the Party. They can stay only as long as they serve people and have support of the people. When socially and politically they will become irrelevant, they will automatically vanish. It is possible for them to win in elections if such parties have support of the people. This provision is there in our policy Program of RPCs too even other persons belonging to other Parties/Organizations can join RPCs if they are voters and they have right to be elected to RPCs. This being our understanding, it has to be practically practiced on ground too. We have to develop this sphere. Nepal had made some advances in this respect.
We give scope to small and medium bourgeoisie to grow with some restrictions so that they may not become anti-people, and black marketing, stock piling and speculating can be controlled. We only restrict big capital of CBB and foreign. For instance in 1998-99 the government had stopped small traders to deal in forest products, so as the Khirjas (local traders) protested we fought for them in a movement, though we stopped usury and have controlled indiscriminate exploitation, we are not stopping products from outside to come in. This is capitalist development of one kind, but we are controlling it. It is needed to develop the people’s economy. If traders did not cooperate, how would we have survived? Under the Janatana Circar, the trade and industry department is handling the small traders so that the bourgeois outside cannot take advantage. So full freedom continues even if there are collaborators attempting to win them over. It is only in life and death context, that physical punishment is allowed. However right now, while facing repression and war, we are in a complex situation which has to be acknowledged.
Q: What is your party’s stance on talks?
A: In general people and Maoist revolutionaries do not want violence or armed confrontation with anybody. In unavoidable condition only they take-up arms and resist their enemies and they are waging liberation war by learning from the history. So, we see this as a war of self-defense. In this context of all-out war, we must recognize that the state of Andhra Pradesh has 130 thousand forces, there are 45 thousand forces in Chhattisgarh (to soon increase this by more than 20 thousand forces), 160 thousand forces in Maharashtra. Thus each state has a police force which is more than the national level forces of many European countries. The most cruel and dangerous special forces have been trained by the state along with various anti-people draconian laws. Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgharh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh along with Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have between them more than 700 to 800 thousand of police forces. Out of this, 250 to 300 thousand police forces are directly engaged against the people. And alongside 100 thousand central paramilitary forces have been deployed in these areas. Here people are combating against a stronger force than the movements in North East and Jammu-Kashmir. This is a brutal and violent repression campaign aimed at the suppression of the political movement of the people, and for exploitation of the minerals.
In this context, if possible we can hope for some respite. Longer the respite is better for people. Democratic work needs this context. But while government is holding automatic gun on one hand, one cannot talk about this. People will keep fighting. While pumping bullets people never drop weapons and people never surrender. All democratic, progressive, patriotic forces need to unite and fight against the all-out war on the people by the central and state governments. To put concisely the main demands that the party has placed in front of the government for any kind of talks are 1. All-out war has to be withdrawn; 2) For any kind of democratic work, the ban on the Party and Mass Organizations have to be lifted; 3) Illegal detention and torture of comrades had to be stopped and immediately released. If these demands are met, then the same leaders who are released from jails would lead and represent the Party in the talks.
Introduction on the Development of our Party
Since Jan Myrdal wrote the book “India Waits” in 1980s in which he talked about the movement there have been several developments in various aspects both political and military. It was since then, that we saw the development of a perspective, taking into account the concrete Indian specificity. There were only few experienced leaders that were left from the days of Com. CM. Many had gone into right deviation, some into left deviation and only few had come here. So, largely it was a new generation, a new youth, and to turn them into experienced cadre, a lot of time had to be invested. When you Jan Myrdal had come here in 1980, the party was still undergoing this problem.
It was only another 6-7 years, that proper leadership would emerge in the context of PW. When JM visited AP in 1980, that time there was only CPI(ML) state committee along with the Tamil Nadu State Committee. There was also a Central Committee but of course only confined to these two states, its scope was limited. The MCC was working in Bengal and Bihar in that period; however in Bengal it was very weak. In the same way PW was working in AP and Tamil Nadu, but in TN it was very weak. It is a retrospective observation of work in these two centers, in these two regions. Com. Kobad Gandhi and some other comrades from Maharashtra later joined PW. In MCC Com. KC started some work including Assam but in a very limited way. Now we have presence in 20 states but the Party is still very weak in many of these areas. So there is an uneven development under the protracted people’s war where according to our strength there are different levels of the movement in different regions. In this context, we must observe the development and the role of a revolutionary party which is important and which I will say.
Comrades, in 1980s the Party was trying to emerge from a setback. It was trying to reorganize and consolidate. On the one side, there was the problem of sectarianism and on the other hand, the mass base was largely lost. So we had to revive every thing both in terms of mass struggle and military. Accordingly, our tactics also changed. At that time it was mainly the anti-feudal struggles and the anti-imperialist propaganda-agitation that had been launched to create an anti-state opinion and open movements in the urban areas.
Previously, under Com. Charu Mazumdar the line had been to disregard mass organizations. Later we rethought and after going through an intense self-critical review, we acknowledged that there were some mistakes in the earlier years and on that basis, in order to advance, we rebuilt the movement. The Self-Critical Review was made in 1974, it was by 1977 August that forces within the party were convinced. And in practice it was reaffirmed by Party AP State Conference in September 1980 that marks the beginning of a new practice.
It was since then, that we saw the development of a perspective, taking into account the concrete Indian specificity. There were only few experienced leadership that were left from the days of Com. CM. Many had gone into right deviation, some into left deviation and only few had come here. So, largely it was a new generation, a new youth, and to turn them into experienced cadre, a lot of time had to be invested. When you had come here, the party was still undergoing this problem. It was only another 6-7 years, that proper leadership would emerge in the context of PW.
First a revolutionary party needs a leadership for understanding national and international conditions, as well as the economic and political conditions to make tactics accordingly. Some of the perspectives that I talked of, in the post-80s period, if we add those experience, we would see that in later years we had made some developments in this sphere of understanding.
Secondly, a revolutionary party needs to organize people and lead class struggle. From the strategic perspective plans were made and spots were selected and some development was made since 1980s in terms of people struggling under leadership of the party which came up as a concrete development.
Thirdly, for a revolutionary party, it is important to organize armed struggle. The CP Reddy group had the name of the CPI(ML) and was part of the PCP under the leadership of SNS. It was only they who had some squads in the Godavari area at that time which you had visited. People’s War had started some armed squads in the shape of peasant squads only then, while they already had 60-70 armed cadres by that time.
Later as we developed class struggle according to the idea of area wise seizure of power, to build people’s army, the PW here and the MCC there started making armed guerilla squads at the levels of 5,7,9,11. Some platoons and guerilla zones thereby emerged. In some areas just before the 2004 merger, even companies emerged. The erstwhile PW had People’s Guerilla Army while MCC had People’s Liberation Guerilla Army. In the merger process we found the PLGA under CPI(Maoist). The next stage is battalions moving progressively towards the formation of PLA. Depending on the basic tenets, we have evolved the higher stages of political and military power and the political power of the people. The vision was there even before the 80s. MCC was also there. But practically it was only achieved in terms of concrete development after the merger.
There are two more developments that I would like to point out. A party which in practice is evolving tactics or policy involving a large mass in its rank and files has to practice involving people in thousands and lakhs (a lakh equals one hundred thousand). In practice, while facing the problem and while rectifying the mistakes there were bitter internal and external struggle. It is only through the process of this bitter ideological and political struggle that we have reached today’s position. After the rectification and review of 70s, the PW had emerged and it had to face grave internal crisis in the form of 1. Sectarianism and dogmatism in the mid-80s, and 2. the hurdle posed by the leadership of Com. Kondapalli Seetharamiah in the beginning of 90s. Then again, the clashes between MCC and PW had been a bitter and unforgettable experience, a black chapter in history. In order to face ideological and political challenges, the party tactically evolved two approaches: discussion and review and struggle. All three times the party emerged successfully from the crisis. The MCC also in the same way emerged from its own internal crisis. A section of it intended to continue the fight, they were also differences pertaining to Maoism and dogmatism through which it emerged successfully. The PU too fought against forces that opposed protracted people’s war and agrarian revolution and emerged successfully. The PW and MCC even at this stage get smaller while the Vinod Mishra and Satya Narain Singh groups get stronger and influential. While VM moved to left opportunism, SNS moved into right opportunism. And in practice, they split and finally faced virtual liquidation with extremely nominal presence today.
Earlier, along with the fight against revisionism we faced the problem of having a line that only talked of seizing state power and that other political questions like the nationality question, the women question, the dalit (untouchables or scheduled castes) question and the question of religious minorities would automatically be addressed. However, later we rectified this stand and merged both immediate slogans and ultimate slogans together. This was a must for the success of NDR and development towards it. While various other ML groups only raised immediate slogans and thereby went into reformism, we for a long time only gave the ultimate slogan. But now, by putting together both immediate and ultimate slogans we move towards better development.
For Party education, there are several Party Magazines at Central, State and District level. Around 25 of them are Party’s. Several others are Mass Organizations’ Magazines, e.g. centrally we are publishing People’s War/Laal Pathaaka, an Ideological and Political Magazine simultaneously in English and Hindi and in other languages; Awami Jung, a Military Magazine in different languages; Maoist Information Bulletin in English.
In DK we are publishing following Magazines
1. Prabhath (Hindi, Party Political Magazine)
2. Viyyukka (Ideological and Political Magazine, in Gondi/Koyam)
3. Padiyora Pollo (Military Magazine, Gondi/Koyam)
4. Sangharsharath Mahila (KAMS Magazine, in Hindi)
5. Jhankar (Literary and Cultural Magazine in multi-lingual)
At Division/District level in Gondi/Koyam: South Bastar Division: Pituri (Rebellion); West Bastar Division: Midangur (Fireplace); Darbha Division: Moyil Gudrum (Thunder); North and South Divisions of Gadichiroli: Poddhu (Sun); Maad and North Bastar Joint Division: Bhoomkal (Earthquake); East Bastar Division: Bhoomkal Sandesh (Rebellion Message). Other than this the Janatana Sarkar also has made a Magazine called Janatana Raj (People’s State).
There are also study classes that are organized with study notes and syllabus. Political classes are organized at different state levels, some times rectification campaigns are organized for 4-6 months to one year when the history of the Chinese, Philippines and Peru revolutions are discussed for political and ideological training. There are military instructor teams for military schools and Awami Jung as the military magazine of Central Committee.
The Party in the DK area faces the problem of illiteracy and lack of primary education and so we organized the MAS (mobile education) for the purpose of primary academic education of party cadres. Hundreds of cadre have been trained since its beginning. The mass organizations also run academic programs with their own syllabus which is made in consultation with the leadership and committee members.
Introduction on the Development of People’s Army (at present called People’s Liberation Guerilla Army)
I request you refer our central documents for complete picture of our army development in specific conditions of the country and in which international situation it is formed. I request you to give attention on this due to its vitality in any revolution
Introduction on the Development of UF
In terms of mass organizations, we over the years, developed in several fronts including peasant, women, students, youth, civil rights groups, literary and cultural groups, children, nationality, workers, employees and so on. The stronger the party in a state, the larger the organization and the fronts. In the weaker areas there are fewer mass organizations at the state level in accordance with the strength of the party. Right now, the party has mass organizations both at the state and all India level, and the idea is to represent the four-class organizations in accordance with the four-class alliance and other sections too. With the emphasis is being to mass organizations, we presently have 30-40 of them working in various fronts. During by the 80s MCC had few mass organizations working secretly in a limited scope. In AP the peasantry, the students and the literary-cultural sections along with the youth had some influence but now with the development of our understanding different mass organizations from village level to the state level to the all India level exist. In the 9th Congress of the PW it was decided to develop mass organizations and united fronts which would be issue-based and tactical. At some issues even enemy classes and local leaders could come together in immediate and medium terms. These developed further after the merger. So the class struggle needs to be waged at sectional, underground as well as open levels. Legal opportunities needs to be utilized, there are some mass organizations working with MLM general guideline, while there are some that are working under complete cover even with others.
On International Relations
In the 1980s beginning both MCC and PW had been regional in scope, because of which we failed to a large extent in connecting at the larger international movements. However mid-1990s onwards, both Parties and particularly after the formation of the CPI(Maoist) is now playing a role internationally too. We are participating in international debates and sending delegations to international forums though much progress needs to be made in this front. It is nonetheless better than in the 1980s and 1990s. In terms of RIM, MCC had joined it in 2002. The PW however opposed to join in RIM as it believed that it is only after thorough deliberations, understandings and discussions that such an international platform could be evolved in order to avoid a sectarian approach. Therefore the PW did not join the RIM, while MCC went ahead. After merger, though it was decided that whatever the new Party decided would be put to practice. And since then as per the decision of the whole Party, it kept itself out of RIM. We kept outside RIM which by now has become virtually defunct.
It is important for the success of the Indian revolution as an inseparable part of great world socialist revolution to actively defend MLM, fight imperialism and support the class struggle throughout the world and also take the support of the International Maoist Parties/Organizations/Forces, proletariat and people. For this purpose, we maintain fraternal relations with Maoist and anti-imperialist forces. We believe that it is both important to extend help as well as take international help for the success of any revolution but because of the ongoing repression. Overall, I once again say that we stuck to basics of MLM. We invite critical suggestions from any Maoist Party/Organization.
We believe that CPI(Maoist) is a detachment of world proletariat revolution. If it succeeds, we would say one part of the world would succeed – it is not independent. It would work as a part of the world socialist revolution and it is strictly related to the success or failure of the world socialist revolution. More working class struggles in the imperialist/capitalist countries will have a favorable impact on Indian revolution.
Jan Myrdal is a Swedish author, political writer, journalist, and advocate of anti-colonialist, anti-imperialist and popular liberation movements; Gautam Navlakha is the editorial consultant of EPW (Economic and Political Weekly) and also a leading democratic rights activist attached to People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), Delhi.

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Interview with com. Ganapathi, CPI Maoist General Secretary

Posted by ajadhind on November 14, 2009

In this interview, taken from the October 17, 2009 issue of Open magazine, Ganapathi, General Secretary of the CPI (Maoist), talks about the party’s work in Lalgarh, its response to the government’s upcoming military offensive, the political situation in Nepal, the defeat of the LTTE, the contradictory nature of Islamist movements in the world today, and the role of the new chieftain of US imperialism.

Oct 13, ’09: Villagers watch as Maoists burn effigies of Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh in Dumariya, Gaya district, Bihar , Picture: Out Look
“We Shall Certainly Defeat the Government”
The supreme commander of CPI (Maoist) talks to Open in his first-ever interview.
At first sight, Mupalla Laxman Rao, who is about to turn 60, looks like a school teacher. In fact, he was one in the early 1970s in Andhra Pradesh’s Karimnagar district. In 2009, however, the bespectacled, soft-spoken figure is India’s Most Wanted Man. He runs one of the world’s largest Left insurgencies—a man known in Home Ministry dossiers as Ganapathi; a man whose writ runs large through 15 states.
The supreme commander of CPI (Maoist) is a science graduate and holds a B Ed degree as well. He still conducts classes, but now they are on guerilla warfare for other senior Maoists. He replaced the founder of the People’s War Group, Kondapalli Seetharaamiah, as the party’s general-secretary in 1991. Ganapathi is known to change his location frequently, and intelligence reports say he has been spotted in cities like Hyderabad, Kolkata and Kochi.
After months of attempts, Ganapathi agreed to give his first-ever interview. Somewhere in the impregnable jungles of Dandakaranya, he spoke to RAHUL PANDITA on issues ranging from the Government’s proposed anti-Naxal offensive to Islamist Jihadist movements.
Q Lalgarh has been described as the New Naxalbari by the CPI (Maoist). How has it become so significant for you?
A The Lalgarh mass uprising has, no doubt, raised new hopes among the oppressed people and the entire revolutionary camp in West Bengal. It has great positive impact not only on the people of West Bengal but also on the people all over the country. It has emerged as a new model of mass movement in the country. We had seen similar types of movements earlier in Manipur, directed against Army atrocities and Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), in Kashmir, in Dandakaranya and to some extent in Orissa, after the Kalinganagar massacre perpetrated by the Naveen Patnaik government.
Then there have been mass movements in Singur and Nandigram but there the role of a section of the ruling classes is also significant. These movements were utilised by the ruling class parties for their own electoral interests. But Lalgarh is a more widespread and more sustained mass political movement that has spurned the leadership of all the parliamentary political parties, thereby rendering them completely irrelevant. The people of Lalgarh had even boycotted the recent Lok Sabha polls, thereby unequivocally demonstrating their anger and frustration with all the reactionary ruling class parties. Lalgarh also has some distinctive features such as a high degree of participation of women, a genuinely democratic character and a wider mobilisation of Adivasis. No wonder, it has become a rallying point for the revolutionary-democratic forces in West Bengal.
Q If it is a people’s movement, how did Maoists get involved in Lalgarh?
A As far as our party’s role is concerned, we have been working in Paschim Midnapur, Bankura and Purulia, in what is popularly known as Jangalmahal since the 1980s. We fought against the local feudal forces, against the exploitation and oppression by the forest officials, contractors, unscrupulous usurers and the goondaism of both the CPM and Trinamool Congress. The ruling CPM, in particular, has become the chief exploiter and oppressor of the Adivasis of the region, and it has unleashed its notorious vigilanté gangs called Harmad Vahini on whoever questions its authority. With the State authority in its hands, and with the aid of the police, it is playing a role worse than that of the cruel landlords in other regions of the country.
Given this background, anyone who dares to fight against oppression and exploitation by the CPM can win the respect and confidence of the people. Since our party has been fighting uncompromisingly against the atrocities of the CPM goons, it naturally gained the confidence and respect of the people of the region.
The police atrocities in the wake of the landmine blast on 2 November [in 2008, from which West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb
Bhattacharjee had a narrow escape] acted as the trigger that brought the pent-up anger of the masses into the open. This assumed the form of a long-drawn mass movement, and our party played the role of a catalyst.
Q But not so long ago, the CPM was your friend. You even took arms and ammunition from it to fight the Trinamool Congress. This has been confirmed by a Politburo member of CPI (Maoist) in certain interviews. And now you are fighting the CPM with the help of the Trinamool. How did a friend turn into a foe and vice-versa?
A This is only partially true. We came to know earlier that some ammunition was taken by our local cadre from the CPM unit in the area. There was, however, no understanding with the leadership of the CPM in this regard. Our approach was to unite all sections of the oppressed masses at the lower levels against the goondaism and oppression of Trinamool goons in the area at that time. And since a section of the oppressed masses were in the fold of the CPM at that time, we fought together with them against Trinamool. Still, taking into consideration the overall situation in West Bengal, it was not a wise step to take arms and ammunition from the CPM even at the local level when the contradiction was basically between two sections of the reactionary ruling classes.
Our central committee discussed this, criticised the comrade responsible for taking such a decision, and directed the concerned comrades to stop this immediately. As regards taking ammunition from the Trinamool Congress, I remember that we had actually purchased it not directly from the Trinamool but from someone who had links with the Trinamool. There will never be any conditions or agreements with those selling us arms. That has been our understanding all along. As regards the said interview by our Politburo member, we will verify what he had actually said.
Q What are your tactics now in Lalgarh after the massive offensive by the Central and state forces?
A First of all, I wish to make it crystal clear that our party will spearhead and stand firmly by the side of the people of Lalgarh and entire Jangalmahal, and draw up tactics in accordance with the people’s interests and mandate. We shall spread the struggle against the State everywhere and strive to win over the broad masses to the side of the people’s cause. We shall fight the State offensive by mobilising the masses more militantly against the police, Harmad Vahini and CPM goons. The course of the development of the movement, of course, will depend on the level of consciousness and preparedness of the people of the region. The party will take this into consideration while formulating its tactics. The initiative of the masses will be released fully.
Q The Government has termed Lalgarh a ‘laboratory’ for anti-Naxal operations. Has your party also learnt any lessons from Lalgarh?
A Yes, our party too has a lot to learn from the masses of Lalgarh. Their upsurge was beyond our expectations. In fact, it was the common people, with the assistance of advanced elements influenced by revolutionary politics, who played a crucial role in the formulation of tactics. They formed their own organisation, put forth their charter of demands, worked out various novel forms of struggle, and stood steadfast in the struggle despite the brutal attacks by the police and the social-fascist Harmad gangs. The Lalgarh movement has the support of revolutionary and democratic forces not only in West Bengal but in the entire country. We are appealing to all revolutionary and democratic forces in the country to unite to fight back the fascist offensive by the Buddhadeb government in West Bengal and the UPA Government at the Centre. By building the broadest fighting front, and by adopting appropriate tactics of combining the militant mass political movement with armed resistance of the people and our PLGA (People’s Liberation Guerilla Army), we will defeat the massive offensive by the Central-state forces. I cannot say more than this at the present juncture.
Q The Centre has declared an all-out war against Maoists by branding the CPI (Maoist) a terrorist organisation and imposing an all-India ban on the party. How has it affected your party?
A Our party has already been banned in several states of India. By imposing the ban throughout the country, the Government now wants to curb all our open activities in West Bengal and a few other states where legal opportunities exist to some extent. The Government wants to use this draconian UAPA [Unlawful Activities
(Prevention) Act] to harass whoever dares to raise a voice against fake encounters, rapes and other police atrocities on the people residing in Maoist-dominated regions. Anyone questioning the State’s brutalities will now be branded a terrorist.
The real terrorists and biggest threats to the country’s security are none other than Manmohan Singh, Chidambaram, Buddhadeb, other ruling class leaders and feudal forces who terrorise the people on a daily basis.
The UPA Government had declared, as soon as it assumed power for the second time, that it would crush the Maoist ‘menace’ and began pouring in huge funds to the states for this purpose. The immediate reason behind this move is the pressure exerted by the comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and the imperialists, particularly US imperialists, who want to plunder the resources of our country without any hindrance. These sharks aspire to swallow the rich abundant mineral and forest wealth in the vast contiguous region stretching from Jangalmahal to north Andhra. This region is the wealthiest as well as the most underdeveloped part of our country. These sharks want to loot the wealth and drive the Adivasi people of the region to further impoverishment.
Another major reason for the current offensive by the ruling classes is the fear of the rapid growth of the Maoist movement and its increasing influence over a significant proportion of the Indian population. The Janatana Sarkars in Dandakaranya and the revolutionary people’s committees in Jharkhand, Orissa and parts of some other states have become new models of genuine people’s democracy and development. The rulers want to crush these new models of development and genuine democracy, as these are emerging as the real alternative before the people of the country at large.
Q The Home Ministry has made preparations for launching a long-term battle against Maoists. A huge force will be soon trying to wrest away areas from your control. How do you plan to confront this offensive?
A Successive governments in various states and the Centre have been hatching schemes over the years. But they could not achieve any significant success through their cruel offensive in spite of murdering hundreds of our leaders and cadres. Our party and our movement continued to consolidate and expand to new regions. From two or three states, the movement has now spread to over 15 states, giving jitters to the ruling classes. Particularly after the merger of the erstwhile MCCI and People’s War in September 2004 [the merger between
these groups led to the formation of the CPI (Maoist)], the UPA Government has unleashed the most cruel all-round offensive against the Maoist movement. Yet our party continued to grow despite suffering some severe losses. In the past three years, in particular, our PLGA has achieved several significant victories.
We have been confronting the continuous offensive of the enemy with the support and active involvement of the masses. We shall confront the new offensive of the enemy by stepping up such heroic resistance and preparing the entire party, PLGA, the various revolutionary parties and organisations and the entire people. Although the enemy may achieve a few successes in the initial phase, we shall certainly overcome and defeat the Government offensive with the active mobilisation of the vast masses and the support of all the revolutionary and democratic forces in the country. No fascist regime or military dictator in history could succeed in suppressing forever the just and democratic struggles of the people through brute force, but were, on the contrary, swept away by the high tide of people’s resistance. People, who are the makers of history, will rise up like a tornado under our party’s leadership to wipe out the reactionary blood-sucking vampires ruling our country.
Q Why do you think the CPI (Maoist) suffered a serious setback in Andhra Pradesh?
A It was due to several mistakes on our part that we suffered a serious setback in most of Andhra Pradesh by 2006. At the same time, we should also look at the setback from another angle. In any protracted people’s war, there will be advances and retreats. If we look at the situation in Andhra Pradesh from this perspective, you will understand that what we did there is a kind of retreat. Confronted with a superior force, we chose to temporarily retreat our forces from some regions of Andhra Pradesh, extend and develop our bases in the surrounding regions and then hit back at the enemy.
Now even though we received a setback, it should be borne in mind that this setback is a temporary one. The objective conditions in which our revolution began in Andhra Pradesh have not undergone any basic change. This very fact continues to serve as the basis for the growth and intensification of our movement. Moreover, we now have a more consolidated mass base, a relatively better-trained people’s guerilla army and an all-India party with deep roots among the basic classes who comprise the backbone of our revolution. This is the reason why the reactionary rulers are unable to suppress our revolutionary war, which is now raging in several states in the country.
We had taken appropriate lessons from the setback suffered by our party in Andhra Pradesh and, based on these lessons, drew up tactics in other states. Hence we are able to fight back the cruel all-round offensive of the enemy effectively, inflict significant losses on the enemy, preserve our subjective forces, consolidate our party, develop a people’s liberation guerilla army, establish embryonic forms of new democratic people’s governments in some pockets, and take the people’s war to a higher stage. Hence we have an advantageous situation, overall, for reviving the movement in Andhra Pradesh. Our revolution advances wave-like and periods of ebb yield place to periods of high tide.
Q What are the reasons for the setback suffered by the LTTE in Sri Lanka?
A There is no doubt that the movement for a separate sovereign Tamil Eelam has suffered a severe setback with the defeat and considerable decimation of the LTTE. The Tamil people and the national liberation forces are now leaderless. However, the Tamil people at large continue to cherish nationalist aspirations for a separate Tamil homeland. The conditions that gave rise to the movement for Tamil Eelam, in the first place, prevail to this day. The Sinhala-chauvinist Sri Lankan ruling classes can never change their policy of discrimination against the Tamil nation, its culture, language, etcetera. The jingoistic rallies and celebrations organised by the government and Sinhala chauvinist parties all over Sri Lanka in the wake of Prabhakaran’s death and the defeat of the LTTE show the national hatred for Tamils nurtured by Sinhala organisations and the extent to which the minds of ordinary Sinhalese are poisoned with such chauvinist frenzy.
The conspiracy of the Sinhala ruling classes in occupying Tamil territories is similar to that of the Zionist rulers of Israel. The land-starved Sinhala people will now be settled in Tamil areas. The entire demography of the region is going to change. The ground remains fertile for the resurgence of the Tamil liberation struggle.
Even if it takes time, the war for a separate Tamil Eelam is certain to revive, taking lessons from the defeat of the LTTE. By adopting a proletarian outlook and ideology, adopting new tactics and building the broadest united front of all nationalist and democratic forces, it is possible to achieve the liberation of the oppressed Tamil nation [in
Sri Lanka]. Maoist forces have to grow strong enough to provide leadership and give a correct direction and anti-imperialist orientation to this struggle to achieve a sovereign People’s Democratic Republic of Tamil Eelam. This alone can achieve the genuine liberation of the Tamil nation in Sri Lanka.
Q Is it true that you received military training from the LTTE initially?
A No. It is not a fact. We had clarified this several times in the past.
Q But, one of your senior commanders has told me that some senior cadre of the erstwhile PWG did receive arms training and other support from the LTTE.
A Let me reiterate, there is no relation at all between our party and the LTTE. We tried several times to establish relations with the LTTE but its leadership was reluctant to have a relationship with Maoists in India. Hence, there is no question of the LTTE giving training to us. In spite of it, we continued our support to the struggle for Tamil Eelam. However, a few persons who had separated from the LTTE came into our contact and we took their help in receiving initial training in the last quarter of the 1980s.
Q Does your party have links with Lashkar-e-Toiba or other Islamic militant groups having links with Pakistan?
A No. Not at all. This is only mischievous, calculated propaganda by the police officials, bureaucrats and leaders of the reactionary political parties to defame us and thereby justify their cruel offensive against the Maoist movement. By propagating the lie that our party has links with groups linked to Pakistan’s ISI, the reactionary rulers of our country want to prove that we too are terrorists and gain legitimacy for their brutal terror campaign against Maoists and the people in the areas of armed agrarian struggle. Trying to prove the involvement of a foreign hand in every just and democratic struggle, branding those fighting for the liberation of the oppressed as traitors to the country, is part of the psychological-war of the reactionary rulers.
Q What is your party’s stand regarding Islamist jihadist movements?
A Islamic jihadist movements of today are a product of imperialist—particularly US imperialist—aggression, intervention, bullying, exploitation and suppression of the oil-rich Islamic and Arab countries of West Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, etcetera, and the persecution of the entire Muslim religious community. As part of their designs for global hegemony, the imperialists, particularly US imperialists, have encouraged and endorsed every war of brazen aggression and brutal attacks by their surrogate state of Israel.
Our party unequivocally opposes every attack on Arab and Muslim countries and the Muslim community at large in the name of ‘war on global terror’. In fact, Muslim religious fundamentalism is encouraged and fostered by imperialists as long as it serves their interests—such as in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, and Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan.
Q But what about attacks perpetrated by the so-called ‘Jihadis’ on innocent people like it happened on 26/11?
A See, Islamic jihadist movements have two aspects: one is their anti-imperialist aspect, and the other their reactionary aspect in social and cultural matters. Our party supports the struggle of Muslim countries and people against imperialism, while criticising and struggling against the reactionary ideology and social outlook of Muslim fundamentalism. It is only Maoist leadership that can provide correct anti-imperialist orientation and achieve class unity among Muslims as well as people of other religious persuasions. The influence of Muslim fundamentalist ideology and leadership will diminish as communist revolutionaries and other democratic-secular forces increase their ideological influence over the Muslim masses. As communist revolutionaries, we always strive to reduce the influence of the obscurantist reactionary ideology and outlook of the mullahs and maulvis on the Muslim masses, while uniting with all those fighting against the common enemy of the world people—that is, imperialism, particularly American imperialism.
Q How do you look at the changes in US policy after Barack Obama took over from George Bush?
A Firstly, one would be living in a fool’s paradise if one imagines that there is going to be any qualitative change in American policy—whether internal or external—after Barack Obama took over from George Bush. In fact, the policies on national security and foreign affairs pursued by Obama over the past eight months have shown the essential continuity with those of his predecessor. The ideological and political justification for these regressive policies at home and aggressive policies abroad is the same trash put forth by the Bush administration—the so-called ‘global war on terror’, based on outright lies and slander. Worse still, the policies have become even more aggressive under Obama with his planned expansion of the US-led war of aggression in Afghanistan into the territory of Pakistan. The hands of this new killer-in-chief of the pack of imperialist wolves are already stained with the blood of hundreds of women and children who are cruelly murdered in relentless missile attacks from Predator drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And, within the US itself, bail-outs for the tiny corporate elite and attacks on democratic and human rights of US citizens continue without any change.
The oppressed people and nations of the world are now confronting an even more formidable and dangerous enemy in the form of an African-American president of the most powerful military machine and world gendarme. The world people should unite to wage a more relentless, more militant and more consistent struggle against the American marauders led by Barack Obama and pledge to defeat them to usher in a world of peace, stability and genuine democracy.
Q How do you look at the current developments in Nepal?
A As soon as the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) [CPN(M)] came to power in alliance with the comprador-feudal parties through the parliamentary route in Nepal, we had pointed out the grave danger of imperialist and Indian expansionist intervention in Nepal and how they would leave no stone unturned to overthrow the government led by CPN(M). As long as Prachanda did not defy the directives of the Indian Government, it was allowed to continue, but when it began to go against Indian hegemony, it was immediately pulled down. CPN-UML withdrew support to the Prachanda-led government upon the advice of American imperialists and Indian expansionists. We disagreed with the line of peaceful transition pursued by the UCPN(M) in the name of tactics. We decided to send an open letter to the UCPN(M). It was released in July 2009.
We made our party’s stand clear in the letter. We pointed out that the UCPN(M) chose to reform the existing State through an elected constituent assembly and a bourgeois democratic republic instead of adhering to the Marxist-Leninist understanding on the imperative to smash the old State and establish a proletarian State. This would have been the first step towards the goal of achieving socialism through the radical transformation of society and all oppressive class relations. It is indeed a great tragedy that the UCPN(M) has chosen to abandon the path of protracted people’s war and pursue a parliamentary path in spite of having de facto power in most of the countryside.
It is heartening to hear that a section of the leadership of the UCPN(M) has begun to struggle against the revisionist positions taken by Comrade Prachanda and others. Given the great revolutionary traditions of the UCPN(M), we hope that the inner-party struggle will repudiate the right opportunist line pursued by its leadership, give up revisionist stands and practices, and apply minds creatively to the concrete conditions of Nepal.
Q Of late, the party has suffered serious losses of party leadership at the central and state level. Besides, it is widely believed that some of the senior-most Maoist leaders, including you, have become quite old and suffer from serious illnesses, which is also cited as one of the reasons for the surrenders. What is the effect of the losses and surrenders on the movement? How are you dealing with problems arising out of old age and illnesses?
A (Smiles…) This type of propaganda is being carried out continuously, particularly by the Special Intelligence Branch (SIB) of Andhra Pradesh. It is a part of the psychological war waged by intelligence officials and top police brass aimed at confusing and demoralising supporters of the Maoist movement. It is a fact that some of the party leaders at the central and state level could be described as senior citizens according to criteria used by the government, that is, those who have crossed the threshold of 60 years. You can start calling me too a senior citizen in a few months (smiles). But old age and ill-health have never been a serious problem in our party until now. You can see the ‘senior citizens’ in our party working for 16-18 hours a day and covering long distances on foot.As for surrenders, it is a big lie to say that old age and ill-health have been a reason for some of the surrenders.
When Lanka Papi Reddy, a former member of our central committee, surrendered in the beginning of last year, the media propagated that more surrenders of our party leaders will follow due to ill-health. The fact is that Papi Reddy surrendered due to his loss of political conviction and his petty-bourgeois false prestige and ego. Hence he was not prepared to face the party after he was demoted by the central committee for his anarchic behaviour with a woman comrade.
Some senior leaders of our party, like comrades Sushil Roy and Narayan Sanyal, had become a nightmare for the ruling classes even when they were in their mid 60s. Hence they were arrested, tortured and imprisoned despite their old age and ill-health. The Government is doing everything possible to prevent them from getting bail. Even if someone in our party is old, he/she continues to serve the revolution by doing whatever work possible. For instance, Comrade Niranjan Bose, who died recently at the age of 92, had been carrying out revolutionary propaganda until his martyrdom. The social fascist rulers were so scared of this nonagenarian Maoist revolutionary that they had even arrested him four years back. Such is the spirit of Maoist revolutionaries—and power of the ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism which they hold high. When there are serious illnesses, or physical and mental limitations to perform normal work, such comrades are given suitable work.
Q But what about the arrests and elimination of some of your senior leadership? How do you intend to fill up such losses?
A Well, it is a fact that we lost some senior leaders at the state and central level in the past four or five years. Some leaders were secretly arrested and murdered in the most cowardly manner. Many other and state leaders were arrested and placed behind bars in the recent past in Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Haryana and other states. The loss of leadership will have a grave impact on the party and Indian revolution as a whole. We are reviewing the reasons for the losses regularly and devising ways and means to prevent further losses. By adopting strictly secret methods of functioning and foolproof underground mechanisms, by enhancing our mass base, vigilance and local intelligence, smashing enemy intelligence networks and studying their plans and tactics, we hope to check further losses. At the same time, we are training and developing new revolutionary leadership at all levels to fill up the losses.
Q How do you sum up the present stage of war between your forces and those of the Indian State?
A Our war is in the stage of strategic defence. In some regions, we have an upper hand, while in others the enemy has the upper hand. Overall, our forces have been quite successful in carrying out a series of tactical counter-offensive operations against the enemy in our guerilla zones in the past few years.
It is true that our party has suffered some serious leadership losses, but we are able to inflict serious losses on the enemy too. In fact, in the past three years, the enemy forces suffered more casualties than we did. The enemy has been trying all means at their disposal to weaken, disrupt and crush our party and movement. They have tried covert agents and informers, poured in huge amounts of money to buy off weak elements in the revolutionary camp, and announced a series of rehabilitation packages and other material incentives to lure away people from the revolutionary camp. Thousands of crores of rupees have been sanctioned for police modernisation, training and for raising additional commando forces; for increasing Central forces; for training Central and state forces in counter-insurgency warfare; and for building roads, communication networks and other infrastructure for the rapid movement of their troops in our guerilla zones. The Indian State has set up armed vigilante groups and provided total support to the indescribable atrocities committed by these armed gangs on the people. Psychological warfare against Maoists was taken to unheard of levels.
Nevertheless, we continued to make greater advances, consolidated the party and the revolutionary people’s committees at various levels, strengthened the PLGA qualitatively and quantitatively, smashed the enemy’s intelligence network in several areas, effectively countered the dirty psychological-war waged by the enemy, and foiled the enemy’s all-out attempts to disrupt and smash our movement. The successes we had achieved in several tactical counter-offensive operations carried out across the country in recent days, the militant mass movements in several states, particularly against displacement and other burning issues of the people, initiatives taken by our revolutionary people’s governments in various spheres—all these have had a great impact on the people, while demoralising enemy forces. There are reports of desertions and disobedience of orders by the jawans posted in Maoist-dominated areas. Quite a few have refused to undertake training in jungle warfare or take postings in our areas, and had to face suspension. This trend will grow with the further advance of our people’s war. Overall, our party’s influence has grown stronger and it has now come to be recognised as the only genuine alternative before the people.
Q How long will this stage of strategic defence last, with the Centre ready to go for the jugular?
A The present stage of strategic defence will last for some more time. It is difficult to predict how long it will take to pass this stage and go to the stage of strategic equilibrium or strategic stalemate. It depends on the transformation of our guerilla zones into base areas, creation of more guerilla zones and red resistance areas across the country, the development of our PLGA. With the ever-intensifying crisis in all spheres due to the anti-people policies of pro-imperialist, pro-feudal governments, the growing frustration and anger of the masses resulting from the most rapacious policies of loot and plunder pursued by the reactionary ruling classes, we are confident that the vast masses of the country will join the ranks of revolutionaries and take the Indian revolution to the next stage.

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