Message to the International Conference to Support People's War in India
Hamburg, November 2012
CPI (M-L) NAXALBARI
This conference is taking place at an opportune moment in the history of the development of the class struggle, not only from the perspective of the history of development of the Maoist movement in India but also from the perspective of the critical juncture of the socio-economic and political phase the world as a whole is presently going through. In a world marked by aggressive moves of the sole super power US imperialism, the rapid advance of people’s war in Peru led by the PCP and later, from 1996, of the people’s war in Nepal led by CPN (Maoist) came as new rays of hope for the downtrodden and the toiling masses of the world. But these movements could not sustain their role of strengthening the Maoist pole; firstly, due to the setback in Peru caused by consecutive arrests of top leadership of PCP and later the confusion created by ROL attack and secondly, due to the betrayal of the Prachanda-Bhattarai revisionists in Nepal. This was worsened further with the dissolution of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement (RIM) which was shaping itself as the embryonic centre of the world Maoist movement. It fell victim to those very trends mentioned above, which came from within it, along with Avakianism propounded under the guise of ‘New Synthesis’ by the RCP, USA. It is in this background that this conference attains higher significance. It is not just an act of showing solidarity to our struggling comrades in arms in the dense forests of Central Eastern India but it is shouldering the momentous task of spreading the message of revolution guided by Maoism, which is an urgent need of the hour, particularly in these times of global imperialist crisis. The CPI (ML) NAXALBARI extends its wholehearted support to this endeavour. Our party salutes the International Committee to Support People's War in India for conceptualising and successfully implementing it. We extend revolutionary greetings to all those who are attending this seminar and also to all those who, like us, participate indirectly.
The Maoist movement in India, popularly known as the Naxalite movement, was initiated in the late 60s under the leadership of Com Charu Muzumdar, fondly known as CM. As opposed to the revisionists and the centrists’ trend of not taking a clear stand on ideological issues, CM dared to take a defiant stand supporting the international struggle that Mao Tsetung initiated against Krushchovian revisionism in general and later the GPCR targeting the capitalist roaders within the CPC. This breakthrough from the revisionist eclectic approach ushered a new revolutionary high tide launched by the Naxalbari armed peasant struggle of 1967. It spread like prairie fire. This heightened a countrywide revolutionary situation. The movement was brutally attacked by heavy repression. CM was martyred and the party center ceased to exist. The revolution suffered a setback for some years. But such was the ideological solidity and revolutionary determination ensured by CM that the embers of Naxalbari continued to light up new revolutionary flames every time there were setbacks. The flames of Naxalbari never died as there were armed struggles spread out in various areas. Some of them overcame shortcomings and developed to defend the armed struggle and advance with consistency. In the process the experience of the revolutionary classes got enriched. These continuations of Naxalbari influenced and transformed lives in vast swathes of their areas of work. The merger of the two main Maoist parties directly engaged in people’s war, into the CPI (Maoist), brought about a qualitative and quantitative change. The people’s war has now been raised to the position of a countrywide recognized revolutionary pole, a pole that stands in total opposition to the counter-revolutionary pole of the ruling classes and imperialism. The ruling classes, who were dismissing it till recently as insignificant, are now forced to acknowledge it as the biggest internal threat they face.
One notable feature of the people’s war of India in the present juncture is that it is concentrated in regions predominately populated by Adivasis (indigenous peoples). The politicised masses of these regions, led by CPI (Maoist), have developed the revolution to a position where they have taken control of their destiny, their lives, into their own hands. They are establishing a new power. They are building a different society- vibrant with their tribal traditions, yet modern enough to imbue new values. They are not doing this for their own selves alone. No, they see it as part of a larger project concerning the whole country and the whole world. They have been able to do this and achieve such a lofty vision with the force of arms, guided by proletarian ideology, Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, and led by a communist party. This is an immediate fight to end exploitation, oppression and block aggressive moves of big corporates and the state. More importantly, it is a long term struggle projecting a different type of society. Quiet similar to the struggles of Naxalbari four decades ago, this struggle has the potential to unleash the power of the revolutionary masses by signalling a new spirit in the lives of the millions suffocated by the oppressive system and enthusing them with a new plausible dream of liberation.
The society being created is one that ensures sustainable development, children friendly education, growing emancipation of women, a halt to domination and plunder of foreign and Indian exploiters, a new culture that rebuilds Adivasi traditions (instead of mocking them as backward) with advanced content. The illuminating fact is that all of this is being mainly created by Adivasi tribes who are despised as 'primitives' by so-called civilised society. The 'backwards' are teaching the 'forwards'. This hits at the very pillars of Brahmanism, the core of all reactionary anti-people thinking in our country. The motivation this could give to the numerous oppressed and exploited sections in the country is a real threat for the rulers. The advance of revolution could not but bring up a powerful counter-revolution. This is now seen in India.
The reactionary Indian state has carried out a major buildup of reactionary armed forces encircling the Maoist controlled region, targeting a wide area ranging from Jharkhand to Andhra Pradesh on the North-South axis and West Bengal – Odisha to Maharashtra on the East-West one. This encirclement and suppression campaign named Operation Green Hunt has the blessings of all the major ruling class parties including revisionists like the CPI (Marxist). Advanced military-technical support and equipment from the US and Israel are being used. While the spearhead of the reactionary force are the para-military, the army too is being deployed under the guise of setting up training camps.
But, despite the big propaganda done by the rulers to justify their repressive moves, their attacks roused stiff resistance. This came not just from revolutionary forces. No, it draws on a wide spectrum of democratic and progressive forces, ranging all the way to Gandhians. There is a reason for this.
Over the past two decades the Indian state has opened up the doors to a wholesale penetration of imperialist globalisation. This has pushed millions to the utmost depths of misery. Peasants have been forced to commit suicide in the lakhs (hundred thousand). In the name of promoting export zones, lakhs of peasants are being forced out of their land, with little or no compensation. Workers have been thrown out of jobs or forced into lower paying casual work. The youth have been denied education by sharp increase in fees caused by privatisation. It is the particularity of the political scene today in India that the whole range of ruling parties from extreme right to sham left is in government, either at the Center or in one or the other State. All of them, irrespective of political colour, aggressively push globalisation policies. All of them brutally suppress those who resist. Amidst this the Maoist led revolutionary movement stands out as a solid fighting front. All who have concern over the conditions of the country and its people recognise, at one or the other level, even if unevenly, that the destruction of the Maoist pole will have widespread ramifications affecting all resistance struggles. This is the material basis of the widespread opposition to Operation Green Hunt, correctly termed as a ‘War on the People’. This is the underlying dynamics of the growing polarisation, the dividing line, centered on Operation Green Hunt and resistance to it.
Operation Green Hunt, though directly aimed at the people’s war, is also used to target every one and anyone who are strongly opposing the government’s policy decisions. Numerous fascist laws have been enacted for this. Democratic organisations are banned. Trade union, youth, women’s and even human rights activists are regularly attacked. The case of Dr. Binayak Sen, a renowned civil liberties activist and a world famous people’s doctor, who was arrested and imprisoned on cooked up charges, is as an example. But this proved to be counter-productive for the state. Such attacks sharpened and broadened resistance. Courageous individuals like Arundhati Roy and Jan Myrdal dared to break the repressive cordon in the war zones and bring out the truth of the communist fighters, masses and their leaders. Meanwhile fierce counter-attacks by the Maoists have struck fear in the paramilitary and boosted the morale of masses all over the country. The hesitation and inability of government forces to face up to the People’s Guerrilla Liberation Army and the People’s Militia was time and again leaked out to the media creating an embarrassing situation for the Home Minister and his government. The government forces often refuse to step out of their fortified camps. And when they do, they massacre villagers.
The ruling classes soon realised that if they don’t use new tactics their offensive will back fire. So they started diffusing the situation by announcing that they are backing off from the offensive and will review the whole operation. Thus they managed to divert the attention of the media and then put in a blanket ban on all media reporting. They are now going ahead with a much more repressive campaign, but without a whisper. Of course, despite some successes in killing important leaders of the CPI (Maoist) and pushing back the revolutionary forces in some areas, they still haven’t made any overall headway. But the hard necessity of a political offensive to expose the dual tactics of the Indian state remains. The need to expose the truth and garner as much support as possible in this adverse condition is the urgent need of the hour. There is a need to reorganise and reinitiate the people’s struggle against the Indian state’s ‘War on the People’ on a broader and sharper foundation. This struggle must be flexible in the forms and platforms it employs so that it can link up with the whole spectrum of opposition that is visible today. Within this the defence of the people’s war and the new society it builds must have a central position, not necessarily always as the criterion of unity, but certainly as the guiding pole.
The fact that a uniquely wide resistance has come up against Operation Green Hunt, a state campaign precisely meant to crush revolution, is not incidental. It is directly related to the strengthening of the revolutionary pole through the advance of the people’s war. As we explained earlier the aggressive penetration of globalisation and the broad resistance to it sets the wider context. But, within that, revolutionary armed struggle stands out not just for its defence against reaction but also for its offensive that destroys the old and builds the new. This much is undeniable even for those who disagree with Maoism and oppose violence. In these times when the limits of passive resistance are shown up more sharply by the torrents of globalisation, a grudging acceptance of the right of people to resist by all means has emerged and secured its place in the discourse of resistance in India. This is a new feature of the political situation in India. This does not immediately translate into support for people’s war nor is it stable. But it is there and holds great potential for furthering the political churning triggered off by Operation Green Hunt and resistance to it. The Indian revolution would be all the poorer in its resources if this is lost sight off and the resistance to Operation Green Hunt is reduced to the matter of supporting a fight to protect resources. It is like missing out US imperialism's world strategic aims in the Iraq war and seeing it mainly as a war for oil. The question of control over resources is certainly involved. But this is neither the sole issue, nor even the main one. The important thing to be grasped is the political, strategic, aim of Operation Green Hunt.
Commenting on the world situation a recent resolution adopted by the Special Meeting of RIM parties observed: “The devastations of imperialist globalisation, wars of aggression and the devastating economic crisis of the imperialist system and its impact on proletarians and the broad masses have awakened worldwide a wave of struggles and revolts. In this context a potential new wave of the world proletarian revolution develops and emerges, with the people's wars led by Maoist parties as its reference points and strategic anchor.”
This is the framework within which we must address and advance the support for the people’s war in India and elsewhere. The people of the world need these ‘reference points’ and ‘strategic anchors’ ever more. They demonstrate in a concentrated manner, in deeds, the way out from the horrors of the imperialist system, the road to communism. They drive in with tremendous power the need for proletarian leadership, the Maoist vanguard, the guiding ideology of MLM. Within this, without being arrogant, we note the obvious fact that the successful advance of people’s war in a strategically placed country like India with its tens of millions of masses has a special importance.
In the wake of Operation Green Hunt, unity of Maoists has acquired added urgency in view of the enemy’s concentrated attack. India is a country of sub-continental proportions, with numerous nationalities and indigenous peoples, living in regions of great diversity in physical and social conditions. The task of completing the unification of Maoists into a single party is inevitably bound up with achieving a higher synthesis of the experiences and insights gained by various Maoist forces working in these diverse conditions. This is also vital in the spreading out of the people’s war throughout the country, leading to victory of the new democratic revolution. We contribute to this through dedicated efforts to open up a new war front in the ongoing people’s war in India and the initiative we have taken to realise unity.
We conclude. Building broad support to defend the people’s war, building broad resistance to inhuman repression – both complement one another. They must not be counterposed. There is a new reality, a transformed situation, being created by the development of the people’s war. It is being created in conditions of devastation, of globalisation and the imperialist crisis. But, within that, it is the people’s war, the revolution to seize power and build a new democratic society, which creates it. The wide resistance to Operation Green Hunt is well informed by this reality. The stakes have been raised. The sight must also be high. The banner of people’s war, Maoist led revolution, must be boldly held up, as it is by this conference.
Once again, we wish it all success in its determined effort to build support for the people’s war in India and spread its message to all corners of the world. Let this be a first step. Let us have more support and dissemination of all the people’s wars in the world, notably that of the Philippines, which persists and advance with great tenacity.
Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) NAXALBARI