otto's war room banner

otto's war room banner

Thursday, February 18, 2010

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

The following interview is from Sanhati:
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 (मुपल्ला लक्ष्मण राव). 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that the party has placed in front of the government [of India] for any kind of talks are 1) All-out war has to be withdrawn; 2) For any kind of democratic work, the ban on the Party and Mass Organizations have to be lifted; 3) Illegal detention and torture of comrades had to be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.

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.
For the rest of the interview click here.

No comments: