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Friday, October 18, 2019


By Harsh Thakor

On October 20th we will be commemorating 50th birthday of the erstwhile Maoist Communist Centre which is a historic landmark being one of the most defining moments in the history of the Communist Movement. Although not joining the Communist Party India (Marxist Leninist) in 1969 it lit the spark for the prairie fire of the later armed struggle in Bihar and the formation of the Unified C.P.I.(Maoist) in 2004.Few parties ever in history defended the flame of Maoism so resolutely like a boulder resisting a storm. For 35 years it virtually stood on its own legs which was remarkable. Whatever serious errors or sectarian trends it heroically waged an armed struggle and with dialectical precision maintained secret party structure .With the C.P.I.(M.L.)Peoples War ,the MCCI is the precursor of the historic C.P.I.(Maoist) formed in 2004,making a contribution at an equal footing.
It had a more dialectical analysis on agrarian revolution than even C.P.I.(M.L) on aspect of agrarian revolution and building mass organizations. Arguably ,classically it emulated the Chinese Communist party led by Chairman Mao even more than the C.P.I.(M.L.) of 1969 in building Red army corpses or tightness of party organization .or even the erstwhile C.P.I.(M.L.) Peoples War group later. No organization contributed so much to building revolutionary movement in Bihar. MCC displayed the mobility of fish swimming in water ,with the methodology of an architect and the creativity of an artist. With surgical precision and dialectical mastery it launched armed actions to enhance the striking capacity of the masses and spread itself from one area to the other. It’s growth from the embryonic stage to a cohesive machine resembled the CPC more than any organization of it's era. It had a very distinct practice from that of the erstwhile C.P.I.(M.L.) Party Unity and Peoples War parties in its practice being termed the 'jungle' party.

Cadres should study the writings of Kanhai Chaterjee as much as Comrade Charu Mazumdar who made an immortal theoretical contribution. It is my strong wish that all the past documents of the MCC and copies of its organ Red Spark are posted on the internet for cadres to study. After the pioneers like Kanhai Chaterjee, Amulya Sen and Chandrashekar Das we must speak volumes of the great contribution of comrades like Kishenda who late Comrade Sushil Roy felt made an outstanding contribution. I reccomend all readers to read the newspaper report by Aloke Banerjee "Inside MCC Country. In 2004 which highlights its great achievements.

Today the Maoist Movement in Jharkhand and Bihar is virtually the continuity or legacy of the work of the Maoist Communist Centre. Arguably theoretically Comrade Kanhai Chatterjee was sounder than even Charu Mazumdar on massline. At it's height it carried out paramilitary actions in regions of Gaya and Aurangabad in intensity comparable with any armed struggle in the world, let alone the PWG. Sadly in its time it hardly received adequate publicity. It staged successful conferences in 1989, 1996 and 2002. I can never forget the words of G.N Saibaba in 2014 when he praised the contribution of the Maoist Communist Centre on par with that of the C.P.I.(M.L.) Peoples War Group, claiming at one stage it was stronger than the PW and PU group together.
It is fitting that late Comrade Sushil Roy spoke about how liberalism and open functioning killed the Maoist movement killed the movement in Lalgarh, acting against the Bolshevik spirit.
The MCC had its roots in the Dakshin Desh group that from 1964 split of from the Communist Party of India-Marxist.A MagAzine caled 'Chintha' was published in 1965 highlighting all the important aspects of demarcation from revisionism.In October 1969 the MCC was formed.Comrades Amulya Sen, Chandrashekar Das and Kanhai Chaterjee sowed the seeds to germinate to defend legacy of revolutionary ideology against revisionism. It was Com. Kanhai Chatterjee who laid the basic line for their Centre in the very first issue of “Lal Pataka” brought out in 1969.
The important topics dealt with were:

(a) The importance of Maoism (then called ‘thought’) in the present era,

(b) In the present situation the tactical line and tactical slogans, the correct policy towards the participation in elections and a correct analysis of the boycott of elections, saying that though it was a question of tactics, it acquires the significance of strategy in the concrete conditions of India,

(c) The Correct line regarding the armed agrarian revolutionary war, that is, protracted people’s war including army building and base areas

(d) Correct orientation towards forms of struggle (open and secret, legal and illegal, peaceful and armed),

(e) The programme, tactics and methods of the peasant struggle,

(f) Approach and method towards the UF, (h) political propaganda

(g) On the women’s question, the student movement and the nationality question in India, and

(h) Methods of leadership. (excerpted from Peoples March Nov-Dec 2004 issue)The founding documents of the M.C.C. stressed the importance of base areas in he revolutionary process.

A very pertinent demarcation is that unlike C.PI.(M.L), the MCC held mass organizations and mass movements as a necessary component of a revolutionary movement. Statement below was the chief demarcating factor of the M.C.C with the C.P.I.(M.L).

"If we are to build armed agrarian revolution, a people’s army and red base areas, we will always have to remain firm on some basic principles regarding their inter-relation. The building up and consolidation of the armed agrarian revolution, peoples army and base areas -these tasks are related to each other. “If we are to build up an agrarian revolution no peoples army can be built up.

Similarly an agrarian revolution cannot be built up without a Peoples Army. Again without a people’s army no base area can be built up. Similarly without base areas the very existence of people’s army cannot be maintained.

It is only through agrarian revolutionary guerrilla struggle and the establishment of the peoples army that a red base area can be built up Again through this work alone can the revolutionary high tide can be accelerated throughout the country, and depending on the base area and with the help of he Peoples Army, the agrarian revolution alo can be consolidated, deepened an expanded.”

Fascinating that MCC in important ways differed with the C.P.I.(M.L) Peoples War Group before the merger. It described India as a neo-colony unlike the C.P.I.(M.L.) People’s War who termed it semi-colonial and semi -feudal MCC also analyzed the era as that of "Total Collapse of Imperialism" as stated by Lin Biao. Instead of "Imperialism era' as that of C.P.I.(M.L.) PWG. MCC unlike the C.P.I.(M.L.) Peoples War group felt that the Comprador bourgeoise had no independent power. Also felt Muslim fundamentalism was an equal threat to Hindu communalism. C.P.I.(M) while PWG felt it was Hindu Communalism was the greater enemy. Unlike PWG it felt Imperialism was the principal contradiction. Unlike PWG it disagreed with forming open mass organizations initially only forming Krantikari peasant committees.The MCC felt Punjab was semi-feudal unlike the PWG group who classified Punjab as capitalist.

Ironical that MCC was a separate branch from the C.P.I.(M.L) which is testimony that the formation of the C.P.I.(M.L.) had strong bureaucratic and sectarian tendencies negating massline in important respects. Had Dakshin Desh group originally merged into it MC would never had reached its ultimate stature. I support the Maoist Communist Centre not joining the C.P.I.(M.L.) of 1969 from the angle of overall party building.Quoting Kanhai Chaterjee “It is wrong to say that Dakshin Desh Group left the A.I C.C.R because of it’s differences on the issue of immediate formation of he party.A.I.C.C.R. did not recognize any group with aseparate identity like he 'Dakshin Desh Groups as it's constituents. No representative of this group was a member of the East Bengal Co-ordination Committee. –Or of he A.I.C.C.R."

The M.C.C made the following criticism of the C.P.I(M.L) 'Naturally as the party was formed without following the revolutionary process, method and style, some known degenerated elements could capture some posts in the leadership from he beginnings. This facilitates undeclared groups and a tendency of group mentality and bureacratism replacing democratic Centralism.'

In a very subtle manner MCC from 1969 itself practiced a version of armed struggle incorporating mass struggles like the later PWG or Party Unity practiced from 1980,which is ironic. It negated stages theory of Andhra Pradesh Co-ordination Commitee but also 'Individual annihilation of the class enemy of the C.P.I.(M.L.).With meticulous mass approach it's red army corpses sowed the seeds for building later guerilla zones by staging red resistance.

Still MCC reflected powerful tendencies of left sectarianism. Main weaknesses of MCC was replacing agrarian revolutionary movement with military actions, military approach to party building not sufficient emphasis on building democratic mass organizations, negating urban work and ultra- secretist functioning. neglecting open mass work. In spite of most methodical or surgical efforts it was unable to set up base areas like the CPC did earlier. Leninist party building practice was neglected with over emphasis on building of military organization. A sectarian approach was displayed by its ranks which earlier caused it's exit from the All-India Peoples Resistance forum on grounds that the forum did not propagate slogan of 'Boycott of Elections’or giving call to launch 'revolutionary armed struggle. MCC hardly gave importance to the struggles of the rich or middle peasantry like the Party Unity or PWG groups It also neglected open mass movements of various classes. Often when implementing tactic of 'Boycott' it did not place sufficient emphasis on building the revolutionary alternative organs of power and indirectly gave tacit support even to ruling class opposition parties. It also never set up mass based peasant organization like the C.P.I.(M.L.) Party Unity. Also vacillated by joining Revolutionary Internationalist Movement which practiced deviationist trends in International Line. Its mistakes are an important lesson for any pupil on the mass line of Maoism particularly in light of the necessary subjective factors needed for launching armed struggle and contrast between mass line and military line. Arguably theoretically it underestimated or negated the role of the national bourgeoisie like Charu Mazumdar. The important aspect is that the proletarian party is still in the stage of re-organization and not formed. Infact it is ironical that so many groups implemented armed struggle and not a single unified party for decades. Arguably MCC also teaches us a lesson that India needs to incorporate protracted peoples War in truly Indian form nad not blibly imoittae Chinese experience.

Morally MCC lit the first spark in Sonarpur region of West Bengal when it was still known as the Dakshin Desh group. However in a very short time they were suppressed by the state and the struggle was short-lived. Nevertheless it was an invaluable lesson gained by the cadres von the problems and complexities of the agrarian revolution relating to creation of secret units or, self-defence squads or peoples militia. The failure of the Sonarpur struggle made the MCC leadership understand that in such a vast and uneven country like India where the enemy was much stronger than the revolutionary forces guerrilla struggles had to be initiated in geographically favourable zones .Above all it gave them the capacity to locate areas with the long tem strategic perspective of launching peoples war.

After the struggles in Sonarpur, Howrah, Hooghly, Maldah and other places suffered heavy repression through fake encounters -area of Kanska became the new base of Struggle.2 struggles were raised. One was "Land to the hands of the Real tillers," and the other was "Political power and Administration in the hands of the revolutionary Commitees.Thousands of armed peasants attacked government godowns seizing the grains for distribution of the poor set up people's courts and handed out punishment to the opressive among them.” They also attacked police stations seizing weapons o form the guerilla squads. During the period 1970-74, the revolutionary masses captured 11 firearams, directed attacks against the govt.godowns 85 times and hand out punishment to opressive landlords through peoples courts in 45 cases. An MCC document stated thatt he revolutionary significance of the Kanska armed movement lay in the fact that when the C.P.I.(M.L.) suffered a setback due to state repression,Kanska illuminated the flame of Naxalbari.Sadly this hardly got publicity .

From mid-1972 ,another armed resistance movement arose in parts of the Sundarban area of 24 Parganas encompassing Basanti,Gosabi and Sandeshkahli police stations.Here it waged a relentless struggle against the opressive landlords,confiscating their land and distributing them among the poor peasants.It was remarkable the manner the MCC withstood mainstream left parties like the C.P.I.(M.) and the Revolutionary Socialist Party to Make significant penetration.However its work received a major setback from the hired goons of the C.P.I.(M.) and the RSP.

In Bihar the MCC lit its first spark in Gaya and Hazaribagh districts in the Parashnath and Zilga hills in the Dhanbad-Hazaibah zone ,and from the Neru Mehudia hills of the Bargaon area .It turned into a Prairie fire in Chalho hills in Gaya district. and adjoining areas. It knitted the Revolutionary Peasant Commitees to combat feudalism and imperialist control in several areas. Revolutionary peasants launched a series of attacks against feudal forces confiscated their movable and immovable property and distributed land among the landless and poor peasants through the peasant Commitee. Granaries owned by landlords were destroyed to the ground and thousands of cares of land was distributed to the tillers. Genuine organs of peoples power was created in the countryside. Weapons of landlords were confiscated and many were arrested for their crimes. Private armies of upper caste landlords had their flesh and hearts ripped off .Workers were also organized to wage struggles against forest contractors. Social issues were also taken up like rape, obscene dancing performances, liquor consumption, gambling, dacoity and theft,caste conflicts and communal riots.

The MCC expanded its network and struggles to Dhanbad, Giridh and Hazaribagh districts of Jharkhand. A new slogan was raised that went above immediate issues "Transform Jharkhand into a Red Zone-"Jharkhand Ko Lalkhand me badal dalo"

An important achievement of the M.C.C in Bihar was the destruction of the headquarters of the oppressive feudal forces at Dalocok Baghaura in Gaya in 1987.Thousands of peasants participated in that military campaign, which proved to be the turning point of mobile armed resistance struggle.

One famous action was carried out on landlord Rameshwar Singh. For years the peasants were trampled by the landlords iron feet. On January 6th 1983 the Kisan Committee gathered at is ‘Kacheri’. He was arrested and tried. They not only killed him but burnt his house. This was the first time that he people seriously saw the need of combining mass struggles with armed movements. From Gaya to Dhanbad, the struggle spread to Bokaro, Aurangabad, Hazaribagh and Giridih. Later in land seizure movements starting in fulls wing from 1986 to 1990, 7000 acres of land were re-distributed. They also raised spectacular squad actions.

The participation of women was remarkable which was reflected in the phenomenal mass base of the Nari Mukti Sunhat rallies held in Patna and Ranchi around 30 to 40 thousand participated creating the impact of a tornado. Many women even joined the guerrilla squads .Sushil Roy confirmed that it was the sons of the soil, rather than the daughters who held the fort.

In spite of intense repression the MCC expanded its base to regions like Ranchi, Singbum Deoghar, Dumka, Jamui, Moghyr, Banka, Bhagalpur and some other areas. It also covered places like Chatra, Palamu, Latehar, Gumla and Lohardaga in Graw district.It also extended it s political work to regions of Assam.

"In August 2001 an armed squads under the leadership of the Maoist Communist Centre stopped a truckload of grain and distributed half the sacks of pulses to the masses, before they wee forced to retreat by the arrival of police enforcements.

The next, night they repeated the experience halting, 8000 strong, 5 trucks on the Grand Trunk Road. Slogans were shouted calling for confiscating the money lenders goods to distribute amongst the poor, to establish the authority of the revolutionary peasant committees and protect the people from starvation. Before the goods were distributed, thirty jeeploads of police arrived at the scene.For hours there was a fierce combat as the revolutionaries had laid mines."

MCC combatants heroically resisted the might of the police forces. (From Aloke Banerjee’s Article-’Inside M.C.C Country’)

A special court in Gaya had meted out a life imprisonment to a number of members of the Krantikari Kisan Committee which had led an uprising in the 1990’s that had seen the militant involvement of thousands of poor and middle peasants. The M.C.C called for a 72 hour band in Bihar and Jharkhand in protest. Railway tracks were blocked, Schools and colleges boycotted, courts boycotted, shops and markets closed Etc. Revolutionary raids in retaliation were organized by the M.C.C during the 3 day bandh. In Lohardaga, Gumla etc. Aloke Banerjee-’Inside M.C.C country.
This trend spread all over and hundreds of landlords were brought to he book. Guilty landlords we shaved and paraded in public. The most notorious we sentenced to death. Some even repented and were forgiven. Hey would now operate under his watchful administration of he Committee. All the ‘Kacheri’s’ were razed to the ground.

Famous examples were Moha Khan of Kadirganj I Gaya, Madhumati ingh of Balia, Surakasha Singh of Pachmi, Main Singh the owner of 2900 acres in Pipra and the Mahant of Bodhgaya. The famous words ‘Utha Hai ToofanZamana Badal Raha’ were now echoing all over.(A storm has risen ,the times are changing).The M.C.C also called a historic 72 hour bandh I Bihar and Jharkhand against he death sentence of membersof the Krantikari Kisan Committee who had led ahistoric uprising. Schools, colleges, courts, offices, shops and markets remained closed. All movement of vehicles virtually ceased. Railway services came to a standstill.

Thousands of people lay on the railway tracks. Business came to a standstill. Revolutionary raids were organized in Lohardaga, Gumla and elsewhere.(From Aloke Banerjee’s Article-’Inside M.C.C Country’)

The M.C C. launched a series of military type attacks on the police and military forces. On December 2002, The M.C C was able to disarm 66 jawans in a raid when they captured 50 weapons after attacking a police contingent in Jharkhand. In his appraisal of the Movement of M.C.C Prakash Singh (Former Inspector General of Police in his book The Naxalite Movement in India) States: The M.C.C has been running a parallel judicial system in certain pockets.(From Aloke Banerjee’s Article-’Inside M.C.C Country’)

These are described as Jan Adalat or Peoples Courts. Farzand Ahmed of India Today writes this example,” Silence descends as Laxman, the area commander of M.C.C , a sinister figure with his face covered appears. The 2 accused, with their hands tied behind their backs are brought in.Laxman launches into his ideological monologue ‘In today’s system, the toiling masses working hard but get nothing to eat. On the other hand, these bastard thieves lift goats and diesel. He then asks the villagers to select 5 judges. The 5 judge bench hears he charges and announces its verdict -5 lathi blows and 5 slaps by each children’s publicly.

The verdict ,confirmed by the people by a voice vote is quickly executed, accompanied by the requisite
slogan’ Naxalbari Ek Hi Rasta.’(From Aloke Banerjee’s Article-’Inside M.C.C Country’)

In 2001 the Maoist Communist Centre merged with the Revolutionary Communist Centre of India(Maoist) from Punjab led by Comrade Shamsher Singh form the Maoist Comunist Centre of India

Before the final formation of the C.P.I.(Maoist) a Black Chapter was inscribed in the history of the Indian revolutionary movement with a sustained tussle between the squads of the CPI(M.L)PWG group with the MCC from 1997-2000.In 2001 both parties made a historic self -criticism. In 1998 Amal, a Central Commitee member made a most sectarian statement in the period of the clashes placing the blame on the PWG for encroaching areas of the MCC.A meeting finally attended by Sushil Roy, Kishanda from MCC with Ganpathy, Azad and Kishanji from PWG brought the mutual kilings to the close.All comrades made a self criticism at the very core of their hearts. This step was one of the most progressive and defining steps ever in the history of Indian Communist Movement as well as one of the most touching .

The author thanks the works "Storming the Gates of Heaven" by professor Amit Bhattacharya which is a critical study of the Maoist movement in India, in the mian and also the Article by Aloke Banerjee "Inside Country of MCC" for miltary struggles as well as a brief interview from late Comrade Sushil Roy..


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