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Monday, July 04, 2022

Communist Party India (Maoist)- shimmering torch of Revolution against all odds


C.P.I. (Maoist) shimmering torch of Revolution against all odds –

By Harsh Thakor

The Communist Party India (Maoist) formed in 2004 with the merger of the C.P.I. (M.L) Peoples War and the Maoist Communist Centre has a saga of glorious sacrifices.Illustrating courage in volumes compared to any great revolutionary struggle in the history of the world. Possibly it leads the largest armed movement of a Peoples Guerrilla Army in the world today. Armed resistance has escalated to an unprecedented level in Dandakaranya.

It has established  forms of  democratic people’s power called Janathana Sarcars amongst the tribal’s be it in People’s Defence, Finance, Agriculture, Trade and Industry, Judiciary, Education and Culture, Health and Social Welfare, Forest and Public relations ,which was non –existent before. The Janathana Sarkar germinated the seeds for cooperative life and collective spirit, creating cooperative teams Collective agricultural farms. It also liberated women from the chains of patriarchy or bondage on a household.

 They have moved like fish in water and heroically withstood encirclement from the armed forces, brunt of fascist attacks of the state. and even aerial attacks., through  retaliatory actions in self –defence. In spite of facing heavy losses leader Prashant Bose expressed optimism in an interview and the party’s commitment to overthrow Hindu Brahmannical fascism.The fact they have survived in an area for such a sustained period speaks for itself.

If one assesses the might of the enemy, the variances in terrain,the complexities of India or the overall population, possibly the  overall achievement of the C.P.I.(Maoist) is more creditable than that of the Peruvian Communist Party earlier or the Communist party of Phillipines today.Late Nicholas Glais of ‘Democracy and Class Struggle blog ‘expressed great admiration for them., even if acknowledging gross errors in preparation from attacks like in Orissa ,Chattisgarh and Gadricholi and undertaking no proper review.

Gautam Navlakha in ‘Days and Nights of Heartland o the Rebellion ‘was convinced that the Maoists were spiritual heirs of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. No force in his view since 1947 has shown such fortitude or relentless commitment to ‘serving the people’ through social transformation.

 Quoting Professor Amit Bhattacharya in ‘Storming the Gates of Heaven’ “In DK a new society has been built and is consolidating itself.” People oppressed for ages have stood up with their heads held high. The DK region is the scene of numerous new social, economic and political experiments and these become possible because of their inseparable ties with the ongoing armed revolutionary struggle. In DK region, even when the rest of the Country witnessed a huge famine in 1997 taking a heavy toll of lives, not a single person perished. 

It is most positive that it has adopted a self –critical attitude towards policy of extortions committed by leaders and comrades and undertook a campaign to expel such members. Most consistently it has issued statements condemning Hindutva and Brahmanical fascism, Western Countries and Russia in Ukraine War, Condemning Agnipath policy,on assassination of Comrades, assaults by the state and counter offensives,inspite of every attempt o the neo-fascist rulers to suppress them.Prashant Bose gave one of the most encouraging interviews where he asserted tat inspite of gross setback the Maoist movement was not dwindling. Recent issues on the web of People’s March are most inspiring, illustrating the tenacity of the C.P.I.(Maoist) to battle against all odds. It could be stated that the C.P.I.(Maoist) is not blindly emulating the Chinese Communist Party under Mao Zedong but taking into account India’s unique features, in terms of capitalist and imperialist penetration. 

I admire how till this day that have not been shaken or flinched towards rightism or revisionism like many Indian groups and asserted that participating in the parliamentary system or aligning even with left parties is futile  and that feudalism is still the principal contradiction. For almost 2 decades it has faced no split, though sections have separated. 

All issues of ‘Peoples March’online,which are unofficially banned in print, still inspire revolutionary cadre and well-wishers, expressing great self-confidence and balanced analysis in all spheres. 

Whatever errors I would not attribute Che Gueveraists practice to the Maoist party and strongly feel that they are maintaining the distinction between the Communist Party and the Peoples Guerilla Army.Significant that the Maoist have seen a major thorn in the flesh to the Corporate plunder in the Bauxite mines of Chhattisgarh. It is laudable how they have ressurected themselves from the deepest depths of despair with counter-retaliatory actions.

Quoting Anirudh Rajan I can't say with surety due to the nature of their politics which precludes people from openly knowing where and how they operate among the masses. But seeing how long they've sustained revolutionary war in central India, I believe they must have a significant mass base because there would be no other way to hold out against the state when they are both out gunned and outnumbered. Again, this is my belief, I dont have concrete facts to back up this view.This is not to say that they successfully uphold the mass line or not, but that I believe that they struggle to do so in the given circumstances.”

Comrade Ajith who recently came out of jail has lucidly summarised how the C.P.I.(Maoist_ has testified the credibility of the path of protracted peoples War in part of his interview, “Despite mobilising such a huge force and deploying CRPF, BSF camps every three or four kilometres they couldn’t  wipe out the Maoists. More than 10000 troops have been added after the first Modi
government came to power. Despite that this extension took place after that, during 2015-2018. So the facts show that they are not able to tie them down. This is something they themselves admit. Besides that, what is a People’s War? A war carried out by relying on the masses is known as People’s War. This is not something dependent on the technological capacity of the enemy. New methods will have to be devised to face up to the new problems posed by that technology.”

“At one point the state had claimed that the Maoist movement had been completely wiped out from Andhra. But now once again they themselves are admitting in the newspapers that CPI (Maoist) squads are active in the northern parts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Similarly, there has been an extension in the trijuncture of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand, that took place after 2015. That is we must recollect that this development took place after 10 years of Operation Green Hunt. It took place at a time when there were CRPF, BSF camps every 5 kilometres. So what I am saying is that this growth and development is taking place at a new level.”

Alpa Shah in her writings illustrated how the C.P.I. (Maoist) was based in the soul of the masses an literally rallied their lives around the oppressed. She vividly throws light on the relations of intimacy which develop between the mobilizing Maoist forces and the people in the area of struggle.

Bernard De Mello even if not in agreement with the Maoist evaluation awards enormous credit to the level of resistance in Bastar and building of people’s organisational structures.He doubts it is one the verge of extinction and feels it will prolong.

Though all open pro-Maoist fronts have been banned still there are mass fronts who even if not formally affiliated to the Maoist party, defend the goals.of revolution. The Bhagat Singh Chatra Morcha and Inquilabi Chatra Morcha in Uttar Pradesh undertake go to village campaigns and consistent propaganda against Brahmanical fascism,feudalism, and imperialism Virasam is the only pro-Maoist organisation that functions openly, to shimmer the of resistance. It has conducted programmes on abroad sphere of issues and tooth and nail defended the Dandakaranya movement and condemned state sponsored fascism. In Andhra Pradesh and Telenagana Democratic Students Association has been formed to resurrect student movement and a similar group formed in Kerala. However they have hardly been so impactful. Although pro-Maoist forces exist in Punjab morals they are a splintered lot and hardly impactful.In West Bengal even if rejecting line of Kishenji,cadre of the Revolutionary Students Front abides with movement in Dandakaranya.However there is no cohesive polarisation in West Bengal, with forces scattered.

Defects

However the C.P.I. (Maoist) is vitiated with defective tendencies. It is unable to establish genuine agrarian revolutionary movement, revolutionary base areas or mass organizations with genuinely democratic functioning, like the CPC in the 1930-40’s. They have to be given credit for sustaining a movement for decades, but it is doubtful it is on the path of expanding beyond the tribal belt into the plain areas and urban regions. Overall even if it emulates mass line certain respects, in totality it cannot be described as an adherent of the mass line. The line and practice is incoherent with building a broad based revolutionary movement, Real self-governance has not been not established, with people not running their institution of power. Practice within mass organisations is controlled by dictates of the party. Subjective conditions today are not conducive for launching armed struggle, with the Communist party still not re-organised.

In Jharkhand and Orissa there are many cases of people’s guerrilla army members abandoning their organisations and the armed squad actions not able to sustain people's movements of tribals or peasantry.

Writer Alpa Shah in ‘Night March of the Guerrillas reflects the glaring lack of genuine democracy in Jharkhand the Maoist Movement., not respecting the democratic culture of the Adivasis.

Civil rights activists have been critical of many practices of the Maoists in Bastar.

It is also regrettable that even there have been cases of extortion from the tribals by the party members, demanding levy from contractors and assassinating heads of panchayats or rich peasantry.

 Adopting tactics of ‘Boycott of Elections’ as a strategy is not in consonance with Leninism ,with Lenin even stating that extra- parliamentary tactics could be utilised.Often the ‘boycott’ tactic work sin favour of ruling class parties.

Regrettably today the flesh is being ripped off the Maoist resistance with  hundreds f their important leaders or activists are being liquidated day by day ,either in false encounters or stage managed offensives..It illustrates weakness in fortification of its army. In most cases the Peoples Liberation Army has been unable to replenish its own losses and many members have deserted it to join Border security forces. The Maoists are unable to replenish their forces or undertake a proper self -rectification campaign. They continue to be entrenched within restricted areas.

Tendencies still exist of mechanically adhering to the Chinese path instead of devising a path of protracted peoples or forming a red army in accordance with the unique conditions of India,. Not only does India have a firmly entrenched parliamentary system unlike China but significant changes have also taken place after advent of globalisation and electronic age. India also has conditions distinctive from China in the 1940, in the co-relation between urban and rural areas or even the terrain.

Even if correct on expelling Kobad Ghandy it has not assessed the inherent weaknesses within the party that bred such tendencies. In certain ways its explanation had trends of sectarianism, not reviewing it’s own weakness of undertaking political education amongst cadre.

In Gadricholi The Maoists claim to have sent a ‘guerrilla company’ to salvage the strength of the PLGA. The rare admission has come in a Maoist document titled ‘The Growth of People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army in the Long-term Democratic People’s War (2000-2020),’ issued by them recently, to mark the PLGA’s formation in December 2000.

The document gives an account of the Maoists’ major accomplishments, failures and challenges towards the goal of attaining ‘a new democratic people’s revolution’ through a ‘people’s war’. This document, which has been reviewed by the FPJ, while referring to Gadchiroli and Gondia districts in Maharashtra state (identifying these as ‘guerrilla zones’, along with the ‘Balaghat-Bhandara divisions’ in Madhya Pradesh state), claims that they had faced ‘serious oppression’, as a result of which their ‘movement’ had to effect a ‘temporary retreat’.

“The party and the PLGA had to make sacrifices in a bid to carry forward the movement, while facing formidable attacks that came in the course of the enemies’ counter-guerrilla war against us, which became more serious by the day. The urban movement had to make a temporary retreat. Due to the losses suffered in those areas, the movement there had to retreat temporarily,” the document states.

 The Communist Party of India (Maoist) has said that it was up to the government of Chhattisgarh state to create a conducive atmosphere for holding peace talks.

“We had shown our willingness to hold talks and made our stand clear. Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel’s reiteration that his government was ready to hold talks if they expressed faith in the Constitution and his silence shows that the government is adamant,” CPI (Maoist) Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee spokesperson, Comrade Vikalp, said in a statement on Monday night.

Tilak Dasgupta said the challenge before the movement was to break out of its narrow confines and reach wider sections of the people – the working class, as well as the small producers and farmers who were fighting a last ditch battle against big corporates.

Bernard De Mello questions why the Maoist has not succeeded in converting a Guerrilla Zone into base area and its inability to penetrate the plain areas. He also projected the weakness o the Maoist in fortifying their defence and becoming vulnerable.

Quoting Comrade Bhaskar Vishwanathan Muthu who was formally with Maoist trend and now  leader in anti-fascist movement “To say precisely, In fact, Comrade Shyam in the said report that the Party had been suffering from 'economism'. Since it has not been rectified it all these years, it does now suffers from militarism. It has its own element when it had been CPI(ML)(PW). After it became CPI(Maoist) it got accelerated and since the formation it lost around 4,000 lives without anything gaining substantially. Rather, due to its line, it suffered splits in Karnataka in 2006 and in Tamil Nadu in 2008 and setbacks in other states even in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand where Hindutva forces gained foothold even among the tribals. It doesn't see the relationship between it's practice and line. Rather, it squarely blames on state repression. Facing repression is not a new for the Communist movement. For Lenin and Mao it was new. Now it is not new. If any Communist Party is not prepared to learn, summarise and theorise from its own and world experience, then it is suffered from empiricism, negation of theory/knowledge. CPI(Maoist), when it reviews for its setbacks in terms of subjective forces, it says that it was due to spontaneity and liberalism. To rectify these as well as to face state repression, it advises the Party vaguely to increase dedication, sacrifice, etc., In a nutshell, it says that Party Programme, Tactics and line and practice is and has been correct. Only because of state repression mainly and the prevalence of the above-mentioned alien class trends, setback has been there. Not because of the absence of mass line and countering the state repression politically, it thinks.

“But on the other hand, Communist Party of Philippines (CPP) under the competent leadership of Jose Maria Sison, due to the practice of mass line and non-militarist political line, maintains its hold in the society and political sphere of the Philippines. Unlike CPI(Maoist), it maintains the intactness of the leadership of the Party and it's military wing and influences the agenda of the country, even though both parties do have the Party Programme (CBB, semi-colonial and semi-feudal society/state). It faces the state repression politically rather than militarism practised by the CPI(Maoist).”

“Both Parties do have similar Party Programmes. But CPP does achieve much.”

“In essence, CPI (Maoist), practices militaristic line and negates mass line. To rectify it, it couldn't escape from the alien class trend namely empiricism. That's why it couldn't see the growth of Indian Big Bourgeoisie to emerging imperialism, ruling class of India. Similarly it couldn't see that it is not growing due to its plunging in the alien class trends.”

I do not endorse this evaluation and defend C.P.I. (Maoist)‘s evaluation of the Indian bourgeoise.and fell considering the harshness of subjective factors ,has achieved as much as CPP.Even if negating mass line in important respects ,it’s resistance against the enemy may be even more laudable than any Communist party in the World today. Joma Sison himself holds the C.P.I.(Maoist)in great esteem. Only valid point is on military tendencies of the Indian Maoists and not mobilising masses in combating state repression. Never forget even the CPP has suffered from deviations and have seeked unity with opportunist forces in junctures, like calling or negotiations with Duterte recently.

Reports of actions and encounters 

Examples of certain actions and blows in recent times, compiled from ‘Red Spark’ blog. They illustrate the powerful ‘military ‘tendencies or the sheer desperation of the Party and army to survive am the extent to which the enemy has penetrated within their areas to execute mortal blows. No doubt they express tenacity but give vibrations that the movement could dwindle. Whatever striking capacity their actions have invited gross repercussions on cadre.

On June 30th An area committee cadre of the CPI (Maoist) was killed in an encounter with the police in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district on Thursday, an official said.

On June 29th A firefight broke out between security forces and a squad of cadres belonging to the CPI (Maoist) in Jharkhand’s Bokaro district on Wednesday, after which the Maoists retreated into the deep forests, prompting the launch of a massive search operation, a senior police officer said.

In  Virudhnagar on June 25th The NIA on Friday arrested a member of the CPI (Maoist) for his alleged involvement in conducting and participating in arms training for its cadres for waging war against India, officials said. On June 24th in Dantewada  Two security personnel and two women laborers were injured after a squad of cadres belonging to the CPI (Maoist) opened fire on a police camp in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district, police said on Thursday.

On June 21st h in Nuapada district Three personnel belonging to the Central Reserve Police Force were killed in an ambush set up by a squad of cadres belonging to the CPI (Maoist) at Bhainsadani in Odisha’s Nuapada district on Tuesday.

 On June 20th in Balaghat district , three cadres of the CPI (Maoist), including a member of the divisional committee of the party, were killed in an encounter with security forces in Madhya Pradesh’s Balaghat district on Monday morning, police said. The slain Maoists, including a woman, were wanted by the police in MP, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, a senior officer said. his is the first time when a divisional committee level member and commander-in-chief of the Maoists was killed in MP in a gun battle, he said.

On June 22nd Security forces arrested three cadres of the CPI (Maoist) from separate places in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district on Saturday.Bijapur On Jun 9th The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) have killed a top CPI (Maoist) commander during an encounter in Bihar’s Jamui district on Thursday.

On May 24th in Balaghat district In an open challenge to police, a squad of Maoists on Sunday set on fire about 350 bags of tendu leaves collected by the tribals at a collection centre in Madhya Pradesh’s Balaghat district.After setting fire to the bags, the Maoists left a letter at the site warning that anyone who helps police would have to meet a similar fate. The Maoist letter also reads that the leaves are being set on fire since contractors are not fulfilling demands made by the labourers.

On June 4th a C.P.I.(Maoist) Deputy Platoon Commander was arrested in Dharamtari district . Mukesh alias Suklu Gawde of Kanker district was apprehended from the jungles of Daudpadripani village during a search operation, Dhamtari Superintendent of Police Prashant Kumar Thakur said.

On May 30th  in  Bijapr district Mukesh alias Suklu Gawde of Kanker district was apprehended from the jungles of Daudpadripani village during a search operation, Dhamtari Superintendent of Police Prashant Kumar Thakur said.

On May 27th A squad of cadres belonging to the CPI (Maoist) carried out a raid on the camp of a contractor engaged in road construction work in Kalahandi district. The armed action took place on Wednesday night in Odisha’s Kalahandi district. Six vehicles were torched during the attack.

The Maoists left behind handwritten posters and banners, alleging that one of their cadres, who was reported to have surrendered earlier this month, was actually arrested with the assistance of the contractor.



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