Sunday, November 30, 2014
Lessons and Challenges of the Indian Revolution-2014 - Ganapathy General Secretary, CPI (Maoist)
Ganapathy General Secretary,
The Message of the Central Committee of our party, issued on the occasion of its 10th anniversary, has given an overall evaluation of the past 10 years. Along with pointing out the gains and advances we have made, it has also drawn attention to the weaknesses and mistakes which hinder us and the favourable and unfavourable aspects of the objective situation. This article is an elaboration of some of the issues the CC Message has placed before the whole party, focussing on a few of the important lessons we must take and the challenges we must surmount. …Our party is leading the PLGA and the people in carrying on PPW against the ruling classes to complete the new democratic revolution.
This is a total war that should be fought protractedly in all spheres such as ideological, political, military, cultural, psychological and economic, focussed on the destruction of the Indian state and building a new state, at present concretised in the RPCs. If a small and weaker force is to defeat a big and mighty force, then it does not have any other way than waging such a war. The counter- revolutionary war carried on by the ruling classes to suppress the revolutionary war is also waged in all these spheres. It aims at wiping us out totally. Our party had this general understanding and we did achieve successes in practice by fighting back the counter-revolution. Yet we did not pay sufficient and timely attention to theorising these experiences. The enemy has developed its counter-revolutionary war strategy and tactics (Low Intensity Conflict or LIC) drawing on worldwide experiences. Therefore, in our theorisation, we too should have a broad vision, not staying restricted within our own experiences.
The task of summing up and preparing policy to face up to the enemy’s LIC strategy and tactics was taken up later. But this lapse resulted in delay in equipping the whole party with a deep understanding about the intensity, expanse and concreteness of the counter-revolutionary war as a total war in a comprehensive manner. This hindered us in tackling the challenges posed by the enemy’s new methods and achieving the successes we expected. Our party lost considerable number of comrades belonging to all levels, right from CC to the village level, in the offensives of the enemy. Though leadership losses began since 2005 May itself, they increased gradually after Unity Congress and the situation took a serious turn by 2011 end. The leadership failed to a large extent in defending itself and the ranks.
These losses weakened the three magic weapons of NDR – the party, PLGA and the UF – quite a lot. This failure is a very severe one. Sacrifices are inevitable in revolution. However, any revolution can be ultimately victorious only by destroying the enemy’s strength and developing its own strength. This is applicable to protracted people’s war (PPW) too. When the people take up arms, rebel and set out to wipe out the rulers, they will counterattack even more brutally. They will attack with utmost ferocity and cruelty to wipe out the revolution. The leadership that prepares to wage an armed revolution must achieve victory by fighting back counter-revolution and ultimately by wiping it out.
Defending the party from the offensives of the enemy during the course of war and from left and right deviations and advancing it towards victory would be a decisive factor for victory and the responsibility of the leadership. We should advance in PPW by defeating such attacks, by wiping out the enemy bit by bit and by increasing our strength step by step… During Naxalbari period, the most important reason for the setback of those days was the immense loss of subjective forces including Central leadership. This is applicable to the setback of the AP and Telangana movements too. The Peru revolution suffered a setback as almost the entire top leadership got arrested. These bitter experiences teach us the vital importance of protecting leadership and preserving subjective forces. This is an ideological and political issue. It is an issue which must be addressed at the strategic level. It is an issue pertaining to understanding the enemy’s LIC strategy and tactics. It is also an issue pertaining to building and strengthening of party, army and UF and developing mass base.
Though our party has a general understanding in all these matters, we suffered losses as we were liberal and lacked concreteness in our practice. The experiences of the past decade point out to our weakness in this regard. Though the objective situation is very favourable to the revolution, we cannot lead the revolution to victory without creating favourable situation in a planned manner and without continuously preserving and developing our subjective forces during the course of struggle. In the present situation where the enemy offensive is becoming more severe, when its surveillance and infiltration methods are becoming more sophisticated, backed by modern technology, we too must strengthen and upgrade our capacities and underground structures by formulating tactics and secret work methods that would help in preserving our subjective forces and we must implement those tactics with firm determination. Only by doing this, will we be able to develop them step by step.
We should keep in mind our own experiences, the teachings of the great Marxist teachers and the experiences imparted by the histories of revolutions of various countries and put efforts in this direction, to develop our party into a strong organisation advancing on the path of the invincible PPW… The relation between the development of people’s war and of mass work must be grasped properly. If we had rallied the peasantry and agricultural labourers and poor peasants more widely into the agrarian revolution in other rural areas and not only in the areas where RPCs are present, we could have further developed guerrilla warfare.
Similarly,shortcomings in rallying the middle classes newly developing in the rural areas and the oppressed social sections into the revolutionary movement have negatively impacted the development of guerrilla warfare. In the past ten years, the movements in plain areas and urban centres have weakened. We have also not been able to achieve notable improvement in mobilising vast non-peasant masses inside the guerrilla zones. Both of these have negatively impacted the successful implementation of our central task. But we also have the experiences where vast masses have rallied in the Nandigram, Lalgarh, Narayanapatna movements, the movement for separate Statehood for Telangana and anti-displacement movements in various parts of our country. These are new experiences we must cherish and learn from.
We should deeply probe them to grasp the social dynamics they reveal, new features they contain, as well as new forms of mass mobilisation they brought up and the potential they demonstrated for building broad unity of classes extending beyond rural areas into urban centres. It is true that we had formulated broad tactical guidelines in our ‘Strategy and Tactics of Indian Revolution’ document to build revolutionary movements in various types of plain areas, keeping in view the changes that occurred in our country. We also have a policy document regarding urban work. But it would do well to examine how much and how deeply the strategic importance of these two areas is grasped and how much effort has been made in taking forward this crucial work. Weaknesses in this regard and failure to work as needed have led to our loosing many subjective forces in these areas that were a soft target for enemy repression. The persisting lack in doing social investigation and study is one major reason for such weaknesses. The majority of the people who are becoming victims of imperialist, feudal and comprador bureaucratic bourgeois exploitation and oppression live in the vast plain areas and the urban ar- eas. Several movements are raging in the plains and the urban areas. The worldwide economic crisis is crushing the people of these two areas. There is not a single problem that they are not facing. There is no alternative to them other than revolution. And there is a lot of impact of the PW on the people of these areas.
The situation in these areas is thus objectively very favourable to the revolution. What is needed is a creative approach addressing the concreteness of the situation existing in such areas and the demands of various sections and classes among the masses. We already have decades of experience of working in such areas. Similarly, the experiences we gained in the past decade will also help us in working under the new circumstances. Drawing on these experiences, if we creatively work in a planned manner, employing new methods to suit the changed conditions and enemy’s tactics, we can certainly create opportunities to wage guerrilla war in these vast areas as part of PPW. When the enemy is carrying on a severe offensive on us to isolate us from the people and destroy us, we must follow tactics allowing us to protect and preserve our forces.
We preserve ourselves to fight even better and destroy the enemy. Therefore, while implementing the methods necessary to defend and preserve our forces, we should fulfil political, organisational and military tasks of the PPW and increase our mass base. The enemy’s policy is to isolate us from the people and destroy us. Our policy is to go more deeply into the people, integrate more closely with them and destroy the enemy. The favourable objective condition gives us good opportunities to do this. We should utilise them and politically rally the peasantry and various sections of people who are becoming victims of intensifying feudal and imperialist exploitation and oppression and mobilise them on various political, economic, social, cultural, environmental and other issues. The advanced elements that come to the fore in these struggles should be consolidated after raising their political and ideological consciousness. We must thus increase our mass base and subjective forces. We must take political initiative to utilise the contradictions among the enemies to serve this purpose by isolating the main enemy and hastening its end…
According to the conditions in various areas, the government is implementing reforms for developing illusions among the masses and to isolate us from them and destroy us. We should formulate tactical programs based on the policy already formulated by us and on our experiences and implement them to fight back and defeat the enemy’s LIC tactics. Similarly,the party, PLGA and the mass organisations should fight back the relentless psychological operations carried on by the enemy. We should widely propagate MLM, the politics of NDR and the successes of our movement among the people. The underlying aspect in all of these shortcomings is that of insufficient ideological, political study,social investigation, summarising of experiences and rectification of wrong and non-proletarian trends …
Shortcomings persist in following iron discipline, in implementing democratic centralism,secret structure and secret work methods in the party and in leadership work methods and style. These cause damage to unity of thought and action inside the party. They were also one of the reasons for losing subjective forces in large numbers including top level leadership… Our party’s ideological, political and military line is correct. The ultimate victory of the PPW is decided by these factors. Though the mistakes and shortcomings that occur in practice to reach our goal lead to temporary failures and immense hardship, we can rectify these by sticking firmly to our political and military line and by doing correct political, organisational and military work in the light of MLM. We can once again advance in the path towards victory.
Our party took this attitude during the countrywide setback period during the beginning of 1970s and developed the movement step by step. All those who took a different attitude during that period soon disappeared from the Indian revolutionary canvas or were left with a formal presence. The experiences of revolutions of several countries that were successful, that were defeated and those that are continuing to this day are proving that this is the correct attitude. In the present conditions, the key task regarding party building is that of moulding the party in such a way that it is capable of tackling and surmounting the difficult situation we face and advancing the movement again. For this we should take our past experiences and lessons learnt from them and discuss about them at all levels.
At every level our comrades must discuss their own experiences, realise their mistakes and take steps to rectify them. We should study the teachings of great Marxist teachers. If we look only at successes and advances and ignore failures and difficult situations or if we look only at these and ignore successes and advances, we would not be able to prevent past mistakes and would become victims of pessimism… Another important task regarding party building is increasing the quality of the party. While giving party membership to new recruits, while developing them as professional revolutionaries and while giving promotions we should definitely give importance to quality.
We should select active members from the mass organisations and from the non-party members of the PLGA and give them membership and training according to our constitution. To the extent we succeed in recruiting new members in the party, it would not only expand but would also be infused with young blood and new experience. To improve the quality of the party we should carry on study and training of MLM like a campaign. We should make study of concrete conditions and discussion on creative application of theory a part of this ideological and political effort… All this effort regarding party building should be done as part of Bolshevisation campaign.
By making this program successful, we would be able to increase the ideological, political level and organisational solidity of the party,and thus vastly build up its capability in developing mass base and enhancing its efficiency in leading the PLGA and the people to advance the people’s war. For the development of the movement,along with favourable objective conditions it is also necessary to have sufficient subjective strength. However, even when we are lacking in this strength, if we put in correct political and organisational efforts with determination, then the favourable objective conditions will allow us to build up subjective forces in a fairly quick manner.
Our past experiences stand testimony to this. If we do not take this into consideration,think with a metaphysical outlook and become passive, thinking that our subjective forces are weak, we will never be able to overcome the hurdles we face today.The PPW path is one with an orientation which teaches us that a weak force can turn into a strong force and weak movements can develop into strong ones. Before the success of the Russian revolution, revisionism dominated the ICM and the genuine revolutionaries, like the Bolsheviks led by Lenin,were a minority.The victory of the October revolution smashed the revisionism of the 2nd International and unleashed a huge growth in communist parties and revolutions. When Krushchev revisionism emerged, only a few parties stood with the CPC led by Mao Tsetung.
But the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution brought forth a powerful wave of new parties and revolutions. Our revolution and the PPW in the Philippines are continuators of that wave. Once again, only a few parties stood up against the revisionists led by Teng who seized power in China. But that struggle gave birth to the Peruvian and Nepali revolutions. While the former has suffered a setback the latter was betrayed by neo-revisionism. But the lesson still remains. It is by making revolution that we can draw out the full potential of a favourable situation and defeat imperialism, reaction and its tool revisionism.
It is by standing firm on MLM, the ideology of the proletariat, and sticking to the path of revolution that we can surmount hurdles and tackle all challenges successfully. The global crisis of the imperialist system that broke out in 2008 is continuing. The masses in both the oppressed countries and imperialist ones are time and again coming out in struggle. PPWs are continuing. The people’s war led by our party has gained widespread support all over the world. The unity of Maoist forces is increasing, facing up to the betrayal of the Prachanda-Bhattarai clique and liquidationism of Avakianism. The world situation shows great potential for a powerful new wave of revolution. But here too our subjective forces seriously lag behind the objective situation. Thus we see the contradiction, the glaring gap between the potential of the objective situation and the subjective capacities of the Maoist forces.
The history of the world revolution teaches us that the principal way to overcome this is by waging revolution and advancing to victory. We have a great responsibility in this regard. Various opinions combat each other in the party as a reflection of the class struggle going on in society. We should keep in mind that, generally, when movements are facing a difficult situation, the possibility of right and left opportunist trends coming to the fore inside the party would be more. If we are not alert to this and do not take up struggle against them in time we will suffer losses. If we over assess the strength of the revolutionary forces and look down upon the enemy, our party would suffer losses due to left mistakes.
If we over assess the strength of the enemy and look down upon the strength of the revolutionary forces, again the party would suffer losses due to right mistakes. Today the latter is the main danger. We should carry on internal struggle by following correct party methods against both right and left trends. However we should not treat every difference of opinion as a basic difference on our line or enter into endless debates. Such matters should be clearly discussed in the concerned committees following proper methods according to our party constitution. This is the correct party policy followed by us towards differences of opinion and differing views that arise in the party. Some people have lost preparedness to continue along the arduous path of PPW and the will to sacrifice. They assess the might of the enemy as permanent and the people’s strength as always being weak.
They are making bankrupt arguments joining hands with the enemy. We should strongly fight back against such betrayers. Recently, in our country some persons have once again brought forth views that capitalist relations have replaced semi-feudal relations in Indian society and that PPW line is not suitable for our country. Some among them are arguing vaguely about insurrection line. The Communist League of India (CLI) formulated its line with this understanding three decades back. It is well known that it has not succeeded even a little bit despite long years of trying to practice it. We should completely reject this trend. After Second World War, led by the US imperialists, many changes have occurred in oppressed countries according to the interests of the neo-colonialists and their lackeys.
Despite this, all the liberation struggles or new democratic revolutions that were waged in these rural and urban population countries till date followed the protracted path or PPW line respectively. In some countries revolutions are continuing on the path of PPW. This is possible because of the basic semi-colonial, semi-feudal nature of these societies and the basic contradictions in them. The NDR is continuing since decades in our country for similar reasons. It is due to these social relations that people are joining in making this revolution. After 1947 considerable changes occurred in our country’s economic, political, cultural and other spheres.
However they did not bring any qualitative change in the nature of our society. The history of NDR in our country is proving this very historical truth. So we should reject wrong views that deny this reality and expose the arguments brought forth by them. In every country and society where class contradictions and class struggles are continuously sharpening, changes continue to occur. In our country too, not only in the economic, political and cultural spheres but also in other factors that seriously impact the revolutionary war, such as transport, communication, media, technology, art of war, topography, proportion of rural and urban population and in legislature, administration and judiciary many changes have taken place. Even during the LPG period, these took place unevenly in our country where uneven development is present. We should stick on firmly to our political and military line and study these changes deeply, keeping in view the dialectical relation between them and our strategy and tactics.
These changes are impacting some aspects of our strategy. That is why we should implement our strategy creatively and develop our tactics. We should make necessary changes in slogans, struggle and organisational forms and priorities that do not help in mobilising the people vastly and actively into PW. This was necessary in the past and it is even more so at present when changes take place relatively rapidly. When class struggle is continuing fiercely, study and investigation of conditions and formulating tactics according to them has a lot of significance. So far as our country is concerned we should study these changes from another point of view too. It is necessary to understand that the changes that occurred in various spheres in our country have occurred due to the unprecedented level of neo-colonial exploitation, oppression and control of the imperialists.
It is necessary to decide the direction of our tactics keeping this in view. Our ‘Strategy and Tactics of Indian Revolution’ document has stated clearly that constantly studying the phenomena in the world and the country, investigating and analysing them in the light of MLM, educating the party based on the summarisations, actively and widely rallying the people into the arena of struggles and developing the necessary struggle and organisational forms are of utmost necessity. When we continue to implement tactics that are no longer suited to the conditions, to that extent the movement too would be damaged.
We had already reviewed that one of the reasons for the setback of the AP movement was such a mistake. We have also realised that some such mistakes have been committed in the past decade too. The party must retain initiative where we are strong, regain it where we have weakened and develop the movement by rectifying mistakes in time. As long as we firmly grasp the ideological weapon of MLM, and develop the political and military line through its creative application, we can overcome our weaknesses by improving political, organisational and military struggle efforts. Such a correct practice will once again regenerate favourable subjective conditions in all our areas of work for achieving victory in the NDR by overcoming the present situation we face.
Analyzing the post-election scene, our CC has pointed out that the formation of the RSS dominated NDA government and the threat of Brahmanical Hindu fascism has brought forward the urgent and important task of building broad-based and powerful mass movements by uniting all the revolutionary and democratic organisations, forces and individuals and the vast masses. Attacks on religious minorities and atrocities against dalits will increase. Progressive intellectuals and movements will be targeted. Contradictions among the ruling classes will also sharpen as a fall out of the drive to Hindu fascism and the concentration of government power in the hands of a small coterie close to Modi.
The stealthy attempt to impose ‘Hindi-Hindu-Hindustan’ on all the nationalities will bring up more opposition. All of this will provide new and diverse opportunities to unite a broad array of forces in struggle. The Modi regime is aggressively pushing the LPG agenda and the neocolonial grip is tightening. It seeks to cover this up with false talk of nationalism. This nationalist posture of the Sangh Parivar must be challenged by facts about the wholesale sell-out of the country by the Modi government. Wide and concrete propaganda must be carried out to expose the real pro-imperialist, pro-feudal nature of Modi’s agenda.
A new phase of Operation Green Hunt has started. The Modi regime will also be stepping up attacks on national liberation movements and people’s movements. This attack on the people will be accompanied by more draconian laws, blatant violation of even formal justice, and more brutal persecution of political prisoners and suppression of activists who take up such issues. We must energetically intervene in such issues. There is good potential for building and strengthening civil rights/human rights movements in a broad manner. We must try to unite them with the ongoing activities against Operation Green Hunt and the defence of political prisoners’ rights.
The aggressive promotion of Modi’s ‘development’ agenda will see an unprecedented level of displacement. The very existence of the adivasis will be severely threatened. This will bring forward mass struggles. We should actively intervene in these, either directly through suitable forms or by playing a supportive role. We must keep in mind that it has the potential to give rise to a massive mass movement. The aggressive neo-liberal policies of the Modi government will intensify the hardships faced by the peasantry, workers, government employees, and various sections like women, student, and youth.
We must pay attention to intervene in such issues and organise the people in struggles. To overcome the situation we are facing today, we must protect our subjective forces, consolidate them, strengthen our mass base and thus advance the protracted people’s war more powerfully. The new situation emerging after the coming of the Modi regime must be utilised in this direction. It no doubt brings up serious challenges, but it also brings even more opportunities. We must boldly go more deeply and broadly among the different oppressed classes and sections of the people, mobilise them politically and unite them in struggle. We must respond to each and every anti-people, anti-country policy and measure of the Modi government, persistently expose them, mobilise all the people in struggles against it, and strive to link them up with the ongoing protracted people’s war. We must go all out and seize these opportunities.