Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle

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Seven Years Gone: Remembering Anuradha Ghandy

Anuradha Ghandy: The Rebel

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She was born into privilege and could easily have chosen the easy life. But Anuradha Ghandy chose guns over roses to fight for the dispossessed.

On a muggy April evening in 2008, somewhere in Mumbai, a doctor was trying desperately to get in touch with his patient. The patient happened to be a woman in her early 50s, who had come that morning with high fever. The doctor had advised a few blood tests, and, as he saw the reports, he started making frantic calls to the phone number the patient had scribbled in her nearly illegible handwriting. The number, he soon realised, did not exist. He was restless. The reports indicated the presence of two deadly strains of malaria in the woman’s bloodstream—she had to be admitted to a hospital without delay. Time was racing by and there was no trace of her.

By the time the woman contacted the doctor again, a few days had passed. The doctor wanted her placed under intensive care immediately. But it was too late.

Continue reading

India: “Protracted People’s War at Hand,” Warns Top Maoist CPI

By Express News Service17th March 2015

HYDERABAD: The CPI (Maoist) sees new opportunities to advance ‘protracted people’s war’ with the Central Government  allegedly pursuing pro-imperialist and ‘country-selling’ policies at a faster pace and also advancing a Hindu-fascist agenda in various forms.

CPI (Maoist) general secretary Ganapathy, in an interview to Maoist Information Bulletin (MIB), a copy of which is with Express, spoke of the challenges his party has to overcome and on a host of other issues.

CPI(Maoist) Gen’l Secretary Ganapathy

“After coming to power, the BJP is implementing pro-imperialist, country-selling policies at a break-neck pace catering to the needs of foreign and Indian big capitalists and big landlords while, at the same time, advancing the Hindu-fascist agenda in various forms. Thus, there is need for uniting all democratic, progressive, secular and patriotic forces. Newer and more numerous classes, social sections, forces of society will be brought into the arena of struggle, and new opportunities for advancing the PPW will open up.“The situation around the world is becoming increasingly favourable for a revolution. “The imperialist world economy is still reeling under a serious crisis and all  fundamental contradictions in the world are sharpening. Consequently, the revolutionary, democratic and national liberation forces all over the world are gaining strength against imperialism and its domestic props. Maoist forces too are consolidating.”

Continue reading

India: Government Claims Operation Green Hunt is victorious

[But the truth lies elsewhere:  40,000 trained as Maoists in 10 years — Frontlines ed.]

Monday, 19 January 2015 | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna
In the past 10 years, Communist Party of India (Maoists) organised as many as 489 training camps for more than 40,000 cadres who have been taught about the use of sophisticated weapons and guerrilla warfare, according to information obtained under the Right to Information (RTI) Act from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
  • file photo

    The revelations are significant as in the recent months several attacks on security personnel have been carried out by Maoists. These very 40,000 cadres have been trained over the years for such deadly attacks. The original number of cadres trained could be much higher as this is just the data which MHA has recorded. Continue reading

Hundreds of Farmer Suicides: Saddled With Debts Without Relief

On an average, at least two farmers have been committing suicide a day in Telangana State just this Kharif (harvested during the monsoon) season that is set to come to a close in the next 2-3 weeks. Trapped with insurmountable debts, In the last four months, nearly 250 have died.

The Times of India, November 2 2014, HYDERABAD: The Communist Party of India (Maoist) announced its return to action in Telangana on Saturday by calling for a one-day bandh on November 8 to protest the ‘inept policies’ of the TRS government that is resulting in farmer suicides. Continue reading

India: Nervous Police Find Revolutionary Signs

[During electoral campaigns in India, candidates and parties often post publicity posters (“flex signs”) — a method which Maoists have apparently also adopted to promote their revolutionary program and slogans, to the distress of State police and their electoral masters and bourgeois media.  —  Frontlines ed.]

Suspected Maoists put up flex boards in Attappady, Kerala

K. A. SHAJI, The Hindu, PALAKKAD, October 5, 2014

A drive against flex boards will be launched immediately as part of Gandhi Jayanti observance. File photo.

Electioneering on flex boards. Pictures of the Maoist advocate’s posters are not published in the Indian bourgeois press.

The police have stepped up vigil in Attappady region following the appearance of flex boards allegedly installed by the banned Maoist outfit to exhort the working class to prepare for an ‘armed battle’ against ‘ruling elites.’

While most of the flex boards were seen in Kallamala region of western Attappady on Friday morning, a few were installed at Poonchola and Pambbanthode villages close to Mannarkkad. The boards claimed their ownership to a special regional committee of the CPI(Maoist) Western Ghats unit.

The boards said the organisation was observing the 10th anniversary of its armed resistance and sought cooperation of the general public in strengthening the party base in the three southern States. It wanted strong public vigilance against concerted efforts of the ruling class to plunder water, land, forests, and natural resources.

Continue reading

Revolutionaries in India Find Greater Unity in New Merger of Maoist Parties

[Decades after the first wave of Maoist revolutionary struggle in India, often referred to as the Naxalite rebellion, was brutally suppressed by the Indian State, and the movement was splintered into many groups and parties, the struggle to unite the Maoists has taken a great step forward.  Beginning nearly 10 years ago with the merger of the People’s War Group and the Maoist Coordination Center, forming the Communist Party of India (Maoist), now, a further step merging the CPI (Maoist) with the CPI(ML)-Naxalbari has advanced the struggle to a stronger and more developed stage.  The newly unified party announced this advance on May Day, International Workers Day, with the following statement.  —  Revolutionary Frontlines]

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May 1, 2014

Merger Declaration of CPI(Maoist) and CPI(M-L)Naxalbari
Hail the Merger of the Maoist Parties in India into a Single Party!

(Released to the press by comrades Abhay and Krantipriya, spokespersons of the respective parties)

On this occasion of the International day of the world proletariat, the glorious May Day, we the Maoists of India, with a great sense of responsibility and firm conviction, announce the merger of the CPI (Maoist) and CPI(M-L) Naxalbari into a single party, to be known as CPI(Maoist). Thus strengthening the vanguard of the Indian proletariat, which is a contingent of the world proletariat, we dedicate ourselves evermore firmly to the cause of the Indian revolution and the world proletarian revolution.
The Maoist movement took form through the great Naxalbari uprising of 1967. Inspired and led by comrades Charu Mazumdar and Kanhai Chatterjee, founder leaders of our party, thousands of leaders, cadres and masses laid down their invaluable lives to advance the revolutionary movement and build a strong party.
After the setback of early 1970s and the martyrdom of comrade Charu Mazumdar, the communist revolutionary forces were divided into many groups. The genuine revolutionaries while trying to build the movement in their respective areas made serious attempts to unify all revolutionaries into a single party. In the course of this process over the last four decades the two main streams represented by the erstwhile CPI (ML) (People’s War) and the MCCI merged into a single party, the CPI (Maoist), on 21st September 2004. This marked a qualitative leap in realizing a long drawn aspiration of the workers, peasants and other oppressed masses to build a single directing centre leading the new democratic revolutionary war in India to success and marching forward to establishing socialism and then communism. Continue reading

India: “Condemn the Arbitrary Raid of the House of Prof. GN Saibaba, An Intellectual and Joint Secretary Of RDF!”

Press Release By Committee For The Release Of Political Prisoners, 13 Sep 2013
Condemn The Criminal Designs Of The Joint Intelligence-Special Cell-Gadchiroli Police Combine To Implicate Prof. GN Saibaba Along with The False Charges Framed Against Hem Mishra, A JNU Student!

In an unprecedented act of terror to terrorise, on the 12 September 2013, around 3 pm, a joint operation of a team from the National Investigation Agency (NIA), 7 members from the Special Cell of the Delhi Police, 15 member police team from the Aheri police station, Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, 7 member police team from the Maurice Nagar Police Station, Delhi University—all put together 50 member squad—barged into the premises of the quarter in which Prof. GN Saibaba was staying with the family. The Aheri police team comprised of Mr. Suhas P Bawache who happens to be the Investigating officer of the case in which Hem Mishra, a JNU student has recently been shown as arrested in Aheri police station limits. Additional SP Shashi Kumar was also part of the team. The NIA team refused to reveal their identity. Sub Inspector Sanjeev Kumar identified himself as part of the Maurice Nagar Station while his colleague Narendra Dubey from the same station refused to reveal his rank. As mentioned before the team comprised of 50 members just to raid the premises of a family comprising of three—Prof. GN Saibaba who moves in a wheel chair with serious disability, his life partner AS Vasantha and their daughter Manjeera in her teens. Undoubtedly it was an act of intimidation, cold and calculative.

Prof. GN Saibaba had just returned from Ramlal Anand College where he teaches in the English department. Sooner than later the marauding team of police/intelligence had seized all the mobiles—Saibaba, his partner AS Vasantha and daughter Manjeera—and confined them to a room. Continue reading

India: Commemorating the Life and Revolutionary Leadership of Comrade Azad (1954-2010)

https://i2.wp.com/www.bannedthought.net/India/CPI-Maoist-Docs/Cadre/Azad-photo-04.jpg“India is a vast and highly complex society with uneven and varied development.  It has the universal features of any semi-colonial, semi-feudal society under the grip of finance capital; it also has many a specificity, which requires deep study and analysis.  Revolution here is no simple task.  While focusing on the axis of the armed agrarian revolution it would additionally entail dealing with and solving the varied and numerous diseases afflicting our socio-political system.  The new democratic revolution entails the total democratization of the entire system and all aspects of life – political, economic, social, cultural, educational, recreational, etc.  The standard of life has to be enhanced, not only materially but also in the sphere of outlook and values.  A new social being has to emerge in the course of the revolutionary process.” — Comrade Azad

Cherukari Rajkumar (1954-2010), popularly known as Azad, spokesperson of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), served the cause of the Indian revolution for over thirty five years till he was murdered by state forces on July 1, 2010.  His leadership concentrated the very best of revolutionary Maoism in his adherence to principle, his reliance on the revolutionary masses, and his insistence on never deviating from the revolutionary goal.  He fought against every mischaracterization of the revolutionary struggle, especially such claims that the Maoists were self-seeking, opportunistically using the masses.  The people’s war, he insisted, was not of Maoists substituting themselves for the masses, but of the masses struggling for revolution and liberation in every sphere of life, and the role of the Maoists is to serve the revolution of the masses as organizers, leaders, educators, and defenders.  He extended this view to the revolutionary overthrow of feudalism and capitalism which will establish a socialist state, in which the revolutionary Maoists will remain among the masses and continue the revolution, organizing and leading the struggle to transform every economic, political, and social relation, toward the final goal of communism.  Today, on the third anniversary of his cowardly ambush-murder by the Indian fascist state, we honor his memory with a serious, internationalist red salute, and with the determination to continue his legacy. 
We present an interview with Azad, conducted a few months before his assassination, in which he details the views of the Communist Party of India (Maoist).  Lal Salaam!
Inquilab Zindabad!  —  Frontlines ed.]

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from:  Mainstream, Vol XLVIII, No 6, January 30, 2010
‘Let Us Not Make Truth A Casualty In This War’

Azad exposes Chidambaram’s Clear-and-Hold operations based on the Stratetgic Hamlet programme pursued by Britain in Malaya and the USA in Vietnam

“The following interview of Comrade Azad, spokesperson of the CPI (Maoist) Central Committee, given to the Maoist information Bulletin on October 19, 2009 reached our (Mainstream Weekly) office in late December last year. This wideranging interview—on the current Centrally-planned anti-Maoist offensive in our tribal heartland and related issues [including violence and counter-violence, Maoists’ talks with the government, the CPI (Maoist)’s stand on development, charges of extortion, beheading of Francis Induvar, recruitment of child soldiers etc.]—is being published in full here despite its length due to its importance in the present scenario and for the benefit of our readers.” —  (Mainstream Weekly Editor)

Q: There is a lot of talk about an unprecedented massive military offensive due to begin anytime now. How will your Party confront it?

Azad: The fact is, the unprecedented massive offensive has already begun. In the Chintagufa area in Dantewada district almost 4000 police and Central forces led by around 600 elite commandos of the anti-Naxal COBRA force had carried out their biggest-ever counter-revolutionary operation called Operation Green Hunt in the third week of September. Some media reporters described it as Operation Red Hunt. Whatever is the name, it was the first major attempt by the Central and State forces to wrest a part of the territory from the hands of the oppressed people led by the Maoists. This operation was a sort of a rehearsal for the forthcoming Centrally-planned countrywide simultaneous offensive on all our guerrilla zones.

When the enemy attack took place near Singanamadugu village, our forces present there were hardly 50 or 60 in number. But they fought heroically, and successfully repulsed the attack by a superior force, by totally relying on the people. It was the people who gave us the information regarding each and every movement of the enemy force. Hence our guerrillas could deal the first biggest blow to these so-called COBRAs who were specially trained in jungle warfare and sent to wage an unjust war against the Maoist revolutionaries. Six of their men including two assistant commandants—one from Manipur and another from UP—were wiped out in the real battle. These brave COBRAs demonstrated their heroism and courage by murdering seven unarmed adivasi villagers, including two aged men and a woman, and burning four villages. Not a single Maoist was killed contrary to the false claims of the police that 22 Maoists were killed. Our forces chased them for about 10 kilometres. The people of the entire area stood with us in this counter-attack on the thugs sent by Manmohan-Chidambaram’s khadi gang at the Centre and Raman Singh’s saffron gang in Chhattisgarh. This heroic resistance by a handful of Maoist guerrillas underscores the superiority of the tactics of guerrilla war and the massive mass support enjoyed by the Maoists. It demonstrates the ability of our Maoist guerrillas to confront and defeat a numerically far superior enemy force equipped with all the sophisticated weaponry, aerial support and what not, by relying on the sea of people in which we swim like fish.

In the second week of October once again Chidambaram’s men unleashed another massive offensive by amassing 10, 000 men in Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra with MI-17 choppers surveying the area from the skies. It was as if an army from an enemy country was waging war on the Indian people. In the face of it our forces had successfully carried out a massive political campaign against the farce of the Assembly elections that were held on October 13 in Maharashtra.

Here I shall not go into the concrete details of our precise tactics to confront and defeat the unprecedented, massive, brazen offensive on the most oppressed people being unleashed by the Indian ruling classes on behalf of the imperialists and the comprador big business houses. I can only confidently say one thing for the present: All our plans, policies, strategy and tactics will be based entirely on the active involvement of the vast masses of people in this war of self-defence. The enemy class cannot decimate us without decimating the entire population in the regions we control. And if it dares to go into an all-out war of extermination of the tribal population the entire socio-politico scene in India will undergo a fundamental shift and will witness a radical realignment of class forces. All peace-loving, democratic, patriotic, secular forces, all the downtrodden sections of the society will polarise into one pole while the most reactionary, anti-people, authoritarian, traitorous, jingoist counter-revolutionary forces will end up at the opposite pole. Such a polarisation is bound to take place as the war advances and the enemy’s mercenary forces attempt to turn central and eastern India into a graveyard. The warmongers will be isolated and will face unprecedented social and political crises. However, on behalf of our Party, PLGA, revolutionary mass organisations and organs of people’s democratic power, I can assure the people of our country that with their support, direct as well as indirect, we shall deal crushing blows on the enemy’s mercenary forces and defeat their plans to hand over these regions to the international and domestic bandicoots.

Q: But your forces had killed around 20 policemen, most of them C-60 commandos, in Laheri in Gadchiroli district on the eve of the elections in Maharashtra. Is it not due to incidents like this which is provoking the government to deploy huge forces in these areas?

https://i1.wp.com/www.bannedthought.net/India/CPI-Maoist-Docs/Cadre/Azad-photo-01.jpgAzad: No, no. It is the other way round. It is because of the indescribable atrocities perpetrated by the specially-trained anti-Naxal forces that we are compelled to carry out such attacks. If they do not harass the poor, unarmed adivasi population; if they do not arrest, torture, murder them, and rape their women; if they do not engage in destroying the property, burn villages and crops of the adivasis; if they do not indulge in cold-blooded murders of abducted Maoists and declare them dead in so-called encounters, then why will our forces undertake such attacks? How can this be a provocation? You know who the C-60 commandos are? They are specifically formed as an elite anti-Naxal force whose one and only task is to kill Naxalites and Naxal sympathisers. If no Naxalite is found they pounce on hapless adivasi villagers, arrest them, torture them, and murder them. And adivasi women have become their objects of rape. You might have heard of the heart-chilling story of a 13-year-old girl from Pavarvel village in Dhanora tehsil who was gangraped by five or six commandos led by the notorious Munna Singh Thakur in March this year. Or the case of the gangrape and murder of 52-year-old Mynabai from Kosimi village by several policemen in Gyarapatti PS in the same Danora tehsil in May last year. For the directors of this war on adivasis —Manmohan Singh, Chidambaram, G.K. Pillai and others—the gangrapes of a 13-year-old girl or a 52-year-old woman are only collateral damage in their larger war for capturing the region to plunder its wealth. Continue reading

Maoist attacks are a counter violence of resistance against the state: Arundhati Roy

 

First Post, May 28, 2013

(First Post) Editors note: This interview was originally run in April 2010 by CNN-IBN. Given the context of the recent attack in Chhattisgarh on a Congress convoy, (First Post) has republished the interview as it resurfaces some interesting points of view. 

In that interview, Arundhati Roy says that the Maoists have no choice but to indulge in ‘counter-violence’. Here is Roy’s interview with CNN-IBN Deputy Editor Sagarika Ghosh:

Arundhati Roy. AFP

Arundhati Roy. AFP

Sagarika Ghose: You wrote your article ‘Walking with the comrades’ in The Outlook before Dantewada happened. In the aftermath of the Dantewada (incident of 2010), do you still stand by the tone of sympathy that you had with the Maoist cause in that essay?

Arundhati Roy: Well, this is a odd way to frame before and after Dantewada happened, because actually you know this cycle of violence has been building on and on. This is not the first time that a large number of security personnel have been killed by the Maoists. I have written about it and the other attacks that took place between the years 2005-07. The way I look at is, people make it sound that, ‘oh, on this side are people, who are celebrating the killing of CRPF jawans, and that side of the people who are asking for the Maoists to be wiped out.’ This is not the case. I think that you got to look at the every death as a terrible tragedy in a system, in a war that’s been pushed on the people and that unfortunately is becoming a war of the rich against the poor. In which rich put forward the poorest of the poor to fight the poor. CRPF are terrible victims but they are not just victims of the Maoists. They are victims of a system of structural violence that is taking place, that sort to be drowned in this empty condemnation industry that goes on. This is entirely meaningless because most of the time people who condemn them have really no sympathy for them. They are just using them as pawns. Continue reading

India: Why Maoists targeted Congress Leaders

[See two articles from India’s bourgeois media, below. —  Frontlines ed.]

Chhattisgarh attack revenge for Salwa Judum, Green Hunt: Maoists

Chhattisgarh attack revenge for Salwa Judum, Green Hunt: Maoists
“Peoples’ Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) cadres main aim was eliminate Mahendra Karma and few other Congress leaders,” the Maoist said in a statement e-mailed to select mediapersons.
RAIPUR: Outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) on Tuesday strongly defended killing of senior tribal leader Mahendra Karma and Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress Committee (CGPCC) president Nand Kumar Patel for their role in SalwaJudum and operation Green Hunt but expressed regrets over the death of other “innocent” Congressmen.”Peoples’ Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) cadres main aim was eliminate Mahendra Karma and few other Congress leaders,” the Maoist said in a statement e-mailed to select mediapersons.

Dandakaranya special zonal committee spokesman Gudsa Usendi claimed that the attack was to avenge “Salwa Judum” – the controversial anti-Maoist movement of June 2005 that led to large scale violence and displacement of thousands of villagers in Bastar.

“Both the BJP and the Congress are equally responsible for repression in tribal areas,” the Maoist spokesman said adding that Salwa Judum had become a curse for the people of Bastar. Continue reading

India–“Peals of Spring Thunder”: Oppressive System cannot control the struggle against oppression

The Naxalite Attacks at Sukma
by BINOY KAMPMARK, writing in CounterPunch

naxal_attackThey have been considered one of India’s most pressing threats, and the recent attack by the Naxalites that ambushed a convoy of the Congress Party went that much further.  The ambush took place over the weekend in Sukma on the Maharashtra, Andra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh border. Reports suggest that there were as many as 200 Maoist rebels who inflicted heavy losses – 28 killed and 24 others wounded – before fleeing.

The attacks have shaken the establishment.  Among the dead were four state party leaders including Mahendra Karma of Chhattisgarh, and five police officers.  For BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar, “This new aggressive strategy of the Naxalities is a real threat to the Constitution and the rule of law. It is a challenge to sovereignty” (Times of India, May 26).  Former police chief of Punjab state KPS Gill is pessimistic about the new surge – the government of the day did not “have the political will and bureaucratic and police set-up to prevent such attacks” (Dhaka Tribune, May 26).

How the Naxalites have been treated has varied.  In 1967, when the movement first made its presence felt in the West Bengal village of Naxalbari, the Home Minister Y. B. Chavan treated the matter as a case of “lawlessness” in action.  The mistake was classic but fatal.  During the 1970s, the state authorities moved in on the movement hoping to crush it with repressive enthusiasm.  As usual with such measures, the quotient of extra-judicial killings and corrupt practices accompanied the operations.  Legislation was passed to enable various state authorities to take measures – the attempt, for example, by the N.T. Rama Rao government to free up arms licensing in Andra Pradesh in 1983 for individuals to protect themselves against the Naxals. Continue reading

India: “Don’t pose as Maoist rebels: CPI-Maoist warns criminals”

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Ranchi, May 18, 2013

CPI-Maoists through posters have warned criminal groups and splinter outfits not to lift levy claiming to be Naxals in Ramgarh district.

The poster read, “Criminals are warned not to pose as Maoists rebels. If the party comes to know about any incident of loot, murder or levy demands being made by criminal groups they will be punished according to party laws.”

The posters were recovered by the Ramgarh police on Friday from Gola police station area.

The Maoists on Friday early hours had to torch nine heavy vehicles and destroyed several engaged in road construction at Jogia village. The posters were recovered from the incident site.

The poster read, “CPI-Maoist is an organization that is fighting against the government to save people from becoming victims of the corporate houses. We are not involved in killing and looting innocents. Many criminals are using name of the party for their self beneficiaries. We have identified many criminals who have defamed the party, they will be punished if they do not mend their ways.”

The banned outfit has lost its dominance areas in the district where splinter outfits like Jharkhand Jan Sangarsh Muktimorcha (JJSM) and Tritya Prastuti Committee (TPC) have managed to make their holds.

According to police files many criminal groups posing to be Maoists have performed many loot, road dacoity and several other crimes.

The posters also warned the business fraternity not to give levy demanded anyone other than the Maoist outfits.

Indian Maoists’ message to Nepal Maoists CPN-Maoist — August 31, 2012

[We have recently seen this message from the CPI (Maoist) to the new CPN-Maoist party, sent in late August of last year.  The new party in Nepal has, since this statement was issued, held its Congress early in 2013 — and while it decided not to return to the revolutionary path of Protracted People’s War, there are indications that an intense struggle continues within the new party to adopt this revolutionary course.  The content of this statement reveals some of the reasons Indian Maoists appear to be hopeful as well as cautious in in their assessment of events in Nepal as of late August, 2012. — Frontlines ed.]

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COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST) — CENTRAL COMMITTEE

Hail the formation of Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist

Message of CC, CPI (Maoist) to the CC, CPN -Maoist

 August 31, 2012

To Comrade Kiran, The Chairman, CPN-Maoist

The CC, CPI (Maoist) is sending its warmest revolutionary greetings to you and all the CC members and the entire rank and file of the CPN-Maoist on the formation of the new revolutionary party in Nepal after a prolonged internal ideological and political struggle against the opportunist and neo-revisionist leadership within the party who betrayed the Nepalese revolution and by demarcating and making a break with them.

Even while the Nepal Revolution reached the stage of strategic offense, the UCPN (Maoist) leadership assessed the national and international situation subjectively, took erroneous tactics which themselves led the party get bogged down in the quagmire of parliamentarianism with capitulationism uninterruptedly since end 2005. The opportunist faction that was dominant in the party rapidly went on taking modern revisionist positions including 12-point Agreement, 8-point Agreement and Comprehensive Peace Agreement etc thus betraying the cause of the Nepal people and causing enormous harm to the New Democratic Revolution. The revolutionary faction of the UCPN (Maoist) led by Comrade Kiran and other revolutionaries put up a fight against the neo-revisionist stands that harmed the interests of the Nepal oppressed masses and have split at various stages from the revisionist leadership. Our CC considers such splits resorted to by genuine revolutionaries demarcating from the neo-revisionist leadership and its erroneous right opportunist line as correct steps that would advance the revolution in Nepal and serve the interests of the oppressed classes and all oppressed social sections in Nepal. Continue reading

Questions of Freedom and People’s Emancipation, Parts 1 and 2, by Kobad Ghandy

[Kobad Ghandy, a member of the Politburo and Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), was captured by Indian Intelligence Bureau on  September 17, 2009.  Initially kept in illegal detention and tortured, he remains a political prisoner in Tihar Jail, where he continues his revolutionary studies and writings, organizes Maoist classes, and joins the struggles of other prisoners against the draconian conditions they face.  The following is the first two parts of a series on freedom–its promise and the problems in its pathway. — Frontlines ed.]

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Mainstream, VOL L, No 35, August 18, 2012

[Kobad Ghandy from Tihar Jail now writes on the concept of freedom vis-à-vis present-day society as also in relation to a future just order, bringing out some causes for the failure of the erstwhile socialist states. It will comprise a series of five to six articles. —Editor]

PART I — THE CONTEXT

Communism is the return of man himself as a social, i.e. really human being, a complete and conscious return which assimilates all the wealth of previous development. Communism, as a fully developed naturalism, is humanism, and, as a fully developed humanism, is naturalism. It is the DEFINITIVE resolution of the antagonism between man and nature, and between man and man. It is the true solution of the conflict between existence and essence, between objectification and self-affirmation, between freedom and necessity, between individual and species. It is the solution of the riddle of history and knows itself to be this solution. —Karl Marx

Utopian? Maybe. Yet, it sounds like the ultimate in freedom, something toward which one could move towards, step by step. The rose of freedom in the above-mentioned garden, called by any other name, would, no doubt, smell as sweet. It may seem ironical to dream of freedom locked up in a jail within jail (the high-risk ward), with lathi-wielding cops breathing down one’s neck 24 hours a day, denied access to even the normal jail facilities. But dream one must to maintain one’s sanity under such conditions.

Yet FREEDOM… that much abused word. Freedom—around which hundreds of myths have been woven into beautiful-looking intricate webs waiting to entrap us. US, as the ultimate in freedom: free speech; free trade; free association; free thought; et al. And, if perchance we are unable to find freedom here, there is always the escape to religious illusion—moksha, to be acquired in splendid isolation. In all this are we not losing the essence of freedom?

Coming back to this jailed existence, we find some bright spots within the darkness—like the compound attached to our ward covered by a canopy of trees. I sit in silence watching the squirrels prancing around in gay abandon, and listen to the chirping of birds in the tree. Looking at them, they seem so free. But, are they really? I begin to think what really is the meaning of freedom?

My thoughts drift to the time I developed an interest in communism. It was a time in the late 1960s and early seventies when lakhs, nay millions, of youth came to a similar conclusion in their search for freedom and justice. After all, at that time one-third of the world was socialist, and, in addition, Left national liberation movements raged throughout the backward countries. One can safely say that about half the world was under the sway of communism. But today, just forty years later, when the world is going through one of its worst crisis, when the gap between the rich and the poor has never been so wide, the communist existence is insignificant. Though all the conditions exist for it, yet it is unable to captivate the minds of the youth, workers and students. The socialist countries have collapsed, the national liberation movements have been replaced, in many places, by Islamic resistance, and of the millions who have come onto the streets in the West, one can see only a sprinkling of Communists. There continue to be a few communist resistance movements, but even of these, many have collapsed, while a few continue with enormous difficulties, fighting with their backs to the wall. Sitting here in the quietude of the compound, I begin to contemplate the serious implications of what has happened. Why such a devastating reversal? What happened to our hopes and dreams of a better future? Was it to witness a mafia-type rule in the first ever socialist country, or the billionaire princelings of China, not to mention the tin-pot dictators of earlier East Europe!! Forget the autocratic rulers, why did the masses so easily choose a free market over freedom from want? If there are no clear-cut answers and also solutions, the Communists of today may continue to live ostrich-like in their make-believe worlds; but the people will go their own way. The reasons given by many an academic for the failures—lack of democracy and development of productive forces—are in no way convincing; so these have little impact on the people. If the sensitive amongst the people are unable to find answers in real life, they will once again seek solace in religion and spiritualism. As Marx put it, “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of an unspiritual world. It is the opium of the people.” Yes, people are seeking spiritual solace from a crass-materialist consumerist opium, far more potent than earlier religions. Do we not see such a turn not only amongst the deeply alienated middle classes, but even amongst the organised working class? Communism seems no longer an attraction for the youth, as it was for us in the 1960s and 1970s.

Tracing my way back to the cell, through two locked iron gates, I feel that I am returning from the garden of paradise to the real cruel world. My musty cell brings me back to reality—recollections of my past experiences.

Images float before my eyes, some clear, some hazy. Quite naturally the first image to come is of the person with whom I had the longest and deepest relationship—my late wife Anuradha. So lively and chirpy, like the little squirrels, she was straightforward, simple, with few complexes, and her reactions were so spontaneous and child-like (not calculated and cunning). My impression was that probably her inner feelings were very much in tune with her outward reactions; as a result she was closest to what we may call a free person.

The image passes. Then others appear—of associations experienced over forty years of social activities. I could club them into three categories:

First is the Anuradha-type. Many of these (not all) would be from tribal, women and Dalit background, but would include others as well.

The second category would be those from the other extreme. Notwithstanding their dedication, they have been unable to get out of the prevalent value system, deeply embedded in their sub-conscious, and have to resort to pretences, intrigues, subterfuges, etc. to gain acceptability. Often they may even be unconscious of this dichotomy wherein their inner feelings are in deep contradiction with their outward behaviour. They therefore get entangled in a web of comp-lexes, like caged animals in a zoo. Particularly, in India, the entrenched caste hierarchy adds to the existing feelings of class superiority, creating fertile grounds for these complexities. This may not reflect in crude casteism, but gets manifested in the form of intellectual superiority, arrogance/ego, domi-nation/authoritarianism, etc.—one could call it, in its extreme form, the Chanakya syndrome.

And between these two extremes of white and black would lie the third category—the varied shades of grey: some veering towards the white, others towards the black. I would consider the majority would lie here.

My mind then switches back to myself and the present caged existence. I look out at the guards walking up-and-down through two sets of gates. It reminds me how animals in a zoo look at us humans from their cages—only they have one set of gates, and sufficient space to pace up and down. In this caged existence it is difficult to evaluate myself in relation to freedom, in the sense outlined above. But before arrest, where would I have stood? An honest self-assessment is often the most difficult, while one easily jumps to conclusions about others. Yet, a truthful self-assessment is most important, as that and that alone would be the starting point for any positive change—given that we would all be infected, to varying degrees, with the dominant values prevalent in the system. Well, I think I would place myself in the third category. One may say that this is a convenient broad categorisation. Very true! But, the important aspect here is to remember that no one is static (this applies to all categories), we are in continuous flux; the key factor here is the direction of our movement—whether it is towards white or heading towards the morass of black. This I leave to others to assess.

NOW, before coming to the CONTEXT in which FREEDOM should be viewed, a point of clarification needs to be made. The above presentation may appear as a crude pragmatic interpretation of freedom, lacking a scientific content. But, all I have sought to present is the reality. Science seeks to understand the laws behind the reality, which I will try and do in my future articles. Continue reading

India: Revolutionaries honor the memory of fallen leaders and comrades

COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST)

DANDAKARANYA SPECIAL ZONAL COMMITTEE

June 10, 2012

Observe Martyrs Week From July 28 to August 3!

Red Homage to Our Party’s Fore-founders and Beloved Teachers Comrades Charu Mazumdar and Kanhai Chatterjee!

Let’s rededicate ourselves to fulfill the cherished dreams of thousands of martyrs including Comrades Ramji, Shrikant, Sheshanna, Suneeta, Ranita, Sukku, Mahesh, Mangli, Paklu, Pramod and Shivaji!

July 28 has a special significance in the history of Indian Revolution. Comrade Charu Mazumdar and Comrade Kanhai Chatterjee, who broke the backs of the revisionism deep-rooted for decades in the Indian Communist Movement and established the path of protracted people’s war for the Indian Revolution, emerged as the founder-leaders of CPI (Maoist). On this day in 1972, Comrade Charu Mazumdar succumbed to police torture. In the path directed by these two great comrades, the Indian Revolution is marching forward unabatedly for the last 45 years facing many upheavals, defeats and setbacks. Even if it faced setback at one place, by gaining strength in other places, it stood as a ray of hope for all the oppressed masses of entire country. This 45-year bloodstained history contains invaluable sacrifices of more than 15 thousand martyrs. By virtue of these sacrifices, revolutionary movement has been advancing raising the slogan `Naxalbari Ek Hi Rasta’, with the aim of building liberated areas through area-wise seizure of political power. July 28 is an important day to commemorate the sacrifices of all the martyrs and to rededicate ourselves to fulfill their cherished dreams.

In the last one year, nearly 150 comrades have sacrificed their lives all over the country. Forty of them are from Dandakaranya (DK). These martyrs include higher leadership comrades, party members, PLGA commanders, red fighters, mass organization activists, revolutionary people’s committee representatives and revolutionary masses. Many of these have lost their lives in fake encounters carried out by government mercenary forces while others have laid down their lives fighting heroically with the enemy forces. Few of them have lost their lives due to illness and in accidents. On the occasion of July 28, let’s commemorate each and every martyr and pledge to fight relentlessly to fulfill their dream of building a new democratic India free of all forms of exploitation and oppression. Continue reading