Naxalbari: a historical turning point: Joby

Almost half a century has stopped since the Naxalite Agrarian Revolution which erupted in the Indian horizon like a thunder. This Great revolution which illuminated the age long of revolution of unleashed a new inspiration in every sphere of Indian society. Naxalbari is not a mere renewal of the memory of a historical occurrence in the minds of the communist revolutionaries and the revolutionary masses. On the other hand, it is a live ideological, political, presence which still influences us for an incessant revolutionary struggle. The Indian villages were bidding for an explosion against the reign of the feudal powers and the comprador ruling classes. It was at this political juncture the Naxalbari emerged giving full meaning to such a situation. This revolution rejected the line of right opportunism and revisionism which had clung to the communist movement till then. It presented before the broad masses the line of armed revolutionary struggle aimed at seizing of political power. The Indian communist movement started its journey from rightist line to the revolutionary leftist following this historical rupture.

On 25th May 1967, the police were callously opened fire against the peasants returning after the conference in Naxalbari. In that genocide 11 people including women and children became martyrs. It was the time when the police station limits of Naxalbari, Kheriberi and Pancicvada were the centers of strong resistance struggle of the masses against the feudal powers. Against the unjust eviction from land, the peasants were forcefully seizing lands from the land lords and thus confronting their revengeful activities. The police and the state unleashed firing and massacre at the time when the revolutionaries raised the agrarian struggles to a new level. Thus spark class wrath of the peasants spread fast like a prairie fire to the neighbouring places and to the different parts of the country. The Naxalbari emerged as a result of a planned revolutionary scheme.

That was why in the phases of politics and of counter attack against the combined onslaught of the state and landlords, a revolutionary high level was contributed by the peasant fighters to the country. Areas of many armed struggles emerged in which Gopivallabapur, Mushahari, Birbum and Srikakulam are notable. These struggles which  publicly subject of seizure of power through armed struggle. When the peasants fighters seized arms attacking the Magurjan police outpost, Comrade Charu Mazumdar rightly declared that it has opened a new armed front in our struggle. Once again in the country, after Telegana, the political agenda of armed struggle and agrarian revolution gained prominence. The message of it surged like waves in villages, cites, work places, campuses and art and cultural spheres and spread vehemently into the minds of the masses of the new forces of social change scorching the forces of revisionism and comprador ruling classes, filled everywhere.

The united front government under the leadership of the notorious Sidhartha Sanka Ray rallied and demolished the movement. The united front was a league of revisionist CPI, neo-revisionist CPM, they publicly welcomed the intervention of the congress government under the leadership Indira Gandhi and hunted the revolutionaries. Thus the CPM neo-revisionists who had promised that they would wipeout landlordism (feudalism) traitors. The peasant revolutionaries of the party who had fought against the  landlords raising the red flag to implement this slogan were soaked in blood. This alliance of the CPM with the comprador ruling class to suppress the armed revolutionaries is not only confined to Bengal. Making it evident everywhere in the country, they proved themselves to be faithful servants of semi-colonial, semi-feudal and retrograde social system. Then began the brutal oppression which resulted in the historian recorded it. These butchers were able, for the time being to put it down, but they did not succeed in eliminating the politics of armed agrarian revolution which was embarked in Naxalbari. People who believed in revolution from different parts of India rallied behind the revolutionaries and they broke themselves from the revisionist camp. This was the overall phenomenon in the Indian political arena at that juncture. This also explicitedly unmasked the truth that the CPI and CPM do not have the least difference in any field.

The history of the development of world proletariat class and of class struggles is indeed the continuation of the bitter ideological struggle between Marxism and revisionism. Interwoven with this exists the struggle against dogmatism and mechanical materialism. Using this tradition of struggle as a prop, the Indian communist revolutionaries have come forward at different stages to express their revolutionary urge overtly and also to question right opportunism. The Naxalbari armed revolution is the foremost forerunner in this process. It broke a new party of glorious struggle against opportunism and revisionism. Since then, it has become an imprint of the revolution and revisionism and ceased to be a mere name of a place. Through the shaking off the right wingers, the communist revolutionary leadership could establish the revolutionary continuity of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM). Hoisting the flag of armed revolution, with more clarity in the political ideology, the Naxalbari opened new era in the history of Indian communist movement and class struggle.

The revolutionaries who fought inside the neo-revisionist CPM for a real revolutionary party and revolutionary line were beleaguered and attacked all the combined streams of revisionism and bourgeoisie opportunism. But these forces who represented the future, in the complex world situation under the the ongoing journey of the International Communist Movement turned and
attacked the citadels of revisionism. The CPM leadership was standing turning free against the ideological struggle between the CPC and USSR (Great Debate) and also the general line put forward by the CPC in the international sphere. In 1963, the publication of a proposal concerning the general line of the International Communist Movement (25 point letter) was an all round and public condemnation of revisionism and a call to the genuine Marxist-Leninist of all countries.

In the polemics Mao and CPC correctly uphold the Leninist position on the dictatorship of the proletariat and of armed revolution and opposed the strategy of a  development of the national wars of liberation of the oppressed people, position that the wars of liberation should  opposed the efforts of Krushchev to impose a revisionist line on other parties as well as criticising theory, Thogliati, Tito and other modern revisionists put forward in embryonic form the thesis Mao was developing concerning the class nature of socialism and carrying through the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat called for a thorough study of the historical experience of international communist movements and the roots of revisionism. Those points as well as others contained in the proposal and the polemics were remain vital elements to distinguish Marxism-Leninism-Maoism from revisionism (RIM declaration 1993). Through the ‘Great Debate’ the ideological  struggle led by struggle led by CPC against modern revisionism and the Proletariat Cultural Revolution (GPCR) initiated against capitalist roaders inspired the revolutionaries all over the world. It gave strength to them to unleash resistance against revisionists in unprecedented levels and forms, in their own countries.

The Naxalbari which took birth in the foundation for the building of a true revolutionary party. During this time once correct, even if one has not a single soldier at first, there will be soldiers and even if there is no political power, power will be gained. This is borne out by the historical experience of the international communist movement. Soon after the Naxalbari, the communist revolutionaries and Revolutionary movement and realised this historical reality in our  country.  While searching into the root of Naxalbari and cannot put aside analysis of the days of political instability and treachery that existed in the communist party. Whatever be the shortcoming of the Naxalbari armed agrarian revolution it was the first deliberate revolutionary attempt of Maoist revolutionary strategy in India. Before that (1946-51) in Telegana the communist revolutionaries have assimilated – Chinese revolutionary path in their armed peasant struggle. However this was dissolved step by step in them in anti Nizam struggle. It was the time when china was proving to the world that only through people’s war. Through its basic duty the completion of the agrarian revolution, freedom from colonial domination and feudal exploitation could be settled.

It was by rejecting this very relevant historical fact about a agricultural country like India (is under the colonial and feudal exploitation) the official wing under the leadership of Renedive, deviating the party from the agrarian revolutionary path, pushed the communist party (through Calcutta thesis -1948) to a adventurist line. It means they gave leadership to stroke urban centralized  armed revolt to fulfill the mission of both democratic revolution and socialistic. But resisting this policy, the revolutionaries in Telegana brought forward the path of Agrarian revolution. Soon after the official wing compelled to reject this line because of the isolation of the party and also because of the political pressure both from within the party and outside. (International side).

The Telegana movement, on the path of victory, liberated 3000 villages. But the party leadership deceived this great movement compelling them to put down their arms to Neharu’s army. It was by visualising the silver star of progress in Nehru who was the political representative of the ruling classes they betrayed this revolution. There were mistakes regarding evaluation of the transfer of political power to the lackeys of imperialism. This world political arena witnessed on rush of national liberation struggles. At that time when winds of strong armed revolts and revolutionary struggle were blowing in Indian villages and cities.

The communist party was standing by merely as an effigy. On the other side when imperialists and feudal landlords and big bourgeoisie as a part conspiracy were trying to fall urgently a red revolution, this country reacted a political agreement with the representation of their interests, the congress party leadership. Keenly observing this political process which the imperialist powers formulated this for their existence. Soon after the second wolf had made exit through the front door and the tiger has entered through the back door without realising this political under currents of neo-colonial exploitation, the official communist party leadership submitted to the Indian ruling classes and thus embraced this fake independence.

The 1951 policy line (tactical line) made this clear and accelerated the deviation from Marxism Leninism. In it depicting the ‘dubious Character of Indian bourgeoisie at once realistic and anti imperialic, on one side it expressed the servitude to the ruling classes and other side created a smoke screen of lip service to revisionists. But in 1956 Madurai resolution it pushed  overtly the party to the political mire of class collaboration and parliamentary path.

Thus in the political being of the Indian society and state, the decisive matters regarding the character of ruling classes, the path of revolution, strategy and tactics, the communist party stood for an extremely elusive and anti revolutionary stand. In the meanwhile, most of struggles that arose from the base were related to the above mentioned basic matters. But the leadership deliberately avoided them. The leadership was trying to chanalise. Such struggles in order to block a revolutionary split (to the hue and cry created by India-China war dispute and S A Dange’s of letter of submission). In short, the 1964 split was not an ideological and political organisational split. In spite of this, those who favoured the stands put forward by CPC in the ‘Great Debate’ stood along with CPM. So some people try to give a political colour to this. The fact is that both the CPI and CPM have afraid of a inner party struggle which might have established a correct revolutionary line.

It was only after through the revolutionaries struggles inside CPM, an ideological, political and organizational split based on a correct national and international issues and line took shape. The political analysis about subjects like the strategy and tactics of Indian revolution strengthened with the formation of CPM. In the 7th congress in 1964 and later in the Burdwan Plenum, the expectation of the revolutionaries were put out by the CPM leadership. Such a political situation prevailed when even the political relevance of an inner party struggle was questioned. The thought of coming out from the CPM was strengthened when the CPM was running from pillar to post to decisive Indian revolutionary struggles blowing throughout India following Naxalbari and to suppress them. Com. CM was the forerunner of such revolutionaries.

The role of com. Charu Mazumdar became a decisive factor in giving new insight and direction to the ideological discussions that existed at various levels of the party. CM unequierically declared that in a semi-colonial semi-feudal country like India, revolution cannot be realised unless it is on the basis of Marxism and Chinese revolutionary path. He gave shape to a concrete outline to practice it. These ideological politics stands were express in Comrade CM’S famous ‘Eight Documents’. This secured primary place in the struggle against revisionism. It was the first theoretical step in the beginning to spread the struggle against revisionism intensively and extensively on the basis of Marxism and to prepare the comrades and revolutionary masses to turn away from revisionism. With such a long perspective, the revolutionaries coordinated their revolutionary activities by giving leadership to a co-ordination committee of communist revolutionaries inside CPM. It was this strengthen move made by Com CM that enabled to Indian masses to witness the Spring Thunder of Indian revolution. That is why this struggle stands high above all other struggles in India.

The role of armed struggle is qualitatively mere different and important than all other form of struggles in the revolutionary struggle to seize political power it is well evident in Mao’s statement ”without any army nothing is possible to the masses.’ ‘The Naxalbari  revolution has specific role in making this statement meaningful. Com CM stated that a party of the proletariat should work with the foresight of building of struggles of armed struggle areas i.e base areas, mingling and living along with the suffering people. It is the criminal default in this matter that happened in the Indian  communist party that led to the ‘right’ and ‘left’ wing deviations (from the article of ‘building of a party from the working class) on building up a party of the working class).

In a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country like India, the essence of new democratic revolution is agrarian revolution. It is to fulfil this mission that a working class party by establishing a firm unity with the peasants give leadership to a united front with the other revolutionary classes. Here different kinds of mass political activities are essential, for there are even among the revolutionary masses, in the case of level of consciousness, people in the fore and rear. Therefore every one may not be able to comprehend the strategic point of fundamental duty, seizing political power. So we will have to undertake the struggles for the partial needs of the broad masses. While CM stated that the peasants and the broad masses should be arranged around armed struggle, he was firmly rejecting the right wing reformist stand that revolutionary war in the natural corollary of the development of mass struggles. A revolutionary war becomes the centre of gravity of all other activities, in the spheres of its independent organisation and mobility.

This specific organisation and its activities are not taken as spontaneously formed, on the other hand our revolution is brought them forward through the Naxalbari as decision and inevitable initial work and organisation. During this period it was alleged by the centrist and the reformists in the guise of ML of the movement and white terror of the state was the adventurism of armed activist. The rightists alleged that this was due to undue reliance on arms, forgetting the people. But the basic issue is their disagreement towards armed struggle.

History has testified on which path they stand fifty years after the Naxalbari. On the other hand, it can be seen that revolutionaries have not accepted a stand of excessive reliance on arms forgetting the masses. It is clear from what com CM says about this in his article ”Devlop the class struggle among the peasants”‘—if we  not try to build up broad movement of the peasants and bring them widely to our movement, it will take a long time for the aspect of seizing political power to take deep roots in their conscious. As a result the political aspect in the struggles become less and less and the tendency to rely weapons will grow more and more. Guerilla struggle in higher form of peasant class struggle under the working class political leadership. We can create the armed struggle spheres of the peasants only through the right coordination of the four weapons, class analysis. Investigation, study and class struggle”. The movement had been guided by such an integrated sense of direction, After the Naxalbari, the Indian communist movement was not remained as before. It helped the communist ranks to draw a sharp line of difference between revolutionary and revisionism. The AICCCR (All India co-ordination committee of the communist revolutionaries) which was  formed after wards had brought forward lively the building up of the revolutionary struggles in the villages.

The Naxalbari has considerable importance in establishing the path of people war in theory and practice in the Indian soil. In the month of April 1969, through the formation of the CPI(ML), the first revolutionary party took birth in India following the organisational split in the communist party of the basic issues of Indian revolutionary. During that time there have been short comings in the building up of the party and in the preliminary armed struggles. We are sensible to them and have rectified and solved them in our onward journey. All these are part of our history. In spite of the deviations, the streams of Maoist movement, they have been able to make a reality path of they have been able to make a reality path of armed struggle in the people war. At the same time it cannot be denied that reformist line and right opportunist line emerged among this. But these could not inhibit the armed revolutionary path nor could it make stagnant a bit of the revolutionary practice. The correct revolutionary stream continued undaunted over coming all the complexities.

The formation of the CPI (Maoist) party in 2014 is historical in this process of the consolidation of the unity at various phases of revolutionary activities. We have been able to continue this process of unity further. There has been no going back from armed revolution since Naxalbari. The main reason for this is that we have been able to establish Maoist ideology in our revolutionary practice. In spite of setbacks in one or other sector, the Maoist bears testimony to this. In this period, the most successful achievement of our attempt to extend new guerilla fighting zones is the war front we have opened in the Western Ghats in the extreme south of India.

The state at every stage is waging a fierce repression is more diverse than that of the Naxalbari days. In this way, the state has unleashed a plan of onslaught combining reform and LIC policies, continuous military combing operations, extension of military centers, special task forces, sophisticate spy networks, ideological and political attacks, special schemes to eliminate leadership, encounter killings and scandals. They are strongly executing the preventive police policy in every extension of their activity. The revolutionary movement has been able to go forward facing the plans of onslaught of the enemy and survive them. The armed struggle, in its advance has undoubtedly demonstrated new spirit and development in military organization capability and the fighting in the people’s war. Thus in central India ‘Janata Sarkaar’ of revolutionary people’s power have been made a reality. Today the embryonic forms of Maoist power and aged in the country serve as anchorage to the revolutionary war of the world proletariat.

In the peak of the globalisation period, as a social system, the feudal exploitation and pre capitalist relation are the main obstacles against the development of the productive forces in our country. It is a reality that imperialist domination and exploitation are fullfledgely continuing for centuries. The imperialism, feudalism and CBB are jointly oppressing and exploiting the masses of the country. For this neocolonial exploitation, they are hailing the so called sovereignty. In India democratic revolution was not completed yet. It is not a sovereign republic. Without demolishing the three mountains imperialism, feudalism and CBB -it is not possible to achieve independence and sovereignty for the Indian people.

Agrarian revolution which is the main axis for this liberation struggle. I.e., New democratic  revolution. The prairie fire of the Naxalbari is still burning.The basic MLM teaching, ‘To conduct a revolution, a revolutionary party is must’ is realised in Naxalbari revolution. The communist revolutionaries organised ceaseless struggles against the revisionism, camprador ruling classes and against their fake independence. They put forward the country’s liberation path through this armed agrarian revolution that is still guiding us. In the struggle against the revisionism, Naxalbari is the historical turning point of the revolution. Hail high the banner of this armed agrarian revolution and commemorate its fiftieth year.

From: Communist (A magazine by CPI(Maoist) WGSZC.

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