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Open Letter to United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) From the Communist Party of India (Maoist)

Posted by Admin on November 14, 2009

Source:  Peoples March Nov-2009   –  Regd. with the RNI No.: KER ENG/2000/2051

Date: June 7, 2009

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Dear Comrades,

We have been keenly, with great concern, following the recent developments taking place in your country, Nepal. With the CPN(Maoist) emerging as the single largest party in the elections to the Constituent Assembly in April 2008 and the formation of the new government consisting of a coalition of several Parties, some of which are known for their anti-people, pro-feudal, pro-imperialist and pro-Indian expansionist past, an ideological-political debate has arisen in the entire revolutionary camp in India and the world regarding the path, strategy, and tactics pursued by your Party, now the UCPN(M), in advancing the revolution in Nepal. All these make it all the more urgent to conduct a deeper debate on the ideological-political line pursued by the CPN(M), particularly after it came to power through elections, after a decade-long heroic people’s war and forming the government with some of the arch-reactionaries who had earned the wrath of the Nepalese masses.

 

Several issues need to be debated by Maoist revolutionaries throughout the world in the context of the UCPN(M) pursuing a line and policies that, in our understanding, are not consistent with the fundamental tenets of MLM and teachings of our great Marxist teachers—issues such as proletarian internationalism; stages and sub-stages of revolutions and its practical applications in semi-colonial semi-feudal countries; understanding of the Leninist concept of state and revolution; nature of parliamentary democracy in semi-colonial, semi-feudal countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America; meaning of firmness of strategy and flexibility in tactics; and such other related questions. There are also some other specific issues raised by your Party in the name of creative application of MLM such as the concept of 21st century democracy or multi-Party democracy, Prachanda Path, fusion theory, and so on, which in our understanding, is a basic departure from Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and should be widely and deeply debated.

 

It is true that Marxism is not a dogma but a guide to action. Those Marxist-Leninist revolutionaries who followed it only in letter and discarded its spirit have failed to understand the essence of Marxism, failed to understand what com Lenin had taught, that is, ‘concrete analysis of concrete conditions is the living soul of Marxism’. Such dogmatists failed to apply MLM to the concrete practice of revolution in their countries and hence failed to make any real advances in the revolutions in their respective countries. Dogmatism, no doubt, has been a bane of the Marxist Leninist movements and hence the struggle against dogmatism should be an inseparable part of the ideological struggle of the Communist Party.

 

However, in the name of the struggle against dogmatism, there have been serious deviations in the International Communist Movement (ICM), often going into an even greater, and more dangerous, abyss of right deviation and revisionism. In the name of creative application of Marxism, communist parties have fallen into the trap of right opportunism, bourgeois pluralist Euro-Communism, rabid anti-Stalinism, anarchist post-modernism and outright revisionism. Right danger or revisionism in the ICM has emerged as the greatest danger in the period following the usurpation of the leadership of the CPSU and state power in the Soviet Union after the demise of comrade Stalin. Com Mao and other genuine revolutionaries had to wage a consistent ideological-political struggle against revisionism and reformism in the ICM and also within the CPC. However, despite the great struggle waged by com Mao and other Marxist Leninist revolutionaries all over the world against revisionism, it has been the revisionists who have temporarily won and dominated the ICM in the contemporary world. The ideological-political debate over the creative application of MLM to the concrete practice of the revolution in Nepal has to be conducted with a correct grasp of this international struggle ever since the time of com Lenin, and particularly by Mao against Khrushchev revisionism.

 

Fight against dogmatism” has become a fashionable phrase among many Maoist revolutionaries. They talk of discarding “outdated” principles of Lenin and Mao and to develop MLM in the “new conditions” that are said to have emerged in the world of the 21st century. Some of them describe their endeavour to “enrich and develop” MLM as a new path or thought, and though this is initially described as something confined to revolution in their concerned country, it inexorably assumes a “universal character” or “universal significance” in no time. And in this exercise individual leaders are glorified and even deified to the extent that they appear infallible. Such glorification does not help in collective functioning of Party committees and the Party as a whole and questions on line are hardly ever raised as they stem from an infallible individual leader. In such a situation it is extremely difficult on the part of the CC, not to speak of the cadres, to fight against a serious deviation in the ideological-political line, or in the basic strategy and tactics even when it is quite clear that it goes against the interests of revolution. The “cult of the individual” promoted in the name of path and thought provides a certain degree of immunity to the deviation in line if it emanates from that individual leader.

 

Our two Parties, CPI(Maoist) and CPN(Maoist), have a considerably long period of fraternal relationship, a period going back to the late 1980s (then existing as MCC and PW) when the present leadership of your Party was still a part of the revisionist Party in Nepal pursuing a parliamentary line. We had been a keen and enthusiastic witness to the ideological struggle waged by your leadership against revisionism, its clean break with the revisionist line and its initiation of people’s war in February 1996.

 

While extending support to the revolution in Nepal, we both (then erstwhile MCC and PW) had also pointed out from time to time some of the mistakes we had identified in the understanding and practice of the CPN (M), and also the possible deviations that might arise due to its wrong assessments and concepts. However, we never interfered with political-organizational matters concerning the internal affairs and inner-Party struggles within your Party. But whenever called upon, or, when we felt there is danger of a serious deviation ideologically and politically, we gave our suggestions as a fraternal revolutionary Party during the several bilateral meetings between our respective high-level delegations or through letters to your CC. It was only when some of the ideological-political positions stated by your Party publicly had deviated from MLM, or when open comments were made by your Chairman Prachanda on various occasions regarding our Party’s line and practice, or when open polemical debate was called for on International forums, that our Party had gone into open ideological-political debates. These open debates were conducted in a healthy and comradely manner guided by the principles of proletarian internationalism.

 

Since then our relations developed even further, but since 2003 we have marked the serious turn in your ideological-political line regarding the Nepalese revolution and the world proletarian revolution as well. After that you have further advanced on this political line, so there is a need to conduct a deeper debate and come to an overall assessment regarding the theory and practice pursued by your Party, synthesise the experiences gained in the course of the people’s war in Nepal, and the lessons, both positive and negative, they provide to the Maoist revolutionaries in the contemporary world.

 

We are sending this Open Letter to your Party so as to conduct a polemical debate both within your Party and the Maoist revolutionary camp worldwide. This step has become necessary because of the very serious developments that have taken place in the course of development of the revolution in Nepal that have a bearing on our understanding of imperialism and proletarian revolution as well as the strategy-tactics to be pursued by Maoist revolutionaries in the contemporary world; there is also serious deviation from the ideology of MLM. Hence these are no more the internal matters concerning your Party alone.

 

Moreover, such a debate is the urgent need of the hour in the backdrop of vicious propaganda by the revisionists as well as the reactionary ruling classes in India that the Indian Maoists should learn from the Nepali Maoists who were supposed to have realized at last “the futility of achieving their cherished goal of socialism and communism through armed struggle”. Sermons are being preached by the revisionists who had always acted as the strongest advocates of Parliamentary democracy in India, opened up their social fascist fangs wherever they had been in power ever since the days of the Naxalbari revolt, acted as a safety valve to vent the fury of the masses into peaceful channels, and  played the notorious role of diffusing militant movements and depoliticizing and demobilizing the masses, thereby serving the Indian ruling classes and the imperialists most faithfully–all in the name of peaceful path to people’s democracy and socialism. These revisionists have been writing articles claiming that at last the Nepali Maoists have come to the correct track and that it should serve as an eye-opener to the Indian Maoists who should, at least now, give up their “unrealizable dream of capturing political power through the bullet” and, instead, try to achieve it through the ballot as their counterparts in Nepal are doing today.

 

We earnestly hope that the CC and all the Party members of UCPN (M) will evince keen interest in this ideological-political debate and take the correct revolutionary positions based on our guiding theory of MLM and the lessons provided by the rich experiences of the world revolution. We also hope that Maoist revolutionaries worldwide will participate in this debate and enrich the experiences of the world proletariat in advancing the world proletarian revolution.

 

In this context, we also regret to say that you have not cared to respond to our proposal to have a bilateral exchange of views with your CC after the April 2008 elections. Until December 2008 there was not even a reply from your CC to the letter we had sent on May 1st in this regard. Nor was there any response from your side to our proposal to hold the meeting of CCOMPOSA in order to continue the united struggle of the Maoist forces and anti-imperialist forces of South Asia against Indian expansionism and imperialism, particularly American imperialism.

 

At last we received a letter from your International department in December 2008 and a meeting of our two delegations materialized soon after. Basing on the discussions we held with your delegation and the material that was available to us regarding the current developments in your Party and the stands you had taken on various issues our CC held detailed discussions and drew conclusions based on MLM, the experiences of world revolution, and the actual situation prevailing in Nepal and the contemporary world.

 

Firstly, we are glad that a serious inner-Party struggle has broken out in your Party on crucial issues related to advancing the revolution in Nepal. Such a struggle within the Party has been the need of the hour since long, at least from the time your Party leadership, in our opinion, had begun to pursue a disastrous course of “hunting with the hound and running with the hare”, i.e., striking alliances with the reactionary feudal, comprador political Parties with the sole aim of overthrowing the King and the monarchy while at the same time speaking of advancing the revolution in Nepal through a “final assault” or insurrection. Even prior to this, your Party’s concept of multi-Party democracy or 21st century democracy,  its non-proletarian stands on the question of assessment of Stalin, fusion theory etc were subjects of serious polemical debate. Our Party dealt with these issues through articles in our magazines and interviews by our spokespersons right from 2002, and particularly from 2006. We had also pointed out the non-Marxist positions that you had taken on the question of state and revolution, on the question of disarming and demobilizing of the PLA by confining it to the barracks under the supervision of the United Nations, and on the question of integration of the two armies, demobilization of the YCL, abandoning the base areas and the great revolutionary achievements of the decade-long people’s war, policy of appeasement adopted towards Indian expansionism, and so on. However, there was no serious debate on these issues from your side. Hence it has been an encouraging sign to see the inner-Party struggle within your Party on some of these issues at last.

 

After the dangerous journey that your Party had traversed in the past three years we earnestly hope that your Party rank and file will review the dangerous right opportunist positions and the disastrous consequences that these have given rise to, and also reconsider and rectify the wrong line pursued by your Party leadership headed by com Prachanda. Such a free and frank, thoroughgoing review of the ideological-political line pursued by the Party leadership and the serious deviations from the fundamental tenets of MLM that had taken place in the name of creative application of MLM, will help in establishing the correct line that can advance the revolution to its final victory in Nepal. We are confident that the correct revolutionary line will be re-established through such a serious, thorough-going ideological-political struggle within your Party. In this context we also wish to express our strong disagreement on the so-called unity between your Party and the break-away group of Mohan Bikram Singh’s Mashal. We think such a unity with a proven Rightist group will not help in furthering the cause of the revolution in Nepal but will take the Party further down the path of revisionism and reformism. This unity based on the principle of ‘two combining into one’ will further strengthen the hands of the reformists and right opportunists within the UCPN (M), or the UCPN/Maoism-Mao Thought as it is presently being called.

 

Now we take up the serious issues and deviations that have come to the fore in the course of the development of the Nepalese revolution. Interestingly, some of these deviations from the basic tenets of MLM had been theorized by your Party as an enrichment and development of MLM and summed up as Prachanda Path.

 

On 21st Century Democracy

 

Your Party had claimed that its “decision on multi-party democracy is a strategically, theoretically developed position” and that it is applicable even to conditions obtaining in India.{From Prachanda’s Interview in Hindu} You attributed universal significance to it and claimed that it is an attempt to further develop MLM. Hence there is a need for every proletarian Party to take a clear-cut stand on this so-called “enrichment of MLM”.

The conceptual problem of democracy in the leadership of UCPN (M) had begun at least by 2003. The 2003 CC Plenum of your Party had passed the paper on the development of democracy in the 21st century. In that paper you proposed that there should be “peaceful competition between all political parties against feudalism and foreign imperialist forces”. You said that “within a certain constitutional provision multi-party competition should exist as long as it’s against feudalism, against foreign imperialistic interference”. You said during our bilateral meetings too that the peaceful competition that you are talking of was in the post-revolutionary period and not before. But later on you began to be evasive and vague on whether this multi-Party competition was also feasible before the seizure of power by the working class. Then, with the conclusion of the 12-point agreement with the SPA you made an about-turn and asserted that your Party was ready to compete with other comprador-feudal parties! What democracy you aspire to develop through peaceful competition with such Parties is beyond one’s comprehension.

In his interview to The Hindu in 2006, com Prachanda said: “And we are telling the parliamentary parties that we are ready to have peaceful competition with you all.”

Here there is no bungling of words. The UCPN (M) leader has directly assured the comprador bourgeois-feudal parliamentary parties that his Party is ready to have peaceful competition with all of them. And by describing this decision on multiparty democracy as a strategically, theoretically developed position comrade Prachanda has brought a dangerous thesis to the fore—the thesis of peaceful coexistence with the ruling class parties instead of overthrowing them through revolution; peaceful competition with all other parliamentary parties, including the ruling class parties that are stooges of imperialism or foreign reaction, in so-called parliamentary elections; abandoning the objective of building socialism for an indefinite period; and opening the doors wide for the feudal-comprador reactionaries to come to power by utilizing the backwardness of the masses and the massive backing from domestic and foreign reactionaries or the bourgeois and petty bourgeois forces to hijack the entire course of development of society from the socialist direction to capitalism in the name of democracy and nationalism. Overall, com. Prachanda’s conclusions regarding multiparty democracy create illusions among the people regarding bourgeois democracy and their constitution.

Com Mao had pointed out: “Those who demand freedom and democracy in the abstract regard democracy as an end and not as a means. Democracy as such sometimes seems to be an end, but it is in fact only a means. Marxism teaches us that democracy is part of the superstructure and belongs to the realm of politics. That is to say, in the last analysis, it serves the economic base. The same is true of freedom. Both democracy and freedom are relative, not absolute, and they come into being and develop in specific historical conditions.” (Ibid)

Genuine democracy is achieved through a consistent and uncompromising struggle against imperialism and feudalism—both in the sphere of the base and superstructure—and accomplishing the tasks of the New Democratic Revolution. Freedom, at the individual level, as Marx said, is the recognition of necessity; at the political level, it entails smashing the chains that bind us to the imperialist system.

Your Party says it has synthesized the experiences of 20th century revolutions by taking lessons from the positive and the negative experiences of the 20th Century; from revolutions and counter-revolutions of the 20th Century. But what lessons has it taken, and Maoists should take, from the experiences of Communist participation in so-called Parliamentary democracy in countries like Indonesia, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador and others? Would your Party have pursued the same path as above if it had correctly synthesized and taken lessons from 20th century revolutions? Is there anything wrong if one concludes from, both your concept of 21st Century Democracy and multiparty competition and the practice of abandoning people’s war, that you are following the same path treaded by the revisionist parties in the above-mentioned countries?

 

In an article in our theoretical organ People’s War in 2006, we had pointed out the futility of participating in elections and how it would ultimately help the reactionary ruling classes. We pointed out:

 

And even if a Maoist Party comes to power through elections, and merges its own armed forces with those of the old state, it can be overthrown through a military coup, its armed forces might be massacred by those of the reactionaries, its leaders and Party cadres might be eliminated. ….. And if it wants to be part of the parliamentary game it has to abide by its rules and cannot carry out its anti-feudal, anti-imperialist policies freely. Even the independence of the judiciary has to be recognized as part of the game of parliament and can cause obstruction to every reform which the Maoist party tries to initiate after coming to power through elections.

 

Then there will be several independent institutions like the judiciary, the election commission, the human rights commission sponsored by the imperialists, the media, various artistic, cultural and even religious bodies, non-government organizations, and so on. If one declares one’s commitment to multiparty democracy, one cannot escape from upholding these so-called independent institutions. Many of these can work for counter-revolution in diverse subtle ways. One cannot forget the subtle manner in which the western agencies infiltrated and subverted the societies in East European countries and even in the former Soviet Union.”

 

Your Party had correctly explained in the document on 21st century democracy, released in June 2003, the role played by the proletarian Party after assuming state power in the following terms:

“Experience has proved that after assuming state power, when various leaders and cadres of the Party are involved in running the state affairs, then there is strong chance that physical environment may swiftly reduce the Party into a bureaucratic, careerist and luxurious class. With intensification of this danger the Party will become more formal and alienated from the masses, in the same proportion. This process when it reaches to certain level of its own development, it is bound to be transformed into counter-revolution. In order to prevent such danger as counter-revolution to happen, it is important to develop further organizational mechanism and system so that Party is constantly under the vigilance, control and service of the proletariat and working masses  according to the theory of two-line struggle and continuous revolution. For this it is very important that there should be a mechanism to guarantee overall people’s participation in two line struggle and that one section comprising of capable and established leaders and cadres should be constantly involved in mass work and another section should be involved in running the state machinery and that after certain interval of period there should be re-division of work thereby strengthening the relationship between the whole Party and the general masses.”

The above-mentioned role is quite impossible in the present situation when your Party is sharing power with the representatives of the old feudal, comprador class and has a servile relationship with imperialism. So it was not surprising to see most of the established leaders taking up the role of administering a state that remains an instrument of oppression of the masses and in no way represents the aspirations of the masses.

On the Path of Revolution in semi-colonial semi-feudal countries:

Fusion Theory

 

This has been a much-debated issue ever since the time of the victorious revolution in China. During the Great Debate between the CPSU and CPC in the early 1960s, the path of revolution in the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America was firmly established by the CPC.

 

The document adopted by the CC of the CPN (M) in 1995 had correctly formulated the strategy of protracted people’s war after analyzing the specificities of Nepal:

“The synthesis of all the specificities clearly shows that it is impossible for the armed struggle in Nepal to make a quick leap into an insurrection and defeat the enemy. However, it is fully possible to finally crush the enemy through systematic development of the armed struggle in Nepal. It can be clearly derived from this that the armed struggle in Nepal must necessarily adopt a protracted People’s War strategy of surrounding the city from the countryside.”

 

But in its second national conference held in 2001, after synthesizing the experiences of people’s war in Nepal, it brought forth the theory of fusion of two different kinds of strategies that are applicable to countries with different characteristics.

 

Just after the Second National Conference of the CPN (M), the press communiqué issued in the name of comrade Prachanda, stated in unequivocal terms that:

 

The rapid development of science and technology, especially in the area of electronic field has brought about completely new model in regard to forwarding revolution in each country and in the world in the form of fusion of the strategies of protracted people’s war and general armed insurrection based on the above analysis.”

 

While making clear that now “no model based on past proletarian revolution can be applied as in the past due to changes in the world”, it has brought forth the concrete methodology of fusion of general insurrection into the strategy of PPW in Nepal.

 

Though the CPN (M) claimed in 2001 that this conclusion was drawn from a synthesis of the experiences of five years of people’s war in Nepal, there was no experience to prove this assertion. On the contrary, the successes achieved in the five years of people’s war had only vindicated the correctness of the strategy of PPW.

 

The changes that have occurred in the world situation after the eighties of the 20th century do not provide any new basis to “fuse” the two qualitatively different strategies into a “new” amalgamated strategy, for the simple reason that no changes of a qualitative nature have occurred in the socio-economic systems of countries like India and Nepal. In all backward countries like Nepal and India, the Maoist strategy of PPW has never rejected the usage of the tactics of uprisings in the cities during the course of the revolution. This was also seen during the Chinese revolution. In fact, the importance of usage of these tactics has grown in the context of the changes that have occurred after WW II, particularly due to the tremendous growth of urban populations and the high concentration of the working class. The Maoist forces operating in these countries should certainly give added importance to this question and prepare for uprisings in cities as part of the Maoist strategy of PPW. However, this does not mean that the two strategies should be “fused” into one by labeling PPW as an “old” and “conventional” model.

 

The 2005 CC Plenum “resolved that the very strategy of protracted PW needs to be further developed to cater to the necessities of the 21st century. In particular, several decades on it is seen that the protracted PWs launched in different countries have faced obstacles or got liquidated after reaching the state of strategic offensive, as imperialism has attempted to refine its interventionist counter-insurgency war strategy as a ‘long war.’ In this context, if the revolutionaries do mechanistically cling to the ‘protracted’ aspect of the PW at any cost, it would in essence play into the hands of imperialism and reaction. Hence the latest proposition of ‘Prachanda Path’ that the proletarian military also needs to be further developed is quite serious and of long-term significance. It may be noted that this proposition is firmly based on the concrete experiences of the successfully advancing PW now at the stage of strategic offensive and is aimed at further advancing and defending it.”  (The Worker#10: Page 58)

 

Thus the question of path of revolution has once again come onto the agenda for discussion after the CPN (M) proposed its “fusion” theory in 2001. The question had assumed significance for the revolutionaries everywhere not only in the context of the people’s war in Nepal but also because the CPN (M) had tried to give its fusion theory a universal character. It theorized:

 

Today, the fusion of the strategies of armed insurrection and protracted People’s War into one another has been essential. Without doing so, a genuine revolution seems impossible in any country.” (The Great Leap Forward …, p. 20).

 

It had also argued that “On the theoretical concept of revolutionary war, this new theory of fusion of two strategies has universal significance.”

The theory developed by fusion of protracted People’s War and insurrection has special significance and it has become universal.”

 

In the paper submitted by the CPN(M) at the International seminar on Imperialism and Proletarian Revolution in the 21st century held on December 26, 2006, it repeated the 2003 thesis but with a very important change. It wrote:

 

…..we came to a conclusion that sticking to a particular model, and the tactic based on it, would not address the new contradictions created by the aforesaid changes in the society and confining the path of revolution within the framework of a certain modality would hold down our hand to resolve them.

“Taking all these ideological and political factors into account, our party from the very beginning tried to take up mass mobilization in the cities and guerrilla warfare in the countryside, i.e. political and military offensives, simultaneously, while making the latter as principal. Everyone can notice ever since the initiation, which was in the form of a kind of rebellion, our party has been incorporating some of the insurrectionary tactics all through the course of protracted people’s war. That is why the course of revolution we are traversing resembles neither fully with what Mao did in China nor with what Lenin did in Russia. We believe one of the reasons behind the development of people’s war in such a short span of time in our country was our success to keep ourselves away from the constraint of any model. In short, our position is no revolution can be repeated but developed.

“Almost after five years of the initiation of people’s war in Nepal summing up its experiences in the Second National conference, 2001, our party developed a politico-military strategy stressing the need to have fusion of some aspects of the insurrectionary tactics with those of protracted people’s war from the very beginning. Again, while coming at Kami Danda meeting, 2006, summing up entire experiences of the ten years of people’s war our party further developed it and synthesized that politico-military strategy with a balanced sequence of the people’s war, strong mass movement, negotiations and diplomatic maneuvering only can lead the new democratic revolution in Nepal to victory. We think, this synthesis of a revolutionary detachment of international proletarian army, the CPN (Maoist), could be useful to others as well.

 

Every country has its own specificities and the revolutionaries take these into account while drawing up their strategy and tactics. The world has seen two models of successful revolutions during the 20th century—the Russian model of armed insurrection and the Chinese model of protracted people’s war. It is obvious that no revolution can be the exact replica of another. However, basic similarities in the objective conditions can make a particular model more relevant for a particular country. No revolutionary would claim that every country should inevitably follow this or that model in toto mechanically. There are bound to be variations in the strategy and tactics in different countries depending on the concrete conditions. But the general principle, of course, is common to all revolutions as explained so clearly by comrade Mao:

“The seizure of power by armed force, the settlement of the issue by war, is the central task and highest form of revolution. But while the principle remains the same (for all countries), its application by the Party of the proletariat finds expression in various ways according to the varying conditions.”

 

The politico-military strategy is not anything new as you claim. No revolutionary party would think that it can achieve victory in the revolution through military strategy alone. Political strategy and tactics are an important part of the overall Strategy & Tactics pursued by a Maoist Party. Com Mao had always given importance to this aspect, and not just to the military aspect, in spite of the huge strength of the PLA. Isolating the main enemies, building the united front with all anti-imperialist and anti-feudal forces, organizing the working class and other toiling masses in the urban areas and plain areas, have been an indispensable part of the agenda of the CPC under Mao and several Maoist parties today. The documents of these Parties prove this beyond any doubt.

 

The problem, therefore, does not lie in not realizing the importance of the work in the urban areas or in the lack of political strategy but in the nature of the politico-military strategy that is being implemented and the order of priority of the rural and urban areas in semi-colonial, semi-feudal countries. If the chief task of smashing the state machinery, particularly the Army and other armed forces, is relegated to the background in the name of political strategy and tactics, if concessions are given to the enemy at the cost of the class interests of the proletariat and oppressed people for the sake of maintaining the united front somehow or other, then the actual problem comes to the fore. The CPN (M) had achieved rapid gains in the decade-long people’s war and claimed to have control over 80 per cent of the country’s territory by 2005. But even this fact does not alter or dilute the strategy of PPW and lend priority to political strategy.

 

The foremost task even after assuming control over 80 per cent of the territory would be to consolidate the mass base and organs of political power, increase the strength of the PLA and smash the centres of enemy power in the midst of our base areas. No doubt, the task is quite arduous and requires great determination and patience since there will be an overwhelming expectation of immediate victory among Party ranks and the people at large. Serious mistakes are likely to take place in the period of strategic offensive if the protracted nature of the people’s war is not understood properly.

The fusion theory of the CPN(M) had undergone further deviations in the five years since it was first proposed, and by 2006 it became the theory of peaceful competition with the reactionary parties and peaceful transition to people’s democracy and socialism. From a fusion of people’s war and insurrection Prachanda’s eclectic theory had assumed the form of negotiations and diplomatic maneuvering. One of the major reasons for this change was the incorrect assessment of the contemporary world situation and the conclusion that the neo-colonial form of imperialism is now taking the form of a globalised state.

 

As mentioned in the seminar paper:

 

The fundamental character of imperialism hasn’t been changed in essence but as said in our party document the imperialism in its course of development has been acquiring new forms and shapes. The initial colonial form of imperialism changed its form into neo-colonialism. Now the neo-colonial form is taking its shape in the form of a globalised state. Naturally this change in form of imperialism should be taken into account while developing path of revolution.”

 

The conclusion regarding globalised state goes against dialectics as it relegates inter-imperialist contradictions to the background and attempts to make imperialism as a whole into a homogeneous mass. This formulation was put forth for the first time by your Party towards the end of December 2006 after striking an alliance with the SPA. In fact, we can say that your 12-point agreement with the SPA, your decision to become part of the interim government sharing power with the comprador-feudal reactionary parties in Nepal, your participation in the elections to the Constituent Assembly and forming a government under your leadership once again with the reactionary forces, and theorizing on peaceful competition with these parties—all these had arisen from the above assessment of your Party regarding imperialism and the conclusion that it has assumed the form of a globalised state. It is only natural that such an assessment, similar to the thesis of ultra-imperialism proposed by Karl Kautsky in 1912 and which was laid bare by comrade Lenin, cannot but lead to the conclusion of a peaceful path and peaceful transition to people’s democracy and socialism. The fusion theory had ultimately led to the theory of peaceful transition! Now there is neither people’s war nor insurrection but peaceful competition with other Parliamentary parties for achieving power through elections!!

 

The leadership and the entire Party ranks of UCPN (M) should at least now realize the reformist and right opportunist danger inherent in the incorrect eclectic formulation of comrade Prachanda regarding the path of revolution in Nepal. To put forth such an eclectic fusion theory in an extremely backward semi-feudal semi-colonial country, where almost 90% of the people reside in rural areas shackled by semi-feudal social relations is really tragic. It makes a mockery of the Maoist concept of PPW and negates the basic teachings of comrade Mao. Prachanda’s fusion theory is a serious deviation from MLM, has created only confusion and illusion among Party ranks about quick victory instead of preparing the entire party for a protracted people’s war.

 

On Prachanda Path

 

Much has been written about Prachanda Path in your documents, articles and interviews in the past seven years. It has also been a topic of discussion during our bilateral meetings in the initial years of Initiation of people’s war in Nepal.

 

When specifically asked by your delegation, we had reiterated our stand in our bilateral meetings that building a personality cult will not help the Party or the revolution in the long run. We cited our own experiences in India at the time of comrade Charu Majumdar and advised you not to inculcate blind faith in individuals. Our firm opinion had always been that isms, paths, thoughts etc get established over a long process after they are vindicated in practice and have a clear scientific basis. We advised you that it was too hasty to speak of a new path or thought in Nepal just because some significant victories were achieved in the people’s war. You were not convinced and proceeded with “enriching and developing” MLM in the form of Prachanda Path and giving it a universal character.

 

While asserting that it is the creative application of MLM to the concrete conditions of Nepal and assuring others that you do not attribute universal significance to it, you had, at the same time, tried to project it as a further development and enrichment of MLM with universal significance. Your document had mentioned thus:

 

Prachanda Path has been termed in the historical Second National Conference of C.P.N. (Maoist) as an ideological synthesis of rich experiences of five years of the great People’s War. The Party, in this conference, has taken up Prachanda Path as an inseparable dialectical unity between international content and national expression, universality and particularity, whole and part, general and particular, and has comprehended that this synthesis of experiences of Nepalese revolution would serve world proletarian revolution and proletarian internationalism. (The Great Leap Forward: An Inevitable Need of History).

 

You had tried to explain the development of prachanda path theoretically as follows:

“Development of Prachanda Path is advancing ahead in its third phase. These phases can be presented as: political and military line of Nepalese revolution that was adopted in the Third Expanded Meeting of C.P.N. (Maoist) held in 1995 — the first phase; ideological synthesis of the rich experiences of five years of great People’s War that took place in the historical Second National Conference of C.P.N. (Maoist) held in 2001 – the second phase and the process of development following this conference—the third phase. Along with the grasp of MLM, Prachanda Path has been developing in the process of its defense, application and development and this concept also carries specific international significance regarding the process of development of revolutionary theory.

 

Your Party had listed out the contributions of comrade Prachanda in the field of ideology, dialectical materialism, political and military line, and so on. But after going through the documents and writings of the leaders of UCPN (M), it is still not clear as to what has been developed anew in the real sense in the formulations made by comrade Prachanda in these fields.

 

In the name of creative application of MLM to the concrete conditions in Nepal and further development and enrichment of the theory of MLM “in the conditions of 21st century”, your Party and its chief, comrade Prachanda, have brought forth several formulations that negate the fundamental teachings of comrades Lenin and Mao. You have justified this by asserting repeatedly that dogmatism has become the main obstacle for advancing the revolutions in the contemporary world. For instance, com Basanta, a CC member writes:

 

Our Party, under the leadership of Chairman Comrade Prachanda, believes that the analysis of imperialism made by Lenin and Mao in the 20th century cannot scientifically guide the Maoist revolutionaries to develop correct strategy and tactics to fight in the 21st century.” (International Dimension of Prachanda Path, The Worker #10, pp. Page 84)

 

Your CC Plenum document of November 2005 goes on to show how globalised imperialism has caused some of the analyses of Lenin and Mao to lag behind thereby implying that these have become outdated and irrelevant. It says:

“…an important preface that today’s globalized imperialism has caused some of the analyses of Lenin and Mao on the strategy of imperialism and proletarian movement to lag behind in the same manner as to how a number of Marx’s and Engels’ analysis of revolution in Europe, in the period of competitive capitalism, had caused to lag behind in the situation, when imperialism had developed till the First World War.”

 

How the analyses of Lenin and Mao on the strategy of imperialism and proletarian revolution are lagging behind is not clear. But for some rhetoric, there is no substantial reasoning or analysis on the part of the CPN (M) to show the inadequacy of the analyses of Lenin and Mao or how their analysis of imperialism in the 20th century cannot scientifically guide the Maoist revolutionaries to develop correct strategy and tactics to fight in the 21st century.

 

After witnessing the full flowering of the concept of prachanda path one thing has now become clear to the Maoist revolutionaries everywhere: Lenin and Mao had indeed become an obstacle to Prachanda and the UCPN (M) for carrying out their reformist, right opportunist formulations. They needed to discard the Leninist concept of state and revolution, and imperialism and proletarian revolution. They needed to throw overboard Mao’s theory of new democracy and two stages of revolution in semi-colonial semi-feudal countries, and to replace the path of PPW with an eclectic combination or fusion of people’s war and insurrection, and finally pursue the same old revisionist line put forth by the CPSU under Khrushchov against which comrade Mao had fought relentlessly. Prachanda path had finally turned out to be a theory that negates the fundamental teachings of Lenin and Mao and the essence of prachanda path is seen to be no different from the Khrushchovite thesis of peaceful transition.

Assessment of the character of State in Nepal and prospects of completing the Revolution

 

Firstly, what is the class character of the state that the CPNM) had taken over through the process of parliamentary elections in alliance with other comprador-feudal parties?

 

How does the UCPN (M) intend to consummate the revolution that was stalled half-way?

 

What is the understanding of the UCPN (M) regarding the nature of power that had fallen into their hands through elections? Does it think it can utilize this power to bring about a basic, revolutionary change in the social system in Nepal?

 

How does the UCPN (M) plan to bring about the radical restructuring of society and build a new democratic Nepal in alliance with the parties representing the reactionary exploitative classes that oppose tooth and nail any such radical changes?

 

Does the UCPN (M) believe that the old state machine—principally with the same-old bureaucracy and major chunk of the old standing army—can act as an instrument in the hands of the proletariat to bring about radical changes in the existing semi-feudal semi-colonial social system?

 

And most important what is the attitude of the UCPN (M) to the question of establishing a people’s democratic dictatorship in the period of New Democratic Revolution and its transition to socialism through the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat? In this context what is its approach to the historic GPCR?

 

What will be the class character of the new army that will be formed by the proposed integration of the revolutionary PLA and the reactionary Nepalese Army? Can the UCPN (M), as a major partner in the ruling coalition in Nepal, ensure a pro-people character to the newly integrated Army of Nepal? And now when the  Maoists have lost power due to withdrawal of support by the other major allies, how could they ensure that a newly integrated army, with the major portion coming from the old reactionary army, will not be used by the reactionary forces to massacre the Maoists as we had witnessed in Indonesia or Chile?

 

We have been continuously raising these questions, particularly during the past three years, through bilateral meetings, letters to your CC, our statements, interviews and other writings. We had brought to your notice your serious deviation from the Leninist concept of state and revolution and cited the experiences of revolution in several countries. In a statement issued in November 2006, our CC pointed out that even if the Maoists became part of the interim government or came to power through elections they cannot alter the reactionary character of the old state or build a new Nepal on the old basis.

The agreement by the Maoists to become part of the interim government in Nepal cannot transform the reactionary character of the state machinery that serves the exploiting ruling classes and imperialists. The state can be the instrument in the hands of either the exploiting classes or the proletariat but it cannot serve the interests of both these bitterly-contending classes. It is the fundamental tenet of Marxism that no basic change in the social system can be brought about without smashing the state machine. Reforms from above cannot bring any qualitative change in the exploitative social system however democratic the new Constitution might seem to be, and even if the Maoists become an important component of the government. It is sheer illusion to think that a new Nepal can be built without smashing the existing state.”

 

After your Party had emerged as the single largest Party in the Constituent Assembly and was trying to form a government in alliance with other parties representing the old order, we once again brought to your attention in our statement issued on behalf of our CC on April 24, 2008 thus: “The one and only guarantee for carrying through the radical revolutionary programme is to raise the political class consciousness of the vast masses, mobilize them into class struggle, arm and train them to fight the exploiters and all reactionary forces and defend the gains they had derived through long period of class and mass struggle……One must keep in mind that the gains that can be achieved through a government that has come to power by means of elections are very much limited. Survival of such a regime depends on taking a conciliatory stand on several crucial matters. Hence to overestimate the prospects of radical restructuring of the society or economy by a Maoist government would be illusory and will dilute the possibility as well as the ability of the Party to continue the class struggle.”

 

Again in our letter sent to your CC on the 1st of May 2008, we pointed out:  “It is a fundamental tenet of Marxism that no radical restructuring of the system is possible without smashing the existing state. It is impossible to make genuine changes in the system only through measures initiated “from above”, i.e. through state decrees and laws. In fact, even drafting Nepal’s Constitution in favour of the poor and oppressed masses is itself going to be a very arduous and bitter struggle.

“Nothing could be more dangerous at the present juncture than to become complacent and underestimate the prospects of a reactionary backlash. One must keep in mind that the gains that can be achieved through a government that has come to power by means of elections are very much limited. To overestimate the prospects of radical restructuring of the society or economy by a Maoist-led government would be illusory and will dilute the possibility as well as the ability of the Party to continue the class struggle.”

 

Our Party’s stand on the struggle against monarchy was made clear several times in the past. For instance, our Party General Secretary said in his answers to questions sent by BBC in April 2007:

The real fight is not against Gyanendra and the monarchy which is but a symbol of the feudal-imperialist oppression and exploitation of the vast masses of Nepal. Without throwing out the feudal forces, the imperialists, the Indian big business and the local compradors, mere ouster of Gyanendra would not solve any of the problems of the Nepali masses. And this can be done only by firmly carrying on the people’s war to final victory. No Parliament can touch the seat of these reactionary forces who de facto rule the country.”

 

Thus it should be clear that fighting feudalism is not synonymous to fighting the monarchy. The monarchy is a part of the semi-feudal, semi-colonial system whose main aspect is in the semi-feudal land relations. In India, the rajas and maharaja were deprived of their power decades back, but that did not destroy the semi-feudal base in the countryside.

 

A correct assessment regarding the state was in fact given by your Party itself two years before going into alliance with the SPA. In an article entitled “UML Government: A New Shield of Feudalism and Imperialism Under Crisis” written by the then Chairman of CPN (M), comrade Prachanda, this was lucidly explained thus:

“Marxism, on the basis of historical materialist scientific outlook that severely attacks upon the entire mysterious and idealist explanations in relation to state power, declared with undeniable material of experience of class struggle that it is nothing but a weapon of one class suppressing the other. A state power that simultaneously represents classes of two opposing interests has neither been possible in the history nor will be in the future. Marxism hates and rejects the entire prattles of reform and class collaboration as bourgeois hypocrisy. State power is either the dictatorship of the proletariat in different forms or that of the exploiting class. There can be no other stupidity than to imagine a power acting in between these two.

 

Citing comrade Lenin that “The State is a special organization of force; it is an organization of violence for the suppression of some class.”, comrade Prachanda rightly asks: “Will now the state power stop becoming an organization of violence right after the UML has become a part of the government?”

 

Quoting com Lenin he explained how no government can be pro-people as long as the two institutions of bureaucracy and standing army remain intact: “Two institutions are most characteristic of this state machine: the bureaucracy and the standing army”.

Com Prachanda had correctly pointed out: “It is evident that any government, which is compelled to function under the direction of the bureaucracy and standing army, the main two components of the state power, is impossible to become pro-people to the least.”

 

Explaining the reactionary character of the UML government, com Prachanda cites the famous proposition of Marxism: “To decide once every few years which member of the ruling class is to repress and crush the people through parliament—such is the real essence of bourgeois parliamentarism, not only in parliamentary-constitutional monarchies, but also in the most democratic republics.” (Lenin, The State and Revolution)

 

That was six years ago, in 2003, when the people’s war was advancing in rapid strides. But how have these fundamental theoretical formulations changed after the CPN (M) emerged as the single largest party in the April 2008 elections?

 

Now we ask you the same question that you had placed when the UML came to power claiming that it represented the people’s interests: “Is there any such particularity in Nepal because of which the class character of the reactionary state power has changed?

Can one describe the act of forming the government in alliance with comprador-feudal parties and attempting to bring revolutionary social change through the basically old state machine as merely a tactic? With what logic can one say it is not a path of revolution similar to the ‘peaceful transition to socialism’ put forth by Khrushchov?

 

The pronouncements by the leaders of the CPN (M) on various occasions, particularly after their electoral victory in April 2008, remind us of PKI’s revisionist theory of “a state with two aspects”, i.e., a “pro-people’s aspect” and an “anti-people’s aspect” proposed by its Chairman Aidit.

 

According to Aidit: “The important problem in Indonesia now is not to smash the state power as in the case in many other states, but to strengthen and consolidate the pro-people’s aspect…and to eliminate the anti-people’s aspect.”

 

This peaceful transformation would take place by “revolutionary action from above and below”, i.e., by initiating revolutionary measures from above aimed at changing the composition of the various state organs on the one hand, and by “arousing, organizing and mobilizing” the masses to achieve these changes.

 

Then there are several issues where the stand of your Party had already led to the abandoning of the basic requisites for bringing about a revolutionary change in Nepal. The most important among these are the virtual decimation of the PLA by limiting it to the UN-supervised barracks for over two years, return of the lands and property seized by the people in the course of the people’s war to the exploiters and oppressors, demobilization of the Young Communist League, compromising with imperialism, Indian expansionism and other main enemies of revolution in Nepal, and so on.

 

Com Prachanda announced that the “paramilitary modus operandi of the party’s youth wing, the YCL, would be scrapped, and public and private buildings, factories and other properties captured by the party will be returned to the owners concerned.” He also announced that all the party units established as parallel state units [the various levels of the former revolutionary government established during the people’s war] will likewise be scrapped, and assured that ‘These agreements will be implemented as early as possible after setting a timeframe’.

 

The above measures can have one and only one meaning: abandoning people’s revolutionary power and all the gains accrued in the decade-long people’s war at the cost of over 13,000 lives of heroic martyrs, the best sons and daughters of Nepal.

 

In addition to all this there is also one more serious question, as regards the understanding of the UCPN (M) towards the fundamental Marxist-Leninist concept on the dictatorship of the proletariat. As Com. Lenin said the distinguishing feature of a genuine communist is not merely limited to acceptance of the class struggle but its extension to the question of the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat. MLM teaches us that this question in backward countries is related to the question of the establishment of the New Democratic State, i.e. the joint dictatorship of all anti-imperialist and anti-feudal classes under the leadership of the proletariat, basing on the worker peasant alliance. Nowhere in their documents does the UCPN (M) talk of the question of exercising dictatorship over the exploiting classes.

 

On the Stage of Revolution in Nepal

The CPN (M), in its basic documents, had come out correctly with its assessment of the present stage of the revolution in Nepal as new democratic and had declared the programme to be implemented in this stage of revolution.

However, in an article by comrade Baburam Bhattarai in March 2005 and in his 13-point letter in November 2004, the above understanding regarding the new democratic stage was changed in a drastic manner. It was declared that the Nepalese revolution was passing through a sub stage of a democratic republic.

As far as the sincere commitment of the revolutionary democratic forces, who aspire to reach socialism and communism via a new democratic republic, towards a bourgeois democratic republic is concerned, the CPN (Maoist) has time and again clarified its principled position towards the historical necessity of passing through a sub-stage of democratic republic in the specificities of Nepal.” (The Royal Regression and the Question of the Democratic Republic, March 15, 2005)

Our Party had pointed out in an article in our organ People’s war:

No Maoist would say it is wrong to fight for the demand of a Republic and for the overthrow of the autocratic monarchy. And likewise, none would oppose the forging of a united front of all those who are opposed to the main enemy at any given moment. Needless to say, such a united front would be purely tactical in nature and cannot, and should not, under any circumstances, determine the path and direction of the revolution itself. The problem with the theorization by the CPN(M) lies in making the fight against autocracy into a sub stage of NDR and, what is even worse, making the sub stage overwhelm (dominate and determine) the very direction and path of the revolution. The programme and strategy of  NDR drawn up by the Party prior to its launching of the armed struggle, the targets to be overthrown and even the concrete class analysis made earlier based on which the revolution had advanced so far, are now made subordinate to the needs of the so-called sub stage of Nepalese revolution. It is like the case of the tail itself wagging the dog. The sub stage of bourgeois democratic republic has become the all-determining factor. It has subsumed the class war, set aside the strategy of protracted people’s war, brought multiparty democracy or political competition with the bourgeois-feudal parties as the most important strategy, nay, path, of the Nepalese revolution.”

The fight against monarchy or the King has become the be-all-and-end-all—the ultimate goal—for the leadership of UCPN (M). The concepts of NDR, socialism and communism have become relegated to a secondary position and are subsumed by the concept of a sub-stage for a fight against the King.

 

In fact, such an understanding was reflected in the statements and interviews given by comrade Prachanda himself after the people’s war in Nepal confronted serious difficulties in the phase of strategic offensive and the final assault did not fetch the anticipated results. For instance, in his interview with the BBC in 2006, com Prachanda spoke of a new Nepal without the need for smashing the old state:

“We believe that the Nepali people will go for a republic and in a peaceful way the process of rebuilding Nepal will go forward.

“In five years’ time Nepal will move towards being a beautiful, peaceful and progressive nation.

“In five years’ time the millions of Nepalis will already be moving ahead with a mission to make a beautiful future, and Nepal will truly start becoming a heaven on earth.”

 

He further asserted that a democratic republic elected in such a way will solve the problems of Nepalis!!

“We believe that with the election of a constituent assembly, a democratic republic will be formed in Nepal. And this will solve the problems of Nepalis and lead the country into a more progressive path.”

 

In an Interview to an Italian newspaper L’espresso in Nov 2006 Prachanda further elaborated his vision of a future Nepal as that of transforming into a bourgeois republic like that of Switzerland: “In ten years we’ll change the whole scenario, rebuilding this country to prosperity. In 20 years we could be similar to Switzerland. This is my goal for Nepal.”

 

And he intends to use foreign investment to achieve the above transformation of Nepal: “we will welcome foreign investors, using capital from abroad for the well being of Nepal.”

 

The above lines are in no way different from what the Indian compradors continuously repeat. How will Nepal start becoming a “heaven on earth” after becoming a bourgeois republic? How can the formation of a so-called democratic republic “solve the problems of Nepalis”? Why is Prachanda dreaming of making Nepal into a bourgeois Switzerland instead of a socialist paradise? Even when comrade Prachanda had declared this to be his goal for Nepal in the next 20 years it is a pity that hardly any voice was raised within the Party. In fact, such pronouncements by Prachanda and other leaders of your Party have only increased after the elections to the CA. The entire direction and programme of your Party is, in essence, nothing but a continuation of the existing semi-colonial, semi-feudal system, i.e. the dictatorship of the exploiting classes.

 

Our people’s war article had further pointed out:

 

Can Nepal free itself from the clutches of imperialism after becoming a (bourgeois) democratic republic in the present imperialist era? Does the UCPN (M) really think that the “process of rebuilding Nepal will go forward in a peaceful way”? And is there a single instance in world history where such a peaceful process of rebuilding has taken place? Does not the history of world revolution show that bitter class struggle, bloody and violent at times, continues even after decades following the capture of power by the proletariat? Then how could com. Prachanda think of such a peaceful process of rebuilding Nepal?

 

Do the parties belonging to the SPA really fight imperialism and feudalism in Nepal? Is there a guarantee that the CPN (M) will defeat the bourgeois-feudal parties, with which it wants to go for political competition in the elections, and ensure that Nepal does not drift into the clutches of imperialism and Indian expansionism? How could one be so naive as to believe that once the elections to the Constituent Assembly are over and Nepal becomes a Republic, not under the leadership of the working class party but may be under an alliance of a hotch-potch combination of Parties i.e., an alliance of ruling class and working class under CPN (M), the country would free itself from feudalism and imperialism and become a “beautiful, peaceful and progressive nation” ?

The same understanding of the sub-stage was reflected in the declaration by the Maoist spokesperson Krishna Bahadur Mahara in November 2006 that the pact between the Seven-Party Alliance and the Maoists should continue until the end of feudalism in the country, or at least for ten years.

Thus from the various interviews of comrade Prachanda and other leaders of the UCPN (M) we can clearly see a basic shift in the Maoist position from the immediate aim of accomplishing the new democratic revolution with the goal of fighting for socialism and communism, to the establishment of a “multi-party democratic republic” through elections and bringing social transformation through peaceful means within the framework of the old state structure. This goes against the Marxist Leninist understanding on state as well as the stage of revolution.

 

The non-proletarian class stand of the UCPN (M) and the confusion and deviation that had arisen concerning the people’s democratic republic arises from the above theory of sub-stage which is being presented, not merely as a tactics but as a strategic concept.

 

On Coalition Government

 

The proposal to form an interim coalition government with the arch-reactionary parties that represent the class interests of the feudal, comprador ruling classes in Nepal and serve imperialism and Indian expansionism, was defended by your Party citing some historical experiences such as the proposal of a coalition government with the enemy of the Chinese people, Chiang Kai-Shek, made by the CPC under com Mao in China during the anti-Japan War of Resistance. However, the understanding and practice of the UCPN (M) under com Prachanda is diametrically opposite to that pursued by the CPC under com Mao at that time.

 

Com Prachanda himself exposed the anti-people character of the coalition governments formed in alliance with the bourgeois, feudal parties such as the UML-led coalition government formed in Nepal after the mid-term elections in 1991. He draws a parallel with the bourgeois democratic government formed after the 1917 February revolution following the fall of Czarism in Russia with the participation of the Mensheviks. Citing com Lenin, he wrote in the article “UML Government: A New Shield of Feudalism and Imperialism Under Crisis”: “The capitalists, better organized and more experienced than anybody else in matters of class struggle and politics, learnt their lesson quicker than the others. Realizing that the government’s position was hopeless, they resorted to a method which for many decades, ever since 1848 have been practiced by the capitalists of other countries in order to fool, divide and weaken the workers. This method is known as a “coalition” government, i.e., a joint cabinet formed of members of the bourgeoisie and turncoats from socialism.” (Lenin, From the Lesson of Revolution).

 

It is also interesting to note that your Party had castigated the reactionary government of the UML coalition by invoking the historical experience in Russia, where, in fact, com Lenin had castigated the bourgeois democratic government even after the fall of Czarist autocracy in the following words:   “He who says that the workers must support the new government in the interests of the struggle against tsarist reaction (and apparently this is being said by the Potresovs, Gvozdyovs. Chkhenkelis and also, all evasiveness notwithstanding, by Chkheidze) is a traitor to the workers, a traitor to the cause of the proletariat, to the cause of peace and freedom. For actually, precisely this new government is already bound hand and foot by imperialist capital, by the imperialist policy”. (Lenin: Letters From Afar).

 

What is wrong in applying the above-mentioned observation of com Lenin which was made in the context of a victorious bourgeois democratic revolution and the fall of Czarist autocracy in Russia. Firstly, the two are in no way comparable as what took place in Russia was a bourgeois democratic revolution, while what took place in Nepal merely dislodged the King but did not change the semi-colonial, semi-feudal socio-economic base. Besides, the main point here is not whether a coalition government should or should not have been formed in Nepal by the CPN (M) with the other ruling class parties, but that it should not be at the cost of the demobilization of the PLA and abandonment of the base areas as done by the CPN (M). Let us examine this most important and key issue. 

On the Abandonment of the Base Areas and disarming the PLA

 

The central question of any revolution is the seizure of power by armed force. In semi-colonial, semi-feudal countries power is seized first in the backward areas of the countryside by establishing base areas, then encircling the urban areas, organizing uprisings in the cities and finally achieving countrywide victory. Hence the importance of base areas and the people’s army needs no mention. These two aspects are crucial for victory in any revolution and these are non-negotiable under whatever pretext.

 

Our CC had been discussing this question with you in our high-level bilateral meetings right from the time you were working out plans for an interim government, elections to the CA and an end to monarchy. You had assured us that base areas would never be given up and PLA would not be disarmed. But eventually it turned out that you had done both and had even invited the imperialist agency—the United Nations—to supervise the disarming of the PLA.

 

In November 2006 our CC had issued a statement on the proposal of the CPN (M) to disarm the PLA and confine the fighters to the barracks. Entitled “A New Nepal can emerge only by smashing the reactionary state! Depositing arms of the PLA under UN supervision would lead to the disarming of the masses!!”, the CPI (Maoist) statement stated:

 

The agreement to deposit the arms of the people’s army in designated cantonments is fraught with dangerous implications. This act could lead to the disarming of the oppressed masses of Nepal and to a reversal of the gains made by the people of Nepal in the decade-long people’s war at the cost of immense sacrifices……

“Entire experiences of the world revolution had demonstrated time and again that without the people’s army it is impossible for the people to exercise their power. Nothing is more dreadful to imperialism and the reactionaries than armed masses and hence they would gladly enter into any agreement to disarm them. In fact, disarming the masses has been the constant refrain of all the reactionary ruling classes ever since the emergence of class-divided society. Unarmed masses are easy prey for the reactionary classes and imperialists who even enact massacres as proved by history. The CC, CPI (Maoist), as one of the detachments of the world proletariat, warns the CPN (Maoist) and the people of Nepal of the grave danger inherent in the agreement to deposit the arms and calls upon them to reconsider their tactics in the light of bitter historical experiences…..

We also appeal to the CPN (Maoist) once again to rethink about their current tactics which are actually changing the very strategic direction of the revolution in Nepal and to withdraw from their agreement with the government of Nepal on depositing the arms of the PLA as this would make the people defenceless in face of attacks by the reactionaries.”

 

In his answer to the questions sent by the media, mainly by the BBC, in April 2007, our General Secretary, comrade Ganapathy, pointed out:

“The most dangerous part of the deal is the disarming of the PLA by depositing the arms and placing the fighters in cantonments. This will do no good except disarming the masses and throwing them to the mercy of the oppressors. Neither the imperialists nor big neighbours like India and China would allow any fundamental change in the socio-economic system in Nepal. They cannot remain passive spectators if their interests are undermined by the Maoists whether through a people’s war or through the parliament. Hence the Maoists can never achieve their aim of putting an end to feudal and imperialist exploitation by entering the parliament in the name of multi-party democracy. They will have to either get co-opted into the system or abandon the present policy of power-sharing with the ruing classes and continue the armed revolution to seize power. There is no Buddhist middle way. They cannot set the rules for a game the bourgeoisie had invented.”

The move to deposit arms and confine the PLA fighters to UN-supervised cantonments, in practice, was tantamount to abandoning PPW and class struggle in the name of multi-Party democracy and endangering the gains made during the decade-long People’s War. The first big deviation occurred when the CPN (M) decided to sail with the SPA by agreeing to abandon the Base Areas, demobilize its PLA, and participate in the elections in the name of fighting against the monarchy. This line is a total deviation from MLM and the concept of PPW. To justify this, the CPN (M) had cited the example of the CPC under Mao which had gone for a united front with Chiang Kai-shek’s KMT and had given a call for a coalition government. It is a fact that CPC had given the call for such a united front. However, it is also a fact that it had never proposed giving up the Base Areas or disarming the PLA. And it was precisely this which had made the CPC’s position stronger by the end of the anti-Japanese War. It was able to dictate terms to others mainly based on its independent strength in the base areas and its PLA. And when Chiang refused to act in the interests of China and continued his offensive against the Communists in collusion with the imperialists, CPC was able to isolate the KMT, expand the base areas and PLA rapidly, and achieve victory in the revolution in a short period after the end of anti-Japanese War of Resistance. As a result, CPC gained enormously from its proposal of UF with the KMT.

 

But in the case of the UCPN (M), although it achieved a big electoral gain, it had suffered a big strategic loss as it had disbanded the people’s governments at the local level, abandoned the base areas and disarmed the people’s army. One clause in the agreement to deposit arms by the PLA even sounds ridiculous. It says that while the PLA deposits its arms and confines itself to barracks, the Nepal Army too should deposit an equal number of arms! With this clause while the PLA as a whole becomes disarmed the reactionary army remains intact!! All that it has done is to deposit some arms. Why did the leadership of the CPN (M) agree to such a ridiculous, and more important, such a dangerous, condition? Is it so naïve that it is not aware of the consequences? We can only say this has been done deliberately as the central leadership of the Party had chosen to stay away from people’s war and to pursue the peaceful path of multi-Party democracy to build a supposedly new Nepal. Comrade Prachanda had unequivocally asserted this in his interviews, speeches and on various occasions.

Now Prachanda’s path had placed the CPN (M) or what is now called, UCPN (M), the PLA and the revolutionary people’s power in the countryside in great peril and at the mercy of reactionary parties, Indian expansionists and imperialists. It is now powerless to defend itself or the interests of the vast masses in face of attacks by the reactionary classes and imperialists. It has no base areas to bank upon and no army to fight against the reactionary coups and plots.

Moreover, after the formation of the Maoist-led government, the PLA is no more under the UCPN (M). The changed role and responsibility of the PLA were pointed out in clear terms in a speech delivered by com Prachanda on the occasion of the 14th Anniversary of PW and 8th PLA Day at Hattikhor PLA Cantonment and published on February 26:

The most important question is that according to the spirit of interim constitution and the agreements held before between the political parties, PLA will not be directly under the Unified CPN (Maoist). PLA will be directly under the leadership of AISC. Theoretically PLA is already under it. We will be connected for a long time contemplatively, that is another thing. However, PLA will not be under unified CPN-Maoist anymore, morally and theoretically. In the situation of a legal state power and the transitional period, PLA will accept the leadership of AISC and follow its directives. PLA has been a part of the state legally since the day AISC has been made.

Today, there is a peculiar situation in Nepal. The old Royal Nepal Army continues to be the bulwark of the present state structure in Nepal while the PLA is a passive onlooker. What would the Maoists do if a coup is staged by the Army with the instigation of the reactionary comprador-feudal parties with the backing of Indian expansionists and US imperialists? Or if an Indonesia-type blood-bath of the Communists is organized by the reactionaries? How do the Maoists defend themselves when they have demobilized and disarmed the PLA? We had raised the question in our bilateral meetings right from the time when such a proposal of integration of the two armies was put forth by comrade Prachanda. There has never been an answer to this crucial, fundamental question of revolution. By evading an answer and displaying eclecticism, your Party has actually placed the future of the oppressed people of Nepal in grave danger.

 

On UCPN (M)’s understanding of Indian Expansionism

 

During Prachanda’s official visit to India, he also used the occasion to hobnob with comprador-feudal parties like JD (U), Nationalist Congress, Samajwadi Party, RJD, LJP etc., besides informal meetings with Sonia Gandhi, Digvijay Singh, and some BJP leaders like LK Advani, Rajnath Singh and Murali Manohar Joshi. Perhaps his strategy was to cultivate good relations with the fascist BJP in case it wins in the next Parliamentary elections. His remarks during his India visit reflected, at best, his underassessment about the danger posed by Indian expansionism to Nepal and illusions regarding the character of the Indian state. And, at worse, it shows his opportunism in making a complete turn-about with regard to his assessment of India after winning the elections.

 

This attitude can be seen in his lauding the role of India in achieving the “smooth and peaceful” transition in Nepal and also praising India for its help in arranging the meeting between CPN (M) and SPA in Delhi and in forging a common front of the eight parties against the King. While talking to Rajnath Singh whose Hindu fascist party was responsible for the destruction of Babari Masjid and for inciting communal attacks against Muslims and Christians and genocide in Gujarat, Prachanda spoke of the common cultural heritage of the two countries and about Ayodhya. Hugging Manmohan Singh he even requested that India should assist Nepal in drafting the new Constitution! It is a great insult to the people of both Nepal and India and amounts to surrendering the sovereignty of Nepal to Indian Expansionist rulers. He knows our party’s stand regarding the drafting of the Indian Constitution and its anti-people, pro-imperialist class content. Yet, he chose to seek the help of the Indian rulers in drafting the Constitution of Nepal!! This is not just pragmatism but a clean and clear deviation from the ML standpoint and even goes against the spirit of nationalism that he had been speaking of.

 

Failure to arrive at a correct objective assessment and understanding of Indian expansionism and its role in South Asia would have far-reaching consequences on revolutions in the countries of the region. The CPN (M) had, by and large, a correct understanding regarding Indian expansionism until it went into agreement with the major comprador-feudal parties constituting the SPA in 2006. There were, of course, some problems such as an over-assessment of the contradiction between India and US imperialism and the eagerness of the CPN (M) to utilize the supposed contradiction. Our Party delegation had brought to your attention the danger of falling into the trap set by the Indian expansionist ruling classes and cautioned you against hob-knobbing with the leaders of the various reactionary ruling class parties in India, particularly the BJP and the Congress, but you continued to maintain relations in the name of utilizing the contradictions in the interest of the revolution in Nepal. We alerted you that the opposite would happen, and that eventually, it is not you but the Indian ruling classes who would utilize your soft approach and influence your ranks, including the leadership. The counter-revolutionary intelligence wing of India, RAW (Research & Analysis Wing), and the leaders of the various reactionary political parties in India had been very active in sowing illusions and ideological confusion among the rank and file of the CPN (M) but your Party leadership continued to cultivate and maintain intimate relations with these reactionary forces. The extent of the influence of these forces and the damage caused to the revolution could be gauged by the fact that several times your leadership had pleaded that strong words against Indian expansionism be dropped in the statements issued by our two Parties as well as in the statements issued by CCOMPOSA.

 

However, in spite of these deviations, overall, until 2005, there had been a collective struggle by our two Parties and by other Maoist Parties in South Asia against Indian expansionism. The CCOMPOSA too was formed with the aim of fighting against Indian expansionism and achieving unity and collective effort for advancing the revolutions in South Asia. But, after your 12-point agreement with the SPA, this struggle against Indian expansionism began to be blunted over time finally reaching a stage where your leadership even went to the extent of showering praise on the Indian ruling classes and taking their guidance.

 

We appeal to the leadership and the entire rank and file of the UCPN (M) to reconsider their stand towards Indian expansionism and to adopt a firm stance. Diplomatic relations between states should not run counter to the principle of proletarian internationalism.

On Proletarian Internationalism

 

Another serious deviation in the leadership of the UCPN(M) lies in its abandoning the principle of proletarian internationalism, shelving the CCOMPOSA and the fight against Indian expansionism and US imperialism, adopting a narrow nationalistic approach and sheer pragmatism in dealing with other countries and Parties. We can describe this trend as nothing but the approach of compradors taking a nationalistic garb. Comrade Prachanda obliterates class content and class perspective, mixes up bourgeois democracy with people’s democracy and justifies all opportunist alliances as being in the interests of Nepal, without mentioning the class divisions and class rule within the country. When any tactic is divorced from our strategic goal of New Democratic Revolution it ends in opportunism.

 

This is contrary to the principle of proletarian internationalism as envisaged by our great Marxist teachers and is opposed to MLM ideology. This stand will not promote, but rather harm, the interests of the Nepalese masses, undermine Nepal’s sovereignty in the long run, creates illusions on the reactionary parties in Nepal, and Indian expansionists outside. It undermines the need for a united struggle by ML parties world-wide against imperialism, particularly US imperialism.

 

It is a great paradox that a supposedly Maoist-led government has not even ventured to severe its ties with the Zionist Israeli terrorist state particularly after its brutal blatant aggression of Gaza and the massacre of hundreds of Palestinians when governments such as those in Venezuela and Bolivia had dared to do so. Even more disgustful is the manner in which the UCPN (M) leadership has been trying to get into the good books of the American imperialists. To curry favor with the American imperialists, a section of the UCPN (M) leadership had even assured that it would remove the Maoist “tail” from its Party name. Your entire Party should think that this is the proper time for you to take a consistently anti-imperialist, anti-Indian expansionist approach and work to forge close, working relations with other revolutionary and progressive forces worldwide to weaken imperialism and the reactionary forces.  

Only through resolute struggle against the Revisionist Line pursued by the leadership of the UCPN (M) can a revolutionary line be re-established and bring the Nepalese revolution to its consummation

Lack of conviction in the ideology of MLM, concept of quick victory and eclecticism with regard to the path of revolution in Nepal arising out of the series of successes in the people’s war, a wrong assessment of the impact of changes in the contemporary world leading to the conclusion that a qualitative change had occurred in the nature of the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, and a lack of a strategic outlook to transform temporary defeats in a few battles into victories in the overall war, had led to a drastic drift in the stand of the CPN(M) and its slide into Right opportunism. The turning point in the people’s war in Nepal occurred when the PLA led by the CPN (M) failed to smash enemy fortifications and suffered serious losses in the second half of 2005.

The 2005 CC Plenum had “resolved that the very strategy of protracted PW needs to be further developed to cater to the necessities of the 21st century. In particular, several decades on it is seen that the protracted PWs launched in different countries have faced obstacles or got liquidated after reaching the state of strategic offensive, as imperialism has attempted to refine its interventionist counter-insurgency war strategy as a ‘long war.’ In this context, if the revolutionaries do mechanistically cling to the ‘protracted’ aspect of the PW at any cost, it would in essence play into the hands of imperialism and reaction.”  (The Worker#10: Page 58)

 

Thus the reason for the present predicament of the UCPN (M) and its change of strategy and path of the revolution lies in its inconsistency in adhering to the political line and the path of PPW enunciated in its own basic documents. While it correctly formulated the present stage of revolution in Nepal and the strategy and path of revolution in its founding documents, it landed into confusion regarding the strategy within five years of initiation of people’s war.

 

The series of victories in the first few years of people’s war were beyond the expectations of even the Party leadership. These victories also created a wrong thinking in the Party leadership that final victory could be quickly achieved, and instead of firmly adhering to the strategy of PPW which had brought about these successes, it began to develop new theories like the fusion theory and began to develop new strategies not only for the revolution in Nepal but also for the world revolution. Initially it expected to capture Kathmandu in a short period without a sober assessment of the support which the Nepalese ruling classes led by the King could get from the imperialists and Indian expansionists and also over-assessing the contradictions between the imperialists and big countries like China and India.

 

The document entitled “Present Situation and Our Tasks”, presented by comrade Prachanda and adopted by the CC, CPN (M) in May 2003, made the following assessment:

 

Had world imperialism, particularly American imperialism in today’s context, not helped the old state directly, the Nepalese revolution would have by today developed further ahead with relative ease and somewhat differently through the use of the thought, strategy and tactics synthesized in the Party’s historic Second National Conference. The Nepalese revolution has been affected by the activities of American imperialism, like  bringing the most brutal and fascist feudal elements through the infamous palace massacre to take on the Nepalese People’s War to intensifying its interventionist activities in Nepal with the declaration of the so-called war against terrorism after the September 11 event. We can clearly and with experience say that had the old feudal state and its royal army not had direct involvement of American military advisors in planning, construction, training and direction in the post “emergency” period and that had it not received financial and military assistance from foreign reactionary forces including America, the old rotten feudal state in Nepal had no chance of surviving in the face of People’s War till today.”

 

In an interview to The Times of India in September 2005 comrade Prachanda said that his party would have “captured Kathmandu by now if countries like the US, India and the UK had not extended military support to Nepal’s ‘tottering’ feudal rulers.”

 

Is it not wishful thinking on the part of the UCPN (M) and com Prachanda to expect that revolution in Nepal can become victorious without fighting imperialist intervention? Intervention in the internal affairs of every country is the very essence and nature of imperialism. Even to imagine that they could have rapidly achieved victory if other countries had not extended military support to the tottering feudal rulers of Nepal smacks of romanticism.

 

Thus, due to all these factors, which are but natural in the course of any revolution, the people’s war in Nepal had become stuck up in the stage of strategic stalemate or equilibrium in spite of tremendous victories and formation of the revolutionary organs of power in the vast countryside. Although it had declared that it had entered the stage of strategic counter-offensive by August 2004 and had even successfully implemented the first plan of the counter-offensive, which it summed up a year later, it realized that it is not possible to capture the urban centres and Kathmandu in the immediate future. Its assessment of a quick victory did not seem feasible. While it has control over the vast countryside it is unable to stage a general armed insurrection or to implement its theory of fusing the strategies of the Russian model of armed insurrection and the Chinese model of protracted people’s war or the so-called fusion theory. The United Revolutionary People’s Council (URPC), which the CPN(M) had formed as early as September 2001, had not been able to establish itself as an organ of new democratic people’s power at the central level nor is it likely to do so in the immediate future.

 

CPN(M)’s deviation from the concept of PPW and its longing for a quick victory did not allow it to think of tiring out the enemy in incessant war, accumulating its own strength further, and making long-term preparations for defeating the enemy and smashing the state machine at the opportune time. It erroneously thought that the longer the war dragged on the more difficult and unfavorable will the situation be for the revolutionary forces as the reactionary forces and the armies of imperialist powers and India are bound to intervene militarily.

 

The CPN (M) began to be skeptical about the prospects of victory in a small country like Nepal when it is confronted by imperialism and there is no advancement of any strong revolutionary movement in other parts of the world.

 

In the present context, when along with the restoration of capitalism in China there is no other socialist state existing, when despite objective condition turning favourable currently there is no advancement in any strong revolutionary movement under the leadership of the proletariat, and when world imperialism is pouncing on people everywhere like an injured tiger, is it possible for a small country with a specific geo-political compulsion like Nepal to gain victory to the point of capturing central state through revolution? This is the most significant question being put before the Party today. The answer to this question can only be found in Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and on this depends the future of the Nepalese revolution.”

 

If the CPN (M) had a deep and thorough understanding of the strategy of PPW it would have had adequate clarity on how to grapple with the situation in the event of external military intervention and transform the war into a national war and capture state power in the course of the war. But its lack of such understanding of PPW and its desire for quick victory led it to the highly dangerous short cut method of coming to power through an interim government and participating in the elections in a so-called multiparty democratic republic following the elections to the Constituent Assembly. Thus, instead of adhering to the Marxist Leninist understanding on the imperative need to smash the old state and establish the proletarian state (the people’s democratic state in the concrete conditions of semi-feudal semi-colonial Nepal) and advance towards the goal of socialism through the radical transformation of the society and all oppressive class relations, it chose to reform the existing state through an elected constituent assembly and a bourgeois democratic republic. It is indeed a great tragedy that it has come to this position in spite of having had de facto power in most of the countryside.

 

The conclusion regarding the impossibility of achieving victory in the revolution through armed struggle is reflected clearly in Prachanda’s answer to a question by a correspondent of The Hindu in his Interview with comrade Prachanda in February 2006. When asked whether the decision was a recognition by he CPN(M) of the “impossibility of seizing power through armed struggle” and that “because of the strength of the RNA and the opposition of the international community, a new form of struggle is needed in order to overthrow the monarchy“, comrade Prachanda had replied that his Party had taken three things into consideration for arriving at the conclusion: the specificity of the political and military balance in today’s world; the experience of the 20th century; and the particular situation in the country – the class, political and power balance.

 

In an article you had rightly pointed out the reformist thinking in the Nepalese communist movement in the following words:

In the Nepalese communist movement a rightist thinking has been dominant that accepts New Democracy as a strategy but follows reformism and parliamentarism as the tactics, that sacrifices the totality of strategy for the practical tactical gain and that regards strategy and tactics as mutually exclusive. Against such thinking we should pay special attention to understand the relations between strategy and tactics in a dialectical manner and to adopt such tactics as to help the strategy.”

 

Now your Party itself has become a victim of such Rightist thinking by accepting New Democracy in name only, but following reformism and parliamentarism in your concrete tactics.

Whatever be the tactics adopted by the UCPN(M) the most objectionable part is your projection of these tactics as a theoretically developed position which you think should be the model for the revolutions in the 21st century. You consider the ideologies developed by Lenin and Mao at the initial phase of international imperialism and proletarian revolution as having become inadequate and lagging behind at the present imperialistic phase. And, therefore, you claim that ‘the main issue is to develop MLM in the 21st century and to determine a new proletarian strategy.

But what is new in the so-called new tactics proposed by the UCPN (M)? How is it different from the arguments put forth by the Khrushchovite clique in the Soviet Union after the death of com Stalin? In the name of fighting against dogmatism or orthodox communism the leadership of CPN (M) had landed into a Right opportunist line.

 

Comrades!

 

Today the entire world is going through the worst ever economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. With American imperialism as the focus every country in the world is engulfed in the crisis which is threatening to erupt into social and political explosions. In such an excellent situation the Maoist revolutionary forces in every country can grow in strength by properly utilizing the favorable objective situation created by the crisis and achieve great advances in the revolutions in their respective countries. But unfortunately the leadership of the Maoist Party in Nepal has chosen to strike a deal with the reactionary anti-people forces in the country and form a government that can in no way address any of the basic problems facing the Nepalese people or achieve the Basic programme of New Democracy and socialism. This peaceful path of com Prachanda has already led the Party and the PLA into a dark tunnel.

 

Our CC appeals to the leadership and ranks of the UCPN(M) to undertake a deep review of the wrong reformist line that the Party has been pursuing ever since it has struck an alliance with the SPA, became part of the interim government, participated in the elections to the CA, formed a government with the comprador-feudal parties, abandoned the base areas and demobilized the PLA and the YCL, deviated from the principle of proletarian internationalism and adopted a policy of appeasement towards imperialism, particularly American imperialism, and Indian expansionism. All these are a serious deviation from MLM and only work towards the strengthening of the status quoist forces and help imperialism in its hour of crisis. These have also created confusion among the revolutionary masses, weakened the revolutionary camp and given the reactionary forces and imperialism a baton to attack the Maoist revolutionaries and communism ideologically.

 

A Maoist victory in Nepal, or at least the further consolidation of the vast Base Areas in that country, would have given rise to a new situation in South Asia, and a new democratic Nepal advancing towards socialism would have become a focal point, a rallying point, for the revolutionary forces in the region as well as all anti-imperialist, genuinely nationalist and democratic forces. It would have also played a significant role in the world-wide front against imperialism and assisted the national liberation struggles and revolutionary struggles thereby strengthening the cause of world socialist revolution.

 

Our CC has followed the deliberations at the national convention of CPN (M) in November 2008, gone through the two documents placed by comrade Prachanda and Mohan Baidya and the various writings by your Party leaders in the magazines and news papers. While the inner-Party struggle is an encouraging sign and a positive development in the life of the Party, it is very important and vital to ensure that it is carried out in a more thoroughgoing, fearless and frank manner so as the initiative of the entire Party cadre is released and a correct revolutionary line is re-established through collective participation of the entire Party.

 

Now that the government headed by comrade Prachanda has collapsed after the withdrawal of support by the UML and others at the behest of the Indian ruling classes, American imperialists and the local reactionaries, the Party leadership should be better placed to understand how the reactionaries can manage the show from the sidelines or outside and obstruct even moves such as sacking of the Army chief by a Prime Minister. This is a clear warning to the Maoists in Nepal that they cannot do whatever they like through their elected government against the wishes of the imperialists and Indian expansionists.

 

At least now they should realize the futility of going into the electoral game and, instead, should concentrate on building class struggle and advancing the people’s war in the countryside. They should pull out the PLA from the UN-supervised barracks which are virtually like prisons for the fighters, reconstruct the organs of people’s revolutionary power at various levels, retake and consolidate the base areas, and expand the guerrilla war, and class and mass struggles throughout the country. There is no short cut to achieve real power to the people. If the Party leadership hesitates to continue the people’s war at this critical juncture of history and persists in the present right opportunist line then history will hold the present leadership responsible for the abortion of revolution in Nepal.

 

In conclusion our Party opines that although the UCPN (Maoist) has a glorious revolutionary tradition, but now by abandoning the Base Areas, disarming the people’s Army, discarding the path of ppw and adopting the parliamentary path, the leadership of this glorious party is pursuing a political line that is against the basic tenets of M-L-M and is in essence nothing but a right opportunist and revisionist line.

 

Comrades,

 

Your Party has a great and glorious revolutionary tradition. The oppressed masses of India and entire South Asia were greatly inspired by the historic leaps took in the People’s War and the establishment of Base Areas in vast parts of your country. When your revolutionary movement reached the stage of the strategic offensive the entire revolutionary camp keenly awaited further gigantic strides towards the seizure of power and the establishment of a truly New Democratic State. But, unfortunately at this crucial juncture, the leadership of your Party began to divert from the principles of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and enter the path of compromise with the ruling classes of your country and the Indian expansionists. Slowly the leadership of your Party began to traverse nothing but a revisionist and class collaborationist path throwing to the winds the historic advances in your protracted people’s war and betraying the great sacrifices made by the 13,000 heroic martyrs who laid down their precious lives for the revolution in Nepal.

 

Given the great revolutionary traditions of your Party, we are confident that you will come out of this abyss that the leadership of your Party has pushed you into; that you will come out of the revisionist stands and practice and once again grasp firmly principles of M-L-M and apply them creatively to the concrete conditions of your country, rebuild your People’s Liberation Army and re-establish your Base Areas and the organs of revolutionary power. Thus getting rid of these wrong lines and practices we are confident you will re-build the fraternal relations with the genuine M-L-M forces around the world, particularly in India, and advance in big strides forward towards the establishment of a New Democratic State as the first step toward socialism and communism. In this historic advance our Party and its CC assures you of all assistance in the true spirit of proletarian internationalism. In this context we feel the great need to advance the main slogans of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution: never forget class struggle; fight self, refute revisionism; practice Marxism, not revisionism.

 

Our two countries and peoples have close historical and cultural ties; we both have a common enemy in Indian Expansionism. Our two Parties, through many ups and downs, have had close relations for decades and have even built joint fronts like the CCOMPOSA. We are confident that these will help bind our two Parties on a principled basis. The advance of revolution in your country has an important bearing on the advance of revolution in India. We are confident you will learn from your past experiences and take great leaps forward.

 

With Revolutionary Greetings,

Central Committee,

CPI (Maoist)

July20, 2009

Maoists Expand Guerrilla War to new Areas!

Wipe out more than Forty Security Personnel in Chattisgarh

(Based On Reports from the Media)

 

As the Central and state governments are readying their action plans to deal with the Maoists, the Maoists came out with a counter plan of expanding their guerilla war to new areas to disperse the enemy force over a sufficiently wider area. The Politburo of the CPI (Maoist) gave a call to all its PLGA forces on June 12th, asking them to carry out tactical counter-offensives keeping in mind strengths and weaknesses of the state forces. The PB while considering the state’s forces are superior noted that it will be difficult for the Centre to send enough forces required by each state in near future as raising of central forces would take time. The PB said; “Keeping this in mind, we have to further aggravate the situation and create more difficulties for the enemy forces by expanding our guerilla war to new areas on the one hand and intensify the mass resistance in the existing areas so as to disperse the enemy forces over a sufficiently wide area.”

 

As a part of execution of this PB directive, the PLGA forces of the Maoists wiped out more than forty security personnel including Rajnandangaon district Superintendent of Police Vinod Kumar Choubey in three attacks on July 12, at Mandanwada village near Manpur-Mohalla in Chattisgarh. It is significant to note that though the Maoists were actively working in some parts of this district from a long time, this is their first big strike in this area. The PLGA forces first gunned down two security personnel near the Madanwada camp of the Chattisgarh Special Armed Forces early on the morning of that day. On learning about the incident, the district SP Choubey rushed to the spot with a posse of security personnel, which included the CRPF, Chattisgarh Special Armed Forces and the district police force. Anticipating their arrival about 200 PLGA guerillas waited to ambush them. As soon as the police forces reached the ambush spot the guerillas triggered powerful landmine blasts fallowing it with intense firing killing Choubey and thirty others on the spot while more than a dozen others have sustained serious injuries. Four more personnel died as the guerillas ambushed another team of security men heading to Madanwada by a different route. Inspector General of Police (Durg range) Mukhesh Gupta said that the security forces were outnumbered and that the Maoists had executed the attack with meticulous planning. Media reports indicate that Maoist cadres are actively working at some places bordering Kanker and Dhamtari districts and the diamond belt area of Gariband forests in Raipur district of Chattisgarh as a part of their plan to extend their areas of operation.

 

On July 27th, that is a day before the Maoist’s Martyr week begins (28 July) the PLGA forces blasted a van carrying Central Reserve Police Force jawans between Giddam and Barsur villages in the Dandakaranya forests (south Bastar) of Chattisgarh killing two and injuring seven of them. The jawans were on routine patrol when their vehicle was ambushed. The PLGA guerillas blasted the vehicle and opened fire. The condition of some of the injured was stated to be critical. The landmine site is on the state highway and the blast has proved that the guerillas mined trunk roads in addition to the innumerable kutcha roads in the forests.

BOX

Villagers Vehemently Oppose the Setting up of a Police Station

 

Villager of over two dozen tribal hamlets in the Maoist dominated Kanker district in south Chattisgarh are up in arms against the state government’s plan to set up a police station in the area. The villagers told the media that they, particularly their women would be safer without a police force “establishing the rule of law” in the area. Earlier there was a police outpost at Partapur village, about 350 km south of state capital, Raipur. But it had to be shifted to Pakhanjur in the same district, fallowing stiff opposition from the villagers. One of the villagers explaining about their opposition said “once the police station comes up, every other day we will be picked up randomly on charges of being Naxalite sympathizers.” Recollecting the terror they had gone through earlier after a police-Naxalite encounter four years ago he said after the gun battle, over 300 policemen camped near the village for a month and unleashed a reign of terror on the villagers. The police top brass meanwhile is adamantly brushing off the people’s demand saying “we aren’t here to appease the villagers, but to enhance our control in these areas.” However the people are firm in their resolve not to allow the setting up of the police station.

 

 

Budget 2009-10, Path of Neo-liberal Reforms and Impending Devastation

Samya

 

The Central Budget 2009-10 as presented by the UPA II government through the finance minister, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee on 6th July is a tricky verbal balm for the aam admi (common man) in perpetual distress, while a real boon for the corporates, speculators and the upper middle class. The grave consequences of the Budget proposals will be felt very soon and we should keep in mind that except implementing decisions on tax concessions, opening the doors wider open for the FDI, huge defense expenditure etc, the aam admi must be tellingly let down by tokenisms and lobbying off policy with lollypops. The Pranab Mukherjee tabled Budget proposals are ostensibly innocuous in the sense that they have been made to keep both the corporates, native and foreign, and the aam admi in good humor. This is the cruel joke and so the millionaires and billionaires have readily heaped all praise on this “extraordinary Budget”. An inquisitive eye must find the hypocrisy to fool the aam admi and the over all neo-liberal agenda of globalization, liberalization and privatization that permeates the main frame Budget proposals. The UPA II government has noticed the Himalayan problems Indian people are saddled with and sought to address them with its neo-liberal policy, inviting further devastation for the economy and the aam admi.

 

Before deliberating on the 2009-10 Budget proposals we have to study the fundamentals of the economic policy of this government. On assumption of office, the UPA II government’s path of more hectic reforms was clearly announced by the president. Fallowing in the footsteps of US President Barak Obama the UPA II government submitted an agenda for the first hundred days. It contained two crucial plans: neo-liberal reforms and strengthening internal defense mechanism mainly targeting Maoists in India.

 

When the existing policy paradigm of financial and economic reforms takes all the battering internationally for the for the global economic crisis, the UPA government presented Economic Survey 2008-09 just four days before the presentation of Budget 2009-10, charts out the path of economic measures to be pursued by the Congress dispensation. Mukherjee in his Budget speech tactfully avoided overt stress on reforms, etc. to create an aam admi image but the Economic Survey 2008-09 is quite straightforward and blunt in approach. However, it also never forgot to mention the clichéd words “inclusive growth” like in the Budget. The Chapter 2 of Economic Survey 2008-09 captioned “Challenges, Policy Response and Medium term Prospects” mad no bones about “reforms” – fiscal, financial and industrial climate related – are, among others, “a new target of zero fiscal deficit on a cyclically adjusted basis”, revitalization of the “disinvestment programme and plan to generate at least Rs25,000 crore per year.” They also include passage of Banking Regulations Amendment Bill 2005, the Pension Fund Regulatory and development Authority Bill, 2005, the Forward Contracts (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2006 and the Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill 2006. Other steps advised are raising the foreign equity share in insurance (up to 49 percent) and foreign direct investments (FDI), raising FDI in defense industries by 49 percent, lifting the remaining ban on Future Contracts (that caused rampant speculation and steep hike in food grain prices), introduction of credit default swaps, increasing the FDI limits in banks and grater entry of foreign banks, selling old oil fields to the private sector, allowing private corporate including foreign investment in nuclear power and a new bankruptcy law to speed up liquidation. Among the prescriptions for the anti-people roadmap Economic Survey 2009-08, the fallowing are tangibly savage commandments that the UPA II must try to implement.

 

*49 percent direct foreign investment in insurance and defense sectors.

*Lifting of exclusive control of government over railways, coal and nuclear power sector.

*Sale of 10 to 15 shares of profit- making organizations which are not necessarily Navaratna (nine jewels- nine profit making public sector undertakings). Liquidation of loss-making organizations.

*Ensuring an intake of Rs.25, 000 crore by way of disinvestment.

*Reforms in industrial laws for 10-12 hours of work every day. Legalizing Hire and Fire Policy.

*Withdrawal of surcharge and cess on income tax.

*Lifting of subsidies on sugar and fertilizer.

*Gradual lifting of subsidy on Kerosene oil.

*Allowing subsidy on 6 to 8 gas cylinders per family.

*Lifting of control on the prices of petrol and diesel.

 

The above is self-explanatory about the shape of devastating policies to be executed by Congress led UPA II government. And this government has already made it clear that strengthening internal defense by basically exterminating Maoists in India will occupy the position of significance in the neo-liberal path.

The subtly crafted budgetary statement does not go into detail on the reforms measures. With a show of populism the Budget 2009-10 fiendishly contains key policy on reforms as directed in Economic Survey 2008-09 like oil price deregulation, rationalization and gradual reduction of fertilizer subsidy and disinvestment. This Budget also keeps open the external capital route for the so-called growth. And Mukherjee had waved aside the question on reforms tactfully saying that reform is not an event but a process. Thus disinvestment is on, fiscal responsibility is to be redefined after the 13th Finance Commission submits its recommendations, oil price decontrol has been referred to an expert group, a direct transfer mechanism is being drawn up for fertilizer subsidies, more stock will be floating on the bourses and so on.

 

Budget Proposals

 

With the proposed expenditure of more than Rs.10 trillion (Rs.10 lakh crore) the UPA II government boasts of the biggest ever budget till date. The fiscal deficit as a percentage of GDP has been projected at 6.8 percent. The income and expenditure of the government shows that basically corporate and rising middle class oriented budget will push the economy in to dire straits. Percentage wise while receipts of the government through taxes, revenues, etc. stand at 66 percent making the government incur a heavy borrowing of 34 percent. The Budget is projected as an aam admi for growth while containing provisions of reforms. There has been an allocation of Rs.39, 100 crore for the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), up from Rs.36, 750 crore. In his budget speech, the finance minister said that that 50 percent of rural women would be linked to self-help groups. However, allocation has actually come down. It has not addressed land and forest related issues. Without any declared allocation the Budget speech boasted of providing rice at Rs.3 per kg. to every family below poverty line. For agriculture interest relief to farmers on timely repayment of loans has been declared but there is no scheme declared on crop insurance, nor on direct income support in ecologically vulnerable regions. The so-called aam admi budget clinging strictly the path of reforms only announced some paltry benefits for poor and many of them will also not be translated into reality. In the Budget token tax breaks for the middle class and senior citizens are surpassed by the sops for the corporate sector with no tax hike, removal of the fringe-benefit tax (tax on perks, etc.) and by selective tax cuts for products like set-top boxes and LCD TVs. The Budget’s thrust on infrastructure, a key area of infusing fund in the system, saving the iron and steel and cement industry from shrinkage effect. The demand stimulator is expected by way of massive thrust on projects in roads, airports, telecom and power sectors through public-private partnership worth Rs.10, 000 crore. And while the increase in minimum alternative tax from 10 percent to 15 percent could apparently irk some companies, they can now offset it against future actual taxes for a longer period of 10 years. In every sense, the corporate sector is by and large more than satisfied with Budget 2009-10.

 

It is projected as aam admi Budget but the uncanny irony is that the corporate sector is excessively happy despite so much ado about agricultural upliftment, the uplift of rural poor in general. Industry circles have expressed collective cheers. It was no surprise that Ness Wadia, a joint managing director of Bombay Dyeing called it a “balanced budget”, Saroj Poddar, Chairman of Poddar Heritage Enterprises, expressed satisfaction that the ‘budgetary stress on rural levels’ will drive demand for consumer products. Similarly Kishore Biyani of Future Group, Harish Pati Singhania, a president of FICCI, Venu Srinivasan, president CII, K.V. Kamath, Chairman, ICICI Bank, et al have been overtly jubilant about this pro-corporate Budget. The Budget proposals have profusely satisfied the hydrocarbon companies involved in exploration and pipeline networks but the proposals have cleverly left questions of oil retailers unanswered, particularly on the issue of petrol and diesel pricing. Thus a 7-year tax holiday has been announced to gas producers (main beneficiary, Mukhesh Ambani).

 

The so-called aam admi Budget speech wanted to show the government’s concern about agriculture. 100-day NREGRA performance (which is not for rural job guarantee for the whole year) has so far been a miserable failure. The Budget proposals revolving within the set boundaries of liberalism can never address the acute distress of the common people.

Administrative Decisions will Tear the aam admi Mask

In order to appease the common people, Budget proposals generally avoid mention of so many actual measures to be fallowed. Indian people have to face attacks of neo-liberal reforms as prescribed by Economic Survey 2008-09. Quite naturally, disinvestments in public sector undertakings were firmly on the agenda of the UPA government soon after the Budget announcement.  For 2009-10, the government has pegged the revenue estimate from disinvestment at Rs.1, 120 crore. The immediate victims of this policy are Rail India, Technical and Economic Services Ltd, Cochin Shipyard, Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd, Rathriya Ispat Nigam Ltd and Sutlej Jal Vidut Nigam Ltd.  The Finance Minister told on 14 June that the President, Ms Pratibha Patil’s address to the joint session of parliament on June 4 had clearly spelt out the policy of the government on disinvestment. The actual net borrowing through government Securities in 2008-09 was Rs.2, 21, 472 crore. And now the net market borrowing requirement for 2009-10 through dated Securities of Government works out to Rs.3, 77, 757 crore. The entire policy of debt-based economic performance, debt-financed private consumption and investment, etc. have already heavily struck Western Economies, the US in particular. The huge borrowing plus the mounting deficit of the balance of payment and too much dependence basically on foreign institutional investment (FII) will deliver huge blows on the fragile economic structure, causing huge burdens on the common people. Most of all the spiraling prices of essential commodities despite much propaganda on zero inflation will further push crores of people the abysmal depth of poverty.

Huge Defense Spending

 

It is strange that economic critics and political parties of different hues have avoided the billion dollar question of astronomical defense spends. The Budget speech has subtly avoided the details on this score. In the Budget 2009-10 the government has announced an allocation of Rs.33, 809 crore for armed forces – a 33 percent steep hike from the last year’s revised estimate of Rs.25, 439 crore – “mainly to counter Left-wing extremism in Eastern and Central India”, observes Nishit Dolabhat in The Telegraph, 7, July ’09.

 

One lakh housing units for CRPF personnel, risk allowance on a par with the army and over Rs.2, 200 crore for security around international borders summed up the UPA II government’s intent at a time when joint police-paramilitary operation was on in Lalgarh in West Bengal

 

The Budget has also set aside Rs.100 crore solely to help states fighting Maoists to raise “critical infrastructure”. The allocation for training CRPF personnel has gone up by 50 percent to Rs.208 crore. “Not bad, this has to happen”, said a former secretary of RAW, India’s external intelligence agency, commenting on the increased allocation for police forces. If February ‘09’s interim Budget got more or less concentrated on the allocation in the name of containing more 26/11 incidents, the Budget 2009-10 stresses on the internal security and huge allocations are earmarked for mainly fighting Maoists, particularly after the Lalgarh upsurge and the Maoist ascendancy in Chattisgarh, Orissa and several other states. Home minister P.Chidambaram’s first 100 days action plan stressed on anti-Maoist operations as a top priority of the UPA II government.

 

The bourgeois neo-liberal economic theories like Eugene Farna’s Efficient Market, Milton Friedman’s view that speculation is stabilizing, etc. have now become notorious for bringing about great devastation in the capitalist centres of the West, particularly in America. But India still fallows those neo-liberal theorists and lays stress on militarization with a mix of a mild dose of Keynesisanism as found in Economic Survey2008-09 and Budget 2009-10 must lead this country to severe economic downturn in the coming days.

 

 

Not mere Drought; Country Heading Towards a Famine

Arvind

 

Never in the last decade has the monsoon failed so miserably as this year (till end August). If rains still do not come the situation in the countryside will become famine-like. The kharif crop will be much destroyed, and also due to the lack of moisture it will affect even the rabi crop. This will be further aggravated with the drying up of rivers and rapid depletion of ground water resources. The country, particularly its poor and middle classes, is heading for a major catastrophe. As the famine-like situation is taking place in the background of the serious economic crisis where already about one crore workers in the unorganized export sector have been thrown out of their jobs.  Already reports of hunger-related suicides are coming in from newer and newer areas.  Hunger deaths go unreported as though it was a natural phenomenon. The media and government are consciously playing down the gravity as the affected – the poorest sections of our population – are not a part of their agenda. They are only concerned with the impact on the growth figures fearful that it may impact the commodity market of big business. The lives of the people are their least concern.

 

Gravity of the Situation

 

As of the beginning of August the cumulative rainfall of the country as a whole was is short of the normal level by as much as 25%; a deterioration from the position on July 22nd when it was 19%. The deficit in the North was as high as 39%. Till July 29th Bihar received only 253 mm of rainfall instead of an average of 496mm. in AP 20 of the 23 districts have a deficit rainfall, of which seven districts have had scanty rainfall. The nine Telengana districts were the worst affected having a 58% deficit.

 

A drive through UP and Bihar indicates the level of the damage with the parched land appearing as though it was May. Most land has either not been ploughed or the standing paddy crop is wilting. The paddy areas of most parts of the country have been badly hit. Worst affected are Bihar, Punjab, Haryana, West and East UP, Uttarkhand, Manipur, Jharkhand, Assam, and parts of AP, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh (40 districts) and Tamilnadu.

 

In the two months from June 1st to Aug.12th the deficit was: J & K 28%, Himachal Pradesh 51%, Punjab 35%, Uttarkhand 42%, Haryana and Delhi 66%, West UP 68%, East UP 53%, Bihar 40%, Jharkhand 49%, East MP 39%, North East 37%, West Bengal 26%,  Chattisgarh 28%, Vidarbha (Maharashtra) 34%, Marathwada (Maharashtra) 47%, Telengana (AP) 59%, Coastal AP 41%, Rayalseema (AP) 51% and Tamilnadu 23%. (Times of India Aug.15th) In the states of Assam, Manipur, Jharkhand, Bihar and Himachal Pradesh all districts are drought-hit, while in the other states most of the districts have been affected. In UP 58 of the 70 districts have been declared drought hit.

 

On August 14th the Indian Meteorological Department stated that in just the one week since August 5th the all-India deficiency has increased from 25% to29%. Out of the 533 meteorological districts the scanty category has swelled from 104 to 115 and those under the deficient category from 245 to 262 – since Aug.5th. In other words, 22% of the districts now have a deficiency of over 60% and 50% more a shortfall between 20 and 59%. North Indian states of Delhi-Haryana-West UP are the worst hit with a shortfall of 68%. There has also been a sharp increase in deficiency in Gujarat from 22% to 31%, West Madhya Pradesh from 21 to 28% and East Madhya Pradesh from 35 to 39% in just the one week.

 

The situation is drifting to horrendous levels and our politicians virtually ‘fiddle while rural India burns’.

 

Politics of Drought

 

The actual shortfall is being downplayed by the government and the media. Even by mid August they have been relatively silent. On the monsoon situation, Pawar said the government was “worried” but would wait for August and September to see if the situation improves. Manmohan Singh said at a conference of chief secretaries convened to discuss the response of states. “I am told that no state has so far sent its memorandum seeking assistance.”

 

On August 14th (The Hindu) they officially declared only 177 districts of eight states as drought-affected, ignoring the devastation in other parts of the country. They are avoiding giving this call as that would entail the Centre giving assistance. Once a drought is declared the following steps have to be taken: (i) revenue collection for the region is suspended, (ii) Interest on loans are waived, (iii) Loan recovery is either stalled or staggered, (iv) food for work programmes are started, (v) Cash relief is distributed to farmers, and (vi) Assistance is given for crop damage, damage to animal husbandry, fodder, etc. Anyhow the state governments are eager for funds as it is in such times of distress that the political mafia makes the maximum money siphoning away the funds meant for the poor and affected.

 

Pawar, of the agricultural ministry, while reaping in crores with the leap in sugar prices, is talking in riddles, unwilling to take the situation seriously. He said (Aug 13th) “Kharif is the first season. Our attempt is to make good the kharif shortfall in the rabi season. That is why we have advised states to go in for kharif contingency planning and advance rabi sowing”. If rains continue to evade the country how can the rabi crop be better? He is just trying to evade the gravity of the situation.

 

In much of rural India with deep feudal beliefs all sorts of methods, from yagnas, to sacrifices have been conducted to appease the rain gods. Even ministers have been promoting such superstitions. In fact the AP congress government utilized a combination of superstition and high-tech methods, true to the semi-feudal, semi-colonial character. There, all state-sponsored pujas, yagnas, and even frog marriages have gone in vain. High-cost cloud-seeding also proved futile.

 

The shameless Prime Minister has gone to the extent of warning the people to be ready for a further hike in food prices, which have already increased by 25% in the last year. The PM and his gang of corporate mafia are little bothered about mundane things like drought and price rise as the crores they reap is not affected. There only concern is that it should not affect their market – and, of course, one or two more stimulus packages by the government can make up for the fall in rural demand. The Prime Minister’s obsession for ‘internal security’ has reached such levels that his meeting with Chief Ministers on Aug.17th will now include, as a side agenda, the issue of drought. He is more interested in wielding the stick and gun on the discontented starving peasantry, instead of finding out a method to alleviate the suffering of the masses. By Aug.15th all that the government could announce is a Rs.1, 000 crore subsidy for diesel for pump sets and considering digging more tube wells; i.e. after the crops are already destroyed. Anyhow, even if implemented, this will only benefit the more well-off farmers who have irrigation facilities.

 

Meanwhile, suicides have now spread to Orissa where in the paddy belt of Sambalpur, where less than 30% of the land has been sown and the balance destroyed by a massive attack of pests. Also five starvation deaths have been reported from Bihar – one from Nalanda district and the rest from Jehanabad district. All were from the poorest class and oppressed castes that did not get rations despite BPL and Antoday Yojna cards. The government has claimed the deaths were not due to hunger.

 

India Heading for Calamity

 

Both the food situation of the country and its ecology are going from bad to worse. Both are intrinsically related and the cause of this destruction is the rapacious greed of big business and the multinationals that are keener to loot the masses and the rich natural resources of the country. The result is total devastation all around.

 

Even according to official data (NSSO’s surveys) in the period of 1993-94 to 2004-05 the average daily intake of the rural population dropped by 4.6% (106 kilocalories) and that of the urban population by 2.5% (51 kcals). The average daily intake of proteins by the rural population decreased from 60.2 grams between 1993-94 to 2004-05, while in the urban areas it remained stable at 57 grams. But, these are average figures; there is much difference between states and within the states. The present drought, growing unemployment due to the crisis and sky-rocketing food prices will further aggravate an already declining situation of the masses.

 

Not only this, the rape of the earth is creating a situation where permanent damage will be done to the ecology further affecting food production, water consumption and other natural resources. Forest degradation, destruction of the soil, reliance on underground water and now the huge take-over of fertile land for SEZs (by Jan.09 568 have been approved), mining projects, big dams, etc. In a latest report in Nature, it was said that the water table was falling at the alarming rate of one foot per year in North India, which has caused a decline of 109 cubic kilometers in the amount of groundwater beneath northern India since 2002. This is the result of the total abandonment of the government’s expenditure on irrigation projects over the decades, leaving irrigation for only those who have the money to dig bore wells – a defact6 privatization of irrigation. As a result, according to the World Bank, 60% of the country’s food production is dependent on ground water. There were 67 lakh tube-wells in 1994, now there are 250 lakh tube-wells – a four-fold increase in the past 15 years!!!

 

Rapid depletion of the groundwater can have disastrous results as underground aquifers can take thousands of years to re-charge.

 

While the government is not willing to spend on irrigation, drought, and PDS and other poverty alleviation schemes in the 2007-08 budget it gifted to the big corporates as much as Rs.3 lakh crores; or Rs.700 crores per day,  Rs.30 crores per hour – in the form of direct tax concessions, and on excise and customs duties. It does not include all sorts of subsidies, tax holidays and rate-cuts, making the real figure even bigger. With every budget the figure has been increasing and this has been going on ever since globalization in 1991. Even earlier it was there, but there was a quantum leap in this period of LPG.

 

It is these skewed policies that make it impossible to bring about any real change in the system that could benefit the poor. All hope that the government will cut its concessions to the moneybags and alleviate the condition of the poor is mere wishful thinking. Till now it has not happened, no matter which party is in power, and will not happen in the future. With the growing crisis in the imperialist system (notwithstanding the partial and temporary recoveries due to massive stimulus packages and zero rates of interest) the loot of the people and their living conditions can only deteriorate.

 

In the immediate sense peoples conditions can only be somewhat be alleviated by: building a massive movement against the government’s policies and for greater funds; conducting famine raids to release the stock from the feudal elements, hoarders, profiteers, political elements and bureaucrats; and refusing to pay the interest and loan to the saukars, moneylenders and banks. This may give some temporary relief. In the long-term the people’s condition can only improve if they smash the existing system run by the robber barons and replace it with a true democratic, people’s oriented system. Without such a basic change people can expect a veritable hell on earth in the coming days.

 

Stand With the Struggling Masses of Lalgarh

The purpose of the current much-trumpeted operation by the paramilitary forces in Lalgarh region of West Midnapore (West Bengal), is to suppress the democratic upsurge of the tribals and to send out a warning to all oppressed sections against any attempt to similarly challenge the State authority and establish people’s authority.  It is also part of the ruling classes’ systematic long-planned attack on the communist revolutionaries nationwide who are challenging the entire system of exploitation and oppression. For these reasons it is incumbent on all communist revolutionaries and revolutionary democrats to stand steadfast by the tribals of Lalgarh, oppose the State’s campaign of suppression, and uphold the right of the masses to rebel against the existing oppressive social, economic and political order and set up their own popular authority.  Whatever the differences of tactical line among the communist revolutionaries, they stand united and with the revolutionary masses against the enemy onslaught.

 

The sparking point for the current rebellion was the atrocities committed by the police on the ordinary tribals to exact vengeance for a CPI (Maoist) land-mine attack on the West Bengal Chief Minister.  These vengeful acts by the police ignited a great store of popular wrath built up over years of autocratic, exploitative, and terroristic treatment of the tribals at the hands of the police and the CPI (M) machinery. There followed an extraordinary and inspiring democratic assertion by the tribals, drawing on their traditions of collective struggle and management of their own affairs.  The tribal masses seized control of the area, blocked off entry points, gheraoed the local police station, formed the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities, drove the police and administration out of the area, and declared their democratic demands.  No doubt these demands were of a limited nature (i.e., not relating to a change in production relation).  Rather, these demands focused on punishment of the guilty police officers by the traditional tribal method of public humiliation, compensation to the victims of police atrocities and an end to all such police repression. More important than the individual demands was the fact that the struggle amounted to a political contest between the will of the oppressed masses and the will of the reactionary ruling classes and their State authorities.

 

The State authorities were well aware that any real concession to even the most obviously justified demands would only further strengthen the organization, consciousness, and fighting spirit of the tribals. Moreover, the ruling CPI (M) beset by agitations and rebellions in Nandigram, Singur, and elsewhere, and facing general elections in May 2009, needed time to maneuver and re-group.  Initial attempts by a private army of CPI (M) hoodlums to terrorise the tribals had proved unsuccessful.  Hence the CPI (M) and the State machinery decided to play a waiting game.

 

The tribal rebellion achieved several important political gains.  It thoroughly exposed the pretensions of the CPI (M) regarding its record among the rural poor.  It exposed the acute backwardness actually prevailing, the absence of even minimum welfare facilities (such as healthcare and employment generation), and the corruption of the CPI (M) party.

 

At the same time, the upsurge showed what the tribal masses were capable of, on the basis of their self-organisation and unleashed initiative.  Because of its evidently mass democratic character, the tribal upsurge also awakened a sense of identification among the broad tribal masses of the region not only in contiguous areas but even at distant places, beginning a political process among them as well.

 

The State machinery (at the central and provincial levels) and the CPI (M) lost no time in portraying the tribals as puppets of the CPI (Maoist).  The communist revolutionaries themselves are being portrayed in the State and corporate media propaganda as fearsome and sinister terrorists.  In this fashion the State has for some time now been preparing the ground for a much more intense and no-holds-barred military assault nationwide on the communist revolutionaries and the masses under their influence.  However, the tribals of Lalgarh, seeing the whole-hearted manner in which the comrades of the CPI (Maoist) threw in their lot with them, and contrasting them with the ruling pseudo-communists, refused to be swayed or cowed down by the State propaganda.  Rather, they have openly expressed their support for the CPI (Maoist) comrades working among them.

 

The obstacle to the State armed forces re-entering Lalgarh was not principally military but political: the CPI (M) feared having to pay a heavy political price.  Ultimately, once the elections were over, the Central and state governments, headed by the Congress and CPI (M) respectively, set aside their rivalries in order to crush the Lalgarh people’s movement.  Care was taken to ensure that the Trinamool Congress which otherwise has been using various popular issues in order to hit at the rural CPI (M), remained mum throughout the “cleansing operations”.

 

No doubt, a successful armed blockade altogether preventing the entry of the State forces was not possible, given the actual balance of forces prevailing at the time and the level of the people’s movement.  The police-paramilitary operations appear to have regained control over part of the Lalgarh region, and the coming days will be full of trials and sufferings for the people of the region as the combing and “cleansing” operations continue.  Yet the masses and the CPI (Maoist) forces are continuing their resistance.

 

However, the ultimate consequences of the State’s operation will be intensified alienation and simmering anger among the tribal masses, which offer fertile grounds for an even more powerful organized mass revolutionary upsurge in the future.

 

The CPRCI (ML) supports the tribals’ demand that the police and paramilitary forces of all varieties be withdrawn from the Lalgarh region.  It express solidarity with the struggling masses of Lalgarh, congratulates them for their exemplary struggle, and urges them to continue their struggle in appropriate forms through ups and downs until they attain victory as part of the revolutionary movement of the Indian people.

 

Secretary, CC

CPRCI (ML)

 

June 23rd 2009

 

 

Manipur Paralysed Against the Fake encounter Killing

The entire Manipur came onto the streets against the fake encounter killing of a youth in broad daylight in the heart of the city. In a photo presentation in the Tehlka (Aug.8 2009) clear evidence was presented of the fake encounter killing of Chongkham Sanjit (27) by the security force, bare 500 metres from the assembly. Sanjit was a former member of the People’s Liberation Army who had retired on health grounds. The photos show Sanjit being hustled away by the commandos and dragged into a pharmacy near by. A few minutes later, Commandos drag the dead body out of the pharmacy. Sanjit’s body is thrown into a truck within full view of the public, in a bid to terrorize them.

Not only that, nearby to Sanjit’s killing a youth did escape from police frisking. The police chased the youth and opened fire, killing an innocent bystander, the pregnant Rabina Devi and injuring five others. The youth escaped but the police said that it was Sanjit. The Tehelka photos expose the lie.

As the Tehelka report says: For years, decades even, security forces in Manipur have faced allegations of human rights violations and extrajudicial murders committed under cover of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). In 2000, Irom Sharmilla, stirred by the gunning down of 10 civilians, including an 18-year-old National Child Bravery Award winner, by the Assam Rifles, started a hunger strike – that lasts to this day – in protest against the AFSPA. In July 2004 the nation was rocked by the protests of a group of Manipuri women who marched to an Assam Rifles base in Imphal, stripped naked and raised a searing banner: “Indian Army Rape Us”. They were protesting the rape, torture, and murder, a fortnight earlier, of Thangjam Manorma, 32, who was picked up from her home by the Assam Rifles. With this agitation the government changed its strategy pushing the army to the background and bringing forth the ruthless MPC (Manipur Police Commandos). Set up in 1979 as the Quick Striking Force, it has now achieved notoriety across the state. Extra-judicial killings and fake encounters have become common with the MPC. In 2008 there were 27 recorded cases of torture and killing attributed to the MPC. ….Sanjeet was indeed a former PLA cadre. He was arrested in 2000 but freed in 2006, he retired on health grounds. In 2007, though, he was again detained under NSA and was only released a year later. Since then, he had been staying with his family at his home at KhuraiEongpal Sajor Leikai and had been working as an attendant in a private hospital………Manipur is routinely roiled by such devastating narratives. Ex-MLA 78-year old Sarat Singh Loitongbam’s son, Satish Singh, was killed by the armed forces. Though a devout Hindu, he refuses to perform his son’s last rites until his name is cleared of wrongdoing. Like Satish a 39 year old Grade IV employee at the Imphal Bench of the Guwahati High Court, a man who was chatting over tea with women at a hotel, when he was dragged off by men in plainclothes, to be  shot in an ‘encounter’. There is 24 year-old Elangbam Johnson Singh, a student and part-time salesman, picked up by the MPC while out with a friend and killed in an encounter; his corpse at the morgue bearing signs of torture….  “Life in Manipur,” as one observer put it, “is like a lottery. You are alive because you are lucky”

Manipur burned for two days on August 3rd and 4th against the encounter killing. The Times of India (August 5th) reported: The bandh against the July 23rd killing of ChungkhamSanjit by the MPC, saw thousands of angry protesters trying to storm the Raj Bhavan. An indefinite curfew was imposed on 4th in Imphal (capital of Manipur) as widespread violence broke out on the second day of the 48 hour bandh. 20 people were injured in clashes with police during the bandh, called by Apunba Lup, an apex body of social organizations. In Imphal East two youth were injured in a clash between hundreds of catapult wielding agitators and anti-riot police armed with rubber bullets. Police had a hard time controlling protestors across the four valley districts as strike supporters burned tyres, logs and smashed glasses on the roads. Besides burning effigies of the chief minister in various parts of Imphal, Bishnupur and Thoubal districts, they also attempted to stage a massive rally, which was however aborted by the security forces. Street battles in many parts of the state capital pitched citizens against law enforcers, with sounds of tear gas shells, rubber bullets, mock bombs and anti-government slogans saturating the air and bringing back memories of a similar protest in 2004, triggered in the wake of the rape and murder of Manorma by the Assam Rifles.

As we go to the press the demonstrations are continuing on a huge scale, in spite of the curfew — now demanding the dismissal of the Chief Minister and the termination of the services of the commandos involved in the fake encounter. The Hindu (Aug.8th) reported that many more are injured in police firing and using tear gas against the demonstrators. Nine people were dragged and beaten with batons and rifle butts.  Kim gangte, a former MP, said that Manipur was passing through the darkest chapter in its history in its history. Attempts are being made to gag the press she said. There was no need for any judicial enquiry as the photos had established that it was fake. She claimed that more than 300 people had been killed this year. Families of the victims of the fake encounter told the press that 1,000 people had been killed since 2007, most of them in fake encounters.

The entire North East, and particularly Manipur, has been turned into a virtual hell on earth by the Indian occupation forces. Democracy there is at gun-point. People live under horrifying conditions of state terror. The people of Manipur are demanding their freedom from the horrors of India’s domination and occupation of their territories. No nation can be forcibly kept within a country when the entire populace is against it. If the people so desire it, they should be given their freedom. But the Indian expansionist rulers have whipped up a phobia against any nation that wishes to be independent. Their logic is nothing but big nation chauvinism seeking to control the entire South Asian market and sources of raw materials together with the imperialists. But, genuine democracy entails respecting the wishes of the majority of the people. All progressive, democratic and revolutionary forces in India support the just struggle of the Manipuri and other people of the North East and strongly condemn the Indian forces of occupation. The Indian people demand that these forces be forthwith withdrawn from Manipur and all the terror laws be scrapped so that the people of Manipur can live a life in peace, free from the jack-boots of the Indian rulers. The perpetrators of the fake encounter must be tried in a people’s court as no justice can be expected from the establishment.

August 8, 2009

 

Talks only on the issue of sovereignty of Manipur

[Manipur’s powerful insurgent group Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF) has reaffirmed its stand not to have a political dialogue with the Government of India (GOI) except on the issue of independence and sovereignty of Manipur.]

Vice President of RPF Manoharmayum Ngouba in his official interaction with a group of visiting media persons at the training command headquarter of the outfit located in the interior jungle of Ukhrul district near Indo-Myanmar border on May 5 reiterated that they would not come to the negotiation table with GOI except on the issue of independence and sovereignty of Manipur.

In his first press conference in the last three decades, vice president Ngouba, who is also the chief of army staff of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the armed wing of the outfit, founded on 25 September 1978 with the aim of restoring Manipur’s sovereignty said, “We are very clear about this” adding that the party would not say, “yes or no” to any proposed political dialogue with the Government of India.  “It does not mean that the party will not at all go for a political dialogue,” the vice president said adding that no proposal for a political dialogue from the government of India has come and no such proposal was also given from the side of the RPF.  Apart from the vice president, Takhellambam Leishemba, secretary, publicity, Pukhrambam Chaoyai, secretary bureau-III and Thounaojam Robin Luwang, chief of administration and operations were also present during the press conference.

The Insurgent leader explaining the reasons for organizing the official press conference to the visiting journalists said that the 2nd Party Congress was held after a long period from July 14 to December 4 last year.  “The first congress of the outfit was held in 1990.  The party wants 35 general policies and programmes out of the resolutions adopted at the party congress to be widely publicized to the people of Manipur,” he said.

The second congress of the outfit, participated by 86 central cadres, also re-elected/elected Irengbam Chaoren as president, Manoharmayum Ngouba as vice president, Sanasam Gunen as secretary general, Wangkhem Ibohal as secretary health and family welfare, Nongmeikappam Honda as secretary finance, Laitonjam Chanu Yang as secretary organization, Takhellambam Leishemba as secretary publicity, Moirangthem Suresh as secretary bureau I, mayengbam Gibon Luwang as secretary external affairs, Pukhrambam Chouyai as secretary bureau III and Jackie Samper Chiru as secretary minority affairs.

Replying to a question on the banning of Hindi movies and other Hindi related entertainment programmes in Manipur, the vice president said, “It is very sensitive to us because it relates with the cultural domination.”  RPF had imposed a complete ban on transmission, screening and viewing of Hindi movies and entertainment programmes which are being used as a primary means of “Indianisation” since September 12, 2000.

Responding to a question on Naga issues, VP Ngouba said, “Naga cause cannot be said to be detrimental to Manipur’s cause.”  The leader said that there had been times when Naga cause turned out to be quite helpful to Manipur’s cause and it is believed that it will be helpful in the future as well.  Because, Nagaland is not a few thousand kilometers away from Manipur but an immediate neighbour.  Thus it will be wrong to think all Nagas as anti-Manipuris and it will also be wrong to tale all Manipuris as anti-Nagas, the RPF leader opined.  He further admitted that both groups of the NSCN are having ceasefire agreement with the Government of India.  One is in the so-called peace process while the other one has been trying for a long time to take part in it.

On the alleged involvement of the NSCS-IM in the election held under the Constitution of India by fielding candidates who would lobby in the parliamentary for the Naga cause while the RPF has been boycotting all elections held under the Indian Constitution and banning anyone who is a former cadre of the outfit from contesting in the elections as a candidate, Ngouba said, “The political and social reality of the Nagas is a little different from the political and social reality of Manipur.”  “That too, the political and social reality that existed in the 80s and the political and social reality of the 90s are also different from that of the present,” he felt.

The leader reacting to a question on the decrease of its strike against the security forces said, “We have a different war dynamics, our success is not dependent on head count.”  Though he reserved his comment on certain policies of the party, the leader said his organization is planning to mobilize people residing in other parts of India as well to achieve their goal.  He also admitted that his organization has established close link with CPI (Maoist) groups in the country since the last few years.  “We need to unite with like minded parties to strengthen our struggle.  We sometime take help form them, they also take help from us too,” Ngouba added.

On the outfit’s relation with foreign countries, the leader recalled, “Former prime minister of Bangladesh Khaleda Zia had once acknowledged our struggle as a liberation struggle in the parliament.”  “Many international NGOs are also extending support to our struggle,” he claimed and added the China which once provided support to the outfit in the past has changed their policies.  He however stated that the immediate neighour Myanmar which has much similarity in terms of cultural and traditional values, historical perspectives etc with Manipur will certainly lend support.  On the outfit’s declaration of ratifying a few protocols of the Geneva Convention in 1997, Ngouba said that the party declaration is still binding and abides by the protocols.

On another question whether the RPF believes in the United Nations helping Manipur regain in its local independence and sovereignty, Ngouba said that it is a historical process. The party would find means to do what it can within the international parameters and there will be many things that others can do as well.  There are changes in what India could do in the past, what it can do now to influence the international community, the RPF leaders said and added that there are now changes in the present role of India compared to its past role.

Even in the international arena, the nations irrespective of big or small have the power to influence others, which are changeable, Ngouba pointed out.  The general suspicion is that whether the military and economic clout of India will be able to change the mindset of the country and its people of whose help the party wants to seek, he added.  But it is not believable that only those countries which have money and power can influence the existing determined policies and judgments of the rest of the countries, he said.

On India’s influence over the UN and other countries regarding not extending support to the insurgent groups of Manipur, the RPF leader replied that it is not always true that only the rich and powerful countries can influence the relationship among the nations and change the prevailing order.  He said, “It’s quite natural for India to try to do the same.  India will do anything to protect its interest.  For us too, we, as a nation – big or small – shall do what ought to be done.  We are carrying on with our liberation movement with the conviction that it’s not the rich and powerful countries alone that shape the international relations.”

Ngouba further pointed out that the parties involved in the war seem to forget that there are two sides in the job.  It’s not a war that is played on the script of drama.  There are two opposing sides in a war.  It’s the people that either of the two sides tries to bring to its side.  People are kind of a trophy – a prize of war.  He said since people are the decisive factor in the principles of a revolutionary war, it’s the side on which the people stand the unfailingly wins.  Its significance is known to all concerned.  However, the means to translate this significance into reality seems somewhat difficult on the side of the revolutionary groups.  But it doesn’t happen to be all that difficult on the part of the enemy since, apart from having one point something billion people, its economy is included in the one to ten ranks in the world.  Moreover it’s a country rising in military and technology.

“However if they are asked, does this make them believe that they will win the fight, they say no,” says the RPF leader referring to newspaper reports in which army commanders and generals during their visit in the region had said that the military can not solve the issue.  He also admitted that the insurgent groups lacked means and resources for taking forward and working harder on the situation, not only in terms of materials but also in moral and other issues.

There will be no question of the enemy winning as it has larger number of population and is bigger or we will be defeated since ours is a small nation with lesser population.  It’s just that they are taking a little more advantages, he felt.  Regarding the mass mobilization by the RPF/PLA for its movement, he said that all the (revolutionary) parties felt the necessity of mass participation in the liberation movement.

[Courtesy: The North East Sun, May 31, 2009.]

 

 

Oppose and Resist the India-US 3.0 Defence Agreement!

Dr. Gupta

 

The rapacious US, as the world’s most aggressive power, and India as its faithful agent, firmed up three strategic pacts on 20th July 2009 to consolidate their military alliance, reducing further India’s maneuverability with other imperialist powers in the world.  US secretary of State Ms Hilary Clinton landed in India, got the Indian government to accept more humiliating conditionalities as part of the obnoxious nuclear deal, ensured sales of billions of dollars of weapons and other nuclear devices by major American defence companies and left Indian compradors trumpeting another victory of American hegemony in the South Asian region.

Ground Set Before Departure

 

Strobe Talbott, the former deputy secretary of state under Bill Clinton, wrote in the Financial Times two days before Ms Clinton left for Mumbai pinpointing the Obama administration’s high hope that “India’s Congress party-led government, now it has been returned to power with an increased majority, will join the US in tightening the verification authorities of the International Atomic Agency…”.

 

On July 18, on the eve of Clinton’s visit, The New York Times had set out a five-point agenda for the US. First, it said: “It is time for India to take more responsibility internationally. It needs to do more to revive the world trade talks it helped torpedo last year.” In other words, India must allow the Doha round to proceed unhindered by diluting its positions on Non-Agricultural Market Access and Agricultural Safeguards.

 

Second, “as a major contributor to global warming, India is urged to join the developed countries in cutting greenhouse gas emissions,” Universal targets applicable to both the developing and the developed countries are loaded in favor of advanced capitalist countries, the major contributors to global warming, India’s per capita emissions are 1/17th of that of the US.

 

Third, it says, in return for US assurance of putting pressure on Pakistan to take action against terrorism, India “needs to help allay Pakistan’s fears.” This is what explains the contradictions as well as the inexplicable reference to Balochistan in the joint statement.

 

Fourth, India is being asked “to do a lot more” in preventing “global proliferation”. In other words, we shall be forced to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Fissile material Cut-off Treaty. All these treaties are discriminatory in favor of the five N-weapon countries and impose unequal obligations on the others. This is the reason India continues to oppose these treaties.

 

Finally, India is being urged to totally tie its foreign policy to US interests. It makes the point tellingly by stating: “During the negotiations on the nuclear deal, the Bush administration managed to persuade New Delhi to grudgingly support United Nations Security Council sanctions against Iran’s nuclear programmes. India now needs to do more.”

US-Dictated Agreements

 

What Ms. Clinton proudly called the India–US 3.0 agreement will only tighten the imperialist noose around India’s neck.  The details of the agreement will remain a top secret like before.

 

The first and the most perilous point in the agreement – the End Use Monitoring (EUM) – compel India to agree to US inspections of military equipment bought from America.  Ms Hilary singled out the military end user agreement as the harbinger for greater defence cooperation.  This will actually allow Washington to inspect sensitive Indian military installations where US-sold equipment is deployed.  It was already made clear in our magazine that as the US-India nuclear deal was crafted to conform to the Hyde Act of the USA, the extension of the strategic alliance, now called India-US 3.0, must follow into to US law, allowing the US Department Defence officials to conduct spot-checks at military installations – be it forward air bases or border areas with Pakistan or China – to inspect the use of equipment procured from the US.  This also implies monitoring immovable defence equipment and the ones with US components but bought from other countries like Israel.

 

When any “inspection” of a US-origin equipment at any Indian air/sea/army base – which the EUMA provides for at the discretion of the US – takes place, the inspection team will consist of usually of specialized technical and intelligence personnel from the Pentagon, The CIA and the US National Security Agency and, of course, the weapon system supplier. Such teams come with sophisticated simulators to test the US-origin weapon systems and equipment under simulated battle field conditions.

 

Then there is a much larger issue. The situation discussed above is with regard to various US-origin equipment incorporated into Indian aircraft, surface ships, submarines, tanks, artillery guns and so on. What will happen when the weapon system as a whole is of US-origin?  India has already had a taste of that from its experience with the old troop and helicopter- carrying vessel USS Trenton, which was imported and inducted into the Navy as INS Jalshar. The US undertakes surprise inspections of any part of the vessel; studies all ship logs, requires US Navy officer to be on board when India makes any modifications or improvements or even repairs to keep the old vessel going. And this is for a 30-year-old helicopter and troop carrier.

 

The end-use agreement is crucial for American tycoons such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing to bid for 12 billion dollar Indian nuclear deals making it easier for them elbow out a Russian, a French, a Swedish and a European consortium in the race.  Against such a background, what kind of EUMA will the US apply should India decide to purchase one or other of the two US-origin multi-role aircraft – the F-16 offered by Lockheed and F-18 offered by Boeing – against the Rs.42,000 crore global tender floated by the Defence Minister for 126 such aircraft last year? The conditions will obviously be far more stringent …

 

This end-user monitoring agreement will also go a long way to serve Ratan Tata like Indian compradors Tata and other Indian compradors, which are poised to enter the Indian defence market with US collaboration. Little wonder then that Hilary Clinton met Tata and other Indian compradors during her visit to India as programmed beforehand.  The high profile wealthy NRIs based in the USA will also make quick bucks from the defence agreement.

 

No other country from which India has imported and importing hi-tech defence and other equipment – be it France or other West European countries, South Africa, Israel or Russia – has ever asked for an EUMA, even when India imported state-of-the-art weapon systems.

 

The other two agreements finalized on 20th July 2009 were the Technology safeguards Agreement (TSA), obviously a type of end user agreement in the space sector, which will further the use of US components in Indian satellites and the Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement.

 

Indian rulers have also complied with the US proposal to identify two nuclear parks where American supplied reactors will be installed.  Indian people can not be oblivious to the fact that in 2008 US imperialism wielded tremendous pressure on India to sign the nuclear pact holding out false promise of unqualified nuclear co-operation.  With tact and hegemonic real-politic US imperialism extracted temporary consent from the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) in November 2008 to go ahead with the nuclear deal with India, minus the NPT.  And now the same USA has done a topsy-turvy and at its behest restrictive clauses have been entered on nuclear supplies in the recent NSG meet, lifting the earlier waiver.  Thus India that made a strong case for the nuclear deal with the US stands to lose resoundingly the promised access to enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) items.  After this slap on India’s face, the Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodhar lamentably called the move “a breach of trust” and “contrary to the sprit” of the Indo-US unclear agreement.  It is a shame the even after reneging on the US announcement on full nuclear cooperation India as a client state unabashedly opens one after another door for US interests in India.  The agreement came on a day the Indian Army Chief, Deepak Kapoor, reached the US on an official tour, and the US stooge Manmohan Singh is scheduled to visit the US on 24th November,’09 to actually appease US imperialism for further gifting away country’s interests and for serving the geo-political game plan of US imperialism in the name of mutual cooperation.

 

The agreement also ensures the visit of P. Chidambaram to the US presumably to apprise the masters of steps taken by India towards “counter-terrorism” basically against the CPI (Maoist).  The crucial fact is that chapter 4.5.7 of the Pentagons’ Security Assistance Management Manual (SAMM) clearly mentions, among other things, that US arms is given to other countries for “purpose of internal security, legitimate self-defence”, etc. In the Indian government’s perception the Maoists are supposed to be “India’s greatest security problem”.  There is not an iota of doubt that in the name of internal security the US arms dispatched to India under the strategic agreement must be profusely used against people’s war and resistance struggle led by the Maoists in India. The clause “legitimate self-defence” as stated in the SAMM plus the end use monitoring agreement, binds India to toe the US diktat on the “legitimacy” of “self-defence”.  Mandatory it has become for India to be at one with its US masters in judging which country is India’s enemy to be fought against for “self defence”!

 

America also wants India to sign the Communication Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement and Logistics Supplies Agreement.  The recently concluded Agreement has also covered entrepreneurial and commercialization activities in science and technology, agriculture, trade, etc.  The US pressurized agreement, however, was peppered with high-sounding words on exchange of lessons and best practices on women’s empowerment and development.  A consolation indeed for the sycophant Indian rulers, plunging headlong to execute each and every demand of US imperialism!

 

The whole agreement premised on an unequal strategic relationship goes against India and her people.  All such pacts were a hush-hush affair.  Even Indian Parliament had been kept in the dark.

Slavish Indian Rulers

 

This is a demeaning indictment of what is projected ad infinitum by the Indian rulers as the mainstream politics, the sole route to democratic solutions for all ills of India.  S.M.Krishna, India’s foreign minister, made a feeble justification of the India-US agreement in the Rajya Sabha arguing, “We are looking for high-end defence equipment and they (US) are governed by their own laws.  So, there is process of negotiation.”  The shameless Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon has even described the end use agreement as a “big victory”!

 

The emboldened and enraptured US and Indian corporate houses could not help articulating their jubilation, Richard Kirkland, South Asia chief for Lockheed Martin Global said “we applaud the signing of the End Use Monitoring Agreement.  This signals an era of increased defence cooperation between the United States and India and we look forward to supporting the requirements of the Indian armed services in partnership with Indian Industry.” So also US-India Business Council (USIBC) representing American companies doing business in partnership with India expressed its overwhelming delight when the agreement was announced.  It is natural for Indian compradors and US tycoons to express joy when India and her people are put on a razor’s edge.

The roles of parliamentary parties like the CPI, CPM, BJP, RJD, SP, AIDMK, etc. who had either overtly or covertly endorsed the whole process towards the fructification of the nuclear deal was ridiculous vis-à-vis the current defence agreement.  It was a bizarre scene when those parties which have generally shown no opposition against acquiring military hardware from the US paying a heavy price tried to ride a “patriotic” high horse in both houses of Parliament with competitive speeches, to fool a microscopic percentage of populace that evinces some tepid interest in the hullabaloo in the pigsty called the Indian Parliament. It was only the CPI (Maoist) that has been consistently opposing, not only such humiliating agreements, but also US’s growing grip on the country.

 

Harsh realities must be reckoned that US imperialism dominates over this region and all pacts with predatory US imperialism will only pave the way for more and more plunder of India resources and strictures on India’s perpetually constricted avenues of maneuverability as a semi-colony. Indian people can not put up with such contrived attempts to mortgage this country to US imperialism by the Indian rulers.  The despicable pandering, lubricated politics, fulfilling the wish lists of US imperialism by India must be opposed, exposed and resisted.

 

PCP continues to carry out Attacks

The Communist Party of Peru (PCP) — continues to carry out attacks on Peruvian military and police targets in 2008.

After joining the RIM of the world-wide Maoist revolutionary movement in 1980, PCP proceeded to conduct a Peoples War.  When reorganized by Chairman Gonzalo of the Communist Party of Peru, the PCP’s stated objective was the total reordering of Peruvian society along the lines of the People’s Republic of China under Mao Tse Tung.

What should be a primary source of concern to the incoming US imperialist administration is that the PCP’s resurgence is to be viewed as an integral part of a wave of leftist ideology in Latin America.

PCP’s geographical reach and the military force it commands make it a competing and increasingly threatening “state within a state” in Peru.

The PCP’s current leadership has been under constant pressure from Peru’s reactionary US imperialist backed forces over the last year.  The PCP is currently forcing their activities on the jungle-covered VRAE (Valley of the Rivers Apurimac and Ene).

Though government sources have estimated only 150 PCP fighters remain active, this force (if is the case) still continues to mount deadly attacks on Peruvian reactionary forces.  In what was described by Peruvian Government sources as the bloodiest PCP attack in ten years, PCP guerrillas killed approximately 14 Peruvian soldiers in a carefully planned ambush of a patrol in Peru’s Huancabelica province on October 9(AFP, October 10).  The PCP announced the attack was intended to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Peruvian Communist Party (EFE, November 19).

Ominously, an October 22 report stated that PCP members had dynamite from the mining camp of the US imperialist firm Doe Run, likely presaging the from of future attacks by PCP in the area.  Indicative of the isolated character of the area and the nature of PCP’s existing and planned activities, the guerrillas also took medical supplies, food and radios from this US imperialist firm (Reuters, October 22).

November marked yet another upsurge in PCP attacks.  On November 12, two Peruvian soldiers were wounded when gunmen believed to be PCP fighters targeted a helicopter responding to an earlier attack that wounded two other Peruvian solders (Latin American Herald Tribune, November 15).

Another ambush in the Huallaga Valley on November 27 killed five police officers, including two members of the Special Operations unit.  At least 40 PCP guerrillas using hand grenades, shotguns and automatic weapons were involved in the attack () Peruvian Times, November 28).  The ambush was remarkably similar to one carried out in nearly the same place in 2005 by 30 PCP guerrillas.

The latest PCP attack came days after a sweep of the Huallaga Valley by reactionary state agents of the “Huallaga Front” failed to locate the PCP commander.  Over 60 Peruvian state reactionaries have been killed in ambushes on roads in the region since 2001, with the annual rate of the increase (Con Nuestro Peru, November 29).

Reflecting the PCP’s long-term ambitions, the PCP is reported by Peruvian Police sources to have been planning attacks in Peru’s capital, Lima, during the recently concluded summit of the Asis-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting.

The APEC Summit meeting, in what must have been a very inviting target brought together the heads of state of 21 imperialist and reactionary nations, including US imperialist George Bush and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev.

Actual PCP documents capture from one of the group’s camps, and reportedly authored by PCP’s leadership, characterized the APEC Summit meeting as being attractive to the group because of the media coverage that an attack would garner (Peru.com, November 18).

 

The Philippine New People’s Army Wages Successful Tactical Offensives

 

A squad of an New People’s Army (NPA) guerilla unit successfully carried out an ambush against four soldiers of the 11th IB of the Philippine Army, riding on a motorcycle last May 23 in Sitio Busay, Guihulangan, Negros Oriental. Three enemy soldiers were killed while one managed to escape. The guerillas seized three firearms from the enemy.

 

The ambushed soldiers of the 11th IB were members of the Reengineered Special Operating Team (RSOT) platoon who are now operating in Brgy Trnidad, Guihulangan. This RSOT is one o0f the notorious units under the 11th IB that committed grave human right violations. In order to be effective in implementing their combat mission, intelligence and CMO against the NPA and the revolutionary masses, the RSOT and other units of the Philippines Army are using several tactics to camouflage their identities. One method is to dress in civilian clothes while concealing their short firearms and hiding their long firearms in sacks. The men and women of the AFP are frequently using civilian clothes and identify themselves as NPA members.

 

The above ambush by the guerilla unit is just one of the tactical offensives by the NPA under the Leonardo Panaligan Command to give justice to the victims of the AFP especially the peasants who were murdered, suppressed and exploited by troopers of the 11th IB. The crimes of the 11th IB are fresh in the memory of the people especially the murders of civilians of Brgy Panubighan in Canalon city; illegal arrest Crsanto Fat, a local peasant leader of Brgy Quintin Remo, Moise Padilla and the five poor farmers of Asaran, Buenavista, Himamylan city: grave threats and holding of the Fact Finding Mission team in Brgy Buenavista, Himamaylan city; threatening of the masse and destruction of their plants and animals; forcing the masses to join their Barangy Defense system; filing of trump up cases against the innocent masses in the reactionary courts, threats and harassments of the masses in their exercise of  their right to assembly and freedom of expression.

 

The 11th IB, PA is also being used as a private army by Representative Josy Limkaichong for her exploitative and oppressive reign in the first district of Negros Oriental. The military have organized and armed the units of hired goons like Lydio Baylon in order to terrorize and kill peasants who are against Limkaichong and suspected to be members of the revolutionary movement. Rep. Josy Limkaichong is considered to be the “first lady of fascism’ in the district.

 

Because Central Negros is the focus of the counter-insurgency operations of the 303 Brigade, we are expecting the intensification of fascist crimes and human rights violations to be committed by the 11th IB and other units of the Philippines Army. The NPA as the real army of the people will intensify its tactical offensive in order to defend the people, fulfill the people’s wishes fro genuine land reforms and progress and frustrate the Oplan Bantay Laya of the US-Arroyo Regime

 

(A press release issued on May 29, 2009 by Spokesperson of the Leonardo Panaligan Command of the New People’s Army of the Philippines.)

 

The Philippines National police contingent in Compostela Valley Province again suffered a heavy blow after two successive New People’s Army tactical offensives last week. Yet again, this show cases the tactical initiative held by the people’s army against the intruding forces of the GRP armed forces and police units.

 

On May 26, 2009, Red fighters of the NPA’s Rhyme Petalcorin Command of Guerilla Front 27 ambushed an enemy column composed of troops of the PNP 1102nd Provincial Mobile Group and Special Action Force and some Cafagu elements conducting patrol operations in Barangay Mainit, Nabunturan, Compostela Valley province. Seven enemy combatants were killed in action. The 1101st Brigade-10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army ordered an aerial bombing the fallowing day, causing fear to farmers and their families.

 

On the evening of May 29, 2009, a platoon of the 3rd Pulang Bagani Company-NPA disarmed another 1102nd Provincial Mobile Group-PNP squad assigned as security force of the APEX Mining Corporation in Barangay Nasara, Maco, Comval. Swiftly seized were five high-powered rifles consisting of four M16 armalites and one M14 rifle after being surprised by the riding NPA unit that entered the company compound. Since the target PNP Unit did not make any armed resistance, they did not have any causality.

 

The mining firm which is owned by the London-based Crew Minerals Corporation was punished for the continuing environmental destruction its operation caused. One such devastation was the landslide in Barangay Masara last year that caused deaths and displacements in two barangays. Also, the 1102nd PMG-PNP in Comval forms part of the Investment Defense Force (IDF) – the Arroyo regime’s armed component that directly protects the interests of large mining companies and big agribusiness, and violates the inherent rights of poor peasants and lumads to their livelihoods and ancestral lands.

 

In both combat operations initiated by squads and platoons of the Merardo Arce Command – NPA, the NPA did not have any causality. As the army battalions and special operations forces of the 10th ID-AFP go berserk in Southern Mindanao in a fascist rampage under the aegis of Oplan Bantay Laya 2, the people’s army is ever ready to intensify tactical offensives in conjunction with an expanding and deepening mass base.

 

(A press release issued on May 31, 2009, by Spokesperson of the Merardo Arce Command, Southern Mindanao Regional Operation Command, New People’s Army, Phillippines.)

 

Monitored Food Prices – a means of extracting Huge profits from poor through indirect means

In July the country ‘celebrated’ the cheapest car in the world, while the poor man’s food, dal (pulses), sky-rocketed. With vegetables and meat having gone off the poor-man’s diet, now even dals have become unaffordable. Arhar (tur) dal was around Rs.34 per kg just after the 2004 elections, Rs.54 before the 2009 polls, Rs.62 just after the polls and now at over Rs.90 a kg it has become unaffordable to most. It is a clear case of UPA arrogance, with no elections immediately, to raise prices kept under control before the election, due to its brute majority, to allow prices to rise astronomically without any fear of being overthrown or displaced. This is nothing but the gift of a supposed ‘stable’ government. ‘Stability’ has permitted this unbridled loot.

 

But it is not just dal, all the basic necessities of life have risen by over 25% in the last year. With people’s wages stagnant, or even dropping, this means a 25% drop in the living standards of the people in just one year. While the government much trumpets the rise in the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) as having gone to a record low of minus 1.7% recently, at the ground level the consumer price index has been sky-rocketing. For this we do not need to see the government’s much-manipulated figures but speak to any housewife. They know better the reality.

 

Potato prices, another common man’s food in the North and East, have gone up 200%, from Rs.5 per Kg last year to Rs.15 per kg now. In Mumbai potato is selling at 90% higher than Oct.08.Onion prices zoomed 20% and 40% in Chennai and Kolkota in the last 10 months. Sugar prices have gone up roughly 40%. Prices of vegetables have gone up by Rs.10 per kg in just one week.

 

The price rise due to drought warning is a fraud. Of course, a drought will push up prices even further. But prices have been rising for five years since the 2004 elections. Take the years between 2004 and 2008 when there were good monsoons. And in more than one year we have claimed ‘record production of grains’. The price of rice went up 46%, of wheat by over 62%, atta (wheat flour) 55%, salt 42% and more. By March 2008 the average increase in the prices of such items was already up by well over 40%. And now, after the elections, they have risen dramatically in the last three months.

 

The agricultural minister has said the rise in price of tur dal (pigeon pea) is due to black-marketing and hoarding, but was silent on the trade in futures. In fact the ban on trading in wheat futures was lifted even before the results of the 2009 elections were announced in May. And existing bans on other items are also being removed.

 

The price rise since 2004 could be the highest ever, except during the pre-Emergency period. Food prices may have gone up but airline tickets have come down. Corporate profits have gone up, even in this period of crisis, while lakhs have been thrown out of jobs. With over Rs.3 lakh crores of concessions to the corporate world it is not surprising they are still making profits.

 

But if we want to see the type of windfall profits that business and the traders are making we just have to look at the case of sugar, dominated by the Agricultural minister himself. Sharad Pawar’s NCP controls 70%of Mahrashtra’s sugar cooperatives. These cooperatives have been known to give crores in the elections to their candidates, which is recovered immediately by a hike in sugar prices. In 2007, a private institute, of which Pawar is President-for-life, published a report which said 70% of them were sick. As Union Agricultural Minister, Pawar then announced a financial package worth Rs.400 crores for these ‘sick’ cooperatives.

 

Take the present post-election scenario. Sugar prices which were Rs.26 in July are now Rs.35 and are set to go up to Rs.40 per kg by diwali. Production of sugar was 150 lakh tones this year compared to 263 lakh tones last year. Every year the average utilization of sugar is 210 lakh tones. But, there existed a stock of 80 lakh tones taking the total availability to 230 lakh tones. This is more than sufficient and shortage cannot be the reason for the phenomenal price rise. It is nothing but a manipulated situation to give massive profits to the sugar lobby led by Sharad Pawar. With sales of sugar amounting to roughly to 180 crore kgs the sugar lobby, with a Rs.8 increase in prices, makes an additional profit of a massive Rs.1,440 crores monthly – over-and-above their normal profits. This bonanza has to be paid for by the common man. Not a single political party says a word about this gigantic loot.

 

The present price rise of essentials is nothing but a massive loot  by the semi-feudal agrarian mafia, the loot by imperialism and compradors by trading in futures and artificially hiking up prices and the hoarding and  blackmarketeering of the big traders, linked to the above two forces. Those who suffer are the peasantry and the consumer; the peasants are still getting a pittance for their produce, while the consumer has to pay huge rates for their daily needs.

 

Lalgarh People Fight Back the 50 Companies of State Terror Forces & CPM’s Armed Goons

It is now over one and a half months since the para-military and State police forces entered Jangalmahal on June 18th 2009, in what was portrayed by the media as a major military operation. The area was referred to as the “war zone” as though the Indian forces were preparing for a war against a foreign country. The entire operation was given massive TV coverage, but journalists have been not allowed to tell about the horrors being perpetrated on the people. True to their mercenary nature the security forces have been acting as an occupation army.

 

The military operation was a Congress-CPM joint plan seeking to smash the people’s upsurge and the growing Maoist influence in the region, and re-establish the rule of the CPM terror mafia. The armed forces of the state have been working in close coordination with the informer network of the CPM and he various vigilante forces set up by the CPM like the GPC (Gana Pritrodh Committee). The question of the welfare of the masses is nowhere on the agenda.  In fact, the conditions of the masses of the region have further deteriorated due to the joint operations. They are polluting the limited water sources forcing people to drink the arsenic and fluoride contaminated water. They have set up their camps in the schools resulting in the children not being able to take their education. The people’s very limited sources of earning are even further reduced. With police terror on the main roads, the sick are not able to go even to the limited hospitals in the area. And worst, the security forces have been destroying people’s property and even their meager properties.

 

Decades of neglect are being further aggravated by the onslaught of the state forces in combination with the CPM local ruling elite. Yet even after 45 days of terror we see that the state forces are not able to achieve their said aim of destroying the peoples upsurge and crushing their leadership. It has been reported that the PSBJSC (Police Santrash Birodhi Jansadharan Committee or People’s Committee against Police Atrocities) has once again begun mass mobilization of the people, facing lathi-charges, tear-gas and even police firing, while not a single Maoist activist has been apprehended. In fact it is being reported that the Maoists have not only stepped up their attacks on the CPM goons but also spread to new area. In fact it is the 5,000 strong joint central and state forces that are in a state of panic, fearing to venture out beyond the main roads. The situation got so bad that top officers are openly contradicting each other and the lower ranks are threatening revolt.

 

The masses, led by the Maoists are heroically fighting back the government onslaught.

Conditions of the Masses

 

The newspapers of August 4th reported that a man first killed his family and then committed suicide in the Jhargham region of Midnapur. The man, Gopal Tundu, first hacked his wife and two young children to death and then hanged himself. He had not eaten food for a week and with poor rain his crops were withering. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

The bulk of the population is languishing in poverty, malnutrition and social deprivation. About 95% of the children between 6 and 35 months are suffering from anemia. As stated by RSP Member of Parliament “out of the Rs.6, 700 crore programme for socio-economic transformation of the western region over a period of five years (2007-11) as per the recommendations of the IIT Khargpur (which was commissioned by the Left Front government, to draw up a plan), a mere Rs.82 crores was granted by the western regional development board for 2007-09. Out of this Rs.14 crores was actually spent

 

In fact a team was sent to Jangalmahal by the Prime Minister in the first week of February 2009. They reported that in this area there are so many Amlasols (which received notoriety for its conditions of extreme poverty).It said that out of the 4,000 most backward villages of West Bengal,1,500 are in the three districts of Jangalmahal. The central team found that there was no facility for drinking water, electricity, and no proper implementation of NAREGA. Not even a single pucca house was built as promised for 58,000 adivasi families.

 

But now in a bid to wean away the population from the Maoists, the CPM have suddenly begun talking of development there and even distributing land to the adivasis as per the new forest Act. But other areas will of course continue to languish until the masses rise in revolt.

 

On July 24th the newspapers reported that the state government has decided to distribute large number of pattas to the tribal populace living in the jungle area under the Forest Rights Act. But the administration has failed to do so due to the strike call by the PSPBC. Senior officials said they have received 90,000 applications and they have agreed to 60,000. Major portions of the pattas were to be distributed in the three Maoist affected districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia. But not a word is mentioned about the huge amounts of land gifted to Jindal for his steel plant, which should have been distributed amongst the poor.

 

Upsurge grows in spite of Massive State Terror

 

The most novel aspect of the latest mass resistance is that of the school children against the occupation of their schools by the security forces; denying them proper education for over a month. But instead of vacating the camp these state vampires brutally lathi-charged the children, injuring many and also attacking five journalists present there.

 

The Times of India of July 21st reported: Gohamidanga (Dharampur area) turned into a battlefield on 20th with police lathi-charging students and guardians, leaving at least 25 persons injured. 5 journalists were not spared either. Around noon a crowd of over 15,000 tried to gherao the school. Twenty persons, including six students and 4 women were injured. When guardians tried to force the policemen out of the school, they were lathi-charged and tear gassed, injuring five more people…. Villagers then met at Bhulageria, where PSBJSC meeting decided that the school would be seized through an armed movement. A class VII student said “we organized a stir 10 days ago. Police and jawans had promised to leave the school in a week. We haven’t been able to attend classes since July 1st.” DSP (Operations) Arnab Ghosh tried to reach the area with additional forces but was stranded at Dherua for over two hours as PSBJSC had dug up roads.

 

According to journalist Chandan Raut of the Bengali daily, Dainik Statesman, “I have seen a cruel, naked and barbarous act of police atrocities and I myself, along with other media persons also received brutal police treatment

In fact the agitations against the occupation of the schools have been going on soon after the police/para-military occupation. On July 13th many hundred students demonstrated against the police camps and several times local people demonstrated against the occupation of the school buildings. Headmasters of the schools also protested that their permission was never taken and that the security forces took over the schools after breaking the locks. In fact one month earlier the District Magistrate of Nigam and Jhargram SDO had directed the police authorities to withdraw the camps from schools in the region.

 

Also, a day before the above demonstration, on July 19th, the student had given a memorandum to the joint forces demanding that they leave the institutions within 24 hours for the sake of their studies. After the brutal police action on July 22nd many hundred students, with placards demanding the withdrawal of police camp, started a relay hunger strike. Along with the students their guardians and members of the PSBJSC also joined the hunger strike which continued from July 22 to 24th. On the afternoon of July 22nd about 20,000 people from various villages started a grand procession. As reported in the Dainik Statesman (July 23rd) one placard said: “Shame, Shame Buddhababu; we want schools to study, but you are beating us, occupying the school campus – is this Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan?  Another Placard read: “Shame, Shame Chidambaram, your adivasi development means beating us all; this is the policy of the Congress.”

 

The police are constructing eight camps in the region with brick and tin roofs and are being forced to move to these, though they prefer to stay in the relative comfort of the schools.

 

But, besides the actions to liberate the schools from the occupation forces there have been large number of rallies against the joint operation forces – against their atrocities and demanding them to get out of the area.

 

August 2nd Dainik Statesman (Bengali) reported: The Janasadharan Committee held rallies in Jangalmahal to oppose the atrocities of the joint operation forces. On that very day at least six persons received bullet injuries. On July 31st itself, in the evening, the Janasadharan Committee organized processions at several places of Dharampur against this brutal unprovoked firing on the people. A big rally was held 4 Kms away from the Mahatopara police camp using mikes. In addition, roads were dug up again at Dalbamal and Brindabanpur on Aug.1st.

 

Ever since the offensive of the state forces in the region the Maoists have adopted a judicious mix of counter-violence and militant mass action. They have been harassing the security forces through guerilla actions and a big offensive against the CPM leaders and leaders of their vigilante forces. Without these military actions of the Maoists the democratic space could not be made to facilitate the mass actions. Without smashing the authority of the CPM lords and their henchmen the masses would be under continuous attack by their armed gangs and even mass actions would not be tolerated by the CPM goons. Besides, these CPM elements act as the eyes and ears of the security forces which would find it difficult to operate without their cooperation in this hostile territory.

 

Without actions on the security forces their arrogance and terror would increase ten-fold and they will be raiding villages at random terrorizing the people even more. With the continued harassment of the security forces by the Maoists and the people’s militia these state forces get confined to the main roads and to their camps. Besides, the continuous attacks have had the impact of terrifying them and breaking their morale.

 

Over the last month there has been a virtual exodus of CPM cadres from their Party, after the most notorious among were killed by the people and their forces. The media in West Bengal is reporting daily such actions and is expressing its surprise at this step-up of Maoist activities, in spite of the presence of such a large force of state and central police, including the highly sophisticated CoBRA forces. As we go to the press the Hindustan Times (August 4th) reported: Maoists killed two GPC members in Bhelpari. The GPC is an organization against Maoists set up by the police and CPM. These killings came within 24 hours of the killing of CPM leader Nirmal Mahato in Lalgarh and GPC leader Kailapa Singh in Bhelpari. Prior to this, about 15 senior local leaders of the CPM had been killed in this region. Also, many others have been attacked and had fled the area. Yet another example is the report in the July 24th issue of the Hindusthan Times: 30-40 armed Maoists ransacked and burnt the house of Gour Mahato, a CPM zonal committee member. Mahato was a former zillaparishad member and a senior leader of the CPM. The house was only 2 kms from the Salboni PS and about 5 kms away from the police camp.

 

The Maoists have also called on all the CPM cadre to resign from that Party and the PSBJSC tried many of the notorious CPM goons in people’s courts. As the Hindusthan Times of July 23rd reported: The PSBJSC summoned local CPM leaders and cadres who left the Party over the last two days, to a people’s court in order to give a chance to them to publicly apologize to the villagers for their misdeeds. Even on 22nd about 50 such leaders, who had announced, by distributing leaflets and sticking posters, their decision to quit the CPM, were called to a people’s court, at Kalsidanga village, within 5 to 6 kms of Salboni and Lalgarh police stations. They were made to hold their ears and keep standing before the full gaze of over 1,000 gathering. They were told to narrate the wrongs they had done against the people and the malpractices they had committed. They were also made to promise that they would compensate the villagers for the deprivation they had suffered because of the CPM leaders and activists corrupt practices and anti-people acts in the past 32 years. ….An exodus of CPM leaders and activists has been reported from several other places also. In Do-moheni, Salboni, Mulapara, Gopalpur, Gohamidanga, Manikpara, Dharampur and Belpahari, they have publicly declared their decision to quit, by putting up posters.

 

Earlier on July 21st the Dainik Statesman reported that “CPM followers are steadily rejecting the CPM. On July 21st 30 CPM members of three branches under Mednipur Southern Block left the Party raising the question as to how in this area of poor people  could a huge office is built costing Rs.20 lakhs. Also it was reported that a large number of CPM leaders and activists in Lalgarh, Dharampur and Manikpara have put up hand written posters announcing their dissociation from the Party. On Aug.2nd the Anand Bazar Patrika reported that Maoist posters appeared in Jhargram town with the demand for the resignation of 13 ‘Left’ Councilors creating panic in the CPM ranks.

 

With the growing support to the Maoists in the region together with that of the mass organization, the PSBJSC, not only is the CPM losing ground in the area but also the numerous factions of the Jarkhandi parties are fast losing their adivasi base. Leaders of seven Jarkhandi parties, like Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, Jharkhand Disham Party, Jharkhand Party (Aditya), Jharkhand Party (Naren), Jharkhand Janamukti Morcha, Lharkahnd Mukti Dal and the Hul Jharkhand Kranti Dal, sat in a meeting at a lodge in Jhargham on Aug.1st. They have decided to form coordination (samanway) munch to save their existence. With the growing mass influence of the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities in Lalgarh and the People’s Committee of Adivasis and Mulbasis in parts of Purulia district (Balarmpur, Baghmundi, Burrabazar and Bandowan), in the last nine months, these parties could not conduct a single meeting. The same situation exists in Sarenga and Ranibandh of Bankura district

 

The traditional organization of the adivasis, the Jakat Majhi Marhwa Association, comprising the ruling adivasis elements and vehemently opposed to the movement, have also got totally isolated. Backed by the CPM they took out a big rally in the first week of December 2008 (See article by B.Prasant in People’s Democracy Dec 14 08) where they called on the masses to not even give water to the Maoists. They also praised the youth for clearing all road blocks set up by “the Maoists”. Appeals by the Maoists to these elements to mend their ways had little effect. Having developed as power brokers of the establishment they realized the growing mass movement would put an end to their power and privileges. It was only when one of their top leaders was killed that they fell silent.

 

In addition the Maoists have been having continuous battles with the police, and the PSBJSC has been continuously and successfully mobilizing the people to set up road blocks. Landmine explosions and ambushes by the forces of the PLGA have created panic within the police forces. In addition they have arrested few police officers. In June 23rd itself they captured ASI Dipak Pramanik, and after telling him of the aims of the movement released him unharmed the next day. He said he was treated well and even given dinner. On July 30th two more ASIs disappeared as they were carrying water to the camp. A massive hunt was launched and in the process serious skirmishes took place between the police and Maoists in the southern part of the Jhitka forests, an area where the Maoists have only recently spread. Till today they have not been traced. In early August the PLGA ambushed a patrolling party at Belhpari. The SP of the region said the gun-battle went on for three hours. (The Hindu). Hardly a day passes without some resistance from the Maoists to the police/para-military and the armed goons of the CPM. Together with this there is continued mass resistance by the PSBJSC, in the form of armed processions (with traditional arms), demonstrations, roadblocks, student hunger strikes, etc

 

The resistance by the people’s forces have put the security forces on the defensive and resulted in dissent amongst them. They are only looking to the day when they can leave.

 

Panic-stricken Security Forces on the Defensive

 

On July 23rd the Statesman reported that not a single Maoist has been apprehended since the military-style operation began on Jun.18th. It added, however the joint forces have been successful in preventing newspersons from filing reports on the torture of adivasis. They have however arrested over 50 villagers and created havoc in the villages. But, till today, they have not dared to venture into the forests, patrolling only on the main roads and near the camps.

 

Immediately after the attack of the security forces, the adivasis melted into the forests. Over 70,000 people fled to the forests from 300 hamlets — only to regroup and continue the struggle in a new way. At the time of the first phase many an intellectual came out criticizing the Maoist making out as though it was they who provoked the police and that they now faced defeat. The Maoist leader, Com Bikas replied to the media, “guerrilla warfare has its own tactics, and just because they could set up some camps it does not mean that they have won. The fight has not finished and the security forces will suffer heavily in the future”.

 

The words have proved prophetic with the security forces in total disarray. The Times of India of July 23rd reported: The stress of the battle for Lalgarh is proving too much for a section of police officers posted there. Desperate to avoid a Maoist strike they are using everything from vehicles with Press stickers to ambulances to move around the forested terrain. For example the police supplied food and essential items to the Dharampur and Gohamidanga police camps in an ambulance. Some officers are using Press and other stickers like ‘patient’, LIC, ‘BSNL, etc and remove the police tag from the vehicle. They are even changing the number plates to avoid identification. The police stop patrolling after 3 pm. One constable said “we have no training in automatic weapons but seniors are forcing us to carry SLRs and tear-gas guns. Some over 50years of age have been sent for duty when the order clearly states that only policemen below 40 will be sent”. With every passing day the murmurs of protest are growing louder among the rank and file. “This might spark off a revolt. Our superiors had told us that we would be on duty here for a maximum of two weeks, but we have already spent a month in this hostile terrain

 

The very next day the Hinusthan Times reported: The Central forces stay in the region has already been extended once. A police constable said “there is no proper infrastructure for us to counter the Maoists here. It is manageable as long as we are staying in school buildings but we suspect the situation will worsen once we vacate them and are lodged in temporary camps.” Presently police camps are being built at Ramgarh, Belatikri, Kantapahari,Dharampur  next to Lalgarh PS. They will have brick walls and tin roofs. “There is scarcity of drinking water and food since the locals are not helping us. And it is not safe for us to take food in hotels” Besides, it is reported that forces patrol the main roads in the day and return to their camps before dusk. It needs the Road opening Party (ROP) to sanitize the entire route from Lalgarh to Midnapore town before any police vehicle dares to take the road.

 

With the pressure on the security forces differences are also coming out into the open between the top officers. The Times of India of July 21st reported: The force posted in Lalgarh has been too dispirited and riven by factionalism to chalk out a plan …. Sources said that state police senior officers are split into two camps. The DGP leads one camp and is for opening up new fronts, including in Jharkhand. The other group of senior officers is not ready. “Since police cracked down in Lalgarh….the Maoists have opened up new areas to engage us at fresh frontiers. It would be suicidal to open up more fronts in the forested terrain of Behlpari and Purulia. Officers are also unhappy with the DGP’s decision to put Sidhhanath Gupta (DIG CID Operations) directly in the war zone, while IG (Western Zone) was kept out of the loop of the operations within his jurisdiction area. This IG stayed put at his headquarters at Midnapore supervising the supply line for the forces. The scene got worse after Praveen Kumar, DIG Midnapore Range, decided to leave the state and join central service. He was one of the key architects of the Lalgarh operation plan.

 

Not only that the West Midnapore district Left Front threatened to launch a movement against the district administration due to the worsening situation in the region (continuous attacks on CPM). It threatened to lunch a disobedience movement in front of the DM’s chamber from Aug.5th if the situation did not improve.

Not only this, the voices of protest to withdraw the security forces from the area are growing louder. First it was the democratic and progressive sections of the population, then it spread to the CPI (ML) Liberation and SUCI, who took a campaign against it, then some left front partners opposed it, and now even Mamata Banerjee’s TMC has openly called for the withdrawal of the central forces from Jangalmahal. Even local CPM leader (as reported in the Aug.8th newspapers), Tarun Bannerjee, described the police atrocities as state sponsored terrorism and this is turning the people against the CPM government.

 

In fact on August 6th after nearly two months since the operations were launched, the State Home secretary, Ardhendu Sen, admitted that the operation seemed to have failed. He said despite the efforts of the combined State and Central forces, comprising the elite counter-insurgency forces like COBRA and STRACO the area wore a look like a “liberated zone”. In fact the very next day the Times of India reported that the Maoists held an armed rally, addressed by Maoist leader Bikas. The report said: “Attended by around 1000 villagers, the rally was held on Friday evening at Domohani, barely 2kms from Dharampur police station, where the rebels assured the people that they were completely prepared to take on the armed forces”. He added that “we have served the death penalty on people who exploited and tortured the tribals. Who started this violence? When the villagers started their movement at Sijua, Salboni and Khasjangal, who assaulted them? These are examples of peoples rage”.

 

Build Hundreds of Lalgarhs In Country

 

The Lalgarh movement is advancing in spite of the massive State/CPM onslaught. The reasons are: (i) An effective mobilization of the masses on a huge scale for the war against the armed gangs and the armed state forces (ii) isolation of the reactionary forces in the region – whether the CPM fascist forces or the power brokers acting under the banner of various Jharkhandi parties (iii) uniting all forces that can be united against the main enemy – in this case the CPM (iv) punishing the most vile elements after trying them in people’s courts, who act as the local informers of the State, without whom the State forces will find it impossible to act (the defacto eyes and ears of the State forces) (v) isolation of all the vacillating elements, including the so-called revolutionaries (vi) the ability to take on the most repressive measures of the government with a brilliant combination of militant mass actions and defensive armed activities (vii) and, most important of all, capable proletarian leadership in the form of the CPI(Maoist), combining effectively strategic firmness with tactical flexibility, with deep integration of even the topmost leadership from the masses.

 

These and many more are the lessons to be learnt from the Lalgarh movement. The movement has been built up under the most adverse conditions of a wide social fascist base where defacto every CPM cadre acts as an agent of the state, and where the CPM, with its Hamard vahini had an inbuilt killer force, armed to the teeth, which was utilized to smash any opposition – let alone the Maoists even that of the TMC (peaceful parliamentary opposition) and even that of its own left front partners. Even recently on July 24th the media reported that in another part of Midnapore CPM killed a TMC worker and injured 4 with gun shot wounds. Another 12 TMC workers were injured. The CPM has ruled West Bengal for over three decades using the mass base it has built up earlier, together with its highly organized instruments of terror. It is the Maoists who have been in the forefront to smash this terror regime. But with the lack of a democratic alternative at the all West Bengal level it is the parliamentary opposition that is also able to make temporary capital of the vacuum created by the exposure and smashing of these social fascist. The CPM and its top leadership should not forget what happened to the Romanian and other leaders of East Europe when the social imperialist empire crumbled in the late 1980s. Let us all learn from the Lalgarh experience and build such movements in all states of the country.

 

 

 

 

Lalgrah & Misconceptions of some Misguided Intellectuals

Ajay

 

There are many well meaning intellectuals who are genuinely confused on the issues that the Maoist movement in general has thrown up and this has more particularly been raised by the intellectuals of West Bengal in the light of the Lalgarh mass upsurge. Some of these intellectuals are well meaning progressives, but others, claim not only to be Left, but also of the M-L camp. Here we take some arguments presented mostly from the two Bengali journals Aneek and Shramjeevi (of Santosh Rana).

 

Here, in India, the misconceptions mostly centre around the issue of revolutionary violence. Our intellectuals actually rarely see violence in their own lives and so are, quite naturally, horrified by violence. Yet, this is surprising as India is probably one of the most violent societies in the world, with violence on a scale not probably seen even in any backward country. Of course we are here not talking of the type of butcheries unleashed by the US on a country like Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, nor its massacres (peace-time) perpetuated in countries of Latin America, Indonesia, etc. What we are talking of is everyday violence that the poor of this country have to face over and above the violence associated with acute poverty and a sub-human existence (India is on a par with countries of Sub Saharan Africa). What we are speaking of is the additional violence on women and dalits that no other society of the world face (genocide of Muslims in India is part of what they face in other parts of the world whether in Palestine, Afghanistan, Chechenya or even in west China). The continuous so-called ‘dowry killings’ of women is a phenomena not seen in any other country of the world; the lynching of dalits and the inhumanity and subtle violence of the hierarchical caste system is a phenomena too not seen in other parts of the world.

 

Though our intellectuals may not face this violence it is important that they are sensitized to the varied forms of oppression and exploitation that the masses face. Not just excruciating poverty, but the varied forms of humiliation, oppression and intolerable discrimination, is something that our intellectuals should feel even if they do not experience it. There is necessity to first and foremost put one’s heart in the right place (i.e feel for the suffering of the masses) and then see all intellectual exercises in this framework. Democracy, violence, peace, et al are only words thrown around by one and all (including the rulers) but to what purpose. The single purpose can only be justice, humanity and equality for the vast masses of the population — and then everything would be seen within this framework. Or else we get lost in the wilderness of words.

 

In today’s world, where inhuman levels of violence are being perpetrated it is the imperialists and the reactionaries throughout the world who raise it on a big scale.  It is they who are therefore on a major campaign promoting Gandhism; but for most aware intellectuals around the world it is not a major issue. What is at issue are questions of justice, equality, real democracy, etc. Besides, most of the Left know the important role that violence has played historically in bringing out change and how terribly violent the capitalist /imperialist system has been since its inception — e.g. the systematic decimation of the entire local population of the Americas with the very birth of capitalism, the two World Wars, the butcheries around the world since WWII, etc. But, anyhow as it is being raised as a major issue here, it needs to be discussed once again.

 

So, we will start with the major misconceptions being presented and will particularly link it to the Lalgarh issue.

Misconception 1: The spiraling violence between the state and the Maoists is getting out of control and in this battle between two violent forces the peace-loving tribals and poor are the main victims. Both sides should immediately stop (conflict resolution) their violence and allow the adivasis and others to live in peace.

Answer 1: In this presentation there are two misnomers.

 

First, the police/para-military are sought to be presented as some independent force unleashing violence only on the dictates of the government. This is not the full truth; the government and state machinery are acting only on behalf of the ruling classes — i.e the powerful local semi-feudal elements, big business (both comprador and TNCs) and the imperialists, particularly the US. It is these forces that are seeking the grabbing of the land for its wealth and the exploitation of labour for it super-profits. For them the immediate interests are twofold: (i) the loot of the massive mineral wealth of the country, located mostly in areas where Maoists are operating, for which they are also seeking to desperately push through the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, and (ii) the increasing exploitation of the labour of the people, and in this period of deep economic crisis the imperialists and their lackeys want to increase their exploitation in order to cushion the impact of the crisis on their profits.  They also have a long-term interest in protecting their capitalist/imperialist system, which is particularly threatened when the movement is led by Maoists.

 

So at the local level we see the gangs of the semi-feudal interests, power-brokers, local mafia — all hand-in-glove with the local police. At the broader level you have the forces of the Indian state, and internationally the imperialists are directly involved in counter-insurgency training and intelligence gathering (Mossad).

 

Anyhow the issue is the nature of the security forces who act as the tool of the classes that run this system. They do not need to use this tool if the masses silently bear the exploitation and the increased burden they seek to put on them. It is only when their discontent beaks out into the open that they call on their instruments of violence. So, if these intellectuals desire this kind of ‘peace’ it is also what the powers-that-be require to continue their rapacious loot of the wealth of the country and its people.

 

The second misnomer is pitting the mass movement against the Maoists, as though the masses are victims not of just state violence but also of Maoist violence.  Without the masses the Maoists are zero. The very purpose of the Maoists, as mentioned in their programme, is to set up a truly democratic system where the people are themselves empowered through their own organs of power. The CPI (Maoists) does not conduct the revolution on its own; it is the masses who carry out the revolution, where the leadership is provided by the proletarian Party. This is of course the ABC of Marxism, which most ‘Leftists’ know but are somehow silent on. Besides, the masses have faced inhuman living conditions for centuries and these have only deteriorated in this period of LPG (globalization) and they have also seen that all the parliamentary parties (including the CPM) are nothing but power brokers for the moneybags, making fortunes in the process. They see that, unlike the parliamentary leaders, the leaders of the Maoist give up the comforts of a middle-class existence and live amongst them, share their weal and woe and are even willing to sacrifice (and have sacrificed) their lives for the people’s interests. As in Lalgarh, quite naturally the masses turn to them as their true leaders. The Maoists are part and parcel of the local masses and the majority of the recruits are from them. This, all are aware of.

 

So, this attempt to draw a wedge between the masses and the Maoists and to put it as though the masses are suffering due to Maoist violence is patently false.  By equating Maoist counter-violence with state violence, they act to indirectly legitimize the state violence. For the forces of reaction any assertion of the will of the masses is ground for provocation. Any attempt to touch even a rupee of their profits or wealth, is ground for provocation of these demons. So, what are these intellectuals talking about when they say Maoists are provoking the state? The democratic space to organize the masses in the Jangalmahal area cannot be achieved unless the rule of the CPM hoodlums is eliminated from the area.  Of course while conducting any class struggle/war there are tactics when to advance and when to retreat, no doubt these would have been taken into consideration by the Maoists in their battles at Jangalmahal.

If these intellectuals are really serious about peace, they need to say how they can get not just peace, but peace with justice. Merely appealing to the government and the parliamentary parties to take up socio-economic issues and expect any real change is wishful-thinking. We all know where the money on these schemes mainly goes. Besides, these parties have their class interests, they are tied through numerous visible/invisible threads to these powerful classes and they must serve their interests or else they will be kicked out. The present budget, the Economic Survey, the new Bills, the massive subsidies to big business (over Rs.3 lakh crores is given as concessions to big business) and imperialists, the spiraling expenditure on the armed forces and para-military, etc, etc, has set the course of their ‘growth’ pattern; while crumbs may be thrown to the aam admi to diffuse their discontent (most of which is anyhow swallowed by power-brokers at various levels of authority — Anuj Pandey style). So, where can the masses get justice and improve their inhuman existence, which, in fact, is going from bad to worse?

 

The issue is not violence v/s non-violence but justice v/s injustice. Bourgeois moralists say that the means cannot justify the end; we say that the goals must be clear and just — i.e. improving people’s livelihood and genuinely empowering them — and to achieve this, all necessary means are justified.

Misconception 2: Aneek magazine and Shramjeevi both say that the Maoists are not de

mocratic and have no sense of democracy. Aneek says they have alienated all the other political forces in the area (like the Majhi Marwha and Jarkhandi parties) and are not even tolerating the rank and file CPM, demanding they resign. Santosh Rana in the Shramjeevi magazine raises the same question but goes even further saying two points: (i) Even if five people have a different view they must be allowed to speak otherwise it will lead to a different type of terror. And he equates this ‘terror’ with CPM-style terror. (ii) Upholding the existing Panchayat system and seeking to democratize it, saying that it should be controlled by the Gram Sansad and that the demand should be raised for more economic and administrative powers, like to forest revenue, stone and sand, along with control over the police. He maintains that the Maoists are for only one Party rule and will not tolerate any others. Some have gone even to the extent of equating the counter-violence of the masses and Maoists against the CPM armed goons and police informers with the terror of the CPM.

Answer 2: We are not here to condone any acts of behavior by the Maoists that maybe undemocratic/sectarian in dealing with other non-Maoist and genuinely progressive forces, no matter what their limitations. These may invariably exist, though they should be avoided, in building up any united front activities. Yet, class struggle at the ground level is complex and not as linear as the intellectuals expect it to go. Yet, in the Maoist appeals to the intellectuals or even in the Open Letter to Santosh Rana the approach is definitely democratic and patient (not impetuous as it often can be). Even when it is clear that Santosh Rana was aligning with dangerous, counter-revolutionary forces the tone was explanatory and asking that he come out of his errors.

 

Having said this, let us take the issue of democracy as this word has been much vulgarized by not only the imperialists and their henchmen but also the NGOs who oppose communist party organizational norms in the name of democracy. So let us explain the issue. We shall first look at the term first from the political angle and then from the organizational angle.

First, to take the issue of democracy in the political sense. Here democratic forces mean all anti-imperialist, anti-feudal forces. So, any democratic front must include all such forces and not just those following the Party’s view-point. This is the ideal; but, at the ground reality the ideal rarely exists. What exists is, at the one end you get the revolutionary forces and at the other the reactionary forces, while in between there may be various shades of progressive forces, which have to be assessed, from time to time, on their attitude towards the ongoing anti-imperialist, anti-feudal class struggle. One allies with all those who overall play a positive attitude in the class struggle at any given time. But, as the class struggle intensifies, the line of demarcation becomes sharper between the real democrats and those vacillating; so, often at such times, many forces that were progressive in the earlier phase of the class struggle, desert the movement at a later phase; some may become neutral, others may even begin to oppose it. Generally, as Mao said, one has to isolate and expose the die-hards and try and win over the rest to an anti-imperialist, anti-feudal front.

 

Now what are the forces that the Aneek and Shramjivi expect unity with? First, they call for unity with the BJMM, the traditional organization of adivasis in the area. These are led by the traditional leaders of the adivasis, who have been oppressors of their own people, and in this period of globalization have become stooges of the rulers. Except for the fortnight or so in Nov.2008 when the movement against police atrocities began, they have stood in vehement opposition to the movement and as agents of the CPM (clear from the article in People’s Democracy, official organ of the CPM, dated Dec.14 2008 by Prasant). This was also clear in their conscious role in hounding the Maoists, opposing the mass movement and acting as tools of the police/CPM, clearing the roadblocks put up by the masses.

 

Next, is the large number of Jharkhandi groups. It is not only important what they profess, but their attitude to the on-going class struggle must be assessed. In the open letter to Santosh Rana from CPI (Maoist) it was pointed out that some of those groups were acting together with the CPM’s vigilante forces. As far as the others are concerned they would be assed by their attitude and role in the ongoing class struggle.

Now, let us turn to the other aspect, on the question of democracy in organizational matters. Serious class struggle necessitates not only democratic functioning but also a high level of discipline. The discipline should not be imposed but through self-realization. And real democracy can only be realized if it is democratic centralism where no matter what may be our personal view we are willing to accept the decision of the majority. NGOs are vehemently opposed to democratic centralism and compare it with some sort of fascist methods. Though leaders can often abuse the powers they have (whatever the structures), what the NGOs promote is anarchism below and unquestioned authority of the leader (normally the funder) whose decisions are final. In fact in all other organizations, those who control the funds, controls the organization and all decision-making. Here too, normally there is a show of democracy, with everyone being allowed to present their views, but these are rarely considered by the final authority. So, also is the anarchism of Santosh Rana, when he says “Even if five people have a different view they must be allowed to speak otherwise it will lead to a different type of terror. And he equates this ‘terror’ with CPM-style terror.” Very true they must be allowed to speak, but how must these five acts — according to their own wishes, or that of the majority? This is not clear, but he goes to the extent of calling this, a form of terror. What in fact he is demanding is nothing but bourgeois individualism and anarchic functioning and any form of disciple is being equated with terror. What a communist opposes and despises is the vulgar and crude individualism promoted in this bourgeois society (which has been taken to extreme levels in this globalization period); what we promote is the development of the individuality of all comrades, which can best be realized in a cooperative atmosphere where comrades assist and help each other.

Aneek asks whether the Maoists can give a democratic character to the movement; and in the five questions to the Maoists at the end it says “the pressure tactics on all other political forces proves that the Maoists lack the sense of democracy”. The essence of democracy in the sphere of organization would be here on how and to what extent we are able to mobilize the oppressed masses and raise them to levels of leadership. For the bulk of the masses deprived of all humanity and rights for decades the essence of democracy starts with their self-respect and the assertion of their rights — not cowed down by the dictates of any leader or authority (except that of the collective). This assertion of the downtrodden, which is the essence of democracy, comes with their education, awareness, realization of their own abilities and rights, a comradely atmosphere in the mass organization and the Party, a democratic relationship between the rank-and-file and the leadership, etc, etc. Such will be the main aspect of democracy in the organizational sphere. Over and above this, one must be patient with those forces who have a positive approach to the ongoing class struggle, but have different views from that of the Maoists. But for Aneek to make the latter the central point of the very movement appears to be misguided.

 

Of course, Santosh Rana has come a long way from the revolutionary programme. In the Shramjeevi article he talks not about changing the system but seeking to improve its functioning. He puts in bold that “it should be remembered that none other than the elected bodies, based on universal franchise can take over the political authority”. So, here he talks of democratizing and strengthening the existing panchayat system. And he has presented many concrete proposals for this.  Rana must realize that all organs of the state, no matter which must necessarily serve the class interests of that state. With such a constitutionalist approach it is no wonder that Rana has come out with all fury against the Maoists whose agenda is not strengthening these organs of ruling class authority (the panchayats too get dominated by the semi-feudal type  authority witnessed in society and that is further strengthened by their links to the government and their schemes/contracts) but smashing it and replacing it with the power of the peasant committee slowly developing into the Revolutionary People’s Committees. Santosh Rana has to re-think where he stands vis-à-vis the revolutionary programme for genuine democratic change.

Misconception 3: The Maoists have hijacked a beautiful spontaneous mass movement and their role is destroying it and is counter productive.

Answer 3: The reality is that with the Maoist counter-offensive the mass movement has continued and grown. All the dooms-day forecasts of the intellectuals have proved wrong. This fact needs to be recognized by them and the reasons for their wrong assessments need to be analyzed. Of course in the face of massive state terror there may be ups and downs in a movement, but in this case we have seen growth despite the onslaught. Also the forms of struggle often have to change. But here, the judicious mix of armed actions and mass mobilization (with traditional weapons) has been an excellent example on how to counter the worst forms of state terror. Though it may be true that the movement was a spontaneous outburst against state terror, the fact that the Maoists have been working in this region for over a decade cannot be ignored, and that they had no role to play in the uprising.

Aneek goes as negative as to state: Before the outset of this adivasi revolt there was no significant mass movement led by the Maoists, even after many years of work. Maoist Party had initially a peasant organization but after armed activities the peasant organization died. This pitting the armed activities against mass organizational activities has become a traditional method of opposing the intensification of the class struggle. The reality is that any peacefully struggle, even a small trade union struggle, is faced with onslaught of goons of the malik and then the police. Anyone who has worked among the masses knows this. Due to the inability to face this violence of the state and non-state forces, we find, of late, all mass mobilization even of the legal trade union type, failing and the masses going into passivity. It is only when the masses and their leadership are equipped to crush the goons (maybe of the factory owner, the semi-feudal landed elements, the government or any party) and then the police, that the class struggle can sustain and victories be achieved. It is only then that the masses will get confidence in their organized strength. So, to counter pose the two is not only absurd it displays a deep ignorance of the ground reality of our country, expecting some democratic rights, like say in Europe. Particularly, since the past decade, it has been very clear the state is not tolerating any mass mobilization, let alone those led by the Maoists — except those that are consciously manipulated to let off people’s anger. Can Aneek and others who also talk in the same vain, give even one recent example of a peaceful mass mobilization which was effective and gave the desired results? And with each passing day, with the deepening of the crisis, such peaceful forms of struggle are going to get more and more irrelevant. Whether it is the displacement issue, the attacks on labour, the issues of the peasantry, the land struggles of the landless and poor peasants, the issues for water, the issue of wages, the issue of permanency, the issues against caste oppression and dalit lynching, etc, etc — except for maybe some exception, where have there been any successful peaceful agitation on any of these burning issues of the masses!!! Why has the offense of capital not been beaten back?

 

The so-called democratic space is tolerated so long as the movements are no threat — like, standard processions at Jantar Mantar, rallies to parliament (within limits), etc, etc. Such struggles may be necessary but, more important, is the ability to intensify the class struggle to beat back the offensive on the masses. It must have practical results not just be nominal or ceremonial. Such mass mobilization is only useful if it is a process of gaining strength which will culminate in more affective battles — not if they are repeated in a routine way year-in-and-year-out.

 

This reality is obvious to any who are sensitive to the plight of the poor and oppressed and do not have their visions blinkered by revisionist (supposedly Marxist) theory. In its desperation to draw a dichotomy between the mass movement and the Maoist Party,  Aneek seeks to turn even the reality on its head by ignoring the impact of the Maoists would have had through hard and consistent work in the area for over a decade, in the face of the worst repression by the armed gangs of the CPM and the police. To deny this reality on the imagined basis that the Maoists had no success, till now, is naïve, as it is by  only painstaking work on a step-by-step basis that quantitative growth lead to a qualitative leap in the movement.  After all, one does not get a tree overnight after planting the seed. The initial sapling needs much care only then it will grow into a sturdy tree. Lalgarh, no doubt, seems to be developing into a sturdy tree as its roots appear deeply imbedded in the hearts of the masses.

Misconception 4: In attacking and killing the CPM the Maoists have become like the CPM themselves. They should allow democratic space for all to function.

Answer 4: The CPM has ruled West Bengal, particularly its rural areas, with a brutality not witnessed by even many other ruling class parties. Its Harmad vahini has a notoriety of not only raping and killing at random but terrorizing any who dare even question (let alone oppose) the CPM power brokers at all levels. They have used this brutality not only against the Maoists, not only against the parliamentary opposition, but also against its very own left partners. Its social fascist fangs were clearly displayed at Singur and Nandigram. And in these decades of CPM rule, while the Party bosses and their henchmen have made fortunes, the lives of the people continue to be as miserable as ever. The CPM offices in the localities have become the fountain head of its terror regime. It is nothing but white terror at its worst. Without smashing this authority any real work in rural West Bengal is unthinkable. The semi-feudal type authority of these new elite when smashed only will facilitate the growth of a real democratic authority of the peasants and landless labourers of rural West Bengal. Besides, at the local level the CPM and its main cadre force act as the eyes and ears of the state giving information to the police on Maoist activities.

 

In this scenario what is to be done? How does one build an effective mass movement? The smallest form of independent organization will be smashed in the bud by these goons. They do not permit any democratic space. So, if some democratic space is to be made, this is inconceivable without armed actions on its goon force (armed to the teeth) and their CPM bosses. It is only by smashing this authority that the new democratic authority of the peasant organization can come into being and grow. In rural India the semi-feudal type autocratic atmosphere allows for little democratic space. This democratic space can only be created by destroying this authority, not by adjusting with it in the name of democracy.

 

In Jangalmahal too it was seen that with the entry of the security forces the CPM bosses sought to make a come back. In this area the CPM leadership is the main enemy of the people. The mass anger too is directed at them. But the CPM bosses and their armed gangs function through their cadre base in the region. If this social-fascist authority is to be uprooted thoroughly the kingpins have to be crushed and the poisonous weeds they sprout in the area uprooted. Only then the place will become safe for the people to mobilize and operate in.

 

It is indeed creditable that Maoists and the people could continue their campaign against this terror force even after the entry of the huge security forces. The CPM looters were dreaming of a come-back. Aneek and Rana say these attacks on the CPM are no different as to what the CPM was doing; this too they say is nothing but terror. Unfortunately these two do not see the class content of the actions of the two forces — one being that of the ruling elite, the other of the oppressed masses who try them in people’s courts. Without a class approach it is natural to fall into the above trap. Besides, many of these M-L forces have been hob-knobbing with the CPM and taking favors; this tends to blunt their class stand. True, as they say, both are creating terror — the CPM white terror, the Maoists red terror. The Maoists’ terror and panic is only in the minds of the CPM and state forces; for the people they can for the first time in decades get a breath of freedom. True peace can be achieved only if the security forces withdraw and the people establish their own democratic organs of power in village after village, free from the terror of the CPM hoodlums.

Conclusion

 

These then are some of the main points being raised. We hope this has helped clarify some of the misconceptions of comrades on the path of the Maoists in general and that of the Lalgarh movement in particular. In fact, the Lalgarh experiment has many lessons for the revolutionaries. It is important that this movement sustains and grows both in depth and extent. It is a hope once again for the people of West Bengal who were put into three-and-a-half decades of slumber by the CPM revisionist domination over the state. This had lulled the Bengali population, with its great revolutionary traditions, putting them into a stupor, of which the Aneek/Rana views are a continued reflection. Lalgarh has once again awakened the revolutionary hope of the people of that state, shown up the CPM revisionists for what they really are — social fascists, and inspired the youth to once again take to the Naxalbari path.

 

 

 

Support the Heroic Struggle of Adivasis
in Lalgarh, India

Over the past week, thousands of Indian police and paramilitary forces have descended on Lalgarh, West Bengal to crush the just struggle of the adivasis (tribal people). Progressive people around the world must raise our voices to help break the reign of military terror that has been unleashed upon the people.

 

In November 2008, the adivasis of Lalgarh rose up against decades of abuse by the police and the “new landlords,” the local kingpins of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), commonly known as “CPM.” This is the same “communist” party that tried to take away peasants’ land in Nandigram and Singur, only to be beaten back and exposed by determined struggle.

 

In recent years, hundreds of adivasis in the Lalgarh area have been imprisoned on false charges of having ties with the Maoist insurgency.  They formed the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA), which has extended its influence to hundreds of villages in the Lalgarh area.  In recent months, Maoist activists who have been working in the area for years initiated development projects for drinking water, irrigation, roads and health centers that have involved over 200,000 people.

 

After CPM cadre fired on a demonstration led by the PCPA in early June, thousands of adivasis burned down CPM offices and police camps, symbols of unbridled power and oppression.  As the movement spread to new areas, the West Bengal Left Front government, led by the CPM, asked the central government to send in its armed forces to “retake” the area.  As several thousand West Bengal police and central paramilitaries moved towards Lalgarh, they were met with dug up roads, felled trees and massed demonstrations of adivasis trying to obstruct their progress. They also were dogged by landmines and a series of ambushes by the Maoist forces.  It took them 2 1/2 days to reach the Lalgarh police station.

 

When the police and paramilitaries reached Lalgarh, they moved to teach the adivasis a lesson.  CPM cadre dressed in police uniforms pointed out homes of PCPA members. Police broke into their houses and dragged villagers outside to be beaten. Children were not spared; they broke the leg of a seven year old boy.  Hundreds of women were stripped naked and humiliated: a woman was raped with a rifle butt by a policeman.  The paramilitaries forced local youths to act as “human shields,” searching for hidden mines and explosives. Faced with this brutality, tens of thousands of adivasis were forced to flee their villages. Hundreds of houses have been burnt down and several thousand families were herded out of their villages. More than 20, 000 people are placed now in make shift camps looked after by the opposition parties.

 

Even during this military operation, the Maoists operating in the area held mass meetings of villagers only a few   kilometers from the state forces. According to the Bengali daily Sanbad Pratidin of June 27, the U.S. and Israel have provided technical assistance that has allowed a recently launched Indian satellite to locate Maoist guerilla units in the dense forests. The West Bengal government also clamped down on outside observers. A team of intellectuals from Kolkata, included the film maker Aparna Sen that visited Lalgarh and called for a cease fire was arrested and charged with subversion.  A week later, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) was banned throughout India, and Gour Chakravarthy, the open spokesperson of the CPI (Maoist) in West Bengal, was arrested in Kolkata while giving an interview inside the studio of a TV channel in Kolkata.

 

The adivasis of Lalgarh need the support of progressive and freedom-loving people around the world. The brutality of the West Bengal state and the Indian government must be brought into the light of day.

 

The International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS), (a worldwide alliance of democratic, anti-imperialist mass organizations) supports the heroic and just struggle of the people of Jangal Mahal -Lalgarh and condemns the reactionary and anti-people ruling classes in India that hand in glove with the imperialist powers are hell bent on use of brute force to crush the peoples resistance.

 

We urge all ILPS members, and other progressive, democratic and anti-imperialist people everywhere, to urgently build support for the struggling people of Lalgarh.  Statements of support, public meetings, and demonstrations at Indian embassies and consulates around the world can put pressure on the state to withdraw its occupying forces, and can let the struggling people of Lalgarh know that they have friends far beyond West Bengal.

 

Down with the fascist aggression of the CPM, the WB state and Central Indian state against people of India!

Down with the imperialism, Zionism and all other reaction!

Support the Heroic Struggle of Adivasis in Lalgarh, India!

 

 

Arman Riazi, General Secretary

International League of Peoples’ Struggle(ILPS)

28/06/09

 

Further information on the resistance of the people in Lalgarh and Jangal Mahal can be obtained from ILPS websites (www.ilps-web.com) and the website of the International Campaign against Force Displacement and SEZ www.no2displacement.org

 

Solidarity messages or statement for publication in support of the people’s struggle in Lalgarh can be sent to info@no2displacement.org

 

 

 

Stand With the Struggling Masses of Lalgarh

The purpose of the current much-trumpeted operation by the paramilitary forces in Lalgarh region of West Midnapore (West Bengal) is to suppress the democratic upsurge of the tribals and to send out a warning to all oppressed sections against any attempt to similarly challenge the State authority and establish people’s authority.  It is also part of the ruling classes’ systematic long-planned attack on the communist revolutionaries nationwide who are challenging the entire system of exploitation and oppression. For these reasons it is incumbent on all communist revolutionaries and revolutionary democrats to stand steadfast by the tribals of Lalgarh, oppose the State’s campaign of suppression, and uphold the right of the masses to rebel against the existing oppressive social, economic and political order and set up their own popular authority.  Whatever the differences of tactical line among the communist revolutionaries, they stand united and with the revolutionary masses against the enemy onslaught.

The sparking point for the current rebellion was the atrocities committed by the police on the ordinary tribals to exact vengeance for a CPI (Maoist) land-mine attack on the West Bengal Chief Minister.  These vengeful acts by the police ignited a great store of popular wrath built up over years of autocratic, exploitative, and terroristic treatment of the tribals at the hands of the police and the CPI (M) machinery. There followed an extraordinary and inspiring democratic assertion by the tribals, drawing on their traditions of collective struggle and management of their own affairs.  The tribal masses seized control of the area; blocked off entry points, gheraoed the local police station, formed the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities, drove the police and administration out of the area, and declared their democratic demands.  No doubt these demands were of a limited nature (i.e., not relating to a change in production relation).  Rather, these demands focused on punishment of the guilty police officers by the traditional tribal method of public humiliation, compensation to the victims of police atrocities and an end to all such police repression. More important than the individual demands was the fact that the struggle amounted to a political contest between the will of the oppressed masses and the will of the reactionary ruling classes and their State authorities.

 

The State authorities were well aware that any real concession to even the most obviously justified demands would only further strengthen the organization, consciousness, and fighting spirit of the tribals. Moreover, the ruling CPI (M) beset by agitations and rebellions in Nandigram, Singur, and elsewhere, and facing general elections in May 2009, needed time to maneuver and re-group.  Initial attempts by a private army of CPI (M) hoodlums to terrorize the tribals had proved unsuccessful.  Hence the CPI (M) and the State machinery decided to play a waiting game.

 

The tribal rebellion achieved several important political gains.  It thoroughly exposed the pretensions of the CPI (M) regarding its record among the rural poor.  It exposed the acute backwardness actually prevailing, the absence of even minimum welfare facilities (such as healthcare and employment generation), and the corruption of the CPI (M) party.

 

At the same time, the upsurge showed what the tribal masses were capable of, on the basis of their self-organization and unleashed initiative.  Because of its evidently mass democratic character, the tribal upsurge also awakened a sense of identification among the broad tribal masses of the region not only in contiguous areas but even at distant places, beginning a political process among them as well.

 

The State machinery (at the central and provincial levels) and the CPI (M) lost no time in portraying the tribals as puppets of the CPI (Maoist).  The communist revolutionaries themselves are being portrayed in the State and corporate media propaganda as fearsome and sinister terrorists.  In this fashion the State has for some time now been preparing the ground for a much more intense and no-holds-barred military assault nationwide on the communist revolutionaries and the masses under their influence.  However, the tribals of Lalgarh, seeing the whole-hearted manner in which the comrades of the CPI (Maoist) threw in their lot with them, and contrasting them with the ruling pseudo-communists, refused to be swayed or cowed down by the State propaganda.  Rather, they have openly expressed their support for the CPI (Maoist) comrades working among them.

 

The obstacle to the State armed forces re-entering Lalgarh was not principally military but political: the CPI (M) feared having to pay a heavy political price.  Ultimately, once the elections were over, the Central and state governments, headed by the Congress and CPI (M) respectively, set aside their rivalries in order to crush the Lalgarh people’s movement.  Care was taken to ensure that the Trinamool Congress which otherwise has been using various popular issues in order to hit at the rural CPI (M), remained mum throughout the “cleansing operations”.

 

No doubt, a successful armed blockade altogether preventing the entry of the State forces was not possible, given the actual balance of forces prevailing at the time and the level of the people’s movement.  The police-paramilitary operations appear to have regained control over part of the Lalgarh region, and the coming days will be full of trials and sufferings for the people of the region as the combing and “cleansing” operations continue.  Yet the masses and the CPI (Maoist) forces are continuing their resistance.

 

However, the ultimate consequences of the State’s operation will be intensified alienation and simmering anger among the tribal masses, which offer fertile grounds for an even more powerful organized mass revolutionary upsurge in the future.

 

The CPRCI (ML) supports the tribals’ demand that the police and paramilitary forces of all varieties be withdrawn from the Lalgarh region.  It express solidarity with the struggling masses of Lalgarh, congratulates them for their exemplary struggle, and urges them to continue their struggle in appropriate forms through ups and downs until they attain victory as part of the revolutionary movement of the Indian people.

 

Secretary, CC

CPRCI (ML)

 

June 23rd 2009

Akhil Bharat Nepali Ekta Manch

Central Committee

 

 

Shri. Manmohan Singh

Prime Minister of India

New Delhi

 

 

Subject: Forceful evacuation of 2000 Nepali families in Dang district by Indian Security Forces.

 

Sir,

We wish to bring to your kind notice about the shocking and horrifying incident that happened a few days back in Dang, a mid-west district of Nepal situated across Nepal- India border. As many as two thousands families of Nepali citizens were forcefully evacuated from their homes and property by the Indian security forces known as S.S.B. The entire population was brutally harassed and terrorized by the security forces from India forcing them to leave their ancestral home and property.  In a series of barbarian acts, some of the young girls in the locality were abducted by the forces and civil armed goons. The territory evidently belongs to Nepal is obvious from the fact that Nepali peoples were settled in that part of Nepal since long time. Furthermore, there are cases of destruction and burning of houses, abduction, sexual exploitations and disappearances of Nepalese daughters by Indian security forces known as SSB in twenty two border points including Koilabas, Patauli, Siria, Sukauli, Gurung Bhaisahi, Rajpur, Sunpathri, Kalyani, Khangra, Baruwa and Dog Mara of Dang district. Additionally, the farmland of locals has been forcefully captured and grains and property looted.

 

Similarly, in Bara, SSB has been found being involved in dislocation of border pillars and seizure of Nepali land and helping the Indian nationals to use it in places like Jitkaiya, Wodki, Fuwaria and Basantapur.

 

It is also widely known fact that thousand of hectares of Nepali territory have already been encroached by the Indian side from time to time. The encroachment of Nepali territory by India that measures  seven hundred fifty thousand and fifty eight Ropanis of land (75,358) in Darchula district, far-western Nepal, ( Kuti, Nabhi, Gunji, Namidang, Tulsi Neurang of Kalapani area, in particular ) has so far continued since 1962. Similarly, we have been facing the pain of thousands of hectors of land being seized in Susta of Nawalparasi for long, Besides; encroachment in Thori of Chitwan is also fresh in our mind. There are other more such cases of encroachment which have continuously damaged Nepal’s self-respect and national sovereignty. Further, the pains of encroachment in districts like Kanchanpur, Kailali, Bardia, Banke, Kapilvastu, Nawalparasi, Chitwan, Bara, Rautahat, Saptri, Jhapa, Ilam, Panchthar and Taplejung is still fresh in the mind of Nepali people. We wonder if India could tolerate any such transgression of its land by Pakistan, Burma, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Thailand and China?

 

There are also reports of  thousands of Nepali people being  displaced due to encroachment of Nepali territory Beating, rape, looting, capture of land etc by Indian side is common in these areas. This has been an act of encroachment and violation of Nepal’s sovereignty.-

 

The painful episode of encroachment of Nepali territory in Dang or Bara for that matter is not an isolated incident in our view. It is a continuation of Indian expansionist policy. We strongly protest and condemn the act of Indian government and, at the same time, earnestly request your good office to stop such interventions immediately. We also appeal to the Indian government to take instant action on the points mentioned below:

1. Stop the atrocities of Indian security forces in Dang, Bara and other places.

2. Replace the displaced pillars in the original spots across Nepal India border,

3. Facilitate the Rehabilitation of the displaced Nepali people,

4. Take action against those involved in beating, looting, abduction and rape.

5. Provide compensations to the victims of Dang, Bara and other places.

6.Remove the Indian security forces from Nepali territory like Kalapani, Susta, Maheshpur, Manebhanjyang etc.

 

Thanking you,

Akhil Bharat Nepali Ekta Manch

New Delhi

Date: June 7, 2009

 

{The Indian people strongly condemn the Indian expansionist policy on Nepal and its direct intervention in its internal affairs. The SSB must immediately stop the atrocities and withdraw its illegal incursion into Nepal. The Indian government must compensate the affected families and those guilty of crimes should be tried like ordinary criminals}

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One Response to “Open Letter to United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) From the Communist Party of India (Maoist)”

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