NOBODY CAN KILL THE IDEAS OF ‘AZAD’! NOBODY CAN STOP THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE REVOLUTION!!
– Comrade Ganapathy
Recently some media persons sent some questions to Comrade Ganapathy, the General Secretary of CPI (Maoist). The martyrdom of Politburo member and party spokesperson Comrade Azad, the continuous losses to the Central leadership of the party, the issue of talks with the government, the deluge of militant mass movements in many areas, the situation of the revolutionary movement in the urban and plain areas, party stand on contemporary issues like Kashmir people’s movement, Commonwealth games, judgment on Babri Masjid are some of the issues on which Comrade Ganapathy concentrated and gave his replies. We hope this interview would be useful to know about party’s stand and understanding in the present situation.
– CC, CPI (Maoist)
1. Many people think that your party had suffered a severe backlash with Azad’s death. What are the circumstances which led to his death? How would you assess the role played by Azad in Indian Revolution? How do you plan to overcome his loss?
COMRADE GANAPATHY : True, our party has suffered a severe backlash with the death of Comrade Azad. Azad was one of the topmost leaders in our party. He has been leading the Indian revolution since a long time. In our country, People’s War is intensifying with each passing day. With the aid and support of imperialists, particularly the American imperialists, the Indian exploiting ruling classes are trying to suppress the revolutionary movement and are carrying on ruthless atrocities in an unprecedented severe manner. In this war between the people and the ruling classes, the enemy had particularly concentrated on comrades like Azad who are leading the revolution and schemed to murder them. It is as part of that conspiracy that comrade Azad was caught and killed in the most brutal and cowardly manner. The Home minister Chidambaram, who is leading from the forefront the ‘War on People’ launched by Sonia-Manmohan-Chidambaram gang, central intelligence agencies and Andhra Pradesh SIB are directly responsible for this gruesome murder.
Comrade Azad was leading the entire urban movement on behalf of our Central Committee and was also looking after political propaganda, party periodicals, party education and other such crucial responsibilities. He was a most reliable mass leader. He maintained close relations with many comrades at various levels and with the revolutionary masses. In the midst of severe repression, he worked selflessly and unflinchingly in spite of the many risks involved. It is under such circumstances that the enemy came to know about his whereabouts somewhere and could catch him by laying in wait.
In July, Azad was to go to Dandakaranya. He was to participate in the political education training program planned for the party leadership cadres there. He had a contact with the Dandakaranya comrades in Nagpur city on July 1. But he and a journalist named Hemchand who was traveling with him were caught even before they reached the contact place. Both of them were taken to Adilabad forests and were killed the same night. Those who have seen his dead body said that they seemed have given him some sedative injection as soon as they caught him. This means that the enemy had caught him in a planned manner with the clear aim of killing him. They killed Hemchand Pandey too so that the truth about his murder doesn’t come out. Both their bodies were thrown in the Jogapur forests in the Wankidi mandal of Adilabad district and a fake encounter story was concocted as always.
Entire people along with our Party condemned in one voice this fake encounter and comrade Azad’s murder. Many revolutionary parties, democratic and civil rights organizations had demanded judicial enquiry on this fake encounter. Intellectuals, journalists, writers and students from many states along with those in Andhra Pradesh had accused that the Central and state governments were responsible for Azad’s murder. Many wrote articles and gave statements. Thousands attended the funeral procession of comrade Azad which was held in Hyderabad on July 4th. Many Maoist parties from all over the world had condemned the murder of comrade Azad and written letters to our CC hailing his services to the Indian revolution. On this occasion, I send my revolutionary greetings and gratitude to all these organizations and individuals on behalf of our CC. It is such democratic and revolutionary consciousness which would help sustain people’s movements.
Azad was attracted to the revolutionary movement while he was studying in the Warangal Regional Engineering College in 1972. Azad who was exceptionally brilliant in his studies had played a dynamic role in the revolutionary movement too. He played a role in the formation of the Radical Students Union (RSU) in 1974. He was elected as the state president of RSU in 1978. He was one of the founders of the All India revolutionary student’s movement and guided it from its inception in 1985. He played a key role in conducting a seminar on Nationality Question in the then Madras city in 1981. Later he took up the responsibility of building the revolutionary movement in Karnataka and build up the Maoist party in Karnataka for the first time. He attracted many comrades like Saketh Rajan into the party. When opportunistic elements tried to split the party in 1985 and in 1991, comrade Azad had played a crucial role in keeping the party united and strong and in defeating their opportunist politics with a proletarian outlook. He worked tirelessly for twenty years as a CC member and Politburo member from 1990 till now. We cannot separate Azad’s life from the revolutionary movement’s history of the past forty years. Particularly, he played a key role in the ideological, political spheres, party education and running of periodicals and such. He fulfilled the responsibility of the party spokesperson since three years as ‘Azad’ in the most excellent and exemplary manner. He used his intellect and sharp pen outstandingly in fighting back the ‘War on People’ led by the Chidambaram gang. He stood as the voice of the people against the rulers and exploiters. In the development of the party’s political line, in the development of the party, people’s army and mass organizations, in extending the movement, in the emergence of new democratic power organs and in all the victories won, Azad’s ideological, political work and practice played a key role. Unflinching commitment in face of any odds and during the ebb and flow of the movement, great sacrificing nature, selflessness, simple living, indefatigable work for the revolution and for the interests of the people, astounding study, study of changing phenomena in the society from time to time, being with the people always are some of the great proletariat ideals established by Comrade Azad. Though he is no more, it is undeniable that he would serve as a revolutionary role model to every revolutionary and particularly to the youth, students and intellectuals.
It is true that it would be very difficult to fulfill the loss because comrade Azad’s life has been completely intertwined with the advancement of the revolutionary movement. He was a great revolutionary who was steeled in the ups and downs of the movement. Revolutionary movements give birth to leaders in this manner. In turn, these leaders lead the revolutionary movements down the path of victory. The sacrifice of many leaders is also inevitable in the revolutionary movement. The very conditions which give birth to the revolutionary movements and help its advancement would give birth to its leadership too. This has been proven repeatedly in the world revolutionary history. So the material conditions which are favorable for the rapid advancement of the revolutionary movement in our country today would give birth to thousands of leaders like comrade Azad. The ideological-political and practical work done by comrade Azad and the communist ideals he established have created the base for such an eventuality. The martyrdom of a Surapaneni Janardhan had placed an ideal in front of many comrades like Azad. Likewise many more revolutionaries would be born by taking the sacrifice of Azad as an ideal. They would lead the Indian revolution. The enemy could eliminate the physical presence of Azad but it would be impossible to stop the ideas he had spread in the party and among the people from turning into a material force.
In our history though we had lost important leaders many times and had faced many ups and downs, we had always stood up again and could advance the movement. We are still attracting educated cadres into our party from various parts of our country. We are confident that we would be able to fill the void created by Azad’s death by training them up well in practice. The ruling classes are ecstatic that they had broken the jar of knowledge by killing Azad. But those fools do not understand that thousands of Azads would be born from the land where that knowledge had been spilled. Azad had haunted the ruling classes with his political attacks when he was alive. Now even after his death he is haunting them. The ruling classes startle at the very mention of his name.
Before the death of Azad too, we had lost important leadership comrades in fake encounters and many more had been arrested. These losses are heavy too. But we would definitely overcome these losses and would definitely advance the revolutionary movement firmly.
2. In the interview you gave to Jan Myrdal and Gautam Navlakha you said that your party was ready for talks with the government. In the letter written by your spokesperson Azad to Agnivesh, he said your party was ready for simultaneous ceasefire from both sides. Now that the government had killed Azad in a conspiratorial manner, do you think it is possible to hold talks? Are you still reiterating the stand taken before the death of Azad?
COMRADE GANAPATHY : In fact, you should put this question to Chidambaram and Manmohan Singh. For the past one and half year, comrades Azad, Kishenji and I have been stating our party’s stand regarding talks a number of times. The government has been hiding the endless brutal violence it had been perpetuating on the people and has been announcing each time that talks would be held only if Maoists abjure violence. Chidambaram has been repeatedly shouting these words from the roof top. Keeping in view the war declared on the people and the difficulties they are facing due to it, Azad had continued declaring till the end that our party would be ready for simultaneous cease fire if the government is ready for it. His intention was to lessen the travails of the people to any possible extent. He mentioned the same demand in the letter written to Swami Agnivesh. Chidambaram and Manmohan Singh had not only killed him in a conspiratorial manner but are shamelessly performing the same charade once again. The fact is that the government doesn’t feel any actual need for holding talks. If the peace wished by intellectuals, democrats and the people is to be established, then the most meaningless thing would be to demand that the counter-violence by people should be stopped while the government continues with its killing spree. When Chidambaram announced that Maoists should stop violence for 72 hours and Kishenji responded by giving a time of 72 days, Chidambaram’s answer was to target Kishenji and to intensify the attacks in order to kill him. Azad who had written the letter to Agnivesh was targeted and killed. As part of Operation Green Hunt nearly one lakh paramilitary forces and three lakh state forces have been deployed. Of these the major forces are Special Forces. Every day, every hour and every minute these forces are perpetuating countless atrocities on the people. They are targeting the people and democrats who are opposing this and putting them in jails under UAPA and other draconian laws of the states. Except for the reactionaries and their stooges in the media, nobody else is supporting this war on people in our country. Even if there are a few individuals who support it, it is not because they know the facts but because they innocently believe the false propaganda of the government. We feel that there is absolutely no conducive situation for holding talks now.
People like Agnivesh are asking us not to retreat from the dialogue process and to come forward for talks even after the cold-blooded murder of comrade Azad. We want to ask them if they would be able to stop such conspiracies and plots the government is hatching to kill our party leaders. Doubtless, comrade Azad was killed by the government in a conspiracy. The post-mortem and forensic reports too prove this beyond doubt. So we request all democrats, peace-loving intellectuals and human rights’ organizations to come forward with the firm demand that judicial enquiry should be conducted on Azad’s murder.
It is crystal clear that there is no conducive atmosphere for talks. In spite of this we request the people and democrats to demand the government to prove its commitment towards the process of talks by coming forward to implement the following steps.
1) Stop Operation Green Hunt. Withdraw the paramilitary forces. If the government stops its offensive on the people, then the counter-offensive of the people would also stop. As many intellectuals are saying, if the offensive of the government doesn’t take place then there would be no need for the people to resist.
2) Ours is a political party like many other parties in this country and the world. Our party has an ideological and military line and aim and correct, clear-cut policies on matters relating to culture, caste, gender, nationality, ecology etc. Even according to the laws formulated by these ruling classes, democratic rights would apply to our party. So the ban on our party should be lifted. Ban on our mass organizations should be lifted. Absolute democratic opportunities should be created for mass mobilization. Only in conditions where we could work democratically, we can come forward for talks.
3) In Andhra Pradesh, comrade Riyaz who had participated in talks with the government in 2004 was caught and murdered after torturing him brutally. Others who participated in talks were targeted and attempts were made to assassinate them. Now comrade Azad who was working to facilitate the process of talks was murdered. So, it is not possible to believe the government and send underground comrades for talks. Therefore if the government releases our leadership comrades from jails, then they would directly represent our party in the talks.
So, you people should think about these three demands and place them before the government. We want to make it clear once again that any questions regarding talks should be put to the government first and not to us.
GK Pillai, Prakash Singh, Chidambaram and such likes are saying that we would come into line only if pressure is built up on us through intensification of fascist military offensive on our party and massacring the people. They are living in a fools’ paradise. Building pressure, creating illusions in the name of talks, deceiving and destroying the party – this is the strategy of the government. In fact, our party is fighting for peace too. They believe only in suppression and they are incompetent in facing us politically and ideologically. People are fighting under the leadership of our party with the lofty aim of establishing permanent peace by ending the exploitation, oppression, brutal suppression and violence in our country and in the whole human society. We see the issue of ‘talks’ and ‘peace’ as part of class struggle too. When class struggle intensifies, it would be in an armed form. In other circumstances it would be conducted in peaceful methods too. So it is completely false that our party would come for talks if pressure is built up.
And then, a false propaganda is being conducted through the media that there are differences in our party regarding talks and that they are mainly on the lines of erstwhile MCCI and erstwhile People’s War. This is hundred percent false. This is nothing but false propaganda by the enemy to create doubts in peoples’ minds about our party to carry on their aims. Our Unity Congress has taken a clear stand on the matter of talks. The struggle between correct ideas and wrong ideas is a continuous process in the party. We would solve our differences of opinion by abiding the principle of democratic centralism and in the light of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. This would only lead to the development of the party. We achieved great unity with the merger of the two parties. Now any discussions or conflict of ideas which takes place in the party would be in the form of ideological and political discussions in a united party and not in the form of differences between erstwhile MCCI and erstwhile CPI (ML) (People’s War). We categorically state that the differences would never ever take the form of conflicts before the merger.
3. You are saying that the government has declared a war on the people. The government is saying that there is no war and that Operation Green Hunt is a figment of imagination of the media. It is very clear that coordinated attacks are carried on your party in all states. How is this offensive going on? How are you facing it and plan to face it?
COMRADE GANAPATHY : It is not just us who are saying that the government had declared a war on the people. All the people are saying so in one voice. All the people of the areas where this war is going on are saying so. All the democratic organizations, progressive forces and democrats of our country are saying very clearly that government is carrying a war on the people and are condemning it. The government is carrying on war on people and is blatantly lying that it is not the case. While Longkumer, Kalluri and Viswaranjan announce that the Operation Green Hunt is going on, on the other hand Chidambaram shamelessly declares that there is no such thing. It is increasingly getting exposed how terrible, how cruel fascist act this Green Hunt is and how dreadfully it is being carried on. In fact, in the various states where Maoist movement is present, nearly one lakh paramilitary forces are deployed. If we look at the number of police forces deployed in 9, 10 states against our movement it would be nearly three to four lakhs. What is the reason for deploying such a huge contingent of forces? What are these forces doing on a daily basis? Why are they increasing carpet security and construction of base camps, special training schools and jungle warfare schools? Why is the police budget of each state increased to such huge amounts and so rapidly? Why did the government release a package of thirteen and a half thousands of crores of rupees at once? Why huge sum of over one trillion rupees was allotted for internal security? Why are the central and state governments spending thousands of crores of rupees annually with the evil design of eliminating our movement? Why is the government carrying on mopping up campaigns in our strong areas like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, Maharashtra, North Andhra and North Telangana? Mopping up means destroying everything. Anybody can be killed, arrested, missed, raped and property, houses, harvest and everything can be destroyed. All this is nothing but fascist rule.
It is as part of this war that the enemy is concentrating on our leadership and killing them in the most brutal manner and putting them in jails by arresting them in an undemocratic and illegal manner. The government has chosen armed repression as the main form and carrying on this war. However, in support of this it is carrying on the offensive in all other spheres, i.e., political, ideological, psychological, cultural spheres in a multi-pronged attack.
That is why the people are consolidating themselves under our party leadership with a clear strategy, intensifying the people’s war and establishing a new political power, new economy and new culture as an alternative to the present rule of the exploiting classes. Under our party’s leadership our PLGA, our new power organs and people are fighting a life and death struggle against MoUs worth billions of rupees which the central and state governments had signed with MNCs and big comprador corporate houses in many states such as Odisha, Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh etc. That is why, people are saying that this callous government is lying when it says that this is not a war. People, democrats and revolutionary forces are strongly and unitedly opposing and equally strongly fighting back the war on people which the government is intensifying day by day. Democratic forces, anti-imperialist forces and revolutionary proletariat all over the world are also strongly opposing and protesting this war on the people waged by the ruling classes of our country.
I want to clearly state one thing here. This war on the people is a brutal war launched by the government to suppress our just movement. This is an unjust war politically. This war by the ruling classes is carried on with a clear political aim. This would permanently continue the exploitation and oppression of the people. The self-defence war waged by the people also has a clear political aim. We are fighting with the aim of establishing a new society by destroying the exploitive and oppressive system. These two aims are completely at the opposite poles. At present revolutionary war is being waged in our country. The rulers are waging counter-revolutionary war against this revolutionary war. Both of these are seriously confronting each other. They represent the interests of two completely opposite classes.
Firstly, we want to fight back this war politically. The political aim of our resistance war is very clear. Depending on how deeply the vast masses understand this, how much they consolidate themselves, how much they arm themselves, we will be able to end this war as soon as possible. We are striving hard for the same. That is why we are fighting the enemy in a multi-pronged manner in all spheres.
4. Chidambaram and Manmohan Singh are repeatedly asking you to ‘abjure violence’. But the attacks of your people’s liberation guerilla army are continuing. Don’t you think this is making it difficult to arrive at a solution? In the background of your recent attacks at Tadimetla (Dantewada), Kongera (Narayanpur), Silda (West Bengal) and Lakhisarai (Jharkhand), some people are expressing their anxiety that you are responding only with military means. They are saying that this would facilitate the deployment of army and that it would lead to more violence and greater loss of lives of ordinary citizens and adivasis. What do you say?
COMRADE GANAPATHY : Our central leadership has clearly stated our stand many times on this issue. I will do so one more time. It is nothing but a big deception and charade by the government to ask the people to abjure violence while the state continues its violence. It is violating its own laws and is massacring the people. So it is very necessary that every democrat and any politically conscious person questions the government on this and demands that it stop the violence and war on the people. They should demand that it is the government which should abjure violence. When the government says that we are practicing violence, it is just like a thief shouting ‘thief, thief’. It is trying to divert attention from the real issue by doing so.
People whose consciousness has risen would not sit quiet and suffer these attacks carried on with the aim of looting their resources and to turn them into permanent slaves using the government mercenary armed forces. They would resist them by arming themselves. All the members of our people’s guerilla army are none other than masses who have armed themselves voluntarily. These masses who had been exploited and oppressed like slaves since generations have understood the laws of historical development of society and are fighting by arming themselves. Our party is repeatedly making this clear – there is only one way for the people to achieve their liberation and that is the armed way. It means arming themselves, forming themselves into an army and waging an armed struggle. When crores of people of our country increase their political consciousness and build up a vast, strong army and when this army fights effectively, it would be possible to put an end to this exploitative rule. The soon this happens, the better for the people. That is why our party gives a call to the youngsters of this country every year on the occasion of the anniversary of the formation of our PLGA to arm themselves. This call is increasingly spreading widely among the people. The attacks carried on recently by our people’s army under the leadership of the party and with the active support of the people at Tadimetla (Mukaram), Silda, Lakhisarai, Kongera etc., are all military attacks. Who is anxious about these attacks? Is it the ruling classes and its mercenaries or the people? People are celebrating each occasion of a successful raid like a festival. Each such attack is giving a political message in a practical manner and showing them the path of liberation. The people understand this exactly in this manner. On the contrary seeing all these, the ruling classes are trembling with fear. Read the rest of this entry »