The present draft document has been finalized by Joint CC of the erstwhile CPI (ML)[PW] and the MCCI in September 2004 after extensive discussions. Five draft documents were prepared after intense discussions in a series of bilateral meetings held between the high-level delegations of the two erstwhile parties between February 2003 and September 2004.
The Joint CC meeting deeply studied these five draft documents, freely exchanged the rich experiences acquired through the revolutionary practice during the past three decades and more, and arrived at a common understanding on several vexed questions confronting the Indian revolution in the backdrop of the international developments. The present document – Strategy & Tactics – is the synthesis of all the positive points in the documents of the two erstwhile parties, as well as their experiences in the course of waging the people’s war, fighting against revisionism, and right and left opportunist trends in the Indian and international communist movement, and building a stable and consistent revolutionary movement in various parts of our country.
We are placing the present document before the entire rank and file of our new Unified Party for immediate guidance and implementation. At the same time, it should be borne in mind that this is a draft for the forthcoming Congress of the Unified Party. Hence, it has to be enriched further by the participation of all the Party members and suggesting amendments where necessary.
Thus, it should become an effective weapon in the hands of the Party for solving the fundamental problems of the Indian revolution and to advance it towards victory.
Central Committee (P) 21-9-2004 Communist Party of India (Maoist)
The aim of Strategy and Tactics will always be to successfully complete a given stage of any revolution based on the programme related to that stage. It is important to bear in mind the guidelines given by Com. Stalin that theory should guide the Programme; Programme should guide the Strategy; and Strategy should guide the Tactics. The strategy can be correctly worked out only by basing itself on the data provided by, and the conclusions drawn from, the theory and programme of MLM. The Strategy and Tactics of the Indian Revolution should be formulated by creatively applying the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism Maoism to the concrete conditions prevailing in our country. This means that the Strategy and Tactics should be evolved by basing on an objective class analysis of the Indian society; the character of the Indian State; the Fundamental contradictions and the Principal contradiction; and by taking into account the specific characteristics, the special features as well as the peculiarities of the Indian situation.
The strategy of the Indian Revolution in the present stage should thus serve to fulfill the New Democratic programme by successfully completing the New Democratic Revolution. The tactics that are to be formulated in every twist and turn of the movement in the various regions at various times should be subordinated to the strategy and to serve to effectively implement the above strategy. Such is the dialectical relationship between the Programme, Strategy and Tactics of the Indian Revolution. Regarding Strategy and Tactics Comrade Stalin stated as follows:
“Strategy: is the determination of the direction of the main blow of the proletariat at a given stage of the revolution, the elaborating of the corresponding plan for the disposition of the revolutionary forces (main and secondary reserves), the fight carry out this plan throughout the given stage of the revolution.
“Tactics: Tactics are the determination of the line of conduct of the proletariat in the comparatively short period of the flow or ebb of the movement, of the rise or decline of the revolution, the fight to carry out this line by means of replacing old forms of struggle and organisation by new ones, by combining these forms etc. “Tactics deal with the forms of struggle and forms of organisation of the proletariat with their change and combinations. During a given stage of the revolution tactics may change several times, depending on the flow or ebb, the rise or decline, of the revolution.” (Problems of Leninism – pages 80, 82, 84)
However, the above definition of strategy by Com. Stalin should not be followed mechanically in a doctrinaire manner but apply it to the concrete conditions of our country in which our revolution is taking place.
We must also keep in mind the caution given by the Communist party of China in this regard: “Stalin put forward a formula that in different revolutionary periods, the main blow should be so directed as to isolate the middle-of-the-road social and political forces of the time. This formula of Stalin’s should be treated according to circumstances and from a critical, Marxist point of view. In certain circumstances it may be correct to isolate the middle forces, but it is not correct to isolate them under all circumstances.” (On the Historical Experience of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, April 5, 1956) Thus a policy of “developing the progressive forces, winning over the middle- of-the-roaders, and isolating the die-hards” for the purpose of defeating the main enemies will have to be adopted in the concrete conditions of our country.
Regarding strategy, comrade Mao said: ‘Strategy is the study of the laws of a war situation as a whole’. He further explained, ‘the task of the science of strategy is to study those laws for directing a war that govern a war situation as a whole, the task of the science of campaigns and the science of tactics is to study those laws for directing a war that govern a partial situation’. Regarding the importance of the science of strategy comrade Mao further stated, ‘an understanding of the whole facilitates the handling of the part and because the part is subordinate to whole. ‘The view that strategic victory is determined by tactical successes alone is wrong because it overlooks the fact that victory or defeat in a war is far and foremost a question of whether the situation as a whole and its various stages is properly taken into account. If there are serious defects or mistakes in taking the situation as a whole and the various stages into account, the war is sure to be lost.’
The above quotation, though deals with military strategy and tactics, gives us a lucid and dialectical understanding about the concept and interrelationship between strategy and tactics. We learn from the experiences of the Russian and Chinese revolutions that we have to formulate both the political and military strategy in order to carry out any revolution to victory. In the Chinese revolution the CPC under the leadership of Mao worked out the political and military strategy by first making a concrete class analysis of the Chinese society, an assessment of character of the Chinese society and state, and the stage of revolution.
The political strategy for the Indian democratic revolution arises from the concrete class analysis of the present-day Indian society. It is the task of political strategy to distinguish real friends from real enemies of the proletariat in the present stage of the Indian Revolution. It identifies the targets that have to be overthrown and motive forces that have to be united in order to successfully complete the revolution. To distinguish real friends from real enemies, we must make a general analysis of various classes in Indian society from the point of view of their respective socio-economic status and their respective political attitudes towards the revolution. At present new democratic stage of the Indian Revolution the targets to be overthrown are imperialism, feudalism and comprador bureaucrat capitalism.
The basic motive force of this revolution is the proletariat, the peasantry, especially the landless and poor peasants, are the main motive forces and the firmest ally of the proletariat, the urban petty bourgeoisie is a reliable ally, and the national bourgeoisie is an ally in certain periods and to a certain extent. Thus the political strategy of the Indian democratic revolution is to unite, under the leadership of the proletariat, all the above motive forces which constitute the vast majority – almost nine-tenths – of the Indian population to overthrow the three heavy mountains that are weighing down the backs of the Indian people and keeping the country in a semi-colonial semi-feudal, state.
In the present stage, where no imperialist power is resorting to direct aggression on our country or when our country has not been reduced to the status of neo-colony of any single imperialist power, it is the contradiction between feudalism and broad masses of the people at present that is the principal contradiction. Agrarian revolutionary programme and area-wise seizure of power remain primary during the entire period. But f the principal contradiction changes to that between imperialism and the Indian people, accordingly a specific programme to unite all the anti-imperialist forces will have to be drawn up as part of the general programme of the New Democratic Revolution.
Whereas the Strategy of the Indian Revolution remains the same throughout the country, the uneven economic, political, social and cultural development in the country the fighting zeal and the level of consciousness of the people and the ebb and flow of the movement underscore the need for different tactics, which are obviously subordinate to strategy, to be pursued in different region at any given time. The intensity of class struggle in various regions and the uneven economic, political, social and cultural development should be concretely analysed in the respective areas and basing on that analysis, tactics (i.e., forms of struggle and forms of organisation) should be formulated.
Along with these different tactics for different regions, common political tactical slogans for the entire country should also be formulated from time to time to mobilise the entire people of the country on specific issues.
The military strategy has to be formulated basing on the specific characteristics of the revolutionary war in India. These characteristics determine the military strategy to be one of protracted people’s war, as enunciated by comrade Mao-of establishing revolutionary base areas first in the countryside where the enemy is relatively weak and then to gradually encircle and capture the cities which are the bastions of the enemy forces.
The strategy and tactics of the revolution in any country cannot be worked out in isolation from the overall international situation. One has to take into account the actual situation both in the world at large and in the given country prevailing at a given point of time in order to formulate the strategy and tactics correctly. This is because in the imperialist epoch the revolution in every country is an integral part of the world proletarian revolution.
Indian Revolution in the continuous Process of World Revolution
The history of social development throughout the world since the emergence of class divided society is the history of class struggles itself. In the process of social development the revolutionary struggles of the peoples of different countries proceed through different stages and these struggles will have their peculiar characteristics too; but they are always subordinate to the general laws of development of the history. The motion of development of world history through class struggle is towards the very establishment of a society without class and without exploitation, towards socialism and communism.
The revolutionary movement of the Indian people is also advancing through different stages; it has got its own peculiarities too. But it remains within the general laws of development towards socialism and communism. The world-historic objective of the international proletariat and its vanguard, the Communist Parties of the whole world, is in full conformity with the laws of development of history. The historic goal of the working class of India, as well as of the whole world, is to establish socialism and communism in the world as a whole. The Great October revolution was nothing but an inevitable outcome of the revolutionary struggles of the international proletariat and the people and the Great Chinese Revolution was the continuation of that process.
The Indian Revolution too is an inseparable part of the revolutionary struggles of the international proletariat and the people. Hence without “the correct class analysis of the objective conditions of the whole world and of world politics and economics, that is, the correct class analysis on the basis of Marxism-Leninism of the fundamental contradictions of the contemporary world and their mutual relations and influences“, it is impossible to make a correct appraisal of the international situation and of the internal situation of India, it is impossible to formulate the general line determining the main direction of the revolutionary struggles of the working class and the people of all countries or to realise its significance, and it is also impossible to determine in conformity therewith, the correct strategy and tactics of the Indian revolution.
The concrete objective condition of India and the question of the Indian revolution should be judged only in the light of the international situation and the revolutionary struggles of the people of the whole world. In a nutshell, the objective condition of the present day world is manifest in the fundamental contradictions of the present-day world and their interrelations and inter-influences. These fundamental contradictions are:
a) The contradiction between imperialism and oppressed nations and people;
b) The contradiction between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie in the capitalist countries.
c) The contradiction between the various imperialist powers.
The concrete situation of today’s world has been clearly revealed on the basis of the above-mentioned fundamental contradictions of the present day world and in their mutual relation and influences. Another fundamental contradiction-the contradiction between the socialist camp and the imperialist camp-that had characterised the world for almost six decades from the Great October Revolution, went out of existence at present with the restoration of capitalism in the last Socialist Base of the world proletariat, People’s Republic of China, after the demise of Com. Mao in 1976.
However, the struggle between socialism and capitalism will continue to exist through out the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution. Today it is manifested chiefly in the ideological, political and cultural spheres and as a struggle between the two contending classes – the proletariat, representing the forces of socialism, and the bourgeoisie, representing capitalism. The victory of revolutions in one or a few countries and the re-emergence of a socialist camp will once again bring the fourth fundamental contradiction into existence. The contradiction between imperialism and oppressed nations and people is the principal contradiction in the present-day world. The countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America are the storm-centres of the world revolution dealing deadly blows against imperialism.
The end of direct colonial rule in the aftermath of the Second World War due to the relative weakening of imperialism and the growing national liberation struggles world-wide, had compelled the imperialists to switch over to new methods of rule and control and exploitation of the former colonies i.e. neo-colonialism, and in this respect they depend on their indigenous agents, selected and trained by them. This neo-colonialism is the more sinister and more pernicious form of colonialism and has extended its stranglehold over the countries of entire Asia, Africa and Latin America. This is an important development that should be taken into consideration when analysing the situation in these countries. India, a vast country inhabited by 105 crores of people, rich and abundant in natural wealth, is one of the strongest bases of imperialism. And that is why the progress and success of the new democratic revolution of India, directed against imperialism, CBB and feudalism, will not only liberate the Indian people from the ruthless exploitation and oppression of imperialism but will also elevate to a new stage the struggle of the people of the whole world for independence, democracy, socialism and peace.
The success of the new democratic revolution of India and the establishment of a people’s democratic state in India will play an important role in accelerating the world proletarian revolution and will signify an important historical advancement towards the establishment of a new world free of imperialism, capitalism and the exploitation of man by man.
Character of the present-day Indian Society
The contemporary Indian society is semi-colonial and semi-feudal under neo-colonial form of indirect rule, exploitation, and control. This fact derives from an objective study of the development of the Indian socio-economic and political system ever since the colonial period to the present day. When the British colonialists conquered India in the second half of the 18th century, capitalism was beginning to develop in the womb of feudal society in our country. The British colonialists arrested the independent development of capitalism and the Indian society was transformed from feudal to colonial and semi-feudal.
In 1947 the colonial and semi-feudal society was transformed into a semi-colonial and semi-feudal society. Ever since then, just as in other countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, in India too, the imperialists have adopted a new form of colonial exploitation, control and rule i.e. neo-colonial form of indirect rule instead of the old form of direct colonial rule. For this, the imperialists depend on the ‘Indian’ compradors who have been nurtured by them since their very inception in the colonial period. Why do we call India semi-colonial? After the British colonialists were compelled to give up their direct rule over our country, the power was transferred to their compradors-the big bourgeoisie and big landlords, on condition that the imperialist capital and their interests are protected.
Several imperialist powers took the place of British imperialism in oppressing and exploiting our country. It is these imperialist powers that actually control the politics, economy and culture and decide almost all the vital policies of the ruling classes of India under the sign-board of formal independence that is fake in essence. Thus, as no single imperialist power is in a position to exercise its control and rule over the country as a whole, India is not a neo-colony but continues to be a semi-colony under the indirect rule, exploitation and control of various imperialist powers. Hence we call India as a semi-colonial, semi-feudal country under neo-colonial form of indirect rule, exploitation and control.
Thus after the so-called independence, the imperialist exploitation of the Indian people has not only remained uninterrupted but has also tremendously increased in the past years. In accordance with their neo-colonial policies, methods and tactics throughout the world, the imperialists have, in collaboration with the ‘Indian’ comprador capitalists, invested capital amounting to thousands of cores of rupees in various industries of the private sector, state sector and trapped the entire Indian economy in their financial web through so-called ‘aid’ and ‘loan’. By appointing their so-called advisers and experts, the imperialists have tightened their stranglehold over the various government departments. In reality, this bureaucrat capital is in the control of imperialism and their instrument of increasing the profits of the imperialists and their Indian compradors. With the help of their Indian compradors, the imperialists are preserving India as the market for their commodities, source of cheap capital export, and are plundering India’s wealth and sucking its blood and retarding its development. In a nutshell, the Indian economy is a semi-colonial one of the neo-colonial form.
The exploitation and control of imperialism, particularly U.S. imperialism, are not confined to the sphere of economy alone; with the help of the weapon of neo-colonialism they have established their own influence, exploitation and control over military policies through various means, such as, military “aid and co-operation”, employment of “advisers”, etc., and are strengthening their positions day by day through various kinds of military pacts. All these are going on under the various signboards of the “national defence”, the “defence of the country”, etc., etc. This army is being used not only to suppress the revolutionary movements and national liberation struggles in India but also in other countries.
Creation of Bangladesh, forced annexation of Sikkim, interfering in the internal affairs of the neighbouring courtiers, sending army to Sri Lanka and Maldives etc. are the examples of the expansionist activities of Indian State backed by the super powers during the decade of 1970s and 80s. Today it is pursuing the policies of intervention, blackmail, meddling and subversion in the affairs of Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka etc., with the same backing of the various imperialist powers, particularly the US superpower. The imperialists have thus established their influence, exploitation and control over the Indian economics, politics, foreign policy, military policy, state and governmental policies, culture, that is, on every aspect of the social life. In reality at present India is nothing but a semi-colony of the neo-colonial type and India is one of the chief fortresses of the international counter-revolution too.
The contradiction between imperialism and the great masses of the Indian people remains as one of the fundamental contradictions of the present day Indian society. Why do we call India semi-feudal? Unlike in the West, where capitalism developed by overthrowing feudalism, in India, the British colonialism protected feudalism and used it as its social prop. Introduction of capitalist relations by the British imperialist rulers without basically altering the feudal stranglehold over the vast masses of the peasantry had resulted in semi-feudal production relations. The semi-feudal production relations continued even after the end of direct colonial rule. The imperialists used both the comprador bureaucrat capitalism and feudalism as their social props for their neo-colonial control and exploitation.
Due to this alliance between these three main enemies of the Indian people land reforms have not altered the basic structure of agrarian class relations; and usurious and mercantile exploitation of the vast masses in the countryside continues unhindered even after more than half-a-century of so-called independence. Land concentration in the hands of a few landlords and kulaks on the one hand, poor and landless peasantry of the rural population on the other, continues to characterise the rural scene. As a result, the number of landless agricultural labourers is swelling by leaps and bounds. Due to dearth of jobs, they are obliged to do inhuman labour like bonded servants of the landlords and plantation owners. Duo to want of jobs most of them are compelled to live most wretched life, millions of people die or illness caused by starvation and half-starvation. Another dreadful aspect of the feudal exploitation in India is the usury exploitation that extracts enormous sums of interest from the peasantry.
Besides private usurers, various banks and financial companies too exploit the peasantry. Thus rural indebtedness has been increasing by leaps and bounds. Ruthless exploitation by unscrupulous traders is squeezing the vast peasant masses while selling the agricultural produce and buying the agricultural inputs from the market. Servitude and personal subordination of the poor and landless peasant masses, who constitute the overwhelming majority of the peasantry, to the feudal forces in innumerable forms, is perpetuated through ideological institutions and through the coercive arm of the State and even private armies. The life of the peasant masses is shattered continuously by the exploitation and oppression by the gangs of local tyrants, the evil gentry, intermediaries, the police, the courts and by a long hierarchy of government officials-all of whom act as loyal agents of imperialism, feudalism, and comprador bureaucrat capitalism, and by the feudal dictum of various kinds.
All these have made the life of the peasant intolerable. The feudal oppression is not in the countryside alone nor is it confined to the peasant masses. In addition, the semi-feudal mode of production itself oppresses the vast masses of the country through the state machinery and through the ideological, cultural and other super-structural aspects. So it can be doubtlessly be said that not only the peasantry but the vast masses of the population of the country have contradiction with feudalism. The feudal exploitation and oppression is hindering not only the development of agrarian economy but also the path of the industrial development of India. Feudalism is one of the main obstacles on the way to the economic and social development of India. Feudalism versus the broad masses of the people is one of the fundamental contradictions in India.
Major Contradictions in Indian Society
From the above understanding of the contemporary Indian society we find that there are four major contradictions in the present day Indian Society. These are:
1. The contradiction between imperialism and the Indian people;
2. The contradiction between feudalism and the broad masses;
3. The contradiction between capital and labour;
4. The internal contradictions among the ruling classes;
Out of these four major contradictions the first two are the fundamental contradictions in the present day Indian society. Again, out of these two fundamental contradictions feudalism vs. the broad masses of the people is the principal contradiction at present. The New Democratic Revolution in India has to pass through more than one phase and in any of the phases, one of these fundamental contradictions becomes the principal contradiction. However, the principal contradiction cannot remain unchanged throughout the entire process of the New Democratic Revolution; rather the principal contradiction and the non-principal one among the two fundamental contradictions are bound to change their positions with the changes in the phases of the revolution.
As the existence and development of the principal contradiction and the struggles emerging there from play a decisive role in the existence and development of other contradictions and the struggles emerging out of those contradictions, so, at any stage of development of the revolution, it is very important to correctly determine which of the contradictions is the principal one and who are the main enemies at that particular stage, so that maximum emphasis can be given on organizing and developing the struggles emerging out of the principal contradiction and all the struggles of the people can be spearheaded against the principal enemies at that stage. The other two major contradictions also have a bearing on the Strategy and Tactics of the Indian Revolution.
Class character of the Indian State
From a concrete class analysis of the Indian society and state we find that, under the signboard of the so-called Republic and the Parliamentary democracy, India is nothing but a semi-colonial and semi-feudal state under neo-colonial form of indirect rule, exploitation and control. It is the armed forces, judiciary, prisons, bureaucracy, etc. of the state machinery that execute the actual business of the state and the principal organ of this state machinery is its armed forces. . The present Indian state machinery is the instrument of class repression, class exploitation and class rule of the comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and big landlords who subserve the imperialists.
Thus the state machinery protects the interests of the imperialists, the CBB and the feudal forces; renders them armed protection; and oppresses the working class, the peasantry and other toiling masses. The Indian State is the joint dictatorship of the big bourgeoisie-big landlord classes who serve imperialism; it ensures democracy for this tiny section of the society while exercises dictatorship over the vast masses of the Indian people. Like any other exploiting State, the Indian State too acts as an instrument for the distribution of the surplus produced by the toiling masses among the various sections of the reactionary ruling classes and the imperialists who are the three main enemies of the Indian people. It clears the way for the uninterrupted and unhindered exploitation of the resources of India by the imperialists and by the big bourgeoisie-big landlord classes. It also acts as an instrument to resolve the contradictions among the ruling classes that inevitably occur while distribution of the surplus.
Targets of the Indian Revolution
The targets in the present people’s democratic stage of the Indian Revolution:
2. Comprador bureaucrat capitalism, and
Imperialism plunders the country’s land, labour, raw materials, and other natural resources. It earns super-profits through ruthless exploitation by various means. It subjugates the entire economy, polity, military and culture of India; destroys indigenous industry particularly the small and medium industries, throws out millions of workers into the streets and hinders the free and independent development of the national economy.
Comprador bureaucrat capitalism collaborates with imperialism and allies itself with feudalism. It destroys the small and medium industries, oppresses not only the working class, peasantry and other toiling masses but also the national bourgeoisie. Feudalism acts as fetter on the development of the productive forces by holding down the vast majority of the Indian people under backward relations of production. Economically, it keeps the overwhelming majority of the people in dire poverty and destitution, and depresses their purchasing power. It thereby, restricts the growth of the home market, retards industrial development and leads to massive unemployment and stagnation of the economy. Politically, it suppresses the democratic rights of the masses and in some places, even creates a ‘state within a state’ i.e. a parallel landlord raj in the rural areas with their own private armies or with the support of state-hired armed mercenaries. It keeps the peasantry in perpetual subjugation and bondage. These three big mountains that are weighing down the backs of the Indian people should be smashed in order to build the new democratic society.
Class Analysis of the Indian Society
Now let us analyse the various classes of present-day Indian society.
Those persons who own considerable tracts of land and instruments of production, do not engage in labour themselves, or do so only to a very small extent and live by exploiting the peasants and the labourers (bonded attached and different degrees of unfairness and other wage-labourers), are called landlords. They lease out part or whole of their lands to peasants at exorbitant rates.
Extortion of sharecroppers, robbing them of at least 50% of their produce is one of their forms of exploitation. In addition they may engage themselves as usurers, merchants, hoarders, quarry owners, contractors, agro-based traders, or in other business activity. Land being the basis of their exploitation, they enmesh impoverished peasants in various forms of bondage and extract as much surplus as possible from them, which is a modified form of feudal rent. A section of the landlords possess modern instruments of production, employ agricultural labourers, supervise cultivation, produce for market and reinvest a portion of the surplus in agriculture.
This section of the landlords represents capitalism in agriculture. But this capitalism is a distorted one. It helps perpetuate feudal values, retards free and independent development of economy to further deepen imperialist exploitation and opposes democracy and the country’s interest. Many landlords, like most of the erstwhile princes, are also comprador industrialists. The landlords enjoy immense social and political power in the countryside. They grab the lion’s share of the institutional loans, modern inputs and other infrastructure facilities supplied by the government. Some landlords maintain private armies and also hire anti-socials, dacoits etc., to ruthlessly oppress the rural masses.
Besides, they extract huge amounts as extortion money from contractors and traders. Generally they belong to the upper castes, represent the most backward culture, practice patriarchy to oppress women folk; use the obnoxious caste system to oppress dalits and other backward castes. By acting as a fetter on the development of the productive forces, they are the main social base for imperialist control over India. A section of landlords also belong to the upper layers of the backward castes and has emerged newly. They serve as a social base of various caste based political parties. Those who collect land rent on behalf of landlords, administer the properties of landlords and whose income mainly depends upon exploitation of the peasant by the landlords and also whose lifestyle is that of upper-middle class peasant, should be treated as landlords. They are the enemies of the peasantry and Indian people as a whole.
Comprador Bureaucrat Bourgeoisie
In India, within the colonial system itself, the colonial capital has developed to a great extent. After the transfer of power by imperialism to the big bourgeoisie and big landlords the capitalism that is being developed in India by imperialism and comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie is not independent national capitalism but comprador bureaucrat capitalism that is tied up with imperialism and feudalism has become comprador, feudal, state monopoly capitalism. Such is the economic base of the reactionary ruling classes of India. This bureaucrat capitalism is developing on a semi-feudal base. Closely tied up with, and serving the interests of imperialist capital, this comprador bureaucrat capital monopolises the economic lifelines of the whole country and is a hurdle for the development of independent Indian economy.
It protects the semi-feudal production relations in India. This comprador bureaucrat capital oppresses not only the workers and peasants but also the urban petty bourgeoisie, and it injures the national bourgeoisie. The CBB, in its six-decades of rule, has amassed an enormous amount of wealth by using state power. It has prepared ample material conditions for the new democratic revolution. This comprador bureaucrat capital of India is an instrument of increasing the profits of the imperialists and the Compradors.
The comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie class or the big bourgeois class of India that had emerged within the colonial system has a long history of existence. It was born and brought up under the patronage of British imperialism and has been organically linked to feudalism from the very beginning. It had emerged from the class of comprador merchants, feudal lords, brokers and big usurers, and hence has been comprador in character right from its birth. It began to invest in industries in collaboration with British imperialism in the beginning and with other imperialist powers particularly after so-called independence in 1947.
This had become transformed into comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie (CBB) after assuming state power along with the big landlord class, who are subservient to imperialism. The comprador big bourgeoisie is a class that serves the capitalists of imperialist countries and is nurtured by them. Countless ties link it closely with the feudal forces in the countryside. Com. Mao further says, “The comprador bourgeoisie is always a running dog of imperialism and a target of the revolution.” (‘Some Experiences in our Party’s history’) Serving imperialism is its principal character and fulfilling its own interests, and not the development of capitalism in the interests of the Indian people and the country is its non-principal aspect.
Or in other words, subservience to imperialism is principal while maneuverability or bargaining is non-principal. The imperialist powers have made the feudal landlord class as well as the comprador class the main social props for their control and exploitation of India. The Indian comprador bureaucrat bourgeoisie class and the big landlord class are the main instruments of imperialist exploitation of India. Together, imperialism, comprador bureaucrat capitalism and feudalism dominate over the entire social and economic life of the whole country. The Indian state is a joint dictatorship of the big bourgeoisie, big landlord classes led by the CBB who are subservient to imperialism.
Being subservient to imperialism, the CBB’s rapacious role is not confined to India alone. It has its eyes on the neighbouring countries of South Asia too and quite often intervenes in their political affairs. Backed by imperialist powers, India is playing an expansionist role, which is a great menace to the neighbouring countries of India. Through this aggressive expansionist role, the CBB of India, while serving the imperialists principally, has its own interests also in the region in looting these countries of their capital, market, raw materials etc. Its expansionist character is derived from the fact that in exploiting India, British colonialism also used our country as a platform for its domination of the Indian Ocean region. Hence, the Indian comprador bourgeoisie, from the early days of its inception, was a loyal and trusted comprador and served as a middleman for the British not only in India but also in several countries of Africa and Asia that came under British rule. In the period of globalisation, liberalization and privatization, which was initiated in 1985 and took a major leap in 1991, the policy of nationalization of the earlier period began to be reversed and vast chunks of the public sector are being sold to the TNCs and comprador big bourgeoisie at throw away prices.
With the major leap in the penetration of foreign capital, which is continuing space, vast sectors of the economy have fallen into their direct control. Though the alliance between the comprador big bourgeoisie, statecapital and foreign capital continues, their relative proportions in the enterprises are changing; state capital is being reduced while that of a section of the comprador big bourgeoisie is increasing along with that of foreign capital. The comprador bureaucrat bourgeoisie stands as one of the major stumbling blocks for our country’s progress. Hence the targets to be overthrown in the new democratic revolution are: imperialism, comprador bureaucrat capitalism and feudalism.
To sum up, the growth of the CBB in our country after 1947 cannot be seen in separation from imperialism. Its survival and growth is completely dependent on imperialism. The so-called state sector or nationalized sector or the public sector is part and parcel of the comprador bureaucrat capital and is wholly subservient to imperialism. Politically, the comprador bureaucrat bourgeoisie sells the country’s interests to imperialism and maintains the semi-feudal relations through its alliance with the landlord class. Due to the phenomenal growth of the public sector and state machinery after the transfer of power in 1947, a small upper stratum of bureaucrats and politicians of ruling class parties have acquired crores of rupees by embezzling state funds through kickbacks and commissions in nefarious business deals and various other unscrupulous means by virtue of their position of power at various levels. Though they don’t exist as a distinct class, these parasitic sections are part of the bureaucrat bourgeoisie. Those intellectuals and professionals who are in the direct service of the comprador bureaucrat bourgeoisie and imperialism and who justify the latter’s exploitation of the Indian people should be considered as belonging to this class.
Motive Forces of the Indian Revolution
The proletariat is a class that is dispossessed of all means of production and is compelled to sell its labour power to the capitalist owners of the means of production. It is the most concentrated class in present-day Indian society and has a heroic history of revolutionary class struggle including anti-imperialist struggle. The strength of the Indian proletariat in the organised sectors, both in public and private sectors, is about 2.6 crores.
The number of wage earners working in small-scale industries, construction work and as contract and casual labour comes to about four crores. Together their number is roughly around seven crores. The industrial proletariat of India has all the main characteristics that the proletariat all over the world has, such as being associated with, and concentrated in the developed capitalist economic system, having organisational discipline, lacking means of production etc., Indian proletariat is being subjected to oppression by imperialists, comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and big landlord classes.
As the majority of the Indian proletariat comes from poor peasant classes, they have natural bonds with the peasant population. The proletariat and peasant classes have strong mutual influences and relations. Apart from the industrial proletariat, there is also a sizeable rural proletariat. These farm workers mainly work in large plantations and farms like coffee, tea, cocoa, coconut, mango, rubber, areca nut, sugar, fruit and vegetables. They have no means of production of their own and live by selling their labour power to the big pro-capitalist landlords, the comprador bourgeoisie and the imperialists who own plantations. There is also a small section in the working class, comprising of trade union bureaucrats who get various bribes from the employers.
This section is the labour lieutenants of capital and represents the bourgeois ideology within the working class. Though this section, in general opposes the working class struggles, in the period of crisis, some of them may change their role and take part in the working class movements. The basic motive force in the New Democratic Revolution is the proletariat. But it cannot win victory by solely depending on its own strength. For achieving victory, this class has to give its leadership to all classes, especially the peasantry, and other strata of people that can participate in the revolution. The proletariat plays the role of leadership in the revolution.
2. Landless and poor peasants
Generally the landless peasants, including the agricultural labourers (rural proletariat), do not have land and agricultural tools of their own. They live by either totally or mainly selling their labour power. Some among the poor peasants own lands nominally or rent in small plots of land. Similarly some have meager agricultural tools. In addition to paying land rent and interest, they sell their own labour power and hence they are exploited in all these forms. They constitute 65-70% of the rural population. Of all classes that are existing in Indian society, the poor and landless peasants are the basic motive forces and are the firmest ally of the proletariat.
3. The Semi-Proletariat
The major component of the semi-proletariat is the huge mass of poor peasants. Those who own some simple implements like the small handicraftsmen, carpenters, masons, mechanics and the like also form part of the semi-proletariat. There are also those who earn their living working as hawkers, hamalis, rickshaw pullers, autorickshaw drivers, temporary rural construction workers, house servants and engaged in many other similar jobs, earning daily wages. Fishermen also form part of semi-proletariat. They are continuously becoming part of the proletariat.Those semi-proletarians are an important motive force of the New Democratic Revolution.
4. Middle Peasant
Most of the middle peasants have their own lands. Some others take land on lease in addition to theirs. Generally they own sufficient agricultural tools. The entire income of the middle peasant, or most of it, is derived from their own labour. Generally the middle peasant does not exploit others and also does not sell their labour power and is subjected to exploitation by feudalism, imperialism and comprador bureaucratic capitalism. Some middle peasants exploit to a small extent but it is not their main income. Some of them (well-to-do middle peasants) have surplus land and hire labour occasionally.
Some even lend small sums of money at interest. Oppressed by feudalism, imperialism and comprador bureaucrat capitalism, the middle peasant will take an active role in the anti-feudal as well as anti-imperialist struggles. Hence, the middle class peasantry as a whole is a reliable ally of the proletariat. The positive or negative attitude of the middle peasants is one of the factors determining victory or defeat in the revolution, and this is especially true after the agrarian revolution when they become the majority of the rural population. They are important motive forces in the revolution. The middle peasantry can be considered as rural petty-bourgeoisie. They constitute roughly 20-25% of the rural population.
5. Rich Peasant
Rich peasants constitute 10-15% of the rural population. They possess considerable amounts of land. Some own only part of their land and lease in the remainder. Some others have no land of their own and lease in all their lands. The holding operated by them is a surplus – producing one. They generally own better instruments of production. They generally engage in labour themselves and in this sense form part of the peasantry but at the same time they always rely on exploitation for the part or even the major of their income. In general if the income of a peasant through exploitation is more than 50%, they should be classified as rich peasants.
Though they adopt more or less all the existing forms of semi-feudal exploitation, their main form of exploitation is by hiring agricultural labour. They may rent out their land, may lend money or engage in trade, commerce, small business, etc. The procapitalist rich peasants use modern technology, engage in intensive cultivation, lease in land to expand scale of production and produce for the market. The growth of capitalist relations in agriculture in some pockets and the increasing reliance of the rich peasants on the market for purchasing agricultural inputs as well as for selling the produce, is bringing them into increasing conflict with imperialism and the comprador big bourgeoisie who control the market and hence they are being drawn more and more into the anti-imperialist struggles of the peasant masses. But, by virtue of their class status, they tend to compromise in face of mounting state repression. Generally they remain neutral in the agrarian revolutionary struggle. As a class, they can be considered as vacillating allies of the revolution. A section of rich peasantry comes with us, another section remains neutral and a small section joins the enemies.
6. Petty Bourgeoisie
The petty-bourgeoisie includes the handicraftsmen i.e., those engaged in small scale production, small traders, the lower levels of intellectuals such as students, primary and secondary school teachers, college lecturers, office clerks, non-gazetted officials, engineers, doctors, lawyers, and those employed in various other professions who have largely middle-class incomes that are derived mainly from their own manual or mental labour. The petty-bourgeois class consists of three sections though they broadly belong to the same economic strata. The first section consists of the relatively better-off i.e., those whose yearly earnings allow them to have some surplus over and above their consumption needs; the second section consists of those who in the main are economically self-supporting; and third section consists of those whose standards of living are continually declining and who find it difficult to make both ends meet.
The first section always aspires to go up the social ladder, is closer to the national bourgeoisie, has a lot of faith on liberal bourgeois propaganda and is suspicious of the revolution. This section which is a minority among the petty bourgeoisie constitutes its right wing. The second section which is very numerous and makes up more than one-half of the Indian petty-bourgeoisie, never opposes the revolution but only hesitates to join it as it harbours doubts regarding the ultimate victory of the revolution.
The third section, equally numerous, whose living standards are fast declining, come out openly in support of the revolution and play an active role. Although these three sections differ in their attitude to the revolution in normal times, in times of war and acute crisis when the revolutionary movement is advancing towards victory, the entire petty-bourgeoisie class including even the right wing, sails with the revolutionary tide.
This is because of its very class position in society i.e., its position as a class oppressed by feudalism, imperialism and comprador bureaucrat capitalism with more and more of its members facing social insecurity and becoming pauperised and being driven to the ranks of the proletariat or the unemployed with the deepening of the economic crisis. Hence as a class, this section of the petty bourgeoisie constitutes one of the motive forces of revolution and is a reliable ally of the proletariat.
Various sections of the petty-Bourgeoisie
(i) Intellectuals and Students:
These do not constitute as a separate class or stratum in the society. Seen from the point of view of their family, living conditions and their political outlook, the majority among them may be treated as petty-bourgeoisie. Their number in India has been considerably increasing in the past few decades. The majority among them are oppressed by imperialism, feudalism and comprador bureaucrat capitalism and live in a constant fear of unemployment and social insecurity that they might be forced to abandon their studies and such other fears.
Hence they tend towards revolution. Having bourgeois education and scientific knowledge and keen political outlook to some extent, they frequently stand in the forefront in the present stage of the revolution or act as a bridge between the people. It was first of all among intellectuals, students and youth that Marxism-Leninism in India had extensively spread and found acceptance.
(ii) Petty Tradesmen:
Generally the small business men who engage one or two workers or self-manage their small shops without engaging anyone. They live in constant fear that they will become bankrupt due to the exploitation by imperialism, big bourgeoisie and moneylenders.
They are very numerous, possess their own means of production and are themselves engaged in production. Their condition is similar to that of middle class peasantry.
These are doctors, lawyers and such other engaged in various professions who derive their income more through their own labour, whether manual or mental, than by exploiting others, Those professionals who derive their income more through exploiting others than through their own labour are considered as part of the national bourgeoisie. These sections of petty bourgeoisie are reliable motive forces in the revolution. Their weakness is that some of them are easily influenced by the bourgeoisie and hence we must carry on revolutionary propaganda and constant organisational work among them.
7. National Bourgeoisie
The national bourgeoisie in India consists in general of the middle and small bourgeoisie. This is a class with dual character which arises out of its economic position. The national bourgeoisie is a class which is politically very weak and vacillating. On the one hand it is oppressed by imperialism and comprador bureaucrat capitalism and fettered by feudalism. Hence it has a contradiction with all these three enemies of the people’s democratic revolution in India. It has neither a share in state power nor any control over the state funds. It has comparatively few ties, with imperialism. Its market is continuously being gobbled up by the imperialist-comprador bureaucrat bourgeoisie combine, its growth is being restricted and sections of it are even liquidated due to the ever-growing onslaught of imperialism.
Hence it constitutes one of the revolutionary forces in the present stage of the Indian revolution. But on the other hand, it is inconsistent and lacks the courage to oppose imperialism and feudalism thoroughly because it is economically and politically flabby, depends on the state for licenses, raw materials and finance, still has some economic ties with imperialism and feudalism, and is scared of the working class revolution.
It also aspires for establishing a state under its control and to become the big bourgeoisie. It exploits labour and derives its income primarily from this exploitation. It follows from the dual character of the national bourgeoisie that, at certain times and to a certain extent, it can take part in the revolution against imperialism and the Indian ruling classes, but that at other times, there is the danger of its tailing behind the comprador bureaucrat bourgeoisie and taking part in counter-revolution.
The right wing of this class has reactionary political tendencies, spreads illusions about imperialism and opposes the people’s democratic revolution. We must unmask these sections before the people and liberate the masses from their reactionary influences. But at the same time, the majority of the national bourgeoisie either remains neutral or participates in the revolution.
The targets of the New Democratic Revolution are only the imperialism, the comprador bureaucrat bourgeoisie and landlord class. Even after country-wide victory of the revolution, it will be necessary to permit the existence for a period, a capitalist sector of the economy represented by the small and middle bourgeoisie without, of course, allowing them to control the economic lifeline of the country. In general the party adopts the policy of protection to the small and middle bourgeoisie wherever the state power of New Democracy extends.
8. The Lumpen-proletariat
This stratum of the Indian society are those who are deprived of all opportunities to participate in social production. This is due to the existence of a vast army of rural and urban unemployed which numbers over ten crores in the country and which is ever-increasing on account of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal conditions prevailing in India. The increasing in unemployment is leading to the increase in the lumpen proletariat.
Petty thieves, robbers, criminals, goondas, beggar, vagrants, pimps and prostitutes and all those who are forced to make illegitimate means to make a living constitute the lumpen proletariat. They are mainly found in the slums of cities and towns. Many of them migrate to cities from the villages in search of living, but deprived of jobs due to the ever-intensifying crisis in the Indian economy, they end up as criminals and antisocial gangs. The ruling classes often utilize them as strikebreakers, disrupters or as mercenaries. Some of them are recruited by the ruling classes into counter-revolutionary militias and into the reactionary armed forces. Due to their position in class society lumpen proletariat develops hatred towards it.
Hence they respond to the slogan of smashing the existing socioeconomic structure. But these people lack constructive qualities and are given to destruction rather than construction. Hence it has some potential to be remoulded and employed in the service of the revolution. But extreme caution is necessary recruiting them into the party as they often become the source of roving rebel and anarchist tendencies in the revolutionary movement and have an aversion for discipline.
CHAPTER-4 Two Stages of the Indian Revolution
The semi-colonial and semi-feudal character of the Indian society points out that the first task of the Indian revolution is to transform the semi-colonial, semi-feudal society into an independent, self-reliant, democratic society by solving the two fundamental contradictions of the present indian society, and then to build a socialist society so as to advance towards realising the Communist society. Hence the Indian revolution has to be carried out in two stages: the new democratic stage and the socialist stage. This is because, in India, bourgeois democratic revolution has not been completed as in the West.
The first stage of the Indian revolution can be victoriously completed only under the leadership of the proletariat. In the present era, no other class or party, except the working class and a genuine communist party as its vanguard, can lead the New Democratic Revolution to its final victory. This is due to the fact that in the present era, and particularly after the Great October Revolution, no bourgeoisie of any country is in a position to carry out a thorough-going national democratic revolution out of fear of the working class continuing the revolution to its consummation to socialism.
Hence the bourgeoisie compromises with imperialism and lacks the will to wage a thoroughgoing revolution against feudalism by mobilising the peasantry. It stands opposed to the oppressed masses. Hence, to lead the peasantry towards the New Democratic Revolution is the most important task of working class leadership. The working class of India cannot emancipate itself without uniting with the peasantry who constitute the overwhelming majority of the population in semi-colonial and semi-feudal India and who are being exploited and oppressed for ages.
It is only by organizing and leading the peasantry in the agrarian revolution and national democratic revolution that the working class can give leadership to the revolution, can open wide the path of their own liberation from wage-slavery by liberating the peasantry from the exploitation, plunder and depression of imperialism an their running dogs – the feudal lords and the comprador capitalists. And it is in this way that they can lead the revolution and it is this path of socialism which alone can emancipate the working class from the system of wage-slavery.
The chief tasks of the first stage of the revolution in India are to overthrow the three main enemies of the Indian people-imperialism (and the comprador bureaucrat capitalism that is generated by imperialism) and feudalism in order to establish a new democratic India. The national and democratic revolution, directed against the main enemies of the revolution – imperialism and their lackeys the big bourgeoisie and feudalism, though are the two different kinds of basic tasks in the entire process of Indian revolution or the People’s Democratic Revolution, one cannot be separated from the other.
As the imperialist and their comprador lackeys, the Indian big bourgeoisie, are the main supporters and protectors of feudalism, the struggle for the overthrow of imperialism and the struggle to uproot feudalism are interrelated to each other. Judging conversely, as the Indian society is mainly dependent on feudalism, protected under the wings of imperialism and their comprador lackeys – the comprador capitalists, so the struggle to uproot this moribund feudalism and the struggle to annihilate imperialism and the comprador bureaucrat capitalism generated by it, are inseparable from each other.
So, the two fundamental tasks of the national revolution and the democratic revolution are at once distinct and interwoven. It is wrong to regard the national revolution and the democratic revolution as two entirely different stages of the revolution. The main content of the new democratic revolution is the agrarian revolution. The task of the second stage is to establish a socialist society by carrying forward the revolution to its consummation. The first stage is the pre-condition for the second. Only by fulfilling the tasks of the People’s Democratic Revolution in India we can lay the basis for the Socialist Revolution. People’s democracy is an inseparable part of Socialism, an inseparable part of the world socialist revolution. It is wrong to forget the inseparable relationship between People’s Democracy and Socialism. It is equally wrong and harmful to confuse the two stages and to think of reaching Socialism in a single leap. No intervening stage of bourgeois dictatorship will come between the stages of New Democracy and Socialism.
Basic Tasks of People’s Democracy
The aim of the New Democratic Revolution is to smash the semi-colonial, semi-feudal politics, economics and culture and to establish new democratic politics, economics and culture. Only by way of accomplishing this goal, the doors for the all-embracing development of the Indian society can be opened, the poverty and misery of the people can be redressed, and the political, economic, and cultural basis for a socialist society be laid down. The struggle for people’s democracy is the struggle of all the ant-imperialist and anti-feudal politics, economics and culture against the counter-revolutionary semi-colonial, semi-feudal politics, economics and culture.
The struggle for people’s democracy is the struggle of all the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal people on the basis of worker-peasant alliance under the leadership of the working class exerted through its vanguard, the Communist Party, against imperialism, CBB and feudalism. This is a struggle between revolution and counter-revolution.
The People’s Democratic Politics
The central task of the NDR is to establish the people’s democratic state by overthrowing the present semi-colonial, semi-feudal state machinery through armed struggle. The people’s democratic state means the state of the democratic dictatorship of the all the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal forces, on the basis of worker-peasant alliance, under the leadership of the proletariat, and is a particular embryonic form of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The people’s democratic state ensures all types of freedom, rights and democracy for the vast masses of the toiling masses, and also try to ensure the participation of the vast masses of the people in the day-to-day administrative work by adopting appropriate methods, defends the people’s interests at all times, while at the same time it exercises dictatorship over the reactionary forces-imperialists, comprador big bourgeoisie, big landlords and all their hangers-on who constitute a small minority.
To build up a united front of the people i.e. a united front for armed struggle, under the leadership of the working class, exercised through the Communist Party, against imperialism, the CBB and feudalism, and to establish the people’s democratic dictatorship under working class leadership is the central task of the New Democratic Revolution. This will forge close international unity.
People’s Democratic Economy
The main task of people’s democratic economy is to pave the way for the economic and social development of the country and to lay the basis for socialist economy by overthrowing the semi-colonial and semi-feudal economy. It is the economy of a society that is in transition from capitalism to socialism under the people’s democratic dictatorship led by the proletariat.
All the industries, banks and other enterprises of the imperialists and the CBB will be expropriated and turned over to the New Democratic State; all the land of the landlords will be expropriated and distributed to the poor and landless peasants; the exploitation of the peasantry by the usurers/moneylenders and traders/merchants will be put to an end thereby releasing the initiative and the potentialities of the peasantry.
Voluntary co-operatives will be set up and state trading will control the life of the country’s economy. Capitalist production that has no control over public life i.e. of national capital will be allowed but will be under state restriction and regulation. However, it is the people’s democratic State that will play the principal role in industry and commerce and will control the economic lifelines of the country. This will facilitate not only the building of the people’s democratic economy, but also pave the way for the socialist economy. In this connection the rich experiences of socialist china under the leadership of comrade Mao will be taken as the guide.
To overthrow the moribund feudalism and to accomplish the agrarian revolution, to expropriate the imperialist and comprador-bureaucrat capital and transform them into the property of the new democratic state, and thus, to open wide the path of the progress and development of the Indian economy and society by establishing the control and authority of the people’s democratic state over the economy of the country-such is the essence of the New Democratic Economy. The development of the people’s democratic economy will lay the basis for the socialist economy.
People’s Democratic Culture
The task at the present stage of the revolution in the cultural front is the establishment of new democratic culture i.e., a scientific, democratic and mass culture, by uprooting the semi-colonial, semi-feudal culture along with the modern revisionist ideology. The people’s democratic culture is an anti-imperialist, anti-feudal culture. It is an heir to all the secular, genuine democratic, and scientific aspects of the rich cultural heritage of the oppressed masses that are passed on by history. It is impossible to arm the people ideologically, make them conscious and organise them for the people’s war without the widest propaganda of people’s democratic culture based on Maoism.
As Mao said: “In overthrowing a political power the first and regular task is to work in on the ideological front and to create public opinion.” To overthrow the exploiting classes and their state machinery, the first and foremost task throughout the course of the new democratic revolution is to wage ideological struggle and create public opinion in favour of agrarian revolutionary war and the protracted people’s war. Mao says, revisionism is the main danger. Modern revisionism is one of the chief enemies of MLM and the people’s democratic ideology and revolution. the anti-imperialist anti-feudal revolutionary culture of the people cannot be established without fighting against modern revisionism. in this respect MLM is the strongest weapon in the fight against modern revisionism.
Besides, in India, feudal thinking is deep-rooted and is manifested in many ways, particularly in casteist, biases against religious minorities, religious narrow mindedness, communalism, untouchability, patriarchy, and numerous other forms. The Party must educate the masses against all such anti-democratic values and cultures and replace them with those based on equality, self-respect, secularism, dignity of labour and a proletarian class view-point. For the success of the Indian revolution the anti-imperialist and antifeudal cultural front has to be organised and constantly strengthened. The people’s democratic culture will be an inseparable part of the general anti-imperialist, anti-feudal revolutionary people’s democratic front.
One of the tasks of this cultural front is to educate the workers, peasants and the toiling masses about the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal agrarian revolutionary struggle and the protracted people’s war. The people’s democratic state will take up the task of wiping out the imperialist and feudal culture from all spheres of social science like economics, politics, philosophy, military science, history, literature etc., and in their place, establish the people’s democratic culture.
CHAPTER-6 The Central Task of the Revolution – Seizure of Political Power Through Protracted People’s War
As comrade Mao said: “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 above principle is equally applicable to the Indian Revolution too. The Central task of the Indian revolution also is the seizure of political power. To accomplish this Central task, the Indian people will have to be organized in the people’s army and will have to wipe out the armed forces of the counterrevolutionary Indian state through war and will have to establish, in its place, their own state – the People’s Democratic State and will have to establish their own political authority.
The very act of establishment of the state machinery of the people by destroying, through war, the present autocratic state machinery – the army, the police, and the bureaucracy of the reactionary ruling classes – is the Central task of the People’s Democratic Revolution of India. It is absolutely indispensable for the Party of the proletariat in India to study the experiences of the world socialist revolution particularly the experiences of the two great proletarian revolutions of Russia and China. The application of the above principle of conducting the revolutionary war followed two different paths in the two countries depending on the special characteristics specific to their respective countries.
The revolution in Russia took the form of a country-wide armed insurrection for the seizure of political power, while in China the path traversed by the revolutionary war was the path of protracted people’s war. Whatever the forms assumed by the revolutionary wars in various countries, the content remains the same i.e., the seizure of power by armed force. Protracted People’s War is our Path In order to guide the revolutionary war in India, it is necessary for us to grasp the experiences and the theoretical summing ups of these revolutionary wars made by comrade Lenin, Stalin and Mao. And particularly it is necessary for us to grasp the essence of Mao’s contribution on military science. Generalising the experiences of the proletarian revolutions in the era of imperialism, we can broadly categorise the revolutionary wars in the various countries in the world into two types according to the character of their respective socio-economic-political systems.
If it is a capitalist country where bourgeois democratic rights prevail, the Party of the proletariat prepares the working class and its allies through open, legal struggles – parliamentary, trade union, general strikes, political agitation and such other activities, in order to organise a country-wide armed insurrection at an hour of revolutionary crisis, seizing power first in key cities and then extending it throughout the country, at the same time strengthens appropriate secret party apparatus and combines secret, illegal and semi-legal activities with open and legal activities in accordance with concrete conditions. Thus the Path followed by the Russian Revolution is: Inflict decisive smashing blow, at a hurricane speed, first, on the urban center which is the well-fortified, consolidated and well-organized controlling center of the state power of the enemy, crush the heart of the enemy’s state machinery. Establish the Centre of power of the revolutionary state in the urban area. Then spread the revolution rapidly to the countryside – march forward by smashing the enemy’s state machinery in the countryside.
Capturing the urban area first, though war of strategically quick decision, establish revolutionary authority in the urban area, and thereafter, capturing the villages and establishing the revolutionary authority in the state power of the whole country through insurrection and establishing the revolutionary political authority of the people – such is the general Path followed by the Great October Revolution in Russia.
If, on the other hand, the country is ruled directly or indirectly by some foreign imperialist power or powers and is semi-feudal where there is no independence and democratic rights for the people, the Party of the proletariat from the very beginning arouses and mobilizes the people for armed struggle, relies on the peasantry – the main force of the revolution – makes backward rural areas its main centre of work, builds a people’s army and people’s militia; establishes dependable, strong and self-sufficient base areas or liberated areas in the vast countryside, constantly expands them in the course of protracted people’s war, (in such a situation the cities under the control of the enemy will look like small islands in the ocean of the vast rural liberated areas); encircles and finally captures cities by way of decisively smashing the state power of the reactionaries and establishing the state system and political authority of the people throughout the country-such is the Path traversed by the Chinese Revolution to win world-shaking victory in 1949.
And the history of the revolutions in colonial, semi-colonial, semi-feudal countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America have shown that this Path is applicable to all such countries also. In all these countries the main form of struggle is armed struggle and the main form of organisation is the army, but other forms of mass struggles and mass organisations are also indispensable. Before the outbreak of a war all organisation and struggle are in preparation for the war and will serve it directly or indirectly after war breaks out. The path followed by the Chinese revolution is also applicable in semi-colonial, semi-feudal India due to basic similarities in the conditions between India and pre-revolutionary China. It is the principal characteristics of the objective conditions of India that determine the Path of the Indian Revolution as the path of protracted people’s war.
The principal characteristics of India’s revolutionary War
1. India is a vast semi-colonial and semi-feudal country with uneven political, economic and social development, with favourable terrain for guerrilla warfare, that has witnessed a long period of armed struggle by the peasantry and also now witnessing the ongoing agrarian revolutionary guerilla struggle in which the peasantry is playing a heroic role.
2. Our enemy is big and powerful having centralized state machinery and a well-equipped modern army.
3. The Communist Party, the guerilla army and the agrarian revolutionary movement in India are still weak.
4. Our country is a prison-house of nationalities where some nationalities are engaged in bitter struggles against the Indian state to achieve their right to self-determination. Since it is the above principal characteristics that determine the line for guiding India’s revolutionary war as well as many of its strategic and tactical principles, let us analyse these characteristics more deeply.
1. Uneven economic and political development and the semi-colonial, semi-feudal character of Indian Society is the most important characteristic that basically determines our political strategy and tactics as well as our military strategy and tactics. The unevenness in the economic and political development of India is quite glaring. On the one hand, there is a distorted capitalist economy that is being increasingly integrated into the imperialist world economy. The capitalist economy has given birth to a huge industrial proletariat and other wage earners in non- industrial establishments running to around seven crores.
This ensures that the proletariat of India is strong enough both in numbers and organization to lead the Indian revolution if it is imbued with the ideology of Marxism- Leninism-Maoism. On the one hand, the capitalist economy coexists with, and stands on, a preponderant semi-feudal base. Although capitalist relations are penetrating the feudal setup in the Indian countryside and are partially remoulding it to suit the needs of imperialism, it is impossible (given the collusion between feudalism, comprador bureaucrat capitalism and imperialism) to bring a radical structural change in the semi-feudal base and its super structure.
Consequently, the vast majority of India’s population still lives in the countryside and the vast majority of them languish under semi-feudal conditions of existence. The vast majority of the peasantry is in urgent need of the agrarian revolution to change the miserable, wretched semi-feudal conditions of existence. This circumstance derives from the fact that the democratic revolution in India remains unfinished and that the land question remains unresolved. Hence the content of the new democratic revolution remains the peasant war for land and political power-a factor that can be effectively utilized by the Party to rouse and organize the vast peasant masses into the People’s Army.
Hence the proletariat finds its principal ally in the peasantry and can lead them to victory in the agrarian revolutionary war if proper Strategy and Tactics are pursued. It is possible to establish strong mass base among the peasantry and mobilise them into class struggles in the form of armed struggle for the seizure of land and establishment of people’s authority in place of feudal authority. Several areas in the country have seen an upsurge of the peasantry against the semi-feudal exploitation and semi-feudal production relations, particularly since the great Naxalbari struggle.
In the past decades the agrarian revolutionary war has spread to several strategic regions in our country and has created the condition for an unending flow of armed peasant militants and cadres into the revolutionary movement. The unevenness of development in India indicates that it is not possible to stage a simultaneous revolution (i.e., an armed insurrection) throughout the country and that the line of area wise seizure of power through the strategy of protracted people’s war has to be adopted basing on the relatively backward and strategic areas of the countryside.
This means revolutionary war has to begin in those regions that are relatively more backward and where the social contradictions are sharp. The strength of the armed forces of the reactionaries is quite inadequate in the vast countryside of India and the inadequacy of the transport and communication system and other infrastructure makes it inconvenient for the quick movement of the enemy forces. The people’s armed forces – the people’s army and the people’s militia, on the other hand, can advance and retreat easily, according to the needs of the struggle, in the vast countryside, that is, there is enough room for their manoeuvre in face of a big military offensive by the enemy’s armed forces.
Thus the vastness of the countryside, the inadequacy of the transport and communication system and the isolation of the remote countryside from the military centers, and above all, the inadequacy of the reactionary armed forces in comparison to the vastness of the country and the population, if all these are taken into consideration, the military strength of the reactionaries is relatively weak in the countryside compared to that in the cities, and hence, from the military point of view, the vast countryside is the most advantageous for the revolutionary people’s army to strike at the enemy.
Hence, we can transform the vast tracts of the countryside into red resistance areas, guerilla zones, guerrilla bases and liberated areas by making use of the favourable terrain which is abundant in some regions of the Indian countryside. Liberated areas can also be established in the plains when the domestic and international situation becomes more favourable and the people’s army becomes powerful i.e., when the revolutionary war is at a high peak. The semi-colonial nature of Indian society also breeds conflicts and rivalries among the various imperialist powers for their domination and control over India.
This is bound to generate acute conflicts and rivalries among the Indian ruling classes. Such an unstable political situation can be utilised by the Party of the proletariat to hasten the pace of building guerrilla zones and liberated areas and thereby advance towards completing the New Democratic Revolution. Thus while the first characteristic incontrovertibly proves that protracted people’s war, and not armed insurrection, is the path to be followed by the revolutionary war in India, we must analyse the other characteristics to understand how protracted people’s war in India could be waged.
2. The second principal characteristic-the enemy is big and powerful with a centralized state machinery and a well-equipped, well-trained modern army, Paramilitary and other forces-makes it imperative for the Party of the proletariat to take extreme caution from the very beginning in conducting the revolutionary war. This factor underscores the need to wage our revolutionary war from the weakest links of enemy rule – the vast tracts of the backward Indian countryside.
It also warns us against engaging in strategically decisive battles with the enemy’s armed forces for a long time, and to use the tactics of guerrilla warfare and preservation of our forces while destroying the enemy’s forces bit by bit through guerrilla methods of warfare, to accumulate strength by extending and deepening the armed struggle over ever-wider areas and to make the best use of the favourable terrain in the strategic regions in the countryside.
It should, however, be noted that the enemy is superior only from the tactical point of view. In the strategic sense, enemy’s armed forces are only paper-tigers. Their interests are diametrically opposed to the interests of the broad masses and hence cannot get any cooperation from the people. Their morale and combat capacity are quite low primarily because of their mercenary nature; and the contradiction between officers and soldiers also contributes to it considerably. Moreover, since the vast majority of them are peasants in uniform, the influence of the agrarian revolutionary war will have a deep impact on them.
3. The third principal characteristic-the weakness of the Communist Party, the people’s guerilla army, and the revolutionary movement in the country at the present juncture- has a profound influence on the nature of the revolutionary war in India. It shows that the people’s guerrilla army that is built in the course of anti-feudal struggles and advancing the agrarian revolutionary guerilla struggles, has to accumulate strength over a period of time before being transformed into the PLA and prior to the transformation of guerrilla zones into liberated areas.
It also warns us that we should not expose our forces to the enemy; should accumulate our forces considerably before entering into decisive engagements with the enemy’s forces and should build a strong, stable, underground party mechanism from the very beginning. Thus from the sharp contrast of the weakness of the Party, the guerilla army and the revolutionary movement as a whole with the strength of the enemy’s armed forces, arises the strategy and tactics of our people’s armed forces and the Party. However, this weakness relates to the present situation only. The conditions for overcoming this weakness are relatively developing. Already people are getting mobilised in various parts of the country into armed agrarian revolutionary struggles under the leadership of the Communist Party, which is growing in strength day by day.
People’s guerrilla army is getting expanded and people’s war is spreading to new areas. Since our agrarian revolution is a just one, and since it defends the interests of the majority of the people, the support of the people is increasing day by day. The inferiority in arms and other things can be made up by relying on the mobilization of the vast masses as correctly observed by Mao: “The mobilization of the common people throughout the country will create a vast sea in which to drown the enemy, create the conditions that will make up for our inferiority in arms and other things, and create the prerequisites for overcoming every difficulty in the war………To wish for victory and yet neglect political mobilization is like wishing to “go south by driving the chariot north”, and the result would inevitably be to forfeit victory.”
Hence, by adopting appropriate and correct strategy and tactics, as the war is drawn out, the enemy’s disadvantages and our advantages will both grow, and inevitably, the degree of the strength and weaknesses of ours and that of the enemy will continue to change, and changes will continue to occur in the position of relative superiority and inferiority too of both the sides, And, in this way, the military power of the people will continuously and definitely attain supremacy over the military power of the enemy and will finally decisive defeat on the military power of the enemy.
To sum up, at the initial stage, that is, up to a certain stage of development of the people’s war, the military strength of ours is liable to remain weaker than that of the enemy. But this strength of the enemy and the weakness of the people are never absolute, they are relative, they are temporary. By way of relying on the vast rural areas and on the poor peasantry, by way of strictly pursuing the class line and mass line and the principles of guerrilla struggle and the protracted people’s war, in words and in deeds, as shown by Com. Mao, the military strength of the people can gradually and definitely overwhelm that of the enemy as the revolutionary war draws out and can finally inflict decisive defeat on the armed forces of the enemy.
However strong the forces of the enemy may be and however weak the people’s forces may be at the beginning of the revolutionary war, through the realization and creative application of the total teachings of the flexible strategy and tactics of the guerrilla war and the Protracted People’s War, it is possible to build up a new type of army, that is the red army, and to establish one after another-advanced base areas in the backward rural areas, and it is entirely possible to carry forward the revolution towards its final victory by gradually consolidating and expanding the people’s army and the base areas through struggles. Beginning with the great Chinese Revolution, the very historical experiences of the revolutionary wars of countries like Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, etc., bear testimony to the above truth.
4. The fourth principal characteristic – the irreconcilable contradiction between the various nationalities and the Indian ruling classes leading to incessant armed confrontation – contributes greatly to weaken the enemy and helps the advance of the revolutionary movement. This circumstance arises from the fact that the unfinished democratic revolution in India has left the national question unresolved and it is the Party of the proletariat that should take up the historic task of solving this problem from a class perspective.
A large part of the remote countryside, most advantageous for the establishment of red liberated areas form the geographical and military point of view, are being inhabited mainly by the discontented and agitated nationalities and tribes, who are engaged in a bitter armed confrontation with the Indian state. Hence, it becomes imperative for the enemy’s armed forces to be deployed in large numbers in ever-wider areas to contain the armed struggles waged by the various nationalities. Lakhs of enemy’s armed troops have been deployed since long in Kashmir and the North Eastern states alone.
More and more nationalities may come into armed confrontation with the reactionary Indian state that is keeping them in a state of subjugation and oppression and denying them their right to self-determination. As a considerable part of the enemy’s armed forces will inevitably be engaged against the growing tide of struggles by the various nationalities, it will be difficult for the Indian ruling classes to mobilise all their armed forces against our revolutionary war. If our Party can lay down the correct basis to win over the nationalities and tribes through our policy of guaranteeing self-determination for the nationalities and political autonomy for the tribes and forge a powerful united front against the common enemy (i.e. imperialism, CBB and feudalism) with these forces we can spread the flames of armed struggle to almost all the strategic regions in the country.
Needless to say, this will be a great positive factor for the rapid advance of the people’s war by developing the people’s guerrilla army into the PLA, establishing several base areas and then advancing towards countrywide victory. The above four principal characteristics determine the line for guiding India’s revolutionary war as well as many of its strategic and tactical principles. It follows from the first and fourth characteristics that it is possible for our Party and People’s army to grow and defeat the enemy.
However, it also follows from the second and third characteristics that it is impossible for our Party and our People’s army to grow very rapidly or defeat our enemy quickly. Hence the revolutionary war in India will be of protracted nature. However, the revolutionary situation can become even more favourable for the rapid advance of the people’s war due to several factors such as: further intensification of the imperialist crisis; a war with the neighbouring countries or on a world scale; intensification of the internal contradictions among the Indian ruling classes that may lead to an even more severe political crisis and instability and thereby forcing the enemy to divert his armed forces and economic resources to deal with the growing mass revolts; possibilities for the emergence of revolts among the police, Paramilitary forces as well as the army, and so on.
Some people argue that in India it is impossible to establish liberated areas, to build the red army and to carry out protracted people’s war because there is relatively more industrial development, capitalist relations in agriculture and better transport and communication facilities, and because the Indian government has a strong centralised administrative system with a very big modern army when compared to pre-revolutionary China.
These arguments are wrong. However strong the enemy’s military power may be and however weak the people’s military power, by basing ourselves on the vast backward countryside-the weakest position of the enemy-and relying on the vast masses of the peasantry, eager for agrarian revolution, and creatively following the flexible strategy and tactics of guerrilla struggle and the protracted people’s war, – as a full meal is eaten up mouthful by mouthful, exactly in the same way, – by applying the best part of our army (a force few times stronger than that of the enemy) against different single parts of the enemy forces and following the policy and tactics of sudden attack and annihilation, it is absolutely possible to defeat the enemy forces and achieve victory for the people in single battles.
It is thus possible to increase the people’s armed forces, attain supremacy over the enemy’s forces and defeat the enemy decisively. While taking into account factors favourable to the enemy, we must, in the course of carrying out the protracted people’s war, take many more precautions and we should establish liberated areas by developing guerrilla zones keeping in mind that it is not possible to build liberated areas in quick succession. We will have to mobilise people into class struggle more skillfully and cautiously based on class line and mass line.
We must remember that the only positive factor that the enemy has (even that is temporary) is the superior strength of the state machinery, particularly the mercenary armed forces. On the other hand, all other factors are on the side of the revolutionary Party and the people’s guerilla army-the principal among these being the just cause of our war, our historic responsibility of solving the land question and the nationality question that are the aspiration of the overwhelming proportion of the country’s population, the ever-increasing crisis and contradictions within the ruling classes, and the fact that we are waging not the old type of conventional war but a people’s war by mobilizing the people on a massive scale both militarily and politically.
Thus the factors favourable to the enemy cannot change the protracted nature of the Indian revolutionary war which ensues from the principal characteristics of our country, as well as from the lessons drawn from the Chinese and Russian revolutions,ans mainly from the Chinese Revolution. Not only India, but every country has, in addition to the general characteristics, its own specific characteristics and its own peculiarities.
We must also remember that the revolution will suffer losses if we fail to take into account the specific characteristics and peculiarities while formulating the guiding principles of our revolutionary path. However, we have to keep in mind that these specific characteristics and peculiarities cannot alter the general characteristics of revolutionary war or the revolutionary path determined by those characteristics.
That the “protracted people’s war” will pass through three strategic stages is a general principle (the experience of revolutions of China, Vietnam and other countries proved this). They are: Stage of Strategic Defensive; (II) Stage of Strategic Stalemate; and (III) Stage of Strategic Offensive. Basically our protracted people’s war will also follow this general principle. The experience of past victorious revolutions of other countries reveals the fact that in a protracted people’s war, the first stage will last longer. The stage of strategic stalemate and the stage of strategic offensive, which follow it, will end in a comparatively shorter time. However, changing into the second and third stages mainly depends on domestic and international situation.
PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS – OUR STAND
According to Marxism-Leninism, the participation or boycott of election are forms of struggle and related to tactics. But after the emergence of Khrushchov revisionism, when the parliamentary path and participation in election has become the strategy of the modern revisionists, then in the backdrop of this aspect, we cannot leave this question merely a question of tactics only. So it is wrong to say, like all other tactics this tactic too, can be utilised only if it suits the concrete conditions of the country in general and serves the revolutionary strategy, i.e., the seizure of power through protracted people’s war.
In the concrete conditions of semi-colonial, semi-feudal India where bourgeois democratic revolution too has not been completed and uneven social, economic and political conditions exist, the objective conditions permit the proletarian party to initiate and sustain armed struggle in the vast countryside. In the name of preparation for armed struggle, participation in election will only sabotage the revolutionary movement.
No peaceful period of preparation for revolution is required in India, unlike in the capitalist countries where the bourgeois democratic revolutions were completed and armed insurrection is the path of revolution. Hence, generally speaking, in the conditions prevailing in our country, participation in election neither helps in developing revolutionary class struggle, nor in enhancing democratic consciousness among the people. Rather it will only foster constitutional illusions and legalist trends among the Party ranks and the masses at large.
Some say that the revolutionary party must participate in parliament and assemblies citing three reasons:
1) that there is no high tide of revolution;
2) that the subjective forces are weak at present to initiate and advance armed struggle and
3) that people have illusions in the parliamentary system.
All these arguments are baseless and have no relation whatsoever to the concrete ground realities in India. Firstly the question of ebb and flow as explained by comrade Lenin applies to countries pursuing insurrectionary tactics where periods of ebb are used for preparation for revolution and periods of tide are used for armed insurrection or uprising. In India, a revolutionary situation is existing and the path of revolution is that of protracted people’s war, participation in parliament has no relation to ebb and tide of revolution and armed struggle can be initiated and area wise seizure of power can be achieved in the countryside.
Secondly, participation in parliament does not help in developing the subjective forces. Rather it will only drive them into legalism and divert them from the arduous and painstaking task of building a secret party, intensifying revolutionary class struggle and advancing armed struggle against the state. Moreover, the experiences of participating in election for the last 50 years amply prove this fact that, most of those who participated in parliamentary election under any argument, have either turned into apologists of parliamentarism and become die-hard revisionists or only increased illusions on the parliamentary system.
The argument that the Indian people have illusions in the parliamentary institutions and hence one must participate to dispel these illusions is even more obnoxious and dangerous. The parliamentary institutions and system in India are discredited to a large extent in the eyes of the people and participation in these will only create or increase the illusions among the people. There is no objective basis in India for exposing the parliamentary system from within. It can be best done by direct propaganda and organising the people against the parliamentary and election system on the basis of the election boycott slogan.
It is only by promoting alternative institutions of people’s power in the course of the intensification of ongoing agrarian revolutionary guerilla struggle that it will be possible to enhance people’s consciousness and to wipe out their illusions, whatever they may have, about the present parliamentary system. Further, it is necessary for this purpose to propagate extensively and concretely to boycott the patliamentary election and, at the same time, about the alternative organs of people’s power.
The tactic of participation in election undermines the task of building and developing revolutionary armed struggle. Moreover, historical experience in India until now has only proved that most of those who participated in election either became revisionist or diverted revolutionary armed struggle into legal and peaceful channels. The various Marxist-Leninist groups in our country that pursue the tactic of participation in parliamentary elections are getting bogged down more and more in the right opportunist mire, while some have already abandoned armed struggle and become revisionists. Hence we can conclude that boycott of elections, though a question of tactics, acquires the significance of strategy in the concrete conditions obtaining in India as it is not at all compatible with the strategy of protracted people’s war.
Agrarian Revolution – People’s Army -Base Areas
Agrarian Revolution is the axis of the New Democratic Revolution Agrarian revolution is the axis of the New Democratic Revolution, and the peasantry, shattered and oppressed under the pressure of the semi-colonial and semi-feudal system, is the firmest and the most dependable ally of the working class in the national democratic revolution. The armed agrarian revolution which alone is the key to the creation of the unending flow of the armed revolutionary forces of the vast peasantry and the establishment of the invincible people’s army. It is only by leading the peasantry in the national and democratic revolution – along the path of the agrarian revolutionary guerrilla warfare and protracted people’s war as shown by Mao, that a firm revolutionary alliance of the working class and the peasantry can be formed which will serve as the basis for the broader new democratic united front with all the forces opposed to imperialism and comprador bureaucrat capitalism, and feudalism – a united front for conducting armed struggle, which is one of the three magic weapons of the revolution.
Hence our Party has to propagate extensively the agrarian revolutionary programme among peasants, mainly among landless poor peasants and agricultural labourers, in the rural areas. The slogan “Land to the tiller and power to the revolutionary peasant committee” will constitute the main slogan in the period till the establishment of the guerrilla zone. Thereafter, in these Guerrilla Zones, with the development of the embryonic forms of people’s political power, the central slogan will be transformed into “Land to the Tiller – All Power to the Revolutionary People’s Committee”.
In the course of the development of the Guerilla Zones towards Base Areas, this latter slogan will assume the main form. It is only by taking the agrarian revolution as the axis and by depending on the vast countryside, that we can arouse and organize the peasantry-constituting the overwhelming majority of the population and the principal ally of the revolution-for guerrilla warfare, and establish a mighty people’s army through liberating them from the exploitation and oppression of the reactionaries. It is only thus we can gradually turn the vast countryside into self-sufficient, strong and dependable base areas – into great military, political, economic and cultural bastion of the revolution, and from these base areas, strike effective and strong blows against the urban areas the comparatively stronger bases of the enemy, and gradually liberate the cities from the hands of the enemy, thereby capturing power countrywide.
Base Areas, other Areas-Their Inter-Relationship
As we have seen in the foregoing, the line of area-wise seizure of power has to be adopted basing on the relatively backward areas of the countryside, i.e. the revolutionary war has to begin in those regions that are relatively more backward, where the social contradictions are sharp, where the authority of the state is relatively weak, and where terrain is more favourable for carrying on guerilla war. Though India is a country with vast and extensive rural areas our Party at present is still weak and is confined to limited areas. Hence, the central leadership should draw up a comprehensive strategic plan consisting of area selection, cadre deployment, ideological-political-organisational-military preparations, concentration of leadership, coordination etc.
As our Party cannot immediately start work in all the rural areas of the country, as part of our Strategy, the state committees should take up planned work in rural and forest areas according to their respective strength. We have to first concentrate on those areas where feudal exploitation is as its worst; where social, economic and political contradictions are intensifying; where the class struggle is sharpening, where the enemy is relatively weak and where the geographical conditions (mountains, hills, forests, and other favourable terrain) are more favourable for conducting the guerilla war.
Our Party, with a perspective of building Guerilla Zones and Liberated areas in such areas, should give first priority to these in the allotment of cadres and concentration of leadership. Strategic Areas for establishing the Base Areas: Basing on the laws of protracted people’s war in India, in order to confront an enemy, who is far more superior in strength, the revolutionary forces will have to select areas, in which the enemy is relatively weaker and which are favourable to the revolutionary forces, and develop the revolutionary war there. Our country has many such areas that are strategically important for the people’s war where Liberated Areas can be established.
These Bases will act as the lever or fulcrum for coordinating and advancing the people’s war in the country and for seizing political power countrywide. These strategic areas are hilly regions with dense forest cover, have sufficient economic resources, a vast population, and a vast forest area spreading over thousands of square kilometres. In such areas the enemy is weak, and these areas are very favourable for the manoeuvres of the people’s army. In these strategic areas we can defeat the enemy completely by fulfilling the tasks of building and consolidating a strong proletarian party and a strong people’s army; procuring the people’s support and economic resources, while developing the guerrilla war aiming at the building of liberated/base areas in these areas. We have to advance giving importance, depending on the respective concrete conditions, to the formation of several base areas or guerilla zones basing on one base area, or to the consolidation of the base areas.
We should choose the objectives in this way basing on the type of the respective areas and prepare the masses mentally, imparting ideological and political consciousness to them from the beginning. We should impart consciousness to the subjective forces while training them in accordance with the above objectives, so that they will formulate proper tactics from time to time by identifying the changes occurring during the course of development of the struggles. However liberated areas too will undergo changes. Developments like a base area changing into a guerrilla zone and a guerilla zone changing into a base area will occur depending on the state of the enemy’s offensive, the state of our subjective forces, and on the domestic and international situation.
Since at present, the revolutionary movements are advancing in the vast belt of people’s war encompassing the extensive area of Dandakaranya, Jharkhand, Andhra, Bihar, Orissa Border, North Telangana, Koel-Kaimur – have a great strategic significance. We will be able to build these areas into a contiguous area of armed struggle, with each area influencing the other. As these areas get consolidated, we should utilize their impact on the surrounding areas and develop them into guerilla zones thus expanding the area of armed struggle. We should have the aim of developing the revolutionary movement in strategic areas of various states as the subjective forces gain strength. We should allocate our forces accordingly.
Relation between Strategic Areas and other areas
Basing on the concrete analysis of the concrete conditions prevailing in our country we have formulated the programme and strategy for the Indian revolution in the present stage and the future perspectives of the Indian revolution. We had drawn up the basic, principal and the immediate task of the revolution at the present stage as the establishment of the People’s Army and Base Areas in the vast countryside and also decided that the principal form of struggle throughout the stage of the new democratic revolution in India is armed struggle and the principal form of organization is the people’s army.
The revolutionary line, the political and military strategy of the revolution will be the same for the entire country. However, in the sphere of tactics we have to take into account the diverse economic, political, social, geographical and cultural conditions in the different regions in the country; the strength of the subjective forces and the changes in the balance of forces, the intensity of class struggle and armed struggle, etc. in different regions and formulate the appropriate forms of struggle and forms of organization, tactical slogans while keeping in mind that all these should always be subordinated to, and serve the overall strategy. How to apply the general line of new democratic revolution to the varying conditions in the different regions in the country, how to maintain the correct dialectical relationship between strategy and tactics, the principal and the non-principal forms of struggle and organization, between the principal task and the secondary tasks, between the strategic areas and other areas is a complex question in practice and we have to grapple with it by basing on the concrete conditions and creative application of MLM.
Besides the principal strategic areas as mentioned above, there are four other categories of rural areas basing on their distinct characteristics. These are:
1) Backward plain and semi-forest areas with some hilly terrain where the class contradictions, particularly between the broad masses of the peasantry and the feudal forces, are quite sharp. Terrain here may offer some additional advantage but the main factor to be taken into consideration is the predominance of semi-feudal relations that can rapidly lead to an intensification of the armed agrarian revolutionary war and transform the area into guerilla zones, and later into Base Areas depending on the overall situation in the country and the strength of our subjective forces.
Guerrilla war can be waged in these areas for a long time provided we utilise the seasons and people’s support to our advantage. These areas will be able to withstand the enemy’s offensive by utilising the first type of strategic areas as their rear. We should also build up revolutionary mass movements, especially revolutionary peasant movements based on agrarian programme, in a big way in these areas that have large population and acute class contradictions. Some among the people’s army recruits and leadership coming to the fore in these struggles have to be shifted to strategic areas. On the whole, these areas will be the main centres of recruitment and supplies to the people’s war. Areas abutting lakes, small islets, some of the coastal areas with favourable terrain, islets in the estuaries etc. also can serve as seasonal Bases. Guerilla war can be waged extensively using this coastal area (heavy losses on the enemy can be inflicted by hitting at his supplies through sea routes). Likewise, plain areas adjacent to the strategic areas and areas with international borders should be dealt separately with a long-term perspective of transforming them into base areas.
2) Relatively advanced areas where capitalist development in agriculture has taken place to some extent, though this capitalism is very much distorted and disarticulated. Moreover, land question has not been fundamentally solved. Infrastructure like transport and communications is quite developed in these areas and the state’s authority is considerably strong. Nevertheless, these areas offer ample opportunities for political mobilization on a massive scale along with preparation from the very beginning for Guerilla war.
3) The coastal areas that are adjacent to the mountain ranges and forest belts i.e. adjacent to the strategic areas. Although there is relative development of capitalist relations in the coastal areas (the areas adjacent to the strategic areas), within the overall semi-feudal system in the country, and though there is relatively developed infrastructure, these areas are to be seen in relation to the potential Base Areas in the neighbourhood and adopt different tactics. The scope for wide political mobilization exists in these areas and here too, we must give utmost attention for the preparation for Guerilla warfare from the very beginning.
4) The numerous adjoining rural suburbs of urban centres that have daily organic links with the urban centers. These suburban areas have to be further classified into different types depending on the scale, importance and role of the particular urban centres in the economy, their proximity to the areas of armed struggle, the weightage of the various classes, particularly the working class, the traditions of working class struggles, etc. and appropriate tactics have to be formulated for the different types of the suburban areas.
Mini-squads with small weapons and dressed in civil so as not to seem conspicuous, organizers working in absolute secrecy and under different covers, special action teams, may be the chief forms of organization in these areas. The main stress should be on working with a long-term perspective and also to act as a liaison between the urban and the main rural areas. While it is necessary for the revolutionary Party to formulate different tactics for the above-mentioned types of areas, it is even more important to keep in mind the relation between the tactics and the overall strategy and the central task of revolution; between the tactics and the basic, principal and immediate task at the present time; between the strategic areas of the first type and the other areas, etc.
Thus it becomes imperative for the Party to scientifically formulate the tactical principles for all these areas with a strategic understanding so as day-to-day tactics can be worked out basing on these principles.
(i) The first priority should be given to the work in the principal strategic areas in accordance with the line of protracted people’s war in the concrete conditions of India, i.e. the line of building the people’s army and establishing Base Areas in the vast countryside, and to advance to liberate the entire country basing on these Base Areas and the people’s army. All the work in other areas should be carried out by coordinating with this most important task.
(ii) We should work with the revolutionary objective of seizure of political power in all areas from the very beginning.
(iii) The forms of struggle and forms of organization and the main slogans in the different areas should be based on the concrete analysis of the concrete conditions pertaining to the economic, political, social, cultural, and geographical spheres on the one hand, and the level of people’s political consciousness and the state of our revolutionary movement. The stress should be on establishing the proletarian (Party) leadership over the oppressed masses in all these areas.
(iv) In all these areas, particularly where there is relatively more capitalist development with greater infrastructure and influence of the market, and where the influence of the bourgeois and revisionist-reformist ideology and politics hold the sway and our movement’s influence is relatively weak in the present situation, we have to lay stress on taking up mass issues and politically mobilizing the masses into militant struggles against the State, making the necessary preparation for building guerilla warfare. It is only thus we can gradually bring the vast masses in these areas into our fold by placing the revolutionary alternative before them.
The advance of our people’s war and the growth of the people’s army and the establishment of the Base Areas will bring a qualitative change in the situation in these areas too and we will be in a position to utilize the situation in our favour if proper tactics are adopted from the beginning.
(v) The Party must give special importance to make the necessary preparations from the very beginning in all these areas for building the guerilla forces along with the people’s militia and strengthening them in the course of guerilla war. Utmost priority must be given to secret armed activities. We must keep in mind that all the areas other than the strategic areas will remain as guerilla zones for a relatively longer period of time and hence must be more flexible in adopting tactics.
For instance, we may have to change our tactics in accordance with the changes in the seasons in matters such as the military and other campaigns, formations, shifting of the forces, etc. We may have to retreat our forces frequently depending on the intensity and magnitude of the enemy’s suppression campaigns. Also we have to send forces from these areas to the strategic areas according to plan from time to time so as to accomplish the principal task of establishing the Base areas. This factor has to be taken note of in drawing up the tactics in these areas.
(vi) In states that do not have strategic areas of significance, plans must be made from the very beginning to deploy some subjective forces in the strategic areas in the neighbouring states. The central and state leaderships must create such an understanding among the cadres in these states, take concrete decisions and implement them.
(vii) The Party units in all these areas must shoulder the task of sending Party cadres, technicians, doctors and others to the strategic areas and to the people’s army, to give logistical support to them, and to build solidarity movements. This will develop the correct revolutionary orientation in the entire Party, rally the entire Party around the central and basic task, establish a revolutionary relationship, cooperation and coordination between the different movements in the country.
People’s Army and Base Areas as the Basic, Principal and Immediate task
The very general line of the Protracted People’s War points out that the basic, principal and the immediate task of the present stage of the revolution is to arouse and organize the people, in a planned way, for agrarian revolutionary guerrilla war in the countryside – specially in the remote countryside (which is most favourable for the building up of the guerrilla war, the people’s army and the base areas), and to build up the people’s army and the rural red base areas through guerilla warfare.
Therefore, while developing guerilla zones, and the guerilla war, we should concentrate our forces in the strategic areas and give importance to the establishment of liberated areas and should organise the people planfully for the agrarian revolutionary guerilla war in the countryside specially in the remote coutryside which is the most favourable for the building up of the guerrilla war, the people’s army and the base areas, not only from the economic and political points of view but also from the geographical and military points of view and give importance to build up the people’s army and the rural red base areas through the guerilla war.
In the absence of liberated areas it is impossible to advance either the on-going guerilla war or the guerilla zones. The people’s liberation army will have to depend on the liberated area for the preservation and expansion of its forces and for the destruction of the enemy forces. In one word, “The guerrilla armies rely on these strategic bases to fulfill their strategic tasks“.
The liberated areas constitute the rear for the guerrilla armies. Moreover, by establishing people’s democratic political power in a specific area and implementing in practice the tasks of the agrarian revolution, it will become possible not only to greatly enthuse the people in other parts of the country but also to promote confidence in them and create areas of struggle everywhere.
Thus by the realization of this task, it is possible to enhance and expedite the revolutionary high tide throughout the country, and through this, basis can be laid for the building up of new base areas, and the gradual consolidation and expansion of the people’s army and base areas. In this way, we will be able to create serious losses to the exploitative ruling classes, quicken the tempo of the revolution, and open up the path for carrying forward the revolutionary war towards the ultimate victory.
As building up of the people’s army and the red base areas is an indispensable and a very important step towards bringing about a qualitative leap in the ongoing people’s war in the country, the imperative and the urgent priority before us is to firmly grasp the task of building the people’s army and the base areas as the principal and the immediate task of the present time and to orient the entire work of the Party in line with this.
It is our imperative duty to firmly carry on this principal and immediate task of the present time by adhering to the correct line and policy and the planning and method – to the correct line of work, simultaneously carrying out the struggle against the right and “Left” opportunism of various shades and colours on these questions.
Developing Red Resistance-Completing preparations for Guerilla Zones
In accordance with our general line of establishing Base Areas first in the vast backward countryside and then gradually expanding to the advanced areas and finally encircling the cities, we have to first select the strategic areas to commence our rural work. The central leadership and the concerned state leaderships should play the determining role in the selection of the areas in the respective states apart from some strategic areas directly under the Central leadership.
This is very much essential in order to avoid spontaneity in our work. The area selected should be sufficiently large so as to have enough room for manoeuvre in face of severe enemy offensive. Though we may begin the work in the core area of the selected zone, we should have a concrete perspective to expand the movement to the entire zone within a time-bound plan. In selecting the area, we should also take into consideration the economic, social, political, geographical and cultural conditions. The question of economic self-reliance should also be a factor while selecting the area keeping in view the perspective of building and sustaining the Base Area.
The first priority must be given to the first type of the strategic areas. In states where such areas do not exist, the second type of strategic areas can be selected or the strategic areas contiguous to the state where they exist can be selected under the guidance of the central leadership. The small towns and urban centres falling within these strategic areas must be considered as part and parcel of this work. The concerned committees should give the first priority to these areas in allotting cadres. Sufficient leadership cadres should be allotted and cadre should be sent in accordance with the growing needs of the movement in these areas from time to time.
The cadres being sent should be prepared ideologically, politically, organizationally and militarily so as to grapple with the complex problems that they will encounter in course of initiating and developing the armed struggle. The entire Party too should be prepared by the leadership to orient he entire work in accordance with the work in the perspective areas. Once an area is selected, the first important task to be fulfilled is to undertake a social investigation i.e. the concrete form of exploitation and oppression and the concrete class analysis or the class relations in the area, decide who are our friends and who are our enemies, with whom to unite and whom to target mainly, and the issues to be taken up for the mobilization of the oppressed masses.
Apart from the economic issues of the different classes, particularly the basic classes, we should also identify the major political issues for mobilizing the masses. Another major task is to undertake a concrete study of the terrain of the area to the extent possible before commencing the work. It may also become necessary for our squads or the organizers to familiarize themselves with the terrain in the very beginning depending on our assessment of the enemy. The form of organization that has to be set up in the area should, as a matter of principle, always depend on the form of struggle that is to be taken up or is possible in the given time.
Generally speaking, in all these backward areas with favourable terrain, it is possible to go for armed form of struggle from the very beginning as it is the principal form of struggle in the entire period of NDR. Hence our whole orientation, concentration, and concrete planning should accord with this principle of developing armed struggle as the principal form of struggle.
This means that we have to propagate the politics of seizure of power among the peasantry, particularly the poor and landless peasantry, from the very beginning and organize them into militant struggles taking the issues of their day-to day problems and also for the basic demands of land, democracy and political power for the people. We have to organize them and arm them for these demands. We have to maintain the correct interrelationship between these four aspects, namely, propaganda, investigation, struggle and organisation.
In this way we have to launch and gradually develop red resistance struggle and struggle for wiping out feudalism -lock, stock and barrel. From the very beginning we have to mobilize the masses on the slogans:’Land to the Tiller’, “All power to the peasant committees!”, “without power people have nothing!”, and “without people’s army people have nothing!”. To accord with the above slogans and forms of struggle we have to set up armed organizations of the peasantry from the very beginning in these strategic areas. Initially, when our forces are too weak, we must work secretly among the poor and landless peasantry in order to establish sufficient contacts and bring them into the mainly underground peasant organizations under the leadership of our Party.
We may commence our work either in the form of underground organisers or in the form of squads directly depending on our strength and other factors. Whatever form we adopt in organizing the masses, our main thrust should be to bring the politically conscious and militant elements, particularly from the basic classes, into underground peasant organizations or Committees. Along with the secret peasant organizations or committees, we must also form of broader and open organizations of the peasantry wherever conditions permit and initiate militant struggles on issues against the imperialist- CBB-feudal exploitation and against the state machinery.
When working openly in such a situation we must take the precaution not to expose our Party cadre and to work under some cover. Depending on the situation, we may also use the open organizations, even if temporarily, to establish the necessary contacts among the masses with the aim of setting up the underground mass organizations of the peasantry. As the struggle has to be intensified and will have to take the armed form from the very beginning, we have to lay stress on building the underground organization of the peasantry from the beginning.
The form of open organization of the peasantry should thus be subordinate to our general line of building underground peasant committees and raising armed guerilla units at the earliest possible time. From the very beginning the party should concentrate on educating the peasantry with the politics of seizure of power, and from the very beginning, the people should be made aware of and tempered in secret and illegal activities. If the peasantry lacks the perspective of seizure of power and building the people’s army while carrying forward the peasant struggle, however extensive and strong the movement may be, will certainly end up in economism and reformism. The principal aim should always be to arouse and organise the masses for guerrilla warfare and protracted people’s war with the objective of seizure of state power and to create an unending flow of revolutionary armed forces in the countryside to develop guerrilla struggles and guerrilla organizations.
The Communist Party of China too correctly pointed this out after the outbreak of the glorious Naxalbari uprising: “The struggles that are being fought by the poor peasantry of India against dispossession of land and for getting back the land, for reduction of rent and against various kinds of rents and taxes, are certainly necessary; but these movements are to be closely connected with the struggle for the seizure of power through armed struggle, and the armed struggle is to be developed as the principal form of struggle; because, otherwise, it is impossible for the peasantry to achieve complete liberation by way of totally uprooting the feudalism.” It is clear that the landlords and the reactionary state machinery will invariably launch all kinds of brutal attacks with a view to nip in the bud all the revolutionary flames of the peasant struggles.
The government will deploy armed forces in a big way and will launch a campaign of suppression. Our Party organisation must get ready before hand to resist these attacks. Hence, in the phase of the red resistance struggle itself, we must not only form local guerilla squads, special guerilla squads and people’s militia, but also arm and train the people of the village as far as possible in order to offer counter resistance to the attacks of local enemies and the state’s campaign of suppression of the anti-feudal, anti-imperialist agrarian revolutionary guerrilla struggle.
So from the very beginning the party and the revolutionary peasant committee should educate the peasantry to face the onslaught of the landlords with arms and build the self defense squads to defend their struggles. Mobilizing the masses on a wide scale creates fear and red terror among the reactionaries. Squad actions, without having any connection with the people, only do not create such a situation; hence our effort is to involve the masses in a big way in such guerilla activities. In the process of arming the militants who are thrown up in the anti-feudal, anti-imperialist and anti- State struggles on a continuous basis, we should intensify the guerilla war.
For this, a definite time-bound plan should be drawn up to build armed self-defence squads, village defence squads and the people’s militia at the village level with the aim of building the PLGA. Regular forces like the LGS/LRGSs and SGSs should be formed according to plan by every Party committee. Recruitment should be mainly from the working class and the lower middle poor and landless peasantry, and also from the secondary sources like the students, youth, women and petty bourgeoisie sections.
We must take up actions for arming the people by capturing weapons from class enemies i.e. landlord class etc., and from police and para-military froces and then must take up actions against the police and other forces of the state whenever possible, and boost up the morale of the masses. We must follow the principle of dispersing the forces to rouse the masses and concentrating the forces to attack the enemy. The party should thus take the necessary steps consciously to build the people’s guerilla army. We must also build various types of revolutionary and democratic mass organizations such as the organisation of students, youth, women, etc. and must co-ordinate their activities with armed agrarian revolutionary programmes.
The various Party committees should draw up proper plans to enter these sections, initiate struggles, recruit forces from these sections by selecting the advanced elements and raising their political consciousness. The struggles in the red resistance phase will be waged in a series of waves and therefore, the party should consciously use the intermittent intervals between one struggle and the next to consolidate the results of the struggle.
Here, consolidation means educating the people with the politics of seizure of state power, further strengthening of underground party organisation, revolutionary peasant organisaations and revolutionary mass organizations and village self-defense squads, peasant guerrilla squads, making them realize the necessity to forge unity with other sections of anti-imperialist, anti-feudal masses to wage still heroic battles against the common enemy improving their socialist consciousness bringing them out of all sorts of revisionist influence, and building the party with the militants emerging from the mass struggles.
This process of consolidation and along with it the weakening of the grip of the landlords, on the economic social and political life of the village, and the establishment of the firm leadership of the proletariat over the broad masses in the village, will take place only through the course of intensification of revolutionary class struggle in that village and the basis will be laid for forming the Revolutionary People’s Committees.
As the struggle intensifies and reaches a critical situation, any movement should either advance or decline but cannot remain marking time. At that point, it should necessarily transform itself into the guerrilla zone or otherwise it cannot preserve itself. During this course, the resistance actions in the form of guerilla actions against state’s armed forces increase, the revolutionary armed forces gain strength and the struggle between them and the state’s armed forces becomes principal, bringing about a qualitative change in the whole situation, which will lead to the formation of guerilla zone. In order to achieve this, the conscious role of leadership is very important. Hence the leadership should formulate appropriate tactics and chalk out time-bound plans as well as ensure their actual implementation.
It is extremely necessary to prepare the entire Party to orient its entire work in relation to the principal task of building of people’s army and developing the red resistance areas into guerilla zones and Base Areas. All other tasks should be planned so as to serve this principal, basic and immediate task and the entire Party should be ready for every type of sacrifice to fulfil this task. We must keep in mind what com. Mao has said in this regard: “every party member should be prepared to take up arms and go to the front at any moment” and “the whole party should pay deep attention to war, should study military affairs and pay attention to war, should study military affairs and prepare itself for fighting.”
The Transformation of a Guerilla zone into a Base Area
To turn the guerilla zone into a Base Area, we must have a strong communist party, a People’s Liberation Army and a revolutionary United Front. We can achieve this objective only by developing the guerilla war with a correct political understanding and with concrete plan. The guerilla war must aim at the establishment of Liberated Areas. The forming of a People’s Liberation Army is vital for the achievement of a Base Area.
In a guerilla zone, the guerilla war will not go on in the same manner from the beginning to the end. The intensity of the guerilla war goes on increasing during the course of development of the people’s guerilla army. We should identify different conditions existing in different areas during different times and formulate tactics, work methods and time-bound plans that correspond to the respective conditions and work with firm determination. In the guerrilla zones, the guerrilla army, and the guerrilla war will be the main forms of organisation and struggle.
As the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army goes on consolidating, the guerrilla war intensifies. In the Guerrilla Zones there will be, in the main, a contention for political power between the enemy and us. There will be the destruction of enemy’s political power, and construction of people’s political power. But here, it should be understood that while destruction is main construction would be secondary. When the guerrilla forces have the upper hand, the people’s power can exist. The enemy rule will go on temporarily when the guerrilla forces retreat in the face of the enemy onslaught.
There cannot be dual power in the same area simultaneously. It will be either the enemy’s power or ours. In the guerilla zone, the enemy will be relatively stronger than the revolutionary forces. The mobilisation of the people into the people’s war is the only way to change the balance of forces between the enemy and the revolutionary forces. In order to drive out the reactionary forces, and arouse the masses in a big way into struggles the people’s guerilla army must advance the guerilla war in places where the enemy is weak military.
Unless the PLGA destroys the smaller units of the enemy decisively, it can neither expand nor arm the people. The effects of the advances and retreats in a war show their impact on the mobilisation of the people and their struggles. When the revolutionary forces are advancing and gain an upper hand, the people will be ready to take on new tasks. When the enemy has an upper hand, people become demoralised to some extent temporarily. Party and army will also decrease to some extent. The Party must, as a duty, stay among the people, organise them and lead them once again during the repression when the people’s forces are temporarily on the retreat. Due to this, the people will come into the struggles in a much more massive way than earlier.
We must develop the strategic areas having a good mass base and favourable terrain within the guerilla zones into guerilla bases for the establishment of people’s political power, for military and political training of our own forces and for the preservation of our own forces, for advancing the revolution and for bringing about a change in the balance of forces by dealing heavy blows on the enemy. The people’s militia, the party units, the organs of people’s political power and various mass organisations will be relatively stronger in the guerilla bases. We will have to further intensify the guerrilla war by concentrating on wiping out the enemy in the vulnerable areas, driving him out of that area and consolidating the revolutionary forces. The relationship between the new political power, emerging and consolidating in these guerrilla bases and the political power of the enemy outside it, will have the nature of dual power.
There will be contention between these two powers, with each trying to eliminate the other and to stabilise its own power. In guerilla bases like these, the people should be aroused politically, the people’s guerrilla army and the people’s political power should be consolidated and strengthened and the political power should be extended to the rest of the guerrilla zone areas. Conscious effort is very much essential for establishing guerilla bases. Work should commence with a good time-bound plan and firm determination. The central leadership must pay attention.
Sufficient conscious cadre must be allotted and politically motivated. Plan should be drawn up for establishing the Party and political power. PLGA and the Party cadre allotted for the RPCs should work in coordination to hasten the process of forming the guerrilla base. The state and central committees should pay special concentration in order to create a guerilla base/bases and to generalize the concrete experience derived. Since these areas are politically, economically and socially very backward, the Party should pay special attention to develop the consciousness of the masses and also on the education of the masses. It should strive to politically mobilize all the people who support the revolution for the common aim i.e. to establish a new democratic society.
The Party leadership should work creatively to mobilise the people by formulating concrete slogans in accordance with the general line. When there is a serious enemy offensive in the form of ‘encirclement and suppression’ campaign are being conducted in such areas, we should not make futile attempt to obstinately preserve our entire strength within the area of encirclement, in the name of persistence in work, or to hold control over the area, instead we should organise speedily as mobile squads, a major portion of our strength who can be made mobile, and should spread them outside or around the area of encirclement. and at the same time, we should carry on attacks from exterior lines, simultaneously with the attacks from within the area of encirclement.
Guerilla bases are transitory in nature. If we want to wage guerilla war powerfully, if we want to change the Guerilla zones into Liberated Areas, then the question of establishment of guerilla bases will have a special importance. These guerilla bases will constitute the focal points within the guerilla zones for the development of a strong party, a strong people’s liberation army and a united front while, at the same time, creating favourable conditions for the establishment of liberated areas, expanding the political power in waves and quickening the tempo of the revolution. As the new political power in the guerilla bases goes on stabilizing, changes should be brought about in the production relations while intensifying the agrarian revolution.
Land should be distributed on the basis of land to the tiller and cooperative movement among the people should be promoted for the development of agriculture. The embryonic form of the new democratic state should be consolidated. Therefore it should be understood that formation of the guerilla base means a significant advance in the process of building base area. This will create a strong impact on the people in the areas around the guerilla base and will inspire them to participate in the people’s war more extensively. In order to defeat the offensive campaign of the enemy the people’s guerilla army should mobilise the people in a big way for political and military actions and should carry on enemy annihilation operations extensively which includes sabotage actions also.
The people’s guerilla army transforms into the people’s liberation army by acquiring the characteristics of a regular army during the course of its development. The guerilla war develops into mobile warfare. People’s power will be established in the guerilla zones by completely annihilating the enemy in that area with the active support of the people and that area will change into a liberated area. The base areas formed in such a way may be unstable and may change hand between us and the enemy. In order to consolidate these into stable bases, we have to formulate appropriate plans.
However, there is no such precondition that liberated areas can be achieved invariably through the establishment of guerilla bases only. The people’s army, when it grows to a sufficient level, and under favourable conditions, can even march directly into the guerilla zones or strategic areas, wage decisive battles against the enemy and establish liberated areas. Under such condition, the plains too get influenced and, depending on the seasons and other such favourable factors, guerilla bases can be formed there if we can rouse the masses on a wide scale and beat back the enemy onslaught and destroying the enemy network and enemy strength considerably in the area. In the plains, guerilla war will go on for a long time.
Utilising the seasons, temporary guerilla bases can be developed in those areas in the plains that have some favourable terrain and a strong political mass base. Under such conditions, political power can be sustained even if it is for a short period. At the same time guerrilla war should be developed by arousing the people through the programme of agrarian revolution, and increase recruitment in a big way to strengthen the people’s guerrilla army. The establishment of power in the plains will be very unstable and will be in a wave-like manner. Organs of political power will get formed in some villages where the people’s consciousness is developed.
But one should keep in mind that the organs of people’s political power in the plains will be unstable until a stage is reached when the people’s guerrilla army inflicts significant defeats on the enemy forces. In the guerilla zones and in those areas where our work is going on with the task of forming Liberated Areas, we should organise the people into struggles by rallying them around the following concrete slogans: This takes place through the Revolutionary Peoples Committees, as part of the politics of capturing the state power.
1. Overthrow feudal authority; establish people’s political power.
2. Take over the lands of the landlords, the lands of the government, and of other exploiting institutions and distribute them to the poor and landless peasants!
3. Build armed people’s militia!
4. Stop repayment of debts and interests to landlords and moneylenders!
5. Stop paying taxes, cess, and levies to the government!
6. Right over the forest belongs to Adivasis and the toiling people, Stop the plunder of forest wealth by imperialists, CBB and big contractors!
7. Develop agriculture and cooperative movement! Increase production and achieve self-reliance in every sphere!
The implementation of the above slogans, by mobilising all the anti-feudal forces into struggles against imperialist exploitation and the exploitation of landlords and comprador bureaucrat bourgeoisie classes, will be the immediate political task. As a result of the political mobilisation that takes place on the above slogans, the peasantry will intensify the class struggle in the form of armed struggle in a big way; it will provide innumerable warriors for the expansion of the PLGA and for the development of PLGA into the PLA.
It will ripen the conditions for the establishment of the liberated area. A liberated area is a specific area where the enemy has been destroyed completely and where the rule of the revolutionary people’s government is established. If such a liberated area is to be established then a well-trained people’s liberation army, i.e. a regular army, well-trained under a centralised military command and having the capability of defeating the enemy should have come into existence; majority of the oppressed masses in that area should have been educated with revolutionary politics and prepared for forming organs of political power.
The people’s revolutionary committees, which are the organs of people’s political power, will transform into Revolutionary People’s Councils. A layer of these people’s revolutionary councils will be built from the village level to liberated area level. The people should, in support of the People’s Liberation Army, get armed in people’s militia organisations.
A Communist Party should provide leadership while performing all these tasks. Without these conditions, neither a liberated area can be formed nor can it be sustained after formation. When we take into consideration one of the main specific characteristics of our country, that is, the existence of powerful centralised state machinery, then the establishment of stable liberated areas like in China will relatively be a hard task.
However, while developing several backward areas in the country into guerilla zones through the intensification of class struggle, we will be able to create a condition for armed conflicts with the government armed forces. Through this, we will be able to scatter the enemy forces and will be able transform certain areas, which are advantageous geographically, into Liberated Areas. Several political developments that occur in the country and all over the world too will help this by creating favourable conditions.
For instance, as a consequence of the intensification of the internal contradictions among the imperialists, the internal contradictions among the ruling classes of India too may intensify, leading to political crisis and an unstable rule; the armed struggles of various oppressed nationalities may intensify further and this will divert the enemy’s armed forces, capabilities and economic resources towards those struggles; a people’s upsurge against imperialism and against the comprador ruling classes may break out in some pockets as a result of the crisis that is subjecting the oppressed masses to cruel exploitation; with the intensification and the advancement of guerilla struggle, there may be outbreaks of rebellions by some sections of the police, paramilitary, military forces; and, one cannot deny the possibility of the outbreak of wars (either local, or world wide) that can divert a part of enemy’s strength and resources.
All these will create an unfavourable situation for the enemy and a favourable situation for us. In short, during the course of waging the protracted people’s war against the armed forces of the enemy, the revolutionary crisis is bound to erupt thereby facilitating the establishment of more and more liberated areas.
Foundations for a New Democratic Economic System
Our goal is to destroy the present semi-feudal, semi-colonial economic system, which serves the interests of the landlord, comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie classes and of the imperialists and to build a New Democratic Economic System in its place. Hence, we must strive to promote new democratic economic system, during the course of, and in accordance with the development of the people’s war.
We should coordinate this effort for economic development with the people’s war, so that it is subordinated to the central task of development of revolutionary war. Since the guerilla zones are unstable and face the menace of continuous enemy attacks, the economic development programmes we take up in the guerilla zones, should not be of long term nature but should be ones that will get completed quickly. Our policies for economic development, and our efforts, should be directed towards the improvement of the people’s living standards thereby encouraging them to actively participate in the revolutionary war.
They should also help in facilitating the supply of food and other materials to the people’s army; and for further consolidating the people’s democratic state power (the RPCs). These economic policies should take into account people’s welfare programmes like education, health, sanitation, public distribution system etc. The ruling classes will impose economic blockades on our struggle areas, when the guerilla war goes on intensively, or during and after the formation of liberated areas. The enemy will resort to measures like, plundering and burning people’s properties, destruction of production and implements of production, etc.
In order to withstand such situations, we should make our struggle areas self-reliant from the beginning and foil the enemy blockade. The people’s army should be made self-reliant, while conserving the resources through the organised might of the people. We should intensify the agrarian revolution and mobilise the people for the cooperative movement during the course of the advance of the revolutionary war and the formation of guerrilla zones and guerrilla bases. In the beginning, primary cooperatives may come into existence to meet the needs of the people.
Mobilising agricultural labourers, poorpeasants and middle peasants, can form mutual aid teams. The cooperatives should be formed on the basis of resolving the problems of labour power, bullocks, fertilisers, seeds, and irrigation. The labour and capital of the people should be the main component n this cooperative movement. However, labour is the key aspect. Consumer and credit cooperatives too should be built. This co-operativisation movement should be expanded in the guerrilla bases and thousands of people should be mobilised.
The hegemony of the landless peasants, agricultural labourers and poor peasants should be established over all these cooperatives. On the whole, the party should pay constant attention on the following attars, throughout the period of the people’s war:
1. Throughout the period of People’s war- i.e. From the time of commencement to the final capture of power – the revolutionary politics that state power must be seized should be in command over the work of preparing, mobilising and organising the people for the people’s war.
2. Our party should wage the peoples war, constantly evaluating our and the enemies strength and adopting concrete tactics in the concrete conditions corresponding to that strength. By doing so, we will be able to keep the initiative in our hands. The intensification of the peoples war while preserving our subjective forces as far as possible and destroying the enemy gradually will be possible only in this way. We should never forget that to loose the initiative in the war means certain defeat.
3. Throughout the course of the people’s war, the party must depend on the people: we must never for a moment forget about maintaining organic relations with the people. Com. Mao said: “The revolutionary war is a peoples war; we can wage that war by the mobilising the people and relying on the people”.
Strategic understanding of work in urban areas-Relation between Rural work and Urban work
It is true that, in our revolution, which follows the line of protracted people’s war, the liberation of urban areas will be possible only in the last stage of the revolution. However, this does not mean that there is no need to concentrate on the building of urban revolutionary movement from the beginning. From the beginning we will have to concentrate on the organization of the working class, which being the leadership of our revolution has to directly participate and lead the agrarian revolution and the people’s war besides building a revolutionary workers’ movement. We must keep in mind the fact that the urban population has been growing rapidly due to the deepening agrarian crisis in the countryside, which is forcing the poor and landless peasantry to migrate to the urban centers in search of livelihood.
The working class too is numerically many times more in India than in China during the course of the Chinese revolution. At the beginning of the decade of 1990s itself, the strength of the organised working class in both public and private industrial sectors in our country was about 260 lakhs. Their strength in the unorganised, ancillary and small-scale industries is double this figure i.e., 450 to 500 lakhs.
Hence the revolutionary party cannot afford to neglect its work any more in towns and industrial areas and has far greater importance than in pre-revolutionary China. However, the majority of workers are mired in economism due to the nature of the struggles being organised for decades by the various revisionist and bourgeois trade-unions. In spite of this, the workers are increasingly participating in spontaneous struggles today and are getting rid of the illusions they had on the leadership of the respective trade-unions. The responsibility of properly guiding and organising them lies with the revolutionary party alone.
In addition, the workers in many places of our country are not only living side by side with the peasantry but also have countless ties with the rural areas. That is why the influence of the anti-feudal struggles going on in the rural areas is there to a considerable extent on the working class of the industrial centres. The working class struggles, in turn, are bound to greatly influence the peasantry.
On the basis of revolutionary workers movement we will be able to mobilise millions of urban toiling and oppressed masses and build struggles against imperialism and feudalism, struggles in support of the agrarian revolution and struggles for democratic rights. We will be able to create the subjective forces and conditions required for building a countrywide, broad, anti-imperialist, anti-feudal united front during this course only. The urban movement is one of the main sources, which provides cadres and leadership having various types of capabilities essential for the people’s war and for the establishment of liberated areas.
Moreover, the responsibility for the provision of supplies, technology, expertise, information and other logistical support to the people’s war too, lies on the shoulders of the urban revolutionary movement itself. Hence, we must, while giving first priority to the work, that has to be undertaken for the establishment of liberated areas, at the same time, also give appropriate importance to the task of building a strong urban revolutionary movement.
If the working class struggles mainly those in the spheres of transport, communications, ordnance, power plants, mines etc. are coordinated with the armed peasant struggles, they play a key role in carrying forward the people’s war. Hence Party has to pay special attention to its efforts on key industrial organisations from the beginning and allocate leadership cadres accordingly. We should not forget the dialectical relationship between the development of the urban movement and the development of the people’s war in the countryside. In the absence of a strong revolutionary urban movement, the people’s war in the countryside will face many difficulties. Moreover, we should not belittle the importance of the fact that the urban areas are strong centres of the enemy.
Building up of a strong urban revolutionary movement means that our Party should build a struggle network capable of waging struggle consistently, by sustaining itself until the protracted people’s war reaches the stage of strategic offensive. Here we have to bear in mind, that instead of pursuing the wrong line of trying to organise ‘insurrection’ or ‘decisive battles’, we have to follow the correct line of building up struggles in the urban areas which must be coordinated with, and complementary, in serving the armed agrarian revolutionary war.
We must continue to make fuller preparation from beforehand so that the cities may be liberated in proper time when urban areas are encircled from the countryside. With this long-term perspective, we should develop a strong secret party, a revolutionary united front and urban guerilla squads and militia; intensify the class struggle in the urban areas and mobilise the support of millions of urban masses for the people’s war.
We must keep in mind that, in a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country, any struggle, be it in the rural areas or in the urban areas, if isolated from the task of building up of and the development of the agrarian revolutionary armed struggle, cannot but, in the ultimate analysis, be depraved of being economist, reformist and revisionist. Before the outbreak of the agrarian revolutionary war, the aim and the task of all struggles and organizations are to develop this war.
When such war has begun, the task of all struggles and organizations are to become united with this war and to further develop this agrarian revolutionary guerrilla war and protracted people’s war. The development and expansion of the agrarian revolutionary guerrilla warfare in the countryside is significant not only for the peasant struggles, it is of extraordinary significance for the development and the correct orientation of the struggles of the working class and the vast masses of the urban people too.
The establishment of the Base Areas and the expansion of the people’s war to the vast countryside is bound to lead to the radicalization of the urban masses and give great impetus to their struggles against imperialism, CBB and the stranglehold of feudalism in the various spheres of social and cultural life of the urban masses. It will also create massive wave of support in the urban areas for the armed agrarian revolutionary movement.
This relationship between the rural and urban work (i.e. city work is subordinate to rural work and complementary to the basic, principal and immediate task of building up of the people’s army and base areas), must always be borne in mind when carrying out the work in the urban areas. In order to create a strong base of support to the ongoing people’s war in the countryside and to resolve their own basic issues, and to utilize the situation for the take over of the urban centers during the high tide of revolution, the Party should undertake work among the urban toiling masses with a long-term perspective. Henceforth, our party must have a comprehensive line of revolutionary struggle (armed struggle and other forms of struggle) for the urban areas also in conformity with the line of protracted people’s war, i.e. the line of liberating the countryside and encircling the urban areas from the countryside first, and then capturing the urban areas.
CHAPTER-8 Three Magic Weapons
The three fundamental questions of the Party in the Indian revolution are the building up of the Party, the People’s Army and the United Front. A correct understanding of these three questions and of its mutual relations will give the accurate direction for the entire Indian revolution. Com. Mao explained that a correct understanding of the relationship between the Party, army and the united front is necessary for the victory of the revolution: “…… the UF and armed struggle are the two basic weapons for defeating the enemy. The UF is a UF for carrying on armed struggle, and party is the heroic warrior wielding the two weapons, the UF and the Armed Struggle to storm and shatter the enemy’s positions. That is how they are related to each other.” Thus it is extremely imperative for us to grasp the importance of the construction of each of these weapons from the very beginning as well as the masterful application of these to the concrete practice of the Indian revolution based on the teachings of MLM.
The Party of the Proletariat
Lenin taught us that, “The Proletariat, in its struggle for power, has no weapon other than organization. And comrade Mao explained: “If there is to be revolution, there must be a revolutionary party. Without a revolutionary party, without a party built on the Marxist – Leninist revolutionary theory and in the Marxist – Leninist revolutionary style, it is impossible to lead the working class and the broad masses of the people in defeating imperialism and its running dogs.” In the construction, development and the Bolshevisation of the Party in semi-colonial, semi-feudal India we must always keep in mind the principle laid out by Mao that it is tightly linked to its political line, to its correct or erroneous resolution of the united front and armed struggle questions.
The most important question in Party building is that a correct ideological-political line should guide it. Without being guided by the most advanced theory of the proletariat-the ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism-it is impossible to work out the correct programme, strategy and tactics of the revolution and hence, impossible to achieve victory in the revolution. Ideological-political line should serve as the basis for all the work of the Party both during and after the new democratic revolution and until the accomplishment of socialism and communism.
Another basic principle in Party building laid out by comrades Lenin and Mao is its underground structure or its clandestine character. Mao explained the imperative need to maintain a strictly underground Party in areas dominated by the reactionaries thus: “In the beginning, our policy is to maintain the Party’s organization clandestinely and make it compact, selective and efficient. To remain underground for a long period, accumulate forces and await the correct moment and not precipitate or expose ourselves.” Comrade Mao thus established our understanding of the ideological and political basis of the construction of the Party in a semi-colonial, semi-feudal country.
The third basic principle is the unity of will and the unity of action within the Party, and the unity between the Party and the people. Building the Party on the basis of democratic centralism and pursuing the class line and mass line alone can ensure this. Conscious implementation of democratic centralism is of great importance for ensuring the unity of the Party, strengthening its centralized leadership enhancing its fighting capacity and invigorating Party life. The Party can be made strong by practicing democratic centralism to stimulate the initiative of the whole membership.
The strengthening of the collective leadership is an important precondition for the implementation of democratic centralism in the Party. In order to put into practice the combination of collective leadership and individual responsibility, the Party committee system must be strengthened. This also prevents any individual from monopolizing the conduct of affairs. Com. Mao also developed our understanding of the struggle within the Party as a reflection of the class struggle in the society and that the struggle within the Party is the struggle between two lines which covers its entire process of development.
We must adopt the “Three Great Styles of Work” which are one of the hallmarks distinguishing the proletarian Party from the bourgeois and revisionist Parties. These are : the style of integrating theory with practice, maintaining close ties with the masses and practicing criticism and self-criticism. Ideological-political education is the key link to be grasped in uniting the whole Party for great political struggles. Unless this is done, the Party cannot accomplish any of its political tasks.
We must build the Party based on the abovementioned Marxist-Leninist- Maoist understanding in order to make the Party invincible and lead the revolution to victory. In order to strengthen the proletarian foundations in the Party organisation, we have to pay special attention to building the Party units in key industrial organisations in towns and cities and among the landless and poor peasants and agricultural labourers in the rural areas.
Since our path is the path of protracted people’s war, it is obvious that we have to mainly concentrate our work including Party building on the rural areas. Working class leadership is the indispensable condition for New Democratic revolution in India. The working class should exercise its leadership in the revolution through its direct participation and send its advanced detachment to the rural areas. Only by organising and arousing the working class and continuously drawing its advanced section into the party that the party can be strengthened, its class basis made firm and working class leadership on the New Democratic Revolution be guaranteed.
The Party, in order to prepare the people for the people’s war, has to organise the various classes into class organisations, rally them into the struggles against the state and develop the consciousness of seizure of state power. People’s Army We cannot conceive of people’s war without a people’s army. The importance of the people’s army in the seizure of political power is captured in the well-known statement of Mao, “Without a people’s army the people have nothing.” The people’s army is the instrument in the hands of the oppressed people to capture political power without which it is impossible to smash the state machinery of the exploiting classes. Therefore the effort of the party of the working class to build and develop a people’s army will be of vital significance in the revolutionary movement following the line of Protracted People’s War. In a country like ours, the revolution will go on from the beginning mainly through the form of armed struggle.
Throughout the course of the new democratic revolution armed struggle or war will be the principal form of struggle and army will be the principal form of organization. Neither the work of organisation of the people nor the work of building mass struggles can go on successfully without the support of the people’s armed forces. The party can consolidate the achievements of mass struggles only by expanding and developing the guerrilla war, and will thus be able to lay the foundation for the alternative people’s political power. Com. Mao also pointed out: “the people’s army is an armed body for carrying out the political tasks.”
Besides fighting to destroy the enemy while preserving its own strength it should shoulder such political tasks of doing propaganda among the masses, mobilising the masses along with organizing and arming them and helping them to establish revolutionary political power; setting up and developing the party organizations; and participating in production. Com.Mao said without these objectives fighting looses its meaning and the red army looses the significance of its existence. We will be able to steadily develop the people’s war and develop the consciousness of seizure of state power among the people only by arming the people through the form of people’s militia, train them and developing mass resistance against the state.
The guerilla warfare waged by the people and the red army as the main force complement each other like a man’s right arm and left arm. Therefore, the party should always pay attention to this effort of arming the people. On the relation between the Party and the People’s army, comrade Mao taught us that: “The Party commands the gun, and the gun must never be allowed to command the Party.” The people’s army in an agrarian country like India will be basically an army of the peasantry, particularly the army of the poor and landless peasantry, under the leadership of the working class.
It is this class composition of the people’s army that is its real strength. In fact, this army is the people’s army. Each and every member of this army is imbued with the great aim of serving the people and the relation between the army and the people is like that of fish and water. The agrarian revolution is the basis that ensures the unending flow of recruits into the people’s army. Armed with the theory of MLM, guided by the historic mission of the proletariat, and leading a just war of liberation, the people’s army becomes invincible in the face of the most trying circumstances.
The people’s army of India is an armed detachment of the world proletarian army; is guided by the principles of proletarian internationalism. While the foremost task before it is the liberation of the people of India from imperialism and all their comprador running dogs, it also considers as its imperative task to fight anywhere in the world, when the need arises, in defence of the interests of the world proletariat and the oppressed masses.
Revolutionary United Front
The United Front of the alliance of four classes is to be built for the seizure of political power and to establish the people’s democratic dictatorship. The aim of the united front is to isolate, weaken and destroy the main enemies one by one and win over the maximum possible forces opposed to the main enemies. Hence, the Party has to pay particular attention to build as broad a front as possible by uniting with all those classes, groups, parties, individuals and forces that aspire to achieve the common aim of the UF, however weak and vacillating the constituents of the UF may be.
In the whole process of building the united front, i.e., building particular UF on concrete problems or right from building a UF at local level to finally building a revolutionary UF for establishing people’s power, the Party has to, follow without fail, the following Leninist principle: “In order to properly conduct the revolution towards victory, the Communist Party in every country must, without fail, utilise every smallest opportunity to gain a friend from among the people, however vacillating that friend may be, however unable he may be, however unreliable he may be and even however temporary that opportunity may be”.
In a semi-colonial, semi-feudal country like India, the strategic united front should be built up in the course of armed struggle and for carrying forward the armed struggle for seizure of power. Com. Mao laid down the basic tactical principles of the united front to be pursued by the proletariat such as: maintaining the hegemony of the working class over the united front; maintaining the independence and initiative in the hands of the working class and relying on its own efforts in all conditions; and that the united front should serve the armed struggle.
Thus the first principle in building the UF is that the party of the proletariat should play the vanguard role in this united front. There can be no united front without the theoretical, political, organisational and military leadership of the working class and the Communist Party. The alliance of the proletariat and the peasantry is the foundation of this United Front. This is the basic alliance in the united front and there cannot be a revolutionary united front without this basic worker-peasant alliance. There cannot be a people’s army or the organs of people’s democratic power at any level without the basic alliance of the working class and peasantry. This is the second principle in the construction of the revolutionary united front in semi-colonial, semi-feudal India.
The rich peasants are a vacillating ally. On the one hand, they are exploited by imperialism and fettered by feudalism, and on the other they themselves exploit others. Due to this dual nature, in spite of their vacillation the rich peasants become part of U.F. as the immediate aim of New Democratic Front is to abolish the exploitation by imperialism, comprador bureaucrat capitalism and feudalism. The third principle in the construction of the revolutionary united front in India is the development of the alliance with the urban petty bourgeoisie thereby forging the united front as the revolutionary alliance of all the motive forces.
The ruling classes gain credibility and strength from the support of the urban petty bourgeoisie and once the Party of the proletariat wins this important social stratum to the side of the revolution the credibility of the ruling class will be at stake. The national bourgeoisie will take part in the revolution against imperialism and feudalism at certain times and to a certain extent. This class may come with the advancement of the people’s war and our overall strength if we take up a correct policy and attitude towards the national bourgeoisie. Thus to accomplish the new democratic revolution in India, our Party has to give utmost importance to the task of forming and developing the revolutionary strategic United Front consisting of the above-mentioned four classes – the proletariat, peasantry, the urban petty-bourgeoisie, and national bourgeoisie (middle and small bourgeoisie).
Of these the first three are the motive forces of the revolution, while the national bourgeoisie is a vacillating ally. It is also important for the Party of the proletariat to take advantage of the conflicts and contradictions within the reactionary ruling classes that are bound to intensify in a semi-colonial country like ours due to the growing inter-imperialist contradictions for the control of our vast resources and markets. This means only after establishing the four class UF under our leadership we will be in a position to utilise the contradictions within the ruling classes effectively.
Whether we have to develop any issue based tactical alliances with the ruling class parties or not, that is also to be decided by the party according to the then concrete conditions. The revolutionary united front is the real bastion that protects the revolutionary movement from fascist suppression and annihilation campaigns carried on jointly by the counter-revolutionary ruling classes. This united front can become powerful and stable only in the course of advancing the armed struggle and the armed struggle, in turn, can become powerful with the effective forging of the united front.
As the new democratic revolution cannot be organized and carried forward without the above-mentioned three weapons, precisely in the same manner, these three weapons also cannot be built up, consolidated and expanded in isolation from armed agrarian revolutionary war and the protracted people’s war. The main constituents in building up these three weapons are the working class and the peasantry, particularly the poor and landless peasantry. Hence, we must pay utmost attention to build these three weapons in the process of establishing the Base Areas through agrarian revolutionary movement and protracted people’s war by taking the working class and the peasantry, especially the poor and landless peasantry as the core.
Tactics are a part of strategy, subordinated to and serving it. Tactics are not concerned with the war as a whole, unlike strategy, but with its individual episodes, with battles and engagements. The function of tactics is primarily to determine – in accordance with the requirements of strategy, and taking into account the experience of the workers’ revolutionary struggle in all countries – the forms and methods of fighting most appropriate to the concrete situation of the struggle at each given moment. A most important function of tactics is to determine the ways and means, the forms and methods of fighting that are most appropriate to the concrete situation at the given moment and are most certain to prepare the way for strategic success.
Consequently, the operation and results of tactics must be regarded from the point of view of the aims and possibilities of strategy. The art of war under modern conditions consists in mastering all forms of warfare and all the achievements of science in this sphere, particularly comrade Mao’s contribution in the military sphere, utilizing them intelligently combining them skilfully, or making timely use of one or another of these forms as circumstances require. The same must be said about the forms of struggle in the political sphere. The forms of struggle in the political sphere are even more varied than the forms of warfare.
They change in accordance with the development of economic life, social life and culture, with the condition of classes, the relation of the contending forces, the kind of government and, finally, with international relations, and so forth. It is the task of the Party to master all forms of struggle, which are suitable for advancing our strategy of protracted people’s war, to combine them intelligently on the battlefield and skillfully to intensify the struggle in those forms which are especially suitable in the given situation. It is a fundamental principle of Marxism that forms of organization are adapted to the forms of struggle.
Hence the task of the Party is to master the forms of organization in both military and political spheres and adapt these to the changes in the forms of struggle. Formulation of slogans, i.e. concise and clear formulation of the aims of struggle, also forms part of Tactics and the Party leadership has to master the art of placing appropriate tactical slogans subordinate to the principal aim, in accordance with the need and different aims of struggle, basing on the changes in the situation-how a propaganda slogan should be transformed into agitation slogan, the agitation slogan into action slogan, and the action slogan into a Party directive i.e., Propaganda—Agitation—Action—Party Directive.
Com. Stalin’s explanation of these slogans should serve as our guideline in practice. The art of leadership consists in identifying, at any given moment, the particular link in the chain of processes by grasping which, we will be able to hold the entire chain and prepare the conditions for achieving strategic success. “It is not enough to be a revolutionary and an adherent of socialism or a Communist in general,” says Lenin. “One must be able at each particular moment to find the particular link in the chain which one must grasp with all one’s might in order to keep hold of the whole chain and to prepare firmly for the transition to the next link.”
CHAPTER-9 Party Building and Our Tasks
Three decades of practice has proved that our general line is correct. We have to develop our practice in order to properly prepare the subjective forces and to further train up the people politically based on this general line. For this, we have to follow the following principle enunciated by comrade Stalin.
“After a correct political line has been worked out and tested in practice, the party cadres become the decisive force in the leadership exercised by the Party ……… in order to carry a correct political line into effect, we must have cadres, people who understand the political line of the Party, who accept it as their own line, who are prepared to carry it into effect, who are able to put it into effect, who are able to put into practice and are capable of answering for it, defending it and fighting for it. Failing this, a correct political line runs the risk of being purely nominal“. (Stalin, Problems of Leninism, pages 919-920)
Party is one of the three powerful magic weapons necessary for successfully carrying out the new democratic revolution in India to victory. This is the only weapon that can effectively utilize the other two weapons. The Communist Party has to provide the correct ideological-political-organisational- military leadership at every turning point and at every phase of revolution with great foresight. It has to apply the ideology of MLM to the concrete conditions, formulate the tactics, and implement these with unflinching determination. It should strive to resolve the concrete problems and chalk out specific policies in the light of the ideological-political line. The working class Party has to carry out its practice by placing politics in command to accord with its revolutionary objective.
As a militant, organized detachment possessing iron discipline the Party of the proletariat should have the necessary revolutionary style of work so as to fulfill its historic responsibility. It should make use of the proletariat’s mighty weapon of criticism, self-criticism to rectify the mistakes, shortcomings and weaknesses that cause harm to the interests of the revolution. It should conduct the rectification and education campaigns and two-line struggles in the proper method of unity-struggle-unity to rectify the non-proletarian trends that arise in the Party.
It is very essential to have an extensive, consolidated, and powerful organisational network, which has the capabilities, initiative, and creativity for formulating and implementing tactics from time to time that accord with the concrete conditions. Our Party can successfully implement our strategy for the revolution and can advance the people’s war towards victory only by possessing such a foresight and organisational network.
Therefore, we will have to develop leadership and an organisational network. The people’s army and the united front can become powerful magic weapons only under the leadership of such a party. The party committees at various levels have to be developed in such a way that they will be able to concretely analyse the problems of the movement and resolve them by creatively applying Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. The Party committees should be built with forces that are ideologically and politically developed, organizationally experienced, that are capable of carrying out work by applying the Party line to the concrete conditions, and adopt the revolutionary style of work. The higher-level committees in general should be built by following the method of three-in-one combination.
We will be able to build strong leadership by selecting sufficient leading cadre working in various fronts who have the leadership abilities and including them in the committees. The existence of committees at all levels that acquired such an expertise, will constitute an important precondition for the victory of the revolution. Today, we are advancing in the direction of developing PLGA into a PLA and towards developing the guerrilla zones into a liberated area. This point has key significance in the present situation. The Party has to consciously make ideological, political and organisational preparations for these qualitative changes;
it has to mould the movement; it has to see that it takes a leap to the subsequent higher stage. The leading committees have to play a key role during this course of development. It is essential to impart training to them so that they acquire adequate capabilities for the fulfillment of that gigantic task. Not only the Party Committees functioning in areas where work is going on aiming at the establishment of liberated areas, but also the Party Committees functioning in the plains and urban areas too, should link up all their activities with the task of advancing the agrarian revolution and building the people’s army and liberated areas.
Party building among the Revolutionary Classes
We will be able to establish working class leadership over the vast oppressed masses in all spheres of social life by absorbing into the Party the advanced elements in the mass organizations, cooperatives, organs of people’s political power and its various wings, regular armed forces and the militia after the required politicization. It is only thus we will be able to greatly increase our Party membership.
Working class leadership is the indispensable condition for New Democratic revolution in India. The working class exercises its leadership in the revolution by organizing all sections of the people in anti-imperialist and anti-feudal struggles and by sending its advanced detachment to the rural areas. To achieve this, we have to free the working class from the influence of revisionist and reactionary politics.
Only by organising and arousing the working class and continuously drawing its advanced section into the party that the party can be strengthened, its class basis made firm and working class leadership on the New Democratic Revolution be guaranteed. Hence we must concentrate on building Party cells among workers in key industries in cities and towns and develop full-time professional revolutionaries from the working class. Since our path is the path of protracted people’s war, it is obvious that we have to mainly concentrate our work including Party building on the rural areas.
In order to strengthen the proletarian foundations in the Party organisation, we have to pay special attention to building the Party among the poor peasants and agricultural labourers in the rural areas also. In fact, the task to build up the party from among the workers and landless-poor peasants is the backbone or the basis of our party building. We have to also give importance to the task of building our party among the students who are a revolutionary force and who are subjected to grave injustice due to the unscientific and undemocratic education policy and face a dark future.
To begin with, we must make efforts to educate and consolidate them in the rural and urban areas. The advanced among them should be sent to backward rural areas to integrate with the peasantry and adivasis. We have to give special importance to assimilate into the Party organisation the unemployed youth living in the extensive rural areas and towns and cities. Similarly, we have to give importance to Party work among teachers, intellectuals, employees in other fields etc.
We should undertake special efforts to build the party amongst the dalit masses. We should rally the dalit masses extensively by taking up struggles for their self-respect and against every kind of discrimination, oppression, degradation, physical attacks and pogroms by the upper caste feudal forces. If necessary, we may also form organisations for the eradication of the caste system with our own initiation and orientation.
The party should take special steps to ensure that dalits develop into leadership positions at all levels of the party organisation. In the sphere of women, and particularly toiling women, the Party must make special efforts and draw them into the ongoing armed agrarian evolutionary struggle as well as into struggles against social inequalities, oppression and patriarchy. We must pay attention to giving training to develop necessary political consciousness in them in order to develop them as able party cadre and to include them in various party committees including with all other committees and promote them to leadership positions
The party has to make similar steps in relation to the Adivasi masses. The party must give special attention in the education and training of the party members hailing from Adivasi community in ideological, political, organisational and military matters. It is only through such special attention that we will be able to help these comrades overcome the handicaps which social oppression and backwardness has forced upon them. It is only such measures that will facilitate the quick development of Adivasi comrades in the various levels of leadership in the party and the PLGA.
Just as we expand and develop the revolutionary movement to the higher stage, likewise we have to develop the Party by increasing its membership extensively and consolidating it. It is only by increasing the Party membership and consolidating the Party that we will be able to develop the revolutionary movement to the higher stage and expand it further.
Conversely, only when we expand and take the revolutionary movement to the higher stage will it be possible to increase the membership of the Party and consolidate it. It is only when we understand the dialectical relationship between these two aspects, we can develop the class struggle, the revolutionary movement and develop the Party as a strong and experienced leader of the oppressed masses.
It is very much necessary to concentrate on Party building if the people’s war has to advance in big leaps. There is a dialectical relationship between propaganda, agitation, struggle and organization. If the Party organization is confined to the peasantry alone the development of the Party along with the movement will be retarded. The Party leadership should review the situation from time to time with a strategic perspective and concentrate on expanding into the working class, students, youth, women, intelligentsia and other sections.
Likewise, the leadership has to strive to maintain the balance in the Party organization between strategic areas and other areas and between rural and urban areas. Special consolidation campaigns, education campaigns have to be taken up so as to increase the Party membership in a big way.
Party Fractions in mass organizations
Party fractions with Party members have to be set up in the executive committees of the mass organizations from the area level to central level in order to establish the working class leadership on the mass organizations and to make them work effectively in accordance with the revolutionary objective. These fractions under the Party leadership will coordinate the Party members in the executive committees in the mass organizations.
Thereby the mass organizations under working class leadership will serve as the conveyor belts between the vast oppressed masses and the Communist Party. In the Base Areas they will ensure that the mass organizations serve as the foundation for establishing new democratic dictatorship. The fractions will help establish Party leadership over the mass organizations and through these over the oppressed masses.
Two wings of Party organization
Only when the two components of the Party organisation – the professional revolutionaries and part-time members – are strong, will the Party be really strengthened. Among them the professional revolutionaries are the core of the Party while part-timers are the base. At the same time, the parttimers should maintain lively relations with the people to the maximum extent and while continuing their professions be vigilant not to get exposed to the enemy.
There should be continuity of leadership in the whole course – from the beginning, growth and development – of class struggle. As and when new members join the Party, the leading team should be formed with a good combination of old and new. The Party should be moulded in consonance with the changes in the country and international situation. The Party leadership and the rank and file experienced in carrying-out class struggle should be increased. If not, we will go on losing leadership cadres and rank and file each time the enemy starts a big campaign of suppression. We will face hurdles in building teams and cadres who have collective understanding, thereby resulting in the class struggle losing its proper direction.
Party organization as a secret apparatus
As a militant organization that has to wage armed struggle against a superior enemy for the seizure of power, it becomes imperative for the working class Party to remain underground from the very beginning until the end. The Party part-timers and whole-timers in the mass organizations, cooperatives, organs of people’s political power and their various wings, people’s militia and the various mass fronts should remain secret, but at the same time, appear as members and leaders of these organizations.
The Party members in the mass organizations should maintain the utmost secrecy. The Party members in the working class, youth, women, petty bourgeoisie and other sections in the urban areas should work strictly underground keeping the strategic perspective in mind. They should mainly work openly within the masses but under various covers. In the people’s army too the Party has to work by remaining secret.
It is obvious that the Party members working in the enemy’s armed forces have to maintain the utmost secrecy. The Party PRs working in various fronts should build a secret mechanism that is impregnable to the enemy. Even in the Base Areas our Party organization should remain secret. However, the enemy will hatch conspiracies and resort to various methods to smash our secret Party apparatus. The enemy on a massive scale will perpetrate brutal massacres and tortures. We have to raise the political consciousness of the entire Party, enhance its vigilance and establish proper secret mechanisms to face the brutal offensive of the enemy and safeguard our forces. It is necessary to impart military training to the Party members to confront the enemy and to escape from the enemy’s clutches.
Coordination of legal and illegal activities:
Coordination of the legal activity with the Party itself remaining underground is one of the most important aspects in the functioning of the revolutionary Party. It is an art that has to be mastered by the Party members at every level. And it is precisely in the coordination of the legal and illegal structures and activity that the revolutionaries have the greatest confusion and commit many mistakes. This has been true in all revolutions and Lenin pointed out how the problem of the underground Party organization and legal work of Social-Democracy has been one of the principal problems in Russia.
Here Russian experience should be implemented in the specific conditions of our country where there is no real independence and democracy. In India, there is a misconception among some so-called ML forces that one cannot carry out extensive work in the masses by remaining underground or that secret nature of our organization separates us from the masses. From this wrong notions arise a legalist type of thinking or a “Left” sectarian thinking.
Hence clarity on this question is very much essential for building a broadbased and extensive mass movement on the one hand and a strictly underground and unexposed Party apparatus that is impregnable to the enemy’s machinations. The question of coordinating the legal and lllegal activities should be done in the background of ongoing severe repression campaign let lose by the reactionary governments.
The principle underlying the legal-illegal coordination is to form the widest possible legal organizations inside which the Party operates secretly. Com. Lenin remarkably pointed this out: “The legal organizations are the points of support which allow taking to the masses the ideas of clandestine cells. That is to say that we modify the form of influence to the objective of which the prior influences continue in the sense of clandestine orientation.” “By the form of the organizations the clandestine ‘accommodates itself’ to the legal. By the content of our Party’s work, legal work will ‘accommodate itself’ to the clandestine ideas.” (Lenin, Vol. 18, p. 392) Thus we must know how to march together shoulder to shoulder and hand in hand with the advanced sections of the toiling masses although we are compelled to carry on exclusively illegal and clandestine activities.
Thus the Party apparatus- its structures, membership, mechanism, etc.- should be built with utmost secrecy but at the same time, the legal organizations in which the Party membership works should be as wide as possible. We should educate the entire Party about the dialectical relationship between the legal mass movement and illegal Party organization and train it to skillfully and creatively use proper methods to achieve the effective coordination between the two. While keeping in mind that it is the clandestine Party that is the principal aspect out of the two, we must know how and when to change the forms of organization depending on the changes in the situation.
All the committees must pay attention on imparting ideological and political training to the cadres freshly joining the party.
We will have to concentrate on moulding them to meet all the requirements of the class struggle. The party can best play its vanguard role with the growth and development of these new cadres. Besides training the Party Committees and the cadres ideologically, politically, organisationally and militarily, a system of proper checkup is also needed. Time-bound and planned tasks should be allotted which are to be checked up and reviewed regularly.
Proper education concerning the tasks should be imparted to the cadres. In this way it will become possible to identify and resolve the problems. The higher committees can effectively guide the lower committees in this way.
Theoretical education is one of the most important tasks among all the Party’s activities. While studying the science of Marxism and applying its principles is one aspect, participating directly in class struggle and learning from the masses is another. Based on the knowledge obtained in the above process, the Party’s policies should be further enriched and the Party ranks should be developed theoretically. Therefore uniform education is essential to unify the entire Party based on study and concrete application of theory. That is why Mao explained the importance of theory in one sentence: “Theoretical education is the key to unify the entire Party. Without this, the Party cannot achieve a single political task.” To achieve this we should ensure that:
1. Plans are drawn up for conducting classes/combined study for 10-15 days every year for the education of committees at various levels. This is apart from the centralized classes conducted by the central school for the cadres at various levels. The concerned SCs/SZCs/SACs should conduct these combined study/classes keeping in view the needs and campaigns of the states/regions and special zones.
2. Comrades going to the field should make it a point to concentrate on studying the economic, social and political developments in the areas and prepare the reports based on such a concrete study. This should form an important part of their study. The class composition, class contradictions, changes in land relations, government schemes, condition of the parliamentary parties, analysis of any other special aspects, changes taking place due to the impact of the movement of the past 2 to 3 decades, problems arising in implementing the central tasks and the circulars, resolutions of the concerned committees – many such problems have to be studied by concentrating on the field. Written reports should be prepared. Developing the above mentioned methods and striving to give clarity to PMs on ideological-political issues is one of the m main tasks before us today.
3. The Party press should be in a position to educate and guide the leading cadres at various levels of the Party, the ordinary PMs, the mass organisations and the masses at large. As the average political level of our cadres is still very low, the concerned party committee should aim at a lucid and simple style of writing corresponding to their level, and for this, strive to build up the necessary writers and staff locally. We should try to prepare bulletins, pictorial stories, video films etc., for developing the understanding regarding basic marxism for new PMs and for the peasantry and the adivasi peasantry.
Help should be taken from sympathiser educationists. Bringing out magazines basing on local resources and improving them during that course itself should be our policy. To achieve this we have to increase the number of experienced comrades at various levels who can carry out this responsibility. We can then train up our cadres as good communists, enhance their skills and ensure that they fulfill proper responsibilities in conducting the revolutionary movement.
4. The CC must set up a Central Publishing House for publishing ideological and political literature in English and Hindi; the local language publishing houses of the State units will publish literature according to requirements in the local languages. The official ideological-political organ of the Party should be brought out regularly to focus on ideological-political issues. It will be published secretly and can be translated into the regional languages.
The Central political organ of the Party should be brought out in English and Hindi and in other languages according to the decision of the CC. This magazine must basically take the political stand of the party on current issues and current extensive reports of the movement.
Non-Proletarian Trends and Rectification Campaigns
As the democratic revolution in our country remains unfulfilled, as it still remains a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society, feudal values, outlook, approaches and methods are still continuing strongly. Similarly, due to the relative development of capitalist relations in our country petty-bourgeois features are quite strong in the society. The wrong trends in the Party are the reflection of the above social background. Majority of our party members and members of the guerrilla squads are young women and men hailing from agricultural labourer, landless and poor peasantry. Those from the middle peasantry and the urban middle class come in the next place.
Party leadership mainly comprises of those belonging to the middle class. The number of those who came to our party from the industrial proletariat is very less in number. The imperialist cultural invasion of our society too has its influence on the various sections of the population from which our Party cadres are recruited. On the whole, when we keep in view the class composition of the party and the short-coming in the theoretical understanding of M.L.M. in the Party, one can say that ideological remoulding is on a low key, that petty-bourgeois ideas are still quite strong in the party, that the hegemony of the working class ideology is yet to be firmly established.
Therefore, there is the possibility for the emergence of wrong trends in the formulation of party’s policies, and in their implementation. Since the theoretical level of the entire Party is relatively low, since there are not enough party committee members who are trained ideologically and politically in a thorough-going way, since our revolutionary movement is going on in backward rural areas and the cultural level of the party units working there is low, and due to other such reasons, there is also a greater possibility for more mistakes to occur and for the emergence of wrong trends during the course of understanding and implementing party’s line and policies.
Moreover, as peasant and urban petty bourgeoisie elements are joining the party during the course of the movement, petty-bourgeois ideology, habits and work methods are penetrating into the party through them. Where proper effort is not made in time to change them through a correct method, these are emerging alien class trends in the party, causing much damage. In order to rectify the alien class trends continuing in our party, we should undertake rectification campaigns on a regular basis throughout the Party.
Party in the People’s Army
In order to successfully carry out the new democratic revolution, millions of peasants, workers and petty bourgeoisie sections have to become armed and join the revolutionary war. The Party leadership has to be established from the Party primary units to all levels in the extensive armed militia and the regular people’s armed forces so as to transform them into powerful instruments for achieving the revolutionary objective.
In our country people’s armed forces are an important source for the Party organization. The practice of revolutionary war, the political-organisational-production effort being carried out among the masses contributes greatly for the development of the class conscious sections of the masses who participate in the revolutionary war into members of the working class Party and into leaders at various levels.
By joining the revolutionary war on a massive scale the workers, poor peasantry, the agricultural labourers, and the toiling masses will have immense possibilities for releasing their initiative and creativity, enhancing their working class consciousness, and growing into Party members and leaders. Thereby they will be able to steer with their own hands the onward march of history in their role as the Vanguard representatives of working class and will develop into a significant section in the Party.
Therefore, we must pay utmost attention to build and develop the Party among these sections. Conversely, the people’s army plays an important role in organizing the Party in the vast countryside. By carrying out the various tasks such as mobilizing, organizing, fighting, propagating and producing, the people’s army arouses the masses into struggles on their basic and partial demands, makes them active participants in the armed struggle, and raises their political class consciousness to a great extent. It thus lays the basis for extensive building of the Party network among the basic classes.
Class Line and Mass Line
The hall-mark of a serious Party lies in: Whether there is serious class-analysis of the society and whether the correct class-line and the mass-line are followed in all the practical work; Whether there is genuine respect and love for the working class and its firmest ally, the poor and landless peasantry – whether there is firm reliance and faith on them; Whether there is the intention to realize the significance and the indispensability of the all-embracing leadership of the working class and of the revolutionary unity of working class and the peasantry in the revolution;
Whether, in conformity with the class line, the work and activities, as well as struggles in the urban areas are being organized by completely relying on, and centering around the working class, whether the working class is being aroused to class consciousness and to the consciousness of the leadership, whether they are being activised in the revolutionary work, and whether in conformity with the class line itself, the works and activities in the countryside are being carried on depending on and centring around the reliable and the firmest ally of the working class, the poor and landless peasantry, and whether there is the effort to bring up more and more cadres from among them.
The advancement and the success of the National Democratic Revolution of India depend to a great extent on whether we take a correct class approach on the above fundamental questions of principle and whether all our works and activities are directed accordingly. In fact, however revolutionary the programme drawn up by the revolutionary Party may appear, and however objective the concrete class analysis and social investigation may look, it will not be of real use to the revolution if these do not bear any connection with our day-to-day activity i.e. if the correct class line and mass line are not adopted in all our practical work.
One of the reasons for the temporary failure of the peasant struggles developed after the Naxalbari struggle is the lack of realization of the importance of correctly following the class line and mass line in practice. Lessons must be drawn from this. The importance of the role of the revolutionary intellectuals in the New Democratic Revolution cannot but be emphasized; but it must also be understood, and more clearly understood, that revolutionary struggles in the real sense, or revolutionary party or people’s army in the real sense, none of these can be built up with the petty bourgeois revolutionary intellectuals alone.
As a matter of fact, the revolutionary war in the real sense and the revolutionary party, the peoples army and the united front in the real sense, as the weapons of the revolution, – none of these can be built up without the active support and firm role of participation of the working class as the most advanced and the most revolutionary class of the society, and the peasantry (and specially the poor and landless peasantry), who constitute the overwhelming majority of the Indian population and who are the firmest and the most dependable ally of the working class and who are the principal force of the revolution.
Let us learn from the past experiences; firmly follow the correct class-line and the mass line; arouse the working class to class-consciousness and bring them into the leadership; build up guerrilla struggle and guerrilla army with the peasantry (specially the poor and landless peasantry). Recruit an endless stream of cadres from these basic classes who are in dire need of revolution. Such should be the line of work of Party building in semi-colonial, semi-feudal India.
Mao’s understanding of democratic centralism was a significant contribution to the Marxist theory of organisational principles. He stressed on creating ‘a political situation in which we have both centralism and democracy, both unity of will and personal ease of mind and liveliness’ both inside and outside the Party and said that “Otherwise it will be impossible to arouse the enthusiasm of the masses.
We cannot overcome difficulties without democracy. Of course, its even more impossible to do so without centralism. But if there’s no democracy there won’t be any centralism.” “Without democracy there can’t be correct centralism because centralism can’t be established when people have divergent views and don’t have unity of understanding. What is meant by centralism? First, there must be concentration of correct ideas. Unity of understanding, of policy, plan, command and action is attained on the basis of concentrating correct ideas. This is unity through centralism.’
Method and Style of the Leadership
Along with its highest form of organization-the Party- the working class also has its own method of leadership and work style that are indispensable for capturing power by overthrowing the bourgeoisie and building socialism and communism. The method of leadership consists of: creatively applying the theory of MLM to the concrete conditions, combining the general call with the particular, taking the ideas of the masses, synthesizing them and taking the refined and centralized ideas to the masses; ensuring the real synthesis of centralized leadership and proletarian democracy; ensuring collective leadership and individual responsibility; pursuing a correct cadre policy; learning from past mistakes to avoid future ones and curing the disease to save the patient; correct checking and supervision of the work of the cadres; constant vigilance against the non-proletarian trends and the bourgeois line from entering the Party, and so on.
Leadership should be an example of plain and simple living and hard work. As pointed out by our Marxist teachers our approach should be to start from objective facts, not from abstract definitions, and that we should derive our guiding principles, policies and measures from an analysis of the actual conditions. It is important to keep in mind the method pointed out by Com. Mao for the leadership in order to correctly guide the revolutionary work: “….. if persons in leading positions confine themselves to a general call-if they do not personally, in some of the organizations, go deeply and concretely into the work called for, make a break-through at some single point, gain experience and use this experience for guiding other units-then they will have no way of testing the correctness or of enriching the content of their general call, and there is the danger that nothing may come of it.” Thus it is not enough for the leadership to set the tasks but must also solve the problem of the methods of carrying them out. Correct revolutionary style means combining American efficiency with Russian revolutionary sweep or becoming ‘red and expert’.
This means always taking class struggle as the key link and placing politics in command in solving all problems; close integration with the masses; direct participation in class struggle and not confining to giving instructions from above; fewer pompous phrases and more of plain, everyday work; overcoming inertia and routine style of work; fighting conservatism and dogmatic thinking; business-like perseverance of continuing a task once started until it is finished even if it is a minor one; putting up ideological-political struggle against unprincipled practicalism, that is pragmatism, and narrow empiricism; carrying out all our daily activities with a revolutionary perspective and vision; and such other qualities.
Only by following the proletarian method of leadership and work style the Party will be able to apply the theory of MLM creatively to the concrete conditions andin our country. Only thus we can creatively implement democratic centralism and centralized collective leadership. Without this proper method of leadership and work style we cannot achieve our objective. Training the entire Party in this correct method of leadership and work style is an important task in Party building.
Only thus we can build a Party of a new type, “one bold enough to lead the proletarians in the struggle for power, sufficiently experienced to find its bearings amidst the complex conditions of a revolutionary situation, and sufficiently flexible to steer clear of all submerged rocks in the path to its goal.” Some important points for attention: The party should keep in mind the following four important points throughout the period of its leadership of the revolution:
1. As regards the forms of organizations and struggle, the party has to take decisions basing on the level of people’s political consciousness and on their organizational strength but always keeping the revolutionary objective in mind. It should, under no circumstances, take decisions basing on the subjective desires of the leadership.
2. The Party should take utmost care to ensure that it does not lose the initiative when the struggle is in transition from one stage to another. The party should evaluate beforehand the upcoming next stage and make all the necessary preparations. It shall get ready to successfully advance towards the next higher stage. It should impart proper political, ideological, organisational and military training to the cadres at all levels to ensure that the subjective forces do not face any big losses on every occasion the movement takes a turn. This is the most important the leadership has to fulfill.
3. The party should be on the constant alert against alien class tendencies like sectarianism, subjectivism, empiricism, etc. which are likely to emerge and prevail in the party. Similarly it should be careful about the right and ‘left’ deviations, which are likely to emerge in the party.
4. Party should ensure that the mass line is implemented in all spheres and in all matters of the movement, from the lower levels to the higher level.
Building the People’s Army
If we do not formulate a military line corresponding to the correct political line we cannot achieve our revolutionary objective. The military line should be subordinate to the political line. The correct military line takes birth in struggle, develops through struggle and takes a clear shape in the course of struggle. It is only by waging incessant ideological struggle against the Right and “Left” opportunist lines that we can successfully carry out the protracted people’s war. MLM teaches us, and is proved by the experiences of class struggles in world history and the concrete experience of the class struggles in our country’s history, that the exploiting ruling classes will never relinquish or give up power voluntarily even at the time of serious crisis.
Without smashing the present state machinery and the main constituent of the state power, the mercenary armed forces, the instrument of suppression of the people by the ruling classes and without the establishment of the armed power of the revolutionary people, the Indian people cannot establish their political power. Hence, in order to completely smash the state machinery of the exploiting classes or overthrowing it, the building of the people’s army as the organized armed force of the masses is indispensable.
That is why Mao said that “without a people’s army people have nothing.” and ‘political power flows through the barrel of the gun’. The military line that was comprehensively developed by com. Mao proceeds from two fundamental points. In our people’s war too, we can victoriously carry out the people’s war by creatively implementing these two fundamental points: One, our army is a new type of army that is fundamentally different from the mercenary armies of the exploiting classes; it is a political army. It must be an instrument subordinate to the ideological leadership of the proletariat and serving the struggle of the people and the building of revolutionary base areas.
Two, our revolutionary war is a new type of war-a people’s war; it must be a war in which we recognise that the enemy is strong and we are weak, that the enemy is big and we are small, and in which therefore we fully utilise the enemy’s weaknesses and our strong points and fully rely on the strength of the masses for survival, victory and expansion. In India, people’s war and people’s army must be considered as the principal forms of struggle and organisation throughout the whole period of the stages of the protracted people’s war.
Even to build up guerrilla struggle and PLGA as the first step towards this aim. In the concrete conditions of India, we cannot build the people’s army without the armed agrarian revolution and without the people’s army we cannot carry out the agrarian revolution to its consummation. We cannot establish the Base Areas in the absence of the people’s army. And without the Base Areas the people’s army cannot carry out consistent and prolonged resistance against the enemy and it loses the meaning of its very existence. The process of building the people’s army is not the same throughout the world.
The people’s armies were built basing on the specific conditions of the respective countries. In countries like Nepal, Peru, the Philippines, etc. where protracted people’s war is being waged under the leadership of the revolutionary Communist parties, guerilla armies and the people’s militia were first formed and only later, the people’s liberation armies came into existence. Development of the People’s Guerilla Army in India In our country people’s army could not be formed despite heroic armed peasant struggles right from the first war of independence of 1857 and the Santhal rebellion until our Party took the initiative to form the PLGA.
The failure to form the people’s army even under the leadership of the united Communist party which led the Telangana armed struggle between 1946-51, was due to the absence of a revolutionary political and military line and the dominance of a Right opportunist line for most of the period of its existence. The upsurge of armed peasant revolutionary movements in the late 1960s and early 70s starting with Naxalbari armed revolt, through heroic sacrifices and armed struggle against the state’s armed forces, could create the embryonic form of the people’s army in the form of armed guerilla squads.
Thereafter, going through several ups and downs and bravely resisting the enemy’s brutal suppression campaigns, guerilla war continued to develop and advance as per plan with the aim of establishing the Base Areas. Starting with irregular guerilla forces, we have formed guerilla forces in the form of people’s militia locally (GRDs, self-defence squads), local guerilla squads, special guerilla squads in AP, Dandakaranya, Jharkhand and Bihar states. In this process, the acts of resistance against the state’s armed forces have increased. The struggle between the guerilla forces and the state’s armed forces has become the principal form leading to a qualitative change in the situation and guerilla zones came into existence.
The necessity had arisen for further intensifying the guerilla war in accordance with the changing conditions by confronting the enemy’s brutal onslaught. Besides the separate guerilla squads, the need for the qualitatively higher level of platoons and companies became necessary in order to destroy the enemy forces at a specific time and in specific place. The guerilla forces working as guerilla squads, platoons and companies were brought under a centralized policy and decentralized command in order to coordinate the separate guerilla operations with further plan to destroy the enemy by relative concentration of the forces and in this way the PLGA was formed. This is the first step in the formation of the PLA and the establishment of the Base Areas.
PLGA is the armed organization to achieve the revolutionary political tasks. It preserves its strength and destroys that of the enemy. At the same time, it takes up the political tasks like propaganda among the people, organizing the masses, arming the masses, helping the masses in establishing their organs of political power, developing the Party, participating in production etc. Three types of forces of the PLGA
1) Main Forces-These are the platoons, companies central/state special action teams which move anywhere to participate in the war depending on the needs of the movement under the instructions of the Commissions/Commands.
2) Secondary Forces-Local guerilla squads, special guerilla squads, platoons and district/division level action teams.
3) Base Forces-People’s militia (self-defence squads, GRDs, ARDs at the RPC level). The people’s militia is the base force in the structure of the PLGA. This will be extensive numerically. Without the people’s militia it is not possible for the PLGA to develop as it is the principal recruitment source for the other two forces. Efforts should be made to arm the militia and to impart politicomilitary training so that it becomes a militant fighting force and harass the enemy forces continuously without a let up.
The secondary forces operate in a specific area. The weapons of the secondary forces are of relatively inferior quality compared to those of the Main forces.. We have to improve them further. Although these are less in number than the base forces, they are better at fighting. They lure the enemy forces into small guerilla activities, harass and tire them and destroy the enemy forces by using guerilla tactics.
Though the Main Forces are relatively less in number than other forces they are better in terms of political consciousness, quality of arms and fighting skills. Hence it is the backbone of the PLGA. Without this force it will be difficult for the other two forces to survive. Special action teams, special platoons and companies have to be formed in order to annihilate the cruel officers belonging to the enemy forces, the anti-people notorious elements who serve the class interests of the imperialists, the CBB and the feudal forces, to conduct surprise raids on the enemy forces in key places and seize the arms, and to annihilate the enemy forces who have fortifications.
Coordination between the Forces
In war we have to preserve our forces and destroy the enemy forces to the maximum extent. To achieve this objective, small and big actions have to be coordinated We formed organizations that are suitable for undertaking these operations i.e. Main, Secondary and Base forces. The Main Forces like the platoons, companies etc. will concentrate the forces for the annihilation of the enemy forces and for the seizure of arms. They should be provided the opportunity to carry out the military operations and for annihilating the enemy. The Main forces, by their very nature, are better equipped and have the capacity to annihilate the enemy forces. Hence with the help of the Secondary and Base forces it becomes relatively easier to destroy the enemy.
The Party committees and Commands at various levels should chalk out the operational plans so as to fulfill this aim. Coordination between these should be achieved. The CMC provides the politico-military leadership to the PLGA on behalf of the CC. It guides the military affairs. All the Party committees from the CC to the lower levels do not form part of the PLGA. The first thing is to establish the firm leadership of the Party over the PLGA. The basic leadership system consists of the Party cells and branches in the PLGA and the collective leadership of the Party committees under which the commanders carry out individual responsibilities.
PLGA carries out principally guerilla warfare. Hence there will be unified strategy and independent activities. This means that the CC and SCs/SZCs decide the general plans while the lower level commands (Regional/Sub-zonal, Zonal/district/divisional, Area commands) draw up the corresponding operational plans. In the PLGA both military commanders and political commissars are the leaders of the military units. Distinct work division exists between them. While the military commanders shoulder the responsibility of implementing the orders and instructions related to military matters the political commissars bear the responsibility of carrying out the tasks related to political matters. The key aspect for developing and strengthening the PLGA is to establishable Commands at various levels (Area/sub-zone, district/divisional, Zonal, Regional, SC/SZC/SAC, Central level).
Only thus we can oversee the proper deployment of forces, enhance the fighting capacity, ensure iron discipline, and make an orderly retreat of the forces in the course of our fight against the enemy forces and further create the condition for transforming the PLGA into PLA. Achieving political unity, military unity, coordination in political-military matters is very crucial for achieving our political objective.
Therefore, various Party committees and Commands should grasp this consciously and develop the people’s war unitedly, with close cooperation and coordination. In order to enhance the fighting capacity of the PLGA, expand it and transform it into PLA, we have to set up various wings. At present the development of the guerilla war depends on the development of the departments of communications, intelligence, supplies, ordinance (arms and ammunition), artillery, medical and politico-military training. A weak people’s guerilla army is at present confronting a strong enemy force. In such a war the enemy aspires to completely wipe out the PLGA. Towards this end, he will unleash all-round offensives and encirclement-suppression campaigns in a big way.
Besides using brutal force he will resort to all types of deception and cunning methods. To counter this, we should protect our leadership, our forces, people’s support and arms & ammunition, keeping in view our final objective of defeating the enemy forces. Until a qualitative change occurs in the balance of forces between our forces and those of the enemy we should not go into strategically decisive battles. The PLGA is the vanguard of the fighting people and the focal point of armed struggle. In order to fight a strong army we have to create the necessary material and subjective conditions. War continually undergoes changes. In accordance with the changing conditions we have to take appropriate decisions in appropriate time i.e. develop appropriate forms of military organizations and guerilla struggle.
The enemy’s armed forces should be destroyed bit by bit, as a full meal is eaten up mouthful by mouthful, through guerilla methods of warfare, and our forces should be strengthened by extending the armed struggle to extensive areas and deepening the struggle. When sufficient arms are acquired and the guerilla forces are increasing the PLGA should be expanded by going into new formations. The PLA has to be developed by further developing the platoons and companies, improving the training, and qualitatively developing these into battalions and divisions. To develop the regular army (PLA) we have to raise the necessary soldiers in good numbers, develop iron discipline, impart a high level of politico-military training, and acquire relatively better and larger number of arms (including modern arms) and ammunition.
Leadership has to play a decisive role in achieving these. It is very essential for the leadership to make conscious planning and special effort for developing the PLGA into the PLA. Special campaigns should be continuously taken up for recruitment into the PLGA. Those who have the qualities needed for guerilla soldiers should be encouraged to join the PLGA. Thus the guerilla army should be developed in the course of the people’s war into the PLA. We have to impart ideological-political understanding among the PLGA fighters and leaders regarding our political-military line as well as enemy’s changing strategic plans and tactics of deception, cunning methods, covert methods etc., from time to time thereby enhancing their overall preparedness and vigilance.
We have to make all efforts to attract to our side part of the enemy’s army, Para-military and other armed police force and to create disunity among the enemy’s armed forces. Mainly two aspects help our efforts in the enemy’s armed forces. We have to educate the PLGA fighters and guard against the emergence of non-proletarian trends such as purely military viewpoint in isolation from the masses, adventurism, bureaucracy, revolutionary impetuosity, ultra-democracy etc., besides several bad habits, in the light of MLM. Discipline: In order to preserve ourselves or to destroy the enemy we have to work unitedly and with firm determination.
Hence the PLGA should follow discipline as stipulated. The orders from above should be followed without fail in all military activities. This discipline is the discipline developed on the basis of the political consciousness fighters and commanders. The most important method to be followed for implementing the discipline is teaching and convincing. Following discipline voluntarily by themselves will be principal. In order to strengthen discipline the PLGA should strictly follow the ‘Three Rules of Discipline’ and ‘Eight Points of Attention’ formulated by com. Mao.
Five good qualities are essential for the fighters and commanders if the PLGA has to become strong: being good at learning MLM, being good in Military Training, being good in the three-eight work style, being good in accomplishing tasks, being good in Physical Training. Offensive-Counteroffensive: The objective of the all-round offensive of the state and central governments that has further intensified with the formation of the Joint Operational Command is to completely wipe out, through military means, the entire movement and the PLGA led by our Party throughout the country, specially concentrating the attack on AP, Jharkhand, Dandakaranya, Bihar and Orissa, Chathisgarh, UP, West Bengal states. Multi-pronged offensive means to attack the revolutionary movement on all fronts-political, cultural, ideological, apart from military offensive. The objective is to brutally suppress the social and political forces that oppose the enemy.
We are presently in the phase of strategic self-defence. This means that the enemy is strong and we are weak. Hence the enemy is trying to suppress the revolutionary movement, the people’s guerilla army and the masses by means of brutal onslaught. This situation will exist until a change in the balance of forces occurs. Only when our forces become stronger than those of the enemy the method of using the suppression campaign continuously will come to an end. Until that time one suppression campaign will follow another. Enemy’s all-round suppression campaign-our tactical counteroffensive will be the main feature of our struggle during this period.
The war will increase in its intensity and expand its theatre of operation in both the enemy’s all-round offensive or the encirclement-suppression campaign and our tactical counteroffensive campaign. There will be ups and downs, defeats and victories, advance and retreats in the course of this intense struggle. Our aim is to defeat the enemy’s al-round offensive and achieve the political and military objectives. The most important task in resisting the enemy’s all-round offensive is the political mobilization of the masses. It is only taking up campaigns of tactical counteroffensives in accordance with the strength and capacities of our PLGA and the prevailing situation that we will be able to preserve our forces and destroy the enemy forces. We must make the arrangements necessary for resisting the enemy offensive according to plan beforehand. Losses will be less for the PLGA and the Party if the enemy suffers losses in appropriate time and place.
Our PLGA should concentrate and deal heavy blows on the weak points of the enemy forces that are ready for attack against our forces with the aim of causing damage to the enemy. The tactical counteroffensive against the enemy should be carried out in the form of small and big military actions. When the concentration of the enemy forces in a given place becomes dangerous to our existence, we should temporarily retreat our guerilla forces to a strategically favourable place with the aim of carrying on the war for a long time. When the chances for enemy attack are more the guerilla squads and platoons should take the necessary precautions to remain secret and concentrate on smashing the enemy attack at the opportune moment.
In this way by protecting the PLGA, the Party and the movement from enemy attacks. we should acquire the skill in conducting tactical counteroffensives. Moreover, we have to apply comrade Mao’s military line creatively according to our concrete conditions.
Army role in Extension:
Initially in the places where guerilla war is going on, the PLGA should concentrate its forces to conduct attacks on the enemy forces with the objective of annihilating the enemy forces and stalling the enemy attacks. Later the newly formed guerilla formations should launch attacks on the outposts, communication network, operational bases, central bases in the enemy territories and thus constantly harass the enemy. In the forests and isolated hilly areas these attacks should be conducted both during night-time and daytime. But in the plains where the enemy patrols are frequent these attacks can be undertaken during the night. To undertake these the cooperation of the masses and a grip on the terrain are essential.
The life of the PLGA is determined by these two factors every moment. Besides studying the present areas of operation the PLGA should also undertake the study and survey of future areas of expansion. By involving the working class, peasantry, and other oppressed masses in small guerilla actions the area of guerilla operations and armed resistance in the forests, plains and the urban centers will expand.
The expansion of the area becomes necessary in order to defend the main guerilla area or the guerilla base. The guerilla areas have to be strengthened and transformed into Liberated areas in the course of conducting the guerilla war. While consolidating a guerilla area we have to make the necessary preparations and send our forces in a planned manner to future areas of expansion with the aim of opening new battlefronts. It is very much essential to have enough room for manoeuvring when the enemy intensifies his suppression campaigns. Besides, the guerilla bases and base areas cannot be sustained in the absence of an extensive area of guerilla war in the surroundings. Hence recruitment and arms should be increased according to a well-laid out plan and the guerilla forces should extend to new areas continuously.
The correct balance between consolidation and expansion should be maintained by concretely assessing the needs of the movement from time to time. One-sided stress on either consolidation or expansion is harmful to the interests of the movement. The enemy will try to obstruct our extension. To counter the moves of the enemy the /PLGA should confront the enemy during extension and go to higher formations such as platoons and companies in accordance with the situation.
Forms of Revolutionary Warfare
Commencing the war with guerilla warfare and then going through the forms of mobile and positional warfares will resolve the question of state power. Protracted people’s war is in constant development. In accordance with the changing conditions and keeping the ultimate aim in mind decisions have to be made with swiftness, initiative, and mobility. By destroying the enemy forces by means of guerilla warfare and mobile warfare, we have to bring a change in the balance of forces between the enemy and ourselves and ultimately destroy, or render impotent, the enemy forces through positional warfare.
In order to achieve this we have to first build the guerilla army from small guerilla units and then transform it into the PLA and solve the question of state power. The general principles of these three types of warfare will be as follows:
Guerilla warfare is a method of warfare by means of which the working class and the oppressed masses of the peasantry liberate themselves. As guerilla warfare is a phase in the protracted people’s war, it will be waged in accordance with some specific scientific principles due to the special features it has. Whoever neglects the implementation of these principles will be defeated. In every country these general principles have to be creatively implemented depending on the political, economic, social and geographical conditions. Guerilla warfare is a war waged by the vast masses.
It is a people’s war. PLGA will be the focus of the fighting masses. It is a method of warfare that is waged when one is short of resources by basing on heroic revolutionary spirit. Not resorting to fighting when the enemy is strong but conducting attacks when the enemy is weak; dispersing the guerilla forces at one time and concentrating the forces at another time; retreating at times and destroying the enemy at other times; being ever prepared to confront the enemy anywhere-such are the methods of guerilla warfare.
Guerilla warfare is a method of war through which the weaker side in terms of weapons, training of troops and army formations than its enemy, defends itself by delivering blows on its enemy through hit and run methods and wipes out smaller enemy troops. Alertness, swiftness, mobility and sudden attack in the shortest time i.e., short, swift and sudden – these are the strategic points of guerilla war. Having a grip on enemy’s condition and terrain conditions, it will adopt the methods of delivering a lightning blow on the enemy and withdrawing in a moment. It adopts tactics like seeming to come from the east and attacking from the west, choosing and attacking vulnerable positions of the enemy, etc. Divide our forces to arouse the masses, concentrate our forces to deal with the enemy.
Since in a guerilla war, the lower level units have to operate independently, on their own, they will have relatively more independence in military operations. Especially in the fluid situation in enemy controlled areas, the lower units will be given initiative to some extent. As a result flexibility in changing tactics and operations, which is vital to a guerilla war will be obtained. In a guerilla war, the supply system will be totally decentalised and all the units should be self-reliant. For this, they will have to mainly depend on the people and on the enemy. In all matters, people’s support is the lifeline of a guerilla war.
In the all-round offensives and the encirclement-suppression campaigns unleashed by the enemy we have to enhance the capacity of the masses to face difficulties and their heroic fighting spirit. In a guerilla war, do not go in for protracted battles. Operations of quick decisions should be taken up. The essence of guerilla war is -when the enemy advances, we retreat; when the enemy camps, we harass, when the enemy tires, we attack; when the enemy retreats, we pursue. Seen from a strategic perspective guerilla war creates many losses and difficulties for the enemy. His morale will be broken and will become tired.
The sum total of victories in several small battles render impotent the manpower of the enemy. The dispersed battles will develop into a more centralized war. For destroying the enemy troops on a large scale and to establish the Base Areas the guerilla warfare has to transform itself into mobile warfare. Guerilla war by itself cannot win a revolutionary war as an all-independent form. The guerilla war will continue to develop until the guerilla army grows gradually and acquires the features of a regular army (PLA). After the development of the PLA, victory will only be possible when the enemy is destroyed by developing the guerilla warfare into mobile and positional warfare and is waged in co-ordination with them.
The mobile warfare is a war, a regular army wages by concentrating its forces in a vast area with fluid battle-fronts and deployments and often changing from one place to another. It will have the mobility of attacking the enemy at his relatively vulnerable spots and withdrawing quickly and the potential for changing tactics when the conditions change. “Fight when you can win, move away when you can’t” – this is the real essence of mobile warfare.
Mobile warfare will not aim at retaining or capturing territories, instead it aims at wiping out enemy troops. In a mobile war, the moment advantage slips out of the hands of our troops, that territory will be vacated immediately. While the safety of troops in positional warfare is secured through defence positions and fortifications, in mobile warfare it is secured through quick fluidity, through rapid counter attacks and through the extensive utilization of concentration – dispersal. In the mobile warfare too, primarily, battles of quick decisions should be waged.
The important difference between a guerilla war and a mobile war is that, in mobile warfare, the troops will be concentrated in large numbers. The troops engaged in mobile warfare, will comprise of regular soldiers who have relatively higher political consciousness, greater discipline and military training. The guerilla forces engaged in guerilla war will be of a relatively lower level in the above matters. This mobile warfare which possesses the elementary features of regular warfare, will have the ability to annihilate the enemy forces in a big way.
By thus wiping out the enemy forces on a big scale, this will serve as a key strategy to gain the upper-hand over the enemy and for transforming the war from the stage of strategic defensive to the stage of strategic stalemate or equilibrium and from the stage of strategic equilibrium to the stage of strategic counteroffensive.
Positional warfare is a war waged face to face with the enemy, from fixed positions either to capture or to retain a territory. The positional warfare primarily depends on the theory that retaining of a territory will ultimately lead to victory.
Though the above three types of war have their separate distinct characteristics, there is no Chinese Wall demarcating the three in the period of transition. The guerilla operations undertaken by small guerilla squads, will have guerilla nature to a greater degree. However, as the people’s guerilla army grows and as guerilla operations conducted by concentrating them increase, they will acquire some elementary features of a mobile warfare. Similarly, in the preliminary phase of mobile war, guerilla nature will be somewhat more, and the mobile war, which goes on with increased concentration of troops, the primary features of positional warfare appear. When taken as a whole, in our revolutionary war, mobile warfare comes first and guerilla warfare will be secondary, and in the last stage of strategic offensive, we will capture state power through full-scale positional warfare.
Strategic-Tactical Principles of the PLGA
The following basic principle of the military line developed by Mao should be followed under all circumstances by our people’s guerilla army: “You fight your way and we’ll fight ours: We fight when we can win and we retreat when we cannot.” “The guiding principle of our strategy must be to prolong the war”. The above general principle stated by Mao will be the strategy of our people’s guerilla army. This is because time is required for preparing the masses for the war by mobilizing and consolidating them, for annihilating the enemy forces and render them impotent, to gradually bring a fundamental change in the balance of forces, to turn the domestic and international situation in favour of the people’s war and to achieve an upper-hand over the enemy.
Our people’s guerilla army should creatively apply the following tactical principle pointed out by Mao: “In every individual campaign and from a tactical view point we must achieve rapid settlements.” The enemy must be annihilated in a methodical, sector-by-sector process, in which superior forces suddenly strike him when he is unprepared, weary, eating or sleeping.
The guerrillas strike at the less mobile enemy’s communication lines, harass him constantly, render his forces lame, lost, hungry, thirsty. As the enemy’s strength and morale are sapped, guerrilla strength increases and morale improves. And as the war drags on, the guerrilla army will gain experience, will acquire recruits and arms. The PLGA should strive to implement the under-mentioned important tactical principles: Protracted people’s war is arduous and torturous. The spirit of prolonged self-endurance should be upheld. In campaigns and battles it must oppose the use of the few to defeat the many and must adhere firmly to the use of the many to defeat the few. To confront a strong enemy it should rely on the masses and its own forces.
PLGA should integrate with the masses. “We must mobilise the people to support our armed forces enthusiastically and to fight the enemy together with them. The people are the eyes and ears of the army; they feed and keep our soldiers. It is they who help the army in sabotage and in battle. The people are the water and our army the fish.” PLGA should rely on the battle front in order to enhance its fighting capacity; rely chiefly on the enemy for arms; be frugal in supplies; increase its patience; overcome difficulties; participate in production and increase production; establish arms factories for the production of weapons; and strive to carry on the people’s war in the most trying circumstances.
CHAPTER-11 United Front and Work in the Basic Masses
What should be our concrete tactics to realize the revolutionary or strategic united front of the four classes-the working class, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie-and make it an effective instrument for advancing the armed struggle? Firstly, we should concentrate on organizing the masses of these various classes into revolutionary mass organizations, the people’s army, the militia, the revolutionary organizations of the nationalities, anti-imperialist fronts, and so on led by our Party. It is in the process of organising these various sections of the population and giving leadership to their struggles, and transforming them into armed struggle for the seizure of state power that the revolutionary United Front begins to take concrete shapes.
The nucleus of this United Front is the four-class alliance based on worker-peasant unity which assumes the form of the RPCs at various levels led by the Party. The Party, the People’s Army, the revolutionary mass organisations, the nationality organisations having the new democratic programme and various other revolutionary and petty bourgeois organisations supporting the new democratic progamme will be part of this New Democratic Front.
Although the formation of the NDF at the All India level requires a relatively strong People’s Army, a strong Party with country-wide political influence, and a considerably wider area of armed struggle with organs of people’s political power at various levels, we should strive to form the revolutionary UFs at the village, area, regional and state/special zonal/special area levels depending on the strength of our Party, army, revolutionary mass organisations, and the extent and depth of our armed struggle.
We should allot some subjective forces according to plan for work in the towns falling within and around the areas of armed struggle with the aim of the building the UF. Though formation of the NDF at the all India level will take time, still we may try to form this UF in embryonic form on ant-imperialist, anti-feudal basis and based on the support of the revolutionary struggle. What do we mean when we say that the UF is an instrument for advancing the armed struggle and the vice versa? Firstly, the revolutionary united front mobilizes the masses politically for the capture of state power.
Wherever the organs of new democratic people’s power are set up as the concrete form of this revolutionary united front, these organs act not only as organs of power, but also as organs of armed uprisings of the masses. They are the “most powerful organs of the revolutionary struggle of the masses, of the political action of the masses of the uprising of the masses.” They politically arouse the masses, arm the masses and lead the masses to defend the political power and the political gains made. A huge army of the toiling masses is raised and people’s militia is established wherever the revolutionary united front takes its concrete expression as an organ of new democratic people’s political power. In this way, armed struggle of the masses led by the Party reaches a qualitatively new phase.
And, conversely, this armed struggle further consolidates the revolutionary united front. Even where the organs of the people’s political power are not set up in the real sense but the revolutionary united front projects itself as the alternative provisional revolutionary government, it facilitates the political arousal of the masses and the advance of the armed struggle. Since they are the most democratic organs, they are also the most authoritative organizations of the masses which facilitate to the utmost their participation in the struggle for building the new social order and brings into full play the revolutionary energy, initiative, and creative abilities of the masses in the struggle for the destruction of the old order.
Our united front tactics at the present juncture should be based on the fact that a significant chunk of the people belonging to the four classes that form part of the revolutionary UF are presently under the influence of the comprador-feudal political parties, revisionist parties, and various shades of reformist and petit-bourgeois organizations. The majority of the organized workers are in the various trade unions belonging to the ruling class parties and other revisionist parties; the peasantry, youth, students, employees, women etc. are also organised into different associations and federations affiliated to, or under the influence of, the above-mentioned parties.
These sections should be brought under the leadership of the revolutionary party by taking up their sectional demands, raising their political consciousness and dispelling whatever illusions they may have on these parties through incessant political exposure of these parties and ideological-political education of the masses. In order to achieve this, we must concentrate primarily on building the UF from below. In order to rally all these people, all these sections into the protracted people’s war, into the revolutionary united front, the party of the working class, has to build several types of tactical united fronts at various levels, with diverse class forces and with different aims. But we have to try to develop those struggles subordinate to our main aim and objective.
Moreover, provided the revolutionary movement acquires enough strength, if opportunities to utilise the contradictions among the ruling classes in favour of advancing the people’s war arise, efforts should be made to utilize them too. However, we must be cautious against the infiltration of notorious anti-people elements belonging to ruling class parties into such united front activity.
The principles mentioned for building the United Front in the strategy part of this document should be taken as the guidelines in building the tactical fronts on issues with the various political parties. All our tactical alliances or UFs in the form of joint activity with various oganisations belonging to the, anti-imperialist anti-feudal classes at whatever level should be subordinate to the aim of building the strategic UF i.e. the NDF.
Our orientation in UF activity should be to accelerate this process by rallying these classes on the basis of our New Democratic programme. And all this activity should serve to intensify and extend our armed struggle further. Any joint activity or tactical alliances that do not serve the cause of the PW will be a futile exercise. All our work in the various revolutionary mass fronts, nationality organizations, and other revolutionary and petty bourgeoisie organisations and so on should be evaluated from this perspective only.
We must always keep in mind that the united front activity in whatever form is a method of drawing the masses into the struggle and to isolate and weaken the enemy classes. The Communist International defined the tactics of the united front as the Leninist method of drawing the masses into the revolutionary struggle, as a method of establishing closer ties with the masses. We must find and advance those slogans and forms of struggle that arise from the vital needs of the masses, from the level of their fighting capacity at the given stage of development.
At the same time, Communists must not for a moment abandon their own independent initiative and work of education, organization and mobilization of the masses. However, to ensure that the toiling masses find the road of unity of action, it is necessary to strive at the same time both for short-term and for long-term agreements that provide for joint action with trade unions of various colours and other organizations of the working people against the class enemies of the proletariat. The chief stress in all this must be laid on developing mass action, locally, to be carried out by the local organizations through local agreements.
At the same time, we must not lose any opportunity of making use of united front tactics also from above wherever and whenever it helps in bringing the broad masses into mass action and in the politicization of the masses. Oppressed masses and various sections should be rallied through various forms of forums like united action or people’s action forums, strike committees, struggle committees etc., on their respective demands from the primary level onwards i.e., from village, factory, basti, college etc., level onwards.
Effort should be made to mobilise all the people – including those from various political parties and organisations- who can be rallied on various issues into the united front being built from the lowest level. The Party can rally the people on their partial and sectional demands, and can wage struggles and agitations even amidst conditions of severe repression only by building various such above-mentioned forums.
We can take up coordinated actions with the various organizations on issues as diverse as: economic demands of the workers in individual enterprises or whole industries; wage demands of the agricultural labourers; remunerative prices for the agricultural produce of the peasantry and against the exploitation by the moneylender-trader nexus; in the defense of the interests of the dalits, adivasis, women; rendering aid to political prisoners and their families; in the struggle against social reaction and fascist attacks; coordinated actions on a local, regional, national or international scale, for carrying out mass political actions, and innumerable such issues.
We can bring these various sections of people under the influence of revolutionary politics and into the revolutionary organisations and can expand the Party organisation during the course of waging struggles through such forums. We will be able to build such joint action forums from higher level downwards too, depending on the development of the revolutionary movement, depending on the strength of the subjective forces and on the position of the classes, parties groups and institutions which can be united on their respective issues.
Such a united front can come into existence through agreements between various political parties, groups and institutions, which represent various classes. However, if a country-wide or state-wide broad joint action forums are formed, which are relatively stable and which can function for a somewhat longer period, on a minimum revolutionary basis and orientation.
We may also try to build the corresponding joint forums at the lower levels. We may also form a platform at higher level to take up general democratic issues and launch militant mass movement against imperialist exploitation, domination and anti-people policies of the state and its repressive measures. It is also necessary to build solidarity movement in support of anti-imperialist anti-feudal and anti-state struggles of the peasantry. In multi-national India, where the nationalities are waging armed struggle since long for their self-determination, the party has to pay special attention on building a united front with them.
The party of the proletariat should support their just demands in their fight for self-determination against the Indian ruling classes and their state. It is one of the most important tasks of the proletarian Party to mobilise people in support of these struggles and forge unity with these nationalities while at the same time organsing the masses on the Party’s programme to draw these masses as part of the New Democratic Revolution.
Strong UF between the proletariat and the struggling nationalities against the common enemies (i.e. imperialism, CBB and feudalism) will enable them to formulate tactics jointly to defeat the tactics of the enemy. Whatever the tactics used (depending on the situation and our strength vis-a-vis the movement), a proletarian stand must be adopted towards every nationality movement, seeking to influence it with a consistent anti-imperialist, anti-feudal viewpoint. While forging united front with the struggling nationalities, the party of the proletariat must strive to establish its leadership over the united front.
Some allies from this front may accept the new democratic revolutionary programme and turn into our strategic allies during the course of building such a UF and the united struggle against the common enemy. However it need not be taken as a precondition for forming united fronts with those struggles. One should not cause the disruption of the united front, adopting sectarian methods in the name of establishing proletarian leadership over the united front. At the same time, we should be careful to see that we do not tail behind the petty bourgeois, or ruling class elements who are participating (or leading) various nationality movements and must participate in the united front with our own independent programme.
Whatever be the nature of these tactical united fronts built at various levels, they must serve in isolating the targets of our revolution, in advancing the people’s war, and in building and strengthening the strategic revolutionary united front necessary for the establishment of a new democratic system.
Mass Organization and Mass Movement
Mass Organisations are absolutely indispensable for the victory of any revolution. The principal aim of building mass organisations is to organize the masses for revolution. Without mobilising the masses into innumerable struggles and raising their political consciousness in the course of those struggles, they cannot realise the need to overthrow the state power of the exploiting classes, they cannot acquire the necessary consciousness and collective will to overthrow the oppressive state machine, and, needless to say, the Party cannot lead the masses to victory in the revolution.
For this, it is absolutely necessary to draw a clear line of demarcation with the revisionistled mass movement and mass organisation. In the background of the specific condition in India, the orientation of our mass movement and mass organization will be according to the strategy of protracted people’s war. For the masses to realise the need for overthrowing the state machine and understand the Party’s calls and slogans, they must be convinced through their own daily life experiences – through the experiences gained by organizing themselves and participating in militant mass struggles.
Mass organisation is thus a powerful weapon to convince the masses and instill confidence in them that they can liberate themselves from all oppression and exploitation through collective organisation and struggle. This, of course, does not imply that the masses will automatically get the political consciousness necessary for overthrowing the State machinery and to build a New Democratic society and Socialism. As Com. Lenin had repeatedly warned, this consciousness should be instilled in the toiling masses from outside; they cannot acquire it through struggles on their economic or partial demands. Hence it is the most important task of the Party within the mass organizations to arouse the masses politically and to imbue the masses with the revolutionary politics of seizure of power through armed means.
The masses can grasp the Pary’s policies and make them their own in course of implementing them in their day-to-day struggles. Forms of organisation and forms of struggle differ according to differing conditions in different regions in the country. Moreover, the conditions in the same region, state or the country as a whole, do not remain static but keep on changing continuously thereby bringing to the fore the need for effecting corresponding changes in the forms of organisation and forms of struggle.
This is the most important feature that should be taken into account in evolving appropriate tactics in each region or state and at each given time. Unless we adopt a dialectical approach to the forms of struggle and forms of organisation, we are bound to fail in building effective mass organisations and powerful mass movements.
Relation between Mass Struggle and Armed Struggle
While recognising the importance of mass organisations and mass struggles, we have to also keep in mind that in the revolution as a whole, it is war or armed struggle against state that will be the main form of struggle and the army the main form of organisation. As Com. Mao had pointed out:
“… War is the main form of struggle and army is the main form of organisation. Other forms such as the mass organisation and mass struggle are also extremely important and indeed indispensable and in no circumstances to be overlooked, but their purpose is to serve the war.Before the outbreak of war, all organisation and struggle are in preparation for war….After the war breaks out, all the organisations and struggles are coordinated with the war directly or indirectly.”
This is an extremely important formulation, which our Party had taken as a guideline for the Indian revolution too. Whatever may be the differences in the objective conditions between India and pre-revolutionary China, the underlying principle concerning the relationship between mass struggle and armed struggle remains the same : the mass organisations and mass struggle should serve the war between people’s armed forces and enemy’s forces once it has broken out, or, should be oriented towards the preparation for war. This means from the very beginning, our orientation, perspective and the method of building mass organisations and mass struggles should be to serve the war directly or indirectly. The mass organisations which are built without such a perspective would be unfit to advance the revolution.
Here the idea of transforming mass struggles and mass organisations gradually into armed struggle is to be recognised as wrong thinking. If this direction is lost, our mass organisations and mass struggles will get bogged down in legalism and economism, and we will be unable to prepare the masses for the seizure of political power. Herein lies the source for Right opportunism and Revisionism. While mass organisations and mass struggles serve the armed struggle and war, the latter, in their turn, help to further advance the mass movement. Such is the dialectical inter-relation between mass struggle and armed struggle.
As Mao pointed out; “giving stress on armed struggle does not mean abandoning other forms of struggle; on the contrary, armed struggle cannot achieve success unless co-ordinated with other forms of struggles.” There is also a tendency to forget the above truth that armed struggle cannot achieve success unless it is coordinated with other forms of struggle, and herein lies one source for “Left” adventurism and sectarianism. This will amount to leaving behind the masses and going ahead with only the advanced sections. Hence, the main point to keep in mind is that we cannot achieve victory in the revolution without anyone of these; both armed struggle and other forms of struggles are indispensable, but the principal and decisive form is armed struggle.
The forms of mass organisation and mass struggle change continuously with the advance of the armed struggle. Every advance made in armed struggle helps the mass organisations to expand and deepen their base and to advance the mass movement further. And, conversely, every advance in the mass movement, particularly the political mobilization or arousal of the masses boldly against the principal enemies of our revolution, will contribute to the deepening and expansion of the armed struggle.
Our Party’s experience has proved this beyond any doubt. When we organised the first mass struggles, we could only mobilise a few hundred, and later a few thousand at most. But with the spread of the politics of people’s war and the growth of our armed strength, notwithstanding severe enemy repression, people gained more confidence in the Party and revolution and began to participate in numerous struggles and pour out in lakhs for meetings and demonstrations when calls were given by the Party and mass organisations even when the latter went underground.
Such a massive show of support to revolution and the spurt in the militant struggles by the masses is due to the advance of the people’s war and the growth of the armed strength of the people. The ability of our armed forces to face the reactionary onslaught of the state and feudal forces is an important factor to boost up the morale of the masses and instilling confidence in them on the politics of people’s war. And the masses who are politically aroused through the efforts of our mass organizations, in turn, became a main source of recruitment into the Party and the revolutionary movement. It became possible to involve more and more people into the armed struggle. Hence we have to educate the Party rank and file that the intensification of armed struggle against the state has direct bearing on the further increase in mass mobilization and mass struggles, and this mass mobilization should, in turn, raise the cadre and soldiers for the Party, People’s army and involve a larger number of people in the armed struggle.
Broadly speaking, mass organisations can be categorised into three types depending upon their nature and functions:
1) Underground Revolutionary Mass Organizations:
The first type of mass organisations are those which remain strictly underground and propagate the Party’s revolutionary line among the masses rousing them for armed struggle. They openly call upon the masses to participate in the people’s war, propagate the central task drawn up by the Party at any given time, secretly organise the masses into struggles, and directly serve as the base for recruitment for the Party and the people’s war. These mass organisations are built clandestinely and conduct secret propaganda. Examples of such mass organizations are Communist Student-Youth Leagues, armed cultural organizations, Red Guard organizations, etc.
2) Open or semi-open Revolutionary Mass Organizations:
The second type of mass organizations are the open and semi-open mass organizations which openly propagate the politics of New Democratic Revolution and prepare the people for armed struggle. These organisations make use of the available legal opportunities to carry on revolutionary propaganda and agitation openly and try to mobilize anti-imperialist – anti-feudal forces as widely as possible. Thus, these mass organisations too directly serve the people’s war as long as scope for open revolutionary work exists. Revolutionary Women Organisation, Revolutionary Student and Youth organizations, Revolutionary Art and Cultural Associations, Revolutionary writers’ Associations, New Democratic Associations of various sections, etc. can be formed for carrying out open revolutionary propaganda and agitation.
3) Mass organizations not directly linked to Party:
These mass organizations, which are not directly linked to the Party and work under some cover with a limited programme, belong to the third type. These are broad-based organisations that try to unite non-Party forces on a common programme. They may take up anti-imperialist, anti-feudal programmes openly or may work with a more limited programme. These organisations become indispensable under conditions of extreme state repression where opportunities for open revolutionary mass organizations are very much restricted. They may also be formed in normal conditions as complementary to the revolutionary mass organisations that directly serve armed struggle.
Although we have been carrying on our work based on the above understanding in general, there are still some shortcomings due to lack of a deeper grasp of the above, especially in concrete application. The third type of organisations can further be subdivided into three broad categories:
- a)fractional work,
b)party-formed cover organisations, and
c)legal democratic organisations.:
(i) Fractional Work.
Here the Party works through the numerous traditional mass organisations that operate in the rural and urban areas. These traditional mass organisations are the organizations normally set up by the masses to fight for their sectional interests or otherwise fulfill their needs. The Party, through its members or other activists, penetrates such organisations without exposing any links with the Party. Through the activities of the organisation, the masses, while being mobilised for their sectional interests, are attempted to be drawn towards the revolution.
This method of organising, if properly conducted, offers the best opportunity for cover work for a long period of time. It is therefore indispensable in areas of severe repression. The best organisations are those which are more oriented to struggle, like trade unions, slum and other locality based organisations, youth organisations, unemployed organisations, students associations and unions, women’s organisations, commuter associations, etc. Besides there are also other organisations which are welfare oriented, community based or are self-help organisations – like workers’ cooperatives, cultural organisations, sports clubs and gymnasiums, libraries, bhajan mandals, non-governmental welfare organisations, women’s welfare organisations, welfare organisations for oppressed castes, nationalities and minorities, etc.
(ii) Cover organizations:
Cover organisations are indispensable in areas where our mass organisations are not allowed to function openly. We may also form cover organisations in other areas according to necessity. The purpose behind forming cover organisations is to keep our forces unexposed to the enemy while carrying on open mass work. We must keep in mind that cover organisations are not a substitute for the legal or underground mass organisations. We must form the Party units within the cover organisations and direct them.
(iii) Legal democratic organizations.
These are the organisations formed on an explicit political basis with some or all aspects of an antiimperialist, anti-feudal programme, and with a programme of action and forms of struggle that broadly fall within a legal framework. These serve as the Party’s attempts at the political mobilization of the vast masses. The scope of the legal democratic organisation is very wide, extending to the broad coalitions and alliances formed against repression, globalisation, Hindutva forces and right up to the all-encompassing bodies formed with the banners of anticapitalism or people’s struggles.
Such organisations can be formed at various levels – town/city level, district level, state level, regional level, all-India level, or even at the international level. Several wrong trends are likely to show up in our work in the mass front such as: legalist trend of organizing and building only legal type of organizations and neglecting the semi-legal and underground organizations thereby exposing our forces to the enemy; the trend of economism of taking up only, or mainly, the partial or economic demands of the masses and losing sight of the most important aspect of political mobilization of the masses against the State and the various policies of the ruling classes; the trend of spontaneity in giving one-sided stress on the aspect of mass struggles and neglecting the aspect of consolidation; subjectivism in mechanically copying the forms of struggle and forms of organization of one region in other regions without taking into consideration the concrete conditions; and, most important of all, not orienting the mass work so as to serve the armed struggle.
Hence, utmost importance must be given to educate the Party rank and file about the danger of the above non-proletarian trends that emerge in the course of building mass organizations and mass movements and must guide the entire work with the proper orientation of serving the armed struggle at all times. The leadership of the mass organizations must always keep the politics of seizure of power in command, bring the vast masses to these politics by evolving the appropriate political slogans and rallying the masses around these. Attention must be paid on conducting wide political propaganda of the revolutionary politics through various means-open, semi-open and secret, and concentrating on political exposures of the policies of the ruling classes, the anti-people nature of the Parliament and the government, the attacks and atrocities on women, Dalits and Adivasis; the persecution of the religious minorities; the oppression and suppression of the rights of the nationalities; and the viciousness of the exploiting social system.
It is possible to rally the vast masses if the correct tactical slogans are advanced in the appropriate time and forms of struggle and forms of organizations are evolved to take up such issues with the correct orientation. We must keep in mind the Leninist tactical principle: “To put in the forefront precisely those forms of struggle and organization which are best suited to the conditions prevailing during the flow or ebb of the movement at a given moment, and which therefore can facilitate and ensure the bringing of the masses to the revolutionary positions, the bringing of the millions to the revolutionary front, and their disposition at the revolutionary front.” Of course, while applying this principle into practice we have to keep in mind the specific condition and specific strategy of our revolution and also we have to realise the differences among the various forms of struggle and organisation from the point of view of our specific strategy i.e protracted people’s war. In the background of the above discussion,we must allot some able and experienced PRs and organisers to work in the legal democratic organizations, cover organizations and for fractional work.
Without such able organisers it is not possible to work in these organisations without getting exposed and with a long time perspective. Our organisers may also belong to a Party Committee at some level. But, while working openly in these organisations they should not be identified in any manner with our Party. Once they are exposed to the enemy, they should immediately go underground or be shifted elsewhere.
CHAPTER-12 Special Social Sections and Nationalities-Our Tactics
Women, dalits, adivasis and religious minorities are the most important of the social sections to be taken cognisance of by the party of the proletariat leading the revolution in the concrete conditions evailing in India. All these sections have special problems of their own and specific types of traeconomic oppression apart from the class oppression. We have to pay due attention to solve their special problems and to chalk out special tasks to mobilise them effectively into the revolutionary movement. Towards this end, we have to not only bring these sections into class organizations along with other oppressed masses, but also evolve the necessary forms of organizations and forms of struggle for the widest mobilization of these sections on their special problems both on a short-term and long-term basis.
Broader joint fronts too should be formed wherever and whenever necessary to address the specific grievances. However, while taking up specific tactics on the special problems related to these sections, we should keep in mind that the tactics should always be subordinate to our strategic line. We should place the specific programme for the solution of their specific problems in relation to, and in the overall context of, the on-going people’s war in the country. We must educate these sections how their problems are essentially class questions; how the material basis for the final solution of their problems can be laid only by liberating themselves from class oppression; and hence, the imperative need for waging war against the common enemies-feudalism, imperialism, and comprador bureaucrat capitalism, that are oppressing the vast toiling masses in the country-unitedly with other oppressed masses under the leadership of the proletariat.
We must demonstrate in practice how the people’s war and the ongoing class struggle is bringing these sections increasingly into the center stage; how the latent potential and creative energies, the revolutionary initiative and capacities of these oppressed sections are being released in the course of the people’s war and the deepening class struggle. It is only by paying special attention and making conscious effort based on concrete planning by the leadership of the Party to develop the oppressed among these sections, that we can bring a qualitative change in their overall status in the Party and position in the revolutionary movement.
Hence, in all our guerilla zones and areas of class struggle, firstly we have to follow the class line and mass line seriously, i.e to work mainly among the landless and poor peasantry and agricultural labourers generally who belong to dalit section. basing firmly on this aspect, we have to take up a special programme for bringing these sections to the forefront in all fronts, apart from drawing up specific forms of struggle and organization to mobilize broader masses of these sections on their specific demands with a clear-cut plan to involve the advanced elements from these sections into the Party and the class organizations.
By pursuing the above-mentioned general line and approach, we will be able to draw the clear line of demarcation with the parliamentary and revisionist parties, with the reformist NGOs and other petty bourgeois organizations, as well as with the so-called Communist Revolutionary organizations in our country with regard to the solution of the problems of these special social sections. We must also take up consistent political exposure of the various bourgeois-reformist-revisionist trends within the movements of these sections. Let us now analyse the nature of oppression and the problems of each of these sections separately.
Special Social Sections
Women constitute almost one-half of the country’s population and an overwhelming majority of them belong to the oppressed and exploited classes. But in addition to feudal and capitalist oppression, they suffer from male-chauvinist domination, oppression and patriarchy. The women of our country have to face extreme insecurity of life due to our patriarchal system, which denies any rights and independence and denies them access to property despite formal legal rights. They are denied equal educational and employment opportunities.
All domestic labour, which is unpaid labour, is performed by women. This labour is looked down upon by the society as menial, as of no value, and there is neither any recognition nor respect for women’s labour in the existing patriarchal society. It is only a double burden on women that thwarts their initiative, creativity and role in public life. The orthodox Hindu and Muslim traditions look down upon women treating them as inferior beings and weaklings fit only to serve the men-folk and to breed and rear children at home.
This outdated and reactionary outlook is being reinforced by the growth of the Hindu religious chauvinist forces on the one hand, and the Muslim fundamentalists on the other. Recently, with the proliferation of consumerism and increased penetration of imperialist culture and decadent values into our society, women are being rapidly converted into commodities and their condition is further degrading.
Women are subjected to varied forms of sexual harrasment and domestic violence. Rape is used as a weapon to counter rightful assertion by women. It is also used as a very specific repressive measure by the state against women in struggle. Thus the Indian women have become victims of social, economic, political, and cultural discrimination and deprivation of all sorts. Thus the Indian women should be organised not only against class oppression but also against all types of patriarchy, male domination, and discrimination.
Special effort should be made to bring more and more women into the revolutionary movement by bringing them out of feudal and obscurantist ideas which restricts them to the home. So in order to emancipate women, besides the class-struggle, we have to carry on struggle in political, economic, ideological and cultural sphere for equal rights for women. We should support the struggles of women that are breaking out either spontaneously or under the leadership of petty bourgeois, feminist organizations against social degradation, discrimination, oppression and exploitation while at the same time we should expose the limitations of those leadership.
The party should help organise them in the correct revolutionary direction and strive to transform their protest into mighty struggles. We must expose the politics and influence of the bourgeois, petty-bourgeois, revisionist and reformist parties and organizations, including feminist organisations, that have been trying to depoliticise and demobilize the women and to divert the women’s movement from the real path of liberation. We should also try to bring more and more women into the revolutionary movements by imbuing them with the politics of new democratic revolution and making them realize that there cannot be women’s liberation without the liberation of the oppressed masses from feudalism, imperialism and comprador bureaucrat capitalism.
The dalits or Scheduled Castes should be treated as a special social section that is peculiar to the obnoxious caste-ridden Indian society. Though the vast majority among them (over 90%) belongs to the poor and landless peasantry and to the proletariat and other wage-earning sections, they are also victims of social oppression and upper caste atrocities and discrimination in all spheres of life.
The most heinous and inhuman manifestation of this social oppression is the practice of untouchability still practised in most parts of India. The real solution to the problems of dalits lies in smashing the existing semi-feudal, semi-colonial setup by successfully completing the agrarian revolution on the basis of distributing land to the tiller. While mobilising the vast masses of the dalits who constitute around 17.5% of the Indian population into the agrarian revolution, we must also lay special emphasis upon the task of fighting all forms of social oppression and caste discrimination practised by the upper castes against them.
Appropriate organisational forms should be evolved at various levels to fight the evils of untouchability, upper caste atrocities against the dalits and other forms of discrimination based on caste. At the same time, we must desist from forming exclusively caste-based organisations for the dalits, which will only lead to their further segregation. The Party must fight for equal rights, reservations and other special privileges for dalits and other backward castes. Simultaneously we must expose the hollowness of the policies of the ruling class parties and the state on these issues.
We must also expose the opportunist dalit leaders who build their own electoral fortunes in the name of taking up dalit issues. We must take up struggles on these issues with our own independent programme, through our mass and class organisations, without forming separate caste-based organisations. The petty bourgeoisie Dalit sections in certain states have formed some exclusive organizations of Dalits and are organising movements on some issues related to their problems.
Depending on the concrete situation, if it is helpful for the ongoing revolutionary movement, we may sometimes work ointly with these petty bourgeoisie Dalit organisations on these issues while exposing the reformism and opportunism of the leadership. It is only due to lack of a revolutionary alternative that exclusive Dalit organizations are proliferating in various parts of the country. Such organizations will become irrelevant if the revolutionary Party and mass organizations take up the issues of Dalits and build a broad-based movement by including all sections of people.
The Adivasis, or the tribes residing in the hilly regions, forests or less-developed plains in India, constitute about 7% of the Indian population. Representing relatively more backward forces of production, their economy, society and culture differ significantly from those in the rest of India. The imperialists, comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie, unscrupulous contractors, moneylenders, traders and government officials have deprived the Adivasis of their land and other traditional means of livelihood.
The process of breaking up of their traditional economies, society and culture and their forcible assimilation into the semi-colonial, semi-feudal setup by the Indian ruling classes serving imperialism is proceeding at an unprecedented pace particularly after the transfer of power. The attempts to convert Adivasis into various religions with the backing of the state have been going on since a long time. Whereas during British rule, Christianity spread on a considerable scale into the vast tracts inhabited by the Adivasis, after the transfer of power it is the Hindu chauvinist organisations that are aggressively spreading Hindu religion in these areas.
As the regions inhabited by the Adivasis are rich in mineral deposits and forest wealth, imperialists and comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie are evincing special interest in exploiting these regions through mining, quarrying and such other activities. Some infrastructure too has been developed towards this end. The state and central governments have been carrying on construction works, luring a section from the Adivasis under the name of welfare schemes. In the main, tribal chiefs, are benefiting from government schemes and are trying to turn the people in favour of the government and, in some areas, a tiny section of adivasis have become rich and have developed themselves as local oppressors.
Both of them constitute the social basis for the ruling class parties or parties in the name of welfare of various tribes and nationalities. Proper tactics have to be adopted to ensure the eradication of the influence on the Adivasi masses of this intermediary section which is divorced from labour, while at the same time proper tactics have to be adopted so that a strong unity within the toiling adivasi people could be achieved and also a strong unity between toiling people of tribals and non-tribals can be developed maintained.
These regions have strategic importance for the Indian revolution from the military viewpoint due to their favourable terrain that facilitates the establishment of base areas. Hence the Party should organise Adivasis with the slogans, “Right over the forest belongs to people and Adivasis”, “Politica Autonomy to the Adivasi territories’ and transform the territory as exploitationfree territory i.e ‘red land’, ‘don’t be divided, be united’ ‘unite the real friends against the real enemies’.’right over all the resources including water, forest etc.’ ‘right for protecting their own culture and development’, and draw up a specific plan for work among them to mobilise them against economic, political, social and cultural oppression by imperialism, CBB and feudalism.
(iv) Religious Minorities:
The religious minorities like the Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and others comprise around 15% of the Indian population. They are often the targets of attacks by Hindu chauvinist political parties and Hindu fascist gangs and suffer from discrimination by the Indian state that is biased towards the Hindu majority. Among the religious minorities the Muslims are being specially targeted in recent times. The party should oppose, expose and fight against the growing threat of these Hindu fundamentalist forces ideologically, politically and also fight against them at the local level by adopting all the appropriate means.
At the same time we must also continue to expose the fundamentalism of other religions. But we must be clear that the real purpose of the chieftains of the Hindu fundamental forces is to divide and divert the people’s attention from their growing upsurges and thus blunt their class consciousness. Hence, the party must continue to focus its attention in advancing the actual class struggle, that is, the protracted people’s war, which will finally put an end to this threat. We must widely propagate the politics of new democratic revolution among the people of the religious minorities and make them realize that they too are oppressed by the three big mountains weighing down the backs of the entire Indian people and it is only by fighting unitedly with their class brethren among the Hindu majority that they can put an end to the religious persecution. We must take class struggle as the key link in solving the problem of communalism permanently.
Our Work among the Nationalities
Leading the revolution in a big multi-national country inhabited by scores of nationalities and national minorities oppressed by the Indian State in league with imperialism, our Party faces the special task of correctly addressing and resolving the national question. We must beware of two wrong trends prevalent on the nationality question among the various revolutionary organizations in India: one, the view that the struggles of the various nationalities, especially those that are being waged with the demand of secession from the Indian Union, as imperialist-inspired and as disrupting the unity achieved by the Indian people in the course of the ong-drawn-out struggle against British imperialism, and that it is not the usiness of revolutionaries to get involved in these struggles since these are neither class struggles nor are led by the proletariat; two, the bourgeoisnationalist view of supporting all nationality struggles without analysing their aim and objective, replacing class struggle with national struggle through their line of organising every nationality in India separately and fighting for secession irrespective of the stage of historical development of the particular nationality, the level of development of class struggle and political consciousness among the people of a particular nationality. Hence the question before us is:
How to unite these struggles of the various oppressed nationalities into a common fighting united front against the common enemy – the Indian State? And what should be the programme of the Indian proletariat to solve the national question in India? In laying down the policy of the proletariat towards the national question we must take as guideline the teachings of our teachers. In resolving the question in Russia, com. Stalin observed: “The essence of this policy can be expressed in a few words: the renunciation of all ‘claims’ and ‘rights’ to regions inhabited by non-Russian nationalities; the recognition (not in word but in deed) of the right of these nationalities to exist as independent states; the formation of a voluntary, military and economic union of these nationalities with Central Russia; the granting of aid to the backward nationalities in their cultural and economic development, without which what is known as ‘national equality’ becomes an ‘empty sound’ and the basing of all this on the complete emancipation of the peasants and the concentration of the entire political power in the hands of the toiling elements of the border nationalities – such is the national policy of the Russian Communists”. (‘The October Revolution and the National Policy of the Russian Communists’ (1921) ).
When explaining this problem, comrade Mao said:’ in the final analysis the national question is a class question and hence, is a part and parcel of class struggle.’ Under the background of this basic principle we have to realize that today without the leadership of the working class and its party, the Communist Party, the people belonging to different nationalities cannot achieve their liberation in the truest sense.
A distinguishing feature of the national oppression in India is that it is being carried out not by any one particular dominant nation as was the case in Russia, but by feudalism, imperialism and comprador big bourgeoisie –the three main enemies of the Indian people- and by their agent, the Indian state. As long as these three big mountains weigh down the nationalities, there cannot be any genuine development of their economies, culture, language and so on. Complete democracy, which is the basis for the elimination of national oppression, cannot be achieved without overthrowing these three monsters.
Once these oppressors are overthrown, a voluntary Indian Federation can be formed consisting of the various national People’s Republics which will have the right to unhampered secession. Thus the task of the Indian proletariat is to lead the struggles of these various nationalities against the above enemies with the specific programme of equality of all nations and languages in the country and recognising the right of all nationalities for self-determination including secession. Each and every struggle of the nationalities should be supported if it is directed against the Indian state.
While supporting the rights of the various nationalities we must expose the conspiracies of the imperialists along with the ruling classes to divide the people on the basis of nationality and strive for the unity of all oppressed. As Com. Stalin had pointed out: “When we put forward the principle of the right of peoples to self determination we thereby raise the struggle against national oppression to the level of a struggle against imperialism, our common foe. Unless we do so, we may find ourselves in the position of people who bring grist to the mill of the imperialists” ( Report on the National Question, 7th All Russian Conference of the RSDLP, 1917). In taking up the national question, we must make a distinction between the nationalities of the North East and Kashmir on the one hand and those in the other states of India on the other.
The former have never considered themselves as part of India since they were actually annexed by the British and added to India. The ruling classes of India have continued their occupation of the territories of these nationalities after the transfer of power despite promises made prior to 1947 that in the present concrete conditions, we must extend complete and unflinching support to the demand for secession of these nationalities as long as their struggle is directed against our common enemies.
But at the same time, we have to try to make them understand very patiently that without having a comprehensive plan and programme and without being a part and parcel of the NDR, their complete political and economic emancipation cannot be fully achieved. We must try to give a revolutionary orientation to the nationality movements keeping in mind that the leaderships of these movements often tend to strike a compromise with the ruling classes or even surrender their cause in the midst of the struggle. We ourselves should lead the struggle for a voluntary union of the Indian nationalities.
Even if some regional comprador-feudal parties rake up the national issue to the point of secession in those states, the proletariat should expose them and try to convince the people that secession is against their basic interests and that coming together into a voluntary federation is advantageous to their interests from both political and military points of view. If, however, the entire people of that nationality insist on seceding, we must not oppose it.
By following such a policy alone it will become easier for us to unite with them again after a lapse of time after gaining their confidence through our consistently democratic policy towards them. Communists must, of course, be in the forefront of every democratic demand of the nationalities whether it is for autonomy; for equal status for their languages; for separate statehood; against economic, social cultural and other forms of oppression by a certain dominant nation (oppression by Bengalis over Assamese and over other nationalities of the North East; the oppression by the Assamese over the small nationalities in the state of Assam such as the Bodos, Karbis, Mishings etc); against the policy of discrimination exhibited in any field towards particular nationality, and so on.
Appropriate forms of struggle and organisation should be evolved to fight every manifestation of national oppression taking all care, at the same time, to bring the people of the particular nationality out of national aloofness and to promote a spirit of international solidarity among them. Such should be the essence of the Marxist- Leninist approach to the nationality question in India.
The Basis for the Unity of the Nationalities
To sum up, the policy of the communists, the people’s democratic front and the people’s democratic states on the problem of nationalities of India is:
a) To mobilise the peoples of all nationalities in an united front against the common enemies and lead them towards agrarian revolution and the national and democratic revolution or people’s democratic revolution; to fight against nation l chauvinism encouraged by the reactionaries – fight against big and advanced nation-boast-fullness and arrogance on the one hand, and narrow sectarian nationalism on the other; to fight against every conspiracy of the imperialists and their agents to create division and disunity amongst different nationalities.
b) To uproot the national exploitation of the people’s of the ‘backward’ nationalities and sub-nationalities and to guarantee an equal and all-embracing economic, political and cultural development (development of national languages also) of all nationalities and sub-nationalities.
c) To fight for the principle, both in words and deeds, that all nationalities are independent, equal and sovereign and to build up a relation of unity and love among the peoples of all nationalities on the basis of equal rights and the right of self-determination for all nationalities (that is, to be united within a voluntary Federation of People’s Democratic Republics of India on the basis of equal rights and the right to establish separate state, if so desired).
This policy is fully compatible with the final goal of the international great union, on a voluntary basis, not only of the Indian nationalities but also of the nationalities of the whole world. It goes without saying that without consistent struggle against diehard bourgeoisies nationalism – against big and advanced nation chauvinism on the one hand, and the petty bourgeoisie national sectarianism on the other – encouraged by imperialism, and their ‘Indian’ henchmen, without fighting against national inequality, exploitation and oppression, the nationality movements will remain to a great extent under the influence of petty bourgeois politics and sectarian nationalism.
As a result, these struggles cannot be elevated to the stage of class struggle and the revolutionary democratic instincts inherent in them cannot be led to the path of revolution. It is only by remaining loyal to the politics of the proletariat and the ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and maintaining its own political and organisational independence that the working class can give leadership and liberate the peoples from the sectarian nationalism and arouse them and bring them into the path of revolutionary national struggle in its true sense (as part and parcel of the new democratic revolution).
No other class except the working class and its vanguard party can take the leadership of this work. To neglect this task or not to give proper attention to this task in a multinational country like India is harmful to the revolution.
CHAPTER-13 Work in Urban Areas
Work in the urban areas has a special importance in our revolutionary war. Our urban areas today mirror the distorted development-taking place in the semi-feudal, semi-colonial production relations, in tune with the interest of imperialism. In fact, vast masses of the urban population remain under the clutches of unbridled exploitation and oppression of imperialism and CBB. The fact that the working class is heavily concentrated in these areas is a matter of great significance. Lakhs of workers in these metropolises, and other industrial cities and towns, are working in modern industrial enterprises, in which the socialization of labour has taken place at a high level.
Moreover, the urban petty-bourgeoisie section, who are reliable allies of our revolution are also concentrated here in big numbers. On the other hand, it is here itself, the state power and the ad inistrative machinery of the ruling classes are concentrated; and it is from here itself they have been regulating the economic life-lines of the country. Thus, along with the positive factor that the leading force of the revolution-the working class, and another basic motive force, the petty bourgeoisie, are concentrated here in big numbers, the urban revolutionary movement also faces a negative factor, that these are very strong-centres for the enemy. Hence we will have to build the revolutionary movement keeping both these factors in mind.
The urban movement is one of the main sources, which provides cadres and leadership having various types of capabilities essential for the people’s war and for the establishment of liberated areas. Moreover, the responsibility for the provision of supplies, technology – expertise, information and other such things, to the people’s war, too lies on the shoulders of the urban revolutionary movement itself. Hence Party has to pay special attention to allocate leadership cadres accordingly to work in urban movement. We should not forget the dialectical relationship between the development of the urban movement and the development of the armed agrarian revolutionary war. In the absence of a strong revolutionary urban movement, the growth of the people’s war will face limitations and difficulties in its advancement.
Objectives of Our Urban Work
Work in the cities and towns involve a number of tasks. All these tasks can however be combined under three broad objectives. They are as follows
:- 1) Mobilizing and organizing the basic masses:
This is the main activity of the Party. It is the Party’s most important task to organize the basic class in the urban areas, i.e., the working class, as well as other classes and sections like the semi-proletariat, students, middle class employees, intellectuals, etc. It also has the task of dealing with the problems of special social groups like women, dalits, and religious minorities and mobilizing them for the revolutionary movement.
It is on this basis that the masses are politicized and the advanced sections consolidated into the Party.
2) Building the United Front:
This involves the task of unifying the working class first, and then building worker-peasant solidarity and alliance, uniting with other classes in the cities, building the fronts against exploitation and oppression of imperialism and the CBB, imperialist war designs and globalization, against Hindu fascism, against repression, etc. This is a very important aspect of the work of the Party in the city.
3) Military Tasks:
While the PLGA and PLA in the countryside perform the main military tasks, the urban movement too performs tasks complementary to the rural armed struggle. These involve the sending of cadre to the countryside, infiltration of enemy ranks, organizing in key industries, sabotage actions in coordination with the rural armed struggle, logistical support, etc. Of the above three, the first task of organizing the basic masses is fundamental and primary. Without widely mobilizing the masses it is not possible to perform any of the other tasks such as building of UF and performing the military tasks.
Factors Governing All-India Perspective-Plan
Drawing up the All-India perspective-plan means basically selecting the cities, industries or regions where we should concentrate and give priority. It can further mean the evaluation of the available subjective forces and deciding on suitable allocation. Suburbs and nearby villages also depend on urban centres for employment. So we should incorporate the work in these areas as part of the urban work. Many industries and other infrastructure also exist.
Hence, depending on the concrete conditions plans for organizational work should be drawn. The urban working masses, particularly the youth, and all the pettybourgeois sections are leading an insecure life lacking employment opportunities and even the daily necessities. This objective condition is favourable for building a strong revolutionary urban movement.
However, due to the weakness of the revolutionary forces, the ruling classes are able to utilise this atmosphere in their favour, even though temporary, to some extent or the other. CPI and CPI(M) revisionists are still powerful in the sphere of trade unions and have considerable grip over other sections of the urban population in major cities. We have to raise the vigilance of the people against he danger of economism and capitulationism being spread by these revisionists.
To achieve this a revolutionary class-consciousness should be ensured through our political activity in the urban poor. We have to build up a vast network of secret party units with the advanced section of the working class that comes to the fore, particularly through political mobilization. We have to build up secret armed defence squads and open defence teams, from the very beginning itself with the working class youth to organize resistance against the attacks from goondas engaged by managements and other exploiting sections and also from the state’s armed forces. The working class is the most advanced revolutionary force of our society.
We have to impart revolutionary consciousness in the course of their struggle/ movement to unleash the revolutionary potentialities latent within the class. We endeavour to ensure their leading role as a class in the ongoing NDR. For this purpose first, we have to expose and free them from the reformist and revisionist thinking and practice, and consolidate politically the advanced sections of the working class and guide them to rouse the entire class for NDR.
Work in Key Industries
Our presence today in the key industries is extremely low. With the advance of the people’s war, it is a pressing need that we enter into key industries and establish a strong base there. Some industries like transport, communications, rail, dock, power, oil and natural gas, defence production, etc. can play a crucial role in our revolution. In the course of war development disruption of production in these industries has an immediate impact on the enemy’s ability to fight the war. It is thus the responsibility of the urban organization to establish a presence and influence in such key industries.
The key industries have normally been in the public sector. Now however with the policy of privatization, many of the old units are being privatized and new units are being set up directly in the private sector. Thus some of these industries, like the electricity boards and telecommunications department, are experiencing many militant struggles in opposition to the privatization policies and there has been a significant revival of the trade unions.
In the context of the general upswing of the workers’ movement, the workers of other key industries too are resorting to struggle. We can therefore make use of this situation to try and influence the workers in these industries. Our plan for the key industries should operate at two levels
We can influence the workers in these industries from outside through various forms of propaganda, particularly during the struggles of these industries.
This can be done through legal T.U organizations, workers’ magazines, secret pamphleteering and even through Party statements.
We should send comrades to secretly develop fractional work from within the industry’s existing TU, according to the opportunity. This work should be done with a long-term approach taking care to avoid exposure. Due to the critical character of these industries, the enemy too is very conscious of the need to prevent any revolutionary or other genuine struggling forces from entering such industries.
We therefore have to be very guarded and careful while entering and working within such enterprises. All work in such places should be under cover of some sort. Fractional work is the normal method. The work in such industries should normally be separated from the other work in the area Work in other Fronts The main focus of mass political mobilisation and organising in the cities should be the working class.
We should pay particular attention to the trade unions and other working class organisations. We should also organise in the bastis and slums where the working class resides along with other sections of the urban poor. In some urban centers a section of the basic masses, who hail from the areas of armed agrarian struggles, are influenced by revolutionary politics. Apart from the working class and the urban poor, we have also to pay special attention to our work among women, students, youth, teachers and middle class intellectuals in other professions who have grown considerably in recent decades.
Youth and cultural organizations also play a good role in the activities of the city movement. A section of the student community has imprinted their death-defying advanced role in the history of the country’s revolutionary struggles. They again and again played a role of fore-runner of revolutionary struggles/ movements. They have shouldered the responsibility of spreading revolutionary politics. They have also been playing an important role in the ongoing PPW. It is our task to further deepen our activities within the student community.
Considering the present situation we should develop suitable organizational forms to imbue them with revolutionary politics, and organise and mobilize the vast majority of them politically. They can be mobilised politically on both domestic and international issues. The objective situation is favourable for the political mobilisation of all these sections apart from organising them on their sectional or partial demands. We must give great importance to mobilizing them around the tactical political slogans given in the Political Resolution.
From the beginning, we have to build secret party units among them. The advancement and victory of the movement is based on the political experience gained by all these classes. In fact,the role of women in various fields in the urban areas is increasing. In addition to students, women employees, labourers and those working in other handicrafts, there are thousands of women working in big and small industries at low wages. They live in abject poverty and pathetic living conditions. Besides, they are subjected to constant sexual harassment at the workplace.
Therefore, in order to organise women more attention should be paid by the Party at all levels, particularly in towns. In the past few years, the strength of the communal forces in towns has increased considerably. The people of religious minorities are becoming prey to the attacks of the Hindu communal forces whose social base in the towns is relatively developing. To rein in such forces and bring out the oppressed people from the influence of communalism, the Party units, cadres and committees should exhibit initiative and stand by the side of the religious minorities and formulate necessary slogans and timely tactics as and when required. Urban areas also offer scope for uniting with sections of the national bourgeoisie that oppose imperialism and the CBB.
In our tactics towards this class, we must take into account their vacillating and exploitative nature and adopt a policy of unity-struggle with them. Though they will come into the strategic united front at the later stages of the revolution, we must strive to bring them in tactical united fronts. However, on no account unity with sections of the national bourgeoisie be achieved at the cost of the basic classes within the united front.
Thus while uniting with the national bourgeoisie we should never lose sight of the struggle aspect of our relationship with them. We should not have any misconception that unity with the national bourgeoisie implies concessions in trade union struggles with these sections. It is the strength of the working class and not its weakness that will be the force attracting the national bourgeoisie to the front. The ceaseless attacks of the imperialists and their Indian agents are daily pushing the national bourgeoisie into more conflict with the ruling classes. Thus today the practical possibilities of unity from below are growing.
These possibilities are greater in cities with a stronger national bourgeois presence. Local party organisations should try to achieve issue-based unity like preventing relocation or closure of industries, opposing anti small industry laws and tax increases, etc. while keeping in mind the above principles. By mobilizing the urban masses and classes in the above-mentioned manner, we should work with the aim of creating an upsurge of people’s movements against the stranglehold of imperialism and the repressive policies of the Indian State. To achieve this, we should concentrate our work mainly on the vast section of the working class and other democratic sections.
Military Tasks of the Urban Movement
While the and PLA in the countryside perform the main military tasks, the urban organization too performs tasks complementary to the rural armed struggle. There are numerous ways through which the urban movement can assist the rural armed struggle and particularly, the base areas and the guerilla zones. Some involve direct and immediate help in terms of materials and personnel; others involve the long-term preparation for the decisive battles in the later stages of the peoples’ war. It is very important to penetrate into the military, para-military forces, police, and higher levels of the administrative machinery of the state. It is necessary to obtain information regarding the enemy, to build support for the revolution within these organs, and even to incite revolt when the time is ripe.
The nature of urban work being primarily defensive, the military tasks directly related to the urban movement are basically defensive in nature and will remain that way till the final period of the revolution. However even a defensive urban movement requires the military type organization of the armed defence of the urban masses against the peoples’ enemies. These enemies are of various types – mafia, criminals, goonda gangs acting in the service of the ruling classes, social fascist gangs led by revisionists, Hindu fascist organizations and their militias, vigilante gangs specifically organised by the state to attack activists and sympathisers of our movement, state forces themselves, etc.
Without standing up to such forces it would not be possible for an organisation to survive and develop. While we cannot and should not, at this stage, organise for armed offensive confrontation with the state, we should definitely build such defence organisations as are suited to the concrete situation. However we have to form open and secret defence teams to resist the repression of all kinds unleashed by the ruling classes.
The enemy gets all its logistics support from the urban areas. The People’s Army however relies as far as possible on the rural areas and the rural masses. However for certain crucial things there is need for upport from the urban areas. Depending on its strength, the urban organisation should make all efforts to provide such support. Supplies or contacts for supplies of certain types of materials such as arms and ammunition, spare parts, medical supplies, etc. are only available in the urban areas. Technical help in the form of repairs and maintenance of fighting, communication and other equipment of the /PLGA, development of new technologies for the people’s war, and sending comrades with technical, electrical, electronic and other skills to settle in the countryside is another task of the urban organization.
Propaganda and publications to fulfill the needs of the rural movement is also one of the important tasks in the urban centres.
Urban area in the vicinity of Liberated Areas and Guerrilla Zones
There is a special significance to the work in the small towns, (district towns, kasbas and small mining centres) inside, and in the vicinity of the base areas and the guerrilla zones. Such towns act as business centres. Some towns are the supply centres for forest produce and raw materials. In such towns, the enterprises of the comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie, of the TNCs, and of the national bourgeoisie have interests in areas such as mining enterprises for extracting raw materials like coal, iron etc, and some medium and heavy industries based on these raw materials.
As a consequence, working class too is concentrated to a notable extent in these towns. Such towns will have importance. On the whole all the towns in and around these areas are the centres of government machinery. As the government machinery in the rural areas around these towns is either too weak or paralysed, these towns turn into main centres for counter-revolutionary rule in that area. It is basing on these towns that, the enemy forces launch attacks of suppression campaigns on the guerrilla zones and the liberated areas:
On the other hand, when compared with other towns, the impact of revolutionary politics and of the people’s war will be very high. The oppressed masses will show much greater inclination towards the revolution. In such towns, opportunity for open and legal work will in general not be available, either to our Party or to the mass organisations. Therefore, our Party has to work, in the main, through cover organisations only.
We will have to conduct open activities through broad united front formed on the basis of a limited programme. The Party has to function through secret methods, very cautiously, with an organisational structure impregnable, to the enemy. As the revolutionary movement in these towns, has to play a key supporting role in many ways to the guerrilla zones and liberated areas, it is very essential in such towns that the underground network of Party organisation should spread extensively and people’s support should be mobilised in a big way.
On the occasions the enemy launches encirclement and suppression campaigns and onslaughts on the base areas, the urban people’s armed squads need to serve the people’s war by destroying enemy supplies, transport communication facilities etc. Even amidst brutal fascist conditions of repression of whatever scale this urban revolutionary movement must ensure that its organic links with the guerrilla zones and liberated areas do not get snapped. We should concentrate on building such a party, which is impregnable to the enemy, in these urban centres. Then that urban movement can fulfil its role in the protracted people’s war.
The people’s war can advance breaking the military and economic blockades of the enemy only if such an extensive organisation is in existence. It will also be possible for us to capture some small towns during the course of intensification of people’s war and establishment of liberated areas.
The question of the Party structure in the urban areas presents quite different problems from that in the rural areas where our Party is based. These relate to the problem of building and running stable structures, the continuity of party leadership, the coordination between open and secret work, between lower and higher bodies, and between the city organisation and the leadership based in the rural areas.
We cannot resolve these problems without the close attention and study by the higher-level bodies and the development of concrete and practical solutions. We also require however a broad common approach on the objectives, tasks and methods to be adopted for building and advancing the urban Party structure. The essential principle forming the basis of our Party structure is political centralisation combined with organisational decentralisation.
This means that all PMs and all bodies, particularly at the lower level, should have solid ideological-political foundations, so that they are able to independently find their bearings and take the correct organisational decisions according to the political line of the Party. This is particularly important in the urban areas because of the technical difficulties of maintaining close and constant links between the secret higher bodies and those at the lower levels engaged in direct open work. This is also important because urban work often demands immediate and quick responses to the events of the day.
With rapid advances in electronic communication and media, delays of days and sometimes even hours in politically reacting to major events can hinder the impact that our Party can have on the urban movement. This thus depends on the strength of the bodies that form the foundation of our urban Party structure – the cells and the lower level committees – as well as on the Party fractions that link the Party with the mass organisations.
Comrades in leadership positions should not directly guide or maintain contacts with the individuals, organisations and shelters that become exposed to the enemy. Work should be decentralized at all levels. We should prevent loss of leadership or unnecessary sacrifices due to lack of seriousness in technical matters and becoming prey to spontaneity. In spite of all the precautions we take, as we are fighting with a powerful enemy, there is a danger of our Party members (part-timers and professional revolutionaries) getting exposed to the enemy due to mistakes committed by our subjective forces, lack of understanding and experience. Under such circumstances all such comrades should be sent underground and ensure that the party organisation is not put to loss.
At the same time, the Party should educate the rank and file regarding the danger of left-adventurism and right opportunism rearing their head while observing all technical precautions Another problem related to the urban Party structure is the links with the rural party organisation as well as the functional departments of the higher Party bodies. There is often a need of urban help of various types, for which the urban organisations involved in day to day mass work are regularly used. Therefore it is important to put a stop to such short cut methods and separate structures should be set up in the cities for this purpose.
From the beginning of the revolutionary movement to its end, the urban areas will remain as strong recruiting centres for the revolutionary party. Cadres have to be continuously sent as organisers and as leaders at various levels to the areas of armed struggle by imparting the necessary ideological and political knowledge. The entire urban work should be reoriented based on the above policy and guidelines and the committees at various levels should draw up plans accordingly.
Intensify and Expand our People’s War based on our Strategy and Tactics
Dear comrades, The strategy and tactical principles for the Indian revolution have been evolved based on the concrete economic, political, social, cultural, historical and geographical conditions of India and taking into account the rich experiences of the world revolution, particularly the great Chinese revolution. They took final shape in the course of the protracted ideological-political struggle against revisionism of various hues and in the course of the long practice of armed struggle in India. The protracted people’s war, with armed agrarian revolutionary struggle as its principal content, being waged in our country ever since the great Naxalbari revolt, had incontrovertibly proved the correctness of the political-military Strategy and the various Tactical principles adopted by the Maoist revolutionaries 36 years ago.
These have been further enriched in the course of advancing the armed struggle. Implementation of our strategy of overthrowing the three big mountains weighing down the Indian people-imperialism, CBB and feudalism-by first concentrating on the backward rural areas that have strategic importance for developing the guerrilla zones and the establishment of Base Areas, and orienting our work in all other areas and fronts to conform with the above basic, principal and immediate task, has led to great advances in the revolutionary movement in the country.
Several guerrilla zones could be formed in the past three decades of struggle; the people’s guerrilla army came into existence in the form of the PLGA; political power of the revolutionary masses could be established in some pockets in the countryside; and, several tactical successes could be achieved in the guerrilla war against a vastly superior enemy. The line of protracted people’s war has thus become firmly established as the only path for the liberation of our country. By unequivocally rejecting the parliamentary path and the participation in the elections in any form, we had drawn a clear line of demarcation between the revolutionaries on the one hand and the revisionists and the Right opportunists on the other.
Our practice has vindicated the correctness of our understanding that parliamntary elections and protracted people’s war are incompatible with each other in the concrete conditions of India. All the party members must advance with unflinching determination basing on the synthesis of our experiences of work in all fronts-from the strategic areas to the urban areas-which has been incorporated into the present document, and basing firmly on the ideological guidance of MLM in solving the problems that arise in the course of our practice. The party’s leading committees must play a conscious role in implementing the principles worked out in the present document.
The entire party ranks must base their entire work on the correct class line and mass line, integrate themselves and maintain ties with the masses like fish in water, and by recruiting an unending stream of the basic classes into the revolutionary movement, transform the /PLGA into the PLA, defeat the growing enemy offensive thereby accomplishing greater advances. They must have strategic firmness and tactical flexibility, grasp the correct interrelationship between strategy and tactics, and creatively apply these principles by concretely analysing the specific conditions and make conscious effort to transform the unfavourable conditions into favourable ones. Let us base our tactics by seeing the enemy as a paper tiger strategically but a real tiger tactically.
We must concentrate on mobilising the broadest masses opposed to imperialism, CBB and feudalism in accordance with the political strategy of building the four-class alliance through armed struggle. By establishing Base Areas and guerrilla zones in the vast rural tracts of the country and intensifying revolutionary guerrilla war we must create a revolutionary upsurge of the masses, and utilise the excellent international and domestic situation to accomplish the new democratic revolution in India. We must concentrate on building and strengthening the three magic weapons – a strong proletarian Party, a mighty People’s Army and a Revolutionary United Front – throughout the country in order to accomplish the above tasks. Today, imperialism worldwide is facing an unprecedented crisis unheard of ever since the end of the Second World War.
All the fundamental contradictions are further sharpening. A new tide of revolutionary struggles, national liberation struggles and various people’s movements against imperialist aggression, oppression, exploitation and the reactionary ruling classes is unfolding everywhere. Let us utilise this favourable situation to make great leaps in the ongoing people’s war in our country and advance towards the establishment of a new democratic/socialist India.
Dare to Fight !
Dare to Win !
Final Victory belongs to the People in this Just People’s War !!