Some media persons asked for an interview with Comrade Abhay, Spokes Person of CPI (Maoist) on some recent phenomena concerning our movement and our country. We are enclosing here the written answers of Comrade Abhay that were also given keeping in view the announcement of the schedule of 16th Loksabha elections by the Election Commission. This interview was released to the media on 24-03-2014.
Q: The Election Commission has announced the schedule for the 16th Loksabha elections and doing all preparations on war footing to conduct these elections and every electoral party and alliance is completely engaged in deciding on whom to send into the ring. What is your party’s stand on various parties and alliances contesting in these elections? Do you welcome the NOTA option?
A: As five years have been completed since the 15th Loksabha has been formed, these elections are being conducted as a routine exercise to form the 16th Loksabha. The schedule for these elections is the longest in the parliamentary history of India. This is the first time that the general elections are being conducted in nine phases too. These general elections are also seeing the largest deployment of polling personnel and the largest deployment of state forces to conduct ‘free and fair’ elections. In the history of the Indian Parliament the clashes between the various parties on various issues in the 15th Loksabha broke the previous records.
Though ostensibly they clashed repeatedly on various issues, in fact, a large number of bills were passed in the least amount of time, without any discussion and without an opportunity for the people to ponder on them and with the collusion of the ruling and the opposition parties. The UPA never had a majority in the parliament and it did not even get the majority share of votes during previous elections. The bills passed in the 15th Loksabha would have a long lasting grave effect on the society, economy and polity of our country. The 16th Loksabha would be formed by continuing the legacy of the previous Loksabha. The previous policies would be implemented to serve the interests of the imperialists and the Indian ruling classes subservient to them. Those who can hoodwink the people about this would be sitting in the next parliament on the excuse of getting the ‘mandate’ of the people. The UPA led by the Congress and the NDA led by the BJP, the Third Front and the newly formed AAP have entered the elections arena to capture power by gaining a majority in the 16th Loksabha. Our party’s political assessment regarding these alliances and the parties is as follows.
The Congress that was in power continuously for ten years followed pro-imperialist, pro-comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie (CBB) and pro landlord policies and was responsible for the agonizing living conditions of the people, the disastrous economy of our country, the massacres of thousands of activists of various democratic and revolutionary movements and people and for persecution of religious minorities in the name of ‘terrorists.’ It won the dubious distinction of being the originator of the biggest and highest number of corruption scams in the parliamentary history of our country. As a result it won the severe hatred of the people.
To escape this and hoodwink the people the Congress is bringing to the fore its main slogan of ‘Bharat Nirman’ pointing towards the ‘development’ it achieved in its ten-year rule and towards the anti-corruption, land acquisition, food security and Nirbhaya acts etc and the welfare schemes that it formulated. The Congress has been in power at the centre and in most of the states for the maximum number of years after 1947. By being in power for such a long period of time it was mainly responsible for the anti-people policies that were formulated and implemented in this period. The massacres of religious minorities, particularly the massacre of Sikhs in 1984 and the highest number of pogroms and persecutions of the religious minorities happened under Congress rule. Though Sangh Parivar was directly responsible for the destruction of Babri Masjid, it was the Congress that was behind the high drama from the centre. It was mainly responsible for suppressing the just national liberation struggles of the Kashmir and North East by massacring tens of thousand of youth through its military brute force.
It implemented all these anti-people policies by taking the help of other parliamentary parties when in power and also by colluding with other ruling alliances when not in power. Who else would be mainly responsible than the Congress for the insufferable conditions of the workers, peasants, petty bourgeois sections, oppressed nationalities, Dalits, Adivasis, religious minorities, women and the small and medium capitalists in our country?
The people are not so gullible as to believe its ‘Bharat Nirman’, its so-called welfare schemes and its deceptive anti-corruption pose. BJP’s main attack is on the corrupt rule of the Congress. It is clear that it does not have any basically different policies than Congress on any of the main issues confronting the people and the country and has the same corrupt, treacherous and dictatorial policies in any sphere. With the directive of the RSS, BJP announced the Hindu bigot and mass murderer Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate.
It is hiding its Hindu chauvinist agenda behind the ‘Gujarat Vikas’ model and is concentrating its entire machinery around Modi to capture power at the centre one more time. ‘Gujarat Vikas’ model means terrorizing the Muslim and Christian minorities, seizing their properties, chasing them away from their abodes or making them servile through massacres of Muslim religious minorities and subjecting them to innumerable atrocities along with atrocities on Christian religious minorities; making the entire state as the hub for the investments of MNCs, big bourgeoisie and opening doors to their endless exploitation and oppression.
The Sangh Parivar and the BJP are aiming to establish this Hitlerite model in the guise of ‘Vikas’ in the entire country by coming to power in these elections. Congress came to power the previous two terms and won the severe wrath of the people. So the ruling classes and the US imperialists are openly supporting the candidature of Modi for the PM post as he would implement their agenda ruthlessly. Accordingly the corporate media is propagating Modi on a huge scale. Its attempt to win in the Delhi elections by bringing a religious divide through religious riots in Muzaffarnagar indicates only its fascist face.
Rajnath Singh’s statement a few days before the election dates were announced that he was apologizing to the Muslims ‘if at any place any wrong was done to them’ is nothing but a ploy to hide the massacre of Muslims carried on by Modi in Gujarat and gain their votes. But how would the Muslim and Christian religious minorities forget the massacres, discrimination, suppression and chauvinism that they suffered in the hands of the Sangh Parivar right from 1947 to the recent Muzaffarnagar killings?
The pogrom and persecution of religious minorities in Gujarat under Modi met with unprecedented opposition and protest not only in Gujarat but all over our country. Even if they come to power, the Hindu fascists will have to face the countrywide active resistance of the Muslim and Christian minorities, revolutionary and democratic forces. This would be the foremost task of these forces then. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) entered the electoral arena with the aim of benefiting from submerging the people in illusions about parliamentary democracy one more time. It is trying to catch the attention of the people with revolutionary rhetoric sheltered in ideological eclecticism consisting of Gandhian ‘Ahimsa’ and ‘Swaraj’, ‘Socialist’ politics of Jayaprakash Narain and ‘direct participatory democracy’ of the NGOs. The AAP that was born and brought up with a NGO background and on imperialist and NRI funds and support, is not going into the roots of this system and into the basic problems of the people and is resorting to Gandhian feats for solving people’s problems.
It does not have any solution for the basic problems of the oppressed classes, people and social sections. It is serving as a safety valve to divert the erupting people’s anger into peaceful and parliamentary solutions and trying to cash in on it. Despite Left Front’s humiliating defeat in West Bengal and the failure of its experiments in alliance with the Congress in the name of supporting the so-called secular and anti-communal forces and the failure of the previous attempts to form a Third Front, the left parties led by CPI (M) are retaining ridiculous hopes of winning and took the main initiative for the formation of the Third Front once again.
Thus the Third Front consisting of eleven parties that came together on the basis of being anti-Congress and anti-BJP came to the fore with much fanfare. As expected, it is still immersed in fist fights regarding sharing of seats. The agreement between the CPI (M) and the AIADMK in the Third Front became invalid even before the ink had dried on alliance signatures due to differences in seat-sharing. The left parties including CPI (M) had not yet recovered from the humiliating defeat they had suffered in the West Bengal elections. Parties like the SP, BSP, DMK, AIADMK, Biju Janata Dal, Janata Dal (U), Trinamool, AGP, TDP, TRS, YSRCP etc are fearing defeat to join either the UPA or the NDA and so have either joined the Third Front or going it alone with so-called slogans of social justice, emancipation of Dalits and Bahujans, regional development etc.
The Third Front parties are mostly regional parties but all of them belong to the ruling classes. They had all implemented pro-imperialist, pro-ruling class and anti-people policies. Whenever in state power either in alliance with the UPA or the NDA or independently they played a reactionary role in suppressing people’s movements. Both the Third Front parties and those parties contesting on their own are following a ‘wait and see’ policy to join whichever alliance comes to power.
While the Lok Jansakti Dal joined the NDA as it felt defeat was certain if it remains in UPA, the RJD is continuing in the UPA to somehow keep its lantern lit. The politicians belonging to various parties who came to the fore overnight with new flags and new agendas after leaving their parties fearing defeat due to people’s wrath or because they did not get a seat in their parties are flinging as much mud as possible over each other in the fight for seats. They are breaking all the previous records during these elections. They had come to power throwing to winds all electoral norms with the sole aim of coming to power and amassing wealth. Once in power they violated all their election promises and had exploited and oppressed the people without respite and lost the confidence of the people. So now they are resorting to such blatant opportunist methods having lost any hope of winning in these elections. The actual issues of the people never come up for discussion in the parliament and the assemblies.
They are under the control of the CBB and the landlords who are subservient to imperialists, particularly the US imperialists. Where is the place for genuine democracy in this system where votes could be bought with money, liquor, religious and casteist sentiments or rigging? It is ridiculous to call this a democracy when criminals, bandits and notoriously corrupt politicians win in elections. In fact, when we look into history we find that people’s problems have always been solved basically and real transformation of the society was possible only through people’s struggles and protracted people’s war (PPW) and not through parliamentary forums. As elections are being conducted like a farce each time, the Election Commission of India vowed to ‘strengthen democracy’ during these elections and is trying to bring in several reforms along with including guidelines according to the Supreme Court order. At an unprecedented scale it involved several persons, right from school children to NGOs and celebrities to propagate about the inviolability of the vote.
The SC had issued orders to give the voters the right to ‘reject.’ As a result, the NOTA button was introduced in the EVMs for the first time during the assembly elections in five states in 2013. Now during these Loksabha elections this is being introduced all over the country. In fact, this NOTA option distracts the ‘right to recall’ the elected representatives that the people should rightfully possess. If they really intend to give the ‘right to reject’, why are they deploying lakhs of state armed forces in the name of conducting ‘free and fair’ elections in areas where our party had given the call to boycott the polls and carrying on attacks, search operations, arrests, fake encounters and massacres?
Q: Is there any change in your boycott policy during these general elections? How do you justify your policy?
A: There is basically no change in our boycott policy. However, depending on the concrete conditions, our tactics may vary to some extent according to the changing political formations at the all-India level and in the states, according to our strength and people’s preparedness. Though tactics may vary, the main aim of our boycott policy is to expose the pseudo-parliamentary system and increase the consciousness of the people on building a real alternative of people’s democracy in its place.
In these general and assembly elections the main focus of our political exposure in the boycott call would be against the retrogressive, treacherous and fascist Congress and the BJP all over the country. One of the main aspects in the exposure of BJP would be exposing the Hindu fascist danger coming to the fore in the guise of ‘Gujarat Vikas’ model. Our main ideological exposure would be against the revisionist CPI (M) and CPI. In the states, along with the Congress and the BJP the main focus of our political exposure would be against the various regional ruling class parties that have been/are in power like the CPI (M) and Trinamool in West Bengal; the Biju Janata Dal in Odisha; TDP, YSRCP and TRS in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana; Samajwadi Party and the BSP in Uttar Pradesh; DMK and AIADMK in Tamil Nadu etc. We would ideologically and politically expose the Aam Aadmi Party all over country on its futile Gandhian program
. Regarding all other parties, we would politically expose them locally. As part of our boycott call we would mobilize the people to question these parties on their stand and past practice regarding major issues such as state repression on our movement and all other democratic movements and deployment of state forces in our movement areas; land reforms; treachery and servility to the imperialists in all matters relating to our country’s sovereignty; selling our country’s riches to the MNCs; disinvestment and privatization of public sector units; Hindu chauvinism; education, health and drinking water; displacement and civil rights and send them back.
Where the state forces use brute force to make the people vote, our PLGA would resist. Regarding your second question, firstly our policy towards the bourgeois parliamentary elections is not just boycott. That is just one aspect of it. It has two aspects – one is boycott of the present bourgeois parliamentary elections and another is the call to build a new people’s parliament. There is no change in this two-prong policy of ours during the 16th Loksabha polls. The reason we are asking the people to boycott these elections is – the present parliament is in fact a dictatorship of the CBB and landlords who are subservient to imperialism. The parliamentary democracy is just a mask to deceive the people about the true nature of this dictatorship. In our opinion, the so-called democracies functioning in all the capitalist countries in the present day world, including the US, are nothing but such dictatorships of the monopoly capitalists; and in the semi-colonial and semi-feudal countries it is the joint dictatorship of the CBB and the landlord classes.
So, though 65 years have passed since so-called independence, the overwhelming majority of the people are still poor in our country. None of their basic issues have been solved. None of the parliamentary parties have an independent path for the development of the country. All of these parties are saying that they would develop our country through neo-liberal policies and by bringing in more FDI into our country.
The economy, polity and culture of our country have been restructured according to the needs of the world financial capital and formal independence and formal sovereignty have also been sold out by UPA, NDA, Left Front and other parliamentary parties to the imperialists. On the other hand, they are blatantly violating all the rights won by countless struggles waged by the people of our country by flouting their own laws and several universally acknowledged international laws and statutes. They are depending only on their armed forces, sham propaganda and eyewash reforms. The nature of the parties and the politicians who are contesting in this elections need not be explained in detail by us. We are not alone in making accusations against them. Any citizen who follows the media and the accusations they themselves make against each other would know how corrupt, criminal, casteist, jingoist, religious chauvinistic, comprador and culturally degenerated they are and how nepotism reached its peak in these parties. The huge amounts of election expenses of all major all-India and regional parties beg a query as to where they are getting such gigantic amounts of funds. How could every candidate for a parliament seat spend 10 crores of rupees and every candidate for an assembly seat spend 2 crores of rupees on an average?
Will an aam aadmi who wants to serve the people genuinely be able to spend that much of amount for getting elected? Don’t you think it is atrocious that one has to spend so much of money to ‘serve the people?’ How many of these candidates are free of corruption and criminal records? How much is the role played by caste, religion, region, money and muscle power in candidates getting elected? Is there a single party that is beyond all these? Why are the ruling classes trying to satisfy the electorate with Nota button without giving the people the right to recall? Why are they deploying state forces ranging from a few thousands to more than one lakh for every district and why are they not able to conduct elections without such huge deployments even in areas where there are no Maoists?
In our opinion and in the opinion of every common citizen of our country, achieving genuine land reforms, independent & self-reliant economic development, democracy and sovereignty is the foremost issue before us and these four points are a must for solving the basic problems of the ninety percent of our population and for the all-round development of our people and our country. The parliamentary parties are quite contrary to this and the present pseudo-democracy is exactly suitable for such a rule.
Hence the second aspect of our call – No to the continuation of this semi-colonial, semi-feudal pseudo- parliamentary dictatorial system, Yes to genuine parliamentary system of the People’s Democratic Federal Republic which serves the people and the country. It would be elected and run by the vast masses of the people for their interests. There is no remedy, no solution, no shortcut method to resolve the present day basic problems of the people and the country. The system has become a great hindrance to their progress. Yes, there is a great solution outside this system, i.e., wage PPW by rallying the vast masses led by the vanguard party of the proletariat, the CPI (Maoist) to smash the rotten system and make success the New Democratic Revolution (NDR) with agrarian revolution as its axis.
Briefly, our party’s basic program states – India is a semi-colonial semi-feudal country; the targets of our revolution are imperialism, the comprador bureaucratic capitalism and feudalism exploiting and oppressing the people of our country and are to be overthrown through the NDR to establish a People’s Democratic Federal Republic. Contradiction between feudalism and broad masses is the principal contradiction at present. During the process of resolving this contradiction through the armed agrarian revolution, which is the axis of the NDR, through PPW, the resolution of other contradictions will be facilitated. The semi-colonial semi-feudal character of Indian society determines that the Indian revolution would have to pass through two stages. The task of first stage is to change the semi –colonial, semi -feudal society into an independent new democratic society through the resolution of the two fundamental contradictions of the present Indian society, i.e. the contradiction of the Indian people with imperialism and the contradiction of the broad masses with feudalism.
Again, in its continuity, the task of second stage is to establish the socialist system and continuing the revolution advancing towards communism on the world scale. This new democratic state will be the people’s democratic dictatorship exercised by the united front comprising the proletariat, peasantry, petty-bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie class under the leadership of the proletariat based upon the worker-peasant alliance. The state will guarantee real democracy for the vast majority of the people while exercising dictatorship over the tiny minority of the exploiters. This NDR will bring national independence uprooting the imperialist exploitation, oppression and control, and will establish the people’s democracy uprooting the feudal autocracy.
Workers, peasants and urban poor who form the overwhelming majority of the population in our country are living in utter poverty as victims of hunger, disease, inhuman imperialist, feudal exploitation and oppression and they would be liberated from all these through NDR. It uproots the Brahminical feudal hierarchical inhuman caste system that kept crores of Dalits and other oppressed castes in suppression since centuries and the imperialist and feudal, patriarchal social system that had been exploiting and oppressing half of the population i.e., women. It destroys the Hindu chauvinist domination that had been oppressing the religious minorities in our country, particularly Muslims and Christians.
Vast majority of the Adivasis have long been deprived of their land and other traditional means of livelihood without providing any alternative and have been the major victims of ‘development’ and displacement. They would live a life of dignity, freedom and self- reliance in a new democratic society. Present day India is a prison-house of nationalities. The New Democratic state would unequivocally recognize the right to self-determination of the nationalities including the right to secession and the New Democratic India would be formed only with those states that voluntarily stay within it.
The rotten, decaying, anti-democratic, anti-people, obnoxious, reactionary semi-colonial and semi-feudal culture that is dominating all the spheres of our life would be destroyed. Hatred for labor, patriarchy, superstition, autocracy, imperialist slavery, national chauvinism, communalism, casteism, blind greed, self- centredness, consumerist culture, and perverted sex-centered ideology and culture would be ended. Feudal culture which is primarily the Brahminical caste-based culture of engrained superiority would be extinguished. This state will try its best to peacefully and fairly settle border, water and other disputes with neighboring countries and will develop friendly relations with them. This state will never exert any expansionist behavior with the neighboring countries.
This People’s Democratic State will establish unity with the international proletariat and the oppressed nations of the world; opposes imperialist war and aggression, bullying, subversion and interference etc. It will support and help by all means the revolutionary struggles and revolutionary war, especially the ongoing struggles under the leadership of various Maoist revolutionary forces against capitalism, imperialism and reaction the world over.
Thus a new people’s electoral system, a new people’s parliament of the four class alliance, a new people’s constitution, a new people’s state and a new people’s administration and a new people’s judicial system will replace the present ones. Thus the present system would be replaced by a new system and the present rulers will become the ruled. I reiterate the appeal of our party to the great masses of our country to boycott the pseudo-parliamentary elections and unite to advance the NDR to build a genuine people’s federal democratic republic of India.
Q: With the approach of General Elections the UPA-2 intensified its propaganda of ‘Bharat Nirman’ as its model for development. What is your take on it?
A: The NDA had on a huge scale all over the country propagated about India Shining during the 2004 general elections and similarly now UPA had taken up this propaganda about Bharat Nirman. Bharat Nirman is not concerned with the Indian people but with the development of the Indian ruling classes i.e., of CBB, landlords and the MNCs to which both are subservient. The then propaganda by NDA was also not about the Indian people’s shining but about the shining of corporate sharks – both domestic and foreign and landlords. The condition of the Indian economy and subsequently of the people is actually very pathetic.
The Indian economy is not self-reliant and is completely dependent on imperialism. It is useful only to them. The model for development of India advocated by Manmohan-Chidambaram-Ahluwalia-Rangarajan-Raghuram Rajan was not given shape in our country. This was prepared by the imperialists and they have adopted it. This is not our accusation. They themselves had claimed so. This model was implemented by the NDA too previously. The Bills passed in the parliament by considering foreign investments as the panacea for the development of our country are living example of this approach. Depending on the entry of FII and FDI into stock markets and into all sectors of our economy, they are juggling with the growth rate numbers. The ruling classes are bringing in foreign investments into defense, banking, insurance, railway, ports, power sector, mining, education, health, transport, trade and commerce, agriculture, retail sector, oil and natural gas and what not, even into small and medium industries and service sector and are making our economy completely dependent on imperialist capital.
This is what is being shown as ‘development.’ The financial crisis that started in the US from end 2008 and that went on to shake the world had shaken our economy too. Manmohan and Chidambarm blatantly lied that Indian economy was sound and announced about the ill-effects of the world economic crisis on Indian economy only when they could no longer hide behind this falsehood. The Indian big corporations collaborated with the MNCs to attract foreign investments. To ensure guarantee to their investments and profits, the central and state governments went out of their way to facilitate infrastructure and other basic facilities (land, electricity, water, market etc), gave them tax holidays and tax cuts.
Tax cuts and tax holidays to Indian big bourgeoisie amounts to almost 6 to 8 lakh crores of rupees per annum in recent years. And this is the direct package, the indirect packages given in various forms are countless. Countless and large amounts of financial exemptions were given to the MNCs by the consecutive governments. On the contrary, the indirect taxes on innumerable daily goods consumed by the poor and the middle classes are ever increasing. The money squeezed through taxes from the common people is directly turned into tax holidays and tax cuts for the foreign and domestic corporate sharks. That is why the profits of the tiny minority are increasing in leaps and bounds.
Billions of dollars are plundered by the MNCs every year in the form of profits from our country. Whatever maybe their gimmicks regarding GDP growth, the gap between the rich and the poor in our country has widened to an unprecedented level in the history of our ‘glorious independence’ and it is increasing by the day. This is the reason for basic necessities like food, clothing, shelter, water, education, health, transport etc becoming scarce for the common people. The ruling classes are shouting from rooftops that they are developing all sectors, implementing various welfare schemes and so the number of poor people has decreased due to plans implemented by them to eliminate poverty.
Though they are talking tall about these, they are not able to hide the fact that the condition of the people is becoming unbearable day by day. If the economy is sound and the country is on the development path as the ruling elite is claiming, then why did the exchange value of rupee plunge to such depths? Why did exercises to stop inflation with their monetary measures fail? How can they develop the country through cuts in welfare schemes and subsidies for the people? How can they fill budget deficits by cuts in planned expenditure and increase in unplanned expenditure? How could Jala Yagnams, linking of rivers and other major irrigation projects prevent suicides and bankruptcy of millions of farmers?
Will they decrease or increase the migration of farmers from the unprofitable agricultural sector? How would they solve the ever increasing unemployment problem in our country through dependence on foreign investments, through mainly concentrating on building infrastructure and by neglecting the manufacturing and agricultural sectors? How can corruption be controlled when MoUs guaranteeing monopoly profits are being signed as part of implementing LPG policies? After ruining the employment opportunities of millions of our workforce and consequently their income and their purchasing power, how will economic development be possible? Without measures to increasing the employment generating capacity and purchasing power of the masses, if further liberalization is carried on and foreign capital is brought in further, how will economic development be possible?
According to the WTO trade facilitation agreement signed in Bali the customs process would be liberalized and made transparent and this is being flouted as a favorable measure to India by the central government. In fact, this would be profitable to the MNCs and detrimental to India’s interests. The entire exports and import policy of the Indian government is geared towards fulfilling the needs of the imperialist capital and a handful of the rich and has nothing to do with the needs of the poor and the middle classes. The prices of daily commodities are skyrocketing – the previous year the prices of food items increased by 157 percent. The price of onions increased five times over, price of vegetables increased from three to five times, price of pulses increased by 123 percent, rice by 137 percent, wheat by 117 percent, milk by 119 percent, sugar by 106 percent and salt by 85 percent.
While millions are becoming pauperized and increasingly being denied food and drinking water, the super-rich are enjoying criminally disproportionate share of these apart from an immoral, superfluous level of luxuries. The increase in population living on pavements is directly proportional to the increase in the number of mansions of the super-rich. Water and electricity have become the private property of the comprador capitalists and the MNCs while agriculture is thrown into further crisis for the lack of the same and the migration of millions of farmers from this sector is leading to further crisis in the society. Some communities like the fishing community, Adivasis, peasantry and the urban slum population are specifically targeted for displacement/evictions and the super-rich are occupying their rightful places. Our country has become a horrific place where 77 percent of the people live on less than 20 rupees a day and 100 people have wealth equivalent to 25 per cent of the GDP. Now the time has come for repayment of loans to the imperialists. How will they repay without putting more burden on the people in the form of taxes? What is the magic potion available with the ruling and opposition parties for solving the current account deficit problem?
The only solution available with them is further liberalization, deregulation, privatization and restructuring; further bending down to the dictates of IMF, WB and the MNCs; further sell-out of natural resources; further destruction of ecology; further internal and other displacement of huge number of people; further liquidation of labor laws, implementation of colonial and draconian laws and formulating new fascist laws – further fascization of state machinery and judicial system; further spurt in a series of popular welfare schemes to divert the people who are increasingly becoming frustrated with the various governments to partially satisfy their demands and increasing further the role of corporate media in distorting facts.
Last but not least, a deluge of psychological operations on the people to keep them from knowing the actual reality about our economy. As long as the Congress, BJP, Third Front or other parliamentary parties follow or want to follow economic policies that are favorable to imperialists and their compradors, our economy is bound to be further ruined and our country is bound to become more and more dependent. Our nominal sovereignty also is bound to get more compromised. These parties and their policies are bound to become a heavy burden for the people of our country. The home ministry has recently stated in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court that the Maoists are a threat to ‘rastra nirman’ (nation-building process). We declare that it is the Congress, BJP, Third Front and other parliamentary parties that are really pernicious to ‘rastra nirman’.
We are stating very clearly that economic policies that help imperialists and (their) compradors should not be tolerated. So, our party is giving a call to the people that these policies should not be allowed. The various treacherous parties that have become harmful to the people and our country should be overthrown from political power structures. The only way to follow self-reliant, progressive, independent, sovereign policies is to win the NDR in our country.
Q: What is your comment on the reform schemes for people’s welfare brought forth during the rule of UPA-1 and UPA-2 in the past ten years?
A: First of all, even in the past, right from Nehru to Vajpayee, different governments had been bringing forth various schemes relating to people’s welfare. Out of all these, the slogan ‘Garibi Hatao’ and the 20-point program brought forth by Indira Gandhi were the most popular. The ruling class parties always formulate popular welfare programs when people come into streets or take up guns and also when elections are due. This increased as never before during the past fifteen years. In different states freebies like TVs, fans, cookers, saris, grinders, bicycles, computers, rice for one or two rupees per kilo etc are being promised and inferior quality goods are even distributed to some extent.
When there is no genuine agenda for the development of the people the ruling classes bring forth such welfare schemes. On the one hand the ruling classes are carrying on policies that intensify exploitation of the laboring masses, squeezing their incomes through ever increasing number of taxes and looting through skyrocketing prices. This is leading to severe discontent among the people and they are getting organized and fighting against this. So we can say that such reforms and schemes are a direct result of the struggles of the people. So such welfare measures are also brought forth by the ruling classes to meet their demands partially just enough to diffuse their anger, to prevent the fighting people from advancing their struggles or even getting organized with a higher aim of ending exploitation altogether.
This can be seen in all the countries including the imperialist countries. All these are a part of the ‘globalization with a human face’ policy brought forth by IMF. This policy of IMF is being implemented all over the world. Bills regarding right to information, right to work (MNREGA), food security, forest rights, land acquisition and rehabilitation, company bill, hawkers rights etc were brought by the UPA during its ten years of rule. After the Second World War, several changes occurred in the world imperialist market according to neo-colonial economic and political policies and in semi-colonial and semi-feudal countries too changes occurred accordingly. All the bills passed during the UPA rule should also be seen and understood in this background. After 1947 land reforms were brought forth by the ruling classes for the first time due to the impact of long-drawn struggles of tenants and poor peasants against feudal lords and due to the Telangana armed agrarian revolution against the Nizam feudal state and the so-called independent Nehru government.
Later land reforms were brought forth due to the Naxalbari and Srikakulam peasant armed revolutionary movements and the NDR led by the Maoist party with agrarian revolution as its axis since the past thirty five years. The land reforms and the Forest Rights Act (FRA) brought forth by the ruling classes could not in fact damage the feudal base in our country. One of the main aims of the land reforms and the forest rights act is to prevent the vast peasantry and the Adivasis from joining the agrarian revolutionary war, to divert them from the land issue and hand over their lands to the MNCs and big bourgeoisie in accordance with the liberalization process.
Both of these are a strategic offensive over the agrarian revolution. Jairam Ramesh and Manmohan Singh are trying to deceive the people by saying that these two are for the interests of the peasantry and the Adivasis. But actually they are aimed at displacing millions of peasantry and Adivasis, rendering them homeless and helpless. With Land Acquisition Act, all Adivasi rights such as 5th schedule, PESA, 1/70 etc will be destroyed. Even after 65 years of so-called independence poverty alleviation being the main election slogan of all ruling class parties is in itself a shameless thing. On the one hand the livelihood of millions of our population is being snatched away due to the pro-imperialist, pro-CBB, pro-landlord economic policies of subsequent governments at the centre and the states and on the other they are promising a semblance of employment through MNREGA which was never intended to give decent employment. With thousands of crores of rupees of funds allotted for MNREGA, worst forms of corruption came to the fore.
Moreover machines are being brought in place of human labor which in turn snatch away the employment opportunities of the people. The rural development minister and other politicians themselves have been shedding crocodile tears about the corruption in MNREGA in the states. Rahul Gandhi, Ahluwalia and Jairam Ramesh are whipping up hype about how millions were lifted out of poverty due to MNREGA and other reforms while the facts point out to the opposite.
Rahul Gandhi was seen describing the RTI act brought by the UPA as the biggest weapon in the hands of the people to fight corruption. None of the big scams were exposed due to this act. Leave aside his hype, is there a single instance where the higher ups had been convicted for corruption in spite of clear evidence? What about Manmohan, Chidambaram and Robert Vadra? Were they being spared just because of lack of information? Whatever may be the merits of these reforms, one should realize that all these are a result of the struggles of the masses. Even partial implementation of these reforms is possible only through a united struggle of the masses. On the occasion of the 16th Loksabha elections, all political parties would come forth with several popular slogans and promises. The people should never believe their lies and rely only on their unity and struggle. If they believe their lies, poverty would not be alleviated in our country even after another century. Only a united struggle of the people and the People’s War are the real way for poverty alleviation in our country.
Q: During the rule of UPA-2 corruption scams got exposed as never before. What do you think is the reason for this? How do you think these scams which are worrying the people of our country be prevented?
A: Just like British colonialists had domesticated the feudal kings and zamindars in India to establish their rule all over our country, the MNCs of today are also bribing the comprador rulers of our country and carrying on their neo-colonial exploitation, oppression and control of our people and resources. After LPG policies were adopted, the MoUs signed with the MNCs and their investments increased beyond imagination and consequently corruption also increased in an unparalleled manner. Black money getting deposited in Swiss bank accounts increased from tens of crores to hundreds of crores of rupees after LPG policies.
True to political parties’ accusations on each other, lakhs of crores of rupees of black money is now deposited in Swiss and other banks. Global Financial Integrity declared that in just in one year – in 2011 – 4 lakh crores of rupees of black money crossed our borders and that India ranks among the most corrupt nations in the world. The yesteryear scams like Bofors and fodder scam pale in the face of recent scams pertaining to Commonwealth games, 2G spectrum, Adarsh housing society, coal block allotments, VVIP choppers, Tetra truck scam, illegal mining of Gali brothers, YSR-Jagan Reddy, Sarada Chit Fund scam in West Bengal etc. The list is actually endless as these are a tip of only those scams that got exposed due to contradictions between the ruling classes. Just as Marcos and his wife Imelda had amassed huge wealth when they were in state power by sucking the blood of the Filippino people, in our country too politicians such as Jayalalita, Chandrababu Naidu, YSR, Madhu Koda, Mayavathi, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Raman Singh, Naveen Patnaik, Yedyurappa, Prithviraj Chauhan, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Jagannath Misra etc vied with each other in amassing huge wealth.
All of them either belong to all-India political parties or are regional political party leaders. Only when political rivalry became serious, some among these like Jayalalita, Koda, Yedyurappa, Mayavathi, Mulayam Singh Yadav etc were booked under cases. Bangaru Laxman and Nitin Gadkari had to resign their president posts in BJP due to corruption charges. Rajiv Gandhi was the main accused in Bofors scam, Suresh Kalmadi in Commonwealth Games scam, A. Raja in 2G scam, Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram in coal gate scam – several names of the leaders of ruling and opposition parties can be reeled off. That is why our party says that our country is ruled by scamsters and gangsters.
The economic, political and social system of our country is rife with corruption and scams. This disease is rampant everywhere – right from getting a driving license to getting a job in military or a visa. This has become an integral part of our system and culture. The people of our country are rising against this. In order to prevent this opposition from taking an organized form and to divert it Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal had taken up the satyagraha form of protest. Kejriwal had even formed the Aam Aadmi Party to ‘reform’ this corrupt system. He could cash upon this in the recently held Delhi assembly polls.
The Lokpal Bill was passed by the parliament as the ruling classes feared the increasing discontent among the people and their agitations against corruption in our political system. The joke is it has been prepared and passed by the very scamsters who are the gods of corruption. This bill would never touch these sharks but would be used in a draconian manner on the smaller fish. This was described as being toothless by Kejriwal and Hazare and they are proposing the Janlok Bill which vests powers in some individuals.
The very idea that corruption which is endemic to the parliamentary democracy, particularly in the LPG era could be fought by honest individuals is being naive at best and deceptive at worst. As long as means of production and thousands of crores of rupees of wealth are concentrated in the hands of a few, as long as political power rests in their hands, as long as the state machinery and the judiciary that protects them is in their hands and as long as their collaboration with the imperialists and their dependence on them continues, it is impossible to wipe out corruption from our society.
There is a need for a countrywide organized militant people’s movement against corruption, a need to fight in a united manner against it. In order to overthrow the system that is the root cause for corruption, it is necessary to wage NDR in India. Millions of people should get rallied into the PPW for this revolution to be successful. Only then could a radical change occur regarding corruption. Even in the new society there would be a need for the people to fight against corruption.
Q: A separate Telangana is being formed. What is your party’s program for the Telangana and the Seemandhra states?
A: Ultimately the Telangana state has been formed after a prolonged struggle by the Telangana people. It is a victory of the Telangana people. It is a good thing. The struggle for statehood for Telangana started when the Andhra Pradesh state was formed constituting Telangana and Seemandhra areas. It gradually consolidated and finally culminated in the formation of the Telangana state. From the very beginning two kinds of forces fought for a separate statehood for Telangana.
One was represented by the democratic and Maoist forces that truly represented the aspirations of the Telangana people. But the petty bourgeois forces particularly the students, employees and youth that participated in the first phase soon got influenced by the Congress party leadership and most of the leaders joined it. Some more joined the then Jan Sangh. However, a section of ranks that participated in the movement gradually consolidated into Maoist parties and their mass organizations and into various democratic organizations. In the second phase different democratic forces and our party played the leadership role.
These forces further consolidated to develop this movement. In the third phase, they were the backbone of the movement. And different sections of the petty bourgeoisie – students, lawyers, employees, teachers, youth, intellecstuals; different social sections like women, Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims rallied on a wide scale and played a crucial role. Workers and peasantry played an important role in this phase unlike in the previous two phases.
In spite of the Maoist movement suffering a setback and getting weakened, it strove hard to work with limited forces in the third phase of the movement for statehood. It is necessary that the Maoist forces strive to develop their strength and be in the forefront in the rebuilding of Telangana. On the other hand, most of the democratic forces who came forward were from the new generation. Later in the course of the movement many of these became part of the various political streams. On the whole, these democratic forces belonged to the various political streams. Due to the petty-bourgeoisie class nature of these forces they could not lead the movement more militantly and in a more united manner.
Consequently, they were subjected to several limitations in achieving their democratic demands. Only through putting serious efforts to overcome these limitations, it is possible to play a better role in transforming the present Telangana into a democratic Telangana and advance further. The other was represented by the ruling class cliques belonging to different political parties which strove for a Separate Telangana and simultaneously fought with each other internally. These forces had fought with the Seemandhra rulers but had also compromised with them frequently. When we look at the history of the movements for bifurcation of states, none of them was as long-drawn as the movement for a Telangana state. There are six main reasons for it getting so prolonged and ultimately for the formation of the Telangana state with many limitations.
1. The political forces represented by the Telangana bourgeois and landlord classes were not consolidated enough during the first phase. In the second and third phases they gradually consolidated and strengthened and it got politically manifested in their role during these phases.
2. As most of these forces were related to the Congress, the BJP and the TDP, at different phases of the movement, it got manifested in their indecisive role, almost till the end. The TRS that was formed with the aim of formation of the Telangana state never led the movement by mobilizing the people militantly. It always gave importance to lobbying, parliamentary gimmicks, compromises and peaceful forms of protest.
The role of the Congress and the BJP is more weaker and they played pressure tactics on their high commands only when the formation of the Telangana state was on the threshold. However they never dared to mobilize the people. TDP from the beginning till the end talked with a forked tongue and weakened to a large extent in Telangana, turning into a party that is limited mainly to Seemandhra. As YSRCP opposed the bifurcation of the state it got wiped out in Telangana.
The CPI (M) worked completely against the aspirations of the Telangana people due to its wrong policies. Though CPI supported the statehood movement in the last phase in unavoidable conditions, it never rallied the people actively.
3. The ruling classes representing Telangana feared the role of the CPI (Maoist) and the democratic forces, the militant mobilization of the masses, an increase in their role and the movement having a significant influence with its democratic demands.
4. The Seemandhra and Telangana regional and all- India ruling classes realized with the prominent role of the CPI (Maoist) and the democratic forces that the movement would turn more militant with clear-cut democratic programme and not remain in their hands and the political instability in the state would turn dangerous if they do not agree for a separate state of Telangana.
5. For electoral gains the Congress at the centre was forced to agree for the formation of the Telangana state.
6.From the beginning, the regional ruling classes representing Seemandhra were relatively consolidated and stronger. So, they could influence the centre for a long period in delaying the formation. When they could no longer stall its formation they could influence the centre in taking pro-Seemandhra decisions regarding Hyderabad and the Polavaram project. Telangana state came into existence. But what kind of a Telangana is it? This is a Telangana with Hyderabad as the common capital for the next ten years.
Congress did not solve several issues and left lot of scope for further disputes to divide the people of the two states. The people of Telangana had aspired for a Telangana with their exclusive capital city and with several of the disputed issues regarding jobs, water and other resources, reimbursement of state loans, employees, etc resolved in a just manner. They did not get it. Now they have to fight for these just demands. Deciding Hyderabad as the common capital for ten years, construction of Polavaram dam and keeping in pending other major issues unresolved is part of the Chanakya Neeti of the Congress to stoke the fires in both the states and tighten its grip on them. This is even against the formal federal spirit of the constitution.
The ruling classes succeeded in creating a contentment among the Telangana people that somehow a state has been formed, whatever maybe its limitations. Now the Telangana parties are all engaged in electoral parleys and compromises. The CBB and imperialist corporations are making their moves behind curtains since a long time as to whom to bring to power to fulfill their agenda and interests in the two new states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. KCR talked of inviting financial capital from MNCs and CBB for development of Telangana and building satellite cities etc. He doesn’t have any qualms in inviting investments from Seemandhra bourgeoisie.
So also Seemandhra politicians are falling heads over heels to invite foreign and CBB capital for bigger projects than these. Since the centre’s announcement about the formation of Telangana state, our party’s Central Regional Bureau and North Telangana Special Zonal Committee had been stating our stand consistently. During the first phase of the Separate Telangana movement in 1969, our party had formulated a clear political stand on this issue and worked for it.
In the second and third phases our party played a major role in it. Right from the beginning, our party worked for the formation of a Telangana state by representing the interests of the vast masses – working class, peasantry, middle class, small and medium capitalists and the various oppressed social sections like Dalits, Adivasis, religious minorities and women by mobilizing them. Our party united with all the forces working for statehood for Telangana and at the same time has exposed the compromising forces and strove to lead the movement in a militant manner.
Those in power in the centre and the states to whatever parties or region they may have belonged, unleashed repression in a fascist manner this movement waged under the leadership of various democratic forces and our party. In the course of this struggle hundreds of students and youth have laid down their lives. In this entire period the state and the central governments launched offensives on us to suppress the armed agrarian revolution.
Through this they also wanted to render the statehood movement for Telangana leaderless and prevent the development of this as a mighty mass movement with democratic demands. This caused severe loss to the statehood movement for Telangana. The ruling classes are ignoring the demands brought forth by the democratic forces now with the formation of the state and are completely immersed in electoral politics.
Even the Seemandhra leaders are concentrating on special packages, projects like Polavaram and on Hyderabad and are not putting forward any demands or program for the backward regions in that state. Central government announced a special package for five years for Seemandhra. BJP demanded that it be given for ten years for electoral gains and promised to approve the package if it is voted to power.
The Congress and the BJP that are vying with each other for giving special packages for Seemandhra are not recognizing the need for such packages for the backward Telangana state. In Telangana too there is a need for special packages for the most backward Adivasi areas, drought hit areas like the backward Mahboobnagar district and specific measures to fulfill the socio-economic and political demands of the religious minorities and Dalits.
When we look at the nature of the Separate Telangana movement and the composition of leading political forces in it, the formation of Telangana state would be mainly useful to the ruling classes in Telangana. When we keep in view the history and class interests of the parliamentary parties that would be coming to power in Telangana, their development models are nothing but obsolete. In these models, there is no basic difference from the previous regimes in not representing the interests of the vast masses.
Though the future governments may bring in some eyewash reforms, people should not be satisfied. They should prepare themselves for a long drawn struggle with a clear program and strategy. Depending on the extent to which the people would go in fighting for their demands, they would be able to utilize the favorable conditions that would prevail with the formation of Telangana. 10 Regarding Seemandhra, our party opines that the democratic forces and organizations and the people there should agitate on clear democratic demands on socio-economic issues according to the democratic aspirations of the people. The actual danger faced by the people of these two states now is – further opening of doors for the corporations – both domestic and foreign – for the loot of the resources and market in these two states. This danger is present due to the pro-imperialist, pro-CBB, pro-landlord policies of the ruling classes in the two states.
So unless the people of both the states realize this danger and fight against the state and central governments on socio, economic and political demands they would not be able to fulfill even their minimum demands. And it would even be difficult to turn these struggles into a movement to establish a genuine democratic, self-reliant, independent economic and political system. Our party is giving a general call to the people of the two states to boycott the sham assembly and parliamentary elections as one of the steps towards realization of a democratic Telangana and a democratic Andhra Pradesh (Seemandhra). At the same time the people should put forward and agitate on their specific socio-economic, political demands including lifting ban on the CPI (Maoist) and revolutionary, democratic mass organizations in both the states.
Our party is calling upon the people of both states to support each other and unitedly fight for a new democratic state in our country that would guarantee the fulfillment of their interests in the true sense. The Telangana people should not lose their alert in achieving their goals by losing themselves in the celebrations over winning the demand for a state. However, even in this state the political power would not lie with the people and would lie in the hands of parties like Congress, TDP, TRS and BJP that are the parties of the CBB and the landlords. With the formation of a separate Telangana state, there would be benefit to some extent regarding demands like end to discrimination, water and jobs.
However the basic problems of the people would remain unsolved. These problems could be solved only when political power lies with the people. That is why, the people of Telangana should fight for their democratic demands. Some of the important among these demands should be:
1. Bitter struggle should be put up against making Hyderabad as the common capital, against construction of Polavaram project and against giving all the areas that would be submerged due to Polavaram project construction to Coastal Andhra. Both these are a Great Conspiracy of the central and the Seemandhra bourgeoisie that should be fought back by all the agitating forces of Telangana in a united manner.
2. Withdrawal of all cases on Telangana agitators; support to Telangana Martyrs’ families; lifting of ban on the CPI (Maoist) and revolutionary and democratic mass organization, restoration of democratic rights and putting a stop to fake encounters; unconditional release of all political prisoners; withdrawal of all false cases on religious minorities; withdrawal of police camps in educational institutions; punishing the killers who murdered Telangana agitators and annulling of APSIB and greyhounds.
3. Implementation of genuine land reforms; the rights over lands occupied by the people as part of anti-feudal, anti-imperialist struggles should be handed over to the people; the government and assigned lands that were forcibly occupied by the bourgeoisie, landlords and political leaders should be seized and distributed to the urban poor.
4. The entry to imperialist and MNCs should be stopped. Polavaram, Pulichintala, open cast mines, Bayyaram mines, Kavval Tiger Project and SEZs that are displacing the people should be scrapped. All the MoUs signed with the CBB and MNCs regarding these projects should be scrapped. Along with public sector, small and medium scale industries should be encouraged. The rights of workers should be protected. Plans should be taken up for the self- development of the state.
5. The just share of water belonging to Telangana should be allotted and irrigation to peasantry and drinking water to the people should be provided.
6. Allotments for agricultural sector should be increased in the budget. Seeds, fertilizers and pesticides should be distributed free of cost to the peasants. Minimum support prices should be ensured. Electricity cuts should be done away with. Loans should be annulled. Loans without interest should be provided.
7. Lands should be distributed to all the landless Dalits. Dalits should be given protection from all kinds of attacks on them.
8. Religious minorities should be provided with reservations. Land should be distributed to the landless. Urdu should be given the status of second official language.
9. The 5th schedule of the constitution, PESA and 1/70 Act should be strictly implemented and Adivasis should be given rights to their Jal, Jungle and Zameen. The autonomy rights of Adivasis should be given recognition.
10. 50 percent reservation should be given to women in legislatives, education and employment. Women should be provided protection. The Telangana people should continue the spirit of unity and determination that they displayed in the agitation for a separate state and should carry on the movement for the democratic aspirations of the people to be fulfilled in the rebuilding of the state of Telangana.
They should coordinate this movement with the movements for solving their basic issues. Thus they should march forward determinedly in fulfilling the aims of the NDR. With agrarian revolution as the axis and the slogan of ‘Land to the tiller’, they should march forward in the liberation movement. The entire people should come forward to make the NDR successful. This is a great opportunity for us. The bourgeois parties and their lackeys would attempt to take the people along the bourgeois parliamentary path, destroy their unity and continue their power and exploitation.
Our party is giving a call to the entire people that they should march forward with their unity as the basis, fight back the conspiracies of Congress, TDP, BJP, TRS, YSR Congress party and also of the revisionist parties CPI and CPI (M) and advance the NDR. The Telangana agitators and organizations should preserve the successes of the people and carry on struggles on democratic demands in the new state of Telangana in a united manner. They should unite with the people of Andhra Pradesh and fight against their common enemies – imperialists, CBB and the landlord classes.
Q: The central government and some of the state governments had in the past proposed to conduct talks with your party. In the recent past too some Congress party leaders were seen proposing about Peace Talks on various forums either directly or indirectly. What is your party’s stand regarding Peace Talks with the government?
A: We are not against Peace Talks with the government. The aim of Peace Talks should be genuine peace, and it should be a fruitful one. Peace Talks are an integral part of the political struggle between two conflicting camps. It is another form of political struggle, i.e., a peaceful one. But in reality, the ruling classes and their central and state governments are not for it. They are completely against it. They are playing a ploy as before. Their words do not match with their deeds in practice.
They do not have any belief regarding political talks or political dialogues. The only thing they believe in is their military, paramilitary and police forces. The only thing they believe in is using their brute force and establishing graveyard peace in the society. But due to their erroneous policy in dealing with the civil war, the situation is becoming much more complex against their wishes. Whenever the people fight for their just rights and liberation and whenever the people intensify their struggle the ruling classes bring to the fore Peace Talks so that they can utilize it as a means to suppress the movement.
In the name of Peace Talks they try to create confusions and illusions within the ranks and the people and make us lose our vigil or if we avoid talks then they try to put a stamp on us that we are against peace. They try to isolate us from the people or utilize the talks to try to bring us “to our senses” by hook or crook. Our party is absolutely against such deceptive, insincere, aggressive Peace Talks proposals. On the contrary, our party wishes to achieve genuine peace.
Our party and the people ever since the Naxalbari peasant armed agrarian revolutionary movement to this day, for decades together had fought for the resolution of fundamental issues of the people and the country, i.e., genuine land reforms, democracy, self- reliant development model of economy-agriculture-industry and services, sovereignty and long-lasting peace for the progress and prosperity of our country.
So, to conduct Peace Talks with a political movement successfully and with positive results, the governments should firstly recognize our movement as a political movement. It is necessary that they recognize this movement as a movement by the people of our country, as an internal movement and as a civil war. Then only there would be a possibility to at least conduct talks to solve issues that would help in resolving the fundamental issues in order to resolve this civil war. Any mention of Peace Talks in any other manner amounts only to wrong intentions and nothing else. If one has to take a correct stand on the present proposal for talks from the ruling elite, we have to examine similar proposals put by the ruling classes to the communists in our country in the past. We have to see historically with what agenda they came forward with the proposal for talks and how they dealt with any 12 political movement in the past led by the communist revolutionaries or national liberation organizations of Kashmir and the North East.
What happened as a result of Talks with nationality movements? The experience of most of the nationality movements is negative due to the expansionist and fascist approach of the Indian ruling classes and the capitulation of the leadership who that led those movements. The talks did not resolve any issues raised by these movements. To this date these movements are still continuing in one form or the other. What was the stand taken by the communist revolutionaries when the proposals for talks were put before them? The first such instance was during the glorious Telangana armed peasant revolutionary movement.
The CBB and the landlord classes came to power in place of the British colonialists, and a fascist suppression campaign was being carried on by the Nehru-Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel army and thousands of peasants and peasant guerilla fighters were being butchered brutally when talks were held between the revolutionaries and the government. The aim of the government in these talks was to destroy the Telangana armed revolutionary movement by bending the revolutionaries. However as basic issues like genuine land reforms, people’s democracy and issues brought forth by the Telangana armed struggle remained unsolved, the glorious Naxalbari peasantry took up arms and fought to resolve the same.
A glorious armed peasant rebellion erupted and it spread like prairie fire to all the corners of our country with a correct perspective, program and strategy etc in the light of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism (MLM). After Indira’s fascist rule ended, leaders of various rightist ML groups milled around the Janata Party that came to power with the slogan of restitution of democratic rights, for talks. The Talks of those days paved the way for these groups to enter electoral politics and were used to get some of their leaders and cadres released but only after they gave shameful undertakings. Our party had openly opposed and criticized such capitulationist policy and getting bogged down in electoral politics.
At that time, the functioning of Bhargava Commission that was formed by the Janata party government for enquiring into false encounter killings was stopped midway by the ruling classes, putting into the dustbin the slogans on which it came to power. And it was on such a government that these groups had such illusions. They did not understand the class nature of the ruling classes and also failed in assessing the concrete political condition at that time. Such groups gradually disappeared from the scene of revolution. Again the revolutionary movement erupted in an upsurge in Andhra Pradesh and Bihar with its basic program, all the while fighting back state repression. The movement extended to some more areas in our country.
In AP, once in 1990 immediately after Chenna Reddy came to power, once in 1996 during Chandrababu Naidu’s rule when repression was intensified to unprecedented levels and later on certain occasions proposals for Talks came to the fore either from the governments intellectuals or other quarters. However, the then state governments intensified repression and did not show any inclination for talks. Rajasekhar Reddy came to power in 2004 with the agenda of conducting Talks with the Maoists.
He came forth for Talks after making all preparations for launching an offensive campaign on us in fascist methods and with a plan for an unprecedented intensification of repression. After one round of talks the government shamelessly stopped the Talks process midway. It did not even let its delegation to officially sign on behalf of the state government on the agenda decided between the delegations of both sides.
The YSR government feared the interest shown by the vast masses towards our party and ideology and the rallying of people towards the agenda brought forth by our party and immediately resorted to an offensive on our party. Along with fake encounters severe repression was unleashed all over the state. Thus it sabotaged the Talks process. Seeing the positive response among the various sections of people towards the Talks the government brought forth the demand midway that Maoists should abandon arms and it did not implement the ceasefire even for a single day in the period decided by both sides.
The government did not have the aim of discussing on the agenda put forward by our party. Its aim was to disarm the party and make it surrender. Soon after the crooked ploy ended, the AP police brutally killed comrade Riaz, a member of the Maoist parties’ delegation. This was the first bitter experience for our party in conducting Peace Talks. This is an example of the real intentions of the ruling classes and their imperialist masters in Peace Talks.
The UPA led by the Congress came to power for the second time and launched the first phase of the War on People – the Operation Green Hunt. Simultaneously it brought forth the proposal for Peace Talks at central level through its Home Ministry and Congress senior leaders directly and indirectly. People like Swami Agnivesh directly entered the arena for facilitating Talks. On the one hand, the central government brought forth the proposal for Talks with Maoist leadership and on the other hand it either killed the top leadership of our party in fake encounters or arrested them and put them in jails.
Our CC was to discuss and reach a final decision on Talks but before that comrade Azad, our Politburo member was caught and killed in a fake encounter in July 2010. This murder exposed the conspiracy of the ruling classes behind the proposal for Peace Talks. It became clear as daylight that Manmohan Singh government was not ready for Talks except to deceive. Even while the OGH was being further intensified, some ministers like the home minister and some Congress top leaders parroted about Peace Talks some times. Apart from brutally killing another PBM of our party comrade Kishenji, several of our top leaders were arrested and put in jails.
In Bengal too, Mamta Banerji talked about peace before she came to power. Once in power, it did not take many days for her real face to get exposed. Massacres of common people, fake encounters, loot, destruction and all kinds of atrocities on women became the daily routine of the state forces in Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Maharashtra. When Chidambaram was the home minister and after Shinde took over, both of them and the home secretaries had been declaring openly that there was no question for Peace Talks unless Maoists abandon arms and that the Maoists would not come for talks unless their backbone is broken that is, unless their top leadership is wiped out.
They declared that only the government forces have the right to carry arms and even said that the law does not allow conduct of Talks with a banned organization. From the beginning, the aim of the ruling classes in conducting Peace Talks is either disarming Maoists as a precondition for talks or disarming the Maoists as a result of Talks. The government has been asking the Maoists to come into mainstream and that it would rehabilitate them.
It declared that if the Maoists put forward the grievances of the people, it would consider and solve those that are possible to be solved. To be precise, all proposals for Peace Talks from the ruling classes are nothing but humbug. Now once again direct and indirect proposals for Peace Talks are coming from the Congress leaders. On the other hand, every kind of preparation for another big offensive-OGH-3rd phase is being concluded that includes further involvement of army and Air Force apart from deployment of paramilitary and Special Forces numbering around 4 lakhs all over the country at present (they have already built up carpet security like in Kashmir in every stronghold of our movement and at every strategic point of movement of our forces).
Consolidation and expansion of carpet security and construction of hundreds of attack-proof police stations/camps and dozens of aerodromes and helipads is being done at a rapid pace all over the country in our movement areas. Expanding intelligence network in rural areas, expanding communication network, setting up several dozens of training centres for Special Forces, importing most advanced weaponry and weapon systems, intensifying psychological operations utilizing corporate media and increase in the strategic role of paramilitary, Air Force and Army is being done at an unprecedented level.
Vast tracts of rural areas have been transformed into big concentration camps. In all of these areas, there is no civil administration on ground. It is only a police/paramilitary dictated administration. Repression on mass organizations and mass movements including murders of its leaders is on. Large number of our central leaders and several hundreds of party cadres up to the lower levels were put in jails. They are languishing since several years in prisons without any justice.
The government forces are intensifying and expanding cordon and search operations in our movement areas on a daily basis. Their model for dealing with Maoists is the Saranda model. This is a model that follows in the footsteps of Hitler’s Nazi Germany. The central and state governments had been making all the above preparations on the one hand and on the other hand, some Congress leaders and some chief ministers have been putting forward proposals for Peace Talks even while doing all this at the ground level. In such a backdrop, at present our stand towards Peace Talks would be as follows:
1. The government should accept that ours is a political movement of this country. Its program concerns our people and our country. Our party is the vanguard of this just movement. We are leading a national democratic revolution to resolve the fundamental problems before the people and the country which are the reason for the origin and continuation of our movement. Hence, our main agenda is genuine land reforms, democracy, self-reliant development model of economy-agriculture-industry and services and sovereignty and long-lasting peace to develop the country.
So they have to understand and recognize the root cause for this movement and if they wish to fulfill the interests of the people they would have to accept that our movement is an internal conflict and a civil war according to international laws also. Only then can Peace Talks be conducted in a genuine manner and be productive. Democratic organizations, progressive intellectuals and the people should understand this clearly and strive for peace.
2. Ban on the CPI (Maoist) and revolutionary, democratic mass organizations in our country should be lifted and attacks on their leaders and activists should stop.
3. Judicial enquiry should be conducted on Comrade Riaz’s murder and the culprits should be punished. The killers who murdered comrade Azad who was involved in the Talks process should be arrested and punished.
4. Government forces that are carrying on loot, destruction, mayhem, atrocities on women and massacres in rural areas and killing of mass organization leaders in urban areas flouting international, national laws and agreements should be stopped from doing so. Judicial enquiry should be conducted on all these incidents.
5. In order to preserve our leadership from the conspiracies of the ruling classes to decimate our party leadership one more time in the name of Talks, all veteran comrades in prisons should be released by lifting all false cases on them or on bails. They should be allowed to meet our CC to facilitate deciding on a team to participate in the dialogue with the government. I appeal to all the democratic organizations and individuals to understand our party’s stand regarding Talks for establishment of genuine peace. If a conducive atmosphere as we propose for conduct of Peace Talks is established from the government, we would participate in it.
On this occasion, I appeal to the democratic organizations and individuals to build a movement to force the government to stop the unjust state offensive on revolutionary and democratic organizations, to demand that they be allowed to function and to demand a stop to all extra-judicial killings, fake encounters, destruction, loot, sexual atrocities on women etc in the rural areas and killings of mass organization leaders in urban areas.
Q: Your party comrades had recently killed two journalists Nemichand Jain and Sai Reddy in Bastar. This is in contradiction with your party’s stand on journalists. Similarly, in Jharkhand your party comrades planted an IED as a booby trap in the body of a CRPF jawan who died in your PLGA attack. Do these not deserve a clear explanation from your Central Committee?
A: The incident of Nemichand Jain (a stringer of Haribhoomi, Nayi Duniya and Dainik Bhaskar) on 12 February, 2013 is worrying. Our CC also expresses its sincere regret on this. Our party’s South Regional Committee (SRC) of Dandakaranya had given a statement explaining the reasons behind it and expressing its regret. DKSZC secretary comrade Ramanna had responded on this once again in an interview he gave on October 10, 2013 and expressed his regret.
He stated, “This was a result of wrong assessment and sectarian approach of the concerned Area Committee of our party. I express my deep regrets regarding this. On behalf of our SZC I send my deep condolences to Nemichand Jain’s family and his friends. Our party had already openly apologized for this.” On December 6, 2013 correspondent Sai Reddy of Hindi daily Deshbandhu and a resident of Bijapur was killed by our comrades.
Our party’s South Regional Committee (SRC) of Dandakaranya had given a statement on December 10 defending the killing. Immediately after this, local media and the media in Raipur condemned this killing and had decided to impose a ban on publishing any statements from our party. National and international journalists and media organizations also condemned the killing. On December 27, PUDR condemned this incident citing Article 79 of Protocol I of Geneva Convention (1949). A 16-member team of journalists took protest rally in our movement areas of Bastar from 26th to 31st January, 2014 and on the last day held a press meet in Bijapur.
Recently our Dandakaranya SZC had reviewed the Sai Reddy incident and all these developments. For about two decades Sai Reddy had been taking up anti-people and anti-movement activities even while being a journalist. So the party’s South Bastar Divisional Committee (DVC) decided to punish him and accordingly a PLGA unit attacked his house once. But he escaped in that attack. In 2008 he was arrested by the Chhattisgarh police under Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act on a false accusation that he was a Maoist supporter and put him in jail for one year. However there were other reasons for his arrest. But with this arrest his image turned into one who opposed the government.
In this backdrop the DVC stalled the decision to punish him. However this decision was not passed on to the lower ranks properly. As a result, this happened. The DKSZC reviewed that the SRC should have responded without delay in the Nemichand Jain incident and that the SRC defending the killing of Sai Reddy is not correct. Regarding military actions and particularly regarding journalists, employees and professionals etc when any of them gets involved in anti-people activities or turns into an enemy of the movement and the people, the policy and guidelines formulated by the CC dictate that every unit of our party and the PLGA must adhere to them and follow class line and mass line in such instances. The DKSZC decided to release a letter to the PUDR and the media giving explanation on the Sai Reddy incident.
In the past, when our South Bastar DVC decided to punish him, we should have informed the media organizations, journalists and the media houses he worked for, about his anti-people activities. Even though our policy is correct, rarely some errors are occurring in practice. However, our CC feels that the local media and the media in Raipur deciding to impose a ban on publishing any statements from our 15 party is not correct. We feel that democratic organizations should give attention to this undemocratic attitude of the media too. The incident on January 8, 2013 in Latehar where an IED was placed in the body of a slain CRPF jawan is also worrying.
After the launch of OGH the ruling classes have resorted to every kind of brutality against the people in the most heinous manner. When the state forces use their superior strength and inflict serious damages to the revolutionary movement, the people and the people’s guerillas are forced to function under intense conditions. Every opportunity to resist the state forces should be utilized by them. In this course, due to lack of experience, due to lack of knowledge about the norms, rules and regulations regarding war/s that are prevalent in the world, our people and our fighters are taking up some actions which are not acceptable even to our supporters.
Such instances are paining the well-wishers of the revolution and pro-people forces and they are asking that such incidents be avoided. On the other hand, such mistakes are not only being used by the state to intensify its psychological war but also by it’s apologists to make mountains out of mole hills and to attack the Maoist movement as a whole. Whatever maybe the arguments of the ruling classes, the ongoing war in our country is nothing but a civil war. The party which is leading it for building a new society and the people’s army, how much ever maybe the pressure under which we are working in the midst of war, should choose the appropriate forms of struggle to fight against the enemy. When seen from such a point of view, though such mistakes are occurring rarely, it is very much necessary to avoid them.
When weapons like IEDs are planted with the aim of inflicting damages to the enemy forces, any methods that have the possibility of causing damage to the people and those who are not directly participating in the war like employees in civil administration, medical personnel and civilians should be avoided. In general, according to our party’s policy, we should not behave in an abusive manner with the enemy forces who surrender to us or are arrested by us. The Latehar instance did not happen as part of treating the dead bodies of enemy soldiers in a disrespectful manner. However we should not let such incidents repeat. The enemy forces are behaving in the most inhuman, callous and disrespectful manner towards the dead bodies of our comrades and the people as their general norm. In all societies all over world dead bodies are treated with certain respect. So we instruct our cadres that they should treat the bodies of slain enemy soldiers keeping this in view. On behalf of our CC, I appeal to our party and our PLGA comrades that this incident should be taken as a lesson and our party policy should be implemented.
Q: The spokesperson of your party’s Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee GVK Prasad (Gudsa Usendi) surrendered to the police recently. How would you explain this?
A: DKSZC member GVK Prasad along with a DVC level cadre Santoshi Markam Jaini left DK and surrendered before the AP police on January 8, 2014. He is familiar as Gudsa Usendi, the spokesperson of the DKSZC not only to our party but also to all supporters of our movement and to several others who follow in the media about our party. The AP, DK cadre and people and the cadre and people of our various movement areas of the country know why such degenerated elements surrender.
Their surrender was strictly condemned and severely hated by them. Even though it is a loss to our movement, this would not last long. The number of those who worked in our party central and state committees and later surrendered to the enemy is limited. However, there is no doubt that his surrender has done damage to the party as he was in the state level leadership position. After they surrendered to the enemy, our party’s DKSZC Secretary Comrade Ramanna gave a statement condemning it and explaining the reasons for his surrender. This was covered extensively in the media. The politically degenerated Prasad responded to this statement with utter lies.
All his arguments are completely wrong. The reasons he showed for their surrender are unpardonable not only in their case but in case of any leadership of that rank. Since 2010 the countrywide counter-revolutionary offensive of the enemy and armed suppression campaign intensified on our movement. In this offensive, the party leadership and the movement suffered serious losses. Particularly, the DK movement which was advancing became the focal point of the enemy offensive and it was facing a tough situation. Under such circumstances, he was directly responsible for guiding the Manpur Division movement that was facing a more complex situation.
Due to this, his old weakness of political vacillation arose again. He over-estimated the enemy’s supremacy, felt fear and lost his self- confidence. In fact, though he surrendered before the enemy in January, his political degeneration took a shape since the end of 2012. The recognition he got as the spokesperson of DKSZC was due to the significance of DK movement but he thought it was due to his own talent and became arrogant and egoistic. Due to this, he was scathing while criticizing others and was liberal towards his own mistakes and weaknesses. 16 He failed to look at phemomena in a dialectical manner. So he looked only at the intensity of the enemy offensive and the temporary upper hand of the enemy and ignored the laws of social development and the revolutionary role of the oppressed people in this. He refused to look at the present favorable revolutionary situation in our country and the world and the strong points of the revolutionary movement, lost self-confidence and ultimately lost confidence on the movement itself.
He degenerated ideologically and politically, was not ready for sacrifice, left the party and bent his knees before the enemy. This is treachery towards the revolution. Our party examines every aspect in the society, in the party and inside every member in the party and likewise it also examines those individuals who had worked in the party and degenerated – all from a Marxist point of view. In every comrade working in the party, including the leaders, there is always present some positive and negative aspects – revolutionary ones, strengths and good qualities and non-revolutionary ones, along with weaknesses, shortcomings and limitations. Nobody is exception to these.
The positive aspects serve the revolution and the negative ones harm it. However, these maybe present relatively in varying degrees in different comrades. As long as the good-strong aspects are principal inside an individual he/she continue to work in the party. If in an individual negative aspects become principal he/she does not last for long in the party. In every person, a continuous internal struggle goes on between the positive and negative aspects. Every person should fight consciously to get rid of the negative aspects and thus strengthen the positive aspects. Only then they would be able to serve the revolution and the people further. This struggle should be carried on inside every individual, in every party unit and in the entire party continuously. Failure, neglect, delay and lack of vigilance in this internal struggle would weaken the party, the party units and the individuals in the party. According to the level and degree of this weakness the party and the movement would be negatively affected in proportion.
To be precise, every party member, particularly every member of all leading committees inside the party should fight against their non-proletarian ideological and political trends, weaknesses, mistakes and shortcomings. When they are not able to overcome these when they are present at a lesser degree, there is every possibility for these to aggravate. If anyone fails to rectify serious shortcomings, there is always a danger of political degeneration. Then they will either run away or be thrown away. Our party opines that this is an integral part of the ongoing class struggle inside the society.
Though Prasad worked in the movement as a professional revolutionary since 1985, he had two main weaknesses in his long revolutionary life. First, he vacillated politically during some critical junctures when the enemy repression intensified on the movement and it faced new dangers and challenges; second, he had petty- bourgeois anarchic notions regarding man-woman relations. The party helped him in overcoming these two weaknesses inside him and he too accepted and had tried to overcome them. In that course he could serve the revolution too. However, he failed in correcting the past weaknesses continuing in him. In the new conditions too he failed in continuing more severe internal struggle on himself to overcome his weaknesses and ultimately degenerated and surrendered before the enemy.
Q: Recently the central government filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court that Maoist ideologues are more dangerous than Maoist guerillas and that those intellectuals who support them and build support for them are more dangerous. How do you respond to this?
A: This was done with the sole aim of suppressing every just dissent and movement against the ruling class policies. This is to suppress the aspirations and demands of vast masses, to damage all opportunities to express them, to prevent the spread of revolutionary and democratic ideas by curtailing fundamental rights such as freedom of expression, freedom of association, freedom of movement and freedom to agitate. This is done to isolate the people’s struggles in rural areas to crush them. This is to prevent the protest that is increasing against their evil rule in society from taking a consolidated form. This is to prevent the spread of revolutionary and democratic ideas in the name of suppressing Maoist ideology. On the other hand they want to spread imperialist and feudal ideas such as autocracy, selfishness, deception, consumerism, sexism/patriarchy, Brahminical casteism, religious jingoism and treachery. All these serve retrogressive class interests. This is an excuse for implementing the existing draconian laws and to formulate new ones.
This is part of the psy-war carried on by the ruling classes on the revolutionary and democratic movements. This is also to dent the solidarity and support movement of the revolutionary, anti-imperialist and democratic organizations and individuals all over the world for the PPW led by our party. The ruling classes are terrified by the great support we are getting from the parties, organizations and the oppressed people and intellectuals of our country and other countries. So the ruling classes have done this to prevent the revolutionary movement from getting such support from the world people.
This was done to isolate the Maoist movement from other democratic and progressive movements and elements in our country and world over. Our party condemns this strongly and appeals to one and all to condemn this fascist attitude of the government. We appeal to all democratic organizations, intellectuals, journalists, media persons, lawyers and judges to condemn this in no uncertain terms and unite to fight this back. This is a question of fundamental rights and not just something concerned with Maoist guerillas or their ideologues. Our party opines that this is a question of whether we should agitate for a genuine democracy in our country or accept autocracy.
Q: The UPA-2 government led by Manmohan Singh as soon as it came to power launched the Operation Green Hunt by labeling your movement as the gravest threat to internal security of our country. It has been five years since. What do you think is the reason for this offensive? How do you plan to fight this back?
A: Firstly, Manmohan labeling us as ‘the gravest threat’ is rubbish. In fact, neither we nor our PLGA have descended from the skies. This is a people’s war waged by millions of people of our country and their army- the PLGA, under the leadership of the CPI(Maoist) against the ruling classes and their state to build a new democratic society. We reiterate that ours is a national democratic revolution. The unjust war imposed on us, on our people is the war which is being waged for the interests of a few.
We are not at all a threat to our people. In fact, the ruling classes are the ‘gravest threat’ to the people of our country. That is why, all the democratic, civil rights organizations in our country and the world are describing OGH as a ‘War on People’ and demanding its immediate withdrawal. Though there are several reasons for the Indian ruling classes to impose this war on us, we feel there are two main reasons for this. The national democratic revolutionary program proposed by us to the people is gaining countrywide recognition as the alternative to their pro-imperialist, pro-CBB, pro-big landlord policies. That is why, our party, our PLGA and our Revolutionary People’s Committees (RPCs) are gaining recognition among revolutionary and democratic forces and the oppressed masses.
The vast masses who are fed up with the anti-people, regressive policies of the governments are severely opposing them. Their anger and discontent are developing to the extent of submerging the ruling classes. In such circumstances, they are afraid that our revolutionary movement is developing and that it would shake their very foundations. That is why, the ruling classes have shamelessly violated all domestic and international laws and intensified fascist repression. The second reason is – the Indian ruling classes collaborated with the imperialists and are selling out our country to them. Joining hands with them, they are looting the natural riches and labor power of our people. After the economy of our country has been completely transformed to the needs of the world market in the name of so- called development, the economy of our country is retrogressing.
Along with the needs of the imperialist capital, its crisis is also increasing. As the pressure of the MNCs is increasing on the comprador rulers to implement the MoUs they signed to loot our natural resources and markets of our country, the repressive offensives are also intensifying. When the Indian ruling classes launched OGH, they carried on the offensive saying that they would wipe out our movement within five to seven years.
It is true that they could inflict serious losses on our movement. But they had to face the bitter resistance of our people and our PLGA in this period. It has been exposed as never before that the government is deploying on its own people even the Army that should be on the borders, that it is carrying on an unjust war and that this is a war being carried on for the interests of the comprador and imperialist bandits. In a people’s war, it is very crucial that it becomes clear as to which side represents which classes and whose interests. How many ever maybe our difficulties in this war, as far as this war is concerned, we give utmost importance to this aspect becoming clear, i.e., the class interests represented by our people’s war and those represented by the counter-revolutionary war. The fact that they could not wipe out the movement in the past five years in itself is a proof that the nature of this war does not allow them to conclude it as they wish.
Since the days of the Telangana armed peasant rebellion where PPW began to take a shape, we learnt many lessons and later developed our strategy and tactics. Depending on it we made our PPW wider and deeper. Along with losses and setbacks we have also witnessed the movement learning several lessons and developing. Brute force, unjust war and fascist rule can never win forever. Our party is not only learning from our own mistakes, failures and defeats but also from the revolutionary experiences of the oppressed masses of the world, particularly of the successful and failed revolutions of the world and is trying to make the NDR in our country successful.
By utilizing favorable conditions for the revolution to mobilize the vast masses into the revolutionary war and by carrying on active resistance against the enemy forces by creatively applying our general political line and the strategy and tactics of PPW, we can march forward successfully. That is why, we, meaning the party, PLGA and the vast oppressed masses would face the enemy in spite of having to face immense difficulties and having to make huge sacrifices, would fight resolutely and emerge victorious in this war. However long drawn it may be, how many ever may be the twists and turns it goes through and how many ever maybe the thorns in its path, the PPW is invincible. We are very confident that our glorious people are ready for this long drawn battle to crush the treacherous Indian ruling classes and their imperialist masters on this very soil of our great country.