The decision of the All-India Co-ordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries to boycott elections (see Liberation, June 1968) is, no doubt, a historic one. It is a militant call to all Marxist-Leninists and toiling people of India to reject once for all the futile path of parliamentarism and fulfil the task which history has assigned to them — the task of boldly arousing the masses, relying on them and waging a protracted struggle of the Naxalbari type to overthrow the rule of U.S. imperialism and Soviet neo-colonialism, the Indian comprador-bureaucrat bourgeoisie and big landlords.
The struggle within the Indian communist movement between the two roads — the parliamentary road and the road of revolution — is not a new one. Soon after the Second World War, the peasants of Telengana rose arms in hand to break the shackles of feudalism and imperialism and liberated about 3,000 villages. In Bengal also, the peasants, especially the Hajong tribal people, took up arms to liberate themselves. Even a casual student of the history of the Indian communist movement knows that the Ranadive-Sundarayya Titoite clique pursued a right opportunist line in respect of the anti-feudal, anti-imperialist armed struggles in the countryside and played a despicable role to sabotage them. What the armed forces of the Nizam or the Indian army failed to do in Telengana, was accomplished by the revisionist chieftains of the Party — first, the Ranadive-Sundarayya clique and later, Ajoy Ghosh, Dange and Co. To use the words of Ranadive himself, Ranadive and his partners “stabbed the peasant struggles in the back” while Ajoy Ghosh, Dange and Co. in their anxiety to play the parliamentary game ordered the Telengana peasants to lay down their arms and even to hand over to the police of the reactionary government all those comrades who would refuse to bow to them. Could treachery go further?
For the last seventeen years the leaders of both the factions of the Communist Party have been playing the parliamentary game quite to the satisfaction of their masters. During this period when the government of the big bourgeoisie and big landlords turned this country into a neo-colony, chiefly, of the U.S. imperialists and the Soviet renegades, intensified the exploitation of our people by feudal elements and imperialist, comprador, bureaucrat capital and thus bled the people white, and ranged the country against Socialist China and national liberation struggles, these “communist” leaders were tireless in singing hymns in praise of the “progressive” economic planning (the main device of the reactionary ruling classes for deceiving the people and intensifying their exploitation) and the “progressive” foreign policy of the reactionary government.
As faithful lackeys of foreign and domestic reaction they concealed from our people the real character of the reactionary ruling classes and described these as politically independent and as anxious to build an independent economy — independent of the imperialists — with the help of “socialist aid” from the Soviet Union. They blamed the Congress, the main party of the ruling classes, for its deviations from its own policy and shamelessly claimed that they could better execute the policy of the Congress, the policy of the reactionary ruling classes, if they were elected to ‘Parliament’ or state legislatures! For long seventeen years they have successfully dragged the entire Party into the morass of parliamentarism and undermined the revolutionary consciousness of the Party cadres and the toiling people. No other fifth column could achieve better than what they have done as agents of the reactionary ruling classes within the proletariat.
Even today the leaders of both the factions express their resolve to defend ‘parliamentary democracy’. What kind of parliamentary democracy exists in India? The Indian ‘Parliament’ or parliamentary system, as everybody knows, did not appear on the crest of any bourgeois democratic revolution but was the product of a treacherous compromise between imperialism, big Indian landlords and comprador bourgeoisie. The Indian constitution is essentially the Act of 1935 devised by the imperialists to safeguard their own interests as well as the interests of the feudal elements. This ‘parliamentary democracy’ serves as a screen for hiding the most rapacious, the most villainous exploitation and oppression of our people by domestic and foreign reactionaries. Instead of tearing off this screen and exposing before the proletariat and other toiling people the real character of our ‘parliament’ — its character as an organ of the dictatorship of the imperialist-feudal-comprador combine, the treacherous leaders of both the “Communist” factions are sowing the illusion that parliamentary democracy prevails in India and that it can be made to serve the interests of the toiling people.
The other day, neo-revisionist Chief Minister Namboodiripad said in an interview with a correspondent of the Washington Post: “The main feature of the political situation in India today is the rapid decline in the influence and the power of the Congress, accompanied by the absence of any single party which can replace it. Only a combination of parties can meet the situation….I may now claim that one of the biggest achievements of our pre-election alliance and the post-election coalition Government is that we have shown that it is possible for the various non-Congress parties to come together and establish a relatively stable alliance on which a stable coalition Government can be built.” (People’s Democracy, January 14, 1968 — Italics ours). During the same interview Namboodiripad further pointed out that such stability “is of tremendous significance for the country as a whole.” When the entire imperialist-feudal system in our country is cracking, when at least 450 million out of 500 million people of our country are groaning under the present conditions of life and getting rapidly disillusioned about the mockery of ‘parliamentary’ elections and about the Congress — the main party of the ruling classes — and taking to the path of revolution, the neo-revisionists have come forward, as in every crisis of the ruling classes before, to save the present socio-economic system and restore political stability to the rule of the imperialist-feudal-comprador combine.
To quote the words of Chairman Mao, “We are now in a great new era of world revolution. The revolutionary upheaval in Asia, Africa and Latin America is sure to deal the whole of the old world a decisive and crushing blow. The great victories of the Vietnamese people’s war against U.S. aggression and for national salvation are convincing proof of this.” In this period of revolutionary upsurge when armed struggle is already on the agenda, the parliamentary path is the path of betrayal of revolutionary struggles, the path of treachery to the toiling people. The recent events in France have once again revealed that parliamentary elections are a counter-revolutionary manoeuvre of the ruling classes to hoodwink the working class and other toiling people. The revisionists and neo-revisionists join the ruling classes in this counter-revolutionary manoeuvre, sabotage revolutionary struggles and stab the toiling people in the back. Today, by propagating bourgeois ideology and trying to save the reactionary exploiting classes from the wrath of the people, they serve as the spearhead of reaction.
One of the most significant political events of recent years is the adoption of the Resolution on Elections by the All India Co-ordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries at its meeting held in May last. It unmistakably shows that the long spell of revisionism in the Indian communist movement is breaking.
Chinese comrades said: “Whether the proletariat is to seize power through armed struggle or by taking the ‘parliamentary road,’ this is the fundamental difference between Marxism-Leninism and revisionism.” Today, Marxist-Leninists in this country, as in other countries of the world, have realized the great truth, pithily expressed by Chairman Mao, that “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun,” rejected the “parliamentary road” and taken to the path of revolution. It is now the imperative duty of all Communist revolutionaries to rouse the masses, to convert their feeling of disillusionment and frustration into a strong determination to overthrow the rule of the exploiting classes and to build up revolutionary struggles of the Naxalbari type. Only thus can the hated rule of US imperialism, Soviet neo-colonialism, feudalism and comprador-bureaucrat capital be ended and the Indian people take their rightful place in the world-wide struggle for national liberation and socialism.
[Published in Liberation, Vol. I, No. 9 (July 1968)]