Teach-in: South Asian Storm Center of the World Revolution
Posted by Mike E on May 2, 2008
by Ganapathy, General Secretary, Communist Party of India (Maoist),
The Worker, #10, May 2006 (made available on Learn from Nepal)
Comrade General Secretary, would you please mention how you are analyzing the particularities of present world situation?
GP: The particularities of the present situation are: Politically, the absence of a socialist base for the world revolution; the growth of strong anti-Communist ideologies such as post-modemism and the NGO philosophy; rise of the US as the sole superpower after the collapse of the Soviet superpower in the beginning of the 1990s and the grave threat posed by US imperialism to the people of the world, especially after the September 11 attacks on the WTO tower and the Pentagon; the fascist offensive throughout the world against revolutionary movements, national liberation movements and defiant regimes in the name of containing so-called terrorism; and the growth of a strong anti-war, anti-globalization movements all over the world.
Economically, the integration of the so-called socialist economies, the state bureaucratic capitalist economies directly into world capitalist system; the ascendance of neo-liberal economic policies of LPG or Globalization, some important changes in the production system and further intensification of neo-colonial plunder, exploitation, control of semi-colonial and semi-feudal and neo-colonial countries; change in the role of IMF, WB [World Bank] and emergence of WTO as powerful world imperialist economic bodies; tremendous technological revolutions in information technology and bio-technology; important changes in economic strengths and positions of big imperialist powers in the share of world market and emergence of some new economic powers; and acute crisis in the world capitalist economy.
Thus all the fundamental contradictions in the contemporary world have been getting more and more acute making the situation highly favorable for revolution.
While such is the objective condition, the particularity of the subjective condition is that there is no organized challenge to the imperialists and the biggest bully of all, the American imperialists. With the restoration of capitalism in China after the revisionist take-over following the demise of Mao, the world proletariat and the oppressed people and nations have no leadership or guidance. The weak organized strength and lack of leadership for the world people has made the imperialists more aggressive and oppressive. Today, in every country the Communist Party has to make revolution almost without any substantial help from other countries, say, like the situation prior to the October Revolution, in a way.
There is one big difference, however. After the setbacks and defeats in the world proletarian revolution, we are able to understand more deeply the problems of socialist construction, and think of ways and means to overcome such setbacks in post-revolutionary societies. We, as Marxists, not only see the setbacks and defeats in the world revolution but also the continuous struggle of the oppressed nations and people, learn valuable lessons from past mistakes and limitations in the construction of socialist society. We, not only see the enemy’s successes and strengths but also see the reasons behind it, his weaknesses and the acuteness of the fundamental contradictions in the contemporary world, which will ultimately lead to his defeat and the victory of proletariat.
Whatever be the particularity of the present situation, one should not forget the protracted nature of the world proletarian revolution, the direction of development process of human society, and the historical task of international proletariat.
Do you think there have been changes or new developments on the specificities that Marx, Lenin and Mao had synthesized concerning capitalism and imperialism in the erstwhile situation? If so, do you think the overall development of MLM is necessary to face the challenges emerging from the new situation?
GP: Yes, our Party thinks there have been some significant changes or new developments in the specificities concerning capitalism and imperialism from what has been synthesized by Marx, Lenin and Mao. However, regarding the character of the present era, our Party thinks there is no fundamental change and it is still the era of imperialism, and proletarian revolution.
First of all, we know that, our great international proletarian revolutionary teachers and leaders—comrades Marx, Lenin and Mao—lived in different stages/phases of capitalist/imperialist society, and in those times there were many great changes—qualitative or most significant in all spheres of society. Taking into consideration the developments in various sciences, and the advances made in the realm of class struggle and revolutionary practice, they developed proletarian science. MLM was established and developed in three stages. MLM too develops further like any other science, enriches the proletarian science through creative and concrete application to the changing conditions. There is always the need for the creative application of the universal truth of MLM to face the new challenges emerging from the new situation.
But it is yet another thing to say that it is necessary to develop MLM to face the new situation. I do not know of any Marxist teacher or genuine proletarian Party or leader who had placed the question in this manner or that MLM had developed in this way by any one genius or Party in the past. Nor will it develop so in future. I do not think Marx or Lenin or Mao had posed the question this way, or declared that it was their task to develop proletarian science. MLM had developed in the course of advancing the class struggle and solving the multifarious problems confronting the world revolution.
So, in this context let me remind you the changes after Mao as I mentioned in my answer to your first question. Let every genuine Maoist Party independently, and all genuine Maoist Parties collectively, strive to face the new changes and challenges in the international arena. It is in the course of correctly solving the problems confronting the revolution that the revolutions in the various countries and the world revolution will advance by overcoming the present difficult situation. The development of theory might take place in one or a few aspects or in a more comprehensive way through this struggle and revolutionary process. Any Party, or Parties and their leaders might contribute significantly for the development of the theory in the course of advancing the revolution and understanding the objective development of other sciences. The world proletarian revolution advances in this way.
South Asia is becoming a storm centre of revolution, what are the objective and subjective bases for this?
GP: As analysed by the Parties of CCOMPOSA, South Asia is indeed becoming a storm centre of world revolution. There are certain objective and subjective bases for this.
Firstly, all the countries of South Asia are semi-colonial and semi-feudal countries once ruled by the British imperialists. Hence they have many similarities and inter-relations in historical, economical, political, social, religious, cultural and geographical conditions.
Secondly, we must keep in mind first the geo-strategic location of South Asia and the immense interest of the imperialists in the region. The US imperialists, in particular, want to use South Asia as a counter-weight to China which is fast becoming a major economic-military-political power.
Third, it is the most populated region in the world accounting for a fifth of the world’s population which is larger than China. It has a vast market and has been an important region of rivalry between the various imperialist powers who vie for greater share of the South Asian markets.
Fourth, Indian expansionism is a powerful enemy of the people and nationalities and a big threat to the development of the New Democratic Revolutions (NDRs) and national liberation struggles of this region; the revolutionary situation objectively and subjectively in Nepal is more matured than anywhere in present day world and the NDR is advancing with tremendous success under the leadership of CPN(Maoist); The NDR in India is in a more advantageous position than ever before and it is advancing under the leadership of CPI(Maoist) and its great significance in the world socialist revolution; existence of Maoist Parties in Bangladesh and newly formed Maoist Party in Bhutan; the Maoist Parties of India, Nepal and Bangladesh are having proletarian revolutionary consistency, spirit, vigor and traditions in high holding the red banner of MLM since the days of great debate under the leadership of Comrade Mao and Naxalbari; since the great Naxalbari uprising to contemporary PPW in Nepal and India, the revolutionary movements are creating great impact in every country of South Asia.
Since mid-90s there have been good relations between all these Maoist parties with a strategic approach, specific policies and tactics to deal with the contradictions in South Asian Region to advance the revolutions and democratic struggles of oppressed nationalities in every country and entire region. The support for revolutionary forces and democratic people in world is increasing day by day. So, anybody can say there is an objective and subjective condition in South Asia to become a storm centre of world revolution.
Would you please shed light on the theoretical concept of CCOMPOSA and the role it is playing? Now do you think it should develop to face the emerging new challenges regionally?
GP: As the name itself indicates, CCOMPOSA is basically a coordination committee of the Maoist parties and organizations of the region. The chief purpose for which we had formed this is to achieve better coordination between the Maoist forces in the Sub-Continent in order to wage united struggle against Indian Expansionism. Towards this end, it is necessary to unite all the forces, particularly the various nationality movements, in the common front against Indian expansionism and imperialism. The Maoist forces should act as the core of this front and provide the leadership.
However, we do not think the role of the CCOMPOSA is limited to fight against Indian expansionism. We should strive to achieve more ideological-political cohesion among the Maoist forces of the region, exchange the experiences and assist one another in the spirit of proletarian internationalism.
Ideologically we analyzed concretely the historical, economical, political, social, religious, cultural and geographical conditions to correctly understand the inter-relations between, problems facing, contradictions operating in the South Asian Region in general and concretely analyzed the expansionism of Indian ruling classes in particular. And basing on the above understanding, we politically formulated our strategic approach and tactics and specific policies to deal with the situation of this region. Thus struggle against Indian expansionism; and mutual help in this struggle and in the advancement of revolutions are the objectives of the CCOMPOSA and it was with this ideological and political understanding that both our Parties—[CPN (Maoist) and CPI (Maoist)]—initiated to form it.
Yes, surely the CCOMPOSA is as an important instrument of Maoist Parties and democratic fighting forces to face the emerging new challenges regionally. But, its development will depend on the successes and advancements in revolutions of this region in general and Nepal and India in particular and also the role played by the Parties concerned in it and also on the political situation in this Region and world over.
The unity between two revolutionary parties in India, the CPI(ML)(PW) and MCCI has inspired very much the masses world over and South Asia in particular. But there are still several revolutionary and Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Parties outside of this process. Does this process still continue?
GP: I agree with you regarding the impact of the merger of two Maoist Parties and the formation of CPI (Maoist) in India. And I also agree that there are still several revolutionary and Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Parties outside of this process. This fact was taken cognizance of by the Joint meeting of the CCs of the two erstwhile parties at the time of the merger. The CC of our new Party has correctly assessed that there are still some (not several as you say) revolutionary forces outside the Party and decided to take up the unity task by the new central committee as one of its urgent tasks. Our new Central Committee in its first meeting has decided to start immediately the unity process with other revolutionary and Marxist-Leninist-Maoist Parties and revolutionary individuals. We are making serious efforts to realize this task in a principled manner. Regarding the unity of genuine revolutionary forces, I want to clarify that there must be an agreement on basic ideological, political, organizational, military issues which will ensure the unity on the Party line for the unity with any revolutionary Party. And also our Central Committee is giving very much importance to the practice of any revolutionary Party to correctly judge its genuineness.
In order to correctly asses the words and deeds of any revolutionary Party, we are asking for the review of its practice. For principled unity we need the review of any Party in Indian context and lessons gained in the history of revolutionary movement of India. With this unity effort, we are already getting some positive results also. But, unfortunately some parties have not responded positively. In spite of their negative approach, we are still waiting for their positive response. I believe that this revolutionary situation itself forces all the genuine revolutionaries to unite. Their responsibility lies in their consciousness.
Would you please mention the basic theoretical and political concept of unity between revolutionary parties?
GP: Basically, theoretical and political unity on the following questions must be essential for the unification of revolutionaries in India: Our ideology of MLM, nature of the Indian society, state character, major and fundamental contradictions and principal contradiction; Stage of the revolution, strategy of the revolution and path of the revolution; Political, organizational and military line and basic tactics of PPW; Position on the questions of Caste, Nationality, Women and Religious minorities; International situation and the fundamental and principal contradictions in the contemporary world, domestic situation, and so on. Along with the theoretical and political unity on these questions, it is very important to take into consideration the historical evaluation of practice of the parties that wish to unite, as well as their current practice.
To think of unity based only on the basic documents related to the ideological-political line of the parties and not taking into account the practice of the parties, is fraught with inherent danger since no party can be genuinely revolutionary if its practice does not match its theory. We should oppose some of aspects proposed by the RIM for the unification of Maoist Parties in a country.
How have been the activities, situation of the movement and influence after party unification?
GP: Unification of the two Maoist Parties has had a tremendous influence on the oppressed masses of the country and the various revolutionary forces. The Party organization now spans across the length and breadth of the country, from Assam-Tripura in the east to Gujarat in the west, and from Punjab in the north to Kerala in the south. We now have presence in almost every state though it is weak in some states. The merger of the two Parties has strengthened the organization specially in Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, UP, Orissa and Chathisgarh and to a smaller degree in eight other states.
The merger at the central level was immediately followed by the merger at the state level which took almost 6 months. This has been one of the main activities during the period after the merger. We have also taken up the Assembly Election Boycott Campaign in Bihar, Jharkhand during the month of February this year. It had a good political impact and there was virtually no campaigning by the parliamentary parties in most of our areas. Some of the armed tactical offensives as in Chandauli of UP in November last in which 17 policemen were killed, the annihilation of the SP of Mungyr district in Bihar, ambushes in West Bengal, Maharashtra, series of attacks in Chathisgarh, Jharkhand and AP had demonstrated the increased striking power of the PLGA after the merger of the two Parties and the two guerilla armies.
As regards political offensive, attempts are going on to build a strong anti-imperialist, anti-repression movement. We are now in a position to build mass organizations having a really All India character and proceed in the direction of building united front at the all India level.
The impact of the merger is felt even more by the exploiting ruling classes who have been yelling loudly that the new Party poses a grave danger to the internal security and the unity and integrity of the country and that all efforts should be made to stamp out the Red Corridor stretching all the way from Nepal to Kerala in the south. Meetings of the Chief Ministers, DGPs, Chief Secretaries and so on of 13 states are having meeting after meeting devising plans to suppress the people’s war led by the CPI (Maoist).
A considerable section of Indian population has been concentrating in the cities and industrial sectors. The nature of contradiction automatically brings about changes in the form of movement. Looking at it from this angle, how do you see the possibility of insurrection in the cities? If so, have you thought about the need to develop military line that connects the protracted people’s war with insurrection?
GP: Almost a third of the Indian population resides in urban areas. The size of the working class in India is quite huge. Though as a percentage of the total population it is not very high as in the capitalist countries, in numbers it is very significant. For instance, the strength of the organized working class itself is more than the population of Nepal, not to speak of the unorganized working class which is four times more. It is important to take this fact into consideration when formulating tactics.
The weightage of the working class and the urban area in the overall revolution is greater than what it was in pre-revolutionary China. The uprisings of the working class and the urban population play an important role in the latter stages of the Indian revolution. We have to adopt diverse tactics for mobilizing the urban masses into the revolution, take up their political-economic-social-cultural issues, give more importance especially to work among the various sections of the urban population, expose and isolate the revisionist and bourgeoisie TU leadership, build a united revolutionary-democratic movement of the working class, build strong anti-imperialist and anti-CBB political movement, and concentrate on the key sectors of the economy. We must, no doubt, prepare the urban masses for insurrection but they must be first trained to integrate with the peasantry and to lead, participate and extend solidarity to the armed agrarian revolutionary movement and thus lay a strong basis for worker-peasant unity.
The protracted people’s war strategy includes the aspect of insurrection in the cities which generally takes after the liberation of the vast backward countryside. However, in the urban areas in and around the Base Areas and the guerilla zones, uprisings do occur much earlier and there will be continuous tussle between the revolutionary armed, forces and the enemy’s armed forces for the control over these urban areas for a long period of time. The line of PPW in India has its own specific characteristics. From the very beginning of our work in urban areas, we must give emphasis to building a self-defence movement, should inter-link the armed activity with the guerilla war in the sub-urban areas and with the armed agrarian revolutionary war in the countryside.
With the above strategic outlook our Party will further develop our political and military line in practice by summing up the experiences and the changes in conditions.
Strong national movements are being waged in the different parts of India. Would you please explain in brief the contradiction and inter-relation existing between the new democratic revolution and the national movement? Also how are you charting plans to win over the national movements in the fold of new democratic revolution? What are the ideological and political problems you are facing while doing so?
GP: Nationality movements have become an inseparable aspect of the Indian political scene, and however much the reactionary ruling classes of India have been trying to suppress them, or buy over their leadership, they are rising up again and again like a phoenix.
In the opinion of our Party, national movements are an integral part of the New Democratic Revolution. The demands of the various oppressed nationalities in India also form part of the agenda of the NDR. The just and legitimate right of the nationalities to self-determination, including their right to secession, is supported by our Party and this important democratic right is included in our Party programme. Thus theoretically, there is no contradiction between the new democratic revolution and the nationality movement as the latter’s aim is to achieve liberation from imperialism and reflects the aspirations of the vast masses, including the national bourgeoisie, which is also part of the new democratic front at this stage of the democratic revolution.
However, there are serious limitations on the part of the leadership of most of the nationality movements. They do not have a clear anti-imperialist orientation and often capitulate to imperialism. There is lack of consistency and there is vacillation. There is no ideological-political clarity regarding the national programme. This, obviously, poses some serious problems and hence we see some of the nationality movements capitulating to the machinations of the reactionary ruling classes and the imperialists.
The working class party has to make conscious effort to impart ideological-political education to the leadership of the nationality movements; orient their movements against imperialism, CBB and feudalism; help them formulate a democratic programme so as to reflect the aspirations of the broad masses; and achieve effective coordination between the armed agrarian revolutionary struggles and the national movements.
The armed struggles waged by the nationalities are an important component of the Indian new democratic revolution and our Party will make all effort to give them a correct revolutionary orientation and to achieve coordination against the common enemies.
How are you evaluating the present political situation in India? In the present context, would you please let us know about the immediate tactical program of military and political offensive within the present stage of strategic defensive?
GP: The present political situation in India is extremely favorable for advancing the people’s war in the country, more so in the context of the merger of the two Maoist Parties in September last year. The crisis is quite acute in the economic, political and social spheres, all the fundamental and major contradictions are becoming more and more acute day by day and the various sections of the people are waging militant struggles on their demands, often clashing with the Indian state and the armed struggle of some oppressed nationalities are continuing.
Our Party has been trying to utilize this favorable situation by taking up political and military offensive. Our TCOCs, which have been taken up as well-coordinated campaigns at various levels, have had a good impact. We have been taking up such tactical offensives to seize arms and ammunition from the enemy forces and arming PLGA, to establish organs of people’s political power, and to stall the offensive operations of the enemy forces, and also during the PLGA anniversary week every year, and during the elections to parliament and assemblies.
Politically, we are trying to intervene in the various types of situation in the states where we are strong, utilize the contradictions within the ruling classes, and build broad-based militant mass movement against state repression, imperialist globalization and its ill-effects, Hindu communal-fascist offensive and religious fundamentalism of all types. But given the vast size of India and the weakness of our subjective forces, we are not yet in a position to effectively intervene at the Central level and our intervention is still largely at the state and lower levels. We do have plans to politically intervene at the Central level in a significant way in the near future.
As a practitioner of proletarian internationalism and an immediate neighbor, you are definitely studying in depth the People’s War in Nepal. What do you see as important achievements for the world communist movement acquired from the development of 10 years of People’s War in Nepal? Do you have any suggestions that you would like to provide in order to advance the Nepalese revolution further?
GP: Yes. We have been definitely studying the People’s War in Nepal right from its initiation. As a firm adherent of proletarian internationalism, our Party had always maintained good fraternal relations with your Party in Nepal, tried to study the ongoing people’s war and, as you are aware, tried to assist in whatever way possible long before the initiation of people’s war in your country. We have had several rounds of discussions during 1995-1996 when the people’s war was initiated and during the period after the initiation. During these discussions we had exchanged our views on several issues such as: the concept of Gonzalo Thought and the understanding regarding ‘ism’, Thought and Path, nature of the revolution in the 21st century, concept of South Asian Socialist Federation, role of RIM, experiences of Peru, question of Comrade Stalin, and so on. The discussions between our two Parties have been quite useful and helped in understanding one another better.
As a Party leading the revolution in India, we made special effort to study the advances made by the people’s war in Nepal. The development of a decade of people’s war in Nepal has a great impact on the world revolution and has provided rich and varied experiences for the revolutions in other countries. The world communist movement and the Indian communist movement have greatly benefited from the experiences of the PW in Nepal.
As for concrete achievements, I think the comrades in Nepal had very effectively and creatively combined the universal truth of MLM with the concrete practice of the Nepalese revolution. This creative application of MLM to the concrete conditions of Nepal in the context of the contemporary world situation by the CPN (Maoist) is itself an achievement. This is because dogmatism is still a strong trend in the world communist movement at present even though the right opportunism or right revisionism continues to be the principal trend. Hence the breakthrough achieved by the CPN (M) by the creative application of MLM will be an eye-opener to many of these dogmatic Maoists.
Another significant achievement of your Party, as I see, is the effective use of tactics. The CPN (M) has been able to change its tactics swiftly and boldly in accordance with the changes in the situation, without any hesitation, about what others would say. We can see this effective use of the weapon of tactics throughout this ten-year period and our Party appreciates the boldness and the creativity of your Party leadership in such a flexible use of the weapon of tactics.
The advances made by the people’s war in Nepal has also proved that initiation of people’s wars and rapid advances are possible in backward countries if the proletarian party is equipped with a correct revolutionary line based on MLM and the leadership effectively combines theory with practice and creatively develops appropriate tactics without any rigidity.
As for our suggestions, we have been continuously placing them before your leadership during our bilateral discussion with CPN (M). We found that there is a certain degree of overgeneralization with regard to some of the achievements of the people’s war in Nepal, such as attributing universality to some things that are basically a feature of the revolution in an extremely backward country. And while it is a good thing that your Party has been taking up tactics quite boldly, there is also the problem of oversimplification of some situations and, at times, taking tactics based on an overestimation of the situation such as the intensity of the contradictions between India, China and the US.
The Nepalese People’s War has entered into the stage of strategic counter-offensive. This situation in itself is the phase of central political and military intervention against the enemy. It is clear that the reactionaries the world over in general and Indian expansionism in particular are assisting the despotic Gyanendra regime openly and even preparing for open intervention. What do you think the role of your party should be on behalf of the justice-loving Indian masses to prevent such intervention?
GP: I shall try to answer both the questions together as both are closely related.
It is a fact that the reactionary ruling classes of India and Nepal, aided and abetted by the imperialists, particularly the US imperialists, have been working together to suppress the people’s wars in both these countries. The victory of the revolution in any country in the world is intolerable for the reactionaries of the world who have been spreading vicious propaganda and unending myths about the “final defeat of communism” and the “final triumph of capitalism”, that there is no alternative to capitalism, and such trash. The spectre of communism is haunting them again with the rapid advances in the people’s war in Nepal and India.
The Red Corridor or the Compact Revolutionary Zone, which is the name given by the ruling classes to the region stretching all the way from the revolutionary Red Bases in Nepal to the guerilla zones of AP and further south, has become a nightmare for them. The further advancement of the revolutionary guerilla war in this vast region, the strengthening of the PLGA and its transformation into PLA, and the establishment of Base Areas in this strategic region, will bring about a qualitative transformation in the people’s war and the entire political scenario in the country. The faster we can realize this, the greater will be the help that we can render to the revolution in Nepal.
The relations between our two Parties—CPI (Maoist) and CPN (Maoist)—have to be further strengthened, no doubt. Particularly when the revolution in your country is in the strategic counteroffensive, it is necessary to have better coordination. We must think of proper methods to maintain these relations regularly.
At the present juncture, when the Indian expansionists are trying to bolster the rotten reactionary monarchy of Gyanendra and even contemplating to openly intervene, our Party will strive to mobilize the vast Indian masses into a broad political movement against the intervention and aid by the Indian government to the Gyanendra regime, along with stepping up our armed campaign against the reactionary Indian state.
How have you summed up the negotiations that took place between CPI (Maoist) and Andhra [Pradesh] State Government?
GP: Till now our CC did not sum up the negotiations between AP State Committee of our Party and the Andhra State Government. But recently, in last February, our Central Regional Bureau has summed up these negotiations basing on the policy and guidelines of our Party. Earlier we had formulated our policy and guidelines on this question by applying MLM to the concrete conditions, i.e., the political situation and our movement.
The CRB summed up the negotiations as our war in the political front that had brought positive political-organizational gains to the Party. “To sum up, the initiative taken by our Party in AP in forcing the government to declare a cease-fire and drag it to the negotiating table, is a good example of political intervention on the part of the revolutionaries. Though there are some shortcomings and mistakes during this period, positive aspect is the principal feature of our political initiative. During this period, our Party had gained much more popularity, legitimacy and credibility in the eyes of the people. We had placed our revolutionary politics boldly before the people and undertook massive political mobilizations by utilizing the period of cease-fire. Yet, there is a wide gulf between the Party’s political influence and organizational strength.”
On the negative side, there arose some legalist trends in a section of the Party cadre and leadership. There was an overemphasis in practice on legal meetings and rallies instead of orienting the masses towards militant struggles mainly on the political demands. There was lack of necessary military preparation on our side by the time the enemy began his offensive in January ’05.
After our CC reviews the experiences of our tactics of negotiations in AP, we shall place whatever is needed before the people.
How is your party looking at the role that the RIM has been playing ideologically and politically in the contemporary international communist movement?
GP: Our Party has a positive and critical approach towards RIM. On the one hand, we recognize the positive ideological-political role played by RIM on certain questions such as its analysis of the counter-revolution in China after the demise of Mao. This certainly helped those revolutionary parties that had some confusion regarding the developments in China.
On the other hand, our Party also has differences on some ideological-political questions such as the question of assessment of Stalin, concept of a new International, question of democratic centralism, and the problems in the functioning of CoRIM and so on. The manner in which RIM has been dealing with the question of Stalin is only creating more differences within the Maoist camp. We are debating with CoRIM on all such questions.
Our Party has adopted the correct method of unity-struggle-unity in resolving our differences with RIM. We must adopt this method in solving the problems confronting the ICM.
What do you think is the main subjective problem within the communist movement at present? How should the ideological and political struggle be conducted against this?
GP: You mean the problem of leadership of Maoist Parties of various countries in the ICM at present. I suppose there may be some problems in every genuine Maoist Party. We can understand this problem in the backdrop of the situation in the ICM and complex situation of the world. There is an urgent need for waging healthy struggles by the Maoist Parties on the ideological-political problems confronting the world revolution.
To achieve this, the struggle in Maoist Parties can be waged in two ways, from inside and outside, principally inside. To achieve good results in inner-Party struggle, any party can take fraternal Party’s suggestions and any fraternal party may give suggestions. To achieve good results in international debate or struggle, it is incumbent upon the concerned Parties which initiate the debate to consult genuine Maoist Parties and chalk out the problems that are to be solved in order to serve the world socialist revolution. Any genuine inner-Party struggle or ideological struggle at the international level can help the Parties mutually. We must follow the methods based on MLM in conducting inner-Party struggle or international debates on ideological-political matters. If we fail to follow this method, we will not be able to achieve the desired goal.
There is also another type of struggle, that is, the struggle between a revolutionary and revisionist Party or between revolutionary and revisionist camps internationally. Any genuine Maoist party should not mix this type of struggle with the struggle between genuine Maoist Parties and should be cautious not to use the same method for both types of struggles.
How has your experience been in building and strengthening a proletarian communist party within the framework of non-proletarian thinking that crops up from the semi-feudal and semi-colonial relations?
GP: I feel it is not only the problem of any semi-colonial and semi-feudal society, but a problem confronting the proletarian Party of every country including all the imperialist countries in general. But this problem has its own specific characteristics depending on the concrete conditions of that country. It also implies to all countries in the course of revolution and at the time of socialist transformation or socialist construction.
India’s specificity is that it is semi-feudal and semi-colonial and hence non-proletarian thinking crops up continuously in the Maoist party in India due to these specificities. Most of the cadres in the party hail from the peasantry and, as we know, we have to make conscious effort to transform the thinking of the peasantry.
Not only the peasantry, non-proletarian thinking crops up in virtually every section of the population in India due to the predominance of semi-feudal, semi-colonial relations and culture which affects the entire society. Factors such as patriarchy, caste feelings and even discrimination, nationality sentiments and prejudices etc., have some impact even on the cadre hailing from the working class.
In the erstwhile PW, we had two serious inner-Party struggles in 1985-87 and 1991-92 against SM-VS liquidationist clique and KS clique respectively. In both these struggles the Party acquired rich experience, its ideological-political line was enriched, and a higher unity of thought and action was achieved in the course of these struggles. In the erstwhile MCCI there was an inner-Party struggle against Bbarath-Badal clique which helped in the Party’s growth and in achieving further clarity on ideological-political questions.
The Rectification campaigns taken up by the erstwhile PW in the various states and at the central level after its Congress, had helped greatly in ideologically remoulding the outlook of the Party rank and file and overcoming the non-proletarian trends within the Party.
Marxism asserts that everything is illusion without State Power. How are you planning to establish People’s Power in the areas where you have a stronghold? What are the problems you are going to face when you take this question onto immediate agenda?
GP: Every genuine Marxist believes that, “everything is illusion without State Power.” Hence, our Party’s basic line is formulated based on the Maoist principle—”The seizure of power by armed force, the settlement of the issue by war, is the central task and highest form of revolution. But while the principle remains the same (for all countries), its application by the Party of the proletariat finds expression in various ways according to the varying conditions.” Hence, in accordance with the above understanding, we are propagating the politics of seizure of power and establishment of organs of people’s power and Base Areas from the very beginning of our work in any area. And for establishing the Base Areas, we are basically concentrating on the vast backward rural areas with favorable terrain. This is based on the laws of protracted people’s war in India, which envisage that, in order to confront an enemy who is far more superior in strength, the revolutionary forces will have to select areas, in which the enemy is relatively weaker and which are favorable to the revolutionary forces, and develop the revolutionary war there. Our country has many such areas that are strategically important for the people’s war where Liberated Areas can be established. These Bases will act as the lever or fulcrum for coordinating and advancing the people’s war in the country, and for seizing political power countrywide.
We have selected such areas and advanced the armed agrarian revolutionary war by confronting the local feudal forces and the State’s armed forces. After several armed confrontations with the armed forces of the Indian state, we have been able to establish organs of people’s political power in some of these areas. Establishing Base Areas and organs of people’s power is on our immediate agenda and we have taken this as our basic principal and immediate task.
At present, the revolutionary movements are advancing in the vast belt encompassing the extensive area of Jharkhand, Dandakaranya, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, UP, etc. These have a great strategic significance. We are planning to build these areas into a contiguous area of armed struggle, with each area influencing the other. As these areas get consolidated, we will be able to utilize their impact on the surrounding areas and develop them into guerilla zones thus expanding the area of armed struggle. We have the aim of developing the revolutionary movement in strategic areas of various states as our subjective forces gain strength.
However, although we are establishing organs of people’s power in our strongholds, it is not an easy thing to establish stable bases for quite some time, given the vastly superior strength of the Indian state. Besides unleashing white terror on the people, the Indian ruling classes have also taken up reforms in the areas of armed struggle in order to divert the masses and to win over a section to their side. Hence, along with strengthening the PLGA and transforming it into PLA, we have to arm the masses in a big way and prepare the masses mentally, imparting ideological and political consciousness to them from the beginning. In spite of these efforts, the scale and magnitude of enemy attack might force us to retreat from some of our strongholds and developments like a base area changing into a guerrilla zone cannot be ruled out. The transformation of a guerilla zone changing into a base area or the vice versa will occur depending on the state of the enemy’s offensive, successes or defeats in the war, the state of our subjective forces, the spread of the people’s war, and on the domestic and international situation.