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CPI (ML) Red Flag; India
1. More than half a century after the transfer of power in 1947, at the dawn of the new century, what India and its people are experiencing are acute crises, miseries and devastation in all walks of life. About half the people are living under the poverty line. Vast masses of people are deprived of all basic amenities like shelter, education, health care and even drinking water. Galloping unemployment and spiralling prices of essential commodities make life miserable for the vast majority. Starvation deaths, mal-nutrition and mass suicides under economic duress are increasing.
2. Under imperialist globalisation policies, all public sector undertakings (PSUs) are being privatised through ‘disinvestment’ or outright sale. Even private sector units and small scale industrial units (SSIs) are facing acute crisis due to dumping and impact of policies implimented under WTO dictates. New forms of de-industrialisation are imposed over the country. Through these policies millions of workers are thrown out of employment. All trade union rights won through numerous struggles by the organised working class movements are being snatched away. Closures and lockouts of industrial units, imposition of black laws, retrenchments and ‘VRS’ have become rampant. The contract labour system is imposed in all fields. As a result of all these, all the gains in the industrial sector achieved during the last decades are being destroyed and the working class has come under severe attacks.
3. Under the New Economic Policy all the public and government undertakings in the field of banking, insurance etc. and all other service sectors including transportation, communications, energy etc. built up during the last decades under welfare state policies are being privatised at a fast pace. Monopoly of MNCs and native corporate houses are being established in this sector. Millions of employees are thrown out or forced to work under the ‘hire and fire’ system. Alongwith these, whatever benefits were enjoyed by the people from these PSUs, are being taken away.
4. The agrarian sector has come under unprecedented strain due to dumping through Exim Policies and the penetration of MNCs and imperialist capital. Not only the vast masses of agricultural workers and peasantry are pauperised and have come under severe economic strains, but also a section of the rich peasants are facing crisis due to the WTO dictated import policies, the increasing cost of inputs, the absence of remunerative prices for their produce, the removal of subsidies and support prices, the anti-peasant credit policies and the increasing burden of usurious loans. Because of all these and the privatisation of the banking sector and anti-people banking policies, the peasant masses and other oppressed sections are compelled to depend upon these usurious loans often forcing them to mass suicides. More and more agricultural land is being transferred to MNCs and local monopolies for agri-business and other purposes. The agricultural workers who are overwhe lmingly dalits, adivasis and the most backward sections, are loosing even present employment and alongwith economic exploitation they are facing increasing social oppression. As these New Economic Policies are imposed over the still existing pre-capitalist relations including semi-feudal relations in many areas, the living conditions of the vast masses of peasantry and agricultural workers have further worsened.
5. The socio-political scene more than five decades after the transfer of power, especially under the globalisation policies, is marked by the growth of communal fascism and increasing communal strife, casteist conflicts, exploitation of women and children, attacks on policies like reservation for socially backward sections, discontentment among people of different areas due to uneven development and backwardness of vast areas and snatching away of even existing federal rights, attacks on and the land alienation of adivasi people and ecological destruction.
6. The 1947 transfer of power did not mark an end to the imperialist design of continuing their exploitation and establishing hegemony over the politico-economic fields in India. Internationally, imperialism was undergoing many changes during that period. Under the leadership of US imperialism, it was developing new forms and instruments for exploitation of the Asian, African, Latin-American countries. Imperialism was allowing formal independence to these countries while maintaining its own vested interests in tact.
7. After the October Revolution, in this era of imperialism and proletarian revolution, it has been repeatedly proved that the bourgeoisie in the colonial/semi-colonial countries earlier and now in these countries which have come under neo-colonisation following World War II, are incapable of and not interested in completing the national and democratic tasks of revolution. During the independence struggle the Indian bourgeoisie represented by the Congress leadership, under compulsion from the demands put forward as a part of the popular upsurge had advocated land reforms, self reliance, secularism, democratisation of society etc. But after coming to power they refused to fulfill these aspirations and aligned with the very same feudal decadent forces and served imperialist interests. That is, in the period following the transfer of power, the Indian bourgeoisie leading the ruling classes exercised manoeuvering capacity and even took some steps in conflict with imperialist policies. But at the same time, even when the internal and external policies of the Indian state in some fields reflected its conflicts with some of the imperialist policies in the then existing international situation when a powerful socialist bloc led by the Soviet Union existed, their basic compradore character did not undergo any change. The powerful bureaucratic bourgeoisie which took roots from the colonial period itself is still continuing as a strong ally of the Indian bourgeoisie. Thus, the compradore bureaucratic bourgeoisie and the landlord classes constitute the Indian ruling classes.
8. In the present global situation of the growing general crisis of imperialism, in continuation to, and as an intensification of the neo-liberal policies, which were being introduced at the global level from the 1960s itself, in 1991 the Congress government introduced the New Economic Policies bringing in globalisation regime under the dictates of IMF-World Bank and other imperialist agencies. As a result, even whatever gains which could be achieved during the post-1947 period in the industrial, service and agricultural sectors, are being sold out or surrendered during the last decade and more. Even in the fields directly connected with national security, the MNCs and other foreign agencies are permitted to dominate.
9. The partial land reforms implemented during the post-1947 period did not serve the interests of the agricultural workers and poor peasants. They did not lead to the betterment of their lives. These reforms, along with the policies like Green Revolution implemented from above from the 1960s, led to the super-imposition and escalation of the capitalist relations in more and more areas. These developments made the unevenness in the agricultural sector more acute. In many areas, along with the emergence of capitalist farmers, the feudal landlords in the main also were transformed to a rich peasant class through different ways. Through the entry of agri-business and with more and more areas under cash crops, the agricultural field is brought under the sway of market forces. The policy of food self-reliance is given a go-by. Due to the throwing away of all state protectionist policies and subsidies, the consequences of WTO dictated policies, the hiking of input costs, new forms of usury etc. a vast majority of the peasantry are being thrown to the mercy of market forces. At the same time pre-capitalist relations including feudal and semi-feudal relations are still continuing in many areas.
10. As a result of many decades of opportunist, reactionary rule and especially due to the consequences following the imposition of NEPs, the Congress got alienated from the people and considerably weakened. The UF which came to power also could not become an alternative to Congress. It was in this situation, by utilising the growing discontentment among the people, by intensifying the communalisation through its Hindutua campaign, by making opportunistic alliances etc. the BJP-led NDA could come to power. This government has surpassed all the previous governments in serving imperialist interests. It is mounting attacks on whatever positive gains were achieved by the people so far. All secular democratic values, principles of self-reliance, national unity and federalism are coming under open challenge through Constitutional review and other steps. The crisis before the country and the people has reached unprecedented levels.
11. The experience of the last 50 years and what is happening after the coming to power of the BJP led government have irrevocably proved that the ruling class parties can never provide, nor are having the intention to provide democratic governance leading to a democratic India. Because of their class interests they are not for removing the obstacles in the way of the real unification of the Indian masses, for implementing land reforms, for pursuing a secular democratic approach, nor for taking anti-imperialist positions. Through a brief interlude, the UF government and the parties which constituted it have also proved that in essence they also support the basic orientation of the ruling class policies. In varying degrees, all of these ruling class alternatives are serving the neocolonial interests of imperialism, or are its apologists.
12. In this situation, against the anti-people policies pursued by the BJP-led government in continuation to the earlier governments, numerous people’s struggles are coming up all over the country, including all India hartals and agitations. All the ruling class parties are getting more and more isolated from the people. And the contradictions among them are also sharpening.
13. Only the Indian proletariat can mobilise all revolutionary classes, sections and the masses, challenge the ruling system and provide the left alternative at this crucial juncture in the history of our country. The Indian proletariat and its vanguard party has to shoulder the responsibility of completing the tasks of the long-pending democratic revolution and national independence by mobilising all anti-imperialist, anti-feudal forces for settling accounts with imperialism, the comprador classes and pre-capitalist relations including feudal decadent relations. As the vanguard of the proletariat, the Communist Party has to complete these tasks of the New Democratic Revolution and lead the people towards socialism.
14. Thus the strenous task before the Communist Revolutionary forces in India is the reorganisation of the CPI(ML) movement which took birth in continuation to the great fighting traditions of the communist movement in India. In the real sense it is the historic task of reorganising the Communist movement itself uniting all the genuine Communists in the country in order to pave the way for the re-emergence of the Communist Party which is capable of leading the New Democratic Revolution in a country of more than 100 crores (one billion) of people, the Communist Party which upholds Marxism-Leninism-MaoTsatung Thought and proletarion internationalism.
15. The re-organisation of the Communist Party which is a pre-condition for successfully leading the New Delmocratic Revolution to victory is possible only by waging uncompromising struggle against both social democracy and revisionism on the one hand and all manifestations of sectarianism on the other hand and uniting the Marxist-Leninist forces based on Bolshevik concepts and mass line. This is crucial task before the Indian Communists today.
16. The emergence of revisionism in India in organised form by and large is linked to the emergence of Krushchovian revisinism in the Soviet Union in the 1950s. Soon the leading section of the CPI under its influence started advocating the ‘three peacefulls theory’ of Krushchov. They called for peaceful transition to socialism uniting with ‘the national bourgeoisie in power’ which is pursuing ‘non-capitalist path’ of development. This so-called line of ‘National Democratic Revolution’ advocated by the Dangeist leadership tried to reduce the CPI in to an appendage of the Congress, the main bourgeois-land lord party serving imperialism.
17. The vast majority of the rank and file revolted against this line and rallied behind the CC members who walked out of CPI in 1964 and formed the CPI(M). It declared in its 1964 Programme that: "Even the basic democratic tasks of uprooting imperialist monopoly capital and the smashing up of the feudal and semi-feudal fetters on our agriculture cannot be completed without dislodging the bourgeois-land lord government headed by the big bourgeoisie from power". It reiterated the line of People’s Democratic Revolution. But soon its leadership vacillated in the struggle against Krushchovian revisionism, took a centrist line in the ‘Great Debate’ agaisnt it and surrendered to parliamantarism in the 1967 elections. Both the CPI, which had lost its influence considerably and the CPI(M) supported Indira Gandhi faction of the Congress party when it split in 1969. They later upheld the capitalist roaders who usurped power in China in 1976 and their ‘market socialism’ . They became advocates of Gorbachov’s ‘glassnost’ also which later led to the disintegration of Soviet Union. Today both are reduced to social democratic parties which have become part of the ruling system. In states where the CPI(M) led left or left democratic front is in power they implement the very same imperialist globalisation policies.
18. It was against the revisionist line of CPI and the neo-revisionist line of the CPI(M) that the Communist Revolutionaries in CPI(M) revolted and led the great Naxalbari struggle in 1967, a continuation of Telegana and Tebhaga struggles of earlier period. Naxalbari struggle led to the formation of the CPI(ML) in 1969. It created great enthusiasm throughout the country leading to people’s upsurges in many regions. It created the possibility for the revolutionary reorganisation of the Communist movement in India.
But from its very begining the CPI(ML) was influenced by the sectarian line that had emerged in the CPC and dominated its Nineth Congress in 1969 in which under the garb of Mao’s Thought, Lin Piao had put forward the ‘new era theory’ of ‘imperialism facing worldwide defeat and proletarain revolution achieving world wide victory’. Soon CPI(ML) started raising slogans like ‘China’s Chairman is our Chairman’ and ‘China’s Path is our Path’. There was an attempt to copy the analysis of China’s experience mechanically in India with declarations like armed struggle is the only path, denouncing all other forms of struggle and class/mass organisations. This negation of mass line soon led to grievous looses and severe setbacks, and to disintergration of the movement in to various groups.
The usurpation of power in China by the capitalist roaders in 1976, soon followed by the denunciation of Mao’s contributions by the Albanian leadership also added to the confusion. Most of CPI(ML) groups followed the Dengist line and ‘Theory of Three Worlds’ for many years and a fringe even remained loyal to Hoxha line.
19. During the Coordination Committe that preceded CPI(ML) formation, during the party formation and soon after many sections had struggled against the sectarian line that dominated the movement. After the setback and disintegration most of the CPI(ML) groups started examination of the sectarian mistakes and a rectification process was started by many of them. But a section still remained loyal to the LinPiaoist Line which is now generally propogated as ‘Maoism’. Though they float some front organisations, they follow the old sectarian line still in toto negating the necessity to develop revolutionary line based on the concrete conditions of the country. Their ‘boycottist line’ is often leading them to serve the ruling class interests in effect. The social democratic trend as well as this sectarian trend are two sides of the same coin and are equally harmful to the Communist movement. A relentless struggle is called for against both these trends as part of th e efforts to re-organise the Communist Party in India.
20. Among the CPI(ML) groups that have adopted the mass line also there are sections influenced by either revisionist tendencies or a sort of ‘self satisfied sectarainism’. The revisionist tendencies are manifested in upholding ‘market socialism’ of the Dengist leadership of the CPC and in upholding present China as socialist in continuation to their earlier support to ‘glassnost’, in the increasing inclination towards parliamentarism etc. On the other hand, those who are under the influence of ‘self-satisfied sectarianism’ in spite of adopting mass line maintain old sectarian illusions, refuse to change old mechanical analysis of Indian society under the influence of the line of ‘China’s path’, keep isolationist positions and refuse to launch all out attacks on the ruling system using all forms of struggle and abandoning united front tactics. Both these tendencies are doing lot of harm to the re-organisation of the Communist Party and to organise country wid e movements against the ruling system. A serious ideological political struggle is needed to expose and defeat these tendencies also.
21. India is a vast country with a huge population and uneven development in different regions. The re-organisation of the Party is possible only based on a concrete analysis of the present situation including the fast changes taking place in the production relations, especially following the imperialist globalisation, developing the Marxist-Leninist line and country wide struggles based on it, developing the proletarian internationalist approach, and on the basis of this experience waging uncompromising struggle against all alien trends. The unity process to bring together all genuine Communists leading to the re-emergence of the Party of the Indian proletariat also should be taken up as part of this. The CPI(ML) Red Flag is engaged in this strenous task. It is as part of this process the Co-ordination Committe of the CPI(ML) Red Flag and the CPI(ML) is formed with the purpose of unity of these two organisations. In order to speed up this process united stru ggles by like minded organisations are also continously waged in various fields and on various issues. The advances made in the re-organisation and strengthening of the party and launching of countrywide people’s movements against the ruling system serving imperialism, especially US imperialism, comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and landlord classes shall create conditions for taking further initiative in playing its share in uniting the Communist forces at international level also.
22. The experience of the Communist movement in India teaches that inspite of great advances and sacrifices made both during the colonial period and after the 1947 transfer of power when it came under continuous neocolonisation moves of the imperialist powers, especially US imperialism, it could not move forward due to coming under repeated sway of both right opportunist and ‘left’ sectarian tendencies. Influence of revisionist and sectarian tendencies at international level as well as the serious mistakes committed in the concrete analysis of Indian situation have led to these deviations. Under the present circumstances also the Party re-organisation and making it capable of leading the NDR in a country of more than one billion people is possible only by continuing uncompromising and relentles struggles against these alien tendencies. Based on this experience and based on the evaluation of the long experience of the international communist movement, CPI(ML) Red Flag is of the view that uniting the Communist Parties at international level, building a platform of these forces as the first step towards re-organising the Communist International, and building the broad-based anti-imperialist front at international level with the Communist forces as its core are possible only by continuing uncompromising struggle and settling accounts with both social democracy and revisionism on the one hand, and sectarianism on the other.