The Naxalite Struggle for Self-Determination Advances
[Having a narrow understanding of the world makes it easier to be manipulated into believing things that aren't true or that are against one's own interests. When we say 80% of the world's people have an objective interest in communism, this is not just based on comparing incomes or wealth. The imperialists try to hide the historical fact that at one time a third of the world's people lived in socialist systems, and this was achieved by the valiant armed struggles of those peoples fighting for liberation. Even beyond the borders of the socialist countries the oppressed people of the world openly supported the leadership of those countries, meaning the vast majority of the world's people supported communism as the way forward. We cannot say this today, but the numbers are certainly higher than most are aware of. In South Asia, in particular, Maoism has been alive and well among the masses for decades, and consolidating its forces in recent years. Most of what is considered South Asia is the state of India. South Asia has some of the most densely populated regions of the world, with a population much larger than all of North and South America combined.
We often give updates on progress of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in our strategic confidence column. Here we print an article by a comrade that gives a brief introduction to who they are, for those who don't know, and we follow up with some excerpts from a recent report from CPI(Maoist). - editor]
Half a century ago, India was in turmoil, with rebellions popping up in the countryside. One such being the Marxist-led food movement of 1965 and another being a peasant revolt in 1976 in a village in West Bengal called Naxalbari. This peasant revolt would later inspire a Maoist-led people's movement, which was named after the Naxalbari revolt, and inspired by Mao Zedong's model of agrarian reform. The rebels are today known as "Naxalites" by the locals; we know them as the Communist Party of India (Maoist) (CPI(Maoist)). Today they are leading the largest Maoist struggle in the world, liberating vast areas in the jungles, mountains, and the countryside from the neo-colonial regime of India.
The first Maoists to arrive in the jungles of Abujamarh in 1989 were largely petty-bourgeois revolutionaries and college students from the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh following a government crackdown on communists in the cities. It is here that the Naxalite cadres have taken up the people's struggle. In the depth of the jungles the Naxalites have found a new ally: the adivasi. Adivasi means "original people" and they are the First Nations within India, who number 84 million, or about 8.6% of the population. Today the Naxalite communist forces include not only the petty bourgeoisie and college students, but also very large numbers of revolutionaries from India's socially disadvantaged segment known as "the backward class." As a matter of fact, while the CPI(Maoist) was initially composed of various intellectuals from the cities, it is the admixture of the intellectuals with the peasants that has given the people's struggle new life and sustainability. As the struggle rages on it's the adivasi who have taken up leadership roles as CPI(Maoist) cadres, in particular the wimmin who, according to reports, now make up 60% of the Maoist top hierarchy.
In India's countryside, where 180 million exploited people survive on less than two dollars a day; where in poor rural areas like Abujmarh the farmers, peasants, and the poor can't even feed themselves; where children are malnourished and plagued by disease; the people have taken a revolutionary stand against national oppression. They have taken up Maoism. According to a recent National Geographic article, what kicked up the insurrection was newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi's attraction to the country's mineral wealth, which happens to be in the Naxalite territories. The coal reserves being the most attractive, the coal reserves (the fifth largest in the world) fuel the power plants that light up India's very distant metropolises. The company Central Coalfields Limited (CCL), a local subsidiary of Coal India Limited (CIL), has offered money to locals, jobs and other petty bribes in return for the locals' land. Some accepted the bribes, but I wonder for how long will they last? To the peasant farmers whose livelihood is linked to their land the state's bribes hold little attraction.
The bullshit money CCL offers will go as quick as it came and the petty jobs will not last forever. What then? The people want to keep their farmland to be able to feed their families. Many have resisted the capitalist encroachment, but some have been unable to resist the pressures from big business. Others have simply sold out. Since it became law in 1894, the Land Acquisition Act (a colonial legislation created to allow the bourgeoisie to seize land under the so-called principal of "eminent domain") has left millions without homes due to the state's mining activities. In response to this the Naxalites have established people's courts within both the disputed and liberated zones so that the masses can not only put the predatory land agents on trial, but the traitors as well. Such institutions of the oppressed are part of the building of dual power in India, where an emerging socialist state challenges the existing capitalist one. The people's courts follow in the traditions of the Bolshevik and Chinese revolutions. In particular the latter, after Japanese imperialism's defeat and liberation from both British and Amerikan imperialism. With these courts the targets of the masses were not only pro-Japanese landlords, but counter-revolutionaries as well.
When discussing political affairs, chiefly the oppression and exploitation of the Third World countries, people ask, what do you care? You're on the other side of the world. Well, as humyn beings we should care. What the Naxalite/adivasi struggle teaches is that without national liberation for self-determination of an oppressed nation, which should be led by a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist vanguard, imperialist oppression will never end. As anti-imperialists we are duty-bound to support the struggles of the oppressed against imperialism. The adivasi and other peasant masses are tired of foreign and domestic capital exploiting their people and their land. The adivasi struggle is our struggle! With unification of the masses, and with the correct leadership of the Maoist unity, victory is on the people's side.
excerpt from a March 2015 report from India:
"Overcoming innumerable obstacles and snatching initiative, PLGA fighters and urban action team combatants led by the Western Ghats Special Zonal Committee (WGSZC) of the CPI (Maoist) have opened up a new warfront in the State of Keralam, situated along the South Western coast of India... The necessity of taking up arms and advancing the revolutionary war as the true means to seize and secure the rights of the adivasis and other masses over the 'Land, water and forests' has been widely propagated through these actions.
"...These actions were carried out as part of a Politico-Military Campaign (PMC) carried out over a three month period, from November 2014 till January 2015. The aim of the campaign was to prepare the masses for the revolutionary war, defeat the initiative and aggressiveness of the enemy armed forces and advance the revolutionary movement...
"The successful completion of the PMC marks a qualitative turn in the expansion of the people’s war led by the CPI (Maoist) in the country as well as an overcoming of the stagnation faced in the armed struggle initiated in the Western Ghats more than a decade ago in the Malnad region of Karnataka. Facing heavy repression, the party lost 16 of its valiant leaders and fighters, including comrades Saketh Rajan and Rajamouli (Secretaries of Karnataka State Committee) during this period, while striving to sink firm roots and advance the new democratic revolution by rallying the masses. Meanwhile, efforts to initiate the armed struggle in Tamil Nadu and Keralam too failed to get off, suffering grievous losses of comrades who were martyred in enemy attacks.
"...[Decades earlier] Wayanad was one of the main areas of revolutionary struggles in Keralam inspired by the armed peasant rebellion of Naxalbari... Keralam has a long history of communist activity and valiant armed struggles led by the communists. When the CPI leadership deviated into revisionism, rank and file comrades in different parts of the State started seeking a way forward. They were attracted to the fierce ideological struggle being waged against Khrushchev revisionism under the leadership of Mao Tsetung.
"Ever since then Maoist led revolutionary activities has been a regular feature of the political scene. A number of heroic armed actions were carried out successfully. Many militant mass struggles were organised. At different periods, youth and students came forward in large numbers to join the revolutionary movement and serve the people. Yet all these efforts did not lead to building a sustained and developing Maoist movement. All throughout these decades, the revolutionary movement was repeatedly derailed by wrong tendencies and rightist deviations.
"This was ruptured with in the early 1990s. On the one hand, a section of comrades rebelled against the revisionist line of K. Venu, rejected the theses that conditions in Keralam are not conducive for people’s war and went forward. This initiative would be one of the components forming the Maoist Unity Centre, CPI (ML), along with comrades in Maharashtra, and then later, the CPI (ML) NAXALBARI, uniting with revolutionaries led by the late comrade SA Rawoof. A group of comrades, who had formed a new centre, rebelling against CPI(ML) Jana Shakthi rightist leadership, later merged with this. Meanwhile, sections who were disgusted with the right opportunism of the various ML parties present in Keralam rebelled and joined the CPI (ML) People’s War in the early 1990s, which later merged with the Maoist Communist Centre, India in 2004 to form the CPI (Maoist). They too set out to rubbish the revisionist theses of Keralam’s exclusivity. Both of these initiatives had been working independently towards initiating armed struggle."(4)