To all the delegates who have gathered in this Conference,
To all the parties, organisations and individuals who have worked to organise it,
To the International Committee to support the people’s war in India that is leading this Conference,
Warmest revolutionary greetings and heartfelt Lal Salam from the CPI (Maoist) and the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), Revolutionary People’s Committees (RPCs), Revolutionary Mass Organisations and revolutionary people of India, it leads.
We greet you especially with the joy of celebrating the momentous 10th anniversary of the foundation of our party and with deep appreciation of your organising this Conference in conjunction with these celebrations exactly in the condition of great turmoil in the world. The formation of the CPI (Maoist) which united the two major revolutionary streams in India realised a dream long cherished by the revolutionaries and masses. In its 10 years of its existence 2332 comrades, including members of the Politbureau, Central Committee, State, Region, District, Sub-zone, Area and Village level party committees, primary party members and many more of the PLGA and the United Front, have made the supreme sacrifice to fulfil the revolutionary tasks it had set itself. We pay homage to these martyrs, to the revolutionary masses who have willingly suffered loss of lives and unimaginable repression to participate and support the people’s war, and to all those who laid down their lives for the great cause of communism throughout the world.
For us the celebration of the 10th anniversary of our party is an opportunity to take stock of our achievements and shortcomings. The PLGA, People’s Militia and revolutionary masses led by it have waged heroic political and military battles against a heavily armed and trained enemy, guided and backed by imperialism, particularly US imperialism. Our comrades in jail have written splendid tales of resistance. We celebrate these achievements, aware of our shortcomings, in order to forge ahead along the path of protracted people’s war.
Allow us to first place an account of the past ten years.
During this period our party, the PLGA, RPCs and all the revolutionary mass organisations led by it have striven hard to realise the tasks we shouldered at the time of its formation. In 2007, defeating the persistent attempts made by the enemy to thwart us, we successfully convened our long cherished Unity Congress, the 9th Congress. This enabled us to further deepen and enrich our ideological, political unity. An exhaustive review was made of the achievements and drawbacks, successes and failures, of the two and half years since the merger. Along with central and principal task other important tasks were set. The leadership was further strengthened. Thus, our party emerged from the Congress, more sharp in its ideological-political positions, more consolidated in its unity, more steeled in its determination and fighting spirit, to fulfil its tasks as the vanguard of the new democratic revolution of India, as a contingent of the international proletariat.
Since 2004, and more so after the Congress, the PLGA took major strides through arduous efforts and carried out heroic raids and ambushes. It advanced from company level formations, is taking initial steps in forming battalions, and improved its capacity of command and coordination of its primary, secondary and base forces. This has allowed it to attack and completely annihilate the Indian state’s mercenary para-military forces, in general at the platoon level, and in particular at the company level in the Mukaram battle. It has built up a broad People’s Militia, numbering in the thousands. This has been instrumental in defeating counter- revolutionary vigilante groups such as the Salwa Judum and Sendra, etc. where the enemy tries to ‘turn the people against the people’. The People’s Militia and the revolutionary masses have also been of great importance in the PLGA’s successes in major battles.
This period also gave important lessons in revolutionary mass struggles and co-ordination between armed and mass struggles. We must particularly note that this was done under conditions where almost all open mass organisations linked to our party, or even suspected to have relations to it, are banned and its members hunted, murdered or imprisoned. In the midst of this persecution, fully aware that the ‘masses are the real creators of history and we communists are mere children’, we have persisted in building mass organisations suited to the conditions and mobilising the masses in the hundreds of thousands. We led some major mass struggles that took the form of mass upsurges. New forms of struggle and organisation emerged, such as those in Lalgarh and Narayanpatna. Conducive ground was laid for the consolidation of an anti-feudal, anti-imperialist front. In many other parts of the country big struggles broke out where the masses came forward to defend their land. They fought against plans to displace them for the sake of opening big mines, dams and other pro-imperialist, pro-ruling class projects. We supported these struggles and led some of them. This gave us rich experiences in leading mass struggles, uniting a wide variety of forces. These struggles brought out the leading role of the party and the people’s war it leads. They were of immense help in extending the war zones and expanding the party and the PLGA through winning over new forces.
Another important arena of struggle is gradually expanding inside the prisons. Several thousands are in jail. Several Central and District and sub-jails in about 20 States have reverberated with the hunger strikes, at times indefinite, on the demands of political prisoners. Through their activities our comrades in jail have succeeded in mobilising ordinary prisoners to fight for their rights. Democratic organisations and forces are also playing a key role in this even amid severe countrywide repression. Support activities and struggles demanding release of all political prisoners have spread out across the country and internationally. The solidarity activities you have taken up in support of political prisoners in India were specially important and we cherish them as a glowing example of internationalism.
Over these ten years the party has further developed its capacities in different fields. It has actively engaged in ideological struggle against various deviations within the country and at the international level. It played a key role in the formation and functioning of the Co-ordination Centre of Maoist Parties and Organisations in South Asia (CCOMPOSA).
The party has paid attention to raise its ideological level through systematic study classes and rectification campaigns. Study material and magazines are published in various languages. Special effort was taken to develop study/propaganda material in adivasi languages. Syllabus and texts prepared for basic education were further enriched. These are used in the schools run by the RPCs and for the education of PLGA combatants and members of the mass organisations.
An exceptional contribution of the party is that of arousing the women who are half the sky and developing their capacities in political, organisational, military, cultural and other spheres so that they can lay claim to their share in struggle. Today around 40 percent of the fighting force of the PLGA consists of women, though the percentage varies in various guerrilla zones. Women are commanders at the platoon level and members of company level party committees.
The party has paid a lot of attention to develop revolutionary cultural activities. Mass cultural organisations exist in many States from village to State level. They spread the message of revolution and promote democratic and scientific values through multifarious cultural forms that learn from and develop national, ethnic cultural traditions and styles. They motivate the people to struggle for radical change. Their cultural messages also play the role of an instrument of rectification that attacks the reactionary values of the old society gripping the minds of the masses. These organisations are powerful weapons linking the party with the broad masses. Apart from these mass organisations, armed cultural groups are formed within the PLGA too, at the company and battalion levels.
Most importantly, through the planned work taken up after the formation of the united party, we could expand some guerrilla bases as a transitory step towards the establishment of liberated areas. We succeeded in consolidating Revolutionary People’s Committees (RPC) in several villages in these bases. The guerrilla bases enabled us to carry out strategic tasks to further consolidate and expand them to advance the revolutionary war. More people’s political power organs emerged in the period after the Congress. In Telengana and Andhra Pradesh several RPCs had been formed in the past.
Though there had been a setback in these States, the people who had enjoyed political power are fighting to overcome the situation with that inspiration. In Dandakaranya (Chhattisgarh), several Area level revolutionary people’s governments were formed earlier. A few Division (District) level people’ governments have also started functioning. This is a new experience in the history of the revolutionary movement in our country. They are placing an alternative political, economic and cultural model in front of the Indian people by rejecting the fake democratic system and the pseudo reforms of the exploiting governments. These people’s governments are striving to increase the agricultural production of the people through their cooperative and collective labour while working very hard to march forward to achieve self-sufficiency for the economic development of the people and to support the party and the PLGA. Thus we march forward to realise the central task of our revolution, the seizure of political power through armed struggle.
Following the formation of the united party in 2004, the enemy has redoubled its efforts to destroy the revolution by expanding the US imperialism guided ‘Low Intensity Conflict’ strategy to the entire country. It now acknowledges us as the ‘greatest threat’ to its security.
Through this strategy the enemy has paid special effort to attack and destroy our leadership. As you know it has succeeded in this to a significant extent, causing heavy losses. In 2009 it launched its even more ruthless, intensive and extensive suppression strategy, the ‘Operation Green Hunt’, the notorious ‘War on the People’. A grand plan was prepared to wipe us out, employing fascist methods. Huge forces, including special forces, were trained and concentrated. Thousands of crores of rupees were spent. Massive propaganda targeting us as anti- development and a bunch of terrorists was carried out. Intense combing operations, surprise attacks on our forces, attacks on our mass base in the war zones were conducted by mobilising a huge number of forces in every operation. Large scale arrests of activists of all people’s organisations in rural and urban areas and militia in all guerrilla zones, burning and destruction of houses, properties and crops, mass murder of people and mass raping of womenfolk and killing and taking away a large number of livestock had become a routine one, fake encounter killings continued, destruction of our urban networks, destruction of the infrastructure built up through the collective labour of the masses were combined with reform activities meant to sidetrack the people. In the face of this fascist onslaught we did suffer serious losses.
Led by the Central Committee, the whole party, PLGA, People’s Militia and revolutionary masses led by the RPCs and mass organisations, stood firm, learnt from our mistakes, redoubled efforts and hit back. Simultaneously we waged a political battle. We struck back exposing the enemy’s propaganda. This paved the way for a favourable political polarisation within the country. Progressives and democratic forces came forward along with revolutionaries to denounce the enemy’s Operation Green Hunt as a ‘War on the People’.
Internationally too a broad movement came up to build world public opinion against this assault of the Indian state. This reaffirms the capacity of our ideology to counter the enemy’s psychological war and gives us rich lessons.
In the wake of the severe mauling they suffered at the hands of the PLGA in a few tactical offensives where they were wiped out in large numbers, the enemy started taking up operations with even larger forces. The enemy who was successful in damaging the leadership and cadre in the urban and plain areas is now targeting the leadership in forest areas. The enemy has already engaged its 500,000 Central and State troops in these war zones and is planning to increase it by several thousands.
Drones are employed.
The Air Force is involved in a supportive role and the Army is being readied.
Facing these attacks the PLGA has gained rich experiences in battling and breaking the enemy’s ‘cordon and search’ campaigns, deploying at times a force of 10,000. The PLGA, with the full support of the people and with exemplary initiative, bravely fought hour long battles, even for three days, to break the enemy’s cordon and successfully defeated its plans to capture leadership comrades.
PLGA forces and people’s militia also fought back the tactics of the enemy of deploying the police and paramilitary forces through helicopters by firing on and damaging them with ordinary rifles.
While the tightening blockades, combing and attacks brought out the steel in the vast majority of our ranks, it has also exposed the rotten elements that had remained hidden among us. Liquidationists who pretend that protracted people’s war is not suited to our conditions, cowards who flee under different pretexts hopelessly trying to cover up their defeatism, traitors who sell out the people for the pittance thrown to them by the enemy – these trying times have uncovered them, one after the other. Among the masses some have “surrendered” under enemy brute force. Repeated and heavy attacks have caused great harm to the party structures in the villages and consequently to the RPCs and mass organisations too. A section of the masses have become passive.
In the first quarter of 2013, assessing the situation we face, the Central Committee had noted that the weaknesses in our subjective condition were uneven. It assessed that our countrywide movement is facing a very difficult condition. The reasons for this situation to arise are both objective and subjective. The Indian ruling classes, with the complete support and guidance of the imperialists, have launched an unprecedented multi-pronged countrywide strategic offensive to suppress our developing movement. We suffered some losses, lost some ground temporarily while withdrawing in the face of superior forces. The other reason for this is subjective, the mistakes we made in rising up to the demands of changing conditions of the revolutionary war and leading the PLGA and people, continuing remnants of non-proletarian tendencies in ourselves and failure in avoiding serious loses.
The Central Committee has formulated the basic tactics to overcome this situation. It issued a call to Bolshevise the party aimed at becoming capable of overcoming the present difficult condition and achieving it by educating the entire party in MLM, political and military line and basic policies, tactics, style of work of the party and fighting style of the PLGA, lessons learnt from practice, rectifying its mistakes and shortcomings and thus strengthening the party, PLGA and mass base and paving the way to advance the movement. Whatever may be the situation, we have a mighty weapon to tackle it. This is our ideology, MLM. Grasping it deeply and taking up this weapon ever more firmly; this is the crux of Bolshevising the party. This campaign is going on and the party and all the forces led by it are striving to develop their capacities to defeat the enemy’s onslaught.
During the past 15 months we put efforts to preserve our movement and leadership amid intensified enemy offensive. In the recent period the PLGA, with the support of the people, conducted tactical counter-offensive campaigns and several armed actions, annihilated enemy forces and seized arms and ammunitions. Thousands of people and people’s militia led by the PLGA destroyed road building equipment, vehicles, guest houses, and camp offices of the government and the big construction and mining companies. Along with starting Bolshevisation campaign in the entire party, PLGA mass organisation and United Front organisations, we could achieve some positive experiences in some parts and extend into some new strategic areas. We are striving hard for revival of the movement in some of the areas from where we had to retreat.
In areas where we have weakened the party is trying to face the situation with Bolshevik spirit. Facing heavy odds and losses, we are opening up a new war front in the Sahyadri (Western Ghats) border region of Karnataka-Keralam-Tamilnadu.
Our party’s efforts to rally the vast masses in both secret and open forms against the pro- imperialist policies that served the interests of the ruling classes implemented by the Central and State governments continued. Thousands of people held rallies and vented their ire demanding the withdrawal of the Central and State forces. They protested fake encounters, massacres, illegal arrests and atrocities on women, attacks on villages, loot and destruction of people’s properties and demanded the release of political prisoners. Revolutionary land reforms and people’s welfare programmes were conducted by RPCs by mobilising the masses and PLGA also participated in these programs.
The capture and execution of the hated Mahendra Karma, the main person responsible for the brutal Salwa Judum atrocities was a major achievement. Responding to the call of the party the people in rural Dandakaranya (DK) boycotted the Chhattisgarh assembly and parliament elections and some rural areas of Bihar, Jharkand, Odisha and Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB) people successfully boycotted parliamentary elections by resiting thousands of additional state forces and their brutal suppression. In areas where movements of adivasi peoples against mining and displacement are going on, majority of the people boycotted the Loksabha polls and expressed their protest against the these destructive projects.
As part of the election boycott campaign the PLGA forces successfully conducted tactical counter-offensive actions on the enemy forces that came to force people to vote in most of the war zones of Central and Eastern India. Some of these actions took place in areas which the enemy had claimed to have ‘cleared’ and taken control of. Within the first five months of 2014, spanning the election period, 63 enemy forces were annihilated and 122 injured in 31 actions. One PLGA combatant was martyred in these offensives. We could seize 36 weapons and 3366 rounds. It is noteworthy that these actions came in the wake of and during two massive country-wide special ‘cordon and search campaigns’ conducted by the enemy. Through guerrilla actions conducted constantly by the PLGA in the various guerrilla zones the enemy forces had to disperse their forces in a vast area and so were forced into a situation where they could not deploy their forces as they wish in our crucial areas. Due to lack of additional forces the enemy couldn’t carry out these campaigns more intensively in all areas at once except in Bijapur (DK) and some other parts of the country.
New forms of struggle are being developed to counter the enemy’s ‘carpet-security’ strategic network where heavily fortified camps with hundreds of troops are put up at short distances of 2 to 6 km from each other, steadily encircling our guerrilla bases and other war zones. In two instances, the masses, along with the PLGA or on their own with its support, have engaged in armed harassment or besieged such camps for days together and forced their shut down. The role of women in these struggles was exemplary. We have also seen instances where the masses either rejected the free goods distributed by the enemy mercenaries as part of Civic Action Programs or made a bonfire of them.
In this period an important achievement in last 15 months was the merger into one party of CPI (Maoist) and CPI (M-L) NAXALBARI. This was another turning point in the effort to achieve unity of genuine revolutionaries in our country. As pointed out in the merger declaration, this gives a boost to the capacity of our party to better fulfil its role as the vanguard of the Indian revolution. The unity of Maoists in the face of intense enemy attack has greatly encouraged our entire party, PLGA and the revolutionary masses. It has been enthusiastically welcomed at the international level too.
Overall the situation we face is still very difficult. But we are firmly holding on, boldly facing up to it, and pushing forward to overcome it. Needless to say, the solidarity you extend immensely helps us in this task. We are glad to see that you agree with us on the need to vigorously take forward the campaign to end Operation Green Hunt. This campaign and the solidarity movement in support of people’s war in India complement each other. Defeating this counterrevolutionary multi-pronged countrywide offensive of the enemy is an immediate task before us.
Every revolution advances in a wave-like manner. That is a law of history. In times of difficulties we should heighten our ideological level, keep politics in command, take the message of revolution deeper and wider among the masses, creatively apply the line of protracted people’s war and develop our tactics, be ‘red and expert’ in our political, military, organisational, propaganda, training, cultural, production, technical and other tasks, be more determined, dedicated and ready for sacrifice. Only thus can we emerge from this situation more united, more disciplined, courageous, stronger, more consolidated and more dynamic. This is the lesson we learn from the great revolutions of our class, summed up in the teachings of our great teachers. They have also taught us the need to reforge our ties with the masses on a deeper and higher level at each turn of the revolutionary war. At each crucial juncture the task of deepening the politicisation of not only ourselves but simultaneously the politicisation of the masses also poses itself afresh. We resolutely take up this task to unleash the revolutionary energy and initiative of the masses in an even more powerful manner.
Such is the brief account of our successes and failures, of the people’s war in India, over the past ten years. Such is the main way we have been contributing to the advance of the world socialist revolution.
During the past decade a number of important developments have taken place at the international level. We wish to draw your attention to some salient features.
The initial years of the last decade saw huge outpourings of the masses against globalisation policies that destroyed their lives and a strengthening of people’s wars and armed liberation struggles. The ideology of the proletariat was more sharply posed through the establishment of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. Its wider adoption strengthened the grounds for closer unity among Maoist forces, internationally and in different countries. Stirrings of a new wave of revolution could be seen in the world. Mainly in response to this, imperialism, particularly US imperialism initiated and launched a massive, worldwide counter-revolutionary offensive, directed against the people. This was the main content of the so-called ‘War on Terrorism’ which all imperialists and reactionaries joined or supported. Wars of aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq, curtailment of democratic rights, attacks on people’s struggles, growing fascicisation throughout the world, step up of suppressive campaigns against armed struggles, people’s wars and Maoist parties — such were its main features.
But the arrogance of US imperialism, the sole superpower soon got soundly rebuffed.
The challenge was met. A worldwide struggle emerged against the war on Iraq and continued after the launch of the war. Powerful resistance in Iraq and Afghanistan bogged down the aggressors and upset their plans. Masses throughout the world refused to be cowed down and continued their struggles against the ravages of globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation. People’s wars continued to advance.
As a result of all these factors, US imperialism was forced to change tactics within a few years. Bush was replaced with Obama. Talk of ‘decades of war’ was replaced with hurried plans for disengagement and withdrawal of troops.
This is a stark indicator of the favourable situation that has emerged in the world. This period also saw a growth in the contention between imperialist powers as Russian imperialism began to assert itself in the context of the US getting bogged down.
As we all know, the global crisis of the imperialist system that broke out in 2008 has further exacerbated the situation world over. In both imperialist and oppressed countries, millions took to the streets and fought pitched battles with reactionary state forces, workers seized factories, masses occupied squares and shut down governments. Students, youth, women, workers, immigrants, pensioners — all have come out in struggle.
The heady days of the Arab Spring are still live in our memories. Several hated dictatorships were brought down by the persistent struggles of the people. This blooming of the masses didn’t arrive at realising their aspirations for a genuine democracy, exploitation free system and people’s rule. But it has stirred up these societies in a deep way. It gave hope to the world peoples. The results will surely appear.
This is the world today. It shows a situation of great potential for a powerful new wave of revolution. But there is another side to this, a bitter side, one of betrayal. Once again in the history of the international communist movement revisionism has blocked it from gaining the most of a favourable situation. The betrayal of the people’s war in Nepal by the CPN (Maoist) leadership, particularly the Prachanda-Bhattarai clique, was the most damaging of its acts. The possibility of forcing the enemies of the people to drop their guise as saviours of democracy fighting obscurantist fanatics and bringing them into direct confrontation with a revolutionary people, of raising the banners of a people’s war led by Maoists as a rallying centre against imperialism and reaction, of winning over broad sections of the people to the cause of communism, was destroyed.
From another end we see a liquidationist attack on our ideology that seeks to pull down the banners of a MLM and replace it with the hollow claims of Avakianism. This has already destroyed some Maoist parties, who once had an honourable place in the ranks of the ICM. Both of these deviations have been confronted by the Maoists and the struggle continues. Efforts are on to consolidate Maoist parties and build new ones. But the loss is evident. There is a considerable drop in the subjective forces of world proletarian revolution, caused not by enemy suppression, but by the enemies emerging from within it.
Thus we see the contradiction, the glaring gap between the potential of the objective situation and the subjective capacities of the Maoist forces. This is what we must confront. All our activities must be directed to overcome it. This is the deepest need of the oppressed and exploited throughout the world, the demand of these times. As Mao would say, “We must seize the hour, seize the time”. Our party believes that it is the need of the hour for the communist forces to strive to mobilise the broadest possible anti-imperialist, democratic and revolutionary forces to strengthen the campaign to end OGH and with a view to build a broad worldwide anti- imperialist front that is in process. And the further strengthening of the unity of communist forces world over would lead to stronger support for the Indian Revolution too.
In the present situation, the objective potential of the world situation is far outstripping the subjective capacities of the individual parties. Yet much can be done to win over a large section to the cause of communism through their united effort. The recent years have seen collective activities in the form of joint May Day statements, seminars on important developments, conferences of Maoist parties for summing up experiences of international organisation and strengthening the struggle against neo-revisionism, joint forums such as the International Support Committee organising this Conference and the solidarity activities it has initiated. We have welcomed these efforts and continue to support them. We must now explore the possibilities of making the closer ties born out of these activities and growing unity of thinking on ideological, political issues the basis for further advance.
Just as the Indian revolution serves the world proletarian revolution so too is its future vitally linked to how best the Maoists throughout the world can make the most of the world situation and advance world revolution. We take confidence from the burning desire for revolution expressed in the proceedings of the Hamburg Conference, seen in its motto that advancing the revolution in our respective countries is the best way of expressing solidarity to similar revolutions in other countries.
Our party which carries forward the legacy of Naxalbari had always considered the new democratic revolution that we are waging in India as an integral part of the world socialist revolution, the party a vanguard contingent of the world proletariat. The invaluable and incredible sacrifices that are being done by the people and comrades in our revolution are also an integral part of the great sacrifices done by innumerable beloved martyrs of world socialist revolution in each and every country.
Finally, before we conclude, we wish to speak about the great efforts you are doing in support of the people’s war in India. The news of your campaigns, its vivid images, are being taken to our ranks, PLGA combatants and revolutionary masses as widely as possible through our open and secret magazines and several other means. When they know that their sisters and brothers in far off lands stand up in militant solidarity with them, when they see images of protests before Indian embassies, of wall writings taking the message of their revolution to masses in those countries, their hearts swell with pride — we are not alone, our people are there, we are everywhere. Your acts have inspired us; they have made us more determined. We will strive our utmost to fulfil the confidence you have reposed in us.
Our future, the future of the world revolution, the future of the world proletariat, oppressed nations and oppressed people is certainly bright but the path is a thorny, arduous and full of zigzags. The future of our enemies, the imperialists and their lackeys the world over, is dark and their doom is inevitable.
With revolutionary greetings,
Central Committee, CPI(Maoist)
10 September 2014