Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Remembering Comrade Kanhai Chaterjee founder of Maoist Communist Centre by Indian Comrade

On 18th July,1982 Comrade Kanhai  Chaterjee expired ,who made an invaluable contribution to the cause of the Indan revolution, by founding the Maoist Communist Center. Today we dip our blood in his memory.

It was his innovative thinking that made Com.Kanhai Chaterjee  critical of Charu Mazumdar’s C.P.I(M.L.) and it’s tactical line of individual annihilation. Comrade K. C. chalked out a path for the M.C.C whereby they formulated a strategy of heir own. The methods of work they adopted resembled Comrade Mao Tse Tung’s Red Army in the revolutionary war. Few revolutionary books or observers cannot but remember their striking similarity with the Chinese Peoples Liberation Corps, particularly he way they fled to the mountains. It was Comrade Kanhai Chaterjee who believe staunchly that the time was not appropriate for the forming of the party. He felt there had to be greater development in the revolutionary movement to form a party. In his view first an agrarian revolutionary movement had to be launched. Today it is significant that both the Charu Mazumar C.P.I(M.L) and the Maoist Communist Centre are recognized as the founding parties and not just Charu Mazumdar’s party.(The Peoples War and Party Unity Groups staunchly defended the Charu Mazumdar Party as the re-organised party.)

History of the Formation of the Party.(Compiled from PeoplesMarch-Nov 2004 issue) The Maoist Communist Centre was originally called the ‘Dakshin Desh ‘group It was originally apart of he A.I.C.CR but eventually pulled out.

Comrades Kanai Chatterjee and Amulya Sen, while working amongst the masses in Kolkata, Howrah and Hoogli and comrade Chandrashekar Das raised the banner of revolt against the line of the CPM 7th Congress. 

The “Chinta” group was formed in 1965 as a secret revolutionary centre within the CPM carrying out revolutionary propaganda amongst its rank-an-file.

In 1965/66 six issues of the magazine were brought out which dealt with the following topics: (a) the class character of the Indian state, (b) China’s path is our path,( c) neo-colonialism and the weapon of PL role, (d) the Programme of the 7th Congress, the nature of the revisionist leadership and the peasant question in India, etc. The CPM’s English and Bengali organs launched a massive attacks on the articles that appeared in the “Chinta”. This resulted in big discussions throughout the rank-and-file. 

In late 1966 the secret magazine, “Chinta”, was closed down and a magazine named “Dakshin Desh” was brought out openly. The group came to be known as the “Dakshin Desh” group. In early 1967, before the Naxalbari uprising com. Kanai Chatterjee had a long discussion with Com. CM. At this meeting they had a common understanding on advancing the peasant movement and decided to maintain close relations.

But the relations did not grow. From 1967 to 1969 the then “Dakshin Desh” group built up the movement in Kolkata, Howrah, Hoogli, Midnapur, Bardhwan,Birbum and 24 Parganas, together with some work in Assam and Tripura. They built the peasant movement firstly in Sonarpur during the later part of the 60s and then in Kanksa in Bardhwan district. Thereafter they established some contacts with Bihar, it began work there. 

In October 1969 the MCC was formed. It was Com. Kanai Chatterjee who laid the basic line for their Centre in the very first issue of “Lal Pataka” brought out in 1969.

The important topics dealt with were:

(a) the importance of Maoism (then called ‘thought’) in the present era,
(b) in the present situation the tactical line and tactical slogans, the correct policy towards the participation in elections and a correct analysis of the boycott of elections, saying that though it was a question of tactics, it acquires the significance of strategy in the concrete conditions of India,
(c) the Correct line regarding the armed agrarian revolutionary war, that is, protracted people’s war including army building and base areas
(d) correct orientation towards forms of struggle (open and secret, legal and illegal, peaceful and armed),
(e) the programme, tactics and methods of the peasant struggle,
(f) approach and method towards the UF, (h) political propaganda
(g on the women’s question, the student movement and the nationality question in India, and
h) methods of leadership..(excerpted from Peoples March Nov-Dec 2004 issue)

The founding documents of the M.C.C. stressed the importance of base areas in he revolutionary process.”

If we are to build armed agarian revolution,a peoples army and red base areas ,we will always have to remain firm on some basic principles regarding their inter-relation. The building up and consolidation of the armed agrarian revolution, peoples army and base areas -these tasks are related to each other. “If we are to build up an agrarian revolution no peoples army can be built up.Similarly an agrarian revolution cannot be built up without a Peoples Army..Again without a peoples army no base area can be built up. Similarly without base areas the very existence of peoples army cannot be maintained. It is only through agrarian revolutionary guerilla struggle and the establishment of the peoples army that a red base area can be built up Again through this work alone can the revolutionary high tide can be accelerated throughout the country,and depending on the base areand with the help of he Peoples Army,the agrarian revolution alo can be consolidated,deepened an expanded.”This statement was he chief demarcating factor of the M.C.C with the C.P.I.(M.L).

Some references from July-Oct 1997 issue of Vanguard regarding polemical differences of M.C C with Peoples War Group.

Quoting Kanhai Chaterjee “It is wrong to say that Dakshin Desh Group left the A.I C.C.R because of it’s differences on the issue of immediate formation of he [party.A.I.C.C.R.did not recognize any group with aseparate identity like he 'Dakshin Desh Groups as it's constituents. No representative of this group was a member of the East Bengal Co-ordination Committee. Or of he A.I.C.C.R."

The M.C.C made the following criticism of the C.P.I(M.L) 'Naturally as the party was formed without following the revolutionary process, method and style, some known degenerated elements could capture some posts in the leadership from he beginnings. This facilitates undeclared groups and a tendency of group mentality and bureacratism replacing democratic Centralism.'

Kanhai Chaterjee stated "We have to give utmost importance on organising extensive political campaign and political exposure campaign on a large scale. Only this will take us towards he path of Peoples War and inspire the masses to politics of Socialism, peoples Democracy and armed peoples dictatorship under the leadership of the working class.

In view of he present semi-colonial and semi-feudal society of India the exposure of the economy an politics at present and the propogation of the politics of agrarian evolution or peoples democratic revolution will take the centre sage in the whole programme.

Phases of struggle of M.C.C

The first phase can be stretched from 1964 to 1968 and began when the revisionist line was established at the first Congress of the CPI (M).

 i) drawing a clear line of demarcation with the revisionists in the political and organizational fields, 

(ii) linking the daily revolutionary practice of Indian revolution to the theory 

(iii) developing a political and tactical line not merely as a formality, but giving it a concrete structure in various spheres of activity and 

(iv) based on these revolutionary policies, style and method, and in the course of revolutionary struggles and guided by a revolutionary theory, to build a revolutionary party. 

The second phase, which stretched from 1969 to 1978, was a period of implementation of the party's line, policies and plans. It was a period of gaining practical experience towards the path of establishing the 'Red Agrarian Revolutionary Resistance War.' Work was begun on this basis in the Sundarbans, 24 Parganas, Hoogli, Midnapur, Kanksa, Gaya and Hazaribagh. Of these experiences the most encouraging was that of Kanksa and Hazaribagh. Here, a wide movement was built on issues like wage hike, seizure of crops, fertiliser problem, confiscation of grains from landlords and against various forms of political and social oppression. Also, a wide mass movement was built, some notorious landlords punished and steps were taken towards disarming of the enemy and arming the people.

However although claiming to defer from Charu Mazumdar's line in their actual working process ,their practice was virtually The same. The Maoist Communist Centre also deployed the tactic of "Individual annihilation of the Class Enemy.'It was Comrade Kanhai Chaterjee who made a rectification of the line where the formation of mass organizations and bulding of mass movements was indispensable.

The M.C.C did not build separate peasant organization but had a strategy to build the KrantiKari Kisan Commitees.These Committees tried the landlords and re-distributed land to the landless peasants. Punishments weRe awarded to guilty Landlords.Mass Fronts were also bilt in he student,youth women and Cultural Front.The Nari Mukti Sanggh,a mass organization of women led a significant movement. It was in 1978 when the MC.C made a self-correction and decided to form mass organizations like the Revolutionary Peasants Committee. The mistakes of the past were analysed. 

The third phase, which stretched from 1979 to 1988, was a period of taking the lessons, both positive and negative, of the second phase and enriching both the theory and practice. In this phase the MCC focused on Bihar; and with the perspective of building a people's army and base area, the Bihar-Bengal Special Area Committee was established, the 'Preparatory Committee for Revolutionary Peasant Struggles' was formed and soon Revolutionary Peasant Councils emerged. In this phase militant struggles developed and the landlords' authority smashed, thousands of acres of land seized and distributed to the landless, and property of the landlords seized and distributed..

Work on Mass Fronts

In the open mass work the Maoist Communist Centre formed the first revolutionary Student Organisation in Bihar ,the Revolutionary Students League and a strong Cultural organizations,the Krantikari Budhijibi Sangh and the Krantikari Sanskritik Sangh. .It also set up various units of the Krantikari Kisan Commitees,which carried out Peoples Courts against class enemies and distributed land to the tiller. They also consolidated it’s peasant movement . Another Significant contribution og the M.C C was the work of their women’s front organization,the ‘Nari Mukti Sangh”They played a major role leading tribal revolts of Bihar However by the late 1990’s its student and youth front was totally destroyed by enemy forces.The party recruited 500 wholetimers and more than 10000 members.The Emergence of revolutionary student organisations was of great significance in Bihar. The Revolutionary Students League led by the Maoist Communist Centre was the first ever Revolutionary Student organisation which carried out the first ever Go to Villages campaign in Bihar by a student front in 1989.In that campaign they upheld the Chinese Revolution in commemorating the 40th anniversary year. A Village campaign was also held in1993 protesting against the Death Sentence on M.C.comrades in the Dalechauk Baghera Uprising in Aurangabad and against the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December 1992,where a cycle rally was also held.Memorable Comrades of the Maoist Communist Centre.

In 1978 Comrdae Jeeblal and several cadres were responsible or he rectification line in the M.C.C.Comrade Jeblal Mahto was martyred .Comrade Mahato was a peasnt activist who was killed I apolice encounter. Comrade Kamdeo,was the son of a middle peasant. Who left college to work as arailway labourr.On August 7th 1984 he was engulfed by the police while satging ameeeting of the Krantikari Kisan Commitewe.He was shot in cold blood with his hands tied behind his back.His last wordswere ‘Long ive the Revolution.’ Comrade Rameshwar Yadav was the son of a middle peasant. In 1976 he joined the M.C.C an became an important peasant leader .He led armed actions with immaculate skill. Ironically he was killed on Republic day while conducting a meeting in Lenjoa village in Hazirabagh district.

Kranti Kari Kisan Committee.(Notes compiled From Aloke Banerjee’s article from 'World to win' and A.I R.S F.publication(Naxalabari.-Not just the name of a village” -commemorating 30 years) Struggles were adopted through a huge network of villages. In the initial stages a Krantikari Kisan Sanharsh Committee was formed.(Preparatoty Committee for Revolutinary Peasnt Styruggles)When the peasants were organized in large numbers under this banner,these committees wee developed into full fledged Krantikari Kisan Commitees’.(Revolutionay Peasnt Councils) The 2 slogans raised were “All land to the Real Tillers’ and ALL Power to the Peasant Commitees”. The rape and molestation of wome was taken up in al earnest .Notorious dacoits were punished. The forcible harvesting of crops planted by landlords on gair-Mazruia land was also challenged and they were seized by he Revolutionary Comitees. All types of disputes wre challenged at the village level Armed Red Defence Corpses were active in supporting the strugglesSelf defence squads were formed of the village youth. The main areas struggle were Hazaribagh, Gaya and Aurangabad.

One famous action was carried out on landlord Rameshwar Singh.For years the peasants were trampled by the landlords iron feet. On January 6th 1983 the Kisan Committee gathered at is ‘Kacheri’. He was arrested and tried. They not only killed him but burnt his house. This was the first time that he people seriously saw the need of combining mass struggles with armed movements.

From Gaya to Dhanbad,the struggle spread to Bokaro,Aurangabad,Hazaribagh and Giridih. Later in land seizure movements starting in fulls wing from 1986 to 1990,7000 acres of land were re-distributed.They also raised spectacular squad actios.In August 2001 an armeds quad under the leadership of the Maoist Communist Centre stopped a truckload og grain and distributed half thes acks of pulses to the masses,before they wee forced to retreat by the arrival of police enforcements.The next ,night they repeated the experience halting,8000 strong,5 trucks on the Grand Trunk Road. Slogans were shouted calling for confiscating the moneylenders good sto distributr amogst the poor,to establish the authority of the revolutionary peasnt committees and protect the people from starvation. Before the goods were distributed,thirty jeeploads of police arrived at the scene.For hours there was afierce combat as the revolutionaries had laid mines. 

MCC combatants heroically resisted the might of the police forces.(From Aloke Banerjee’s Article-’Inside M.C.C Country’)

A special court in Gaya had meted out a life imprisonment to a number of members of the Krantikari Kisan Committee which had led an uprising in the 1990’s that had seen the militant involvement of thousands of poor anmd middle peasants.The M.C.C called for a 72 hour bandh in Bihar and Jharkahnd in protest. Railway tracks were blocked, Schools and colleges boycotted,courts boycotted,shops and markets closed Etc. Revolutionary raids in retaliation were organized by the M.C.C during the 3 day bandh. IN Lohardaga,Gumla etc.(Aloke Banerjee-’Inside M.C.C country.

This trend spread all over and hundreds of landlords were brought to he book. Guilty landlords we shaved and paraded in public. The most notorious we sentenced to death. Some even repented and were forgiven. hey would now operate under he watchful administration of he Committee. All the ‘Kacheri’s’ were razed to the ground. Famous examples were Moha Khan of Kadirganj I Gaya,Madhumati ingh of Balia,Surakasha Singh ofPachmi,,Main Singh the owner of 2900 acres in Pipra and the Mahant of Bodhgaya.The famous words ‘Utha Hai ToofanZamana Badal Raha’ were now echoing all over.(A storm has risen ,the times are changing).The M.C.C also called ahistoric 72 hour bandh I Bihar and Jharkhand against he death sentence ofn membersof the Krantikari Kisan Committee who had led ahistoric uprising. Schools, colleges,courts, offices, shops and markets remained closed.All movement of vehicles virtually ceased. Railway services came to a standstill.Thousands of people lay on the railway tracks. Business came to a standstill. Revolutionary raids were organized in Lohardaga ,Gumla and elsewhere.

Memorable Actions (Compiled from ‘A World to Win Article by Aloke Banerjee and from A.I.R.S.F.booklet-’Naxalbari is not just the name of a Village’ The M.C C. launched a series of military type attacks on the police and military forces.. On December 2002 , The M.C C was able to disarm 66 jawans in a raid when they captured 50 weapons after attacking a police contingent in Jharkhand. In his appraisal of the Movement of M.C.C Prakash Singh (Former Inspector General of Police in his book The Naxalite Movement in India) States:The M.C.C has been running a parallel judicial system in certain pockets.

These are described as Jan Adalat or Peoples Courts. Farzand Ahmed of India Today writes this example,”Silence descends as Laxman, the area commander of M.C.C , a sinister figure with his face covered appears.The 2 accused, with their hands tied behind their backs are brought in.Laxman launches into his ideological monologue ‘In today’s system, the toiling masses working hard but get nothing to eat. On the other hand, these bastard thieves lift goats and diesel. He then asks the villagers to select 5 judges. The 5 judge bench hears he charges and announces its verdict -5 lathi blows and 5 slaps by each children publicly.

The verdict ,confirmed by the people by a voice vote is quickly executed, accompanied by the requisite
slogan’ Naxalbari Ek Hi Rasta.’

One of he most famous actions carried out by the M.C.C was in Dalechauk Baghera in Aurangabad on May 29th 1987.The Yadav activists of the Maoist Communist Centre slaughtered 42 Rajputs in retaliation for murders. Aurangabad is a feudal centre.The landlords launched an atack on Seshani vilage on April 19th 1987.

This was in retaliation to the policies of the Krantikari Kisan Commitees who banned the selling of 150 acres of land owned by the Mahanta of Jnibigha village. This land was brought by Lootan Sinh. The Kisan Commitee destroyed the office of Babu Lotan and his tractors wee burnt. A red flag was hoisted over his land. The landlords were also enraged by an earlier clash with the M.C.C and the fact that hundreds of Mahua trees were owned by the Kisan SAmiti.In a attack he landlords launched an attack on M.C.C activists in Seshani, killing 8activists and 2 children.

Following this the Red Defence Corps launched an attack on Dalechauk Baghera. That area historically had the most notorious landlords like Satyendra Narayan Singh,Ram Narseh Singh and Lootan Babu.Triveni Singh,SAmresh Singh and Abhan Singh wee other tyrants. It was the Krantikari Kisan Commitees that challenged their might. Another similar incident took place i Bara village in Gaya district o February 12th 1992,when 37 upper caste members of the Bhumihar caste wee hacked to death.

According to Prakash Singh(Former Inspector General of Police0 in his book’The Naxalite Movement in India’:The party has built an armed wing known as the Lal Raksha Dal and manged to stockpile about 7 to eight hundred firearms of different descriptions,including a couple of A-K 47 Rifles. ..

Here the M.C.C led a famous movement. They negotiated with leaders of the Jharkahand Mukti Morcha LIKE Sibu Soren and Vinod Mahato that a separate state was no solution for the tribals and what was fundamentally required was uprooting the social system.nI Jharkhand the .M.C.C waged many a famous struggle ,seizing and re-distributing landlord’s land. They defended the formation of separate state of Jharkand but only when it was connected to the overall class struggle.

Sibu Soren was unsympathetic but Vinod Mahato was impressed with the M.C.C. Between 1987 an 1990,over 7000 acres of land in Chatanpur were re-distributed among the villagers. Forset offices were attacked .In 1991 the landlords formed the Sunlight Sena in retaliation . The M.C C retaliated. Their armed squads liquidated the entire Sena in the region.

Writings of Kanhai Chaterjee

"If the basic theory of Marxism-Leninism-Mao TseTung Thought on the question of the state and the path of Protracted People’s War as the path of New-Democratic Revolution of India are accepted, and if the task of building up of the people’s army and red base areas through the agrarian revolutionaryguerrilla war in the countryside is really to be carried forward as the primary, principal and the central task of the present time, people’s war and people’s army must be considered as the principal forms of struggle and organisation throughout the whole period of the stages of the protracted people’s war, and even after that, according to conditions. 

At the present stage of building up of the revolutionary war, the guerilla struggle and the guerilla army must be taken as the main forms of struggle and organisation, not only in words but in deeds too. To be more precise, at the present stage of development of the revolutionarywar, all genuine communists must take up as the main task the task of building up of guerrilla struggle giving preference to the countryside and of building up of an underground party and a guerrilla army(which is the primary form of the future red army) under its leadership through this guerrilla struggle

In the special situation of India, where the revisionists of various shades and colour wearing the mask of communism, have all along been, in words and or in deeds, advocating the line of accomplishing revolution (?) through the so-called Gandhian path of non-violence, or through the so-called “peaceful path” or the “path of election”;where the immense importance of the agrarian revolutionary guerilla struggle or of the armed struggle for the seizure of state power and the immense importance of thebuilding up of the people’s army for the establishment of military power for the party and the people have all along been denied; and above all, where the path of protracted people’s war as the path of revolution has all along been opposed ; and on the contrary, where the revisionist mass movements, totally isolated from the agrarian revolutionary armed struggle or armed struggle for the seizure of state power have all along been one-sidedly emphasized,—if, in such a situation, the people’s war and the people’s army are to be really built up as the main forms of struggle and organisation, then, on the one hand, a massive and protracted ideological struggle and revolutionary political propaganda campaign is to be systematically conducted in the correct line and with creativeness (specially in the light of the bitter experiences of the past struggles) and the false revolutionary pretence of the revisionists be thoroughly unmasked, on the other hand, more and more people are to be mobilized for guerilla struggles and in guerilla organisations,with conscious and diligent efforts and with earnestness, firmness and boldness.For the very special situation in India as mentioned above in the process of conducting ideologicalstruggle and revolutionary propaganda work, the path of building up of guerrilla struggle and guerrilla organization, building up of people’s army (specially regular army) through guerrilla struggle, and

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establishment of red base area and organising protracted people’s war, giving preference to the
countryside, must be systematically and regularly upheld to the people as the only and absolutely inevitable
path of their liberation. At the same time, the revisionist mischievousness must be unmasked of those
who, advocate only for the other forms of struggle and organisation, or those who accept revolutionary
armed struggle and armed organisation as the main form of struggle and organisation in words only, but
refrain from building up of guerrilla struggles in the practical work and indulge in serving only the other
forms of struggle isolated from the work of developing revolutionary guerrilla struggle.

Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.. ..having guns we can create party organisations, we can also create cadres, create schools, create cultures, create mass movements. All things grow out of the barrel of a gun. According to the Marxist theory of the state, the army is the chief component of the state power. Whoever wants to seize and retain state power must have a strong army. Experience in the class struggle in the era of imperialism teaches us that it is only by the power of the gun that the working class and the labouring masses can defeat the armed bourgeoisie and landlord; in this sense, we may say tha tonly with guns can the whole world be transformed” (Problems of war and strategy—Mao Tse-tung). 

In order to lead the propaganda movement and the practical work in accordance with the correct orientation, every genuine communist must clearly realise the significance of the above teachings of Chairman Mao and must arouse the people also to understand this. As Chairman Mao has said “every party member should be prepared to take up arms and go to the front at any moment” and “the whole party should pay deep attention to war, should study military affairs and attention to war, should study military affairs and prepare itself for fighting”. To build up war and army as the main forms of struggle and organisation, or even to build up guerrilla struggle and guerrilla organisation as the first step towards this aim, these teachings of chairman Mao have to be realised and followed.

However, as Chairman Mao has said, “giving stress on armed struggle does not mean abandoning other forms of struggle; on the contrary, armed struggle cannot achieve success unless co-ordinated withother forms of struggles.” And exactly for this reason, at the present time, both in the countryside and in the urban areas, with the aim of building up and developing guerrilla struggle and guerrilla army as the main forms of struggle and orgnization, the skill and the method must be acquired to build up other suitable forms of struggles and organisations, complementary to the building up of guerrilla struggle—

keeping in view the place, time and condition and the level of thinking and consciousness and the fighting
spirit of the backward sections of the people. The skill and method must be acquired to co-ordinate such
struggles with the guerrilla struggle and to develop guerrilla struggles as the principal and central form. In
this context, other forms of struggles and organisations mean only those struggles and organisations
(including those mass struggles and mass organisations under the leadership of the underground party)
which help to build up and develop armed struggle or guerrilla war for the seizure of state power.
20. There is, among the people, a tendency to over estimate the strength of the enemy, especially the
strength of the police forces and the army and the state-machinery. 

Here lies the root cause of the tendency
of accepting helplessly, often without any protest, all sorts of exploitation and oppression of the hated
enemy, and the root cause of the capitulationist mentality amongst the people also lies here. And it is
exactly for this reason, that, while explaining to the people the relative and temporary superiority of the
strength of the enemy compared to the that of the people and the consequent impossibility to destroy
the enemy at a single stroke, through “insurrection”, the strong sides of the people and the superiority of
the strategy and tactics of the guerrilla struggle and the protracted people’s war must, at the same time,
be very strongly and persistently upheld. 

It is to be impressed on the people with all emphasis that,
however strong the military strength of the enemy may be, and however weak the military power of the
people may be for the time being, by relying on the vast countryside, the weakest position of the enemy,
and on the vast masses of the peasantry, eager for the agrarian revolution, and by following the flexible
strategy and tactics of the guerrilla struggle and the protracted war—it is entirely possible to defeat the
enemy forces in individual, partial battles (in different single battles) by way of mobilising superior forces
of the people (a number of times stronger than that of the enemy forces) against the individual sections
or parts of the enemy forces, and thus, through such a war of protracted nature, to diminish, bit by bit,
the enemy’s strength, - as the entire of the necessary rice or meal is eaten up mouthful - and to gradually
enhance the strength of the people, and finally, to overwhelm the strength of the enemy and to destroy
them decisively. 

This truth is to be emphatically upheld with the living examples and experiences of the
revolutionary protracted wars of China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, etc., so that there may develop amongst
the people sense of self-confidence, courage and a faith in the victory of the revolutionary war".

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