Monday, May 25, 2015

Long Live the legacy of Comrade Charu Mazumdar on 48th anniversary of Naxalbari Struggle,50th anniversary year since five of his eight documents were written in 1965 and 45th anniversary of Eighth Party Congress held in May 1970!

Charu Mazumdar
              This article reflects the personal views of Harsh Thakor

 Today on May 25th,we commemorate the 48th anniversary of the epic Naxalbari Struggle.

It sprouted like a spark turning into a priarie fire.The uprising was reminiscent of a red flame radiating everywhere burning the torch of Marxism-Leninism -Mao thought. (now Maoism)Naxalbari lit the spark for the Indian Maoist movement after the Telengana armed Struggle.Quoting  organ of Erstwhile C.P.I.(M.L.) PWG ‘Voice of the Vanguard’ of  July-October 1997, “Charu Mazumdar and Naxalbari are names inseparable from each other.

Whoever tried to separate Charu Mazumdar from Naxalbari, had practically separated themselves from the path of Naxalbari.

In this essay I wish to reflect on his positive contribution and critically portray his stature.

Brief  bio below  compiled from Hindustan Times-‘Charu Majumdar-Father of Naxalism’
Born in a progressive landlord family in Siliguri in 1918, he not only dedicated his entire life to peasants' cause but also authored the historic 1968 Naxalbari uprising, the ideology behind which guides red radicals even today.
Son of an active freedom fighter, Charu Majumdar or CM rebelled against social inequalities even as a teenager. Later, impressed by "petty-bourgeois" national revolutionaries, he joined All Bengal Students Association affiliated to Anusilan group.Dropping out of college in 1937-38 he joined Congress and tried to organise bidi workers.
 He later crossed over to CPI to work in its peasant front and soon won respect of the poor of Jalpaiguri.Soon an arrest-warrant forced him to go underground for the first time as a Left activist. Although CPI was banned at the outbreak of World War II, he continued CPI activities among peasants and was made a member of CPI Jalpaiguri district committee in 1942.
The promotion emboldened him to organise a 'seizure of crops' campaign in Jalpaiguri during the Great Famine of 1943, more or less successfully.In 1946, he joined Tebhaga movement and embarked on a proletariat militant struggle in North Bengal. The stir shaped his vision of a revolutionary struggle. Later he worked among tea garden workers in Darjeeling.
The CPI was banned in 1948 and he spent the next three years in jail. He tied the nuptial knot with a fellow CPI member from Jalpaiguri - Lila Mazumdar Sengupta in January 1954.The couple shifted to Siliguri, which remained the centre of his activities for a few years. His ailing father and unmarried sister lived there in abject poverty. But even erosion of peasant movement and personal financial crisis did not dampen his revolutionary spirits and he continued efforts to unite labourers, tea garden workers and rickshaw-pullers there.CM's growing ideological rift with CPI came to fore after the party's Palghat Congress in 1956.
The 'Great Debate' across the communist world in the late 50s propelled him to mull a revolutionary philosophy suiting Indian conditions.He was again jailed during 1962 Indo-China war as part of curbs on all Left activities in India.The CPI split in 1964 over ideological differences among the cadres. CM joined the breakaway CPI (M) but could not go with its decision to participate in polls postponing 'armed struggle' to a day when revolutionary situation prevailed in India.
He kept a bad health during 1964-65 and was advised rest. But he devoted this time, even in jail, to study and write about Mao's thoughts. The exercise shaped his vision and ideas of a mass struggle, which were recorded in his writing and speeches of 1965-67. These were later called 'Historic Eight Documents' and subsequently formed the basis of Naxalism. 


 Charu Mazumdar was the pioneer in demarcating from Khruschevite revisionism and upholding the torch of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse Tung Thought(now Maoism).This year we commemorate 50 years since Charu Mazumdar started writing his famous 8 documents in 1965.They Sowed the seeds for the line and formation of the re-organized Communist Party.

In 1965,he wrote his first five documents.

On 28th January 1965 C.M wrote the first of his eight documents which analyzed the present  and   International Situation , how Communists were being arrested ,and how to build the revolutionary party. ( STUDY EIGHT DOCUMENTS HERE)

Within September 1965 he wrote 4 more documents.In the 2nd document  summed up the experience of struggles of the Tebhaga.In the  third document he analyzed the favourable post world war 2 situation and the failure of the Communist party to utilise it.

He also discussed the agrarian revolution taking lessons from the past and propagated armed struggle.

In a fourth document he covered the forms of organization and struggles combating revisionism and explained the concrete manifestations of revisionism.

In a fifth document he exposed the revisionist character of the C.P.I.(M.).who upheld Khruschevism and opposed path of  armed struggle.

These 5 documents sowed the seeds of the glorious Naxalbari Struggle. Later in his 6th document in 1966 gave the call to organize anti-revisionist struggle and exposed the capitulation of the C.P.M.

In his 7th document he gave a call to the workers, peasants and middle-class youths to work to initiate armed struggle and seize political power.Finally in his eighth document he wrote on the tasks of the peasantry to form liberated areas in the countryside and exposed the class collaborationist policies of the C.P.I.(M.L.) through the united front govt.

It is also the 45th anniversary of the 8th Congress of the C.P.I.(M.L.) held in May 1970 which defined the party programme. It was the 1st time in history  that an all-india Communist party upheld the programme of protracted peoples war path’ and classified India as a ‘semicolonial and semi-feudal ‘ society.

Earlier in the mid 1940’s only the Andhra unit of the C.P.I upheld path of protracted peoples war and termed India as semi-feudal and semi-colonial.

True ,he made serious errors calling for 'annihilation of the class enemy ' and for the 'disbandment of mass organizations.'However certain sections of the Communist camp villify his great contributions and only expose his errors.

Although critical of gross mistakes the Andhra Pradesh state commitee led by Kondappali Seetharamiah and the C.O.C.(M.L.) upheld the programme of the 1970Congress .Later the C.P.I.(M.L.) Peoples war and Party Unity sections also upheld it. Although critical of left adventurism comrades like Sushital Roy Choudary, Suniti Kumar Ghosh ,Kondappali Seetharamiah and Darshan Singh Dushanj upheld the positive aspect of Comrade C.M.

Even a revolutionary punjabi jounal 'Surkh Rekha' upheld his contribution in 1993 and in 2014  which also upheld Comrade T.Nagi Reddy.In the same article in 1993 it upheld the contributions.of Comrade C.M.and T.N. Forming a new party in 2004 did not mean rejecting the contribution of CharuMazumdar.Morally Charu Mazumdar led the Naxalbari struggle and later groups like PWG or PU always though critically,swore by his name.

Significant that degenerated or revisionist Marxist -Leninist groups reject Majumdar.

Today groups like Red Star have villified the party programme of the 1970 Congress while the Kanu Sanyal C.P.I.(M.L.) does not uphold C.M's revolutionary contribution.Red Star Group has distorted the 1970 party programme by advocating ‘neocolonial era ‘ and ‘’path of peoples democratic revolution.’

It was Comrade Mao Tse Tung who himself endorsed the 1970 party Congress programme.

As an exception  revisionist C.P.I.(M.L.) Liberation have upheld the positive aspects of CM.,till today.

The 1970 C.P.I.(M.L.) Party Congress programme set the base for the later struggle of the C.P.I.(M.L.) Peoples War group, Party Unity Group and the present C.P.I.(Maoist) ,of course with amendments. In the 1995 C.P.I.(M.L.) Peoples War Conference and the 2001 9th party Congress(actually 2nd of C.P.I-M.L.) the  1970 Congress party programme was upheld and a portrait of Charu Mazumdar was garlanded.

Both these conferences were termed as a continuation or sequence of the 8th party Congress held in 1970 and thus  the events were termed as the 9th Congress. Even the unity Congress of the C.P.I.(Maoist) in February 2007 called it’s event as a continuation or step from the 8th Congress of May 1970.It must be stated that earlier in the late 1990’s the erstwhile Maoist Communist Centre was critical of Charu Mazumdar and the C.P.I.(M.L.) formed in 1969...

However when the C.P.I.(Maoist) was formed it unanimously recognized it and the verdict was reached that 2 parties were formed the C.P.I.(M.L.) and the Maoist Communist Centre. In the earlier decades C.P.I.(M.L.)Peoples War Group  was critical of M.C.C.not joining the C.P.I.(M.L.)  while M.C.C  claimed that the conditions for formation of the party did not exist and it was hastily formed. In this context we should also study the analysis of T.Nagi Reddy,D.V.Rao ,Andhra Pradesh Co-ordination Commitee of Communist Revolutionaries, and the C.P.R.C.I.(M.L.) which analyses that only when the final party is formed can unanimity be reached on the question of the 1969 C.P.I.(M.L).

True Charu Mazumdar was wrong in calling the entire bourgeoise as comprador’, abandoning mass organizations and movements, calling ‘China’s chairman,our chairman’,advocating ‘annihilation of the class enemy’,considering ‘boycott of election’as a strategic slogan , ‘Guerrilla warfare’ as the only means of struggle, ‘that a revolutionary situation existed in every nook and corner of India’ etc. Such slogans reflected doctrinarism and not Marxism.

Authoritarianism, bureaucratism or egoism was prevalent and mass line was violated..However it was C.M’s very  efforts that sowed the seeds of the demarcation of revisionism and the upholding of Mao Tse Tung thought in India. Quoting 1983  Liberation organ of C.T.C.P.I.(M.L.) “Proper evaluation of Comrade C.M. has not yet been done on the basis of dialectics of historical materialism,which requires a thorough study of his writings and deeds. It requires time for such research of  his writings and deeds. Thus we do no deem it proper to make any irresponsible comment on C.M.,even if a rectification of his errors is necessary. Comrade C.M.’s main line of thinking was not isolated but evolved through the process and development of 2-line struggle inside the C.P.I.and C.P.M.,who were concurrent with the 2 line struggle in the international arena ,particularly the great debate. Comrade C.M. tirelessly fought against class collaborationist line of the revisionists and waged bitter fight not only in theoretical field but practical field.

Thus he was under continuous suppression by revisionist forces.” Arguably Lin Biaoist line had it's effect on Mazumdar's ideology in the  period from 1967-72..

We must all read the interview of Zhou En Lai by Souren Bose in 1970 critical of C.P.I.(M.L.)’s policies  but also remember the tension prevailing because of Lin Biaoist line.

 In 1997 in defence of the C.P.I.(M.L) the erstwhile C.P.I.(M.L)Peoples War explained how the struggle in Srikakulam was raised to such heights of glory by 1970 . The earlier movements in  Karimnagar or Warangal Andhra Pradesh by erstwhile  C.P.I.(M.L.) Peoples War and  Jehanabad  in Bihar  by erstwhile C.P.I.(M.L.) Party Unity and the current flame burning   in Dandkaranya  by the current C.P.I.(Maoist) have their roots in Charu Mazumdar’s party programme in the 1970 party Congress.

In yesteryears the erstwhile Central Team faction always called for the re-uniting of the central Commitee formed at the 1970 C.P.I.(M.L.) 8TH Party Congress. The erstwhile U.C.C.R.I.(M.L.) of Nagi Reddy and D.V.Rao.did not give Comrade CM the appraisal he deserved .

Significantly the erstwhile Central Team of the C.P.I.(M.L.) which upheld C.M. critically merged with the C.C.R.I  in 1994  which upheld  the line of Nagi Reddy. into the  C.P.R.C.I.(M.L. )Like Maoist Communist Centre steams remained outside the C.P.I.(M.L.) like the Chandra Pulla Reddy or Nagi Reddy factions but that does not mean we downplay the validity of the historical role played by Charu Mazumdar.

We must be critical of the sectarianism of the C.P.I.(M.L) of 1969 in preventing other Maoist revolutionary forces from joining it and endorse the views of T.Nagi Reddy ,D.V.Rao etc on it’s major errors..

Historically as the C.T.C.P.I.(M.L.) stated in 1983 that it was erroneous to claim that the first party central committee disintegrated in 1972 just after C.M’s martyrdom. In fact a split in the party between trend of  left deviation of C.M.and right capitulation of Satyanarayan Singh already took place. Disintegration of the central commitee occurred before martyrdom of C.M.

I request cadres to critically read the documents written by C.M. 50 years ago. Cadres should also read the appraisal of 1970 eighth party Congress .in Peoples March of 2007 reporting the Unity Congress of the C.P.I.(Maoist) ,The Nov-Dec.2004 issue of Peoples March on the formation of C.P.I.(Maoist) upholding the 1970 party Congress and programme and the ‘Voice of the Vanguard’ issue of July-October 1997 where there is a concrete appraisal of Charu Mazumdar.and the erstwhile M.C.C’s polemics are refuted on the validity and historical significance of the party programme of the 1970 party Congress. I recommend the writings of the Central Team of the C.P.I.(M.L.) in Liberation of March 1989 and earlier in 1987.The best critique of the C.M.line was made by Comrade T.Nagi Reddy and D.V.Rao  but again the analysis is not complete.

We have to study what positive aspects existed within the C.P.I.(M.L.) and programme of 1970 which groups leading major armed movements with rectifications from the past imbibed.

Quoting an article on the unity of C.P.I.(Maoist ) in Peoples March of  Nov –Dec  2004 “The 8th Congress was held in 1970 that established generally and basically the correct revolutionary line for the Indian revolution. The 8th Congress was recognised by the communist revolutionaries in India and by the CPC under comrade Mao Tse-tung.”
Quoting Comrade Ganapathy,secretary of C.P.I.(Maoist) at the Congress of 2007 in ‘Peoples March’-April 2007
“This Congress is a continuation of the 8Th Congress held by the CPI(ML) in 1970. That was a start of the new revolutionary stream which burst forth with Naxalbari.The Eighth Congress held by the CPI(ML) in 1970 was a start of the new revolutionary stream which burst forth with Naxalbari.

Though the then MCC was not part of the 8thCongress,at that time the bulk of the revolutionaries were with the CPI (ML).

The essence of the 8thCongress was to draw clear lines of demarcation with revisionism and the 7thCongress held by the CPI(M).

It established the task of New Democratic Revolution, the path of protracted people’swar, the ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Mao-Tse Tung Thought and saw the agrarian revolution as the axis of the revolution. Though the MCC differed on some tactical questions, on basic strategic and ideological issues, particularly on the key question of advancing the armed struggle, the two trends had similar common thinking.

Quoting Liberation of C.T.C.P.I.(M.L.)” The Central Leadership of the C.P.I(M.L)failed to resolve correctly certain questions of policy regarding mass line ,military line and style of work.
Instead of devising correct CT Marxist Leninist policies in the light of objective analysis, the central leadership started devising such policies subjectively. Consequently our revolution receive set backs.

The Central leadership gradually deviated from the very ideological foundation of the party. They revealed a sectarian, individualist and bureaucratic trend.
The failed to mobiles all the sincere C.R’s in he party, through ideological persuasion and political struggle. Although the 8th Congress of the C.P.I(M.L),boldly drew a clear line of demarcation between Marxism and Revisionism, upheld the correct general orientation and path of Indian Revolution, yet adopted certain left adventurist policies on the questions of mass and military line”
Quoting  organ of Erstwhile C.P.I.(M.L.) PWG ‘Voice of the Vanguard’ of  July-October 1997,

 “He could inspire the commonest of common people into struggle, inspire the students and youth and create confidence in them. He created history by testing the path of Liberation, playing the main role in forming the revolutionary party of the proletariat in India and laying the theoretical foundations for the same. For this role alone ,he will forever be remembered as the greatest revolutionary leader the country has seen.”
I apologize as  above his cult or status has been eulogized calling him the ‘greatest’ and not ‘one of the greatest ‘revolutionaries in India.

To me calling him ‘greatest’ is erroneous as it underestimates stalwarts like Kanhai Chaterjee or T.Nagi Reddy

I just wished to post it in memory of immortal comrade C.M.

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