Thursday, May 25, 2017

Celebrating 50 Years since Naxalbari : Part 4 by Harsh Thakor

                              These Articles reflect the personal opinions of Harsh Thakor


Never a part of the C.P.I.(M.L.) stream but played the greatest role in the revolutionary movement and practice of protracted peoples war of Bihar 2nd in contribution in India only to C.P.I(M.L.) Peoples War and able to form a guerilla army on it's very own.

Justl like PWG in Andhra Pradesh,several actions were performed which did not take into account the state and development of the agrarian revolutionary movement in their respective areas. Athough mass organizations were formed they were utilized as mere front organizations of the M.C.C and hardly any open functioning. .

Legal and open mass struggles were neglected to a considerable extent. The Krantikari Kisan Committees functioned secretly and unlike the Rytu Collie Sangham and Mazdoor Kisan Sangram Samit hardly initiated open mass mobilization.; One theoretical weakness of the Maoist Communist Centre was it's upholding the Lin Biaoist analysis of 'Era of total collapse of Imperialism’ and equating it with ‘Maoism’.

This denies the fact that it is the 'era of imperialism' as profounded by Comrade Lenin. It also joined the Revolutionary Internationalist movement ,a Communist International Organization,which was prematurely formed, without adequate development of the World Communist Movement.

However deployed most innovative methods in developing the struggle of the Krantikari Kisan Committe's which heroically carried out land seizures,carrying out para-military type armed actions and in developing a genuine red army corpse.

Professor G.N.Saibaba felt it’s contribution was on the plane of the PWG.

The fact that it survived the onslaughts of the state as a single organization for 35 years is one of the greatest achievements in the annals of the Communist movement.

Although it deployed very sectret functioning it used some of the most creative methods in emulating the PWG  and creating the women’s organisation The Nari Mukti Sangh.No group took peoples war  to such a high stage  in Bihar.

excerpt from Storming the gates of haeven by Amit Bhattacharya.

MCC activity in Bihar centered around Gaya and Hazaribagh districts.During those days Chattra ,Giridh and Kodarma districts were part of modern Hazaribagh district and Aurangabad, Jehanabad , Nanda and some other districts were part of Gaya zone.

From a historical point of view ,the place which could be regarded as the cradle of MCC was one called Challo.l Just as Party Unity work started with JP activists ,The MCC worked in Bihar started with converted activists of Forward bloc.

Through the establishment of Krantikari Kisan Committes MCC launched massive struggles against feudalism and imperilalist control in many areas.

The revolutionary peasants carried out attacks one after another against the feudal forces,confiscated their movable and immovable property, and distributed land among the poor and landless peasants through the KKC.The granaries owned by landlords were systematically destroyed by thousands of angry peasants.

Thousands of acres of land were distributed to the tillers implementing the slogan of land to the tiller,as also thousands of maund sof rice andwheat among the poor people.In place of the feudal yoke in the countryside,they had created the organs of peoples power.

They confiscated the weapon sof the landlords ,arrested them for the misdeeds,subjected them to trial by courts set up by people themselves and meted out punishment.The private armies set up be feudal forces were wiped out,,police statio swere attacked and weapon sesized to arm guerilla squads.

Workers were organized to fight aginst the forest contractors for increase in daily wages ,and to put an end to police repression in the forets and the establishment of the authority of the kcc.The party also n put an end to obscene dance performances,rape,liquor consumption,dacoity and theft,caste conflicts and communal riots.

An important achievement of the M.C.C in Bihar was the destruction of the headquarters of the opressive feudal forces at Dalocok Baghaura in Gaya in 1987.

The MCC spread it's network to Dhanbad,Giridhi and Hazaribagh districts of Jharkhand area inhaibited by adivasis.

Inspite of facing untold repression the MCC could expand areas of stuggle to other regions.These include Ranchi,Singhbum,some districts of Odisha Deoghar,Dumka,Jamui,Monghyr,Banka Bhagalpur and some other aresa.

On the other side it covered Chatra ,Palamu,Latehar,Gumla and Lohardaga in Garwa district.They also penetrated Assam as well as Tripura.The ruling classes went every inch to supress the campaign slike 'Operation Sidharth','Operation Agnidut,'' Rakshak, 'Flashlight.' etc.M.C.C.was banned as well as it's front Jan Suraksha Manch.

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 built in he student,youth women and Cultural Front.

The Nari Mukti Sangh,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 staging a meeeting of the Krantikari Kisan Commiteee.

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 Peasant 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 struggles.Self 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 sacks 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.’

To me one of the most significant historical weaknesses of M.C C was their challenging the authenciy of the C.P.I(M.L) formed by Charu Mazumdar.

The most important question of historic assessment was their original difference with the original C.P.I(M.L) and later why it developed serious differences with the Peoples War Group or Party Unity Group to the extent that even inter-group clashes occurred on a wide scale.

This reflected he defective military line of both the erstwhile Peoples War Group and the M.C.C. True they resolved it ultimately but did they analyse the root cause of the clashes and rectify those aspects of the line that caused them?

Although M.C.C led a historic armed struggle it's movement was vitiated with serious defects. The organization was unable to develop a correct mass military line .Several actions were performed which did not take into account the state and development of the agrarian revolutionary movement in their respective areas. Such actions instead of basing themselves on people's mass movements, substituted them.

Athough mass organizations were formed they were utilized as mere front organizations of the M.C.C and not given a distinct open identity .Legal and open mass struggles were neglected to a considerable extent. The Krantikari Kisan Committees functioned secretly and unlike the Rytu Collie Sangham and Mazdoor Kisan Sangram Samit hardly initiated open mass mobilization.;

The relation between armed struggle and open mass activity was hardly developed . Open mass struggles were reqired during repression of democratic rights,communal riots ETC.During the 1993 Babri Masjid riots,there were hardly any open mass movements organized in opposition (although mass fronts launched some protests)A separate revolutionary peasant organization was not formed.

 There was also confusion between caste and class struggle.Acts were launched against oppression of down trodden cates without taking into account class analysis.(1987 Dalechauk-Baghera massacre of RAjputs being he best example)Work on the trade Union sphere was neglected and hardly any emphasis was placed on building revolutionary struggle with the urban areas.(WEst Begal is he best example)Party poltical organs were hardly openy propgated like the ‘Vaaguard’ of the PWG.

One theoretical weakness of the Maoist Communist Centre was it's upholding the Lin Biaoist analysis of 'Era of total collapse of Imperialism 'in the Socialist and Cultural Revolution Period.

This denies the fact that it is the 'era of imperialism' as profounded by Comrade Lenin. It also joined the Revolutionary Internationalist movement ,a Communist International Organization,which was prematurely formed, without adequate development of the World Communist Movement.

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