Non-Maoist Camp

Merger, Split, Merger

Harsh Thakor

The most perfect example of an Opportunist unity was that of CPI (ML) Janashakti formed in 1992 comprising 7 parties. It had overtones of the unprincipled unity of Chandra Pulla Reddy and Satya-narayan Singh in 1974 who later again split in 1980. This time it attempted to merge the Chandra Pulla Reddy, T Nagi Reddy and Charu Mazumdar trends into one. It projected that morally there was hardly any difference between the different trends and clubbed the leaders together. It virtually forgot the principled struggle waged by T Nagi Reddy–D V Rao against the left adventurism of Charu Mazumdar and Chandra Pulla Reddy and later the right deviationist line of Satya Narayana Singh. Earlier in the 1970's in spite of rightist line of S N Singh in supporting Janata Party in united anti-fascist front C P Reddy group united with him. The Unity hardly reviewed the differences between Nagi Reddy and C P Reddy streams on forest movement. Within no time the party split again into seven groups. The main revolt was against the domination of the K Ramchandran section which intrigued a new policy towards Ambedkarite or Dalit movement. Cadres should read the criticsim of Viswam on the section led by K Ramchandran with regard to functioning of armed squads in forest areas and bracketing Charu Mazumdar with Nagi Reddy.

Although great efforts were made to rectify the errors of Janasahakti the trend re-appeared in a more nascent form with the merger of the CPI (ML) Red Star group with the CPI (ML) led by Kanu Sanyal. Previously there was a merger between the CPI (ML) led by Viswam and the Communist Organisation of India (ML) led by Kanu Sanyal. The essence of Nagi Reddy line did not comply with that of Kanu Sanyal's in the 1970's. In spite of CPI (ML) Red Star professing India to be neo-colonial with imperialism being the principal contradiction and CPI (ML) of Kanu Sanyal terming India as semi-colonial and semi-feudal they attempted the merger. Finally it backed of with a split by 2009. Since death of Kanu Sanyal the CPI (ML) Janasahakti led by late Khokan Majumdar merged with the CPI (ML) now led by Viswam. In time of Kanu Sanyal it outright rejected the lines of Charu Mazumdar and formation of CPI (ML). Now they have compromised again repeating the experience of Janashakti! Thus unity without demarcating from revisionist trends earlier. A most progressive contribution of this section was publishing 2 volumes on the history of the Communist Movement in India which is an invaluable contribution towards the building of massline from 1943-51 and from 1964-72.

The CPI (ML) Red Star whatever its progressive intentions is trying to absorb smaller groups in the country into its manifold pressing for mergers by winning them over. The open functioning of the group by dismantling secret party structure is sabotaging the overall Re-Organisation of the party in the nation. Its unity concept and staging its party conferences openly violates the Bolshevik spirit.

Today there is a trend in the movement which openly projects the party banner to the masses and emphasies importance of mass organisations. It is linked to groups participating in the Parliament without sufficient development of the vanguard party. Such groups participate on party plane in mass fronts which weaken the democratic identity of the mass organisations. Often in the past this trend disrupted the essence of unity of revolutionary mass organisations. In recent programmes in Punjab commemorating 50 years of naxalbari, 100 years of the Russian Revolution and condemning Gadchiroli massacre a revolutionary group, the CPI (ML) New Democracy came out with the open party banner. The revolutionary groups of the different trends opposed the proposal of the CPRCI (ML) in organising the programme in joint forum of intellectuals representing the revolutionary mass papers and not of revolutionary parties or mass organisations. No doubt one should applaud the activists of those groups for launching successful programmes but prematurely mass organisations were mobilised for such forums. Such trends were also predominant when commemorating the Chinese Revolution and defending ideolgy of Socialism when Social -Imperialism crashed in Eastern Europe and USSR. Such trends of open party were also dominant in programmes upholding centenary of the Russian Revolution by CPI (ML) Class Struggle at national level in Vijayawada and at regional level in a joint forum in Patna. In the commemoration joint front programme in 50 years of naxalbari CPI (ML) New Democracy even though the largest mobiliser openly waved its party banner and so did the CPI (ML). Fascinatingly in Patna for October Revolution programme ND group did not join the forum but in the Marx bi-centenary felicitation participated.

The other crucial factor for setback in the majority of the groups was adopting tactics of participating in parliamentary elections without the establishment of the re-organised vanguard party. This is what led to CPI (ML) Liberation group turning reformist, Red Star virtually out of the communist revolutionary camp and Kanu Sanyal's Class Struggle group on its periphery. Without the adequate laison partcipation broke the backbone of the components of the revolutionary stream who entered into a series of formal or unofficial alliances with bourgeois parliamentary or revisionist parties. Such embracing of parliament blunted their class struggles from sharpening and made them more and more a part of the parliamentary process like the Orthodox official left parties. Often such groups in their propoganda morally stated that India had genuine bourgeois parliamentary democracy and upheld candidates of bourgeois opposition parties as genuine anti-ruling class democrats!

The most principled approach towards unifying the party was by groups that adhered to giving the greatest priority to factor of re-organisation of the party and the principled struggle against the chief opportunist trends of the day. With deep Leninist clarity the Central Team of the CPI (ML) from 1978-93 called for re-organising the original CPI (ML) formed in 1969 and re-organising the party as the 9th party Congress. Most quantitatively in its organ 'Liberation' identifies all the wrong trends of the day and demarcated from the errors of the Charu Mazumdar line. The CPI (ML) Red Flag called for a unity platform of all the genuine revolutionary forces and consistently upheld all the revolutionary trends. It raised its voice against sectarianism more than any other group of its time and strived to unite groups on basic issues. It gave a powerful overview of the sectarianism pervading historically in the revolutionary camp and the need for consistent campaigns to save the face of Socialism when erstwhile USSR was toppled. The UCCRI(ML) led by Nagi Reddy and D V Rao strived to combat the left adventurist and right deviationist trends in a most principled manner before the capitualtion of D V Rao in 1970 to Revisionist path and later other leaders in the 1980's. The mantle of the legacy of principled struggle against open banner of the party was carried on by the CCRI that later merged into the CPRCI (ML). Today the most correct approach towards principled re-organisation outside the boundary of the Maoist camp is by the Communist Party Re-Organisation Center of India (ML).

On the other extreme there was a trend of secretism within the CR camp which prevented any party documents or literature to be made public or any proper open forums for propagating party ideology. This was predominant in the erstwhile Central Team and CCRI and later the CPRCI (ML). The 1992 issue of Red Star had a very balanced criticism of how all the groups evaded a sustained joint campaign refuting fall of Socialism and State repression.

When the fascist forces are tightening their grip to their greatest height and the tentacles of globalisation sharpening day by day the capacity of the revolutionary forces to organise is diminishing day by day. Revolutionaries have to innovate methods of struggle which can overcome the obstacles or traverse the barriers. Even if recognising or upholding the Leninist vanguard party concept it must not be done mechanically and work must be done to build it from below. It's urgent to develop the Leninist or Maoist party to incorporate more revolutionary democratic elements and integrate with more mass movements at large. One cannot blindly emulate the Soviet or Chinese experience. Emphasis must be placed on building the party from below and not from above. For the Trade Union movement the writings of Antonio Gramisci have considerable relevance. Intellectuals must analyse a forum whereby principled ideological struggles of communist revolutionaries could take place. The method of working as fractions within yellow Trade Unions and capturing bourgeois unions is a very complex subject with the great changes that have taken place in urban areas. Revolutionaries have to imbibe lessons from Shankar Guha Nyugi in organising mine workers in Chattisgarh. The most common trend was the detachment of the proletarian politics and economist approach by groups all over India. The struggles of airport workers in the 1990's Mumbai, Jute workers in Kanoria in 1995 and rice mill workers in Bobbili are ideal examples.

Theoretically the groups have to not mechanically copy the Chinese path of Protracted People's War. Today the revolutionaries can take abject advantage of the crisis of economic fascist crisis. The resurgence of peasant movement against suicides and for remunerative prices must be exploited to its full potential. Revolutionaries still have to formulate new strategies of organising the peasantry with the immense infiltration of imperialism and MNC's in agriculture. New strategies or methods have also to be devised on the urban front with the vastly different methods of production prevalent today which completely divide workers. The last named has a most critical insight on how the pure orthodox vanguard party concept has to be further enriched.

However the fundamental cause of the setback of groups outside the Maoist camp is the phenomenal impact of Revisionism and Imperialist sponsored globalisation. There was no strategy formulated to effectively counter the crisis caused by these factors. The Imperialist culture has also played a predominant role. The Social media has become a virtual instrument of the fascist bourgeoise and made the proletarian and other progressive classes victims of it.

Autumn Number 2018
Vol. 51, No.14 - 17, Oct 7 - Nov 3, 2018