Let us sweep away the pests ruling our country by unleashing a high tide of people’s struggles! Let us dismantle the imperialist-dictated development model and establish the new democratic model of development!!
-Central Propaganda Department, CPI (Maoist)
Today a civil war is raging in the vast stretches of the Indian countryside and in the entire country between the oppressed people of the country led by the CPI (Maoist) and the Indian State representing a tiny, parasitic, and elite of comprador financial-military- industrial complex ruling the country with the active aid and assistance of the imperialists, particularly the US imperialists.
The media, owned and controlled by the corporate sharks, has become the chief instrument for manufacturing consent for the unjust brutal counter-revolutionary war waged by the reactionary rulers, for providing it with ideological justification and legitimacy, for adding fuel to the flames of counter-revolution, and for driving the reactionaries towards further militarization and fascisation of the Indian State. The media has also become the chief instrument for carrying out a vicious, despicable campaign of disinformation, lies and slander against the Maoists, Maoist ideology, the new democratic and socialist state, Maoist strategy and tactics.
The methods adopted by the rulers and the media to justify their unjust war range from the crudest to the most sophisticated: from openly justifying their brutal murders and catalogue of crimes with the slogan of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”, “wiping out the Maoist terrorists to save democracy” etc to the subtle slogan of “establishing the rule of law”, “protecting the civilians”, “ensuring the development of the backward regions by reclaiming these from Maoist control”, and so on. Some leaders from within the ruling class parties like Digvijay Singh and Manishankar Aiyer have openly opposed the strategy pursued by Chidambaram and are advocating the strategy of combining police action with development into a holistic package.
Whether it is the crude advocacy of brute force by the State at the cost of suspension of even the nominal legal democratic rights for the citizens, OR a bit more sophisticated rhetoric of ensuring justice for the poor through the “two-pronged strategy of development and calibrated police action”, there is no difference in essence in practical terms. In fact, one transforms into the other depending on the exigencies or compulsions imposed by the specific situation. For instance, everyone knows how the Union Home Minister has been advocating the strategy of “police action first followed by development”, his policy of “reclaiming territories from the Maoists and establishing civil authority” or his formula popularly known as the “clear- hold-develop” policy.
For almost a year Chidambaram has been asserting that the foremost and most crucial task before the government is wresting control over the territories held by the Maoists without which it is impossible to undertake any development. With all the deftness or crudity of a corporate lawyer that he was all his life, he has been arguing, ever since he became the Union Home Minster, that the Maoists have become an obstacle to the development initiatives of the government, that they will not allow any development to take place in the areas controlled by them since they fear that development would wean away their adivasi mass base. He cited statistics and sponsored a series of advertisements to show how the Maoists are a bunch of anarchists and mindless terrorists who blast schools, panchayat buildings, hospitals, roads, bridges, railway lines, telephone towers and so on. He cooked up the theory that the Maoists are hell-bent on keeping the adivasis in a state of perpetual backwardness since development would drive them out of their fold.
Hence the only way to ensure peace and development in adivasi-inhabited regions is to suppress the Maoists and all those who had risen up against the State by using all means at the disposal of the State, including the Indian Army and the Air Force. Such has been the consistent approach of the Union Home Minister all the while until the daring Maoist attack in Dantewada of April 6. He has quite a few supporters among the so-called intellectuals such as Shekhar Gupta, Arnab Goswamy, PV Ramana, Kanchan Gupta, Chandan Mitra and other hawks in whose company a Hitler or a George Bush would have been quite comfortable.
The April 6 attack shook the fascist rulers as never before. The entire strategy of Chidambaram and the ruling UPA came under heavy criticism. Calls for a reorientation of the anti-Maoist strategy grew louder. Under such compelling conditions, it did not take long for Chidambaram to make some changes in his approach, at least outwardly, to satisfy his detractors. He began to propagate that he was not against the strategy of pursuing development and police action simultaneously. He continued his oft- repeated proposal to the Maoists to abjure violence for 72 hours to be followed by talks. At the same time he also continued to send central paramilitary forces to the seven states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal, Bihar, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh on a massive scale. He undertook hectic tours to various states, held meetings with chief ministers, top bureaucrats and police chiefs of these states, tried desperately to bring unity of thought among the various parties ruling these states and to drive them into coordinated joint operations against the Maoists.
At least outwardly, Chidambaram’s drift from the policy of “police action followed by development” to the two- pronged policy of simultaneous police action and development was perceivable. One should clearly understand that the difference between these two approaches is not really of great significance though one must take the difference into account for tactical and propaganda purposes. Both are equally dangerous but the two approaches entail some differences as far as the tactics of the revolutionaries goes.
Those who advocate massive military action in all the Maoist- influenced areas as a pre-requisite for undertaking any development activity, and who insist on using all means at their disposal to brutally suppress the revolutionary movement, end up in isolating themselves from the population at large. They end up making more enemies for themselves. And this has been the experience of Chidambaram who had been advocating this strategy all through.
The approach of these war- mongering hawks can be summed up in the utterances of people like Chidambaram, Man Mohan Singh, and various BJP spokespersons besides the hawks in the military establishment. For instance, Swapandas Gupta of the Pioneer, a saffron apologist himself says: “To make Maoism unattractive to frightened villagers, force will have to be met with force. Siddharth Ray showed the way in West Bengal in the 1970s.” This hawk knows that the frightened villagers will gravitate towards the Maoists at least out of compulsion if not by choice. And to prevent it from happening he wants the use of more force to deter the villagers from going towards the Maoists. And for hawks like him there is only the language of a George Bush, “either you are with us or them.” There can be no middle ground. Hence he says:
“Unlike separatist movements that can be coerced into compromise, there is no halfway house in confronting Communist insurgencies. In the war for state power, it’s either us or them. One side has to yield. The choice is stark: it’s either Maoism or the democratic way of life.” And this has been the language used by the entire BJP leadership, most of the Congress leadership, the social fascist leadership of the CPI (M), and most of the retired police and intelligence chiefs and so-called military analysts like Prakash Singh, Kumawat, Doval, Maroof Raza, and others. So-called media intellectuals like Arnab Goswamy, Chandan Mitra, Shekhar Gupta, Pravin Swamy, Kanchan Gupta, Barkha Dutt, and a host of others who din into our ears cock-and- bull stories of how a shining India and a robust democracy is being wrecked from within by the “Maoist anarchists, terrorists, nihilists” and so on.
This high-pitch cacophony for a bloody suppression of the just resistance of the people has only back-fired by further strengthening the Maoist revolutionary ranks. Instead of eroding the mass base of the Maoists this policy had only expanded and deepened it. It is due to this massive ever-increasing support enjoyed by the Maoist revolutionaries that several big counter- offensives against the enemy forces by Maoist guerrillas could be carried out successfully in recent months.
In fact, Chidambaram’s policy over the past one year had pushed more ordinary people to the side of the revolution than during normal times. By unleashing a reign of terror on the common people through the central and state forces, the people were compelled to take up arms in their own self-defence thereby swelling the ranks of the revolutionaries. The revolutionaries too had successfully pursued the Maoist tactics of guerrilla warfare by luring the enemy deep into their territory, harassing the enemy and hitting out at the enemy at his weakest point by concentrating the guerrilla
forces to inflict the maximum casualties while preserving their own forces. The revolutionaries had also tried to rally the democratic and progressive forces who are opposed to a military solution to the issue of Naxalism. Thus, we can say, the overall gains have been greater than the losses during this period in spite of the massive deployment of the enemy forces and the brutal reign of terror unleashed by them.
Now when someone says both development and police action must go together it means that besides massive police action, massive amounts will be allocated for building infrastructure like roads and schools for facilitating the movement and camping of the paramilitary and anti-Naxal police forces. It means establishing and further strengthening the existing human intelligence network of the enemy by recruiting, training and deploying a huge force of informers from the poverty-stricken masses. It means buying off people through so-called development works and government reforms that can benefit a small section of the people who, in turn, will act as the new support base for the enemy class. A combination of the two can prove to be deadlier than the purely militaristic approach of Chidambaram or the BJP. It would mean the creation of a servile class of people from within the oppressed masses through sheer bribery and incentives of various kinds. It would mean speedier movement of the enemy forces with better infrastructure in the remote countryside.
It is worthwhile to recall in this context some experience from British India. The British colonialists had initially tried the purely military option to keep India under their subjugation. But after a series of people’s rebellions culminating in the country-wide rebellion of 1857, these cunning exploiters chose the two-pronged strategy of granting some minor concessions to a section of the people while suppressing the vast majority of the population. Thus they succeeded to an extent in creating a buffer between themselves and the rebellious oppressed people in the form of an elite educated class which was absorbed into their administration and became an effective instrument to reproduce British colonial values, culture, ethos. These included the Indian National Congress which was sought to be used as a safety valve; the feudal class of zamindars who served as a social pillar of British colonial rule; and the class of English-educated intellectuals who propagated the British mission with a missionary zeal. Thus the colonial oppressors created their own social base from the native soil of their colony. Whether it was the purely military policy of outright massacres and plunder of the pre-1857 phase or the two-pronged approach of the latter period, history has proved that the aim of the oppressors was one and the same.
Besides the advocates of a purely military approach and the development-cum-military approach towards the Maoist movement, there are some others like Swami Agnivesh, Professor Yashpal, Himanshu Kumar and others who have been advocating development of the Maoist-controlled areas first through massive allocation of funds, improving governance, eradicating poverty and social discrimination, putting an end to state atrocities and violation of human rights all of which, they believe, would automatically erode the mass base of the Maoists and reduce the levels of violence. These, along with other well- wishers of revolution and civil society members, staunchly oppose military action against the Maoists and the adivasis in the remote hinterland, and vehemently advocate for a dialogue route to achieve peace.
Among these forces that put forth the path of development and dialogue between the Maoists and the Indian State to resolve the civil war, the opinions are divided and very much varied. One needs to go deeper to understand where their proposals would lead us to. Some of them simply do not understand what development implies. They imagine that development in the form of big projects, roads, railways, communications, along with hospitals, schools etc would fulfill the aspirations of the hitherto neglected sections of the Indian society residing in the vast countryside and bring them out of the influence of the Maoists through such concerted efforts by the Governments and NGOs. They imagine that by pouring huge funds into so-called development schemes in Maoist-influenced districts the youth can be won over from the path of revolution. Some of these advocates of development are now part of the National Advisory Council (NAC) set up by Sonia Gandhi. They advocate the path of development with the argument that it would ‘win the hearts and minds’ of the marginalized and deprived sections and wean them away from the Naxals.
Then there are some who desire a deep and extensive debate on the model of development in our country: whether the model should be the one envisaged by the Liberalisation- Privatisation-Globalisation dispensation promoted by the imperialists through their instruments like the World Bank, IMF, and WTO and so on? Or it should be a model that is people-oriented, need-based, indigenous, independent, self-reliant, environment-friendly i.e. a model that is seen in its embryonic form in some areas under the control of the CPI (Maoist) in the remote countryside of central and eastern India?
The so-called inclusive growth, trickle-down theory, or globalization with a human face and so on are all sheer empty rhetoric that is meant to serve as an eye-wash and cover up the hidden agenda of redistributing the country’s wealth in favour of the rich. The statistics of wealth are mind- boggling. The combined net worth of the hundred richest individuals in India doubled to $276 billion or Rs. 12, 89,000 crore according to the Forbes’ India Rich List released recently. This amounts to a quarter of India’s GDP. Against 27 billionaires in India in 2008 there are 52 billionaires in 2009.
At the same time the number of poor has increased drastically with the number of the poor surviving on less than Rs. 20 a day touching 77 per cent of the Indian population or 83 crore 63 lakh people, and those surviving on less than Rs. 10 a day comprise 23 crore 90 lakh people, according to the Arjunsen Gupta Committee report. This is the fruit of the development model being practiced by Man Mohan Singh, Chidambaram, Pranab Mukherji and other imperialist agents ruling our country.
The development model being practiced in our country upon the dictates of the imperialists and the comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie is a model to be rejected lock, stock and barrel, and replaced with a model that is not dependent on the blind (but in reality manipulative) forces of the market, not dependent on the needs and dictates of the imperialist forces and the greed of the corporate houses but one that is based on people’s needs, indigenous resources and capital. In a word, a model that is anti- imperialist and anti-feudal in essence. Without such a model of development, to imagine that by setting up a few ration shops which usually do not supply the much-needed essentials in most parts of even urban areas, not to speak of the countryside, building schools without adequate teachers or facilities, or primary health centres without doctors and medicines, and industrial, mining, and other projects that displace more people (overwhelming majority of them poor) than they bring benefit to (the beneficiaries being mostly well-to-do and the parasitic ruling classes), would improve the lives of the people would mean living in a fool’s paradise.
It will indeed do much good if a debate on the model of development is conducted throughout the country and people from all walks of life especially the people from the grass- roots level, participate in this debate. It is very clear to the CPI (Maoist) that the advocates of the present imperialist- dictated model of development implemented in India—the likes of Man Mohan Singh, Chidambaram, Pranab Mukherji and other anti-people imperialist agents—will never agree to participate in such a debate with Maoists or other like-minded intellectuals. That would expose the rulers’ servility to the imperialists and the corporate vultures. That would also bring out the skeletons in their cupboards. Their entire edifice that stands on inequalities, corruption, black money etc will collapse like a pack of cards when confronted with the genuine democratic model of development proposed by the Maoists. Hence, the reactionary rulers will never dare to enter into talks on the issue notwithstanding all their rhetoric which is only meant to dupe the people.
In this context we, as the vanguard Party of the Indian proletariat, wish to address the apprehensions of some well-wishers of revolutionary struggles and anti-imperialist resistance movements like Arundhati Roy who had quite rightly asked the question referring to the bauxite in Niyamgiri Hills: “Can we have the bauxite in the mountain?” Our one-liner answer is: Of course, we should! Without such an approach and vision one cannot save the planet from total destruction, and humanity from complete extinction. When Maoists oppose the bauxite mining in Niyamgiri it is not only because of outright plunder of our country’s resources by the imperialist Vedanta but also because of the social and environmental problems the mining is giving rise to.
Which resources should be exploited for the benefit of the entire society and which should be left untouched, what should be the model of development in future post- revolutionary society, and how should the future state after the overthrow of imperialism, comprador bureaucrat capitalism and feudalism deal with the complex problems related to the development of the entire country without upsetting the fragile ecological balance, are all questions that should be settled in the course of democratic discussions among the various sections of the society.
Maoists represent the interests of the entire oppressed people and hence whatever is good for the people at large will necessarily be adopted by the Maoists. Therefore, even if some people have apprehensions that the Maoist movement may lack the vision for a state which allows our mountains and rivers to be, it has to be kept in mind that as the vanguard party the Maoist party would inevitably assimilate all that is revolutionary, progressive and democratic in the society, and advance towards a classless society equipped with a vision that is in the best interests of the people at large.
Today, the Maoists are trying to implement the new model of development in the forest tracts of Dandakaranya, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa and some other regions. We appeal to all those who are genuinely interested in self-reliant, mass-oriented, need-based balanced development of our country to come forward to extend their helping hand to the oppressed people who are striving to establish such a model in the limited areas at a modest level.
It is this model of development that has become the gravest threat to the reactionary rulers of our country and their imperialist masters. Hence it is all the more urgent and most important task before the people of our country to resist the fascist armed onslaught unleashed by the Indian reactionary rulers on the Maoist movement and the new model of development, new culture, new values which it represents. With the support of the people of India the Maoists will certainly emerge victorious in this cruel war unleashed by the Central and state governments with the active assistance of the imperialists.
Let us defeat the brutal country- wide co-ordinated counter- revolutionary armed offensive by the reactionary Indian rulers with the close guidance and assistance of the imperialists!
Let us defend and expand the new democratic people’s power! Let us defend and expand the new model of development that is flowering in the most backward regions of our country and throw out the present imperialist- dictated model of development that is destroying the entire country and depriving the future generations of earth’s resources!
Let us defeat the brutal war waged by the rulers in order to save our country, our people, our resources and our future generations!