Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Short History of the CPI (M-L) [Compiled from different websites]

The Communist Party of India (CPI) was first formed in 1925, but this party eventually went revisionist and became part of the liberal wing of the ruling class establishment. This vice took a prominent shape just after the 20th congress of the CPSUB, that consolidated the foundation of international revisionism by silhouetting comrade Joseph Stalin. The launching of the great debate between USSR and China in early sixties exposed the rightist face of the pro-Soviet CPI leadership. The CPI’s nuke ultranationalist line in the Indo-China War (1962), finally drew the line of demarcation between the rightists and the leftists. In 1964, when the Sino-Soviet ideological struggle reached its culmination, part of the CPI split off to form the Communist Party of India (Marxist), usually abbreviated as the CPI (M). But this party too soon gave up on revolution and settled in on the comfortable path of bourgeois electoral campaigns and reformism.
However, there have always been Marxist revolutionaries in India who were not willing to accept such revisionist betrayal. In 1967, some of these revolutionaries, inspired by the historic eight documents of comrade Charu Majumdar (Secretary, Darjeeling District Committee of CPI-M) launched an armed struggle in the region around Naxalbari in a remote northern part of West Bengal. Comrade Majumdar’s documents were heavily influenced by the Chinese line of protracted people’s war. Moreover, the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution which was then underway in China also made a great impact on his mind.
Inspired by the historic Naxalbari uprising, the revolutionaries within the CPI (M) began establishing their own publications [Deshabrati (Bengali) Liberation (English) Lok Yudh (Hindi)] and networks of contacts.
On November 12-13, 1967, many of these revolutionary communists from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa and West Bengal, met and formed an organization they called the All India Coordination Committee of Revolutionaries in the CPI(M), or AICCR.
But events were moving fast. On May 14, 1968, this committee was renamed the "All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries" (AICCCR), with Comrade Sushital Roy Chowdhuri as its convener. It decided to boycott all elections.
Two important groups of revolutionary communists were not part of the AICCCR: The Maoist Communist Centre chose not to participate because of differences over the party-building line. And a group of revolutionaries from Andhra Pradesh under the leadership of Tarimala Nagi Reddy were excluded because they disagreed that sufficient preparations had been made to launch an immediate people's war.
In February 1969 the AICCCR unanimously decided to form a new communist party (though some state units later refused to go along). This party, the original Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), was launched on April 22nd, 1969, Lenin's birthday. Comrade Charu Majumdar was elected the General Secretary of the Central Organizing Committee of the new party.
The revolutionaries who formed the CPI (ML) had already begun setting up guerrilla zones in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and especially at Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh. But severe repression from the government came down on all these areas, especially Srikakulam. Seven top members of the party were murdered by the government on May 26-27, 1969, and several other top leaders were murdered at the end of that year. This led to an unprecedented uprising of students and youth in Calcutta and throughout West Bengal.
After the Deshabrati publication office was raided by the government on April 27, 1970, the party was forced to go underground. In the same year, the CPI (M-L) organized its first Party Congress, and called to revolutionize the country by ‘annihilating’ the bureaucratic big bourgeois and feudal class. The Congress elected a new Central Committee, consisting of - Charu Majumdar, Kanu Sanyal, Sushital Roy Chowdhury , Saroj Dutta , Soren Bose, Suniti Ghosh, Ashim Chatterjee, Satyanarayan Singh, Gurubax Singh, Rajkishore Singh, Shiv Kumar Mishra , Mahindar Singh, Dr. Nagbhushan Patnaik , M. Appalasuri, Vempatapu Satyanarayana , Adibathla Kailasam , Appu, Kodasudayanam, R.P. Saraf, Ambaddi and Jagjit Singh Sohal (Sharma)
On July 10-11, Comrades Satyam and Kailasam, two top leaders of the Srikakulam uprising were captured and murdered by the police while in captivity. The Srikakulam guerrilla zone began to suffer reversals.
In the initial hours of 1971, Satyanarain Singh and Ashim Chatterjee developed differences with the official party line, and created a parallel central committee, in opposition to the original CPI (M-L). This in turn led to a few more splits by the end of 1971. The martyrdom of comrade Saroj Dutta (CM’s comrade-in-arms) on 5th August, 1971, was also a big blow to the organization. Things got worst, when on 28th July, 1972, comrade Charu Majumdar was killed in the police custody. With his martyrdom, an important chapter of India’s revolutionary struggle came to an end.
Yet, the spirit of Naxalbari survives and it will survive until the world becomes a people’s world.

Emergence of the CPI (ML): The Opening Up of a New Road

[This Write-up, ('CPI-ML: The Firm Defender of the Revolutionary Legacy of Indian Communists' – Vinod Mishra) originally appeared in the form of a booklet in 1991. We have taken only the relevant portion, i.e. the part that tells the story of the AICCCR and the Undivided CPI (M-L). The last para of this write-up is taken from comrade VM’s another article – HOW DID OUR PARTY EVOLVE. Since we are only interested in the historical and philosophical implications of the original CPI (M-L), we have decided not to include any of the personal documents, filed by the so-called Naxalist and Maoist groups on the Naxal Movement and CPI (M-L).]
In the course of a protracted struggle between its opportunist and revolutionary wings, the Communist Party of India underwent its first split in 1964 and a new party was formed in the shape of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). It did not however take long for the revolutionary wing to realize that the leadership of the new party had been seized by the centrist trend of the movement, which was bent upon pursuing the same opportunist course. An inner-Party struggle ensued throughout the party. However, in a concentrated form, it was conducted by Comrade Charu Majumdar through his famous Eight Documents, written between 1965 and 1967.
Marked by a nationwide outburst of mass movements, this was also the period that saw the first major turn in post-1947 Indian politics. In West Bengal, the CPI (M)-dominated United Front was swept to power and the party leadership completed its transition to the opportunist strategic course. As its antithesis, the revolutionary wing went beyond the parameters of inner-Party struggle and strove to orientate the mass struggles, the peasant movement in particular, towards the revolutionary strategic course. The peasant uprising in Naxalbari, organised by the Charu Majumdar-led wing of the Party precipitated the first showdown between the two strategic perspectives and tactical lines within the CPI (M).
True to the tradition of social-democratic betrayal, the party in power responded with bullets, and the simmering revolt within the party spread like wildfire. With revolutionary communists throughout India detaching themselves from the party and rallying around the emerging centre, the All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries (AICCCR), the CPI (M) suffered its first major split. The formation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) on 22 April, 1969, gave an organised and centralised shape to this new centre. The CPI (ML) held its First Congress in Calcutta in May 1970 and Comrade Charu Majumdar was elected the General Secretary of a 21-member Central Committee.
The history of the next two years is a saga of heroic sacrifices unparalleled in the annals of the Indian Communist movement. Following the pattern of the Chinese revolution serious attempts were made to develop guerrilla war, a red army and base areas in selected areas in the countryside. Backing it up was a powerful movement of students and youth, particularly in West Bengal and the city of Calcutta, which sought to challenge the entire foundations of the ideology of the Indian ruling classes that had begun to take shape with the advent of the so-called Bengal Renaissance.
This saga of valour where thousands and thousands of Party leaders and cadres, including the topmost leadership (Comrade Charu Majumdar on 28th July, 1872) sacrificed their lives at the altar of the Indian revolution forms an important heritage of Indian communist movement that must be cherished for the sake of future attempts……

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Saga of Revolutionary Heroism, Supreme Sacrifice and Absolute Determination [(Edited) Source – CPI (ML) Liberation Website]

1965 – 1966
Charu Majumdar pens the famous eight documents, and advocates the path of armed protracted people’s war for accomplishing the Indian New Democratic Revolution. Majumdar puts forward the importance of Mao Tse-tung’s Thought and correctly upholds the Chinese path. The eight documents explored the root of Indian revisionism, and correctly draw a line of demarcation between revolution and reaction.
25 May: Historic peasant uprising begins at Naxalbari in Darjeeling district of West Bengal under the leadership of revolutionary communists belonging to the CPI (M). The uprising is brutally suppressed by the CPI (M)-led United Front government of West Bengal at the behest of the Congress government at the Centre. In reaction, communist revolutionary ranks rebel against the reformist-bureaucratic leadership of the party. The rebellion soon assumes an all India dimension. Entire state units of CPI (M) in Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir and considerable sections in Bihar and Andhra Pradesh join this rebellion.
July-November: Magazines that would later become CPI (ML)'s organs such as Deshabrati, the Bengali weekly, Liberation, the English monthly and Lokyudh, the Hindi weekly start appearing.
11 November: For the first time after the uprising, Comrade Charu Majumdar, the architect of Naxalbari, addresses the Shahid Minar rally organised by Naxalbari Krishak Sangram Sahayak Samiti.
12-13 November: Comrades from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa and West Bengal meet and form All India Coordination Committee of Revolutionaries in the CPI (M).
14 May: The Coordination Committee is renamed as the All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries (AICCCR), with Comrade Sushital Roy Chaudhuri as its convener. However, Maoist Communist Centre of Kanai Chatterjee chooses to stay away from AICCCR. Within the AICCCR, certain fundamental differences lead to the exclusion of a section of Andhra comrades led by Comrade T. Nagi Reddy.
February: AICCCR unanimously decides to launch a new communist party.
22 April: Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) launched on the birth centenary day of Comrade Lenin. Comrade Charu Majumdar elected as the Secretary of the Central Organising Committee.
1 May: Declaration of Party formation by Comrade Kanu Sanyal at a massive meeting held at the Shahid Minar ground in Calcutta. CPI (M) tries to disrupt the meeting and it results in armed clashes. This marks the beginning of a whole series of CPI (M)-inspired attacks on CPI (ML) ranks taking an eventual toll of more than a thousand of our comrades.
By this time primary guerrilla zones appear at Debra-Gopiballavpur in West Bengal, Musahari in Bihar, Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh and above all at Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh. Severe state repression is let loose on Srikakulam struggle. Comrade Panchadri Krishnamurty and six others are murdered on the night of 26-27 May. The period between November and early December witnesses the killing of Comrades Subbarao Panigrahi, Nirmala Krishnamurty and several other front ranking leaders. An unprecedented student-youth upsurge rocks Calcutta and almost all other cities and towns of West Bengal.
27 April: Deshabrati office in Calcutta which virtually functioned as the open Party centre is raided by the police. All out police repression ensues, forcing the party to go underground.
11 May: The First Party Congress is held in Calcutta under strict underground conditions. Comrade Charu Majumdar is elected the Party General Secretary.
10-11 July: Comrades Vempatapu Satyanarayana and Adibatla Kailasam, legendary leaders of the Srikakulam uprising, are captured and murdered by the police in cold blood. Srikakulam guerrilla zone begins to suffer reversals.
Comrade Appu, founder of the Party in Tamil Nadu and a member of the polit bureau dies a martyr some time in September or October. The news reaches after a lapse of time and the exact date of his martyrdom is never known.
Exploiting the Bangladesh war, Indian rulers deploy the army to crush the movement in West Bengal. Uprising in Birbhum marks the high point of this period. Several guerrilla zones begin to suffer reversals. Thousands embrace martyrdom. Over 50,000 put behind bars in various Indian jails. Comrade Saroj Dutta, polit bureau member and renowned revolutionary cultural leader, is secretly eliminated by the police in the early hours of August 5. In a calculated demonstration of fascist violence, more than 150 comrades are massacred at Kashipore-Baranagar near Calcutta on 12-13 August.
Inner-party struggles had started surfacing immediately after the First Congress. Amidst severe setbacks such struggles intensify and the Party begins to split.
28 July: After 12 days of torture in Lallbazar police lock-up, Comrade Charu Majumdar succumbs to death. With his martyrdom, the last vestige of the Party's central authority collapses.