Friday, September 19, 2008

Tasks of the Communist Worker Peasants Party (CMKP) in the New “Democratic” Period

Before the democratic period we had identified three fundamental tasks for our party. Many comrades feel that in the new period we need to redefine these tasks. Although a democratic government has come into place, this is as yet only a political change (a change in the government). It is not a social revolution (a change in the structure of the state or economy). Hence, the tasks of the bourgeois-democrati c revolution have only just begun. The bourgeois-democrati c revolution will only be complete when we have destroyed the very structure of this neo-colonial state, uprooted Asiatic relations from the countryside, and established the true politico-economic independence of our country. There can be no consistent bourgeois-democracy on the basis of this neo-colonial state.

It is plain as daylight that none of the bourgeois-democrati c parties, not a single one amongst them, have the stomach to wage a consistant and relentless struggle for bourgeois-democacy in Pakistan. Therefore, it is on the shoulders of the Communists to organize the working masses to take the democratic struggle towards a people’s democratic revolution.

Hence, the fundamental tasks connected with the bourgeois-democrati c revolution, as identified previously, remain unfulfilled. These were:

A) Opposition to Military Rule
B) Opposition to US Imperialism
C) Opposition to Fundamentalism

(these are not in any order of priority)

Till such time as we have destroyed the apparatuses that continuously reproduce these forms of oppression, we have not even begun to approach the bourgeois-democrati c tasks of our revolution.

Let us look at these tasks in light of the new circumstances.

A) While military rule has been rolled back, the democratic government is far from secure. Significant sections of the establishment continue to think that they can overthrow the democratic government and bring in a form of rule that is subservient to the civil military bureaucracy. As always they find willing volunteers in certain political parties. We must fight against this trend and strengthen and consolidate democracy. At the same time, we must fight to widen the scope of democracy. The only way that this can be accomplished is by consolidating the class organizations of the working class in the new democratic space made available to us by the present regime. We must pay special attention to trade unions, peasant committees, and student unions. These are the prime movers of the democratic and socialist movement. And these class organizations can be the only real guarantor of even such a class biased system as bourgeois-democracy . Hence, the
principle tasks confronting the party in relation to consolidating democracy is to strengthen the trade unions, peasant committees, and students unions. Without these fundamental class organizations backing our political party, the party will be disconnected from the mass of the working people. And just as a fish cannot live outside water, the CMKP cannot exist without establishing firm connections, even merging to a certain extent, with the class organizations of the working class.

B) US imperialism is knocking on our door and invading our territory. In this regard, the fight against US imperialism assumes even greater importance than before. CMKP calls upon the democratic government and the Pakistan army to defend the territorial integrity and the people of Pakistan. When military incursions become the norm, then protests and seminars are not enough. The circumstances call for militant action against imperialism. US imperialism is the enemy of all the people of the world. Its militarist and aggressive policies have resulted in the worst massacres in recent history. We must unite all the democratic forces of Pakistan to fight against US imperialism.

C) The CMKP cannot close its eyes to the menace of Islamic fundamentalism
especially in the shape of organizations such as the Taliban. Hence, our
struggle against fundamentalism must continue with even greater force. We have to start thinking about forming broad united fronts with secular organizations that can help us fight against the reactionary menace of Islamic fundamentalism. In this regard, we must support the democratically elected provincial and federal governments struggle against the Taliban. While not becoming apologists of these bourgeois forces, it is important to note that under the Taliban, the opportunity of openly building a movement for the emancipation of the working class will be next to impossible. Furthermore, since progressives are not strong enough to take on the fundamentalists on their own. Hence, a united front with bourgeois-democrati c political parties is a tactical necessity. Communists will grow only through such united front struggles.

All those socialist forces that become aligned either with imperialism,
fundamentalism, or the establishment, are and will be rejected by the people of Pakistan. Only those that consistently and systematically struggle against imperialism, fundamentalism and in favour of democracy will win popular support.

That is why we raise the slogan:

Death to Imperialism !
Death to Fundamentalism !
Long Live Socialism !

Naxal strategist held.

RANCHI: The state police achieved a major success in its anti-Naxal operation with the arrest of a CPI (Maoist) think tank from his hideout in Delhi.

The arrested Maoist leader, identified as Alokji, is one of the founder members of Naxal movement in eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand.

Police sources said that the Maoist leader was taking shelter at the residence of an acquaintance when he was arrested in a joint operation of the Jharkhand and Delhi Police.

He is said to be behind the planning and execution of the Jehanabad jailbreak in Bihar and the Giridih arms loot in Jharkhand. In the November 2005 Jehanabad jailbreak incident, over 350 prisoners, many of them Maoists, had managed to escape. Similarly, armed Maoists attacked a homeguard training centre at Girdih and looted over 180 weapons.

Claiming the arrest as a major achievement towards destroying the brain behind the Naxal movement in Jharkhand, state police spokesperson S N Pradhan said that Alok was one of the most wanted Maoist.

“According to our information, there are about nine think tanks of the Maoist movement in eastern UP, Bihar and Jharkhand of which we have already arrested four, including Alok,” said Pradhan.

The other three who are already in the police net are Shankar Mahali, Pramod Mishra and Birbalji.

While Shankar Mahali was arrested from Bokaro in August 2007, Pramod Mishra was nabbed in Dhanbad in May this year.

Balbirji was arrested from Ranchi in June this year.

Pradhan said Alok was also wanted in over a dozen prominent cases in Garhwa and Palamu districts of the state. “Alok has been handed over to the Garhwa police for interrogation,” Pradhan added.

Meanwhile, security forces in Bokaro have launched a massive combing and search operation in the jungles of Upper Ghat following information that a large number of Maoists have gathered there.

An account of a strike and our arrest [Communist work in Pakistan]

Defense Road which is on the outskirts of Lahore is a massive industrial area where thousands of workers are employed. Since it is a long way from the city, it is a lawless area where the police and local administration is often in collusion with local gangsters, capitalists and landlords. Poor people have little or no rights in the area. The working class in this area is almost completely non-unionized (in fact most don’t know what a union is). Most workers in the area are first generation workers that have arrived from various villages all over the Punjab and live together in small cramped quarters. They send money back to their families in villages and try to eke out a meagre existence in the cities.

The CMKP has been working in this area for the last 12 years. We have seen the area change slowly. We have seen the roads develop. Farm land change into estates for the wealthy. Massive schemes that have robbed people of land in order to feed the land mafia. A flyover is now being constructed over the area. When we started work in the area more than a decade ago, it was nearly impossible to form any sort of collective action. Workers were illiterate and most believed that there was no possibility of standing up to the ruling class, police, or local badmash.

We continued our work patiently and with great persistence. Gradually our organization began to expand from a handful of individuals to a group of workers. We endlessly leafleted the area. Hundreds of thousands of left-wing leaflets have been distributed in the area on workers problems. We performed plays in the area. We performed musical programs in the area. We organized left-wing mushairas (poetry recitals) in the area. We lobbied the labour courts on specific issues. We distributed left-wing photocopied books in the area. We have had an endless number of study circles, corner meetings, hotel meetings, quarter meetings, house to house visits, and so on in the area. We participated in election campaigns in the area. Gradually we became strong enough to even build a worker financed party office. Today we are proud to say that we have members and sympathizers in the entire area. Our supporters run in thousands and we have built a left-wing working class

The comrades of the All Pakistan Trade Union Federation, Working Women’s Organization, and Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party, who enjoy a very close working relationship under the banner of the Mazdoor Action Committee, decided to launch a concerted campaign on the issue of the provision of minimum wages. The minimum wage of Rs. 6000 is rarely paid in the area.

Workers at Naveena textiles (a very large company that exports shirts) were being laid off without proper notification. Moreover, minimum wages were not being paid to workers at this factory. The workers demanded that all their dues, including both wages and gratuity, be cleared on the basis of the recently announced minimum wages (i.e. Rs. 6000).

As a result on the 28th of July we helped to organize a strike. The response by the mill administration was that the local police was called out and workers were beaten black and blue. Warning shots were fired at the feet of the workers. It was more than obvious that the police was totally partial to the mill owners.

We helped organize a second strike on the 31st of July. However, this time the police had been called at 6 am in the morning and had completely occupied the entire building. The buses of workers were moved into the gates and under police supervision inside the factory they were made to work. Workers that had been illegally laid off assembled outside the premises and were beaten brutally. Four workers were taken into custody.

CMKP comrades called the press. My wife and I arrived minutes before the press and we were greeted some distance from the factory by workers with a roar of approval, handshakes, hugs, smiles, tears, followed by militant slogans. After the arrival of the press, we decided to go back to the factory gate. The police did not dare attack in the presence of the press. We stood at the gate raising slogans, clapping, and chanting in rhythm. We could see from the factory gate that police men with guns were stationed on the roof top of the factory. Police also cordoned the smaller gate (the larger gate was shut tight). And police also stood behind us and to our sides. But we were not afraid.

Then a new sight gripped our attention. Workers from inside the factory, having heard the commotion outside, left work and all came to the roof. We shouted out to them, if you are with us raise your hands, raise slogans with us. To our utter delight every single one of them raised their hands. The entire roof was now full of hundreds of workers and hundreds were outside with us. Waving to each other. But they could not come down because a heavy police presence was inside the factory.

The managers of the factory came out and said “this is all a giant misunderstanding” . But workers would have none of their sweet talk. Workers demanded that their comrades beaten and arrested that morning be released before any negotiations. Management tried to talk but they were drowned out by slogans. After some time management relented and released the workers to the roaring crowd. Management then invited the press inside the building. Some CMKP members and later the main labour leaders accompanied them to the office. Inside, the press grilled them with questions. One manager said that this was all the work of sharpasand elements (subversives) . Another began to accuse the press of being biased (interestingly he is the father of a colleague of mine from the university where I am a faculty member (LUMS) — it was Moin Cheema’s father). The press demanded a tour of the premises. They argued that workers had signed a contract but they had to relent when
we pointed out that their contract violated the labour laws of the country that guaranteed a minimum wage of Rs. 6000. They could not concede in front of all those cameras that they were willing to violate labour laws. Finally, they stated that they accepted the demands of the workers and informed us that they would speak to the owners and announce the date of the clearance. We were suspicious but decided to allow them time to talk to the owner.

We came back outside and saw that comrades of the All Pakistan Trade Union Federation had also arrived. They gave us very sound advice. They said that we must immediately register the union and that we must request a labour court officer to come immediately to the factory. They called the labour court people and we announced this news to the workers.

By now we were standing around in small dispersed groups in front of the factory gate (no one was even close to the road). Speeches and slogans had all come to an end. We were waiting for the factory management to announce the date of clearance. The press had gone away. We saw the police filing out of the gate. I thought that they were going back to the station since the matter had been settled. As a precaution I asked our main labour leader Azam Naqvi to come stand next to me and to not be alone at any moment. Suddenly and without warning the police charged at Azam. I instinctively jumped between him and the police and he grabbed onto me from behind for protection. Workers had formed a right group behind us to protect Azam and we were not letting go of each other. I protested vehemently. A rain of lathis, kicks, and slaps came towards me. Since I was in the front and was extremely vocal, I was getting the vast majority of them. The SHO Farooq Awam (a
huge fat but strong man) let down a lathi squarely on my head. I don’t exaggerate when I say that it only felt like I had been brushed with a straw. I was so angry and incensed at that point that I couldn’t feel anything. I let out a few explicative and started fighting his subsequent strokes. Ali Jan, Rafaqat, and others jumped into the lathis to try and protect us. From behind I released that plain clothes police men were inside our group trying to separate our group. I grabbed one of them, he punched me in the face. Didn’t hurt. Just made me even more angry. At one point I grabbed a lathi from one end but couldn’t hold on to it as I need my arms to ward off the other lathis. From behind me I heard a sharp loud explosion. It was shots being fired into the ground. From the corner of my eye I thought I saw some smoke and workers running helter skelter. It took me a few minutes to realize that shots had been fired to disperse the crowds. By now our out
numbered (but unbroken) group was being pushed towards the police car (we were still being hit from all sides but it didn’t hurt). By the time we reached the police car, both the police and our group were gasping for air. I thought to myself, I need to pace my stamina, and exhaust these people (funny how one thinks these strange things in the middle of such situations). By now we were at back of the police van. I looked inside to see Ali Jan had already been arrested. I grabbed the railing of the van and resolved to not let go. The police pushed and pushed but could not budge us. Then one police officer cracked down on my left hand with his lathi. I got so angry I held out my hand and said “x,y,z phir mar, ley mera haath phir mar”. He did not hit me again (in fact later he became quite sympathetic to us). Several policemen grabbed my arms and tried to lift us again. They forgot my feet. I hooked my feet at the bottom of the van and they failed to lift
us yet again. Finally, they grabbed my legs and arms and lifted me clear off the ground. This time we were overpowered (as I think back, it must have been that our small linked group must have been broken from the back in order for them to be able to do that. My shoe came off. As they threw me into the van, I said “give me back my shoe” (as I think back I laugh at my own funny reactions and thoughts).

Five of us had now been hauled into the van (Ali Jan, Rafaqat, Azam, Bilal, myself). Bilal was bleed from the ear. Azam’s jeans were totally torn from the back. Ali Jan and myself held their hands and said “don’t be afraid, we are with you”. The van was moving and Rafaqat started raising slogans, we all joined him. The super cool Ali Jan started an entire speech in the van. He berated the police for their class biases. He started an entire CMKP study circle in the dam van. An argument broke out between the police and ourselves. We appealed to their working class roots and for them to realize that they were doing the wrong thing. On the one hand I was participating in the debate and on the other I was looking at and massaging my swollen left hand index finger thinking “I better get my guitar playing hand fixed for Laal, otherwise I won’t be able to finish the recording” (incredibly stupid I know but such are the joys of being arrested, it takes a while to
come to put things in perspective) .

When we got to the station the SHO (the man with whom I was in direct confrontation at the factory gate) turned to me and said “tera tay main hunain hi chitrol karan ga”. My instinctive reaction was to say “x,y,z hunay kar” but I realized that would be pretty stupid. So I blurted “kis bunyad par konsa qanoon torra hai hum nay”. He turned to one of the bulky police men and said “chitrol kar ida”. He replied “nahin sir”. “Ki matlab”. He didn’t explain just repeated “nahin sar” again (I assume the implication was that ‘these are influential people it would not be a wise move’). He turned to Azam and said “jagga nahin lain diyan ga main tenu”. Ali Jan said “Jagga kon sa ji, qanooni haqooq mangay hain”. After a short argument they marched us to a small room. As I was walking I got a text from my wife “I love you, please don’t fight them”. It made me realize that she was safe and it gave me strength.

Very soon comrade Ilyas of the All Pakistan Trade Union Federation also joined us. He had been kidnapped by the security guards of the factory. Taken inside. Beaten up, slapped around. And then they had dropped him to the police in their private car. When he came into the cell he said in his characteristically calm tone “at least I came in an AC car”. We burst out laughing. Other prisoners were amazed that we were joking around.

They came to take down our names. I was still so angry that when they asked me for my quom (caste) I replied I had none and that I did not believe in such things. When they asked me again Ali Jan responded “likh dain insaaniyat”. Then they came to take our mobile phones. At first I resisted but then I realized that it was pointless (I didn’t have any credit in it anyway and our comrades knew where we were and must be working for our release). So I gave in when they came back a second time for it.

To boost our morale we started singing songs and reciting poetry. It is difficult to remember the words to songs when one is in such situations. Even tunes get jumbled up. But they immediately brought a calm to our nerves and lifted our spirit. From our small window we heard a policemen remark “aye qaidi bathain nay?”. We laughed and said “aye labour leader bathain nay”.

I looked out the window and saw a black car. I said “its ’s car” (although I wasn’t 100% sure). We called out from the window. Maana radical saw us. The other prisoners said don’t let them know that you have communicated, stay quiet. In a little while we saw Farooq Tariq walk in. This lifted our spirits even more. We knew that news was out and it would be impossible now for them to beat us. M. managed to get some GEO and other media people into the cell. By now we were fully relaxed. I jokingly remarked “I hope they haven’t told my mother, unho nain police ko bhi tun daina hai aur humain bhi”. We all laughed.

A young policeman came and sat with us and we had a long discussion with him on politics and the police. He was defending his actions against workers and abusing the rich, defending torture in police custody and speaking about his own misfortunes at the hands of stronger men, defending the Taliban and the attack on Laal Masjid, defending the Saudi monarchy and Musharraf, waving the nationalist flag and cursing the country. All contradictory positions that he kept in stead to pick and choose from depending on what his superiors decided. All these positions were, nonetheless, supporting one or another form of authoritarianism. He pointed to one of the four people that was in the cell and told us proudly that he had tortured one person to confess his crime. Their crimes were having stolen some goats two years ago. One boy from Multan had come from work. The hotel he worked at said that he had to give Rs 500 security to work. So he made an attempt to steal
something from a factory but failed. The tortured boy submissively responded to the policeman’s humiliating questions in a self-effacing manner that was difficult for me to absorb. But as soon as the policeman turned he murmured a punjabi gali under his breadth. His spirit was not broken and I could feel his hatred exuding from his eyes. We offered them drinks that our comrades had brought for us, Ali Jan sat on the floor with them (the rest of us were sitting on a bed and some broken chairs). Rafaqat said “agli dafa factory tu chori na karo, munazam ho jao, factory hi tuwadi ho jai gi”.

Then the door opened and in stepped my mother looking like she could eat up any policeman that so much as looked at her. She came and sat down and said in a loud voice “han ji kiya tamasha banaya hua hai yehan”. The policeman responded “madam mujhay tu kuch maloom nahin”. She said “tu phir mera waqt kyun zaya kar rahay ho, jao us khotay ko lay kar aao jis ko maloom hai”. They went running and produced the second in command Ghumman. He said “ji baji aap kyun ayeen hain yehan”. She said “yeh main aap ko batao, aap mujhay batai keh main kyun aye hun yehan. Kidhar hay SHO?” “Vo ji baji round par gaye hain” he very meekly responded. One of the workers said “Naveena factory wapis gaye hai”. My mother forcefully said “Paisay khain hain tum sab logon nay malikon say, ghareeb logon ko haqooq nahin daitay ho, hum sab jantay hain, daikhna tum logon ko mun ke khani parrhay gi, hum kais karray gay, tum daikhtay raho”.

Then she left to meet the investigating officer. We could hear the shouts in our cell. Investigating officer ki tu vo ke that even Farooq Tariq came to our cell (I assume because he couldn’t contain his smile). He expressed solidarity and said with a smile “aap ki walda bhi larr rahin hain”. We laughed and said “han ji, aasarat yehan tak puhanch rahay hain”. Farooq was on the phone constantly ringing up the DSP, the SP and all his contacts (including AMP contacts). Brigadier Rao Abid of the HRCP called and took the whole report.

By now they released us from the little room and allowed us roam around in the courtyard. Ali and I were limping from a knee and ankle sprain but we were happy to be sitting with our comrades U., Maana, M.. The other four needed to go to the toilet. The toilet was in the hawalat (jail). When they went inside the policemen shut them inside (they forced Ilyas into the hawalat). Ali and I discovered after a few minutes what had happened and it made us very tense. We knew then that the plan of the police was to separate us from the workers and to later beat the workers.

In a little while my father, Gulzar Chaudhry of the All Pakistan Trade Union Federation, more media people, and the SHO all arrived. Gulzar sahib said to me “chalo acha hua Taimur tum pakrray gaiy, is tarrha mulakat tu ho gaye. Fiqr na karo, if they don’t release you by tonight hum pooray union ka zor lagain gay.”

Negotiations began. The police said “take one person you consider most important, take Taimur, but we cannot go of the rest.” My father said “you mean you think my son is a bhagorra? Do you think he will go or we will ask him to do that? We support him 100%. He has raised the voice of the oppressed.” When the DSP said the same thing to my mother she responded “aap ka khiyal hai main nay chuya pala hai, vo principles ki larray larr raha hai, aur yeh na samjhain kay hum us kay saath nahin hain, hum bhi us kay saath hain.” The SHO said “daikhain ji main tu kuch nahin kar sakta main tu aik SHO hun, officer kahin tu SHO phook say urrh jata hai”. My father responded very calmly (Al Pachino style) “phoonk say hi tu bachanay aye hain hum”. I swear I have never been more proud of my parents in my entire life.

I had another altercation with the SHO when we discussing the conditions of the release. He said “Taimur sahib yeh criminal elements aap ko shield bana kar use kar rahay hain. Aap putli banay huay hain”. I responded “SHO sahib, aik baat main aap ko bata dun, chahay aap ko achi lagay ya burri, putli main nahin, aap banay huay hain” and I walked out of his office. (Qasam say I should sell my dialogue to a hindu movie).

Finally, after many phone calls from various government offices (including the CM), they decided that they will let us go for the night but only on the condition that we come back to the police station in the morning and surrender to the magistrate.

They had cut an FIR against us for four charges (one of which it turns out has been repealed anyway). These included blocking the road, beating up a police officer in a pathrao, burning tyres on the road (all lies). They led us to believe that they will drop the case. But they were tricking us yet again. They were trying to negotiate the pressure from both sides. Obviously they had been taking a lot of money from Naveena textiles. Nonetheless, they released us at night and we came home to sleep.

In the morning we went back to the station. However, when it came time to go to the court they placed us in handcuffs. They said “oh this is a formality, we have to follow court procedures”. We didn’t know that the crimes we had been charged with were minor crimes that did not require handcuffs. They did this to humiliate us. But at that moment, we unaware of their intention and were joking around. Taking pictures and in high spirits. In the van, we sang revolutionary songs (we sang them completely out of tune but it didn’t matter at all, the louder the better). At this time the sangli of the handcuff was in our own hands. We were buffed in pairs (Ali and myself, Rafakat and Billal, Azam and Ilyas).

When we were herded in to the magistrate office, one of the HRCP lawyers Asad was outraged. He said “how dare you handcuff these people. None of the crimes registered against them are serious offenses. This is totally ridiculous. Remove the handcuffs.” The police refused. It was then that we realized that this was not a formality but a deliberate intent to humiliate us (little did they know that we wore those handcuffs with pride). DAWN news was present. We went to the camera and said “We asked for minimum wage, and this is what we got” (we raised our handcuffs). Then we burst out into revolutionary slogans, songs, and poetry. The courtyard rang out with socialist slogans.

Meanwhile six lawyers argued our case voluntarily. Asad, Azeem Daniyal, Rabea Bajwa (and two others whose names I cannot remember). Interestingly, the case against us was cut by the police (i.e. the police was the complainant) . Yet the lawyers that appeared in court against us were from Naveena textile. In fact, they were accompanied by the factory manager (hence the need for handcuffs on us, to humiliate us and show that their money was getting its worth). This demonstrates who was behind the entire police violence. It demonstrates that the local police has completely sold out to the mill owners. Naveena’s lawyers argued that we had a lethal weapon in our possession during the strike and hence we should not be given bail but should be put in jail. The magistrate (Aasha Tariq) did not agree and the bail was set at Rs. 40,000 per person. The lawyers said “take our high court bar license as zamanat”. They got us our bail without any difficulty. The court
had now adjourned for the day. When our lawyers asked the police to open the cuffs. They at first delayed. There was a sharp altercation. Finally, they opened my cuffs but they would not open Azam’s cuff. They said that there was yet another FIR against Azam hence he had to remain in custody. We were about to lose our cool when Azeem Dainyal saved the day. He said “produce the FIR, we will get the bail right now”. He went inside the chamber and asked the magistrate to come out again (Magistrate Aasha Tariq). She immediately issued another bail and said to the police “release him at once”. We were much relieved. The intention of the police was to get rid of the five of us but take Azam back to the station in order to beat up. But they failed and we are free once again.

The case will go on and the struggle will also go on. Please do not think that the worst is over. Support our struggle for minimum wages.

I also want to thank a number of people that had been working day and night to get us out. I want to thank as many people as possible by name for helping us get out of police custody. I want to thank

The workers of Naveena who went back to the factory gate and continued to protest after the police arrested us. And are still struggling.

Our ja nasheen comrades of the All Pakistan Trade Union Federation and Working Women’s Organization that were not only working for our release but were in jail with us every step of the way.

Asma Jehangir, Brig. Rao Abid and the HRCP that kicked into high gear and sent a team of lawyers for our defense.

Our superb legal team, including Azeem Daniyal, Asad Jamal, Rabea Bajwa, Chaudhry Nawaz and one other whose name has slipped my mind. They were as amazing as we were clueless. Were it not for them, Azam would have been back in police custody recovering from torture. For them and others we raised the slogan “mazdoor wukla ittehad, zindabad”.

Afzal Khamosh of the Mazdoor Kissan Party, with whom we split in 2003 and have been at loggerheads since then, held a press conference the very next day for our release. This act means a huge thing to us.

Farooq Tariq who was present in the thana as soon as he heard about the incident and was with us for nearly the whole day. Furthermore, LPP that mobilized for our support in Karachi and other areas.

Dr. Riaz and International Socialists, whom we have berated endlessly on our email list, demonstrated the very next day in Karachi.

Somia Sadiq, who is no longer with our party, but was in constant contact with us, offering us help, support and solidarity.

Nusrat Jamil, Jeelo Jamil, and Tehmina Durrani who moved the CM and the governors office to put pressure on the police from above. Ahmed Rashid, Samina Rahman, Zaki Rahman, Women’s Action Forum, PILER, Anjuman Muzareen Punjab all issued statements or called us in solidarity.

Last but not least, my parents who fought with us like Bolshevik agitators. Their fearlessness gave me even more courage and I have never been more proud of them in my entire life. My wife Mahvash who saw the entire episode of violence but refused to be intimidated.

Finally my party comrades (too many to name) from all over Pakistan and internationally that rose up to defend us against state oppression. Although they would consider it somewhat of an offense if we thanked them “leh shuriya kis cheez ka, aren’t we party members, this is our duty” they have all said to me. Nonetheless, thank you comrades. Without your support we could not have fought this struggle.

In solidarity
Taimur Rahman

COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MARXIST-LENINIST) Janashakti West Bengal State Committee Press Release on Nepal Revolution



Comrades of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)

Dear Comrades,

In the recent election of the Constituent Assembly there were three alternatives posed before the Nepalese people by different contesting parties - monarchy to be retained as it was, a constitutional monarchy with the king as figurehead and total abolition of monarchy to advance towards a democratic republic. Overwhelming majority of the people of Nepal has given their verdict for abolition of monarchy and establishment of democratic republic. In this struggle the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) led the people of Nepal successfully. The West Bengal State Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist -Leninist) Janashakti feels it is our proletarian internationalist duty to greet you, felicitate you for this victorious achievement.

The CPN (Maoist) has shown the world that if armed struggle is judiciously combined with all other forms of struggle it can become a powerful weapon in the arsenal of the people. The CPN (Maoist) has once more proved that protracted peoples war can be fought only by relying upon the masses. The CPN (Maoist) started the armed struggle and also fought the constitnent assembly elections with a people’s charter. Basic aim of that charter is to free the people of Nepal from the clutches of imperialism and feudalism . Abolition of monarchy is a real advance, significant advance to that goal, but not the final victory. In this period of globalisation and absence of a socialist state, the people of Nepal under the leadership of the CPN (Maoist) will have to go through a prolonged, zig-zag path to achieve final victory.

We hope that CPN (Maoist) will lead the people of Nepal steadfastly to that victory and a people’s democratic Nepal will be the logical culmination of that battle fighting both neo- revisionism and `left’- adventurism.

We pledge that we as communists of a neighbouring country will always fight shoulder to shoulder against all imperialist conspiracies against the people of Nepal as well as the people of India. We shall fight against any imperialist effort to use Indian expansionism and it’s backpiper Indian revisionism against the people of Nepal. We extend our support to your effort to renegotiate the Indo-Nepal Treaty on the basis of equality and five principles of peaceful co-existence.

Glory to the victory of the people of Nepal.

Glory to the victory of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist).

Long live Proletarian Internationalism, the deadly enemy of imperialism and its globalisation.

With Comradely Greetings

Aloke Mukherjee






State Committee Office : 4, D. P. Shasmal Road, Kolkata - 700 033

North Bengal Office : Com. Khokan Majumdar, Vill. Khemchi, P.O. Naxalbari, Dist. - Darjeeling

Phone : +91-9434052710

Message to Chairman Prachanda and to the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)

Dear Comrades,

The news of the election of Chairman Prachanda by the Constituent Assembly as first Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal expands all over the world and provokes waves of enthusiasm among the revolutionaries and the progressive peoples. For the first time in their long and militant history, the peoples of Nepal have a Prime Minister worthy of their aspirations and sacrifices. The election of Chairman Prachanda is another important victory of the popular masses of Nepal, led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). Furthermore, it is once more proving the success of the combination of strategic firmness based on the revolutionary principles and flexible tactics based on the correct and concrete analysis of the concrete situation.

The election of Chairman Prachanda as first Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal is an event with international importance. It is a source of encouragement and inspiration for the struggling peoples of the world, who give life to new waves of active resistance and mass struggles of various forms all over the globe. The International Community of the Peoples now acquires a new fortress, gets stronger and has a concrete example of a country where the People imposed its Power through its protracted, resolute and heroic struggle. The vanguard of the Revolution now heads the government of Nepal, despite the combined efforts of imperialism and of local reactionaries to undermine the democratic process and to oppose the popular will.

Dear Comrades,

On behalf of the Communist Organization of Greece, on behalf of the many friends of the Nepalese People and of the Nepalese Revolution in Greece, we enthusiastically salute your new tactical victory and the hopeful developments in your country! We are aware of the new difficulties that you will face in this new phase of the course towards genuine democracy and People’s Power. However we are confident that, under the leadership of Chairman Prachanda and of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), you will open new ways and you will serve in the best ways the interests of the Nepalese People and of the peoples of the world. Be sure that your Greek comrades and friends will fulfil their internationalist duty and will further develop their solidarity with the popular masses and the revolutionary leadership of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal!

Long live the International Community of the Peoples!

Long live the People, the Federal Democratic Republic and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)!

Imperialism shall be defeated!

Athens, 15 August 2008

For the Leading Committee of the Communist Organization of Greece (KOE)

Rudi Rinaldi, Nikos Galanis, Christos Katsoulas

Message for Comrade Tutul, leader of Purba Bangla Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) Lal Pataka (Red Flag)

To Purba Bangla Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) Lal Pataka

From Maoist Communist Party of Italy

Dear comrades,

With great sadness we have read about comrade Tutul’s assassination. The revolutionary work of this important maoist leader meant surely danger for the ruling classes, the comprador bourgeoisie, and its imperialist master, that once again, and through its notorious horrific way, need to attack the best combatants of the proletariat hoping this will stop the fight of the masses. And this naturally in vane. Because the kind of combatants, like Comrade Tutul, are an example for all of us and for the masses in respect of the urgent necessity to change the world system of oppression.

We are sure the forces of the party and the proletariat will overcome these hard times and keep going forward in the completion of its tasks.

We want to express our closeness in this sorrow moment to the comrades of the party and to the familiars.

[Maoist Communist Party of Italy]


3 suspected maoists held.

Jajpur, Aug 13: Three suspected Maoists, including two women, were
arrested in Jajpur district after a joint operation by the Barachana and
Balichandrapur police, district police sources said on Wednesday.

Police also detained a foreigner and the driver of an Indica car in
which the woman Maoist and the foreigner were traveling and seized the

The three have been indentified as Pratima Das(32), Brajamohan
Hembrum(38) and Santi Hansda(35). Das is a lawyer by profession.

Police also detained David Hughes(60), a tourist from the US , and Devi
Prasad Mishra(25) driver of the seized vehicle.

While Pratima, David and Devi were picked up by the police from near
Kaudikhola Chhak on Chandikhole- Paradip express highway while traveling
in an Indica car on Tuesday, Santi and Brajamohan were arrested from
Kalinga Nagar area on Wednesday.

“Pratima is a Maoist and she was monitoring the woman’s wing in the
entire state for the last couple of years. As she was not involved in
any activity in Jajpur and had no cases against her found during
thorough interrogation, we have handed over her to Jagatsinghpur
district police for further interrogation, ” said D.S. Kuttey,
Superintendent of Police of Jajpur district



On behalf of CLASS MARCH of workers, MILITANT MOVEMENTS of teachers, MILITANT MOVEMENTS of students, and PEOPLE’S MILITANT MOVEMENTS from Greece, we condemn the arrest and detention of the activists Dave Pugh, Protima Das, Pradeep and Amin Maharana.
We demand their immediate and unconditional release from the police of Orissa, India.
The attempt to intimidate and stop the anti-displacement movement is in vain. The anti-displacement movement is becoming stronger and stronger while solidarity is growing all the more, across the world.
Violence, intimidation, arrests, killings, torture are the last resort for the enemies of the people. People’s struggle is the only legitimate right for a better life in dignity.

Martyrdom of Com. Tutal and the forward march of Bangladesh Peoples War

recieved via mail.

It is with great shock and deep sorrow that we heard the news of the brutal and savage murder of our dear beloved comrade Mizanur Rahman Tutul, Secretary of the Purba Bangla Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) Lal Pataka and member of CCOMPOSA. He no doubt has become another victim of state terrorism of the Feudal – Capitalist – Neo Colonial state of Bangladesh .

Today the world over through the very nature of the development of the capitalist and imperialist Socio Economic system deep contradictions have arisen within this system itself leading to severe economic, social and political crisis within all these countries resulting in more poverty and degradation of ordinary people’s living conditions. This has resulted in revolutionary situation in all these countries. The oppressed peoples, workers, peasants and other oppressed classes and peoples are rising up in revolutionary struggles against the ruling classes. The capitalist rulers unable to solve this situation are resorting to more and more violent methods to suppress these revolutionary movements of the people. The leaders of these revolutionary movements are the main targets of these rulers. Leaders of the revolutionary movements are killed in the most savage and barbaric ways. In this context the fact that capitalist democracy is a big fraud perpetrated on the people by the rulers is amply demonstrated. Faced with the opposition of the oppressed classes (workers, peasants, other oppressed classes and oppressed nationalities) and a threat to their existence in revolutionary situations the capitalist and imperialist rulers will use the most brutal and barbaric forms of violence to crush these revolutionary movements exposing the hollowness of capitalist democracy by denying the people of their basic human and democratic rights. The armed forces of the state will be unleashed against the people to kill and terrorize them to submission.

The fact that there had been even earlier incidents of this nature when another leader and several cadres of the Purba Bangla Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) Lal Pataka had been killed by the armed forces of the Bangladesh state, shows that the revolutionary movements of peoples of Bangladesh is been lead by the ideologically and organizationally strong Purba Bangla Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) Lal Pataka and that this party is capable of overcoming all obstacles in its path to lead the New Democratic Revolution of Bangladesh to victory and thus support the world revolution in its forward march to a final victory leading to a Communist World.

While we dip the red flag in honour and deep respect for our departed comrade Mizanur Rahman Tutul, we wish you all success in your People’s War for New Democratic State of Bangladesh.

  • Glory to Purba Bangla Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) Lal Pataka
  • Glory to the New Democratic Revolution
  • Glory to the CCOMPOSA
  • Glory to the RIM

The riot of red flags

By: Ajai Sahni

http://www.himalmag .com/The- riot-of-red- flags_nw1941. html

The strategies and tactics of the Naxalites are there for all to see, but the Indian establishment is yet to understand this agenda of `protracted warfare'.

India's Naxalite movement – to which contemporary Indian Maoists directly trace their lineage – emerged as a wildfire insurrection in 1967 in the Naxalbari area of North Bengal. After a few years of dramatic violence, however, that movement was comprehensively suppressed by 1973, with the entire top leadership of what was then the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) , either jailed or dead. What little remained of its splintered survivor organisations was destroyed during Indira Gandhi's Emergency of 1975. It was with the formation in 1980 of the People's War Group (PWG) – under the leadership of Kondapalli Seetharamaiah, an erstwhile Central Organising Committee member of the CPI (ML), in the Telengana region of Andhra Pradesh – and the reorganisation of the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) in Bihar in the mid-1980s, that the movement resurfaced in some strength.


Initial successes were, again, rapid, and by the mid-1980s, 31 districts in seven states were experiencing Naxalite violence. By the early 1990s, however, the problem had been eliminated from at least 16 of these districts, bringing the total number of affected districts to just 15 in four states. Thereafter, the reconstruction of the Naxalites was initially more systematic, with wider areas being targeted and consolidated. In recent years, however, the growth of the movement has been exponential. Thus, at the meeting of what is known as the Central Coordination Committee of states affected by the Naxalite movement, on 21 November 2003, then-Union Home Secretary N Gopalaswami disclosed that a total of 55 districts in nine states were affected by varying degrees of Naxalite violence. Just ten months later, on 21 September 2004, an official note circulated at the meeting of chief ministers of states experiencing Naxalite violence, indicating that this number had gone up to as many as 156 districts in 13 states. By August 2007, the official number had risen to 194 districts in 18 states.

Not all of these districts and states were, of course, seething with Maoist violence. Just 62 of these were categorised as `highly affected', reflecting significant levels of violence. Another 53 districts were categorised as `moderately affected', indicating high levels of political mobilisation and some violence. Meanwhile, 79 districts fell into the `marginally affected' category, in which preliminary political mobilisation was detected. Sources indicate that intelligence estimates now put at least 220 districts in 22 states into the sphere of varying degrees of Maoist influence and activity.

It is important to recognise that the phase when there is violence, which is ordinarily the point at which the state takes cognisance of the problem, actually comes at the tail end of the process of mass mobilisation. This is the stage when neutralising the threat will require considerable, if not massive, use of force. From the all-important preventive perspective, then, it is useful to chart not merely the current expanse of visible Maoist mobilisation and militancy, but also to understand the extent of their current intentions, ambitions and agenda.

`Protecting' Adivasis
The Maoist rampage has been enormously accelerated by the unification, in September 2004, of the two principal parties, the PWG and the MCC, which had long dominated – and contested control over – the purported `Red Corridor', running from Andhra Pradesh to the borders of Nepal. With the PWG and the Communist Party of India (Party Unity) having merged in August 1998, this consolidation of the most significant Maoist formations in the country resulted in augmented capacities to intensify the `people's war' in the country.

Significantly, the CPI (Maoist) has established regional bureaus that are responsible for nearly two-thirds of the country, further sub-divided into multiple lower-level jurisdictions in which the process of mobilisation has been assigned to local leaders. There are at least five regional bureaus, 13 state committees, two special area committees and three special zonal committees in the country. There is also evidence of preliminary activity for the extension of operations to new areas, including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Meghalaya. Moreover, in 2004 the Maoists articulated a new strategy to target urban centres in their "Urban Perspective" document, which offered guidelines for "working in towns and cities", and for the revival of a mobilisation targeting students and the urban unemployed. Two principal `industrial belts' were also identified as targets for urban mobilisation: Bhilai-Ranchi- Dhanbad-Calcutta and Bombay-Pune- Surat-Ahmedabad.

The Maoist enterprise has secured ground in the administrative and political vacuum that extends over vast areas of India, where the state has systematically and chronically failed to provide the public goods and services as it is required to – including security of life and property, criminal justice, and opportunities for social and economic growth. In such circumstances, it is inevitable that another entity would step in to fill the vacuum. It is also inevitable that, in most such cases, such an entity would not be constrained by the limits of law or established procedure in its activism among local populations; as a consequence, such activism will tend to be violent.

The unfortunate reality is that the mechanism of rural administration in areas experiencing Naxalite activity has been made ineffective, wherever it may have evolved beyond the primitive structures of colonial governance. Elsewhere, the Naxalites became active where, due to state incompetence, corruption and criminalisation of the political leadership, the rural administration has deteriorated to the point of paralysis. The problem is compounded manifold in Adivasi and forest areas by an ill-conceived policy of isolation that, under the influence of well-intentioned European social-anthropologi sts, was adopted throughout the country shortly after Independence, with the intention of `protecting' the culture and interests of the Adivasi population.

Such an isolationist policy has been a total failure. It has kept the Adivasis poor and outside the ambit of development, has been unable to protect them from exploitation and abuse, and has deepened economic deprivation through an increasing alienation of indigenous rights over forest produce and wealth. As such, this approach is now long overdue for a re-examination. The vulnerabilities of the Indian state have been compounded further by decades of misgovernance in ever-widening areas of the country, along with the steady erosion of the integrity and efficacy of established institutions of administration and justice. Over the past decade and a half, processes of liberalisation and globalisation have also unleashed a new and fractious dynamic, provoking or intensifying conflict between the beneficiaries of the new economics and those who have been further marginalised by them.

These structural vulnerabilities of the Indian system have helped the Maoists secure tremendous and cumulative successes – despite the occasional reverses, as presently in Andhra Pradesh. These successes are underpinned by the extraordinary strategic and tactical coherence of their movement, which remains little understood within the echelons of political and administrative power in India, and within a large proportion of the security establishment itself. No effective response to the Maoist challenge in India is possible unless this strategic and tactical `understructure' is fully documented and understood.

Weapons and people
In critical need of recognition is the point that extreme violence is an integral element of the Maoist ideology, and not a mere tactical expedient. "Political power", as Mao Tse-tung put it, "grows out of the barrel of a gun." And extreme violence is at the heart of this formulation. "To put it bluntly," Mao noted,

it is necessary to create terror for a while in every rural area, or otherwise it would be impossible to suppress the activities of the counter-revolutiona ries in the countryside or overthrow the authority of the gentry. Proper limits have to be exceeded in order to right a wrong, or else the wrong cannot be righted.

India's Maoists are explicit in their insistence that violence is the only instrument through which their revolution can be realised. CPI (Maoist) General-Secretary Muppala Laxmana Rao (aka `Ganapathy') argues,

the question of armed struggle … is independent of one's will. It is a law borne out by all historical experience. It is a fact of history that nowhere in the world, nowhere in historical development of the class society, had the reactionary ruling classes given up power without resorting to violent suppression of the mass protests … until they are thrown out by force.

Another commentator in People's March, the CPI (Maoist) party journal, contends, "The question is not of violence vs non-violence, but whether it is just to take up arms against a most violent and brutal state … The Maoists say it is just to take up arms as part of the overall process to change a brutal and violent system."

Many in the mainstream Indian political leadership have articulated the hope that the decision of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) to join the democratic process could serve as a future model for their Indian ideological brethren, tempting them away from their current commitment to violent insurrection. Such hopes are entirely misplaced. For one thing, the Indian Maoists have explicitly rejected the Nepali Maoists' `present tactics' – those of joining with the mainstream political system. They warn that these could set in motion "an irreversible process of losing all the revolutionary gains achieved till now". The Indian Maoists also contemptuously reject any suggestion that they could choose, at any point in the future, to participate in what their spokesman, `Azad', described as "the parliamentary pig-sty in India".

India's Maoists are, of course, yet to decide whether the Nepali Maoists' engagement with democracy is a `betrayal' or a tactical innovation leading to an eventual and total seizure of power. If it is the former, the CPN (Maoist) will be seen simply to have joined the ranks of the many `revisionists' and `right opportunists' that are thought to have corrupted the movement through its history. If it is the latter, this new stratagem will be studied with care, in order to determine its utility and the conditions in which it would apply. Such an approach, however, holds little promise of any early abandonment of violence by the CPI (Maoist). If its Nepali counterpart is, in fact, able to secure an absolute seizure of power through it `present tactics', it will only be because the Maoists of Nepal had already created a situation of extraordinary disruptive dominance across wide – indeed overwhelming – geographical areas in the country. The Nepali Maoist's `present tactics' can only be relevant to India in some future situation in which the Indian Maoists have already secured comparable disruptive dominance, and the existing political and administrative order has been pushed to comparable conditions of decay and disintegration – a still-distant possibility in India.

Securing these conditions of decay and disintegration is, in fact, the objective of the Naxalite `people's war', and its principal instrumentality is the strategy of protracted warfare. As the "Programme and Constitution" of the PWG's People's Guerrilla Army (PGA) declared, "The line of protracted people's war is our military strategy," and further, "The PGA firmly opposes the pure military outlook which is divorced from the masses, and adventurism. It will function adhering to the mass line." The `mass line' rejects the `left adventurism' often attributed to the earlier Naxalite movement of the 1967-73 phase, and insists that the military aspects of the revolution are contingent on mass mobilisation. Mao, in "On Protracted War", notes, "We see not only weapons but also people. Weapons are an important factor in war, but not the decisive factor; it is people, not things, that are decisive."
The idea of protracted war clearly recognises the strengths and superiority of the state's present forces and alignments, but recognises, equally, its vulnerabilities. Mao declares,

The enemy is strong and we are weak, and the danger of subjugation is there. But in other respects the enemy has shortcomings and we have advantages. The enemy's advantage can be reduced and his shortcomings aggravated by our efforts. On the other hand, our advantages can be enhanced and our shortcoming remedied by our efforts.

Thus, the CPI (Maoist) document on "Strategy & Tactics" likewise notes,

However strong the enemy's military power may be and however weak the people's military power, by basing ourselves in the vast backward countryside – the weakest position of the enemy – and relying on the vast masses of the peasantry, eager for agrarian revolution, and creatively following the flexible strategy and tactics of guerrilla struggle and the protracted people's war … and following the policy and tactics of sudden attack and annihilation, it is absolutely possible to defeat the enemy forces and achieve victory for the people in single battles.

Front organisations
The Maoists believe that there is, at present, an "excellent revolutionary situation in India", and have clearly declared that "the seizure of state power should be the goal of all our activity". After their 9th `Unity' Congress in January-February 2007, they outlined an inventory of "immediate tasks", to include, among others, the following:

• Coordinate the people's war with the ongoing armed struggles of the various oppressed nationalities in Kashmir, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and other parts of the Northeast.
• Build a broad UF [United Front] of all secular forces and persecuted religious minorities such as Muslims, Christians and Sikhs …
• Build a secret party apparatus which is impregnable to the enemy's attacks …
• Build open and secret mass organisations amongst the workers, peasants, youth, students, women and other sections of the people …
• Build the people's militia in all the villages in the guerrilla zones as the base force of the PGA [People's Guerrilla Army]. Also build armed self-defence units in other areas of class struggle, as well as in the urban areas.

The Maoist strategy is clearly to fish in every troubled Indian water, and to exploit every potential issue and grievance, in order to generate a campaign of protest and agitation. The principal vehicles for these `partial struggles' are `front' or `cover' organisations of the Maoists themselves, on the one hand; and, on the other, a range of individuals and organisations best described, in a phrase often (incorrectly) attributed to Lenin, as `useful idiots' – well-intentioned persons who are unaware of the broader strategy and agenda they are unwittingly promoting through their support to unquestionably admirable causes. As the "Political and Organisational Review" of the erstwhile PWG noted,

Cover organisations are indispensable in areas where our mass organisations are not allowed to function openly … There are two types of cover organisations: one, those which are formed on a broad basis by ourselves; and two, those organisations led by other forces which we utilise by working from within without getting exposed.

This strategy has already contributed to abrupt and unexpected violence in a number of cases in the recent past, with the role of Maoist provocateurs often discovered much after the event. The impeccable causes embraced in this cynical strategy include caste conflict, and the escalating tensions over the displacement and attempted imposition of special economic zones in West Bengal and Orissa. During September 2006 in Khairlanji, in Bhandara District of Maharashtra, a Dalit family of four was murdered following the rape of two women. Protest demonstrations abruptly escalated into violence with the intervention of Maoist fronts and activists. A subsequent Maoist "Resolution against Dalit Killings in Khairlanji" declared, "The Dalit masses knew that Maoists have always stood with the oppressed. The masses took inspiration from this and intensified their agitation."

While protests against the special economic zones were initiated by various other parties and non-governmental groups, the Maoist involvement was progressively visible. This was eventually acknowledged by Ganapathy, who observed, "One should only be surprised if we are not involved in such life-and-death issues of the masses … Struggles against the SEZs acquiring fertile farmland of the peasants and also huge projects are turning more and more militant … As for our role in such movements, we shall definitely make all efforts to be in the forefront and lead the movement in the correct direction."

Indeed, current Maoist debates and documents condemn the "second wave of economic reforms" as a "violent assault on the right to life and livelihood of the masses", and call for "an uncompromising opposition to the present model and all the policies that are coming up". Internal debates on the issue have further underlined the "need to build a huge movement against displacement and the very model of development itself", and to unite all "genuine democratic and anti-imperialist forces … to create a tornado of dissent that forces the rulers to stop this juggernaut." The issues at stake envisaged for potential mobilisation focus on "development driven through big dams, super highways and other infrastructural projects … gigantic mining projects, Special Economic Zones (SEZs), urban renewal and beautification" .

Within the same pattern, the "Political and Organisational Review" of the PWG noted, in March 2001, that united fronts and joint action committees have prioritised "burning issues of the peasantry such as for water, power, remunerative prices for agricultural produce, against exploitation by traders, against suicides by the peasantry, against the WTO [World Trade Organisation] , and on worker, student, women, Adivasi and Dalit issues." Thus, further, "issue-based temporary joint activity with other forces has been the general form of UF [United Front] undertaken by our Party at various levels." Suitable issues are not picked up randomly or opportunistically, but are based on extensive `investigations' into `social conditions and tactics', and are meticulously reconciled with the broader Maoist strategy and agenda.

As noted previously, these various causes are laudable, and no one can be faulted for extending support to demands for greater equity, justice and access in these spheres. For the Maoists, however, these campaigns are an integral component of their strategy of political consolidation, necessarily leading to military mobilisation. In Maoist doctrine, these `partial struggles' are no more than a tactical element in the protracted war, and they have no intrinsic value of their own. These `struggles' create the networks and recruitment base for the Maoist militia and armed cadres. Where partial struggles thrive, an army is being raised. These `peaceful' or sporadically violent movements are eventually and inevitably intended to yield to armed warfare. The objective is to "isolate the enemy by organising the people into various cover organisations and build joint fronts in order to mobilise the masses into struggles to defeat the enemy offensive". Army formation, the Maoists insist, "is the precondition for the new political power", and "all this activity should serve to intensify and extend our armed struggle. Any joint activity or tactical alliances which does not serve the cause of the peoples' war will be a futile exercise."

The "Urban Perspective" document envisages the formation of `Open Self Defence Teams' and armed `Secret Self Defence Squads' in urban areas. For the latter, the document notes, "One significant form of activity is to participate along with the masses and give them the confidence to undertake militant mass action. Other tasks are to secretly hit particular targets who are obstacles in the advance of the mass movement."

The Maoists are – and have long been – working in accordance with a plan. This gives their movement great strength; but to the extent that this design is well known, it also makes the Maoists enormously vulnerable. Regrettably, while there is a handful of officers in the security and intelligence establishment who are aware of the details of this design, the general grasp in the security and political leadership at the state level and at the Centre remains weak. There is, moreover, the added constraint that the Maoist strategy exploits the vulnerabilities of constitutional governance and its freedoms, and the security apparatus has only limited instrumentalities of containment available in the initial stages of subversion and mass mobilisation. The response of the Indian state remains trapped in an `emergency response paradigm' that has little relevance in dealing with the protracted war strategies of the Maoists.

Ajai Sahni is the executive director of the Institute for Conflict Management, editor of the South Asia Intelligence Review, and executive editor of Faultlines: Writings on conflict and resolution.


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