30 years since first ever “Go To Villages Campaign’ launched
by the Andhra Pradesh Radical Students
Courtsy (http://stalin-mao.net) | Posted on September 3rd, 2007
by Harsh Thakor
Integrating the student movement or the student community with the peasantry was an integral revolutionary task. Worldwide revolutions have been made with the participation of students and youth and their integration with the struggles of the working class and the peasantry. In a third world semi-colonial country like
In 1977,30 years ago the Andhra Pradesh Radical Students Union (APRSU) made history by launching the first ever ‘Go To Villages’ Campaign in
In 1977 the Janata Party had come to power, which was hailed by quarters as a great victory for Democracy. In the villages of Karimnagar a major campaign was launched. Slogans were given off ‘Boycott elections and join he Agrarian Revolution.’ The peasants of Jagtiyal and Sircilla taluks were greatly awakened. Committees were formed and struggles were started against local landlords. Strikes for wage increase, campaigns for the release of bonded labourers, resistance against different types of caste and gender discrimination, occurred. In many villages, units of the Rythu Coolie Sangham (RCS) were formed. Social boycott of the most oppressive landlords began, and soon all the exploited and labouring sections of the villages responded. Parallel Peoples Courts were set up.
The following year another campaign was launched following the 2nd state Conference of A.P.R.S.U. This time greatly inspired by the conference, peasant youth returned to villages to organize the peasantry. Landlords were forcibly tried in Peoples Courts. Over 800 acres of land was occupied and lakhs of rupees collected as refunds by the landless peasants. On September 8th amass rally was held consisting of 35000 peasants Terror was created amongst the landlord sections and some fled to the cities. A few days in the aftermath of the rally, the landlord of China Metupaly opened fire on a peasant demonstration, injuring 20.The peasants retaliated by destroying his crops and razing his nephew’s house to the ground.
In April, May, June 1979 the first joint campaign was carried out between the Radical Students Union and the Radical Youth league (RYL). This time not only the politics of agrarian revolution was propagated but students were educated on the Soviet backed Vietnamese aggression on
In subsequent campaigns the students courageously bore the onslaught of the police. They relentlessly propagated revolutionary politics. In 1980 they campaigned against the Russian invasion of
In all the campaigns the central theme focused on the politics of agrarian revolution. Units of RYL and Rytu Coolie Sanghams were formed. In the 1984 campaign,1100 students and youth split into 150 teams and spread the village of agrarian revolution in 2419 villages.
How Go To Villages campaign was carried out:
The students have to participate with a particular understanding. They must analyze the political consciousness of the villagers. A clear political understanding of the purpose and aim of the campaigns is required for the campaign to be a success. Not all villages are ready for revolution. For any revolution the existence of a revolutionary situation is only a first condition Beyond this 3 more conditions are required They are-
1. Revolutoinary Consciousness amongst the people
2. An established leadership to lead the revolutionary movement
3. Building of a Peoples Army.
Under no circumstances should the students be bookish. They should show utmost humility and respect the peasants. The campaigns have to be carried out with tremendous patience. The students cannot always expect a rousing welcome. They must win over the hearts of he peasants with the utmost patience.
The major pre-condition is revolutionary consciousness which understands that the basic reason for poverty is that the means of production are not socialized. This consciousness realizes that the New Democratic Revolution is essential as a first step towards reaching the Socialist Society. Revolutionary consciousness has to be carried out amongst the oppressed people.
In the states of Bihar and
Significantly in 1992 the Democratic Students Union (
In 1994 the Party Unity section formed their first ever revolutionary student organisation in
The DSU organised agitations against indifference and politicking in
In 1997 D.S.U protested against the killing of 6 Party Unity activists. In
From 1995 the DSU organised ‘Go to Village Campaigns.’ These have been conducted on district as well as state levels. There were three types of campaigns launched. The first was on specific political issues. The second type was a general political campaign and the third type was launching cultural programmes. The purpose of these programmes was to integrate the students and youth with the peasantry. In the first campaign in Gumrah district 6 DSU activists were arrested campaigning for Beedi Patta workers. The activists were organising the Beedi Patta workers against the merciless contractors who did not pay them their daily wages. The next state-wide campaign took place in 1997 in Khagaria district which is a flood prone region. Here the DSU formed flood relief distribution committees and explained the peasants the political reasons for which the state could not give common people protection. The flood relief programmes of the government were found to be totally inadequate and the government gave a ready excuse that
In 1998 the DSU with the Bharat Naujavan Sabha visited areas in Buxar ,Palamau Santhal Paraganas and Khagaria districts. In Buxar sustained wall-writing was carried out by activists protesting against the landlords not paying minimum wages to agricultural workers. They were paid wages between Rs.15 to 30. Landlords here possessed 5,000 acres of land and religious Maths owned hundreds of acres. In Santhal Parganas the DSU fought for the implementation of a separate
In May 2000 the DSU held its first state conference in
State-wide workshops were also carried out by the Democratic Students Union. The first one was held in 1999 to discuss organizational functioning, the building of units, politicization methods and finance. Here principally the appropriate forms of struggle were discussed. It was decided that educational institutions were neglected and a regular wall magazine should be brought out in addition to cultural programmes. It was also noted that regular committees were not formed in several places In the 2nd workshop in February 2000 study classes were held on the history of the Communist movement in
One of the most significant things that occurred was the merger of the Progressive Students and Youth Front with the DSU. The former organisation had a strong mass base in
The emergence of the Democratic Students Union has played a significant role in the revolutionary movement in
In the Jharkhand areas DSU led struggles for tribals in schools to be taught in their native languages. In these areas D.S.U launched agitations for tribal students who were denied the right to learn in their native languages. The DSU also fought for democratic rights issues. Very often DSU organise cycle rallies as a form of protest. The most significant agitations were against police firings in Madhubani and Darsinghsarai areas of
The Vidhyarti Praghati Sanghatna in
Similarly Go To Village Campaigns were carried out in
The teams had found out that socio-economic conditions had not improved in the
Campaigns were also carried out exposing the parliamentary system. Campaigns were launched in Kerala in Palakkad,
In Tamil Nadu 5 districts were coverede, namely
There may have been errors with regards to the mass line as how the ‘Go to Village Campaigns’ were carried out, but they were an important lesson ion political understanding. Vanguardist tenencies, politics of ‘annihilation of the class enemy’, incorrect relationship of the party with he mass organizations were prominent but overall we must salute the campaigning teams whose mission will remain a permanent place in the history of the revolutionary movement and holding high the banner of ‘Maoism’ or Mao Tse Tung Thought’(particularly by the Andhra Pradesh Radical Students Union).
Birds Eye view of the 1984 APRSU-RYL “Go To Village Campaigns”
No of squads=150
No. of squad members=1100
No of All women squads=10
No. of women squad members=105
No. of villages covered=2419
Total population of villages covered=50,000,000
No of Sanghams organized=200
No of Signatures collected on Charter of demands=1,00,000
Land occupied in Struggles=861 acres
Slogan wall writing=1500 villages
Party literature sold=Rs.2000
Donations collected for conference=Rs.30000
No of street Corner meetings held=7000
No of public meetings=1000
Chater of demands
1. Withdraw C.R.P.F battalions
2. Solve Rayalaseema Peoples just demands
3. Condemn A.B.V.P.-R.S.S goondas attack on movement.
Repressiion on Campagns
1. ABVP-RSS Sgonda
2. Police and A.P. special police
3. Landlords of all types
Villages were raided, with peasantry threatened with dire consequences. Vigil was kept on roadways, for information on radical squads. An All Women campaign was captured in Ananthapur for the night. Forcibly police took finger-prints.
1. Chitor district.
2. West Godavari district-3 squads
3. East Godavari district-1 squad
4. Vijyanagram district-2 squads
5. Nizamabad district-10 persons
6. Nalgonda district-squad abducted by landlord and handed over to the police.
7. Mahboobnagar district-R.S.S members abducted 2 squad members.
8. Khammam district.-Squad arrested
N.B. Written with reference from the Booklet ‘History of the Andhra Pradesh Radical Students Union’ and from the 1985, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997 and 1998 issues of the A.I.R.S F organ Kalam. The Andhra Pradesh Movement has been covered from the APRSU booklet, while the