This is an interview with GN Saibaba, Vice-President of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) by Geraldina Colotti earlier this year for the Italian daily Il Manifesto.
1) May you give me some biographical and professional information about you? Which is your current political role? Do you live and work in Andhra Pradesh State?
Ans: I started my social activism during my student days, starting from 1989. I was associated with a revolutionary student movement called Radical Students’ Union (RSU) which originated in 1980 in the state of Andhra Pradesh. This student body mobilized hundreds of thousands of students on all social and political issues along with that pertaining to students and educational institutions. It gave the historic call of ‘Go to Villages’ to the students. This call actually revolutionised the urban spaces in Andhra Pradesh. This organization was banned by the government in 1991. A number of revolutionary student leaders were killed in cold blood by the police/armed forces of the state.
Later on I started working in an anti-imperialist organisation formed at the all India level called All India Peoples’ Resistance Forum (AIPRF). This anti-imperialist organization worked to mobilize hundreds and thousands of people all over the country in major rallies and demonstrations against Dunkel draft, WTO, suicide deaths of farmers, against imperialist wars and all other major pro-imperialist policies of Indian rulers.
The AIPRF in 2005 merged with other similar organisations to form Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF). It is a federation of revolutionary people’s organizations like workers, peasants, youth, students, women and revolutionary cultural organizations across India in 13 states. In most states, its members and main functionaries are arrested and incarcerated. Hundreds of its functionaries either suffer in prisons or work in different forms. But it still works among the people vigorously. Its members are being branded as having links with CPI (Maoist) just because it also believes in revolutionary transformation of Indian Society. But then an overwhelming majority of the Subcontinent does so.
Presently our organization is involved in mobilizing democratic voices against a major military offensive that the Government of India (GOI) has initiated on the indigenous people of the country, called the Operation Green Hunt (OGH).
I am an assistant professor of literature at the University of Delhi. I originally come from Andhra Pradesh but for the last one decade am settled in New Delhi.
2) What are the activities of the Revolutionary Democratic Front of India?
Ans. This front, as has been mentioned above, is a federation of revolutionary mass organizations working at grassroots level. While each of the constituent organizations works among the various sections of the people on their issues, to revolutionise them as per the understanding of New Democratic Revolution (NDR), the front focuses on larger political issues pertaining to all these sections at state and country-wide level. The RDF understands that NDR is the stage of democratizing the society by smashing the feudal and imperialist shackles. This also involves raising the consciousness of the people who are kept in backwardness by the semi-feudal, semi-colonial and reactionary social set-up that has emerged out of two hundred years of colonial rule and continuing imperialist plunder. The RDF believes that militant mobilization of basic classes of the people is the only way to democratize the South Asian Subcontinent. RDF also involves in building and participating in the larger United Fronts of different democratic and anti-imperialist forces in the country.
3) What do you think about the Naxalite guerrillas? May you tell me on which bases and context the naxalite movement has been able to develop for such a long time?
Ans. The Naxalite movement emerged in the late 1960s as a response to the most oppressive semi-feudal, semi-colonial state that was put in place after the transfer of power from the British colonialists to the Indian feudal and comprador ruling classes. The Naxalite movement should also be seen as a process that permanently changed the political scenario of the peoples’ movements by defining and establishing the path of Indian revolution.
The word Naxalite came after the name of the village where the first steps towards armed mobilization was initiated under the leadership of Charu Mazumdar. In May 1967 a village called Naxalbari in Jalpaiguri district of North Bengal rose in revolt. Simultaneously, under the leadership of Kanai Chatterjee, the poor peasants and tribal / indigenous people bordering the states of Bengal-Bihar started organizing themselves. This region also developed into a mighty revolutionary movement.
This path-breaking event is also the beginning of the polarization of the revolutionary forces on one side and the revisionist forces on the other from among the communist parties and groups that existed by then throughout India. That’s why it was called the Spring Thunder. No sooner than the revolt of the tribal peasants in North Bengal shook the world did the sparks of Naxalbari spreading the prairie fire of revolution in as many as 600 regions in India.
The nature of the communist movement in India has completely changed with the rise of the Naxalbari revolutionary peasant struggle. The Indian revolutionaries for the first time understood the nature of Indian revolution. Revolutionaries started organizing the more oppressed sections of the rural peasantry- the landless and poor peasants, which in Indian context meant the dalits and adivasis of the vast backward countryside. The RDF works among the broad sections of the masses spreading the revolutionary message.
Ever since the Naxalbari rebellion, the poorest of the poor have come to the centre-stage of the peoples’ movement in India. With the state responding to the movement in brutal ways the protracted peoples’ war has started taking deep roots among the oppressed masses that have raised the alarm of revolt amidst brutal repression. From this process emerged the Naxalite guerilla, the symbol of the revolutionary peoples’ army.
The trajectory of the development of the revolutionary movement in India has many contours. While the late sixties was the period of emergence of the revolutionary movement, the decade of seventies saw several splits among the revolutionary forces. Then the decade of eighties saw the establishment of revolutionary movement in different areas in isolation from each other and formation of major revolutionary parties and their growth. The decade of nineties saw coming together of major revolutionary forces by developing common understanding through concrete practice punctuated with great sacrifices of the rank and file and working towards formation of an all India revolutionary party. From the year 2000 onwards we can see the fruits of this process which threw up a mighty revolutionary stream organizing the poorest of the poor and standing before the state as a formidable force. It is true this process was long and the path was torturous. The movement has been able to consolidate and grow over the last four decades as it uncompromisingly fought long drawn battles against revisionism and neo-revisionism.
4) According to the Minister of the Interior, the Maoist party controls more than 200 districts. Is it true? What does such control consist of? Are there liberated areas as happened in Nepal during armed resistance?
Ans. The Minister of Interior Mr. Chidambaram exaggerates the expanse of the movement with a view to demonise it. However the fact is that the revolutionary movement has certainly grown in the vast regions of central and eastern parts of India with a strong influence in several other regions including the urban spaces. The CPI (Maoist) party has never declared any liberated bases. But in areas like Dandakaranya, the revolutionary masses have started their own local governments destroying the reactionary regime. They have established their own instruments of self-rule with a self-reliant economy and a people-centric model of development. There are certain similarities that one can see with the Nepalese people in the course of their revolutionary development with what is taking shape in Dandakaranya, Orissa, Jharkhand and West Bengal in India. But each of the countries has their own specificities in moving forward towards achieving revolutionary social transformation.
5) Indian government set off Operation Green Hunt but it said that it does not want to use the same ferocity as has been done in Sri Lanka against Tamil Tigers. How do things really stand? It is true that the government gave to the chiefs of the villages hundreds of mobile phones for making them denounce the guerrilla fighters? Did it work?
Ans. In fact the OGH is inspired by the success of the genocidal war on the Tamil national minorities of Sri Lanka. The same model is now being sought to be implemented by the Indian government, whereby it has deployed over 250,000 armed troops backed by aircrafts to fight against the people of the country. Actually soon after the Manmohan Singh government was elected back to power in May 2009, Mr Chidambaram spoke of a military campaign ala Sri Lankan war to be fought in the most backward regions of the Indian subcontinent. The war of genocide on the Tamils of Sri Lanka was fought by Rajapaksa regime with the help of Chinese ruling classes.
Now the war of genocide is perpetrated on the poorest of the poor in India with the help of US imperialists who have been providing logistical support and who are even part of the plans drawn for this war. Their intentions are clear. This genocidal war is fought to break the resistance of the indigenous people who are not allowing the plunder of their natural habitat for the super profits of the imperialist corporations.
In fact the Sri Lankan war theatre became a bone of contention among the imperialists and their lackeys in South Asia. US wanted its foothold in the island to have geo-strategic upper hand in the Indian Ocean. The China-Russia axis with Pakistan as its accomplice wanted to be in the military campaign so much so that in the post-war reconstruction China has got the rights to rebuild the strategic port at Trincomalee.
It was natural for the Gendarme visions of the Indian State to be part of this genocide. The Indian government’s active role, though playing second fiddle to the US in suppressing the Tamil national movement in Sri Lanka is not fully known to the world outside. The Indian national security advisor and several top officials flew to Sri Lanka in coordinating Rajapakse’s war on Tamils and also supported the war in material means. Moreover it also had the most important role of diverting the huge population of Tamils in India from channelizing their energy into single stream of militant upsurge that could have turned decisively the situation in the subcontinent. It thereby learnt a great deal from the Sri Lankan genocide.
The Indian government initiated a fascist vigilante gang called Salwa Judum prior to the initiation of OGH. Lumpen elements along with state forces armed to teeth unleashed mass murders on the revolutionary masses of Dandakaranya since 2005. This was planned in accordance with the American policy of Low Intensity Warfare and Strategic Hamlet program which was experimented in Vietnam and other places in 1970s. 644 villages were burnt down, vacated with a view to hand over the mineral rich areas to a number of multinational companies for mining as per the Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) signed. While thousands of people were killed and tortured, women were raped, about 70,000 of them were forcefully shifted to government-run camps with the money provided by private corporations.
These startling facts of the involvement of comprador business houses in India funding this murderous campaign to facilitate unbridled access to land, forest wealth, pearls, diamonds and minerals were acknowledged in an earlier government report which the latter found it so embarrassing that they buried it! Another 300,000 people were forced to migrate out of this region but people fought heroically againstthe Salwa Judum and in the next three years defeated this Low Intensity War, and many returned back to the villages. The Salwa Judum was a complete failure. Now the government has come up with a direct war in the place of LIW. This is when you can see mobile phones and arms are given to the lumpen and gangster groups trained and reared by the Indian Army and paramilitary forces aided by big capitalists.
The Indian ruling classes have been waging war on the people of Kashmir and North Eastern national liberation movements for the last sixty years. Now this war has extended to the central and eastern parts of India. The US imperialists and their Indian compradors have a big plan to enter into Nepal to suppress the revolutionary movement there. US imperialists are fighting major wars on the peoples in South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. True to their nature, the rulers of the subcontinent are acting as agents of the US. The US occupied Afghanistan in 2002 soon after 9/11 and is continuing the war on people and has now extended it to Pakistan. Every day it is bombing several regions of Pakistan in its so-called War Against Terror.
In a way we can see South Asia becoming a major theatre of imperialist wars alongside the Middle East. OGH should be understood as a part of this larger war of imperialist forces mired in a deepening economic crisis of its own creation craving for a much more violent loot of resources as the only way to facilitate the insatiable greed of moribund capital—that of ‘maximum surplus’. However, South Asia has also been a storm centre of revolutionary and national liberation movements. This is very important and central for understanding what will be the future trajectory of configuration of the people’s resistance.
6) In Nepal, the Maoist communist party of Prachanda supported the demands for independence of the native peoples. Which part has the demand for independence or identity played in Naxalite communists’ program?
Ans. I can’t represent Indian Maoists and speak for them. I can only tell you from what is there in their documents and what they speak of in the public domain. In the past few years their visibility in the public domain is particularly significant and heard by a large cross section of the people.
The Indian Maoists since 1970s have been supporting a number of National Liberation Movements. They support the Kashmiris, Nagas, people of Manipur, Assamese, Mizos, people of Meghalaya, and a number of other National Liberation Movements for self-determination and independence from the yoke of Indian occupation and exploitation. They reiterate that their support is unconditional and absolute. They have been building their relationship with each one of them which has made the Indian rulers panic.
The Maoists in India state that a number of indigenous communities may develop national consciousness particularly in the context of neoliberal exploitation which has pushed them into near extinction. In such conditions indigenous people like Jharkhandis, Gonds, the people of Kamtapur, Gorkhaland and various other tribes have raised their banners of revolt against the Indian rulers for autonomy/separate statehood/secession. The CPI (Maoist) supports all these movements and continuously works to build relationships with all of them.
The indigenous people of India are called the Adivasis. They are the most oppressed sections in the subcontinent. Many of the areas in which the Maoist movement has grown from strength to strength are areas habited by the adivasis. It is by being part of the most exploited, oppressed and mistreated sections of the people that the Maoists have intensified the class war in the subcontinent.
The CPI (Maoist) also support the dalit struggles for self-respect and dignity. At the bottom rung of the Indian caste system are the dalits who belong to various untouchable castes. They don’t have any rights and have little resources at their disposal. They constitute 15 percent of the Indian population. They have not been allowed to read and write for thousands of years. It is only during the British colonial rule that some of them were allowed to get educated. But the colonial policy of the British made them find their lackeys among the Brahminical upper caste rulers and became instrumental in the consolidation of caste system as part of the complex process of production and reproduction of the colonial state. As a result, even today the dalits remained overwhelmingly illiterate, doing only menial jobs. The CPI (Maoist) primarily works among them.
7) How do you consider the position of India within imperialism?
Ans. India is an important ally of the imperialists, particularly the US imperialists, from the beginning. The Indian ruling classes allied with former Soviet Social Imperialism also but then this aspect is secondary—a feature that was contingent upon the domestic necessities of rehabilitating the revisionist left of the times the legacy of which is the one that we can see in the states of West Bengal, Tripura etc. At the moment due to the policies of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation they are the principal ally of US imperialists. In the contending geo-political power-game in south Asia, the European Union, Russia, and China are not at the centre. But they are also strong contenders. The US is at the Centre because it has emerged as the main exploiter successfully spreading the war, the principal tool of imperialism, from Afghanistan to Pakistan and beyond. The US has foisted a puppet regime in Afghanistan to fight people there; it makes Pakistan fight a war on their own people and Indian rulers to wage a war against the poorest of the poor of the country. At the same time the US is also alarmed by the increasing economic might of China and a rejuvenated Russia both with increased military teeth as well. These forces have also become major contenders in the subcontinent though the US is still desperately trying to hold on to its position as the undisputed economic super power through naked military aggression.
India is and wants to be a big bully within South Asia. It intervenes and seeks to suppress all nationalities and nations in South Asia. This is what is called Indian Expansionism in South Asia. Some forces take it as Indian Imperialism. In fact, Indian Expansionism basically is controlled and tempered by US imperialism in this continental region.
8) Is Communism rising again only among poor and outcast masses? What does Marxism-Leninism-Maoism mean in India today?
Ans. Communism as a future vision for humanity saw a setback in reception among the world’s people after the reversal of Soviet and Chinese socialist experiments. But never in history has this vision become invisible as no alternative to human progress. I understand this as part of the class struggles at international scale as there has been no part of the globe that remained in isolation after capitalist production system as a chain—imperialism—overlapped all human societies on the globe. Five hundred years of history of capitalism is only a tiny part of development of human societies. Each of the earlier human development epochs sustained much longer periods with gradually reduced length of life like primitive society, the slave mode, and feudalism one after the other with of course having specificities of their own in each continental region of the world.
Capitalism has the shortest life of all these epochs as the next epoch whatever the name you give it–communism emerged at least as a concept 180 years ago in concrete form with the rise of Marxism as the true scientific materialist outlook that could comprehend the future of human societies. Since then, the class struggles the world over, if one ventures to see, manifested in the ultimate analysis between capitalism and socialism as the gateway to communism.
I don’t think communism is particularly rising among the poor and outcasts alone in these turbulent times of aggressive imperialism that is also called known as neo-liberalism or globalization by some. There is certainly a greater awareness among the poorest sections now in India than ever before, if one can dare to read the writing on the wall. But communism has not ceased to attract the minds of a wide variety of sections that fall under exploitation of the rulers or that could not escape the structural violence of the crisis of moribund capital. Communism continues to attract the imagination of some individuals from among the exploiting classes initially as an ideal in India and world over.
In contemporary India, people from among the middle classes constitute a good chunk who understands communism as the achievable objective and bourgeois liberal humanism as a palpable instrument for justifying unbridled exploitation of a handful of oppressive rulers in any country. All this is not wistful optimism but a concrete reality if one has a keen eye. One would agree with me in a much easier way if I say the same thing in the case of Nepal.
The working class of India is in much disarray as each of the revisionist parties tailing behind the reactionary ruling classes kept them in their grip and became responsible for pushing them to the right wing forces. I don’t mean to say the entire working class in India is entrapped in the same situation. The working class of India is internecine with peasant-like life on one hand and the labour aristocratic doldrums on the other.
9) Is it true that more of 30% of Maoist party members are women? Have they roles in most important leading organs? How do Maoists deal with the issue of gender?
Ans. Understandably CPI (Maoist) has the highest percentage of women in their rank and file compared to any other political party in the country including the bourgeois ruling parties. As per reports announced by the CPI (Maoist), women constitute 30 percent of their members. But one doesn’t know as theirs is entirely an underground party. According to openly available facts in some areas women constitute 40-50 percent of their cadres and leaders.
There are a good number of women’s organisations that are said to be the frontal organisations of CPI (Maoist). The Indian state is eager to brand every people’s organisation as being the frontal organisation of the Maoists. Two largest women’s organisations with 50,000 and more and 100,000 or more active membership respectively are Nari Mukti Sangh (Organisation for the Liberation of Women) and Krantikari Adivasi Mahila Sangh (Revolutionary Tribal Women’s Organisation).
10) Which analysis do you have about Indian politics after latest elections?
Ans. The elections for the Indian Parliament (Lower house, Lok Sabha) were held almost a year ago (April-May 2009). The ruling coalition United Progressive Alliance, UPA, led by Indian National Congress with significant changes of forces within it came back to power. But there is no mandate for any single party or coalition that truly emerged out of these elections to rule the country.
With the permutations and combinations of the game of numbers, the Congress managed to cull out a simple majority while the parliamentary left being left out and more right wing forces being taken in the UPA formed the Government at the Centre.
Elections in India are a big farce with a huge spending of money more than that spent for that spectacle in the US! The evident right wing party BJP and its alliance NDA remained out of power for the second consecutive term, which created a big rupture within it. But the anti-people and pro-imperialist policies of both the coalitions have more telling similarities than any marked differences. Perhaps there is only the game of semantics as regards the differences that are there. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that most of the members of both the coalitions have sold their differences by the river! If NDA had come to power it would have made hardly any difference. The genocide of the poorest of the poor would have been the same.
The only difference is that one coalition overtly and aggressively professes fascist ideology, and the other covertly does the same. But then, on the grounds that the same genocide continues with more and more adivasis being hunted and killed, Muslims being branded as terrorists and witch hunted, farmers being pushed to commit suicide and youth being robbed of jobs, left without education and livelihood and land and resources being mortgaged out for a song.
11) Indian government let loose the plunder of resources, giving rise to the resistance of native populations as the Adivasis. Which is the position of yhe Naxalites? Which alliances did they make with the forces that do not support the guerrillas?
Ans. The native people or the adivasis have become the target since their habitats—their lands and forests—have immense mineral wealth. Though the plunder on their resources had started in a major way with the advent of the British colonial rule, and after the Indian rulers stepped in the corridors of power on behalf of the imperialists, the fresh plans of near total plunder today cannot happen without throwing out millions of adivasis from their natural habitats. This has become clear a year ago when the Home Minister P Chidambaram stated the most Don Quixotic-like proposal that in the next 20 years he wants to see 80 percent of the country’s population shift to urban areas! Now less than 30 percent of population live in urban and semi urban spaces in India and this process took more than hundred years. Certainly masked in this longing dream of the people populating urban spaces is a cold and calculated murderous plan to open up their habitats forcefully for the worst ever violent exploitation of the mineral and forest wealth.
The adivasi people have been resisting under the leadership of Naxalites or Maoists. They resisted the British encroachment for 200 years and never allowed the colonialists to enter their areas. The adivasis have had a great tradition of armed resistance at least for the last 2000 years. Now the resistance has turned into a formidable one with the Government heavily deploying Security Forces, declaring a war on people of Central and Eastern parts of India. Maoists and other Naxalite parties have firmly decided to stand by the indigenous people and other marginalised sections in these regions and all other places that constitute 85 percent of the Indian population.
CPI (Maoist) has wrote a letter to all revolutionary parties and democratic individuals on 10 September 2009 appealing to them to collectively resist the military offensive on them let alone the millions of tribal people. A number of joint fronts have come up all over India wherein Gandhians to NGOs and Marxist- Leninist groups to individuals have been protesting this major military offensive. Some leaders from ruling parties including from the ruling coalition have expressed their concern and protest against Operation Green Hunt. A number of civil and human rights organisations have come to demonstrate against this genocidal war on people. Democratic individuals, academicians, writers and artists have been voicing their protests throughout the country.
12) Which is your position as regard movements such as the Taliban who fight Indian government, founding themselves on Islamic radicalism? Do you think that alliances based on anti-imperialism could be established?
Ans. Taliban and other political Islamic mobilisations have basically emerged on the scene in various countries in the absence of a strong revolutionary communist movement at the international level and also in the milieu of intense and most brutal exploitation of labour and resources of various global regions and peoples by the imperialist forces. Though these feudal forces are oppressive in nature, at the moment they are resisting US imperialists. One can’t be blind to this reality. This doesn’t mean that they are real anti-imperialist forces and they also stand by the people of their countries. They are exploitative forces.
In times of deep crisis like the one we are living through one can’t dismiss the possibility of an alliance with forces of political Islam along with the broad front of forces to smash imperialism, the number one enemy of the people of the world and the predator of the planet-earth. It is the people of these countries who will decide about the feudal forces including forces of political Islam as per how they should be fought against. But imperialists like the US should never be allowed to occupy or declare war on these countries in the name “punishing the terrorists” and “war on terror”. Also to simultaneously condemn these forces alongside the marauder imperialists doesn’t lead us anywhere.
13) Which main objectives could be established for a possible truce with the government and for a program of the Communists?
Ans. Revolutionary communists anywhere in the world in any period in history never refused to enter into a dialogue with the ruling classes of their time and space. They see negotiations and dialogue as part and parcel of the struggle to lead the society ahead. They see that class struggle continues in times of outright war and relative peace. But it is the ruling classes that refuse to come across the negotiating table as they don’t find answers for their brutal criminal activities and exploitation.
Sometimes truce becomes necessary for both sides in the class struggle. This has happened in history whether a class struggle is led by communist revolutionaries or national liberation forces.
The revolutionaries in India today, in the face of all out war, declared that they are prepared for a dialogue responding to the statements issued by the Home Minister of India. But he initially put a condition that the CPI (Maoist) should give up arms. When this was questioned by the media and intelligentsia he changed his voice and started asking the Maoists to ‘abjure violence’. This is sheer hypocrisy and arrogance to deliberately stop any such possibility of a dialogue as the Home Minister himself knows that violence is perpetrated by the state and not by the revolutionaries. The Government of India imposes the condition of ‘abjuring violence’ on the CPI (Maoist) but it asks the CPI (Maoist) not to impose any conditions!
In these circumstances what we can see is that the ruling establishment in India today is not prepared for a dialogue with the revolutionaries not because they are in a position of strength to address the gravest problems that the people are facing but because they don’t have any resolution of the crisis with them. They are afraid that what the revolutionaries will offer as the alternative will attract the people and openly people at large will support the revolutionaries.
The revolutionaries have prepared themselves for a dialogue in case the ruling regime enters into a concrete ceasefire agreement and releases the leaders incarcerated in prisons who would participate in the dialogue. The revolutionaries have declared openly that they are ready for truce for the Government’s war on millions of people, particularly the adivasis, has already turned out to be a major genocide. They have declared that they want to avert this massive suffering and bloodshed in the most backward regions of the country.
14) The scholar Samir Amin says that we need to start again from the failure of Bandung Conference. On which forces could Communists rely today?
Ans. Bandung Conference raised serious issues of national self-determination, self-reliance and peaceful co-existence of nations. But today we see a world which is caught in wars, genocide and suppression. The issues addressed by the Bandung Conference are still valid but imperialism and Soviet social imperialism along with their collaborators drastically undermined the very essential core of the issues of Bandung Conference.
Today when the heightened onslaught of moribund capital in the form of Globalisation has opened up further theatres of war throughout the world, there are the apologists of imperialism and their local lackeys who will insist that the days of the sovereign state are over, not to mention the validity and legitimacy of the national self-determination struggles. Today there is this hype created about the so-called ‘Global Village’. But the fact of the matter is that the state in the industrialised west and in the oppressed countries has become increasingly stronger with it turning into a so-called ‘maximum security state’ or the ‘securitised state’ teethed with several draconian anti-people internal security laws so as to stifle any form of dissent. Where the State has vanished is only in the arena of the social sector which has been thrown open at the mercy of the bloodthirsty hounds of market.
In the past twenty years the aggressive policies of Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation imposed on the oppressed nations and working class of the world by the imperialists sharpened the national self-determination struggles. Exploitation of the oppressed countries sharply increased. Within the oppressed countries the national and ethnic minorities have become more oppressed with the unlimited loot from within and from the imperialists. With this unbridled and heightened exploitation many national liberation struggles acquired momentum. In South and South East Asia alone dozens and dozens of national liberation movements have intensified their struggles.
The occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq and later expansion of war to Pakistan shows the route the imperialists are taking. Now the war on people in Sri Lanka and in India are inspired and guided by the imperialists for the loot of natural resources.
The communist revolutionaries, national liberation forces and sections of political Islamic forces along with all anti-imperialist and democratic forces in each country and across the continental regions, if not internationally right now, immediately have to come together in alliances in order to face the present onslaught of the imperialist forces.
15) How do you consider the situation in Nepal, on internal level and in dynamics of the relations between China and India?
Ans. The internal situation in Nepal is grave. The revolutionary masses of Nepal are taking long strides while the ruling classes in collaboration with Indian expansionists and US imperialists have been trying to derail the revolutionary process under the leadership of UCPN (Maoist). The Indian rulers worked and toppled the Government lead by the Maoists and installed a puppet regime in Nepal with a view to halt the process of framing a new constitution through the elected Constituent Assembly. The ruling forces of Nepal so far successfully prevented any steps towards opening democratic debate among the masses in evolving a People’s Democratic Constitution. The old state is still intact though monarchy was smashed. The US imperialists and the Indian expansionists are quite active in preventing the revolutionary social transformation of Nepal.
The revolutionary forces of Nepal working along with their people are seriously involved in evolving new strategies and tactics to defeat the evil designs of the Indo-US war mongers, while the Chinese regime is closely observing the dramatic events unfolding every day. In these circumstances, any attack on Nepal by Indian and US establishments will trigger a major conflict in South Asia with China entering the scene in a decisive way. After what US is doing in Pakistan, China will not tolerate further if US intervenes through India in Nepal, which will upset the already vulnerable geopolitical balance in South Asia.
16) During the electoral campaign the Naxalites blocked many trains? Which was the reaction of the population? May you tell us some episode?
Ans. The spokesperson of CPI (Maoist) has clarified on this issue in a rejoinder to Sumanto Banejee’s comment in Economic and Political Weekly vol. XLIV, no. 38, Sept. 19, 2009, pp. 73-77. Let me quote him here about an episode of hijacking a train:
The first untruth – or distortion, if one would like to call it so – is the so-called hijacking of the train. Either to sensationalise in order to add some colour to drab news stories, or with the evil intention of projecting the Naxalites as the biggest threat to internal security and thereby to provoke the rulers to raise and deploy more central forces in Maoist areas, the media intentionally magnified and exaggerated the incident. A mass protest in which a few hundred people stopped the passenger train proceeding from Barkakhana to Mughalsarai at Hehegada station in Latehar district of Jharkhand for four hours is made into a sensational hijack! If one news channel flashes the news thus, no other such channel wants to be left behind and the story goes on and on, non-stop for 24, 48 or even more hours, depending on the interest it generates among the viewers….
Even if one gave a little thought to the meaning of the word “hijacking” one would not become such an easy prey to the media sharks. From where had the Maoists hijacked the train? Had they diverted it from its usual route by forcing the driver or guard? If not, how could one describe this as hijacking? …
It must be emphasised that the so-called hijacking by protestors who stopped the train by squatting on the tracks for four hours is not related in any way to the call for boycott of elections issued by the Central Committee of CPI(Maoist). As made clear by the spokesperson of our party in Jharkhand soon after the incident, the protest was organised as part of the bandh demanding a judicial enquiry into the brutal, cold-blooded murders of five village youth by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Badhania village that falls under Barwadih PS in Latehar district. The five youth were picked up within an hour after the mine blast triggered by Maoist guerrillas killed two CRPF men on the morning of the 16th of April. The villagers were shot dead within two hours after the CRPF had lost its men in the ambush by Maoists. The fake encounter generated widespread protests throughout the state for almost a week in some places. The top police brass had to publicly concede that it was a fake encounter and by the end of the month three top police officials were removed from their posts as a direct fallout of this brutal incident. Thus, at least now it should be clear that the train was held up in Hehegada by unarmed protestors to object against the fake encounter, and not, let us repeat, for boycott of polls.
I need not say anything more here.
17) Which is the situation and how much strong are Communists in the miners?
Ans. Revolutionaries have their presence among the coalminers in Singareni Coalfields (South of India) and Eastern Coalfields. Once revolutionaries were the main and central force in Singareni Coalfields, but that movement was crushed to a great extent. Even then it still survives.
Apropos the other mining sectors are concerned, we don’t know exactly the situation. The reason is that most of the revolutionary movement in India is underground. Mining takes place mainly in the regions where the revolutionary movement is also strong. But it is very difficult to discern all the details and expanse of the activities as these areas are inaccessible to the urban activists and state doesn’t allow social activists from urban areas to move freely in the areas of intense revolutionary movement.
18) Which is the presence of the Naxalites in the factories and their program?
Ans. Various Naxalite parties work among the factories and they have their programmes among the workers. In 1980’s and 1990’s various Naxalite parties have strong presence among industries both in the metropolitan cities and other industrial belts. Now their organisations among the industrial workers have come down drastically. Revolutionaries always tried to organise unorganised sector, while organised sector has been dominated by revisionist and reactionary trade unions.
CPI (Maoist) has a detailed perspective document which they follow closely to develop their work among the workers and others sections of urban middle classes. We could see their attempts to organise in industrial belts surreptitiously in a major way, despite the state’s attempt to smell their presence and crush the working class movement. However now we can see the beginning of a mass upsurge of industrial belts and townships with recession hitting hard every nook and corner of this vast country with 80 percent of the population living with less than half a dollar per day on an average in a year.
Labour aristocracy, lumpenisation and enslavement of labour force by the right-wing forces have been predominant in the past two decades. But the present trends of militant working class movements that are breaking out are highly hopeful.
Along with this should be seen the opening up of the huge retail sector in the Indian economy to the Multi-National Corporations. This will simply wipe not less than 40 million jobs in the length and breadth of the country. And the kind of turmoil that is awaiting the urban and rural India is for one to wait and see.
19) Who do you think could be considered supporters and allies of people’s mass resistance and struggle for an alternate kind of development in the advanced capitalist countries?
Ans. In advanced capitalist countries, alliances of working class and democratic and progressive middle class sections including intelligentsia on one hand and the migrant workers from the oppressed country on the other are important.
Anti-racists, anarchist and anti-war forces generally constitute the democratic sections of the societies in advanced capitalist countries.
What is necessary today in the imperialist countries is to build strong Marxist-Leninist parties. It is time for such parties to take up campaigns straight away on socialism as the only alternative, dispelling decades of propaganda against socialism and socialist projects undertaken by the working class since Paris Commune to the historic strides made in China. It is also important to unlearn the mistakes made while making these revolutionary strides and armed with that insight move forward.
It is important for the working classes of the advanced capitalist/ imperialist countries to develop deep relations with the revolutionary movements of the oppressed countries.
20) What do you think about the axis of progressive countries in Latin America that talk about of “21st Century Socialism” their own way?
Ans. South America has been witnessing huge changes in their struggles and new dimensions have been brought to light. The terms that are being used like “21st Century Socialism’ or ‘Bolivarian Socialism’ are some kind of terminological shifts that indicate petit-bourgeois tendencies of radical politics, though they also represent a desire to invent new language for the revolutionary movement. But some of the top level leaders and those forces which have come to take up power on behalf of the people reduce the radical movements into social reformism without taking the class struggle ahead and heighten the struggles against imperialism.
There is an urgent need for close relations to be made among the struggles of the three continents—Asia, Africa and South America—to understand each other and share their experiences in order to build a strong anti-imperialist movement world over as these three continents have been exploited by the imperialists from the classical colonial era to the present day imperialism including its latest phase of Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation.