Recently we, the blog authors of springthunder posted a translation of an article titled, 'What threatens the State: Arms or Ideology?' from Puthiya Jananayagam (PUJA), a Tamil Marxist-Leninist monthly, on the Periyakulam fiasco of Maoists in Tamilnadu. We are thankful to maoist resistance for publishing it in their blog. Comrade Govindan Kutty, Editor of 'People's March' has come up with a 'reply' titled 'Why revolution is delayed?', which he sent to maoist resistance and posted in peoples march blog. Puthiya Kalacharam forwarded his reply to us which they received by mail.
He starts his reply saying,
Serious political / ideological thought is a fundamental need for the success of any revolution. This must not remain confined in limited circles but need to be carried deep amongst the masses, primarily amongst its advanced sections.
But alas, after such an introduction, the remarks follow can hardly be called as a reply or a serious political/ideological thought. We wonder how Comrade Govindan Kutty (GK), an editor of a revolutionary magazine got himself satisfied with such a bad reply. Probably that's why he added a disclaimer saying his views are personal and in no way connected with any revolutionary party or magazine the editor supports. How an editor of a revolutionary magazine can own or disown his statements as personal in a public spectrum like a bourgeoisie politician? We find it meaningless and unnecessary. Let it be aside.
We don't want to give such formal disclaimers, but we would like to say that as mentioned in our blog's about us section, this blog is an unofficial initiative. Hence the reply we provide here is as per our level of understanding of our party's political line. It may have shortcomings but certainly will not have any major or basic contradiction. We request the readers to point out the shortcomings, if any.
His so-called reply or in real, some scattered passing comments are a sheer display of seething anger and it's quite evident that he has not analysed the article in an approach of criticism and self-criticism. His scattered remarks show that he didn't understood or even tried to understand, the quintessence of the criticism but was so preoccupied to oppose it that at several places, his remarks reach the heights of absurdity.
Let we cite his lines. Our article counters the ruling class propaganda ( 'Naxalites are disenchanted individuals') by asking,
If one has to buy that argument, all those disenchanted one lakh farmers should have become Naxals and would not have killed themselves.
Comrade GK's remark found below this line is,
Maoists have repeatedly advised the farmers in distress not to commit suicide. Don't kill yourselves. Fight against the system that was responsible for your miseries militantly.
Does any logic sounds here for saying this?Again at a point, our article questions the so-called mass support enjoyed by the Maoists in Andhra.
"Why the lakhs of people organized during the talks with Rajashekhara Reddy, did not organise against the fake encounters that followed it?", "how was it possible for George Bush to visit Andhra without any stiff resistance from people where Maoists claim to have strong support?", and "how come it became possible for the rulers of Andhra to carry on with their pursuit of implementing neo-liberal policies ahead of other states and in such a situation why there are no significant mass movements like Nandigram?".
It further goes saying,
Maoists find peace at simple formulas for these questions by saying that due to the repression, people are unable to organize and they are ready otherwise. But the countless political uprisings throughout the history or the ones that took place in front our eyes in Kashmir, Manipur or in recently in Nandigram, (may be of whatever leadership) but these mass struggles erupting out challenging the brutal repressions doesn't seem to open the eyes of Maoists. It's because of their pure military outlook which doesn't cares about the people's initiative and they care about the mass support only from the perspective of supporting their armed actions.
His remark given for this paragraph highlighting the word Nandigram is astonishing.
Wherever there are people's struggles ….be it Singur, Nandigram, Mudigonda Maoists will be there with the struggling people.
Was that any mantra chanted accidentally??? Was that a reply?
These both lines show how he has totally gone out of the context and how prejudice had blind him. It's again a clear example of what mentioned in our article on how Maoists take up political criticism. They think in a classical adventurist way like, "We fight and we sacrifice. What's your problem?"
That's way, he says,
You admit that you cannot fight like Maoists and you cannot sacrifice like Maoists. Then what Maoists are saying is correct.
How many of your views have sacrificed their personal pleasures of life for the sake of masses. Do you wish to be called as naxalites upholding the traditions of Naxalbari or was there a demarcation between you and the Maoists.
So body count is the yardstick to measure a political line? Can we say Al-Umma's politics is right since because it lost many cadres in fake encounters and many languishing in jails for years in Tamilnadu than both of us? Or even in the current national or International scenario, Muslim fundamentalists sacrifice their life in large numbers than Maoists. Does sacrifice or body count clears all political flaws? Narodniks sacrificed their lives and suffered repression much more than Bolsheviks in Russia. Do you want to say Narodniks are right? Is the 'license' to uphold the traditions of Naxalbari rests on guns and being uncritical? The significance of Naxalbari doesn't lies on arms but on the revolutionary political line which broke the revisionist shackles, clearing the basic political and ideological issues of our country, with indomitable spirit and courage. We very well possess them.
Comrade GK has twice mentioned that we are for 'political preparations'. We humbly like to say that we have conducted various mass political movements than any other M-L group all over India since the last decade. Starting from the movement to enter sanctum sanctorum, demolishing prawn firms, teak farm demolition, movement to confiscate the properties of Jayalalitha gang capturing the Vinodhagan hospital, Movement against the instant rich political rogues of all party hues, against caste atrocities, unrelenting fight against the Brahminic fascism, street battles with saffron hoodlums, massive popular movement against Coke plant, the recent movement against Reliance Fresh outlets etc., Other than that, we have conducted several local struggles in various parts of Tamilnadu. Several comrades detained under TADA and even under NSA. We were announced as the principal enemy by the Sangh Parivar in Tamilnadu. We have effectively handled lawful and unlawful methods in our struggles and we steadfastly fight in our mass line with an understanding of tactics and strategy. At the same time we know that we have a long way to go. But if all these struggles seem to be mere 'political preparations' for you, then there is no remedy for that myopia.
When we question the level of political consciousness of the mass support enjoyed in Andhra and Dandakaranya, without getting the question, he cites a 2004 BBC Video. Does the political consciousness of the people lies in numbers? Then, CPI (M) can claim itself a bigger revolutionary organisation than all of us. He cites Veerapan for sustaining the armed struggle. Why Veerapan alone, learn from Sambal dacoits also. Be it Veerapan or other criminals, they were able to sustain only because of their Robin Hood postures and a constant support from a section of the ruling class. This is where the crux of our criticism lies. That's why we say in PUJA article,
The duty of communists is to engage people in revolution and to lead them and not to enact revolution on behalf of them.
It's because of their pure military outlook which doesn't care about the people's initiative and they care about the mass support only from the perspective of supporting their armed actions."
People are our ultimate strength and not some ammunitions or dense jungles. If we rely on masses and raise their political consciousness, then the enemy will find it tough to crush us as the masses will form the cordon around us. 'Annalus' lack this undertanding in practice and that's why they cite veerappan for 'armed struggle'. We repeat from the same article.
Revolution is not a personal scuffle between revolutionaries and ruling classes. But the self-styled left adventurism thinks of bestowing liberation to the people.
At the end he has announced us as enemies saying 'we are playing enemy's voice'. For years this has been the way of Maoists in dealing political criticisms. They view criticisms as attacks and no substantial answers ever come out other than a display of arrogance. We want to remind him that these 'enemies' were the ones who stood with Comrade Ravindran's wife in fighting the repressive police to acquire his body. It is the same Puthiya Jananayagam that exposed the fake encounter of Comrade Ravindran, rubbished the state propaganda in Oothangarai and if you are not frozen, the article under discussion is the only single voice in Tamilnadu that challenged the false propaganda spread by the Police on Periyakulam incident and carried it to the masses.
It's not a new charge. As noted in the article, after Comrade Ravindran's fake encounter, we criticized the left adventurist line and the mindless Andhra copying exercise without taking in to consideration of the subjective and objective conditions of Tamilnadu at the cost of the precious lives. Maoists (at that time, People's War Group) got infuriated on us and came up with a reply in their Tamil magazine 'Poraali' (Jan-Apr' 2000), displaying the same kind of anger and reluctance to analyse. In reply, PUJA came up with a booklet titled, 'Adventurism in search of shortcut' in October, 2000. Then there was no reply from them. Now after this Article of PUJA, they have come up with a reply in Tamil under an individual's name. We read that booklet also and it's not much different from Comrade GK's 'reply'. We hope an official reply would come soon from PUJA in Tamil.
In Seventies, CPI (M) branded both of us-naxalites, as CIA agents for all the merciless criticism put forwarded by us. Now Maoists show the same intolerance by branding us the same way, for the same reason. It's not an irony that left and right deviations merge at a same point.
Comrade GK says,
Setbacks, successes and failures, ups and downs, victories and defeats are quite common and are part and parcel of the ongoing revolution. Paris commune failed, the Great October revolution collapsed, the Chinese revolution failed. What is important is to study the causes for the failures/defeats and advance the revolution by learning lessons.
without uttering a word on what they have learnt from Periyakulam or from the consecutive debacles in Tamilnadu. Is self-criticism a secret activity to keep it yourself? It reminds us the reply PUJA gave in 'Adventurism in search of shortcut' which forms our end note.
When a comrade becomes a martyr, everything doesn't ends by pledging to avenge the death and swearing to achieve the goals with vigor. Even to achieve that pledge, we need to analyse the incident and learn from it by collecting the experiences. Revolutionaries cannot convince themselves by saying that these things are inevitable. Ofcourse the prime reason for the loss of Comrade Ravindran is the State and Police. But, the standpoint of Puthiya Jananayagam is, besides that, the left opportunist political line of CPI (M-L) PW is also a reason. Some time later PW may need to self-criticise for this. Like how it self-criticised for torching the Golconda Express with innocent people during Mandal agitation; Like how Thamizharasan wept bitterly for leading 27 people to death by planting bomb for Rockfort Express. But it will be too late. One thing must be said. We are pained to write these lines.
We leave it to the readers to decide on what they have learnt from the past other than repeating the same adventurist blunders at the cost of more and more precious lives. We again request Comrade GK and other Maoist comrades to analyse our criticisms in a critical and self-critical approach and to come up with a reply adhering to the Marxist-Leninist standards.