04 June 2020

Naxalbari Uprising was a revolutionary mass upsurge of the landless and poor peasants and tea garden workers of North Bengal led by the communist revolutionaries with the slogan of ‘land to the tiller’ as part of the agrarian revolution. We are observing the 53rd anniversary of this mass upsurge on 25th May, the day on which the central and state forces fired on large number of the agitators, killing 11 comrades. This year we are observing it when after almost two months of lockdowns for fighting the Covid19 pandemic, the Modi government has started the process of easing down the restrictions hastily, similar to the way it imposed it, in a frantic bid to revive the economy which is in a great recession. Though many changes have taken place during the last five decades after Naxalbari, though corporatization has become the dominant trend in all fields under neoliberal offensive of the global capitalist imperialist system, it has only worsened the condition of the working class and peasantry. We are observing Naxalbari anniversary, when more than ever, the revolutionary restructuring of the society according to the new situation has become the urgent task before us.

The great Naxalbari Uprising was not just a movement for land. It symbolized the ideological political struggle then taking place in the international communist movement. When the CPI leadership started following the Soviet revisionist line, the first split took place, and CPI(M) was born in 1964. But, its leadership kept away from the struggle against Soviet revisionists, adopting a centrist, pragmatist line. In 1967 elections they came together, joined with split away groups of ruling class parties, and came to power in W. Bengal and Kerala.                                                                                                                                The first contribution of the Naxalbari Uprising was that it exposed degeneration of revisionist CPI and neo-revisionist CPI(M) to parliamentarism, as appendages of ruling class politics. During the last five decades, CPI(M) led Left Front parties have proved it in practice wherever they came to power. So, those who align with the LF are going against the lessons of Naxalbari.                                                                                            

Its second contribution was, it paved the way for uniting the Communist Revolutionaries and to reorganize the communist movement as CPI(ML). Inspired by Naxalbari, large numbers of students, youth, workers, dalits, Adivasis and other oppressed sections came forward to join the movement.

But, the CRs could not make a concrete analysis of Indian situation and to develop the program and path of revolution based on it; they came under the influence of the left sectarian line dominating the CPC then, the erroneous decision “Chinese path is our path” was taken. It led to adoption of the ‘line of individual annihilation’ which alienated it from the people. The movement came under fierce attacks, and by 1972, in spite of great sacrifices, the party was disintegrated.

The lesson learnt from this experience is that we have to fight against both right opportunist and sectarian/anarchist lines, develop the program and path of revolution based on correct evaluation of the international and national situation, and pursue mass line to unite all revolutionary forces and build the party capable of overthrowing the ruling classes and lead the people towards people’s democracy and socialism.

 During the last three decades of neoliberal offensive, based on IMF-World Bank-WTO directives and imperialist globalization, has helped the corporate forces to accumulate huge wealth resorting to neo-fascist offensive, while the working class, with 40 crores of them reduced to contract/casual workers, is depraved of all rights, and agrarian sector is in deep crisis. Outbreak of Covid19 pandemic and the manner in which Modi handled it shows how fascistic the ruling classes have become, and how barbaric their approach towards the working class and all other oppressed sections. The only path before us is to throw out this corporate fascist ruling system and advance towards socialism. This calls for unity of all communist revolutionary forces, building a powerful communist party, mobilizing the working class, peasantry, all oppressed sections including the dalits, adivasis, women and minorities, along with youth and students. On the occasion of the 53rd anniversary of Naxalbari Uprising we appeal to all CR forces, let us come together to realize this historic task

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Kabeer Katlat

The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.