Open letters between PCC-CPIML and CPI(Maoist)

July 14, 2009

The following exchange of open letters between the CPI(Maoist), dated 21st April 2009, and PCC-CPIML, dated 25th May 2009, was received on 7th July 2009. The letters discuss their respective viewpoints regarding the formation of electoral/non-electoral alliances in the Jangalkhand area during the last Lok Sabha elections and their perspectives about the Lalgarh movement. We feel that this exchange of letters is instructive in understanding the underlying logic, on either side, for forming their own tactics in that area. We are committed to providing space to any kind of debates/discussions among radical left parties or organisations, in the interest of broader left solidarity, and therefore we are publishing this exchange of letters. In the present socio-economic circumstances in India and the world, we feel that it is absolutely necessary that all radical left and pro-people forces should come together to resist the neoliberal onslaught on the masses. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that such open, and perhaps more constructive, discussions do take place among all concerned forces.

Letters of the CPI(Maoists) to Com. Santosh Rana

“Struggle against right opportunism in order to intensify the revolutionary struggle”.

Dear Comrade,

We have received information regarding your electoral unity with Sri Aditya and a forum for autonomy of the 3 districts namely West Midnapur-Bankura-Purulia comprising various local parties and groups. Already on behalf of our CC we sent a letter to you. Till now we have not received any reply. Day after day many new developments are taking place in Junglekhand’s movement. So we fell it is necessary to send an open letter to you to have a clear political position and also an appeal to all the friendly forces to inform them the ongoing development in the struggle.

When we wrote a letter to you at that time Lalgarh movement lost 4 of its youngest sons who stood bravely in all the ups and downs of the movement. Recently another two also martyred. Com. Bishnu (22yrs.) and Com. Manoranjan (21 yrs.) of Shyamnagar of Belpahari P.S. were captured on 23-03-09 at Badshol village. Shyamnagar and Badshol both are side by side villages on West Midnapur-Bankura Borders. On 23-03-09 both comrades Bishnu and Manoranjan went to the nearby village to purchase goats. On their way back they were attacked in Badshol by Jharkhand Jana Mukti Morcha (JJMM) members who are now known as Gana Pratirodh Committee of killer gangs.

Majhgaria (Barikul PS) with force of 100 jawans and Tarapani (Belpahari PS) with a force of 200 Jawans are the nearest camps to Shyamnagar around 2 KM. distance. The dead bodies of the Bishnu and Manoranjan were thrown away in Majhagaria forest under Barikul PS of Bankura district. Villagers of Shyamnagar started search for those two but they could not trace them out.

On 29-03-09 there was a public meeting by the PSBJSC at Simulpal of Belpahari. To terrorize the people police issued a statement on 29-03-09 that they found two mutilated bodies and informed the family members and the press the names of the murdered on 25-01-09. The same killer gang killed Com. Nirmal Sardar to foil Chakadoba public meeting. But these two meetings were successfully held by the PSBJSC.

Earlier in 2007 October Com. Bishnu and Com. Manoranjan were arrested in a false cases after an ambush on a police jeep by the Maoists on Belpahari-Bulabheda road. They were in jail for 3 months. Despite police repression of the police excess these two young comrades fro Nov.08 onwards actively participated in the Adivasi upsurge and till their martyrdom they were the active members in the PSBJSC of Belpahari. The PSBJSC confirmed this and declared it was a conspiracy led by the CPM_JJMM-GPC and police combine against the PSBJSC. Hope you have followed all these.

Here what we want to inform you that the killer gang belongs to Ganapratirodh Committee led by the Jharkhand Jana Mukti Morcha.

Com. Rana you have close relations with this party and its leadership. On the 13.03.09 meeting called by you was attended by the same leaders who are day in and day out acting against the revolutionaries and the Lalgarh mass upsurge. Knowing all this you have taken a stand to work with those elements who are conspirators and hobnobbing with social fascists. We do not know whether you will call the CPM social fascist but what the CPM’s practice in Bengal since last 32 years is known to every politically conscious person. It is the people who know it too well what are their tactics and power politics.

Apart from the above we want to bring to your notice another cold blooded murder committed by the JJMM on the night of 29.03.09. Already you have full information of this incident through electronic and print media from 30.03.09 to 04.04.09. However, once again bringing the facts before you.

Com. Indrajit Sahis was an active full time member of the PSBJSC of Dahijori area. He had attended the Simulpal public meeting on 29.03.09 and on his return he was way laid and killed. On 29.03 night itself his family members booked a case in the Lalgarh PS. This was published in the dailies on 30.03.09. We think you are well aware of it.

Again the killers’ political affiliation is the same, and the murder was backed by the police. We are not asking you Com. Rana that why you or your party did not join in any protest programmes against the killing of the sons of Lalgarh people’s movement nor are we asking you what stand you have taken. But we are simply asking you how you are shaking hands with the reactionary counter revolutionaries? What do you want to achieve aligning with these leaders ? Will your demand for autonomy for the three districts be achieved this way ? Are you not getting isolated from the people ? Please think over.

Now let us see your electoral alliance. Through news paper report we learnt that your party is supporting Mr. Aditya as a joint candidate from Jhargram constituency. No doubt Mr. Aditya is an adivasi, but he has never been firm to fight against the CPM, which is the main oppressor of the adivasi people. In his political carrier he has always hobnobbed with the CPM. He has a dual character. Now isolated by the Lalgrah Belpahari mass movement a section of the CPI(M) leaders is now taking shelter in Aditya’s party in order to save their skin. We have many examples to show you. In the guise of ‘Jhjarkhandi’ they are mainly working against the interest of the Jharkhandis and the on-going revolutionary movement.

You see Mr. Ram Tiwari, the erstwhile CPM leader, switched over to the BJP and became its Midnapore district president and in alliance with the TMC he challenged the CPM’s supremacy in Goarbeta. Then a conflict arose for power between the BJP-TMC combine on the one hand and the CPM on the other. Our party initiated mass movement in Gorbeta and countered advancement of a general secretary of the TMC. All these developments were recorded in People’s March in 2000-01 issues. What we want to say shifting alliance weighing power and profits is a general phenomenon in the class politics. So those inconsistent Jarkhandi leaders too show off the same character. However, their role and involvement is too weak in comparison with others.

No doubt Aditya demands an autonomous area. This is a play by him supported by the CPM to get sympathy and improve his vote bank and to keep the CPM’s support untouched. What we stress is your opportunistic tactics. It is palpably clear that what you stick to is the Adivasi identity of the Adivasi leaders who haveclearly proved their anti-Adivasi role. With the same logic you can go to the extent of finding positive qualities in Shiby Soren, Babulal Marandi and their ilk. The division in the Adivasi society in the period of imperialist globalization in particular, the rise of a section of political mafias from amongst the Adivasis, etc. can not be swept under the carpet. A mechanical preconceived notion, it appears, leads you to consider all Adivasi groups are perfectly homogeneous in the present age. You yourself do know so many people from amongst the Adivasis chose to build up their own political career to reap personal profits in terms of money and power. Yet you prefer to remain blind to all this and hold cut your hand of cooperation with the known degenerate, reactionary elements in the name of Adivasi unity. This line is dangerous.

But in the agnigarbha Bangla your approach and the outlook of your party will help directly none but social fascists. So what steps be taken are to be decided by you. As a friend just we are referring to the problem and also the damage to your party. Whatever stand you will take on behalf of your party that’s upto you. But as friends of your party we want to tell you that the steps and programme which you are initiating and practicing certainly will help social fascists and counter revolutionary camp. So, please think over in which side you will stand by the side of the people and people’s movement or against it. Mao taught us, “There can be no differentiation without contrast. There can be no development without differentiation and struggle. Truth develops through its struggle against falsehood”.

*******

Comrade,

In our earlier letter to you we wrote that on the one hand you are condemning salwajudm of Chhattisgarh, on the other you are maintaining close relation and also have formed a front with the parties and the leadership, who are playing key role in Bengal’s Salwajudum, in the Bengal-Jharkhand-Orissa border areas guided by the social fascists. How can you judge your role, or to say, two attitudes on the same issue? The social fascist led Salwajudum is more dangerous in comparison with that of Dandakarnnya. There the judum was defeated and our party is marching ahead victoriously. At the fag end of the DK’s Judum you and other friends joined in the protest meet. Though it was delayed step still we welcome your attitude. Better late than never. However, you and other friends are knowingly or unknowingly dancing to the tune of the social fascists and the other reactionaries who are now close to the CPM in West Bengal.

Frontier, the known broadly left magazine, wrote in its February 22-23 editorial on Bengal’s Salwa Judum and Liberating Mao…” In truth the top leadership of Mrxist party is more interested in invoking ‘Salwa Judum’, not Mao to liquidate the Maoists as the recent incidents in Lalgarh substsitiate”. (Here it is not worth considering other aspects of this editorial).

Sir Ajit Jogi the Congress leasder and ex-chief minister of Chhattisgarh always condemned his own party’s stand on Salwa Judum publicly. Still he remained in the Congress. Sri Subrota Dutta of West Midnapur Congress secretary also opposed the Salwajudum of Chhattisgarh and here in Bengal. Sri Subrata Dutta issued a call which was published in Anandabazar Patrika on 12.12.08 issue which said “The CPI (M) has geared up its machinery for destroying the mass movement to continue with its fascist terrorby means of deploying its Harmad Bahini on a large scale in order to launch attack on Lalgarh form Shalbani, Goaltore, Sarenga and Dharmpur (Lalgarh)”.

********

Dear Rana,

You see Sri Ajit and Sri Subrato maintain similar stand on Salwajudum but you are slipping. If you say we are misunderstanding you, we accept it for a while but why the people too are misunderstanding you, comrade? When political position and practice are clear, explanations will not yield any result except being an eyewash to cover up the misdeeds. It is a question of line, it is a question how to analise a mass upsurge, how to stand by the masses, how to separate and isolate the hideous characters, how to identify friends and foes, how to stand with a firm political line, how to initiate and participate in united front work and so on.

Anyhow, Comrade, the Lalgarh upsurge has certainly shown a path of mass resistance which no doubt is a great experience after the Naxalbari upsurge. From 1967 to 2008 we have travelled towards achieving our goal and overcome many twists and turns in our ways. As followers of Mao we all should grasp the essence of what he taught to us “No political party can possibly lead a great revolutionary movement to victory unless it possesses revolutionary theory and knowledge of history and has a profound grasp of the practical movement”.

Hope you will think over and respond positively.

Surya
Spokesperson
CPI (Maoist)
Eastern Bureau Central Committee

Reply to the Eastern Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist)

Dear Comrade,

We are not accustomed to carrying on debates arisen of differences among fraternal organizations through open letters. But, your issuing an ‘open letter’ makes us reply to it in a somewhat open manner.

1.We have been engaged since 1967 in organizing the masses on the basis of Naxalbari politics in the area lying in the Paschimanchal- Jharkahnd cultural zone. We have built up, for long period of time, struggles including seizing the lands from the landlords and distributing them among the peasants, against feudal oppression, for the enhancement of wage rate, for ensuring the right to forest, against upper caste oppression on the lower castes and Adivasis, to establish the right to mother tongue, Jharkhandi identity and so on. At the same time, we have built up by ourselves or extended support to others in building up struggles against oppressions perpetuated by feudal forces, corporate capital and the state in other parts of the country.

Following the path of Marxism-Leninism-Mao-ze-Dong’s thought we have been staying firm on the class line of depending upon the small and landless peasants, getting united with the middle peasants, neutralizing sections of the rich peasants and spearheading the struggle against the jotedars and landlords. In the long course of struggle between 1967 and 2008 we had to fight against both right and left ideological deviations.

2. Since 1981, we have been taking part in the movement for a seprate Jharkhand state. In carrying this movement forward we have launched joint struggles in association with the different sections of the Jharkhand Party. In course of the joint struggle, we had to carry out struggles with these sections and sometime the alliance was broken. In 1989, the Congress government in Delhi won over a section of the Jharkhand Party in its favour and created a division in the Jharkhand movement. That section under the leadership of Ms Chunibala Hansda has been continuing the alliance with the Congress. Apart from this, we have had differences concerning land, wages and other questions with the Jharkhand Party. We have observed various levels of corruption in the Jharkhand Party led panchayats and have launched struggles against them.

3. After the formation of the Jharkhand state through curving out parts of erstwhile Bihar we have been struggling since 2001 for the formation of an autonomous council for the areas lying under the Jharkhandi cultural zone of West Bengal. It’s a struggle for national identity. The need for ending the national oppressions is urgent for the democratization of the Indian society.

In order to advance the movement for the autonomous council we convened on March 13, 2009 a meeting of various left and Jharkhandi organizations. The Peoples’ Committee of Lalgarh (PABJC) was also invited to the meeting, but they did not turn up.

4. The CPI(M-L), Jharkhand Party and some other forces have consistently been fighting against the unprecedented violence and terror unleashed in the area by the CPI(M) for a long time. The degree of terror in Jamboni area was so high that the opposition parties could not even field their candidates in the Panchayat Elections for 10 years. The same single-party rule of the CPI(M) is still continuing in vast areas including Keshpur, Garbeta and Arambagh. Many of the workers of the CPI(ML) and the Jharkhand Party had to sacrifice their life in their struggle against the CPI(M)’s terror; hundreds of fighters of this struggle have been entangled in false police cases.

In the 13 March meeting it was decided to build up a platform for struggle for autonomy with the forces who would struggle against the ruling Congress and the CPI(M) and support the demand for autonomy.

5. The peoples upsurge in Lalgarh against police oppression had had the participation of all the anti-CPI(M) political forces in the area. In course of the movement there arose some differences among these forces. The lack of sorting out the differences democratically aggravated them and in some places they took antagonistic shape. We have suggested sorting these differences out through dialogue.

6. We have been with the Lalgarh movement since the beginning and are still with it. However, we have strongly been maintaining that the movement can achieve success only through developing fully the democratic rights of the people (which include the right to form political party, the right to vote and the right to elect the body of governance on the basis of universal suffrage).

7. We do not accept that the political contradictions have to be resolved through annihilating the political opponents. The struggle against the corruptions in Panchayats needs to establish the authority of the Gram-Sansad; this requires inspiring and organizing the masses. Peoples struggle against corruption cannot be developed by killing a corrupt Panchayt authority by the squad.

8. The problem with you is that you want to establish in the area of movement a single-party rule to achieve which you want to wipe out the existence of other political parties. This makes you label all others, having any difference with you, as counter-revolutionary. This results in making all the contradictions antagonistic.

9. We consider the CPI(M) as an agent of imperialist capital and have been struggling against them in various ways. After the 2004 general election they have taken side of imperialist capital openly and have been working as the principal mouthpiece of imperialist globalization in West Bengal. So, in the last general election we employed ourselves to defeat the CPI(M) everywhere. We are happy with the peoples’ giving their verdict against the CPI(M).

10. You have mentioned in your letter that the CPI(M) has been a social fascist force for the last thirty years. We do not share this view. In the more or less first ten years since it coming to power in 1977 the Left Front Government had done some democratic reforms and the same period had seen certain level of empowerment among the rural people. It resulted in democratic development to that extent. But, the CPI(M) stopped that process and started monopolising power in the hands of party-bureaucracy. Their attempt to establish single-party rule in every sphere of society has led them to their present state. But, according to your analysis, the CPI(M) has been a social fascist party for the entire part of the past thirty years. Then, how could you join hands with the same social fascists in order to make the vast areas of Garbeta-Keshpur-Arambahgh completely free from any opposition party?

In an interview to the Times of India, published on April 27, 2009, your leader has been quoted to have said, “I myself had brought 5000 cartridges from the CPI(M) office. Where would have been the minister Susanta Ghosh now had not we been there?” You feel proud to have protected Susanta Ghosh, villain of the fascist terror unleashed in the vast areas of Garbeta-Keshpur-Arambahgh.

On the other hand we have observed that some of the tribal women sympathizers of the CPI(M) have been garlanded with shoes and forced to walk in the processions. An ordinary CPI(M) supporter Gopinath Murmu has been beaten to death and his wife was dragged on to join the procession. We cannot support these; rather those who are applauding these are actually causing damage to the Lalgarh movement.

11. Similarly, we do not support the killings of the doctor and nurse, carnage of the electoral personnel at Dahijuri or the assassination of Bishnu-Manoranjan, Nirmal Sardar and Indrajit Sahis. We condemn all these killings.

12. You have accused that the Jharkhand Janamukti Morcha was responsible for the murder of Bishnu-Manoranjan, Nirmal Sardar and Indrajit Sahis. They have denied this charge. Apart from that they have stated not to have any connection with the activities carried out in the name of Gana-Pratirodh-Committee.

We propose that an impartial inquiry of the killings occurred since Novemebr last be carried out by a team of people associated with democratic and human rights movement. The Jharkhand Janmukti Morcha is agreed to this proposal, and an inquiry team can be constituted upon your agreeing to this.

13. Mr. Aditya Kisku was associated with the Jharkhand Party (Naren). He developed his difference with it on the question of making alliance with the Congress. That difference led to the split in the Jharkhand Party (Naren). Ms Chunibala is still an ally of the Congress. We appealed to Ms Chunibala to severe her relationship with the Congress and join the coordination, but she refused. In the given situation we unanimously decided to field Mr. Aditya Kisku as the candidate. He has been raising the demand for autonomy for long. He has his role in combating the CPI(M)’s single-party violence in the area. This apart, he has played part in the democratic movements of West Bengal, including Singur and Nandigram. Taking all these into account we, three different CPI(M-L) organizations, decided to support Mr. Aditya Kisku.

You have accused Mr.Kisku to be a vacillating force. Whether they would stay firm by the demand of autonomy or show vacillation would be judged by history. But, even if we take your accuse in face value that Mr. Kisku and his associates are vacillating, it would be a grave mistake to push them towards the CPI(M) without attempting to establish unity with them.

14. We were surprised to see that while calling for the boycott of election your activities were guided towards lessening in Aditya’s share of vote. People under the 75 polling booths where Aditya had potential support were not allowed to cast their votes. In other places you asked people to vote either for the Congress or Chunibala. The CPI(M) has won in Jhargram with a margin (2.93 lakh votes) which has earned the constituency the distinction of giving the CPI(M) the highest margin in West Bengal. You certainly deserve some credit for this.

15. You have accused that we do not want to launch a struggle against the agents of the ruling class among the adivasis.

We see Paschimanchal as part of the Jharkhand Cultural Zone. The inhabitants here include tribals like, Santal, Munda, Lodha, etc., dalits like Bagdi, Mal, and so on, and communities like, Kurmi Mahato, Bagal, Teli, Kumhar, Khandayaet, Raju etc, who form a common Jharkhandi identity. The ruling classes in West Bengal do not recognize this shared identity. For them, any struggle for the assertion of the Jharkhandi identity is secessionism. For us, struggles against identity suppression are inseparably attached with the democratic revolution of India, and this view guides us to support the demand for autonomy of the Gorkha, Kamatapuri and Jharkhand people

Again, being a party of the working class we give primacy to the interests of the working classes of the suppressed identities. Thus, our relationships with the organizations, such as the Jharkhand Party, cannot but be of unity and struggle. We cannot put them together with the parties like the Congress and the CPI(M) at our own will.

16. The autonomous council we are demanding will be something where, different levels of political power will be devolved in the hands of bodies to be elected by the people on the basis of universal voting right, the basic democratic rights of the people to deliberate and to form political parties, and the working class control on the economic activities will be established.

17. You have accused that we have been opposing the Salwa Judum of Chattisgarh but not doing the same in the case of Belpahari’s Salwa Judum. The corporated sector has invested thousand of crores of rupees and adivasis of vast areas have been evicted to protect the corporate interest there. A whole river has been leased out to a company. The Salwa Judum there has been built up with corporate money. No corporate capital has been invested in Belpahari or Lalgarh, nor has any eviction in these areas taken place. The CPI(M) and the police has sometime attempted to build up resisting squads but that has not got any organized shape. Thus, it surprised us when we heard from you about Salwa Judum in Belpahari.

Nevertheless, whether Salwa Judum or not and whether the resisting squad have got organized shape or not, we oppose all sorts of attempts to suppress peoples movement.

18. Aiming to build up nation-wide mass movement on the issues imperialist globalization, SEZ and state terror we organized a convention in Kolkata in June 2007. In Januray 2009 we organized another large convention in Kolkata where, in addition to the above, two major demands – Stop Salwa Judum”, and “Release Binayak Sen” – were highlighted. To my knowledge, it was the first ever convention in Kolkata held against Salwa Judum. And, it was this time that a campaign movement for the release of Dr. Binayak sen was organized in such a large scale.

The convention of January 2009 was attended by activists associate with anti-eviction movements across the country, but the Peoples Committee of Lalgarh, for reason best known to them, did not respond to the invitation.

19. You have accused that we have been helping the social fascist CPI(M) by raising the demand of autonomy and that has added to peoples’ misunderstanding us. How the demand of autonomy has helped the CPI(M) we failed to understand. The CPI(M) labels all the movements of the marginalized people (Gorkha, Kamatapuri, Jharkhandi) as secessionist. Two issues that CPI(M) highlighted most in their 2009 election campaign were, one, the driving out of Nano from Singur, and two, prevent the division of Bengal. In 2008 they have passed in the state legislative an unanimous resolution against the division of Bengal. They filed against the participants in these movements cases of “treachery against the country”. So, the argument that the movement for autonomy helped the CPI(M) was ridiculous. We have seen in many of the documents of the CPI(Maoist) that they support the demands of autonomy of the marginalized communities. But, now your letter has confused us as to which line you have actually been following.

20. You have mentioned in your letter your Garbeta experience. In the vast region including Garbeta and Keshpur your and Sushanta Ghosh’s armed squads, with the help of the state police, ousted the opposition parties from the area. The terror unleashed by the CPI(M) there is still in force. The degree of the terror is such that the wife of Baqtar Mondol failed to identify at the court her husband’s photograph. It is precisely that terror that has won CPI(M) all the three Loksabha constituencies in West Medinipur. And you are boasting, “where would have Sushanta Ghosh been had not we been there?” Yet, you are accusing us of helping the CPI(M).

21. So far, the only large scale anti corporate movement carried out in Jhargram Sub-division is the movement against the pollution by the sponge iron factories. You are fully aware about how tirelessly have we worked to build up this movement. The movement has taken such a mass form that many of the CPI(M) activists have also participated in it.

Comrade, the moment of severe crisis of world capitalism has given rise to an unprecedented revolutionary situation in India. The context adds urgency to build up revolutionary unity among the true left forces. The differences in opinion and path that may arise need to be sorted out through fraternal dialogue and debate. Despite your “open letter” we shall stick to this position and continue the struggle against imperialism and its reactionary Indian allies.

With greetings
Santosh Rana
General Secretary
PCC, CPI(ML)