RS November 2009 | Trade Union | Socialism

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Central Organ of CPI(ML)

Volume 10

November 2009

Issue 11

English Monthly

Maharashtra Election Results

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HE Maharashtra elections are over. Once again, the results reflect that though people want a change, there is really no alternative. We can sum up the results by saying that the BJP-SS combine failed even more than the Congress. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has won 13 seats. Of these 6 were from Mumbai and 3 from Nashik, both major urban centres. All these were traditionally Shiv Sena seats. Dadar, Mahim, Sewri were areas from where the Shiv Sena had never lost in the last 30 years. Electing the MNS from these areas was in the nature of a way for the electorate to show their disgust against the Shiv Sena. This also reflects how the Shiv Sena has moved from being a representative of the petty bourgeois lumpen force to being a more sanitised corporatised organisation seeking to represent the big bourgeoisie of this country. They no more appeal to the petty bourgeoisie. That is why in the main urban centres, they are losing their base to the MNS which is using the fascistic rhetoric of the “Marathi manoos” more. The third front, as we had stated, was a non-starter. 4 seats were won by the SP, 4 by the Peasants and Workers Party in their traditional areas of Pen and Raigad and the CPI(M) won in Dahanu on the basis of the 60 years old Godavari Parulekar’s struggle there. With two other sundry winners, their tally stood at 11. The Congress-NCP combine having won 144 seats, does not require any support for forming the Government.

Already, within two days of the elections, prices have started to rise in Maharashtra again and, there being no elections for the next four years, either to the Lok Sabha or the Assembly, we can expect unbridled burden being put upon the common man, in the form of price rise, slum demolitions, etc. Our party put up two candidates in Maharashtra, one from Naigaon constituency in Nanded district and another from Karanja constituency in Vashim district. Com. Laxman Sontakke, member of the State Committee, who stood from Naigaon secured 6238 votes and Com. Sawke from Vashim secured 2162. This was in spite of the fact that in Vashim, our work is very new and we have not even, to date, formed any District Committee there. In both constituencies our candidates secured more votes than some national parties like the BSP. It was a marked improvement on our last attempt in Maharashtra, in 2004, when we had put up only one candidate and won less than 1000 votes. The Maharashtra elections have to be seen in the background of one of the lowest poll percentages in history. There is a deep sense of disgust and apathy. The people want change. They certainly did not re-elect the Congress Government for the third time out of enthusiasm and for their good governance. Farmers are still committing suicide, factories are still closing down, hutments are still being demolished and prices are rising like never before. In spite of this, there is no viable alternative before the people. q

CPI(M): Panic measure to save its Bengal Government
FTER Singur, Nandigram and Lalgarh followed by the severe drubbing in Lok Sabha polls the CPI(M) in W. Bengal is in panic. It has found that unless it repeats its game of breaking the electoral unity of Trinamul Congress (TMC) with the Congress as it had successfully done in past polls, a combined TMC-Congress challenge in 2011 assembly elections will unseat it from power after 35 years of uninterrupted rule. So the bhadralok, the petti bourgeoisie, leading CPI(M) are ready to go to any extent to break TMC, Congress unity. This is what happened in the elections to the mayor’s post in Siliguri Municipal Corporation Board. In the elections to the Board the TMC-Congress combine had captured 30 out of 47 seats. But as both wanted mayorship the election to this post got postponed. It was at this time the CPI(M) played a cunning game. Recognising that Congress in not ready to surrender its domination in North
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Bengal to TMC, CPI(M) unconditionally supported the Congress nominee and got her elected in the election to the post. It has seriously hurt Mamata Banarjee and her followers who are crying hoarse about the Congress betrayed. For few days CPI(M)’s game had succeeded to create a division between TMC and Congress. But as the central leadership of the Congress recognised the seriousness of the mistake of their local leaders, in spite of all the arrogance of Mamata and her party, it has taken steps for reconciliation. If it works out CPI(M)’s cunning game will get shattered. The Siliguri incident shows how much the CPI(M) has degenerated, like any other ruling class party, in its bid to sustain its rule. It is ready to go to any vulgar extent for it, even while claiming to oppose the policies of the Congressled government at the centre. q

RED STAR Platform for Communist Revolutionaries v November 2009

Make All India Special Conference of CPI(ML) a Great Success
E are just on the eve of the All India Special conference of CPI(ML) at Bhopal which is going to be a significant step forward in the long history of the Indian communist movement. The Reception Committees at Bhopal led by new generation comrades and all the state committees are giving final touches to the arrangements to make the conference a great success. After the 2009 January 21st CC meeting gave the call to organize the Conference and the June CC meeting finalized the draft documents, from 1 st July the Conference process was started, beginning with the Party branch conferences. It was followed by local, area, district and state level conferences publishing the four basic draft documents, along with the Political Organizational Report of the CC from 2003 and the Political Resolution in different languages and involving all the Party membership in the process. When many of the organisations calling themselves communist have abandoned or severely curtailed such a process, this itself is a significant step forward.. Besides, broadening the democratic process, all these drafts were made available to the fraternal parties abroad, fraternal organisations in India, to a large number of sympathizers and friends of the Party for their comments, suggestions and criticisms. Further a series of Seminars are organized to discuss various aspects of neo colonisation in public, in order to broaden the understanding about the transformation of imperialist plunder from colonial to neo-colonial phase and its consequences. Our country is presently going through a critical period when all the internal contradictions are unprecedentedly sharpening and the objective conditions for people’s upsurges are ripening fast. At this juncture the Communist Party can be rebuilt uniting all the genuine communist forces and individuals on Bolshevik lines only by finding out the ideological, political, organisational reasons for the decay that set in and the severe set backs suffered by the international and Indian communist movement during the last five decades. This effort also includes the development of the ideological-political line based on Marxist-Leninist teachings according to present concrete conditions. This special conference is a significant step in that direction. It shall provide the basis for organizing the Ninth Congress of the Party as early as possible, broadening the present understanding and expanding the Party at all India level. The Conference shall also discuss and develop the steps already taken for initiating the reorganization of the Communist International uniting the Marxist-Leninist forces to unify, broaden and strengthen the struggles at international level against heinous, pernicious and barbarous moves of US-led imperialist forces to impose neo-colonial slavery and hegemony over the world people. We once again appeal to all democratic forces the left masses in the country, to the working class and the peasantry, to all revolutionary classes and sections to actively co-operate in the efforts of the Party to make the Special Conference a great success. RED STAR Platform for Communist Revolutionaries v
November 2009

Contents
y Assimilate lessons of Great October Socialist Revolution 4 y Boldly Confront the Challenge of Ruling Reactionary System 4 y On Indian-born Scientist Sharing Chemistry nobel 5 y Neo-Colonialism and the Working Class y CPI(ML) Orissa State Conference y Kolkata: Seminar on “Neocolonialism and the Left” 6 10 12

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y Kolkata: Seminar on “Neocolonialism and the Left” 12 y Jharkhand State Conference14 y Karnataka State Conference 14 y Kerala State Conference 15

y Ecological questions come to the fore 17 y Political Scene After Assembly Election 18 y Jet Airways Pilot Strike 20

y The Winter of Our Austerity 23 y An Yellowish Mao is the Symbol of Present China 24 y Two Tactics of Social Democracy in the Democratic Revolution27 y Resurrecting The Old Revisionism In A New Guise 34

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Assimilate lessons of Great October Socialist Revolution
UR Party, CPI(ML), is beginning its historic All India Special Conference at Bhopal with a mass rally calling for assimilating the lessons of the Great October Revolution on 7th November. Though the capitalist roaders in the Party succeeded to usurp power utilizing the weakness that had emerged in building socialism in the first socialist country in continuing to wage uncompromising struggle against the barbarous imperialist system recognizing its transformation from colonial forms of plunder to neocolonial forms, and in developing proletarian democracy in its forms and content beyond the limits of bourgeois parliamentary democracy, though they turned it in to a social imperialist power later leading to its disintegration, the lessons of proletarian revolution under Lenin’s leadership and lessons of socialist building in Soviet Union shall always inspire the revolutionary masses all over the world. That the US-led imperialist powers and their lackeys are still continuing their heinous attacks on Lenin and Stalin, and the Soviet experience shows how much they dread the October Revolution, its leaders and its lessons to world people. Their attacks are on the very essence of Marxism- Leninism itself. They are afraid of Soviet Power, the slogan All Power to the Soviets which means All power to the People. They know that once the people are aroused and they march for revolution and political power no force on the world can stop them. The enemy, the imperialist forces, especially US imperialism, and their lackeys everywhere, very well know that they could once again reassert their hegemony in spite of the great advances made by Soviet Union, the socialist camp and national liberation movements, only because of their neo-colonial offensive which created confusion and disarray among the socialist forces and led to their setback. The barbarians are imposing neo-colonialism with more vehemence to further their dirty goals. So it is the task of the proletarian revolutionary forces to grasp lessons from the set backs during last half a century. Lenin’s teachings on imperialism, on proletarian revolution, on Soviet Power and on proletarian democracy should be grasped and developed according to concrete conditions of today. Applying them and the lessons of Chinese revolution and all other revolutions the path of revolution should be developed according to the conditions of each country to lead the revolutionary movement forward.
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This is the task before the Indian proletariat and its vanguard, the CPI(ML). On the occasion of the 92nd anniversary of October Revolution let us pledge to assimilate its lessons and march forward.

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Boldly Confront the Challenge of Ruling Reactionary System
URING the 19th century all the rulers of Europe and the catholic church had united against the “spectre of communism” which was haunting their exploitative ruling system. In spite of it, in spite of brutally suppressing Paris Commune, October Revolution did happen in 1917, Soviet Union started advancing along socialist path and the Communist International took birth in 1919. By the time the World War II was over the socialist camp led by Soviet Union and the national liberation movements were advancing all over the world. The East Wind of socialist forces looked like prevailing over the West Wing of imperialism. Once again, in order to ostracize the “communist spectre”, under the leadership of US imperialism all the imperialist forces and their lackeys united transforming colonial plunder with neo-colonial one. As JF Dulles, US state secretary, stated then, “if the West had attempted to perpetuate the status quo of colonialism, it would have made violent revolutions inevitable and defeat inevitable”. Through neo-colonial offensive the US imperialist led camp of world reaction not only succeeded in degenerating the socialist countries to capitalist path, but also inflicted severe setback to the revolutionary forces. By 1990s the US imperialists and their lackeys declared “end of history”, and end of socialism. With the CPI and later CPI(M) degenerating as apologists of neo-colonialism and then implementing the ruling class policies wherever they came to power, in India also all the reactionaries had declared that they have ostracised the ‘spectre of communism”. As the CPI(ML) came under ‘left’ adventurist influence and disintegrated by 1970s, they were emboldened to assert that forces of revolution are dead and gone for ever. But as imperialist globalisation was imposed in 1991 to intensify neo-colonisation and as the working class and oppressed masses came under more severe plunder and oppression, the situation has changed. The contradiction between the big capitalist-big landlord state serving the imperialist forces and the broad masses of people is intensifying. As a result, all over India, in various forms, people are revolting. Numerous mass movements are coming up challenging the ruling classes. The communist

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RED STAR Platform for Communist Revolutionaries v November 2009

revolutionaries are regrouping fast, recognising the neo-colonial plunder and are becoming capable of leading the people’s upsurge forward. It is at this critical juncture, in the name of suppressing the small bands of ‘Maoists’ operating in few packets of five to six states, the UPA government has deployed almost one lakh strong para-military and police forces including commando sections. Prime minister Manmohan Singh and home minister Chidambaram are repeatedly stating that “Naxalism is the main danger”. In fact, they have declared war on the toiling masses in the country. Any one acquainted with the Indian political scene can understand that the “spectre of Maoists” repeated by the ruling class leaders and the corporateMNC media is only a bogey to unleash a war against the toiling masses and oppressed classes and sections. The statement of the prime minister and home minister, and the corporate-MNC media that “Naxalism is the main danger” is an open challenge against the communist revolutionary forces. The reactionary sections are even calling for deploying military and air force also in the so-called campaign against ‘Maoists’. The Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh is made into the centre of military operations with even a military cantonment being constructed. It is similar to the British colonialist constructing the Ramgarh cantonment in Jharkhand on the site of the trenches dug up to bury tens of thousands of adivasi rebels following the Santhal revolt in the region. In suppressing the people’s movements the Manmohan government is following the foot steps of the past colonial masters. These repressive measures are taken in the name of suppressing ‘Maoists’ only for handing over the resources, both human and natural, of Chhattisgarh-Jharkhand-Odissa region to corporates and multinationals. These militarisation steps and suppressive policies should be resisted. We call upon the communist forces to continue their uncompromising struggle against both right opportunist forces led by CPI(M) and anarchist forces of CPI(Maoist) in order to establish the correct ideological, political line and to establish the leadership of the Party among the broad masses, exposing and fighting against the challenge from the prime minister and the ruling system. Let the ruling classes and their political leadership tremble once again before the “spectre of communism”. Let us confront the challenge posed against the revolutionary forces and the left masses as a whole, with the clarion call once again to the proletarian revolutionary forces to get mobilised, challenge the ruling system and advance along the path of Indian Revolution. No body can cow down the revolutionary forces.

On Indian-born Scientist Sharing Chemistry nobel

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OR a couple of days the government leaders and the corporate-MNC media were celebrating the sharing of nobel prize for chemistry by an Indian-born scientist, Dr. Ramakrishnan. Though the Nobel prize committee is highly influenced by imperialist forces as proved by its prizes for peace, economics and political sciences often going to Obama like imperialist masters or their think tanks repeatedly, its award to scientists of different faculties are considered prestigious, very often leading scientists get it. So the receipt of this nobel prize by an Indian-born scientist should be lauded. He should be congratulated for it. But the cardinal question is: what right the comprador rulers in the country and the media which is working overtime for celebrating it as if they have done something great to help Dr. Ramakrishnan like people to achieve it? The comprador ruling system in this country is so reactionary that they have destroyed whatever little facilities which were built up in 1950s and 1960s for science education and research. Very little facilities exist in this country for them now. A government and media which are specialising the promotion of commercialising education and utilising it to prepare skilled man power for export is consciously discouraging education in pure science and social science. So any student who is interested to pursue these studies have to face many difficulties. Very little facilities exist for it as government is withdrawing from this sector slowly and the Shylocks in the private sector are least interested in it as immediate and huge profit is their only motive. The same is the fate of centre for higher education in science and research centres with long term perspective. As the comprador government and the corporate forces are interested only in the import of technology and the MNCs specialise in importing the technology even for petty products, the science education and research work are provided least incentives. As a result those young boys and girls interested in them have only one option: go to Britain or US or any other imperialist country. Naturally, they become citizen of that country. This is what has happened in the case of Dr. Ramakrishnan also. Though he was born in India, his higher studies and research work took place outside and he is a US citizen. The way the nobel prize for him was celebrated by the government and the media is yet another smart attempt to hoodwink the masses about the ‘success stories’ of this comprador ruling system.
November 2009
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RED STAR Platform for Communist Revolutionaries v

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N THE aftermath of the 2nd World War, the world changed quite dramatically. All the former colonies were declared to be formally independent. The old imperialist powers like the UK and France lost their pre-eminent positions and this position was taken up by the USA. The Bretton Woods institutions, the IMF, the World Bank and what was to become the WTO were launched. The former colonies were still enslaved but not by direct political control any more – they were enslaved through loans, “aid” and other similar instruments of economic exploitation. There was a sudden and sharp spurt in the growth of MNCs all over the world. The US also tied its so-called allies in various economic and military pacts like NAFTA, NATO, SEATO, CENTO etc. In short, we may say that the colonial system was replaced by the neocolonial system. The US has a history of following a different method of imperialist exploitation right since the end of the 19th century. The Monroe doctrine had clearly stated that Latin America was exclusively the playground of the US and other European powers were not welcome there. The method that the US had adopted in Latin America was never a colonial method. Having itself been a colony and having broken out of the colonial yoke by a revolution, the US developed its own imperialist model in Latin America without making them colony. The US invested large sums in the Latin American countries, ruthlessly exploited their raw materials and effectively reduced them into “banana republics”. Large loans and “aid” with numerous strings tied, helped to further enslave these countries. The US, with impunity, engineered military and civilian coups and “revolutions” in these countries to ensure that there was always a Government favourable to the US. Even before it entered the 2 nd World War, the US made sure that the new world situation after the war
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Neo-Colonialism and the Working Class
Sanjay Singhvi
would be as it desired. In 1941, before Pearl Harbour, Roosevelt and Churchill signed the Atlantic Charter. In this the UK agreed that after the war there would be no more colonies and that all imperialist countries would have an equal right to exploit the raw materials and other resources of all countries. It was clear that the new world order would be one in which the US would try to replicate the Latin American model all over the world. This was, then, to be the new neo-colonial order that would be the mode of imperialist exploitation and enslavement after the war. This required that there should also be certain other important changes all over the world. If exploitation was to be based upon economics and the market, then there was a need to regulate many markets all over the world. In 1944, financial representatives of 44 countries from all over the world met at the town of Bretton Woods in New Hampshire in the US. It was here that the agreement for the formation of the IMF and the World Bank (then known as the IBRD or International Bank for Reconstruction and Development) was penned. Many decisions were taken here which would help the revival of the financial market and which would also have far-reaching consequences on the whole world in the near future. It was here that the norms for taking loans and giving “aid” were worked out. It was here that the massive public sector in many countries was planned out since it was only Governments which could take such large loans as were needed to build up the infrastructure of these countries – and that too, with a sovereign guarantee. One of the Indian delegation at Bretton Woods was A. D. Shroff the Chairman of the Central Bank as well as of the New India Assurance Company and the financial adviser of the Tatas. It was the same A. D. Shroff who, in between the two rounds of the Bretton Woods Conference, co-authored the “Bombay Plan” along with big industrialists like J.R.D. Tata, G.D. Birla, Purshottamdas Thakurdas, Kasturbhai Lalbhai and others. In keeping with the formula agreed to at Bretton Woods, the Bombay Plan called for many sectors of infrastructural industry, especially those where the investment was to be massive, to be reserved for the Government or the “public” sector. Though Nehru never officially accepted the “Bombay Plan” or the “Tata plan” as it was also called, most analysts agree that the first Industrial Policy Resolution of 1948 reflected the “Bombay Plan”. It also asked for the creation of a new “public” sector, more or less along the lines of the “Bombay Plan”. It was pursuant to this Industrial Policy Resolution that the Industries (Regulation) Act of 1950 came to be enacted. Fashioning the world’s economy so as to create markets and allow it to invest profitably all over the world for its own interests was not the only concern of the US immediately after the war. The other main concern was to “contain” communism. It was to this end that the Truman Doctrine was addressed and the US started its old tactics of interfering – economically and militarily – into the internal affairs of various countries. Though the UN had, by then, been formed, as a part of the neo-colonial plan, the US gave military and economic aid to Greece and Turkey to suppress the communist revolutions which were flourishing there without reference to the UN.

RED STAR Platform for Communist Revolutionaries v November 2009

At the same time, massive national liberation movements had developed during the period of colonialism all over Asia and Africa. Many of these movements were led by bourgeois forces. Through a combination of delusion and collusion, an impression was created that the neo-colonial system was more “democratic” and more “just”. This impression was propped up by the fact that the colonies had gained formal “freedom” and that basic human rights were now being “guaranteed” all over the world. The newly formed UN, under the leadership of the US, published the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. One of the recitals for this Declaration states clearly that if certain minimum rights are not given to people, there will be revolution. It reads: “Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,” Such then was the state of affairs as the world stepped from the colonial phase to the neo-colonial phase. The colonial form of exploitation had to give way to “open” markets, and the idea of socialism had to be contained by continuing forms of the “welfare state” while protecting the right to private property. It was in Keynesianism that imperialism found the perfect combination of both these goals. Keynes called for Government intervention in the economy, preferably in the form of welfare works, so as to “create demand”. As a part of creating a “welfare” world as opposed to a communist world, neo-colonialism called for giving certain rights to the working class. In parallel to Keynes’ economic formulae and the financial direction given by Bretton Woods, labour law was veering towards Government intervention in the contract of employment. Such intervention was aimed towards banning violent disruption of production as occasioned by strikes and lock-outs while at the same time allowing a measure of hope to the worker that he could change his lot within the capitalist system. The trend had, once again, started much earlier in the US. The enactment of the Wagner Act in 1930 had accepted many rights of the workers to collective bargaining, which was the most acceptable form for the market-driven democracy of the new system. Immediately after the war, these rights were trimmed and further defined by the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947. In the UK, the National Health Service, providing free medical services to all had been set up in 1945. These changes in the world situation could not, and did not, leave India unaffected. It is not coincidental that most of our labour laws were made in the period from 1946 to 1952. This was the period when the neo-colonial system was being developed and put into practice. The whole of the thrust of labour law was to stop the organisation of strikes at any cost. To regulate the labour market, it was first required that there should be a law against arbitrary termination of service. The contract of employment must itself be well defined. This was done in 1946, by the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act. Some elementary labour laws like the Workmen’s Compensation Act of 1924, The Trade Unions Act of 1926, the earlier Factories Acts and the Trade Disputes Act of 1929 already existed. They were made more definitive. The Trade Disputes Act of 1929 had provisions for conciliation and for prohibition of strikes and lock-outs in public utilities. However, there was no provision to adjudicate industrial disputes when conciliation failed. During the war, disputes were being referred for adjudication under section 81A of the Defence of India Rules. Similar provisions for referring Industrial Disputes to adjudication were incorporated in that act which was reenacted as the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947. The Taft-Hartley Act in the US had provided for recognition for unions RED STAR Platform for Communist Revolutionaries v

across industries. Craft unions or unit unions were not recognised. The same nature of recognition was provided for by the Bombay Industrial Relations Act, 1946, for much the same reasons. This was a measure for making it difficult to dislodge the prevalent union bosses who belonged to the ruling parties. Significantly, the INTUC, the Indian National Congress’s answer to the Communist-led AITUC was also organised in 1947. Till then the Trade union movement had been totally unified irrespective of party affiliation, except for some minor aberrations. The Bretton Woods system called for the Government to become the largest borrower of funds internationally. Keynesian economics required the Govern-ment to spend large funds on investing in projects and schemes which were not going to give immediate returns. Inevitably, the Government needed more funds. A clear source of such funds was social security schemes. Undoubtedly, there had been demands for social security from the Indian working class since long. Labour tribunals were regularly passing demands for Provident Funds and Pension Funds. Medical insurance schemes were being awarded in various industries. In this situation it became logical for the Government to enact the Employees Provident Fund Act and the Employees State Insurance Act in the early 1950s. This gave a long pending demand to the workers, it afforded an illusion that the workers welfare could be achieved even in a capitalist society and at the same time allowed for the accumulation of huge funds with the Government at low rates of interest. Such “welfare” measures marked the Indian labour scene till the beginning of the 1970s. Some more measures purporting to be “socialist” in nature were also enacted. The Industrial Policy Resolution of 1948 and other succeeding Industrial Policy Resolutions had all called for some
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form of “profit-sharing”. The Bonus that was given in wartime to boost production had been continued after the war, either as a practice or due to the demands and agitations of the workers. In the 1950s, large strikes came to be organised in Ahmedabad and in other places for Bonus. As a result, the Government appointed the Bonus commission and, on the basis of their report, enacted the Bonus Act of 1965. In 1967 Justice Gajendra Gadkar of the Supreme Court was appointed as the First Labour Commission. The Report of the First Labour Commission made many recommendations on the lines of a welfare state. It sought the abolition of Contract Labour, in line with earlier judgements of tribunals, in works of a perennial nature, whenever certain conditions were satisfied. These same conditions were enacted in 1971 into the provisions of the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970. The Payment of Gratuity Act was enacted in 1972. Since the crisis of 1972 and the consequent advent of monetarism did not reach India till a few years later, the emergency period also saw the passing of “welfare” measures to prohibit closures, retrenchments and lay-offs. By 1972-73, the imperialist world economy went into depression. Many countries had taken large loans from the IMF and the World Bank, which they could no longer afford to pay back. Inflation had touched staggering heights in such countries, especially in Latin America. The oil-producing nations reacted by massively hiking the price of oil and even the US suffered from the Nixon shock, where President Nixon de-linked the price of the dollar from that of Gold and all currencies all over the world started to “free float”. In this crisis, from which the world has never really recovered till today, the Keynesian prescription of “demand creation” could no more be resorted to. There was no money to
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pay Governments bills, let alone for Government investment. This was also the period when Reagan became President of the USA and Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister of the UK. The Keynesian prescription was replaced by a massive cut of Government subsidies. The new economic theories, variously called as “neo-liberal”, “monetarism”, Reagonomics or Thatcherism were brought into force. This theory called for the Government to control minutely, not unemployment, as was the ultimate lever in Keynesian economics but to control the flow of money and to curb inflation. Money was, therefore, no more available for welfare works. There was a cut in the welfare spending all over the world. This was soon followed by privatisation and disinvestment by Governments all over the world. Many countries all over the world tottered on either side of bankruptcy and the IMF started imposing this monetarist formula upon them in the name of “structural adjustment plans”. The Soviet bloc collapsed in 1990, due to their own economic problems caused by them too having moved to a capitalist market-based economy. At the same time, in 1994, the Dunkel draft was accepted by the GATT and the WTO was born. With these changes, the path was now clear for what is today commonly called as Globalisation and Liberalisation. The cut in the rights to labour welfare given to the workers intensified with the growth of the crisis of imperialism and the advent of “Globalisation”. Since 1972, not a single law of national and universal significance was enacted for the benefit of the workers. Since long various Governments have promised to make a comprehensive law to provide for the rights of agricultural labour. This law has never seen the light of day. On the other hand, attempts have been made to water down the existing rights of the workers. The amounts being allotted to social security were cut down. In 1996 the Central Government enacted the amendment to the Provident Fund Act, creating the Employees Pension Fund. The rates of pension were so adjusted so as to leave a large surplus in the hands of the Government. In the same year, the Government also enacted the Building and Other Construction Workers Act, which would also put a large pool of money, ostensibly for the benefit of the workers in the hands of the Government. There was unbelievable tardiness in bringing this act into force and even today, by Government’s own reckoning, only 17 states have constituted the boards necessary for the act’s functioning. Even in these 17 states, the registration of the construction workers is, at most, sporadic and the collection of the cess from the builders is observed more in the breach. A further stage of dismantling the existing rights of the workers was reached with the formation of SEZs. Under the SEZ Act of 2005, States were permitted to amend labour laws in their application to SEZs. Many states have enacted subsidiary legislation substantially watering down the rights of workers under various labour laws in SEZs. The trade union movement has remained a largely mute and ineffective spectator to these developments. Year after year, the trade union movements are growing ever more militant all over the world as workers seek to fight against the injustices being meted out to them. The leadership of the movement has proved impotent or unwilling to give a direction to the struggle. After the 2 nd World War, the trade union movement largely started to wane. Massive struggles for basic changes in rights of workers were few and far between. Compared to the massive struggles for DA, implementation of the Factories Act and for Bonus that were carried out by the workers in our country between the two world wars, the sixty years since have only seen two such large struggles, the Railway strike of 1974 and the Mumbai textile strike of 1982.

RED STAR Platform for Communist Revolutionaries v November 2009

Immediately after 1947, the Communist Party of India, which was the main guiding force behind the AITUC, the largest trade union centre then, floundered to find the correct line. The change from colonialism to neo-colonialism was never correctly understood or analysed. As a result, the lines in the CPI varied from following the Chinese path as put forward by some votaries of the Telengana movement, to immediate all-round insurrection in the country-side and in the cities as put forward by the Calcutta Thesis of B. T. Ranadive in 1948 to accepting the role of the Congress as a progressive anti-imperialist force and strengthening its rule. It was this latter line that finally prevailed. This ideological direction of the CPI affected the AITUC as well. The program of the AITUC changed from one demanding revolution in India to one seeking changes within the system. The formation of the CPI(M) in 1964 held out some hopes for a revolutionary line. However, these hopes were belied when the newly formed party took up a centrist line. Even the CPI(M) made no attempt to make any concrete analysis of the neo-colonial system in India. By 1967, communist revolutionaries within CPI(M) had organised the great Naxalbari struggle, where peasants forcibly took over lands that they had cropped, in opposition to the absentee landlords. The CPI(M) was a part of the Government in West Bengal where this struggle took place but opposed the movement and opened fire on the peasants and workers. The communist revolutionaries within the CPI(M) therefore came out of the CPI (M) and formed the CPI (ML). The CPI (ML) did put the question of revolution back on the agenda. It correctly analysed the nature of the Indian bourgeoisie as “comprador” - or being in a submissive relationship with imperialism. However, under the influence of the sectarian line which was then dominating the Chinese Communist Party, they did not pay attention to Trade Unions. The CPI(ML) completely gave up work in Trade Unions and criticised any person working in them. It neglected the importance of mass organisations altogether and, under the influence of the “Chinese path” gave one-sided emphasis on organising in the country-side to the neglect of the cities. It concentrated its forces in some pockets, where “base areas” were to be formed and did not make any attempts to build up strong all-India movements in any section, leave alone in Trade Unions – which were referred to as “the highways of revisionism”. The CPI (ML) also did not understand or analyse the nature of neo-colonialism and adapt its revolutionary strategy according to the concrete situation prevailing. The strategy adopted by the bourgeoisie after the 2nd World War in India was to divide the working class into fragments. There are numerous fragments in India today based on party affiliation. As many commentators have stated, this is the single most important reason why the working class in India has not been able to exert an influence in this country commensurate with its strength. It may also be the reason responsible why the trade union movement has not been able to inspire the workers and the relative unionisation density among the Indian workers is actually falling. The answer, therefore, clearly lies in the unity of the working class. However, this can no more be a unity of despair. To hope for a trade union unity based upon the old revisionism or sectarian ideas is foolish and pointless. It was these ideas that led to the degeneration of the trade union movement in the first place. Therefore, what is required is a new strategy for the unity of the working class – a strategy based upon the concrete analysis of the concrete situation in neocolonial India within a neo-colonial world system. On the other hand, we cannot compare the Trade union with the party. RED STAR Platform for Communist Revolutionaries v

Therefore, what is required is a broad unity on the basis of the fight against imperialism in the current neo-colonial phase. Such a broad unity can be achieved by uniting the workers based upon an uncompromising struggle against imperialism and globalisation. Irrespective of party affiliations, unions may come together on this basis and form the core of such a unity. Such a unity, alone, can be the basis for the resurgence of the working class struggle in India.

Seminar on Neo-colonialism and the working class at Mumbai
A SEMINAR was held on “Neo-colonialism and the working class” under the banner of the CPI(ML) on 23rd October 2009 at Mumbai at the BUJ hall. Com. Sanjay Singhvi presented the paper on neo-colonialism and the working class (separately published in this issue on page 6). There was a lively discussion on the issue. Some pertinent points were raised that the role of the media, including the electronic media must also be seen in the context of neocolonialism and how they have played a role in the orientation of the working class struggle. It was also pointed out that the question of urban housing and of price rise were also features linked to neocolonialism and which deeply affected the working class. There was also a mention of how NGOs were trying to move into the working class movement. It was decided by all present that a forum be urgently formed for tackling the question of price rise in Mumbai.

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CPI(ML) Orissa State Conference
HE Orissa state conference of the Party was held on 5th and 6th of October at Inquilab Bhavan, the state committee office. As the proposed Seminar on Neo-colonialism and the Agrarian Revolution could not be arranged due to rains and other technical problems, and as a number of delegates from interior areas of Bhadrak, Puri, Khurda and some other places could not reach due to continuing strike by the private bus owners, the Conference had to be re-scheduled. Com. KNR and Tuhin attended it representing the CC. The conference started on 5th afternoon with com. KNR raising the red flag and paying homage to the martyrs. A panel of presidium, steering committee and minutes committee was adopted. Com Jaidev Nayak representing reception committee welcomed the CCM and the delegates and invitees. 25 delegates and invitees participated. Com. KNR inaugurated the conference explaining the importance of the Bhopal conference and the theoretical offensive the Party has launched focusing on neo-colonialism. Then the draft international document and the draft on character of Indian state were presented by com. KNR one after another followed by general discussion and reply. They were adopted with few suggestions to improve them. On 6th morning com. Tuhin presented the draft on principal contradiction. After general discussion and reply it was adopted. Following this com. KNR presented first the draft on path of revolution and then the political organisational report of the CC. Com. Tuhin presented the draft political resolution. They were approved after general discussion and reply. Com. Sivaram, the state secretary, presented the state committee report which was adopted after discussion. A panel of the new State Committee members moved by com. Sivaram was also adopted unanimously by the conference. The new SC re-elected com. Sivaram as its secretary. Then panel of All India Special Conference was elected. The conference adopted resolutions condemning the increasing state terror in the name of suppressing ‘Maoists’, condemning the bus owner’s strike and government’s inaction, supporting the ongoing struggles of the peasantry against displacement, against price-rise, unemployment, etc. Addressing the conference com. Sivaram assured that the new state committee shall strive hard to spread the organisation at state level winning over new forces based on the ideological-political clarity provided by the documents. Com. Tuhin congratulated the
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comrades for the advances already made and called for all out efforts to make the Bhopal rally and conference a resounding success and new offensive in all fields based on the theoretical positions put forward. The conference concluded on 6th evening with lowering of the red flag amidst singing of International and militant slogans.

Bhubaneswar Area Conference Held
BHUBANESWAR Area Conference of CPI(ML) is successfully held on16th October. As due to technical reasons some area conferences and district conferences were not held before, these conferences are continuing and it will complete before all india conference. The drafts were passed by the delegates with some suggestions and amendments. The previous area secretary com. Bijay Samal presented the organisational report. The conference elected a 26 members new area committe with Com Harihar Sahoo as its new Secretary. The conference decided to mobilise a good number of people to Bhopal All India Conference. To make success the Bhopal conference wall writing, street corner meetings, pasting of posters and distributing leaflets in Oriya are started.

Mass Demonstration Against Repression of Kalinganagar Adivasis
IN THE NAME OF ‘development’ and rapid industrialisation the anti-people Odisha govt. signed number of MoU with MNCs and corporate houses. To loot Odisha’s natural resources, mines, forests, water and cheap labour is the main interest of these companies. The comprador bureaucrats and government machinery is deployed to serve their propose. Single window system is developed to make their work faster. Despite all this when they tried to acquire land, every where they had to face severe mass resistances by the affected common people, farmers, adivasis and dalits. From Kashipur to Kalinga Nagar, Posco and Vedanta people are resisting. They are fighting against forcible land grabbing and for defending their right of life and livelihood. They demand irrigation, proper procurement prices of agrarian and forest products, education-healthcare for common people of all areas. Rejecting the propaganda of ‘development’ these struggles are against displacement of lakhs of people from land, forest, water and from their traditional way of living. They demand agri-based development, land reforms, distribution of lands to real tillers and forest

RED STAR Platform for Communist Revolutionaries v November 2009

rights to tribals. But the govt. do not heed the real demands of people. So every where democratic mass movements grow and thousands of people rally round with these demands. Some movements started spontaneously and in some places CPI(ML) like revolutionary forces, who believe in real mass movements, led the movements. CPI(ML) and all other revolutionary, progressive, patriotic and democratic forces support these movements. To repress them police acted as agents of these companies. Every where lathi charge, firing, sending number of people to jail in false cases, registered false cases against hundreds of activists and common people. In last 15years in anti-displacement and land movement in Kashipur 3, Kalinganagar 16, Mandrabaju 8, Raigarh 5, Soran 5, Baijal 1, Posco 1 activists became martyr in police firing and company goondas attack. After Kalinganagar massacre on 2nd January 2006 displacement and land issue became a centre question. All the common people of Odisha supported this movement and made 7th January 2006 all Odisha bandh hundred percent spontaneous success. Since Kalinganagar firing all over Odisha people are struggling or supporting the struggles to protect their life and livelihood. In posco since four and half years peoples are struggling and do not allow to acquire a single piece of land. Vedanta in Puri and Lanjigada, Tata power plant in Naraj, Mittal plant and all other plants were resisted. No where Maoists are in the leadership of these people’s movements. But to repress all these mass movements the government machinary, police and monopoly the media consciously propagate the involvement and instigation of the Maoists. It is a pretext to repress the democratic movements. Now declaring Maoists are the enemy of people, they want to deploy millitary and air force to smash them. But the real motive behind them is to supress and smash all the mass movements. Recently in Kalinganagar the state govt. and police are acting like the agents of Tata Steel and harassing the agitating tribals by falsely implicating them in a case of murder. The police were acting against the members and harassing the leaders of the Bistapan Birodhi Janamancha of Kalinganagar. In the name of arresting accused persons in the murder case in question, the police had surrounded two villages Mashakhia and Baligotha for the past several days. The police and SOG forces conducted raids during night. To terrorise the villagers blank firing, rubber bullet firing, smoke gas throwing is done. The demand made by the Janamancha that the murder case should be handed over to CBI has gone unheard. The central and state govts. is adopting new techniques to supress democratic movements at various places. To oppose and resist the new tactics of

repression by the govt. on 21st October CPI(ML) state secretary com Sivaram, leader of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti com. Abhaya Sahu and other state leaders of Lok Pakshya, Lok Shakti Abhiyan, CPI(ML) New Democracy, CPI(ML) Liberation adressed a press conference at Bhubaneswar. On 24th October a mass demonstration organised by the revolutionary parties and mass movements of Odisha including Basti Surakshya Mancha and Jeevan-Jeevika Surakshya Samiti with the demands that the police and SOG forces should withdrawn from Masakhia and Baligotha and other villages of Kalinganagar area. false cases against innocent tribals be withdrawn and the proposed steel plant project should be shelved to restore peace in Kalinganagar. On 31st october a massive protest will be organised at Kalinganagar Ambagadai, near martyrs column. CPI(ML) and other revolutionary parties and mass movements will particepate in protest meeting.

Korean President Visit Opposed by CPI(ML)
SINCE four and half years South Korean MNC Posco’s mega steel plant is opposed by those affected by land acquisition, mining and plunder of water resources. Other struggling and revolutionary left democratic masses also stood behind the struggling people who are fighting relentlessly against Posco. In spite all effort by Posco company and comprador state govt. the company has not been able to take possession of any land for the steel plant project so far.The MoU is in cold storage since june 2005. In January Korean president Lee Myung-Bak may come to Odisha to lay the foundation stone at the earmarked proposed steel plant of Posco-India at Jagatsinghpur dist. Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti and thousands of people facing displacement would jointly oppose the Korean president’s visit and would not allow him to lay the foundation stone. CPI(ML) Odisha State Committee also declared their support to the PPSS and started campaigning and preparation for not allowing Korean president to lay the foundation stone.

Jeevan-Jeevika Suraskhya Samiti Formed in Puri
TO PROTECT the peasants, agricultural workers, dalits rights and to mobise against the Vedanta company which is grabbing six thousand acres of land in the name of Vedanta University JeevanJeevika Surskhya Samiti Puri District Committee is formed. It started campaigning taking various peoples issues. A good number of comrades from JJSS, Puri will participate in the Bhopal rally on 7th november on the occassion of CPI(ML) all india conference.
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Kolkata: Seminar on “Neo-colonialism and the Left”
HE Seminar on Neo-Colonialism and the Left organised at George Hall, Maulali in Kolkata on 4th October evening, though participated by a small number of progressive, revolutionary sections became a good launching of the discussion on imperialism in its neo-colonial phase. In the discussion presided by com. Sanjay Singhvi, com. KNR presenting the subject pointed out that this discussion is extremely significant in the context of two most important conjunctures: one, the emerging unprecedently favourable objective condition for outbreak of people’s upsurges as a result of the consequences of the imperialist melt-down which is intensifying the neoliberal raj; and two, the severe setback suffered by the international communist movement during the last half a century from a position of great advances challenging the imperialist camp to its present disorganised, weak position making subjective forces of revolution very weak. In such a critical situation development of the revolutionary theory based on evaluation of past experience assumes paramount importance. The relevance of the theoretical debate launched by CPI(ML) focusing on neo-colonialism at all India level as a part of preparation for its All India Special Conference from 7 to 12 November at Bhopal Should be seen in this context. After the emergence of capitalist system, only when Marx and Engels put forward the Communist Manifesto with a world outlook of scientific socialism, the working class could come out of the mire of utopian socialism and advance. Similarly, when the Second International collapsed due to the class collaborationist line of its leadership, it was Lenin’s epoch-making analysis of imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism, developing Marxism to higher stage, the victory of October revolution based on the general line put forward by him, the formation of Soviet Union along with its revolutionary advances and the reorganisation of the Second International in to the Communist International providing a general line for the ICM which inspired great revolutionary advances reaching a peak by 1950s. The severe setback suffered by the ICM should be seen in the context of the failure of the international and Indian communist movement to apply the Leninist teachings to evaluate the imperialist offensive from the post-World War II years transforming its colonial domination with neocolonial offensive. There were serious weaknesses in understanding imperialism in its new incarnation,
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leading to capitalist path gaining dominance in the socialist countries and most of the communist parties. Unless this grave theoretical weakness is rectified and Marxist-Leninist understanding is developed according to the conditions created by the neo-colonial offensive of imperialism, the ICM cannot overcome its setbacks and cannot advance. With this introduction com. KNR explained the basic features of neo-colonialism and how the colonial India was transformed to a neo-colonial one, based on the draft documents. Following the presentation, starting the discussion com. Babu Dutta criticised the neo-colonial question from a position of negative clarity. He could not differentiate himself basically from old semi-colonial thinking and used the various categories in an ecclectical manner. Refuting this approach com. Partha enlivened the debate by explaining the post World War II approaches of imperialism and how along with speculative capital, the market system came to supreme dominance. In this connection he showed the significance of WTO in the neo-colonial plunder. He called for further empirical studies and provide data, as Lenin did in his work “Imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism”. Intervening in the discussion com. Sramistha of CCR(ML) agreed that the post-War Soviet policies should be viewed critically. But she wanted to link these weaknesses to those that surfaced from 1930s itself. It was to combat the growing strength of the socialist forces the imperialist camp led by US resorted to various neo-colonial policies including land reforms. She developed the debate based on a firm neocolonial approach. Com. Shankar of CCR(ML) tried to explain the reasons for the failure of the ICM to address the neocolonial onslaught by the imperialist camp. In this context he referred to earlier mistakes of Soviet leadership in dealing with the inner party struggle democratically and in applying the concept of democratic socialism. Further internationalism was replaced by nationalism by the Soviet leadership. He tried to explain the FII-FDI flows and WTO dictates as further steps to intensify neo-colonialism. Com. Gautam felt happy that ‘Stalinism’ is under criticism. His arguments based on Trotskyist position of permanent revolution, while criticising Stalin’s position including ‘defence of fatherland’ slogan did not extend to acceptance of imperialism resorting to neo-colonialism. To him India is a capitalist country. Com. KNR in his reply admitted that neocolonialism need further substantiation including providing empirical data based studies. The feudal relations have undergone significant changes, so that feudalism is no more the social base of imperialism. This should be seen in the context of ‘land reforms’ not only to blunt agrarian movements, but also to

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facilitate entry of imperialist capital, market forces to agrarian sector. Of course the weakness of Soviet leadership in the 1940s should be seen as a continuation of the weaknesses at other planes in 1930s. And these weaknesses helped the emergence of Krushchovite revisionism. The development of Deng’s capitalist path in China can also be seen as a consequence of not recognising the neo-colonial drive. Com. Sanjay Singhvi, summing up the discussion pointed out that it was a fruitful beginning of the discussion on neo-colonialism in Kolkata. He hoped that it will be followed up by many more discussions of this kind to deepen the theoretical efforts to analyse the neo-colonial phase of imperialism.

Delhi Seminar on “State Terror and Neo-colonisation”

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Chennai “Tamil National Question in Sri Lanka”

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S PART OF the various seminars on different aspects of neo-colonialism organized by the CPI (ML) at an all India level as a background to the All India Special Conference, under the auspices of the Tamil Nadu State Committee of CPI (ML), a one-day seminar on ‘Neo-colonialism and the Tamil National Question in Sri Lanka’ was organized on October 4 at Chennai. In the seminar presided over by Com. PT Shanmuga Sundaram, State Secretary, Com. Vinda Vedhan, State Committee member presented the State Committee’s position from a Marxist historical perspective and an intense debate by the participants on the various aspects of the Tamil question followed. Com. Kalan Dorai, in his paper vehemently attacked the bourgeois chauvinistic positions pursued by some so called ML parties in Tamil Nadu and called for a Marxist-Leninist approach to the national question. In the afternoon, Com. PJ James presented the CPI (ML) Central Committee’s position on the issue in his paper entitled ‘Sri Lankan Tamil Question under conditions of Neocolonialism: The Marxist Approach’. The paper among other things argued that rather than opting for another neo-colonial comprador Tamil State under the frame work of neo-colonialism, progressive democratic forces should struggle for a people’s democratic state in Sri Lanka overthrowing the present ruling system and lay the foundations for equal rights for Tamils in relation to the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka. While the ruling classes, and self-professed Marxists and anarchists are whipping up chauvinistic national sentiments on the issue for their short-term goals, the perspectives put forward by CPI(ML) based on a class approach has attracted the attention of several well meaning people and progressive sections in TN.

N 26th September a seminar on ‘War on Terror’ at home Fascicisation of the State Under Neocolonisation was held at Gandhi Peace Foundation Hall as part of the seminars organized at various centres on various aspects of neo-colonial plunder. Dr. Prempati who presided explained the significance of exposing the intensification of the state terror in all spheres pin-pointing concrete instances. Com. KNR presented the paper explaining how after the transfer of power in 1947 under various pretexts consecutive governments went on intensifying the fascicisation of the state which has reached a peak now under neoliberal regime. To facilitate Neo-colonisation caste, race, religions fundamentalism of all hues, decadent feudal culture and reactionary imperialist cultural values are rampantly utilized to divert people’s attention and to force their submission to the ruling state. The NGOs and various organisations formed on the basis of identity politics, along with various reformist initiatives are utilised to weaken people’s resistance against the above. They work hard to delink the state terror from neo-colonisation. In the name of fighting Islamic fundamentalists – sponsored terrorists the Hindutua terrorists who are a bigger challenge are protected. In the name of putting down the anarchist ‘Maoists’ all people’s movements and revolutionary forces are suppressed. Against these a polarization of all progressive democratic forces is needed to expose and fight state terror as part of the struggle against neo-colonisation. Following the presentation there was an active discussion in which all participants expressed their views. Comrades Nandlal, Shivmangal Sidhatkar, Thomas Mathew, Umakant and others put forward valuable suggestions while expanding various aspects of the subject under discussion. In the course of discussion most of the participants upheld imperialist plunder has transformed from colonial to neo-colonial phase that intensifying the contradictions. Based on this ideological political line various aspects of state terror was discussed. The role of anti-caste movement was stressed. The importance of mobilization of the oppressed classes and sections to fight against the reactionary Indian state was upheld by all the participants. Com. KNR concluded the discussion, once again stressing the critical situation in the country and the need to mobilize the working classes and all oppressed people to put an end to state terror by overthrowing the ruling system.
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Jharkhand State Conference of CPI(ML)
HE Jharkhand state conference of the Party was successfully held at Ramgarh in Shahid Birsa Munda Hall (Sahu Bhavan Dharmasala) on 29-30 September. Seventy five delegates including fifteen women comrades from eight districts participated. It started with remembering martyrs at 1 PM followed by election of presidium and steering committee. Com. Anjani Kumar, state secretary welcomed the participants explaining the various struggles waged by the Party at ideological, political and organisational levels in the state. Then com. KNR inaugurated the conference explaining the importance of the present situation when the conference is held. The unprecedented price rise, unemployment, corruption at all levels, criminalisation and Mafia raj have intensified all contradictions creating objective conditions for mighty people’s upsurge. We should seize this opportunity by speeding up the building up of the Party so as to make it capable of leading the emerging upsurge. Then the six draft documents of the CC were presented by com. KNR explaining their importance followed by general discussion and reply. The delegates supporting them. Many questions raised during discussion were replied. The discussion and approval of the CC documents continued till 10 AM on 30 September. It was followed by the presentation of the report of the SOC formed in February 2009 by secretary com. Anjani Kumar. It was followed by active discussion in which comrades Kulchan Pahad, Madhi Munda, Baburam Gop, John Miran Munda, Parameshwar Oran, Dulari Toppo, Sunita Oran and many others actively participated explaining the situation in their areas and the struggles waged by them. The discussion on the state report brought forward the extreme backwardness, repressive, reactionary situation existing in the state. Displacement of adivasis and other oppressed sections from their land has taken serious turn. As the CPI-CPI(M)Liberation opportunist alliance and the anarchist ‘Maoists’ are helping the ruling system, a revolutionary alternative can be built up only by intensifying the class struggle in all fields by building up the CPI(ML). The report was adopted by the conference with some suggestions to improve it. Following this a panel of 23 comrades including 4 women presented for the new state committee was approved by the conference. The new SC members re14

elected com Anjani Kumar Pandey as the state secretary. A panel of 15 delegates and 15 invitees to the All Special India conference was also adopted. The Conference passed resolutions concerning state demanding the fulfilment of the demands of the adivasis, on implementation of minimum wages, etc. Com. Anjani Kumar in his concluding speech called for intensifying the mass movement in all fields to achieve the demands of adivasis and oppressed sections of the people. Com. KNR called for getting ready to make the Bhopal Conference a great success. The Party should be built up in the state with full vigour to carry forward the struggles against the mounting attacks on people. The Conference concluded with vote of thanks by the presidium and with the singing of the International.

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Karnataka State Conference
ARNATAKa state committee had planned to organize the 6 th State conference in a big way at Bangalore with a seminar on Agrarian Revolution in the Context of Neo-colonisation on 9 th to 12th October. But the severe floods in North Karnataka which called for active participation of the Party and class/mass organisations in relief work forced cutting down the programme to only delegates session at Raichur from 9 th afternoon to 11 th evening. Still the militant conference with overwhelming number of the 121 delegates including 17 women from eight districts below 45 years age, reflected the growth of the Party in all fields from its first state conference in 1994 at Shimoga with about 20 activists who had joined the party from the Dalit Sangharsh Samithi forming the state unit. After raising the red flag and paying homage to martyrs amidst revolutionary slogans and songs all the delegates moved to the Jaycees Hall where the conference was held. The panel of presidium, steering committee

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Kerala State Conference

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Delegates to Karnataka State Conference and minutes committee presented by comrade Manasayya was adopted, and Com. Basavalingappa welcomed the delegates for the Reception Committee. Com. KNR inaugurated the conference explained the significance of this conference to be followed by the Bhopal conference which is going to take path breaking decisions. Then the six documents of the CC were presented by comrades KNR, and CCMs R. Manasayya and Basavalingappa, followed by group discussion, general discussion and reply. Many suggestions to improve them were put forward by the delegates who adopted all of them. It was followed by presentation of the state committee’s report by secretary com. R. Manasayya which was adopted after an in-depth discussion and reply accepting many of the suggestion of the delegates. The panel of the new state committee of 21 members including five women was adopted. As Com. Manasayya has to take up higher responsibilities at central level, Com. Rudrayya was elected the state secretary. Fifty delegates and invitees for Bhopal conference were also elected. The conference adopted 23 resolutions dealing with the severe floods in Karnataka and AP, price rise, growing unemployment, worker’s plight under neo-liberal policies, agrarian question, commercialization of education and healthcare, public distribution system, women’s movement, adivasi question etc. were adopted. In his speech the newly elected secretary called for intensification of efforts at all levels to strengthen the party and class/ mass organisations, and to intensify struggles. In the concluding speech Com. KNR called for a vigorous effort to make Bhopal Conference a resounding success at all levels. The conference concluded with the lowering of the Red Flag amidst singing of the International and revolutionary slogans.

HE Kerala State Conference of CPI (ML) was held from October 16 to 19, 2009 at Com. Krishna Pilla Nagar ( Panchayat Community Hall, Amballur) Trissur as scheduled. The Conference process was preceded by a press conference at the district headquarters in the forenoon of October 16 led by Com. KN Ramachandran, Central Secretary, CPI (ML) followed by a public meeting in the evening in front of the municipal corporation office, Trissur attended by Com. Ramachandran and other state party leaders. This was followed by registration of the delegate comrades who were elected from the fourteen district conferences held during the entire month of September and the first week of October. Altogether 116 delegates from various parts of the State participated in the Conference. Senior most comrade, 85 year old AS Narayana Pilla performed the flag hoisting and State Secretary Com PJ James made the Martyrs’ Commemoration. Formal inauguration of the Conference by com KN Ramachandran was preceded by the election of the presidium composed of Comrades, K Sivaraman, TC Subrahmanyan, VJ Joy, KS Sindhu, and Vasanthi and steering committee composed of comrades PJ James, PN Provint, and MP Kunhikanaran and minutes committee composed of Vinod Ramantholi, MK Dasan, and PC Saju and the approval of the conference agenda by the delegates. In his inaugural speech which started at 10 AM, on October 17, Com KNR briefly narrated the international and national context of the All India Special Conference and emphasized the urgent task before the proletariat of building a revolutionary communist movement both at the international and national level resolutely fighting the twin obstacles of right opportunism and left sectarianism. He also underlined the historical relevance of the four key documents drafted by the central committee, viz., International Situation and Our Tasks, Character of the State, On Principal Contradiction and Path of Indian Revolution. After his inaugural speech Com KNR presented the draft on International Situation and Our Tasks. Almost twenty delegates participated in the general discussion that followed. On the basis of KNR’s reply regarding the doubts and responses including certain additions proposed by the delegates during the three hour long intense discussion, the document was adopted by the delegate session to be presented for final approval at the All India Special Conference at Bhopal during November 7-12, 2009. This was followed by the presentation of the draft
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document on the Character of Indian State by Com PJ James which evaluates the Indian State after the transfer of power as essentially neocolonial in character. Comrades who participated in the discussion whole heartedly upheld the Central Committee’s position in this regard as it is in conformity with the concrete historical conditions prevailing today. Based on the reply to the doubts and suggestions by the delegates this document was also adopted. In the evening, Com KNR presented the draft document on the Approach towards determining the Principal Contradiction in India. It explained the principal contradiction in India as between the alliance of imperialism, comprador bureaucratic capital and landlordism on the one hand and the broad masses of people on the other. The document pinpointed that only such an understanding on principal contradiction can enable the communist party to fulfill the twin task of national liberation and democratic revolution under neocolonialism. On the basis of KNR’s reply regarding the concerns raised by the delegates who participated in the discussion, the conference approved the draft document. On October 18, the third day of the conference, at sharp 9 AM, Com. KNR presented the draft document on Path of Indian Revolution for discussion and approval by the delegates. The basic thrust of the document was on the need for evolving an Indian path of revolution in consonance with the neocolonial phase of imperialism as against the mechanical approach of advocating the erstwhile Chinese path of protracted people’s war for India and other neocolonial countries by various ML groups quite contrary to the Leninist principle of concrete analysis of concrete conditions. The document was subjected to a four hour discussion by almost twenty five delegates and Com. KNR replied to each of their queries before its approval by the conference. This was followed by the presentation of the Political Organisational Report of the Central Committee during the entire period since the 2003 All India Conference of erstwhile CPI (ML) Red Flag and the Vijayawada Unity Conference in 2005. Explaining both the challenges and prospects before the party, the Report underscored the urgent need for building up the Party on Bolshevik lines surrounded by class mass organizations. Almost thirty comrades from various districts participated in the discussion and it was unanimously approved following the reply from com. KNR. The day’s session ended with the approval of the Political Resolution by the delegates, which was presented by Com K. Sivaraman. At 9.30 AM on October 19, Com PJ James, State Secretary, CPI (ML) presented the Political
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Organisational Report along with the audited accounts of the State Committee since the 7th state conference in 2007. The Report highlighted the specific problems of party building confronted by the State Committee in Karala which has become a ‘show case’ of neocolonialism with all its concomitant decay and degeneration. After a marathon discussion spanning four hours, the State Report was approved by the Conference on the basis of the reply by the State secretary. This was followed by the election of a seventeen member State Committee including three women comrades with Com. K Sivaraman as the Secretary. A seven member Executive Committee was also elected. The State Conference also elected a forty member delegation for the All India Special Conference at Bhopal. Almost twenty five resolutions relating to state-specific and national issues were adopted by the Conference. The Conference ended by about 6 O’clock in the evening with the lowering of the Flag and International. The success of the Conference including its participation and level of discussion is a testimony to the fact that the recent anti-party activities by a few people with the backing of bourgeois media has not at all had any impact on the party structure in the State.

Rally at Raipur, Chhattisgarh Announcing State Conference on 23rd September

Semiar at Raipur on 25th September on “Neo-Colonialism and the Left”

RED STAR Platform for Communist Revolutionaries v November 2009

Ecological questions come to the fore

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IRST an almost unprecedented drought with a large number of the states receiving just half the average rainfall or less. As a result the agriculture, the rabi crop, is affected seriously throwing tens of millions of families to more miseries. Then the floods came following the depression in Bay of Bengal. It has very seriously affected mostly the Krishna river basin districts causing hundreds of deaths and miseries to many millions. The loss in Karnataka and AP is estimated as more than Rs. 20,000 crores apart from the sufferings to the people. That the floods affected to maximum extent the worst drought affected regions has not provided any relief to these regions, but multiplied the miseries to the people. What happened in Karnataka, AP and Kerala was repeated in Bihar and other Gangetic regions as well as the Brahmaputra basin areas of Northeast. As the North and North east face these sufferings practically every year or more than once in an year, the media did not give much attention to them. The Corporate – MNC media is behind news that create sensation. For it miseries of millions of people is not of much interest. It fears that more coverage of it may agitate people against its own lords, the Corporates and MNCs, who cause ecological destruction leading to global warming that cause such frequent droughts and floods, much more than in the past. A study of the climate changes including the increasing disappearance of Himalayan glaziers during last ten years shows that these droughts and floods are not just what they used to be in the past. They are the result of the consequences of the ecological destruction. In spite of it the central and state governments are showing least interest to ecological questions. At least till now the most important villains who caused the global warming are the imperialists, especially the US imperialists. In spite of many studies establishing the fact, they are not ready to cut down their fossil fuel consumption and carbon gas emissions. They are not ready even to sign the Kyoto Protocol which calls for some nominal, vastly insufficient steps to cut down these ecological crimes in the next few decades. In stead, similar to their efforts to transfer the burden of the consequences of the recent unprecedentedly serious imperialist meltdown to the shoulders of the world people, they are trying to exempt themselves from steps that lead to cut down of their fuel consumption and carbon gas emissions which cause green house effects by transferring the burden of saving the earth from global worming to the poor by purchasing ‘carbon credits’ from the undeveloped countries. It means that let the imperialist masters continue to enjoy more by prolonging their luxuries, while let even what is happening in the undeveloped countries in the name of ‘development’ be cut down further. In the field of global warming, ecological destruction, also the barbarous nature of the imperialist system, especially of US imperialism is becoming clearer day by day. Even the parliament of Maldives holding its session ‘under waters, in protest to show the fate of such areas which are destined to drown under sea waters if the global warming is allowed to intensify is not going to make the imperialist to rethink their demonish policies. All the imperialists including the ‘new generation’ imperialists RED STAR Platform for Communist Revolutionaries v

countries like Russia and China have joined hands with US-led imperialists to fiddle like Nero when Rome was burning, in this case caring least to cut down their vulgar life style even when global warming is going to destroy this beautiful earth. Even the neo-rich led countries like India who have joined the G-20 as junior partners of the imperialists are taking least interest to put pressure on the imperialist vultures to save this earth. On the contrary, when US imperialists are dynamiting the moon’s surface in search of water after criminally causing pollution and plunder of most of the abundant fresh water resources on this earth, their compradors or junior partners leading the Indian government are spending huge amount in chandrayan like projects to initiate their masters. This is happening when there are tens of thousands of villages who are not having drinking water facilities. Is Manmohan Singh government going to supply drinking water to these millions from moon by spending thousands of crores of rupees in search of water particles there? The imperialists and their compradors alike have joined hands to ecologically destroy this planet. It is yet another of their heinous crimes, which should be exposed and fought against without any let up.

Varga Porattam
Organ of Tamilndu State Committee of CPI(ML) Varga Porattam Monthly No. 10, Gangai Konda Shozan Street MGR Nagar Chennai - 600 078

November 2009

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HE result of the elections to the state assemblies in Maharashtra, Haryana and Arunachal Pradesh are almost a repetition of what happened in the Lok Sabha elections. In the absence of any meaningful alternative to the ruling class policies within the bourgeois parliamentary system, Congress or Congress-led alliances have succeeded to retain power. It is not that there are burning issues tormentig the people like price-rise, unemployment and state terror. These issues are becoming more and more serious day by day. The people’s discontentment is growing as reflected in the many mass struggles against the ruling class policies or the consequences of the neo-liberal raj imposed. But can a BJP-Shiv Sena combine or any other BJP-led alliances be trusted to reverse these policies? From their experiences people have found that BJP controlled by RSS cannot become an alternative to Congress, as it only represents Congress policies plus Hindutva fanaticism. Every other political party in the election fray, except the few candidates of the revolutionary left, represent the very same Congressled ruling class policies. This is the case of the social democratic CPI(M)-led Left Front also. All of them make the elections issue-less, as none of them are for rejecting the imperialist globalisation policies which are intensifying neocolonisation, for kicking out neocolonial development policy and stand for a self-reliant, national, people-oriented development policy. The corporate-MNC controlled monopoly media play a major role in making the elections ‘issue-less’. They join hands with the big or small or regional comprador political parties to keep the burning issues affecting the people away from their reporting and ‘panel discussions’. So pricerise, unemployment, peasants
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Political Scene After Assembly Election
observer
committing suicide, people forced to migrate, destruction of ecology, evermounting corruption, commercialisation of education, health-care, transport and communication, mafia raj, communal fascism, caste-based atrocities, attacks on women, criminalisation and above all the present devastating ‘development policy’, etc. have become untouchable subjects during election campaign for the multi-billion election game played by the fast increasing number crorepati-candidates of these parties. The people are left with the only option of voting one of these anti-people candidates in these de-politicised elections or keeping away from the voting as large numbers did this time in Maharashtra. It was in the 1970s, the otherwise very much politicised decade, that the electoral political scene started getting polarised between Congress and Hindutva led forces, between soft and hard Hindutva forces, competing to represent the big capitalist, bureaucratic, big landlord classes serving imperialism, especially US imperialism. The degeneration of erstwhile socialists parties and groups to the rightist camp of Hindutva forces in line with their ‘anti-Congressism’ played a role in this. But more than this, it was degeneration of CPI-CPI(M) to social democratic positions that made the left forces incapable of utilising the political space created by the weakening of the Congress that provided opportunity for the political forces led by RSS — first the Jan Sangh and later BJP — to utilise this space and get strengthened. The deviation of CPI(ML) and other communist revolutionary forces to adventurist line, mechanically pursuing the Lin Biaoist adventurist line that emerged and started dominating the CPC, and their disintegration following state repression making them incapable of advancing the revolutionary left alternative also played a major part in this. But the six years rule of BJP-led NDA government at centre till 2004 during which, while speeding up the imperialist globalisation policies and strategic subservience to US imperialism, the Hindutva forces intensified communal fanaticism going to the extent of the genocide in Gujarat in 2002. Whatever sovereignty, secularism and democratic values the country had were further eroded. It was in this situation the Congress started recovering its position and CPI(M)-led Left Front got 62 seats in Lok Sabha while the BJP-led NDA was defeated. During the 2004-09 period when many people’s upsurges against the UPA government’s policies took place BJP was in effect opposing them. The BJP-led state governments were pursuing its Hindutva fanatic policies. It was in this situation, in spite of growing people’s anger against the consequences of imperialist globalisation policies pursued by the UPA government, BJP-led NDA could not establish itself as an alternative, and in this vacuum the Congress and UPA could gain more seats and retain power. Earlier Jan Sangh and later BJP could expand their influence only when it developed united front tactics and created the impression of coming out of RSS influence. But the RSS was always trying to impose its dictates

RED STAR Platform for Communist Revolutionaries v November 2009

over its political face, the BJP. As internal dissensions started becoming serious within BJP after the defeat in Lok Sabha elections, and the Jaswanth Singh book affair further aggravated them, RSS started directly interfering and controlling BJP affairs more than ever. At the same time RSS also bestowed its blessing on Congress leadership for its neo-liberal policies and strategic junior partnership with US and Israel. It was in this atmosphere the latest assembly elections including Maharshtra election took place. That the BJP-Shiv Sena combine which has surrendered third time before Congress-NCP combine not because of the virtues of the latter’s rule or just because of the votes and seats gained by Raj Thakeray’s ultra chauvinist MNS. BJP is defeated because it had nothing to say against the reactionary policies pursued by Congress at the centre and the state, intensifying price rise, unemployment, corruption, criminalisation and communal-isation. The election was reduced to a farce more than ever as both combines have no differences on any of the basic issues. Even the ‘Republican Left Democratic Front’ in spite of talking so much had no credibility among the people because of the RPI groups and CPI(M) led LF parties have served the Congress band wagon for long. So, in the absence of any effective opposition, the Congress combine could win for a third time. The results of Lok Sabha elections and the elections to MaharashtraHaryana-Arunachal Pradesh assemblies are going to weaken BJP further, reducing it to a regional party. The credibility of RPI, BSP, CPI(M) like parties has also eroded further. It is the crisis faced by the bourgeois parliamentary system with Congress almost retaining the supremacy it had till 1996 except for two brief brakes from 1977 to 1980 and 1988 to

1991 at centre, as all these parties from rightist BJP to pseudo-left CPI(M) in practice are pursuing the very same policies of Congress which are intensifying neocolonisation. In this situation the central and state governments are going to continue the policies which aggravate price rise, unemployment, displacement, corruption, pauperisation of the masses and criminalisation. They will also aggravate the neo-colonial subordination to imperialist system, especially US imperialism. Only the revolutionary left can throw up a challenge to the reactionary ruling system by putting forward fundamentally different policies and developing a revolutionary alternative utilising all forms of struggles. For this the parliamentary struggles should be turned in to political struggle exposing the ruling system and politicising the masses.

Leasing or Selling Pakistan
KARACHI, Oct 2: At a time when the Pakistan People’s Party-led coalition government seems to be bent upon bartering away the strategic, political and economic ownership in the name of boosting financial resources, pro-people and patriotic political forces of Pakistan are perturbed over the rationale of the so-called ruling elite devoid of national interests and self-respect. To resist the government’s latest move to lease 60 lakh acres of land to oil rich Saudi Arabia and one million acres to American and European investors, an important meeting of the representative of the National Workers Party, Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party Pakistan, Communist Party of Pakistan and Awami Party was held here at the residence of Yusuf Musti Khan, Vice President of the National Workers Party. The meeting was presided over by General Secretary, Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party Ejaz Ghani. The meeting took a serious notice of a devastating design under which the agricultural land would be sold or leased to foreign investors under the cover of bagging foreign investment, the ultimate outcome of which would culminate into losing the national grip of Pakistan’s ownership. This will not enhance agricultural production but is destined to be ominous for agricultural sector, jolting the very foundation of national sovereignty. A plan of action against the nefarious government’s move was adopted and the modus operandi to resist it would be finalized within a few days. Those attended the meeting included Akhtar Hussain, Usman Baloch and Ishtiaq Azmi (NWP); Mansoor Saeed & Dr. Mazhar Hyder (CPP); A.R.Arif & Zafar Aslam (CMKP); Ramzan Memon (AP); Zaheer Akhtar Bedri (writer & columnist) and others.

RED STAR Platform for Communist Revolutionaries v

November 2009

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HE strike of the Jet airways pilots has broken a long period without any prolonged strikes, not only in the aviation industry but in public utilities in general. It is an indication of the times that even such relatively wellpaid group of workers like pilots are compelled to go on strike. Jet airways employs both Indian and international pilots. However, it pays almost double to international pilots than it pays to Indian pilots. It accommodates them in superior quality of hotels when they go abroad. They get higher allowances than Indian pilots. Most of these foreign pilots are over the age of 60 and have passed the age of retirement in their own countries. To accommodate the airline managements, the DGCA (Director General of Civil Aviation) has, a few years ago, increased the retirement age to 65. When Indian pilots have to join a foreign airline, they have to give 6 months notice. Indian pilots with a foreign qualification have to undergo certification exams from the DGCA. These conditions do not apply for foreign pilots. For all these reasons, the pilots of Jet airways have been fighting for parity with foreign pilots. There was also another irritant. The DGCA has fixed the Flight Time and Flight Duty Time restrictions in 1992. These restrictions are outdated. They made no provisions for the ultralong-haul flights which are becoming common today. They made no provisions for varying rest time and sleep time taking into account the different time zones that pilots have to pass through. There was no provision for the massive congestion that routinely occurs near major airports like Mumbai and Delhi. Due to this, in 2007, the DGCA called for objections and suggestions for new Flight Time and Flight Duty Time
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Jet Airways Pilot Strike
Sanjay Singhvi
restrictions. After hearing all parties, the new Flight Time and Flight Time restrictions were passed by the DGCA in 2007. However, at the behest of the Airline managements, the DGCA, unilaterally and suddenly, on 30th May 2008, suspended the new formula and reverted back to the old formula. The pilots of Air India, Indian Airlines and Jet Airways immediately got together and challenged the change back to the old formula. At the very outset, the Mumbai High Court passed orders staying the change and asking the airlines to go back to the 2007 formula. However, the airlines made a false statement before the Supreme Court, that the managements of Indian Airlines and Jet Airways had not been heard and set aside the interim order of the Mumbai High Court and sent the matter back to the Mumbai High Court to be heard. In August 2008, the Mumbai High Court dismissed the petition of the pilots and upheld the change made by the DGCA on the basis that it was only a temporary measure till new norms are fixed. The pilots have challenged this decision before the Supreme Court, where notice has been issued to the Respondents but the matter is still pending. Thus there is a deep sense of injustice existing among the pilots. In December last year, the management of Jet Airways called upon all sections of the workmen to voluntarily accept a cut in wages and allowances. Many sections of the workers accepted. The pilots of Jet Airways were, at that time, organised into a society known as the Society for the Welfare of Indian Pilots (SWIP). SWIP communicated to the management that the pilots would be ready to accept any reasonable cut in wages if the foreign pilots were removed. They called upon the management to meet them and address their grievances. The management, however, refused to have anything to do with SWIP claiming that they were only a “welfare body” and not able to negotiate on behalf of the pilots. It went ahead and cut the allowances of the pilots unilaterally, resulting in a cut in allowances to the tune of up to 40% for pilots. In response, the pilots decided to form a union. This was not the first attempt to form a union by the pilots of Jet Airways. In the past, one Cedric D’Silva, earlier President of SWIP had tried to form a union but he was summarily dismissed. When he raised a dispute, the Govt. refused to refer the dispute on the grounds that he was not a workman. Upon a Writ Petition being filed in the Mumbai High Court, the Government was asked to reconsider its decision not to refer the matter since the matter of whether he was a workman could also be decided by the Industrial Tribunal. Once again the Government reached the same conclusion. Upon this, Cedric D’Silva again approached the High Court and this time the Mumbai High Court directed the Govt. to refer the matter to the Central Government Industrial Tribunal. However, the manage-ment of Jet Airways has challenged this order of the Mumbai High Court before the Supreme Court where the order of the Mumbai High Court has been stayed. The matter is still pending in the Supreme Court. The management and the Government insist that pilots are not workmen, though there have been numerous judgements of various courts in the past where they have been held to be workmen.

RED STAR Platform for Communist Revolutionaries v November 2009

As the first of such judgements (of Justice Bind Basni Prasad sitting as the Industrial Tribunal) held, the job of the pilot is the same as that of a bus driver, albeit with greater skill. Many courts since then have reached a similar conclusion. The pilots of Jet Airways held their first meeting for the formation of a union during the course of a party called by SWIP. At this meeting, they passed the constitution of the union and other necessary resolutions for the formation of a union. This meeting was held on 10th June 2009. In this meeting around 115 pilots attended and signed the minutes book indicating their acceptance of membership of the union and their acceptance of the resolutions passed. On 13th July 2009, the application for membership was sent to the Registrar of Trade Unions and on 23rd July 2009, the Deputy Registrar issued a letter calling upon the union to provide some documents. Since the documents called for were all readily available, the pilots union (then known as Indian National Aviators’ Guild) attended the office of the Registrar of Trade Unions on 24th July 2009. After verifying all necessary documents, they were granted registration on 24th July 2009. The management soon came to know of the formation of the union and on 29th July 2009 summarily dismissed the General Secretary and the Joint Secretary of the union. Besides this, they went to the office of the Registrar of Trade Unions and met him. On 6th August 2009, the registrar of Trade Unions issued a show cause notice to the pilots union (now renamed as National Aviators’ Guild since the office of the Registrar had shown a notification disallowing the use of the word “Indian” in the name of any union). This show cause notice was frivolous. It did not show that there was any mistake or fraud in the registration, which are effectively the only two reasons for which registration could be cancelled. The nature of objections was so trivial as to be laughable. One objection was that the General Secretary and the Joint Secretary were authorised to make amendments in the application and other documents, while the amendment of the name (which had been done at the behest of the Registrar) was done only by the Joint Secretary. Another was that the signature of the person authorised to receive a copy of the registration certificate was not upon the letter granting the authorisation. It was clear that a political agenda was being followed to cancel the registration of the union by hook or by crook. The show cause notice did not even indicate what provision of law it was being issued under. The NAG replied to the notice by its letter dated 10th August 2009 pointing out the mistakes in the show cause notice and asked for a personal hearing in the matter. In the meantime, since the management was not willing to accept the union, SWIP sent a letter to the management asking them to reconsider the summary dismissal of the two pilots on around 7th August. Though SWIP had sought a reply within seven days, the pilots waited for over 14 days and finally, on 22nd August 2009 issued a strike notice to the management that a strike was called for 7th September if the management did not take back the dismissed pilots in the meantime. The Regional Labour Commissioner called both parties for conciliation on around 30th August but since the management was not willing to take back the dismissed pilots, the next conciliation meeting was fixed for 14th September. On 7 th September 2009, the management filed a Writ Petition before the Mumbai High Court asking that the pilots be restrained from going on strike while conciliation proceedings were still going on. The management RED STAR Platform for Communist Revolutionaries v

conveniently forgot its stand that the pilots were not workmen and thus not amenable to industrial law. The High Court, ex parte, granted an interim order restraining pilots from going on strike in violation of sections 22 and 23 of the Industrial Disputes Act 1947. On midnight of 7th September, pilots of Jet Airways, in a rare display of unity started reporting sick. The whole of the airlines operations ground to a halt. After 5 days of total strike, the pilots signed a settlement in which the four dismissed pilots (two more had been dismissed after the start of the action) were reinstated. However, the agreement also stated that the Registrar should review the registration and that the NAG would not take any further steps in this matter. On 5th September, the Registrar issued a second show cause notice, purporting to be in continuation of the first show cause notice wherein some new issues were also raised. Again the issues raised were frivolous and trivial. The NAG again replied to this show cause notice and again asked for a hearing in the matter. However, there was no response from the Registrar. On 5th October 2009, the NAG moved the Mumbai High Court against any abrupt de-registration. However, the Mumbai High Court held that the proceeding was premature since there had been no order passed by the Registrar. It also refused to give any protection to the NAG against abrupt deregistration citing the agreement between NAG and the management. Many issues arise from this matter. The first issue is whether pilots must be considered to be workmen. Since many years they are considered as workmen. All
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November 2009

major airlines in the world have unions of pilots. Even Air India and Indian Airlines have such unions. How then, can pilots of Jet Airways be denied the basic constitutional right to form a union. This episode only exposes the sordid role played by the Government and the courts where they are unwilling to even protect the basic constitutional rights of the pilots. This must be seen as a part of the continuing attack on the rights of the working class. Secondly, never in the past history of India has a union been registered by the Deputy Registrar and where a show cause notice has been issued by the Registrar within one month of the registration. In this case, not one, but two such show cause notices were issued, clearly at the behest of the management. The role of the

Registrar is not to serve as an appellate body for the management. Under the relevant Government notifications, the power to register is only with the Deputy Registrar and the Registrar’s powers are only to superintend and to direct. Here the Registrar has found frivolous reasons to intervene and cancel the registration by hook or by crook. Even when the Secretary of the Labour Department of the Government of Maharashtra was approached, she has suggested that the registration may be cancelled and then further action may be taken up. Such open bias, in favour of Jet Airways, shows how the Government is controlled by corporate interests. The High Court also took cognizance of the fact that the pilots went on strike even after an order had been passed restraining them from going on strike. When hearing the contempt matter, Justice Chandrachud said that action would have to be taken against people who caused such inconvenience to the public. This is a totally extraneous considera-tion in a contempt matter. Secondly, the courts clearly do not see the management as causing this inconvenience to the public. The pilots also lost some control over their own agitation by involving politicians in the mix. Sanjay Nirupam was called to negotiate for the pilots. This worked against the pilots and they finally had to agree to a settlement whose wording they were not totally satisfied with. The pilots of Jet Airways have still not given up hope and they will continue to fight for their constitutional right to form a union.

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TN State Conference
through postering, placing big boards at important junctions and pamphletting. On 13th evening a militant demonstration followed by a public meeting were organized. Com. KNR and SC members and Com. Kalan Dorai addressed the meeting explaining the importance of the state conference. The Conference started from 9 am on 14th October. After remembering the martyrs and inaugural speech by com. KNR, the four basic draft documents followed by the Political Organisational Report of the CC and the Political Resolution were presented. Following general discussion com. KNR replied to the discussion. Some valuable suggestions besides one amendment was moved. After reply the delegates adopted the drafts. On 15th October after discussion and approval of the report of state committee presented by com. PT Shanmughasundaram, the resolution on merger of comrades of the Communist Revolutionary Group was moved and adopted. Following this a panel of 13 SC members including two women plus com. S. Sundaram as invitee, due to his ill health, was moved and adopted. The newly elected SCMs elected com. PTS as the state secretary. The list of delegates to Bhopal conference were adopted. Resolutions on important issues were adopted. The Conference concluded with the singing of the International and raising of slogans.

HE Fourth TN State Conference of the Party reflected its significant political and organizational growth from its very humble beginning in 1996. When the chauvinist groups, individualism, dogmatism, influence of the sectarian line of erstwhile People’s War group etc. are dominant trends among the so-called communist revolutionary groups in the state, erstwhile CPI(ML) Red Flag had started its political campaign and activities with com. S. Sundaran and a small section of young comrades taking the initiative. In the course of its development a small section who merged from the sectarian Bolshevik Group degenerated to rightist positions and left the organisation. Overcoming all these problems the activities of the Party has spread to nine districts: Kanyakumari, Madurai, Dindigal, Arianellur, Coimbatore, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri and North and South Chennai Districts. 29 delegates elected from five district conferences and delegates from Revolutionary People’s Front of Chennai who attended as special invitees and merged in to the Party in the course of the Conference through a resolution, participated. During the last six years after the Third Conference in 2003, a number of cadres from CPI(M), CPI(ML) Liberation and TN MCC and new youth have joined the Party. The Coimbatore district Committee organized a very good political campaign preceding the Conference
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RED STAR Platform for Communist Revolutionaries v November 2009

The Winter of Our Austerity
P. Sainath
[The extracts of this commentary appeared in The Hindu on 8th October exposes the whole gamut of the bourgeois parliamentary elections and its so-called heroes in their true colour - Red Star] “WE can hardly say we will shut our eyes to the salaries the CEOs are going to take,” said Mr. Khurshid, hoping that companies would refrain from handing out vulgar salaries. This time, the media were slow off the blocks in going after Mr. Khurshid. After all, between Dr. Singh’s faux pas and Mr. Khurshid’s mild protest was a Great Recession. And to say “the Market will decide” isn’t enough, any more. In 2008, the Market decided to jump off a cliff taking much of the world with it. That didn’t stop CEOs in the United States from taking home billions in bonuses in a year they ran the globe into the ground. In fact, more CEOs got hikes rather than cuts in 2008, as an AFL-CIO study pointed out in April this year. In India, while millions lost their jobs and livelihoods, CEOs didn’t fare too badly. (How can they, in a country where the Union budget alone gives the corporate world subsidies of Rs.700 crore every day in tax write-offs and concessions? It wasn’t the market which decided that $6 million of public money be gifted to the corporate sector each hour on average, it was the government. The government can though, with few qualms, cap the daily wage paid to hungry workers at NREG sites at Rs.100. That, for 100 days only — and those days to be shared by the members of each household. The clichés of the Market lack that warm, righteous glow they had before the meltdown. But as big business re-asserts itself, the media will find their voice. The two highest-paid CEOs in the country managed to save Dr. Singh’s previous government from falling in the July 2008 trust vote. And only recently, much of a whole session of Parliament went to discussing the fight between the same two CEOs. Mr. Khurshid’s comments, however, at least make for a debate on ‘austerity,’ its practice by the political class and big business — and the ever-closer bonding between the two. Growing numbers of elected representatives fund their poll campaigns with corporate backing. And growing numbers of people with a big business background have ventured directly into the electoral arena. The links get stronger, the reps get richer. And there is much entrepreneurial joy and success. While the CEOs top the charts by miles, the vulgarity Mr. Khurshid fears also consumes much of the political class. Take for instance, the 42 MLAs re-contesting this time in Haryana’s polls. On average, their assets have increased by around Rs.48 million each since 2004. A nice 388 per cent leap. That is to say, each of them added Rs.800,000 a month to their wealth in their last term. Or over Rs.1,100 for every hour that they were MLAs (for five years). A healthy rate of growth. Maybe we need a RED STAR Platform for Communist Revolutionaries v

constitutional amendment requiring every Indian to serve as MLA for one term at least. It could be the biggest poverty reduction programme ever undertaken. (I mean across all States. Those who won the last time and seek re-election have led by example. The 388 per cent rise in assets per MLA in Haryana is but an average. Break it up and you find some stirring success stories. The top four MLAs clocking the best growth rates, all of them from the Congress, saw their assets increase by over 800 per cent. Imagine what they might have achieved had there been no austerity drive. The numero uno in this list has a rags to riches story. Starting from humble beginnings of less than a lakh, his wealth has risen 5,000 per cent. Inspiring. And perhaps one of the reasons — together with a love of democracy — why far more have been inspired to contest this time in this State than five years ago. The number of candidates is 20 per cent higher than it was in 2004. Of 489 contestants 251 — 51 per cent, or every second candidate — was worth well over Rs.10 million. Though it must be conceded that those at the lower end of the crorepati chain see their assets swollen by crazy real estate rates. And as yet, these are just candidates. The crorepati ratio will go up after the results, when much of the plebeian element gets weeded out. In Maharashtra, compared to 2004, there has been a 60 per cent increase in political parties contesting elections. Also, a 33 per cent increase in candidates. The affidavits of 880 of over 3,500 candidates seeking election to the State legislature show that almost one in every four candidates is a multi-millionaire. NEW has so far seen less than a third of candidate affidavits — and already located 212 crorepatis. Over half of these
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are from the four major parties, with the Congress (42) heading the austere list. The BJP, the Shiv Sena and the NCP all have 29 each among candidates surveyed. The MNS (21) and the BSP (11) don’t do too badly either. All these numbers will swell when all their affidavits are studied. Around 52 per cent of Haryana’s 90 sitting MLAs were multi-millionaires. That beats rich Maharashtra where just over one in three (37 per cent) makes the cut. But Maharashtra outclasses Haryana in the number of sitting MLAs with pending criminal records: 45 per cent to 31 per cent. And finally, there are those who get elected to serve the CEO cause, bringing us back to the political class-corporate nexus. The present government of Maharashtra, for instance, has handed over 5 airports (including 601 hectares of land) for Rs.63 crore to a single corporation. A price so low that even most of the State government’s own departments opposed it. It would likely be difficult to get hectares in the desert for that sum. The government’s brilliant defence is that it has not privatised an inch — just leased out the airports. Yup, for 95 years for that pittance, to the Anil Ambani group. Work out the math yourselves. I hope it doesn’t get any more austere than this, though.

An Yellowish Mao is the Symbol of Present China
N The State and Revolution, Lenin has started the first chapter and its first section: Class Society and the State and The State — A Product of the Irreconcilability of Class Antagonism with these words: “What is now happening to Marx’s theory has, in the course of history, happened repeatedly to the theories of revolutionary thinkers and leaders of oppressed classes fighting for emancipation. During the lifetime of great revolutionaries, the oppressing classes constantly hounded them, received their theories with the most savage malice, the most furious hatred and the most unscrupulous campaigns of lies and slander. After their death, attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons, to canonize them, so to say, and to hallow their names to a certain extent for the “consolation” of the oppressed classes and with the object of duping the latter, while at the same time robbing the revolutionary theory of its substance, blunting its revolutionary edge and vulgarizing it. Today, the bourgeoisie and the opportunists within the labor movement concur in this doctoring of Marxism. They omit, obscure, or distort the revolutionary side of this theory, its revolutionary soul. They push to the foreground and extol what is or seems acceptable to the bourgeoisie. All the social-chauvinists are now “Marxists” (don’t laugh!). And more and more frequently German bourgeois scholars, only yesterday specialists in the annihilation of Marxism, are speaking of the “national-German” Marx, who, they claim, educated the labor unions which are so splendidly organized for the purpose of waging a predatory war!” What this counter-revolutionary forces did to Marx was repeated with more malice, hatred and ferociousness in the case of Lenin and later in the case of Stalin and Mao. Today Hu Jintao and company lording over imperialist China are doing the same in more vulgar forms to reduce him to a ‘harmless icon’, to cannonise him and to hallow his name to hoodwink the masses. Earlier, during the revolutionary years, Mao was attacked by the imperialists, the Soviet social imperialists, the revisionists and imperialist lackeys all over the world. Within China Deng Xiaoping and the capitalist roaders in the CPC had attacked him viciously spreading lies and slanders. In order to over throw his revolutionary contributions it was necessary for them to constantly hound him, attack his theories with savage malice and with most furious hatred. In this way they succeeded in usurping the leadership of the party and the state and turned socialist China in to its opposite. But this reactionary transformation of China once again intensified the class contradictions there. If China is manufacturing the cheapest commodities and succeeding in capturing markets everywhere, it is because the labour is exploited to the maximum level, more than in any other country, without which such cheap products cannot be manufactured. The “iron rice bowl” of socialist days is replaced with the theory “to get rich is great”. As exploitation intensified, as the billionaires started parading their wealth arrogantly, and large sections are pushed down to poverty, disenchantment against the current leaders is increasing. People start thinking about the days when Mao was leading. It is to hoodwink these people a new form of Mao mania is spread by the rulers now.

I

Sakhav
Organ of Kerala State Committee of CPI(ML)

“Sakhav” Malayalam Fortnightly Nehru Road Ayyappankavu Kochi - 18, Kerala
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RED STAR Platform for Communist Revolutionaries v November 2009

Remembering Balagopal: a Campaigner for the Rights Movement
BALAGOPAl, the synonym for the human rights movement in AP, is no more. He passed away suddenly on October 8th at 10.00 PM of peptic ulcer. His death at the age of 57 has left everyone associated with human rights and democratic movements in a state of shock. Rights activists and supporters of the movement are still finding it difficult to accept the reality of his death. In a short span of two days after his death, it is impossible to come to a comprehensive assessment of his life, three decades of his rights activism and its characteristics. Our attempt here is therefore a small one in that direction. He was the fifth child of Kandala Parthanatha Sarma and Nagamani. Due to his father’s frequent transfers he studied at different places in A.P, from Nellore to Srikakulam. He did his PUC in Kavali and B.Sc in Tirupathi. After completing M.Sc and Ph.D in Mathematics at the Regional Engineering College in Warangal, he joined Indian Statistical Institute at New Delhi for research. Dissatisfied with life there, he came back to Warangal to be close to the democratic movements and joined Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee. After joining Kakatiya University as a lecturer in Maths, he started taking a much more active role in the rights movement. He was an exceptionally brilliant student. He was also an opening batsman for the cricket team of Venkateswara University. While pursuing Ph.D he became a member of the editorial committee of a renowned international journal of mathematics. His task was to review complex research in mathematics and explain the same to the readers in a simple style. He was elected to the post of the General Secretary of APCLC in 1985 and carried out that responsibility for 15 years. He took up the leadership of the organization when the repression on the naxalite movement had just begun. In the process of exposing fake encounters he visited every nook and corner of the state. He expanded the organization from its confined location in a few cities to every small town in the state. Inspired by his activist practice, numerous activists were attracted to the organization. To reach out the rights perspective in the muffasil areas he enabled the process of identifying issues that are specific issues to each district and working through them. By teaching the locals the practice of rights activism, he shaped the organization in such a way that Even before the 60th anniversary of Chinese Revolution, at the time of his 33rd death anniversary, conscious efforts were made to create this new form of mania. Mao is reduced to an icon, a godly figure and millions are going to his village, Shaoshan, with worshipful eyes. The yellowish CPC of today dish out propaganda promoting him as if he is a god to provide the younger generation something to believe in. The vendors selling Mao memorabilia shrug of ideological questions and present him as a jovial man who worked for making China rich. In short, Mao is also reduced to one among Deng, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao, the capitalist roaders who took over after 1976. Mao’s revolutionary thoughts are vulgarised. They are presented as another version of capitalism, a Chinese brand of capitalism. It is in this way the Hu Jintao and company are trying to vilify and RED STAR Platform for Communist Revolutionaries v

wherever a rights violation took place, they would raise their voice against it. Despite the murders of civil liberties leaders such as Gopi Rajanna, Dr. Ramanatham, Jaapa Lakshma Reddy and Narra Prabhakar Reddy, he did not back off or slow down. Instead, he tried to infuse courage among the activists. Even when he was directly subjected to repression, he remained unfazed. His response to attacks on his person exemplifies his democratic temperament. When he was attacked by ABVP activists in 1984, kidnapped by the Khammam police in 1989, was fatally attacked in Kottagudem in 1992 and even got mauled in the presence of National Human Rights Commission in 1993, he refused to pause even for a day. Arrested under TADA, he spent three months in Warangal prison but always believed that it is quite natural for activists to be arrested or imprisoned. After his release from his kidnappers, he suggested to the media dilute Mao in to an yellowish icon for the consolation of the masses of oppressed classes, for duping the people. They are robbing his revolutionary theory of its substance. It is a counterrevolutionary attack on Mao like the imperialists and lackeys attack all revolutionary leaders. It is the task of the revolutionary forces to expose and defeat this dirty campaign against Mao in the name of cannonising him.
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that they should focus more on the repression of the rural youth, rather than on him. He succeeded in making the Civil Liberties Committee stand up and to stand by the people, especially in opposing the repression unleashed by the government in the name of containing naxalism. His efforts towards developing it into a pioneer in opposing state violence in India are unparalleled. Working relentlessly he sought to extend the rights activism and practice from the confines of urban intellectual debates onto a much broader basis. When Dalits were attacked during the initial years of Telugu Desam regime, his was one of the first democratic voices to be raised. During the anti-Mandal agitation he wrote the first analytical essay in support of reservations for backward castes from a rights perspective thereby widening the horizons the rights movements. Under Balagopal’s leadership both the perspective and practice of rights movement grew to become interdependent and began to draw strength from each other. For him while the priorities and perspective needed to be modified in the light of practice, practice definitely needed to be improved with changes in perspective. In this process he came to recognize that lack of rights did not arise solely from class dominance but also arose in the context of many other modes of dominance and oppressive practices therein. He emphasized that all forms of institutionalized dominance impede enjoyment of rights and thereby cautioned the rights movement from choosing rights violations emerging from a single domain as its priority. He also raised for critical discussion the issue of undemocratic activities of various movements, arguing that a human rights movement need not support every action that other movements do in the name of struggle. He thought that there is a lot that the rights movement could learn from every democratic movement being waged against different forms of
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dominance. He believed that the task of the rights movement is to define the aspirations and demands articulated by these movements in the language of rights so that they attain universal validity. He outlined the tasks of rights movements as follows: working for the institutionalization of existing rights, struggling for the recognition of non-existent ones, and to cultivate democratic values and culture in the spheres of law, administration and societal thinking. He envisioned a broad based and autonomous rights movement which is accountable to the people. Due to the difference of opinion emerging from this vision, he left APCLC to form Human Rights Forum with similar thinking colleagues. Over the last ten years, its growth from 32 member organization to an active and energetic 300 member strong organization owes a lot to the untiring efforts of Balagopal. His vision lay in creative alignment of human rights theory with practice and in cultivating among common people a spirit of commitment to social responsibility and faith in democratic values. After joining the rights movement Balagopal wrote numerous analytical commentaries on every social and political phenomenon in Telugu society. In the last ten years, all the anonymous essays published in ten Human Rights Bulletins were written by him. His book on D.D. Kosambi introducing Kosambi’s new thinking on history writing to Telugu readership remains a standard textbook for Telugu medium students in History Departments till today. For intellectuals outside Andhra Pradesh, his essays in Economic and Political Weekly remain the most important source to understand what is happening in the state. Many economists of yesteryears remember his reviews of Cambridge University publications in economics. His essay on the Chintapalli incident where police burnt thousands of tribal houses in Visakhapatnam district won the national award for journalism given by PUCL. He instituted Indian People’s Human Rights Commission along with Nandita Haksar and Sebastian to conduct public inquiries into human rights violations all over the country. In a sense, it served as the basis for the establishment of the National Human Rights Commission. Balagopal is known to people of Kashmir, Manipur, Chattisgarh, Tamilnadu and Karnataka which saw rampant violations of human rights violations in recent times. He visited these states many times with other civil liberties organizations and brought out several reports. Despite rising to immense heights in the human rights movement he chose to live the simple life of an ordinary person. He practiced what he believed in his everyday life. He did not have any life outside the movement. From 1981 till his last breath, he used his entire energy towards obtaining justice for poor people and protecting their rights. For rural people his name is synonymous with ‘rights’. Intellectuals consider him as a thinker who proposed rights standards to measure the democratic content of any social and political phenomena. He stood out as an intensely committed lawyer in a profession increasingly beset with corruption. He not only provided a moral compass to peoples’ lives but effectively carried out the task of warning them about impending threats to peoples’ interests. Balagopal was deeply disturbed by the opportunism displayed by the state’s intellectuals in the aftermath of Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy’s death. His warning to the activists of Human Rights Forum on the eve of the third State conference on 2nd and 3rd October equally applies to these intellectuals, “This (Human Rights Forum) is a new experiment in the history of peoples’ movements in our state. If we do not sustain it, it is not only a blow to our efforts but to the democratic belief that values can bring people together. If we sustain it and if we successfully take it forward, we would have strengthened the spirit of democracy itself”. His own words about Narendranath, the rights activist who passed away in July this year describe him too, “One should not rest as long as people have problems”. We invite all of you to work towards such a democratic initiative with his inspiration…..

RED STAR Platform for Communist Revolutionaries v November 2009

Two Tactics of Social Democracy in the Democratic Revolution
V.I. Lenin
[While developing the Path of Revolution in present concrete situation, Lenin’s Two Tactics of Social Democracy in the Democratic Revolution wrote in 1905 in then Russian conditions is very helpful. In the present international situation social democracy and social democrats should be read as communism and communist. Here we are reproducing the Preface, the first part: An Urgent Political Question and the conclusion: Dare to Win? This pamphlet written before the 1907 Mutiny in Battleship Potemkin at Odessa is an excellent example of Lenin’s evaluation of the revolutionary situation providing a correct orientation to the movement. This pamphlet which provided a clear cut perspective to develop the ideologicalpolitical line of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, to build the party under working class leadership uniting the peasantry and to lead the revolutionary struggle forward played the most significant role in Russian revolution, in the victory of October Revolution in 1917 establishing proletarian political power, giving birth to Soviet Union. The communist movement in India has much to learn from this great pamphlet of Lenin - Red Star] and the real aspirations of the peasantry, who, while being revolutionary in the bourgeois-democratic sense, harbour not the idea of “socialisation,” but of a new class struggle between the peasant bourgeoisie and the rural proletariat. The old illusions of the old Narodism, which are so clearly visible, for instance, in the draft programme of the “SocialistRevolutionary Party” on the question of the development of capitalism in Russia, the question of the democratic character of our “society” and the question of the significance of a complete victory of a peasant uprising— all these illusions will be mercilessly and completely blown to the winds by the revolution. For the first time it will give the various classes their real political baptism. These classes will emerge from the revolution with a definite political physiognomy, for they will have revealed themselves, not only in the programs and tactical slogans of their ideologists, but also in the open political action of the masses. Undoubtedly, the revolution will teach us, and will teach the masses of the people. But the question that now confronts a militant political party is: shall we be able to teach the revolution anything? shall we be able to make use of the correctness of our Social-Democratic doctrine, of our bond with the only thoroughly revolutionary class, the proletariat, to put a proletarian imprint on the revolution, to carry the revolution to a real and decisive victory, not in word but indeed, and to paralyse the instability, halfheartedness and treachery of the democratic bourgeoisie? It is to this end that we must direct all our efforts, and the achievement of it will depend, on the one hand, on the accuracy of our appraisal of the political situation, on the correctness of our tactical slogans, and, on the other hand, on whether these slogans will be backed by the real fighting strength of the masses of the workers. All the usual, regular, current work of all the organisations and groups of our Party, the work of propaganda, agitation and organisation, is directed towards strengthening and expanding the ties with the masses. This work is always necessary; but in a revolutionary period less than in any other can it be considered sufficient. At such a time the working class feels an instinctive urge for open revolutionary action, and we must learn to set the aims of this action correctly, and then make these aims as widely known and understood as possible. It must not be forgotten that the current pessimism about our ties with the masses very often serves as a screen
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Preface

I

N a revolutionary period it is very difficult to keep abreast of events, which provide an astonishing amount of new material for an evaluation of the tactical slogans of revolutionary parties. The present pamphlet was written before the Odessa events. We have already pointed out in the Proletary (No. 9—“Revolution Teaches”) that these events have forced even those Social-Democrats who created the “uprising-as-a-process” theory and who rejected propaganda for a provisional revolutionary government actually to pass over, or begin to pass over, to the side of their opponents. Revolution undoubtedly teaches with a rapidity and thoroughness which appear incredible in peaceful periods of political development. And, what is particularly important, it teaches not only the leaders, but the masses as well. There is not the slightest doubt that the revolution will teach social-democratism to the masses of the workers in Russia. The revolution will confirm the program and tactics of Social-Democracy in actual practice, by demonstrating the true nature of the various classes of society, by demonstrating the bourgeois character of our democracy

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for bourgeois ideas regarding the role of the proletariat in the revolution. Undoubtedly, we still have a great deal to do to educate and organise the working class; but the whole question now is: where should the main political emphasis in this work of education and of organisation be placed? On the trade unions and legally existing societies, or on armed insurrection, on the work of creating a revolutionary army and a revolutionary government? Both serve to educate and organise the working class. Both are, of course, necessary. But the whole question now, in the present revolution, amounts to this: what is to be emphasised in the work of educating and organising the working class, the former or the latter? The outcome of the revolution depends on whether the working class will play the part of a subsidiary to the bourgeoisie, a subsidiary that is powerful in the force of its onslaught against the autocracy but impotent politically, or whether it will play the part of leader of the people’s revolution. The more intelligent representatives of the bourgeoisie are perfectly aware of this. That is precisely why the Osvobozhdeniye praises Akimovism, Economism in Social-Democracy, the trend, which is now placing the trade unions and the legally existing societies in the forefront. That is precisely why Mr. Struve welcomes (in the Osvobozhdeniye, No. 72) the Akimovist trends in the principles of the new Iskra. That is why he comes down so heavily on the detested revolutionary narrowness of the decisions of the Third Congress of the Russian SocialDemocratic Labour Party. It is exceptionally important at the present time for Social-Democracy to have correct tactical slogans for leading the masses. There is nothing more dangerous in a revolutionary period than belittling the importance of tactical slogans that are sound in principle. For example, the [Menshevik] Iskra in No. 104, actually passes over to the side of its opponents in the Social-Democratic movement, and yet, at the same time, disparages the importance of slogans and tactical decisions that are in front of the times and indicate the path along which the movement is proceeding, with a number of failures, errors, etc. On the contrary, the working out of correct tactical decisions is of immense importance for a party which, in the spirit of the sound principles of Marxism, desires to lead the proletariat and not merely to drag at the tail of events. In the resolutions of the Third Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party and of the Conference of the section which has seceded from the Party, we have the most precise, most carefully thought-out, and most complete expression of tactical views—views not casually expressed by individual writers, but accepted by the responsible representatives of the Social-Democratic proletariat. Our Party is in advance of all the others, for it has a precise program, accepted by all. It must also set the other parties an example of strict adherence to its tactical
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resolutions, in contradistinction to the opportunism of the democratic bourgeoisie of the Osvobozhdeniye and the revolutionary phrase-mongering of the SocialistRevolutionaries, who only during the revolution suddenly thought of coming for ward with a “draft” of a program and of investigating for the first time whether it is a bourgeois revolution that is going on in front of their eyes. That is why we think it a most urgent task of the revolutionary Social-Democrats to study carefully the tactical resolutions of the Third Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party and of the Conference, to define what deviations there are in them from the principles of Marxism, and to get a clear understanding of the concrete tasks of the Social-Democratic proletariat in a democratic revolution. It is to this task that the present pamphlet is devoted. The testing of our tactics from the standpoint of the principles of Marxism and of the lessons of the revolution is also necessary for those who really desire to pave the way for unity of tactics as a basis for the future complete unity of the whole Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party, and not to confine themselves solely to verbal admonitions. N. Lenin July 1905

An Urgent Political Question

A

T the present revolutionary juncture the question of the convocation of a popular constituent assembly is on the order of the day. Opinions are divided on the point as to how this question should be solved. Three political trends are to be observed. The tsarist government admits the necessity of convening representatives of the people, but it does not want under any circumstances to permit their assembly to be a popular and a constituent assembly. It seems willing to agree, if we are to believe the newspaper reports on the work of the Bulygin Commission, to an advisory assembly, to be elected without freedom to conduct agitation, and on the basis of restricted qualifications or a restricted class system. The revolutionary proletariat, inasmuch as it is led by the SocialDemocratic Party, demands complete transfer of power to a constituent assembly, and for this purpose strives to obtain not only universal suffrage and complete freedom to conduct agitation, but also the immediate overthrow of the tsarist government and its replacement by a provisional revolutionary government. Finally, the liberal bourgeoisie, expressing its wishes through the leaders of the so-called “Constitutional-Democratic Party”, does not demand the overthrow of the tsarist government, does not advance the slogan of a provisional government and does not insist on real guarantees that the elections will be absolutely free and fair and that the assembly of representatives will be a genuinely popular and a genuinely constituent assembly.

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As a matter of fact, the liberal bourgeoisie, the only serious social support of the Osvobozhdeniye trend, is striving to effect as peaceful a deal as possible between the tsar and the revolutionary people, a deal, moreover, that would give a maximum of power to itself, the bourgeoisie, and a minimum to the revolutionary people—the proletariat and the peasantry. Such is the political situation at the present time. Such are the three main political trends, corresponding to the three main social forces in contemporary Russia. We have already shown on more than one occasion (in the Proletary, Nos. 3, 4, 5) how the Osvobozhdentsi use pseudo-democratic phrases to cover up their half-hearted, or, to put it more bluntly and plainly, their treacherous, perfidious policy towards the revolution. Let us now see how the SocialDemocrats appraise the tasks of the moment. Excellent material for this purpose is provided by the two resolutions that were passed quite recently by the Third Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party and by the “Conference” of the section which has seceded from the Party. The question as to which of these resolutions more correctly appraises the political situation and more correctly defines the tactics of the revolutionary proletariat is of enormous importance, and every Social-Democrat who is anxious to fulfil his duties as a propagandist, agitator and organiser intelligently, must study this question with the closest attention, leaving all irrelevant considerations entirely aside. By the Party’s tactics we mean the Party’s political conduct, or the character, the direction and methods of its political activity. Tactical resolutions are adopted by Party congresses in order precisely to define the political conduct of the Party as a whole with regard to new tasks, or in view of a new political situation. Such a new situation has been created by the revolution that has started in Russia, i.e., the complete, resolute and open rupture between the overwhelming majority of the people and the tsarist government. The new question concerns the practical methods to be adopted in convening a genuinely popular and genuinely constituent assembly (the theoretical question concerning such an assembly was officially settled by Social-Democracy long ago, before all other parties, in its Party program). Since the people have broken with the government, and the masses realise the necessity of setting up a new order, the party which set itself the object of overthrowing the government must necessarily consider what government to put up in place of the old, deposed government. A new question concerning a provisional revolutionary government arises. In order to give a complete answer to this question the Party of the class-conscious proletariat must make clear: 1) the significance of a provisional revolutionary government in the revolution that is now going on and in the entire struggle of the proletariat in general; 2) its attitude towards a provisional

revolutionary government; 3) the precise conditions of Social-Democratic participation in this government; 4) the conditions under which pressure is to be brought to bear on this government from below, i.e., in the event of there being no Social-Democrats in it. Only after all these questions are made clear, will the political conduct of the Party in this sphere be principled, clear and firm. Let us now consider how the resolution of the Third Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party answers these questions. The following is the full text of the resolution: “Resolution on a Provisional Revolutionary Government “Whereas: “1) both the direct interests of the proletariat and the interests of its struggle for the final aims of socialism require the fullest possible measure of political liberty and, consequently, the replacement of the autocratic form of government by a democratic republic; “2) the establishment of a democratic republic in Russia is possible only as a result of a victorious popular insurrection whose organ will be a provisional revolutionary government, which alone will be capable of ensuring complete freedom of agitation during the election campaign and of convening a constituent assembly that will really express the will of the people, an assembly elected on the basis of universal and equal suffrage, direct elections and secret ballot; “3) under the present social and economic order this democratic revolution in Russia will not weaken, but strengthen the rule of the bourgeoisie, which at a certain moment will inevitably try, stopping at nothing, to take away from the Russian proletariat as many of the gains of the revolutionary period as possible: “The Third Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party resolves that: “a) that it is necessary to disseminate among the working class a concrete idea of the most probable course of the revolution and of the necessity, at a certain moment in the revolution, for the appearance of a provisional revolutionary government, from which the proletariat will demand the realisation of all the immediate political and economic demands contained in our program (the minimum program); “b) that subject to the relation of forces, and other factors which cannot be exactly determined beforehand, representatives of our Party may participate in the provisional revolutionary government for the purpose of relentless struggle against all counter-revolutionary attempts and of the defence of the independent interests of the working class;
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“c) that an indispensable condition for such participation is that the Party should exercise strict control over its representatives and that the independence of the Social-Democratic Party, which is striving for a complete socialist revolution and, consequently, is irreconcilably hostile to all bourgeois parties, should be strictly maintained; “d) that irrespective whether the participation of Social-Democrats in the provisional revolutionary government prove possible or not, we must propagate among the broadest masses of the proletariat the necessity for permanent pressure to be brought to bear upon the provisional government by the armed proletariat, led by the Social-Democratic Party, for the purpose of defending, consolidating and extending the gains of the revolution.”

Conclusion. Dare We Win?

P

EOPLE who are superficially acquainted with the state of affairs in Russian Social-Democracy, or who judge as mere onlookers without knowing the whole history of our internal Party struggle since the days of Economism, very often also dismiss the disagreements on tactics which have now become crystallised, especially after the Third Congress, with the simple argument that there are two natural, inevitable and quite reconcilable trends in every Social-Democratic movement. One side, they say, lays special emphasis on the ordinary, current, everyday work, on the necessity of developing propaganda and agitation, of preparing forces, deepening the movement, etc., while the other side lays emphasis on the militant, general political, revolutionary tasks of the movement, points to the necessity of armed insurrection, advances the slogans: for a revolutionary-democratic dictatorship, for a provisional revolutionary government. Neither one side nor the other should exaggerate, they say; extremes are bad, both here and there (and, generally speaking, everywhere in the world), etc., etc.

currents in the movement and to the harmfulness of extremes. One must know concretely what the given movement is suffering from at the given time, what constitutes the real political danger to the Party at the present time. Secondly, one must know what real political forces are profiting by this or that tactical slogan—or perhaps by the absence of this or that slogan. To listen to the new Iskra-ists, one would arrive at the conclusion that the SocialDemocratic Party is threatened with the danger of throwing overboard propaganda and agitation, the economic struggle and criticism of bourgeois democracy, of becoming inordinately absorbed in military preparations, armed attacks, the seizure of power, etc. Actually, however, real danger is threatening the Party from an entirely different quarter. Anyone who is at all closely familiar with the state of the movement, anyone who follows it carefully and thoughtfully, cannot fail to see the ridiculous side of the new Iskra’s fears. The entire work of the Russian SocialDemocratic Labour Party has already been fully moulded into firm, immutable forms which absolutely guarantee that our main attention will be fixed on propaganda and agitation, impromptu and mass meetings, on the distribution of leaflets and pamphlets, assisting in the economic struggle and championing the slogans of that struggle. There is not a single Party committee, not a single district committee, not a single central delegates’ meeting or a single factory group where ninety-nine per cent of all the attention, energy and time are not always and constantly devoted to these functions, which have become firmly established ever since the middle of the ’nineties. Only those who are entirely unfamiliar with the movement are ignorant of this. Only very naïve or ill-informed people can be taken in by the new Iskra-ists’ repetition of stated truths when it is done with an air of great importance. The fact is that not only is no excessive zeal displayed among us with regard to the tasks of insurrection, to the general political slogans and to the matter of leading the entire popular revolution, but, on the contrary, it is backwardness in this very respect that stands out most strikingly, constitutes our weakest spot and a real danger to the movement, which may degenerate, and in some places is degenerating, from one that is revolutionary in deeds into one that is revolutionary in words. Among the many, many hundreds of organisations, groups and circles that are conducting the work of the Party you will not find a single one which has not from its very inception conducted the kind of everyday work about which the wiseacres of the new Iskra now talk with the air of people who have discovered new truths. On the other hand, you will find only an insignificant percentage of groups and circles that have understood the tasks an armed insurrection entails, which have begun to carry them out, and have realised the necessity of leading the entire popular revolution against tsarism, the necessity of advancing for that purpose certain definite progressive slogans and no other.

The cheap truisms of worldly (and “political” in quotation marks) wisdom, which such arguments undoubtedly contain, too often cover up a failure to understand the urgent and acute needs of the Party. Take the differences on tactics that now exist among the Russian Social-Democrats. Of course, the special emphasis laid on the everyday, routine aspect of the work, such as we observe in the new Iskra-ist arguments about tactics, could not in itself present any danger and could not give rise to any divergence of opinion regarding tactical slogans. But the moment you compare the resolutions of the Third Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party with the resolutions of the Conference this divergence becomes strikingly obvious. What, then, is the trouble? The trouble is that, in the first place, it is not enough to point abstractly to the two
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We are incredibly behind in our progressive and genuinely revolutionary tasks, in very many instances we have not even become conscious of them; here and there we have failed to notice the strengthening of revolutionary bourgeois democracy owing to our backwardness in this respect. But the writers in the new Iskra, turning their backs on the course of events and on the requirements of the times, keep repeating insistently: Don’t forget the old! Don’t let yourselves be carried away by the new! This is the principal and unvarying leitmotif of all the important resolutions of the Conference; whereas in the Congress resolutions you just as unvaryingly read: while confirming the old (and without stopping to chew it over and over, for the very reason that it is old and has already been settled and recorded in literature, in resolutions and by experience), we put forward a new task, draw attention to it, issue a new slogan, and demand that the genuinely revolutionary SocialDemocrats immediately set to work to put it into effect. That is how matters really stand with regard to the question of the two trends in Social-Democratic tactics. The revolutionary period has called forth new tasks, which only the totally blind can fail to see. And some SocialDemocrats unhesitatingly recognise these tasks and place them on the order of the day, declaring: the armed insurrection brooks no delay, prepare yourselves for it immediately and energetically, remember that it is indispensable for a decisive victory, issue the slogans of a republic, of a provisional government, of a revolutionarydemocratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry. Others, however, draw back, mark time, write prefaces instead of giving slogans; instead of pointing to the new while confirming the old, they chew this old tediously and at great length, inventing pretexts to avoid the new, unable to determine the conditions for a decisive victory or to issue the slogans which alone are in line with the striving to attain complete victory. The political result of this khvostism stares us in the face. The fable about a rapprochement between the “majority” of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party and the revolutionary bourgeois democracy remains a fable which has not been confirmed by a single political fact, by a single important resolution of the “Bolsheviks” or a single act of the Third Congress of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party. On the other hand, the opportunist, monarchist bourgeoisie, as represented by the Osvobozhdeniye, has long been welcoming the trends of the “principles” of new Iskra-ism and now it is actually running its mill with their grist, is adopting their catchwords and “ideas” directed against “secrecy” and “riots,” against exaggerating the “technical” side of the revolution, against openly proclaiming the slogan of armed insurrection, against the “revolutionism” of extreme demands, etc., etc. The resolution of a whole conference of “Menshevik” Social-Democrats in the Caucasus, and the endorsement

of that resolution by the editors of the new Iskra, sums it all up politically in an unmistakable way: lest the bourgeoisie recoil if the proletariat takes part in a revolutionarydemocratic dictatorship! This puts it in a nutshell. This gives the finishing touch to the transformation of the proletariat into an appendage of the monarchist bourgeoisie. The political meaning of the khvostism of the new Iskra is thereby proved in fact, not by a casual declaration of some individual, but by a resolution especially endorsed by a whole trend. Anyone who ponders over these facts will understand the real significance of the stock reference to the two sides and the two trends in the Social-Democratic movement. For a study of these trends on a large scale, take Bernsteinism. The Bernsteinians have been dinning into our ears in exactly the same way that it is they who understand the true needs of the proletariat, the tasks connected with the growth of its forces, with rendering the entire activity more profound, with preparing the elements of a new society, with propaganda and agitation! Bernstein says: we demand a frank recognition of what is, thus sanctifying a “movement” without “final aims,” sanctifying defensive tactics only, preaching the tactics of fear “lest the bourgeoisie recoil.” The Bernsteinians also raised an outcry against the “Jacobinism” of the revolutionary SocialDemocrats, against the “publicists” who fail to understand the “initiative of the workers,” etc., etc. In reality, as everyone knows, the revolutionary Social-Democrats have never even thought of abandoning the everyday, petty work, the mustering of forces, etc., etc. All they demanded was a clear understanding of the final aim, a clear presentation of the revolutionary tasks; they wanted to raise the semi-proletarian and semi-petty-bourgeois strata to the revolutionary level of the proletariat, not to reduce this level to that of opportunist considerations such as “lest the bourgeoisie recoil.” Perhaps the most vivid expression of this rift between the intellectual opportunist wing and the proletarian revolutionary wing of the Party was the question: durfen wir siegen? “Dare we win?” Is it permissible for us to win? Would it not be dangerous for us to win? Ought we to win? This question, which seems so strange at first sight, was raised, however, and had to be raised, because the opportunists were afraid of victory, were frightening the proletariat away from it, were predicting that trouble would come of it, were ridiculing the slogans that straightforwardly called for it. The same fundamental division into an intellectualopportunist and proletarian-revolutionary trend exists also among us, with the very material difference, however, that here we are faced with the question of a democratic revolution, and not of a socialist revolution. The question “dare we win?” which seems so absurd at first sight, has been raised among us also. It was raised by Martynov in his Two Dictatorships, in which he prophesied dire
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misfortune if we prepare well for and carry out an insurrection quite successfully. The question has been raised in all the new Iskra literature dealing with a provisional revolutionary government, and all the time persistent though futile efforts have been made to liken Millerand’s participation in a bourgeois-opportunist government to Varlin’s participation in a petty-bourgeois revolutionary government. It is embodied in a resolution: “lest the bourgeoisie recoil.” And although Kautsky, for instance, now tries to wax ironical and says that our dispute about a provisional revolutionary government is like dividing the skin of a bear before the bear has been killed, this irony only proves that even clever and revolutionary SocialDemocrats are liable to put their foot in it when they talk about something they know of only by hearsay. German Social-Democracy is not yet so near to killing its bear (carrying out a socialist revolution), but the dispute as to whether we “dare” kill the bear was of enormous importance from the point of view of principles and of practical politics. Russian Social-Democrats are not yet so near to being strong enough to “kill their bear” (to carry out a democratic revolution), but the question as to whether we “dare” kill it is of extreme importance for the whole future of Russia and for the future of Russian Social-Democracy. An army cannot be energetically and successfully mustered and led unless we are sure that we “dare” win. Take our old Economists. They too howled that their opponents were conspirators, Jacobins (see the Rabocheye Dyelyo, especially No. 10, and Martynov’s speech in the debate on the program at the Second Congress), that by plunging into politics they were divorcing themselves from the masses, that they were losing sight of the fundamentals of the working-class movement, ignoring the initiative of the workers, etc., etc. In reality these supporters of the “initiative of the workers” were opportunist intellectuals who tried to foist on the workers their own narrow and philistine conception of the tasks of the proletariat. In reality the opponents of Economism, as everyone can see from the old Iskra, did not neglect or push into the background any of the aspects of Social-Democratic work, nor did they in the least forget the economic struggle; but they were able at the same time to present the urgent and immediate political tasks in their full scope and they opposed the transformation of the workers’ party into an “economic” appendage of the liberal bourgeoisie. The Economists had learned by rote that politics are based on economics and “understood” this to mean that the political struggle should be reduced to the level of the economic struggle. The new-Iskraists have learned by rote that the economic basis of the democratic revolution is the bourgeois revolution, and “understood” this to mean that the democratic aims of the proletariat should be degraded to the level of bourgeois moderation, to the limits beyond which “the bourgeoisie will recoil.” On the pretext of
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rendering their work more profound, on the pretext of rousing the initiative of the workers and pursuing a purely class policy, the Economists were actually delivering the working class into the hands of the liberal-bourgeois politicians, i.e., were leading the Party along a path which objectively meant exactly that. On the same pretexts, the new-Iskraists are actually betraying the interests of the proletariat in the democratic revolution to the bourgeoisie, i.e., are leading the Party along a path which objectively means exactly that. The Economists thought that leadership in the political struggle was no concern of the SocialDemocrats but properly the business of the liberals. The new-Iskraists think that the active conduct of the democratic revolution is no concern of the Social-Democrats but properly the business of the democratic bourgeoisie, for, they argue, if the proletariat takes the leading and preeminent part it will “diminish the sweep” of the revolution. In short, the new-Iskraists are the epigones of Economism, not only in their origin at the Second Party Congress, but also in the manner in which they now present the tactical tasks of the proletariat in the democratic revolution. They, too, constitute an intellectual-opportunist wing of the Party. In the sphere of organisation they made their debut with the anarchist individualism of intellectuals and finished with “disorganisation-as-a-process,” fixing in the “Rules” [The “Rules of Organisation” adopted at the Geneva Menshevik Conference in 1905] adopted by the Conference the separation of the Party’s publishing activities from the Party organisation, an indirect and practically four-stage system of elections, a system of Bonapartist plebiscites instead of democratic representation, and finally the principle of “agreements” between the part and the whole. In Party tactics they continued to slide down the same inclined plane. In the “plan of the Zemstvo campaign” they declared that speeches to Zemstvo-ists were “the highest type of demonstration,” finding only two active forces on the political scene (on the eve of January 9!) — the government and the democratic bourgeoisie. They made the pressing problem of arming “more profound” by substituting for the direct and practical slogan of an appeal to arm, the slogan: arm the people with a burning desire to arm themselves. The tasks connected with an armed insurrection, with the establishment of a provisional government and with a revolutionary-democratic dictatorship have now been distorted and blunted by them in their official resolutions. “Lest the bourgeoisie recoil”—this final chord of their last resolution throws a glaring light on the question of where their path is leading the Party. The democratic revolution in Russia is a bourgeois revolution by reason of its social and economic content. But a mere repetition of this correct Marxian proposition is not enough. It must be properly understood and properly applied in political slogans. In general, all political liberties

RED STAR Platform for Communist Revolutionaries v November 2009

that are founded on present-day, i.e., capitalist, relations of production are bourgeois liberties. The demand for liberty expresses primarily the interests of the bourgeoisie. Its representatives were the first to raise this demand. Its supporters have everywhere used the liberty they acquired like masters, reducing it to moderate and meticulous bourgeois doses, combining it with the most subtle methods of suppressing the revolutionary proletariat in peaceful times and with brutally cruel methods in stormy times. But only the rebel Narodniks, the anarchists and the “Economists” could deduce from this that the struggle for liberty should be rejected or disparaged. These intellectualphilistine doctrines could be foisted on the proletariat only for a time and against its will. The proletariat always realised instinctively that it needed political liberty, needed it more than anyone else, despite the fact that its immediate effect would be to strengthen and to organise the bourgeoisie. The proletariat expects to find its salvation not by avoiding the class struggle but by developing it, by widening it, increasing its consciousness, its organisation and determination. Whoever degrades the tasks of the political struggle transforms the Social-Democrat from a tribune of the people into a trade union secretary. Whoever degrades the proletarian tasks in a democratic bourgeois revolution transforms the Social-Democrat from a leader of the people’s revolution into a leader of a free labour union. Yes, the people’s revolution. Social-Democracy has fought, and is quite rightly fighting against the bourgeoisdemocratic abuse of the word “people.” It demands that this word shall not be used to cover up failure to understand the class antagonisms within the people. It insists categorically on the need for complete class independence for the party of the proletariat. But it divides the “people” into “classes,” not in order that the advanced class may become shut up within itself, confine itself to narrow aims and emasculate its activity for fear that the economic rulers of the world will recoil, but in order that the advanced class, which does not suffer from the halfheartedness, vacillation and indecision of the intermediate classes, may with all the greater energy and enthusiasm fight for the cause of the whole of the people, at the head of the whole of the people. That is what the present-day new-Iskraists so often fail to understand and why they substitute for active political slogans in the democratic revolution a mere pedantic repetition of the word “class,” parsed in all genders and cases! The democratic revolution is a bourgeois revolution. The slogan of a Black Redistribution, or “land and liberty”— this most widespread slogan of the peasant masses, down trodden and ignorant, yet passionately yearning for light and happiness—is a bourgeois slogan. But we Marxists should know that there is not, nor can there be, any other

path to real freedom for the proletariat and the peasantry, than the path of bourgeois freedom and bourgeois progress. We must not forget that there is not, nor can there be, at the present time, any other means of bringing Socialism nearer, than complete political liberty, than a democratic republic, than the revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry. As the representatives of the advanced and only revolutionary class, revolutionary without reservations, doubts or looking back, we must present to the whole of the people, as widely, as boldly and with the utmost initiative possible, the tasks of the democratic revolution. To degrade these tasks in theory means making a travesty of Marxism, distorting it in philistine fashion, while in practical politics it means delivering the cause of the revolution into the hands of the bourgeoisie, which will inevitably recoil from the task of consistently carrying out the revolution. The difficulties that lie on the road to the complete victory of the revolution are very great. No one will be able to blame the representatives of the proletariat if, having done everything in their power, their efforts are defeated by the resistance of the reaction, the treachery of the bourgeoisie and the ignorance of the masses. But everybody and the classconscious proletariat above all, will condemn SocialDemocracy if it curtails the revolutionary energy of the democratic revolution and dampens revolutionary ardour because it is afraid to win, because it is actuated by the consideration: lest the bourgeoisie recoil. Revolutions are the locomotives of history, said Marx. [In The Class Struggles in France] Revolutions are the festivals of the oppressed and the exploited. At no other time are the masses of the people in a position to come forward so actively as creators of a new social order as at a time of revolution. At such times the people are capable of performing miracles, if judged by the narrow, philistine scale of gradual progress. But the leaders of the revolutionary parties must also make their aims more comprehensive and bold at such a time, so that their slogans shall always be in advance of the revolutionary initiative of the masses, serve as a beacon, reveal to them our democratic and socialist ideal in all its magnitude and splendour and show them the shortest and most direct route to complete, absolute and decisive victory. Let us leave to the opportunists of the Osvobozhdeniye bourgeoisie the task of inventing roundabout, circuitous paths of compromise out of fear of the revolution and of the direct path. If we are compelled by force to drag ourselves along such paths, we shall be able to fulfil our duty in petty, everyday work also. But let ruthless struggle first decide the choice of the path. We shall be traitors to and betrayers of the revolution if we do not use this festive energy of the masses and their revolutionary ardour to wage a ruthless and self-sacrificing struggle for the direct and decisive path. Let the bourgeois opportunists contemplate the future reaction with craven fear. The workers will not be frightened either by the thought
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that the reaction promises to be terrible or by the thought that the bourgeoisie proposes to recoil. The workers are not looking forward to striking bargains, are not asking for sops; they are striving to crush the reactionary forces without mercy, i.e., to set up the revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the proletariat and the peasantry. Of course, greater dangers threaten the ship of our Party in stormy times than in periods of the smooth “sailing” of liberal progress, which means the painfully slow sweating of the working class by its exploiters. Of course, the tasks of the revolutionary-democratic dictatorship are a thousand times more difficult and more complicated than the tasks of an “extreme opposition” or of the exclusively parliamentary struggle. But whoever can deliberately prefer smooth sailing and the path of safe “opposition” in the present revolutionary situation had better abandon SocialDemocratic work for a while, had better wait until the revolution is over, until the festive days have passed, when humdrum everyday life starts again and his narrow routine standards no longer strike such an abominably discordant note, or constitute such an ugly distortion of the tasks of the advanced class. At the head of the whole of the people, and particularly of the peasantry—for complete freedom, for a consistent democratic revolution, for a republic! At the head of all the toilers and the exploited—for Socialism! Such must in practice be the policy of the revolutionary proletariat, such is the class slogan which must permeate and determine the solution of every tactical problem, every practical step of the workers’ party during the revolution.

Resurrecting The Old Revisionism In A New Guise
[What is reproduced below is the concluding part of the Fourth Comment on the open letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU by the Central Committee of the CPC, dated October 22, 1963: Apologists of Neo-colonialism. When US-led imperialist camp resorted to neo-colonisation to overcome the advances made by the socialist forces and national liberation movements, initially the Soviet leadership exposed its weaknesses in confronting it. Many compromises were made which were harmful for the revolutionary advances. After Stalin’s death, these weaknesses turned into a deviation as the capitalist roaders within the CPSU usurped the party and state leadership. They became apologists of Neo-colonialism. All those parties at international level including CPI and CPI(M) also became the same. Once Soviet Union transformed to a social imperialist power by the time Brezhnev took over in 1964, it started competing with US imperialism for neo-colonial domination. These developments can be well understood from the following excerpts. That the capitalist roaders in China after the defeat of the ‘left’ adventurist line of Lin Biao in 1971 started pursuing almost the same path finally succeeding in usurping power there also is the postscript to be added to it - Red Star]

T

HE policy of the leadership of the CPSU on the national-colonial question is identical with the bankrupt policy of the revisionists of the Second International. The only difference is that the latter served the imperialists’ old colonialism, while the modern revisionists serve the imperialists’ neo-colonialism. The old revisionists sang to the tune of the old colonialists, and Khrushchov sings to the tune of the neocolonialists. Bhopal: Revolutionary Youth Federation of India (RYFI) burnt an effigy depicting price-rise. Raising slogan against UPA government, the RYFI activists condemned increasing corruption in public distribution system, price-rise, hoarding, black marketing and future trading. The heroes of the Second International, represented by Bernstein and Kautsky, were apologists for the old colonial rule of imperialism. They openly declared that colonial rule was progressive, that it “brought a high civilization” to the colonies and “developed the productive forces” there. They even asserted that the “abolition of the colonies would mean barbarism”.

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In this respect Khrushchov is somewhat different from the old revisionists. He is bold enough to denounce the old colonial system. How is it that Khrushchov is so bold? Because the imperialists have changed their tune. After World War II, under the twin blows of the socialist revolution and the national liberation revolution, the imperialists were forced to recognize that “if the West had attempted to perpetuate the status quo of colonialism, it would have made violent revolution inevitable and defeat inevitable”. The old colonialist forms of rule “on the contrary, ... are likely to prove ‘running sores’ which destroy both the economic and the moral vigour of a nation’s life”. Thus it became necessary to change the form and practice neo-colonialism. Thus, too, Khrushchov singing to the tune of the neocolonialist flaunts the “theory of the disappearance of colonialism” in order to cover up the new colonialism. What is more, he tries to induce the oppressed nations to embrace this new colonialism. He actively propagates the view that “peaceful coexistence” between the oppressed nations and civilized imperialism will make “the national economy grow rapidly” and bring about an “uplift of their productive forces”, enable the home market in the oppressed countries to “become incomparably greater” and “furnish more raw materials, and various products and goods required by the economy of the industrially developed countries” and, at the same time will “considerably raise the living standard of the inhabitants in the highly developed capitalist countries”. Nor has Khrushchov forgotten to collect certain wornout weapons from the arsenal of the revisionists of the Second International. Here are some examples. The old revisionists opposed wars of national liberation and held that the national question “can be settled only through international agreements” and “advance in all the arts of peace”. On this question, Khrushchov has taken over the line of the revisionists of the Second International; he advocates a “quiet burial of the colonial system”. The old revisionists attacked the revolutionary Marxists, hurling at them the slander that “Bolshevism is in essence a warlike type of socialism” and that “the Communist International harbours the illusion that the liberation of the workers can be achieved by means of the bayonets of the victorious Red Army and that a new world war is necessary for the world revolution”. They also spread the story that this position had “created the greatest danger of a new world war”. The language Khrushchov uses today to slander the Chinese Communist Party and other fraternal Marxist-Leninist Parties is exactly the language used by

the old revisionists in slandering the Bolsheviks. It is hard to find any difference. It must be said that in serving the imperialists’ neocolonialism, Khrushchov is not a whit inferior to the old revisionists in their service of the imperialists’ old colonialism. Lenin showed how the policy of imperialism caused the international workers’ movement to split into two sections, the revolutionary and the opportunist. The revolutionary section sided with the oppressed nations and opposed the imperialists and colonialists. On the other hand, the opportunist section fed on crumbs from the spoils which the imperialists and colonialists squeezed out of the people of the colonies and semi-colonies. It sided with the imperialists and colonialists and opposed the revolution of the oppressed nations for liberation. The same kind of division between revolutionaries and opportunists in the international working-class movement as that described by Lenin is now taking shape not only in the working-class movement in capitalist countries but also in socialist countries where the proletariat wields state power. The experience of history shows that if the national liberation movement is to achieve complete victory it must form a solid alliance with the revolutionary working-class movement, draw a clear line of demarcation between itself and the revisionists who serve the imperialists and colonialists, and firmly eradicate their influence. The experience of history shows that if the workingclass movement of the capitalist countries in Western Europe and North America is to achieve complete victory, it must form a close alliance with the national liberation movement in Asia, Africa and Latin America, draw a clear line of demarcation between itself and the revisionists, and firmly eradicate their influence. The revisionists are agents of imperialism who have hidden themselves among the ranks of the international working-class movement. Lenin said, “... the fight against imperialism is a sham and humbug unless it is inseparably bound up with the fight against opportunism.” (Lenin, Selected Works, Moscow, Vol. I, Part 2, p. 566.) Thus it is clear that the present fight against imperialism and old and new colonialism must be linked closely with the fight against the apologists of neo-colonialism. However hard the imperialists disguise their intentions and bestir themselves, however hard their apologists whitewash and help neo-colonialism, imperialism and colonialism cannot escape their doom. The victory of the national liberation revolution is irresistible. Sooner or later the apologists of neo-colonialism will go bankrupt. Workers of the world and the oppressed nations, unite! q
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If Undelivered Return to Red star R - 8, Pratap Market Jungpura-B, New Delhi-14

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What Is Soviet Power?
LENIN What is Soviet power? What is the essence of this new power, which people in most countries still will not, or cannot, understand? The nature of this power, which is attracting larger and larger numbers of workers in every country, is the following: in the past the country was, in one way or another, governed by the rich, or by the capitalists, but now, for the first time, the country is being governed by the classes, and moreover, by the masses of those classes, which capitalism formerly oppressed. Even in the most democratic and freest republics, as long as capital rules and the land remains private property, the government will always be in the hands of a small minority, nine-tenths of which consist of capitalists, or rich men. In this country, in Russia, for the first time in the world history, the government of the country is so organised that only the workers and the working peasants, to the exclusion of the exploiters, constitute those mass organisations known as Soviets, and these Soviets wield all state power. That is why, in spite of the slander that the representatives of the bourgeoisie in all countries spread about Russia, the word “Soviet” has now become not only intelligible but popular all over the world, has become the favourite word of the workers, and of all working people. And that is why, notwithstanding all the persecution to which the adherents of communism in the different countries are subjected, Soviet power must necessarily, inevitably, and in the not distant future, triumph all over the world. We know very well that there are still many defects in the organisation of Soviet power in this country. Soviet power is not a miracle-working talisman. It does not, overnight, heal all the evils of the past- illiteracy, lack of culture, the consequences of a barbarous war, the aftermath of predatory capitalism. But it does pave the way to socialism. It gives those who were formerly oppressed the chance to straighten their backs and to an ever-increasing degree to take the whole government of the country, the whole administration of the economy, the whole management of production, into their own hands. Soviet power is the road to socialism that was discovered by the masses of the working people, and that is why it is the true road, that is why it is invincible. End of March 1919

Demonstration of slum dwellers under the baner of Basti Surksha Manch, Bhopal against Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Plan
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