NEW DEMOCRACY

Turmoil in the Belly of
the Beast

World financial economic crisis beginning from 2008 and the measures
taken by the Govts. to tide over it, have resulted in increasing the gap
between rich and poor with all benefits accruing to top less than 1%. On
the other hand conditions of the vast masses, workers and even middle
classes have deteriorated. Unemployment is at high level, and even where
it is not so, most of the new jobs are of low wages and without job security.
The neo-Keynesian prescriptions in developed capitalist countries of saving
the banks and of stimulus packages could not and have not ameliorated
the causes underlying the crisis. There is increasing feeling of
marginalization and the Establishment’s unwillingness to address their
concerns in these countries. There is loss of hope from the Establishment
parties and an anti-Establishment wave is sweeping across the developed
world. On the other hand, the economic powers have imposed neo-liberal
prescriptions on countries facing debt crisis. These encompass cut in wages
and social benefits of workers, cuts in pensions, decreasing Govt.
expenditure including shutting down of Govt. departments and services
and increase in tax rates on consumables as well as on lower income
groups. These prescriptions, tied to bail out packages, have further
aggravated the situation in these countries. There has been shrinkage of
the national economies, rise in unemployment to astronomical levels and
sharp increase in poverty and destitution. People are against the
international financial institutions dictating these policies and also the
domestic elite collaborating with these institutions to save their high incomes
at the expense of the vast multitude.
Working class and even middle classes in these countries have come
out in opposition to these policies. This opposition is also politically
expressed though this expression varies. Parties of the Establishment
associated with these failed policies are being discarded by the people. In
the countries facing neo-liberal prescriptions it is being expressed as
discarding the main parties associated with implementation of these policies
e.g. Greece, Spain, Italy etc. Despite surrender by Syriza in Greece before
the troika of IMF, EU and ECB, people of Spain defeated the two main
June, 2016

1

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

parties and Pedemos got good support, resulting in inability to form a Govt.
Though support for Pedemos declined after betrayal by Syriza, still it was
strong enough to deny victory to the two main parties. Similar expressions
are there in Portugal, Iceland and Italy as well. Workers, students and
youth are coming to streets against neo-liberal policies. Workers are also
protesting against anti-worker changes in labour laws. There are several
strikes by the workers in European countries on this issue. Recently
workers in France, renowned for its decisive struggles, have launched a
struggle against pro-employer and anti-worker changes in labour laws.
On the other hand, in the economically powerfulstates e.g. US, UK, it
is generally expressed through within the established ruling class parties.
At places this resentment is being cashed in by the rightist forces while at
other places it is bringing people’s concerns on the agenda of the ruling
class parties. Significant developments are taking place in main capitalist
countries US and UK. In USA, people’s anger against the Establishment
has propelled the candidacy of self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders in
Democratic Party. Whatever the outcome of the primaries, his candidacy
has been energized by the widespread disillusion among youth and working
class. In the aftermath of world financial economic crisis and Obama
Admn.'s response to the same, two movements had erupted in US, one
from the ‘left’ and another from the right. While Tea Party Movement was
the response of the right to Obamacare, Occupy Wall Street Movement
was launched by students and youth who protested against corporate
cornering all the wealth. These two movements have been reflected in the
candidacy of Trump in Republican party and that of Sanders in Democratic
party. Occupy Wall Street and later Sanders' candidacy, though raising
the question of growing inequality in American society, are still within the
confines of the present system and seek to reform the same. However,
they do represent growing disenchantment and restiveness of the youth
and working people with the Establishment parties.

In UK, Jeremy Corbyn has emerged as the leader of the main opposition
Labour Party. Blairite new Labour has been buried under the debris of world
financial economic crisis and disastrous Bush wars. Since his becoming
the leader of the Labour Party, there is wide propaganda that Labour under
the leadership of Corbyn has become unelectable. Corbyn too represents a
widespread disillusionment among the youth and working people with the
ruling Establishment. The rise of likes of Corbyn and Sanders represents

2

June, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

the growing restiveness among the people on the one hand and the limits
of this restiveness, at least at present, within the confines of the present
system. Corbyn’s prescriptions of increased expenditure on Education and
Health and increased taxation of the very rich, is well within the response
of the ruling class politics while it is opposed to neoliberal economic model
being implemented by the Establishment. Despite its limitations, expression
of this anger bodes well for the rise of working class movement and for the
people's movement.

On the other hand, there is also growth of right wing in the developed
capitalist countries. The rise of xenophobic and neo-nazi groups has been
noted in several countries. The near victory of right wing candidate in the
Presidential election in Austria, candidacy of Trump in America and rise of
right wing parties in a number of European countries point to the emergence
of right wing among the representatives of the bourgeoisie as the social
compromise gets unraveled in capitalist countries leading to decline in the
conditions of working people. This situation is ripening conditions for the
rise of working class struggles on the one hand and of the fascist groups
on the other. As noted by us earlier, Social Democracy as a vehicle of
social compromise has suffered a decline.
In the backdrop of growing restiveness of the people, a section of
conservative party in UK is propagating British exit from European Union.
They are portraying it as a cause of all ills. The influx of refugees into
Europe is also providing an ammunition for the right wing to demand Brexit.
On the other hand, sections of working people and youth are frustrated
with the present conditions and see EU as a consolidation of corporate
power. The vote promised by Cameron just before the last elections to
avoid split among conservative voters, is slated for June 23. Both right
and left wings of the ruling class parties are split over the issue. Apart from
economic aspect, Brexit has implication for US influence in Europe. Britain
remains a bridgehead between Europe and US. This prompted US President
Obama to advocate Britain remaining in the EU. With Britain’s exit from
EU, US influence in EU and Europe at large will diminish as also US ability
to mobilize Europe in its confrontation with Russia. Recently Germany has
initiated moves to ease sanctions imposed against Russia after Russia
brought Crimea under its rule.

June, 2016

3

Upsurge of garment workers
of Bengaluru forces Retreat
By Modi Govt.
Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

Aparna

On the 18th of April 2016, thousands upon thousands of garment
workers, mostly women, of Bengaluru poured out of their factories protesting
changes in rules for withdrawal of money from their EPF accounts. The
first day they forced the Central Govt. on the backfoot. However the next
day over a lakh of them brought Bengaluru’s roads to a standstill and by
evening the Central Govt. had totally withdrawn its Budget proposals. The
workers too returned to work.
Why did these workers suddenly erupt? Is there any message in these
sort of sudden eruptions which do take place in unorganized sectors? Is
this protest similar to the strike by the women tea workers of Munnar and
to what extent? So many questions have been thrown up by these women
garment workers and it will be enriching to look for the answers.

The facts of the issue provoking this outburst are clear. In the Budget
2016 the Finance Minister announced two attacks on the EPF deposits of
workers. The Central Govt. is repeatedly displaying its desperation to get
at this huge deposit of money lying out of its reach. One proposal of the
Budget was that the PF withdrawals at the time of retirement would be
taxed. This provoked such all around condemnation that BMS also rushed
into the scene and the Finance Minister announced its withdrawal almost
immediately. The second part of the proposal was that workers would be
allowed to withdraw only their share of PF deposits before retirement (or 58
years) and would not be allowed to withdraw the share deposited by the
employer. This proposal was to come into effect from the 1st of April but
due to all around condemnation by central trade unions, the date was
postponed to 1st May 2016. In subsequent supplications the Central Labour
Minister has stated that this policy was being changed because figures
revealed that almost 80% of PF deposits were withdrawn by workers before
retirement i.e. workers were using the PF account as a 'saving deposit,

4

June, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

leaving nothing for pension’ and the Govt. ‘wanted to ensure’ a pension
cover. He also claimed that he had the support of the central trade unions
on this issue. It is another matter that almost all central trade unions except
BMS had condemned the change in rules and some had also called for a
protest day on 26th April 2016.

On the 18th of April 2016 a report on this issue was published in a
Kannada daily. The garment workers of Bengaluru read this report and as
most official statements seem keen to point out, were ‘misled’ to believe
that they could not withdraw their deposits at all before 58 years of age.
However it will be clear that knowledge that the attack was partial may not
have pacified them in the least. The news report was photocopied and
distributed amongst the women garment workers, probably by workers
themselves. It agitated them so much in Shahi Exports Pvt. Ltd. (garment
factory situated off Hosur Road) that the women workers came out and
began protesting, followed by workers of other factories in this area where
garment manufacturing units are densely packed. Mohan Exports and
Jockey are also mentioned. A second unit of Shahi Exports situated at
Bommanhalli a little away also came out in protest. Reports put the number
at over 1.2 lakh protestors, maximally women garment workers.

Govt. retreated the same evening. The Central Labour Minister
postponed the change in rule to three months later and also assured that
the change would not apply where the worker had been unemployed for two
months or where there was a marriage or a death in the family etc. (All
these exceptions can be correlated to the burning issues within the garment
workers of Bengaluru). The Bengaluru police may have prevented any
assessment of whether this would have satisfied the workers. News reports
say that the workers were going to duty the next morning when in Peenya
industrial area, which is the other big centre of garment factories, workers
were attacked by police and security guards, pulled by their hair and 20 or
so detained by the police. Whatever role this played, police presence in
the areas was massive and the workers responded by gathering in lakhs
and blocking the roads. Then started the usual quota of stoning of buses,
attacking of buildings with the reports of the city ‘descending into violence’
which is the time tested way to malign workers’ struggles and attack them.
The Central Govt. retreated totally on the issue. The same night a
clarification was issued withdrawing the initial notification of change in
rules of PF withdrawals. Needless to add the garment workers of Bengaluru,
June, 2016

5

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

as far as is known, went back to work next day. In a few days the Govt.
moved on to finger the PF deposits in another way; by decreasing the
interest paid to workers to 8.7% when it was already 8.8%, the deposits
were earning interest at the rate of 8.95% and the central unions were
demanding an interest rate of 9%.

The interest of the Central Govt.in the EPF deposits has been
unwavering. Informal information from highly placed internal sources place
the toal deposits at around 8.5 lakh crore rupees. The EPFO Accounts
accessible do not give any indication of the total sum of the deposits.
However, the following information could be found in the Survey of Statistical
Abstracts (2014-2015) released by the EPFO, GOI. In Appendix A3 are
the Revenue Statements. They show that the total contributions collected
(including PF collections, the Pension Funds- both employer/employee
contributions and Govt. share- and the Insurance Fund) were 113910.89
crore rupees for 2014-2015, 94,762.09 crore rupees for 2013-14 and
77,000.94 crore rupees for 2012-13. The expenses for the same years (on
payments made for PF, Pension and Insurance) were 48,015.32 crore
rupees, 43,519.88 crore rupees and 35,118 crore rupees respectively. It
does indicate the enormous sums of money remaining as deposits at the
end of each year.

Events in 2001

This sequence is essentially similar to an outburst of women garment
workers of Bengaluru in 2001 again on the issue of PF. This occurred in
Peenya industrial area. J.B. Exports closed two units and 1400 women
workers went to withdraw their PF deposits. Some PF officials told them
that they could not withdraw their money until 45 years of age. Workers of
Apex Garments in the same area poured out and there was a ‘wildcat
strike’ of 10,000 garment women workers in the area. In a piece that well
may have been describing the events of 2016, Dr. Janaki Nair (Institute of
Social and Economic Studies Bengaluru, now Prof. in JNU) wrote ‘Nothing
can surpass the mystery of a protest which has no leader, particularly
when the protestors are women’. The brief day long action was peaceful
for two hours and then there was violence. Media reported the workers as
a ‘rampaging mob’ though the initial two hours were totally peaceful, the
violence ‘providing scope for speculation on “vested interests” who
mysteriously manipulated the workers.’ On this speculation, Dr. Nair
comments, ‘Once more the workers have been deprived of the capacity to

6

June, 2016

act on their own…..’.

NEW DEMOCRACY

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

Not only do the descriptions of the action almost seem to describe
2016's events, so also do the descriptions of the status of the women
workers. Their status was of non permanent casual workers no matter how
many years they had worked, their payments were a combination of piece
work and daily wages i.e. a team (usually of about 50 workers including
tailors, helpers) would have to finish 165-220 garments in one day
irrespective of the hours it took. Supervisors and master cutters were male
and usually only tailors sat while other categories of workers either stood
the whole time or sat in high straight backed chairs. At that time mainly
unmarried women were employed. Workers were however given PF and
ESI facilities.

Today it is estimated that about 5 lakh women are employed in the
ready made garment industry in Bengaluru. A study by Gulbarga University
scholars M. Surat Kumari and Bassanna estimates that 33 lakh families
depend on this industry here. They estimate that there are 19 clusters of
such units in the city, with 33,371 units having 10 or more sewing machines.
7% have more than 100 machines, 15% have between 40 to 100 machines
and 78% have less than 40 machines. In 1990 there were a total of 1200
garment making units in this city according to this study.

From various descriptions it is clear that the working conditions of the
workers are as they were in 2001. Factories run hostels for the unmarried
women workers and these are devoid of the most basic facilities. There
are separate hostels for North Indian women workers, but are in the same
state. The local workers are mainly rural migrants from around the city or
from the drought prone districts of North Karnataka and have usually dropped
out of studies in their early teens. Workers are predominantly women and
their units close down suddenly at will and again reopen at will. There is no
continuity in service, no concept of accumulated service giving seniority
and/or benefits and of course no gratuity. The Gulbarga University study
noted a 68% turnover in this industry though it stated that ‘labour’ is the
'main problem'. What is also widely documented is the fact that the workers
all being women and the supervisory staff inevitably male, cases of sexual
harassment at workplace are widespread and are not normally redressed.
There were two cases of suicides due to sexual harassment in 2007- of
Ammu in Feb. 2007 and Renu in Oct. 2007.
The close parallels between the 2001 outburst and the current upsurge

June, 2016

7

bring out one fact clearly. The PF deposits of these workers are both precious
and important to them. In general PF savings empower women workers;
they have their own money, it gives them social prestige and importance in
the family, it gives them a sense of confidence of being able to intervene
when they choose- in short, it empowers them. In this concrete case there
is evidence galore that the PF deposits are all important as a sort of security
to these garment workers in Bengaluru. Firstly employment is not secure,
so it helps them tide over periods when they have no jobs. More importantly,
it is money which is withdrawn for marriage (especially by young workers
and also by mothers), for sudden illnesses at home, for a lump sum needed
during education of children, etc. There are documentations of these workers
saying that they have left jobs for a few months in order to withdraw money
for their children’s fees. Any perceived threat to their right to withdraw this
money immediately brings them into struggle to defend this right. They put
up with low wages, terrible working conditions, insecurity of employment
but react to any attack on their ability to access the PF money. The Central
Govt. contemptuously calls this treating the deposit ‘like a saving account’
but has no shame that Labour laws are not being enforced, statutory rights
and minimum wages are not the lot of workers in most parts of the country
and workers are forced to see these deposits as a lifeline for the critical
points in their family lives.
The garment units here produce for C&A, H&M, Tommy Hilfinger, Inditex
etc. For instance Shahi Exports Pvt. Ltd is a long term supplier of C&A
and also produces for Arvind Ltd. It has 75,000 employees in 48
manufacturing setups in Delhi, Gurgaon, Bangalore, Mysore, Hyderabad,
Tirupur, Salem etc. It started in 1974 in Delhi and Bengaluru operations
commenced on 1st July 1988. In fact Bengaluru is a hub for IT, is a centre
for Jems and Jewellery and since the last four decades, of the readymade
garment industry.

Women comprise over 80% of garment workers in India and the units
are concentrated in Gurgaon, Bengaluru and Tirupur apart from other centres.
While women are 80% of the workforce in Bengaluru, reports are that they
are 90% in Salem and Tirupur while the workforce is evenly divided in
Gurgaon. Garment is also a large sector in Delhi itself.
As is well known, the entire garment sector of India is export driven
and oriented. The purchasers are MNCs who get the labour done in Asian
countries and then get their labels attached to the products. In this way

8

June, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

they exploit the terrible unemployment in these countries to keep their
labour costs dirt cheap and this is the secret of their superprofits. There is
competition among these Asian countries to lower their costs of production
further and further by paying their workers less and less.

There is some trade union organization among these garment workers
in Bengaluru, but it is very small; for instance the state Secretary of CITU
gave a figure of 300 members. If there is membership in any of the other
major central trade unions, it has not been expressed in any form. In 2002
an NGO Cividep began organizing these workers with the help of Oxfam
and in 2004 Munnade (march forward) was formed as an organization in
the places of residence of these workers. In 2006 Cividep formed the
Garment and Textile Workers Union. It has around 8000 members. In 2012
some section broke off from this and formed Garment Labour Union (GLU)
with an all women leadership. It was formed apparently because the earlier
union’s leadership was all male and sexual harassment by some leader of
that union forced separation. This union has a membership of around 2000.
The GLU is also represented on the Karnataka State Minimum Wage
Advisory Board. The low level of unionization is also ascribed to the fact
that if managements get to identify any unionization they immediately
dismiss the leaders.
Peenya is an older industrial centre and in post colonial phase, trade
union movement took root here. Subsequently industries closed down and
now it is a hub of garment export units. In the mid 1980s there was a strike
in this area in support of the jailed leaders of Mysore Wire. Two years
earlier women workers of BPL launched a movement for the right to form
union. One worker died in an incident of bus burning then.

Why the outbursts?

The struggle of the Bengaluru women garment workers forced the Central
Govt. to back off from this particular attack on PF. The struggle of the
Munnar workers was somewhat different. They consciously withdrew from
the trade unions functioning among them because they distrusted the
leadership, organized themselves and went for a planned struggle on their
concrete demands. They also reached a settlement with the Govt.
The struggle of the garment workers cannot be seen in the same way
though here too the workers are predominantly women. They are mostly
not organized in the formal sense of being unionized. This struggle brought
June, 2016

9

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

different types of responses from those who participate in the trade union
movement and also from sympathetic intellectuals. Some applaud the
movement especially because it was the decision of the workers when
they felt the need for it (‘workers acting for themselves by themselves’.).
They actually feel the workers are right in not forming organization because
these are restrictive, curb initiative, are bureaucratic etc., all of which may
be unfortunately true to differing extents of many formations. The workers
being women, there is also mention of the reality that most leadership is
male and some possibly patriarchal in dealings. This also is obvious that
even in sectors where women are predominant or even a remarkable number,
this composition is not reflected in the leadership of organizations and
movements, no doubt because that is simpler than addressing the question.
But none of this detracts from the reality that this is a section of workers
which needs to express its organized strength not only for the long term
goals of the working class but also to fight the terrible conditions of
employment. There is no job security, their low wages are deemed
necessary in order to keep Indian made garments ‘competitive’ in the export
world, their working conditions are inhuman. Being women workers, there
are other issues. They are not allowed to sit throughout the working hours,
they are issued a fixed number of passes for using the toilets in most
units, they are subject to sexual harassment – they desperately need
unionization. This is especially prevented by using the route of immediate
dismissal of ‘troublemakers’ in local attempts. But it is only the organized
strength of the working class, acting with a vision of the future of the class,
that can take up struggles as part of an overall perspective, rather than
just as a reaction to any proverbial ‘last straw’ in the saga of continuing
severe exploitation.

Many in the trade union world point out that struggles of this sort are a
common feature in unorganized sector workers, with a sudden militant flare
up like a flash in a pan and then nothing. It is an accurate observation.
This is a low capital, labour intensive sector, with the huge number of
workers being remarkable for being maximally unskilled. Being low capital
intensive i.e. low constant capital, the profit margins are small despite
high variable capital and hence high surplus value generated in the sector,
because in accordance with the general law of profit in capitalism, profits
are proportional to capital invested.
As mentioned, the Garment industry in India primarily aims at export
and may be for a very small upper section of India’s market. The owners of

10

June, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

these units, even the larger units, mostly supply to big MNCs and the
competition is at world level and is severe. In order to ensure their profit
margins the owners inevitably squeeze the workers. Labour laws are given
a complete miss- in Bengaluru EPF and ESI seems to be widely
implemented but in other cities even these are not implemented. The labour
law implementation machinery just does not move and when workers struggle
for implementation, owners have many methods to deal with them. Workers
are not on records, the system of wage is complex as it is mostly piece
rate though as in Bengaluru, a fixed number of pieces have to be made for
a given day and the targets are inevitably too high. Apart from that closure
is easy for owners so they simply move machines and close down units
and transfer work to other areas where sustenance of organization becomes
difficult. Govts. and Labour machinery stand with the owners. Thirdly,
work is designed towards shipment dates and is intense in periods and
much less in others when workers are simply turned out of establishments.
So workers also go all out to earn in the period when work is intense,
preparing for the dry period ahead. In this sector it is usual for sections to
fight with the owners for higher piece rate at the time when the orders are
high and such localized struggles do take place. But overall the work
conditions are abysmal, the wages have no link with stipulated minimum
wages, permanency may be only in very large establishments and here too
only a small section of workers would be of this status. A lot of the work
like thread cutting, small embroidery, stitching on ’chumkis’ and ‘sitaras’
is done by the informal sector- in working class colonies at unbelievably
low rates by housewives. In turn these housewives often work under a
contractor who supplies the work and collects the pieces. No doubt the
workers working in the factories remain dissatisfied and angry with their
situation. It is not uncommon in Delhi to see large number of these workers
pour out of these units on some immediate issue like better rates or against
some insult by managers or for timely payments. Even these are short
fights, either quickly reaching a truce if the owner needs the workers
urgently, or workers bringing some ‘leader’ who settles some final payment
while the skilled workers immediately find jobs elsewhere. It is in this
background that the outbursts- spewing out of the latent anger over a
proverbial ‘last straw’- can be understood.
The understanding of workers of this sector about what would constitute
their demand also varies not only from city to city but also over different
periods of time. In the Garment sector in Okhla (Delhi) for instance, (which
June, 2016

11

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

is not women dominated now at least among skilled sections, though they
were also present in good numbers earlier) there was a phase when garment
workers were crazy for ‘piece rate’ work, making as many as possible in
the course of 24 hours and continuing into the next day with minimum of
rest. Many simply lived on the premises. They were usually highly skilled
tailors or cutters, made as much money as possible in a few months and
then went home, to resume work at some other place whenever they
returned. It was a period when this sector had no dearth of orders. Later,
with illnesses, due to propaganda and with the shrinkage of export orders,
there was some spread of understanding that a wage rate and fixed hours
of work was fairer on the worker. But owners also come up with newer
variations of exploitative conditions and many unions simply exist on the
basis of ensuring timely payments or dues to these workers and taking a
cut from the same without setting up any sort of organized formation. There
is experience in this Okhla area of trade union organization of these workers
at a sectorial level and with certain sections of the workers more active in
it but which gradually petered out after some phase of intense activity.
There was earlier (in 1980s) a union in a single large establishment with
only women (migrant and literate) workers even at highly skilled level, but
it was unstable. The establishment gradually closed down. In Phase 1
(garment export units almost monopolize this phase) of this Industrial area,
in February 2013, during the two day all India strike called by almost all
central unions, propaganda was done even among these workers as in
other all India strikes. Workers of two of the large units interacted with our
union’s local leaders. These units did not participate in any way on the
first day. However, on the second day of the strike, they invited the union
leaders to build the rally from near their gate. The workers of these two
large units came out, moved the general rally purposefully towards other
garment units and stoned some of them wherein those workers too emptied
out though often this is not the reaction. All these workers remained in the
rally, dominated completely the 10,000 strong rally which was beyond the
control of the local police for most of the time, stoned so many export
units and dispersed once the rally started moving out of this phase. Having
vented their pent up anger, the next day the area went back to routine
work, and no owner of the area even lodged an FIR.
There is large discrepancy in wages even within a team in this sector.
Despite the higher rates for the highly skilled section of workers, in each
team there are several semiskilled and a large number of unskilled workers

12

June, 2016

who work at low wages.

NEW DEMOCRACY

There is also some experience of an allied sector, the weaving industry,
in Panipat in Haryana in 2003-'06. Here the workers in the pitloom sector,
weaving small items for export, lived and worked in slave like conditions.
A large sectoral struggle resulted in a tripartite agreement which freed the
workers from bondage to immediate owners which was a big relief. The
struggle of the power loom workers had some temporary effect in promises
of labour law implementation but the state crackdown in favour of the owners
resulted in a deluge of criminal cases and as organization did not sustain,
the gains were also withdrawn.

The challenge before the revolutionary trade union movement is to
develop close links with these workers by being among them and learning
how to integrate them with the unionized sections of workers. Attention
has to be directed to developing women workers as leaders. There have to
be forms of organization in accordance with the needs of these workers
especially where these workers are predominantly women. The organization
would have to be sectoral in any area where such units are situated, must
be able to engage the attention of the largest number of workers.
Movements would need to be aimed primarily at the labour law implementing
machinery or the Govt. The issues must be formulated in close connection
with the workers, who are well aware of the constraints of their sector. All
said and done this is a sector employing lakhs of workers, is a vivid example
of the exploitation of cheap labour of Asian countries by MNCs, the
conditions of the workers of the workers are directly linked to Govts.
conniving with owners and total non implementation of labour laws except
where owners find it more useful to give ESI and PF facilities.
An additional issue to always consider is that this sector is completely
export oriented and for instance, collapsed during the world economic crisis
of 2007 simply because export orders started drying up. However there is
a massive need for clothes right here in India with the rider that the market
will be very small even for cheap clothes as people have no ability to buy.
It is actually Govts. who should subsidize cheap ordinary clothes for
citizens, there should be state supply of adequate number of uniforms for
all students, different sections of workers etc. so that this industry can be
viable. Such issues are also linked with that of the textile industry and the
need to make adequately wearable textile available at low rates in the
market or even to resource it through fair price shops.
June, 2016

13

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

Land Reforms in West Bengal
– Propaganda and Reality -III
(This is the third and concluding part of the analysis by Tapas Roy
of land reforms carried out under the Left Front regime in West
Bengal. The earlier two parts were carried in March and April 2016
issues of New Democracy. - Editor)
I

We have already discussed that there is a huge difference between the
propaganda and the achievement regarding land reforms in West Bengal
during the Left Front government’s regime.

However, during the first two terms, particularly during the first term,
there was an attempt to record the names of the bargadars, to vest the
ceiling surplus lands, to distribute the surplus lands. Till then, the role of
peasant organizations was recognized. But gradually the process slowed
down. The CPI (M) registered its policy of class collaboration throwing
class struggle in rural area totally away, obviously to restore status quo. A
new form of rural bureaucracy developed through Panchayat institutions.
The land reform measures, the rural economy and the rural culture were
dominated by the administration – be it administrative bureaucracy or Party
bureaucracy, resulting in a stalemate in the arena. But since then, the
CPI(M) led Left Front tried to establish that the land reforms in West Bengal
have been achieved and are tending towards completion in totality.
II

The scenario took a major deviation since the early1990s. ‘Globalization’
started operating in full swing. Absence of a socialist block helped the
neo-liberals to proceed unhindered almost all over the world with rare
exceptions in a few countries. The Indian rulers immediately adopted the
policy and the then Central government led by Indian National Congress
threw away its pseudo-socialist mask and accepted the economy of
globalization.

14

June, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

The Left Front, the CPI(M) in particular, did not lag behind. Under the
disguise of communism, they accepted globalization in essence, though
they opposed it on paper. The action was reflected in the sphere of land
reforms. The vested land was supposed to be distributed among the eligible
landless and/or poor peasants. But deviating from this principle, the CPI
(M) led Left Front govt. issued a circular with the caption: Settlement of
vested agricultural land lying within Municipal areas / Notified areas / Areas
under Development Authority. The relevant portion of the circular is
reproduced:
“It has been decided that the following steps should be taken in the
matter of settlement of vested agricultural lands which are at the disposal
of Govt. within Municipal area / Notified areas / Areas under Development
authority.
1. All such lands should be treated as non-agricultural land
for the purpose of distribution.
2. Lease should be offered to the Municipality / Corporation /
Notified Authority or any other statutory civic Authority concerned
as a first step.

3. If the said body does not want to take lease under usual
conditions within a reasonable time, request, if any, from Govt.
Departments / Organizations should be considered.

4. If that also does not eventualize, long term settlement
should be offered to the possessors, if they are otherwise suitable.
5. If encroachers are unsuitable, or are not interested in
regularization, steps should be taken for their eviction and the land
should be offered for settlement to public in general in manner laid
down in the Land Management manual.”
(Circular by Board of Revenue, Govt of W.B. memo no:
9080(18) – GE/229/91 Dated, 28.10.1992.).

A gateway to the future ‘Promoter – Raj’! The surplus vested agricultural
land should be treated as non-agricultural land resulting in natural
termination of distribution to the peasants. Instead, doors opened up for
the real estate brokers, capitalists, multi-national organizations, as
June, 2016

15

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

ultimately, ref. (vide point no. 5) the land should be allotted through lease
deed to private parties against a ‘moderate’ rent and 'salami'.
III

The result evolved soon. More or less 300 acres of agricultural land
was vested in the year 1991 – '92 at Bhangore block, a stone's throw away
from Kolkata. The land was fertile and multi-cropped. The peasants had
already occupied the lands. The Left Front govt. could provide pattas to
the eligible persons or could form co-operatives including the peasants.
The plots were contiguous. But the Left Front govt. led by CPI (M) transferred
the lands to West Bengal Small Scale Industrial Corporation for building a
leather complex with foreign assistance (Particularly from Italy).
And thereafter, the floodgates opened. “Real Estate Industries”
developed. Under the direct control and supervision of the Govt., HIDCO –
Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation – was formed and it made
several housing projects at Rajarhat, a hand shaking distance from Kolkata
airport. In fact, Rajarhat is a mega city. Approximately 500 acres of vested
land (agricultural) was allotted to HIDCO. Thereafter, HIDCO’s parent body
(HIDCO is an undertaking of the W.B. Govt), Department of Housing, Govt
of W. Bengal, acquired more than 7000 acres of land in different mouzas.
Out of this, 6000 acres of land was agricultural. Several housing projects,
several high rises of multinationals were erected at the cost of peasants’
livelihood. The Left Front govt. simply performed the role of a broker. Any
protest, any resistance, was curbed by the brutal force of hooligans and
the police. Infact no organization could build up resistance against the
Govt’s or against the CPI (M)’s actions. But with these limitations on the
part of the peasants and other democratic organizations, the Rajarhat
episode unmasked the character of CPI (M) – its close relationship with
the corporates, its alliance with and inclination towards neo-liberal economy.
The ‘success’ of Rajarhat instigated the CPI(M) to slow down the land
reform activities; on the contrary, they took a simple but a dangerous path
to grab the lands from the peasants. Henceforth, they virtually set aside
land reforms, paid lesser and lesser attention to their propagated task of
recording and protection of bargadars, patta-holders, vesting of ceiling
surplus land and inclined to acquisition of lands in favour of promoters,
multi-nationals, industrialists; all in the name of industrial development.
Needless to mention that the acquisition was done under Land Acquisition

16

June, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

Act 1894 which empowered the state to acquire any land from anybody
under any circumstances and according to the Constitution it is the eminent
domain of the state. The CPI (M), after 1990 and more particularly since
the last part of '90s, applied this theory of eminent domain continuously in
the name of industrialization and development.
IV

The obvious result was eviction of bargadars, patta-holders and the
peasants. In fact, the matter was alarming and this was recognized by
administrative documents also. For example, the direction of Land Records
and Surveys and Joint Land Reform Commissions, West Bengal, drew the
attention of the Government vide memo no. 30/2597/C/2002 dt. 03.05.202
to this. The relevant part is reproduced below.

“For some time past it is observed that in adjoining areas of
municipalities, CMDA, Railway stations and in some other important areas,
a huge quantum of land is being converted from agricultural nature to nonagricultural ones. In most of these areas buildings and structures are being
constructed apparently without any planning and as a result, the net arable
lands in West Bengal are being diminished day by day. Automatically, the
bargadars, either recorded or unrecorded, are also being evicted day by
day.”
Further – “However, a bargadar remains a bargadar until and unless
cultivation of bargadar is lawfully terminated. But what is fact is that due to
rapid growth of urban areas, the bargadars are being evicted after a local
compromise between the transferee and the bargadars, who generally
transfer the land against a premium through mutual adjustment. It would
not be irrelevant to mention here that inspite of having provisions of some
penal measures in section 4D and section 20B(5) of the WBLR Act, but till
date, perhaps no such action has been taken by any official due to fear of
public resentment.”

The above observation is a clear reflection of the Left Front government
at that time. The bargadars (not only bargadars, but patta holders and poor
peasants also) were being evicted day by day. This was the observation of
not only the opponents but also of the administration of the Govt. itself.
The attitude of Left Front govt. regarding eviction of bargadars was also
reflected in Amendment to Section 20B of the WBLR Act. By such
June, 2016

17

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

amendment, tea-gardens were made barga free and the bargadars were
evicted in lieu of minor compensation.

The patronage to the ‘Industrialists’, the ‘Promoters’, the ‘Multinationals’
continued and it was done particularly in the name of urbanization and
development. The Land Reforms Act was amended accordingly. As per
Sec. 14Y of the WBLR Act, there were provisions to hold excess land to
establish a tea garden, mill, factory or workshop, livestock breeding farm,
poultry farm or dairy. By an amendment ‘township’ was included.
And lastly and ultimately, the CPI (M) led Left Front threw away even
its revisionist mask to be a firm ally of the Corporate sector, of the richer
classes of the society, by acquiring around about 1000 acres of multicropped fertile agricultural land in Singur and by giving notice of acquisition
in several mouzas of Nandigram P.S. The people reacted, the peasantry
was of the firm opinion that CPI (M) is virtually a close ally of industrialists
like the Tatas and land mafias like the Salems and was aiming at attacking
the daily livelihood of the rural people, pushing them to eviction, starvation
and other odds.
V

The land policy of CPI (M) led Left Front in Singur and Nandigram forced
the people of West Bengal to unite against their rule. The Left Front in
general and the CPI (M) in particular lost credibility among the people in all
spheres of society, not just in the peasantry. Ultimately, in 2011, the people
of West Bengal voted them out of the Govt.

But throughout its tenure, the CPI(M) dealt with the land question only
to restore stability and status quo in rural areas as well as in society,
instead of building up class struggles. During the early periods they only
confined to recording of bargadars and vesting of ceiling surplus land,
although it has already been mentioned in the previous articles (published
in ND) that a mass involvement was there in this recording and vesting. It
has already been mentioned that in early periods of the Left Front regime,
the role of mass organizations, particularly the peasant organizations, was
recognized. But gradually the process lost its pace and land reform was in
total control of administration and rural bureaucracy created mainly through
CPI(M) backed and dominated Panchayat institutions. The CPI (M) never
resisted the entrance to and the domination of the panchayats by people

18

June, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

of questionable class character. As a result, the intent of toiling masses,
of landless and poor peasantry, was defeated and they became subjects
of those with vested interests. Thereafter the Globalization era saw the
CPI (M) led Left Front govt. treating land as a commodity only to satisfy
the ‘need’ of real estate promoters, industrialists and multi-nationals. The
Land Reform Act was amended in their interests. The interests of
bargadars, patta-holders and poor peasants were neglected. Land
Acquisition Act, 1894 was frequently applied to grab the lands of the
peasants. As result, eviction of bargadars, patta-holders, poor peasants
took place regularly without proper compensation and any rehabilitation.
The Human Development Report of West Bengal pointed out that 13.23%
of patta-holders and 14.37% of bargadars had already been evicted. This
was a pre-Singur and pre-Nandigram survey. The actual figure is much
more than that.
VI

In a nutshell, it can be stated that the aspiration of the peasantry in
general and the bargadars and landless poor peasants in particular have
been shattered. The frustration was so much after Singur and Nandigram
episodes that a vast majority of the rural masses voted against the Left
Front in Assembly elections and the Left Front govt. was voted out.
It can be stated that in the arena of land reform

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

to the bargadars although it was a previous demand of their own
Krishak Sabha.
vi. They did not make any attempt to reduce the ceiling limit
and to re-determine the irrigated areas so that more excess/surplus
land could be vested to the state and be distributed to the landless.

vii. And lastly and ultimately they frequently applied the Land
Acquisition Act, 1984 to grab the lands of the rural masses and
became allies of multinationals, promoters, capitalists and jotedars.

The 34 years of Left Front regime have ended. The ‘greatest’ achievement
of Left Front is, no doubt, class collaboration. Wherever there was a chance
of class struggle they were able to stop it either by police or by their
‘hooligans’ or by both. At last they had to give way to a Govt. led by a party
– Trinamul Congress – which is bankrupt politically, corrupt in all respects
and has no agenda regarding land reforms. Land Reform in West Bengal is
totally incomplete. There is possibility to build up propaganda and
programme to consolidate peasants’ demands, their desires and their
aspirations. The revolutionary forces must take this task seriously so that
the revisionists’ performance may be combated both ideologically and
practically. It cannot be denied that, although they are not in power at
present, revisionism in West Bengal is still a social force.

i.
The Left Front and the CPI (M) diminished the role of
peasant organizations gradually.

ii. Throughout the entire period, the Left Front govt. had
confined itself to recording of bargadars and vesting of ceiling
surplus land only.
iii. But this programme (no.ii) also failed to achieve even its
declared goals. Thus their performance in this field is quite halfhearted and incomplete.

iv. They did not make any major amendment in favour of
bargadars; on the contrary some amendment was made to enable
eviction of bargadars.
v.

June, 2016

They did not make any attempt to give title of ownership

19

20

June, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

Struggle of Dalits for
Panchayat land advances
facing State Repression

Sangrur (Punjab)

Recently the struggle of Dalits in Sangrur district of Punjab for their
share of Panchayat land faced severe govt. repression. This struggle has
been continuing for last two years under the banner of Zamin Prapti
Sangharsh Committee (ZPSC). On May 24, 2016 Akali-BJP Govt. fired
upon and lathi charged Dalits protesting against auction meant to defraud
them of their right. In village Ballad Kalan, police action injured a large
number of Dalits and police framed false cases against 170 activists, 71
named and others un-named, for having attacked police. It charged them
for attempt to murder though no policeman had sustained any injury. This
attack occurred on May 24th, on the eve of the anniversary of the famous
Naxalbari armed peasant uprising.

Police has arrested several activists. Arrests are continuing. Cases
are open-ended, allowing the police to round up whomever they consider
the leaders of the movement. Police has seriously clamped down on the
area. Movement of the activists is becoming difficult in these rural areas.
But the people are determined not to let the Govt. rob them of their share
of land and give it to the landlords. Panchayats in the area are controlled
by rich landowners, panchayati administration and representatives of the
ruling parties. Under the law, one third of Panchayat land is reserved for
Dalits, which landlords cannot tolerate. Firstly it is a question of economic
resource and secondly they wish to keep Dalits subjugated. The struggle
has once again exposed the service rendered by Akali-BJP Govt. to
landlords. It has shown these ruling class parties in their true colours.
While they pay lip service to rights of Dalits, they are actually the protectors
of landlords and propertied classes.
On March 20, 2016 ZPSC held a jan-panchayt at village Ghrachon near
Sangrur where 4000 pepole participated and pledged to continue struggle
June, 2016

21

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

for reduction of rent on panchayt land. In the second week of May, struggle
started when in villages Nadam Pur and Kherhi, where residential plots
were allotted to Dalits but not given, Dalits occupied the panchayat land
for residential plots. Meantime in village Jhaloor, panchayat land was
auctioned secretly violating norms, in the name of a person who is a contract
labourer with a landlord. In protest against this, Dalits blocked traffic for
two days and occupied land on third day. False cases were foisted but
they continued occupying the land.

In village Kherhi, the Sarpanch and his henchmen attacked the Dalits
occupying plots, but Dalits gave a befitting reply and the goons had to
beat a retreat. Though both sides received injuries but cases were registered
against Dalits alone. Six Dalits were arrested and sent to jail whereas the
case is also against six more Dalits who could not be arrested. Dalits in
Nadampur and Kherhi continue occupation of residential lands.

In village Jhaneri, a large portion of panchayat land has benn given for
a Gaushala on 30 years lease on rent of Rs. 7000 per acre. Dalits last year
fought that their share should not decrease as a result of this lease. ZPSC
this year is basing its argument for rent reduction on the basis that if rent
for cattle is Rs. 7000 it should be less for human beings. In this village,
auction was held stealthily, without any public notice, where land was given
to the henchmen of the Sarpanch, the ex–Chairman of Block Samiti, an
ex-President of Truckers Union and a right hand man of the MLA. But
Dalits occupied the land, put up a tent and flag and sat on day & night
dharna. Meantime Dalits of village Ballad Kalan moved to occupy the land
which they were tilling for last two years. In this background, auction of
Ballad land was kept for 24th May. On that day nearly hundred people,
mostly women (as men stayed on the land) gheraoed the BDPO office
where auction was being held. Auction of two portions out of thirteen was
held. After gherao auction was stopped, but people insisted that the auction
of two plots be cancelled. In the evening police forcibly took the officials
out. Villagers blocked the highway. Police came in large number and started
beating people who were 250 in number including women. When lathi charge
did not succeed in quelling the people’s resolve, police resorted to firing.
Police brutally beat people including women. People retreated to the village
Sujan which was less than a kilometer away and collected there and
challenged the police. Then police, which was following the people,
retreated. In the evening police, in large number, held a flag march in the

22

June, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

village. Immediately after this, ZPSC held a rally in the village. Next day a
case was registered against 71 people by name and another hundred
unidentified persons under a number of sections of Indian Penal Code
including section 307 i.e. attempt to murder and a witch-hunt was launched.
Two days later police attacked the Jhaneri camp, rounded up more than
forty persons in the wee hours. In the evening women were released and
23 members were booked under various sections and sent to jail. Surjan
Singh Jhaneri, vice president of ZPSC, was arrested and booked under
the cases registered after Ballad Kalan lathicharge also. Eight persons of
Ballad Kalan were arrested on the spot and are in jail.
Next, Dalits of village Mander occupied their share of the panchayat
land and put up a tent and sat on a continuous dharna which is continuing.
After this, Dalits of village Dhandiwal and Kheri in Sherpur block (not the
other Kheri where struggle for residential plots is going on) moved into
their share of panchayat land. Similarly one village in Malerkotla block
staged a dharna in front of SDM office and warned him that if land of their
share is not given within two days, they will occupy the land.

Despite heavy police repression, people are continuing their agitation.
The agitation has shown that Dalits, long deprived of their rights, have
risen. They have risen against the domination of landlords over even their
share of land. They have risen to challenge the social and political domination
of the landlords in the villages. They have risen against semifeudal relations
and landlord oppression. They have risen against the social base of the
ruling classes. While Akali-BJP Govt. has unleashed repression, even the
main opposition party, Congress, is silent on the issue. Not only that, even
the main leaders of Aam Admi Party (AAP), which is bidding for power in
Punjab, are silent on the issue.
A four member team of Janhastakshep had gone from Delhi and released
a statement on the police repression. The team consisted of Convenor of
Janhastakshep, Dr. Ish Mishra, teacher in Hindu College, Delhi University,
Co-convenor, Dr. Vikas Bajpai, teacher in JNU and senior journalists, Shri
Anil Dubey and Rajesh Kumar. The team went to several villages where
this movement is going on and which were affected by severe police
repression. The team found a deep commitment on the part of the people,
particularly women, to continue the agitation despite the repression
unleashed by the state Govt. and its police. Women particularly stressed
that this is not only a struggle for an economic demand but it is a struggle
June, 2016

23

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

for their self-respect. Any person acquainted with rural India knows the
sufferings of the landless in the villages when they are dependent on land
owning classes not only for their employment but even for their day to day
needs. Thus the struggle for land is not only for economic interests but
also for their social and political rights in rural India.

There are two important features of this struggle. It shows that land
question is very much present even in Punjab, though there is a widespread
propaganda even believed by some communist revolutionaries that land
question does not exist in Punjab. Land question exists throughout India
though its forms and expressions vary. In Punjab where capitalist methods
of agriculture are used most extensively, at present the struggle is on Dalit
share of panchayat land though it is not the only form in which land question
exists in Punjab. Panchayat land in Punjab is about 1 lakh 57 thousand
acres and Dalit share of this land amounts to over 52 thousand acres. This
struggle has once again brought back the focus on land struggle.
Secondly, this is the struggle of Dalit villagers. It shows that lack of
Dalits’ share in means of production, principally land, is one of the important
basis for caste oppression. The debate on caste oppression is focused on
issues of urban educated Dalits and hence this struggle brings the more
basic aspect of caste oppression to the fore. No wonder the so-called
messiahs of Dalits are silent on this struggle. It shows their lack of sincerity
to do away with the basis of caste oppression faced by Dalits. These too
are parties of ruling classes and while they use Dalit votes for coming to
power, they do not address the real causes of their degraded status in the
villages where bulk of Dalits live. It is only by mobilizing Dalits for capture
of land and for their share in means of production that basis of caste
oppression can be dented and the unity of the poor against exploitation
and oppression including caste oppression can be achieved in practice.
On the other hand, the struggle has unleashed the initiative and energy of
Dalits including women, who describe this struggle as not merely for
economic benefits but for self-respect as well. This struggle also broadens
the scope of debate on how to fight caste oppression in the country. The
struggle has caught the imagination of Dalit masses in Punjab and the
struggle is brewing in several other centres.

24

June, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

Brief background Note for
Survey of Jute Industry
P. Prasad

As result of the ruin of hand loom weaving industry due to the policies
of British colonial rulers, two modern industries came into existence in
India in the middle of 19th century, i.e. Textiles and Jute sector. Actually,
both these industries are of similar nature. They have in common a
dependence on similar types of spindles and looms and they produce fabric
goods. The ruined hand loom industry also had nearly same the character
but produced hand based products. The Calcutta (now Kolkata) centric
Jute industry and the Bombay (now Mumbai) centric textile industry grew
simultaneously. This growth and extension was in the second half of 19th
century and also first half of 20th century, all in the period of colonial rule.
Both were agro-based as well as labour intensive industries. In the period
of colonial rule both industries generated more and more profits for the
industrialists as well as tears for the working class. Protracted militant and
political struggles took place in these sectors before 1947, as part of anti
colonial struggle. With the transfer of power in 1947, the native owners
came into ownership of these industries, instead of white owners. Robbery
of labour power continued in the same manner. Let us come to the Jute
industry now, particularly.

At the time of partition of British India, the first major crisis took place
in the Jute industry. Most of the areas where raw jute was cultivated had
gone into newly formed East Pakistan i.e. present Bangladesh. At the same
time, Kolkata city and its suburban areas where nearly all the Jute mills
were situated remained in India. So India faced shortage of raw Jute whereas
Pakistan faced absence of mills. The raw Jute shortage led to shortage of
working days for the workers. That was the first major crisis which led
working class into starvation.
In decade of 1980s due to mechanization mainly in sewing department,
thousands of workers lost their jobs. Again in the decade of 1990s, due to
shortage of raw Jute, many mills were locked out or downsized the work.
At the end of decade of ‘90s and in early years of 2000 decade, again
June, 2016

25

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

lockouts and layoffs took place due to low rates of finished goods. This
happened mainly due to the non-implementation of Jute Packaging Material
(Compulsory Usage) Act 1985 (hereafter called as JPM Act). These crises
were not major and were short lived.
But now, the entire scenario in Jute industry of India is being changed
drastically mainly since Modi Govt came into power with BJP majority.
Since last 2 years, Jute industry is losing its ground gradually due to
decrease in sales of finished goods. This trend is taking place by dilution
of the implementation of JPM Act in a conscious and conspiratorial manner
by the Modi govt. This is part of its support and encouragement to the
synthetic lobby, which is being led by Ambani’s Reliance Company. In the
last two years, (1) lockouts (2) layoffs (3) permanent closures and (4)
downsizing of production through reduction of shifts / working days/throwing
out of badli workers and apprentices are taking place. This is the situation
presently prevailing in W. Bengal and AP. This trend is still gathering pace
and may convert into a major crisis. If it happens it will be the second
major crisis. So we should concentrate on studying and analyzing the
situation with a view to developing movements to fight back the attacks on
this sector.
How to understand the ongoing crisis in the Jute Industry? How to
confirm that it is a crisis of the industry? How to analyse the reasons for
that crisis? These are the questions before us.

Lockouts and layoffs are not new to the Jute industry. But we should
identify the reasons for lockouts / layoffs concretely. All lockouts / layoffs
are not same. The managements utilize the lockout / layoffs as their political
weapons to curtail the rights and privileges of the working class or to
suppress the working class struggles and their class consciousness. These
are called politically motivated lockout / layoffs in general. Contrary to
this, if they resort to these as a result of reasons other than to suppress
workers i.e. market reasons, those are generally termed as industrial
lockouts / layoffs.
The industrialists run their industries through purchase of various types
of commodities. But only the living commodity i.e. labour power, is
qualitatively different from others. Industrialists collect / purchase all other
commodities i.e. raw material, machines, land (ground rent), spare parts
(to compensate for depreciation of machinery) etc. at the then market price.

26

June, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

Those are fluctuating but depend on the condition of the then market. The
price of living commodity, i.e. labour power, also fluctuates but also depends
on, in general, bargaining power of working class. That means the level of
class consciousness of working class or trade union movement can also
influence the price of labour power. When industrialists of any industry
resort to lockouts/layoffs to reduce this price of labour power, the latter are
termed political lockouts / lay offs. If they resort to them for other reasons
those are called industrial lockouts.

We should analyse the reasons for present lockouts / layoffs. If lockout
/ layoffs take place in any industry, the reasons should be identified
scientifically by those who have revolutionary ideology, to properly frame
the demands before working class concretely. The jute industry is at cross
roads now, with frequent lockouts / layoffs. But what are the real reasons
for it? Are these political lockouts / layoffs or industrial lockouts / layoffs?
The real reasons need identification.

As per primary observation, we can find that present lockouts / layoffs
are not aimed to suppress the working class mainly. That means that these
are not political lockouts / layoffs. Actually the jute working class has
already lost so many rights and privileges. Now they are losing even
employment. Wage cuts, increase of workload, reduction of work force,
avoiding of fringe benefits etc. anti-worker measures were already existing
in Jute industry. So, there is no need to use lockouts / layoffs as a political
weapon for the mill managements at this juncture. But they are resorting to
lockouts / layoffs in a big way. So we may understand that mill managements
must have reasons other than those related to the working class due to
which they are unable to run their mills uninterruptedly. That’s why it
indicates crisis of jute industry.

The jute industry is an agro based and labour intensive industry. Moreover
it is an eco-friendly industry. So, it requires a protection policy by the
government. The cost of synthetic products is less than cost of jute products.
As per law of economics; higher priced products cannot be sustained before
lower priced products rendering same use value in a compeititve market.
Naturally, the law of cost of production rules the industries, in final essence.
So the jute industry cannot survive in the market in competition with
synthetic industry. Therefore, a special policy should be adopted to protect
this industry by the govts. For this purpose the JPM Act was enacted in
June, 2016

27

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

1980s by then Central govt. basing on the policy of protection for jute
industry. But it is being diluted. So law of competition has entered unofficially
in this sacking sector leading to lockouts / layoffs. Jute industry can survive
and extend only by strict implementation of earlier JPM Act and also by
further strengthening of the same. The aim must be to increase the demand
and for that govts must adopt a strict protection policy for Jute Industry.
In historical evolutionary process, some products cannot be sustained,
even with the help of protective policy of govts. For instance, horse carts
or bullock carts can’t survive before motor vehicles as transport by motor
vehicles is not only cheaper but faster as well. The law of value asserts
itself sans any overriding prescription to the contrary. But jute products
are conducive to the health of people and in that respect have high utility.
As an eco-friendly labour intensive and agro-based industry the jute sector
is in the interests of Indian people. In view of all the above mentioned
aspects the jute industry is more beneficial to society than the synthetic
fibre industry which is harmful.

Jute is an agro-based industry. Roughly 40 lakh peasants families are
growing raw jute in India. They are dependent on it for their livelihood,
whereas only 3 lakh workers are living off it. At present, the protest of jute
workers against lockouts / layoffs is there even if weak. But even a nominal
voice has not been raised by raw jute growers, who are 13 times more in
number than jute working class.
For instance, if one worker works in one jute mill, then he productively
consumes the produce of13 peasants growing raw jute on their land. In
case one worker loses his work due to lockout / layoff, it equals the
disappearance of 13 raw jute growers from their fields. Infact, the livelihood
of 13 raw jute peasants/ growers depend on the livelihood of one worker. If
one worker family suffers from lockout / layoff, it equals the sufferings of
13 peasant families. It one jute mill which consists of 5000 workers is
under lockout in urban area it ruins 65000 raw jute farmers in rural area. It
amounts to loss of livelihood of 65000 families in the countryside. For
instance now there are 25000 sufferers by lockouts / layoffs or closures in
AP. It means that more than 3 lakh raw jute cultivators are sufferers. Each
peasant family of the rural area consists of five members on an average.
So, the number of affected are more than 16 lakh people. Those suffering
peasants may belong to AP or elsewhere in India. Thus, the realization of

28

June, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

the demand for a protective policy for the Jute industry depends also on
the involvement of the peasantry along with the working class. At the same
time, the role of the engine of movements should be taken by the working
class which is the more organized section. In light of this orientation, we
should organize a protracted united agitation basing on unity between
workers and peasants mainly.

The jute sector is a very fertile ground to build anti-imperialist struggle
also. Now Modi govt. is propagating pseudo-patriotism in the garb of
nationalism and also provoking communal violence. At this juncture, we
can expose and prove the real face of Modi govt.- that it is anti national
and subserviant to imperialist powers in view of its conspiring for ruining of
jute industry. Multinational synthetic fibre lobby is influencing Modi govt.
and ruining the one and half century old jute industry. Some capital in Jute
industry may be of comprador character, but in the interest of lakhs of raw
jute growers and workers, it can be treated as national industry. Our IFTU
NC also demands that it be declared as a national industry and be protected
by govts. When privatization is going on blatantly in light of LPG policies
the demand of nationalization of jute industry may seem to be artificial and
unnatural. Some may consider it to be an impractical demand also. However,
to expose the real face of the pseudo nationalism and the pseudo patriotism
of the present Hindutva govt. the demand to declare Jute as national industry
will be a practical demand. It may become a suitable demand politically
and organizationally.
If the workers' and peasants' movement can make the govts. agree to
protect the industry which has value to society the jute industry will become
a sun-rise industry. Otherwise it may be a sun-set industry, with further
ruin. Apart from the interests of workers and raw jute growers, the interests
of millers and of raw jute traders are also there. Infact, the interests of
whole people and country are also involved. Now basically, the existence
of the whole industry is being ruined by pro-imperialist and pro-corporate
policies of our govts.
Rather with modern research, it is also possible to use the jute fibre
with some modification for making garments and for textile industry. For
India, the products of this industry are very viable.

June, 2016

All India Meeting in
Memory of Com. Ravi

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

On 23rd April 2016, the Central Committee of CPI(ML)-New Democracy
organized a condolence meeting in memory of Comrade Rayala Subhash
Chandra Bose (Ravi), the Secretary of the Telangana state committee and
a CC member of the party, who died of a cerebral stroke on 9th March. This
meeting held at the Sundaraiah Vignana Kendram in Hyderabad was
attended by over eight hundred comrades from various districts of the
Telangana state along with a few comrades from the AP state as well. The
meeting, presided over by Comrade Y. Sambasiva Rao, CC member, was
addressed by party spokespersons from different states and state leaders
of Telangana.

The meeting began with paying homage to the departed comrade and
amidst slogans “Ravianna Amar hai”. A CD containing songs in memory of
Comrade Ravi and brought out by Arunodaya was released by Com. YSR,
who in his opening address recounted his association with Com. Ravi. He
said that Ravi was an exemplary communist who always adhered to
discipline and his long political life has left us rich experience from which
we can learn a lot. While in the forest he always used to listen to news
pertaining to national and international affairs with the small transistor he
had and he would make a detailed analysis of the same and explain to the
comrades around. He was a comrade who would teach and learn as well.

Comrade Ajmer Singh, leader of the party in Punjab said that when they
heard the news of Ravi's death they felt very sad. Com. Ravi was one
among the few communist revolutionaries who remained underground till
his last breath for 48 years which was something extraordinary. His death
is not only a loss to the party in Telangana but to the entire party in the
country. The issue before everyone today is, how to carry forward his
aspirations and ideals and it is only by addressing this task that we would
be paying real tributes to this martyr, he stated. He said that this condolence
meeting is being held at a time when the BJP-led NDA government is
intensifying the implementation of the pro-imperialist, pro-corporate agenda
along with its communal Hindutva agenda.
June, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

Com. Vemulapalli Venkataramaiah, Secretariat member of the party in
Telangana, said none thought that Ravi would leave us so soon and it was
unexpected. Nobody imagined that there will be a condolence meeting for
him. He recalled the time when he along with Ravi, Chandram and Vikram
were taken into the state committee of the party in 1976. Since then he
travelled with Ravi till the last moments of Ravi's life. Ravi was a mine of
experience in the revolutionary movement of the country. In his student
days he came under the influence of CPI(ML). He later realized the
incorrectness of left deviation which had come to dominate CPI(ML)
leadership and subsequently associated himself with Com. CP. Ravi had
this quality to review practice and felt that resistance struggle should not
be confined to agency areas but should encompass the rural plain areas
as well. He fought against neo-revisionism and parliamentary path.

Agricultural scientist, Prof. KR Choudary said though he had no direct
interaction with Ravi, on one occasion he talked to him on phone. Ravi had
asked him to translate into Telugu the book on globalization and its impacts
which he had written. Calling upon all communist revolutionaries to unite,
he said Ravi's role in the revolutionary movement of the country has been
very significant. Vara Vara Rao on behalf of Virasam and the Maoist party
paid homage to Com. Ravi and said he and Ravi entered the revolutionary
stream in the same period, the only difference was that Ravi directly entered
the political field whereas he came through the literary movement. He said
Ravi strove all the years to carry forward the path of Naxalbari. Com. G.
Vijay Kumar, CCM of CPI(ML)-Kanu Sanyal recalled the days when he and
Ravi were in the student movement, he in Guntur and Ravi in Khammam in
the same period. We imagined that revolution would take place soon but
that did not happen and the movement suffered losses in various forms.
Ravi believed in the path of people's war and we need to move on this path.
It is necessary we take serious steps to unite.
Com.Dharampal Singh, leader of CPI(ML)-New Democracy, UP State
Committee paid tributes to Com. Ravi and said one needs to learn a lot
from the life and work of Ravi. Com. Bhalchandra Shadangi, Spokesperson
of the Party in Odisha, paid revolutionary homage and said that Ravianna's
role in the revolutionary movement of the country has been very significant
and none is comparable to him in maintaining discipline. Under conditions
of all round attacks on the people by the Modi government, Ravianna's
loss is a serious one. Com. Mrigank, spokesperson of the Party in Delhi
June, 2016

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

opined that Ravianna had very great qualities as a person. He was never
demanding and was very disciplined. To live as a communist revolutionary
and that too in underground till the last breath is something that is very
significant. Com. P. Prasad, member of the AP state committee of the
Party, said that every moment of Raviannas life was devoted to the
development of revolutionary movement and of the party. He was always
trying to apply Marxism to the concrete conditions obtaining in the country
and strove hard for the implementation of the party line. Com.Byas Tiwari
representing the Bihar-Jharkand state committee of the Party recounted
his association with Ravi when the latter attended one of their state
committee meetings and gave some valuable suggestions for the
development of the movement there. He said that they had hoped that
Ravi would continue to play this role, but his sudden death has saddened
them. Com. Rama, member of the Telangana state committee of the Party
and life partner of Ravi said that Ravi's sole concern was realizing revolution
and he always used to discuss about mass line. He was instrumental in
her own development. During times of splits in the party, Ravi was always
a disturbed person. He was a committed communist and lived on the basis
of communist values. He was a role model and we need to emulate some
of the best qualities that were in him. On behalf of the West Bengal unit of
the Party, Com. Sujan Chakraborty condoled the death of Com. Ravi and
expressed sympathies to the family members. He stated that Ravi led a
life of a true revolutionary and on this occasion we need to pledge to move
ahead on the path of revolution. B. Pradeep, Gen.Secretary of IFTU, said
that in everyone's life there occur incidents that shake them and Ravi's
sudden demise shook all of us. He recalled his first meeting with Ravi
during the Emergency when repression was at its peak and the police had
gunned down both Ramnarsaiah and Ramchandraiah. Ravianna was
instrumental in developing the resistance movement under these conditions.
Com. P. Ranga Rao,secretariat member of the Party in Telangana paid
homage to Com. Ravianna as leader of the revolutionary movement in the
country. He was another name for discipline and was always immersed in
thoughts about the state of movement in the country. He was instrumental
in developing, mentoring many leaders of the Party and stood firm in the
political struggle against right and left deviations. He strove to develop
linkages between the forest and plain areas movements.
Members of Arunodaya sang songs in memory of Com. Ravi and other
martyrs who laid down their lives in the cause of revolution.
June, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

Brutal killing of tribal leader and
AIKMS activist Comrade Adangu
Gomango by Landlord goons

Comrade Adangu Gomango (55 years), one of the prominent leaders of
AIKMS (erstwhile Lok Sangram Manch) and a popular tribal leader of Ganjam
district, was killed on the midnight of 22nd May 2016. He was cold bloodedly
killed while sleeping on the veranda of his home.
Comrade Gomango came from a poor tribal family of Kumarabandha in
Dharakote block of Ganjam district. He was active in organizing the poor
people, particularly the tribals, in Ganjam district for the last 15 years.
Even before joining the Lok Sangram Manch in 2001 he had been fighting
for the cause of tribal people of his locality. He had earlier held the posts
of Dharakote block President and Ganjam dist. President of Lok Sangram
Manch. Under his leadership many struggles of the people, particularly of
the tribals and dalits, over land, forest right, against the atrocities of police
and forest officials and against caste oppression were held in Ganjam
district. Though he was totally illiterate he was a good orator in his own
tribal language i.e. Soura and was having good organizing power. Three
years back he was physically attacked by the armed goons of Bajrang Dal
with the support of local landlords and ruling party leaders. Just before his
killing there was a tussle between the people of his village and some
landlords of his neighbouring village over forest land. The tribal people of
his village had received forest right titles for the above mentioned forest
land, which these landlords want to capture forcefully. Comrade Gumango
has earlier approached the local authorities to enforce the rights of the
tribals. It is being suspected that these landlords, with the help of some
supari goons of Bajrang Dal, killed him in a planned manner. We on behalf
of the PC of Odisha of CPI(ML)ND, condemn this brutal killing of Comrade
Adangu Gomango and demand an enquiry by the Crime Branch into the
incident. We demand that the killers be apprehended immediately. With
his death the toiling masses of Odisha, particularly the tribals, have lost
one of their fighting sons and CPI(ML) ND has lost an active comrade.

(Statement issued by the Spokesperson of Odisha Provincial Committee
of CPI(ML)-New Democracy Com. Bhalachandra Shadangi.)
June, 2016

33

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

AIKMS rally against the killing of
Adangu Gomango

O n 3rd June
2016, the Ganjam
district unit of
AIKMS organized a
rally against the
brutal killing of
Comrade Adangu
G omango in his
native
village
Kumarabandha in
Dharakote block.
Hundreds
of
AIKMS supporters,
mainly tribals and dalits from different villages of Dharakote block
congregated at Kumarabandha and vowed to carry forward the struggle
started by the departed leader. Addressing the rally Comrade Bhalachandra,
state spokesperson of CPI(ML) ND, remembered the contributions of
Comrade Adangu in building the struggle of the rural poor in Ganjam district.
Though he was illiterate he could organize the poor peasants of Dharakote
area under the banner of then Lok Sangram Manch and in his leadership
many struggles over land and particularly forest land were waged
successfully. Comrade Bhalachandra urged the people to strengthen the
movement for land, forest right under the leadership of AIKMS.

Loka Shakti Abhijan President Prafulla Samantara, CPI(ML)ND
Srikakulam leader Comrade Tandra Prakash, AIKMS state Vice President
Comrade Raghunath Nayak, AIKMS District Secretary Comrade Pitabash
Pradhan, District committee member Comrade Dayanidhi Sethi and
Dharakote Block Secretary Comrade Limbina Mandal also expressed deep
condolence for Comrade Adangu Gomango. They urged the people to carry
forward the struggle of tribals and dalits against the anti people policies of
the ruling classes. Comrade Jakshya Gomango, AIKMS block President,
presided over the rally.

34

June, 2016

Social Consciousness and
Culture
NEW DEMOCRACY

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

Pravin Nadkar

attempt to shake off old prejudices nurtured in the oppressive society
against the democratic and socialist principles. The cultural revolution
challenged the supremacy of reactionary feudal beliefs and attempted to
create a new culture through mass mobilization and by relying on the class
consciousness of the masses. The class consciousness was the main
criteria behind the 'Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution‘ as it was officially
called.

May 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the start of the ‘Great Proletarian
Cultural Revolution’ of China. Its aim was to prevent restoration of Capitalism
in China. Its fundamental premise was recognition of culture as one of the
tools for class supremacy. It exposed the myth of culture being a pleasnat
luxury of the civilised life. Cultural revolution reminded the artists that to
be a revolutionary artist the important criteria is, first to be a revolutionary.
It was an attempt to fine tune the culture with the socialist state and social
relations in China. It recognized that if the class struggle is watered down
then class consciousness too would be compromised and then capitalism
could make an easy comeback by cultural route. The cultural revolution
targeted four bad tendencies in the society - the reactionary tendencies
relating to customs, culture, habits and ideas. It regarded the culture as
“an essential or constitutive part of human consciousness and social being”
in the words of Ernest Fisher, the famous Marxist art critique. It was an

Lets try to look at the contemporary cultural scene in India from the
point of class consciousness, which was given cardinal importance in the
Cultural Revolution of China. The working masses in India have yet to
become fully conscious about the ideological deceptions practiced by the
ruling classes through their agenda of religious sectarianism and false
notions of patriotism. The working masses of India have not yet fully grasped
the importance of solidarity across the regional, sectoral, religious, national
and caste divisions. The working people are struggling on the issues of
immediate concern for their own survival but they are unable to grasp the
importance and feasibility of the capturing of political power for the
betterment of their own lot. The revisionists in the working class movement
are responsible for limiting the working people's struggle to their immediate
concerns and stopping it from developing into a full scale class struggle
aimed at capturing the means of production. The weakness in the class
consciousness of working masses in India is a result of the weakness of
the class struggle. The working masses are indulging in the practice of the
popular reactionary culture and being swayed by the sectarian revivalist
tendencies due to this lower level of class consciousness. They are still

The Idealist interpretation of society seeks to promote ideologies that
judge reality from the point of view of preconceived notions suitable for the
defence and maintenance of the status quo of existing society. It is
reactionary because it justifies the exploitative system and resists any
change in it. It governs the social consciousness of society in the sphere
of its cultural affairs. The dialectical materialist point of view of the proletariat
on the other hand promotes revolutionary change in society. It exposes
the limitations and falsehood of the feudal and bourgeois points of view.
This revolutionary point of view becomes dominant in a society only when,
as a result of class struggle, the social consciousness of the society
reaches the stage of class consciousness. Thus social consciousness of
the regressive variety corresponds to the stagnation in cultural advance.
The higher level of social consciousness in the form of class consciousness,
on the other hand, corresponds to the dynamics of dialectical development
of culture.

June, 2016

35

In order to understand the cultural dynamics of our country we need to
take a look at the state of the social consciousness. Large number of
working people in India are engaged in production with backward methods.
Modern Industrial working class in India today exists largely as an aggregate
of persons. Its existence as a class is very small given their numbers in
our society. Revolutionary forces need to lead the working masses from
the rural areas as well as the industrial workers into class struggles, for the
working class to emerge as a powerful self conscious class . We have a
working class but we do not have a strong assertion of working class
consciousness in our society. Marx has made a famous distinction between
‘class in itself’ (emerging working class not conscious of its existence as
a class) and ‘class for itself' (a class already conscious of its social role).

36

June, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

under the influence of ruling class culture which narrows down the limits of
their social consciousness. This state of the lower social consciousness
is responsible for the dismal state of culture in our society.

The ruling class systematically nurtures a sense of false consciousness
among the working masses. As described by Antonio Gramsci, ‘false
consciousness is a tool of cultural hegemony ‘. The rulers constantly update
and perfect this tool according to the challenges before them for maintaining
their power over the disadvantaged. Holding beliefs that are contrary to
one’s own social interests is a result of this ‘false consciousness’, which
too is a form of social consciousness. It results in blurring the idea of
class solidarity. The social and political narratives as espoused by the
rulers are imbibed by the working masses. People are made to believe in
things about society that are not valid from the scientific point of view. The
working masses fail to see the importance of unity amongst them for a
united struggle against the exploitation by the ruling classes. The ruling
class ideologies cover up the class nature of the society and foster illusions
about betterment of lives through individual efforts. The Indian ruling classes
justify their anti people actions by manipulating media and constantly
repeating falsified versions of social and political reality through various
channels of social discourse at their disposal. This false consciousness
created among the working people helps the survival of the regressive
culture in our society.

We find the people swayed by the agitations and movements based on
the lines of regional, casteist, religious and other such concerns. These
movements cause a serious setback to the ideas of the class struggle,
class solidarity and class consciousness in general. The ruling classes,
backed by the imperialist powers, therefore always prefer to resort to such
struggles for diverting people's anger against the system. The parliamentary
politics practiced by the revisionists and the ruling classes requires such
sectarian movements for its own legitimacy. The fodder for such movements
is the existence of the reactionary culture rooted in old customs, habits
and ideas among the working people. Imperialism too is pushing a glittering
culture based on fetish of consumerism, aspirational greed and a dream of
a humane, democratic and prosperous capitalist society. The interpretation
of history based on religious scriptures, promotion of religious and caste
based sectarianism, a systematic justification and glorification of
Brahmanical superiority in Indian society and other such tendencies are
shaping the contemporary culture in India. Social consciousness moulded
June, 2016

37

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

under such conditions results in pushing our society and culture away from
the path of its progressive development and glory.

Fantasy of Bourgeois modernity today lures the youth of our country in
a big way. Bourgeois modernity in fact, has already outlived its progressive
role in our society. The contemporary state of parliamentary democracy,
philanthropy, bourgeois rationality, radical social reforms, economic theories
etc. points out the limitations and regressive role of modernity in the Indian
society. Modernity in the period of bourgeoisie rising as a class was opposed
to the conservatism of the landed gentry. Now it is different; conservatism
today does not come in the way of capitalist interests. In fact we see many
conservative parties at the service of the bourgeois today. Today the
bourgeois class, for its survival as a class, is more threatened by the
working class and peasantry than by the landlords. As such we see the
capitalist class in our country making common cause with the feudal
interests in our society and culture. It has resulted in bourgeois modernism
giving up its pursuit of fighting conservatism, which in our society manifests
in the form of communalism, casteism, patriarchy etc. Another progressive
trait of the bourgeoisie during its inception stage as a class was rationalism.
Even the rationalism of the bourgeois class today is more associated with
rationalism for economic calculations than as a principle for social affairs
and world outlook. The concept of Bourgeois modernism as a form of social
consciousness is therefore outdated today, in relation to the revolutionary
culture.

Bourgeois modernity today has taken the form of imperialist culture
which itself is facing decadence. Working masses will have to follow a new
path of modernity which will help them achieve freedom from exploitation
and oppression by the ruling elite. The working people, for that purpose,
need to reject the implicit class bias in favour of bourgeois class in bourgeois
modernism. Working people need to adopt a working class bias while making
use of the anti-feudal ideas embedded in bourgeois modernism. Imperialism
today is encouraging commodity fetishism, which is yet another distinctive
form of false consciousness associated with the idea of modernism in the
present society. The crave to constantly acquire latest modern gadgets
and branded commodities is associated with this tendency. Under
capitalism, once the object is in the market, a monetary value is assigned
to it. The value of that object then may not be judged on the basis of the
intrinsic socially necessary labor value. For example, the price of a glorified
brand of, say jeans, will be much more than the intrinsic labor value of a

38

June, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

regular jeans. The magical quality ascribed to the iconic brand becomes
justification for the high monetary value assigned to those jeans in complete
disregard of its universal exchange value in the market. The commodity is
thus fetishized and the perception of its value is based upon the false
consciousness of the commodity as hyped by the brand managers. Under
the influence of this false consciousness, the pursuit of happiness in a
consumption driven economy is often associated with individual acquisition
and consumption of commodities. The struggle for collective happiness
through collective efforts of the working masses is then undermined due to
this false consciousness of things.
The false consciousness among the working masses about the social
reality blurs the idea of class solidarity amongst them. The social and
political narrative as espoused by the ruling classes is imbibed by the
working masses due to their lack of class consciousness. People are made
to believe in things about society that are not valid from the scientific point
of view. The working masses fail to see the importance of unity amongst
them for a united struggle against the exploitation by the ruling classes.
The ruling class ideologies cover up the class nature of society and foster
illusions about betterment of lives through individual efforts. They are being
swayed by the agitations and movements based on the lines of regional,
casteist, religious and other such concerns. These movements cause a
serious set back to the ideas of the class struggle, class solidarity and
class consciousness in general. The ruling classes backed by the
imperialist powers therefore always prefer to resort to such struggles for
diverting peoples anger against the system.

The parliamentary politics practiced by the revisionists and the ruling
classes requires such sectarian movements for its own legitimacy. The
Naxalite movement which was also influenced by the Cultural Revolution
in China, attempted to break the tendency of limiting the mass struggles to
the sphere of immediate gains and tried to advance the partial land struggles
to the class struggle aimed at capturing land, the means of production.
Naxalbari movement infused a new vitality into the cultural movement by
focusing on the idea of capturing political power and thereby attempting to
arouse the class consciousness of the working people. A lot of new literature
was produced, folk forms were reinvented, music created and in general
new cultural sensibilities were developed under the impact of the raised
class consciousness of the working masses on account of their participation
in the class struggle. However even today the class struggle has failed to
June, 2016

39

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

advance on the expected lines and the reactionaries are taking full
advantage of this situation to infuse a false social consciousness among
the working masses.

Class consciousness meaning consciousness of the permanent and
basic universal interests of the class, does not emerge merely out of the
existence of that class. Even the working class does not come into
existence as a full grown entity by itself. It grows in a crude elemental
manner from individuals joining its ranks from a number of diverse social
groups. Different social groups from different regions, economic and social
strata, peasant and middle class sections etc. on account of their position
in relation to the means of production, form the working masses in a given
society. The working class becomes conscious of its class interests only
through its participation in a long drawn struggle against its exploiters for
its own peculiar immediate interests, social needs and desires. The
participation in such struggles gives form to the idea of belonging to the
working class, to the workers. Class consciousness arising out of this
realization of common interests is thus not a precondition to the launching
of the class struggle but it actually grows out of participation in the class
struggle. Class consciousness as a type of social consciousness is a
necessary condition for the progress of our culture. ‘’Development of the
best models, traditions, and results of existing culture, from the point of
Marxist world outlook" as described Com Lenin, should also be on our
agenda of promoting revolutionary culture

Chinese Cultural Revolution emphasized continuation of class struggle
in the cultural field even after successful political revolution in their country.
They had firmly grasped the social truth that any divergence from grasping
the importance of class struggle in a class society (classes existed even
in the socialist Chinese society) would result in lowering the class
consciousness in their society. Socialist culture for socialist construction
would have been unimaginable without the basis of proletarian class
consciousness, the basis of “The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution”.
Similarly, in India we have to grasp the importance of linking the
development of revolutionary culture to class consciousness- the heightened
form of social consciousness.

40

June, 2016

Water Emergency to
Combat Drought

NEW DEMOCRACY

Bhalachandra Shadangi

For the last several weeks many parts of the country including Odisha
are witnessing an unprecedented drought situation. Officially one third of
the country i.e. 11 of the 29 states, 256 out of 660 districts, 2327 out of
6800 blocks and 96,954 out of 2,57,000 gram panchayats are severely
affected by this drought. The Marathwada region of Maharashtra and the
Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh are the worst hit where large numbers
of farmers are committing suicides and mothers are feeding their children
rotis made of grass.

Not only that, major perennial rivers like Ganga, Godavari and Krishna
have dried up at several locations which was unheard of earlier. Groundwater
levels are at a record low. In many places hand pumps have dried up
completely. The crisis of water due to drought is such that the Govt. had to
supply drinking water by trains to Latur and some areas of Maharashtra
though it was largely for propaganda purposes. The number of people
impacted and the intensity of the impact are huge this time. This is only
the fourth time in the past hundred years that there has been a back-toback drought, but on all previous occasions groundwater, the insurance in
times of drought, had provided relief. That is no longer an available option
in several places. Our rivers are in a much worse situation today than ever
in the past, due to all the ill treatment we have meted out to them, including
multiple and often unnecessary, unjustified damming, diversion of water
from rivers to high water consuming/ wasting industries eg. thermal power
plants being set up in different parts of the country. All this makes the
situation this year much worse.
This drought has once again brought the water crisis of the country to
the fore. India is facing major challenges in the water sector with the per
capita availability going down day by day. Rapid urbanization,
industrialization and commercialization has enhanced its demand many
June, 2016

41

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

fold.

The average rainfall of our country is about 1170 mm which corresponds
to an annual precipitation of about 4000 BCM (Billion Cubic Metres) including
snowfall. However there is considerable variation in rain fall. After accounting
for evaporation, the average annual water availability in the country has
been assessed as 1869 BCM. Out of this only 1123 BCM is utilisable
water which includes 690 BCM surface water and 433 BCM ground water.
Since the amount of water is more or less constant, rising demands due to
increasing population and economic activities are expected to strain the
demand supply balance. India’s population has increased from 361 million
in 1951 to 1.21 billion in 2011 and the per capita availability of water for the
country as a whole has decreased from 5177 cubic metres per annum in
1951 to 1545 cubic metres per annum in 2011, a reduction of about 70%.
This reduction is particularly significant for the areas with relative water
deficiency like western, central and southern parts of India. This spatial
difference in water availability would call for solutions specifically relevant
to the concerned areas.
The annual extraction of ground water in India is highest in the world
and the growing dependence on this has led to over extraction which is
lowering the water table very fast in the country. According to official data
around 84% of the total addition to the net irrigated area has come from
ground water over the last four decades which means this source has been
exploited beyond sustainable level.

Our wrong cropping pattern is one of the main reasons for drought in
some areas. In regularly drought hit Marathwada and western Maharashtra
(similarly, also northern Karnataka), though sugar cane is cultivated on
about four to five per cent of cropped land, it takes up about 70 per cent of
water available for irrigation. Considering the rainfall, weather situation and
water availability, sugarcane is not a sustainable crop in these regions.
Same is the case with other high water consuming crops. Also important is
the fact of lack of support to dry area crops like pulses, oilseeds etc.
which has created scarcity of these items and also made the water situation
even more precarious in some parts of the country. Not only in Marathwada,
all the areas which are facing regular water scarcity should promote crops
which require less water.
In this context India should declare a Water Emergency throughout the

42

June, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

country and take following long term and short term measures to minimize
the impact of drought and of water crisis.

Emergency Measures:

1. Declare all blocks with 10% less rain as drought stricken. Declare
water supply as essential for life.
2.

Ban free trade of water during summer months in all drought areas.

3. Ensure free supply of drinking water for at least 6 hours per day by
local administrations to all rural and urban residential and resettlement
colonies. Strict punishment to officials where water supply is not restored.
No imposition of Section 144 and punishment to people when they protest
against lack of water.
4. Ensure adequate drinking water for animals in all drought stricken
areas free of cost.

5. Implement and guarantee MGNREGS for entire year with enhanced
wage payment of Rs 500 per day to all rural households in drought hit
areas.
6. Ban on luxury use of water e.g. Water Sports, IPL matches, Horse
Racing, Golf, Maintenance of luxury lawns in Hotels, in Govt. Bungalows,
Recreational Centres, etc. during summer months (April to June) in all
water short districts

7. Ban on construction of concrete structures, urban dwellings, SEZs,
Smart Cities on agricultural land.

Long Term Measures:

1. Review of minimum gauge and flow of water in all perennial rivers;
declare data on available water assets in the rivers. Review all industrial
establishments planned and built along the course of such rivers using and
polluting the river water. Implement progressive ban on use of river water
by Thermal Power Plants and water wasting industries along with promotion
of Solar Energy.
2. Educate the peasantry and ban water consuming cropping pattern in

June, 2016

43

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

water starved districts. Implement policy of suitable area wise, low water
consuming cropping pattern, grant of Govt. subsidized cheap inputs and
profitable support price to all such crops.

3. Review water conservation implementation. Declare data on
restoration and depth of ponds, lakes, canals, check dams, overflow weirs
in drought stricken districts. Bring white paper on depletion of rural and
urban water bodies’ area over last 2 decades. Declare current owners and
current use of such land.

4. Review reduction in tree cover area and reduction in precipitation
during last 20 years.

5. Withdraw Govt. policy to impose taxation on ground water withdrawal
by common people and peasants for drinking water and water for farming.
6. Review concreting of ground areas, parks, pathways which reduce
water recharging carpet area in urban areas.

Read and Subscribe

CPI(ML) Organs

New Democracy
Pratirodh Ka Swar
Voice of New Democracy
New Democracy Bulletin
Biplabi Ganaline
Inquilabi Sada Rah
Lok Yudh
Sangrami Ekta
44

English
Hindi
Telugu
(Telengana)
Telugu
(Andhra Pradesh)
Bengali
Punjabi
Marathi
Odia
June, 2016

Observe 50 years of Launch
of Great Proletarian Cultural
Revolution
NEW DEMOCRACY

Half a century ago on this day, on May 16, 1966, Central Committee
of the Communist Party of China adopted the Circular which is marked
as the beginning of Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China.
GPCR was an unprecedented mass movement targeting the capitalist
roaders inside the leadership of the Communist Party of China and
was aimed at preventing capitalist restoration in socialist China. GPCR
enriched the Marxist-Leninist understanding of the class struggle after
capture of political power by the working class and is an important
part of Mao Zedong Thought, which is the further development of
Marxism-Leninism, elevating it to a new level of Marxism-LeninismMao Zedong Thought.

It was an established understanding of Marxism-Leninism that
class struggle does not end with conquest of political power by the
working class, rather it is increased manifold under the new
conditions. Remnants of the disempowered exploiting classes, petty
bourgeois production which furnishes the class basis for the reversal
of s ocialist c onstruction and the c apitalist elements in the
superstructure in which they continue to exercise influence for a long
period need be combated to fight against restoration of capitalism.
Com. Mao showed that besides these, bureaucrats inside the party
and state in socialism too are representatives of capitalism. All these
bases against which working class needs to wage struggle, are
protected and defended by the revisionists inside the leadership who
are backed by these anti-proletarian forces in their struggle against
socialist construction. Thus revisionist leaders who worm their way
into leadership and who serve the interests hostile to working class,
work to restore capitalism and are thus capitalist roaders inside the
leadership of the communist party.
June, 2016

45

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

While working class under the leadership of the Communist Party
tries to advance socialist construction, tries to capture what had been
the preserve of bourgeois influence in society, these capitalist roaders
try to halt this advance. These capitalist roaders move very tactically
and try to blunt the cutting edge of the class struggle in the society.
Once they are able to blunt the class struggle, stop the advance of
proletarian revolution, they gradually overturn the victories scored
by revolutionary working class, try to overturn the correct verdicts of
the past and restore capitalism. Revisionists don different garbs and
colours to dupe the revolutionary people. While in Russia it was under
the leadership of Khruschev that modern revisionists reversed
socialism built under the leadership of Lenin and Stalin and restored
capitalism, in China the revisionists led by Deng Xiaoping undid the
socialist construction and restored capitalism. Deng revisionism
became the vehicle of capitalist restoration in China.
Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was a great mass movement
targeting these capitalist roaders in the leadership of the Communist
Party and in the higher echelons of superstructure.

Development of class struggle under the dictatorship of proletariat
amply proved correctness of the GPCR. Though revisionists in China
could capture the leadership of CPC soon after Com. Mao’s death,
the victories scored by Chinese working class and people during GPCR
prove that it was in the correct direction. Revisionists who captured
power soon after Mao’s death first declared “mistakes” during GPCR
which was an attempt to overturn the correct verdicts and soon they
termed the whole GPCR as a “disaster” thereby completely halting
and reversing the gains made during GPCR. Subsequent development
in China proved the correctness of GPCR. Revisionist capitalist
roaders who captured power soon displayed their true colours,
reversed the process of socialist construction, dismantled the socialist
base in industries and agriculture and restored capitalism in China.
As revisionists bring about reversal gradually, targeting some
spheres first and the rest later while all along moving in counterrevolutionary direction, communist revolutionaries have to be very
vigilant to detect the rise of revisionism in the Communist Party and

46

June, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

fight it all along the way. Communist Revolutionaries should not wait
till revisionists display their full colours which they do only when they
consolidate themselves in the leadership, but should fight whenever
they try to smuggle in their anti-revolutionary ideas. Reversal in China
is a clear example that revisionist leadership at every step tried to
portray their retrograde policies as correct application of MarxismLeninist-Mao Zedong Thought while all along building capitalism in
China.

There is continuous struggle inside the revolutionary movement
and Communist Party between revolutionary and anti-revolutionary
orientation represented by revolutionaries and revisionists. At times
this struggle becomes particularly sharp but it always remains. When
Com. Stalin and Com. Mao were waging struggles against revisionism
in their parties they termed it a life and death struggle. As told by the
Great Teachers of the world proletariat this reflects the ongoing class
struggle in society. Having a good grasp of class struggle is necessary
to detect the revisionist trends when they raise their head in the
movement. It is of utmost importance to wage this struggle as victory
of revisionism leads to restoration of capitalism in countries under
the rule of working class and to communist parties degenerating into
appendages of ruling classes where they are not in power. Hence
struggle against revisionism is essential for defending and developing
revolutionary orientation of the party.
GPCR was a continuation of the struggle against modern
revisionism waged by the Communist Party of China under the
leadership of Com. Mao Zedong. When leadership of CPSU(B) was
seized by the revisionist clique led by Khruschev and they came up
with their modern revisionism collaborating with imperialism and
opposing Marxism-Leninism, socialism and revolutionary movements
throughout the world, CPC opposed modern revisionism. It waged a
consistent and principled struggle in defense of Marxism-Leninism
and proletarian internationalism. The critique of the modern revisionist
theories and actions of Khruschev revisionist clique are known as
Great Debate which drew a sharp line of demarcation between
modern revisionism and Marxism-Leninism.
June, 2016

47

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

Great Debate continues to illuminate the path of communist
revolutionaries of different countries. Great Proletarian Cultural
Revolution was the continuation of this struggle against modern
revisionism further developing this struggle and enriching the
understanding about construction of socialism. GPCR took this
struggle to a higher stage and it led to break of revolutionary
communists with modern revisionism throughout the world. In our
country the break with neo-revisionist CPM leadership occurred after
Naxalbari peasant uprising and communist revolutionaries who were
expelled from CPM or came out of it in support of Naxalbari struggle,
supported GPCR from the beginning and took Marxism-LeninismMao Zedong Thought as their ideological guide. GPCR is an integral
part of Mao Zedong Thought. Political Resolution of our 2004
Congress summarized it, “Mao Zedong Thought has universal
application and is a further development of Marxism-Leninism to the
new stage of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought. … Mao
Zedong Thought is further all round development of the theory and
practice of dictatorship of proletariat. It teaches us how to bring about
dictatorship of proletariat in oppressed and backward countries
through New Democratic Revolution by launching protracted people’s
war and how to consolidate and develop socialism by continuing the
revolution under the conditions of dictatorship of proletariat i.e. by
launching GPCR.”
By observing beginning of GPCR we acknowledge the great
contribution it made to the general armoury of Marxism-LeninismMao Zedong Thought, we underscore the importance of struggle
against revisionism for communist revolutionary movement, we
uphold the historic break of revolutionary Marxism with revisionism
of all hues and we dedicate ourselves to advance the revolutionary
movement to the victory of New Democratic Revolution in India.

(We are publishing a statement issued by the Central Committee
of CPI(ML)-New Democracy on May 16. 2016. -Editor)

48

June, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

Circular of the Central Committee of the
Communist Party of China on the Great
Proletarian Cultural Revolution
May 16, 1966
To all regional bureaus of the Central Committee, all provincial,
municipal and autonomous regional party committees, all
departments and commissions under the Central Committee, all
leading party members' groups and party committees in
government departments and people's organizations, and the
General Political Department of the PLA:
The Central Committee has decided to revoke the 'Outline Report on
the Current Academic Discussion made by the Group of Five in Charge of
the Cultural Revolution' which was approved for distribution on 12 February
1966, to dissolve the 'Group of Five in Charge of the Cultural Revolution'
and its offices, and to set up a new Cultural Revolution group directly under
the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau. The outline report by the
so-called 'Group of Five' is fundamentally wrong. It runs counter to the line
of the socialist cultural revolution set forth by the Central Committee and
Comrade Mao Tse-tung to the guiding principles formulated at the Tenth
Plenary Session of the Eighth Central Committee of the party in 1962 on
the question of classes and class struggle in socialist society. While feigning
compliance, the outline actually opposes and stubbornly resists the great
Cultural Revolution initiated and led personally by Comrade Mao Tse-tung,
as well as the instructions, regarding the criticism of Wu Han, which he
gave at the work conference of the Central Committee held in September
and October 1965 (that is, at the session of the Standing Committee
attended also by the leading comrades of all the regional bureaux of the
Central Committee).
June, 2016

49

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

The outline report by the so-called 'Group of Five' is actually an outline
report by P'eng Chen alone. He concocted it according to his own ideas
behind the backs of Comrade K'ang Sheng, a member of the 'Group of
Five', and other comrades. In handling such a document regarding important
questions which affect the overall situation in the socialist revolution, P'eng
Chen had no discussion or exchange of views at all within the 'Group of
Five'. He did not ask any local party committee for its opinion; nor, when
submitting the outline report, did he make it clear that it was being sent to
the Central Committee for examination as its official document, and still
less did he get the approval of Comrade Mao Tse-tung, Chairman of the
Central Committee. Employing the most improper methods, he acted
arbitrarily, abused his powers, and, usurping the name of the Central
Committee, hurriedly issued the outline report to the whole party.
The main errors of the outline report are as follows:

1. Proceeding from a bourgeois stand and the bourgeois world outlook
in its appraisal of the situation and the nature of the current academic
criticism, the outline completely reverses the relation between the enemy
and ourselves, putting the one into the position of the other. Our country is
now in an upsurge of the great proletarian Cultural Revolution which is
pounding at all the decadent ideological and cultural positions still held by
the bourgeoisie and the remnants of feudalism. Instead of encouraging the
entire party boldly to arouse the broad masses of workers, peasants, and
soldiers, and the fighters for proletarian culture so that they can continue
to charge ahead, the outline does its best to turn the movement to the
right. Using muddled, self-contradictory, and hypocritical language, it
obscures the sharp class struggle that is taking place on the cultural and
ideological front. In particular, it obscures the aim of this great struggle,
which is to criticize and repudiate Wu Han and the considerable number of
other anti-party and anti-socialist representatives of the bourgeoisie (there
are a number of these in the Central Committee and in the party, government,
and other departments at the central as well as at the provincial, municipal,
and autonomous region level). By avoiding any mention of the fact repeatedly
pointed out by Chairman Mao, namely, that the key point in Wu Han's
drama Hai Jui Dismissed from Office is the question of dismissal from
office, the outline covers up the serious political nature of the struggle.
2. The outline violates the basic Marxist thesis that all class struggles

50

June, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

are political struggles. When the press began to touch on the political issues
involved in Wu Han's Hai Jui Dismissed from Office, the authors of the
outline went so far as to say: "The discussion in the press should not be
confined to political questions, but should go fully into the various academic
and theoretical questions involved". Regarding the criticism of Wu Han,
they declared on various occasions that it was impermissible to deal with
the heart of the matter, namely, the dismissal of the right opportunists at
the Lushan plenum in 1959 and the opposition of Wu Han and others to the
party and socialism. Comrade Mao Tse-tung has often told us that the
ideological struggle against the bourgeoisie is a protracted class struggle
which cannot be resolved by drawing hasty political conclusions. However,
P'eng Chen deliberately spread rumours, telling many people that Chairman
Mao believed political conclusions on the criticism of Wu Han could be
drawn after two months. P'eng Chen also said that the political issues
could be discussed two months later. His purpose was to channel the
political struggle in the cultural sphere into the so-called pure academic
discussion so frequently advocated by the bourgeois politics and opposing
giving prominence to proletarian politics.
3. The outline lays special emphasis on what it calls 'opening wide'. But
playing a sly trick it grossly distorts the policy of 'opening wide' expounded
by Comrade Mao Tse-tung at the party's National Conference on Propaganda
Work in March 1957 and negates the class content of 'opening wide'. It
was in dealing with this question that Comrade Mao Tse-tung pointed out:
'We still have to wage a protracted struggle against bourgeois and pettybourgeois ideology. It is wrong not to understand this and to give up
ideological struggle. All erroneous ideas, all poisonous weeds, all ghosts
and monsters, must be subjected to criticism; in no circumstance should
they be allowed to spread unchecked.' Comrade Mao Tse-tung also said,
'To "open wide" means to let all people express their opinions freely, so
that they dare to speak, dare to criticize, and dare to debate.' This outline,
however, poses 'opening wide' against exposure by the proletariat of the
bourgeoisie's reactionary stand. What it means by 'opening wide' is
bourgeois liberalization, which would allow only the bourgeoisie to 'open
wide', but would not allow the proletariat to 'open wide' and hit back; in
other words, it is a shield for such reactionary bourgeois representatives
as Wu Han. The 'opening wide' in this outline is against Mao Tse-tung's
thought and caters for the needs of the bourgeoisie.
June, 2016

51

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

4. Just when we began the counter-offensive against the wild attacks
of the bourgeoisie, the authors of the outline raised the slogan: 'everyone
is equal before the truth'. This is a bourgeois slogan. Completely negating
the class nature of truth, they use this slogan to protect the bourgeoisie
and oppose the proletariat, oppose Marxism-Leninism, and oppose Mao
Tse-tung's thought. In the struggle between the proletariat and the
bourgeoisie, between the truth of Marxism and the fallacies of the
bourgeoisie and all other exploiting classes, either the East wind prevails
over the West wind or the West wind prevails over the East wind, and there
is absolutely no such thing as equality. Can any equality be permitted on
such basic questions as the struggle of the proletariat against the
bourgeoisie, the dictatorship of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie, the
dictatorship of the proletariat in the superstructure, including all the various
spheres of culture, and the continued efforts of the proletariat to weed out
those representatives of the bourgeoisie who have sneaked into the
communist party and who wave 'red flags' to oppose the red flag? For
decades the old-line Social Democrats, and for over ten years the modern
revisionists, have never allowed the proletariat equality with the bourgeoisie.
They completely deny that the several thousand years of human history is
a history of class struggle. They completely deny the class struggle of the
proletariat against the bourgeoisie, the proletarian revolution against the
bourgeoisie, and the dictatorship of the proletariat over the bourgeoisie.
On the contrary, they are faithful lackeys of the bourgeoisie and imperialism.
Together with the bourgeoisie and imperialism, they cling to the bourgeois
ideology of oppression and exploitation of the proletariat and to the capitalist
system, and they oppose Marxist-Leninist ideology and the socialist system.
They are a bunch of counter-revolutionaries opposing the communist party
and the people. Their struggle against us is one of life and death, and there
is no question of equality. Therefore, our struggle against them, too, can
be nothing but a life-and-death struggle, and our relation with them can in
no way be one of equality. On the contrary, it is a relation of one class
oppressing another, that is, the dictatorship of the proletariat over the
bourgeoisie. There can be no other type of relation, such as a so called
relation of equality, or of peaceful coexistence between exploiting and
exploited classes, or of kindness or magnanimity.
5. The outline states: 'It is necessary not only to beat the other side
politically, but also, by academic and professional standards, truly surpass

52

June, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

and beat it by a wide margin.' This concept which makes no class distinction
on academic matters is also very wrong. The truth on academic questions,
the truth of Marxism-Leninism, of Mao Tse-tung's thought — which the
proletariat has grasped — has already far surpassed and beaten the
bourgeoisie. The formulation in the outline shows that its authors laud the
so-called academic authorities of the bourgeoisie and try to boost their
prestige, and that they hate and repress the militant newborn forces
representative of the proletariat in academic circles.
6. Chairman Mao often says that there is no construction without
destruction. Destruction means criticism and repudiation; it means
revolution. It involves reasoning things out, which is construction. Put
destruction first, and in the process you have construction. MarxismLeninism, Mao Tse-tung's thought, was founded and has constantly
developed in the course of the struggle to destroy bourgeois ideology. This
outline, however, emphasizes that 'without construction, there can be no
real and thorough destruction'. This amounts to prohibiting the destruction
of bourgeois ideology and prohibiting the construction of proletarian
ideology. It is diametrically opposed to Chairman Mao's thought. It runs
counter to the revolutionary struggle we have been waging on the cultural
front for the vigorous destruction of bourgeois ideology. And it amounts to
prohibiting the proletariat from making any revolution.

7. The outline states that 'we must not behave like scholar-tyrants who
are always acting arbitrarily and trying to overwhelm people with their power'
and that 'we should guard against any tendency for academic workers of
the left to take the road of bourgeois experts and scholar-tyrants'. What is
really meant by 'scholar-tyrants'? Who are the 'scholar-tyrants'? Should the
proletariat not exercise dictatorship and overwhelm the bourgeoisie? Should
the academic work of the proletariat not overwhelm and eradicate that of
the bourgeoisie? And if proletarian academic work overwhelms and
eradicates bourgeois academic work, can this be regarded as an act of
'scholar-tyrants'? The outline directs its spearhead against the proletarian
left. Obviously, its aim is to label the Marxist-Leninists 'scholar-tyrants'
and thus to support the real, bourgeois scholar-tyrants and prop up their
tottering monopoly position in academic circles. As a matter of fact, those
party people in authority taking the capitalist road who support the bourgeois
scholar-tyrants, and those bourgeois representatives who have sneaked
into the party and protect the bourgeois scholar-tyrants, are indeed big
June, 2016

53

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

party tyrants who have usurped the name of the party, have no contact
with the masses, have no learning at all, and rely solely on 'acting arbitrarily
and trying to overwhelm people with their power'.

8. For their own ulterior purposes, the authors of the outline demand a
'rectification campaign' against the staunch left in a deliberate effort to
create confusion, blur class alignments and divert people from the target
of struggle. Their main purpose in dishing up the outline in such a hurry
was to attack the proletarian left. They have gone out of their way to build
up dossiers about the left, tried to find all sorts of pretexts for attacking
them, and intended to launch further attacks on them by means of a
'rectification campaign,' in the vain hope of disintegrating their ranks. They
openly resist the policy explicitly put forward by Chairman Mao of protecting
and supporting the left and giving serious attention to building up and
expanding their ranks. On the other hand, they have conferred on those
bourgeois representatives, revisionists, and renegades who have sneaked
into the party the title of 'staunch left', and are shielding them. In these
ways, they are trying to inflate the arrogance of the bourgeois rightists and
to dampen the spirits of the proletarian left. They are filled with hatred for
the proletariat and love for the bourgeoisie. Such is the bourgeois concept
of brotherhood held by the authors of the outline.

9. At a time when the new and fierce struggle of the proletariat against
the representatives of the bourgeoisie on the ideological front has only just
began, and in many spheres and places has not even started — or, if it has
started, most party committees concerned have a very poor understanding
of the task of leadership in this great struggle and their leadership is far
from conscientious and effective — the outline stresses again and again
that the struggle must be conducted 'under direction', 'with prudence', 'with
caution', and 'with the approval of the leading bodies concerned'. All this
serves to place restrictions on the proletarian left, to impose taboos and
commandments in order to tie their hands, and to place all sorts of obstacles
in the way of the proletarian cultural revolution. In a word, the authors of
the outline are rushing to apply the brakes and launch a counter-attack in
revenge. As for the articles written by the proletarian left refuting the
reactionary bourgeois 'authorities', they nurse bitter hatred against those
already published and are suppressing those not yet published. But on the
other hand, they give free rein to all the various ghosts and monsters who
for many years have abounded in our press, radio, magazines, books,
June, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

text-book, platforms, works of literature, cinema, drama, ballads and stories,
the fine arts, music, the dance, etc., and in doing so they never advocate
proletarian leadership or stress any need for approval. The contrast here
shows where the authors of the outline really stand.
10. The present struggle centres on the issue of implementation of, or
resistance to, Comrade Mao Tse-tung's line on the Cultural Revolution.
Yet the outline states: 'Through this struggle, and under the guidance of
Mao Tse-tung's thought, we shall open up the way for the solution of this
problem (that is, "the thorough liquidation of bourgeois ideas in the realm
of academic work").' Comrade Mao Tse-tung opened up the way for the
proletariat on the cultural and ideological front long ago, in his On New
Democracy, Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art, Letter to the
Yenan Peking Opera Theatre after Seeing the Performance of 'Driven to
Joint the Liangshan Rebels', On the Correct Handling of Contradictions
Among the People, and Speech at the Chinese Communist Party's National
Conference on Propaganda Work. Yet the outline maintains that Mao Tsetung's thought has not yet opened up the way for us and that the way has
to be opened up anew. Using the banner of 'under the guidance of Mao
Tse-tung's thought' as cover, the outline actually attempts to open up a
way opposed to Mao Tse-tung's thought, that is the way of modern
revisionism, the way for the restoration of capitalism.
In short, the outline opposes carrying the socialist revolution through to
the end, opposes the line on the Cultural Revolution pursued by the Central
Committee of the party headed by Comrade Mao Tse-tung, attacks the
proletarian left and shields the bourgeois right, thereby preparing public
opinion for the restoration of capitalism. It is a reflection of bourgeois
ideology in the party, it is out-and-out revisionism. Far from being a minor
issue, the struggle against this revisionist line is an issue of prime
importance having a vital bearing on the destiny and future of our party and
date, on the future complexion of our party and date, and on the world
revolution.

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

stand of those so-called 'academic authorities' who oppose the party and
socialism, thoroughly criticize and repudiate the reactionary bourgeois ideas
in the sphere of academic work, education, journalism, literature and art,
and publishing, and seize the leadership in these cultural spheres. To achieve
this, it is necessary at the same time to criticize and repudiate those
representatives of the bourgeoisie who have sneaked into the party, the
government, the army, and all spheres of culture, to clear them out or
transfer some of them to other positions. Above all, we must not entrust
these people with the work of leading the Cultural Revolution. In fact many
of them have done and are still doing such work, and this is extremely
dangerous.
Those representatives of the bourgeoisie who have sneaked into the
party, the government, the army, and various cultural circles are a bunch
of counter-revolutionary revisionists. Once conditions are ripe, they will
seize political power and turn the dictatorship of the proletariat into a
dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. Some of them we have already seen
thorough, others we have not. Some are still trusted by us and are being
trained as our successors, persons like Khrushchev, for example, who are
still nestling beside us. Party committees at all levels must pay full attention
to this matter.
This circular is to be sent, together with the erroneous document issued
by the Central Committee on 12 February 1960, down to the level of county
party committees, party committees in the cultural organizations, and party
committees at regimental level in the army. These committees are asked
to discuss which of the two documents is wrong and which is correct, their
understanding of these documents, and their achievements and mistake.

Party committees at all levels must immediately stop carrying out the
'Outline Report on the Current Academic Discussion made by the Group of
Five in Charge of the Cultural Revolution'. The whole party must follow
Comrade Mao Tse-tung's instructions, hold high the great banner of the
proletarian Cultural Revolution, thoroughly expose the reactionary bourgeois
June, 2016

June, 2016