NEW DEMOCRACY

Oppose Warmongering by
BJP Govt., Foil Communal
Conspiracies of RSS-BJP
Saddled with continuing eruption of mass struggle of the people of Kashmir and rising disaffection of the different strata of the people in the country on the failure of Modi led BJP-RSS Govt. to fulfill its electoral promises, Modi Govt. is trying to unleash war hysteria directed against
neighbouring Pakistan. These efforts have been intensified utilizing the
attack on the Army camp in Uri. The target of this hysteria is not only the
struggle of the people of Kashmir, but people’s struggles throughout the
country which RSS-BJP plan to counter through warmongering. This hysteria is also aimed at deepening communal polarization to shore up support for the Hindutva forces ruling the country. Warmongering by Modi Govt.
and BJP-RSS is aimed at cloaking their communal and fascist designs in
nationalist garb. It is aimed at justifying brutal repression of people's
struggles by the security forces and suppression of all voices in support of
the people's struggles and people's aspirations.
Chest thumping by ruling BJP leaders over the so-called surgical strikes
carried out by Indian Army on the morning of September 29, 2016 have
been publicized for effect. Prime Minister Modi, Defense Minister Parriker
and a host of ministers and BJP & RSS leaders have claimed these to be
proof of the new assertiveness of the BJP Govt. against Pakistan,
abandoning what is being termed as “strategic restraint”. Since these claims
by the Govt. functionaries, other ruling class politicians have doubted the
veracity of these strikes on the one hand and on the other, Congress and
other erstwhile UPA constituents have claimed that such strikes were carried
out earlier by the UPA Govt. Denial of any such strike by Pakistan, even
carrying a large posse of foreign journalists to the sites claimed to have
been hit in these strikes and the statement of UN Monitoring Mission in
Kashmir that no LoC violation had occurred at the time claimed for the said
surgical strikes, has resulted in confusion further confounded. Moreover,
the claim by Govt. ministers and BJP leaders that this was the first time
October, 2016

1

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
that such an action was carried out by the Indian Army has been disputed
and even the Foreign Secretary has acpted this claim to be false. It is
clear that Modi Govt. and BJP-RSS has sought to project this ‘action’ as
an example of their ‘muscular’ approach to relations with Pakistan.
These claims (of surgical strikes across the LoC) by Modi Govt. have
come at a time when the Kashmir valley has been under continuous curfew
for over 100 days. People’s lives have been hit hard. Heavy force has
been used by the Govt. to crush the people’s movement, whose current
phase erupted after killing of Burhan Wani on July 8. Over a hundred have
been killed so far and more than a thousand have suffered serious eye
injuries leading to blindness due to use of pellets. Protests have been
continuing in all parts of the Valley. Southern part of Kashmir, which has
traditionally not been a centre of such protests, has this time erupted with
force. In these protests even rural areas have erupted. These protests and
violation of democratic freedoms and human rights by the Indian Govt.
have attracted worldwide attention. These violations have been condemned
by democratic sections in India as well. Central Govt. has continued to
parrot that Pakistan is behind the protests. Central Govt. has been in denial
mode about the mass anger and alienation in Kashmir and has been trying
to shift the attention solely to terrorism unleashed by Pakistan in Kashmir.
Modi Govt. has no intention to take any steps to ameliorate the situation,
rather they wish the present situation should continue, so that they may
exploit it for their schemes of ruthless suppression in Kashmir and communal
polarization in the country. Even the opposition ruling class parties have
nothing to offer as they all stand opposed to the democratic aspirations of
the people of Kashmir. Indian ruling classes have steadfastly refused to
have any meaningful dialogue on the political solution to the Kashmir
problem. RSS-BJP Govt. leaders have been saying that the only issue in
Kashmir is Pakistan sponsored terrorism.
These claims (of surgical strikes) by Modi Govt. have also come at a
time when there are increasing protests by different sections of the people
almost across the country. Even the land owning sections of peasantry,
particularly middle and poor peasants, are up in arms as the agrarian crisis
deepens and peasant distress scales new heights. Though ruling class
parties and their leaders are trying to lead these struggles into chauvinist
channels by focussing on the demands for Reservation and targeting other
communities, these struggles have their roots in the deepening agrarian

2

October, 2016

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

NEW DEMOCRACY
distress, rising unemployment among and declining conditions of these
sections. Tribals and Dalits are being targeted in different parts of the
country. Attacks against these oppressed sections have intensified, their
legitimate rights are being violated and their struggles being suppressed.
While Hindutva groups are attacking Dalits, Govt. and the security forces
are attacking the tribals to evict them from their land, deprive them of their
traditional sources of livelihood and natural habitat. In these attacks the
land issue is at the base. Despite much talk of giving land to Dalits, they
are seldom given possession of the promised land. Their raising this demand
and building struggles on this issue is brutally suppressed by the landlords
and the police. On the other hand, tribals are sought to be evicted from
forests to hand over these mineral rich lands to the MNCs and domestic
corporate. With the bankruptcy of 'Make in India' slogan becoming apparent,
'Plunder India' is coming to the fore.
Not only has agrarian crisis deepened, the industrial sector, particularly
manufacturing, is stagnant, even declining and with these the
unemployment problem has worsened. Govt. has sought to increase the
tax burden on the people in the name of making tax rates uniform through
GST. Overall, people have realized that the jumla of “Achhe Din” was the
worst hoax perpetrated on them by the corporate media controlled by foreign
and domestic big business. With nearly half the term of Modi Govt.
completed, people are only seeing “Bure Din” with worse to come. With
people’s dissatisfaction rising, Modi led BJP has to face elections in several
states in the coming months, including in the most populous state of Uttar
Pradesh (UP). The coming elections are playing an important role in the
calculation of RSS-BJP; it is aiming to capture majority in the Rajya Sabha
thereby gaining complete control over the legislative process while it has
already captured the executive power at the Centre by winning a majority
of seats in the Lok Sabha. To this end, RSS-BJP is whipping up communal
passions in the garb of nationalism, trying to portray Pakistan as the enemy
and extrapolating that against the Muslims of the country. In the propaganda
of the Indian ruling classes particularly in that of RSS-BJP, Muslims are
protrayed as sympathetic to Pakistan, as the eternal fifth column of this all
weather enemy. RSS-BJP know very well that all talk of development is
only for fooling the people, their real vote catcher is communal polarization.
Any way all tasks of development are to be left to big capital from imperialist
countries and Indian big business in alliance with them. By dividing the
people on communal basis RSS-BJP serve these classes to pre-empt and
October, 2016

3

disrupt struggles against the policies intensifying exploitaiton of the people
and plunder of the country.
Claims and noises made by Modi Govt. were driven mainly by its
domestic agenda. There are several alarming points in the recent chauvinist
build up and warmongering. While Indian Govt. officials accept that it is
not the first time that such action was taken, it is the first time that the
Indian Army has openly accepted carrying out such an action. Obviously it
was at the instance of Modi Govt. that the Army made such an action
public. The RSS Chief himself took credit for this.
There is an attempt to equate nationalism with Army and security forces.
It is obvious that such a nationalism is opposed to the oppressed sections
who bear the brunt of the repression by security forces. The real intent of
these forces i.e. RSS led Hindutva organizations, was quite apparent when
they pressurized the Haryana Central University Admn. to proceed against
those who had staged a play "Draupadi" written by Mahasweta Devi. They
do not acknowledge anthing like custodial killing or rape and may even
charge the judiciary for entertaining such complaints. Through this
suppression they wish to impose a peace of the graveyard on the people.
Obviously such a peace is to serve the interests of imperialists and their
subservient big capitalists and big landlords.
It is quite natural for RSS, which had kept itself away from the struggle
against British colonial rule, to give such a twist to nationalism as opposition
to imperialism has never been on its agenda. It is pertinent to point out that
these forces- Army and other security forces- had been instruments of
colonial rule and were not forged by the Indian people in the course of
struggle against foreign rule. It is a comment on the anti-colonial credentials
of the sections to whom power was transferred by British colonial rulers
i.e. Congress, that they chose to keep this instrument for their own benefit
to suppress the people of the country. Even the legal framework under
which these forces operate, including the notorious anti-sedition law and
host of other anti-people provisions, have been kept intact.
Indian mainstream media and particularly TV channels went overboard
in unleashing frenzy on the issue. They not only raised no questions, rather
they tried to silence all others from raising any question, painting all queries
with an anti-national brush. They gave free play to warmongering by RSSBJP Govt. Mainstream media, particularly electronic media, poses a serious

4

October, 2016

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

NEW DEMOCRACY
threat to the democratic rights of the people. The more its reach increases,
the more dangerous its impact becomes. Its aggressive approach has
become a real threat to the democratic rights and interests of the people.
This big media is in fact an instrument of big capital- foreign and domestic
corporate- and works in their interest. Its so-called sensationalism,
frivolousness and sidelining of the real concerns and issues of the people,
all are in the interest of their financers. What is touted as people's right to
know is in fact media barons' right to tell.
Unleashing of this hysteria has international dimensions too. Modi Govt.
has been openly and brazenly aligning itself with the US Admn. and its
strategic interests. Modi’s likening of the 'strikes' to actions by Zionist
Israeli Govt. only further strengthens the impression of Modi’s inspiration.
It has been officially admitted that Modi Govt.’s National Security Advisor,
Doval, had talked to his counterpart in USA, Susan Rice, before the claimed
strikes. However, given the decline of US imperialism and the multi-polar
nature of today’s world with contradictions among imperialist powers rising
and conflicts around the world sharpening, Modi Govt.’s alliance with US
imperialism is being viewed with deep suspicion by other powers in the
world. What Modi Govt. intends to gain by aligning closely with US would
be offset by suspicions of other powers. Moreover, in aligning with US
imperialism, Modi Govt. is making India share the burden of a declining
superpower which is intent on fomenting troubles in different parts of the
world. US imperialism, overstretched as it is, would like to pressurize
Pakistan to snap its closer ties with China. However, US imperialism has
enough interests to care for in this part of the world. Modi Govt.'s efforts to
rally other countries of the world against Pakistan, whom Modi termed the
"mothership of terrorism", were rebuffed at the recent BRICS summit where
he was reminded that BRICS was constituted to meet the economic
challenges of the western dominated world. Even on counter-terrorism,
inclusion of terms like 'respect for international law' and 'human rights' was
a clear rebuff to Modi Govt.'s agenda.
CPI(ML)-New Democracy calls upon the people to oppose warmongering
by Modi Govt., support the struggle of Kashmiri people and foil the
communal conspiracies of RSS-BJP. We should mobilize the people and
build a broad-based movement on these issues. The seriousness of the
danger posed by fascist forces led by RSS requires a broad-based and
determined struggle. This challenge must be met by resolute action.
October, 2016

5

War on Adi
vasis in Teleng
ana
Adiv
elengana
‘Drive away Adivasi peoples from the forests’ – this has been the aim
of rulers for centuries. The Adivasi people bore the brunt during the 200
year loot and plunder of British imperialists. Their right to exist and live,
their inalienable right to forest resources were sought to be deprived.
The scenario remained the same in the aftermath of transfer of power.
The ruling parties in power at both central and state levels have been
continuing the legacy the horrendous British rule. The attack on the rights
of Adivasi people continues unabated. The current attack assumes special
significance in that it is perpetrated in the name of saving Adivasis and
protecting the forests and the environment. In reality these actions are
meant to further the interests of imperialists, Multi-National Corporations
(MNCs), Corporate and their henchmen. These actions result in severing
the link between Adivasis and the forest. In essence their existence itself
is under the threat. The experience of the last two years rule in Telangana
proves that it is no exception. Even as its deeds reflect the continuation of
the legacy, the new government promises three acres of land for each
Adivasi family. It even proclaims that the land would be cultivable and will
have irrigation facilities. But let us see the reality of these promises on the
ground.

Destruction of crops, onslaught and resistance
The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) government is trying to drive
the Adivasi people from the ‘podu’ lands they have been cultivating for the
past few decades. The crops are being systematically destroyed with the
help of machines in an outrageous manner. Ironically the crops are being
destroyed in the name of ‘harithahaaram’ (program to increase the cover of
greenery). The Recognition of Forest Rights Act 2006 was notified for
operation with effect from 31.12.2007. The rights of the Adivasi people on
the lands they were cultivating by then should be recognized and granted
as per the Act. In direct contravention to the provisions of the Act, the
government is now attempting to seize the lands from the Adivasis which
they are legally entitled to. It is now taking over the lands which were given
connections to electric pump sets earlier. This onslaught on the lands of
Adivasis began a year ago and now they have reached their zenith. Following

6

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY
are few instances from Khammam and Warangal districts.
Bandlagudem is a remote village in the Tekulapally mandal.
Adivasis and other have been cultivating their lands for the past few decades.
They raised maize and cotton this year as they have been doing for years.
Just when they were about to harvest the crop, the officials of forest
department attacked to destroy the crop. This heinous act was carried out
under the aegis of the government orders with the help of police. As the
people resisted the attempts to destroy the crops, they were attacked
indiscriminately. False cases were foisted on 28 people. 11 of them were
women. The village was attacked repeatedly. Even women were not spared
from the attack as the police kicked them brutally. Mamatha, a pregnant
Adivasi woman, was kicked in her abdomen. Easam Narsamma was abused,
beaten black and blue, and was forcibly taken in to police jeep. After taking
her round the village in the jeep, she was detained at Bodu police station.
Yet, people gathered in hundreds and came on to the roads with their
destroyed crops.
Mittapalli is another remote village in the Yellandu mandal. The Adivasis
were cultivating 1200 acres prior to the promulgation of Forest Rights Act.
Some even possess title deeds with them. An attack was made on June
14, 2016 to destroy the crops. The government launched a series of attacks
to drive the people from their lands. Suvarnapaka Bayamma, a woman,
tried to resist. One of police officers assaulted and hit her breasts. People
were angered by his behavior and revolted. False cases were foisted on 29
members and more than half of them are women. Leader of our party
Suvarnapaka Nageswararao was also implicated in the case.
People of Kasturinagar village in Bayyyaram mandal have been 175
acres for the last 40 years. Forest department officials resorted to destruction
of the crops. People protesting the destruction were abused and cases
were filed against them. People have restarted the cultivation defying all
the odds.
People of Kothapeta Dharmapuram have been cultivating 1100 acres
under the leadership of communist revolutionaries. They were even provided
the title deeds for the lands under cultivation. The officials of forest
department are now obstructing the cultivation in these lands.
The police swooped in on the Bhadrutanda
Bhadrutanda, near Komararam of Yellandu

October, 2016

7

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
mandal on July 8th, 2016. They resorted to destroy the crops and raided the
village. Sarpach Sarojini was beaten and her husband Harja was taken in
to custody. Cases were foisted on 14 people. People protested against the
attacks and went in a procession along with their bullocks from the center
of Polaram village and ploughed the land again. The electoral
representatives boycotted the mandal level meeting in protest against attack
on the elected sarpanch Sarojini.
Left with no alternative, the Adivasi people are resisting the attacks on
their crops. CPI(ML) New Democracy is leading the protests and resistance.
The police and forest department officials became vengeful and the crops
of Raju, Thodeti Nageswararao, Gurram Yadagiri and Bose were specifically
targeted by them. They planned to carry out the destruction of crops
stealthily. As the people became aware of the plan, they reached to the
fields to resist the attack.
The police and the forest department officials destroyed the maize crop
in 200 acres cultivated by the villagers of Vompugudem village, belonging
to Manikyaram panchayat. The people protesting the destruction were
assaulted and severely beaten. Adivasi people belonging Gopalraopet beat
in Pinapaka mandal were beaten ruthlessly and cases were foisted.
In a display of sadism, 4 quintals of cotton belonging to Katti Sammaiah
of Patarlapadu village in Tekulapally mandal was set to fire and the officials
chuckled as it was reduced to ashes.
The government sought to forcibly take over 1000 acres of land being
cultivated by Adivasis of Sampathnaga
Sampathnagar village in the name of developing
a zoo park. The people successfully thwarted the attempts as they refused
to budge amidst repeated attacks.
100 Lambadi (a Scheduled Tribe) families were cultivating 400 acres of
land in Ballunagartanda of Karepally mandal for the last 4o years. Despite
the fact that they possess the documents with them, the forest department
officials and the police attacked them on June 14th. The livestock cattle
was forcibly taken shifted to the police station.
20 tractors were deployed to destroy 300 acres of cotton crop in
Marrigudem village of Chandrugonda mandal. Madakam Venkateswarlu
was driven to suicide as he was dispossessed of his two acres of land

8

October, 2016

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

NEW DEMOCRACY
forcibly. Hundreds of people resisted the attack on R.C.Pet village for 3
days. They questioned the DFO valiantly.

Vuyyoor village the officials tried plant saplings in the agricultural lands of
Adivasis.

People fought against the forcible attempts of police and forest
department officials to take over the lands of Adivasi people in
Edippulagudem
Edippulagudem.

Adivasi people of Venkammagumpu village, Kothaguda mandal were
brutally beaten by the police. The villagers of Mailaramtanda, Elubelli,
Kotinagaram, Yellapuram and Bavurugonda were warned of similar dire
consequences. They were asked to vacate the lands and leave.

Komararam–
Komararam–about 1200 acres is being cultivated by 670 Adivasi families
and 30 families belonging to ‘backward classes’. These families were
cultivating the lands since before year 2005. The lands fall under 10 villages
and their livelihood is dependent on farming. Now the forest department
officials are scheming to dispossess them from their lands with the help of
police. The people have been resisting to hold on their lands.
The government officials are trying to drive away Adivasi people from
the lands they have been cultivating in the villages of Kachanapalli,
Mamakannu, Batannanagar, Muttapur and Allapalli in Gundala mandal.
The people remain unyielding.
Crops were destroyed in Yerraguntapadu village, Bhadrachalam area.
This was again done to drive Adivasis away from the lands they attained
through their struggle 40 years ago.
In another attempt, the officials tried to convert the lands cultivated by
Adivasis and rural poor in to plantations in Matcharla and Teegalaveg
Teegalavegi
villages of Gudur mandal in Warangal district. These attempts were foiled
by the people.
The officials sought to fill up irrigation wells and seal them with the help
of Poclian machinery in Komatlagudem, Yellapuram and Katinagar
Kothaguda mandal.
Five villages inhabited by Adivasis of Gotti Koya community in
Mulugumandal of Warangal district were gutted. Some houses were
demolished with the help of machinery.
Adivasis of Lingala village Tadvayi mandal are being forced to part
with the lands they have been cultivating. Inspired by the struggles of
neighbouring villages, the people have started to fight back.
The forest department officials are digging trenches around the Adivasi
villages and are threatening the people not to cross those for cultivation. In
October, 2016

9

Thus the Telangana government is trying take over Adivasi agricultural
lands in name of ‘HarithaHaaram (Green belt)’. The armed police are marching
over the forest villages. People are being terrorised.

Political agitation to defend the agricultural lands
The Adivasis are not taking these attacks lying down. They are
fighting back to defend their agricultural lands. There are instances of
continuing the resistance despite relentless attacks for 20 consecutive
days by the police and forest department officials. The Khammam, Warangal
agency has turned in to a political battlefront signifying the Adivasi
resistance. Adivasis reached Hyderabad in pouring rain for a dharna
indicating their firm resolve to defend the lands they have been cultivating.
A convention was organized in Manuguru against the attacks and defending
the rights of Adivasis over their land. A series of rallies and meetings were
held in Bayyaram, Gundala, Tekulapalli and Aswaraopeta. A rally and
meeting of 800 people was held in Mulugu. Similar meetings were conducted
in Narsampet, Guduru and Kothagudem. A large rally and meeting was
oraganised in Yellandu in defense of Adivasi right to land and against the
repression unleashed in the agency area. Protest meetings were organised
in Bhadrachalam, Palvancha, Yelerupad and Mulkanur. A march-past was
organised in Komararam as people came to know of an impending attack.

Meeting in Komararam
The meeting in Komararam village turned in to a tug of war between the
officials and the people. As the people are being denied all democratic
rights, the police refused permission to public meetings. The people decided
to display their resolve to defy through a meeting in Komararam. A rally
with 370 motor cycles was conducted in the area to express solidarity and
sustain the morale of the people. A protest meeting was organised in front
of Telangana Bhavan in New Delhi by the party. Protest was in the air.

10

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY
Teams from organizations of women, peasant and agricultural labourers,
students and youth, and organizations for democratic rights, political parties
toured the agency area and expressed their solidarity to the fighting people.
They condemned the repression unleashed by the government on the
people. The party stood firmly with the people. The people are refusing to
budge as they are steeled in the forty years of struggles for the rights of
Adivasis, dalits and other rural poor. The struggle is supported by the people
in the plains and urban areas.

Their Development is a sham
All the talk of the government about the development is a sham
and it is meant to further the interests of the imperialists, their MNCs, and
the corporate. Those standing for the people’s interests will resolutely
oppose and resist such designs. The open cast mines, bauxite mines, and
the handing over vast stretches of land to big corporate – all of these are
leading to large scale environmental degradation. The ‘development’ leads
to dispossession of people from their lands and handing it on platter to the
rich and corporate. Modi’s development drove the Adivassis away from
their lands and his policies were to aid the loot of Adani and the Ambanis.
The current attempts are meant to implement these policies all over the
country. This will lead to large scale displacement of Adivasi people. It is
against these policies that the Adivasi people of Khammam and Warangal
agency area are fighting. The Adivasi people have been demanding selfrule in the agency areas. They have been subjected to injustice and deprived
of their rights for so long. The Telangana government chose to continue
the legacy and its insensitivity towards formation of three Adivasi districts
is just another proof of its anti-tribal character.

Why are Revolutionaries being targeted?
The Godavari Valley remained the center stage of resistance
struggle for the last four and a half decades. The struggle imbibed the
revolutionary consciousness among the Adivasi people. Many a Adivasi
people emerged as the leaders of the movement. The ruling classes have
now realized that it would not be easy for them to take over the cultivable
lands from Adivasis and other poor without undermining the CPI(ML) New
Democracy from the masses.

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
remain a pipe dream as long as the revolutionaries exist in the area. They
understand that their rule and policies would not be implemented as they
will be opposed tooth and nail. Thus they wouldn’t be able to handover the
vast stretches of land in the agency area to the imperialists, big corporate
to enable their plunder of all resources. It is with this realization that they
are resorting to a two pronged strategy of unleashing repression on the one
hand and slander the leadership at personal level on the other. The heinous
propaganda is meant to discredit the revolutionary leadership. They run
away when our party challenges them to prove the allegations. Nowhere
had they stood their ground to prove the allegations openly. Our party built
on the innumerable sacrifices of people would never be cowed down by
such tactics. On the contrary they will strengthen our resolve. Our party
fights for society free from exploitation and inequalities. Adivasi people
are part of the most exploited. The attempts of the ruling classes to wipe
them out will not succeed. The revolutionaries are fighting for the liberation
of Adiavsi and other toiling masses.
The past three months have witnessed a wave of intense attacks on
the Adivasi people in the agency areas of Khammam and Warangal. There
are concerted efforts and machinations by the state machinery to eliminate
the parties and the leaders fighting this onslaught on the Adivasis. The
party activists are being pressurized and people are being terrorized to
beat them in to submission. This is part of the bigger scheme to hand over
the forest lands and resources to the imperialists and corporate.
Forests and forest resources remain the birth right of Adivasi people.
They have been fighting for their rights through the ages. Their just demands
and struggles will continue to draw the support and solidarity from other
sections of the people and democratic organizations. The war on Adivasis
aimed at robbing them of their livelihood will be beaten back. Adivasi people
will emerge victorious. Let us fight back this onslaught on the Adivasi
people.

The government feels that disposing Adivasis from their lands would
October, 2016

11

12

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

Hindutva and Women

(This booklet was a joint publication of POW (Andhra
Pradesh), POW (Telengana), PMS (Delhi) and Istree
Jagriti Manch (Punjab). Considering the importance of
the subject, we are publishing this joint publication in
this Organ. - Editor)
Why This Booklet
Since the last two years, an RSS BJP Govt. is in power in the Central
Govt. The period preceding the general elections 2014 was marked by anti
Muslim violence in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh. This violence was
organized and orchestrated by Hindutva forces. This single example is
being used here because it helps to bring out several important aspects of
the BJP RSS regarding women. Western Uttar Pradesh was already in the
spotlight of women’s organizations for its Khap Panchayat dictated so called
‘honour killings’ by the dominant landed peasantry in cases involving
predominantly inter caste marriages by women from the dominant castes.
Alleging eve teasing of a Hindu girl, the RSS BJP poured communal venom
into this area and continually harped on ‘Bahu Bet Izzat’ in this campaign
which they sought to extend to the rest of the state and also to the rest of
India. The stated part of their campaign was the so called threat to Hindu
girls from Muslim boys who wanted to marry them after converting them.
This they called ‘Love Jihad’. The unstated part was their tightening of
patriarchal upper caste shackles on upper caste educated women who are
choosing to assert choice in marriage. It also threw a curtain on the
systematic female infanticide practiced in this region against Hindu female
infants by members of their own castes. Both parts are opinions dear to
the ideology of the RSS BJP, for whom shackling women’s right to choice
is an integral issue for maintaining upper caste Hindu purity.
Semi feudal India nurtures patriarchy and the subsequent status of
women as secondary in each level of society. However, the understanding
of the RSS regarding the status of women is related to their specific world
view which includes upholding the caste system, patriarchy and viewing
October, 2016

13

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
all minorities as the ‘other’ who have no right to belong to India. Now that
they are in power the views they have been propagating have become
more menacing. There must be discussion on many of them which concern
the women of India and we must also understand the sources on whose
basis the RSS stakes claim to legitimacy of its views.

Hindu Rashtra
Not all Hindu majority communalism is Hindutva. The Congress in India
practices a soft brand of majority communalism. It includes allowing attacks
on minorities especially Muslims. But it also involves taking along minorities
as an electoral base showing the fear of the hard variety or Hindutva or
Hindu nationalist forces out to form a Hindu Rashtra.. The RSS BJP Central
Govt. is the coming to parliamentary power of the latter forces. In
considering the effect on women, the penetration and even hold of these
forces in all other wings of the Indian state- the judiciary including its highest
levels, the armed wings and police and in the bureaucracy- must be kept in
perspective.
The concept of Hindu Rashtra has more to it than simply the dominance
of Hindus who anyway are an overwhelming four fifth of the population. It is
a concept which treats all minorities- especially Muslims – as enemies
(and also considers that the Dalits are not meant to be considered as humans
at all). Thus, its characteristic is that it keeps its followers busy targeting
internal enemies, while foreign colonial powers earlier and imperialists now
are to be befriended. Thus, it is a very useful tool for ruling classes of India
to distract people’s anger against the pro imperialist policies on which all
parliamentary parties are one.
The first clear conception of this concept of Hindu Rashtra was given
by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee in his novel ‘Anand Math’. This was written
in the second half of the nineteenth century after the defeat of the first war
for India’s independence in 1857. This war was a shining example of Hindu
Muslim unity and as the British themselves acknowledged, almost
succeeded in uprooting them from India had it not been for the collaborator
Indian feudal kings e.g. the Raja of Scindia , whose help the Governor
General of that time gratefully mentioned.
Anandmath is historically placed in the Santhan or Sanyasi rebellion in
the late 18th century which occurred in North Bengal. The novel has two

14

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY
distinct features- admiration for the British and hatred for the Muslims.
Bankim wrote about the Santan rebels in the novel that they would go to
the villages and ask if people wanted to worship Vishnu. ‘When the crowd
collected they would torch the houses of the muslims……..the Santhans
would plunder all their assets and distribute the spoils to the new converts’.
In the last paras of the book, it is stated ’Our mission has come to an end’
to which the protagonist states that ‘Yes, the Mussalman rule has come to
an end but the power of the Hindu is not yet established.’ To this he is
given various reassurances. “There is no hope of a revival of the True
Faith if the English be not our rulers’ It is then explained that the True Faith
has a subjective part and an objective one. While ‘we know the subjective
part of the True Faith’ it is the English who know the objective part…’The
English are great in objective sciences and they are apt as teachers’. The
protagonist is reassured,’ Your mission has been fulfilled. You have done
good to your mother and established the English Rule’. In the course of the
book, the ‘mother’ is identified as the ‘country’ and is shown in three formsall forms of Hindu goddesses. It was in praise of this ‘mother’ that the
Vande Mataram was written. It would be relevant to know a little bit about
the author, Bankim Chandra. He was appointed directly to the post of Deputy
Magistrate in 1858 by the then British Lt Governor of West Bengal, becoming
the first Indian to be given such a post after the War of 1857. When he
retired in 1891 as DM, he was given the titles of Rai Bahadur and CIE by
the British crown.
The RSS was established in 1925, conceived as a militant wing of Hindu
Nationalism. The Hindutva forces conceptualize the establishment of a
Hindu rashtra, which in essence is upper caste patriarchal, chauvinist rule.
The RSS has several organizations including its electoral wing, the BJP.
British colonialism was looked on by it as a liberator from ‘Muslim rule’.
Similarly, Imperialism is not among its targets in semi colonial India which
is groaning under imperialist loot. Another notable feature is that these
forces were patronized by the feudal kings who were supporters of colonial
rule. Hindutva forces glorify feudal Hindu kings and use several of them as
their symbols even now. As will be detailed later, their vision of ‘Bharat
Mata’ is also picturized on these lines.

The Manusmriti
The Hindutva attitude to women is defined essentially by the ‘Hindu

October, 2016

15

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
Code’ encapsulated in the Manu smriti. They are sure that if society is run
along the social codes it prescribes, there would be orderly social existence.
Thus this is of special relevance to women from even the upper castes
among the Hindus, so that they are aware of how they figure in the Hindutva
scheme of affairs.
There are several ancient versions of the Manu smriti which is held to
be the word of Brahma (Hindu God of Creation) and is dated between 2nd
and 3 rd century BC (200-300 BC) but the translations do not talk of any
differences between these versions. It consists of 2690 verses divided
into 12 chapters. According to information posted on the website of The
Hindu newspaper on this topic, this was one of the first Sanskrit texts
translated by the British colonialists and used by them to settle disputes
among Hindus! Several translations into English of the Manusmriti are
available (e.g. sacredtexts.com, nirmukta.com, hinduvadi etc sites on the
internet also carry the verses pertaining to women). There do not seem to
be disputes on the existence or translations of these verses. They are
used as they are by different sections to explain their respective positions.
The Manu Smriti codifies the caste system. It is in the perspective of
this Brahmanical code that the rest of its prescriptions must be viewed. So
while Hindutva apologists quote verse 3/56-‘where women are provided
place of honour, the gods are pleased and reside there in that household’,
there are many specifications about what ‘honour’ implies apart from the
sharp division that this does not include honouring of Dalit women. Verses
2/213,2/214,2/215 talk about it being in the nature of women to seduce
men. So ingrained is this understanding that there are verses which tell the
Brahmin not to even look at his wife while he is eating. Another says wise
men won’t sit next to their daughters, sisters or mothers so that their own
carnal desires are not aroused.
Verses3/8 to3/15 tell wise men what type of women to marry (from the
colour of hair to the type and sound of a woman’s name). Women are
declared inherently disloyal as they have a passion for men (and by
implication no intellectual attributes at all), they are impure and represent
falsehood (9/15). Brahmins who cohabit with Dalit women can be forgiven
but woe betide the Dalit male who even looks at a Brahmin woman and woe
betide that woman too. Though twice born castes i.e. upper castes are
allowed intercaste marriages they should avoid marriage with Shudra women.

16

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY
If a Brahmin marries a Shudra woman, he will be thrown out of his caste
and so also will his children.
Verse 5/150 specifies that women (a female child, a young woman and
old women too) may not work independently even at their place of residence.
Verses specify that a woman’s main role is to obey/worship her husband
and do his bidding alone even if he is a pervert, is immoral and has no good
qualities. If a woman is proud of her family and antecedents and does not
honour her husband the King should have her thrown to the dogs. Women
cannot be independent, and must be in the custody of their fathers as
children, in the husbands when married and in that of sons when widowed.(5/
151 and also9/3)Women also do not have the right to perform religious
rituals, nor take religious vows nor observe fasts.(5/158). Another wonderful
specification (9/80) says that a barren wife can be superseded in the 8th
year, one whose children die in the 10th year, one who has only daughters
in the 11th year but a quarrelsome wife can be superseded without delay.
Thus the role of upper caste women is clearly to be confined to the
domestic sphere and totally subservient there too to the men in the
household. Given the Manu Smriti’s view about women’s nature, this would
be of predominant necessity to curb women’s freedom in order to ensure
absolute purity of the caste line and prevent it being sullied by Dalit lines.
For Dalit women, of course, it is implied that the only role expected is of
absolute subservience to the upper castes. The importance of listing so
much detail about the Manu Smriti also lies in the fact that under the current
RSS BJP Govt. this ancient dogma for bigoted Hindu upper castes has
been elevated to a symbol of ‘nationalism’.
In order to fully understand the logic of certain issues concerning women
in various aspects which are being stridently raised under the RSS BJP
Govt., it is necessary to dwell on other aspects of the Hindutva outlook.
The Hindutva forces had nothing to do with the anti colonial struggle of the
Indian people; rather, as mentioned, they looked on the British as the force
which liberated India from ‘Muslim rule’. The RSS particularly, uses the
terms ‘nationalism’ and ‘patriotism’ to defend an upper caste, patriarchal,
chauvinist viewpoint and to completely break in public perception the actual
relation of these terms to the concrete anti imperialist task of the people of
India in this semi colonial country. Thus its invocations of ‘nationalism’ are
to cover up the desperate pro imperialist drive of its Govts. It is important
October, 2016

17

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
to remember this as this drive is affecting women through the fashioning of
several policies. It is equally important to place that the Hindutva forces
have the patronage of the feudal forces of India who form the social basis
of imperialism. Thus their only interest in the peasantry is to mobilize it for
communally divisive issues. It is firmly opposed to the anti feudal tasks of
the Indian peasantry and is an aggressive exponent of feudal patriarchal
culture.

Bharat Mata to cover up the sale of India and Defence of Feudal
Values
The term Bharat mata was probably first used in a play by Kalyani
Chandra Banerjee in 1873 in a play by the same name. The Ananda Math
of Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, written after the defeat of the war of 1857,
firmly emphasized the portrayal of the country as a Bharat mata, a Hindu
goddess to whom was sung the hymn Vande Mataram and who was under
threat from the Muslims. Abinandranath Tagore, the nephew of Rabindranath
Tagore, made the first depiction of Bharat Mata. His painting was of the
Bharat Mata as a Hindu ascetic woman, four armed, wearing a saffron
robe, holding sheaves of wheat and also a string of obviously holy beads.
This was in 1905, at the time of partition of Bengal and the Bharat Mata
was also the Banga Mata.
The Hindutva forces have moved from defining the country as a
‘fatherland’ to the concept of a Bharat mata. In essence she retains the
spirit of Bankim Chandra’s Bharat Mata- she is imperialism friendly and
allows the sale of the country, its rich resources and the cheap labour of
its women and men. The depiction of the RSS’s Bharat Mata is all revealing.
This Bharat Mata is a heavily bejeweled woman decked in gold and jewels
and wearing a gold crown, i.e. invoking the image of a feudal queen. Thus
there is no identification with over 80% of women of India who are ordinary,
who work and who would be subjects not daughters of a queen. This Bharat
Mata is variously depicted on or with a lion, evoking images of Hindu
goddesses and thereby making out all religious minorities as ‘other’. She
sometimes holds a saffron flag and at other times a tricolor depending on
which organization of Hindutva forces uses the image. But the
characteristics of this particular Bharat Mata are indisputable. Using the
term like a shield, the BJP Govt. proceeds unhampered to open one sector
of the economy after the other for FDI (including strategic sectors like

18

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY
railways). Chanting the name of ‘Bharat Mata’, the BJP Govt. beseeches
foreign capital to ‘make in India’ and repatriate profits while employing
women workers also in low paid contractual jobs with no implementation of
statutory laws like ESI and PF both of which empower women, and without
equal pay for equal work. BJP’s policies displace Adivasi women from
forests and women peasants from land, to hand over land and resources
to corporate. The ‘Bharat Mata’ invoked by RSS BJP seems to have
absolutely no objection to exploitation, humiliation and repression of Dalit
women or women of the minorities. Obviously, the thought of her also
does not hamper their identifying with caste panchayats and khap
panchayats who order killings of upper caste girls for exercising choice in
marriage, their opinion that upper caste educated women must adhere to
family ordained caste directives absolutely in marriage, that young girls
should not be given cell phones, that unmarried upper caste girls should
be beaten and dragged by the hair by Sita and Durga brigades for going out
with male friends, wearing nontraditional dresses or having a Muslim or
Dalit companion, that Satis could be facilitated but worshipped definitely.
The issue for the women’s movements to seriously ponder and also to
take to the masses of India’s women is the irony. Calls to worship Bharat
Mata and to hail her are to coexist with the rule of a patriarchal order
supported by the framework of semi feudal India. The exploitation of the
bodies quite apart from the labour of dalit women by upper castes,
patriarchal casteist codes for bahu -betis, khap panchayat ordained killings,
sexual harassment by power centres at work place, feudal cultural
practices, female foeticide and infanticide, sati worship, flourishing of
anaemia in nearly 50% women, legalizing of surrogacy, all go along with
demanding public hailing of Bharat Mata.

Uniform Civil Code
The concept of an Uniform Civil Code which was essentially to do
away with the identity of minorities in issues of personal laws, was born
out of the communal division seared into the Indian ethos by British
colonialists and their subservient Indian ruling classes to drown the anti
colonial movement. Of course the cover was 'equality' for all women. Thus
it came to find a place in the Directive Principles of the Constitution of
India. However for the Hindutva forces it has been a credo along with
abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution. With a RSS BJP Govt. in

October, 2016

19

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
power at the Centre, moves have started to slowly force this attack on all
women including women of minorities but also upper caste Hindu women
by pushing through a patriarchal Code in the name of ‘Uniform' code.
The issue of changes in civil code is linked to women’s status in society.
This code pertains to personal laws dealing with marriage, divorce, adoption
and distribution and inheritance of property and family wealth. Personal
laws of all religions ascribe secondary status to women in India and it is
necessary that women in each section themselves fight for progressive
changes in the laws which apply to them. In this women will be opposed by
the fundamentalist and patriarchal forces within each religion. This separate
evolution of progressive practices will eventually lay the basis of a
progressive and secular non patriarchal code.
It is very important for the women’s movements in India to appreciate
the realities born of communalization of Indian society by ruling classes of
the country. It is only by doing so that the reality of the so called pro
women moves of questioning triple talaq, polygamy and promises of a pro
women civil code by the RSS BJP Govt. can be exposed. Women of
minorities in India are forced to look to their own communities for protection
in state sponsored communal violence, be it Muslims in anti Muslim violence
under Congress or BJP rule, Sikh women in the 1984 Congress led anti
Sikh genocide, Christians in the RSS BJP sponsored violence in Gujarat
prior to the anti Muslim violence there in 2002. Thus it is the Indian state
which pushes them into the arms of the fundamentalists of their religions.
Any attempt from without at even genuine reform of the civil code of the
community will be assailed by the religious leaders as an attack on the
community. While women of that community may well have desired that
very change, they will need to stand by the fundamentalists who will depict
it as an attack on identity. Under the rule of the ruling classes of India that,
in fact, is what the real motive will definitely be. It should not be forgotten
that when religious census of India is undertaken, Sikhs, Buddhists and
Jains are all classified under ‘Hindus ’and no government has changed this
practice.

Thus, the issue of changes in the civil codes of communities is an
issue which progressive women’s movements from within each will have to
raise and a common code will be one which they will have to evolve. They
can only do it in a society where the structure which sustains both patriarchy

20

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY
and communalization of society is done away with, i.e. a new democratic
society.

Bahu Beti Izzat and Love Jihad
The coinage of the term Love Jihad by the BJP RSS was done in 1990s
in Gujarat. In 1998, the marriage of a Muslim boy from Bardoli (Gujarat) to
a Hindu girl in Surat after a love affair of many years was used to launch a
communal campaign against Muslims. It was another matter that reports
established that six Muslim girls of the area had earlier married Hindu
boys and none of these marriages became an issue. Similar incidents
occurred in other parts of Gujarat ( Randikpur and Sanjeli). What is
interesting is that the objections to these marriages were raised by Hindu
communal elements in an atmosphere where they were using every
conceivable issue to target Muslims. There was a full fledged theory of
how Muslim boys marry Hindu girls at the instance of ISI and Pakistan
and convert them to Islam so that the Muslim population should increase
and also so that Hindus could be debased. All India Joint secretary of
VHP announced in Ahmedabad in 1998 that Durga Vahinis would familiarize
college going girls about “Hindu’ traditions. A squad would be formed by
the VHP to control the behavior of Hindu girls. Thus the whole point was
that the Hindu girls were neither being kidnapped nor abducted nor forced,
but were voluntarily marrying Muslim boys, from where arose the issue of
‘teaching’ them ‘their’ traditions. The last relevant fact is that the actual
number of such marriages over the years is small and is directly related to
the two communities historically coexisting with children growing up together
in the same areas.
In 2009 propaganda about love jihad was begun in Kerala and in
Mangalore, a town in northern Karnataka. The Govt. of Karnataka even
ordered an enquiry into this alleged phenomenon which in late 2009 gave a
report that it could find no evidence of any such phenomenon though it
would keep investigating. The Ram Sena in Karnataka later took to dragging
by the hair those Hindu born girls who happened to have interactions with
Muslim boys. In Dec 2011 the RSS in Karnataka began propaganda that
girls should be stopped from using cell phones, a demand reiterated by the
Akhil Bhartiya Vaishya Ekta Parishad in Uttar Pradesh in 2014. In Kerala
too, from 2009 onwards, a similar propaganda was launched by Hindu
communal organizations. The Catholic priests also started talking about
October, 2016

21

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
their girls marrying Muslim boys. Huge figures were quoted. On 25th June
2014 the incumbent Chief Minister issued a statement that since 2006 (i.e.
eight years), only 2667 women had converted to Islam. In 2014 itself, Aditya
Nath called for converting 100 Muslim girls to Hinduism each time a Hindu
girl married a Muslim boy.
Love Jihad returned in Muzaffarnagar in 2013 along with its hand maiden
‘Bahu Beti Izzat.’ In an area which is a social mix, with a significant section
of Muslims, it worked electoral wonders. In reality, the actual instances of
marriage between Hindu girls and Muslim boys is very small, which is why
no Hindu communal leader ever quoted any figures, relying instead on the
deadly power of rumours in a communally polarized situation. However the
campaign of the RSS BJP definitely did result in the looting of ‘bahu beti
izzat’ of Muslim women in the area with some being gang raped by long
standing neighbours. There was a potent comment on this issue which
bears repetition, ’Bodies of women are a more potent polarizing and
organizing tool than a Ram Temple”.

On the issue of ‘Love Jihad’ it should be recounted that the Nazis too
would not let any ‘aryan’ woman cohabit with Jews or others in order to
protect the Aryan race. But the more desperate problem of the patriarchal
Hindutva forces is the issue of ‘bahu beti izzat’. This term has to be seen
with what is happening in India especially rural North India. The crisis in
Indian agriculture is also increasing the demand for educated working girls
for marriages. Girls go to school in tremendously increasing number, not
just for better marriages but for careers, for higher education and jobs.
Women are preferred in jobs as they are more sincere, less likely to organize
and willing to work for lesser pay than they deserve or which is their right.
They are coming to small towns and even living in larger cities in hostels,
in rented accommodation in groups, in order to acquire higher education
and skills for jobs and also to do these jobs in the bigger cities and in
metros. Simultaneously has come an explosion in communications primarily
the mobile phones and internet. This has made it much simpler for youth to
develop contacts and maintain communications overcoming several barriers
that the patriarchal norms impose including also barriers of caste and religion.
This also is a period marked with changes in the expectations of girls and
young women, to their exposure to different types of people, to different
cities, and their increasing assertiveness about the kind of future they want,
the sort of life they wish to lead and importantly, their choices in marriage.

22

October, 2016

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

NEW DEMOCRACY
th

English newspapers published many surveys in the aftermath of 16
December 2012. They showed that while there is free mixing of girls and
boys in campus interactions, friendships between them, even rising
acceptability of live in relationships, but still a majority of respondents
says they would marry the partner their parents choose. In assessing this,
scope must be left for the fact that now very many parents try to
accommodate the choices of especially their sons; inter caste marriages
between two upper castes and inter state marriages of the same type are
no longer taboo. Yet these surveys bring out that for the youth of India not
marrying for love is the norm. However the increased interactions, increased
economic independence of women has definitely increased their ability to
take their own decisions about their future. Thus there is an increase in
incidents of men and women defying social diktats and asserting the right
to choose. Their number in actual terms is small but as an example they
have far reaching value, being quoted throughout the community and across
the district. They send out alarm signals that women and also men have
ignored the barricades built by patriarchal society including its caste and
religious diktats and have dared to decide for themselves. This tiny minority
sets patriarchal India afire.

Surrogacy
Now comes the latest concrete example of what RSS BJP is willing to
do with Bharat’s ‘matas’. The Central Govt. plans to enact a Surrogacy law
which says that surrogacy for commercial reasons will be prohibited but
can be done within the family for no monetary consideration other than
what is needed to care for the surrogate pregnancy. Now see what the
patriarchal Govt. is going to inflict on women in India. Who does not know
how easy it is to prove anyone and everyone to be ‘family’ in India. Why,
one can go through all levels of high powered Authorization Committees of
top hospitals in the metros of Delhi and Mumbai to get a stranger’s kidney
in the name of family donation, so why not a surrogate baby? Second and
equally important, are relations within the family such that a woman’s opinion
would count? Within the patriarchal Indian family, this sort of license will
ensure all sorts of pressures on women. Obviously the Govt. is aware of
these loopholes and that is why the law has been framed thus- to confuse
those opposing surrogacy while indicating to interested parties that it would
be ‘business as usual’; even better maybe, because the surrogate would
not even be able to fix monetary issues for fear of being exposed.
October, 2016

23

Anti People policies Assault Women Too
Other policies being enacted by the Central Govt., like that by Govts’
before it, are anti people and have their edge also against women. However
these policies are taking the attack on the people decisively forward. The
Central Govt. first tried to amend land acquisition laws to make it even
easier to seize land from peasantry for corporate. So many studies show
how hard hit are especially women by such dispslacements, which destroy
social patterns and the security offered by the community. Attacks on
rights of the working class including on women workers have continually
escalated. Apart from contractualization and resultant job insecurity, there
are repeated attacks on Provident Funds, which for women workers who
get to avail this right are a way of economic empowerment. Price rise has
remained unrelenting, while the push for privatization in education and health
further constrains women’s access to both because families remain reluctant
to spend on education for girls ('double dowry') and women always are the
last to access health facilities in the households. In addition
communalization and the constant harping and emphasis on upper caste
feudal values works to attempt to minimize even the rights which women
have fought and won. For instance, is the attempts by the various ‘senas’
to force ‘Hindu clothing’ and a particular behavior on young women and
girls, even going to the extent of physical assaults on them. While fighting
the anti people policies, it is necessary to keep in mind the specific agenda
of Hindutva and to educate women to fight against the same.

Conclusion
Some of the aspects of the understanding of Hindutva forces which
have a bearing on the status of women and on their hard won rights have
been delineated in this booklet. It is reiterated that the issue is not just the
feudal patriarchal understanding of women as a secondary sex. That
understanding is the prevalent understanding of our society, and percolates
the functioning of all Govts. of all parliamentary parties and also of all
wings of the state i.e. the police, the judiciary, the bureaucracy. The semi
feudal semi colonial structure of India’s society provides the basis for this
and abolishing of this alone can provide a framework of equality for women
by abolishing the basis of male domination and which will allow the struggle
for elimination of patriarchal values and attitudes to be waged at a new
level. Therefore all the aspects of women’s oppression and exploitation

24

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY
are not the subject here and also have not been touched upon apart from
being indicated as a background.
This booklet has focused on the special issues which have come into
ascendancy for women as a result of the BJP RSS Govt. coming to power
alone in the central Govt. for the first time in India. As has been stated,
Hindutva is essentially an upper caste, patriarchal chauvinism which sub
serves imperialism also by dividing the people including women on
communal and caste lines thereby derailing people’s movements on their
common democratic issues. In line with its understanding it pushes an
absolutely feudal and casteist agenda for women. Thus their Govt. does
not focus on the real issues confronting the vast majority of women and
also seeks to dissipate the struggles on the real issues facing the women’s
movement. The modus operandi includes having militant and/or armed
groups backed by compliant police to enforce their agenda, eg. vigilante
groups of gau rakshaks attacking Muslims and Dalits, vigilante ‘sita’ and
‘durga’ senas enforcing patriarchal codes for women, etc. It is essential to
remember that Hindutva forces have significant penetration in judiciary
and officialdom. Thus, while developing the struggles of women against
pro imperialist, anti women policies and against patriarchal values, the
women’s movement must also expose and fight the divisive, patriarchal
designs of the casteist, communal and pro imperialist Hindutva forces.

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

The R
ele
vance of the
Rele
elev
Gr
ea
oletarian Cultur
al
Grea
eatt Pr
Proletarian
Cultural
Revolution in the Light of
China and R
ussia
Russia
becoming Capitalist
Pao-yu Ching
On May 16 1966 the Chinese Communist Party under the leadership of
Chairman Mao Zedong launched the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.
We are gathering here today to celebrate this historical event. Why are we
celebrating the launching of the Cultural Revolution half a century later?
The reason is, of course, the Cultural Revolution is as relevant today as it
was in 1966.
First of all, if it had not been for the Cultural Revolution, Liu Shaoqi and
Deng Xiaoping would have been able to carry out their capitalist development
a decade earlier. The Cultural Revolution blocked the capitalist roaders
from carrying out their plan, so it provided ten additional years to develop
socialism and demonstrate its superiority. China’s socialist construction
from 1956 to 1976, a period of merely 20 years, showed us that socialism
was not just an abstract concept, but a shining example of what could be
accomplished when the proletarian class was in charge.
Before the Cultural Revolution was launched in 1966 the Revisionists in
China were gathering strength to attack socialism on all fronts. They
furiously attacked the Great Leap Forward and the formation of the People’s
Communes. After the Communes were established in 1958, they employed
many different strategies to sabotage China’s collectivized agriculture
including schemes such as the “Three-self” and “One contract” campaign,
designed to use profit motive to encourage peasants to leave the Commune.

October, 2016

25

26

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY
In the industrial sector, after public ownership was established in 1956, the
Revisionists worked relentlessly to dissolve the workers’ permanent
employment system in industrial enterprises and used various material
incentives including the piece wage rates to divide workers. They argued
that the permanent employment system prevented industrial enterprises
from recruiting workers from the countryside to keep wages low and profits
high. The Revisionists also encouraged individual enterprises to impose
rigid work rules to increase labor intensity in order to raise labor productivity
and profits.
In hindsight we can understand more clearly how the Revisionists
strategized to subvert socialist construction. The Peoples’ Republic of China
won the revolution against feudal landlords, foreign capitalists, and
compradors by building a close alliance between workers and peasants.
The socialist construction could only succeed by consolidating the workerpeasant alliance on a new material basis. The ownership by the whole
people in the industrial sector and the collective ownership of agriculture
provided the necessary conditions for this new material basis. However,
the Revisionists tried at every turn to prevent this alliance from being
consolidated.
Before the Cultural Revolution, there were fierce struggles between the
socialist line and the capitalist line within the Communist Party – but most
people in China were not aware of it. After Liberation the attitude of workers
and peasants toward the Communist Party was generally one of
overwhelming gratitude. They were grateful to the Communist Party for
leading them to their liberation from oppression, exploitation, and suffering.
The peasants were grateful for the significant improvements in their standard
of living, including better diet, healthcare, and education. Workers were
grateful for the rights and benefits they received including job security,
decent housing, healthcare, education, and a secure retirement. However,
workers and peasants were not aware that what seemed to be the
endowment of the Party could be easily taken away, and that they had to
engage in struggle to protect them. Mao Zedong saw that the only way for
the revolutionary line to win was to expose the Revisionists and to mobilize
the masses to struggle against them.
The Cultural Revolution successfully exposed the Revisionists’ plan;
the masses learned how Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping attempted to carry
October, 2016

27

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
out their Revisionist line in all spheres of the society. However, it was not
enough for the masses to understand the struggles within the Party – they
also had to learn how to struggle against the Revisionists themselves. The
Cultural Revolution mobilized the masses and Mao and those in the Party
who supported the revolutionary line gave direction to the struggle. When
the Revisionists enticed workers and peasants with material bribes to divide
them, the campaigns in the Cultural Revolution broke through their capitalist
logic by putting politics in command. Mao understood that the transfer of
the ownership of means of production from private to public was not sufficient
to transform society; society had to be transformed on all fronts –
economically, politically, socially, ideologically and culturally. Launching
the Cultural Revolution was an attempt to transform the whole Chinese
society, and as a result, it made several unprecedented breakthroughs.
Even though these breakthroughs were still in their budding stage when
the Cultural Revolution ended in 1976, their value is forever impactful
because they were proven to be essential in transforming a society during
the socialist transition. I would like to explain three of these breakthroughs.
The first breakthrough was major changes in industrial organization. As
early as 1958, workers and cadres in the Anshan Iron and Steel Factory
took initiative to innovate new ways of involving workers in decision making
in running the factory. By March 1960 Mao Zedong had seen that the
changes they made were profound and fundamental, and named their
initiatives the Angang Constitution, which included five principles: (1) Put
politics in command, (2) Strengthen Party leadership, (3) Launch vigorous
mass moment, (4) Systematically promote the participation of cadres in
production labor and of workers in management and (5) Reform unreasonable
disciplinary rules; ensure close cooperation among workers, cadres, and
technicians; and energetically promote technological innovations. Mao urged
all factories to put the Angang Constitution principles into practice, but his
call did not receive an enthusiastic response until the Cultural Revolution,
when workers struggled to change their factories by instituting the Angang
Constitution as part of their overall struggle to change society. Changes in
the factories inspired by the Angang Constitution blocked the Revisionists’
efforts to turn workers into replaceable wage labor. This new industrial
organization was a remarkable breakthrough, a necessary change to
establish the new relations of production during socialist transition.
Another significant breakthrough during the Cultural Revolution was

28

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY
Mao’s education reform. This reform fundamentally changed the rules of
selecting who could receive higher education. During China’s 3000 years
under feudalism, education was reserved for the privileged few. These elites,
whose education was supported by the surpluses produced by the working
people then used their education to rule the working people. Actually this
has always been true in all societies divided by class. Education reform
during the Cultural Revolution turned this system upside down for the first
time in Chinese history and in the history of the world. The education reform
instituted a new system of selecting workers, peasants and revolutionary
soldiers for higher education by their co-workers. The State paid for their
education and living expenses and a monthly stipend while they were in
school. Upon graduation they went back to work in the same factory or
collective. The Reform also revolutionized the content of college courses
and with much more emphasis on practice. Students learned science and
technology as well as Marxism, Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought in order
to change the material world and to transform themselves with the goal of
serving the people. From this new education system sprouted a new
generation of integrated working class intellectuals ready to take leadership
in running the Worker State. The new education system that emerged from
the Cultural Revolution demonstrated concretely how the next generation
of proletarian leadership could be trained and cultivated to continue the
revolution.
Another breakthrough was the practice of the broadest and most
comprehensive democracy. Democracy was something completely alien
in China because of its long history of feudalism. The ordinary people had
to pledge their absolute loyalty and obedience toward the emperor and to
all his officials. During the Revolutionary War, democracy was practiced to
a limited extent in the revolutionary bases; people were encouraged to
speak their mind and made suggestions and posed criticisms to the
revolutionary leaders. Cadres also engaged in the practice of criticism and
self-criticism. The revolution succeeded because peasants and workers
trusted the Communist Party and recognized that Party leaders were
qualitatively different from past rulers. After Liberation all major changes in
China were made by first mobilizing the masses: from the mass movement
to end the feudal land tenure, to the Anti-graft and Anti-rightist Movements,
to the campaign to eliminate pests and diseases, and to the Great Leap
Forward, launched to establish the Peoples Communes and industrialize
China’s countryside. Then in 1966 the launch of the Cultural Revolution
October, 2016

29

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
brought mass movement to an even higher level when people freely
practiced what was called the “Big Four Freedoms “: the freedom to a Big
Voice, Big Openness, Big Debates, and the freedom to put up Big Character
Posters. These freedoms expanded democracy to the broadest scope. The
practice of democracy was another breakthrough of the Cultural Revolution.
Broad democracy was supported and encouraged, because the Communist
Party trusted the masses and believed change was only possible with their
participation. The masses returned their trust to the Communist Party and
together they fought to build a new society.
We are celebrating the Cultural Revolution today because it gave
socialism the chance to develop ten additional years. We are also celebrating
the Cultural Revolution, because of the major breakthroughs I just talked
about. Through understanding these major breakthroughs we learn not only
that class struggle continues during the socialist transition, but they also
give us the concrete content of class struggle in all the spheres of the
society necessary to move society forward. Although these changes were
only carried out for one short decade, they became fundamental and deeprooted in Chinese society. The counterrevolutionaries today regard the
Cultural Revolution as their number one enemy by viciously attacking and
distorting it. They can hate it as much as they want but they cannot erase
the impact of the Cultural Revolution from the Chinese society.
After Mao Zedong died in 1976, Deng Xiaoping seized political power.
In the four decades since then Deng and his followers dissolved the public
ownership of the means of production and reversed all the changes made
during the Cultural Revolution, drastically changed Chinese society. In 1985
they first moved to dissolve the People’s Communes and divide up
collectively owned land. Agricultural infrastructure, such as irrigation and
drainage systems built during the Commune years gradually fell apart due
to lack of maintenance. Land improvement projects, health and education
and other social welfare programs disappeared one by one.
Then the Reformers turned to dissolve public ownership of China’s
industrial enterprises. From the mid 1980s to the end of 1990s workers in
those enterprises fought courageously against selling industrial assets to
those who had political connections. Finally in 2000 the regime gave up on
reforming most of those factories built during the socialist period by closing
them down and laying off 36 million workers. (China Statistical Abstract,
2001, 39) Those workers who had made tremendous contributions building

30

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY
socialist China were literally thrown out onto the streets with barely enough
income to survive and without any medical insurance. When I visited the
workers districts in a major Northeast city, I saw stores, kindergartens,
barbershops, and bathhouses all closed down. Former State factory workers
lined the streets and trying to sell their labour to do odd jobs.
Deng’s Reform has two main components: capitalist reform in China
and linking China to the world capitalist system. As the new regime dissolved
the public ownership of the means of production, it moved to open up China’s
economy to foreign capital. It used low taxes, low wages, generous
subsidies, and lax labour and environmental laws to attract foreign capital.
Foreign capital investing in China has had two goals: the first is to occupy
the Chinese market and the second is to take advantage of China’s cheap
labour, cheap resources, and the freedom to pollute. American, European
and Japanese multinationals first formed joint ventures with Chinese
companies but eventually 70% of them became 100% foreign owned. Most
of the Fortune 500 companies set up shop in China. According to one
report, of the 28 Chinese industries that are open to foreign investment, 21
have fallen under foreign control. (Economic News , June 4, 2005) Among
the foreign-controlled industries include pharmaceutical, automobile, soft
drink, beer, bicycle, elevator, cement, glass, rubber and tire, agricultural
machinery, agricultural processing, retail, and delivery service. In the
process, many of formerly well-known Chinese brands have disappeared
from the market.
Another major way to take advantage of China’s cheap labour has been
for the multinationals to hugely expand processing production in China.
Capitalists from Taiwan and Hong Kong set up processing firms first in
Shenzhen and other Southern coastal cities later they moved into China’s
interior. These firms do processing work for the multinationals and the
range of products has expanded from clothing, shoes, toys, furniture, and
household items to electronics, such as computers, printers, iPhones and
tablets. China’s Capitalist “Opening Up Reform” came at almost exactly
the same time as global monopoly capital’s new strategy of imperialist
globalization to restructure the world economy. Global monopoly capital
expanded its domination over production and distribution by forcibly opening
all national borders. International trade and financial organizations, such
as GATT (later the WTO), the IMF and the World Bank helped to rewrite
and enforce new trading and investment laws. These changes enabled global
October, 2016

31

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
corporations to use a complex integrated strategy that involves splitting
the production process into specific activities or functions by dispersing
them to the lowest cost locations. Governments in host countries compete
with one another to make their countries more attractive to these giant
global corporations. They keep wages low and working conditions poor. In
addition to subsidies and tax incentives, they upgrade their infrastructure
and allow these corporations the freedom to pollute their environment. Above
all they use oppressive and brutal means to suppress workers from
organizing. All governmental policies in this new phase of imperialism are
justified on the basis of increasing a country’s global competitiveness.
This new strategy of imperialist globalization has been able to shift
excess capacity and labour-intensive, high-energy consuming and most
polluting production from advanced capitalist countries to developing
countries. China has been the number one country on the receiving end.
Soon after joining the WTO China’s GDP and exports took off both reaching
double-digit growth. By 2009 China’s exports of manufacturing goods
reached 16% of the world total, and in 2011 China became the largest
manufacturer in the world. China’s new regime has indeed successfully
integrated China into the world capitalist system.
However, if we look beneath the surface, we discover that in the past
four decades especially since the 1990s, China as a country (its land,
natural resources, and environment) and the Chinese people have paid a
horrendous price for this so called development. During the decades of the
Reform both foreign and domestic capital has ruthlessly exploited the
Chinese people, thoroughly depleted China’s resources and savagely
damaged China’s environment. The 200 million workers selling their labour
in multinational processing factories all came China’s countryside. They
work from 12 to 14 hours a day and often only get one day off every two
weeks. The pace of work is oppressive: large numbers of workers suffer
from exhaustion and work related diseases and injuries and some have
committed suicide. On the agricultural side, China has only 9% of the world’s
arable land but feeds 22% of the world’s population. During the socialist
period China was self-sufficient in food but now is increasingly dependent
on food imports. The strategy of using exports to spur short-term growth
has meant taking more and more land from agriculture for industrial use.
Local governments have used brutal force to remove people from their
land and their homes. Moreover, China has a very limited fresh water supply:

32

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY
on a per capita basis China’s access to fresh water is merely 25% of the
world’s average. Industrial water use has deprived people adequate water
supply. Currently, 400 out of 600 major cities in China do not have adequate
water for their residents. China is depleting its underground water so rapidly
that is causing the desertification to advance at the rate of 2,000 square
kilometers a year. 1
On top of rapid depletion of China’s limited resources, China’s
environment has been damaged to the point of almost no return. 80% of
China’s rivers are severely polluted. In many major Chinese cities where
the air is so heavily polluted, particles smaller than 2.5 microns (PM2.5),
the most toxic smog, reached 40 times the maximum level allowed by the
World Health Organization. The effects of these and other conditions have
resulted premature death of cancer and other diseases.2 A large part of
China’s resource depletion and pollution can be traced back to its
manufacturing for exports, because in 2011 Chinese people only consumed
35% of China’s GDP. (APCO Worldwide, http://www.apcoworldwide.com/
content/PDFs/npc_briefing_2011.pdf)

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
scale of labour and environmental protests, the Left is ready to battle.
These current experiences are a testimony to the enduring legacy of Mao,
his teaching, and the Cultural Revolution.
The Chinese revolution and its socialist construction transformed China
from a poor underdeveloped country exploited by imperialist powers to
become an independent country free from foreign domination and
exploitation. During socialism working people in China commanded the
highest respect ever in the history of humankind, and they exerted their
utmost efforts to build a new society for future generations. It was a country
full of hope, pride, and aspiration. The Cultural Revolution’s major
breakthroughs clarified and articulated the fundamental differences between
socialist development and capitalist development and showed us the
concrete path to continuing class struggle during the socialist transition.
We can say with confidence, “Socialism has not failed”. The
counterrevolutionaries seized power from the proletariat. We just have to
take the power back and WE WILL.
(Endnotes)

I think it accurate to say that China saved capitalism by providing global
capital a golden opportunity to expand and occupy beyond its dream.
Moreover, China’s financial support to the United States has helped the
largest empire in the world sustain its global hegemony. But while China
saved capitalism, capitalism has destroyed China.
The Left in China was defeated 40 years ago when counterrevolutionaries
seized political power and began its Capitalist Reform. However, the Left
has not faded away. On the contrary, forces on the Left have revived and
have been fighting furiously and relentlessly against the Right, who now
hold political and economic power. As the contradictions in Chinese society
intensify, forces on the Left are further strengthened. They have fought
those in power in every way possible – by engaging in ideological, economic,
and political struggles. They have published books and articles; held public
forums on critical issues; engaged in struggles against environmental
pollution and against Genetically Modified foods; formed study groups to
discuss Marx, Lenin and Mao; organized students to learn from workers
and to investigate and publicize working conditions in factories; conducted
mass rallies where they delivered speeches and sang revolutionary songs;
and tested all conceivable means to organize workers. Now with the most
serious economic crisis impending, and with rising numbers and increasing
October, 2016

33

1

According to Ji Yongfu, the director of Gansu’s Desert Control
Research Institute, overuse of groundwater and overgrazing has caused
the desert to advance at a rate of about 2,000 square kilometers a year
(Bloomberg.com, February 22, 2006).
Desertification has been the main cause of sand storms in China’s
northern cities, which have spread all the way to Korea, Taiwan, and
Japan.
2
China: The Dark of Growth, The Epoch Times, June 27– July 3,
2013, A7

34

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

Compensatory Afforestation (CAMPA) Bill

Aping Colonial Contr
ol
Control
over F
or
ests
For
orests
Bhalchandra Shadangi
Despite stiff opposition from different tribal and forest dwellers'
organizations the controversial Compensatory Afforestation Management
And Planning Authority (CAMPA) Bill- 2016 was unanimously passed on
the last day of the last parliament session. The Bill was first introduced in
the Lok Sabha in May 2015. But after the Opposition termed it as anti tribal
and demanded some amendments, it was referred to a Parliamentary
Standing Committee. After the Standing Committee submitted its report on
February 26, 2016 suggesting certain amendments, the Government has
accepted many of its suggestions. It is to be noted that Congress and
other non NDA parties had earlier blocked the Bill in the Rajya Sabha saying
that the Bill does not empower forest dwellers, tribals and gram sabhas
while spending the CAMPA money. Even Jairam Ramesh of Congress,
while pushing an amendment, had said, “The funds under CAMPA should
be used after getting the nod from gram sabhas as also mandated under
Forest Rights Act, 2006.” But at the end there emerged unanimity among
the ruling class parties in passing this anti tribal bill. But whatever may be
the stand of political parties, if the Bill become a law it will legalize the
destruction of forests in the name of development and undermine the hard
earned gains in the Forest Right Act – 2006 by giving enormous power to
the forest department.

What is CAMPA Fund?
The CAMPA Bill has emerged from the accumulation of funds with the
Government for the purpose of compensatory afforestation. It was created
under the direction of the Supreme Court in 2004. This fund has been
accumulated out of money received from user agencies (mostly private
companies) for diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes, "which
October, 2016

35

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
include mining, dams, highways and other infrastructure, the entities
involved have to pay the government so that the loss of forests can be
compensated by afforestation elsewhere." In the absence of stipulated
authorities at the Centre and states, more than Rs 42,000 crore has been
lying unspent with this ad-hoc CAMPA. Thus the Bill passed in the
Parliament aims to restock and improve the quality of degraded forests,
which constitute more than 40% of the total forest cover of the country.
The funds will be primarily spent to compensate for the loss of forest cover
due to development projects, for regeneration of forest ecosystem, for wildlife
protection and infrastructure development.
The Bill passed in the Parliament seeks a permanent institutional
mechanism for utilisation of funds collected by States and Union territories
and provides for establishing a National Fund for compensatory afforestation
under the Public Accounts of India and a State Fund under the Public
Account of each state. The stated objective of these institutions is to ensure
safety, security and to expedite utilisation of fund in a transparent manner.
Besides, the Act provides for a system of convergent monitoring and
evaluation of CAMPA money spent by State governments.
As per the provision in the Bill, the National Fund will receive 10% of
the money collected towards compensatory afforestation and related
payments, while the remaining 90% will go to various state funds. “We are
giving money to those who have lost in the race of development,” Minister
of Environment and Forest, Anil Dave, said in the upper house. The State
which has diverted maximum forest land would be getting maximum of the
CAMPA fund accumulated over the period. Thus, the biggest beneficiaries
of the new green fund would be Odisha, which has diverted around 14,000
hectares of forest land for non-forest use during 2005-14. As per the Ministry
of Environment and Forests (MoEF) estimate, Odisha would be the biggest
gainer with close to Rs 6,000 crore, followed by Madhya Pradesh (Rs.3,469
crore), Jharkhand (Rs 3,099 crore), Maharashtra (Rs 2,433 crore), Andhra
Pradesh (Rs 2,223 crore), Uttarakhand (Rs 2,210 crore), Arunachal Pradesh
(Rs1462 crore), Rajasthan (Rs 1,425 crore), Himachal Pradesh (Rs 1395
crore), Uttar Pradesh (Rs 1,314 crore), Gujarat (Rs.1100 crore), Jammu &
Kashmir (Rs 926 crore) and Karnataka (Rs 917 crore), etc.

Natural forest cannot be compensated
In the name of development, successive Govts have been diverting

36

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY
and allowing the destruction of thousands of hectares of precious forests
of the country. After the beginning of NEP this process has been accelerated
and many dense natural forests and biodiversities were handed over to
different corporate houses. In their idea this destruction of the forests can
be compensated by the compensatory afforestation drive. But it is not
true. There is no way to compensate for the destruction of a natural forest.
We have reverted to the colonial view of seeing forests as a “resource” to
be “exploited” and then “compensated” merely by planting trees. That is a
lesson that ought to have been learnt long before we in India began
discussing the idea of “compensatory” afforestation. From the beginning,
the concept was fraught because it was premised on the belief that if you
replace one hectare of dense foliage with another hectare planted with
trees, you have compensated for the loss of a forest. That a natural forest
is much more than the trees it hosts, that it is a repository of biodiversity,
that it plays a crucial role in replenishing underground water aquifiers, that
it is now recognised as a vital carbon sink for greenhouse gases and that
above all it has been the home for millions of forest dwellers, is still not
appreciated by those who make policies to compensate for the loss of
these natural forests.

CAMPA has damaging consequences
The Govt. says that the CAMPA fund will foster forest conservation,
regeneration and wildlife protection and will help them take up GPS surveys
for data gathering and install protection walls to guard prime forest locations
but the very rationale of the Act is questionable. This new law facilitates
displacement without any accountability to the people whose forests, lands
and lives will be damaged or destroyed. The Forest Minister, on behalf of
the Government, has assured the House that the rights of tribals and gram
sabhas will be taken care of when rules are framed. But how could the
Government bring in a provision in rules when things are not clearly spelt
out in the very Act. If the Government of India is sensitive towards tribals
and forest dwellers, then why did it object to the amendments brought
which were simply proposing to give respect to FRA, 2006 which provides
for community rights over CFR areas.
The Bill proposes to establish authorities at the national and state level
to spend the vast amount of funds accumulated as compensation against
ongoing forest diversion. This is the money accumulated over the years,

October, 2016

37

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
based on the net present value of the diverted forest and the cost of
afforestation. The amount paid is calculated on the basis of the net present
value (NPV) of the forests diverted, which ranges from 5 lakh to 11 lakh
per hectare depending on the density of the forests. This calculation is
based on the understanding that it takes 50 years for a forest to revert to
its original state.
Under the Bill, the CAMPA authorities will be dominated by the Forest
bureaucracy, who will just about unilaterally decide how this multi-crore
outlay will be spent, and administer it. As a token gesture, the Bill provides
for only one “tribal expert” or tribal representative in the Authority.
The CAMPA has enhanced the State’s power to grab community forest
resources, which are the only source for the survival of the 60 percent
tribals. Needless to say that the tribal economy is completely based on
agro-forest and 91.1 percent tribals still live in the rural areas and merely
8.9 percent of them have shifted to the cities. This clearly means the
community will not survive without the forests, which are not merely
livelihood resources for them but their identity, culture, tradition, ethos and
existence rely on it. Unfortunately, once again, they would be pushed out
of the forests in the name of regeneration, protection and development of
the forest.
In its centralising impulse, the Act completely ignores, even directly
clashes, with the Forest Right Act 2006, which vests rights of forest
management over more than half of India’s forests in tribal and forestdwelling communities. The Act also goes against the principles of
democratic devolution laid down in the 73rd and 74th constitutional
amendments.
The current bureaucratic nature of the CAMPA is likely to have the
following impacts. Firstly, a great wastage of resources, since left to
themselves, the Environment and Forest regulatory and executive structures
possess neither the capacity, nor the knowledge base to administer CAMPA
effectively, as detailed by a 2013 CAG report.
Secondly, further resource inequity, since the Act ignores the
recommendations of the Kanchan Chopra Committee and the Indian Institute
of Forest Management Committee on net present value of forests, which
stipulate sharing part of the compensation with forest-dependent

38

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY
communities. That the fund has grown from Rs 1200 crore to about Rs
40,000 crore in the past decade is a measure of the scale of forest
destruction underway in the country. It is also a grim indicator of whose
resource base is getting destroyed in this process, with little or no
compensation.
Third, it ensures that grassroot conflicts persist, as Forest Departments
will use the vast additional resources at their command to stymie the FRA,
and the spaces it creates for empowerment and participation for rural
citizens.
Fourth, it will lead to ecologically counter-productive outcomes as
perverse incentives are created for the bureaucracy to spend money on
afforestation, by cutting natural forests or creating ghost plantations. The
environment ministry has itself noted instances, some times as large as
over 1000 hectares, where “land identified for compensatory afforestation”
by local forest officials is found, when checked, to be already “having very
dense forest vegetation.”
The funds are earmarked for afforestation, wildlife protection and to
regenerate degraded forests. Although CAMPA disbursed funds to different
states, a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report in 2013 revealed
that only 61% of the released funds had been used. In fact, the CAG report
was quite damning. It stated: “We noticed serious shortcomings in regulatory
issues related to diversion of forest land, the abject failure to promote
compensatory afforestation, the unauthorised diversion of forest land in
the case of mining and the attendant violation of the environmental regime…
Numerous instances of unauthorised renewal of leases, illegal mining,
continuance of mining leases despite adverse comments in the monitoring
reports, projects operating without environmental clearances, unauthorised
change of status of forest land and arbitrariness in decisions of forestry
clearances were observed.”
The biggest question with regard to the CAMPA fund is where would the
plantation be done? As per the 1980 Forest Conservation Act, if one acre
of forest land is diverted to non-forest use, the same amount of revenue
land needs to be notified as protected forest and plantation has to be done
over there, and the plantation area would be doubled if it is done on a
degraded forest land. In this context, it is argued that it would not be so
easy for the State governments to take up plantation using CAMPA fund.
October, 2016

39

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
The conflict between individuals and the Forest Department and Gram
Sabha and the Forest Department is going to accelerate due to the following
reasons: 1) Incomplete Implementation of individual forest rights (IFR) under
FRA, 2006 2) Individual occupation and possession of revenue land by
landless people and 3) Conflict Between Gram Sabha and Forest Department
during plantation in the CFR (Community Forest Right) area.

Non Implementation of FRA
The CAMPA has pushed back the agenda of Forest Rights as the
Government is more interested in enforcing the CAPMA instead of Forest
Rights Act. Recently Johnson Topno, the State Manager of PACS, the
organization jointly enforcing the forest rights with the Tribal Welfare
Department of Jharkhand Government, reveals that there are 14,000 villages
in the forest region in Jharkhand alone, where there are possibilities of one
million individuals and 12 thousand community claims, which will take
another five years in converting to entitlements. But by the end of April
2016, the Jharkhand government had distributed merely 46,149 entitlements
under the Forest Rights Act 2006 including 44,702 individual and 1447
community entitlements. This proves the sorry state of the implementation
of Forest Rights Act.
As per the latest report of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA),
Government of India, by April 2016, 43,07,154 individual forest right (IFR)
claims had been filed at the Gram Sabha level and 17,00,786 individual
forest rights' titles have been recognised (distributed) over 6,891,361 acres
of forest land in 17 States, i.e. Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh,
Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya
Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar
Pradesh and West Bengal. It means if we roughly calculate, 20,06,368
individuals are occupying over 81,25790.4 acres of forest land in these
States. Of course most of their claims have been shown to be rejected.
Although they are physically occupying and cultivating these lands they
were denied pattas in those lands. Besides, news reports say that eight
out of every 10 claims for land by tribals in the last year has been rejected
without showing proper reasons.
Besides, there are serious problems over the IFR titles reported to have
been recognised across States. In all most all States, demarcation of the
actual forest land under occupation and claimed has not been considered

40

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY
and IFR titles have been issued haphazardly. Many states governments
have used FRA as a land distribution schemes, IFR claims over reserve
forest, Podu land were discouraged and were not considered. In the Yellendu
area of Khammam district of Telengana state, inspite of applying for years,
forest right titles were not issued and with the help of armed police standing
crops on those lands were destroyed by using tractors in the name of
afforestation drive. As said earlier, despite many decades of occupation
over forest land, IFR claims of the other non tribal forest dwellers (OTFD)
have been discouraged and denied. The real authority, the Gram Sabha,
was looked down upon by government officials and their power to verify
IFR claims, approve IFR claims and to take independent resolution were
usurped.
Besides, while forest land is available in all most all revenue villages of
States and whoever is occupying that land before 31st December 2005 is
eligible to get IFR rights over that land, in almost all states, FRA
implementation, to whatever extent, has been limited to forest and tribal
concentrated villages only, depriving large number of eligible claimants in
different villages inhabited for even 300 to 500 years.
Since no constitutional provisions/laws other than Panchayats
(Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA), 1996 and FRA 2006 could
respect and recognise the Gram Sabha as “authority” of its resources before,
Gram Sabha could not manage and regulate and control these common/
community lands. As a result most of the community lands were encroached
upon/occupied by individuals in villages without any fear. As a result the
same situation prevails over revenue common lands mostly recorded as
government land in revenue villages.
And leaving some exceptional cases, the 'encroachers' of revenue land
who are marginal land holders are legally landless and are eligible to get
that land regularized. However, despite the fact that some of the so called
government land is under possession of the eligible landless, the authority
for notification of those revenue lands as protected forest against forest
land diverted for non-forest purposes under 1980s Forest Conservation Act,
is vested in the District Collector. Under the laws there is no scope for the
landless encroachers to establish right over that the patch of land which
they have occupied for generations, nor is there any role of the Gram Sabha,
which is the real authority over that common land in Schedule 5th areas.
Thus, there are serious lacunae in the process of notifying revenue land as
October, 2016

41

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
protected forest against diversion of forest land for non-forest uses. Thus
any attempt to evict persons occupying forest land or any other revenue
land by any Government agency without taking into confidence the Gram
Sabhas may even lead to bloodshed as seen in different areas in the recent
past.
Thus, the Parliamentary Standing Committee, in its 277th report, had
rightly observed that there might be a situation where not enough land may
be available for afforestation purposes. To address this contingency, it
was recommended that there be a specific provision in the Bill “for
encouraging densification and revitalisation of available forest closest to
areas where deforestation is considered unavoidable on account of critically
important national projects.”
Besides conflicts over the individual-occupied forest land, there is a
possibility of serious conflict between the Forest Department and the Gram
Sabha ahead of plantation under CAMPA fund. It is understood that before
the enactment and implementation of FRA 2006, plantations were carried
out by the Forest Department in the forest area with the help of Vana
Surakshya Samitees (VSS) formed under Joint Forest Management
Resolution (JFM) 1990. Under JFM, Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs)
were signed between Gram Sabhas and the Forest Department. Under JFM,
the Forest official (forester/forest guard) is the ex-officio secretary of VSS
and the villagers were kept as President and members having no powers.
The Forest department used to control the VSS and so also all the
activities, i.e. plantation and construction works, by controlling the financial
power. As a result, despite protests by individuals and many a time by
Gram Sabhas, they mostly used the VSS Presidents as rubber stamps
and could successfully carry out the plantation programmes in the village
area under different schemes including CAMPA fund.
There is huge evidence from the past of evictions of thousands of tribals
and forest dwellers from the forest lands which were theirs by the Forest
Department using VSS for plantation using CAMPA fund, MGNRGS fund,
National Afforestation Fund etc., and depriving them of their genuine rights.
Besides, despite reservations at the Gram Sabha level, selection of
plantation species like “teak” have been the dominant choice of the Forest
department.
But in the CAMPA Fund Bill, 2016 duly passed by the Parliament, there

42

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

is no mention of any role either of the Gram Sabhas or of VSS formed by
the Forest Department under JFM which has lost its legality after enactment
of FRA, 2006. It has been a great irony for the Forest department that the
word “VSS” too is neither mentioned in the FRA, 2006 nor in the Forest
Rights Rules framed there under in 2007, and duly amended in Sept 2012.
Rather the FRA’s Section 3(1) (i) and Section 5 clearly recognise the
rights of the Gram Sabhas to protect and manage the CFR areas, and
further Section 4(1) (e) of the FR Rules empowers the Gram Sabhas/forest
dwellers to form independent Forest Protection and Management
Committees (FP&MCs) exclusively taking their own members.

Department through JFMC/VSS is illegally trying hard to regain its control
over forests, which is quite evident from the Village Forest Rules, 2015
launched in Maharashtra, Ama Jungle Yojana in Odisha and Harithaharam
in Telengana for promoting VSS.

However, in comparison to IFR, recognition of CFR across States is
very poor. As per MoTA’s FRA status report, by April 2016, around 1,16,310
community forest rights claims had been filed at the Gram Sabha level in
15 States i.e. Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh,
Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh Maharashtra Odisha
Rajasthan, Telangana Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and 43,488
community forest rights' titles have been recognised (distributed) in all
these states expect Kerala. Besides, it is reported that around 39,67,016
acres of forest land has been recognised under community forest rights in
seven States, i.e. Gujarat (10,81,583 acres), Karnataka (26,274.79 acres),
Maharashtra(13,92,644.78 acres), Odisha (1,91,612.09 acres), Rajasthan
(482.58 acres), Telengana (12,74,327.90 acres) and Tripura (91.17 acres)
etc.

Conclusion

The CFR areas shown in the Report against different States is too
confusing. As per the estimation of Rights Resource Initiative (an
international agency working on indigenous rights over natural resources),
as per FRA, 2006, in India about 1,77,000 villages have established rights
over at least 4 million hectares of forest land by April 2016 lands, which is
only 10% of 40 million hectares. Across the States, the Forest Department
has been accused of not cooperating with Gram Sabhas in getting community
rights over forests, rather the Forest Department has been an obstruction
in the way of CFR recognition.

In many places, Gram Sabhas have started using FRA and asserting
their community rights over their CFR area and forming Forest Protection
and Management Committee (FP&MC) dissolving VSS. Using FRA,
communities have taking control over forests and are also planning on
their own to protect and manage their CFR area, demanding funds from
different departments to develop their CFR area.

The most important question is whether CAMPA is really intended to
conserve the forests? In the past two years of NDA rule, the Govt has
diverted 34,620 hectares of forest land for so-called development projects
and 40,478 hectares are still in the pipeline. The Indian government had
acknowledged in the Forest Survey 2011 that the forests are remaining
only in those regions where tribals are residing. What does it mean? So,
instead of taking the tribals, who have been the traditional conservers of
forests, into confidence, the Govt is alienating them from the conservation
of forests. Actually speaking the CAMPA is a mechanism to legalize and
smoothen the destruction of forest and biodiversity to cater to the need of
this so called development, particularly for corporate loot of forest
resources. In the name of creating forests it will only increase the age long
conflict between tribals and the Forest department as already seen in the
forest areas of Khammam- Warangal and facilitate loot by the men in power.
So instead of ending the historical injustice done to the tribal community
as promised in the preamble of the Forest Rights Act, the CAMPA will only
bring mountains of injustice for them.

After the FRA, 2006, “forest land” has been redefined, and the forest
areas which any community of people have been depending on and
protecting for generations, have been renamed as “CFR” over which the
community people have exclusive rights and the Forest Department has
no rights over it. But despite the provision of FRA, 2006 the Forest
October, 2016

43

44

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

ZPSC Led Struggle In PunjabDalits of Jalhoor Fight Back

fraternal organizations, were framed in false cases. Thus the landlords
tried to create terror.

Dalits in Sangrur district of Punjab have been fighting for their share of
Panchayat land since 2014. They have been able to get their share of land
in many villages and are cultivating in many places in co operative form.
This year, Dalits in 44 villages started struggle on this issue. After a pitched
struggle, braving police lathis and jail and all sorts of state repression,
Dalits of nearly forty villages succeeded in getting land. In three villages
i.e. Jhanerhi, Kalaudi and Jalhoor, the struggle did not succeed .In Kalaudi
the matter is in the Court but in Jhanerhi the landlord is a goonda and a
henchman of the local MLA. In Jalhoor, the landlords mobilized along caste
lines. The Dalits continued the struggle and took to symbolic harvesting in
Jalhoor. The landlords attacked their houses and injured some men and
women. Police, instead of arresting the landlords, filed cases against the
Dalits. Zameen Prapti Sangharsh Committee held a Dharna on October 5th,
2016 at Lehragaga in front of the SDM office .Even during the Dharna, the
landlords and their goons threatened the people and made a public
announcement in the village that the Dalits would be taught a lesson when
they returned from the Dharna. ZPSC leaders and leaders of fraternal
organizations who were present at the Dharna brought this to the notice of
the Tehsildar, who came to receive the memorandum in place of the SDM.
He assured full protection, but when the Dalits reached the village along
with the leaders and people from other villages, the landlords, who had
mobilized the upper castes, started attacking them. Houses of leaders and
activists were selectively attacked. Old and young, men and women, were
cruelly beaten and attacked with sharp edged weapons. More than 50 people
were severely injured, houses were ransacked and plundered. Police
remained silent spectators, thus helping the landlords in executing this
carnage. In the name of rescuing people from outside the village, such
people were asked to come out. The men were arrested and women were
left in the open, vulnerable to attack. Those injured who had been admitted
to the Civil hospital were arrested, while some managed to leave the hospital
stealthily. Though more than fifty Dalits were injured but none is in hospital
except the mother of Balwinder Singh, Dist. committee member of ZPSC,
who is unable to move and is in a serious condition. Sixty eight people,
including those from outside the village as well as activists and leaders of
October, 2016

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

45

ZPSC, responding to the situation, called a meeting of organizations of
peasants and rural labour and formed a “Committee Against Repression in
Jalhoor” comprising of seven mazdoor-kisan organizations including Kirti
Kisan Union , Pendu Mazdoor Union, BKU (Ugrahan), BKU ( Dakaunda )
BKU (Krantikari ) Khet Mazdoor Union and Krantikari Pendu Mazdoor Union.
This committee decided to hold a Rally and Demonstration in Lehragaga
on 21st October
A joint Rally and protest demonstration was held at Lehragaga on 21st
Oct. Nearly seven thousands people from different parts of the state
thronged in support of the Dalits of Jalhoor. This has special importance
because the harvesting season of paddy is at its peak and peasants and
labourers are extremely busy and unable to spare even an hour. Nearly two
hundred Dalits from Jalhoor attended, defying the terror created by the
landlords. Even the seriously injured attended the rally. The terror which
the landlords had tried to create with the active support of district civil and
police administration and with patronage of Parminder Singh Dhindsa,
Finance minister in Badal government evaporated in thin air. Gurmukh
Singh and Mukesh Kumar Maloud of ZPSC, Nirbhai Singh Dhudike,
President Kirti Kisan Union; Joginder Singh Ugrahan, President BKU (
Ugrahan); Gurmit Singh Bhatiwal of BKU (Dakaunda ); Shinder Singh of
BKU ( Krantikari); Surjit Phool of BKU (Krantikari -2 ); Balwinder Singh
Bhullar, General secretary Pendu Mazdoor Union; Jora Singh of Khet
Mazdoor Union; Sanjiv Mintu of Krantikari Pendu Mazdoor Union and Dr.
Pritpal Singh of AFDR addressed the people supporting the struggle for
land by Dalits under the leadership of Zameen Prapti Sangharsh Commiittee
and pledged to fight the landlords' onslaught on struggling Dalits. Speakers
condemned the role of all parliamentary opposition parties who have not
raised their voice against this carnage. They demanded that Harjinder
Mangu, Gurdip Babbaan and Gurlal Singh, the main culprits and their
accomplices be arrested and punished; SSP police, SP, DSP and SHO
Lehragaga be terminated, arrested and punished including DC, SDM and
Parminder Dhindsa; False cases against Dalits and leaders of organizations
be withdrawn, panchayat land reserved for dalits be given to them and
dummy auctions be cancelled and injured and looted be compensated.
Later a procession was taken to the SDM office.

46

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

UNDER THE BANNER OF
OF “MARATHA KRANTI”
Pravin Nadkar
Politics in Maharashtra has sprung up an unexpected surprise before
the ruling BJP led government in the state. The importance of the caste
factor in the state's politics has once again come to the fore. The recent
initiative of political assertion of the Maratha identity is under the banner of
‘Maratha Kranti’. Considering that kranti i.e. revolution is a term used to
describe the struggle of the downtrodden against the establishment, it can
not be denied that this movement too enfolds trends against exploitative
policies of the establishment. In fact a frustration arising out of inability to
improve the living conditions of their own lot, is at the centre of the social
turmoil in the offing.
The irony of the situation is that, traditionally, the ruling elite in the
state also comes from their own community. This section of Marathas has
been enjoying power in each and every field of state governance and rural
economy. They are being, somewhat, side lined by the present ruling BJP
led government . BJP is making alliance with the new elite players from
the OBC sections and trying to woo the Dalits in the state. In such a
situation, the elite Maratha is trying to find its way back into the corridors
of power. They are taking advantage of the disenchantment of the vast
sections of the impoverished Marathas with the existing system. This
outburst of Maratha identity has provided a timely opportunity to the elite
Maratha sections across the political parties. These parties wish to exploit
the situation in their own favour for the impending elections at Panchayat
and district levels in the state. Such sections of impoverished Marathas
i.e. agricultural labourers, saldars, small peasants, urban working population
etc. are in a situation where they are joining forces with the very elites who
are primarily responsible for their present plight, in the name of the caste.
The revolutionary potential of this movement is thus compromised at the
very outset.
October, 2016

47

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
The famous onion price agitation led by Sharad Joshi, had witnessed a
similar situation way back in nineteen eighties. Where as the landlord forces
and other rich peasants benefitted by the consequent rise in the market
prices due to the agitation, the poor peasants and the agricultural labourers
who lost their lives in that movement were only used as cannon fodder.
They did not in any way benefit on account of the trickle down effect as
then claimed by Sharad Joshi. However Sharad Joshi had correctly
assessed the beginning of downslide of the agricultural sector in the Indian
economy and his intervention provided a timely vent to the feeling of rebellion
building up among the peasantry. This agitation succeeded in imparting a
reformist orientation to the nationwide peasant movement, there by blunting
the revolutionary edge of the movement. Maratha landlords and rich
peasants were in the leadership positions of this movement too. As a second
wave of agricultural distress is spreading across the state, the ruling classes
should be too happy and working hard to subvert this agitation in a casteist
direction.
Marathas in Maharashtra have been generally equated with the Jats in
Haryana. Caste wise, there has always been a confusion about whether
the Kunbi, the predominant peasant community, is a part of Maratha caste
or not. Kunbis are the non-elite sections of Maratha tillers. They consist of
various sub castes like Leva patedars. Khaire, Jadav etc. regionally in the
state. There is an opinion among certain sections of sociologists that Kunbi
is a reality and Maratha is a Myth. This opinion is based on the consideration
that majority of those who call themselves Marathas belong originally to
the Kunbi caste. The elite castes among Marathas- the 96 kuli (96 clans)
Marathas and the Maratha Deshmukhs (traditional village level chieftains)are said to be the real Marathas. The Kunbi sections always take pride in
being called as Marathas. Since the onset of Mandal Commission a section
of the Kunbis have started to demarcate themselves from Maratha in order
to claim the benefits of OBC reservation. Leva Patils, and some other
Kunbi subcastes are already in the OBCs' list and are eligible for reservation.
As such there is also a section of Kunbis which is hesitant to join forces
with the Maratha agitation for the fear of losing percentage of their own
share to the new entrants in the race for reservation. Marathas are said to
belong to the Kshatriya varna where as Kunbis belong to either the Vaishya
varna as per their occupation of agricultural production or Kunbis are even
described as Shudras as they directly engage in physical labour themselves.
In fact, the famous icon of Marathas, the king ‘Shivaji Maharaj’ was himself

48

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY
denied a felicitation for the throne by Bramhins as they held him to belong
to the Kunbi caste and hence a non-Kshatriya.
Land owning Marathas among the peasant sections, those belonging to
small and middle peasants, have suffered a major economic crisis on
account of the drought like situation in the last couple of years. This
prompted them to commit suicides in a big way. The numbers from the
Maratha community are highest among the suicide cases in the state.
Exploitative pricing policies of the agricultural produce, policy of relying on
imports rather than encouraging the market for the local produce, lack of
irrigation facilities, power cuts, high costs of inputs etc. is making agriculture
non viable as a livelihood option. In these conditions, the Maratha youth
sees no future in agriculture and is seeking employment opportunities in
the cities. In such a situation the elite Marathas do not encourage the
youth to fight for the betterment of agriculture. When the Maratha youth
seeks seats in institutes of education or employment in Government jobs,
they feel discriminated on account of the present reservation policy. On
the other hand, high fees in private professional institutions are placing a
lot of burden on these peasant families and lack of jobs after such training
further places economic burden on them.
Even if Marathas are given reservation as per their demand, it can hardly
improve their employment situation. The Employment figure for government
related jobs has shrunk to slightly less than half the number in the last few
years. As such reservation becomes irrelevant for better prospects.
Educational institutions are also privatized in a big way and as such
reservation in admissions too does not better their chance for higher
education. It has been a widely held social belief among the peasantry
that, in the order of hierarchy, agriculture ranks first as a livelihood option,
next at the medium level is trade and lowest ranking is employment. These
sentiments are conveniently sidelined by the initiators of the current agitation
for reservation. The youth is not encouraged to fight for saving agriculture
from its plight today. Instead urban life and employment for livelihood is
projected as the alternative to survive the agricultural distress.
Maratha community has a sizable share of 32% in the population of
Maharashtra. It has been traditionally powerful in economy as well as politics
of Maharashtra. In both these fields they have become comparatively weaker
in the recent times. The Marathas have an unparalleled social clout at the
October, 2016

49

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
village level. They are in the forefront of practicing caste discrimination
towards Dalits. With growing urbanization, their cultural supremacy and
social clout in general is decreasing. Dalits as well as OBCs are able to
benefit from educational facilities as well as employment opportunities to
some extent. Maratha elites dominate the upper echelons of the
bureaucracy. They are now unable to accept the backward castes as equal
partners in power. This is why the elites utilize caste prejudices to drive
the Maratha youth in the current agitation. In a situation where the job
market is not growing and the Government is putting a halt to new
recruitment, then extra reservation for Marathas cannot be the solution to
their problem. But this is where politics is at work behind this so called
non-party or all party Maratha agitation.
The impact of globalization started showing in India in a big way since
nineties. Rapid urbanization at the cost of preservation of agricultural
profession became a distinct trend across the country side. Marathas were
not ready for this change. Though a small section of elite Marathas in the
state are next to the Bramhins, in the field of education, majority of them
did not give much importance to education. Agriculture oriented education
is generally neglected in the state and the traditional ways of cultivation
did not demand higher education for agricultural occupation among the
Maratha youth. This youth finds itself in a peculiar situation today. Majority
of this youth comes from middle peasant to agricultural labourer background
and as such finds it difficult when it comes to finding admissions for higher
education or even for employment. On the other hand the status of the
OBC section seems to be better than before. As such the social turmoil
taking shape among the Marathas also has to be understood in the frame
work of the process of globalization.
The other important development around the same period was that the
government allowed reservations for SCs ,STs and OBCs at the gram
panchayat level way back in 1994. This gave an opportunity for these castes
to get elected at the gram panchayat level and also to become Sarpanchs
of the villages. It is a marked departure from the traditional power structure
at the village level. It meant that lower caste people could hold politically
more important position than the Marathas when the Sarpanch belongs to
the lower castes. These changes in the power structure right from the village
level and the declining social status of Marathas at the state level has
nurtured a deep sense of social resentment over a long period of time. The

50

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY
Kopardi event gave a vent to these frustrations among the Marathas.
It all started with the condemnable rape of a Maratha school girl by
some alleged Dalit goondas in a Taluk called Kopardi in Maharashtra. The
success of the Marathi film “Sairat” had hurt the sentiments of the sectarian
sections of Marathas. In this film Marathas are shown to be wielding power
in a criminal manner against an inter-caste marriage of a Maratha girl with
a Dalit boy. The Maratha family of the girl is shown in a negative light and
the Maratha leader from the family is shown as a villain in the film. The
incident of rape of a Maratha girl by certain Dalits thus provided an
opportunity for the Maratha elite to hit back at Dalits and claim a moral
high ground.
An ex-employee of a multinational company and an electrical engineer
by name Sanjay Patil took initiative to register the names of the accused
in the police station on the very next day of the incident. The day after that
he gave a call for a Kopardi Bandh. He is one of the important leaders of
the movement. A certain Bhaiyyu Maharaj generally in close relation with
the Maratha elites was another person who visited Kopardi after the incident.
As the image of any existing political Maratha stalwart is not very credible,
such non party faces are more acceptable to the Maratha community at
large. Seeing the response to the initiative taken at Kopardi a Bandh call
was given in Aurangabad city of Maharashtra. The response to this second
call was tremendous. It was a kind of spontaneous response. After that
various cities took initiatives for such rallies. There is no doubt that Kopardi
was only a trigger point and the rape of the a Maratha girl became an
incident of challenge to the Maratha pride and a demand was made to
amend the SCs & STs (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The issue of
unemployment was subsequently added to the agenda to attract the
unemployed youth from the community. Reservation was then projected
as a solution to this malady of unemployment. Seeing the rising spontaneous
response and mobilization of Marathas on these demands, Maratha leaders
across the party lines have jumped into the fray.
The non-political puritanism craftily exhibited during various marches
in the state are hypocritical at the best. Without the active participation
and support of the Maratha stalwarts from the sugar cooperative, financial
institutions and educational institutions and without the mobilization and
support from political leaders across party lines, the huge mobilizations
would not be possible. At present Maratha lobby is deprived of the CM’s
October, 2016

51

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
chair. The state Government is trying to dislodge them from their traditional
power centers like cooperative institutes, educational institutes etc. At the
cultural level the anti Dalit image of Marathas is coming out more openly
and thus Marathas are projected in poor light by a section of the Media.
The Prevention of Atrocities Act has somewhat been a challenge to the
unquestionable power of Maratha over the lives of Dalits in the villages.
The community which takes pride in its social supremacy and authoritarian
political power cannot see itself being deprived of any advantages from the
system. They cannot accept the betterment of socially inferior communities
at their own cost. The caste factor in this case has blurred all the class
distinctions among the Marathas and united them in a struggle to either
snatch away the benefits given to other communities or end the system of
benefitting the socially backwards all together.
The very basis of the criteria for reservation has been the measure of
social backwardness. The decision to grant 16% reservation to Marathas
was taken by the UPA government in 2014. It was challenged in the Court
and could not stand the judicial test. In a bid to woo the Maratha electorate
the present non Maratha CM too passed the same ordinance granting 16%
reservation to them. This decision too has been challenged and is now
before the High Court. The Court matter is certainly going to take a long
time to come to a conclusion. With the 50% cap on reservation it is doubtful
that the grant of 16% reservation shall be upheld. This demand for
reservation was in fact raised by Sharad Pawar of NCP during the UPA
regime to embarrass Prithwiraj Chavan of Congress. He has been giving
statements to the press demanding reservation and also asking for
amendments to the existing Prevention of Atrocities Act. In fact amendment
to this Act can take place only at the central level. As such this demand is
problematic for the NDA government at the state as well as at the centre.
Considering that reservation cannot be given beyond the 50% quota, it
is not possible for the NDA to get approval of the Court for an extra
reservation of 16%. The agitators are demanding that amendment be made
to the Constitution to change the 50% cap on reservation. This demand
also becomes a liability for the NDA at the Centre. As such the edge of the
agitation is certainly going to be against the present NDA govt. in the state
and is likely to help improve the traditional support base of Congress and
NCP in the state. Such is the politics behind the so called non political
assertion of the Maratha identity. The only relief for the NDA Government

52

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY
in Maharashtra is that nobody is raising even a whimper about the
cancellation of 5% reservation for Muslims which was declared through an
ordinance of the previous UPA government in the state and which was
allowed to lapse by the present Government.
The Maratha youth should concentrate on a struggle for equitable
distribution of land, water resources, fair price for the produce etc. They
should take up cudgels against the penetration of Multinationals. Maratha
youth should fight against the growing urbanization of rural areas at the
cost of agriculture. It is very important for the right thinking Maratha
community to grow out of their caste shell. They should not fall prey to the
machinations of the elite political Maratha class. It is absolutely necessary
that Maratha oppressed community should make common cause with the
other sections of peasantry and wage a consistent struggle against the
outdated patriarchal, communal and casteist tendencies within their own
community. Without shaking off the elites from the leadership positions
and without joining forces with the country wide class struggle, the actual
kranti would remain a distant dream for them.

Read and Subscribe

CPI(ML) Or
g ans
Org
New Democracy
Pratirodh Ka Swar
Voice of New Democracy
New Democracy Bulletin
Biplabi Ganaline
Inquilabi Sada Rah
Lok Yudh
Sangrami Ekta
October, 2016

English
Hindi
Telugu
(Telengana)
Telugu
(Andhra Pradesh)
Bengali
Punjabi
Marathi
Oriya
53

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

Commemorating 50th anniversary of GPCR

Man
uf
acturing Truth : The w
ay
Manuf
ufacturing
wa
Imperialists combated Chinese
Revolution & GPCR
Amit Chakraborty
On 1st October, 1949 Com. Mao Ze Dong proclaimed the creation of the
People's Republic of China and declared liberation of one fourth of mankind.
Eight months to this great victory in February 1949, Com. Mao had his
maiden appearance in the ‘Time magazine’ with the headline ‘Communist
boss learned tyranny as a boy’. The western world campaigned for Chiang
Kai Shek as the representative of Chinese nationalism and Mao was
completely ignored. The pioneering writing of Edgar Snow – Red Star over
China – in 1937 introduced Mao Ze Dong to a wider circle in the western
world. The famous western journalists, authors and economists like Jack
Belden, Theodore White, Rewi Alley, Felix Greene, Jan Myrdal, Joan
Robinson, John Gurley, William Hinton and Dr Josua Horn have given
accounts of the Chinese revolution and its leaders in a positive way.
John Gurley of Stanford was so much influenced by the Chinese
revolution that he changed his world outlook. In 1976 Gurley wrote : "The
basic overriding economic fact about China is that for twenty years it has
fed, clothed and housed everyone, has kept them healthy and has educated
most. Millions have not starved, sidewalks and streets have not been
covered with multitudes of sleeping, begging, hungry and illiterate human
beings; millions are not disease-ridden. To find such deplorable conditions,
one does not look into China these days but rather to India, Pakistan, and
almost anywhere in the underdeveloped world."
The first World Bank report on China in 1980-81 states : "Nonetheless,
and despite slow growth of the average level of consumption, China’s
most remarkable achievement during the past three decades has been to
make low income groups far better off in terms of basic needs than their
counterparts in most of the poor countries. They all have work; their food
supply is guaranteed through a mixture of state rationing and collective

54

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY
self insurance; most of their children are not only at school but being
comparatively well taught; and the great majority have access to basic
health care and family planning services. Life expectancy - whose
dependence on other economic & social variables makes it probably the
best single indicator of the extent of real poverty in a country - is
outstandingly high for a country at China’s per capita income level."
These achievements of Chinese revolution led Fox Butterfield to write
an obituary on Mao in New York Times mentioning 'Mao Tse-tung, who
began as an obscure peasant, died one of history’s great revolutionary
figures’.
But after 1980s these assessments from western capitalist world have
vanished. It is very interesting to note that from this period the capitalist
world has organized two pronged attacks against socialist China, one against
Great Leap Forward (GLF) and the other against Great Proletarian Cultural
Revolution (GPCR). At the same time they are maligning Com. Mao and
other great communist leaders of China.
Just take the example of the personal lives of Com. Mao and Com.
Zhou En Lai. These two leaders had no personal properties. They paid rent
for the government houses they lived in, their furnitures were also rented,
their salaries were no higher than a full professor's salary during that period.
Most communist leaders did not accumulate any wealth and all their money,
if left, were given to the party. In an article published in People’s net,
December 10, 2013 we find that-‘Chairman Mao had only 500 yuan left in
his account at the time he died. All his royalties from his writings were
converted into membership dues to the party,’ Such a humble life of a
revolutionary has been maligned by the outright false memoirs of Chairman
Mao’s physician, Dr. Li Zhisui, in his book ‘The private life of Chairman
Mao’. This doctor wants to make us believe that the man who led the
liberation struggle of one fourth of mankind was a promiscuous man. We
shall deal with the lies of Dr. Li later on in our article.
BBC website on Com. Mao mentions ’Mao was a Chinese communist
leader and founder of the People's Republic of China. He was responsible
for the disastrous policies of the ‘Great Leap Forward’ and the ‘Cultural
Revolution’. Readers may be delighted to find the wonderful similarity
between BBC’s statement and present CPC leadership’s understanding on
the history of China’s socialist transition which states that: "All the
successes in these ten years were achieved under the collective leadership
October, 2016

55

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
of the Central Committee of the Party headed by Comrade Mao Zedong.
Likewise, responsibility for the errors committed in the work of this period
rested with the same collective leadership. Although Comrade Mao Zedong
must be held chiefly responsible, we cannot lay the blame for all those
errors on him alone. During this period, his theoretical and practical mistakes
concerning class struggle in a socialist society became increasingly serious,
his personal arbitrariness gradually undermined democratic centralism in
Party life and the personality cult grew graver and graver. The Central
Committee of the Party failed to rectify these mistakes in good time.
Careerists like Lin Biao, Jiang Qing and Kang Sheng, harbouring ulterior
motives, made use of these errors and inflated them . This led to the
inauguration of the 'cultural revolution'."
When famous economist John Gurley and World Bank in its first Report
on China were praising the policies pursued by China during Great Leap
Forward (GLF) and Cultural Revolution (GPCR) the revisionist Gang leader
Deng in 1980 told a World Bank Mission: ‘We are very poor. We have lost
touch with the world. We need the World Bank to catch up’. People may
compare the attitude of self reliance and self esteem of a proletarian state
and statesmanship of Mao era and the slavish attitude of Deng.
In this article I shall try to find the answers to the allegations made by
capitalist scholars both outside and inside China who are trying to prove
the Great Leap Forward (GLF) and GPCR disasters. These include the
question of mass killing due to famine during GLF, the so called disastrous
education policies during GLF and GPCR, GPCR as Com. Mao’s power
hankering manoeuvre, the so called violence and coercion during GPCR
and GLF.

The so called disaster of GLF - The Famine Deaths
The central attack by capitalists in and outside China post 1980s has
been concentrated against GLF. The Deng regime published a figure of
16.5 million famine death during GLF. When Deng calculates 16.5 million
then why should western scholars be far behind? So their estimates of toll
rose higher. Chang & Halliday in their book – Mao: The Unknown Story
(2005) calculated the death toll to be 37.67 million. In 1987 Judith Bannister
in ’China’s Changing Population’ stated the toll to be 30 million. Frank
Dikotter in his book ‘Mao’s Great Famine: The history of China’s Most
Devastating Catastrophe’ mentions this death toll to be 45 million; he also

56

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY
mentioned that some authors speculate this to be around 50-60 million.
Chang & Halliday”s book reads:”Mao Tse-tung ….was responsible for well
over 70 million deaths in peace time.’ More than one lakh copies of Frank
Dikotter’s books were sold and the book won the Samuel Johnson nonfiction
prize in 2011. Anthony Garnaut in 2013 has shown that the book has serious
problems with research methodology and Warren Sun alleged Dikotter has
deliberately distorted documentary evidence. So much so that this 2 million
Dollar scholarship winner Dikotter's book’s cover page depicting the great
famine during GLF was found to be copied from a picture of the famine of
1946 in China which was printed in ’Life Magazine’. When Dikotter was
asked about this he answered that he did not get any picture of the famine
during GLF, that’s why he printed that picture. Frank Dikotter claimed that
Chairman Mao was willing to starve half of the Chinese people to death.
When he was challenged to provide evidence he initially said he had an
agreement to not divulge the source but finally under pressure he showed
a document which was a speech by Com. Mao about launching an industrial
project where Com Mao had said China would cut off half of the projects in
1960 so that the other half is quickly finished. Just imagine the level of
distortion!

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
demographers painstakingly uncovered it.”
Utsa Patnaik has shown that the large ‘famine deaths’ concluded by
population deficit and imputing births and deaths did not actually take place.
From China’s official population data from its 1953 and 1964 censuses,
and accepting its rate of population increase up to 1958, the population
should have been 27 million higher over the period of 1959-1961 than it
actually was. Utsa has shown the fallacy of equating the population deficit
with ‘famine deaths.’ Those ’scholars’ have measured decline in the birth
rate from 29 in 1958 to 18 in 1961 as famine deaths.

Joseph Ball and Utsa Patnaik have analytically countered the claims of
these scoundrels at length. In her Revisiting Alleged 30 Million Famine
Deaths during China’s Great Leap, Utsa Patnaik stated :

There was a rise in the officially measured death rate from 12 in 1958 to
14.6 in 1959, followed by a sharp rise in 1960 to 25.4 per thousand, again
falling the next year to 14.2 and further to 10 in 1962. In 1960 there were
about 8 million deaths in excess of the 1958 level. But this peak official
‘famine’ death rate of 25.4 per thousand in China was little different from
India’s 24.8 death rate in the same year which was considered quite normal
and attracted no criticism from these scholars. Considering the low death
rate that China had achieved by 1958 as the benchmark and calculating
the deaths in excess of this over the period 1959 to 1961 totals 11.5 million
which is the maximal estimate of so called ‘famine deaths.’ Even this
figure is puzzling given the egalitarian distribution in China, since its average
grain output per head was considerably above India’s level even in the
worst year, and India had no generalized famine in the mid-1960s.

“Thirty years ago, a highly successful vilification campaign was launched
against Mao Zedong, saying that a massive famine in which 27 to 30 million
people died in China took place during the Great Leap period, 1958 to 1961,
which marked the formation of the people’s communes under his leadership.
The main basis of this assertion was, first, the population deficit in China
during 1958 to 1961 and, second, the work of two North American
demographers, A.J. Coale (Rapid Population Change in China 1952-1982,
1982) and Judith Banister (China’s Changing Population, 1987). No one
bothered to look at the highly dubious method through which these
demographers had arrived at their apocalyptic figures.” She also said “The
‘estimate’ was later widely publicised by Amartya K. Sen, who built an
entire theory saying that democratic freedom, especially press freedom, in
India meant that famine was avoided while its absence in China explains
why the world did not know that such a massive famine had taken place
until as much as a quarter century later when the North American

These data did not satisfy the aim to oppose socialism. Coale’s and
Banister’s estimates gave them the ammunition to attack the communes.
The figure was manufactured by using the 1982 census where there was a
survey on fertility covering one million persons or a mere 0.1 per cent
sample of the population. They concluded from the very high total fertility
rate obtained from this 1982 survey that millions more were actually born
between the two census years, 1953 and 1964, than were officially recorded.
They ignored the birth rate of 37 per thousand derived from a very much
larger 1953 sample which had covered five percent of all households and
was specially designed to collect the information on births and deaths used
in the official estimates. They imputed birth rates of 43 to 44 per thousand
to the 1950s, using the 1982 survey with a smaller sample size. The irony
is that although all official birth and death rates are rejected by them, the
official population of 1964, a total of 694.6 million, are accepted. This
opportunistic assumption was clearly necessary for their purpose because

October, 2016

57

58

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY
it allowed them to assert that the same number of extra people died between
1953 and 1964, as the extra people they claim were born. A serious reader
who does not have any conflict of interest unlike ‘Bharatratna’ Amartya
Sen, will surely understand the emptiness of his remark.
Joseph Ball pointed out that ‘there seems to be no way of independently
authenticating these figures due to the great mystery about how they were
gathered and preserved twenty years before being released to the general
public’.
Mobo Gao & Dongping Han, the two famous Chinese scholars, have
shown the utter falsity of this claim of famine deaths by their field study.

The Question Of Grain Shortage During GLF
In 1958 foodgrain output was exceptionally good at 200 million tons
(mt). After 1958 there was a bad harvest in China – due to drought in some
parts, floods in others, and also pest attacks. Foodgrain output fell from
200 mt in 1958 to 170 mt in 1959 and further to 143.5 mt in 1960. In 1961
there was a small recovery to 147 million tons. This was a one-third decline,
larger than the one-quarter decline India saw during its mid-1960s. As
the Grain output drop coincided in time with the formation of the communes,
academics blamed the commune formation for this output decline. The
opposite argument, that without the egalitarian distribution that the
communes practised, the impact on people of the output decline, which
occurred for independent reasons, would have been far worse, was ignored. It
was during this period that 46,000 reservoirs were built with thr collective
labour of the communes which prevented further drought in China. Western
scholars are fond of forgetting this piece of information. Recovery to the
200 million ton level took place only by 1965. However, it is worth
remembering that the per capita foodgrain output in China even during the
worst year, 1960, remained substantially above India and after GLF initiated
construction of water reservoirs there was never any significant drought.

Tachai question Revisited
During GPCR one of the famous slogans was ‘Learn from Tachai
(Dazhai)’. This slogan inspired Chinese people to build socialist agriculture.
Now, after the great reversal, Chinese officials are saying that Tachai data
were manipulated, manufactured.
October, 2016

59

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
Mao Zedong chose Dazhai, a mountain village in Shanxi, as a model of
rural development, primarily because it practiced cooperation and selfreliance. William Hinton in Great Reversal mentions : ‘This small community
of eighty families turned a barren, gully-scarred mountainside into rich,
terraced farmland with irrigated yields……They raised silkworms, honey
bees, chickens, and fat pigs, built a brick kiln, a bean noodle plant, a
bauxite mine, and used the income from their crops and shops to build
solid, stone housing for every family, educate both children and adults,
and provide medical care for all’.
Deng Xiaoping and his colleagues repudiated Dazhai, denounced its
accomplishments as fraudulent. In 1983, the complete reorganization of
the village from above was carried out. Since then, the reformers claim,
Dazhai residents have prospered, mightily increasing crop yields, have
flourishing new sidelines, raised per capita incomes, and raised living
standards. Xinhua News (September 17, 1987) talked about the superiority
of the “responsibility system” a decollectivisation policy, over the
cooperative egalitarianism of the past.
Unfortunately, on-the-spot investigations by William Hinton failed to
support the Xinhua news story. Hinton went to Dazhai many times, five
times while the village still served as a collective model and four times
after it underwent various stages of reform. His conclusion was that since
1979 the Chinese media has consistently misrepresented Dazhai.
He accused the present Chinese leadership of disparaging collective
achievements on the one hand and idolizing reform achievements on the
other, with equal disregard for facts in both cases.
Hinton accused CPC’s present leadership of biased comparisons. The
sharp rise in post reform gross income was a rise in overall returns of
185,000 yuan in 1978 to 650,000 yuan in 1986. The sharp rise in per capita
income per person from 186 yuan in 1978 to 650 yuan in 1985 and the
creation of new money-earning enterprises and industries together brought
in over 490,000 yuan in 1986. But none of the yuan figures given are corrected
for inflation. The Chinese yuan had depreciated greatly since 1978. Taking
the official rate of exchange between the yuan and the U.S. dollar, there
was a sharp decline in relative value from 1.6 yuan to the dollar in 1978 to
3.7 yuan to the dollar in 1987. These official rates probably do not reflect
the real decline of the yuan vis-à-vis the dollar because the black market

60

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

rate during that period was closer to 6 or 7 than to 3.7. The figures did not
take into account the decline of the dollar itself. Comparing the yuan against
a representative list of commodities on sale in China, the deterioration was
also substantial because the yuan in post reform period would buy less
than half the goods it bought in 1978. In Shanxi province a few years ago,
corn sold for 9 cents and in post reform period it sold for 24 cents. Hinton
has shown that ‘ Prereform and postreform figures cannot be directly
compared. They describe different things. Whereas in the postreform period
money income represents most of the income received, in the prereform
period money income (paid out as cash or as grain with a fixed cash value)
made up only 60 to 75 percent of total income. Brigade members, as
shareholders in the collective, received most or all of their housing, medical
care, fuel, electricity, and other goods and services free. ‘The total value
of these fringe benefits is hard to estimate, but figured at prereform prices
it will be worth at least 50 yuan per capita per annum.

these projects produced 92,000 yuan worth of income that no longer comes
in. All these data we are presenting have been presented in greater detail
by William Hinton in his ‘Great Reversal’.

Initially no Dazhai resident agreed to carry out the privatization policy.
The government in December 1982, sent a state cadre to implement the
decisions of a county reform work team and decollectivization was carried
out, it was not spontaneous.

Democracy & Violence During GPCR & GLF

Clearly the gap between 1978 earnings and 1986 earnings is not as
great as the highly selective figures and accounting procedures behind
current reports suggest. Another big reason why pre and postreform figures
cannot be directly compared is that the labour pool tapped in the two periods
has not only significantly expanded but also has undergone qualitative
change.
Moreover while new enterprises have indeed brought in large amounts
of added income, other prereform projects have declined or even collapsed.
The truth is, if it were not for the coal mines, Dazhai income, corrected for
inflation, could well be below that of 1978. It can be because the village
abandoned several profitable collective enterprises after 1983 and at the
same time failed to maintain the high standards of field and crop care that
made Dazhai famous. The list of abandoned enterprises includes a bean
noodle factory that earned 10,000 yuan and supplied by-product feed for a
pig-raising project that earned 20,000; a blacksmith and welding shop that
earned 7,000; a wine plant that earned 5,000; and a horse-raising project
making use of range land elsewhere that earned 40,000 to 50,000. Altogether

October, 2016

61

Since the official CPC line is that Dazhai in the past paid attention only
to grain production, the village today introduces a number of still-functioning
enterprises that were built long ago as if they were new, as if they were
another result of the reform. These include the brick kiln which previously
earned 20,000 yuan (Hinton family members worked there in 1971), the
soysauce and vinegar plant which contributed 10,000, and several tractors
which contributed 10,000, earned by hauling freight on the road.
The deterioration of agriculture since the reform is found to be serious,
crop yields are falling. The new policy required only a challenge of Mao’s
model. Reports must show that the “responsibility system” of decollectivization works better than the collective.

In an article written by Hao Qi, present workers and retired workers of
China who have worked during GLF & GPCR claimed that during GPCR
workers were the masters of their factories which have been occupied by
the managers in present regime. The famous Anshang constitution which
was promulgated by Anshang steel factory workers was introduced during
GLF and was accepted in many factories during GPCR. The three in one
system introduced in GPCR gave the right to direct producers in factories
and in communes. The party bureaucrats who enjoyed privileges and hated
physical labour were challenged.
Com. Mao, in his speech to the delegates of the Albanian Military
Commission, stated that capitalist roaders were very strong inside CPC's
CC. The policy of GPCR was passed by only a few majority votes in CC
meeting but was overwhelmingly accepted by the majority in CC plenum.
Deng regime's evaluation of history, stating, ‘His personal arbitrariness
gradually undermined democratic centralism in Party life and the personality
cult grew graver and graver. The Central Committee of the Party failed to
rectify these mistakes in good time’ does not fit the facts. Only 1% of
communist party members were purged during this period. None of the
senior leaders who were branded as ‘capitalist roaders ‘ like Liu Shao Qi or

62

October, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY
Deng Xiao Ping were sentenced or arrested. Liu Shao Qi’s wife said that
Com. Mao was very keen to work jointly with Liu Shao Qi even when the
conflict of line was very intense. But if we look at post-Mao practice we
find that at the earliest opportunity their political opponents were arrested
and sentenced by branding them as ‘Gang of Four’. Therefore the outcry of
democratic centralism and democracy by these revisionists is a hoax.
William Hinton in ‘Turning point in China’ has given a vivid description
of attack and counterattack between revolutionaries and capitalist roaders
during GPCR. But nowhere was Army used. PLA participated in political
struggle but never in armed conflicts except in Wuhan incident in July
1967 when counterrevolutionaries arrested two delegates and tried to combat
Premier Zhou En Lai in Hupei.
It was during Com. Mao’s leadership that the famous socialist
constitution accepted the right of workers to strike in a workers' state.
Raymond Lota in his book ‘Mao‘s last battle’ talked about Com. Mao’s
intense agony and great initiative during that period to get this clause
accepted.
Educational reform and extension of primary, secondary schools in rural
areas of China during GLF and GPCR empowered toiling masses. Before
GLF, the party elites, intellectuals and representatives of propertied classes
used to be admitted in universities. During GLF there was intense struggle
by Com. Mao and other comrades to change the scenario, which was
successful in first phase of GPCR. The elitist admission test was given up
and students were admitted according to recommendation of workers' and
peasants' communes and admission was related to serving the people and
workers' state. If this is not democracy what is it then?
Now comes the question of mass killings during GPCR. Even the
revisionists in their History Resolution have not mentioned this but there
are many articles talking about the chronology of mass killings during GPCR,
published mostly from western universities or Hong Kong's open
universities. If you check the references you will find forums like Beijing
Spring formed by US backed Chinese democrats who took asylum in US
and are infamous for their support to US in Iraq war. All the foreign journalists
and delegates in their memoirs, even the CIA secret report on Lin Biao
issue, have never mentioned these sorts of mass killings. We have already
seen the truthfulness of western intellectuals on ‘Great Famine’ issue; here
also the authenticity is dubious.
October, 2016

63

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

On the private life of Com. Mao
Dr. Li Zhisui in his book ‘The private life of Chairman Mao’, wanted to
make us believe that the man who led the liberation struggle of one fourth
of mankind was a promiscuous man. Dong Xulin and Q.M. DeBorja edited
'Manufacturing History: Sex, Lies and Random House’s Memoirs of Mao’s
Physician'. The book is a long and searching critique by Dong of Li ‘s claim
and of the role of China-experts like Jonathan Mirsky and Andrew Nathan
who did much to get the book published and promoted in the English speaking
world. The second part contains translations of various key texts from
China that refute Dr Li Zhisui’s memoirs.
It was a counterattack against the media-hype around Li Zhisui’s
infamous “tell-all biography” of Mao Zedong. Li was one of Mao’s personal
physicians, particularly in the later years of his life. His text has recently
been criticised by Gao Mobo in the ‘The Battle for China’s Past.’ This text
by Li has also been challenged by Jung Chang in ‘Mao: The Untold Story’
& Kaz Ross’s essays.
In Dong’s book the translations from Chinese of refutations of Li’s
memoirs by others who knew both Li and Mao personally has been quoted.
They call into question the authenticity of what Li said. This in-depth and
scholarly critique of Li’s memoirs is yet to be answered by the so called
scholars. Nowadays you often hear references, for example, of Mao’s alleged
predilection for having sex with young women! Well, you hear that a lot
because it is mentioned in Li’s book — in the English version only —and
moreover because it fits the dominant, orientalist discourse around Mao
(despotism, perversion, and so on). Similar allegations were earlier made
by western manufacturers of truth against Com. Stalin which have been
exposed by Grover Furr and many other historians. Dong and DeBorja’s
text allows one to at least cite counter-references to such truisms about
the biographical manoeuvres.
On the fiftieth anniversary of GPCR we pledge to carry forward the
ideals of socialist reconstruction and GPCR led by Com. Mao and the then
CPC. We expose the capitalist school of falsification. We challenge the
reactionaries and Capitalist roaders all over the world and warn them to
stop heinous propaganda against working class, toiling masses and Chinese
revolution. Long Live GPCR!

64

October, 2016