Let us Learn our Lessons from the Electoral Setback, Rectify our Mistakes and Prepare the Whole Party for a New Breakthrough in the Field of Mass Struggles!
July 28 is the martyrdom day of Comrade Charu Mazumder, founder General Secretary of the CPI(ML). The ruling classes had hoped that the martyrdom of Comrade CM on July 28, 1972 would mark the end of the CPI(ML), but within two years of his martyrdom, the Party was reorganized on 28 July 1974 and soon the reorganized CPI(ML) had begun making its mark in Bihar riding on waves of powerful peasant struggles. As the entire Party observes the 40th anniversary year of Party foundation, this July 28 we pay our warm tributes to Comrades Charu Mazumder, Saroj Dutta, Jauhar, Vinod Mishra and all other great martyrs and departed leaders of our Party including Comrades Nagbhushan Patnaik, Jayanta Ganguly, Anil Baruah and Mahendra Singh and renew our resolve to carry forward the unfinished task of revolutionary social transformation to victory.
The country has recently passed through the 15th Lok Sabha elections. In its second avatar, the UPA government at the Centre has already launched a major policy push towards faster privatization and globalization of the economy while mounting a major assault on democracy in the name of national security. Various state governments are also collaborating with the Centre in this direction. Lalgarh in West Bengal is a clear case in point, where protesting adivasis are bearing the brunt of a concerted paramilitary campaign sponsored jointly by the State and central governments.
As we resist this move and intensify the battle on the key democratic agenda of land, wages, dignity and people-oriented development, we are faced with heightened state repression in almost all places. In Punjab, almost all our leading cadres have been in jail since May 20 for leading land struggle. In Bihar, Nitish government is trying to put some of our most veteran leaders including Comrades Ramnaresh Ram and Rameshwar Prasad in jail by leveling false charges and branding them as ‘extremists’. In Orissa, Comrade Tirupati Gomango, one of our popular tribal leaders spearheading land struggle in the Rayagada-Koraput region, has been convicted by a lower court on false charges.
This repressive campaign of the ruling classes will have to be defeated by further expanding and intensifying the struggles of the people on basic issues and by building larger democratic solidarity in support of the people’s movement and against state repression and assault on democracy.
In this context we must draw some hard lessons from the experience and result of our latest election campaign. In the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections we contested 80 seats and ran a spirited campaign, but in terms of votes we experienced quite a serious decline, particularly in many of our long-standing areas of struggle in Bihar. Against a combined countrywide mass organization membership strength of three millions, we could poll only a little above one million votes. In other words only one out of every three or four members associated with our mass organizations have voted for the Party in the elections. Instead of realizing the prospect of reaching out to larger sections of the masses and attracting more and more people to the fold of our movement we have thus been brought face to face with our failure to win the political support of large sections of our existing mass base.
To overcome this serious problem of political isolation from the masses, the CC had called upon the entire Party to revisit the basics and review our work in terms of our political ties with the mass base and implementation of our Party line. The CC also made it clear that the review should go beyond various election-related immediate practical aspects into more basic aspects of our work like the agenda of our movement and political campaign, the style of our work, our role and performance in panchayats, municipalities and State Assemblies, the actual conditions and capacity of lower-level Party structures and how we nurture the ties between the Party and the masses.