ARCHIVES

CENTRAL ORGAN OF CPI(ML)

December 2007, Number 12

YEAR

8th Congress Draft Documents : Resolution on National Situation and our Tasks (Draft)

(Towards the Eight Congress of the CPI(ML) to be held in Kolkata, 10-18 December 2007, we carry below the Draft Resolution on National Situation and Our Tasks, as well as abridge versions of the Draft Resolution on Agrarian Crisis and the Way Out and the Draft Resolution on International Situation.)

1. The BJP-led NDA suffered a decisive defeat in the May 2004 general elections and the BJP has since not quite recovered from that blow. The party is suffering from a crisis of direction, identity and leadership; and in the crucial state of UP, the state that had once propelled it to power at the Centre, the party has also lost much of its erstwhile electoral support.

The defeat of the NDA government was caused by a number of factors. The raging agrarian crisis illustrated most glaringly by the phenomena of farmers’ suicides and starvation deaths evoked tremendous mass anger against the BJP’s pompous rhetoric of “India Shining”. At the same time, the genocide in Gujarat, the Sangh Parivar’s growing communal fascist campaigns and the NDA’s pro-US policies alarmed the secular, democratic and anti-imperialist opinion across the country and generated a popular resolve to end the NDA’s disastrous run.

2. The Congress has regained power at the Centre with the help of a two-tier coalition (UPA backed by the Left), but it has not experienced any revival in Bihar and UP. This is the first time the Congress is leading a coalition government at the Centre. Earlier it had supported and toppled non-Congress governments on a couple of occasions. The Congress is also running coalition governments in a couple of states like Maharashtra and Jammu and Kashmir. Even though the Congress is aware that it may have to engage in coalition politics for quite some time now, the party is quite seriously trying to regain its lost ground and its erstwhile position of pre-eminence.

The Congress projected Sonia Gandhi as an epitome of sacrifice following her perfectly understandable refusal to become the Prime Minister. At the same time by making Manmohan Singh – the man who is internationally identified as the pioneer of neo-liberal policies in India – the Prime Minister of the UPA government and getting the Left to support this government on the basis of a common minimum programme, the Congress has from the outset of the UPA experiment tried to secure an ideological-political upper hand over the CPI(M) and its allies. Meanwhile, it is grooming the next generation of leadership with Rahul Gandhi as the latest heir of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.

In his first test as leader of the Congress election campaign in UP, Rahul Gandhi has of course been a big flop and revealed his full propensity to play opportunist political cards. He made the frivolous claim that had someone from the Nehru-Gandhi family been at the helm the Babri Masjid would have remained safe. Such an audacious statement only reminded the people of the complicity of Rajiv Gandhi and the Congress party in the entire episode leading to the demolition of the Masjid. The young prince of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty then followed up this statement with a jingoistic piece of anti-Pakistan rhetoric telling the people how his grandmother had taught Pakistan a lesson by getting it bifurcated. After the UP debacle, the Congress is now busy repairing his political image and the latest attempt has been to project him as a responsible leader by appointing him as a General Secretary of the Congress, extending the geographical coverage of NREGA at his request and making him an important part of Sonia Gandhi’s team during her speech at the UN on Gandhi’s birthday and her trip to China just after the CPC’s latest Congress.

3. If the UPA government is to be judged in the light of the popular aspirations and spirit behind the 2004 mandate, it can only be described as a regime of unmitigated failure and betrayal. The government has completely failed to ease the agrarian situation with suicides continuing unabated. Instead of resolving any aspect of the agrarian crisis, the Congress has only been interested in destroying small peasant agriculture by pushing through a massive corporate landgrab in the name of creation of Special Economic Zones. In Andhra Pradesh, the Congress government has massacred people demanding redistribution of ceiling-surplus land.

In other words, the Congress seeks to counter the BJP’s “India Shining” model only rhetorically with its thoroughly deceptive “aam aadmi” slogan and the discourse of “inclusive growth”. The measures adopted in the name of the aam aadmi are very limited and largely cosmetic like the much trumpeted NREGA, aam aadmi bima yojana (insurance scheme), etc., whereas the concessions granted to the domestic and foreign corporate sector are unprecedentedly high and sweeping like the tax exemptions granted under the SEZ Act that are estimated by the Finance Ministry itself to be over Rs. 100,000 crore over the next few years.

4. The real character of the UPA’s economic policies can be best understood by looking at the contrasting conditions of the corporate bigwigs and the overwhelming majority of the toiling masses. The Sensex which had apparently taken 15 years to grow from 1,000 to 10,000 has leaped from 10,000 to 20,000 in just twenty months. This has reportedly made Mukesh Ambani the richest individual of the world with a personal net worth of $63.2 billion, and if the wealth of both Mukesh and Anil Ambani are added, it will make them the richest family in the world with over $100 billion between the two. All big Indian corporate houses have begun acquiring foreign companies. The Tata-Corus deal alone was worth $12.1 billion.

At the other end of the spectrum we have this study about India’s unorganised sector workers by the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector. The NCEUS puts the size of the unorganised sector workers at 394.9 million (roughly 40 crore), which is 86 per cent of India’s working population. Of these 395 million, as many as 316 million workers live on less than Rs. 20 a day. In fact in 2004-05, a total of 836 million people (77% of India’s total population) had an income below Rs. 20 a day. But as of 2002-03, the unorganised sector’s contribution to overall GDP was 56.7 per cent. These are the real people behind much of the productive sectors of the Indian economy, yet the gains of economic growth are pocketed almost exclusively by the top 15 or 20 per cent of the population, the top stratum of which comprises nearly one lakh dollar millionaires, while the pains are borne by the working people, especially those labouring in agriculture and the informal and unorganised sector economy.

5. India’s growing foreign exchange reserve (over $225 billion) is often touted as an incontrovertible sign of the country’s growing economic strength. Much of this money is however hot money which is only looking for a quick high return and not for any long-term investment commitment. It is the foreign institutional investors who are currently pushing the Sensex up and once they pull out, the share market will suffer a crash, and millions of dollars of paper wealth will be wiped out overnight as has happened in India in the past and as it keeps happening from time to time across the world. It is of course the small investors who will bear the brunt of such a crash while the big players make merry. The soaring Sensex and the burgeoning forex reserve therefore are quite fickle and deceptive indicators of the economy’s current health or future prospects. In terms of human development index, India continues to languish at an abysmal 127th position. According to the latest Global Hunger Index 2007 from International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), a study of 118 poor countries, India ranks 96th – lagging behind even Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Ironically, foreign direct investment still comprises a small proportion of the foreign exchange coming in. In fact, according to the figures of 2006, remittances sent by Indian workers abroad amounted to more than three times the foreign direct investment flowing in. In 2006 India was the biggest recipient of remittances from abroad – with $25.7 billion sent in by Indian workers, India overtook Mexico and China in terms of foreign remittances sent by workers working abroad. Despite such loud applause for foreign capital, actual contribution of foreign capital to the productive sectors of our economy is very limited, yet policies are all being formulated keeping the interests and demands of foreign capital and its Indian corporate partners on top.

6. In 1991 when neo-liberal policies were adopted by the then Narsimha Rao government with Manmohan Singh as the finance minister, the policies came to be known as the new economic and industrial policies. They were also described in terms of what they advocated, viz., liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation. The policies are now nearly two decades old and they have gone really deep covering industry, finance, agriculture, trade, public utilities and service and social sectors alike. There is little else left to be liberalised, privatised or globalised. The policies are now known by names that reflect how the people have experienced them and what they have done to the country. They are now widely known as pro-rich pro-imperialist policies that pamper corporates and pauperise the masses, or killer policies that destroy jobs and livelihood and displace people at gunpoint.

The extension of the policies to the agricultural arena has produced a severe agrarian crisis that now engulfs the entire rural economy and casts a dark shadow all around. To add insult to injury, the crisis-ridden agricultural population is now threatened with outright eviction at gunpoint as the state-corporate nexus goes on a massive land acquisition spree. The invasion of the retail sector by the Wal-Marts and Reliances has endangered the future of millions of small shopkeepers and their employees. And as the rupee gains in strength in relation to dollar, exporters find it that much more difficult to penetrate an already overcrowded export market. In an increasingly integrated Indian economy while exporters are hit hard by an appreciating rupee, small industries suffer from cheap imports, making conditions increasingly critical for most small-scale units. Thus, but for big corporates and a small section of upwardly mobile middle class who have benefited immensely from the NDA-UPA policy regime, for most other sections of society the policies are proving to be a one-way ticket to disaster.

7. While the economic policies go about destroying lives and livelihoods, the state bares its coercive fangs to subjugate the people to this design of disaster and crush all their protests. Gurgaon, Dadri, Kalinganagar, Nandigram, Mudigonda have thus become the common minimum metaphor of governance for all ruling parties and coalitions. The UPA’s lip-service to democracy did not therefore go any farther than mere non-renewal of POTA and the enactment of the Right to Information Act. The essence of POTA has however already been incorporated on a permanent basis into the so-called Unlawful Activities Prevention Act while the efficacy of RTI is being sought to be limited by restricting its scope and making information often unaffordably expensive. Manmohan Singh’s repeated pronouncements terming Naxalism as the biggest threat to internal security, the praise showered by him on the ‘grayhound’ encounter regime of Andhra Pradesh as a model of anti-Naxalite operations and the Congress-BJP unity over the infamous Salwa Judum campaign in Chhattishgarh are ominous developments for whatever limited democracy we have in our system. Arbitrary arrest of activists of people’s movements (the incarceration of renowned human rights campaigner and medical professional Dr. Vinayak Sen under the draconian Chhattisgarh Public Security Act being a recent case in point), witch-hunt of Muslim youths in TADA-POTA cases in different parts of the country (the case of belated justice for the Delhi University lecturer Dr. Geelani is an exception that only proves the general rule of witch-hunt), and brutal police atrocities on unarmed people and democratic protests point to a pattern of growing assault on democracy.

Despite a few notable verdicts against policemen found involved in fake encounters and custodial killings, the culture continues to spread and police and paramilitary forces continue to violate human rights with impunity. Recommendations of Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee have fallen on deaf years and the UPA government continues to refuse to repeal the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act which gives a licence to the armed forces to rape and kill at will. Instead of checking the executive and defending individual human rights and institutional democracy, the role of the judiciary has also been highly questionable, justifying state repression and favouring big corporates while disregarding the claims and interests of workers, peasants and other affected people and the voice of citizens who have concern for democracy, people’s welfare and environmental sustainability. The question of judicial accountability has therefore rightly come up as an important concern for the democratic opinion in the country.

The UPA’s betrayal also includes the very question of checking communalism which was the raison d’être of the UPA experiment. Not a single step has been raised by the government to bring the perpetrators of Gujarat to justice. Even after several perpetrators have been caught on camera boasting of their genocidal ‘achievements’ and the patronage they got from the chief minister, state government and the Sangh Parivar, the UPA government has done absolutely nothing. The much promised women’s reservation bill continues to remain frozen in conspiratorial silence while the government also seems to be developing cold feet on the issue of tribal land rights.

8. In the realm of foreign policy, the UPA government has further intensified the NDA government’s pro-US foreign policy, making India a strategically subservient ‘partner’ of the US. In perfect anticipation of the Hyde Act ‘advice’ calling upon India to make her foreign policy fully congruent with the US foreign policy and join the US campaign against Iran, at the International Atomic Energy Agency India voted twice in favour of the US-dictated resolution threatening Iran even as several developing countries voted against the resolution or abstained from voting. Frequent joint military exercises are going on with the US allowing Washington to use India including our waters and the airspace as a virtual US military base. The Indian ruling classes laud China as a model of economic reforms only to exert ideological pressure on the communists movement in India, but for every other purpose they subscribe to the US foreign policy view of treating China as the number one threat. The recent joint naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal involving the US, Australia and Japan was a preliminary application of the US doctrine of building an Asian NATO to contain China.

India’s growing identification with the US has reached such ridiculous heights that Manmohan Singh describes George Bush – the most hated US President ever – as India’s best friend. The Congress leadership also project the Indo-US nuclear deal as a big gain for India even as the informed scientific and patriotic-democratic opinion in the country rejects the deal as a charter of modern-day slavery. The deal obviously has its tremendous commercial and strategic advantage for the US; but as far as India is concerned it will push India’s energy economy into alarming depths of dependency on the US while seriously eroding India’s strategic autonomy in international relations. Only those who have intellectually and ideologically mortgaged themselves to the American imperialists can sign such a deal behind the back of the people without bothering about the national opinion or even a discussion in Parliament, the supposedly highest and sovereign democratic forum to discuss and decide on questions of vital national interest! In the eyes of every freedom-loving anti-imperialist Indian, pro-Americanism has become a common decisive denominator of the UPA making it look more like United Partners of America!

9. This brazenly pro-US foreign policy has added a new dimension of tension and instability in the region. Pakistan has long been a strategic partner of the US and Pakistan figures quite prominently in the US scheme of things in the context of the ongoing US-led global ‘war on terror’. As a new-found strategic partner of the US, India can by no means dislodge Pakistan from the American scheme of things – but the more the two countries vie for securing greater American attention and ‘assistance’ the easier it becomes for the US to encourage and exploit the Indo-Pak rivalry and deepen its own strategic penetration in the region.

This US-India-Pakistan triangle is making South Asia one of the most volatile and vulnerable regions of the world. Instead of India sorting out all her outstanding issues with Pakistan and China through bilateral negotiations, increasing US intervention in the region is only driving a deeper wedge between India and China and India and Pakistan. This also makes India more suspect in the eyes of her other smaller neighbours in the region. The whole idea of being a US-backed regional power and policing South Asia on behalf of the number one enemy of the world people is not only an insult to the legacy of our historic fight against British colonialism but is also fraught with grave risks of regional instability and arms race and hence completely detrimental to our interest of socio-economic development.

10. With increased US intervention in South Asia, the region has also become more vulnerable to terrorism. Afghanistan and Iraq are two clear examples of how US intervention breeds and reinforces terrorism. With Pakistan and India playing two key allies of the US, terrorist incidents are now happening quite frequently in the subcontinent. It is true that both India and Pakistan have been experiencing the problems of terrorism for nearly three decades now. But the current spate of terrorist incidents is clearly different from the earlier periods. The terrorist attacks that killed Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi had been provoked by India’s Punjab and Sri Lanka policies in specific periods in the past. The insurgencies in Kashmir and the North-East also have strong local roots and are continuing in the absence of any serious attempt at finding a political solution to the specific historical questions and democratic aspirations of the people of these areas. But the incidents now taking place both in Pakistan and India are obviously linked to the vicious cycle of terror that is being promoted by the US-Israel nexus.

A key component of the US-Israel war campaign is the tagging of terrorism to Islam to make almost every Muslim appear as a potential terrorist, a point which is explicitly shared by the Hindutva brigade in India and tacitly endorsed by the Congress. Another related point on which the Sangh discourse matches entirely with the US-Israel nexus is the clamour for a strong state with stringent anti-terrorist laws. The imperialism-terrorism spiral thus poses a serious threat to democracy and in the concrete conditions of India such an environment will always provide fertile ground for rabidly rightwing and communal fascist forces. While rejecting terrorism we must vigorously resist every assault on democracy and vilification and persecution of any community in the name of combating terrorism.

11. The BJP’s shock defeat in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections has clearly weakened the party and affected its identity and initiative. Only a few years ago, the party seemed to be having a battery of leaders, but today the party is facing a serious leadership crisis as it remains stuck with the old Vajpayee vs. Advani dilemma with no effective sign of transition to a second generation. The party is also beset with an identity crisis emanating from the party’s failure to find the right balance to combine ‘Hindutva’ with ‘governance’ and ‘swadeshi’ with Bushbhakti. The dilemma has led to a parting of ways between the party and some important ideologues and leaders like Govindacharya, Uma Bharati and Babulal Marandi. Yet being the second largest party with several state governments under its control, the BJP is still very much in a position to stage a comeback at an opportune moment. In fact, the bankruptcy and opportunism of the Congress and the centrist parties, especially regional parties of the Janata variety enables the BJP to come to power to newer states. Bihar and Karnataka are two recent examples.

Moreover, the pro-imperialist economic policies, the pronounced foreign policy thrust against China and Pakistan, the continuing rightwing shift of the entire polity, the constant vilification campaign against Muslims in the name of terrorism and the clamour for a strong state all combine to reinforce an ideological-political climate that is quite tailor-made for the BJP. In the absence of a powerful third front, the BJP can therefore always count its chances to stage a comeback at the central level much the same way as it has been alternately coming back to power in several states where there is no powerful third force.

12. The 2004 Lok Sabha elections gave the Left its biggest ever tally in Parliament. With more than sixty MPs, the Left had clearly emerged as the biggest third force. By all means, conditions were considerably favourable for a nationwide resurgence of the Left movement and the rise of a strong Left and democratic camp as a prospective national alternative. But the CPI(M) gave up this option and chose to enter a strategic partnership with the Congress and the UPA, complete with a common minimum programme and a coordination committee to monitor its implementation and sort out differences and debates with the Congress. Of course as a CPI(M) leader famously formulated, this partnership was not one between a lapdog and its master, but a friendly watchdog which would bark whenever necessary, and which also had the teeth to bite! All this brave talk, meant obviously for the consumption of the Left ranks, however only confirmed the strategic, long-term nature of the CPI(M)’s new-found relationship with the Congress.

The Congress however never left anybody in confusion as to who was the dominant partner in this relationship. Beginning with the loaded symbolism of having Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister and Chidambaram and Montek Singh Ahluwalia as the Finance Minister and Deputy Chairperson of the Planning Commission, the Congress went ahead full-steam with its economic and foreign policies. The SEZ Act was passed unanimously in Parliament – which will go down in the annals of the Indian communist history as a shocking blunder on the part of the sixty-odd Left brigade, and in the realm of foreign policy the Congress pushed India into a comprehensive strategic partnership with the US, going in for periodic joint military exercises with the US and its allies, voting against Iran twice at the IAEA and even going in for the highly controversial nuclear deal. Meanwhile, the credit for the much publicised ‘landmark’ legislations like NREGA and RTI was also entirely appropriated by the Congress which projected these legislations as a special ‘brainchild’ of Sonia Gandhi and her National Advisory Council.

The CPI(M)-led Left’s periodic ‘barks’ were on the contrary overshadowed by the pro-corporate policies and pronouncements of the West Bengal government; and with Singur and Nandigram the party got a bad name across the country. Even on the issue of the nuclear deal, the CPI(M)’s belated opposition remained heavily constrained by all sorts of pragmatic considerations and arguments. Instead of treating the nuclear deal debate as an issue for powerful mass mobilisation with a clear ideological-political thrust against imperialism and the comprador Indian ruling elite, the CPI(M) has treated it more as an in-house problem of the UPA-Left family, moderating the opposition to the deal with periodic statements certifying the personal integrity of Manmohan Singh and guaranteeing the survival of the UPA government. For all its rhetorical references to barking and biting, in real life the CPI(M)’s ‘compulsion’ to keep the UPA going and not to be seen as being responsible in any way for any premature fall of the government has left its opposition largely toothless.

13. Among other political parties, it is the BSP which has attracted a lot of attention in recent times, primarily in UP but also elsewhere. The party’s remarkable rise in UP over a period of just about two decades is a classic story of restructuring of ruling class politics by co-opting representatives from hitherto excluded sections. Unlike dalit formations in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu or in some other parts of the country, the BSP has never been a party of the dalit movement nor has it ever tried to model itself on any of the radical streams of dalit political tradition. From the very beginning its single-minded goal has been to acquire electoral success. Once the party succeeded in establishing a strong dalit identity, erstwhile dominant sections of upper caste power elite and sections of emerging OBC power groups began adopting it as a viable alternative platform of power against the domination of the Samajwadi Party, especially at a time when the BJP is losing ground and the Congress is yet to come out of its historical decline in UP and Bihar.

Both Mayawati and her late mentor thoroughly purged Ambedkarism of its radical democratic leanings and re-engineered it as a pragmatic brand suited to the economics and politics of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation. Of all the major parties in India, it is the BSP which has no declared economic policy, and which keeps completely mum on major subjects like imperialist globalisation and war that are playing havoc with the lives and livelihoods of the people in developing countries. Naturally as a de-ideologised party of governance, the BSP has become perfectly acceptable to the ruling classes and efforts are on to project the BSP as a national party with a pan-India following so that the rural proletariat can be diverted from the path of revolutionary struggles to a thoroughly conformist variety of identity politics.

The BSP however stands considerably exposed in UP where Mayawati has already had several stints as chief minister and where atrocities on dalits by the BSP’s new ‘sarvajan’ forces have actually increased in the wake of the BSP’s latest victory. The party has also lost ground in Punjab where it proved rather irrelevant in the context of the raging agrarian crisis. While exposing and opposing the BSP in Uttar Pradesh on the basis of the concrete situation of the state, boldly articulating our class viewpoint and opposing the anti-people anti-democratic steps of the BSP government with the democratic agenda of social transformation and people’s welfare, we must also educate the people in other parts of the country about the real class nature of the BSP and show how its bahujan-sarvajan framework actually subjects the overwhelming majority of the ‘bahujan samaj’ to the aggressive hegemony of a highly exploitative and brutal neo-Brahminical order of corporate and imperialist loot and plunder and systematic assault on human rights and dignity.

14. With the entire range of ruling parties and coalitions virtually converging in terms of their policy orientation, the working people everywhere must wage a serious battle for their survival and basic human dignity and rights. At the same time, we are also faced with the question of defending our national sovereignty and national dignity in the face of growing imperialist offensive and the collusive nexus between imperialism and our comprador rulers. In other words, along with the whole range of pressing immediate issues, basic questions regarding the true nature of our democracy and independence have also come up in public discussion.

The ruling classes are trying to face the present juncture by intensifying repression on the one hand and deceiving the people with the rhetoric of development and governance on the other. Ideologues of the ruling classes seek to legitimise this approach by sowing illusions of empowerment of the people within a system that is rooted in mass disempowerment and expropriation while invoking the TINA (there is no alternative) theory to demoralise and confuse the intelligentsia and the working people.

The response of the CPI(M)-led parliamentary Left to this ruling class offensive has been characteristically opportunist and devoid of any ideological-political courage or dynamism in spite of their strong presence in parliament, powerful network of mass organisations and considerable influence on the media and the progressive intelligentsia. The bankruptcy of the parliamentary Left provides some sort of justification and space to the anarchists and the so-called non-party single-issue campaign platforms. We must systematically work for bringing about a resurgence of the communist movement that boldly upholds the banner of a people’s democratic alternative to the corporate-dominated policies and priorities that are being pursued by successive central and state governments.

15. While vigorously opposing the entire gamut of pro-imperialist anti-people policies of different governments and every assault on secularism, democracy, national independence and sovereignty and the unity and dignity of the people, we should make full use of the half-measures and token steps adopted by various governments so as to enable the concerned people to move beyond the limitations of these half-measures and intensify the movement for more meaningful and substantial reforms.

In this context we can cite the cases of Acts like NREGA and RTI, various pro-poor pretensions and pronouncements of the state, and reports of various committees and commissions appointed by different governments like the Sachar Committee report on the social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community in India or the Land Reforms commission appointed by the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar.

The Sachar report for example provides extensive documentation of the systematic marginalization of the Muslim community thereby exploding the RSS-inspired myth of minority appeasement and also exposing the true faces of various professedly secular parties and governments. It has also placed on record some of the political prejudices and pressures experienced by the community in the era of neo-liberal economic policies, heightened Hindutva offensive and the US-led anti-Islam demonisation and persecution campaign. Similarly, the interim report of the Land Reforms Commission in Bihar has exposed the great Bhudan scam. We must use these reports to intensify the campaign for securing equal rights and opportunities for the Muslim community and for urgent implementation of land reforms. An encouraging feature of the present situation is that emotive issues raised by the Sangh have lost much of their appeal. In spite of the BJP’s desperate concerted attempts, Ram setu could not really sway the masses at a time when the original Ram mandir issue itself has become rather jaded. The time has also come to boldly expose the limits and true essence of the deceptive official rhetoric of social justice, secularism and empowerment which only plays with the politics of reservation and caste-community equations while atrocities on dalits and other socially oppressed masses continue unabated and women face violence and discrimination in every sphere. While advancing the battle of every oppressed and marginalised section, we must boldly champion the new signs and spirit of class and mass unity that are being seen across the country against the onslaught of imperialist globalisation, especially against the SEZ policy and deprivation of the poor from their rightful claim to NREGA and BPL benefits. This is a sign of changing times and we must promote this developing trend to forge powerful class-based unity of the oppressed and toiling masses and unleash militant popular struggles around the comprehensive agenda of democracy, people’s welfare and social transformation.

16. Conditions are ripening for a resurgence of the communist movement in the country and we must gear up our entire Party and all our mass organisations to prepare for discharging our leading role in shaping this resurgence. The media may try to project the two CPI(M)s, one with its visible presence in Parliament and power, and the other, the self-styled Maoists, with their sensational armed actions as the two representative faces of the Indian Left, but in real life the masses and the intelligentsia who were earlier under the influence of these two streams are clearly getting disillusioned and are not only looking to the CPI(ML) with a lot of hope and expectation, but are also joining the Party and the movement in good numbers almost in all our areas of work.

It should be firmly understood that we are not attempting to find any artificial golden mean or middle path between the so-called “Marxists” and “Maoists”, we are only trying to advance the communist movement in India in its true revolutionary tradition and character. It is with this end that we have been and will continue to wage a consistent struggle against the two major opportunist deviations in the communist movement from the right and the left. But in spite of our consistent ideological-political demarcation with other Left forces we have absolutely no hesitation in joining hands with them in issue-based joint activities and with conditions maturing for a united front based on a common programme. Similarly, our emphasis on strengthening the Party must be viewed as a key link to expanding our political role and initiatives and our ties with other progressive, democratic, patriotic forces, organisations as well as individuals. A stronger Communist Party will stand as a rock solid pillar and comprehensive guiding centre for a truly broad-based militant democratic movement of the Indian people. 