Programme of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)

Adopted at the PARTY CONGRESS held in May 1970

From Liberation, Vol. III, Nos. 7-9 (May-July 1970).

1. Our beloved country is one of the biggest and most ancient countries of the world inhabited by 500 million people. Ours is an agrarian country, a country of the peasant masses, hard-working and talented. They have rich revolutionary traditions and a glorious cultural heritage.

2. The British imperialists conquered India and established their direct rule some 200 years ago and since then the history of our country has been a history of ceaseless struggles waged by the heroic Indian peasantry against British imperialism and feudal oppression. It has been a history of innumerable peasant uprisings against colonialist rule and feudal exploitation. The First War of Independence in 1857, a war fought by the peasantry and rebel soldiers, turned into a conflagration engulfing the whole of this vast country, inflicting many humiliating defeats on the imperialists and shaking the very foundations of the alien imperialist rule. This great uprising of the Indian people failed owing to the betrayal by India’s feudal princes.

3. Since then India has witnessed innumerable armed peasant revolts. However, these revolts failed as there was no scientific theory and no revolutionary leadership capable of leading them to victory.

4. The Indian bourgeoisie, comprador in nature, intervened to divert the national liberation struggle from the path of revolution to the path of compromise and surrender. Beginning from the Champaran peasant struggle, the Gandhian leadership representing the upper stratum of the bourgeoisie and feudal class, with its ideology of ahimsa, satyagraha, passive resistance and charkha, sought to tailor the national movement to serve the interests of the British imperialist rule and its feudal lackeys.

5. The Great October Revolution brought the ideology of Marxism-Leninism to our country and the Communist Party of India was born. However, despite tremendous opportunities, the leadership of the working class could not be established over the national liberation struggle as the leadership of the Party refused to fight Gandhism and the Gandhian leadership and to take to the path of revolution. The leadership refused to integrate the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of Indian revolution. It refused to integrate the Party with the heroic masses, chiefly the revolutionary peasantry, and to forge a revolutionary united front. It refused to learn from the great national liberation struggle of the Chinese people led by the CPC and Chairman Mao Tsetung and to take to the path of armed struggle.

6. On the contrary, the leadership of the CPI consciously trailed behind the leadership of the Congress and betrayed the revolution from the very beginning. The leaders of the CPI were agents of imperialism and feudalism. Despite the treachery of the leadership, the Party ranks stood by the suffering people, led many class battles and made untold sacrifices for the cause of the Indian proletariat.

7. The smashing defeat of the fascist powers at the hands of the world’s people led by the Soviet Union under the leadership of Great Stalin and the world-shaking victorious advance of the great Chinese liberation struggle under the leadership of Chairman Mao brought about a new alignment of forces the world over. Imperialism was very much weakened and the national liberation struggle of the colonial people surged forward like a torrent throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America threatening to sweep imperialism and its lackeys away.

8. An unprecedented revolutionary situation overtook the Indian subcontinent too. The mighty movement for the release of ‘Azad Hind’ prisoners, powerful anti-imperialist demonstrations by students all over India, the great Tebhaga and Bakasht struggles, the anti-feudal struggles in the princely states, the powerful struggle of the P&T workers, the armed revolt of the RIN ratings along with rebellions in the air force and the army and the police revolt in Bihar, the great solidarity actions of the working class and the beginning of the historic armed peasant struggle in Telengana brought the imperialist rule in India almost to the verge of collapse.

9. Faced with such a situation, Briltish imperialism pressed into service its tried agents — the leaders of the Indian National Congress, Muslim League and of the CPI with a view to crushing this revolutionary upsurge of the Indian people. The country was partitioned amidst communal carnage and the Congress leadership, representing the comprador bourgeoisie and big landlords, was installed in power while the British imperialists stepped into the background. The sham independence declared in 1947 was nothing but a replacement of the colonial and semi-feudal set-up by a semi-colonial and semi-feudal one.

10. During these years of sham independence the big comprador-bureaucrat bourgeoisie and big landlord ruling classes have been serving their imperialist masters quite faithfully. These lackeys of imperialism, while preserving the old British imperialist exploitation, have also brought the US imperialist and Soviet social-imperialist exploiters to fleece our country.