The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) is the political party of the Indian proletariat fighting for realising its supreme class mission. It comprises the advanced detachments of the people and serves as the core of leadership of the people of all nationalities in India in their struggle against feudal remnants, big capital and imperialism.
Beginning with the minimum programme of accomplishing new democratic revolution in India, the Party dedicates itself to the maximum programme of bringing about socialist transformation and communism, to the ultimate aim of abolition of all kinds of exploitation of man by man.
The Party derives its world outlook from Marxist philosophy and accepts the integrated system of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong thought as its guide to action. To develop the correct line of Indian revolution, the Party wages a relentless battle against reformism, revisionism, liquidationism, bourgeois liberalism, anarchism and all other alien ideas, both inside and outside the Party.
The Party upholds and practises proletarian internationalism and opposes all kinds of imperialism, hegemonism, colonialism, expansionism, racism, chauvinism, aggression and domination. It cherishes unity with all revolutionary communist, socialist and workers’ parties and organisations in different parts of the world. It supports the struggles of workers, oppressed peoples and nations throughout the world and makes common cause with all such struggles against the forces of imperialism and reaction with the ultimate goal of complete emancipation of the entire humankind. In matters of fraternal relations, the Party adheres to the principles of independence, non-interference, equality, mutual respect and cooperation.
Combining theory with practice, maintaining close links with the masses and practising criticism and self-criticism are the three cardinal principles of the Party’s style of work. In developing its practice, the Party always adheres to the policy of seeking truth from facts and conducting deep investigation and serious studies.
Members of the Party cherish utmost love for the people, uphold all the fine revolutionary traditions of the Indian society and have the courage to hold high the banner of truth and communism even at the cost of their own lives.
Despite a diversified industrial structure, a swelling service sector, growing pockets of modern farming and increasing integration with the world capitalist order, India, home to the largest contingent of the globe’s poor, remains in the ranks of the backward, underdeveloped or retarded capitalist countries of the world. Development of capitalism in India continues to be vitiated and inhibited by any number of feudal remnants which are still quite stubborn and strong.
True to the law of capitalist development, the share of agriculture in GDP has been progressively declining, but thanks to the preponderance of a backward small peasant economy, mass dependence on agriculture for employment and livelihood remains steady around 70%. The persistence of feudal remnants not only assures the availability of cheap labour-power and raw materials for both Indian big capital and imperialism, it also provides ground for the persistence of medieval obscurantism, casteist frenzy,
communal fanaticism and barbarity in different spheres of life. In the process, it acts as the biggest stumbling block to any real democratic awakening of the Indian people. The Party, therefore, characterises the Indian society as semi-feudal.
Indian big capital is comprador in origin, dependent in nature and monopoly-bureaucratic in appearance and operation, often presenting a complex admixture of private management, state finance and foreign technology. Quite naturally, such acute dependence on finance capital including an alarming indebtedness to imperialist-dominated commercial and multilateral lending agencies takes a heavy toll of the nation’s political independence. Blatant interference of imperialist and hegemonist powers in our domestic affairs and policy matters is very common and there always remains the real threat of still bigger erosion in our sovereignty reducing the country to a neo-colonial status.
Finance capital’s deep penetration in our society and its wide-ranging economic, political and social links provide a fertile ground for the spread of decadent bourgeois
culture, for the craze for anything and everything western and stand as a big blockade to any real national awakening. The Party, therefore, characterises the Indian society not only as semi-feudal but also as semi-Colonial.
In the semi-feudal and semi-colonial Indian society, the state is led by the big bourgeoisie in alliance with landlords. Compared to many other Third World countries, the affairs of the Indian state are generally conducted within a constitutional and parliamentary-democratic framework. But grassroots democracy in India still remains largely absent and suppressed under the dead weight of bureaucracy and feudal forces. Moreover, like our political independence, parliamentary democracy in India too rests on a rather fragile foundation. At the slightest provocation of any popular unrest, the integrity of the institutions, the sanctity of the constitution, the inviolability of democratic rights are all reduced to empty phrases and the essential reactionary and autocratic character of the Indian state comes out clearly into the open.
India is a land of several nationalities and ethno-lingual groupings. Growing economic and cultural interaction and decades of unity forged in the course of anti-colonial freedom movement and anti-imperialist and democratic struggles have lent a unified Indian face to the multinational mosaic of our society. But this process of evolution of an Indian identity suffers from major bureaucratic and chauvinistic distortions, large-scale regional disparities and cultural-economic discriminations. Various nationalities and national minorities in India are locked in a serious contradiction with the over-centralized Indian state, which also expresses itself through strong centrifugal tendencies.
India is also a land of many religions and the majority Hindu community is further divided along caste lines. But instead of maintaining a strictly secular position and acting as a powerful deterrent against the forces of communal disharmony and caste oppression, the state in India is used by the ruling classes at various levels as an instrument of not only class rule but also communal and caste domination which in turn subserves and reinforces the former.
The phenomena of communalism and casteism, prevalent at different layers of Indian polity, are not simply relics of the bygone feudal era, they are very much part and parcel of ‘modern’ India. The ruling classes and their parties utilise these instruments in a calculated way to weaken and disrupt the growing democratic unity and awakening of the working people. In its aggressive form, communalism, majority communalism in particular, poses a fascist threat to the very existence of democracy and cultural pluralism in India.
Stage of Revolution
Indian society is marked by four main contradictions — the contradiction between imperialism and Indian nation, that between feudalism and the broad masses of the people, between big capital and the Indian people, the working class in particular, and the contradiction among various sections of the ruling classes. While all these contradictions can be separately identified, imperialism, big capital and feudal remnants also present themselves as a veritable nexus and the masses of our people are groaning under the deadweight of this alliance. But this alliance can only be overthrown by grasping and resolving the principal contradiction between feudal remnants and
the broad Indian masses, for the feudal remnants remain the biggest stumbling block on the road of free and rapid development of productive forces in the country.
This determines the stage of our revolution – the stage of people’s democratic revolution with agrarian revolution as its axis. Though the primary aim of this democratic revolution will be to abolish all feudal remnants and the concomitant autocratic and bureaucratic distortions in the polity, it will necessarily have several socialist aspects as well. More than creating conditions for a decisive victory of democratic revolution, the struggle against big capital will also pave the way for an uninterrupted transition from the democratic to the socialist stage of revolution.
Working Class Leadership
A people’s democratic revolution in India can only be consummated under the leadership of the working class, the most consistent revolutionary class as well as the most organised and advanced detachment of the Indian people.
To establish its leadership over the people’s democratic revolution, it is imperative for the working class to
(a) unite itself and emerge as an independent political force,
(b) support and lead democratic and anti-imperialist struggles of the Indian masses,
(c) support and unite with the struggles of the oppressed nationalities for the right of self-determination, of the religious minorities for religious freedom and of the oppressed castes, particularly dalits, for social equality and justice,
(d) unite with the international working class movement and support the struggles of the world people against imperialism and reaction, and above all,
(e) to organise revolutionary peasant struggles to build powerful strongholds in the countryside.
To sharpen and consolidate the political strike-power of the working class, the Party lays special emphasis on developing unity in action among all Left forces in the short run and unifying all Indian communists under the banner of a single party in future.
People’s Democratic Front
The people of India have time and again risen against the ruthless exploitation and oppression of the ruling classes. Their awakening assumes a variety of forms and is often led by various types of party and non-party forces, including at times the opposition parties of the ruling classes. The Party supports all such movements and always strives to orient them towards the goal of people’s democratic revolution.
The main force of the democratic revolution led by the working class is the peasantry. The Party fully relies on the poor peasants and rural proletariat, resolutely unites with the middle peasantry and even wins over a section of the capitalist farmers while neutralising the rest. Ultimately only a tiny section of rich peasants may join the enemies of the revolution. Small and medium capitalists and bourgeois intellectuals are vacillating and unstable allies of the democratic revolution.
In order to carry the people’s democratic revolution through to the end, it is necessary that a people’s democratic front be forged comprising all these classes, with the worker-peasant alliance as its basis, under the leadership of the working class.
To this end, the Party develops and works from within and in cooperation with a whole range of mass organisations and mass political and united front organisations.
The Revolutionary Course
To accomplish people’s democratic revolution in a vast and complex country like India, a communist party has to be especially skilful in mastering and combining various forms of struggle and every available avenue of work. The Party therefore strives to develop a comprehensive revolutionary practice through an organic combination of illegal and legal, secret and open and extra-parliamentary and parliamentary forms of struggle and organisation.
It is true that under normal circumstances, Indian polity allows communists to work through open, legal and parliamentary means. It is possible for communists to secure victories in elections at various levels and also win majority in local bodies and even state legislatures. While tilting the balance of class forces through protracted and vigorous political struggles, the Party is prepared to utilise such opportunities
independently or in coalition with likeminded forces provided the Party enjoys the strength to ensure the fulfillment of its own commitment to the electorate.
In any case, the Party’s relation with and role in such governments will be guided by the following basic principles:
(a) the party must retain its independent organisational functioning and political initiative at all costs,
(b) the power enjoyed by the governments must be fully utilized in carrying out radical democratic reforms and orienting popular consciousness towards anew democratic alternative,
(c) vis-a-vis the central authority, such governments must serve as part and parcel of a broader revolutionary opposition, and
(d) both the government and the Party must make sure that the free development of democratic forces, democratic consciousness and democratic movement is not hindered under any circumstances.
The Party does not rule out the possibility that under a set of exceptional national and international circumstances, the balance of social and political forces may even permit a relatively peaceful transfer of central power to revolutionary forces. But in a country where democratic institutions are based on essentially fragile and narrow foundations and where even small victories and partial reforms can only be achieved and maintained on the strength of mass militancy, the party of the proletariat must prepare itself for winning the ultimate decisive victory in an armed revolution. A people’s democratic front and a people’s army, therefore, remain the two most fundamental weapons of revolution in the arsenal of the Party.
People’s Democratic State
Overthrowing the central rule of the big bourgeois-landlord alliance, the victorious revolution will usher in a people’sdemocratic state to carry out the following basic tasks and uphold the new democratic orientation.
1. Thorough democratisation of the structure and affairs of the state, vesting political power at every level with bodies elected on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage and guaranteeing full individual and collective democratic rights of the people and various democratic parties and organisations, eradication of the culture of police brutalities and army intervention in civilian affairs and restructuring the police and armed forces and infusing them with a new spirit of service to the people and the nation.
2. Reconstitution of national unity on the basis of a federal, democratic, secular polity recognising the nationalities’ right to self-determination including secession and instilling a sense of belonging, equality and security in all minority groupings, effective democratisation of decision-making, devolution of resources and decentralisation of developmental activities to enlist popular participation in nation-building.
3. Rapid economic development and eradication of mass poverty on the basis of thoroughgoing land reforms and comprehensive industrialisation, taking over the reins of national economy from the hands of the monopoly-multinational-landlord nexus and vesting the working people with effective say in decision-making and production, reordering the present priorities and reorienting the existing policies to suit the requirements of self-reliance and public welfare.
4. Effecting a modern democratic cultural transformation of the whole society, ensuring universal education and basic healthcare for the people, abolition of all sorts of social, economic and sexual exploitation of women and ensuring their equal status and rights in all affairs of life, eradication of caste oppression, protection of the rights of dalits and adivasis and helping all weaker sections of the society to catch up in the race of social progress.
5. Abrogation of all unequal treaties and pacts concluded by the reactionary ruling classes with the imperialists, as well as all unequal treaties imposed by the Indian ruling classes on the neighbouring countries; developing firm unity with the socialist countries and other progressive anti-imperialist regimes and friendly relations with third world countries in general, forging solidarity with the peoples struggling for national liberation and emancipation throughout the world and establishing diplomatic relations with all countries on the basis of the five principles of peaceful coexistence.
With this programme of people’s democratic revolution, the Party dedicates itself wholeheartedly in the service of the great revolutionary cause of communism in India.