(Policies numbered I, II and III have been formulated by the Bihar State Committee of the Party and the rest by the Central Bihar Regional Party Committee.)
I. On Seizure and Distribution of Land
A. Under what circumstances land should be seized
i) We should have a concrete analysis of the area where land is to be seized. We should see to it that the seizure does not retard, rather accelerates and broadens, mass movements and anti-feudal struggles. In fact, our struggle for land seizure is directed towards the seizure of state power. Hence, this economic struggle should serve the cause of political struggles.
ii) Prior to embarking on land seizure or, for that matter, any other economic struggle of this sort, the broad masses should be politically mobilised and it should be ensured that the landlords are not able to bring the middle and poor peasants under their fold. Broader class unity is a must in the struggle for land seizure.
iii) Of late, one notices a rather widespread desire for land seizure. But land seizure can be encouraged and given a consistent shape only where there are conscious Party cadres and developed people’s committees. For it is only in such places that the people’s zeal can be sustained and anarchism avoided. However, in case the broad masses have already spontaneously started confiscating the land, our comrades should not oppose it or remain isolated from it, even if developed people’s committees are not there, rather they should strive hard to systematise this process of seizure.
iv) Before embarking on land seizure, proper care should be taken of all necessary legal formalities, so that the administration can be put in a tight corner. This also help strengthen the fighting spirit of the masses and increase their mobilisation.
B. Ownership and other criteria for land seizure
i) Generally speaking, at present struggles should be conducted for seizing vested land, laud over and above the ceiling, Bhoodan land, government land, hilly and forest land, and diara land.
ii) The part of a landlord’s holding, which is valid under the existing ceiling act, should not be seized in the present phase.
iii) Surplus land over and above the ceiling should first be ascertained and identified before struggle is launched for its seizure.
iv) In the present situation, generally, the lands of only big, cruel and resistant landlords should be seized.
v) Barring few exceptional cases (e.g., vested land under the occupation of some arch-reactionary rich peasant), land seizure movement should not be conducted against rich and middle peasants.
vi) Land owned by absentee landlords should be seized.
vii) If, under pressure of mass movements, a landlord wants to sell out his land, the prospective purchaser should first be warned. And if repeated warnings go unheeded, the land should be seized, but of course, only after isolating the purchaser through broad mass mobilisation.
viii) Land, illegally grabbed by landlords, should be seized and restored to the owner.
ix) Cultivable forest land, too, should be seized.
x) Graveyards, grazing fields and land under common use should not be seized.
xi) In case of math lands, to start with, struggle should be waged on the demand of common management; but if the situation permits, such lands can be seized as well.
C. Who should get the land and how
i) Land should be distributed through land distribution committees comprising representatives from middle peasants, too.
ii) Generally, land should be distributed on the basis of participation in struggle. Side by side, the conditions and needs of the participants should also be taken into account.
iii) In terms of quantity, the recipients, in declining order of magnitude, should be : agricultural labourers, poor peasants, lower-middle peasants.
iv) The landless, poor and lower-middle peasants who were neutral to the struggle should also be given a share with a view to activising them in subsequent struggles and establishing a broader peasant unity. The interests of the handicapped, old and widows should also be taken into consideration.
v) Special attention should be paid to the families of martyr comrades and peasant cadres, keeping in mind their actual conditions.
vi) In case of active cooperation by peasants of other nearby villages, a portion, not exceeding one-fourth, of the land seized should be distributed among them.
vii) Trees, orchards, ponds etc. should remain under the management of peasants’ committees.
viii) Peasants should be encouraged to embark on cooperative farming on the distributed land.
ix) Levy on the distributed plots of land should be fixed on the basis of their fertility and if necessary, a portion, not exceeding one-fifth, of the land may be retained for the people’s committee.
II. On Seizure and Distribution of Crops,
i) Only landlords’ crops should be seized, and that too, from such landlords who are taking the main role in suppressing the peasant struggle and accordingly, figure at the top of the hit-list of the peasants.
ii) Crops on such plots of vested land or land over and above the ceiling as are owned by landlords and are due for seizure may also be seized. If such lands happen to have been rented out by the landlords, the share-croppers must be given their due share from the crops seized.
iii) The crop on land held in conformity with the ceiling act and leased out to peasants should not be seized.
iv) If the crop is seized prior to the payment of wages to the labourers the same should be paid out from the crop seized.
v) Crop seizure should be accomplished under the leadership of village committees or people’s committees of the area.
vi) It should be ensured that the seizure has the consent of the broad masses of landless and poor peasants and that it is carried out with their participation.
vii) Middle peasants should also be included in people’s committees or crop distribution committees.
viii) A portion, not exceeding one-fifth, of the crops seized should be set aside for the organisation and the rest should be distributed among the peasants on the basis of their participation in the seizure. During distribution, the families of peasant cadres should not be lost sight of.
ix) Crop seizure should be carried out in such a way that it serves to broaden the resistance struggle.
III. On Confiscation and Distribution of Movable Property of Class Enemies.
i) Economic and political struggles comprise the mainstream of class struggle, and the struggle for confiscation should be viewed as being complementary to this mainstream. Hence, political mobilisation of broad peasants is an essential precondition for confiscation.
ii) Where class struggle has reached an advanced stage, all properties of those big and cruel landlords, who happen to be the key targets, can be confiscated. But it should be done through the people’s committees and by mobilising the broad masses. Armed units and squads may only lend a helping hand.
iii) In drought-affected areas, movements may be organised for confiscating grains from the government’s godowns and the landlords’ granaries. But other properties should not be confiscated.
iv) Generally speaking, confiscation struggle should be concentrated against big and cruel landlords only. As a punishment, such struggle may also be waged against arch-reactionary rich peasants, but in such cases, prior approval of the district Party organisation or of a higher Party committee is a must.
v) Confiscation should be effected only at such places where there are conscious Party cadres and developed people’s committees, so that the property confiscated can be held under control and distributed systematically.
vi) However, if mass discontent against a class enemy takes the shape of a spontaneous upsurge, and confiscation takes place as an inalienable part of this upsurge, our Party cadres should not remain isolated from the process (even if there happens to be no people’s committee), rather they should strive to control and systematise it by forming an ad-hoc distribution committee.
vii) Ornaments and other articles on the persons of female members should not be touched under any circumstances.
viii) All confiscated properties should be surrendered to the people’s committee.
ix) The property confiscated should be distributed by the committee among the people according to their needs. The families of peasant cadres should also be taken into account.
x) If some movable property happens to be mortgaged, it should be returned to the actual owner after proper investigation.
xi) If necessary, a portion of the property confiscated would be retained by the committee. Agricultural apparatus or machinery would remain with the committee and would be used for collective cultivation. The general policy regarding distribution is : “Arms to the squad, cash and ornaments to the higher Party committee, and grains to the people”.
IV. On Wage Struggle
i) While remaining firm on achieving our demands, we should foil the design of the landlords to pit middle peasants against us.
ii) The movement should be launched over a relatively bigger area in a conscious and organised manner, and must not be left to spontaneity.
iii) While fixing the demand, instead of basing on the minimum wage rate as stipulated by the government, we should take into account the productivity of land, the present wage rate and other incidental privileges as are traditionally applicable to the area concerned.
iv) Instead of going to direct action at one stroke, care should be taken to conduct wide propaganda and advance step by step.
v) If it is found really necessary to go on strike, it should first be launched in some selected villages.
vi) Options should always be kept open for arriving at a negotiated settlement with the middle peasants.
V. On Middle Peasants
i) In no condition, and on no excuse whatsoever, should middle peasants be subjected to any economic loss.
ii) We should recognise and respect the equal right of middle peasants on communal properties.
iii) With regard to social and other crimes, middle peasants should be differentiated from the landlords, and their case should be considered as one among the people themselves.
iv) In case of gohar, if broad majority of middle peasants are mobilised by the landlords on caste basis, we should avoid counter-gohar or offensive actions, limiting ourselves to defensive resistance only.
v) Individual agents or hired criminals in the ranks of middle peasants will, however, be treated as class enemies and not as middle peasants.
vi) Special emphasis should be laid on settling wage disputes with middle peasants through negotiations.
VI. On Village Committees
Village committees will develop in future as the lowest units of peasant hegemony. At present, they are the basic organisations around which the peasants mobilise in their struggle and in resistance.
Structure : A village committee should be formed only after at least 40 per cent of the people of that village have rallied around us. It should comprise 5 to 7 persons and agricultural labourers and poor peasants should form the predominant segment. However, care should be taken to ensure proper representation for different classes, castes, communities and, of course, for women. A part of the village committee must remain secret. Every year the committee should be reelected by the people on the basis of full democracy. It should accept the supervision of the masses in all its activities.
Persons from exploiting classes as well as thieves, lumpens, vagabonds etc. should not be given any berth in the committee. Only those who are struggling, honest, dedicated, self-sacrificing and modest can find a place in the committee.
Tasks : Every village committee should perform the following major tasks.
i) It should arrange meetings of the villagers to discuss all important village affairs. Care should be taken to ensure that women as well as those who are outside the organisation are also present in these meetings.
ii) It should develop united people’s struggles against landlords and the administration on various social, economic and political matters of importance.
ii) It should bring all common properties of the village under the people’s control and manage such properties on behalf of the people,
iv) It should take care of the educational, health, cultural and other requirements of the people with a view to improving their standard of life.
v) It should look after the families of the martyrs and of professional cadres.
vi) With regard to various contradictions, disputes and troubles, it should adopt different attitudes towards the landlords and the people. As far as the class enemies are concerned, the attitude should be one of resistance, of hitting and smashing their power and prestige. But in case of the people, the attitude should be basically one of persuasion. If need be, some pressure can also be brought to bear upon them and in case of absolute necessity, even certain nominal punishments can also be awarded, but only with a view to remoulding and unifying them.
vii) If it seems essential to mete out some major punishment to anybody, the village committees of neighbouring villages should also be consulted about it.
viii) It should submit its periodic reports before the masses and inspire them to come up with their opinions and criticisms.
ix) It should conduct its affairs under the political guidance and leadership of higher organisations.
x) It must maintain proper accounts of its collections from the masses as well as of all other incomes derived from various common properties and fines.
VII. On Castes
i) A difference should be made between every two powerful castes according as the number of landlords is greater or less. This should be done in view of their respective positions in the entire rural society of the State as well as in the specific area concerned.
ii) Our aim is to mobilise the vast masses of peasants belonging to all castes, but considering the prevailing social conditions, our priority list should be : lower castes first, middle castes second, and upper castes last.
iii) If an upper or middle caste happens to be in the majority in an area, work within that upper of middle caste should be given equal importance right from the beginning.
iv) In areas dominated by landlords of a particular caste, we should utilise the contradictions of other castes with that caste in the interest of the broadest possible mobilisation of the peasantry. However, before carrying the struggle to higher levels, enough political work should be done to isolate the landlords from their own caste.
v) To mobilise the lower castes, caste organisations may also be developed or joint activities may be undertaken with such lower-caste organisations as are already there. Such caste organisations, however, should not restrict themselves to questions of social discrimination against lower castes, rather they should raise their voice against all sorts of oppression and exploitation.
VIII. On the Yadavas
i) Next to mobilising landless and poor peasants of lower castes, our first emphasis in the areas of peasant struggle should be on uniting peasants of the Yadava caste. This should be accomplished through developing cadres from among the Yadavas.
ii) Before taking any action against landlords/oppressors/ dacoits/thieves of this caste, we should enlist the participation or at least support of the majority of the Yadava peasants.
iii) Vested land held by small landlords and rich peasants among the Yadavas should not be forcibly occupied. We have to take over such land through persuasion or social pressure.
iv) All help should be extended to the Yadavas for getting themselves organised in struggles for grazing land, and for government help for animal husbandry and milk cooperatives.