Sunday, September 30, 2007

Emergence of the CPI (ML): The Opening Up of a New Road

[This Write-up, ('CPI-ML: The Firm Defender of the Revolutionary Legacy of Indian Communists' – Vinod Mishra) originally appeared in the form of a booklet in 1991. We have taken only the relevant portion, i.e. the part that tells the story of the AICCCR and the Undivided CPI (M-L). The last para of this write-up is taken from comrade VM’s another article – HOW DID OUR PARTY EVOLVE. Since we are only interested in the historical and philosophical implications of the original CPI (M-L), we have decided not to include any of the personal documents, filed by the so-called Naxalist and Maoist groups on the Naxal Movement and CPI (M-L).]
In the course of a protracted struggle between its opportunist and revolutionary wings, the Communist Party of India underwent its first split in 1964 and a new party was formed in the shape of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). It did not however take long for the revolutionary wing to realize that the leadership of the new party had been seized by the centrist trend of the movement, which was bent upon pursuing the same opportunist course. An inner-Party struggle ensued throughout the party. However, in a concentrated form, it was conducted by Comrade Charu Majumdar through his famous Eight Documents, written between 1965 and 1967.
Marked by a nationwide outburst of mass movements, this was also the period that saw the first major turn in post-1947 Indian politics. In West Bengal, the CPI (M)-dominated United Front was swept to power and the party leadership completed its transition to the opportunist strategic course. As its antithesis, the revolutionary wing went beyond the parameters of inner-Party struggle and strove to orientate the mass struggles, the peasant movement in particular, towards the revolutionary strategic course. The peasant uprising in Naxalbari, organised by the Charu Majumdar-led wing of the Party precipitated the first showdown between the two strategic perspectives and tactical lines within the CPI (M).
True to the tradition of social-democratic betrayal, the party in power responded with bullets, and the simmering revolt within the party spread like wildfire. With revolutionary communists throughout India detaching themselves from the party and rallying around the emerging centre, the All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries (AICCCR), the CPI (M) suffered its first major split. The formation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) on 22 April, 1969, gave an organised and centralised shape to this new centre. The CPI (ML) held its First Congress in Calcutta in May 1970 and Comrade Charu Majumdar was elected the General Secretary of a 21-member Central Committee.
The history of the next two years is a saga of heroic sacrifices unparalleled in the annals of the Indian Communist movement. Following the pattern of the Chinese revolution serious attempts were made to develop guerrilla war, a red army and base areas in selected areas in the countryside. Backing it up was a powerful movement of students and youth, particularly in West Bengal and the city of Calcutta, which sought to challenge the entire foundations of the ideology of the Indian ruling classes that had begun to take shape with the advent of the so-called Bengal Renaissance.
This saga of valour where thousands and thousands of Party leaders and cadres, including the topmost leadership (Comrade Charu Majumdar on 28th July, 1872) sacrificed their lives at the altar of the Indian revolution forms an important heritage of Indian communist movement that must be cherished for the sake of future attempts……

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