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Statements from CPI(ML) Red Star and articles from central organ Red Star August 2020

Red Star, August, 2020



  1. An Open Letter in Solidarity with the People of Jammu & Kashmir!


Friends and Comrades, 


Warm greetings!


As we write this letter, the Kashmiri people have completed one year of a brutal, militarised lockdown imposed by the Indian government and borne the further indignity of having their state undemocratically and arbitrarily downgraded to two Union territories. While we unequivocally condemn this act of the Indian government, we offer our greetings, respect and solidarity to the indefatigable Kashmiri people who are fighting back.


It was on 5th August last year that Article 370 of the Indian Constitution giving Special Powers to the state of J&K was abrogated. J&K, which has a long and illustrious history, was downgraded to two Union Territories, J&K and Ladakh. Fearing the repercussions such a dastardly act would undoubtedly cause, fearing the just resistance of the Kashmiri people, the abrogation of Article 370 was accompanied by a 'lockdown' and the whole of Kashmir was turned into a prison. Internet connections were cut, leaders and activists of all political parties except the BJP were detained, leaders of the liberation movements were arrested – in effect people were reduced from citizens to subjects, and J&K, especially the Kashmir valley, came under even more complete occupation of the Indian military.


We are aware that the oppression on the Kashmiri people started from the time the British colonialists decided to hand over power and the destiny of the free kingdom of J&K to the leaders of India and Pakistan, who were not ready to accept the right of J&K to remain independent. Soon the clash of interests started and you, the people of Kashmir, were divided into 'Azad Kashmir', which is actually a Kashmir under Pakistani control, and a Kashmir under Indian Occupation, divided by the ‘Line of Control’. India did not take any initiative for implementing the plebiscite it had agreed at the UN in 1948, subjecting the people to naked suppression, imposing AFSPA-like draconian laws to crush all dissent, and engaging in all kinds of manipulations to keep it as a state with special powers, but going on diluting those special powers too over the years. 


After 73 years, still you, the people of J&K, remain divided; denied the right of self-determination, living under military boots. We are aware of the inhuman murders, rapes, arrests and tortures that you, the Kashmiri people, have been subjected to by the Indian army, with increasing brutality over the past years. What happened on last 5th August was an extreme step to subjugate you. It was a step that killed the very idea of self-determination and made it clear that the Kashmiri people were being completely stripped off every kind of democratic right.


The Modi government thinks that it can put down your national liberation aspirations through brute force. Modi is emulating what the Zionists in Israel are doing to the Palestine people with US support. Modi and his ilk, like autocrats the world over, refuse to take lessons from the struggling history of the Kashmiri people. The fight you have put up in the last one year, the fight you have put up against state repression and the turning of Kashmir into a killing field for the Indian military which is gunning down hundreds of youths dubbing them as ‘terrorists’, show that all this has only strengthened your resolve to continue to fight for liberation.


In line with the international communist movement which always upheld the right of self-determination of the people, the CPI(ML) Red Star has always stood in support of this fight of the people of J&K for their basic rights. So, in spite of the restrictions imposed under the Covid-19 days, our Central Committee has called for observing 5th August as a day of protest, with the slogan 'Stand with Kashmir'. We extend complete solidarity to your struggles and raise the following demands before the Modi government:

Revoke Abrogation of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution!

Reinstate J&K as a State with Special Powers!

Withdraw Military from Entire J&K, Release all Political Rights!

Implement Plebiscite; Let J&K People Decide their Future!


With revolutionary greetings,

K.N. Ramachandran, General Secretary 

(On behalf of the Central Committee of CPI (ML) Red Star)


  1. India –China Border Dispute: Confusing statements used to whip up Jingoism!

According to the repeated statements of earlier UPA government, and present Modi government from 2014, though a Line of Actual Control (LAC) was adopted by both India and China in I 993 in the Western Sector, while transferring the agreed line to the difficult terrain of Himalayas there were many disputes about the actual controlled areas on the ground. They are marked as disputed areas to be settled through bi-lateral discussions at different levels. But, like UPA govt, earlier, Modi govt now also is not telling the people, about the real state of the talks between both sides or what are the disputes in the LAC as well as in the McMahon Line in Arunachal Pradesh region. We come to know about the disputes only when a standoff starts, Jingoistic statements are made, or when the defense budgets are steeply hiked. The saffron media conceal facts and always whip up jingoism.

On 17th July defense minister Rajnath Singh visited disputed areas in Ladakh; after discussions with military chiefs he announced: “No one can touch an inch of Indian territory”, repeating what Modi told in his speech at Ladakh on 3rd July. What does it mean? According to Congress led UPA govt earlier, as well as Modi, so far there are no claims that Chinese intruded in to areas beyond the disputed areas or to undisputed Indian area, or vice versa by Chinese. The intrusions or incursions or push backs are taking place within the disputed area. So long as these areas are disputed according to their own statements, how can Modi claim it as Indian area or Xi calls it as Chinese area? For example, both sides claim Galwan valley is theirs; how to settle it? Accepting it as a disputed area, both sides should discuss, up to heads of governments level if necessary, and come to a mutually acceptable agreement. Similar steps should be taken at all disputed points and in Arunachal Pradesh. Then only these disputes can be settled and a peaceful border can be realized under mutual agreement through a give and take approach, with the understanding that these are lefts over from the colonial times.

Since such an agreement is not arrived at, and inter-country river basin questions like connected issues are not taken up, the unprecedented serious floods in Assam in Brahmaputra river this year like problems take place. Since the border disputes are not settled, there are no discussions about what both sides are doing in these river basins. It is reported that Chinese have built many dams along the Brahmaputra in Tibet region, and as they were filled due to very heavy rain, all of them were opened at the same time causing the deluge in Assam killing hundreds and making lakhs of families losing everything.

So, it is high time that all political parties and people’s movements should demand that the governments should stop jingoistic statements, sit down with the Chinese and try to settle the whole border disputes through bilateral discussions up to heads of governments’ level based on a give and take policy. As this is not done what are the consequences: (1) both governments are diverting the people’s wealth for military build up; (2) In skirmishes and if a border war takes place jawans, from both sides perish as cannon fodder for the petty interests of ruling parties; (3) The India-China border dispute is turned in to another hotspot in the inter imperialist contradictions between US and China; (4) In the absence of inter-country Brahmaputra river basin like agreement and monitoring of flash floods like the one going on in Assam now devastates millions of families. There are other serious problems like destruction of the ecology of Himalayas which has international ramifications also.

But, while Modi is using the border dispute also to perpetuate his corporate fascist rule, Congress is trying for one-upmanship showing itself as more jingoist, and most other ruling class parties keep mum about such a vital question like India-China border question, similar to relations with other neighbouring countries, J&K and Northeast questions, as sacred cows.

It is in this grave situation, CPI(ML) Red Star has raised the demand: Stop War Mongering and jingoism; Settle all outstanding border disputes with neighbouring countries through bi-lateral discussions; and No more border wars! We should intensify this campaign, as the siand offs at the border still continues and at any time the belligerent forces can go for another border war devastating the lives of people of the border areas as well as all over the country.

  1. Appeal to All Revolutionary Left Organizations.

After the return of Modi to power in last May with more majority, and the corporate fascist offensive by Modi-Shah team was aggressively going ahead, we had called on the revolutionary left forces who stand for system change to come together and form a coordination based on a Common Program, so that it can become the core for building a broad based Anti-Fascist Front at all India level. As you are aware, we held a meting at Kolkata in last September and in which your representatives also participated and following it it was decided to continue the process through bi-lateral discussions and a delegate level meeting to decide on future steps. At a stage, when the pandemic Covid19 had started threatening the whole world, while continuing the bi-lateral discussions with different organizations, CPI(ML) Red Star and CPI(ML) PRC came out with a Joint Statement explaining the situation created by the pandemic and calling for speeding up our efforts to form taking in to consideration the new challenges also. The Joint Appeal concluded with these words:

Comrades, let us take up immediate tasks, and combine them with intermediary political demands as emanating from the immediate tasks, and finally come up with revolutionary slogans of proletarian led intervention in due course of time. The preparation of such tasks can be taken up once a possibility of a broad unity seems to be arriving and surfacing. If the revolutionary left forces agree, in the main, with this analysis and proposals, or are prepared to sit together for discussion with others based on it, we can advance to drafting the Common Program for coordination, if immediate unity is not possible, and united actions based on it. Our appeal is, comrades, at this critical juncture, let us take up this challenge”. Though this Joint Appeal was sent and we tried to hold bi-lateral discussions, may be due to the present lockdown situation this process did not advance the way we desired.

It was in this situation, in support of the All India Protest Day called by the central trade unions on 03 July, CPI(ML) Red Star, CPI(ML) PRC, UCCRI(ML) Kishan and All India Workers’ Council came out with a Joint Appeal calling for joint campaign based on 12 slogans: This Appeal concluded with these words:

“…..the alternative before the working class, the peasantry, all other toiling and oppressed masses including the dalits, Adivasis, minorities including Muslims and others, women is to come out on the streets and challenge this neo-fascist anti-people rule. We appeal to all communist revolutionary forces to close their ranks and unite, the working class to get prepared to take up their historic role, the peasantry and all other oppressed classes and sections to come together in massive militant protest against the corporate fascist Modi government on 3rd July all over India, with the determination to resist and defeat the corporate fascist aggression, to seize back and expand our rights”. The twelve demands/slogans given in this statement are developed according to latest developments and given below for our discussion and finalization.

In continuation to these, in the present situation, when the Covid1 pandemic is infecting crores of people and Modi government is criminally refusing to take any steps to contain it, we once again appeal to the revolutionary left organizations who are struggling for throwing out the corporate fascist rule of RSS/BJP led by Modi, and for system change towards people’s democracy and socialism. to come together based on the following immediate slogans, form the Coordination Committee which shall draft a Common Program, to start building the Anti-Fascist Front mobilizing the masses at all India level.

  1. Stop Warmongering and Jingoism; Settle border disputes peacefully through bi-lateral discussions! No more border wars!

  2. In order to contain the fast spreading Covid19 threat:

  1. Test at least 10% of people for Covid19 by 15th August;

  2. Ensure free testing, quarantine and treatment for all;

  3. Urgently bring all private hospitals under government control; Stop looting by them; Form people’s committees wherever possible, collect data of looting by the private hospitals and orrganiza people’s movements against them.

3. Provide economic package of at least 5% of the GDP for immediate medical expenses and payment of enhanced wages/allowances to all medical/para-medical staff;

4. Provide free monthly ration of 45kgs food grains to all families;

5. Provide Rs.10,000 monthly allowance for six months from 1st June to all jobless , unemployed and all needy people;

6. Restore all basic rights of working class; Cancel all orders like 12 hour working day, cut in wages etc; Provide employment for all; or unemployment allowances to all jobless.

7. Provide work for all needy, at least 200 days yearly, with Rs 500 per day under MNREGA. Start Urban Employment Guarantee Scheme;

8. Withdraw all ordinances including the three for further corporatization of agriculture, selling national assets, privatization of core sectors etc. Issued using Covid19 as a cover;

9. Withdraw the New Education Policy 2020 which is trying to replace the present campus based general education with online education system leading to further elitisaton and commercialization of education; withdraw all moves to play with children’s lives by forcing examinations and opening of schools/colleges without taking any urgent moves to contain Covid19.

10. Withdraw CAA, and cancel NPR/ NRC based on CAA.

11. Withdraw UAPA; Release all political prisoners including anti-CAA activists; Stop detaining all who opposing the Modi rule; Restore democratic rights of peoples of J&K and Northeast.

CPI(ML) Red Star, CPI(ML) PRC, UCCRI (ML) Kishan, AIWC; Dated 20th July, 2020.



  1. On India-China border developments and our approach.

KN Ramachabdran


When the standoff between the Indian and Chinese military started in the beginning of May, in its statement (“Wher Modi’s foreign policy is leading our country to? What is Communist approach towards the border questions?”) our Central Committee explained the developments leading to yet another stsndoff along the LAC which is still not delineated on the ground, and called for immediate discussion at all levels to resolve the dispute. But instead of solving the problem, the military level discussion failed to reach a resolution and on 15th the clash took place at Galwan Valleybetween the two forces. After an urgent meeting of the CC on 17th June following the clash between Indian and Chinese troops in the disputed Galwan Valley area along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), in which 20 India jawans were killed, we expressed our heartfelt condolences to their families, and adopted a resolution calling for “Stop war mongering; We don’t want another border war; Settle border questions through bi-lateral discussions peacefully.”

We continued our campaign against war mongering, and for permanent settlement of the border problems with China by delineating the LAC and resolving other differences on the border.

But, BJP tried to create war hysteria, and a it launched campaign for Boycott China in line with the statements of Trump as part of the trade war between US and China. As repots of the corps commanders’ level discussions reaching stalemate again came out, the editorial of party organ, Red Star, on 1st of July again called for political level intervention at the topmost level to start dis-engagement of the forces. But, instead of taking steps to solve the standoffs at three places in eastern Ladakh through immediate diplomatic and political level discussions as we repeatedly called for, disturbing reports of mobilization of the military followed by the air force continued on both sides started getting boosted by the media along with jingoistic statements from BJP leaders. On 3rd July, PM Modi visited Ladakh, and gave a speech exhorting the armed forces to defend our borders at any cost. Though it created an atmosphere of an imminent border clash as both sides raised claim for entire Galwan Valley, an analysis of his speech revealed that in spite of his sabre-ratttling, it was just another of his election speeches mainly intended to influence voters in MP, Himachal and Bihar, where elections are going to take place soon. As sabre-rattling from both sides continued, a very tense atmosphere was creted by the media. In this situation, we again issued a statement on 5th July, reiterating our demand for political level discussions to ease the situation.

On 6th July morning we heard that discussion between Ajit Dugal of Modi’s PM’s secretariat and Chinese foreign minister took place, and based on the proposals arrived at in the corps commanders’ meeting earlier, both sides decided to withdraw 1.5 to 1.8 kms at the three disputed places along China-Ladakh border, creating a buffer-zone in between. The withdrawals started on 5thevening..

Following this temporary easing of tension, the war of words between BJP and Congress going on from the time the standoffs became more shrill, for one-upmanship, both sides trying to prove themselves more nationalistic. While India and China are accusing each other for intruding to their territory, BJP and Congress are engaged in a blame game to prove who compromised with “Chinese incursion” more. But both were concealing the fact that, neither Congress which was in power for about 4 -5 decades, nor BJP in power for six years earlier, nor during the last six years in power took any creative initiative for a permanent settlement of the disputes, even though standoffs were continuing.


According to the repeated statements of earlier UPA government, and present Modi government from 2014, though the LAC was adopted by both sides in I 993 in the Western Sector, while transferring the agreed line to the difficult terrain of Himalayas, there were many disputes about the actual controlled areas on the ground. “The entire Sino-Indian border (including the western LAC, the small undisputed section in the centre, and the McMahon Line in the east) is 4,056 km (2,520 mi) long and traverses one Indian union territoryLadakh, and four Indian states: Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh. On the Chinese side, the line traverses the Tibet Autonomous Region( Wikipedia). We are told, they are marked as disputed areas and both sides are trying to settle them through bi-lateral discussions at different levels. But, like UPA govt, earlier, Modi govt now also is not telling the people, about where the talks between both sides have reached or what are the disputes in the LAC as well as in the McMahon Line in Arunachal Pradesh region. We come to know about the disputes only when a standoff starts, or when Jingoistic statements are made, or when the defense budgets are steeply hiked.

Our consistent stand on the border dispute was clearly stated in the first Resolution: “Where Modi’s Foreign Policy is Leading India to?”: The border dispute is a leftover from the colonial times. A holistic approach should be worked out in continuation to the 1993 agreement on the LAC so that in all disputed areas along the 4056 kms of India-China border, it can be clearly delineated including deciding clear benchmarks taking the condition of the difficult terrain in to consideration. This agreement should include withdrawal of military of both sides to bases and deploying only border security forces to man the border. Only in his manner standoffs and skirmishes leading to unfortunate killing of jawans on both sides can be avoided. But, in the absence of such an agreement, even after the present truce for withdrawal both sides, it is not completed, at some points differences persist and the armed forces and Air Force have not started withdrawing from the area. Tension continues affecting the life of the civilians living in nearby areas. So we demand that initiative should be taken by Modi government to resolve the border disputes on a long term basis and for delineating the LAC on the ground.

Party’s accepted stand is that the LAC is still not delineated, and the standoffs have happened many times including presently in Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso and Gogra Hot Spring in the disputed land along it. Within the disputed land if any incursions take place, both sides accuse each other calling them intrusions or aggressions followed by standoffs, and for the first time after 45 years in the standoff at Galwan Valley from beginning of May, in the clash on15th June 20 jawans were killed. These are skirmishes within the disputed areas, where both sides have constructed roads and structures, where each side try to gain control of more areas, which the opposite side will characterize as an aggression to whip up jingoism as have happened repeatedly, and is again happening now, worsening the border dispute further. Our stand is that until a permanent solution acceptable to both sides is arrived at this situation will continue. So we do not call these movements by any side within the disputed area as an aggression or intrusion on the other country, but as a natural consequence of the present situation. We call for a permanent solution to the disputes. We appeal to people of India and China to put pressure on their governments to settle the disputed permanently so that the centuries old people to people relation can be strengthened further.

The border conflict is utilized, as always happens, by the Modi government to divert the attention of the people from the criminal acts of commission and omission in its handling of the fight against the Covid19 pandemic, from the acute distress it caused to crores of migrant workers and other sections of impoverished people, and from the economic crisis started in the pre-Covid days. As usual the burden of all these are thrown to their back. Besides, utilizing the tension on the border, Modi is carrying forward his militarization program, the burden of which also will come over the people. On the whole, any increase in the tension on the border shall lead to further attacks on the masses of people. The socio-economic condition of the already impoverished masses shall be further weakened, leading them to more acute distress. 

As far as the ruling class in any country is concerned they use war mongering against a created enemy, and jingoism is unleashed to hoodwink the masses. During the last 75 years after Second World War, though there were no World Wars, there were numerous local wars instigated mainly by the US imperialists to prolong their hegemony, repeatedly proving that imperialism means war, and so long as it exists, wars are inevitable. The same is the case with the junior partners of imperialist powers also. Similar to what is happening in J&K, the ruling classes on both sides, India and Pakistan, shall go on fighting making life hell both in IOK and POK, spending a major part of their revenue for it at the expense of people’s welfare. In order to cover up the truth and to win over even ordinary people to back them, jingoism, hate politics based on communalism and national chauvinism are instigated. Our sub-continent is one of the worst examples for it. So, whether war is imminent or not, is not a point of our debate. As a result of extremely complicated conflict of several factors, it can break out any time; it is difficult to predict it. Our point should be how we can develop understanding about how the ruling class of our country have succeeded to deny the right of self determination to the peoples of J&K and Northeast, how they embittered relations with Pakistan to such a level that even cross-border trade and fighting locusts jointly which will benefit both peoples cannot be discussed, why relations with all other neighbouring countries are also worsening, while the country is opened to looting by the very same forces against whom we fought the independence struggle.

Under Modi this subservience went to the extent of organizing Namaste Trump, while we refuse to combat even Covid19 together with our neighbours. In such a situation, the US administration led by Trump and his allies are using the India-China border dispute like Hong Kong or South China Sea like issues as part of the inter imperialist contradiction and trade war between US and China. It has already happened with India banning 59Apps and cancelling many services and investments of China and has fully opened the country more for investments from US and other imperialist countries. So, the cardinal point is even when we are fighting the ever intensifying danger of Covid19, Modi government is creating war mongering and Trump could utilize it to prolong US hegemony and using it to win the November elections.

It is in this context, instead of getting satisfied with a passive stand, the Communist Revolutionaries should take a pro-active stand; an independent communist stand on this question. They should call for political settlement of all issues including border disputes with all neighbouring countries, which are continuing from colonial times, through bi-lateral discussions, using advanced scientific tools. They should oppose any armed conflict for settling border questions. They should firmly oppose India’s alliance or strategic partnership with any imperialist country or bloc. In spite of the best efforts of the CRs and all progressive forces, still the border war breaks out, we should come out openly opposing it, while continuing the struggle for revolutionary transformation of the society.

  1. Red Salute to the Fighting Comrades of Bhangor

Alik Chakraborty and Sharmistha Choudhury

Spectacularly enough, ever since the unplanned lockdown imposed by the Modi government in late March, the ongoing people’s movement in Bhangor has reached new heights, with women and men taking to the streets on a regular basis to seize their rights. As a result, in Bhangor, at least, the government and administration have been compelled to actually give the people what they have promised – rations, relief after Amphan and special relief to those whose livelihoods have suffered due to the lockdown – instead of keeping the same confined only to notices and paperwork, as has happened in most other parts of the state as well as the country.

Although it is true that there have been sporadic struggles on similar issues in some other parts of the state, with success being achieved in a few places, the struggle in Bhangor has surpassed them all in terms of grit, vigour and magnitude. This deserves special mention, because only a couple of years ago, in August 2018 to be precise, when the historic anti-powergrid movement of Bhangor had forced the government to enter into dialogue with the Jomi Jibika Bastutantro O Poribesh Raksha Committee (Committee for the Protection of Land, Livelihood, Ecology and the Environment), that is the People’s Committee leading the movement, the entire leadership – both the political leadership of CPI(ML) Red Star as well as the local leadership of Bhangor, had been mercilessly maligned by a large section of the ‘left and democratic forces’ for ‘surrendering’ to the government.

Indeed, leaflets and pamphlets signed by leaders of these ‘left and democratic forces’, accusing us of ushering in a ‘Black Day’ and signing a ‘black deal’ with the government, were circulated in Bhangor and elsewhere and posted rampantly on social media. We, especially the authors of this article, were labelled as ‘traitors’ and our detractors glibly claimed that through a nefarious, underhand deal with the Trinamool government, we had prepared the ground for the Trinamool to firmly establish its autocratic rule all over Bhangor, and very soon we would be forcing the villagers to shout slogans hailing discredited Trinamool leaders. Our detractors, many of them leaders of ‘left’ organizations, stooped to the level of deliberately and actively circulating stories of our being gifted with a crores-worth flat in a posh part of the city in return of ‘surrendering’ the movement!

What had, in fact, happened? The main demand of the movement, from the beginning was that the government should open an unconditional dialogue with the Committee leading the movement. The government had responded by slamming terror charges against practically the entire leadership of the Committee, locking up people in jail for months and obstinately refusing to begin any dialogue. Rather, ministers of the Trinamool government openly claimed that they would go all out to crush the Committee leaders like so many ants. However, after a fierce struggle of 2 years, and especially when it became abundantly clear that even the arrest of the principal leader of the movement, Alik Chakraborty, would by no means succeed in suppressing the movement, which by then had spread across an entire Block and was rapidly spreading to other areas, the government was forced to eat humble pie and convene a meeting. Not only so, the government was forced to sit for a dialogue with not just the village leaders of the Committee but also those whom it had always labelled as ‘outsiders’ and steadfastly refused any interaction with. The meetings with the government went on for 3 weeks. When the dialogue began, Alik Chakraborty was still in jail (actually in police custody). At the first meeting, only Committee representatives of the village, and no political organizer from outside, were allowed. The village activists firmly told the government representatives that the Committee included political organizers from outside too and they would have to be invited to the next meeting, otherwise the Committee would not attend any more meetings. Thus, at the second meeting, 2 political organizers who were also members of the Committee participated along with the village activists. This meeting ended with all participants telling the government that no dialogue would be meaningful, or need be continued, if Alik Chakraborty was not released forthwith. The government buckled and Alik, who by then had already obtained bail in most of the 40-odd cases against him, soon obtained bail in the remaining cases. The government had no choice but to invite him to the next meeting. After a series of meetings, in which 47 people from the villages and 3 political organisers (that is 50 Committee representatives in all) participated, the government being represented by the District Magistrate, the Superintendent of Police, a representative from Nabanna (WB government headquarters), PGCIL officers and a host of other officers, a solution was finally reached.

The government was forced to sign a written agreement with the people of Bhangor, backing away from the initial powergrid project, promising compensation on a scale unheard of in the history of popular movements in recent years and, also unprecedentedly, declaring in writing that all criminal cases against activists in the course of the movement would be gradually withdrawn. It was in Bhangor that for the first time in India peasants were given compensation for electric lines running high over their land.

This historic agreement – which could have been used as an example for other ongoing and future people’s movements – was treated with unconcealed contempt by those ‘left and democratic’ forces who had wanted the strife and bloodshed to continue unabated in Bhangor without any resolution. Their ill-formed idea had been that if the strife continued, if more village people were injured or imprisoned or killed (while they themselves remained safe in the city), then they could take out fashionable rallies against the government from time to time and decry the lack of democracy in West Bengal, all from the safety of their offices or drawing rooms. The Trinamool government had made it very clear from the beginning that its targets were CPI(ML) Red Star and, later, to some extent, MKP, apart from the village people, and that no one outside these two political streams were likely to be arrested. In fact, throughout the course of the movement, no one from any political or democratic organization, apart from the aforementioned, were arrested. So most of these sections actually wanted no resolution to the problem because they were safe and, if any more bloodshed occurred, it would be common villagers who would be injured or killed, and they could ‘capitalise’ on these atrocities to secure their vested interests. The CPIM was particularly irked by the resolution of the problem because if the atrocities on the people of Bhangor continued till election year 2021, then their rapidly sinking electoral prospects would receive a much-needed boost. The CPIM spent several pages of the Bengali daily ‘Ganashakti’ in maligning us as traitors.

The problem is that all this led to a handful of ordinary people, supporters of the movement, to become confused and first begin to wonder and then believe that the CPI(ML) Red Star leadership had betrayed the movement and sold their souls to the Trinamool.

However, the people of Bhangor, who had faced the guns and bombs, police cases and atrocities, for two years, and were yet determined not to surrender, decided that the question had to be settled democratically. A series of village committee meetings were held, with thousands participating, where the various aspects of the movement and the pros and cons of signing an agreement with the government were discussed threadbare and thoroughly debated. The end result was that the people of Bhangor, almost unanimously, were united in their support of the historic agreement. In this they showed far greater political maturity than the so-called ‘left and democratic forces’. They realized what a great victory would be achieved by the agreement with the government, how enormously it would expand the democratic space and were determined to build on it and further consolidate their wins. The small section of left and democratic forces, which stood by our side and resolutely upheld the agreement, advised us not to be discouraged by the slew of slandering that we were facing because time alone could and would prove the truth.

They were absolutely correct. Today, we can hold our heads high and declare that we had committed neither crime nor mistake in signing the agreement with the government. The Bhangor agreement has not only resulted in consolidating the unity of the people of Bhangor, but also encouraged the people to carry on the struggle in a greater sphere. Just as they are fighting to extract and realize every promise the government made, so also are they leading rallies for the release of Varvara Rao, Dr Kafeel Khan and other political prisoners with equal vigour. The torch rallies and demonstrations they organized, demanding the release of political prisoners, in recent weeks, were indeed massive and magnificent.

At the same time, the people have developed a strong local leadership from among themselves. Today the situation is such that the people’s movement in Bhangor is strong enough to fight against the administration and win any local demand that was being denied to them. The local leadership has matured to the extent that this is happening frequently, they are leading and winning such struggles frequently, without the physical presence of any political leadership from outside.

Recently, when corruption was detected in the distribution of NREGA work, they gheraoed the Panchayat office, blocked roads, and compelled the administration to immediately rectify matters. When corruption was detected in the distribution of relief materials after the Amphan cyclone, they again gheraoed the responsible officers, compelled them to initiate enquiry against those who had undeservedly received relief material by virtue of their political clout, and provide money and materials to those who were truly affected by Amphan. Around 1150 families affected by Amphan, whose names had been submitted to the administration by the Committee, have received compensation so far – a feat once more unmatched in most parts of the state.

The people of Bhangor are now capable of crushing any unholy force that tries to rear its ugly head in the region.

This is possibly the only region in West Bengal where the BJP has not been able to unfurl its flag. The Trinamool’s Arabul Islam – who only three years ago had been the undisputed leader and much feared henchman of the region – and his men have gone into hiding. They dare not enter the area dominated by the Committee. Though Arabul Islam’s gang seized some Panchayat seats in the area by the simple expedient of not allowing elections to be held, their Panchayat members are now not allowed to enter the Panchayat office, or even the area, by the people of Bhangor. The villagers have brought a no-confidence motion against them and submitted a mass petition to the district magistrate to this effect. The Panchayat is now solely run by the 5 members of the Committee who were able to contest the elections, and thus win, and run in a manner that has people saying that not in the last 40 years has a fraction of the work been done that is now being regularly by the Panchayat!

Still, sad but true, some remain under the misapprehension that the movement in Bhangor is long dead, we have allowed the powergrid to be built, Trinamool has got its way and some even told us that they had heard that the BJP was making inroads into Bhangor!

Be that as it may, the fact remains that the movement had compelled the government to sign an agreement and back away from its original powergrid project and reduce it to a regional substation. Through this agreement, not only were the present interests of the movement secured, the oath was taken to go ahead determinedly towards the future, long-term objectives. The spirit of the fighting people of Bhangor is today proving that, back then, the leadership had not been wrong.

Actually, just as there is contradiction when a struggle begins, so also is contradiction present at every bend and curve of the movement. In the course of such contradictions, it may even be possible to be misunderstood or misjudged by friends. But if we are overwhelmed by the fear of being misunderstood or even, maligned by our friends, then we will cease to be guided in the interest of the development of the movement. Such shortsightedness, though it may help keep our ‘friends’, will definitely lead the entire movement into jeopardy.

The task of the leadership is to analyse and understand every bend and curve of the movement and guide it towards its final objective, whatever the temptation may be to succumb to the pull of populism.

Let us end with an example from the freedom struggle of neighbouring Bangladesh. Shortly before the National Liberation War started, when the Pakistani army had begun to brutalise Bangladesh, President of Pakistan Yahya Khan, fearing the retaliation that the Bangladeshis had already started, inviting the leaders of Bangladesh to a meeting. Most of the important leaders of Bangladesh held firm to the position that there could be no meeting unless the Pakistani army was withdrawn from Bangladeshi soil, and boycotted the meeting. But Sheikh Mujibur Rahman participated in the meeting called by Yahya Khan. As a result, he was maligned as an agent of Yahya Khan! However, history proves that it was Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who went on to lead the National Liberation War of Bangladesh and emerged as the undisputed leader of the people

  1. Martyrs’ Day, An Occasion to Advance Ideological Offensive!

KN Ramachandran

It was on 28th July comrade Charu Majumdar, the first General Secretary of the CPI(ML) died in police custody in 1972. It is also the day comrade T Nagi Reddy, General Secretary of UCCRI(ML) died in 1976 while in underground during emergency Central Committee of the CPI(ML) Red Star has called for observing it as the All India Martyrs Day to remember all the comrades who led and participated in the ideological, political inner party struggle in CPI(M) against its neo-revisionist stand, leading to the Naxalbari Uprising in 1967, all the leaders and participants of this great mass uprising, all the leaders and activists, the Communist Revolutionaries, who were directly or indirectly part of the All India Coordination Committee of the Communist Revolutionaries (AICCCR) formed in 1968, and all the comrades who became martyrs in these struggles,

The state committees can decide the dates to be observed as martyrs’ days based on this general understanding, and according to the practice followed so far to remember the martyr comrades from the states

The Central Committee has taken this decision as part of its efforts to settle accounts with the sectarian past and to unite all the CR forces who have general agreement on the analysis of the present international and national situation, and on the strategic approach for capture of political power by mobilising the working class and oppressed people under the leadership of a powerful communist party built on Bolshevik lines.

Remembering martyrs is not a ritual for the Communist revolutionaries. Presently, internationally and nationally, the working class and the oppressed peoples are going through a period of unprecedented exploitation and impoverishment, when utilizing Covid19 pandemic as a cover, the global imperialist system and its junior partners in power in countries like ours have launched barbaric attacks on the toiling masses, even on the humanity as a whole, dragging them to the verge of ecological catastrophe and extinction of the human species on earth through horrific plunder of labour as well as nature. The international communist movement is confronting the gravest ever challenge today; it has only one alternative before it, overthrow the imperialists of all hues and their junior partners and lead the working class and all oppressed classes and sections towards a socialist future. But, in spite of the objective condition reaching such a critical phase, either many of the ‘left’ forces are tailing behind the ruling system, or compromising more and more with it. All of them have removed revolution from their agenda in practice!

How could it happen? The Communist Manifesto explained that capitalism is striving to re-create the whole world in its own image. So, the working class can save the world only by overthrowing it and building a socialist world. From the Paris Commune onwards all advances made by the working class and its party were with this orientation. But nothing is static. When obstacles are faced every force/process tries to advance according to concrete conditions. It is true with the working class, it is also the case of capitalism.

For example, when finance capital emerged, capitalism faced crisis from its own inherent contradictions and growing resistance from the working class, it underwent transformation to monopoly capitalism, imperialism, with the world divided among the imperialist forces. But as the leaders of the Second International could not understand this transformation, they compromised with it, leading to its collapse. Only when Lenin analysed imperialism scientifically, developed the strategy of revolution according to concrete conditions, built the Bolshevik party fighting against Mensheviks and Narodniks, the October Revolution could take place, Soviet Union was formed, socialist construction launched and the Communist International was formed which helped the growth of ICM. This advance of the socialist forces reached its hitherto highest levels by early 1950s, when it had reached a stage when it could challenge the imperialist system and even overthrow it, if it had developed the Marxist-Leninist understanding according to the new situation and continued the struggle against imperialism and its lackeys.

This was a great challenge since the imperialist system which had faced many crises including the Great Depression in 1930s, emergence of fascism in its camp and Second World War, had equipped itself under US leadership in the post-War years, transforming colonial plunder, when it used pre-capitalist forces and relations as its social basis in the colonies, to neo-colonial phase, when the ‘de-colonized’ neo-colonially dependent countries were exploited and controlled mainly through enhanced export of finance capital and technology, along with market control. To facilitate this IMF and World Bank and later WTO were formed. ‘Land reforms from above” dictated by WB, and Green Revolution like policies, with finance capital and technology followed by market system entering the agricultural sector aggressively from 1950s itself started the transforming the relations of production. India was no exception. As a reflection of these changes, the mode of production debate had started in 1960s beginning itself ( in Economic and Political Weekly and other publications) and some of the intellectuals closely related with the Naxalbari movement were also participating in it. But the evaluation of a new era of ‘total collapse of imperialism and worldwide victory of socialism’ in the ‘Long Live the Victory of People’s War’ and the characterisation of India in The Spring Thunder Over India in People’s Daily following Naxalbari Uprising, (both representing the sectarian Lin Biaoist line which had its sway over the CPC during 1966 to early 1970) as ‘semi-colonial, semi-feudal’ and path of revolution as ‘protracted people’s war’, had influenced the communist revolutionaries so much that, in spite of other differences, all upheld the slogan: ‘China’s Path is Our Path. Though Mao had repeatedly stressed on the importance of concrete analysis of the concrete situation for developing our understanding, and that he started with the study of Honan Uprising, we failed to recognize and study the vast differences between semi-colonial China and colonial India, what were the changes taking place in our country including the growing trend of capitalist relations in the agricultural sector by the time of Naxalbari itself. Such a sectarian strategic understanding naturally led to ‘annihilation of class enemy’ like sectarian tactics also. As a result, we lost the great opportunity of organizing the millions of students, youth, workers, poor peasants and agricultural workers including dalits and Adivasis, women, who came forward greatly inspired by the Uprising and call for revolution, in to a Bolshevik style communist party capable of using all forms of struggles to develop class struggle to capture political power.

Though the challenge posed by the socialist camp collapsed in the main with the usurpation of power by capitalist roaders in China in 1976, the imperialist itself was passing through one of its own cycle of crisis by that time. To overcome it, the British followed by US imperialists came forward with the neoliberal policies which called for abandoning all welfare policies and withdrawal of the state from all fields of production and services. IMF-World Bank called for globalisation-liberalisation-privatisation to promote corporatisation of all fields. When it was formally introduced in India in 1991, the CPI(M) leader and Bengal chief minister Jyothi Basu declared that ‘there is no alternative to it’!. World over these social democratic parties went for implementing it, weakening themselves further. In almost all the neo-colonially dependent countries, the finance capital entered aggressively in all fields, intensifying the corporatization of the agricultural sector also. In a way the recreation of the world by the capitalist imperialist system reached unprecedented levels, though feudal remnants were continuing in few areas and influence of feudal culture also continuing along with imperialist culture. But, the dominant feature is that the economy of these countries got increasingly integrated with the global imperialist system. In such a situation, if Mao had stated there is no China Wall between the two, one getting transformed in to other, the line of demarcation between the democratic and socialist phases of revolution becoming thinner or disappearing. As accumulation of wealth in the hands of a very small section is increasing, the attacks on the enormously large working class, the peasantry and oppressed people, including the dalits, Adivasis, women and other backward sections are also intensifying. In present pandemic like situation it takes horrific forms. As all the major contradictions are becoming sharper, people’s uprisings are becoming an increasing feature, the state as an instrument of suppression also taking neo-fascist forms in increasing number of countries. So, according to these changes a new narrative of revolution is needed. But what is happening? Very few forces are prepared to come out of their old out-dated frames and to think daringly. They are holding on to their old ‘positions’ religiously. This is the great obstacle today to unite the communist forces and building a powerful Bolshevik style party capable of leading the numerous struggles of various classes and people’s uprisings taking place in this vast country.

In words all accept that “ideological political line determines everything”. But this line can be developed only through ‘seeking truth from facts’, making serious studies on what are the changes taking place, developing Marxism according to present conditions and applying it. Facts about the changes taking place around us are visible if we look around. We have to collect them and take their help to develop our understanding. This is not happening even after repeatedly calling for the studies. When RSS has shown how it has used its reactionary ideas to become a material force and come to hegemonic positions, the Marxist-Leninists are facing the great challenge of developing their revolutionary ideas to become a greater material force capable of overthrowing all forces of reaction and advance to revolutionary capture of political power.

Hundreds of thousands of comrades have sacrificed their lives for revolution. Today remembering the martyrs becomes meaningful when we dares to overcome our mistakes, develop our revolutionary line according to present conditions and dare to struggle and dare to make revolution.

7. CPI(ML) Red Star Calls for Testing at least 10% of population by 15th August!


Modi government is in a hurry to speed up unlocking similar to what is done by its counterparts and imperialists in every country, like its abrupt announcement of lockdown throwing crores of people in to acute distress. It wants to resume “business as usual”. Already, due to its criminal negligence the official number of Covid19 patients have crossed 11 lakhs, and dead nearly 30,000. If present daily increase is 45,000, this is accelerating. But still, the testing is not done even for 1% of the people. In reality if testing is done the number may go up many times, as the experts are repeatedly warning. By end of July even official figures may rise to many millions. The handling of such a national calamity, a pandemic is done in a bureaucratic manner, with neither the Modi govt nor the state governments are interested in involving the opposition and the people in general and in forming people’s committees. Youth are not recruited and trained to help the medical staff to make the house to house search and testing and treatment of the affected. Necessary funds are not provided. Even what is allotted is looted by some at many places due to corruption in all fields. Instead of bringing the private hospitals under the control of the government till the control of Covid, they are allowed to loot the patients. Neither ration nor allowance nor adequate MNREGA jobs for the jobless are provided. While billions of rupees are spent for the military and as incentives to corporates, funds are not allotted for medi-care and relief to people under distress due to continuing lockdowns and restrictions. In this situation, CPI(ML) Red Star has called on the whole party to launch a vigorous campaign and struggles wherever possible, based on following slogans. The Central Committee appeals to the people to expose and oppose Modi’s anti-people policies and campaign for achieving the following demands

  1. Test at least 10% of the people for Covid19 by 15th August and continue testing more to quarantine the affected and treatment

  2. Ensure free testing, quarantine and treatment for all;

  3. Urgently bring all private hospitals under government control; Stop looting by them; Form people’s committees wherever possible, collect data of looting by the private hospitals and organize people’s movements against such private hospitals

  4. Campaign for allotting an amount equal to 5% of GDP for anti-Covid19 work;

  5. Provide 45kgs of food grains as free ration for all families and Rs.10,000 allowance monthly to one jobless from all families.



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