Elimination of Kishenji and the Maoist Policy

-Rajesh Tyagi/ 28.11.2011

On November 24, Thursday, Maoist leader Mallojula Koteshwar Rao, popularly known as Kishenji, was killed by joint forces of West Bengal and the Centre, during a flush-out operation being carried out in Kushbani forests near Burisole village in Pashchim Medinipur District of West Bengal. Burisole is 15 kms from Jhagram and 10 kms away from border of West Bengal and Jharkhand in Jangalmahal region.

Kishenji was member of both Polit Bureau and Central Committee and second in top command of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), after its General Secretary, Ganapathi.

Apart from six bullets there are shrapnel injuries and charring of the feet of the body, for which government has offered no explanation yet. Evidence supports the allegation that Kishenji was abducted by security forces a day before and was brutally tortured to death in custody, which is demonstrative of the barbaric character of the Indian state.

The brutal killing of top Maoist leader, however evoked no response in any of the major working class centres in the country, as Maoists have turned their back upon the working class long ago and have no influence there. Chinese path which Maoists adhere to, has distanced them far away from the industrial working class.

Hailing from Pedapalli town of Karimnagar district of Andhra Pradesh, Kishenji was among top brass of the Maoist Party and was one of the chief actor in Maoist movement in India. After completing his B.Sc. with Mathematic he took up law as his subject and was involved in agrarian movement of 1980’s in Andhra Pradesh. Way back in 1980’s he was instrumental in organising Peoples’ War Group (PWG) a Maoist outfit in Andhra Pradesh and later in its unification with MCC and CPI (ML) Party Unity in Bihar in 2004. After destruction of the movement in Andhra Pradesh, Kishenji remained active in Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh and ultimately shifted to West Bengal. He was the leader of Lalgarh movement against the left front government with tacit support of TMC, the main parliamentary opposition to left front at that time. Kishenji is known to have led the two frontal assaults among others upon the state’s security forces, including an ambush one in Dantewada killing 75 CRPF personnel and one in Sildah in West Bengal killing 24 personnel of Eastern Frontier Rifles.

CPI (Maoist), had been instrumental in dislodging the Stalinist left-front government and bringing the TMC government to power in West Bengal in last assembly elections.

Even before the TMC government could take to office, the state committee of the Maoist party, in an overzealous attempt, had pledged its support for the ‘developmental agenda’ of the incumbent TMC government. However, the TMC, after riding to power using Maoists and fully conscious of its class role, had set up the destruction of Maoists as its first agenda. Unlike the government under Stalinist Left front, the government under Mamata Banerjee needed not even least hypocrisy of peddling a soft democracy. Very first statement Mamata issued to its Maoist collaborators was an appeal to surrender in exchange of rehabilitation packages and the next step was a real assault.

Within months of its pledging an all out support for the rabid right wing government of Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal, the Maoist Party is put under the axe at the hands of the very same TMC under Mamata Banerjee.

Beating the retreat in face of a check-mate at the hands of TMC, Maoists first offered a conditional surrender in exchange of fulfilment of their ‘demands’, then they offered a conditional surrender on the condition if Stalinists are also unarmed by the State, then they offered an unconditional truce and ultimately unilateral truce of four months, but nothing worked. Bourgeois state under Mamata Banerjee, bent upon breaking the back of Maoists, continued its offensive even amidst the conciliatory negotiations going on between the State of West Bengal and the Maoists with mediation of interlocutors sanctioned by the government.

Another Maoist leader, Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad was killed by the security forces, in similar encounter in July 2010, while exchanging letters with the Home Minister P. Chidambaram as part of peace negotiations with central government. Like Azad, Kishenji was also sending feelers to the bourgeois government, striving hard to reach an understanding with it. Both Azad and Kishenji were killed at the hands of security forces, not for their fight against the bourgeois state, but in the aftermath of their hobnobbing with the bourgeois state. The intriguing killing of Kishenji was the end point of the honeymoon in which Maoists in West Bengal under Kishenji had become bedfellows with TMC.

In their so called ‘protracted war’ against the Indian state, Maoists have resorted to a zig-zag policy, creating an absolute confusion in the minds of their cadre. Instead of addressing a program and demands based on it to the working class, the only consistently revolutionary class, Maoists present these partial demands to the bourgeois state, blending them with appeals for truce and peace. Maoists present a program of reforms that is miles away from the revolutionary goal of overturn of bourgeoisie state. Maoists substitute the revolutionary program with false petty bourgeois radicalism. Instead of arming the workers and youth with lessons of revolutionary experience, Maoists on the one hand, arm the peasantry with guns, while on the other strive for collaboration with sections of bourgeoisie.

Maoists are splinter groups of the Stalinist Communist Party of India and have never criticised its fundamental thesis and basic postulates, like collaboration with national bourgeois. Like in China and elsewhere, in India also, the Maoists have remained adherent to this or that section of the Bourgeois. Time and again, Maoists have rendered support to various bourgeois parties and leaders like BSP, JMM, Raj Shekhar Reddy, Mamata Banerjee, so on and so forth.

Instead of appealing to the working class against the misrule under Stalinist left front in West Bengal, Maoists sought its redress mechanism in the political manoeuvres of bourgeois TMC. TMC had used Maoists to come to power in West Bengal and Kishenji was apostle of this collaboration between Maoists and bourgeois TMC. As TMC came to power Maoists were bereft of all political initiative. TMC first marginalised them systematically through offers of peace and rehabilitation and then paralysed them completely by sending heavy troops, before beheading them by killing the top leader Kishenji. The bogus policy of Maoists in West Bengal, is part of the overall Maoist politics originating on Chinese soil and deeply rooted in traditions of Stalinism.

It is not Kishenji, who is responsible for this political mess, Maoists have created in the name of Marxism. Kishenji belonged to the generation of revolutionary youth, where most honest and dedicated of them, taking a legitimate turn away from parliamentary cretinism of Stalinist CPI-CPM, were misled by the ‘Chinese Path’ and thus embraced Maoism, which in fact remained rooted in the same soil of Stalinism.

Like Stalinists, Maoists also have no faith in the strength of the working class. Both of them think that in backward countries like India, working class is too weak to take to power dislodging the bourgeoisie and establish its dictatorship. Thus, both of them turn to sections of bourgeoisie and petty bourgeoisie and remain adherent to them, who in their view are repository of revolutionary strength. Both of them believe that the dictatorship of the proletariat would come at the fag end of the democratic revolution, instead of appearing at its inception and would be its culmination instead of a necessary condition for it. Both of them are thus followers of the Menshevik ‘two stage theory’ of the revolution- democracy today, socialism tomorrow.

Maoism is not Marxism, but an anti-marxist and counter revolutionary current, a Chinese variant of same old Stalinism. While Marxism bases itself clearly upon the revolutionary strength and potential of working class, Maoism like Stalinism, stands upon the assumed weakness of working class.

Conciliators and centrists inside the camp of 4th International also, wrongly argue that Maoism is expression of the peasant discontent. On the contrary, Maoism is a bureaucratic response to this discontent, bye-passing the working class and preventing the working class from presenting its own solution to this discontent.

Origins of Maoism in China are deeply rooted in accommodation to the defeats of the working class. Immediately after the young Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had succeeded in taking control of two key cities of Canton and Shanghai in China in 1926, it was coerced into surrendering to the bourgeois Kuomintang (KMT) by Comintern under Stalin, first under Chiang and then Wang, whom Stalin decorated as great democratic leaders. The result was, massive slaughter of communists and workers at the hands of the twins, one after the other. After complete destruction of the party and the movement, left over elements of the CCP were divided into two hostile camps- the left wing , which attributed the destruction to ridiculous policy of Stalin, turned to left opposition inside the Comintern led by Leon Trotsky, and pledged to fight Stalinism to make the headway for revolution, while the right wing still adherent to Stalin attributed the defeats to assumed weakness of the working class and turned to rural peasantry abandoning the working class. The left opposition was expelled from the party under orders of Stalin and later physically destroyed, while the right wing rode to power in China in 1949, as after WW-II Japan was undermined and US withdrew support to KMT, under pact with Stalin. In the new settings forged by WW-II, where the world stood peacefully divided between Stalin and the world bourgeois, Maoists rode to power with least efforts, dragging peasantry behind them and marginalising the working class. Later on, Peking under Mao established direct and independent relations with imperialists led by US, and clung to power on fine balance between Kremlin and Imperialists.

Maoists believe in the same Menshevik farce of democratic revolution in backward countries, based upon peasantry and collaboration with sections of national bourgeois and petty bourgeois.

Unable to understand the role and content of peasant uprisings from Telangana to Naxalbari and Lalgarh, the Stalinists and Maoists have assisted in diffusing and disorienting them.

Maoism is adaptation to the defeats of the world working class, inflicted by the Stalinists upon it. Maoism could emerge and assume power in China, not only upon the defeats of the Chinese working class but of the world working class as a whole. Both Stalinists and Maoists, in conjunction with bourgeois, have failed the working class and have prevented it from launching a broad offensive against the world bourgeois in all countries.

Needless to say, that unlike Stalinists, the ranks of Maoists contain the elements like Kishenji, honest and devoted to the cause of revolution, and ready to make supreme sacrifices. However, we have no hesitation in noting that the path of Maoism they treaded has misled these generations of youth away from the revolutionary traditions of working class and Marxism. Working class movement in India needs be re-oriented to a triumphant revolution, in direct and merciless fight against both Stalinism and Maoism and in a struggle for realisation of the program of permanent revolution, the program of the 4th International, a struggle already being waged by us at ‘the new wave’.

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