This Bloody Game Of Them And Us

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The Maoists want all development works to take place under the shadow of their guns

By Apoorvanand

Illustration: Anand Naorem

WHEN THE Home Minister and Prime Minister asked the Maoists to halt violence to facilitate talks, their leaders ridiculed them saying they should get their history right. According to them it was wrong to say that the ‘war’ just now being waged in the jungles of Chhattisgarh, Bengal, Jharkhand, Orissa and other states is of recent origin. This was only the latest phase of the “people’s war” being fought since 1967, and would not stop until the ultimate objective of establishing communism had been achieved. The Constitution of the CPI(Maoist) is unambiguous in that, “the ultimate aim or maximum programme of the party is the establishment of communist society. This New Democratic Revolution will be carried out and completed through armed agrarian revolutionary war i.e. the Protracted People’s War with area-wise seizure of power remaining as its central task.”

Area-wise seizure of power is what the Maoists are currently busy with. They have succeeded, partially or fully, in many states. What needs to be understood is that it is not development they are opposed to — as is evident from the statements of their leaders. They are ready to let development activities take place, provided these are done under their armed supervision. What most interests them is in becoming the lone voice of the people. One should ask why they keep abducting, harassing, threatening and killing members and leaders of other political parties in the areas they rule. Why do they force people to resign from other political parties? The Maoists’ argument is that whoever is seen to interrupt or impede the armed people’s war is either a class enemy or an agent of the class enemy (here represented by the State), and thus on the other side.

The metaphor of war being used to describe State-led operations is, in fact, not even a metaphor for the Maoists. To them it is not something to be dreaded and shunned but already on; and they hold it to be the naivety of the liberal political class to think that the war will start with the State assault on them. For if anything, the Maoists would love to draw the State into a protracted war. The lives lost would be sacrifices at the altar of the impending revolution!

The Constitution of the CPI(Maoist) incidentally states that the road to communism is long: “The struggle between socialist road and capitalist road will also continue to exist. Only depending on and carrying forward the theory of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat can correctly resolve all these contradictions.” (Author’s emphasis.) There would always remain peoples’ enemies and it would be the revolutionary duty of the party to keep identifying and eliminating them to safeguard the gains of the revolution.

Area-wise seizure of power is what the ultras are currently busy with, and not without success

We who are opposed to laws which rob us of our democratic rights, like the AFSPA, the UAPA and the Public Security Acts in various garbs, and want them repealed and very rightly so, how do we react to the Constitution of the CPI (Maoist)? Is it permissible to allow armed political formations to operate in a democratic framework, which works on the principle of making space for competing ideas and ideologies? Since Maoists have already established their “areas”, which are small states in themselves, it would be useful to study the status of democratic freedom there.

How is it that we who stand up and fight for every inch of our democratic space remain silent when it comes to this methodical and ideological assault on the very idea of democracy? Let us realise before it is too late that those who regard armed struggle as ‘the main form of struggle’ and the people’s army as ‘the main form of organisation’ will only tactically tolerate civil liberty action or other mass political actions.

(Apoorvanand is a civil rights activist)

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