(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
November 15, 2009
Isolate the Maoists: Prakash Karat
IN a hard hitting speech on the
“Maoists’ Role in
India Today”, Prakash Karat, general secretary of the Communist Party
(Marxist), denounced the Indian Maoists’ “warped and outmoded world
their terrorist acts against political activists and officials of the
Suggesting that the “essence of Maoist
polity today is that they are divorced of reality,” Karat called for
isolation of the Maoists by fighting them “politically,
ideologically.” The discussion was organised by a group of individuals
the banner of “Leftview” in
FILLIP TO THE
Jayati Ghosh argued that the areas where these forces were present, suffered from historical neglect and were mostly dryland farming or forest areas, lacking development and infrastructure, exposed unjustly and unequally to market forces. There remained many politico-economic reasons for dissatisfaction and distress and therefore anger in these areas. But far from channelising this anger for progressive change, the Maoists are engaged in worsening the situation by indulging in violent activities which invariably invites state action in the form of repression. By not offering a vision for the future beyond mere overthrow of the state, the Maoists have adopted an empty political agenda that was shaped by acts of violence. The non-participation of the Maoists in any agitation or movement against the increasing role of imperialism, against the policies of the central government or on livelihood issues such as agrarian distress, food security and unemployment showed up the hollowness of Maoist politics, she said. The socio-economic agenda of the Maoists is similar to a Narodnik vision of “peasant utopia” or a Pol-Potist tendency to attack the structures of modernity and industry, she said.
The Maoist attack on the organised Left and the CPI(M) in particular, in collusion with regressive forces of the right, is destroying the alternative to the rightwing polity and giving a fillip to rightwing and imperialist forces who are keen on the decimation of the Left, she emphasised. Despite such violent nihilistic means and empty ends, the Maoists have had sympathisers particularly in the urban intelligentsia who romanticise their violence, providing the state grounds for pushing a militaristic solution. Both of these had to be opposed, she said.
intervention, Prakash Karat
mentioned that ultra-Left sectarianism has existed for more than 40
Commenting on the
deliberate and violent
attacks on the cadre of the CPI(M) in
attacked the Maoist claims
of “successful boycotts of elections” in
CPI(M) SAYS NO TO
question the centre’s paramilitary
response to the Maoists, he said that the centre should not deal with
Maoists in the same manner as it does with terrorist organisations such
Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad or Harkut-ul-Jihadi-Islami (HuJI). He
that the security actions that were planned by the centre, according to
reports, would end up targeting the tribal people only, as the Maoists
slip away and expose the tribals to the repression of the state
Instead, he said that the Maoists had to be fought ideologically,
and organisationally, as the CPI(M) had done and was doing in
Secondly, the centre has suggested that it recognises the socio-economic problems of people in areas where the Maoists are influential and the prime minister pointed out recently that it is necessary to implement the Forest Rights Act for the tribals. However, it is glaring that the centre is refusing to acknowledge the role of its mines and minerals policy in those areas. Pointing out that the neo-liberal policies have opened up the tribal habitats to depredations of the big mining companies, leading to the displacement, loss of livelihood and traditional habitats of the tribal people, Karat he called for reversal of such neo-liberal policies and for the implementation of a socio-economic programme in these regions. The centre has to ensure that the tribal people are not deprived of their elementary rights. In its stead, development should mean that the tribal people remain in their traditional habitats where they can find work, apart from the basic rights and facilities that a state should deliver to all its citizens including roads, education, health etc. This, he said, would negate the very claims of the support base the Maoists have built on the grievances of the tribals in those regions.
Prakash Karat pointed out that the outright hostility of the Maoists toward the CPI(M) was visible not only in West Bengal but also in other places like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh, where party cadres are being deliberately targeted for annihilation. He said that the Maoists are indulging in these activities with their explicit belief that “elimination” of the CPI(M) is necessary for them to advance. But the CPI(M) would fight back ideologically, organisationally and politically by winning over the support of the poor, he said. He mentioned that sections of the urban intelligentsia had a romantic understanding of the Maoist activities, despite their violent methods. Thus, it is necessary to confront and engage with them to make them realise the futility of the Maoist politics, its inability to raise issues that matter to the people or its inability to work on alternative people friendly models of socio-economic development --- an agenda that has been taken up by the organised Left in the country.
Lastly, Prakash Karat said that these were difficult times when the opportunist political opposition in West Bengal, led by the Trinamul Congress, had joined hands with the Maoists in bringing about physical attacks against and to eliminate the CPI(M). this they are doing to destabilise the Left Front government in the state. Karat emphatically said that the CPI(M) will overcome this opportunist collusion by intensifying its democratic resistance and movement.