Tribute to legendary Comrades Baba Bhuja Singh on 50th martyrdom anniversary year and Nidhan Singh Gudhani Kalan on birth centenary year. Comrades who were crusaders for liberation against proto-fascsim and Sikh fundamentalism
On July 28th earlier this year, the Communist revolutionary world dipped its blood in memory of one of it’s greatest martyrs,Baba Bhuja Singh on his 50th martyrdom anniversary. Few comrades shimmered the torch of revolution with the intensity or meticulous skill of Baba who blended the determination of a soldier with the vision and creativity of a painter. In his lifetime he encountered the most turbulent or stormiest of oceans or the wildest forests but his spirit remained undeterred. With dialectical mastery he overcame every hurdle. Even in the gravest of situations he would ressurect his soul like a phoenix rising from the Ashes. He had a subtle or characteristic approach in integrating with the struggles at different junctures understanding the language of the masses in deep depth. He gave great respect to the involvement of women and the Dalit community. In his view the aspects of opression of women and dalits had to be treated as separate subjects in itself. His manner of execution ironically is symbolic of the proto-fascism today which engulfs the nation in amore cruder and subtle form.
We also commemorated the 100th birth centenary of martyr Nidhan Singh Gudhani Kalan. Comrade Nidhan Singh Gudhani Kalan was hanged by Khalistani fundamentalists 29 years ago.on June 23rd Few comrades waged such sustained resistance against Khalistani terror as Comrade Nidhan,who struck them at their hardest point. Certain revolutionary sections even soft pedalled with Khalistani terrorism or Sikh fundamentalism at that time.Inspite of being subjected to brutal torture he did not submit to letting out any of his group’s secrets.
NIDHAN SINGH GUDHANI KALAN-LIFE SKETCH
He belonged to the Central Team C.P.I.(M.L.) group that combated the Khalistani fundamentalist movement tooth and nail. In 1956 he received his baptism when he joined the Communist Party of India.On several occasions in his lifetime he was imprisoned..Formally he was president of the Punjab kisan Union and at the end of his life was working as the leader of the Kisan sangharsh commitee in Ropar..
In the annals of the Indian Communist Movement or history of liberation the name of Comrdae Nidhan Singh will be permanently engraved. He was amongst the comrades of that era who laid their lives down defining Khalistani separatist ideology with death defying spirit. Without doubt he was one of the best sons of our land whose spirit still shimmers. He meticulously toiled as a peasant leader for decades..We need more lotuses to bloom like Nidhan Singh to confront the Hindu saffron terror prevailing today .Nidhan blended the determination of a soldier with the skill of a technician. Few comrades in Punjab shimmered the red spark of revolutionary resistance to create a prairie fire or ressurect the spirit of Chairman Mao as much as Nidhan Singh.He traversed the most tortuous paths in his lifetime braving all obstacles and thus exuded the inner, spiritual essence of a true revolutionary.Inspite of being illiterate he mastered the polemics of Marxism-Leninism-Mao thought. His life was an example for comrades to emulate on how to dialectically deal with the problems confronting a movement at various junctures and rise from the depth s of despair.
With great tenacity and dialectic methodology he combated left adventurism and the later right deviationist trend of SN Singh .in the 1970’s..With the sharpness of a sword he defied all counter-revolutionary winds hitting revisionsism in its very backbone and defending the cutting edge of the vanguard Leninist party at the core of it’s soul.Comrade Nidhan was master in practice of mass line.and best proponents or practitioner of the line of the C.T.C.P.I.(M.L.)With meticulous skill he worked as a fraction within peasant organizations steering comrdaes around him but still preserving the secret party organization.
Comrades can never forget Nidhan’s contribution in the homage meeting for Naxalite martyr Tarsem Bawa,on June 8th.On June 25th his followers thronged like an army into his village in Ghudani Kalan igniting the spark of resistance. His memorial meeting on July 5th in 1991 was one of the most touching or inspiring ever with thousands swarming in enthusiasm, including many women. The venue of meeting was reminiscent of being lit by red lamps.or a spark turning into a prairie fire.Com.The speakers at commemoration meeting spoke on the fascist nature of Khalistani movement and ideology and how it acted as an agent of the state. They stated that such gatherings were most encouraging which proved the enthusiasm and potential of the masses of Punjab to confront the fascist Khalistani movement and state terror.Most notable were the speeches of Jaspal Jassi of journal Inquilabi Jantak Leh and Amolak Singh,editor of Surkh Rekha.Such memorial meetings paved the path for the unity of Communist revolutionary forces, particularly that of the massline trend.
His death was avenged by the 2 secret armed organization ,the ‘Shaheed Kartara Singh brigade’ and the ‘Red guards ‘who eliminated his assassins with an armed squad action.
In Nidhan’s time the Unity of the CCRI and CT groups had not been accomplished but the organization naively Central Team which Nidhan Singh belonged fought left adventurism and right opportunism at its very roots.
Historically from many streams leaders of left parties and Naxalite groups fell martyrs to Khalistani bullets when illuminating spark of secularism by attacking fundamentalist ideology at the very base. These include Arjun Singh Mastana,Darshan Singh Canadian ,Baldev Singh Mann,Jaimal Sing Padda,Megha Raja Baghtuana ,Jagpal Singh ,Deepak Shawan etc.
Today certain Maoists still support Sikh extremist ideology Commemorating Comrade Nidhan Singh we must remember the fascist nature of Khalistan movement and reactionary nature of Akali movement.Sadly his son.Nazar Singh Boparai who was founder of journal Surkh Rekha ,has too fallen prey to this trend,negating the seeds sown of the massline.Today the massline practice in landless labour and peasant organizations owes a lot to the painstaking contribution of Nidhan Singh. He sowed the seeds for many a lotus to bloom which is apparent today in the massline practice in revolutionary movement in Punjab. I wish the article written on his 10th anniversary in Surkh Rekha could be translated into English and published into a booklet.
It is most reflected within the Maoist camp in Punjab in mass fronts like Lok Sangram Manch which upholds Punjabi nationality struggle It historically feels that in era of Khalistani movement State terrorism was the principal enemy while Khalistani movement rose as result of Sikh movement not given enough importance. It awarded Sikh community minority status in India which was eclectic,bracketing them with status f Muslim minorities. Today the trend that is the most vocal opponent of Sikh fundamentalism is that of the Nagi Reddy group or C.P.RC.I.(M.L) and then the C.P.I.(M.L.)New Democracy. In my view Sikhs are not an oppressed minority like the Muslims if you assess their role in armed forces,police govt admintration etc.
Inspite of good intentions Comarde Gurpreet Singh consistently dips ink in favour of Punjabi nationality and opposing Sikh fundamentalism cut at the very grassroots. Openly he has expressed support historically to the Akali agitation .
Historically Marxists must understand the nefarious, communal and pretentious nature of the Anandpur Sahib resolution and the Akali movement right from independence.
It was comrades like Nidhan Singh who laid the roots for sprouting democratic, secular politics within peasant Unions to leave no stone unturned in rooting out the poisonous weeds of Sikh religious politics.
No doubt the 1984 Sikh massacre was re-incarnation of fascism of the darkest eras but that still does not reduce Sikh community to that of an oppressed minority. I would also condemn the heinous action of Operation Bluestar but still vociferously condemn Bhindranwale as criminal and those who patronised him.Ofcourse the state terrorism unleashed was equally reactionary and I condemn it in no uncertain terms.
LIFE AND CONTRIBUTION OF BABA BHUJA SINGH
Baba Bhuja Singh played the role of an architect in the building of the Ghadr party,the Kirti party, the revolutionary movement of the pre 1947 period of the Communist Party of India,the post-1947 agitation sled by the Communist Party of India and finally the naxalbari movement led by C.P.I.(M.L.)Within the Communist movement he confronted revisionism with a sword of iron and was instrumental in the Communist party in Punjab rejecting the revisionist line of the All India Communist Party of India in the 1940’s ,and lighting the spark of armed agrarian struggle in Punjab. His practice gave shape to the Communist movement in Punjab adopting the Chinese path prescribed by Chairman Mao. After 1947 Comrade Bujha raised his powerful voice against revisionism more than anyone and morally led the demarcation of the Punjab Communist movement against revisionism. Within the AICCR and the C.P.I.(M.L.) itself he strived for mass line and mass movements and with surgical precision.
He established great rapport with the Argentine people in the anti-colonial struggle, winning their hearts as a Ghadarite.Meticuluosly with other comrades like Teja Singh Swatantra he established units through political study circles and initiated military guerilla training. Being a hard core opponent of Gandhian non-violence he stressed on the need to militarily overthrow the British rule. In Rosario he was arrested for raising funds after imposition of martial law.
In Moscow he was inducted into study classes on Marxism-Leninism and its application to colonialism. He interacted with fellow Ghadarite students from China ,Japan,Argentina,Malaya etc.which he brought into the Ghadr movement .All the Ghadraites received military training.Baba was deeply impressed with the socialist construction in Soviet Russia which he thought represented a new epoch .
His contribution to the building of the agrarian movement under the Kirti party was remarkable. The Kirti party was precursor to many of the agrarian revolutionary struggles and later armed revolutionary peasant struggle of the Communist Party and a base for recruiting cadres into the party. It’s practice exposed some of the pretensions of practice of Leninism of the Communist party that at one stage paid no heed to agrarian movements. He initiated formation of debt commitees in Doaba.He launched a magazine “Kirti.”In Jalandhar he began to organize a Punjab Kisan Sabha.Then in Lyalpur district he worked as a main organizer and in four tehsils mobilised the peasantry. His efforts enabled the Kisan Sabha to combat Sikandar Haya Khan and Chhotu Ram who were amongst the most powerful landlords and ministers. They used to organise peasant conferences on lines of caste and ruled and divided peasantry on caste lines. It facilitated the growth of the Kisan Sabha with a central poster published exposing the nefarious designs of the ministers.
Under Bhuja’s leadership a campaign was initiated to open and close mouths of water channels for irrigation. The peasants blocked the water openings irrigating land of the 2 ministers and other opressive landlords. The small peasants now had access to channels of their own fields. This campaign enabled to accentuate the struggle between small peasants with the feudal lords and government.
Under Baba’s tutelage a mass upsurge erupted which took a major organizational shape after a landlord slapped a water carrier.At the conclusion the landlord yielded and pleaded for mercy by touching the feet of the water carrier.
On issue of debt Bhuja Singh launched many struggles which paved the way for many comrades to be won over to the body of the Kirti party. He explained to the peasantry that only through integrating them within the framework of the Kirti party that any genuine freedom could be won from the British. The issue of political consciousness and military training was highlighted through this platform.
Bhuja Singh continued to expand the Kirti party on the peasant front with great dedication enabling the communists to come closer to the democratic forces. The Kirti party had appointed a decision of joining a united front of the Congress party.Bujha Singh thus adopted membership of the Congess party. He became involved in propoganda against communalism with other comrades.
The Kirti magazine was formally was formally banned so Bujha Singh ressurected it under the name of Kiri Lehar which was circulated all over Punjab. After 1937-38 elections Kirti party raised issue of political prisoners and organized a fast in front of the Lahore assembly hall in support of prisoners of Anadman jail.A demonstration was staged on the first day of the assembly session at Lahore,with Bujha Singh the main leader.The police obstructed the demonstration in a Muslim area on its way to Anarkali Bazar and tried to terrorise the people. However the Muslim comunity not only welcomed the demonstration but also served the demonstrators with roti and water. The procession converged at the Anarkali Bazar being a huge success. It inspired similar demonstrations in Calcutta and leaders of the Kakori case in mobilising huge numbers of people in front of Lucknow assembly.
Inspite of being confined to his village Bujha Singh adopted underground life but still organized mass upsurges, led peasant conference and demonstrations without failing into the trap of the police which was remarkable.
Kirti party organized three conferences in Lyallpur in 1938.In July 1938 ,15000 peasants organised a conference and demonstration in the city after they had blocked moths of water channels.All three conferences were led by Bujha Singh and had historic impact..It resulted in the building of the Doab Canal.and the Lahore Kisan Morcha.A major campaign was launched by this force against World War 2.
Under Teja Singh Swatantra the Red party condemned the collusion of the Communist Party of India with British imperialism. and the Indian comprador bourgeoise. In waging a crusade against the revisionist or or-Congress approach of C.P.I. Bhuja Singh with other comrades he raised the mantle of armed revolution and hit out against princely states, feudalism and pro-British imperialism .Baba Bhuja Singh championed the cause of tenants of PEPSU.He performed task of schooling the organized tenants ,train them in arms and collect funds. He developed party armed guerilla squads. educating cadre about secret party work and how to face the enemy. With great persistence he collected funds. The party published a magazine Lal Jhanda and stage secret meeting s.Baba Bhuja exhibited the relentlessness of a soldier in arousing tenants of PEPSU.Now the PEPSU govt.was compelled to distribute the land legally.
In 1962 Buja Singh was a most vocal opponent of the Indo-China war and sided with China under Mao. He resigned from the Communist Party of India and joined forces with the Communist Party of India.(Marxist).He activated the mass movement guided by the new party defending Socialist China and condemning Kruschevite revisionism. He became editor of the party Organ ‘Peoples Democracy. He deployed great energy in building the mass organizations of the party. and party branches. He waged a sharp polemical debate with the C.P.I.combating revisionism.
In 1965 his party condemned the Indo-Paka war, exposing its anti-people character.Bujha Singh had been arrested in the Indo-China war earlier but this time evaded arrest by staying underground.Bujha Singh propagated how the rulers were deploying nation chauvinism from diverting the people from their basic issues. like unemployment, starvation and poverty.
In 1966 he became an active participant in the civil liberties movement. and supported struggle for Punjabi Sabha.
The Naxalbari movement although very late was still the most defining event in Bujha Singh’s life which gave him untold glory. He played an important role in steering comrades within the Punjab unit of the All India Coordination Committee of Communist revolutionaries and joint comrades like Gandharav Sen,Saraban Singh Cheema,Baburam Bairagi, in an inaugural meeting of the Punjab unit in Jalandhar.It is difficult to find an adjective that can do full justice to the spiritual metamorphosis within Bujha Singh and hundreds of other pro-naxalbari cadres ,as though a red flame was shimmering within their hearts. It was as though he had garnered all his energy and harness life’s experiences to confront a final climax. On bicycle he travelled many a region in Punjab in the manner of someone reborn and illuminate the red flame to capture the hearts of thousands of youth.Bujha Singh gave them a vision of the new man which a revolution would create., touching them in the very core of their soul. With dialectical mastery to the core he imbibed the revolutionary ideology of what is now Maoism in the youth .With surgical precision he educated the youth on revisionism,naxlbari dialectical and historical materialism, and the root cause of the Naxalbari upsurge.
The Bhakra Samaon peasant struggle was shaped to a great extent by Bujha Singh .Land was first occupied in Samaon on 8th December and in Quila Hakiman on 18th June 1969.Before initiating capture of lands preparations were made with mass gatherings.Bujha Singh raised the central slogan of land to the tiller .He also taught the strategy of building an army to capture state power through guerilla warfare and forming revolutionary commitees of landless peasants, agricultural labourers and tenants., and how to accomplish the new democratic revolution. by capturing the cities. The role of the vanguard Communist party was also elaborately explained. He organized importnat camps in the villages of Quila Hakiman, Balian, Kumbahrwal, Sultanpur, Rangian, and Bhaini. After lecturing cadres in the camps he deputed different persons to perform various duties to organise preparations for land struggle s.Hundreds of peasants seized lands and planted the red flag. With incisive application of massline Baba organized landless peasants and agricultural labourers.
One of the most poignant aspects of Baba Bhuja Singh’s role was his criticism of line of C.P.I. (M.L.) He was critical of line of annihilation of individuals opposed designating Chairman Mao as India’s chairman, criticized party for rejecting economic struggles, supported mass struggles and movements and people’s organizations which the party rejected and felt party had not created a red army in Bengal. Still revealing the qualities of a disciplined soldier he upheld the party line with the tenacity of a rock and played a major role in the 1970 C.P.I.(M.L.) Party Congress.
The state targeted Baba Bhuja Singh and on three grounds .One was the murder of Quila Hakim landlord, General Balwant Singh,,the others were the publishing of a poster and the Acharwal conspiracy case.
The Punjab govt felt Baba Bhuja was a grave threat to their rule or the opressive social system and went to the extent of executing a plan to assassinate him. Tragically on July 27th 1970 he was captured by the police force as a result of information of a police agent .Baba was on the way to attending a meeting in village Haripur near Phillaur riding his bicycle by the side wall of the school which was the meeting pace when a police jeep barged into him ,toppling him to the ground. Before he could retrieve himself the police got hold of him and flung him into the jeep. With death defying courage he raised the slogans of ‘Naxalbari zindabad” In the police station Bujha was severely tortured but he revealed no secret not even the name of the place o the meeting he was to attend that night. On the 28th July early morning after not being able to extract any information after tow rounds of interrogation the police threw his body down on a bridge after breaking his backbone. The police fabricated the events by stating in report that Bhuja Singh was killed in an intense encounter with the police on the bridge of village Nai Majara.They alleged that he was on his way to murder Rana Mota Singh Jadla,state Congress president.
The Police took away his body to Phillaur for post mortem and the spread of Banaji’s martyrdom had spread like wildfire. Police tried to cremate his remains forcibly. Fearing the influence of the Punjab Students Union the administration ordered the closure of schools The lawyers of Jalandhar declared a day of strike against the inhuman incident. Police at noon, in 10 trucks brought his body to the village. When about to forcibly cremate the body the people confronted the police to the last straw, who subsequently fled .It was the students led by Punjab Students Union and the landless peasants of the villages who participated in the agitation.Yugeshar Singh,brother of Baba Bhuja Singh and son ,Ajit Singh, were arrested. The next day the people commemorated Baba Bhuja Singh’s body in the fields with a red flag enwrapping it. Heroically the people had overpowered the police terror.In the commemoration function four acres were engulfed.
The Punjab Students Union organised strikes in educational institutions and held demonstrations in various cities and towns. Under the leadership of Baba Gurmukh Singh Llaton,the Desh Bhgat Yaadgar Commitee Jalnadhar,formed an aid committee to protect the democratic rights of Naxalite revolutionaries.It raised it’s voice against the police goondaism.The police arrested Bhagat Singh Bilga .A number of lawyers came to the fore to wage a legal battle against this fake police encounter. The district bar councils throughout Punjab condemned the crime organising a series of strikes and passing a ser of condemnation resolutions. The bar councils of Punjab and Haryana High courts and the supreme court supported these resolutions of the district bar councils. Advocates like Darbara Singh who were in the forefront of the struggle made preparations to prosecute the police. This protracted agaitation compelled the police not to take action against the legal community and to release Baba Bhagat Singh Bilga.
The members of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha Tarlochan Singh,Singh Riasti,Satyapal Dang(CPI) and Dalip Singh Tapiala (CPM) demanded judicial inquiry of the police action.A team constituting Baba Bhgat Singh Bilga and Karnail Singh Phillaur invetsigated the killing. The party felt that Sarpanch Jasmail Singh was the culprit of the execution of Comrade Bhuja Singh. It held that Sarpanch Jasmail Singh was not responsible for informing the police in order to murder Bhuja Singh. After a heated controversy the party concluded that Jasmail Singh was responsible. A collective decision was taken to avenge the killing and on June 4th 1973 the C.P.I.(M.L.)Party squad kidnapped Jasmail and executed him.Poet Paash wrote
“We will avenge your death
O dera elder
From those who have killed
The honour of our Doa
Baba Bhuja championed women power. He often expressed great resentment over the missing of a powerful women’s movement, even in times of upsurge. The Communist movement was unable to attract women, especially of the working class, Participation of women was virtually neglible in times of Bhuja Singh. Poignantly about his wife Dhanti he stated “I owe much to Dhanti.A woman can destroy and make a person. Great revolutionaries or men of letters are the contributions of women. Revolutionary tasks cannot be carried out without their help. Some women mar the potential of men but others help them. She was never an obstacle to my endeavour, on the contrary, she shouldered all the obstacles of the family. It was she who ran our family. First, she married off my brothers and sisters. Then she took charge of our children and did it well. She took care of all comrades who visited our family. She gave them food and clothes. She never let others know about the grim condition s of our family. She faced harassment at the hands of police during police raids he braved police abuses, facing humiliation with other members of the family. She tolerated insults of our children for my sake. She will be remembered for this”
“Women is the backbone of the house. The revolutionaries seek shelter in the house of strangers. They should consider these homes as their own. Every women should be considered a daughter or a sister. First of all. the re revolutionaries should win their hearts. They should win their faith.”
Baba Bhuja championed the cause of Dalits.At the very root she addressed the aspect of annihilation of caste. He commanded great respect from the Dalit community. He literally submerged or immersed into the households of the dalits. Often he took refuge in their home, sharing their food and water. He educated dalits.He fostered spirit of cleanliness and to undertake common tasks collectively.
When the Jats would snatch the implements and bags from the dalit working woman who had gone out to collect grass for the fodder he would stand by those women.”Where from these poor people would get the fodder?You should tell them that they should ask for it and not spoil the crop?’
Bhuja would teach women to cut fodder.The Jats had banned the so called lower caste people from taking drinking water and water for bathing and other purposes from their water bodies and tube wells, or they had kept separate utensils for them, but the tube well belonging to Babaji was open for everyone to drink water and bathe. He convinced others against untouchability and inspired the dalits.
There is an unforgettable arbitrary role of Comrade Bhuja Singh a, reconciling the Jat Community with the dalit workers.The Jats enforced a social boycott on the dalits in village Behram when they demanded sheaves of wheat at harvesting time.On Baba ‘s initiative the social boycott was lifted.
In another instance Baba led a struggle in Chakk Maidass who used to pay rs 42 for an acre of rice planting. The dalit workers demanded the paying rate to be lifted to Rs 50.This enraged the farmers of Chakka Maodasss who enforced a social boycott on them and ban on the workers from collecting fodder.Baba stated “You eat because of their labour. They have a share in your crop. You should pay them their due.”
Baba called on dalits to shun practices in lower caste communities like chuhras, chamars,nayees,chhimbas,lohars and other castes. His family owned a flour mill in which dalit people were charged only 1 paise for 40 seers, when a peasant would be charged 8 paisa for 1seer.
No doubt Babaji could not break the backbone of domination of Jat peasantry but still in important ways turned discrimination pitted against them and boosted their self –confidence.Once Baba was a ppointed village Sarpnach.As he alwya sided with the poorwhile solving disputes the Jtas of the village labelled him as the “Sarpanch of the chumhars and chamars.”
On his 50th death anniversary although numbers were not large qualitatively Baba’s spirit was shimmered to a crescendo with the venue literally painted red. Large number of women, political activists across Punjab and village people showed up in the political conference which was organized by four revolutionary organisations namely CPIML-New Democracy, Revolutionary Centre Punjab, Lok Sangram Morcha Punjab and Inqlaabi Jamhuri Morcha Punjab in the memory of great martyr Bujha Singh. Red flag was hoisted and revolutionary homage was paid to revolutionary Bujha Singh who held high the red flag of armed revolutionary struggle at the age of 82 years. Com. Darshan Khatkar, Com. Kamaljit Khanna, Com. Tara Singh Moga and Com. Narinder Nindi address the gathering and paid homage to Baba Bujha Singh and other Naxalite martyrs. All the speakers talked at length about the historic role of Naxalbari uprising and the formation of CPIML and the historic fight against Indian revisionism of CPI and CPIM leadership. They emphasized the path of revolutionary resistance in the fight against Hindutva fascism of RSS-BJP. Three resolutions were passed demanding scrapping of all three ordinances and termed it death knell for the Indian agriculture and peasantry. The conference raised voice against the recent suspension of labour laws. The conference demanded immediate and unconditional release of Prof. Varavara Rao and other activists arrested in Bhima-Koregaon violence and conspiracy case. A revolutionary cultural program of choreographies and songs was staged and revolutionary artists paid homage through their cultural performances. Two solidarity messages sent by Harsh Thakor and Journalist Gurpreet Singh Canada were shared with the participants.
Today we do not exactly face the same circumstances Comrade Bhuja Singh did but we face a regime which is morally more opressive than what existed in time of Baba.Semi-feudalism may not exist in the classical form as in the time of Baba but has disguised itself in a more pernicious version with the advent of globalization. We may not have warlords as in China but the peasantry in Punjab is subjugated by to the enslavement of the moneylenders or commission agents and are unable to repay loan debts for which they are penalised. So called development has not emancipated the dalit agricultural labour community from the wrath of upper caste landlords who rob them of the promised right to 1/3rd of panchyat land ,in addition to being denied permanent work. Thousands of poor and landless peasants and agricultural labourers were compelled to commit suicide, unable to repay debts incurred. Democratic movements of dalit community and landed peasantry face brutal attacks .Hindutva fascism is twice as dominant as it was in the 1970’s with the current rulers smashing every form of democratic dissent to the dust. The recent incarceration of urban intellectuals is a perfect illustration with leaders like Vara Vara Rao and Saibaba framed.We have to analyse how the Indian variety of fascism has developed in contrast to that of Chin a under Chiang Kai Shek or Hitler or Mussolini and how globalisation has given space to fascism in another form. Thousands of genuine democrats of various spheres have been incarcerated or branded in India.
Baba’s teachings and practice play a major role in shaping the mass movements and mass organizations towards revolutionary inclination.In the last 50 years counter revolutionary winds of revisionism or right deviationist trends emerged as a major obstacle which Bujha Singh confronted with the tenacity of boulder in his lifetime. He gave us abject lesson son how to counter revisionism and repression of the state. Comrades must learn how inspite of differences he went along with the party in 1969 when factionalism or splittism was beginning to emerge with comrades being openly critical of the party.Baba never openly spoke against the errors of practice like attack on police stations which in his view would break the backbone of the party..
In the period of Khalistani movement spirit of Baba Bhuja Singh was resurrected with armed retaliatory actions of squads of revolutionary groups from different trends ,avenging the death of comrades martyred at the hands of Khalistani terrorsists.
Baba’s teachings and practice play a major role in shaping the mass movements and mass organizations towards revolutionary inclination. His practice and teachings were instrumental in paving the guidelines for building movements that at their very core rejected Gandhian non-violence and exposed it’s superficiality in practice.
In the last 50 years counter revolutionary winds of revisionism or right deviationist trends emerged as a major obstacle which Bujha Singh confronted with the tenacity of boulder in his lifetime. He gave us abject lessons on how to counter revisionism and repression of the state. Comrades must learn how inspite of differences he went along with the party in 1969 when factionalism or splittism was beginning to emerge with comrades being openly critical of the party.Baba never openly spoke against the errors of practice like attack on police stations which in his view would break the backbone of the party.
Baba Bhuja Singh’s asassination symbolized the opressive nature of the semi-colonial ,semi-feudal state as a whole which today is fast turning into a fascist one dictated by Hindutva.
Resembling the flow of water in a river or a road continuing many happening in Punjab ressurected the spirit of BabaBhuja Singh .Today all revolutionary groups irrespective of belonging to different trends illuminate Baba Bhuja Singh’s name in golden letters. Resembling the flow of water in a river or a road continuing many happening in Punjab ressurected the spirit of BabaBhuja Singh.
The recent incarceration of urban intellectuals is a perfect illustration with leaders like Vara Vara Rao and Saibaba framed.Baba Bhuja Singh’s assassination symbolized the opressive nature of the semi-colonial ,semi-feudal state as a whole which today is fast turning into a fascist one dictated by HindutvaI congratulate the democratic movement of Punjab for showing such strong mental resilience in confronting the brutal assault of operation Greenhunt, like the recent arrest of the urban intellectuals.
Nowhere in India has the spark of resistance to extinguish proto-fascism shimmered as much as in Punjab ,inspite of times of adversity, engulfing almost every region. Fitting that in the time of the 50th martyrdom anniversary of Baba Bhuja Singh such organized protest is taking place in all spheres whether on issues of poor peasantry, of dalit agricultural labour or on democratic rights. I also salute the joint programme of Lok Sangram Manch, C.P.I.(M.L.) New Democracy and Revolutionary people’s front commemorating 50 years of Naxalbari in Moga in May 2017 with a conference and rally. Whatever differences all the organisations in essence upheld the spirit of the Naxalbari struggle. In June 2018 in Barnala, Moga and Jalandhar joint conferences were staged condemning the arrest of the ‘Urban’Intellectulas and at the very root exposing the nefarious designs of Hindutva fascism. They were conducted by the C.P.I.(M.L.) New Democracy ,Lok Sangram Mamch,Krantikari lok morcha and Inquilabi Kendra.On abrogation of Article 370 encompassing almost every region of Punjab programmes were staged condemning state repression. In recent times a very predominant feature of protests resurrecting Baba Bhuja Singh are the programmes launched by Lok Sangram Morcha condemning arrest of ‘Urban intellectuals’ like Varavara Rao,Vernon Gonzalves,Sudha Bhardwaj ,Gautam Navlakha etc.Even if not so quantitatively large qualitatively they evoked significant response. Factions of Punjab Students Union and Naujwan Bharat Sabha of three different trends vociferously condemned the arrest of urban intellectuals, attacking the problem at the very root level.At mass political level the most significant work amongst the students and youth has been undertaken by the C.P.I.(M.L.) New Democracy as well as on upholding banner of historical events like 50th anniversary of naxalbari and centenary of Russian Revolution.
After Baba’s death morally his spirit was ressurected in different times in different stages. The mass movement of the Punjab Students Union movement and Naujwan Bharat Sabha of the 1970’s led by Prithipal Singh Randhawa,the protracted counter offensive of various naxalite streams against the twin terror of Khalistani and state terrorism in the 1980’s and early 90’s ,the united secular movement of factions of the Bharatiya Kisan Union protesting dictates of globalisation .from the 1990’s,the organisation of militant struggles of dalit agricultural labour capturing plots ,The strikes of Electricty workers,Moulder and Steel workers and in recent years of Textile workers in Ludhiana, the mass memorial conferences for Communist revolutionary martyrs and the most vociferous protests against operation Greenhunt,black laws and other manifestation s of pro-fascism ,rekindled Comrade Bhuja Singh like an inferno re-appearing.
During the era of Khalistani movement there was trend predominant amongst Communist revolutionaries to soft-pedal with Sikh extremis ideology and support trend of Punjab nationality movement. This stand simply lacked an Marxist-Leninist class content which diverted revolutionary class struggle to the line of Sikh communalism. Significant that it was only the Communist revolutionarily left that launched a striking blow to demoralise the ranks of the Khalistani fascist gangs. Today the infection still pervades with Comrades who uphold Sikh Nationality movement and launch united programmes with Akali Dal.They forget how this very trend diverted the very essence of the revolutionary secular student and youth movement of the 1970’s.
I recommend readers to read or get translation of the document of the erstwhile Central Team of the C.P.I.(M.L.) on martyrs of naxalbari in Punjab. and report of the Association for Democratic Rights, Punjab.
Comrade Bhuja Singh was the strongest advocate of a unified party. Today the party and the revolutionary movement is at the stage of being re-organized in Punjab with different trends .However all groups basically adhere to the path of new democratic revolution path which Comrade Bhuja Singh prescribed .
Subjective factors are not conducive for launching armed struggle today in Punjab Still the practice of Baba Bhuja Singh is a vivid example, that without raising arms, any change will be superficial or cosmetic. One major aspect that requires study are the complexities of the impact of globalization in agriculture .Even if semi-feudalism still prevails to large extent it is defined by forces of imperialism and it is hard to envisage feudalism still as the principal contradiction with the masses in Punjab. Situation and conditions in Punjab is not fertile for launching of protracted peoples war and a different strategic pat has to be devised in accordance .Punjab lacks forest regions or mountains which are a perquisite to apply Chairman Mao’s peoples war theory.
Tribute written with reference to BABA BHUJA SINGH An Untold Story-by Ajmer Sidhu.I thank comrade Ajmer for this.
Harsh Thakor is a political commentator based in Mumbai who regularly tours different parts of India, particularly Punjab and also Telengana ,Uttar Pradesh and Kolkata,to report democratic events and movements. Regularly write for ‘Frontier Weekly’, ‘Otters War Room’ and earlier for blogs ‘Democracy and Class Struggle’, ‘Naxal Revolution’ and Anti-Imperialist Camp.’Main area of writing is on ‘Massline in India”.,’Maoism and International movements, ‘Peasant movement in Punjab’.
Graduated from Elphinstone college Mumbai , worked in Taj Hotel Group, ran children’s playschool and later researched and raised funds for NGO Parisar Ashar.
Email- thakor.harsh firstname.lastname@example.org