On July 4th we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the martyrdom of Komarayya in Telengana.It was this event that marked the turning point in the Telengana peasant uprising which lit the spark to turn into a prairie fire.Komarayya was a young man from a poor peasant and shepherd family of Kadiwendi village of the then Nalgonda district. He was then member of the local volunteer squad. formed out of the local population., to confront the cruel feudal landlords of Telengana.Komarayaa was shot dead when participating in a demonstration of volunteers ,aged only about 30 years.
Telengana armed struggle from 1946-51 wrote a new epoch in the Indian Communist Movement, enabling it to extricate it from Russian insurrectionist path and emulate the Chinese model. The intensity of the movement reached mythical proportions, developing people’s democratic power unparalleled in Indian history. The relentless spirit which the comrades displayed in challenging the might of the Nizam ruler of Hyderabad and the Razakar landlords will be written forever in the red letters of history. No movement worldwide till then emulated the Chinese path of protracted peoples War prescribed by the Chinese Communist party led by Chairman Mao Tse Tung. Thousands of acres of land were re-distributed in the regions engulfed by the Communist party, and after protracted resistance base areas were set up.
Applying the Chinese path most clinically the Communist party of India dissected areas of main work and established committees to lead the military operations in accordance to subjective factors prevailing. A most painstaking preparation period was initiated before the precipitation of the actual armed struggle. With great mastery the party channelized the people’s energy to its optimum level to crystallize peoples’ revolutionary movement in India at an unprecedented magnitude. Massline was illustrated at the vey core of the skin, whether in land distribution or military actions. Reminiscent of the flow of Ocean waves the movement spread like wildfire delivering a striking blow to the enemy in many a place. Genuine people’s mass revolutionary power was established similar to base areas in Kiangsi and Hunan in China. People’s armed striking capacity was enhanced to unparalleled regions. The armed volunteers could challenge the enemy at their strongest point and could withstand agression by the army with the tenacity of a boulder resisting a gale. I deeply admire how it resurrected from dire straits or a grave crisis at many a juncture to rekindle the spark and preserve the gains of the agrarian revolutionary movement. It is hard to recall the countless instances when people in the night time, on their own initiative seized grains from landlords and built their own bastions of power to withstand the terror f the Razakars.It is unimaginable how in the nights with the administration of the Communists villages of Telengana looked like having a 369 degree change in complexion. The backbone of feudalism represented by the Vetti system was broken in magnitude unprecedented in India.
It proved the legitimacy of the strategy of protracted peoples war formulated by the Chinese Communist party. It is a lesson for every cadre the manner the Comrades constructed volunteer squads from the very root of the masses .Their methods should be a yardstick for Indian revolutionaries even today in establishing revolutionary democracy. On the basis of it’s study today cadres could analyse whether subjective conditions exist to launch path of protracted peoples war .It is important for comrades to study the striking dichotomy between the Russian and Chinese path. Few armed struggles struck such a striking chord with that of the Chinese Revolution. No doubt today conditions in India are of considerable variance from the Telengana time with far greater infiltration of capitalism and imperialism, which had integrated and even influenced the semi-feudal base of India. India may well have to chalk out a path that distinguishes even from the Chinese road to Revolution, with it’s unique characteristics. It cannot blindly follow the then Chinese path if you consider the penetration of imperialism in the days of globalisation and the mechanisation.
Quoting P.Sundarayya “The basic feature that dominated the socio-economic life of the people of Hyderabad and especially in Telangana was the unbridled feudal exploitation that persisted well-nigh till the beginning of the Telangana armed peasant struggle. Out of the 53,000,000 acres in the whole of Hyderabad State, about 30,000,000 acres, i.e., about 60 per cent, were under governmental land revenue system, (called diwanior khalsaarea); about 15,000,000 acres, i.e., about 30 per cent, under the jagirdarisystem, and about 10 per cent as the Nizam’s own direct estate, i.e., sarf khassystem.
Quoting Peoples Democracy “In Telangana, vetti system was an all-pervasive social phenomenon. Each dalit family had to send one man from the family to do vetti. Their daily job consisted of household work in the landlord’s house and also act as their messenger. Dalits, who stitched shoes or prepared leather accessories for agricultural operations were forced to supply these to the landlords free of cost.”
Toddy-tappers had to supply toddy; shepherds, their sheep; weavers, cloth; carpenters and blacksmiths, all agricultural implements and potters, pots, free of cost. Washermen were forced to wash clothes and vessels and barbers had to do daily service in the house and at night press the feet of the landlord and massage his body. Certain Other Backward Communities were forced to carry men and women of the landlord families in palanquins, from one village to another.
Peasants were also not spared of vetti. They had to till the lands of the landlords before they could work in their own fields. Until the landlords’ lands were watered, peasants would not get water for their fields. Agricultural labourers had to work in landlord’s fields without any remuneration and only then go to other peasants’ work for their livelihood. These various forms of forced labour and exactions were extracted not only by the landlords, but by all the officials, petty or high.
The worst of all these feudal exactions was the prevalence of keeping girls as ‘slaves’. When landlords gave their daughters in marriage they presented these slave girls and sent them along with their married daughters, to serve them in their new homes. These slave girls were used by the landlords as concubines.
The fascist repression by the Nehru led Congress testified how in 1947 it was only power that was transferred in the hands of the Congress from the British. No better illustration that the fabric of colonialism was not broken in essence. In 1948 defence minister Vallabhai Patel called the Indian army to smash the backbone of the revolt. Ironic that armed combat scaled its highest volume from September 15th 1947 to 13th September 1948, the 1st year of formal independence. Morally today through Operation Greenhunt history has repeated itself with tyranny unleashed on the Maoist movement in Chattisgarh or Bastar., ripping it’s very flesh. In earlier periods in similar light crushing blows were struck by the Indian rulers on movements in Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and Bihar. Most notable that the Telangana struggle was launched in a period parallel to that of India on the brink of gaining formal independence and was crushed by the very so called ‘Democratic’ rule of Nehru. In my view it illustrated that the Nehruvian Congress had a striking similarity with that led by Indira Gandhi or Narasimha Rao later.
The Indian Communists in Andhra Pradesh demarcated from the Urban putschist line and under the guidance of Comrade Devullapali Venkateswara Rao chalked out an agrarian revolutionary strategy in applying the Chinese path. A most symmetrical synthesis was established between the armed squad action and mass movements with the gun never commanding the party.Massline was practiced as surgically as an operation of a surgeon. The movement penetrated so deeply into the peasantry that for a sustained period it virtually threw the enemy into obscurity.
One of the aspects of this Muslim feudal rule was reflected in the language policy of the state, making Urdu dominate, at the cost of major languages, which were the mother-tongues of the overwhelming majority of the people of the state. Later, during the Telangana struggle of 1946-47, the Nizam and his feudal administrators, his armed Razakars, tried to rally the Muslim masses to support them as against the “Hindus”. But thanks to the leadership of the Communist Party, large numbers of the Muslim peasantry and rural artisans and the rural poor were rallied behind the fighting Telangana peasantry, though it has to be admitted that a vast section of Muslims in the towns and cities supported the Nizam andthe Razakars. It was again thanks to the Party’s leadership, that the reprisals against Muslims, after the “police action,”were prevented in the Telangana area, whereas in the Marathwada region, in many areas, where the democratic movement was not so strong as in Telangana, they occurred on quite a large scale. The utter isolation of the “Muslim ruler”from the vast mass of his “Hindu subjects”was an important factor that enabled the rallying of various sections against the hated ruler.(Sundarayya)
The people of Telangana, suffering from age-old dark feudal oppression, from forced labour and illegal exactions, from a cruel and hated feudal rule, their language and culture suppressed, groaning under a cruel, corrupt and autocratic rule, groped their way slowly towards a new life. They started out for some elementary relief in their miserable life;no vetti(begar), no illegal exactions, no land evictions, no torturing and dishonouring; for elementary civil liberties; for education and culture and for responsible self-government. It developed under the leadership of the Communist Party and Andhra Mahasabha into a powerful armed people’s struggle for land and liberation, against feudal exploitation and against the hated Nizam’s rule. Itspread to about 3,000 villages, to nearly one-third of the Telangana area where gram raj (village panch–people’s self-government) fighting committees were established. The Nizam’s officials, the hated landlords had to quit the villages, leaving the panch committees to carryon people’s administration. Not only vetti(begar), illegal exactions, land evictions, usurious loans, torturing and dishonouring by corrupt officials and village oppressors were put an end to, waste lands and surplus lands of the landlords, to the extent of a million acres along with the necessary cattle and agricultural implements were distributed to the rural poor; fair wages for agricultural labourers were enforced and grain distributed. People used to say that for the first time in their lives, they could have two full meals a day. Regular guerrilla squads and village defence squads were organised, the Nizam police, army and the village oppressors were confined to big camps; only from there could they go on their forages during certain hours of the day. Even the enemy press had to admit that the Communists were cheekatidoralu(kings at night) meaning thereby that it was the writ of the Communists that prevailed after darkness fell, while the landlords and the police ruled only during daytime. The whole Nizam’s state and his society were shaken to their roots. The movement was spreading to more and more areas, to the whole of Telangana and beyond. (Sundarayya)
Quoting P.C.Sundarayya“To present, in brief, an overall balance-sheet of this heroic peasant uprising: it exacted tremendous sacrifices from the fighting peasantry of Telangana and the Visalandhra state unit of the Communist Party which was destined to lead this popular peasant uprising. As many as 4,000 Communists and peasant militants were killed; more than 10,000 Communist cadres and people’s fighters were thrown into detention camps and jails for a period of 3-4 years; no less than a minimum of 50,000 people were dragged into police and military camps from time to time to be beaten, tortured and terrorised for weeks and months together; several lakhs of people in thousands of villages were subjected to police and military raids and suffered cruel lathi-charges; the people in the course of these military and police raids lost properties worth millions of rupees which were either looted or destroyed; thousands of women were molested and had to undergo all sorts of humiliations and indignities; in a word, the entire region was subjected to a brutal police and military terror rule for full five years, initially by the Nizam and his razakar armed hordes, and subsequently by the combined armed forces of the union government and the state government of Hyderabad. After the police action, a huge 50,000 strong force of armed personnel of different categories was deployed to violently suppress the movement and restore the shattered landlord rule.”
“Of course, the picture is not complete without its second side, the picture of an impressive record of achievements and gains to the credit of the peasant uprising. During the course of the struggle, the peasantry in about 3,000 villages, covering roughly a population of three million in an area of about 16,000 square miles succeeded in setting up gram raj, on the basis of fighting village panchayats. In these villages, the hated landlords – the pillars of Nizam’s autocracy in the rural areas – were driven away from their fortress-like houses – gadis – and their lands were seized by the peasantry. One million acres of land was redistributed among the peasantry under the guidance of the people’s committees. All evictions were stopped and the forced labour service was abolished. The plunderous and exorbitant rates of usury were either drastically cut down or altogether forbidden. The daily wages of agricultural labourers were increased and a minimum wage was enforced. The oppressive forest officialdom was forced to abandon the entire forest belt and the tribals and the people living in the adjoining areas of these forests were able to enjoy the fruits of their labour. For a period of 12 to 18 months the entire administration in these areas was conducted by the village peasant committees. During the course of this struggle against the Nizam’s autocracy, the people could organise and build a powerful militia comprising 10,000 village squad members and about 2,000 regular guerrilla squads, in defence of the peasantry against the armed attacks of the razakars and the Nizam’s police. In a word, this historic peasant rebellion shook the medieval autocratic regime of the Asafjahi dynasty to its roots, delivering death-blows against it.’’
EXAMPLES OF MASS REVOLUTIONARY RESISTANCE
Quoting P.Sundarayya”The people who had fought against the zamindars and Government but who were suppressed earlier, came out in the resistance movement against the Razakars, once again with great enthusiasm, even though they had no weapons except lathis and spears. The report that about 50 Razakars from Suryapet had come to Ekkaram village, reached Balemula, Kandagatla, Thimmapuram, Patasuryapet and other villages. People from these villages, about 3,000 and more, shouting slogans and armed with slings, rushed to Ekkaram and faced the Razakars and tried to snatch away their arms. The Razakars, giving up their plan of looting the village, had to run away in spite of their modern weapon, to save their lives. Revenue officials, along with Razakars, went to Kontapalli and Pinavoora villages to collect land revenue. People surrounded them and killed them. In the village of Pamulapadu, Miryalagudem taluka, the people drove the landlord Lakshma Reddy out of the village. When he tried to re-enter it,with police help, the people fought back with lathis and spears in hand. The police could not enter the village for three days till reinforcements came. These incidents showed the high pitch of people’s hatred against Nizam’s officials and landlords andtheir mood to resist and fight back. The Tungathurthi police station, in Suryapet taluka, was surrounded by people from Ganugabanda, Vempati and other villages. People raised slogans and pelted stones with slings and rushed at the police. The police fired round after round. In this attack, Comrade Mallipaka Mysayya of Karivirala village who was leading and giving slogans, fell down dead and twomore were injured. People retreated, taking away with them, the dead and the wounded. In Kolanupaka (Bhongir taluka), the jagirdar had put up a big razakar camp, and was looting the people, when on November 28, 1947, about 6,000 people gathered to raid this camp. But they gave up the plan when they found that the jagirdar was on the alert with more men and arms. They marched to other villages in groups, hoisting flags. Three thousand went to Aleru under the leadership of Asireddi Narasimhareddi on November 29, 1947, at 6 a.m., and hoisted flags in many places and began marching in procession. The armed police barred their way with rifles. The people surged forward, the police showered bullets on them. Comrade Asireddi Narasimha Reddy, who was leading the procession, was hit in the thigh and two other people died on the spot, 80 were injured out of whom three died in the Bhongir hospital. Fourteen had their bones broken. There were pools of blood in the whole area. The names of the dead are: Pusloji Veerayya, Chinnam Komarayya, Marpu Pullayya and Birru Narayana of Gundlagudem village, Elagandula Laxminarasayya of Tunagathurthi village.’’
I recommend everyone to read the writings of DV Rao on ‘Telengana Armed Struggle and Path of Indian Revolution’, ‘Refutation of wrong trends Advocating withdrawal of Telengan a armed Struggle ‘ and The Martyrdom of Komarayya :A Turning point in Telengana’s People’s Revolutionary Movement’ Few Communist Writings on Indian revolution have ever been as dialectical or symmetrical .Whatever aberrations I still recommend everyone to read P.S.Sundarayya’s’ Telengana Armed Struggle’ which is a masterpiece., illustrating why the struggle ushered a new epoch. I also wish readers refer to the interview of Stalin by the Communist Party of India; wish was very reflective of the reality. No doubt Sundarayya is eclectic in failing to give credit to the Andhra thesis and supporting insurrectionary path instead of peoples war path.
It is most relevant for readers to study the events from 1941-45 which were the precursors for the launching of the eventual insurrection. On a theoretical plane the greatest contribution ws made by Devullapalli Venkateswara Rao., who formulated the strategy. It was remarkable the manner the movement crystallized the people’s democratic organisations. In the years 1940-41 Comrade DV organised mass mobilisation of the peasantry against forced labour, war levies, feudal atrocities and the exploitation of tenant farmers by the feudal landlords in the then Nalgonda districts. of the then Hyderabad state under th Nizam..In a series of leaflets DV explained in his writings that the party was then following a let liberal programme towards anti-feudal struggles elsewhere in Andhra and other parts of India. He explained how the party never touched the land question.DV explained that the party had no correct understanding of the agrarian revolutionary programme. Under the leadership of DV in Nalgonda the party in Nalgonda developed class struggles against the landlords of Nizam’s rule which was the representative of British Imperialism. After undertaking a painstaking survey in 40 villages and sowed the seeds for the formation of guerrilla squads as well as militant demonstrations and struggles. Before the district committee which implemented it.
The earlier phase of the Telengana peoples movement till 1943, gave rise to a peoples movement giving a cutting edge against feudalism. A strong reformist trend prevailed opposing revolutionary methods of struggle. and resorting to only legal forms. On the other hand a revolutionary trend also prevailed, but to a lesser extent. The revolutionary trend relied on mass mobilisation, strikes and agitations. The antagonistic trends became predominant in the Andhra Mahasabha.
From 1947August to September 1948 the land distribution struggle waged by the party by Comrade DV prevented Struggle in the Anti-Nizam phase not to capitulate .A spark turned into a Prairie fire with the distribution of 10 lakh acres of land, formation of Gram Rajyas in 3000 villages mainly of Nalgonda and Warangal districts, and 10000 armed volunteers who launched the armed struggle against the Nizam’s military and the Razakars.
In the Second Party Congress in 1948 in the manner of an architect DV waged a 2line struggle against the left opportunist leadership. which rejected the mass line. In many areas the party leadership disbanded the armed squads and surrendered the arms. The Union military tore the back of those unarmed cadres launching a major massacre..Exhibiting phenomenal relentlessness DV reorganised the squads in the forest areas. Proper tactics were devised to mobilise the people against the Union military which was r-introducing the rule of landlords in the villages, Thus he resurrected the struggle by stitching the wounds inflicted on the movement.In Suryapeta-Manukota he took the struggle to its highest pitch.
Quoting P.Sundarayya “Our Party and the Andhra Mahasabha did not confine itself to transforming the items of the Congress programme into action, into one of large-scale mass participation. We actively turned it into a definite anti-feudal agrarian revolt. –Weled the people to stop all kinds of forced labour and illegal exactions. –To refuse to deliver the forced grain levies.
We led the people not only to retain the lands they were cultivating on lease from the landlords, but also to recover all the lands illegally seized by the landlords. Reduction in rent and later total non-payment of rents to the bigger landlords and to the enemies of the people, was also enforced. –Occupation and cultivation of waste lands of the Government and of the big landlords. –We started seizing the grain stocks of the hated landlords and started distributing it to the needy rural poor.–Along with the records of pateland patwaris, we burnt the records of the landlords, the records of moneylenders, and all promissory notes and bonds executedin their favour. –And, finally, within a few months, the seizure of the surplus lands of the landlords and their distribution to the poor peasantry, along with draught cattle and agricultural implements. The ceilings started with 500 acres, then by stages were reduced to 100 acres dry and 10 acres wet as the movement developed, and as the urgency to meet the poor peasant demand for land grew and as experience got enriched. The movement became a wide-spread people’s movement. The same enthusiasm, as inthe days of Devaruppula, Patasuryapet, Balemula and Mallareddigudem was witnessed. But the sweep was deeper and statewide. People started feeling that once again “Guttapalu Sangham” (i.e., lathi sangham)was on the march, but this time it was not only lathis, but whatever fire-arms that could be obtained; people were arming themselves, all groups, the Congress, the Communist and Andhra Mahasabha squads
DEFENCE OF ARMED STRUGGLE IN TELENGANA BY ANDHRA COMRADES(Excerpts from Proletarian Line Publication)
In Telengana the people’s army was formed in the course of the anti-Nizam, armed struggle. The majority of the people’s army was constituted of youth from agricultural labour, poor peasants and middle peasants. Until the time of the police action the numerical strength of the people increased satisfactorily. Apart from this there accrued strength and efficiency in the matter of experience and organization. The revolutionaries and guerrilla squads were subjected to severe losses because they did not retreat to secure areas immediately after the police action. Along with this, the leadership of some areas surrendered arms to the enemy saying that the armed struggle has ended and that we should not carry on armed struggle against the Congress rule. They disbanded the guerrilla squads and voluntarily surrendered to the armed forces.
As a result of this the major part of the guerrillas were dispensed. Only a small part went to the forests and carried on resistance from there. In the course of this resistance the number of guerrilla squads increased. Live contacts were established by the people. They could gain further areas in guerrilla resistance. The self -confidence, that the Congress armies are not invincible and that it is possible to resist them, developed. They went to extensive areas and continued their programme Though there were mistakes and weaknesses to be rectified in the armed struggle at the time ,there was no need to withdraw the armed struggle.Inspite of this, the leadership ,which had illusions on the ruling class and parliamentary path ,withdraw the armed struggle, it abolished the peoples army which was formed in the protracted armed struggle.
To stay that protracted armed struggle does not suit our country by saying either, that we do not have a 40000 army as in China, or that more favourable situations exist there. The Telengana armed Struggle has proved, that this is wrong and that protracted armed struggle is possible in countries like India.The conditions in China and India will not be the same on every occasion.
The Experience of Telengana prove that since people’s army was formed in the course of anti-feudal armed struggle in Telengana ,It is also possible to develop people’s armies ,in other parts of India by developing anti-feudal armed struggles. there. To develop people’s armies this way is not blindly copying the experience of China. On the other hand it was possible only by applying to the concrete situation of India. It will also be possible in the future.
How incorrect it is to say that armed struggles cannot be victorious without the rear of countries like Soviet Russia and China is proved not only be the revolutionary experiences of Cuba and Algeria but also by those of Telengana armed Struggle which went on for five years. In situations where socialist countries are not at the rear, we have to carry on defensive battles for a protracted tenure. It would be imperative for the struggle to spread to other parts of the country.
In vast countries with centralized administration like India it is only through protracted armed struggle that we can weaken the centralised power and break it to pieces and victoriously complete the revolution. Only by undertaking armed struggle the heavily fortified machinery of the rulers can be challenged. Only as a result of the peasant revolutionary and armed struggles, will the ruling classes be exposed in their true colours as agents of imperialists and feudal landlords and will be isolated from the people. If the revolutionaries abandon the revolutionary path and take up the parliamentary path they wall themselves be subjected to illusions in addition to helping the ruling classes to sow illusions among the people.
Thus the Telengana armed Struggle
- Sowed the seeds of the agrarian revolution and ushered era of the peoples democratic revolution of India.
- It was an armed struggle which gained birth against the Nizam rule with a few guerrilla s, which spread like wildfire into vast areas withstanding the brutal fascist attacks of the congress armies.
- It made clear that the prevalence of a centralised administration would not obstruct or be a hurdle the essence of the armed struggle and the armed struggle would only dilute the centralised administration.
- Inspite of unfavourable geographical terrain the surge of people’s determination to wage armed struggle can overcome that barrier.
REFUTATION OF WRONG TRENDS CALLING FOR WITHDRAWAL OF THE ARMED STRUGGLE (COMPILED FROM PROLETARIAN LINE PUBLICATION ‘IN REFUTATION OF WRONG TRENDS ADVOCATING WITHDRAWAL OF TELENGANA ARMED STRUGGLE )
Comrade DV Rao produced an excellent piece ‘In refutation of wrong Trends Advocating withdrawal of the Telengana armed Struggle.’ The ‘Andhra Commitee’ letter discussed 2 wrong trends. The most notable ideological struggle was waged by Comrade DV Rao. This work was major masterpiece in defending the very essence of prolonging armed struggle on lines of the Chinese path reflecting the insight of a scientist. It illustrated at the vey base how by diffusing or diluting the armed struggle, a striking blow in the very heart would be given to the people’s democratic movement as a whole. Most dialectically it analysed how the relationship of armed struggle with mass movement was like that of a wheel and axle .Most illustratively it exposed mainly the Comrades of Huzaranagar who virtually bent the teachings of Lenin and Stalin to make subjective factors an excuse to withdraw the armed struggle. The main theme of the document was refuting the Huzaranagar Commitee who published many a document propagating that the enemy was too strong to withstand and that continuing armed struggle would precipitate dire consequences. The most pertinent examples were that of the opposition of Comrades of DV line to closure of Gram Rajya Commitees.The Andhra Commitee letter is worth preserving in a museum which at every striking point counters the capitulationist trends
.1. Desperationism. Firstly,Its implication was Strikes and armed struggles should be brought about outside the state, so that enemy’s forces are divided and he cannot concentrate his forces against Telengana.Or else, it is impossible for the armed resistance to sustain in Telengana.But then, having already taken to guns, there is nothing we can do now, whether or not there are strikes and struggles outside the state and we must continue our armed resistance as before.
- Pessimism::We cannot bring about strikes and struggles which will divide the enemy’s forces and make him concentrate his forces outside Telengana.So it is of no use continuing the armed resistance. Therefore we should stop the struggle for the time being, mobilise the people on mass issues and make a careful retreat so as to integrate with the movement outside the state.”
It was clear in the “Andhra Commitee ‘s Letter that the two wrong trends arose because of not relying on the consciousness of the people, the level of the movement and other favourable conditions obtaining in Telengana so as to continue the armed resistance there.
“By rectifying all the shortcomings in the revolutionary movement and armed struggle .by re-organising the party, the squads, and mass organizations in accordance with secret methods, by fully mobilising the people to defend our revolutionary gains., and thus by continuing the mass resistance on the one hand, we will be able, not only to defend our revolutionary movement as against the enemy ,but also to extend to other areas within the state and to border areas outside the state, in particular to the Telugu speaking districts which are strongholds bordering Telengana .If people are to be mobilised ,in other areas of the state as well as all over India, in support of the Telengana revolutionary movement. what is required of us in Telengana is not to lay down the guns and wait until strikes and struggles come to the fore. We can inspire the opressed people of India only by continuing our armed resistance,and thus by holding high the torch of hope,-the torch lit by countless heroes who laid down their lives so it may burn – so that the revolutionary flame can be seen by the opressed people getting prepared for strikes and struggles in the length and breadth of the country,
The struggles that have taken place in the struggle areas of the state, also in other areas and all over India, and the experiences we gained from mass resistance during the last six months as well as the present political situation. makes it clear that all the main formulations contained in the ‘Andhra Commitee letter are correct.Inspite of their incessant fascist violence against the people in the struggle areas of Telengana ,the enemy forces are unable to stabilise and consolidate there. To the extent we have pursued the party programme we have been able to defend the revolutionary movement and its gains and extend in new areas, The people in all areas of the state are prepared for the struggle. Struggles are higher here in level more frequent than in other parts of India.
Some comrades failed to note the situation have sent in their opinions being critical of the main formulations.
Quoting the Organiser of Trivuru “There is no really strong ,extensive and deep rooted party organisation. There are neither the political conditions nor the party organization in which armed struggle can be carried on .How, then, can we carry on armed struggle? And that is why the decision seems to be wrong.”
“A plan should be worked out for retreat. and take up building a strong secret party.
The Organiser of Palvanacha “Once we start the armed struggle we should even be on the offensive afterwards. For that it should be waged in particularly sufficient area that permits an advance or retreat as required, and enables hitting the enemy wherever encountered.If, however this area is so small ,the enemy can concentrate all his forces ,dump the area with his troops and can drown it in the blood. It is suicidal to undertake armed resistance in a small area, in a situation wherein where we don’t even have the middle class people behind us and the party organization is weak.
The Organizer of Munagala Pargana states “It is not correct to carry on both party building and armed struggle. Simultaneously T his is so .because unless a strong and organized revolutionary party grows out of the people who a tested in many a small battle, the armed struggle cannot sustain.”
At a time when a party needs to be built up and strengthened, through revolutionary struggles, this comrade counter poses party building with armed struggle. Thus, there is no difference between comrades of Tiluvur and Palvancha.
The Huzurnagar Comrades, without considering the revolutionary gains of the people of Telengana in their armed struggle against the Nizam and their impact on the movement. are concentrating on the weakness of the movement, and basing on them, they are making formulation son the anti Nizam armed struggle, on the present situation of the movement in struggle areas, and on the tactics we should follow and are advocating a form of retreat. These comrades do not renounce armed struggle, but still wish to discontinue it, thus liquidating all the revolutionary strides. to derail the armed struggle. They are contenting themselves that to function as a party is itself guerrilla warfare.
The Huzurnagar comrades stated “We have mainly concentrated on our weaknesses without giving prominence to our gains. After all all our gains wont be lost anywhere. But our weaknesses will endanger our very existence in future.”
Thus they remind themselves that there are some revolutionary gains, only to forget them then and there, and concentrate on pointing the weaknesses in the movement. Thus they fail to understand the basic issue that the revolutionary gains and their gains will be the effect of the armed struggle.
The revolutionary gains of Telengana and their impact serve as the foundation for the armed struggle that has to be waged against the Indian bourgeoisie also It is only by carrying the armed struggle by mobilizing our strength on their basis, that we can rectify the weaknesses, however dangerous, in our movement. On the contrary it is anti-Marxist to recall the revolutionary gains only as a matter of lip service, and to determine our tactics by basing only on the weaknesses of our movement.
Revolutionary Conditions in India are maturing day by day. On the other hand, the people have embarked upon revolutionary struggles to get rid of the capitalist and zamindari system. The politics of retreat of these comrades arriving at such a critical juncture are an obstacle to the advance of the revolutionary movement. Their programme of retreat liquidates the revolutionary struggle constructed in Telengana in the course of the anti-Nizam struggle. It places the whole Indian revolution into obscurity. It also gives a fresh life for the enemy to re-group. by pushing back the mass struggles. Above all it will strip the party of it’s vanguard character, fail to defend itself from the enemy and be eliminated completely.
Mass Struggles and the Organisation
We have already explained, that in the ever maturing conditions prevailing in India today, today’s partial struggles have the potential to develop into struggles for land and into guerrilla struggles, and therefore it is a wrong outlook to believe that there is a gulf between partial struggles and political struggles which are waged to overthrow the govt.The Telengana armed Struggle is a political struggle that has overthrown Nizam’s rule, distributed land and reached the stage of setting up Gram Rajyas.an embryonic form of new democratic government; that under it’s impact in Telengana as well as entire state, the peasantry in the countryside are prepared to wage struggle for land; and that, in areas of struggle the people are prepared to defend the land and the Gram Rajyas.
Still there are some comrades who advocate withdrawal of the Telengana armed Struggle ,and formulating their programme of retreat. The basis of their programme is to abandon the lands that were distributed to the people, to disband the guerrilla squads and the Gram Rajyas ,to surrender other revolutionary gains and to re-start the movement with partial struggles.
Huzurnagar comrades say that we should propagate that ‘If Deshmukhs landlords and zamindars come to occupy lands they must be resisted.”Who are those that did not realise the need to cultivate the re-distributed lands. Only in certain centres like Ramgudu, where our squads and party were wiped away were helpless. In areas where our comrades are moving about, the people are boldly defending their lands, even in the absence of squads.
It is only in the anti-Nizam Struggle that the people have seen for the first time that the only way to overthrow Nizam’s rule.to drive away the landlord class, to distribute lands, to set up Gram Rajyas and defend them. It is a naked truth that it is impossible to defend the lands without continuing armed struggle. Nevertheless we should not repeat the mistakes that we committed in developing mass resistance, divorcing it from armed struggle. Without realising the need to develop organised mass resistance –in addition to carrying on armed struggle, in order to defend the land, the Huzurnagar comrades are formulating that the people on their own, should put up resistance, and claim that their propaganda is for the same. This is a wrong trend propagating that “The people should resist on their own, without armed struggle and guerrilla squads. While they propagate that people themselves should resist, they formulae no plans for undertaking mass resistance.
Strategy and Tactics
Comrades advocating withdrawal of armed struggle are defending their polemics quoting Lenin and Stalin.
Quoting Huzuragar comrades “Our strategy in the present stage is insurrection. There is no question of laying down the arms unless the Congress govt.is wiped out. And a democratic govt.is established.”
Here they define insurrection as a strategy It is wrong, Likewise, even without defining tactics, they say that they change according to ebb and tide. Thus they formulate a position of retreat.
1.Basis of Anti-Nizam consciousness being anti-feudal.
Quoting Huzurnagar comrades, ‘The hatred against the Nizam has not reached the stage of class consciousness. The movement was a spontaneous response. The primitive consciousness of the people was channelized in their aspirations to get rid of the Nizam.The theme of the movement was no more than Nizam hatred.
Huzurnagar comrades had to concede that people are hating Nizam ,and that they got prepared for a revolt after the Nizam’s atrocities crossed all boundaries. Hyderabad state reflects zamindari system To hate Nizam, its vanguard and defender, is nothing but hating the zamindari sytem itself. To say that the Nizam must go, is to say the zamindari system must go. Thus it is nothing but the anti-zamindari consciousness of the people.
2Military action has not uprooted Telengana’s Revolutionary Foundations.
- Fascist repression: People’s Fears and Hatred
The Huzurnagar comrades relented to the enemy propagating that the movement could not withstand the fascist repression. They displayed a capitulationist tendency by stating that subjective factors prevented the movement from giving an effective challenge to the enemy.
Our Comrades have not realised party’s responsibility and vanguard role in moving the people into struggle. by removing their confusion towards a course of struggle, and by basing on their consciousness for struggle. When the people out of their own experience, indirectly suggested that the programme of retreat which are comrades adopted was wrong, and directly urged to reorganise the squads and carry on regular warfare, our comrades are still not in a position to take their guidance, and yet, they strangely interpret the revolutionary initiative of the people thus.
- Union army is very strong Can we confront it?
- Rather than a consciousness that they themselves should fight, there is a trend as in the past, that the squads alone should take up the arms and fight. There is yet no consciousness that they should confront the exploiting classes.
Harsh Thakor is a freelance journalist. Toured India, particularly Punjab .Written on Mass movements ,,Massline,Maoism on blogs like Democracy and Class Struggle and frontierweekly .An avid cricket lover too who has posted writings on blogs like Pakpassion Indian Cricket Fans and Sulekha.com.