Comrade Gananath Patro contributed more to sowing the seeds of the mass revolutionary movement in Orissa, than any comrade. He sacrificed many a lucrative career to serve the people. Few comrades were ever as down to earth or simple, or as astute in how to tackle specific situations. Till his last breath he strived to sharpen the sword of mass revolutionary resistance. Few better related to the day to day lives of the Adivasis or understood their idioms. Sadly Comrade Gananath Patro left us forever on June 6, 2020 at his residence in Rourkela. He was 78 years old and ill for a prolonged period.
Patro blended the skill of an architect with the creativity of a poet. exhibited more mastery in giving people’s movements direction . Patro could penetrate mass revolutionary political consciousness and weave revolutionary mass organisations as few leaders could. In his lifetime he treaded the most treacherous paths or confronted the most challenging barriers, in pursuit of his goal of liberation.Inspite of being an Atheist, morally he worshiped the broad masses, more than the priests.
Few comrades exhibited more mastery in steering Adivasis into movements challenging the ruling classes at their hardest point, giving people’s movements direction or elevating struggles to a boiling point. Very rare to find any leader who as imaginatively devised forms of struggle, taking regard of concrete situations. I recommend everyone to read his interview in 2009 on Sanhati and Radical Notes by Satyabrata, where he most insightfully probes into the fundamental questions of the day.
No Comrade in Orissa more grasped essence of massline or contributed more in planting it at the very roots. It is most fitting that he openly refuted the practice of the Maoist armed squads, asserting that it was not coherent to the mass line .Morally; he drew away from the rightist line of the C.P.I. (M.L) Class Struggle, having firm conviction that it had deviated from genuine agrarian revolutionary practice. The manner he dealt with the C.P.I, (Maoist) armed squad sis a lesson for all cadre in how to resolve differences and how to tackle trends of left deviation. Tooth and nail he defended their sincerity, but let no stone unturned in asserting how he demarcated from their policies.
The document written by him ‘Experiences of Movement in South Orissa” in 1975 reviewing the movement was a true classic, illustrating perfect Marxist-Leninist symmetry .Few works have ever been as comprehensive and dialectical in demarcating from left adventurism and portraying the massline.It investigated every region of Orissa. The work is an essential part of any Marxist cadre’s library.
I can never forget his outstanding contribution to the Baliapal Struggle in 1986 against the construction of a missile base. With most astute clarity, he organised the movement on class lines. roping in all the democratic forces. It was landmark struggle, being the first protest in India against a missile base. Few Comrades could as imaginatively devise forms of struggle, taking regard of concrete situations. I recommend everyone to read his interview in 2009 on Sanhati where he most insightfully probes into the fundamental questions of the day.
The struggle he waged in the Narayanapatna movement. is a landmark one in the history of resistance in India. Few comrades in India have launched such a crusade against enemy forces, penetrating such depths, where a spark was literally turned into a Prairie fire. In Narayanapatna the landlords and moneylenders were held to ransom ,being captured by the tribal people under the leadership of the Chasia Muliya Adivasi Sangh.The movement withstood the brunt of the most severe repression .Liquor was abolished in the entire region. He was also actively associated with solidarity with struggles in Kashipur, Kalinganagar and with anti-POSCO movement.
Comrade Patro was a pioneer in formulating or crystallising the massline of T.Nagi Reddy in Orissa and giving it shape. He demarcated from the left adventurist line of Charu Mazumdar with the skill of a surgeon, leaving no stone unturned in exposing it’s flaws .It was truly remarkable how he withstood and confronted left deviationist line within the C.P.I.(M.L) ..
In 1975 he became a part of the Unity Centre of Communist Revolutionaries of India(Marxist-Leninist).It is my deep regret that in 1988 after the split in the UCCRI (ML) he could not demarcate from the rightist deviation and did not join the ranks of the Centre of Communist Revolutionaries of India, or in later period join the Communist Party Re-Organisation Centre of India ,which is the chief protagonist of the massline.I was startled that he joined the C.P.I.(M.L)Janashakti and later the C.P.I.(M.L)Class Struggle..The convenor of the Malkangiri Adivasi Sangh holds Patro in great esteem.Gananath at the very root demarcated from political lines and practice that went adrift from agrarian revolutionary practice .Thus morally he parted ways with the CP.I. (ML).of Viswam .The UCCRI (ML) Proletarian line group is very supportive of Patro’ s contribution ,and he even attended one of their tribal conferences. However I strongly feel Patro classed that group as a rightist force. I would have loved to have seen Patro become a leader in the Malkangiri Zilla Adivasi Sangh and question why he refrained from joining the CPRCI (ML) organisation .Possibly the inability of any Communist revolutionary group to properly practice mass agrarian revolutionary line, made Gananath Patro draw away from them. It is truly remarkable how independent from any party, he penetrated unexplored regions to enable revolutionary spark to penetrate.
A brilliant student, Patra had done his post graduation in chemistry from Ravenshaw College (now University) of Cuttack and started his career as a college teacher in the late 1960s. While teaching in Paralakhemundi of undivided Ganjam district (now Gajapati), he was drawn towards the Naxal movement for farmers’ land rights, led by leaders like Kanu Sanyal and Charu Majumdar.
He left the teaching job to join the Srikakulam peasant uprising in Andhra Pradesh, which was an underground resistance movement against landlords over land, food grain and property. As the movement subsided, Patra remained underground. He was eventually disillusioned with underground politics and the violence of the annihilation theory.
He thus joined the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) that was formed subsequently by some leaders including Odisha’s Nagbhushan Pattnaik who preferred over-ground activities and open mass mobilisation.
After moving back to Odisha, Patra became involved with several grassroots movements for land rights. He was seen everywhere, as a master organiser who attempted to unite all those who were struggling against displacement.
In a booklet, Dake Odisha Mati (‘Call of Odisha’s Earth’) written during the movement against steel major Posco’s proposed steel plant in Jagatsinghpur in mid-2000, Patra had warned that multinational companies had completely taken over Gujarat and wanted to replicate the same formula, which meant to divide people in the name of religion to further capitalist ends, in Odisha and Karnataka. He cited the anti-Christian riots in Kandhamal in 2008 as an example.
CMAS launched an anti-liquor drive in mid-2000 and hundreds of liquor outlets were demolished in the area by the tribals, mostly women. Flushed with the success of its anti-liquor movement, CMAS, launched an agitation to bring the land back to tribal fold. Within a year, tribals had asserted their right over 4,000 acres of land that they claimed were snatched away from them by landowners. They also started cultivation on those lands.
The movement saw mass exodus of the landowners from the area for fear of attacks by tribals and this triggered a law and order situation. It reached a flashpoint in November 2009 when two tribals were killed in police firing when CMAS was holding a demonstration in front of the Narayanpatna police station.
Even as police crackdown started in Narayanpatna, Patra was arrested in 2010 and sent to jail. Cases slapped against him ranged from sedition, attempt to murder to even theft of bicycle and cow. Despite being old, frail and diabetic, he was kept in jail for 30 months.
The district and police administration of Koraput justified their action saying that CMAS was a frontal organisation of Communist Party of India (Maoist), which had raged an armed war on the Indian state. The administration buttressed its claims saying that the Maoists had, in 2012, listed Patra’s release from jail as one of the demands for the freedom of an Italian tourist who they had abducted.
When Patra’s health condition deteriorated, prominent citizens appealed to the government to release him. But he was shifted from Koraput jail to Choudwar jail in Cuttack where access to medical facilities were better. Finally, he was released from jail after having been acquitted of all charges.
Sudhir Pattnaik, editor of progressive Odia journal Samadrusti, who has closely followed Patra’s association with grassroots movement, said that the veteran leader was a very active man, always moving across Odisha to touch base with different mass movements. But his health deteriorated rapidly after he was jailed.
“When he was arrested, he was able to drive a scooter. When he came out, he was unable to walk without the help of a walking stick,” he said.
The last two years of his life were spent in isolation. There was requirement of medicine and he and his wife survived on her meagre pension as a school teacher. But despite all hardship, Pattnaik said, Patra never compromised on his values and lifestyle.
Below I have compiled notes from this document of 1975.It delves into mass line at the very heart, similar to explaining how a heart pumps blood to various organs of a body. Most dialectically he analyses relation of open and secret party work, rural and urban areas or mass resistance with armed struggle. With most insightful perspective he describes the distinguishing characteristics or features of various regions. There could be few more incisive, lucid or coherent writings on penetration of mass line .At the very crux it exposes let adventurism and how mass line is crystallised. It also illustrates the originality of the Indian revolutionary line, as distinct from the Chinese path in important ways. Most articulately it pointed out the factors that at various junctures sharpened the sword of class struggle and those that diffused it.With the skill of a surgeon it illustrates how party secrecy can never be sacrificed, methodology of establishing party fractions within mass organisations and how mass movements had to be linked in rural and urban areas.
EXPERIENCES AND LESSONS OF MOVEMENT IN SOUTH ORISSA (1975)
Vizag -Malkangiri District-A district committee was imagined taking Vishakaptnam district of Andhra Pradesh and Malkangiri sub-division of Koraput district of Orissa.A distrct commitee was formed for the same. There were ten members, five from Andhra Pradesh ,and five from Orissa. So far their class is concerned, two were from the working class .four from petit bourgeois intellectuals and three from the peasantry.Out of this ten, one was among urban students and youth, three in the working class front and rest to the peasant front .
The Eastern part of Vizag Malkangiri is plain and the Western part of it is full of hilly and plain forests, Most part f the Eastern part is of paddy fields. The mode of production, standard of living, political consciousness, education and culture of the people there are comparatively better. Majority of the people are landless and poor peasants. So contradiction between landlord -Sahukar and peasant masses is acute in this area.However struggle of the peasant masses against the system of landlord sahukar exploitation is very weak, being at its initial stage. So the integration of the party with the masses was feeble and local and it was going to develop. No mass organization existed to guide the struggle of the people. On the other hand the inhabitants of western hilly and plain forest areas were of Adivasi Koya tribe. There was very little cultivable fertile land in this area. The mode of production is under developed. Standard of living, political consciousness, culture and education was too low.Landlord sahukar class was almost there. Majority of the people are poor and middle peasants, at some places rich peasants are also formed, as almost all have reclaimed some of the plain forest lands. Landless peasants are absent. Thus the peasant masses have to confront officials of forest and revenue.
Besides this, exploitation and opression of excise, judicial and police department on the people also continue. So the contradiction between the people and the state turns to be the principal one in the area. Apart from the workers union centre our people with the people of the area was very feeble before we went underground. Because in the peasant front there was no mass movement in the area. And our contact with the masses developed freshly through our political propagandist. and previously workers have valiantly fought on many economic demands and emerged successful too. However only after we went underground we attempted to educate the advanced section of workers in Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse Tung Thought to break the fetters of economism and take its leading role in New Democratic Revolution. However we were unable to get the time to form a leading group taking this advanced section and to unite middle sections around it. Few cases cropping out of the workers movements were also tried in courts. The peasants wee advanced to bring the workers on bail.
Karsak Sangharsh Commitee ,a mass organization of peasants was started. However inexperience of cadres, prevented class line from crystallising. Preparatory lists were prepared .most subjectively. Comrades had no idea of combining open activities with secret and legal with illegal. Above mentioned organizations were rendered inactive because of absence of any programme of agrarian revolutionary movement and mass movement of the peasantry.
The leadership persisted with the line of annihilation or individual terrorism. However some were reluctant to accept it. However it was beyond our capacity to prove its theoretical and ideological futility, and to oppose it. Only a few days prior to the next district committee meeting few members of the committee took a very subjective decision to annihilate a landlord of the Eastern plain.
As mentioned earlier, the relation of the party with the people was in the primary stage in that area and no mass organisation of the people had been built up till then. Ability to oppose the landlord money lenders and protect our cadres had not developed yet.
Under such circumstances people can never stand the post-annihilation white terror ,and realigns that annihilation is not neccessary,they may isolate at times, and turn against us, the concerned leadership did not know this.In the Western part it was planned to blow up abridge to save the cadres from police raids. However the comrade who was in charge of undertaking the operation backed out .On the Eastern side, the anihilation programme of the above mentioned landlord was implemented. This was undertaken without serious investigation of the concrete conditions, alienated away from the masses, and without considering the sfaety question of the comrades coming to the D.C.meeting.Just after this 7 comrades including 5 D.C.members fell into the hands of the police. The secrets of our programme was leaked out to the enemy.
Now our activities in the district was brought to a halt and were unable to detect that source of error was deviation from the massline and blamed the setback on lack of proper plan of annihilation campaigns, lack of firmness of comrades etc.
In Vishakaptnam Central Jail a tactful escape was launched helping resume activities. However our orientation was still annihilation based Like mentioned before, propagation of the revolutionary politics among broad masses was lacking, creating barrier for building work in the labour front to fight for the release of labour comrades. A lack of a secret party organization and failure in establishing firm mass base were major obstacles, as well as no existence of a strong labour organization..
An attempt of a handful of government agents in capturing leadership of the labour union by presenting false witnesses against the detained comrades and trying to prolong their detention, was thwarted due to broad base of the workers. The plan of the enemy was rendered fruitless when the detained comrades were released towards the end of 1974.
REVIEW OF ACTIVITIES IN SOMPETA
In Sompeta in June 1972 activities began. We realised the implication of struggle between the 2 lines only after starting mass movement on land issue in Sompeta area ,although much before this, we conducted the same theoretically .Because only through practice, struggle between 2 lines takes concrete shape. It was possible to correct the remaining wrong ideas as regard organizational line (so far party organisation, mass organization and armed organizations were concerned)only when we get down to practice. made the official regional leadership unable to correct it’s mistakes, and hold the role of leadership in the struggle .Thus, the official regional leadership itself became a hurdle on the path of progress and struggle .
Our isolation from the masses began to disappear only after implementation of mass line in “X”villages.Fera of enemy agents was lessened, encouragement recorded to cadres. Later on it was possible
KORAPUT-GANJAM-SRIKAKULAM BORDER AREAS(GUNPUR)
From the beginning of 1972, mass movement of the peasantry has been continuing more or less in Koraput,Ganjam,Srikaulam border area(Gunpur area).
In the northern part as the cadre used cover even among the masses, our activities were limited only to open in the beginning. As a result, it was not possible to build up secret party organisation as well as the local leadership ,due to lack of direct propaganda of revolutionary politics among the masses .In the later period, it is possible to make some progress of the movement, since the mistakes were corrected.
In the southern part as our activities were limited to complete secrecy and illegality, it was not possible to mobilise broad mass of the people in the beginning. In the later period,as a result of combining secret with open and legal with illegal,by forming open forum mass organizations in sub divisional sphere along with the secret party and mass organisations the bright future of the mass movement and the possibility of its transition into armed struggle was foreseen.
REVIEW OF ACTIVITIES IN GUNPUR
From 1951 to the last of 1968 there developed a mass movement in southern part of Gunpur area on peasant problems. During that period the activities of the party were election propaganda oriented and there was also a bourgeois reformist movement of class collaboration organised by Sarvodaya mandali in that very position of that part. Consequently the above said movement became a victim of right deviation.
There came a situation when the cadres developed through long revisionist practice (only open and legal activities) had to suddenly put their hand into revolutionary practice. Consequently in their activities there was reflection of those very old open methods. The leadership also failed to develop them qualitatively, having slight experience. Our activities were now exposed to the enemy and it became successful in suppressing us temporarily.
REVIEW OF ACTIVITIES IN URBAN AREAS
Left deviation on our part in the urban areas not to follow a programme of combining open and secret, legal with illegal,mass work with party’s work and mass movement in urban areas with the agrarian revolution in the village
As a result of left deviation not only we were-isolated permanently from the working class but from other urban revolutionary classes too ,thus damaging the revolution as a whole.
By 1968 in a small pocket of Sompeta area there was mass moment and that just reached the stage of political movement. Towards the last phase of the movement there was a clash between landlords and revolutionaries and raids on behalf the state was also commenced. In Ptapatnam and Pralakhemundi area the movement was either weak or intended for electioneering propaganda. But in the last parts of Sompeta area there was almost no mass movement. Therefore party had no contact with the broad mass of the people.
In between 1969 i..e.Bandpur action and beginning of 1972 the history of movement of Sompeta area was the history of left deviation considering politics organisation and method of work our activities there were mainly analogues to the activities of Gueveras guerilla squads. but main target of Guevera’s squads was armed forces of the state of enemy class and that of ours was individual s of enemy class.
Magurjan incident-.In the month of November 1970 the peasants of this place with their own initiative snatched rifles from the oppressing police keeping the advice of the fraternal Communist party. Comrade Charu Mazumdar used this Magurjan incident as a plea for army building and write an article. He gave direction to build army as well as to install revolutionary committee thereby.
The need of mass organisations for proletarian and semi-proletarian classes is as important as the same of teachers, students, writers, artists, clerks and other labouring intellectual masses to build mass movement in the urban areas as complementary to Agrarian revolution.
The proletarian and semi-proletarian classes get employed both by private enterprisers as well as central or state govt.It is necessary to organise them in local and provincial level an in some fields in all India level.
In the period of left deviation, no specific plan of building up mass movements in urban areas was undertaken. The mass organisations of Orissa were under revisionist clutches or even Opportunistic parties.
A sectarian approach was adopted by a set of comrades who refused to accede to the demand of changing the name of ‘Srikkaulam Regional Commitee” to Andhra-Orissa border Commiteee.”They also were reluctant to let the Orissa state Commmitee co-ordinate with the committee on the Andhra Orissa Border. Their pretext ws it would diffuse the prestige of the Srikakulam Armed struggle.However this hurdle was obliterated and a South Orissa regional Commitee was formed and activities re-started in the towns.
To build up revolutionary mass movements in urban areas, mass organisations are essential. Such organisation sin urban areas are of 2 types. First, organisations like trade union, teachers association, clerks association and students organisation consists either of a particular class, or part of a class. Secondly, organisations like India0China Friendship Society.’ Carry interest of the whole masses. These are formed accepting members from all classes. Such organisations are the primary form of ‘Revolutionary United Front’ of the People.
A number of mass organisations in Orissa, have no local branches at many places. It has been completely impossible to build up any revolutionary mass movement through mass organisations, formed by reactionary parties. Often the reactionary parties build up counter revolutionary movements serving their interests.
In Mass organisations where leadership of various types of revisionism prevail some mass organisations maintain their popularity due to work of cadres. Thus it is possible to build movements there on economic and political demands, to an extent. No doubt the concerned revisionist leadership placed the steepest of hurdles on the revolutionary movements sprouting, leaving no stone unturned in obstructing the movements integrating with those of other struggling mass
We have to remain vigilant in keeping the link of the party with the mass organisations secret. We have to undertake steps ,to construct new organisations under the party’s leadership in places where unpopular organisations still operate under reactionary leadership. The cadres of the party will work secretly from within so to say in the popular and active organisations, and try to establish real revolutionary leadership, by overthrowing the revisionist leadership from within. We are proceeding towards this line .Meanwhile w have already built organisations like “Civil Rights Protection Comitee’,’Indo-China Friendship Society,” and “Nva Yuva Sahity Sansad”,.
We now need to work on building an Organisation of Students. Work has been started in a number of trade unions, teacher associations, on-gazetted officers, as well as in labouring intellectuals. It has created effect of qualitative change.
Through the ‘fraction ‘ of the party –it has been possible to deliver political guidance to the open movements.
At present in India, during the period of new democratic revolution if we see in the strategic viewpoint the work in rural area, illegal, secret, armed struggle and activities in the forest and hill area etc.are principal aspects. But from tactical point of view that is in the beginning of the revolution, it is natural that work in the urban area, legal, open mass movements and activities etc.in the plain areas are to be the principal one. While considering the inter-relationship between total situation and partial one we are to, of course, take into consideration the inter-relationship between the continuously eroding condition of enemy classes and our developing strength. If we do not do that as the revolutionary situation in India is developing unequally,(subjective conditions)the total situation has become matured, if we go on sacrificing the matured conditions for each place.i.e.if we go on sacrificing the partial situation, then we will delay the revolution for along time.
In the past we faced problems of inter-relationship between urban and rural work, illegal and legal, open and secret, mass movement and armed struggle, work in the plain area and that in forest and hilly area, situation in totality that in apart and mass organisation and armed organisation. The contradiction between urban and rural work is non –antagonistic. and relationship dialectical. Left deviation virtually negated urban work. Without taking both aspects of the contradiction into consideration if only one aspect is considered then it turns into an error of one sidedness. There is a dialectical unity and struggle between the two. Existence of one is impossible without the existence of the other. Rural work or urban work are given more priority, in tune with the situation prevailing. Rural work gets converted into the principle aspect instead of urban and vice-versa.The priority over urban or rural work is continuously inter-changing.
The objective condition in Orissa is more or less analogous so that other provinces in India. But the subjective conditions here are considerably different from other provinces in India. The party, strength of the mass organisations under the leadership of the party, mass base, the consciousness, and preparedness of the masses are of comparatively low level than many other province in India. Therefore, while going to fix the concrete line for this region, we ate to take the subjective conditions into consideration. Now in the prevailing subjective condition sin Orissa, especially in South Orissa, the work in the urban, legal, open, mass movement activities in the plain rural areas, are to be inevitably principal aspects. Therefore, keeping the trend of above said principal aspects and plan of building base area in view, we are to fix the working plan of the party and distribution of the cadre. But we cannot leave the transformation of principal aspects into non –principal one and their opposites to principal one to the phenomenon of the spontaneity. If we do we will commit another type of mistake. The reason is that to cognise the reality is not only our task but to change it also is the work of more importance. To do that work, armed preparation are to be continued and in the course of time consciously we have to bring their continuous development and improvement. And only by doing that we can transform the embryonic form of armed struggle i.e.The use of arm s for the protection of cadre through “village protection ‘to the ‘regular warfare.”
We are to build up mass movement on the basis of 7 point economic programme on the economic, political, social, cultural and educational demands of the proletariat, semi- proletariat, petty bourgeoisie, and other patriotic elements. We have to work secretly in the existing organisations under the leadership of the revisionists which are active and popular from within, and we have to take the tactics, of building and establishing a revolutionary leadership, Where there are mass organisations under the leadership of reactionaries and where there are no mass organisations we are to build up new mass organisations under cover name as an alternate .The organisations like the Indo-Chin a friendship Society ,literary organisation and organisation for the protection of civil liberties which are organisations of more than one friendly class are to be openly organised. In each front the party organisation and the identity of the open cadre is to be kept secret from the enemy and the general members of the mass organisation as a whole. We must publish open magazines, on behalf of mass organisations to enlighten the broad masses. We must also publish open and secret leaflets, posters and wall writings. We also adopt tactics of rally, public procession for the purpose of movement and action. In the situation existing today any leaflet or magazine in the name of the party are to be published and distributed secretly, poster and wall writings etc.
In Urban areas we are to adopt dharna,strike,gherao etc.
In Rural area
Here to start mass movement, we are to conduct secret, political, propaganda, and secret mass organisational activity among the masses with the help of a propaganda team. The propaganda teams are of 2 types. In the 1st type of meetings we are to discuss general politics, and in the 2nd type of meetings, we are to discuss the mass problems or problems in interest of mass movement. and organisation., we are to organise them in mass organisations. We are to organise landless, poor and middle peasants in such organisations voluntarily with the help of the party and they are to be kept secret from the enemy.’ Peasant Association or Organisation redress the injustices, in the mass organisation of the peasants. In the initial stage of the mass movement rich peasants oppose demands like wage increase and cancellation of loans’ t now becomes imperative to keep all our activities secret from the rich peasants or ‘analogous committees are elected.”We are to give guidance to the masses to establish proportional majority of landless and poor peasants in these committees. Each village Commitee has to be given a programme..
Each village Commitee is given a programme.
- To achieve local solution to the contradiction among th masses and build up unity
- Making the masses conscious and unified to make them prepared for landlord, anti-sahukar movement o th area wose basis
- Bring the masses to fight against natural odds.(cyclone, drought etc.)The implementation of this programme depends upon the effective work of propaganda teams.
We have to organise open organisation and open propaganda as regard to the movement, in the public meetings. Open activities have to be undertaken to achieve our demands. Upper level party committees have to b established besides the lowest party organisation to establish leadership of revolutionary politics. To achieve this we have to educate the advanced elements of the masses in the ‘political classes.’ Who participated in the movement in the past. or are taking part in the present movement. We must also provide party literature and magazines in planned way. In the course of this party education and their participation in this movement, we are to give full party membership to the tested person, and organise them in secret cells. Propaganda teams are organised taking cadres who are transferred from the urban areas and the whole timer cadres who are locally recruited.To conduct political propaganda ,to build up secret mass organisation and to develop mass movement, to give leadership to the armed preparation of the masses-these are the tasks of the propaganda team. Another important task is organising political classes and the lowest party organisation.
The propaganda teams are to move in both hill and forest areas and intermediate small plains in a very mobile way, while discharging their responsibilities. They must possess arms but only to self protection or protection of cadre. Important cadre must refrain from using big arms which can expose them to the enemy, and us arms like pistol, revolver and pie gun, which can be carried secretly.
It is imperative to organise volunteer squads to facilitate mass actions like gherao, seizure of crop, which crystallise mass resistance. We must never leave development of resistance to the mercy of spontaneity.
Village protection squads must be formed taking mainly landless and poor peasants, to protect the people from attack of the goondas of enemy classes, or raid by state forces. It builds the striking power of people. At the beginning stage of guerrilla warfare, to smash the armed strength of the enemy, to attack the enemy and to conduct political propaganda are the 2 main tasks. Positional warfare can be undertaken after establishing a liberated area.
To establish leadership of revolutionary politics over the movement, the capable party cadre should conduct secret political propaganda, secret political classes and build up part cells. In the course of development of the movement in this area too volunteer squads and village protection squads cannot be taken to a higher stage. Thus, the cadre are to be transferred to broader areas to organise movement. Some cadre may be sent to hill and forest areas, where more flexible tactics can be adopted.
In each and every village peasant associations and ‘Coolie Sanghs ‘ are to be formed. They may remain open or secret in accordance to the situation. Open organs must be elected at sub-divisional level from the open conferences, to give leadership in open and legal activities.
BUILDING THE ARMY
To construct an army we have to establish base areas in the hill and forest region by creating revolutionary mass movement and to consciously develop the embryonic armed struggle of cadre protection to the regular guerrilla warfare for the entire region. Thus developing a conscious upsurge in the whole region, we are to build up army collecting fighters from guerrilla squads, village protection squads and directly from the masses. Unlike China in the 1930’s, it is not possible for us to have a united front with the ruling classes ,nor there is an army in the hands of the party.
Lack of clear understanding of the line was the root cause for left deviation. Thus many a revolutionary professing Marxism-Leninism-Mao thought, are scattered or dispersed in groups, sub-groups or as individuals. Many have deep feelings towards revolution but because of lack of clarity of line, intolerance to each other and petit bourgeois, careerist views, have created a barrier from uniting into a genuine Marxist Leninist party. The revisionist conspiracy arrested the revolution for 20 years while the left deviation for a period of 10 years. To unite in a monolithic party, it is imperative to achieve unity on the basis of similarity of party programme, tactical line, and organisational line. All genuine Leninist groups should come forward together taking a minimum unanimous programme of mass movement .Only then can differences be resolved, concerning party programme, tactical and organisational line.
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