Responding to the call by the Home Minister and prime Minister of India to halt violence to facilitate talks, Maoist leaders ridiculed them and asked them to get their history right. According to them it was wrong to say that the ‘war’ that is now being played out in the theatre of the jungles of Chhatisgarh, Jangalmahal of Bengal, Jharkhand , Orissa and other states is of recent origin. This is only the latest phase of the “people’s war” that is being waged since 1967 and would not stop until the ultimate objective of establishing Communism is achieved. The Constitution of the CPI(Maoist) is very unambiguous, “The ultimate aim or maximum programme of the party is the establishment of communist society. This New Democratic Revolution will be carried out and completed through armed agrarian revolutionary war i.e. the Protracted People’s War with area wise seizure of power remaining as its central task.”
Area wise seizure of power is what the Maoists are busy with. They have succeeded, partially or fully in many areas of different states. What needs to be understood is that it is not development they are opposed to as is evident from the statements of their leaders. They are ready to let development activities take place, provided it is under their supervision. They are interested more in making themselves the lone political voice of the people. One should ask why do they keep abducting, harassing, threatening or killing the members and leaders of other political parties in the areas where they rule using the strength of their guns? Why do they force people to resign from other political parties? Their answer is very simple: whoever is seen to interrupt or impede the armed people’s war is either a class enemy or an agent of the class enemy represented by the state and is therefore on the other side of the war.
The metaphor of war which is being used describe the state led operations is in fact not even a metaphor for the Maoists. To them it is not something, which is to be dreaded and shunned, for them it is already on and it is the naivety of the liberal political class to think that it would start with the state assault on them. The Maoists would rather love to draw the state in a protracted war. The lives lost are sacrifices on the altar of the impending revolution. The constitution of the CPI( Maoist) incidentally states that the road to communism is long, “The struggle between socialist road and capitalist road will also continue to exist. Only depending on and carrying forward the theory of continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat can correctly resolve all these contradictions.” (Author’s emphasis)
There would always remain peoples’ enemies and it would be the revolutionary duty of the party to keep identifying them and eliminating them to safeguard the gains of the revolution.
We who are opposed to laws which rob us of our democratic rights like the AFSPA, UAPA and Public Security Acts in various garbs and want them repealed and very rightly so, how do we react to the Constitution of the CPI( Maoist)? Is it permissible to allow armed political formations to operate in a democratic framework, which works on the principle of contestation between ideas and ideologies and mobilizing public opinion around them? When the fear of the gun paralyzes this process, democracy suffocates. Since Maoists have already established their “Areas” which are small states in themselves, it would useful and educative to study the status of democratic freedom there.
How is it that we who stand up and fight for every inch of our democratic space remain silent on this methodical, ideological assault on the very idea of democracy? Let us realize before it is too late that those who regard armed struggle as ‘the main form of struggle’ and the people’s army as ‘the main form of organization’ would only tactically tolerate civil liberty action or other mass political actions as “their purpose is to serve the war.” Once they outlive this purpose they will become dispensable items on the agenda of revolution!