[From Liberation, Vol. II, No. 1 (November 1968). The Bengali original appeared in Deshabrati of October 17, 1968.]
The revolutionary tactics for developing peasant movements in the rural areas can never be the same as the revisionist tactics. The manner in which we have tried to develop peasant movements for all these years can be called nothing but revisionist tactics. Revisionism works in peasant movements with a view to keeping the Party’s activities open and relies for the movements on the Party leaders who belong to the intelligentsia. Consequently, they begin their movements with speeches by top leaders, by organizing peasant squads and through open propaganda campaigns. Naturally, such movements are wholly dependent upon the big leaders and, as a result, they end whenever those leaders belonging to the intelligentsia choose to withdraw them. Moreover, as the entire agitation and movement are carried out openly, the entire organization becomes helpless in the face of repression.
The tactics of the revolutionaries for organizing peasant struggles must be entirely different from the revisionist tactics. The foremost duty of the revolutionaries is to spread and propagate the thought of Chairman Mao and to try to intensify the peasants’ class struggle. Consequently, the Party organization must organize propaganda by means of secret meetings. It may be that the peasants, acting under the influence of their old method of working, will ask for meetings and demonstrations. In such cases, the Party organization may help organize one or two such meetings or demonstrations.
But meetings and demonstrations can at no time become our main instrument of struggle. To master this revolutionary method is indeed very difficult. But this can be done if the revolutionary intellectuals start working in the underground from the very beginning. Only then will they be compelled to become dependent on the peasant revolutionaries. It must be realized that the people are not yet ready so long as the peasant revolutionaries do not take the initiative themselves. And naturally, we are not to impose our views on the peasant masses. The second deviation occurs when the peasant cadres want to do something, but the intellectual comrade attaches greater importance to the view of the most backward comrade and would have it accepted as the general opinion. This gives rise to a Right deviation.
So, the first principle is that we must not impose anything at all against the will of the masses. If we forget this, we shall commit many deviations which may be variously termed as sectarianism, Castroism etc. To avoid this we must ceaselessly carry on political propaganda among the peasants. As a result of such propaganda, we shall be able to raise political cadres able to carry on political propaganda. The secret organization of such cadres will become the Party of the future. In building this organization, we must follow the principles on which Party committees are run. Every such Party committee must have a definite area in which it will work, and must learn how to make a class analysis in that area and how to assess the wishes and thinking of each section of the population by means of investigation and study. This method of investigation and study can be learnt only through long practice. So, it is evident that in the beginning these committees will commit many deviations. But we need not be afraid of this, for Chairman Mao has taught us that we should learn warfare through warfare. The Party committees will learn how to take correct decisions from these deviations if they follow democratic principles.
There are both an advanced section and a backward section among the revolutionary classes also. The advanced section can quickly grasp the revolutionary principles while the backward section naturally requires more time to assimilate political propaganda.
That is why economic struggles against the feudal class are necessary, not only in the present, but in the future also. That is why the movement to seize the crops is necessary. The political consciousness and organization in a given area will determine the form that this struggle will assume. This struggle will naturally be directed against the feudal class, that is, against the non-cultivating landowners, that is, against the zamindar class and never against the middle peasants.
If we do not try to develop a broad movement of the peasants and to draw the broad masses into the movement, the politics of seizure of power will naturally take a longer time to get firmly rooted in the consciousness of the peasant masses. As a result, the struggle will be dominated less and less by politics, and the tendency to rely more and more on arms alone is likely to grow. Guerrilla warfare is a higher form of the peasants’ class struggle under political leadership. Consequently, only by the successful application of the four weapons-class analysis, investigation, study and class struggle can we create areas of peasants’ armed struggle.
Rich peasants in our country rely mainly on feudal exploitation. So, our relation with them will be mainly one of struggle. But as they are subjected also to the exploitation of the imperialist market, it is possible to unite with them at certain stages of the struggle. Apart from these rich peasants, all other peasants can be mobilized not merely as supporters but also as participants in the struggle. The poor and landless peasants, under the leadership of the working class, can build up the fighting unity of the broad peasant masses. The more rapid such unity is achieved, the quicker will the struggle assume a revolutionary character. We must bear in mind the teaching of Chairman Mao: “Revolutionary war is a war of the masses. It can be waged only by mobilizing the masses and relying on them.”
U.S. imperialism and Soviet revisionism are intensifying their oppression and exploitation in India and the burden of their exploitation ultimately falls upon the shoulders of the broad peasant masses. Poverty and starvation have made the life of the peasants absolutely unbearable and it is natural that spontaneous outbursts of discontent are taking place. Similarly, the oppression by U.S. imperialism and Soviet revisionism has given rise to discontent among other classes also, which, in turn, influences the peasant masses. On the other hand, all the existing political parties in India have today turned into parties of the ruling classes, and each one of them is presently trying to keep the masses quiet by means of various tricks and devices. The Dangeite traitorous clique and the neo-revisionist clique are the most skilled in doing this. They are trying to confuse the masses by wearing the mask of Marxism-Leninism and indulging in all sorts of pseudo-revolutionary talks. But the Soviet revisionists’ fascist aggression against Czechoslovakia has torn off their mask and with each passing day they will be clearly shown up as mere lackeys of the Soviet Union, which is today a pedlar of neo-colonialism and one of the aggressive powers of the world. The more these people are exposed, the more will the flood-tide of the resistance struggle of the masses be unleashed and the possibility of a broad mass movement of the peasants be turned into reality. So, the working class and the revolutionary intelligentsia are today faced with the task of making the peasants class-conscious and of organizing broad class struggles. The day is not far off when the creative powers of the millions of Indian peasants will build wide areas of armed struggle in the countryside and the revolutionary masses of India will take their rightful place in the ranks of all the revolutionary liberation fighters of the world. All revolutionaries must without delay plunge into the work of translating into reality Great Lenin’s dream-the dream that the unity of the fighting peoples of Great China and India will dig the grave of world imperialism.