[From Liberation, Vol. I, No. 12 (October 1968).]
CHAIRMAN MAO has taught us that to make revolution we must have a revolutionary party, a party that is based on the revolutionary theory of Marxism-Leninism and reared in the revolutionary Marxist-Leninist style of work. Without such a party it is impossible to lead the proletariat and the broad masses of the people in their struggle against imperialism and its lackeys.
In the present era, Chairman Mao’s thought is the highest development of Marxism-Leninism. Chairman Mao has not only creatively applied Marxism-Leninism but has enriched Marxism-Leninism and developed it to a new stage. Mao Tse-tung’s thought can be called the Marxism-Leninism of the era in which imperialism is heading for total collapse and socialism is advancing towards world-wide victory.
Chairman Mao has taught us that in a semi-feudal, semi-colonial country, peasants constitute the majority of the population and that the peasantry is exploited and ruled by three mountains, namely, imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. This is why the peasants are extremely eager to make revolution. Therefore, the proletariat must rely on the peasants in order to achieve victory through People’s War.
Chairman Mao has taught us that the peasants are the main force of the revolution and victory in the revolution depends on arousing and arming the peasant masses. It is the duty of the revolutionary party of the proletariat to go to the peasant masses and painstakingly work among them for a long period with a view to building up areas of armed struggle in the countryside. Failure to realize the importance of this peasant question gives rise to “Left” and Right deviations within the party. And democratic revolution is primarily an agrarian revolution. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the proletariat to provide leadership in this agrarian revolution.
Chairman Mao has taught us that the Marxist-Leninist style of work is that which essentially entails integrating theory with practice, forging close links with the masses and practicing self-criticism. To master this style of work we must build our party basically among the peasant masses.
We must also build the party among the working class on the basis of a programme of action of the working class based on the politics of agrarian revolution.
In the past also, we recruited Party members from among the workers and the peasants. There were even quite a few district committees in which worker and peasant Party members were of a much greater number than the petty bourgeois. In spite of this our party could not become a revolutionary party. Why? The reason is that the working class Party members had no revolutionary politics, no revolutionary programme of action before them. They were made to work as a force complementary to the trade union movement. This prevented their free development and they had to act under the direction of the petty bourgeois leaders of the trade union movement. No class analysis of the peasant Party members was also made and owing to the absence of revolutionary politics they were not made conscious of the great responsibility that had to be shouldered by the peasantry. The Kisan Sabha was reformist in nature and was led mainly by the rich and middle peasants. As the peasant movements were kept within the bounds of the existing laws, the majority of the Party members came from the rich and middle peasants and their main job was to carry out the dictates of the petty bourgeois Party leaders. As a result of all this, the Party basically turned into a petty bourgeois party in spite of the fact that there were worker and peasant Party members. That is why the Party was transformed into an out and out revisionist party. Like a true revisionist party, our Party carried on mass movements during the period from one General Election to another with the purpose of securing more seats at the next elections. All the main centres of the Party were located in the cities and towns and creating city-based movements became the main concern of the Party. Even the peasants were brought into the cities with a view to boosting the city-based struggles. The tragic lessons of 1959  were also the result of this city-based struggle. The object of all the mass struggles was invariably to gherao [surround] the Legislative Assembly. Nothing could be kept secret within the Party and even efforts to keep anything secret gradually ceased. Even the reports of differences in the Party’s Central Committee found their way into the bourgeois press. Vigilance on the part of the Party members was blunted. Moreover, it was the constant effort and concern of the Party leaders to make all struggles conform to the limitations imposed by the law. The Party leaders not only betrayed the cause of the armed revolt in Telengana but made it a point to intervene and withdraw any peasant struggle as soon as it showed signs of offering determined resistance to police repression. Take, for example, the Punjab peasants’ struggle against ‘betterment levy.’ The Party’s central leadership withdrew the struggle without even consulting the Party leaders of Punjab. They also refused to lead peasant struggles in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. They even slandered the Darjeeling district Party leadership as extremists during the struggle to seize benami lands [lands held by landlords under fictitious names to evade the existing laws. – Ed.] in 1959. Why did the Party leaders act like this? The reason is, the peasants had wanted to rise up in determination to oppose the police repression. The Party leadership forced every struggle to be open and confined it within the bounds of the law.
Publishing Party newspapers and periodicals became the sole occupation of the Party leaders. And what good are these Party publications in our country where the overwhelming majority of the people are unable to read or write? These serve only the petty bourgeois intellectuals. It is in no way possible to educate our workers and peasants politically through the Party papers. That is why the Seventh Congress of the Party gave birth to a revisionist party and not a revolutionary party.
Today, at a time when we are taking up the task of building a revolutionary party, the people’s revolutionary struggle in every country in South-east Asia, inspired by the thought of Chairman Mao, has reached a new stage. The Vietnamese people’s struggle against the U.S. imperialist aggressors has filled the minds of the oppressed people with a new hope. Even in our country, the peasant’s struggles are trying to overcome formidable difficulties and move forward in various places, for instance, in Naxalbari, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh. In India also, the peasants have undertaken the task of creating liberated areas in accordance with the teachings of Chairman Mao. To build a revolutionary party in the present era it is not enough to spread and propagate the thought of Chairman Mao. A revolutionary party must also master Chairman Mao’s style of work. Only then can we call such a party a truly revolutionary party.
In India, today, we must combine revolutionary theory with revolutionary practice. The Party must immediately start building up areas of peasants’ armed struggle in the rural areas. So, in order to combine theory with practice we must learn how to make class analysis of the peasants and establish the Party among the land-poor and landless peasants who constitute the main force of the agrarian revolution. To forge close and intimate links with the people these Party units comprising the land-poor and landless peasants must organize class struggles of the broad peasant masses by spreading and propagating revolutionary politics in accordance with the thought of Chairman Mao. When such class struggles are organized, these Party units comprising the land-poor and landless peasants will be transformed into guerrilla units. These guerrilla units must then broaden and strengthen the Party’s mass basis by spreading and propagating revolutionary politics and through armed struggle. Only in this way and through a protracted struggle can a regular people’s armed force be created and can the struggle develop into a People’s War. It is a formidable task and can only be accomplished by correctly applying the weapon of criticism and self-criticism. We have come together to serve the revolution. So, we should not be afraid of criticism. On the other hand, if we are unwilling to undertake self-criticism we shall not be able to change ourselves qualitatively and so shall prove ourselves unable to carry out the tasks confronting us as communist revolutionaries. A revolutionary party will be born when we have mastered this style of work. Such a party will certainly not be dependent on the revolutionary intellectuals.
We must ceaselessly propagate the politics of agrarian revolution and the thought of Chairman Mao among the working class. The advanced section among the working class, which grasps and assimilates the thought and the style of work of Chairman Mao as a result of this propaganda, must be sent to the rural areas to participate actively in organizing agrarian revolution. In this way, the leadership of the proletariat over the agrarian revolution will be realized in an effective form. That is why Chairman Mao has said that the revolutionary party is composed of the advanced and active section of the proletariat.
Such a revolutionary party will not be a party to fight election campaigns, nor will it be based in the cities. A revolutionary party can never be an open party, nor can its main concern be to publish Party papers etc., nor can it depend on the revolutionary intellectuals. The revolutionary party must depend on the workers and the land-poor and landless peasants. Peasant struggles and secret organizations must be built up with the villages as their bases. Without this the Party will be defenceless in the face of attacks of the counter-revolutionaries. Only such a party can be called a revolutionary party that can build up peasants’ armed struggles in the rural areas. All revolutionaries must today actively participate in building a revolutionary party of this type. Revolutionary intellectuals can, of course, help in building such a revolutionary party. They are well-read and can also tell the workers and peasants about the experience of revolutionary struggles in other countries. They can help by propagating among workers and peasants the thought of Chairman Mao to the extent they have understood it. But our own experience is that in most cases the revolutionary intellectuals prove themselves a hindrance to the free development of the workers’ and peasants’ Party units and do not try to enhance the initiative of those units. So, the revolutionary intellectuals must always keep in mind the teaching of Chairman Mao: “The masses are the real heroes, while we ourselves are often childish and ignorant, and without this understanding it is impossible to acquire even the most rudimentary knowledge.”
Comrades, the events in Czechoslovakia have fully exposed the naked fascist nature of Soviet revisionism. These events have also clearly revealed the fact that the traitorous Dangeite clique and the neo-revisionist clique are obedient tools of the Soviet revisionists. As a result, the revisionist propaganda in this country is sure to get blunted. India has today become a US-Soviet neo-colony. With the help of the Indian reactionaries they have turned India into a base of counter-revolution in Southeast Asia. Under these circumstances, the sooner the Soviet revisionists are exposed, the more powerful will grow the upsurge of revolutionary class struggle and resistance all over India and the more will the peasant revolts develop. The future of the revolution depends on how quickly we can build Party organizations among our classes during this period. On this will depend whether we shall be able to lead this revolutionary upsurge or not. It may be that this upsurge will take place during the coming struggle to seize the crops. Let the revolutionary intellectuals come forward and help build the revolutionary party by spreading and propagating the thought of Chairman Mao among the workers and peasants.
1. On August 31,1959, the revisionist CPI brought thousands of peasants into Calcutta in order to bolster up the city-based food movement. After a mass meeting a demonstration, in which the peasants participated, was brutally attacked by the reactionary police force of the Congress govt. At least 80 people were killed and hundreds were injured as a result of this.