Interview with Prakash Karat.
The organised Left has always been wary of the ways of the groups that call themselves naxalites. Some of the naxalite groups claim that they are the true revolutionaries and resort to terror tactics. In contrast, the organised Left, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in particular, aims to complete the task of democratic revolution through a broad class alliance - a people's democratic front. CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat expressed his views to T.K. Rajalakshmi on the limitations of the methods and ideology of the proponents of an armed revolution. Excerpts:
The naxalite groups, which are functioning in the name of the CPI (Maoist), belong to a stream that cannot be considered Marxist. This is because their method and politics rely on anarchic violence directed at individuals and ordinary people. They work in the remote tribal areas because it allows them to use these as shelters for conducting their acts of individual violence. Devoid of politics based on the people, such tactics only help the ruling classes and the state. Naxalite violence is countered by state repression and the brunt is borne by ordinary people living in the areas where these groups operate. Groups such as the PWG [People's War Group] and the MCC [Maoist Communist Centre] cannot bring about any social transformation or change in the lives of the oppressed people. The CPI(M) will counter politically and ideologically the false posturing of such "revolutionary" activities. Given the wretched plight of the tribal people in the forest areas and the failure of the state to deliver even the minimum needs, some of these groups exploit the situation to gain a foothold. Eventually, their activities lead to no development in the areas but end up worsening the plight of the already suffering sections. If serious political work is done in these areas and sincere efforts are made to ensure the rights of the tribal people, such groups and their activities will get isolated.
In West Bengal, the armed squads of naxalites are being isolated by the CPI(M) by mobilising the people to assert their rights and to ensure that the administration pays due attention to their needs. We found that when this is sought to be done, the naxalite squads target the CPI(M) cadre and try to terrorise people. But they are actually getting isolated, for instance, in some areas such as parts of Midnapore. The tribal people are with the CPI(M) and the CPI [Communist Party of India]. Naxalites have not been able to win the mass base. They made some efforts earlier, but when we countered them they went back into the remote areas where they operate underground. Most of the State governments look at this only from the point of view of law and order. They are not willing to pay attention to or deal with the question of land, of the right of access to the forests, and of exploitation of the tribal people by the contractor-bureaucrat nexus.
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