Rise! Resist! Liberate!
Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF)
Manifesto and Constitution
(Adopted in the first Conference held in Hyderabad on 22-23 April 2012)
When British imperialism formally devolved power in 1947, the people of India hoped that they would gain freedom and democracy, and that imperialist and feudal exploitation and oppression would be a thing of the past. They expected that with the formal end to colonial rule their standard of living would improve. But their hopes and aspirations have not been fulfilled. Even after half a century of so-called independence not only is poverty as acute in the country, it is increasing at a rapid rate with the current onslaught of imperialism. Over the last decades starvation deaths and suicides in the backward rural areas in particular have reached a scale never witnessed before in post-1947 India. Together with these forms of systemic violence, the Indian rulers have brought in a regime of repression and exploitation which is often worse than in colonial times.
Since the formal devolution of power, a few changes in India’s political, economic and cultural spheres have been witnessed. The bourgeois parliamentary system, which is fake in essence, with all its varied forms, including an Assembly, Parliament, universal suffrage, etc., have been placed and projected before the people, proclaiming that the masses could enforce their freedom and democratic rights through this system which is false and bogus.
After 1947, the Nehru Government, through an enactment, announced the abolition of the Zamindari system. But this act has not been effective in abolishing the Zamindari-Jotedari system, i.e., the legislation did not stop semi-feudal exploitation and oppression. Feudal lords continue to have in their possession, thousands of acres of land while the hired labourers, poor and middle peasants are subjected to feudal exploitation. Semi-feudal exploitation and oppression has become an obstacle not only to the development of the productive forces in the agrarian economy but has also been fetters to the industrial development of India. Therefore, along with the peasantry, all strata of democratic people including workers, students, youth and intellectuals have a contradiction with feudalism which is sharpening with every passing day.
Feudalism in India in its semi-feudal phase has its particularity – – namely brahmanical feudalism – which is based on the caste system. Indian feudalism has generated and established brahmanism as the central ruling-class ideology since the emergence of feudalism in South Asia in the early medieval period. Feudalism, in order to continue to thrive on the face of the mighty anti-feudal struggles of the masses, has taken refuge in the lap of imperialism. The big comprador bureaucratic capitalists are also thriving under the aegis of imperialism. They have also been compromising with feudalism from the very beginning. Therefore, specific forms of struggle have to be evolved and incorporated in our anti-feudal struggle to smash brahmanical ideology, annihilate caste and destroy feudalism.
Colonial stranglehold over the Indian society did not come to an end after the so-called independence. Rather, India has been transformed from a colonial semi-feudal country to a semi-colonial and semi-feudal one under the policy of neo-colonialism pursued by imperialism. The alliance of imperialism and the comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie with feudalism still enjoys political power and controls the state. This is the very force which is ruling the country.
After the transfer of power this alliance introduced some changes in land relations without affecting the interests of the landlords as far as possible. Consequently, even after the so-called independence the monopoly of big landlords over land persists. Despite various land reform Acts, e.g., abolition of intermediary system of land tenure (zamindari, jagirdari, etc), land ceiling act, act for the security of tenancy right, acts for the protection of tribal land, etc., the landlords were allowed to remain outside the ambit of those acts, providing an unassailable gap between enactment and implementation. The land reform programme has remained a hoax. The vast majority of the rural poor remains deprived of the land while landless peasants and agricultural labourers still remain landless. In rural India inhuman exploitation continues to exist. The peasants are being exploited ruthlessly by the landlords/big landowners, and usurers and merchants render the plight of the peasants more and more deplorable. Even brutal forms of extra-economic coercion like bonded labour system, caste oppression and Untouchability are still in wide practice.
Imperialist agro-technology and the so-called green revolution have resulted in an exorbitant increase in the cost of agricultural production. In many areas commercial crops like tea, fruits, etc., and pisciculture have been introduced instead of staple foodgrain production. The transnational and comprador big bourgeois companies are controlling these at an ever increasing rate. Due to pressures of this clique the Government of India has revoked even the nominal Land Ceiling Act. The New Economic Policy of the government dictated by the WTO has accelerated this process. Quality seeds, fertilizers, insecticides, etc., are all beyond the reach of the poor and middle peasants. Reduction of subsidy for fertilizers at the instruction of the World Bank has come as a heavy blow to the peasants, of whom the middle and poor peasants are the worst targets. The slogan “from farmhouse to the port” is the outcome of the market-oriented policy of the government. This policy is resulting in the eviction of those peasants who are engaged in agriculture mainly for their livelihood. The incidents of suicide committed by the commercial crops-growing peasants in different parts of the country are on the rise due to the condition of the peasants being severely steeped in the crisis. Besides this, the food-crisis in India is gradually increasing, pushing a vast section of the Indian population to levels of malnutrition and hunger that have fallen below sub-Saharan Africa. And all these are the outcome of the degenerate semi-feudal and semi-colonial system.
Since the apparent devolution of power in 1947 the comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and big landlords have been uninterruptedly pursuing the policies dictated by the imperialists. In the industrial sector foreign capital had in fact, begun increasing its dominance straightway, directly and also through their collaboration with big Indian enterprises. The ruling classes have been serving the imperialists as lackeys since the time of Nehru. And during the last quarter of the 1960s they began to incline for acting as loyal agents of the erstwhile Soviet superpower. But since the eighties they began to tilt towards the US for economic assistance and after the total collapse of the USSR they became more and more dependent on the US imperialists. At present America assumes the dominant position though the influence of the EU countries, particularly France and Germany, along with Japan and Russia, has been increasing. Since the early 1980s the government of Indira Gandhi has taken huge loans as well as large-scale foreign investment through MNC-TNC and from the IMF/ WB on hard terms and conditions. Subsequent governments have also received fabulous amount of loans from the IMF & World Bank, and in order to satisfy the needs of the imperialists they have to introduce a set of so-called new policies namely, the “new economic policy”, “new industrial policy”, “new textiles policy”, “new education policy”, etc.
In 1980 India’s foreign debt read at Rupees 30,000 crores and by June of 1991 it registered a four-fold increase to reach the figure at Rs. 1,32,000 crores, and in 2005, it has come to an astronomical figure of Rs. 5,00,000 crores. The govt. of India has to pay Rs. 35,000 crores per annum as an interest on her external debt by 2005. By then every citizen of India has to bear the burden of external debt of worth more than Rs. 5,000.
Along with these there have been many trade agreements. In this way different imperialist countries, particularly United States of America, have been exploiting India more severely; not only that, they are increasing their stranglehold to politically control India. Even the US has established an office of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in New Delhi and in the name of Joint Army Exercises; the US has open army training centres in India.
Following Mexico and Brazil, India has become the one of the biggest debtor country in the oppressed countries of the World. Since the country has become entangled deeply in a debt-trap, even the nominal restrictions that prevailed in the past on the multinational and transnational companies have been totally withdrawn by the exploiting classes. Consequently, they have been given permission for the entry, in a big way, to several important sectors including mines, energy production, defence and retail trade. In addition thousands of crores of public sector assets are being handed over at cheap rates to the multinationals and comprador big bourgeoisie. Imperialist and comprador bourgeoisie have signed hundreds of MOUs to acquire and plunder the forest, land and natural resources which would displace millions of people particularly Adivasis. Mind boggling amounts of trillions of rupees involved in these agreements. Infrastructure corridor projects, chemical hubs, ports, urban beautification projects, SEZs and power and other industrial plant with the huge investment from monopoly bourgeoisie are set to bring displacement, destruction, decimation, devastation and death to millions of people. With this largest land grab after Columbus in history, not only alienates the adivasi and native people from their natural habitat but also destroy their culture languages and traditional strength of their communities rendering them homeless and destitute.
The Indian government has taken loans from the World Bank on hard terms with derogatory conditionalities. The fatal consequence of this has also fallen upon the working class, resulting in the golden handshakes, lay-offs, retrenchments, and curtailment of real wages, as well as massive retrenchment of workers and a big difference in pay scale announced in the report of the Sixth Pay Commission of the central government. But the employees are bound under changed working condition restricting their time and thought processes along with gradually doing away with Pension and social security benefits. Contractualisation and Casualisation is used as a main instrument to lower the wages of worker apart from using extra-economic and social coercion.
Various types of draconian laws have been imposed to suppress the working class movement. Trade union activities and the minimum rights of workers have been limited more and more by de facto, declaring the workers’ strikes as illegal. The number of educated unemployed figures more than five crores, while the unemployed and semi-employed is about 32 crores. Five lakh factories have been closed down till 2005. In India more than 50 percent of the people have been living below the poverty line and 40 crore are illiterate. A vast majority of the population does not have any opportunity for medical treatment; crores of people have no dwelling houses at all.
In addition, brutal repression continues upon all democratic movements. The leaders and cadres of the trade unions and civil liberties’ organizations and even journalists have been killed.
The people have been uninterruptedly fighting against all this exploitation and oppression. The peasantry and working class have fought many heroic battles and the students, youth, women, petty-bourgeoisie and intellectuals have waged many a struggles. The enemies have butchered thousands of people; lakhs of people are arrested and imprisoned while innumerable people have been tortured. In spite of having scarified their self-interests and even dedicated their lives, the people have not yet achieved real independence and democracy. The fundamental problems of the people are yet to be solved.
The solution of the fundamental problems of the people is related to the revolutionary changes of the whole social system. So the mass struggles too cannot be separated and isolated from the revolutionary struggle for changing the social system. But the reformist and revisionist parties of our country have deflected the mass struggles to save the interests of imperialism and feudalism and led people’s resentment towards the ballot box. They have confined the mass struggles only to the struggle for achieving the partial demands. But neither do they arouse the people in the spirit of the struggle for rooting out imperialism, feudalism and the present reactionary social system and for the establishment of a democratic social system. Nor do they educate the people of the importance of the necessity to unite with these struggles.
After Telengana the great peasant movement in Naxalbari once again dealt a deathblow against reformism and revisionism. And it illuminated the path of the Indian revolution. Naxalbari opened a new chapter in the history of the peasant struggle in India and held aloft the banner of agrarian revolution and the politics of seizure of state power.
The peasant struggle of Naxalbari was not merely the struggle for the seizure of land. It was the struggle of the people with the aim of seizure of political power for the abolition of the semi-feudal and semi-colonial system as well as for the establishment of all economic and political rights of the people, including that over land. It does symbolize the great political significance of the Naxalbari struggle. So, the struggle of Naxalbari bears not only a significance for the struggles of the poor and landless peasants but it also carries great significance as a struggle for the emancipation of all the anti-feudal and anti-imperialist people of India. For this reason the struggle of Naxalbari was able to stir and rouse the whole country and was successful to rally the greater section of the masses of the peasantry, working class, students, youth, women, intellectuals and all other sections of the democratic people on the basis of the slogan “Naxalbari Ek-Hi Rasta”. Today, the agrarian revolutionary torch of Naxalbari is shining more brightly in Telangana, Andhra, Jharkhand, Bihar, Dandakaranya, Odisha and some other parts in the country and is illuminating the path of Indian revolution.
The struggle of Naxalbari brought about a great revolution in the consciousness of the people — the consciousness for social revolution. In the sphere of struggle, it upheld a new orientation—the orientation of agrarian revolution. It linked the revolutionary mass struggle with the revolutionary struggle for social change. Today, various new forms and tactics of mass struggle have developed and extend to different parts of the country.
PRESENT POLITICAL SITUATION
Today, the imperialist system has plunged into a deep economic and political crisis. This crisis is deepening and becoming more and more acute in every passing day. This vindicates that the crisis in the world imperialist system is permanent, while the recovery is temporary and relative. At present the crisis of the imperialist system has been getting more and more acute inspite of massive intervention by the imperialist governments to come out of it. The governments of the imperialist countries have been continuing to shift the burden of the crisis onto the shoulder of the people of the backward countries like India. As a result, the economic crisis of our country is also deepening and becoming more and more acute every day.
The contradictions among the imperialist countries in the international arena are simultaneously reflected in India as well. Consequently, these contradictions are also reflected in the political parties of the exploiting classes, in the government and the administration and also in the police and military departments. Splits within the old political parties and fall of governments and the subsequent formation of new parties and governments are going on just like a house of cards. News of increasing sharpness of contradictions between army officers and ordinary army personnel and also between the police officers and the police personals are surfacing time to time. As a result of internal contradictions, all the organizations of the ruling classes are becoming gradually weaker. Both in the centre and in many states, governments by a single party having an absolute majority are absent. The coalition governments are functioning and sustaining through sheer manipulation. The parliamentary parties like Congress, Janata Dal, BJP, Rastriya Janata Dal, Samata Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party, CPI, CPI (M), Telugu Desam, Akali Dal, AIADMK, DMK, AGP, etc., are internally divided in numerous groups or lobbies due to inner contradictions and are isolated from the people.
In our country, the contradiction between imperialism and the majority of the Indian people and the contradiction between feudalism and the greater masses of the people are intensifying day by day. Due to the contradictions among the imperialist powers, the deep economic and political crisis, and ever-increasing resistance struggle of the people, there is no sign of stability in the whole ruling system including the parliamentary system. Disorder and uncertainty are uninterruptedly prevailing and will continue to prevail in all the economic and political spheres of India.
INDIAN PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM
This crisis expresses itself in the acute in-fights within the ruling class parties and permanent political instability in the entire ruling and parliamentary system. It renders more and more exposure of the parliamentary system — its politics and parliamentary ruling parties. The state machinery developed by the ruling classes consists of a corrupt bureaucracy, anti-people judiciary, a police force and a well equipped modern army and other armed forces. The role of the parliamentary system is to cover this ruthless class rule and to delude the people, in which elections are but another sham enacted periodically to keep up the mask of democracy. Ruling-class parties and their sycophants project the parliamentary election as a system which people can use to assert their democratic rights. This false notion is also being exposed by the very acts of the ruling classes themselves. There is unprecedented malpractice, widespread rigging and rampant corruption in all parliamentary and assembly elections. Elections are conducted by the force of muscle-power. This shatters the myth of the democratic character of the Indian parliamentary electoral system.
Today, the ministers and top leaders of different parliamentary parties have misappropriated lakhs of crores of rupees through innumerable scandals. Top state-leaders, MLAs and MPs, top administrative officers, and top army officers — none of them do anything for the interest of the Country or the ‘People’. Rather their activities serve the interest of imperialism and feudalism. The activities of these anti-people leaders have exposed the real character of independence and democracy of India. No democratic decision is ever found in any of the parliamentary parties nor can any bourgeois democracy be expected from them.
Indian Parliamentary system was imposed by British colonialism. It has nothing to do with the people’s struggles and ever remained alien to the people. It has no character to provide any reform or relief to the masses, but acts as an instrument of exploitation and oppression of people in the hands of the reactionary classes. The real power rests with the executive. Further a clique in the ruling party decides everything including all agreements with foreign powers. In the real sense the Indian Parliamentary Democacy is rule of oligarchy. The mass movements for the fulfilment of minimum demands of the people are brutally suppressed with lathis, bullets and bayonets. The consciousness of the people is rapidly developing about the bluff of the parliamentary system. In the areas of agrarian revolutionary struggles of Andhra, Jharkhand, Bihar and Dandakaranya the people have raised the slogan that the “boycott of elections is a democratic right”. They have translated this slogan into a broad mass movement of the active boycott of elections. This movement has expanded to a wider area facing the onslaughts of the police and cadres of electoral parties. In the northeastern region, the people of the various nationalities of Assam. Tripura, Manipur, Nagaland and also of Kashmir have advanced their liberation struggles defying the parliamentary path and boycotting the elections. In the course of election-boycott movement many new forms of struggle have been emerging.
DIVIDE AND RULE — AN EVIL DESIGN
The governments of the ruling classes have been adopting one after another anti-people policies to come out of this severe economic and political crisis. As a result of this the plight of the people is becoming more and more miserable. In this condition anti-state struggles of the people have been developing in different parts of the country. The ruling class parties cannot find any viable slogan to hoodwink the people. They have therefore resorted to ‘divide and rule’ policies more and more, along with repressive measures to foil the anti-state united struggles of the people. Accordingly they have been hatching one after another sinister plots instigating casteism, racial hatred, regionalism, communalism and religious fundamentalism, particularly Hindu fundamentalism. They have been trying their best to put people against the people. They have openly encourage Hindu fundamentalism and helped develop vicious Hindutva fascist forces like the RSS, Bajrang Dal, VHP, and Shiv Sena. These fascist Hindu forces have time and again organised brutal pogroms, as in Gujarat, Kandhmal and danced a dragon like dance of death. The aim of the ruling classes is to turn the class struggle into a fatricidal war between communities.
This Hindutva communalism is also directed against the dalit sections, Adivasis and women. The brutal Hindutva fundamentalist forces help perpetuate and utilize the caste system, particularly Brahminical casteism, as another tool to instigate people in the on-going caste war. Thus they distract people from the struggle against the ruling classes.
In India the two most prominent aspects of social oppression are patriarchal oppression on women and caste oppression on the “lower” castes, particularly the despicable practice of untouchability against dalits.
Women remain one of the most oppressed sections of society. Apart from the feudal and imperialist exploitation, they also bear the burden of patriarchal oppression. Gender based discrimination and oppression is the hallmark of semi-feudal semi-colonial society in which women are denied property rights and under given discriminatory wages. In this society women are not allowed to choose their life partner. Their sexuality is controlled to perpetuate Brahamanical caste system and maintain property relations within the status quo. ‘Honour’ killings are one of the most brutal forms of control of sexuality in this society. Women are also subjected to male oppression and suppression through patriarchal institutions, like family, marriage, caste system, property relations, feudal and imperialist culture. Sexual harassment and atrocities on women have increased in recent years, particularly because of so-called liberalization and imperialist Globalization and Consumerism. The so-called constitutional laws in providing equality to women have proved to be a hoax. The revisionist forces have failed to approach the women question from the perspective of revolutionary theory and practice, and to connect the fight against patriarchy with the fight for a revolutionary social transformation. These forces have failed to see the specificity of the women question in the subcontinent which is intrinsically connected with the caste system and the semi-feudal social relations that sustain it, thereby failing to identify the interdependence of patriarchy and caste. In this context, the women masses, particularly the women from the landless and poor peasants, are increasingly receptive to the revolutionary democratic politics – its ideology and practice. The fact is that “women represent half of the sky”. Without unleashing the fury of women as a mighty force of revolution, victory in revolution is impossible. Hence, the mobilization of particularly toiling women in the revolutionary struggle against imperialism and feudalism is a must.
CASTE OPPRESSION AND UNTOUCHABILITY
Besides the brahmanical feudal forces and imperialist class exploitation and oppression the Dalit masses are also caught in the age-old vicious grip of the caste system. That is why they are also the victims of untouchability, caste discrimination, oppression and atrocities and upper caste chauvinism. The attacks on Dalits by the upper caste landlords and their goons along with the state machinery have increased recently. Due to deeply ingrained casteist thinking, particularly against dalits, even amongst backward castes, in many parts of the country there have been a growing number of attacks by a rising section of new feudal lords of these backward castes against dalits. This is particularly manifest in those areas where feudal authority is threatened by the increasing assertion of dalits, especially of their landless and poor sections. Many are unable to tolerate any rise in status, whether economic or educational of the dalits, or their increased assertion. The obnoxious caste system and casteism is continuously being perpetuated by the brahmanical feudal ruling classes and later by the imperialism for thousand of years. They continue to use and instigate this system to also divide the working class, peasantry and other working people so that they may continue their class exploitation and oppression. They use it for derailing their actual struggle directed against imperialism and feudalism. Dalit section of the people is mostly the victim of these intrigues. Accordingly, the Dalits are being treated as second grade citizens. Even today 90 to 95% from among them are either landless and poor peasants or village labourers. Their struggles against the ruling classes for getting equal status in the society are being treated inhumanly and make victims of these vicious attacks by the ruling classes and their state machinery. These attacks are being manifested in the form of massacres and mass gang rapes.
IMPERIALIST & FEUDAL CULTURE
Rural India is dominated by a culture that protects, instigates and propagates superstition, casteism, untouchability, authoritarian concepts, patriarchy, and religious fundamentalism, along with other feudal concepts, customs and habits constituting the most reactionary brahmanical ideology. This anti-people culture serves the interests of the landlords, usurers, merchants and other feudal/semi-feudal forces who dominate the rural economy. They ensure the persistence of this culture and also pave the way for decadent imperialist forces to perpetuate their domination over the people of the country. They also encourage the culture of the hatred for labour and labourers, autocracy, imperialism, imperialist slavery, blind greed, aimlessness, self-centeredness and ego, and a perverted culture. They also create hatred towards people’s languages, cultures and even life and life styles of people.
Rampant propaganda of imperialist and feudal culture is on the rise through the TV, radio, cinema, dance, song, drama, newspapers and various types of periodicals. Liquor, gambling and drugs are growing widely. The ruling classes, with the help of their propaganda machinery propagate this degenerate culture throughout the country. This ruling-class sponsored culture intends to destroy the sense of just and, human values, democratic and patriotic values, and rational and scientific ideas of the people.
Against this gloomy and degenerate culture spread by imperialists and feudal oligarchies, revolutionary masses have been consistently and gradually building up people’s culture based on the consolidated people’s movements against brutal feudal authority and inhuman imperialist exploitation. Slowly and gradually this centre of people’s culture is taking shape in the areas of intense people’s struggles of the Indian revolutionary movement.
OPPRESION ON NATIONALITIES
India is a vast multinational country comprising various oppressed nationalities and tribes. These nationalities are going through different stages of their development. India’s present boundaries were drawn by British imperialists. The current “unity” is based on the subjugation of many people and nationalities to an arbitrary central authority. Hence, this unequal and reactionary “unity” is very fragile. In India today many nationality struggles in various parts of the country assuming various forms, including armed struggle, are going on and advancing. The overall picture reflects the rousing mood of the masses. The reactionary ruling classes and their imperialist chieftains, particularly the US imperialists, are desperately engaged in ruthlessly suppressing these struggles. The struggles of various nationalities, particularly the Kashmir, Naga, Assam, Manipur and other nationalities in the North Eastern region are continuing the armed struggle against the Indian state. These struggles continue to strike powerful blows against the most repressive armed forces of the reactionary ruling classes. Until now over 90 thousands toiling people have been killed in Kashmir in the last 25 years alone. Millions of Indian armed forces are deployed in the land of these nationalities to suppress their movements brutally under the iron heel of the military might, but even then the burning flames of these struggles could not be extinguished. The people of these nationalities are struggling not only for their identity but also for the just cause of achieving their honourable right of self-determination including the right to secession. It is the masses of toiling people particularly the peasantry who bear the largest burden of the oppression of a nationality. Undoubtedly it is true that this is the real material basis beneath these struggles, viewing from this angle also these nationality struggles can achieve genuine liberation and the right of self-determination including the right to secession as a part of the larger struggle directed against the Indian ruling classes and their imperialist chieftains, particularly the US imperialists. The RDF unequivocally supports these nationality struggles and the struggle, for separate statehood and resolutely opposes the vicious attempts of the Indian ruling classes to suppress these nationality movements. While, firmly uniting with the people, each and every struggle of the nationalities should be supported if it is directed against the Indian state’s oppression, repression and occupation.
The expansionist policies of the comprador bureaucrat bourgeoisie have become a great threat to the security and integrity of the neighbouring countries of South Asia and their people. Through implementation of this policy the ruling classes of India intend to grab their market and sources of raw materials. This expansionist policy has been backed and encouraged by the imperialist forces as they consider the Indian ruling classes as a time-tested medium for their exploitation and domination. Following this expansionist policy the Government of India annexed Sikkim, captured their markets and further intensified exploitation, rendering suffering to the Sikkimese people. They directly threatened Bhutan by sending the army into their territory and compelled the Bhutanese government to crush the nationality movements based there. In this suppression campaign the Bhutanese government had deployed the Bhutanese army which was utilized as cannon fodder. The nuclear blasts and launching of the Prithvi and Agni missiles were planned by the expansionist ruling classes to instil fear among the people of South Asian countries and subdue them.
They have also been using the SAARC primarily for the setting up a Free Trade Area to allow the free flow of goods from India, thereby seizing their markets. Of late, they also seek to use it for their so-called anti-terrorist policies throughout South Asia, to suppress people’s and nationality movements in the region.
The ruling classes of India interfere in the internal affairs of Nepal on a day-to-day basis. They have concluded several unequal and undemocratic treaties with Nepal in the past, which have remaine important instruments of exploitation of Nepal’s people and resources by the Indian ruling classes. By using its political and economic clout over the Nepalese ruling classes, India dictates each and every governmental policy, and interferes with the internal affairs of a sovereign country.
BRUTAL STATE REPRESSION AND RESISTANCE OF THE PEOPLE
The people of India have been plunged into ruthless economic exploitation and brutal political oppression. The ruling classes are unable to solve the problems of the people. Rather the problems are continuously increasing. Today the failure of this ruling system has been clearly exposed even to the common people. So the people have demanded democratic changes. Yet the ruling classes are protecting their outdated structure on the strength of their guns. The contradiction between the demand for democratic changes and the outdated structure has become more and more sharp. First of all, the ruling classes have used force/violence indiscriminately. So the force/violence becomes a very important aspect of the political agenda. It cannot be denied that the ruling classes have imposed an undeclared war on the people of India.
The ongoing agrarian revolutionary struggles of Andhra, Jharkhand, Bihar and Dandakaranya and in other parts of the country too are the main targets of attack of the ruling classes. The militant struggles of the workers and the toiling masses and the struggles for the right to self-determination and other struggles of the people of various nationalities are also their targets of attack. The exploiting classes have deployed, apart from police, various types of Para-military forces like the CRPF, BSF, Commando forces and also vast military forces for the suppression of these struggles. Apart from these anti-people police and paramilitary forces, the ruling classes have deployed the Indian Army in Narayanpur district of North Bastar under Indian state’s war against the people of central and eastern India. Nearly 600 square kilometres have been earmarked for the army to set up cantonment and training facilities on this vast swathe of forested land. In addition, the Indian Air Force has been put in action in this war for all purposes including reconnaissance, troop movement, and even aerial bombardment and lethal attacks in the garb of ‘self defence’. Sophisticated surveillance systems and war machines are being bought from US imperialists, Israel and European powers for use against the oppressed people of the country – mostly adivasis. The role of imperialist forces such as the US in instigating and guiding this genocidal class war is clear, aimed at facilitating the emptying out the forests and hills of their minerals. All forms of popular protest and resistance are being labelled as anti-development or anti-national, and are being persecuted.
On the other hand, their need for sharpening the repressive state-machinery has increased manifold. In this context, they have brought-forth the POTA, a new and more draconian law than TADA, and the repeal of POTA by the UPA government has no meaning since it was reincarnated in the form of the Unlawful Activities (Amendment) Act, 1965, with the very purpose of thwarting and repressing the rising tide of the genuine revolutionary people’s movements, along with other people’s movements and the nationality struggles as also those of the religious and other minorities. They have also started clamping down on the mass organizations of the people of Nepali origin, residing in India for their livelihood, by using this law. Many state governments of different brands, including Andhra Pradesh, Chhatisgarh have brought forth their own anti-people laws of a similar nature, under different names and pretexts.
In addition, many state governments have been undertaking brutal repression campaigns through encirclement and suppression to confine and exterminate the onward march of the people’s revolutionary movement advancing along the just path of Protracted People’s War. The ruling classes are feeling threatened by this growing tide of revolutionary upsurge directed against smashing the present exploitative, oppressive and dictatorial state system representing imperialism and feudalism. to establish a new democratic India. In their suppression campaigns, the police and other paramilitary forces are conducting combing operations by encircling the villages and thus torturing people on a mass scale. They demolish peasant’s houses, looting everything in the name of decree, raping women and killing peasants
by firing indiscriminately. They routinely kill activists and leaders of the movement in staged encounters. The killings of such brave sons and daughters of the people in fake encounters have become an undeclared law of the Indian ruling classes. Accordingly, the role of a judge and assassin has been assigned to the police forces. Moreover, they have established a “Joint command centre” of many states, under the direct command of the central government to co-ordinate and carry out their vicious repression against these movements.
The police and military forces are suppressing the movements for self-determination and for democratic rights of the various nationalities. In various parts of the country, people belonging to politically economically and culturally backward nationalities, such as Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Telanagana, Gorkhaland etc. are carrying out their struggles for liberation from extreme exploitation and repression. At present the struggle in the tribal areas of the country has got a great momentum and reached a higher form with an aim to transform “Jharkhand into Lalkhand”. The struggles of the nationalities in Kashmir, Nagaland, Manipur, Assam and Tripura are being subjected to inhuman oppression by the government of India. The Indian forces have killed over 90 thousands Kashmiris to suppress the movement of the people of Kashmir for self-determination. They have also butchered thousands of youth in Punjab with the false accusation of terrorism. In spite of all these, the struggles of the nationalities are marching forward.
The ruling classes are plunging even the ordinary mass movements of the Indian peoples into bloodshed. They have promulgated draconian laws to suppress the ordinary mass activities like rallies, public meetings, mass mobilizations and strikes of the workers and also banned some mass organizations. In Andhra Pradesh, the workers of the Singareni coalmines have been tortured and attacked by the police for a long period of time and the leaders and activists of workers’ movement have been killed in fake encounters. In Bihar, the peoples’ movements against the verdict of death sentence on eight peasants, allegedly linked with the Bara and Bhabhua case, had been ruthlessly suppressed by the police with lathis and bullets. In the struggling areas of Andhra, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha and Dandakaranya as well as in the areas of the nationality struggles the mass movements on election boycott have faced severe attacks, let loose by the police and Para-military forces. The spontaneous movements of the people in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Haryana, Rajasthan, Odisha and other States of the country, have also been ruthlessly suppressed by the state machinery. All these struggles of the people are continuously developing to the higher stage by combating these suppressions.
As the culmination of all these different styles and forms of struggle of the people, an embryonic form of the new people’s state has been manifested itself in Andhra, Jharkhand Bihar and Dandakaranya. The peasants of these areas have been launching these struggles on the basis of the slogan – “Land to the tiller” and “All powers to the Revolutionary Peoples’ Councils”, and according to the law “where there is repression, there is resistance”. The peasants are confiscating the land, removable properties, and arms and ammunitions of the landlords. They are promulgating and establishing their own law and authority. They are punishing the tyrants, zamindars, jotedars, ringleaders of hooligans, and the police agents after putting them on trial in the People’s Courts. The peasants are waging a developed form of resistance struggle against the torture and onslaughts of the private armies of the landlords and of the police and Para-military forces. In the areas of peasant struggle of Andhra, Jharkhand, Bihar and Dandakaranya, the clash between the police and Para-military forces and the people have become an every-day feature.
WHO ARE THE ENEMIES? WHO ARE THE FRIENDS?
Who are the enemies of the Indian people?
There is no doubt that imperialism is the enemy of the Indian people. They are plundering the immense wealth of our country and dictating terms in every sphere of our social life. Therefore, the imperialists of all countries, particularly US imperialism, are the enemies of the Indian people.
The comprador big bourgeoisie who have betrayed the interest of our country and people and have completely capitulated to the imperialists are also the enemies of the people.
In the countryside the zamindars, jotedars, usurers, moneylenders and big dishonest businessmen are the enemies of the people.
In a word, imperialism, the comprador big bourgeoisie and feudalism are the main enemies of our country and the people.
Who are the friends of the Indian people?
The working class and the peasantry, especially the poor and landless peasants are the main force of the struggle against imperialist and feudal exploitation and oppression. They feel the most urgent necessity for the revolutionary change of society. The middle peasant is a resolute friend of this struggle. The rich peasant, as far as their contradiction with imperialism is concerned, is also an ally of this struggle. The students, youth, intellectuals, the petty-bourgeoisie like government and semi-government employees, teachers, lawyers, doctors, engineers, writers, artists and all other toiling masses are the friends and important forces of this struggle. The indigenous bourgeoisie are a vacillating force but they are also our friends in anti-imperialist struggle.
OUR AIMS AND TASKS
The RDF desires that the people of India liberate themselves from the clutches of exploitation and oppression from imperialism, the comprador bourgeoisie and feudalism. The RDF wants the abolition of this exploitative and oppressive system. So it raises the slogan – “Rise”, “Resist” and “Liberate” to create a new democratic India.
The RDF with its utmost capability will wage resolute struggle against feudal and imperialist exploitation, atrocities and oppression. If the struggle is not to be confined to the limits of the parliamentary sphere and if the revolutionary struggle is to be uninterruptedly continued, it will not be adequate to merely wage the struggle against feudal and imperialist exploitation, atrocity and oppression only, rather we have to advance our thinking for building a revolutionary struggle for the total eradication of feudalism and imperialism. If we start our struggle against exploitation and repression with this spirit, the struggle will be more resolute and its power of resistance will be increased manifold. So, to rouse the people with the consciousness of resistance struggles and to make them really fit to participate in this struggle, the RDF upholds the path of Naxalbari i.e., the path of Andhra, Jharkhand, Bihar and Dandakaranya revolutionary movement. The RDF will conduct intensive and massive propaganda highlighting this path and will help these struggles in every possible way.
NEW DEMOCRATIC INDIA
The RDF will build up various types of people’s resistance struggles in support to those resistance struggles which are now going on to build a new democratic India, eradicating the exploitation and rule of imperialism and feudalism. Having coordinated all these struggles, the new democratic and independent India, in truest sense of the term, will be built up. On the basis of the above-mentioned spirit the RDF will build up powerful anti-imperialist and anti-feudal resistance movements with the aim of establishing a new democratic India. In this way the real power of ruling the country will come into the hands of exploited and oppressed people i.e. to the hands of the real democratic peoples of India. Following this path of struggle, RDF will build up new democratic politics, a new economy and a new culture in India, where imperialist and feudal exploitation and oppression will be eradicated. The people will enjoy real independence and democratic rights. The working class will become free from the exploitation of imperialism and the comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie. The peasants will have their land, dignity and rights. The problem of unemployment, food, education and health will be solved. The people will ensure their rights to live with dignity. The tortures on women will be stopped and the women will enjoy equal rights. Caste oppression and communalism will be abolished, and the social repression on the dalits, particularly untouchability, will come to an end. The people of different nationalities will achieve their emancipation from exploitation and oppression. A democratic and revolutionary culture of the people will surge forward.
The RDF will organize and wage resistance struggles along the orientation of the above-mentioned aims and objectives on the basis of the following program:
1. The RDF will resolutely support all sorts of anti-feudal and anti-imperialist struggles of the people. In India, the working class and peasantry constitute the vast majority of the population. It is the anti-feudal and anti-imperialist struggles of the working class and peasantry, particularly of the poor and landless peasants, that lays the foundation for the revolutionary changes of the social system of India. The RDF will not only support all these struggles but extend all sorts of help and co-operation to develop them as well.
2. The RDF knows that in smashing the old and building a truly new India, the genuine people’s revolutionary forces cannot utilize the parliamentary platform by any means in building the powerful people’s revolutionary movement. Hence, from the very beginning, the RDF will not only oppose and expose this system, but also continue to build up the “Boycott Election” movement along with resolutely advancing the resistance struggle. RDF will build and continue to develop this movement on the basis of the slogan “Election boycott is a democratic right”.
3. In India imperialism exists and rests on the base of feudalism. The RDF therefore, calls upon all the anti-imperialist resistance struggles to stand by the ongoing agrarian revolutionary struggles in Andhra, Jharkhand, Bihar, and Dandakaranya in order to abolish the feudal exploitation and oppression. Only in this way can we liberate ourselves also from the yoke of imperialist exploitation and oppression.
4. The RDF will exert its utmost effort to organize and wage widespread mass movement against imperialism and the conspiracies and machinations of the World Bank and IMF controlled by the imperialist forces, led by US imperialism. The RDF fights against the WTO regime being implemented in the country builds a struggle demanding the withdrawal of India from WTO in toto. and The RDF will also build up strong mass movements mobilising all anti-imperialist forces of the country against the polices of all the new imperialist-dictated policies like the “New Economic Policy”, “New Industrial Policy”, Retrenchment and Voluntary Retirement Policy through the “golden hand-shake”, etc. of the Indian government. At the same time it will expose the activities of different NGOs and the treacherous and pro-imperialist character of different reformist and revisionist parties.
5. The RDF will carry on resolute resistance struggles against price-rise, inflation, retrenchment, privatization, and corruption.
6. The RDF will organize and wage resistance struggle against imperialist and feudal culture.
7. The RDF will lend resolute support and provide with all sorts of help to the women’s movements in demand of their right to equality, democratic rights and fight against patriarchal domination, trafficking of women and young girls within India and abroad, rape and molestation, killing of brides, dowry system, honour killing, objectification of women and all types of atrocities and exploitation against women. At the same time it will oppose bourgeois or radical feminism and whole-heartedly support the movements launched for genuine women’s liberation.
8. The RDF will resolutely support the mass movements against caste oppression and discrimination against the oppressed castes and particularly upon the dalits. It will vehemently oppose all forms of untouchability against dalits and support their fight for equal rights and for special privileges, including reservation for dalits and other backward castes in education, employment and in providing other opportunities.
9. The RDF will launch campaign for organizing a widespread public opinion against communalism, casteism, racial hatred, fundamentalism and religious fanaticism, particularly Hindu fanaticism. It will isolate and defeat the Hindutva fascist forces; concentrate the attacks in particular on the BJP, RSS, VHP, Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena and other Hindu chauvinist and fascist organisations. Support the struggle of the religious minorities against the Hindu chauvinist policies of the Indian State. The RDF will carry on resolute struggle against the “divide and rule” policy of the exploiting classes and parliamentary parties and also against their policy of harbouring communal riots. Simultaneously, the RDF will organize a widespread public opinion against all sorts of deception, bluff and instigation of the parliamentary parties and of all types of fundamentalist forces.
10. The RDF will support the students’ movements in its demand of introducing a scientific education system against the existing semi-colonial and semi-feudal one. The RDF will resolutely support the student’s movement against the new education policy of the Government of India, against the privatization and commercialization of education and also in favour of their other democratic demands.
11. The organised sector of the working class in the country is still in the grip of revisionists. The growing revolutionary movement across the country began to show its impact on the workers. The workers face worst type of exploitation under the liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation. The fight of the workers against wage-cuts, contract labour, golden shake-hands, lock-outs, etc. is steadily gaining momentum. The revolutionary vanguard role of the working class will assume its place more and more in the context of the growing labour unrest in the country. The RDF shall involve in the working class struggles and try to bridge and amalgamate the fast developing struggles of workers and peasants.
12. The RDF will not only lend resolute support to the struggles for establishing the right to self-determination of the people of all nationalities and to their movements for other democratic demands, but will also provide them all sorts of help.
13. Adivasis constitute 10% of Indian population. They have been continuously waging larger struggle against the colonial and imperialist occupation and appropriation of their forest, land and other natural recourses. Mining, industry, big dams and other projects brought out by the Indian ruling classes displaced millions of Adivasis from their native soil without any rehabilitation and providing any security to them. The recent onslaught on Adivasis reached highest proportions. Millions more are going to be displaced with large amounts of foreign capital entering these areas for exploitation of natural resources. The RDF stands for the complete rights of Adivasis on their forests and its produce. RDF is completely opposed to any kind of displacement Adivasis from their immediate environment and believes no amount of compensation can rehabilitate them.
14. The Indian ruling classes have been unleashing barbarous state repression on the agrarian revolutionary struggles in Andhra, Jharkhand, Bihar and Dandakaranya as well as on the nationality movements and on the democratic movements of the people. The RDF will resolutely lend support to the just struggles of these people and will organize and wage a resolute resistance struggle against the brutal state repression and white terror.
15. The RDF will lend resolute support to the anti-imperialist movement of the toiling masses of all strata including workers, peasants, students, youth, women, dalits, intellectuals, artists, writers, doctors, engineers, teachers, handicraft people. Being attached as a part and parcel with these struggles, the RDF will advance towards the path of anti-feudal and anti-imperialist New Democratic Revolution to build up a happy, prosperous, independent and democratic India.
16. The RDF will extend resolute support to the revolutionary struggles of the working class, peasantry and other toiling masses and the liberation movements of the nationality people of all countries of the globe and build a solidarity movement against the repression on these struggles. Besides it will resolutely support people’s resistance struggle against expansionism of India and oppose the expansionist policy of India in the Indian sub-continent at the gesture of imperialism.
17. The RDF will continue to extend a resolute and practical support to all the revolutionary movements, including the genuine national liberation movements directed against the world imperialist system which are going on and developing and which may emerge in different parts of the globe. It will extend this support by using various methods and particularly organizing solidarity movements in their support and against the repression on the movements of the Peruvian, Philippine, Turkish and Nepali people. It will raise voice of support to the people of Nepal who are fighting not only against imperialism but also against Indian expansionism. RDF will continue to expose and oppose Indian expansionism, nurtured by imperialism. This factor, along with some other factors, serves as the basis of closer relationship between the people and the revolutionary struggle of the two countries.
The people of India have been living under semi-colonial, semi-feudal rule for a long period of time. The state machinery is ruthlessly suppressing even the trade union type of ordinary movements of the people for minimum democratic demands. In such a condition, to fulfil and accomplish the higher tasks of the mass movements, and to meet with the needs for the development of struggle and organization, we constitute the RDF. So the leaders and cadres of the RDF must be politically determined, enthusiastic in sacrificing their self-interest and even dedicating their lives and to be bold enough to wage resistance struggles. Only then, we will be able to advance the resistance struggles in India.
Greater masses of democratic and progressive forces have to be involved in our programmes. We must be well versed in adopting correct and flexible policies and methods in joint activities. The RDF will try its best to unite in the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal struggles with those individuals and organizations who oppose the parliamentary path, support the revolutionary struggles and oppose state repressions. The RDF will unite with others too in issue-based joint activities by forming a platform like “People’s Action Committees”. The RDF will unite with the world proletariat, oppressed countries, nations and people, and will fully support their anti-imperialist struggles and also build up solidarity movement in favour of these struggles.
We are going to form RDF to achieve an alternative to the persisting semi-feudal, semi-colonial rule, mobilising the vast majority of the people who aspire for a genuine democratic political setup, which ensures not only the democratic rights of the people but also the free and independent development of the economy. The RDF will stand whole-heartedly in support of the people’s revolutionary struggles which are advancing and spreading to different parts of the country to fulfil such a mission.
The RDF will also support people’s/national democratic movements throughout the world against the global imperialist system. It will organise solidarity movements in support of these movements.
Article 1. Name of the Organisation
a) Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) in English.
b) Kratikari Janwadi Morcha (RDF) in Hindi
c) In different states the name of the organisation should be written in the respective languages but RDF should be kept within brackets.
Article 2. Logo and Flag of the Organisation
Colour of the flag is red. There is a symbol of clenched hand with a torn fetter in the middle of the flag. Above it are inscribed the words ‘Rise’, ‘Resist’ and ‘Liberate’ while ‘RDF’, the abbreviated name of the organization, is to be studded below. The size of the flag should be 2:3 in width and length.
Article 3. Area of work
The organisation has a perspective to work at all India level by having committees formed at the level of all states in India.
Article 4. Membership
a) Any individual who attains the age of 18 and accepts the Manifesto and Constitution can join as a member. And the organisations, which accept the programme and constitution, can also join as members.
b) Imperialist/government funded organisations or individuals who are part of policy making of such organisations shall not be admitted as members.
c) Membership fee for all organisations—Rs. 1000/- per annum, for individual member—Rs.100/- per annum.
Article 5. Organisational Structure
a) A central executive committee of RDF will be formed. Delegates of representative organizations of different states will be elected as members of the central executive committee through the conference. Not more than 10% of any committee of RDF will have individuals as its members.
b) The representative organizations of different provinces of the RDF may have an independent name.
c) State units which function with a different name will write “ a State Unit of RDF’ under its name.
d) The central executive committee will lead the organization on the principle of consensus.
e) At the central level, there will be an All-India Executive Committee (EC). It will be elected by All-India conference.
f) There will be state level committees elected by the conferences.
g) The central executive committee will elect a president, vice-president, a secretary, three assistant secretaries and a treasurer.
Article 6. Meetings
a) The EC members of the All India Committee shall meet once in every three months.
Article 7. Rights and responsibilities of office-bearers
a) The president shall preside over the EC meetings and office-bearers’ meetings.
b) The vice-president shall preside over these meetings in the absence of the president.
c) The general secretary in consultation with the president calls for the meetings of the office-bearers and the EC.
d) The joint secretaries help the general secretary and carry out the duties of the general secretary in his/her absence.
e) The treasurer keeps accounts and presents to the ECs, and to the conference.
f) The general secretary is the chief executive of the organisation.
g) The president is the chief spokesperson of the organisation.
Article 8. Discipline
a) RDF arrives at decisions democratically through majority vote in all committees.
b) All the lower committees shall implement the decisions of the All India committee.
c) From the platform of the organisation or any united front, committee members at all levels shall express only the stand of the organisation.
d) Disciplinary action can be taken against those who act against the Manifesto and the Constitution of the organisation or the decisions of the committees. Efforts must be made to solve the problems internally through democratic processes. Expulsion from the organisation is the ultimate action, which can be awarded only after all precautions are strictly taken.
e) The differences and conflicts among the member organisations should not be openly expressed from the dais of RDF or any public dais.
Article 9. Magazine
a) On behalf of the organisation, an English magazine called Peoples Resistance and Hindi magazine called Jan Prtirodh should be brought out at the central level.
b) Organs in other languages may also be published
c) The Executive Committee shall appoint editorial board/s for the management of the magazines.
Article 10. Funds
a) For funds, the organisation should depend on the members, member organisations, and the people.
b) All publications should be self-supporting.
c) The All-India committee should acquire funds for its requirements, in cooperation with the state committees. The funds acquired by state committees shall be distributed in the ratio of 25:75 for all India, state committees.
Article 11. Change of Constitution
The Manifesto and the Constitution can be amended/changed if necessary by the all India Conference by 2/3 majority.
Article 12. Conference
The conference of the organization is to be held at an interval of three years, though the time limit may vary as per the specificity of the situation.