Building the People’s Democratic Front

7.1 For the complete and thoroughgoing fulfillment of the basic tasks of the Indian revolution, in the present stage it is absolutely essential to replace the present bourgeois-landlord State headed by the big bourgeoisie by a State of people’s democracy led by the working class.

7.2 The nature of our revolution in the present stage of its development is essentially anti-feudal, anti-imperialist, anti-monopoly and democratic. The stage of our revolution also determines the role of the different classes in the struggle to achieve it. In the present era, the proletariat will have to lead the democratic revolution as a necessary step in its forward march to the achievement of socialism. It is not the old type of bourgeois democratic revolution, but a new type of people’s democratic revolution organised and led by the working class.

7.3 The first and foremost task of the people’s democratic revolution is to carry out radical agrarian reform in the interests of the peasantry so as to sweep away all the remnants of feudal and semi-feudal fetters on our productive forces of agriculture as well as industries. This will have to be supplemented by sweeping measures of reforming the social system through which such remnants of pre-capitalist society as the caste and other social systems keep the villages tied to age-old backwardness. This task is inextricably bound up with the completion of the agrarian revolution which, in fact, is the axis of the people’s democratic revolution. The second urgent task is to free the economic, political and social life of our people from the disastrous influence of imperialism and domination by the MNCs and various agencies of international monopoly capital. With this is also related the task of breaking the power of monopoly capital.

7.4 However, these basic and fundamental tasks of the revolution in today’s context cannot be carried out except in determined opposition to, and struggle against, the big bourgeoisie and its political representatives who occupy the leading position in the State. They are allied with landlordism in order to buttress their class domination. They are also utilising their State power to protect foreign monopoly capital and facilitate its further penetration. Further, with their policies of compromise and collaboration with foreign monopolists and alliance with big Indian landlordism, they are vigorously pursuing the path of capitalist development which in turn is immensely facilitating the growth of monopoly capital in our country. Hence the people’s democratic revolution is not only in irreconcilable opposition to landlordism and foreign monopoly capitalism, but together with them it is opposed to the big bourgeoisie which is leading the State and is pursuing the policies of compromise and collaboration with foreign finance capital and alliance with landlordism.

7.5 The people’s democratic front cannot successfully be built and the revolution cannot attain victory except under the leadership of the working class and its political party, the Communist Party of India (Marxist). Historically no other class in modern society except the working class is destined to play this role and the entire experience of our time amply demonstrates this truth.

7.6 The core and basis of the people’s democratic front is the firm alliance of the working class and the peasantry. This alliance is the most important force in defending national independence, accomplishing far-reaching democratic transformations and ensuring all round social progress. The role of the other classes in carrying out the revolution crucially depends on the strength and stability of the worker-peasant alliance.

7.7 Due to the deep inroads of capitalism in agriculture, there is clear differentiation among the peasantry and different sections play different roles in the revolution. The agricultural labourers and poor peasants who constitute the overwhelming majority of the rural households are subjected to ruthless exploitation by the landlords and capitalists and will be basic allies of the working class. The middle peasantry, too, are the victims of the depredations of usurious capital, of feudal and capitalist landlords in the countryside and of the capitalist market controlled by MNCs and big bourgeoisie. Landlord domination in rural life so affects their social position in innumerable ways as to make them reliable allies in the people’s democratic front.

7.8 The rich peasantry is an influential section of the peasantry. The bourgeois-landlord agrarian policies have undoubtedly benefited certain sections of them and they also gained under the rule of the post-independence regimes. They are inclined to join the capitalist-landlord class by virtue of their engaging agricultural labourers on hire for work in their farms. But, attacked by constant price fluctuations and subjected to ravages of the market under the grip of monopoly traders and MNCs they come up against the bourgeois-landlord government. At certain junctures, they can also be brought into the people’s democratic front and play a role in the people’s democratic revolution despite their vacillating character.

7.9 Both the urban and rural middle class suffers heavily under the capitalist-landlord rule. The large number of white-collar employees, teachers, professionals, engineers, doctors and new strata of intelligentsia constitute a significant and influential section. With the further development of capitalism and the policies of liberalisation, differentiation within the middle classes has deepened. An upper strata has benefitted and they do not share the outlook of the rest of the middle classes. However, the bulk of this section is plagued by ever rising prices of all necessities of life, the impact of mounting taxes imposed by the State, the acute problem of unemployment and lack of basic living facilities. These sections can and will be an ally in the people’s democratic front and every attempt should be made to win them for the revolution. The role of the progressive intelligentsia in mobilising this strata for democratic causes is an important one.

7.10 The Indian bourgeoisie as a class, has its conflicts and contradictions with imperialism and also with the feudal and semi-feudal agrarian order. But the bigger and monopoly section, after attainment of independence seeks to utilise its hold over the State power to resolve these conflicts and contradictions by compromise, pressure and bargain. In that process it is sharing power with landlords. It is anti-people and anti-Communist in character and is firmly opposed to the people’s democratic front and its revolutionary objectives.

7.11 The non-big bourgeoisie which is non-monopolistic faces unequal competition from the big bourgeoisie and the foreign multinationals in a number of ways. With the crisis of capitalism and unhindered entry of MNCs, the contradiction between them and foreign capital will intensify. The big bourgeoisie using its economic power and leading position in the State, attempts to solve its crisis at the expense of its weaker class brethren; these strata of bourgeoisie will be compelled to come into opposition with the State power and can find a place in the people’s democratic front. But it should be borne in mind that they are still sharing power alongwith the big bourgeoisie and entertain high hopes of advancing further under the same regime. Notwithstanding its objectively progressive role, by virtue of its weaker class position vis-à-vis the Indian big bourgeoisie and imperialism, it is unstable and exhibits vacillations between the big bourgeoisie and foreign capital on the one hand and the people’s democratic front on the other. Owing to its dual nature, its participation in the revolution even as an unstable ally depends on a number of concrete conditions, on changes in the correlation of class forces, on the sharpness of the contradiction between imperialism, landlordism and the people on the depth of the contradictions between the big bourgeois-led State and the remaining sections of the bourgeoisie.

7.12 Every effort must be made to win them to the democratic front by a diligent and concrete study of their problems. No opportunity should be lost by the working class to render them support in all their struggles against both the Indian monopolists and foreign imperialist competitors.

7.13 The working class and the Communist Party of India (Marxist), while not for a moment losing sight of their basic aim of building the people’s democratic front to achieve people’s democratic revolution and the fact that they have to inevitably come into clash with the present Indian State led by the big bourgeoisie, do take cognisance of the contradictions and conflicts that exist between the Indian bourgeoisie including the big bourgeoisie and imperialism. Opening up the Indian economy to the unbridled and free entry of MNCs and foreign finance capital will intensify this contradiction. The Communist Party of India (Marxist), while carefully studying this phenomenon, shall strive to utilise every such difference, fissure, conflict and contradiction to isolate the imperialists and strengthen the people’s struggle for democratic advance. The working class will not hesitate to lend its unstinted support to the government on all issues of world peace and anti-imperialism which are in the genuine interests of the nation, on all economic and political issues of conflict with imperialism, and on all issues which involve questions of strengthening our sovereignty and independent foreign policy.

7.14 Reactionary and counter-revolutionary trends have existed even after independence. They make use of the backwardness of the people based on the immense influence of feudal ideology. In recent decades, making use of the growing discontent against the Congress leading to its steady decline, they are making serious efforts to fill the void left by the Congress Party. The Bharatiya Janata Party is a reactionary party with a divisive and communal platform, the reactionary content of which is based on hatred against other religions, intolerance and ultra-nationalist chauvinism. The BJP is no ordinary bourgeois party as the fascistic Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh guides and dominates it. When the BJP is in power, the RSS gets access to the instruments of State power and the State machinery. The Hindutva ideology promotes revivalism and rejects the composite culture of India with the objective of establishing a Hindu rashtra. The spread of such a communal outlook leads to the growth of minority fundamentalism. This has serious consequences for the secular basis of the polity and poses a serious danger to the Left and democratic movement. Besides, a substantial section of big business and landlords, imperialism headed by the USA, is lending all-out support to the BJP.

7.15 Basing itself on all these factors, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) keeps before itself the task of uniting with all the patriotic forces of the nation, i.e., those who are interested in sweeping away all the remnants of pre-capitalist society; in carrying out the agrarian revolution in a thorough manner and in the interests of the peasantry; in opposing unfettered entry of foreign capital; and in removing all obstacles in the path of a radical reconstruction of India’s economy, social life and culture.

7.16 The struggle to realise the aims of the people’s democratic revolution through the revolutionary unity of all patriotic and democratic forces with the worker-peasant alliance as its core, is a complicated and protracted one. It is to be waged in varying conditions in varying phases. Different classes, different strata within the same class, are bound to take different positions in these distinct phases of the development of the revolutionary movement. Only a strong Communist Party which develops the mass movements and utilises appropriate united front tactics to achieve the strategic objective can make use of these shifts and draw into its ranks these sections. Only such a party bringing within its fold the most sincere and self-sacrificing revolutionaries would be able to lead the mass of the people through the various twists and turns that are bound to take place in the course of the revolutionary movement.

7.17 The Party will obviously have to work out various interim slogans in order to meet the requirements of a rapidly changing political situation. Even while keeping before the people the task of dislodging the present ruling classes and establishing a new democratic State and government based on the firm alliance of the working class and the peasantry, the Party will utilise the opportunities that present themselves of bringing into existence governments pledged to carry out a programme of providing relief to the people and strive to project and implement alternative policies within the existing limitations. The formation of such governments will strengthen the revolutionary movement of the working people and thus help the process of building the people’s democratic front. It, however, would not solve the economic and political problems of the nation in any fundamental manner. The Party, therefore, will continue to educate the mass of the people on the need for replacing the present bourgeois-landlord State and government headed by the big bourgeoisie even while utilising opportunities for forming such governments in the states or the Centre, depending on the concrete situation, and thus strengthen the mass movement.

7.18 The Communist Party of India (Marxist) strives to achieve the establishment of people’s democracy and socialist transformation through peaceful means. By developing a powerful mass revolutionary movement, by combining parliamentary and extra parliamentary forms of struggle, the working class and its allies will try their utmost to overcome the resistance of the forces of reaction and to bring about these transformations through peaceful means. However, it needs always to be borne in mind that the ruling classes never relinquish their power voluntarily. They seek to defy the will of the people and seek to reverse it by lawlessness and violence. It is, therefore, necessary for the revolutionary forces to be vigilant and so orient their work that they can face up to all contingencies, to any twist and turn in the political life of the country.

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