CPM VERSUS MAOISTS: HOW TO ASSESS IT?  Comments by Ranabir Samaddar and the responses by INSAF Bulletin editors.


Dear Editors of INSAF Bulletin:


I am surprised by the first two entries – on the “violence unleashed on the CPI (M) in West Bengal” and the other condemning the “Maoist violence in Lalgarh”.


While I do not support party clashes, pl. remember this was the result of the latest round of violence by government-supported party cadres in many parts of West Bengal – and the poison tree is now bearing fruits…


Likewise, while Maoist violence and some killings are again not to be supported, once again this is a direct result of decades of party raj, corruption, hunger, violence, etc. Do you know who was Anuj Pandey, the CPI (M) pillar there, how much wealth he had gathered in the last decade, and how many peasants joined in burning down his house?


I believe, the situation is critical in West Bengal to say the least, and West Bengal in many ways will indicate the way in which the deadlock of the last few decades in post-colonial countries will be pried open.


INSAF Bulletin will do a great service to left movement if it can organize a forum for frank exchange of views on this…indeed a conclave…The least you can do is to reproduce some other opinion pieces that tell a different story. Check for instance the Sanhati publications.


We are clearly at the doorstep of a time that has no precedence in the post-Soviet age.. Old constitutional left stuck in petty parliamentary games is gone, its specialty is lost forever, and no amount of moralizing will bring it back…

Ranabir Samaddar ( July 3, 2009)




RE: [RE: INSAF Bulletin: July 2009 ONLINE]


1. We have written quite regularly about the failings of the CPM leadership, in Bengal and all-India, based on the information we get and our assessment. For sure we need to carry more on their conduct in Bengal, which has alienated many people. However one thing I don’t quite understand is the sudden plummeting from their overwhelming election victories in the 2006 Assembly elections to their pathetic situation now. Is it just Singur and Nandigram? Were not some of their cadres and middle-level leaders as corrupt and rapacious then also? Why was people’s anger not directed at them at that time?


Re: Maoist violence, from an objective standpoint it strongly appears that the Maoist cadre is functioning as the “mastaans” of Trinamool and Mamatadi at least in West Bengal. It seems likely that TMC will oust CPM in the next election to rule Bengal. Since TMC has been part of NDA in the recent past, it has implication for Hindutva politics in India regardless of the current fortunes of BJP. For various reasons, we (INSAF bulletin) identified Hindutva as the main danger facing India. From that perspective we then have to think what the utter defeat, not to say rout, of the parliamentary left in India implies.


 It will certainly be useful to have a debate on these issues in INSAF bulletin. In the past, we only stayed away from some of the mindless vitriol that was regularly hurled at CPM on certain “independent left” websites like Foil, but a reasoned discussion would be welcome.


Vinod Mubayi


2.  Indeed we appreciate your comments, which we wish to reproduce in the next issue; should you like to modify or enlarge it, let us have a revised version.


As to why we produced it.  The first article is an appeal from academics of standing and we felt their views as they perceive it may be OK in the Bulletin. But primarily because it appealed against violent attack on CPM cadres rather than any analysis of the situation.


The second article “Maoist violence in Lalgarh”, I thought is critical of CPM as well somewhat along the lines of your argument.


Daya  Varma

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