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Write autobiographies and develop anti-fascist forums, CPI(Maoist) tells aged comrades

In a bid to revive the party, the party has decided to relieve members who are physically infirm and mentally stressed of their responsibilities.

kolkata Updated: Oct 20, 2017 13:19 IST
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times
CPI(Maoist),Ganapathy,Maoists
File photo of Purnendu Sekhar Mukherjee (extreme left), late Narayan Sanyal (centre) and Chandi Sarkar at an event in Kolkata in 2016. These former CPI(Maoist) leaders made a rare public appearance in an occasion to remember Bengal secretary Himadri Sen Roy alias Somen.(HT Photo)

Write autobiographies, live in the urban areas, try to develop mass movements and float anti-fascist forums comprising dalits, tribals and minorities, work independently and keep minimal touch with the party’s underground network – these are some of the instructions the CPI(Maoist) has issued for veteran leaders in various levels of committees having ‘physical and mental limitations’.

In a bid to revive the party that is on the back foot all over the country over the past few years, the leaders have decide to relieve members who are physically inform and mentally stressed of their responsibilities.

Read: Chhattisgarh lines up women commandos to battle Maoists in Bastar amid accusations of rape

While urging ageing leaders to voluntarily acknowledge their limitation and step down and take up other responsibilities, the party central committee also wants them to work ‘selflessly without expecting anything’.

This is where it all began. A peasant uprising against landlords in Naxalbari of north Bengal in 1967 marked the beginning of the ultra-Left politics in the country. (Indranil Bhoumik/ Mint file photo)

“Veteran comrades must be prepared to implement the party discipline, to maintain good relations with other comrades and work keeping in view the gaps in generations and the ebbs and flows in the movement. They must take up their part of responsibility selflessly without expecting anything. This is the task for the rest of their lives,” reads the three-page resolution of the central committee on veteran comrades of the party.

Party sources claimed that general secretary, 67-year-old Mupalla Laxman Rao alias Ganapathy, has offered to step down to set an example. Prashanta Bose alias Kishan da, the senior most leader of the party aged about 70, is also likely to pass the baton on to the next generation.

Read: In Pics | Snapshots from Bastar: Life in India’s Maoist hotbed

While this decision of voluntary retirement of senior and ageing leaders at all levels of the party is rare in the history of Left movement in the country, Maoist sources said the preparation for this decision was going on for more than five years.

“In 2010-11 that the party’s central leadership started feeling concerned about the average age of the leaders at various levels. The process of developing next generation leadership in a systematic way was taken up in 2012-13. It was prompted especially by the loss of a number of central leaders during 2008 and 2011, due to arrest and encounter deaths,” a source told HT.

Between those three years, when the Maoist movement also peaked in various parts of the country, the Maoists lost as many as 13 central committee members. While Azad, Kishenji and Patel Sudhakar Reddy were killed in alleged fake encounters, Pramod Mishra, Akhilesh Yadav, Amitabh Bagchi, Kobad Ghandy, Bachcha Prasad Singh, Motilal Soren, Varanasi Subrahmaniyam, Purnendu Sekhar Mukherjee, Vijay Kumar Arya and Bansidhar alias Chintan were arrested. This led to a serious leadership crisis, as majority of the remaining leaders were ageing.

Read: No tea, oily food, movies or music: Maoists issues diktat to discipline cadres

“The leadership, with a long-term perspective, decided to develop the next generation of leaders. Over the past couple of years, young leaders were brought to the forefront in many areas through conduction of plenums at the state and zonal level,” the source said HT.

Among the existing central committee members, Vivek Chandri Yadav is in his late 40s, while Modem Balakrishna, Pulluri Prasad Rao, Akkiraju Hargopal, Misir Besra and Jingu Narsimha Reddy in their early 50s and Kadri Satyanarayana Reddy, Arvindji, Misir Besra, Ranjit Bose and Tippiri Tirupati are in their late 50s. Malla Raji Reddy is in his 60s.

Maoists said that the policy on veterans was first successfully implemented on top leader Sushil Roy, who was released on bail by the Supreme Court in 2012 due to failing health. The central committee decided that Roy should live in a rented place in Delhi. They also decided that he should be helped in daily chores and get assistance in writing his political experience and criticism of the movement.

Read: Seven years after ban, Maoist leaders hold first public meeting in Bengal

The writings were published and circulated among party cadres following Roy’s death in 2014.

In the recent circular, too, the central committee has tasked veteran leaders with writing down their experiences.

“The veteran comrades with prolonged and distinct experience are assets to our party and the revolutionary movement... Their theoretical knowledge and dedication would help the party stay in the correct path. So it is an important task of the party to respect, protect and utilise their services until the end,” the circular said.

Among the arrested top leaders, central committee members Purnendu Sekhar Mukherjee, Bansidhar alias Chintan and Bachcha Prasad Singh alias Balraj got released on bail over the past couple of years.

Septuagenarians Mukherjee and Chintan suffer from various ailments. Balraj is in his late 50s. The central committee circular suggests party ranks ‘to bring the veteran comrades into open activity if the political conditions favour’ to utilise their services to the fullest potential.

First Published: Oct 20, 2017 12:57 IST