“Only yes-men and good boys/girls of leaders are promoted. In the name of promotion, a type of feudal democracy, similar to that of the fascist RSS, prevailed in this party.”
Days before the CPI(Maoist) central committee expelled top Orissa leader Sabyasachi Panda for “betraying the party and the revolution”, he had written to the leadership about mindless killings by cadres, harassment from seniors and general disenchantment. Panda, 43, wrote two letters on June 1 to CPI(Maoist) general secretary Muppala Laxaman Rao alias Ganapathy, politburo members Prashant Bose alias Sumit, Narayan Sanyal alias Vijay, and other Maoist cadres. It is not clear if they reached their intended recipients.
“As I have not got proper democracy to discuss or write the political opinion... and as there is no scope for an immediate solution of our long-standing problems, I would like to write this,” Panda said in the letters, running into 39 pages and accessed by The Indian Express. Excerpts: “People in Bihar may need one armed organisation in their struggle to face armed gangs of landlords. But for riot-affected people of Orissa or for the people of Lalgarh, we should not copy the form of organisation and form of struggle mechanically as per our subjective wishes... One democratic revolution cannot end all types of small and big exploitations from any society.” “When everybody is carrying mobiles in hand, we can’t influence people by blasting towers everyday. From 2000 up to now I have been witnessing so many unnecessary annihilations in Orissa... We can stamp anybody as an informer and kill him with our gunpowder without responsibility to convince the people for our action! This is our revolutionary birthright.
“...Jagabandhu Majhi [BJD MLA] was annihilated in 2011 by Chhattisgarh comrades. He was a person who had been moving in a wheelchair, a handicapped person. He had been threatened by our people for two years. Out of fear, he contacted me and wanted to surrender. Simply he was killed... Just after the unification of the erstwhile People’s War and the MCC, the comrades of the erstwhile MCC annihilated five or six villagers in Jujumara [Orissa]. The cause of annihilation was just like our all-time formal statements that they are informers.
“In 2009, when politburo member Basavraj [Namballa Keshava Rao] visited our area, he made some comments on other politburo members such as Kishenji. ‘He is not doing anything, not killing a single policeman, and giving statements’. As if killing police is the one and only job for a revolutionary.” “Yes, we have to fight against exploitation, but what is your special policy for a new democratic government in tribal areas? Your Janatana Sarkar is not the tribal autonomy body [nor is it] government by traditional tribal rules, even partially. You are destroying tribal culture for your selfishness. You have no alternative agricultural, industrial, medical and educational policies.”
“Leaders think [of themselves] as masters and cadres have no courage to oppose the leaders’ mistakes... The policy in practice is to suppress or eliminate the opposing voice by force, either inside the party or outside in society. In a meeting of the Basdhara and Ghumsar divisional committees, central committee member Bhaskar [alias Modem Balakrishna] in the presence of member Chetan suspended member Chalapati saying that “in a communist party, for faults of a party member, we may suspend, expel and if needed can kill him/her(marne ki saaja bhi de sakte). Even innocent people may be killed sometimes for revolution...
“Only yes-men and good boys/girls of leaders are promoted. In the name of promotion, a type of feudal democracy, similar to that of the fascist RSS, prevailed in this party.” “Now it has become a common rule to issue blades to all boys and girls for shaving [their private parts]. Dandakaranya cadres have accepted this as a party rule, just like using only Lifebuoy and Rin soaps, Timex watches and Action shoes.... And it is also said that in the place for bathing, all should bathe without [wearing] clothes. What is the relation of a revolution to such stupid theories?
“...Oriya cadres are dissuaded from taking sugar in their food with the advice that it would cause diabetes. You can take as much mirchi and tamarind as you like, but are not allowed to mix sugar in your tamarind water, and you can’t eat onion as a substitute... If we use Margo soap for squad members instead of Lifebuoy, central committee members such as Basavraj will comment on us.” “Financial anarchy is a common trend in the party. AOB [Andhra-Orissa border] cadre Binoy accumulated money from various sources before he surrendered. In the party there is no fair accounting system. So many Dandankaranya cadres and main-force activists are expending money as per their wish and giving a round account... ‘Rs 10,000 we have done expenditures’. Bengal comrade Ashok did not give accounts of Rs 15 lakh. All these are symptoms of wrong trends that we are promoting from above.
“Our AOB leaders always tried to treat the Orissa committee as subordinates. They never want to develop one independent Orissa revolutionary struggle... Commanders of Dandakaranya and Andhra-Orissa Border are giving regular irrelevant interviews as they wish. In 2009, a resolution was adopted that without a decision I should not give any interview.”
“As per the new theory of central committee members, Christianity is the main obstacle before building a revolutionary organisation. Central committee member Manoj said Christianity is an organised religion... and so for any organised revolutionary work it will become an obstacle... Left sectarian friends of AOB distributed a leaflet against Christianity in Srikakulam... Later, AOB cadres and squads who were Christian were removed from that area... When Christian people organised around us, politburo members such as Basabraj started advising us to write in circulars and pamphlets that ‘Christianity is not the solution to people’s problems’.”
CPI Maoist Politburo Response
Here is an example of debate amongst revolutionaries. The response of the Maoist leaders is most instructive. As usual, criticism on basic issues is the work of an enemy, and Panda is an evil & malevolent person. "This coward ran away leaving the revolutionary movement instead of sincerely realizing and rectifying his mistakes like a true proletarian revolutionary... His 16-page letter is full of rotten lies, distortions and twisting of facts and there is not an iota of truth in them whatsoever. They were hurled with the most awful intention of liquidation and destruction of revolutionary movement ..The list of Mr. Panda’s filthy and foul-smelling allegations is long ...He is displaying more faith than the master to kowtow before the ruling classes and is surpassing the enemy foul propaganda in uttering lies... Panda is resorting to the age-old cheap ‘divide and rule’ tactic of the British colonialists and the Indian ruling classes.."
For fuller extracts see Rahul Pandita's (click here) The Final Battle of Sabyasachi Panda:
(extract): It was in 2008 that Panda came into the limelight after the assassination of popular Hindu leader, Swami Laxmanand Saraswati, in Kandhamal district. Though he was made secretary of the Odisha State Organising Committee soon after, it was also around this time that serious differences cropped up between him and some of the Central Committee members [the highest decision-making body of the CPI (Maoist)]. It was believed that the Maoist leadership was not happy with the outcome of Saraswati’s assassination. Panda had hoped that the ensuing riots (against Christians) would swell the Maoist ranks. But excellent coordination between the then district collector and district police chief ensured that about 3,000 men who had signed up for recruitment ditched them at the last moment.
Rahul's observation: "Panda had hoped that the ensuing riots (against Christians) would swell the Maoist ranks" - implies the murder of VHP leader Swami Laxmanand was committed with the express intent of causing riots. It is also significant that the comrades were not there to protect the people when the RSS began its onslaught. If the statement of intention is correct, it casts 'scientific revolutionary' politics in a very grave light. They ruthlessly murdered someone in the knowledge this would have terrible repercussions, and left the people to face the consequences of their unilateral decision. This calculus of death is an indication of the nihilist content of Maoist politics
Dilip's Essay on Revolution: Closing the Circle: Article on Revolution in Frontier
And: A Hard Rain Falling: on the death of TP Chandrasekharan and related matters