The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) is the highest political organisation of the Indian proletariat fighting for realising its supreme class mission. It comprises the advanced detachments of the people and serves as the core of leadership of the people of all nationalities in India in their struggle against feudal remnants, big capital and imperialism.
Beginning with the minimum programme of accomplishing new democratic revolution in India, the Party dedicates itself to the maximum programme of bringing about socialist transformation and communism, to the ultimate aim of abolition of all kinds of exploitation of man by man.
The Party derives its world outlook from Marxist philosophy and accepts the integrated system of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Zedong Thought as its guide to action. To develop the correct line of Indian revolution, the Party wages a relentless battle against reformism, revisionism, liquidationism, bourgeois liberalism, anarchism and all other alien ideas, both inside and outside the Party.
The Party upholds and practises proletarian internationalism and opposes imperialism, hegemonism, colonialism, expansionism, racism, chauvinism, aggression and domination of every kind in international relations. It cherishes unity with all revolutionary communist, socialist and workers’ parties and organisations in different parts of the world. It supports the struggles of workers, oppressed peoples and nations throughout the world and makes common cause with all such movements against the forces of imperialism and reaction with the ultimate goal of complete emancipation of the entire humankind. In matters of fraternal relations, the Party adheres to the principles of independence, non-interference, equality, mutual respect and cooperation.
Combining theory with practice, maintaining close links with the masses and practising criticism and self-criticism are the three cardinal principles of the Party's style of work. In developing its practice, the Party always adheres to the policy of seeking truth from facts and conducting deep investigation and serious studies.
Members of the Party cherish utmost love for the people, uphold all the fine revolutionary traditions of Indian society and have the courage to hold high the banner of truth and communism even at the cost of their own lives.
Although dubbed an emerging Asian power and IT superpower with one of the world's highest rates of growth in the number of dollar millionaires and billionaires, India is still home to the largest contingent of the planet’s poor. Indian corporates are spreading their wings in global skies, but our country remains a laggard in terms of the human development index with a pitiable per capita income. The cruel contrast between a tiny top that revels in unbridled accumulation and conspicuous consumption and a massive foundation that produces all the wealth but remains mired in the dark depths of deprivation is the outcome of a highly skewed development strategy where agriculture, still the source of subsistence and employment for the vast majority of our people but weighed down by the preponderance of a semi-feudal small peasant economy and caught in a perennial crisis of capitalist transition via landlord path, is allowed to decline; most traditional industries stagnate while sectors catering to export markets, overseas interests or elitist consumption tend to advance; and the service and real estate sectors are prioritised as engines of growth even as our natural and human resources are increasingly opened up for imperialist plunder.
The all-round penetration of capital, including in agriculture, takes place not so much by eradicating as by utilising the stubborn remnants of feudalism in production relations and value systems, thereby reproducing them in new forms. Such survivals not only ensure the availability of cheap labour power and raw materials for both Indian big capital and imperialism, but also the persistence of medieval obscurantism, casteist frenzy, communal fanaticism and barbarity in different spheres of life. In short, the feudal survivals retard and distort the development of productive forces and act as the biggest stumbling block to any real democratic awakening of the Indian people. The Party, therefore, characterises the Indian society as semi-feudal.
Despite its growing economic muscle and even some export of capital, politically the ruling bureaucrat-monopoly bourgeoisie retains its original comprador character. It has developed close economic relations with many non-imperialist countries and a considerable capacity to bargain with different foreign powers, but all this operates within a framework of essential dependence on imperialism that expresses itself as various technological, financial and marketing tie-ups at the micro level and more importantly at the macro level as wholesale adoption of the economic philosophy of neoliberalism and a state policy of subservience to imperialist designs. This enables the imperialist- dominated multilateral agencies and big foreign powers to interfere blatantly in our domestic economic and political affairs and policy matters, taking a heavy toll of the nation's independence, and there always remains the real threat of still bigger erosion in our sovereignty reducing the country to a client state mired in neo-colonial dependency.
In the continuous endeavour to expand its social base, the comprador big bourgeoisie finds ready recruits from the higher echelons of the so-called Great Indian Middle Class. And it makes full use of the proliferating corporate media to promote the pro-US, pro-globalisation policy regime. This, coupled with finance capital's deep penetration in our society and its wide-ranging economic, political and social links, not only obstructs India’s independent economic development but also reinforces a colonial mindset and a craze for anything and everything Western, posing a big blockade to any real national awakening. The Party, therefore, characterises the Indian society not only as semi-feudal but also as semi-colonial.
The state in India is led by the pro-imperialist big bourgeoisie in alliance with landlords. Compared to many other developing countries, the affairs of the Indian state are generally conducted within a constitutional and parliamentary-democratic framework. But at the grassroots level, even this formal democracy still remains largely absent, with the dominant forces seeking to exercise absolute power through frequent brutal displays of their ‘might is right’ mantra. Moreover, like our political independence, parliamentary democracy in India too rests on a rather fragile foundation. At the slightest ‘provocation’ of any popular unrest, all the lofty claims regarding the integrity of the institutions, the sanctity of the constitution, the inviolability of democratic rights are reduced to empty phrases and the essential reactionary and autocratic character of the Indian state comes out clearly into the open.
India is a land of several nationalities and ethno-lingual groupings. Growing economic and cultural interaction and decades of unity forged in the course of anti-colonial freedom movement and anti-imperialist and democratic struggles have lent a unified Indian face to the multinational mosaic of our society. But this process of evolution of an Indian identity suffers from pronounced regional disparities and a policy of blatant discrimination and suppression on the part of the chauvinistic and over-centralised Indian state. Various nationalities and national minorities, therefore, find it necessary to engage in prolonged struggles for various forms of self-determination, which in some cases show strong centrifugal tendencies and in some other instances play into the hands of the powers that be, leading to narrow ethnic clashes and armed assaults on innocent people.
India is also a land of many religions and the numerically largest Hindu community is further divided into numerous castes with a long history of Brahminical oppression and discrimination. But instead of enforcing secularism in the sense of a strict separation between religion and political and state affairs and serving as a powerful deterrent against the forces of communal violence and caste oppression, the state in India cleverly manipulates caste and community factors, and at times openly sides with the majority community and dominant castes, so as to secure the class rule of the ruling classes. The phenomena of religious fundamentalism, communalism and casteism, prevalent at different layers of Indian polity, are not simply relics of a bygone feudal-colonial era, they are very much part and parcel of 'modern' India. The ruling classes and their parties utilise these instruments in a calculated way to weaken and disrupt the growing democratic unity and awakening of the working people. Particularly dangerous is aggressive majority communalism which poses a fascist threat to the very existence of democracy and cultural pluralism in India.
Stage of Revolution
Indian society is marked by four main contradictions — the contradiction between imperialism and Indian nation, that between feudalism and the broad masses of the people, between big capital and the Indian people, the working class in particular, and the contradiction among various sections of the ruling classes. While all these contradictions can be separately identified, imperialism, big capital and feudal remnants also present themselves as a veritable nexus and the masses of our people are groaning under the dead weight of this alliance. But this alliance can only be overthrown by grasping and resolving the principal contradiction between feudal remnants and the broad Indian masses, for the feudal remnants constitute the biggest stumbling block on the road to free and rapid development of productive forces in the country.
This determines the stage of our revolution – the stage of people’s democratic revolution with agrarian revolution as its axis. Though the primary aim of this democratic revolution will be to abolish all feudal remnants and the concomitant autocratic and bureaucratic distortions in the polity, it will necessarily have several socialist aspects as well. Beyond creating conditions for a decisive victory of democratic revolution, the struggle against big capital will also pave the way for an uninterrupted transition from the democratic to the socialist stage of revolution.
Working Class Leadership
A people’s democratic revolution in India can only be consummated under the leadership of the working class, the most consistently revolutionary as well as the most organised and advanced detachment of the Indian people.
To establish its leadership over the people's democratic revolution, it is imperative for the working class to
To sharpen and consolidate the political strike-power of the working class, the Party lays special emphasis on developing unity in action among all Left forces in the short run and unifying all Indian communists under the banner of a single party in future.
People's Democratic Front
The people of India have time and again risen against the ruthless exploitation and oppression of the ruling classes. Their awakening assumes a variety of forms and is often led by various types of party and non-party forces, including at times the opposition parties of ruling classes. The Party supports all such movements and always strives to orient them towards the goal of people's democratic revolution.
The main force of the democratic revolution led by the working class is the peasantry. The Party fully relies on the poor peasants and rural proletariat, resolutely unites with the middle peasantry and even wins over a section of rich peasants while trying to neutralise the rest so that the majority may be prevented from joining the enemies of the revolution. Sections of urban and rural middle classes constitute an important ally of the democratic revolution while small and medium capitalists and bourgeois intellectuals remain vacillating and unstable allies.
In order to carry the people's democratic revolution through to an end, it is necessary that a people's democratic front be forged comprising all these classes, with the worker-peasant alliance as its basis, under the leadership of the working class.
To this end, the Party develops and works in cooperation with, and also from within, a whole range of mass organisations and mass political and united front organisations.
The Revolutionary Course
To accomplish people’s democratic revolution in a vast and complex country like India, a communist party has to be especially skilful in mastering every available avenue of work and extra-parliamentary as well as parliamentary forms of struggle and in making quick transitions between various forms. The Party therefore strives to develop a comprehensive revolutionary practice through an organic combination of all necessary forms of struggle and organisation.
It is true that under normal circumstances, the Indian polity allows communists to work through open, legal and parliamentary means. It is possible for communists to secure victories in elections at various levels and also win majorities in local bodies and even state legislatures. While tilting the balance of class forces through protracted and vigorous political struggles, the Party is prepared to utilise such opportunities independently or in coalition with likeminded forces provided the Party enjoys the strength to ensure the fulfilment of its own commitment to the electorate.
In any case, the Party’s relation with and role in such governments will be guided by the following basic principles:
The Party does not rule out the possibility that under a set of exceptional national and international circumstances, the balance of social and political forces may even permit a relatively peaceful transfer of central power to revolutionary forces. But in a country where democratic institutions are based on essentially fragile and narrow foundations and where even small victories of popular forces and partial reforms can only be achieved and maintained on the strength of mass militancy, the party of the proletariat must fully prepare itself for accomplishing the revolution by securing and sustaining the ultimate decisive victory in the face of all possible counter-revolutionary attacks. A people's democratic front and a people's army, therefore, remain the two most fundamental organs of revolution in the arsenal of the Party.
People’s Democratic State
Overthrowing the rule of the big bourgeois-landlord alliance, the victorious revolution will usher in the rule of workers, peasants and other revolutionary classes and democratic strata – i.e., a people’s democratic state – to carry out the following basic tasks and uphold the new democratic orientation.
With this programme of people’s democratic revolution, the Party dedicates itself wholeheartedly to the service of the great revolutionary cause of communism in India.