A journalist interviewed comrade Prashant Bose (Kishanda)
Disclosure: This interview we published was published in the June 2022 issue of People's March.
Comrade Prashant Bose, a member of the CPC (Maoist) Central Committee and the Polit Bureau, was arrested in November 2021 along with his life partner and MK member Comrade Sheela Marandi (Sheeladi). A few months before his arrest, Anand Dutta, a journalist, conducted an online interview with him, as written by the interviewer. The interview, edited by Samyam Srivastav, was broadcast on TV14 Bharatvarsh web portal on 15.00 December at 9:XNUMX. Here we publish a translation of the interview given in Hindi.
Question – Are you ready if the Ministry of Interior invites you to the talks? Are you ready to forget events such as the conflicts of Azad and Padma?
Ans – I would like to tell you that going to the talks depends on the place, time and concrete situation. Sometimes we can go to talks if it helps the revolutionary struggle. If not, it would be right not to go to the meetings. Our Central Committee adopted the correct policy after examining the experience of history, our previous experiences, the concrete situation today, the general situation regarding the revolutionary movement and other similar issues.
- Operation Green Hunt needs to be stopped. Paramilitary forces must be withdrawn. If the government's attack on the people stops, the people's counter-violence will also stop. Many intellectuals also stated that if there is no government attack, there is no need for the public to counterattack.
- The ban on our party must be lifted. All mass organizations should be banned. We must be given the democratic opportunity to mobilize the people. If there is an atmosphere to work in a democratic way, then we can go to the talks.
Comrade Riyaz, who participated in negotiations with the Andhra Pradesh government in 2004, was captured, tortured and killed. Other comrades participating in the talks were targeted and attacked. There were attempts to kill them. Later, Comrade Azad, who was trying to facilitate the way of the negotiation process, was killed. We cannot rely on the government and send illegal comrades.
Therefore, if the government releases our leading comrades from prison, they will directly represent the party.
Apart from that, very few journalists and individuals from civil society in Chhattisgarh are raising their voices to go to peace talks. The Dandakaranya Special District Committee issued a press release on this matter on March 12, 2021. The statement said, “If civil society is truly sincere for peace, demand an immediate end to the counter-revolutionary 'SAMADHAN' offensive by the central and state governments; Let them support the lakhs of the people of the Bastar tribe, who have been fighting for a long time against the intense deployment of police, Paramilitary and Military forces in the entire Bastar Division, including Maad.
Q: There are fewer people's courts than before. Does this mean that the public no longer need them or does it mean that you are no longer needed?
A - It is a fact that there has been a significant reduction in the establishment of people's courts due to the "siege and clearing" and "SAMADHAN and Prahar" attacks. However, this does not mean that the public does not need courts.
In areas where the Revolutionary People's Committees and the Krantikari Kisan Committees (Revolutionary Peasants' Committee) are effective, people's courts are held in a developed manner. Disputes are resolved better than in previous times. For example, you must have learned about the operation of Janatana Sarkar (the collective political and economic organization organized by the Adivasis led by the Maoists) in Chhattisgarh (DK). Janatana Sarkar consists of several divisions and they do everything in the interests of the people. People's courts have become popular in this area and are coming.
Similarly, Krantikari Kisan Committee operates in various parts of Jharkhand. In his understanding, it functions in the most discreet way. The oppressed people hold and still hold their courts. Minor weaknesses in this regard need to be corrected.
Q: Are you buying weapons from the capitalist system you are fighting?
A - First thing, who manufactures the guns? Undoubtedly, they are workers. No worker can make weapons or products by himself. In fact, the production date is the collective production system. This means that in today's society, on the one hand, the production structure of capitalist industry is collective, but the owner of the products is capitalist. Therefore, the question does not arise whether, in fighting against the capitalist system, we should not buy the goods produced by the capitalists, or that we are doing something wrong about it.
In fact, all the goods produced are owned by the working class, which is inevitably forced to sell its labor force. The capitalist plunders goods. There is no such contradiction between the purchase of goods produced in the capitalists' factories and the struggle against the capitalist property class. The second is that we buy guns from time to time. However, buying guns is not our core policy. The basic policy is to seize weapons and ammunition from the enemy.
Q: Is Parliament untouchable for you yet?
A - Look, the question isn't whether Parliament is untouchable for us yet. The question we have to see is what Parliament is to the people. Therefore, instead of emphasizing the word 'untouchable', we need to see the essence when using the word, that is, to see the form and content, and pay attention to the content. Apart from that, we see from our experience that the majority of the people do not trust and believe in Parliament.
If we look at the current Parliament, no government has the support of the majority of the people. Parliament is 88 percent millionaires, 43 percent criminals. The question that arises is what this democracy is like. The parliamentary road is not the road that establishes the democratic system. In this respect, it is appropriate and correct to say that the Parliament is inviolable.
Q: If you come to power, will the government be democratic or military rule? What will the format be like?
A: If the people come to power, its chief and central task will be to uproot the existing semi-colonial, semi-feudal system and establish a people's democratic state. The democratic people's state guarantees all kinds of freedom, power and democracy to the working people. Everyone will have the right to speak, write and publish. They will have the right to assemble, form organisations, demonstrate and live freely. They will also have power in education, health, minimum employment and so on.
All citizens over the age of 18, with the exception of oppressive reactionaries, will have the right to elect and recall elected representatives at a certain stage. This guarantees the right of the people to control state power and opposes any attempt to undermine this right.
Q: What hope do left parties have in parliamentary politics? What hope do you have now?
A – Look, no matter how left-wing parties are in parliamentary politics, it is almost impossible to have a positive hope from them in the current situation. Workers and laborers have no hope for left parties either. The pathetic state of the “left” parties in India, for example, proves this. The answer to the question of whether there is any hope left will be no. Yes. Apart from the CPI-KPM, there are countless left parties and groups with which we can form anti-fascist United Fronts on burning issues such as people's life and national life. There are many of them.
Q: New leaders are coming in left parties; New parties are coming but all of them keep you completely away. Even in terms of ideology. Are you definitely not losing political support? What will you do to fulfill this?
A – No matter who the leaders of the left parties or whatever new parties come, the truth is that they are all on the way to parliament and are afraid of revolution. That's why they stay away from us. These are with workers and farmers in words, but in action they are trying to perpetuate an exploitative society. They serve as servants of imperialists, landlords, and comprador bureaucratic capitalists. We believe that no party has the support of the people. We have maximum relations with the public. We get full support from them. The fact is that there is a lot of difference between the ideology of our party and the ideology of these parties, and it is very natural.
Q – RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh- meaning National Voluntary Organization, Indian nationalist organization) and Communist Party founded in 1925. But both of these have extreme differences in ideology.
A-RSS implements the idea of Hindi-Hindu-Hindustan. Manusmriti is its ideological foundation and incites the ultranationalist idea through the caste system, Hindu religion, Hindu traditions and so on. The basic program of the Bhartiya Janata Party is to fulfill the responsibility of applying its theoretical foundation in practice. The Modi government is successfully doing this. But it is wrong to say that Indian society desperately needs it.
No matter how much the Modi government may boast of the formation of the Hindu raj, it has the support of no more than 30-32% of the population. The broad public is struggling in various ways against the Modi government's anti-popular policies. In particular, the struggles against the three agricultural laws, labor laws, NRC, NPR and CAA show what the people need.
If our ideology is not making even the slightest impact today, why are the Maoists said to be the biggest threat to homeland security in all of India, and why are extensive and infamous military campaigns like the Green Hunt, SAMADHAN and Prahar unleashed with a diabolical motive to uproot them? Why is there so much discussion about Maoism and the Maoist movement all over the country? Corporate-controlled media, Modi media, or government broadcasting and propaganda are not criteria for proving the extent of anything's impact.
Q: What is your party doing for the families of Maoists who died in the movement?
A – Truth be told, if red soldiers or activists die, the party can't do enough for their families in the current situation. What we were able to do 8-10 years ago, we cannot do today in the fierce attack of the enemy. But efforts continue to do what is possible with the help of the public and the local party. We regret that we cannot take care of the families of our martyrs.
Q: Do you train warriors before they are armed, and if not, why? I beg you this way because when I met a few who had surrendered, they did not seem to understand your revolution.
A – Our party has a certain policy for membership in the party or HKGO. The party has prepared a curriculum for its members, activists and fighters. Accordingly, regular studies are carried out. For this purpose, there is a special education department. We operate schools for girls and boys in rural areas where we have influence. It is perhaps not right to expect to hear political debates from those who have surrendered. Surrender is not just physical surrender. To abandon revolutionary politics and communist morality means to accept the politics and consumerist perspective of the exploiting class, to act as a servant to the exploiting ruling classes and to be slaves to them.
Q: To the Pathalgarhi movement (Pathalgadi movementwas started as a resistance movement by tribes in the khunti region of Jharkhand to defend their rights, including the right to sovereign land. Have you never openly admitted whether you participated, directly or indirectly, in its violence?
A- First of all, I can say that I or our party see the Pathalgarhi movement as a legitimate movement of the tribal people. We consider the Pathalgarhi popular movement to be a peaceful movement. So I want to say that it is not correct to say 'Pathalgarhi violence'. The truth is that the righteous Pathalgarhi movement has been stigmatized as an “anti-national”, “traitor” movement and the center of the state and the current BJP government of Raghuvar Das is applying brutal violent crackdowns against it.
Thousands and thousands of activists involved in the Pathalgarhi movement are still in prison. We have very clearly expressed our stance against the Pathalgarhi movement. It is our political duty to give full support to a just movement. From this point of view, we have made an effort to do whatever it takes to support this rightful movement.
Q: In addition to the police, you have to fight against other organizations such as TPC, PLFI and so on. There hasn't been a lot of conflict lately. Is it because they accepted you, or because of their growing influence, or because of some collusion between the two of you?
A – We see TPC, JJMP, PLFI, JPC and other gangs like police teams and counter-revolutionary goonda gangs. Top officials of the intelligence department and police department lead them.
Therefore, our relationship with these groups is strictly hostile. A reduction in conflict with them does not mean that these groups are effective or have collusion with us.
Q: Roads have been paved in the thick forests of Saranda for the past few years. Contracts have been made and they continue non-stop. A major contractor in Jharkhand, who has set up an investigative agency, claims that the Maoists have been heavily paid and therefore the work is running smoothly.
A – Everyone is aware that “Operation Anaconda”, a barbaric military campaign in 2011, was carried out with a diabolical motive to destroy the revolutionary movement in Saranda. The government entered 13 MoUs with the giant companies in Saranda, which they could not implement due to the Maoist movement, and this is the reason why it started the Anaconda Operation. It is to gain control over the region and to establish extensive police camps. First they started paving roads with general security and police protection. However, the people tried to resist them in one way or another. Eventually they deployed their police force and cleared roads.
Anyway, they were unable to implement even a single MoU due to popular resistance. Secondly, Saranda is one of our strategic areas. Here we work with the perspective of establishing a base area. Accordingly, it is against our policy to allow roads to be laid and collect taxes on it. Anyone who violates this rule will be penalized. Thus, the claim that the Maoists took a hefty sum of money and allowed the roads to be paved is one hundred percent false and is false and diabolical propaganda.
Q: According to the parliamentary assessment, the Maoists gathered in 53 regions. Do you think this is true? Or was the number increased to get funds to fight it and make it political?
A – This is the right question. These people are used in two ways. The first benefit is that to fight the Maoists, the central government gives a special economic package to the regions where the Maoists are strong. They're taking it. The surrender of 514 youths on behalf of the Maoists in Jharkhand is a recent example of this.
It is surprising that all these surrendered and were put in the old Birsa Munda Central Prison in Ranchi. But police records do not show to which police officer they surrendered. In order to deliver these young people, the funds they received as per the surrender policy were taken by them. And the current Jharkhand DGP and current BJP Parliament are enjoying tens of millions of rupees of SS funding. Apart from that, there are also allegations and investigations about corruption related to several police officers and officers of the administrative department, this is the picture not only of Jharkhand, but of the entire Maoist stronghold. It is extensive in several states and occurs on a large scale. Another benefit of this is that police camps will be established on the grounds of the region where the Maoists are strong. Wherever the people fight for the right to jal-jungle-zameen (Water, Forest, Land) against the government's anti-popular policies, it is branded as the Maoist-supported movement and new police camps are set up to increase the repression. Brutal police repression and suppression of the popular movement is enhanced through these police camps. To tell the truth, the public is forced to live in the shadow of the trigger.
Q: I am not the first journalist to ask this question, many have questioned you before. But the question still stands. The money you need is from the industrialists. Ordinary people don't have a lot of money. They cannot support you with their sympathy. So who are you fighting?
A – Look, the first thing is that it is the BJP government that is anti-popular. They are launching a multi-pronged offensive, guided by the "Low Intensity Conflict" of the US imperialists, to completely suppress the revolutionary movement led by the Maoists.
Not only is a barbaric war campaign launched through the police, paramilitary and military, but also psychological warfare. Its only task is to make false propaganda about the Maoist party, its leaders and the Maoist movement.
One aspect of this sick propaganda is, as you asked, "they need money, it's from the industrial class, so against whom is your fight". First of all, I would like to say that our party - the whole party - has a certain financial policy that it implements to the best of its ability. “There are three main resources to meet our needs – one is party membership fees, taxes, and public financial aid. The second is confiscation of the enemy's property, and the third is taxation. We collect taxes in the form of progressive taxes in guerrilla areas and base areas.” We also openly wrote that “the national bourgeoisie, small business and freelancers are part of the New Democratic Revolution and therefore we collect funds from them according to their capacity and level.
'We do not collect taxes from public activities such as schools, hospitals, groceries and employment projects'. It is clear from our policy that we can raise funds from the national bourgeoisie, that is, from the small and medium capitalists. We do not collect money or collect taxes from the three hostile classes of the Indian people, which we see as the big capitalists, the comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie, namely the imperialists, landlords and comprador bureaucratic capitalists who are the target of the ongoing revolution. This is against our policy. This means that our relationship with such industrialists is hostile.