[From Liberation, December 1979.]
At present we are confronted with the task of Party building under certain new conditions. To understand these conditions a brief historical review of Party building is required. During the initial period of Party building we conducted struggle against revisionism-from-right on the question of basic principles of Marxism-Leninism and won over thousands of vanguards from the influence of revisionists. The Party rejected most of the old forms of struggle which were current in the Indian Communist movement and tried to develop new forms of struggle corresponding to the onward march of the revolution. The Party also mobilised the masses in revolutionary struggles at different places and to different degrees.
However, a large number of masses still remained under the influence of revisionist parties. After a few years, confusion and division occurred in our own ranks and the Party lost its unified all-India character. Quite a large number of factions developed mainly on a regional and state basis. The revolutionary wing of the Party could remain organised only in a few states. In recent years when efforts for uniting the Party ranks on an all-India level began, the first round was won by the opportunists. However, thanks to the rectification movement and the correct tactics adopted by the Central Committee, gradually we gained the initiative. Now, in the second round, where does the situation stand? Opportunists are clearly disintegrating and only our Central Committee has emerged as the firmly unified centre of the CPI(ML) which has an all-India character and is leading the armed struggle resolutely.
Naturally therefore, it is attracting the Party ranks everywhere. Our contacts with the masses are now more widespread and we are moving with thousands of masses in different places. However, the larger mass followings are still enjoyed by the opportunists and revisionists of different colours.
In the present situation when the ruling classes are facing serious political and economic crisis and are heading towards frontal battles with the people, the revisionists are getting rapidly exposed.
So the situation is favourable for us to win over the large mass followings of revisionists. Our All-India Party Conference (1979) has rightly directed us to shift our emphasis from the struggle of vanguards in coordination with hundreds, or in some cases at most with thousands, of masses (This was a particularity of our past struggles. It must be pointed out here that this situation was inevitable in the course of development of revolutionary struggles. And our point of view that the concept of the masses is related to the different stages of struggles is quite different from the point of view of those groups who never open their mouths without talking of ‘masses’ but are in reality small cliques of intellectuals with no mass following at all, and also different from those groups who temporarily mobilise a greater number of masses in the struggles for reforms, conducted in such a way that it only helps in blunting the revolutionary consciousness of the masses.) to the relatively bigger mass mobilisations with at least tens of thousands and develop this further to lakhs and millions. For this purpose ideological struggle on basic principles and propaganda are not sufficient. We shall have to get closer to the broad masses, understand their mood, join their struggles and patiently help them to come to the realisation on the basis of their own experience. In this context the struggle against revisionism from the ‘Left’ assumes great importance. ‘Left’ phrase-mongering which reflects complete failure to analyse concrete conditions must be resolutely opposed inside the Party if we are to mobilise the whole Party for the tasks before us.