1969 - Srikakulam: Will It Be The Yenan of India?
Not even full two years have passed since the Naxalbari struggle started; yet, within this period, its sparks have spread to different States of India. And in Srikakulam in Andhra, the fire they have started is fast developing into a forest-fire.
Here, in the midst of a jungle surrounded by hills, I am sitting in a room on a hill-top and before me are seated about a score of young men. They are not well-known or renowned men, nor men who enjoy an all-lndia fame. But they are men who are young, men who dream. They dream of liberating the tens of crores of peasants who have been exploited and oppressed through the ages, they dream of liberating them from the yoke of exploitation, from the murky depths of ignorance, from grinding poverty, from hunger. They believe in making revolution. They are firmly convinced that only an armed peasantry can make the revolution victorious. They have come from various districts of Andhra ? from Srikakulam, from Nalgonda, Warangal and Adilabad districts in Telengana, and from the districts in Rayalaseema, and they represent the majority of the districts of Andhra. They dream dreams, but they are no idle day-dreamers. All of them have left their hearth and home and live and work among the peasants and observe secrecy. It is they who have built up the Srikakulam struggle ? the struggle that has filled the hearts of the revolutionaries of India with joy and confidence. The events of Srikakulam have made the conviction firmer than ever that India will create her own Yenan in no distant future. It is they who have built up the peasant struggle in the Koraput district in Orissa. The brutal repression carried on by the frightened reactionary government failed to suppress the struggle. Nor could they touch the leaders of the struggle. And it is they who constitute the Andhra State Co-ordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries.
A report prepared by the Srikakulam District Committee was placed at the meeting. It is not for me to judge whether there are errors and shortcomings in the report. The comrades of Srikakulam have published that report and placed their experiences before the Communist revolutionaries of the whole country. They are men who have no interest other than that of the revolution. That is why they do not fear criticism; on the contrary, they have invited criticism. In this report they have recorded their valuable experiences of the Srikakulam struggle and have tried to draw conclusions from them. In the report they have forcefully asserted that there can be no compromise with opportunism. Such compromises with opportunism do not add to the strength of the revolutionaries but weaken them. A firm class-unity can be built only through struggle against Right and 'Left' opportunism.
They have analysed the nature of opportunism in Andhra, marked out those who represent this opportunism and have taken upon themselves the responsibility of carrying on struggle against them.
At this meeting they have resolved to build up a revolutionary Party in the whole of Andhra ? a Party that bases itself on the thought of Chairman Mao Tse-tung. They have declared that everything that is happening in Srikakulam today is based solely and entirely on the thought of Chairman Mao. That explains why Srikakulam has become the sole criterion for the people of Andhra to judge who is a revolutionary and who is not. And Srikakulam serves today as this yardstick not merely for the people of Andhra but for the people of the whole of India.
As I said before, these comrades are no idle day-dreamers. So, they are not thinking of winning victory the easy way. They realize that attacks are sure to come and that they may even have to suffer serious set-backs. They are quite aware of that danger and are preparing to face such eventualities.
They are convinced that to carry on revolutionary struggle, they must have a revolutionary Party. That is why they have put the task of building such a Party before everything else. At the same time they also realize that a task of such a revolutionary Party will be to imbue the Party members and the people with the spirit of sacrifice. Chairman Mao teaches us: "Wherever there is struggle there is sacrifice, and death is a common occurrence." So, in order to win victory in the revolution, the revolutionary cadres must be able to make sacrifices. They must sacrifice their property and belongings, sacrifice comforts, sacrifice old habits and aspirations after fame, rid themselves of the fear of death and give up ideas of seeking the easy path. Only in this way shall we be able to train and prepare the revolutionaries to conduct a hard, difficult and protracted struggle. Only in this way can we inspire the people to make great sacrifices, who then, with tremendous blows, will smash all the power and might of imperialism, revisionism and the Indian reactionaries and thus win victory for the revolution.
It is after a long time that I have attended a meeting like this of Communist revolutionaries where they have taken the vow to sell out their properties and donate the entire sum thus obtained to the Party fund. In this meeting alone promises were made to raise about a lakh of rupees in this way. The slogan: "Let us build Srikakulams in the different areas to support the Srikakulam struggle!" instantly changed the atmosphere of the meeting and the very air in the room seemed to have been electrified All the comrades present resolutely declared that they would build Srikakulams in Telengana, in the districts of the Rayalaseema region, in the whole of Andhra. At that moment, throbbing as it was with the vigorous, bright spirit of revolutionary ardour, one thought repeatedly haunted me ? the thought of the heroic revolutionaries of Telengana who had laid down their lives fighting. I was thinking that the sacrifice of those glorious fighters has not been in vain; for India's Yenan will be created here. The meeting ended in the midst of great enthusiasm.
As the time came for me to leave, I suddenly felt sad. Who knows whether I shall again meet these comrades. They are revolutionary comrades who are dedicated and not afraid to make even the supreme sacrifice. They are going back from this meeting to plunge into the struggle again, and nobody knows who would survive. But one thing I know ? the people of India will never forget them.
Suddenly the India that is enveloped in darkness vanished, and I saw before me my motherland India ? a vigorous, throbbing India, sparkling in the bright sunshine ? People's Democratic India, Socialist India!
Srikakulam is fighting valiantly, tomorrow the whole of Andhra will join the fight. Confirmation of this I received on the morning I was coming back. Newspapers on that day reported that one class enemy was killed in an attack by the peasant guerrillas.
Srikakulam forges ahead irresistibly.
March 6, 1969