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How this top Maoist leader couldn't extricate completely from the Left adventurist line

By Harsh Thakor 

On the 31st of May Katakam Sudarshan, known as Comrade Anand, breathed his last, at the age of 69. Anand was a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoists) and an important leader of the revolutionary movement of India.
Without doubt Sudarshan or Anand was one of the best sons of our soil, who shimmered the spark of New Democratic Revolution and Maoism, till his last breath. Anand was a manifestation of the creative spirit of Marxism which could create a new man. His soul reverberated the very aspirations of the toiling and oppressed masses.Anand may be physically gone, but his spirit is not dead and buried, and his soul will shimmer to inspire new lotuses to blossom. The valiant leader took courage to zones rarely transcended, defining how a revolutionary is not just a run of the mill human being, but a unique character.
Sudarshan was a major architect of the revolutionary movement in India and had escaped from dozens of exchanges of fire with the security forces in his nearly five decade-long life in the underground. The CPI (Maoist) called for the organization of commemoration meetings across the whole country from the 5th of June to the 3rd of August.
Sudarshan had been suffering acutely for a considerable period from chronic bronchitis, diabetes and problems with high blood pressure.The cause for his death was probably the curbing of availability to medicine and medical facilities: Fascist manoeuvres being undertaken by the central and state governments to block the supply of medicines and medical facilities to the leaders and workers of the revolutionary movement. Regretful is that how neo-fascism today will prevent any open commemoration meeting for the departed leader.

Political Life

Sudarshan constituted the first generation of revolutionary leaders born and nurtured after the Naxalbari rebellion, and unflinchingly contributed to the Indian revolution for almost 5 decades. He gained his baptism with the Andhra Pradesh Radical Students Union.
His major contribution to the Indian revolution was in unfolding the revolutionary struggle in Dandakaranya to many an area, like turning a spark into a Prairie fire. Sudarshan later became a member of the Central Committee and then of its Politburo. From 2001 to 2017 he was the Secretary of the Central Regional Bureau, until he relinquished the post due to health issues.
He was at this time responsible for the publishing of magazine People’s March and contributed to shimmering spark of Indian revolutionary politics internationally. During the two last years he served as Secretary of the Central Regional Bureau, and was also the spokesperson of the Central Committee. After this he continued functioning as a member of the Politburo. He remained in the underground for a period of nearly 48 years.
Sudarshan was also known by the aliases Anand and Dula. He was a Maoist ideologue and an expert in the fieldcraft and hailed from Bellampalli of Adilabad district of Telangana state. He had a Diploma in Mining. He joined the CPI (ML) People’s War party in 1978, and worked as the organizer of the party’s ‘Go to the villages’ campaign in Luxettipet and Jannaram region.
Sudarshan toiled relentlessly in coalfield areas and lit a spark to the revolutionary movement after the Indravelli firing on April 20, 1981. He was then Adilabad District Committee Secretary and later in 1985 moved to Dandakaranya region as part of the ‘Guerrilla Zone Perspective”. Sudarshan led the Sironcha squad in Gadchiroli district, which was one of the seven squads sent to Dandakaranya, extending from Gadchiroli (in Maharashtra state) to Bastar district in Chhattisgarh.
Subsequently, Sudarshan played an integral role in knitting the ‘Retreat Zone’ extending from Adilabad, Gadchiroli, Bastar to East Godavari and was the “Forest Liaison Committee” member of the then CPI (ML) People’s War. Later in 1995, he was appointed as the Secretary of newly formed North Telangana Special Zonal Committee (NTSZC). Subsequently he was elected to the Central Committee in the All India Special Conference in 1995. Also in the 2001 and 2007 Congresses, he was elected as a member of the Central Committee and Politburo of the CPI (ML) People’s War and subsequently the CPI (Maoist).

Positive Qualities

Anand’s death was mortal blow to the Maoist movement and party. It is remarkable how in every juncture of his life the movement fell into the depths of despair, and with death defying courage and judicious skill Anand resurrected it, to the floor. He traversed the most tortuous paths and overcame the steepest hurdles.
Sudarshan was amongst the leaders who planted the seeds for genuine forms of people’s democracy crystallising in Dandkaranya .Adivasis could now cultivate their own lands or pattas ,earn stipulated minimum wages undertake administration, have alternative literacy and health facilities and resist the merciless tyranny of contractors and politicians. With the skill of an engineer Sudarshan could cultivate forms of combat to resist the tyranny of the police force and in the gravest times, inspire people.
His role in the revolutionary movement of India, in the ideological, political, organizational plane to construct the united front, to the whole party and to the PLGA, through his tenacious five decades long revolutionary work, will burn like an inextinguishable flame as a beacon for mass organizations, Janatana governments and the entire revolutionary camp.
Workers, peasants, middle class, small capitalists, dalits, tribals, religious minority communities, women and oppressed nationalities from all over the country were inspired by his teachings and revolutionary work to carry forward the torch of the revolutionary movement. He deserves tributes from contingents of the Communist and Revolutionary parties’ worldwide.Sudarshan’s life illustrated that Marxism-Leninism and Maoism is not dead and buried, legitimacy of the Chinese path of peoples war and how the C.P.I. (Maoist) is at the forefront of the world revolution, leading the strongest people’s army.
Sudarshan’s life was a testimony to the undaunting courage and tenacity of slain leaders of the C.P.I. (Maoist) which transcended boundaries, rarely scaled in history of people’s resistance. His life story is a living example of how a revolutionary germinates from the stage of an embryo.
Sudarshan stood like a rock withstanding the most powerful gale against all counter- revolutionary or revisionist tendencies and living example of collective spirit as against individualism. Even non –Marxists or people who disagree with the line of the Maoist party should acclaim the contribution he rendered to resist the neo-fascist corporate tyranny and wage an ideological battle against Hindu fascism.

Flaws

Today the C.P.I (Maoist) is facing untold or merciless attacks by the state, with important leaders and cadres perishing by day by day.Inspite of heroically waging resistance to withstand the neo-fascist rulers it is unable to formulate or establish genuine people’s democracy or base areas or completely cultivate a mass line or sow seeds of agrarian revolutionary movement. The Maoist movement today stands on a periphery, with hardly any proper insulation from the security forces and inability to replenish losses.
Leaders like Sudarshan could not extricate themselves completely from the left adventurist line influence, whereby subjective factors were not created or mass movements not sufficiently constructed to back or supplement armed struggle. Nor could they undertake constructive party review of how to overcome the gross attacks which broke their backbone or grave setbacks in regions like Gadricholi and Chattisgarh , insufficient level of democracy within mass organisations, defective military line place single-handed focus on military aspects ,check anarchism and mechanically copy Chinese path of Revolution.
During the mergers of the C.P.I (ML) Peoples War with the Maoist Communist Centre or earlier merger of CPI (ML) Party Unity with the Peoples War Group,Sudarshan could not comprehend or guage the glaring flaws in aspect of unifying the party or building mass movement as a whole, and overestimated subjective strength of the party forces to confront the state.
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Harsh Thakor is freelance journalist who has covered mass movements and extensively studies Indian Communist movement. Thanks information from Red Spark, Red Herald and press release statement of the CPI (Maoist)

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