Beyond Lakhimpur KheriOctober 27, 2021
‘State’s’ First Serious Attack on The Farmers Movement & its Inevitable Consequences
[This is a rough translation of the author’s Hindi article originally published in Yatharth Year 2, Issue 6 (Oct 2021)]
As everyone knows, on 3rd of October, in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh, a bunch of farmers holding black flags in their hands were deliberately mowed down by speeding ‘Thar’ and ‘Fortuner’ vehicles. The gruesome incident engulfed the lives of four protesting farmers and one journalist on the spot and caused grievous injuries to dozens of others who were present at the site. Altogether, 9 people have died as a result of that incident so far.
The pertinent question before us is whether this massacre is merely a horrific incident or is it rather the beginning of serious future conflicts between the farmers and the ‘State’ as has been indicated by us since day one? While there has undoubtedly been a steady intensification of the peasant movement with the passage of time, what happened in Lakhimpur Kheri is the state’s first open attack on it, the imminent outcome of which in the near future is going to manifest itself in the form of serious conflicts between the farmers and the ‘state’. It may also spur political explosions in future. This attack has planted the seeds of al these, the above-stated conflicts. It has also become almost certain that this attack will become a prelude to the final rupture of relations of the wider peasantry with the existing capitalist state. Overall, this would prove to be a great step towards the revolutionarization of the peasant movement.
However, the issue is not just confined to the attack and the consequences it may lead to. The main demands of the farmers are also such that no capitalist would ever accept them for their fulfillment requires to step out of the boundaries of capitalism itself. First and foremost demand is the demand for a legally guaranteed Minimum Support Price (MSP) (legally guaranteed MSP for all farmers and for all crops); followed by the demand for complete withdrawal of agricultural laws targeted towards accomplishment of corporate farming, the natural outcome of the second phase of development of capitalist agriculture. The order of these two demands is immaterial for both represent the same thing so far as essence is concerned. As there is no possibility of meeting these two demands by the ‘state’, the prevailing material conditions of lives of peasants (mainly the economic distress which is deepening all the time) will only push the situations emerging due to this attack into a state of serious conflicts. We had pointed out openly at the very beginning of this movement about the impossibility of these demands being accepted by any capitalist state. We had also said that the pressure created by the deteriorating life conditions of the peasantry would never allow them to retreat from the movement based primarily on aforementioned demands till the end. It then implies that nothing can stop the conflict from turing into a direct and decisive conflict which will simultaneously lead to revolutionarization of the entire historic peasant movement. Based on direct experience, it must now be considered a common feature of any real mass movement, atleast for the time being, that if it has elments of spontaneity, is able to attract large-scale people’s participation based on this spontaneity, is being driven by the concrete conditions of life and its demands are such that their fulfilment costs the super profits of the monopolists, it will naturally and very often assume the character of a decisive battle, because in this era of monopoly capital domination, the space for catering to the interests of the common people while going against the wishes and the loot of the monopoly is no more present and has been consistently reducing. On the contrary, their interests are constantly under attack. The salient feature of the present day Indian capitalist state is that it has completely surrendered itself to the interests of ‘monopoly capital’, it has capitulated to monopolists to an extent where it doesn’t think even twice before it ruthlessly crushes the interests of even small and medium capital. Therefore, as any real mass movement intensifies beyond a limit, a decisive-looking confrontation becomes inevitable and imminent, thereby ensuring revolutionarization of such a movement and increasing its possibility of transforming into a decisive battle. Else, the movement will have to be withdrawn unsuccessfully.
Coming to the ongoing farmers moment in particular, the demands that the farmers have reached upon, on account of the bitter experiences of their lives andnot under the influence of any political or ideological movement, on account of dialectical development process of their demands in the face of the rapidly changing material conditions, and as far as these demands have a revolutionary potential, hit the very limits of the capitalist system and are such that are never going to be fulfilled within its confines. If the peasantry hold on to these demands, the relentless struggle is bound to compel the peasantry to spontaneously transcend the limits of capitalism and will ultimately bring the ‘proletarian state’ into their imagination, the ultimate result of which will depend upon the intensity of their future conflicts with the capitalist state along with objective and subjective preparations of the working-class forces which are bound to bury capitalism in the ground. That is why we have been saying from day one that every conflict of farmers with the state centering around these two main demands (where the attack from the ‘state’ will be the main constituent element of the conflict) will only thrust and propel the farmers into understanding and accepting the indispensability of a proletarian state, and the best elements of this movement will undoubtedly come forward in favor of such a state. Thus, in this sense, this movement is not an ordinary movement and therefore it ought not to be considered with an ordinary attitude. Whatever we have written so far about the ongoing movement has only proved to be very close to the truth, based on the developments so far. It seems as if this movement is the product of our own thinking and imagination. Continuing our analysis on this basis, if we want to say something concrete about the future of the peasant movement, we find ourselves in a position to unambiguously say that if the state’s first well-planned and plotted attack upon the farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri ends up not only uniting the wider peasantry, but also generates nationwide political movements and agitations laced with serious political conflicts, it isboundto cause severance of the ‘relationship’ even between the masses at large and the ‘state’ and would ultimately take them towards serious decisive conflicts, the ultimate culmination of which would at least be in the form of emergence of such conditions that would carry the feeling of ‘inevitability’ of a future proletarian state provided the working class revolutionary forces also act in accordance with the situation and show the courage to formulate and implement a revolutionary strategy based on the correct understanding of the revolutionary elements inherent in these conflicts.
Let us see how we have been saying exactly this since the very beginning.
We had written all this clearly in the 9th issue (January 2021) of “Yatharth”, which has been proved completely correct by journey of the farmers’ movement so far –
“This movement has shown that it has the potential to agitate the entire country. Within 45 days into the launch of this movement, we are in a position to say that it has absorbed the echo of the widespread common peasants’ emancipation from corporates, which in the wake of its increasing conflict with the ‘state’, can be turned against capital and the capitalist system by way of a revolutionary working-class program-based intervention. This is because this movement is moving forward towards getting inspired by a new kind of awakening having in its fold new possibilities, on its own, subject to its inner dialectical pace. If the movement intensifies even more, the vanguard organizations of the working class must enter the fray at a rapid pace for ideological and political intervention, more than organizational.” (Bold ours. From the article based on PRC CPI (ML)’s booklet “Emancipation of Farmers and the Working Class”)
“Now we find the whole farmers movement sticking to the demand of government procurement of all agri-produce on preannounced prices. This implies that the fundamental demand of the movement is for the government to enter into contract farming with farmers, which is impossible to be fulfilled not only by the current fascist government of crisis ridden capitalism but also by a ‘normal’ capitalist government as making production system free of profit motive is an essential precondition for it. But that is impossible without social ownership of means of production and complete socialisation of production, i.e., reorganisation of society on socialist basis by abolishing the rule of capital. Obviously, the kernel of this demand is anti-capitalist. Therefore, the solution for this is possible only in a proletarian state by organising farmers into collective farms and entering into contract farming agreement with them, as was done in socialist Russia.” (same)
And further –
“What is of utmost significance for the working class movement is the fact that that this movement has led common peasantry to consider the ill consequences of capitalist development of agriculture including corporate farming as their chief enemy, though it is true that it might not be possible to turn it against capitalism itself owing to the serious weaknesses in the working class movement itself. This agitation expresses despair of the farmers in the capitalist path of development of agriculture and is creating a spirit of rejection of the very principles of capitalist competition, i.e., moving forward stepping on the dead bodies of each other and encouraging an atmosphere conducive to generation and spread of new revolutionary ideas. It is imperative to encourage and amplify these sentiments and thoughts. It is a joint and common, and mandatory, task of all revolutionary working class and peasant organisations and their advanced forces. If this task can be completed, it will have deep impact on the revolutionary task of transforming state and society, rather will give it a big push ahead and huge momentum.” (same)
“What does this sharpening of movement reflect? This reflects that the common farmer is now compelled to conclude that they can no longer sustain within the capitalist competition for higher prices and profit on the basis of their private property of small landholdings and small scale of production and they are not capable to take any more risks to compete for higher prices with large scale corporate capitalist farms to fulfil their aspirations of happy and prosperous life. They have realised that their position as petty producers in capitalist competition has pushed them into the quagmire of debt and the deep distress of loans and impoverishment have forced them into the trap of suicides and dispossession instead of prosperity. It is also clear to them that the new farm laws are nothing but the continuation of this irrational contradictory development of capitalism in agriculture, corporate farming being its next and inevitable destination. At this new juncture corporates will be the new predators with insatiable hunger. The victims of their hunger will not only be limited to rural proletariat, semi-proletariat and poor farmers but it will go beyond to devastation of whole countryside and dispossession and ruin of most of the intermediate classes including a section of rich farmers. In absence of the progressive and revolutionary consciousness the common farmers might not be able to understand clearly the underlying causes of the present disastrous crisis in agriculture and the role of capitalism but when they accuse the government in anguish and pain for their ruin and devastation, the real target of their anger is nothing but capitalism.” (same)
“It must be noted that the historical role of capitalism in agriculture is to drive away broader population of farmers from agriculture which is accomplished in multiple phases. In India, the rich farmers benefited in the first phase while the poor (small and marginal) peasants were ruined by heavy debt burden and impoverishment by the costlier farming typical of capitalist agriculture. In the current 2nd phase of capitalist agriculture, the wealthy farmers and kulaks, who once used to single-handedly feed upon small fishes (rural proletariat and poor peasants), are themselves surrounded by the imminent risk of being engulfed by crocodiles (corporates). They themselves are going to be victims of the process of expropriation of property now.” (same)
“Hence the demand for statutorily guaranteed MSP, though irrational in capitalism, transforms the current farmers movement into one that in essence aims at a revolutionary objective, and knowingly or unknowingly sows the idea of a state in the imagination of the farmers that looks like a proletarian state. And it cannot be gainsaid that it is solely proletariat that as future ruling class can promise to farmers to save them ‘as farmers’ from the absolutism of bourgeois state and anarchy of capitalist production, if they are ready to go beyond the bounds of capitalist production, the possibility of which has improved quite a lot.” (same)
The violence against farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri is not only heart-wrenching but also unforgettable. Another such example of the kind of brutal violence meted out against a bunch of farmers returning home peacefully by showing black flags to the Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in Lakhimpur Kheri and the barbaric way in which they lost their lives will not be found in the history of the peasant movement of India. Even in the history of British colonial rule, one cannot find instances of such brutality (like killing the farmers by speeding the car over them). Ashish Mishra alias Monu and his accomplices, son of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra Teni alias Teni Maharaj, and his accomplices perpetrated this vandalism, but the disclosure with respect to the events dating a week before the incident are indicative of the fact that the real mastermind of the conspiracy (massacre) was Ajay Mishra Teni who had blatantly threatened farmers belonging to a particular community to ‘learn the lesson or he would teach them within two minutes’, by calling himself a notorious criminal before the crowded meeting held a week ago in Lakhimpur Kheri itself. The same open threat was given effect on October 3 by way of a well-planned conspiracy. This is a perfect analysis, because his disciples (his reared goons) were found to be present at the site of the incident with full preparation, that is, fully equipped with other types of weapons including revolvers and bombs.
The question is, can the decision to commit such a well-planned heinous violence against the farmers (an undoubtedly decision of huge proportions in every sense) be taken by Ajay Mishra Teni alone? Can he take such a decision alone? The answer to this question is easily found by looking at the following three things after the massacre. Firstly, Modi and Amit Shah’s constant silence maintained on this heinous massacre, secondly, the act of omission on the part of Modi government by allowing the murderer Ajay Mishra Teni to continue as the Minister with his designated portfolio despite various expose and warnings given by Samyukta Kisan Morcha about his criminal history and lastly, the relentless efforts by the administration to save Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra alias Monu (despite all irrefutable and visible evidence) till the last breath. Ajay Mishra’s ministerial post continues to remain intact till the writing of this article, although his son was finally rendered with immense humiliation and an all-round moral and legal pressure was exerted upon the case from within the country as well as abroad. He came to be finally arrested on the 9th of October after a facade of long interrogation which was executed with absolute leniency which can be made out from the continuous hospitality that was offered in the form of tea-biscuits and sweets. This was the second massive victory of the peasant movement soon after the success of the Bharat Bandh of 27 September, because despite everything, considering the backing by the Modi government to the criminal Minister, his arrest seemed difficult, if not impossible. Apart from this, the dismissal and arrest of the Minister of State for Home Affairs and the arrest of his son apart from his designated disciples are yet to be done. For this, the Samyukta Kisan Morcha has announced a long program of agitation, in which “Shaheed Kisan Yatra” will be carried out with the ashes of the farmers killed in the Lakhimpur Kheri massacre in Uttar Pradesh and across the country on 18 September. Rail Roko” movement is also included.
In light of the above facts, would it be wrong to believe that the strings of this assassination plot are directly intertwined with the highest position and most powerful center of governance of the country, i.e. Modi-Yogi-Amit Shah? Undoubtedly, several nefarious motives of government and non-government fascist gangs were working together behind this massacre, which was organized by Ajay Mishra Teni against the farmers of the Sikh community in an open meeting held at Lakhimpur Kheri a week and a half ago. This can be clearly seen in the given hate speech. In this, this history-sheeter minister had even openly threatened to force Sikh farmers to leave Lakhimpur Kheri and flee if they could not subject themselves to his diktat. Around the same time, Haryana’s Chief Minister Khattar (in the BJP’s Workers’ Conference) was advising the central government to contemplate formation of 500-1000 gangs in every district and region to attack the struggling farmers. This combined with the horrific incident at Lakhimpur Kheri lays bare the conspiracy of the fascists to shove the country into a state of anarchy, massacre and bloody conflict by inciting the peasants through such gory tactics and brings to the surface the whole series of potential events which in itself is quite frightening. The intention of the fascists is to teach such a lesson to the struggling farmers, soaked in their own blood, so that the peasants withdraw their struggle under fear and terror. However, practically, there is no physical space for the farmers to do so, and this is precisely where the fascists falter in their understanding of the farmers’ movement. And this incident at Lakhimpur Kheri is a testimony to the mistakes that fascists did in measuring the depth of the peasant movement. Farmers know that if they don’t fight today, majority of them will be thrown out of agriculture and the rest of them in the long run. This is the central objective underlying the three agricultural laws, which leaves no doubt about its early implementation. None amongst the farmers are mistaken about the fascist spirit behind the farm laws. This remains as the sole reason behind their persevering attitude in the struggle and not backing off.
Fascists and their supporting pimps may be as clever and cunning as they are, but in reality they are only fools and cowards. They feel that the toiling masses are also people like them who will back down and fall at their feet at the slightest of oppression, as has been frequently witnessed in the history of the Sangh fascists during the British period. Whenever any of them came to jail in the fight for independence, they were often seen apologizing to the British and taking pledges to work as lackeys in the form of informers for the Britishers for the rest of their lives. This has been their black history in the freedom struggle. Fascists themselves are fools, so often they consider the public also to be fools and consider the immediate political misunderstandings and mistakes by the people as a result of their inability to understand the tricks of the fascists, as a ‘permanent weakness’. In the same way, they make the mistake of considering the hesitation and fear in the minds of the public towards engagement with the state administration as a permanent one and foolishly end up making it as a weapon to enslave them. It is evident that they plan to impose open dictatorship on the people by relying on excessive or maximum governance and tyranny of the administration. Fascists feel that they can do or get anything done by force. They often underestimate the power of the people and they understand that people can be fooled at their whims and fancies. It is these mistakes that ultimately become a major reason for their defeat. Lakhimpur Kheri is an apt example of the fault committed by the fascists. We find that by attempting to create fear in the minds of the farmers through the strength of police-administration and goons in Lakhimpur Kheri, they played a gamble to suppress the peasant movement, which cost them dearly. Their bet backfired completely. In fact, every bet that has been taken so far in dealing with the peasant movement has always backfired. As a result, even after crossing the limits of heinousness in Lakhimpur Kheri, the movement of these farmers could not be crushed and on the contrary, it has only turned more organized and firm as steel than before. The sacrifice of the lives of four farmers has ignited the movement with a completely new attitude. In the bright light of the rising flames, it can be clearly seen that if the feet of Modi-Yogi-Amit Shah have not started to crumble, they have definitely started to wobble. A nationwide movement has been announced by the Samyukta Kisan Morcha against it, which includes “Rail Roko” on 18 October and a big event of “Shaheed Kisan Yatra” which will be carried out intensively across the country including Uttar Pradesh with the ashes of the four martyr farmers. With the success of , it will also be decided soon how much of a gap actually lies between the ‘wobble’ and ‘uprooting’ of Modi-Yogi’s feet.
The closer the farmers’ movement draws itself to the uprooting of the feet of Modi-Yogi-Amit Shah, the more intense will the question become whether Modi’s withdrawal will lead to the emancipation of the farmers. Will it be clear? The raising of this question here does not mean that it is not necessary to remove Modi-Yogi from power immediately. No, that’s not what it means. The farmers should try their best to defeat Modi-Yogi and for this there should be no doubt about the need of the campaign work that the farmers are doing. But here we mean to draw the attention of the farmers to the need for a complete social change. With the completion of one year of the farmers’ movement, it is only turning into a high-level fight, in which such questions are bound to rise again and again, as the farmers will naturally pose the same questions regarding legal guarantee of fulfillment of their demands before any future opposition government which will replace the Modi government. The farmers would naturally want any upcoming government to give complete assurance regarding their demands. However, what is the truth? The fact is that if farmers mentally confine their fight to a change of government, there is no doubt that they will be deceived once again. Therefore, it is very important to bring this question to the notice of the farmers again and again as to why it is extremely necessary to continue the farmers’ fight till the final victory even after the uprooting of Modi because the removal of Modi is a part of the fight for freedom from the corporate. Removal of Modi who is at the helm of affairs currently is only one primary assignment and the victory in it should be considered a victory at the primary level only, not final and conclusive, although Modi’s defeat will undoubtedly be a significant victory and there is no question of if and but. But at the same time it is also necessary to reiterate that if the fight for the liberation of the peasantry is to be finally won, it must be continued till capitalism is overturned. This message should be inscribed on the seal on Modi’s defeat. The corporate capitalist state of today’s India, which has today assumed the dreaded fascist form under the chairmanship of Modi-Amit Shah-Yogi, is actually a naked form of capitalist dictatorship, a veiled form of capitalist dictatorship and hence the root of corporate fascism. The end will not happen without the end of the capitalist dictatorship. Farmers should assimilate this lesson of politics at the earliest.
Talking about the ruin of farmers under capitalist farming in India, their vast population was ruined in the first phase of capitalist agriculture itself, while the remaining will soon be destroyed in the development of its second phase, proposed in the name of agricultural laws. The aforementioned fact despite being undeclared has been accepted by the farmers to have been declared and certain in the coming future and it is purely this understanding which can be called as the primary driving force of their perseverance in the field of struggle. They have understood that this second phase is nothing but the beginning of corporate dominance i.e. corporate farming. Corporate capitalists are nothing but big capitalists. Corporate farming is nothing but large scale modern capitalist farming. While the capitalist farming of the first stage created a capitalist strata and classes of rich peasants and relatively wealthy middle peasants, which worked to stifle the surplus created in agriculture, in the second stage the dissolution of the rich and middle peasants themselves in the hidden form is certain and equivalent to a predetermined thing. Outlining the characteristics of the second round of capitalist farming, we can say that there will be immediate and forced expulsion of poor and small farmers from agriculture (however, they can already be said to have been displaced as a result of being stuck in debt crisis arising from continuous deficit farming. That despite the hard work of the whole family, they have always been forced to survive on the income earned from wages, etc.) The process of middle and rich farmers getting caught in the crisis is a new one which will only intensify in the coming times. It will be interesting to see how long they will be able to sustain themselves with their products in the corporate controlled market. Both the future and political behavior will be determined by how intense their conflict with the corporate is and how fast or slow the political movement in the country as a whole is, where the latter is directly related to the general crisis of capitalism. Therefore, in the coming times, the formation of a government of any capitalist party or coalition of parties can provide immediate relief, but the liberation of the farmers from the corporate raj is not going to be done by the removal of the Modi government alone. This should be clearly understood by the farmers, otherwise the farmers’ movement will go astray in a blind alley. Under the rule of any capitalist party or parties to come, the purchase of all crops of all farmers is not going to be guaranteed, nor is there going to be a complete or real return of agricultural laws, because capitalist agriculture is going to have to go through its second phase. It cannot be prevented in any way unless capitalism itself is overthrown. The entry into the second phase of capitalist agriculture directly means the establishment of the monopoly of big capital (corporate) which is a natural phenomenon under capitalism. This historical movement of capital, which is at the same time progressive and reactionary, can only be replaced or abolished by the revolutionary state of workers-peasants. This historic peasant movement will have to move in exactly this direction, otherwise it will result in nothing but despair, depression and defeat. The on-going peasant movement can do nothing more than to advance or accelerate this historical momentum, because the abolition of capitalism is ultimately the end of private property as well, and therefore it is the work of the working class to bring it to an end. As far as the farmers are concerned, they can play an effective role only by being part of the historic mission of the working class for the complete emancipation of mankind. By virtue of the fact that the working class is not agitating today, it is lying in a helpless state and is not shouting, therefore the farmers can take their place, is an extremely faulty analysis. The working class is still the main driving force of history, and it does not matter in what senseless condition they are lying today. The main focus should always be on the historical task that lies upon their shoulders which they are bound to do in the present times or in the times to come. At the same time, we should also not forget that in today’s era any nationwide fight of the working class will rapidly progress towards turning into a nationwide class struggle. From this point of view, even the slightest fight of the working class will prove to be heavier than the heaviest fight of the peasantry. Its nature itself is different, because the final decisive moment in it appears very quickly as soon as it turns into a class struggle. Therefore no such decisive battle of the working class is possible, nor should it be started without complete maturation of other objective factors, not even if the rest of the subjective preparations of the working class have been completed.
Peasant Movement in the Eyes of Mr Prabhat Patnaik
Today, ten months after the movement, when Prabhat Patnaik, the eminent ‘Left’ economist associated with the CPM, is able to see but vaguely the revolutionary elements within the peasant movement, it must be a pleasant feeling. But he is neither able to point out the necessity of a proletarian state for the emancipation of the peasantry, nor the existence of any such internal dynamics within the peasant movement as he is a victim of revisionist politics. His article published in “The Telegraph” (A Promethean moment: The farmers’ agitation challenges theoretical wisdom) underlines the intensification of anger and unrest within the farmers after the Lakhimpur Kheri incident and emphasizes the integral role being played by the movement in protecting the democratic values such as secularism which are otherwise corroding under the rule of such a government, however the article’s departure point as well as its main emphasis as indicated by the title of this article, is an attempt at undermining the role of the working class. It is reprehensible, hence it needs to be answered. They see the revolutionary element inherent in the demands of the peasant movement to the extent that their revisionist politics allows it to be seen – that is, to the extent of secularism and the defense of democracy etc. It is evident that the revisionists do not speak or want to commit the mistake of linking the question of the emancipation of the peasantry to the historical imperative of the proletarian state for well-known reasons. They write –
“Quite apart from its effect on caste, community and gender relations, the peasant struggle has been remarkable for lending support to a range of pressing democratic issues not directly connected with the peasants’ own demands. Thus, opposing the government’s proposed ‘monetization’ drive, the privatization of public sector assets, the attack on civil liberties, the use of state agencies like the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Bureau of Investigation to intimidate opponents and critics and the continued incarceration without trials of a large number of people, including the Bhima-Koregaon accused, the kisan movement has broken completely new ground. No kisan struggle in the past had been as comprehensive as the current one as regards to the democratic issues it has taken up for the country as a whole.”
There is a slight exaggeration in the above points, but still it basically gives a true picture about the role being played by the peasant movement. But does this also mean that the peasantry today has displaced the working class from its historical responsibility to free mankind from all forms of exploitation and taken such a responsibility into its own fold? To communicate such a gesture tantamounts to glorification of the peasant movement in the most wrong way possible and it is extremely fatal for the peasant movement itself. Such analysis is laced with the ulterior aim of pursuing extreme revisionist politics. It is this motive that lies at the core. The peasant’s own emancipation will also be done by the working class by way of abolishing capitalism and by laying down the foundation of a new society in its place. Peasants can come into its threshold with their efforts, till they realize its need, that is, the peasant movement can go only till painting a blurred picture of the need for the formation of a new society by itself. As far as bringing that picture alive is concerned, it will be in the heroism of the working class to carry out this task, and the unique union of the peasant movement with the proletarian revolution may be the best means. The ability of the peasantry as the historical driving force to build a new exploitation-free society is hampered by his ownership of private property. As for the present-day backwardness within the working class, the root cause lies more in the organizational weaknesses in view of the immediate circumstances, and not in any kind of ideological reasons. Therefore in the present role of the peasant movement to seek a moment of freedom from any predetermined ideological bondage and to talk about it challenging a predetermined understanding of the internationalist historical role of the working class is utter nonsense. They write –
“This sort of Promethean role, according to Marxist theory, is supposed to be played by the working class, with the peasantry remaining, at best, an ally of the workers, but never by the peasantry on its own. It is often argued that when the peasantry leads the anti-colonial struggle, it lacks any clear idea of the society that should be built after the end of colonial rule; But here we have the peasantry defending secularism, democracy and the Constitution against attempts to subvert them.”
Such presentation of farmers’ movement by Mr. Prabhat Patnaik is wrong for other reasons as well. They are writing as if the presence of democratic element within the peasant movement is visible only in this movement or it is happening for the first time. Such a presentation is obviously wrong. Due to the presence of democracy in the peasant movement, the peasantry has been and will continue to be involved as a strong cooperative class in all the decisive battles for democracy under the leadership of the working class. And this isn’t the first time it has happened. Peasants have played almost the same role in almost all types of democratic revolutions, even in the Russian October Revolution. If the communards of Paris delayed securing the support of the peasants in the Paris Commune, it also became a major cause of their defeat. The main thing that should have been said in this context relates to the rich peasantry, as this class has been in a reactionary role before, especially in the first phase of the development of capitalist agriculture in India. In today’s changed situation, when monopoly capital continues to have a decisive ascent in the agricultural sector, some new changes have also taken place in the political behavior of the distressed sections of the rich peasantry, but how permanent it is, it will be decided only in view of the potential conflicts it will enter with the corporate class as well as the role played by it on the last day of such conflicts. Prior to this, if anything concrete can be said about them, then it can be said that a large part of them will definitely be a victim of destruction in this new era and they understand this very well which is why they are involved in the movement. Apart from this, everything else is in a flowing state and nothing can be said about them in absolute terms. At present, they remain important only from the point of view of working class and poor and small farmers, because the role of agitator that the rich peasantry has assumed in the present day is a sign of a great rift in the capitalist class and our task is to widen and deepen the rift with our efforts. It is not to be filled.
Secondly, however much the peasant movement may have adopted democratic elements, its historical significance alone will be negligible. They can never displace the working class from the top of its world-historic role, even in the ‘decisive battle for democracy’. So far as the proposition of progressively continuous and coherent democracy is concerned, it can still never assume the role of the working class, because the task is such that the society needs to be taken out of the limits and framework of capitalism and further into socialism. It goes up to the demand, that is, the demand for the complete abolition of private capital and property, which stands as the biggest obstacle before the maximum spread of democracy, and goes to a successful fight for it. Therefore, no matter how far the peasant movement progresses, it can never travel alone till the abolition of private property and the establishment of a coherent democracy. This work has to be completed by the working class in any case. Being a laggard of the peasant movement and considering it to be the cause of the fight for the liberation of the farmers is purely a part of revisionist politics and obviously Mr. Patnaik himself is a victim of it because of his association with the CPM.
The question, therefore, becomes redundant here: “Why is Mr. Prabhat Patnaik glorifying the peasant movement in such an absurd way?” Obviously, being associated with a revisionist party, his eyes will always be veiled by its parliamentary opportunistic politics. And it abounds. Everyone knows that he has been and probably still is, a cardholder party member of the CPM, a party that has severely confined itself to revisionist-parliamentary politics. Not only this, he is also the main theorist of the political direction to be decided on economic subjects of this party. Therefore, in the entire revisionist camp, the politics of backwardness towards the peasant movement dominates and the politics of making the working class a pawn of the peasantry, the same thing is often sharply and clearly reflected in his writings. It is happening. Like those who do red flag politics in the prison of revisionist politics, it is quite appropriate for them to accept this peasant movement as everything, the inevitable result of which is in the form of efforts to prevent the peasant movement from taking a revolutionary path because their political limitation is that they would like to confine this peasant movement within the purview of parliamentary politics and will do everything possible to prevent it from going on the path of revolution. Their fundamental opposition, as is true of all revisionists, is not against capitalism, but with the corporate (this is also for show which is not possible to discuss here) and they simply change some policies to fight it. Or want to reverse it, so that there can be some curb on the corporate, whereas the fact is that the rise of corporate i.e. big financial capital and its dominance over the economy is only a result of the natural pace of capitalist development and it cannot be avoided without the end of capitalism. could. The problem that has arisen for the revisionists here is that in today’s almost permanent capitalist crisis, there is not much room left for revisionist-opportunistic politics, limited to a few reforms, and the manner in which this crisis is ruining the wider public every day. It will force the working class and the toiling peasants to engage in a battle to decisively overthrow capitalism itself. In fact, this crisis is forcing all the working classes, including the peasants, to wage a decisive battle against capital itself.
But in spite of this, this period cannot revolutionize those who do revisionist politics, on the contrary, will push them to cling even more to revisionist politics and hence will inevitably lead to their downfall, as Mr. Patnaik in this article has put it mildly. That’s right, but it is clearly visible when you look at it.
Incident of Lakhimpur Kheri Signifies a Stage of Rise of Fascism
From the point of view of the assessment of the stage of the rise of fascism, the Lakhimpur Kheri massacre represents a significant increase in the level of attacks by the fascists and the gradual nudity in its character and therefore represents a particular stage of the fascist rise. On the other hand, from the very first day of the incident, we evaluate it keeping in mind the strong expression of protest against Modi-Yogi. We find that this event is also the event that completely transformed the peasant movement into a nationwide mass movement, that is, this event is the most important event among the innumerable events that turned the peasant movement towards that decisive point, which undoubtedly accelerated the pace of its revolution. It will naturally provide or can already be said to be contributing through mobilization of the entire population against big capital, which is constantly drawing its inspiration from the peasant movement.
In any case, when the brazen advocates of the corporate who consider the peasant movement to be bearing a staunch anti-people and reactionary character, and the group of abusive “revolutionaries” who consider the corporate monopoly in agriculture as a progressive step, become outspoken against the fascist attacks on the peasant movement and be forced to display unbelievable chivalry, in such a way that the hidden proponents of the corporate are forced to hide their true stigmatized face even more, then it is in a way axiomatic that the movement is rapidly moving from the capitalist state in the direction of conflict that we have been talking and writing about since the very beginning, and with the further increase of its conflict with the state, the transformation of the peasant movement into a revolutionary movement is inevitable, which in one sense means that even fascism will try to come out in its true colours, the requirement of which it had not realized till now.
Most importantly, it is the time for the forces of the working class, in the age of capitalism, in perpetual crisis, to take the imprint of the working class on the peasant movement and on the whole development, and not merely to become its hanger or oppose it. This is what we call as revolutionary intervention by the working class in the peasant movement. Sitting in the lap of the corporate in the name of protest against the rich farmers is the culmination of downfall.
On the other hand, the question again becomes natural that what is the road ahead of Lakhimpur Kheri and from where does it pass? Is it time to consider that ‘Modi-Yogi are about to lose their feet’? At the same time, it becomes imperative to ask the question that if yes, Modi’s feet are going to be uprooted, then who is the one whose feet are going to freeze? Is there any bourgeois or revisionist party in whose program the talk or presentation has been made of the overthrow of the corporate with its roots? Farmers organizations and various revisionist communist organizations and parties raised red flags on the Lakhimpur Kheri incident. In comparison, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi have come out very vocally, so can it be expected that the Congress government, which will replace the Modi government, will challenge the power and loot of the corporate and get rid of the loot of the farmers? As we have been saying time and again, the overthrow of the corporate also means the abolition of the authority of capital itself. Is there any parliamentary bourgeois or revisionist party in the minds of the peasantry that even speaks of the rhetoric of overthrowing capitalist power? If not, will the farmers themselves form their own party? Will that party be able to overthrow the bourgeoisie? All these questions have been revived by the incident at Lakhimpur and have immediately turned all the more worthy of consideration and discussion.
[Translated by V. Prajapati]
 The seriousness of the fascist attacks on the peasantry is felt fractured for a moment when the staunch opponents of the peasant movement sets out to protest this fascist attack as a formality. Those who till yesterday were not only speculating about the complete demise of the peasant movement and it taking its last breath, but also preparing to celebrate its decline by wishing for its defeat and ridiculing it in the most lewd way are today writing an article “condemning the fascist attack on the Farmer Movement”! Actually what can these poor people do? On the one hand they have to maintain their bonhomie with corporates, and bounce back all attacks on them by being completely naked like the Godi media, and on the other hand it has to struggle to create a revolutionary image. For this, the thinkers of this circle have also created wonderful arguments – the argument of standing in defense of the democratic rights – the democratic rights of agitation, demonstration etc. – of reactionaries too (today these reactionaries have come out to defend the rights of the peasant movement, tomorrow they can go out to support any reactionary movement under this policy. Remember Fascism is also a reactionary movement). If the logic had been the defense of capitalist democracy from the onslaught of fascists, it would have been understandable as it provides, to an extent, a democratic political environment for the working class to carry forward its movement, and in this sense the question of protecting capitalist democracy can be said to be the beginning gearbox of the anti-fascist movement. But someone who calls and understands this as a reactionary movement, and even speaks abuses against those who came in its support, as if they have been paid to provide intellectual defense of corporates and destroy the peasant movement, it is beyond anyone’s comprehension when they talk about the responsibility of defence from fascist attacks or understands that this responsibility is also to be fulfilled by the working class! That is, they will also call the peasant movement as extreme reactionary, and will also protect their democratic rights! These are the people who have been saying on the sting that this peasant movement is completely anti-people, anti-working class and a reactionary movement, a movement to extract tribute from the toiling masses, that is, a movement to suck the blood of the poor. In fact, they are those people who are completely absorbed in the devotion towards the corporates. Everything spoken against the pride of the corporate pierces their heart. It is also not correct to expect anything else from those who consider the Modi government’s decision to hand over the entire rural sector to the corporates to be a progressive step. We would like to remind the readers that these are the people who in this craze have made up the logic of corporates being the emancipators of the rural poor and toiling population. That’s why when these people write (what they write is a different matter!) against the fascist attack on the farmers movement, they can only be laughed at. Their entire political future today rests only on the possibility that as soon as the peasant movement goes into the pit of decline and it is defeated, so that their corporate political understanding can be proved right. But this will never happen, not even when the peasant movement is completely crushed by the fascists. Therefore, as much as this group of ‘revolutionaries’ opposes the fascist attack on the Farmer Movement, it is only a sham. The rest is that the revolutionaries should be ready to face their abuses and all kinds of attacks. We should treat their abuses as a certificate for ourselves.