Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists

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Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists - CPRM
Flag Red background with Communist Hammer and Sickle and a circular green band
Headquarters Darjeeling
Ideology Marxism
Political Objective Development of the Hills / Gorkhaland
Political Reach Darjeeling Hills and Dooars Terai
President -
General Secretary Ratna Bahadur Rai
Spokesperson Sawan Rai
Alliance People's Democratic Front - PDF
Elections won 1 DGHC seat
Youth Front Democratic Revolutionary Youth Federation - DRYF
Women's Wing Democratic Revolutionary Women's Federation - DRWF
Labour Union Darjeeling Terai Dooars Tea Garden Labour
Cadre Base Rural
cprm-flag-new.gif

Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists (CPRM), is a political party based in the district of Darjeeling in the state of West Bengal, India. CPRM was formed in 1996 by Communist Party of India (Marxist) dissidents. These dissidents, who had previously, being against the formation of the separate state of Gorkhaland, resisted the violent Gorkhaland movement led by Subash Ghisingh, President of Gorkha National Liberation Front. More than 1200 party cadres from both parties Communist Party of India (Marxists) and Gorkha National Liberation Front along with common people ultimately died in the ensuing civil strife. The CPIM cadres who died were mostly from Tea Gardens in Darjeeling Hills. It was later believed that the CPIM State Committee and the West Bengal Government had successfully pitted hill peoples against each other and ultimately broken down the Gorkhaland Movement. The Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council (DGHC) Accord was signed in 1988 between Gorkha National Liberation Front, West Bengal Government and the Central Government bringing an end to the Gorkhaland Movement.

The first years of DGHC

A majority of people both within and outside Gorkha National Liberation Front felt that Subash Ghisingh had betrayed the people by accepting the Autonomous Council instead of a full-fledged state. Chhatray Subba, the second in command in the GNLF hierarchy and the President of the armed militant wing of GNLF, Gorkha Voluntary Corps (GVC) swore to avenge the betrayal and fought against Subash Ghisingh. Pretty soon news of armed struggles between GNLF and GVC came to fore. Ultimately, GVC was disseminated by Subash Ghisingh now the Chairman of Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council. Chhatray Subba went into hiding. Meanwhile, resentment was witnessed within the Communist Party of India (Marxists) where veteran leaders from Darjeeling Hills and mostly of Gorkha origin felt that the party was more inclined towards Bengali dominance and that Darjeeling Hills could only find solutions to her problem with the formation of the separate state of Gorkhaland. Prominent leaders who had represented the Darjeeling Constituency at the Legislative Assembly and the Union Parliament now fought with the mother party and broke away.

Prominent leaders who broke away from CPIM were Tamang Dawa Lama and Ratna Bahadur Rai. Both the leaders later formed Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists. During an interview with Beacon in June 1998, Ratna Bahadur Rai said, "We named the party Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists because first of all we are Communists for life. We were disappointed with the party leaders not the Party Ideology of Marxism. We further believe CPIM has lost its revolutionary zeal and hence, there was a need to inculcate and enforce revolutionary character in the Party. Hence the name Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists."

POLITICAL ALLIANCE

In 1998, CPRM in alliance with All India Gorkha League - AIGL (Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League - अखिल भारतीय गोर्खा लिग ) founded People's Democratic Front (PDF), a conglomeration of Anti-GNLF and Anti-CPIM parties. The members of PDF were CPRM, AIGL, Congress I, Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP). Madan Tamang, the President of AIGL was elected as the President of PDF while Sawan Rai was elected as the General Secretary.

PDF contested the General Election and pitched Dawa Narbula of All India Congress as the 'consensus' candidate for Darjeeling Constituency. However, the contest eventually became a misnomer as GNLF announced its support for Dawa Narbula effectively helping him win. PDF essentially lost unity after the elections as the allegations of 'sharing the bed' with GNLF broke up the constituent parties and PDF broke down.

After the elections, CPRM remained dormant as a result of GNLF hegemony and suppression. Subash Ghisingh's pro tribal stance was initially supported by CPRM. CPRM even showed their appreciation for the Sixth Schedule Bill when the process for same was initiated by Subash Ghisingh in 2003. In 2006-07 when the Sixth Schedule Bill was accepted by the Union Government, CPRM welcomed it and prepared for election.

POST GORKHA JANMUKTI MORCHA

The establishment of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, a party started, this time by Gorkha National Liberation Front dissidents mainly Bimal Gurung on the 7th of October 2007 was important enough for politics, at least in Darjeeling hills, to be changed rapidly. Gorkha Janmukti Morcha pursued to get the Sixth Schedule bill revoked though All India Gorkha League was the first an only to have been always against the Bill. CPRM at first, did not change its stance against the Sixth Schedule Bill. Later when GJM's and AIGL's opposition grew stronger, it stressed that it would accept the Sixth Schedule Bill after revision. GNLF and Subash Ghisingh's personal collapse from Public's Grace ultimate forced CPRM to reject the Sixth Schedule Bill as 'Anti-People'.

On 10th of March 2008, Subash Ghisingh ultimately resigned after the Union Home Ministry declared that it was shelving the Sixth Schedule Bill on the recommendation of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs. The resignation of Subash Ghisingh ultimately lead to the downfall of Gorkha National Liberation Front as a party. An aggressive anti-GNLF and anti-Subash Ghisingh campaign led by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha ultimately lead to other parties following suit and opting the same policy. CPRM, while did not pursue the same philosophy, yet, it did not condemn it. In fact, CPRM became the first party to openly support Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. CPRM also actively participated on 'All Party' programmes initiated by Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

PRESENT STATUS

After the present ongoing rivalry between All India Gorkha League and Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and GJM banning other parties holding public meetings in Darjeeling Hills, CPRM has increasingly found itself playing second fiddle to Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. It has pursued Gorkhaland independently and have initiated programmes as such holding political rallies and meetings in Dooars Terai. Its youth wing DRYF and women's wing DRWF on June 13, 2008 gathered 500 of their cadres met the Law Minister and the Governor petitioning them to release Chhatray Subba, the President of Gorkha Liberation Organisation and the former President of Gorkha Voluntary Corps, the militant wing of Gorkha National Liberation Front.


PHOTOS

drfy.gif An activist of the Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist (CPRM), with a CPRM flag painted on his face, participates in a demonstration in Calcutta, India, Friday, June 13, 2008. The activists demanded a separate state for ethnic Gurkhas in the hill areas around Darjeeling in West Bengal state, among other demands. Photo by Bikas Das.
drfy-2.gif An activist of the Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxist (CPRM), wearing a scarf that reads "long live Gurkha," participates in a demonstration in Calcutta, India, Friday, June 13, 2008. The activists demanded a separate state for ethnic Gurkhas in the hill areas around Darjeeling in West Bengal state, among other demands. Photo by Bikash Das.
r-b-rai.gif Ratna Bahadur Rai,General Secretary of CPRM [Second from Right] offering support to members of GJM Central Committee, on hunger-strike. Photo by Barun Roy
cprm-new.gif CPRM and GJM cadres burns DGHC Accord on 21 of January 2008. Photo by Barun Roy

Online References:

  1. Gorkha Morcha’s green flag gets Revolutionary Marxist’s red star
  2. “GJM tactics - Gandhivadi or Ghodsevadi?” Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists
  3. AIGL threatens to sue GJMM for its diktat
  4. GJMM opposes CPRM bandh in the Hills
  5. CPRM brushes aside GJMM’s demand
  6. 22nd August CPRM Darjeeling Hills Closure withdrawn
  7. CPRM 22nd August Strike not to be supported by GJM
  8. “Make closure on 22nd of August sucessful” Hill Parties
  9. August agitation for Chattrey and tea

Interviews referred
  1. 1 on One with R. B. Rai

This article has been included in the category of 'Political Parties'

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