Maoists efforts' at garnering international support for their movement in India seems to have fructified with ideologically similar outfits in different countries extending them support.
Maoists began such attempts in 1995 andMarxist-Leninist-Maoist groups in the Philippines, Turkey, Germany, France, Holland and Italy have started extending, at least ideological backing, to them.
Officially, the Government of India has maintained a studied silence, but the cloak of secrecy was lifted through an innocuous written reply (to question no. 240) given by the Ministry of Home Affairs in the Rajya Sabha in March last. Minister of State for Home Affairs Jitendra Singh candidly confirmed Maoists' international links, disclosing that the CPI (Maoist) has “close links with foreign Maoist organisations in the Philippines and Turkey,” and the ‘so-called' (protracted) people's war being waged by Maoists had also “drawn support form several organisations located in Germany, France, Holland, Turkey and Italy.”
This carefully worded answer may not appear significant, but it lays bare the Maoist strategy of giving an added advantage to the “revolution” that has spread to 182 districts (according to the answer to question no. 217 in the Rajya Sabha in December 2011). Maoist ideologues believe that international support is vital to advancing their revolution to a higher level.
For any revolutionary movement, international support is a crucial factor in sustaining itself. The Maoist movement witnessed a spectacular spatial spread in the last one decade; taking it a step forward at this stage will depend on its ability to remain a political movement working for the benefit of the people, than being branded as a movement relying excessively on violence.
Anticipating that governments could effectively use the techniques of public perception management and project the Maoist movement as a terror outfit, Maoist ideologues have begun serious efforts at portraying the armed struggle as a people's movement. They are aware that they cannot afford to get their movement equated with terrorist outfits, especially in the backdrop of the determination shown by the international community in war against terror. In other words, the ideologues are trying to explain their political goal and make sure that the international community will desist from attacking it.
These efforts, Maoist documents reveal, began in 1996 when Vernon Gonsalves alias Pradeep, a central committee member of the erstwhile CPI-ML People's War (PW) attended the May Day seminar organised in Brussels by the Workers' Party of Belgium (WPB) in 1996. At that meeting, he submitted a paper on the armed struggle in India. Impressed with his talk, WPB chief Bert de Belder visited Nizamabad district, part of a north Telangana guerrilla zone, to study the armed struggle.
The Brussels seminar gave Maoists the much-needed international exposure. Two years on, they came in contact with the Philippines Communist Party at another seminar, also held in Brussels.
In 1998, the Maoist ideologue attended a meeting of Marxistisch Leninistische Partei Deutschlands (MLPD), the Marxist-Leninist party of Germany. In the same year, the party sent a representative to a meeting of the International Association of People's Lawyers (IAPL) in the Netherlands; and by 2001, the PW became a member of the Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties of South Asia (CCOMPOSA), which comprises Marxist-Leninist-Maoist factions and parties in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
After the PW and the MCPI merged to form the CPI (Maoist) in 2004, Kobad Ghandy provided the fillip to these efforts. The Central Committee member is known to have visited Canada and the United Kingdom. Contacts were also made with the Proletarian Party of East Bengal, the Revolutionary Communist Party of the United States, and the Worker's Party of Iran.
As per the documents of the CPI (Maoist), the party has established relations with ideologically similar outfits in 21 countries. These are New Zealand, Peru, Turkey, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Iran, Nepal, the Philippines, the U.S., Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Italy, Tunisia, Colombia, the Netherlands, Brazil, Norway, Canada, the U.K. and Germany. The Maoists have only fraternal relations with the outfits in most of these countries, they got military training from the former LTTE militants from Sri Lanka (stated by the then Home Minister, M.V. Mysoora Reddy, in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly on August 20, 1991).
Two trainers from the Communist Party of the Philippines were believed to have spent a month on the Bihar-Jharkhand borders in 2005 and trained 35 Maoists in combat skills and sharp-shooting. The RPF/PLA of Manipur is believed to be supplying Maoists with arms.