Comrade Asit Bhattacharyya’s call at the Memorial Meeting of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh in Assam
The 40th Death Anniversary of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, one of the fore-ranking Marxist thinkers of the present era and the founder General Secretary of the Party was observed all over the state of Assam with due honour like elsewhere in the country. Everywhere in districts the Red Flag was hoisted, floral tributes were placed at the portrait of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh and memorial meetings were held. Under the auspices of the Assam State Committee, a meeting was held on 8 August at the Guwahati District Library Auditorium with Comrade Chandralekha Das, Assam State Secretary of the Party as the President. Comrade Asit Bhattacharyya, Polit Bureau Member, SUCI(C) and a well-known mass leader, addressed the gathering as the main speaker.
While paying his tribute to Comrade Shibdas Ghosh and recalling the indelible memories of this great leader, Comrade Asit Bhattacharyya maintained that it was impossible to express the life struggle and greatness of this revolutionary leader in common parlance. Those of us who had come in touch with him were immensely privileged, we found a new meaningful life. We lost him very early, at his age of only 53 years on 5th August of 1976. At that time, it appeared that not only he had breathed his last, even our heartbeats had stopped all on a sudden. Momentarily we felt as if we had lost our desire to live. We all shared this feeling. Next moment, the knowledge and teachings that he had sown and nurtured within us dawned afresh in us ; we realized that the great leader was no longer physically there among us, but he had bequeathed to us his unique invaluable struggle to advance the Indian revolution, to build up SUCI(C) as the only genuine communist party in India and to further the international communist movement. He has also left a vast treasure of knowledge before us. With these as beacon, we would have to stand up erect and imbued afresh with higher consciousness we would have to take ahead the revolution in the country and in the world.
There cannot be revolution without a revolutionary party, nor the party without its revolutionary theory : Lenin
Highlighting Lenin’s teachings, Comrade Asit Bhattacharyya said that without a correct revolutionary theory there cannot be a revolutionary party and there cannot be revolution either, without a revolutionary party. Keeping this great teaching in view, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh enunciated the correct theory of the Indian revolution. With all his mite he has built up the SUCI(C) as the revolutionary Party, has provided the guidelines for building up a revolutionary party and developing revolutionary character laying out the issues in minutest details. Through all these, the Indian revolution, the genuine communist Party of India the SUCI(C) and Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, have stood out inseparably together in the same orbit. Till his last moments, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had conducted an incredibly difficult and arduous struggle during which for hours together and day after day, leaving out the few hours for rest, he tried to convince the leaders and cadres of his Party as well as common people. The sole object was to bring home to them the unavoidable tasks for hastening the process of bringing about Indian revolution. ‘You can easily understand that it would be futile to try deal with all that this great character with such wisdom and knowledge taught in the span of a single speech. So I would touch upon only a few aspects’, said Comrade Bhattacharyya.
Initiating a discussion on the real face of the capitalist rule and exploitation in India, Comrade Bhattacharyya said that in the hellish situation perpetrated by the prevailing exploitative- oppressive capitalist system, the ruling capitalist class is consolidating its power day by day in all fields like economy, politics and military. They have the aim of exploiting the vast poor masses of the country that make 90% of the population and of thwarting the Indian revolution. That is why, you will note, without caring much for the parties like CPI, CPI(M), Naxalites, Maoists or other political parties, they are keenly observing us. They know they cannot prevent revolution without combating the SUCI(C). Comrade Ghosh had himself said that the SUCI(C) has become the eye-sore of the capitalists and their subservient political parties because the thoughts and views of this Party, SUCI(C) is touching the depth of people’s heart. Its fast growth and spread is sending shivers down the spine of the ruling class.
Comrade Bhattacharyya said that this situation has not come out of the blue. The Party as people find it now, or the prestige and position it enjoys among people are because it has earnestly and correctly tried to follow and practise Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thoughts. It is only because of that, the Party now has its organization spread out in almost all the states of the country. In many of them people are realizing that this is the genuine communist party.
CPI and later also CPI(M) never grew as a communist party
In course of his struggle for building up the SUCI(C) Comrade Shibdas Ghosh showed with, so to say, mathematical and graphical precision in the causes, why the undivided CPI was not at all a communist party despite bearing the title ‘communist’ and having been launched with the desire to establish communism in the country. They conducted some movements of workers, peasants and students and others. Their leaders were jailed, faced bullets. At one stage they did not openly and nakedly serve capitalism as they are doing now. Yet with firm conviction based on his wise in-depth illumining analysis Comrade Ghosh spelt out that the CPI had not been a genuine communist party. The bourgeois parties crop up all on a sudden, and then suddenly break apart, or merge with each other in no time, they harbour their single goal of winning elections to become ministers and for that chalk out plans to form unethical, unprincipled combinations with this or that party alliances and above all they build up a neatly planned understanding with the ruling capitalist class. In exactly the same way as such bourgeois parties, the CPI and later also the CPI(M) formed as breakaway part of CPI, will meet the same end: this was what Comrade Ghosh emphatically underlined even at that time. Today, his forewarning is being found clearly manifested. But why did it happen?
Recalling the teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, Comrade Bhattacharyya said that to answer the question it is first necessary to properly grasp the Marxist understanding of how a communist party may be formed. Such a party cannot be formed by a few people sitting together, holding a convention and forming committees. Those who will come forward to take leading role in forming a communist party must launch an all-out collective socialist movement on the basis of correct theory and practice covering all aspects of life including sex. They will have to go ceaselessly to the masses of the working class and other sections of exploited toiling people, will have to build up movement on the demands of their life and livelihood, and through all these will have to generate class consciousness in them. Conducted over a concrete period of time, this all-out socialist movement will bring out clearly who stands where in the movement, who proves oneself worthy for being considered to be included in the process of party formation as also who may be elected for which posts. This preparatory all-out socialist movement is an indispensable prerequisite for a genuine communist party to form. The undivided CPI did not tread anywhere near this.
Secondly, in a class divided society invariably there are mutually opposing class thinking, that of exploited and of the exploiters. The exploiting class tries to keep the exploited chained in exploitation; on the contrary, the exploited class strives to free itself from the clutches of exploitation. It should be borne in mind that those who will come forward to form a communist party, for sure, they carry some class thinking or the other. So they will have to identify themselves with the said socialist movement unwaveringly and through that must identify themselves totally with the proletarian revolutionary thought process , uprooting the last vestiges of bourgeois process of thinking. At this point Comrade Shibdas Ghosh laid extreme importance on a very significant issue. We are aware of Marx’s guidelines about the unavoidable necessity of forming correct revolutionary party to accomplish revolution. We also know that great Lenin has enriched in theory and practice the Marxian guidelines on different aspects of forming revolutionary party throwing light on many details. In the same manner, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, the great leader of the proletariat has brought the understanding of these guidelines to greater heights in keeping with the necessities of time. It is not possible to discuss all these elaborately in this mass meeting. Right at the start of this address, I mentioned about inescapable necessity of conducting all-out socialist movement covering all aspects of life. While explaining it Comrade Ghosh said that it is only through this movement that it will be possible to give birth to the revolutionary process of thinking of the working class, to bring it to deeper understanding. Repeatedly he pointed out that to accomplish revolution it is necessary to develop one process of thinking , oneness in approach, singleness of purpose and uniformity of thinking in the whole party. Failing it, it will never be possible to build up the correct revolutionary party. This is the correct guideline for acquiring the class consciousness of the proletariat.
At the same time, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh also said that this cannot be acquired at will, it is vital to follow the correct process. Now, what is that correct process? The great leader, Marx had held that ‘Communism is humanism minus private property’. It means to become a communist one has to free oneself from the clutches of private property and private property mental complex; even the ‘last root of bourgeois thinking and culture’ must be weeded out. This is a very difficult and arduous struggle which cannot be avoided under any circumstances. It is this private property mental complex which fosters bourgeois individualism. So it is not just enough to give up the private property one has, it does not prove by that no more remnant of bourgeois individualist thinking is left in him or her. Rather sometimes it assumes more dangerous form. ‘I have sacrificed so much, I have contributed this, have done that’, from within such attitude and mindset there may spring up a new type of individualism even in socialist countries. Further explaining, Comrade Bhattacharyya said that to strengthen SUCI (C), the genuine revolutionary Party of India founded by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh on the edifice of Marxism-Leninism, the most vital issue to judge is whether the leaders and cadres of the Party are striving to attain lofty character through the struggle of completely freeing oneself from the private property and private property mental complex. But this struggle cannot be conducted without joining the revolutionary party, without following unhesitatingly and unwaveringly the principles-rules and discipline of the Party. It further demands that leaders and cadres must go to the masses every day every moment, must make them class conscious convincing them of the necessities of communism, and inevitabilities of revolution. Have the CPI, CPI(M) ever made any struggle on the basis of this higher understanding of Marxism- Leninism? Rather on the contrary, practising totally wrong theory they have maligned Marxism- Leninism.
Degraded politics is the contribution of capitalism : to revolutionaries politics calls for noble feelings of heart
Referring to the present apathy of the masses to politics, Comrade Bhattacharyya recalled how the great leader Comrade Shibdas Ghosh in the last days of his life said with deep pain in his heart, that his health was failing him, that he was unwell and had started his activities in his student life imbued with revolutionary mentality. He wanted to build up a new and totally different kind of party, yet people were turning their back on politics on seeing the vulgar face of bourgeois politics. When the bourgeois class had got into the decadent age of capitalism, some proponents of bourgeois politics, seeing the downfall of bourgeois parliamentary politics called politics as a whole, a profession of scoundrels, their last resort. Comrade Ghosh was the lone voice who raised the counter view pronouncing boldly that politics called for noble feelings of heart and revolutionary politics was still higher an attribute. He did not stop at merely uttering these words. To hundreds and thousands of activists, whom he ultimately recruited to the Party, he laid down the significance of this nobility and what tasks it prompts us to perform. He made it clear that it was capitalism that degrades politics and has given birth to an all-out suffocating ambience in economical-political-social-cultural fields. Capitalism is snatching away the political rights of people, cunningly it is generating individualism, planfully destroying culture- morality-ethics, it is trying to turn people into beasts bereft of any sense of ideology, values, ethics or conscience. This is what capitalism aims at, for it knows that in case people take hold of the lights of knowledge and consciousness, they would at once realize that capitalism is the root cause.
Election today is a deadly weapon for the rulers to befool the masses
Comrade Bhattacharyya added that election has turned out to be a deadly weapon in the hands of capitalism. It is a heinous instrument in the hands of the bourgeoisie to befool and mislead people. They are continuously carrying on propaganda that people can build their own future through elections, will be able to get rid of any dominating force above them, they will themselves govern. Clearly these are all guileful utterances, their deception. The bourgeoisie try to convince people that if they find a party wayward, let them bring another party to form a new government, or even bring in a new one through election. They will solve all their problems. Such a campaign carried on round-the-clock is creating a deep-rooted illusion in people towards election and parliamentary politics: this cannot be denied.
Comrade Ghosh used to say that we must strike at this. People will have to be freed from this illusion; the real face of class division in politics must be explained to them, people must be made aware and convinced of the significance of revolutionary politics, of the real face of capitalism and how bourgeois petty bourgeois parties play subservient to the ruling capitalists and their interests. Let me cite an example. In USA, the preparatory phase of presidential election is on. In that process, within the same democratic party of Hillary Clinton there was another candidate, Sanders. With the ulterior motive of throttling people’s wrath and resentment against the policies of intensely crisis-ridden US economy- politics and military the American capitalist–imperialist class had helped to put up Sanders as the candidate. Juggling the resentful utterances and grievances of people Sanders tried to pose as their saviour. By this, the rulers plugged the way for people’s launching any movement. Lastly Sanders withdrew his nomination and extended support to Hillary Clinton only. People’s plight continue to remain as it is. Not only in the USA, in all the countries, the ruling capitalist class is hatching this design to cover up the economic crisis they themselves have created and shield the prevailing capitalist system that is giving birth to these crises.
Comrade Bhattacharyya said, wherever there is capitalism in reign, it is trying to disarm people by setting up the arena of electoral battles. By that they are confining people within the limits of elections. What do you see in Europe? There, all the capitalist imperialist countries are bogged in severe economic crisis. Some thirty years back, a few European states formed the European Union with a view to combating their economic crisis. But they have failed. Rather the crisis has aggravated. A section of those are now raising the slogan that the European Union is unsuccessful. They are now even calling for quitting EU. World capitalism is totally decadent today. In no field, economic, political, social, cultural, whatsoever, can capitalism solve any of the problems. While averting one crisis they are being dragged into another. Instead of bearing the brunt of the crisis they themselves have created, they are thrusting the brunt onto the shoulder of people. The democratic rights which capitalism once in its age of development agreed to award to people, are being snatched away one after another by the same capitalism in these days of decadence of the system. They are curbing the minimum rights of holding meetings or processions; they are not even sparing the freedom of expression. You know, at the JNU in Delhi — students held a meeting, expressed some views, right or wrong whatever it be. They did not declare war against the state, nor did they take up arms. Even then, ferocious attacks came down upon them. In our country the Constitution was framed when world capitalism was already in its decadent phase. But even at that time, it had to spell out the minimum that ‘ freedom of expression will be a fundamental right’. Today, capitalism intends to wipe out all the rights. On the anvil of Marxism-Leninism, Comrade Ghosh warned us, that decadent capitalism will tend to do these things from their fear-complex of revolution. It will try to trap people in different kinds of tricks. It is trying to rob people of their consciousness dragging them into the network of elections and thereby turning them into drunkards, debased, greedy. Comrade Bhattacharyya said that all the political parties are gleefully participating in this election process set by the bourgeoisie. There is no dearth of parties pretending to defend people’s interests. It is now amply evident that the vulgarly immense wealth that the capitalists amass exploiting people, are partially doled out in elections to their subservient parties; they are also pouring out money of their own. This way the entire election process is coming into the tight grip of the capitalists. Using the propaganda machinery set by the capitalist class, parties and institutions of their choice, even criminals or their sorts, are becoming MLAs or MPs. For the last seventy years, this process is going on in India. There have been so many elections for the assemblies, the parliament, the panchayyats or municipalities and there will be still many more. But the living standard of people at large have not risen an inch even. Rather statistics reveal that 77% people earn a meagre 22 rupees per head a day, less than what even a kilogram of rice costs. How sky-high the price level is shooting up every day. Parallel to it, purchasing power of people is sliding down. India is a land where 125 crore people live. Each person is an asset for the country. Man desires to create wealth with his or her labour. Just think, what wealth the vast mass of 125 crores of Indians could create. This entire amount is the property of the society, the society should share it among its members. But that is far from reality. Then where lies the problem? It is in capitalism. It is the capitalist exploitation that creates crisis in market causing closure of industries, squeezing of jobs, fanning up of unemployment menacingly. These in turn are driving people to rebel. And such people searching for the way out, may be drawn towards the SUCI(C). This very thought is causing anxiety in the capitalist class and their subservient parties. So, the capitalist class is hell bent upon nipping this possibility in bud, and are thus resorting to thousand and one tricks of which election is another one, that too most heinous. At the time of independence, when we were too young, there were poor people, as we can recollect. But whatever meagre amount of property they had at that time, they could not hold on to it. Where have all those properties gone? Leaders like Gandhi- Jawaharlal dashed around the country to call upon people of the country to drive away the British imperialists with a view to bringing prosperity and happiness to people. But what do we see today, even after 70 years of independence? Street-dwellers are swelling in number like anything. Capitalism is incessantly pushing people to live like beasts without food, clothing, education or medical facilities. It is compelling 90% of people to live as good as dead. On the other side, what capitalism is bringing in on the question of morality and ethics? Capitalism is exhausting the minimum of softer and nobler instincts of man, demolishing their character, de-humanising them. Comrade Ghosh once said that a nation, even if it starves, can live with head high if it has its moral backbone erect. It is to shatter that moral backbone that the rulers are taking to any means, going to any depth. They have created such an ambience where a poor is not trusting another poor man, brothers are distrusting their own brothers, a wife cannot trust her husband, the girl in the family cannot have faith in her father or brother. Old ladies of 60 or 70 are not daring to move out to streets all alone. Even they are being dumped here and there, raped and killed. You are yourselves finding at what rate rapes, murders are taking place every moment, every day. That is only a part of what happens in actuality. The all-powerful state machinery sits deaf, dumb and inert. They do not care to identify the rapists and adequately punish them. The reason is clear. Capitalism cannot survive without dehumanizing humanity.
Go to the masses, change yourself to change them, prepare to fight
Comrade Bhattacharyya said that people are definitely seeking to free themselves from this suffocating situation that has been created. But who will free them from this situation? CPI or CPI(M)? The only force that can come out to free them are the genuine communists, the SUCI(C), the Party founded and nurtured by Comrade Ghosh himself. And for that its leaders and cadres will have to go to the masses every day, build up movements on people’s problems, and through those generate political consciousness in them based on communism. To accomplish this it is first necessary to elevate their own genuine communist consciousness from higher to higher levels. Failing this task, the Soviet socialism was caught in the grip of modern revisionism. Revolution was accomplished in Russia in 1917, starting from 1954 Krushchev’s conspiracy brought in modern revisionism in there. In consequence of this, socialism fell down in 1990. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh did not live to see the present devastating debacle of socialism. He died before that. But since the fifties of the last century, he noted the trends of infiltration of mechanical thought process instead of the dialectical one in socialist countries, the trend of modern revisionism and issued warning that the standard the communists maintained at the time of the Russian revolution would not be enough in the present context. Based on the thoughts of Lenin’s days, the standard must be elevated to higher levels to meet the contemporary necessities. Mao-Zedong in China released cultural revolution to thwart modern revisionism. It was possible to give defeat to some forces that were treading the path of capitalism. Even then, despite terming it magnificent and epoch-making, Comrade Ghosh pointed out its limitations. He showed that the standard of communist thinking need to be developed to higher levels in keeping with the necessities of the time. New economism and the new kind of socialist individualism that had raised their ugly heads in socialist countries must be defeated. Within the party and involving the entire masses of people intense ideological struggle will have to be initiated in such a way that while defeating modern revisionism a newer understanding of Marxism emerges in its proper theoretical shape. During Russian as well as Chinese revolutions, when the appeal of bourgeois humanism was operative, though to a limited extent, it was considered adequate to hold social interest above individual interest as the standard of communist consciousness. Comrade Ghosh said, now it would not do with that. Because, not only bourgeois humanism has been exhausted, it has turned against revolution. Its bonaful consequence would be emergence of modern revisionism. Revisionism means infiltration of bourgeois thoughts, ideas and ideology into the communist movement covered in the cloak of socialism. So to uproot this menace, today in the realm of philosophy and thinking, an intense ideological struggle must be initiated involving the entire party and the entire masses of people of the society; the essence and the direction of this struggle will be to make it totally clear that the individual interest and the social interest are one and the same. It will make people stand up erect as a new kind of man freed from private property and private property mental complex. When this was the historical necessity, it was noted that at such a juncture in Soviet Union and in China a new kind of economism and bourgeois individualism raised their heads. A doctor in America earns this much, why should not I, a doctor of Russia or China earn that much? Highly perturbed at such an attitude, Comrade Ghosh had said that if this thinking was not eradicated totally from the Russian or Chinese people and instead if they were not imbued with higher thinking, modern revisionism will not be uprooted, it will repeatedly come back and finally capitalism will be restored, even if modern revisionism may be thwarted for the time being. Exactly this happened. Teng Shiao Ping (Deng Xiao Ping) who had opposed the Cultural Revolution, declared after Mao’s demise that it was not a sin to get rich. This is tantamount to promoting private property and encouraging individualism, which was nothing else but than fanning up pure and simple capitalism. Side by side, Comrade Bhattacharyya added: I would like to remind you that the concept that individual interest and social interest are one and the same in socialism, was the outcome of the contribution of thinking of all the giant Marxist authorities, yet Comrade Shibdas Ghosh has raised the understanding of this concept to a unique level.
Comrade Asit Bhattacharyya then said that to confront the present complex situation, we should realize the focal point of our struggle. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh repeatedly made it clear to us that we should conduct an uncompromising struggle till the last days of our life against bourgeois thoughts and views covering all aspects of life including love, sex, marriage. Through this we should keep on our relentless struggle every moment every day to change ourselves. The ultimate goal of our life would be to change others through changing ourselves first. But this cannot be done without incessantly developing class and mass struggles. The present situation cannot be confronted without elevating the communist movement to this standard. Today at every step, in every event, we are finding the unfailing readings and opinions of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh being manifested in reality, both in the darker and brighter parts of the situation. True, counter revolution overwhelmed former socialist states, but that did not mark the end. Revolution is sure to make its comeback. Voice of revolution is again being heard in Russia, China, or east European countries. In economy and culture, people there are painfully feeling the difference between the present capitalist activities and those when they had a socialist state. In Russia processions are coming out with photos of Stalin. This Stalin is not just a person, but Stalin as the product of a concrete struggle. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh was also the product of such a struggle. I still remember, standing before him I tended to develop a sublime feeling. Even at that time he had become an icon of Indian revolution, his thoughts had spread over the world. I used to feel, how could he raise himself to such heights? He was a man, just as I was. Where lay the difference then? With revolutionary modesty he himself had provided the answer : it was not under the influence of any supernatural power, but as a result of concrete struggle inside the Party and outside, that you could find me at this position.
Friends and comrades, to carry out properly the historical responsibilities of revolution that have been devolved upon us, we would have to keep these two struggles inside and outside the party equally alive; we will have to bring those ceaselessly to newer and newer levels with the life and struggle of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh held as beacon before us. People of our country are now under the spell of reactionary forces. But that is not the end, nor everything. Feeling the pangs of sufferings in life of people, which are turning into a smoldering fire against exploitation of the capitalist class in 90% of the population, we must convert these smoldering fire into massive wild fires. Only then the Party will gain strength, and revolution will be hastened.
People do have the power to think and act, to chose the right
Referring to Comrade Shibdas Ghosh’s thoughts on revolution, Comrade Bhattacharyya said that revolution cannot be spontaneous. It won’t take place the other day, as and if, we want it. For revolution to happen, revolutionary consciousness will have to be generated among the exploited people in villages, towns and cities, one and all. It should be such a consciousness that people will not hesitate to lay down their life at the call of the Party. Gradually in this manner the ground for a mass uprising will have to be prepared. The revolutionary Party will have to be established firmly all over the country, from east to west, north to south. This is not any impossibility. You must be knowing that there was a formidable independence struggle in this country which compelled the British imperialists to leave the country. It is not at all true that the civil disobedience movement of Gandhiji drove out the British. The deciding role in the independence movement was played by the heroic struggle of the Azad Hind Army of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Gandhiji wanted to call off the 1942 movement on the ground of its turning violent, but his attempt failed through. Refusing Gandhiji’s call with contempt, people of the entire country came forward in more powerful movements. At that moment, the Azad Hind Army entered the country. There was the naval mutiny centring round the farce of trial of the prisoners of the Azad Hind Force. The British rulers could not hold their ground before all these thrusts. Once, perpetrating the heinous massacre of Jalianwallabagh, these rulers wanted to show the Indians what was going to be the consequence of fighting against them for independence. The haughtiness of the British imperialists was given a drubbing by the Indian people later. This was certainly a proof that people have the power to judge and act. They will again rise against capitalism. New thoughts have already emerged and are taking their roots. We must not be adventurist to reach our goal. With patience and calm, slowly on the strength of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thoughts we all must build up struggles day in and day out, make mass contacts at personal initiative. In the present phase of democratic movement, waves of movements must be generated to exhaust those for greater struggles. Appealing to everybody to join this historic process, Comrade Bhattacaharyya ended his address.