After the last LokSabha election the Central Committee of SUCI(C) convened an extended central committee meeting in Kolkata from 7 to13 July, 2014. Leading comrades from different states attended the meeting. The agenda was post-election political situation and our organizational tasks. Comrades were given scope to speak adequately. Central Committee members also spoke. Polit Bureau members Comrade Krishna Chakroborty, Comrade Manik Mukherjee and Comrade Ranjit Dhar spoke in conclusion. Finally the meeting was concluded with the speech of our General Secretary Comrade Provash Ghosh, which is now being published in a book form. I hope this speech will help the comrades in all states to sharpen their individual and collective struggle as also to organize mass and class struggles.
On Some Ideological and Organisational Questions
Comrade PB members, members of the
Central Committee and dear comrades,
Comrades, let me first convey my heartfelt thanks to all the comrades for their deliberations. Many comrades have placed valuable suggestions and opinions. This creates much hope in us about the future of the party. In future, party likes to convene this type of forum periodically.
You have listened to the valuable speeches of the Polit. Bureau members on recent political developments. I would confine mostly on organizational problems. But before that, I like to discuss on some other points. A suggestion came here to project the present General Secretary. But in my opinion, projection of the leadership should not be viewed in this way. The only projection by our party should be of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, the great Marxist thinker, our teacher and the leader of the world proletarian revolutionary struggle. As religious movements once projected their own leaders, renaissance and freedom struggles of different countries also projected their leaders, similarly proletarian revolutionary struggle has to project its leader. Hence, the name and teachings of our departed leader and teacher should reach every corner of the country, the heart of the exploited people to educate and inspire them. This is an indispensible task of the hour. You know that even after the demise of Great Lenin, he was highly projected not only by Bolshevik Party members, but even by his worthy successor Great Stalin and through that course Stalin himself also became another authority, next to Lenin. As the General Secretary of the party, whatever responsibility is reposed on me, I, as a student of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, shall obviously try to fulfill that to the last drop of my blood. I shall try to visit different states to have formal and informal discussions with the comrades as well as learn from them. I may also address some mass-meetings as needed. Other members of the Polit Bureau would do the same.
Another suggestion has come and I endorse it. It is true that we need varieties of literatures. We shall continue to bring out the unpublished speeches of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. Further we need writings on Indian philosophy highlighting the development of materialism in ancient India since BJP-RSS while emphasizing on ancient traditions cleverly and deliberately exclude these aspects, although powerful materialist philosophers were there. We need writings on history, on the development of Indian society analysed on the basis of Marxism-Leninism-Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought. We need writings to fight neo-Trotskyism. However this trend of pseudo-Marxist thought is not much of a problem in our country. But in Latin America and Europe after Kruschev’s success in undermining the authority of Stalin, neo-Trotskyism has raised its ugly head. We need writings to fight both Hindu fundamentalism and Islamic fundamentalism. We need writings on caste and nationality problems of our country. I request the Polit Bureau members, Central Committee members, even the members of this house to contribute in this regard. I have already requested Comrade Krishna Chakraborty to write on scientific developments in the post Comrade Shibdas Ghosh period and comrades of scientific faculty would definitely be helping him. We need writers of novels, short stories, poems and we are to encourage them. However, here is a problem. Many comrades can speak well, but they will not touch a pen as if there is an irreconcilable antagonistic contradiction between speaking and writing. This bad habit is to be given up once and for all. It is for this reason that Proletarian Era is suffering. We have already requested comrades and leaders, particularly of South India to write for Proletarian Era. Similarly those who are publishing Hindi organ are facing the same problem. They should be helped by writers from Hindi regions.
We need music squad, drama unit and the use of all other cultural medium. Every state party and mass-front should emphasize on these.
You have listened to the speeches of three Polit Bureau members, Comrades Krishna Chakraborty, Ranjit Dhar and Manik Mukherjee on post-election political developments in the country. They have showed that with BJP’s coming to power with the blessings of the multinationals, Indian corporates and monopolists, danger of fascism has become graver. Comrade Krishna Chakraborty has already made an elaborate and important discussion on this.
I should only point out that although the danger of fascism is increasing alarmingly, we do not feel panicky. We have Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought, which has armed us adequately with the necessary ideological and political weapon to fight this menace. Long back Great Lenin observed that earlier in the pre-monopoly stage, capitalism was more attached to democracy and individual freedom, but in the monopoly stage capitalism became more attached to bureaucracy and militarism. In the 17th Congress of CPSU, Great Stalin said — ‘‘it is not surprising that fascism has now become the most fashionable commodity among bellicose bourgeois politicians. I am referring not only to fascism in general but primarily to fascism of the German type.’’ Later, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh provided the most developed and comprehensive understanding of fascism and thereby enriched the treasure house of Marxism-Leninism. It is to be recalled that after the military defeat of fascist Germany and Italy in the Second World War, there was a confusion that fascism was now eliminated. Refuting this erroneous idea, Comrade Ghosh, when our party was only at the formative stage, had observed that firstly, although fascist forces were defeated militarily, fascism as a phenomenon was not defeated, rather at this most reactionary stage of capitalism, fascism has appeared in diverse forms and in varying degrees not only in developed capitalist countries but also in the under-developed capitalist countries. Secondly, he had shown three distinct features of fascism: a) concentration of capital in the form of monopoly, b) maximum centralization of political powers in the hands of the state and c) fusion between spiritualism and technical aspects of science. These two should be considered as his basic formulations which are universal. His other observations on this are also important and still remain valid.
Now on the question of unity with CPI(M) and other left parties, it seems there are some comrades who lack Leninist understanding about this. How should Marxists view this? Great Lenin answered “It is possible to conquer the more powerful enemy only by exerting the utmost effort and by necessarily, thoroughly, carefully, attentively and skillfully taking advantage of every, even the smallest rift among the enemies of every antagonism of interest among the bourgeoisie of the various countries; and also by taking advantage of any, even the smallest opportunity of gaining a mass ally, even though this ally is temporary, vacillating. unstable, unreliable and conditional. Those who do not understand this fail to understand, even a grain of Marxism and of modern scientific socialism in general…The Bolsheviks have always adhered to this policy. Since 1903 they have systematically advocated an alliance between the working class and the peasantry, against the liberal bourgeoisie and Tsarism, never, however, refusing to support the bourgeoisie against Tsarism and never ceasing their relentless ideological and political struggle against the Socialist Revolutionaries, the bourgeoisie-revolutionary peasant party, exposing them as petty- bourgeois democrats who have falsely described themselves as socialists. Between 1903 and 1912, there were periods of several years in which we were formally united with the Mensheviks in a single social democratic party, but we never stopped our ideological and political struggle against them as opportunists and vehicles of bourgeois influence on the proletariat… At the very moment of the October Revolution, we entered into an informal but important political block with the petty-bourgeois peasantry… At the same time we proposed a formal political block, including participation in the government with the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, who dissolved this block after a conclusion of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and then, in July 1918, went to the length of armed rebellion, and subsequently of an armed struggle against us.” This is the teaching of Lenin along with illustrations. Great Stalin applied this guideline successfully when he entered into an alliance with the western imperialist powers (USA, UK, and France) against the axis power (Fascist Germany, Italy and imperialist Japan) in the period of Second World War. Great Mao-Zedong also applied this line by making unity with Kuomintang (with whom he was engaged in civil war) when Japan invaded China.
Now listen to what our Great Leader Comrade Shibdas Ghosh taught us on this question. He said ‘‘…So long as the present stage of democratic movement continues, that is, in the course of conducting democratic mass-movements, till a revolutionary party along with its mass-fronts gain enough strength to co-ordinate and lead all the mass-movements singlehandedly toward their historical goal of anti-capitalist-socialist revolution, the united front is not an exigency, it is an indispensible instrument of struggle in democratic movement.” Again he said “… A united front of all the left and democratic parties and forces is the only alternative… Till these forces are completely isolated from the masses in the process of developing revolutionary consciousness of the people, this process of building unity with them will go on, and from revolutionary necessity itself, we have to at least try to maintain this unity.” Most of the comrades do not know that after independence in West Bengal when all other Left parties while engaged in mass movement, had refused to combine with the then CPI due to its opposition to 1942 movement and ultra-left adventurism in 1948 by branding all other left parties as imperialist agents, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had instructed Comrade Nihar Mukherjee to convince them for inclusion of CPI and ultimately they had accepted our proposal. Since then, we were in many united movements and consequently United Front Government was elected to power twice in West Bengal, although there had been sharp contradictions within the united front between our party’s revolutionary line and the reformist line of others. It was CPI (M) who broke unity with us in 1970. But again they came with us in 1972 being panic-stricken by the terror of Congress regime. But again in 1974 they broke unity with us and the break lasted for a few decades. But despite that and even when CPI(M)-led front was in government since 1977 in West Bengal and our party had organized many class & mass struggles against the anti-people policies of their government, and many of our comrades became martyrs; many were injured and imprisoned. Then also we had approached CPI(M) to forge unity at the national level against the anti-people policies of the central government as well as of the other state governments. They replied that if we stop organizing movements against the CPI(M) led government in West Bengal, then only there could be unity. But we could not accept this condition. Yet while conducting struggles against non-left, anti-people policies of the CPI(M) government in West Bengal, we went for joint programmes with them on five occasions against the US invasion on Iraq, Babri Masjid demolition and Gujarat pogrom. In this way, we had followed the political line on unity enunciated by Great Lenin and creatively applied by Stalin, Mao-Zedong and Shibdas Ghosh. At present, on certain issues, we should again strive for left unity based on Marxist-Leninist principle of unity-struggle-unity. Whether and how far they will respond and if they respond at all, how long it will last, only future can tell. Nevertheless, as Marxists, we should make this effort and continue it, particularly at a time when BJP in power is posing serious threat before class struggles and democratic movements. With BJP in power, the danger of fascism is more which will invariably continue to destroy more intensively democratic and moral values, scientific bent of mind, logical process of thinking and thus would dehumanize the people further; stimulate medievalism, spiritualism and blind faith; and thereby destroy all voices of protest, obstruct the growth of democratic movements and class and mass struggles. Despite this, if mass movements are developed, those will be brutally suppressed; while the unbridled right of the MNCs, corporates and monopolists to ruthlessly exploit and oppress the people will go on increasing further; price rise, inflation, retrenchment, unemployment and other anti-people measures will also rise much more rapidly which would again inevitably generate tremendous mass discontent and spontaneous outbursts of mass-movements with the cry for proper leadership.
Although we are having very powerful revolutionary ideology and political line enunciated by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, are we adequately prepared ideologically, organizationally and ethically to meet the situation?
It is true that leaders and cadres of other parties as well as the common masses praise our comrades for having high ideological and cultural levels. But we know this is not sufficient to take Marxism-Leninism-Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought most convincingly and impressively to the people. First I would like to point out that, on ideological struggle we are lacking very much. Now let me quote Stalin on ideological struggle. In the 19th Congress of CPSU (B) in 1952, he said, “Ideological work is a prime duty of the party and underestimation of its importance may do irreparable damage to the interests of the party and state. We must always remember that if the influence of socialist ideology is weakened, the effect is to strengthen the influence of the bourgeois ideology.” He stated it before the communists of the Soviet Union as well as the communists of the world. You all know what happened later in Soviet Union. Eleven years after the great victory in the Second World War and three years after the death of great Stalin, revisionists raised their ugly head and prepared the ground for subsequent counter revolution because this warning was not heeded by the communists of Soviet Union as they were suffering from self- complacency. This is an important lesson and warning for us too. It has been already pointed out by Comrade Ranjit Dhar that emphasis is being given only on routine work. But Comrade Shibdas Ghosh said, “routine-work is a necessary evil. It is necessary for the party, but it works as evil in development of ideological struggle and other necessary tasks where it works as a hindrance to those things if ideological-cultural struggle is underestimated.” Comrade Stalin also said… “Devilish practical work… hindering the ideological struggle.” So we must always remember these important lessons.
In this context, let me place some teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. He said, “The necessary condition for the operation of proletarian democratic principle in a party can be guaranteed only when the level of consciousness of the party’s cadres has attained a minimum of standard which enables all of them or at least most of them, to express their thoughts in an articulate form, that is they are able to play an effective role through dialogue and discussions in the inner-party polemics and ideological struggles. Attainment of such a minimum of standard to make critical analysis of theories requires, as a precondition, attainment of a higher cultural-ethical standard by the cadres through concrete struggles covering all aspects of life… If the level of consciousness and the cultural standard is low, then it may give birth to revisionism, reformism at any moment in a critical hour under favourable conditions. If backwardness continues to persist in the field of epistemology and culture then the entire party of the working class may adopt revisionist-reformist path holding the banner of Marxism-Leninism and shouting slogans.” Note this point. In a critical hour under favourable conditions, revisionism may appear in our party too if we do not pay heed to the teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. This is not only a lesson, this is a warning for us too. In this connection, I will remind you of another important point taught by Comrade Ghosh. He pointed out that at least leaders at different levels must understand Marxism philosophically so that they can acquire Marxist outlook and Marxist methodology. By that he meant that we must be capable to note and understand the operation of laws governing the movement of every phenomenon. As we know, that everything is in constant motion and governed by certain laws. We will have to grasp and realize the dialectical laws properly, not merely by quoting the three principles of dialectics or the theory of contradiction. As a scientist notices the laws governing the movement of atoms, electrons or a doctor examines and discovers the nature or character of bacteria, similarly we are to observe the laws operating in a phenomenon by applying dialectical science. Society is changing continuously and newer developments are coming into being while old is going out of being. If we cannot grasp deeply and critically, at a given moment, what constitutes the unity and struggle between the opposite forces in a particular phenomenon; whether the stage of development is of quantitative change or of qualitative change; how the law of negation of negation is operating in it; what is the principal contradiction and principal aspect of contradiction in a given situation; whether nature of contradiction is antagonistic or non-antagonistic, we cannot act properly. Of course to acquire Marxist methodology and higher proletarian culture requires a very arduous, difficult and relentless struggle covering all aspects of life as taught by Comrade Ghosh. If we desire to become a worthy Marxist we cannot avoid it.
It is known to us that for a few thousands of years, the ideology of spiritualism, idealism and belief in God have been pervading the minds of the people and are governing their process of thinking. In renaissance and freedom movement in our country, instead of fighting such beliefs, the compromising national bourgeoisie encouraged these medieval thoughts in its class interest. Only Vidyasagar, Saratchandra and Bhagat Singh were exception in this regard. Moreover, as Marxists, it is also known to us that so long society will have division between owners and workers, rulers and ruled, the belief that there is an owner and ruler of the universe will invariably remain in the realm of people’s thought. So long people will remain ignorant and bereft of scientific knowledge about the mysteries of nature, phenomenon of birth, life and death and also so long uncertainty of life will remain objectively due to anarchy in capitalist production, there will invariably remain in force a blind belief that there is a creator of the universe, there is a supernatural power behind nature. The ruling exploiting class in a well-organized way will also continue encouraging all these obscurantist ideas to use religion to confuse and mislead the people. Moreover, more the oppressed people feel helpless and frustrated in the absence of powerful scientific revolutionary ideas and class and mass struggles, more they will cling to religious thoughts and belief in an omnipotent God presuming that to be the only way to emancipation after death. They will remain dominated by the thought that as this world is full of injustice, the only hope to get justice is from the ‘almighty god’! Under these circumstances, unless we are equipped with proper understating of Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought, how can we free people’s minds philosophically and ideologically from these age-old deeply ingrained pernicious ideas?
We will be reading classics and that means those books of Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin-Shibdas Ghosh, which provide universal guidance. We will be attending schools or classes to know Marxian science, but this understanding will be in the theoretical plain and abstract. However, in practice, the general fundamental laws operate concretely in concrete situation with all its particularities and peculiarities. It is to be studied in that way relating theory with concrete practice. As general medical science is applied particularly and differently in different diseases, or general agricultural science is applied differently in production of different crops; similarly, as situation changes and new condition develops with altogether new external and internal contradictions, general science also has to be applied in a different and newer way. Even if the change is quantitative not qualitative, there will be some qualitative change too in application if we are to cope up with the situation. We cannot acquire this capability unless we can dialectically integrate theoretical and practical knowledge by acquiring higher proletarian culture as pointed out by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh.
Further, we must remember that since our early childhood, when we were cared in the laps of our mothers and grandmothers; we were nurtured and taught by our fathers, grandfathers, relatives, neighbours and teachers and by that we got only bourgeois ideas. Even if we are not knowing, fact is that our thinking process, judgment, likes and dislikes, sense of justice and injustice, taste and desire, aspirations, concept of love and affection etc, which are deeply ingrained in the cells of our flesh, blood and bones – all are generated by this capitalist environment and turned into instinctive and natural forces. We shall not forget that when we join the revolutionary movement, we join with these bourgeois characteristics. Great Marx taught us to change ourselves first before changing the world. Hence, we cannot change the bourgeois world if we remain ideologically-politically-morally-ethically as bourgeois. For that, a relentless, all round struggle is necessary. External contradiction, that is, leadership, can guide us, help us, but basically our internal contradiction is to respond, co-operate and conduct intense struggle accordingly, that is, conducting a class struggle within us, a struggle between on the one hand our honest desire to become proletarian revolutionary and on the other our bourgeois outlook, culture, ethics and morality as a powerful forces of habit. This struggle is antagonistic and either the proletarian revolutionary or the bourgeois within us will win. In this struggle, who will win does not depend on our honest desire but precisely on the process of struggle and the nature of the struggle, i.e. whether the struggle is compromising or uncompromising. There will be many zigzags, twists and turns, many failures and successes in this battle; there will be big or small attacks, perceptible and imperceptible attacks; even if I am victorious, so long capitalism exists externally, different attacks from the environment will come, or even if I am in socialist society, still attacks will come not only from external i.e. capitalist encirclement alone, but also from socialist soil itself because in socialism bourgeoisie thoughts get defeated but not eliminated and remains in the superstructure. To save our lives from attacks of diseases, we are in relentless struggle with necessary knowledge about health. Similarly to acquire, protect and further develop our communist character, a necessary, continuous and all round struggle is required. This struggle requires profound knowledge of Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought so that we can detect bourgeois elements within us even in disguised forms, in subtle forms and find out how these are affecting my thinking process, judgment, love and affection, moods, behavior, etc. This struggle requires profound knowledge, higher proletarian political consciousness and culture, undaunted spirit, courage, uncompromising and unvacillating mind, truthfulness and dedication. Do not forget that a minor compromise, if not eliminated in time, will, in course of time, just like a single virus, gather more strength and will cause a major disaster. That is why, higher knowledge of Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought is essential to conduct this struggle carefully, to acquire and protect a noble communist character and to elevate our standard higher and higher. Because, if my understanding of Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought is not well-developed, how shall I defeat the bourgeoisie, philosophically, ideologically, culturally and win over the proletarian and non- proletarian toiling people?
I have already referred to the teachings of Comrade Ghosh that higher ideological standard cannot be achieved without acquiring higher proletarian revolutionary culture and to acquire this, a ceaseless continuous struggle covering all aspects of life is necessary. If we cannot integrate theoretical and practical struggles, our theoretical understanding will remain merely superficial, meaningless and lifeless and there will only be some hollow words to exhibit scholasticism.
When you study a book of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh or any other authority, study it methodically point by point. Study it in contradiction. What is the essence of a particular point, in fighting what erroneous ideas he placed these arguments, why are these correct? When you are studying something alone do not conclude your understanding individually, but do not wait for formal class, discuss with the available comrades informally in a common discussion and let there be arguments, discourses where one can help the other. If thus you can conclude, then well and good. Otherwise seek the opinion of the leadership. Verify your understanding with the appropriate leadership. Understanding on all questions must be uniform. Note that all the stalwarts of second international had read meticulously the works of Great Marx and Engels, but where they failed and Lenin became successful was in grasping the revolutionary kernel of Marxism and in developing it further. Similarly, Stalin also grasped and placed before the world proletariat the essence of Leninism, where scholars like Trotsky, Zinoviev, Kamenev and Bukharin failed miserably and ultimately had deviated from Marxism because they did not grasp dialectical methodology and proletarian culture.
We should hold schools and classes; there should be daily reading by the comrades individually and collectively to heighten ideological standard. However, I suggest that there should be some classes where questions are to be given beforehand. Questions like why we should accept Marxism instead of idealism, why we are preparing for revolution instead of parliamentary elections, why anti-capitalist socialist revolution is necessary, why socialism was dismantled in the socialist countries, why despite this temporary setback, there will be inevitable victory of socialism, how to combat other bourgeois and social democratic parties ideologically, etc.—all these can be prepared. Put the questions to the comrades beforehand. Suggest them to study this book or that book and tell them to deliberate and debate. If they can conclude, well and good. Otherwise the leader present there, will guide. Comrades must be encouraged to study literature of renaissance period, history of freedom struggle and the revolutionary struggles of other countries also. The mind to study literatures or good books is almost fully destroyed in our country by the ruling bourgeoisie. In our early life, we used to find libraries even in the villages. Now there are libraries and clubs here and there but you will not find serious people there. These have been turned into centers of alcohol consumption, intoxications and other vile practices. This is the miserable picture today. This is a serious attack of the bourgeoisie. Another attack is in cultural, ethical field. Even in West Bengal, I have found with pain that some comrades are regular in party work, but they do not read even Saratchandra.
I have addressed a meeting on Saratchandra. It was not a long speech. Comrade Ranjit Dhar and Comrade Manik Mukherjee were present there. I extensively quoted from Saratchandra, from his novels, speeches and articles along with my comments based on Comrade Ghosh’s evaluation. I discussed in that way only to encourage the comrades and people to read Saratchandra. This speech has been published as a book in Bengali. Vidyasagar, Saratchandra, and Shahid-E-Azam Bhagat Singh are the powerful weapons in our hands to fight BJP and RSS. They were all atheists.
Secondly, we are organizing many struggles and movements almost in all the states and this is praiseworthy. However, in many states, we are lacking in introducing our political line in these struggles. Sometimes we are achieving some demands also, but struggle without political education is tantamount to sheer economism. Common people do not attend political schools or party classes and so they can only be educated in the furnace of class struggles and mass movements. In the midst of struggle, passive mass become active, rudimentary flash of political consciousness gleam in their minds and that is the right moment to point out who is their real enemy, who is controlling the state and government from behind and that real enemy is capitalism. People protest against the government, but they do not know to oppose the state. They go against the ruling party, but not against the ruling capitalist class as they lack political consciousness. So when conducting movements, the political and cultural line enunciated by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh should be propagated in a language that common people can understand. We must develop peoples’ own struggle committees as the instruments of struggle and enroll volunteers to carry forward the struggle. Struggle awakens people, widens their outlook, makes them brave and courageous, forges their will and determination. Struggle enhances fighting spirit and urge for unity and you will find at that moment of struggle some common men acting as the organizers of the movement, taking active interest and providing valuable suggestions. While conducting these struggles, we should keep our eyes open and notice who are developing as good organizers, develop close intimacy with them and involve them gradually in our party activities.
How much we have been able to introduce our political and cultural line, how many sympathizers of the party and readers of our organs we have developed, how many workers have been recruited in the party and what new rich experiences comrades have acquired from the struggle – all these should be reviewed after the end of any movement or struggle. These assessments must be done.
Moreover, we should always remain alert and prepared as there are many sparks of discontent flying around us and it is almost impossible to foresee which spark will turn into a big conflagration.
Thirdly, constant common association, constant common discussion, and constant common activity should be the mode of our life. Not in a mechanical way like in the morning we are having constant common association and in the evening we are having constant common discussion. There cannot be any such compartmentalization. When we are having association, there will be chatting, wit and humour. At the same time serious questions may also come up and we will be discussing those. Formal discussion is necessary. Formal discussion means classes, G B meetings, schools, group sittings etc. But informal constant common association and discussions are also very important. It helps to develop one process of thinking, uniformity of thinking, oneness in approach leading to singleness of purpose. In every centre, in every office and everywhere these are to be encouraged. These are the teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. We should practise it and turn it into our regular habit.
Fourthly, Comrade Rajinderji from Haryana raised a very important point. Comrade Krishna Chakraborty also discussed on it. I appreciate this point very much. He confessed his own weakness towards family and he expressed his determination to come out from those weaknesses. First, let me quote Comrade Ghosh from a school of politics. This is yet unpublished and the translation is mine. You know I am very poor in English. So do not mind for that. Comrade Ghosh said “The world communist leaders struggled to influence their families. When they did not succeed, there was a painful conflict, there was separation, but they did not have any co-existence. That one cannot influence the other while staying together is impossible. If one is unable to influence the other, the other will surely influence him or her. If nobody is able to influence each other, there will be a conflict, a struggle and both will be separated. … Everybody should know that the effect of relations, particularly emotional relations has a deep impact on one’s culture and character. Emotional vehicles like love, affection are very powerful and necessary also. These can make a man great and noble as well as these can cause his downfall and degradation. Friendship, emotional relation, sexual relation and exchange of love and affection mean that culture, thinking, sense of humour of one will influence the other unknowingly. Through intimacy, dialogues and exchange of humour through love and affection, one will be influenced. Otherwise, whether I agree or not, unknowingly the point of view, culture, mentality, conception of affection and sense of humour of this decaying society reflected by others will influence my character, ethics, culture and sense of humour. In this way, it will be most harmful for development of a revolutionary character. Some Marxists have an easy defence that no man is infallible. Anybody can fall. So, if Liu-Shao-Chi had fallen, there was nothing surprising in it. However, for long years Liu-Shao-Chi was devoted to revolution. He struggled for many years; he was elevated to the higher leadership; then what was the reason of his degeneration? Was it an accident? If we blame an unseen factor for this, then it will be mysticism. The correct reason is that these aspects were neglected in his struggle, and considered very insignificant at that time. Definitely those were responsible for the gradual fall of his character.”
Remember, even on a minor point, if you, knowingly or unknowingly, become a victim of or indulge in bourgeois outlook or culture and if that is not detected and eliminated in time, effect will not only remain confined to that minor point, but just like a virus it will spread and attack other spheres of your outlook and culture with increased strength and ultimately will cause immense harm to you. So, do not ignore it as a minor lapse since minor ultimately becomes major. That is why, at every moment we must be alert and our struggle should be all-embracing. In this connection, let us remind ourselves of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh’s important warning. He said, “Comrades should particularly remember that if individualism and ego remain like this even in the most subtle form, then one day it will breed political opportunism, adventurism and revisionism.”
Now, in our party some comrades own private property. If they desire to become good communists, they should abandon it. Party has no desire to grab your property. You yourself have to give it up for your own emancipation only. Please think over it. However, there are many comrades who are whole-timers and have forsaken private property, some of them even are living in party centres, but on question of affection, emotion and relations of love and sex, most of them are not careful about the teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. Comrade Ghosh pointed out that in class divided society even love, affection, feelings have class character.
Some comrades are working for the party, but do not inspire their sons and daughters rather discourage them, of course not openly, in joining party work. Thus they virtually encourage them to build up their careers. But it is also encouraging to note that many comrades are involving their children in party activities. However, some of them are advising their children to give main emphasis on academic education than working for the party. Many comrades in their married lives do not follow the teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. The husband and the wife even discuss organizational issues between them without placing those before the leadership. Both belong to the party but they keep their married life above the party or think that as they are party comrades whatever they are doing or thinking in married life is correct. This is absolutely wrong.
Between husbands and wives, criticism and grievances against some other comrades are also exchanged. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had forbidden it. You can discuss on ideology, art and literature, you can exchange your affection and emotion, but you should not exchange on your complaints and grievances against another comrade. Those should be placed before the appropriate leadership. Even the husband’s point of complain, if any, should not be made known to the wife and vice versa. Husbands or wives belonging to different party bodies and fronts should not exchange between them about problems and differences of their respective party bodies or fronts. These are to be discussed in appropriate forums. This should be the practice. Do not think that married life and relationship is above party. Even if both husband and wife are party comrades, it does not mean that they are following the party line in their married life properly. In a most intimate emotional moment, you should act like revolutionary husband and wife, not mechanically but in a living way. Some comrades, as they discharge their party responsibilities regularly, think those personal things are insignificant and hence neglect them. All the questions and problems related to married life are to be placed before appropriate leadership for necessary guidance.
We know there are some leaders who once served the party, but afterwards could not prevent degeneration because of ignoring these teachings. Comrade Ghosh taught us to be always self-critical, similarly to be critical towards our kith and kin. We cannot defend their wrongs, nor can we feel aggrieved if they are criticized by the party. This is a most important lesson. If my wife is appreciated, I feel special pride. If husband is appreciated, as wife I feel special pride but if criticized, I feel injured. Same happens in the case of the husband. This should not happen. We must be very careful about that. Even if I am appreciated, if Comrade Krishna Chakraborty is appreciated or if other Polit Bureau members are appreciated for some discussions, how shall we take it? This appreciation can either come out of blindness or ignorance or appeasement or it can be a genuine appreciation. What will be my attitude? In a talk, in the office, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh once said ‘You are charmed by the speech delivered by me today. But I am already thinking how to improve it further.’ If appreciation is genuine, we should take it in that way. Again I quote Comrade Shibdas Ghosh: “The ceaseless class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat in the present society is constantly influencing our realm of thought, ethics and culture. This class struggle is not confined to the economic sphere or the arena of movement of the workers against the owners only. It is equally present in the spiritual world or mental domain. Whether you like it or not, it is firmly entrenched in your mind. One aspect of it is of the owners, the capitalists. The other aspect relates to the workers. Consequently it sometimes makes you tilt towards the capitalist, and some other time towards the workers. This is the objective existence of class struggle in our society. The prevailing thoughts and concepts of the bourgeois society create an impact in your mind in the natural course. No leader or cadre can keep himself altogether out of bounds of this social environment and because that is not possible for him, no matter how high a stature he may enjoy, must remain ever conscious and introspect whether the thoughts, ideas and attitudes that take shape in his mind at every moment, his behavior and style of functioning are compatible or not with the revolutionary objective and aspiration of the people.” Further, he said “Up to the last breath of my life, I will have to prove that I was a revolutionary. It is a ceaseless struggle.” So, for us it is more necessary to be constantly alert of that.
Again, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh raised another point. In our early political life, we had seen how our leaders had to live and work in extremely difficult and hard conditions. Now party is growing. People are helping through monetary contribution also. Some comrades are in service. They too contribute to the party. So the problem of food and shelter are now not as acute as it was previously. But, a trend is developing among some comrades towards attachment to or hankering for comfort. Comrade Ghosh’s teaching says, “If the party can afford someone a good dress, a car when required, he should not develop any attachment to all these, he should never fall victim to the cult of comfort, he should be able to give up everything at any moment without any reservation if necessity arises. That means, as he will not nurse any grievance or any resentment when there is no comfort, so also he will not develop in him any attachment to all these even when these are available. Such is the real revolutionary attitude, a correct ethical approach to question like this. What happens if a leader is not conscious of it? Unless he can free himself completely from all sorts of attachment to comfort, even as he goes on getting the same, he may one day fall victim to it. That poses a real problem. As he could once put up with utter discomfort without any grumble, it does not ipso facto mean that he will be able to maintain that quality throughout his life. A revolutionary, therefore, has to conduct a constant struggle within him and subject himself to continuous tests and critical self- examination to judge for himself his position as a revolutionary.” In another speech he said with much agony that he had noticed a tendency of seeking comfort among some leaders also.
Now, it is very encouraging to note that a good number of young bright students and youth are joining our party being attracted by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh’s revolutionary thoughts. However, elderly leaders, old leaders must ponder over a point. When we had been growing up in our teenage years, there was some impact of values in the society. We had teachers, guardians and elderly people with some moral values which had helped us to a great extent. Today that social environment is completely absent. Present environment is very much degraded, polluted and damaging. Some young comrades may fall victims to the influence of polluted harmful things. But elders should not become angry and rebuke them. Do not pass harsh comments. Place yourself in their situation and then try to feel their problems. Help them wisely, perseveringly, patiently, skillfully and carefully with much affection. Do not use words like “you are worthless, you cannot be a revolutionary.” There must not be this type of expression. Treat them just like a caring mother; wipe out the mud from their body, just like what a mother does to her kid. See how a sick child is looked after by his/her mother. Take lesson from it. When there is an all-out moral degeneration in the society and the young generation is its worst victim, how can you expect ready-made good boys and girls?
Yet, we find bright youth and students joining us with all their shortcomings. By imposing stringent discipline and making harsh comments, do not drive them out or dampen their spirits. Always take care of the young comrades. Let me remind you what Great Stalin had said. He said: “Firstly, valuing cadres as the gold reserve of the party, treasuring them, respecting them; secondly, knowing cadres carefully studying their individual merits and shortcomings, knowing in what post the capacities of a given worker are most likely to develop; thirdly, carefully fostering cadres, helping every promising worker to advance, not grudging time on patiently ‘bothering’ with such workers and accelerating their development; fourthly, boldly promoting new and young cadres in time, so as not to allow them to stagnate in their old posts and grow stale; fifthly allocating workers to posts in such a way that each feels he is in right place, that each may contribute to our common cause the maximum his personal capacities enable him to contribute, …”Always we should remember this valuable guideline of Stalin. Do not rebuke any comrade out of anger ignoring his standard. Comrade Ghosh pointed out by citing his own example that he used to severely rebuke senior leaders like Comrades Nihar Mukherjee, Sachin Banerjee, Subodh Banerjee, Pritish Chanda, Hiren Sarkar, even on their minor mistakes, because they were the pillars of the party and their minor mistakes would cause much harm. Moreover, they could understand that by criticizing them out of emotion, he was helping them to develop further. Again he said that generally he did not rebuke ordinary comrades when they committed serious mistakes. He helped them with much patience because if he had made some angry comments, truth would not be revealed to them due to their backward standards and they would have misunderstood him. Who said this? A great man like Comrade Shibdas Ghosh.
He valued every comrade, even a newcomer and took much care of them like a very loving father. So we must be very careful while dealing with the younger comrades. Let me cite my own example. When I was merely a beginner in the party, residing in a relative’s house, I occasionally used to visit a new centre of the party with curiosity and attraction so that I could accept this centre life. One day, I happened to hear an exchange of undesirable words between two comrades in the centre at the height of their anger. As I was immature and a newcomer, it shocked me. That night I wrote a letter to Comrade Ghosh stating that I would work for the party, but cannot stay at any of the party centres. He sent Comrade Kalika Mukherjee, a senior comrade, to find me out with a message to meet him immediately. Eventually I was found out in the next evening. When I went to meet Comrade Ghosh, I could feel that he had not taken any food from morning to evening and was waiting for me very anxiously. Try to understand it. He talked with me, convinced me and then together we took our food. Can I forget his affection? Thus we must be very careful in treating the junior comrades. Who can say that a junior comrade sitting at the back, if given proper help, would not one day become a powerful leader of the party? How did we start our early life? Comrade Ghosh helped us to develop. As leaders, we are to guide the juniors. Guidance should not create hindrance in their development, by always criticizing their faults and interfering in their works, we should not dampen their initiative. Appropriate guidance means helping and encouraging them in applying their brains to make plans, to create works and to carry out programmes. Allow them to commit mistakes so that they can learn from those. But attention and checking should be there to help them in this process. This is just like the way elders in the families keep watch and take care of a child when he/she after crawling attempts to walk, struggles to stand erect, advances a few steps, tumbles and falls down, again attempts to stand up and in this course finally starts walking. The elders intervene only when it is needed to avoid major accident. The elders in the party also should take care of the juniors in this way. When programmes or tasks are given, its political significance should be explained so that comrades are convinced and then emotionally engage them in their implementation.
An active comrade does not become inactive all of a sudden. Here also the law of quantitative to qualitative change operates very slowly and gradually. Sometimes even unknowingly a comrade gets entangled with certain problems. Attention of the leadership means locating this harmful development at the very initial stage, tackling the internal and external contradictions to save him before it reaches a nodal point, that is, to a complete inactive stage. Always remember Stalin’s warning that “even a good worker, if left to his own devices, and if activities are not controlled and verified, begins to deteriorate…”
Another important lesson is that often we draw personal impressions and readings and exchange it amongst ourselves without seeking the views of the leadership. On ‘Code of Conduct’, you will find that Comrade Ghosh had criticized this approach. A great man like him did never take impressions in that way. He said, “What do I practice myself? Sometime it so happens that I discuss about the leaders openly and frankly before a house of comrades… This helps us in two ways. Firstly, if there is any mistake in my own understanding, I can correct myself because it will be detected as I am telling it before all. Secondly, at the same time, if similar defects are there in other comrades, it also helps them to correct themselves in this way.” In the same book he further said: “First of all, that the object of those who make criticism should be such that if their point is wrong and may be they are unconscious of it, they should be able to rectify themselves in the course of this criticism.” So do not take individual reading. If any idea comes in your mind, do not conclude individually in a hurry, discuss it in a collective body or with senior leadership and accept the decision. Do not forget that my mind which I apply to judge other persons or different phenomena is the product of the society. It has got class character and class outlook. You have seen how much caution was exercised by the great dialectical thinker Comrade Shibdas Ghosh in judging others. You will find this in his words, that in formulating our opinion, often it happens that we are influenced by personal bonds, likes and dislikes, personal reaction, preconception, ill-feeling, etc. So do not conclude without verifying in a collective forum or with appropriate leadership. Most of us, if not all, are acquainted with the very valuable teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh that always we must be self- critical, examine critically where I lack, what are my shortcomings or faults; only then I can advance further and further. That is why he taught us to invite and receive criticisms happily from others. I should look at others, seniors and juniors, even common men only to learn from them, not to find their faults.
Encourage and appreciate juniors to criticize you unhesitatingly and fearlessly and if they can do this, that will be their expression of respect for you. Because they are not apprehensive of you, they are not afraid of you. Even if they are mistaken, allow them to speak freely and fearlessly and thereafter correct them. A comrade can wrongly criticize me, misbehave with me or make some bad comments behind my back. What should be my attitude towards that comrade? Should I feel angry or counter-attack him? Can I claim that I have never done wrong or I have not misbehaved with anyone? Then why should I feel angry or be revengeful? I should know that such wrongs are natural to happen in a big family like our party. These may also happen as there are comrades with different standards. Moreover, bourgeois class culture does also infect the comrades. So ungrudgingly I should feel concern and pain for the erring comrade because if his bad practice persists, it will harm his development. So, with a sympathetic mind, I will try to rectify him with the help of the leadership. Here lies the difference between bourgeois and proletarian approaches towards this question. We should not criticize anyone out of grudge, ill-feeling, anger and in retaliation. This is unethical. I have no moral right to criticize a comrade unless I am self-critical, can accept criticism from others and I have love and appreciation for the comrade who is my object of criticism. Objective and correct form of criticism should be only to correct a faltering comrade, to treat him like a patient. To err is human and none of us is above it. Then why should I develop hostility if one commits wrong? If a comrade misbehaves with me, I should not feel insulted or undermined since nobody but only I can insult and undermine myself by my bad conduct. Observe others’ internal and external contradictions, their positive and negative aspects in those contradictions, observe which aspect affects the development of one at a given moment in process of change and act accordingly. According to Marxism, nobody can remain static. There will be either advancement or deterioration. There are always quantitative changes leading to qualitative changes. As a leader, we are to act externally to defeat the negative aspects in order to accelerate the process of positive development. This is a continuous process.
As revolutionaries, we should consider mass-life as our mode of life, not as just a routine programme. Why have we voluntarily joined the revolutionary movement? Firstly, because of our deep feelings for the oppressed people, we seek an end to exploitation. As Comrade Ghosh said ‘Revolutionary politics is higher human element.’ Secondly, we want to lead an honourable, ethical life and only revolutionary life can provide that; thirdly; we aspire for freedom as ‘freedom is the recognition of necessity’. So we, by recognizing the necessity of social revolution have joined the movement voluntarily to achieve real freedom. However, if we are detached from the people, if we remain ignorant of their problems, sufferings, pains, tears and sighs, it will ultimately result in drying up of our struggle to acquire higher human element. We will become rootless and all our revolutionary talk will be lifeless empty words. Therefore, develop close link with proletariats, semi-proletariats and all sections of the toiling people to become their own people. Mix with them in the locality where you live, in the enterprise or institution where you work or study. You should win the people by your character, behaviour, pro-people social nature. Thus become their most beloved and dependable person in such a way that they seek your presence in the hour of their distress and joy. Study the people, study their questions and confusions, their positive and negative aspects and study how to convince and involve them in some activities in whatever way. Find out what form of activities they would happily respond to. It may be social, cultural, welfare, sports or any form of mass- activity. The more you mix with people, the more you know the people, the more you talk with the people, the more you will be able to acquire the quality to carry the most advanced thoughts of revolution among the most backward people. Most of us have come from middle-class or petty bourgeois families and are struggling to become declassed. Going to the people of the slum areas, remaining and working among them will help us in that struggle. We should go not as a preacher, but as a student to learn from the people as living qualities are found among living men and women, not in the pages of books.
Great Mao-Zedong said, “Be students first, only then you can be a teacher.” More we study the people, more we learn to talk in mass-language and more we will be able to acquire the ability to put very difficult political views in an easy mass-language. Without continuous practice, we cannot acquire this.
Now, on leading a mass-life, let me quote from Lenin, he said. “In order to be able to help the masses and to win the sympathy, confidence and support of the masses, it is necessary to brave all difficulties and to be unafraid of the pinpricks, obstacles, insults and persecution of the leaders (who, being opportunists and social-chauvinists, are in most cases, directly or indirectly connected with the bourgeoisie and the police); and it is imperatively necessary to work wherever the masses are to be found. Every sacrifice must be made, the greatest obstacles must be overcome in order to carry on agitation and propaganda systematically, persever-ingly, persistently and patiently, precisely in those institutions, societies and associations — even the most reactionary — to which proletarian or semi-proletarian masses belong.”
Again he said, “To refuse to work in the reactionary trade unions means leaving the insufficiently developed or backward masses of the workers under the influence of the reactionary leaders, the agents of the bourgeoisie, the labour aristocrats, or the completely bourgeois workers.” Further he has taught us how is a revolutionary party of the proletariat tested, how it is reinforced: “First by the class consciousness of the proletarian vanguard and by its devotion to the revolution, by its perseverance self-sacrifice and heroism. Secondly, by its ability to link itself with, to keep in close touch with, and, to a certain degree if you will, merge itself with, the broadest masses of the toilers- primarily, with the proletarian, but also with the non-proletarian toiling masses. Thirdly, by the correctness of the political leadership exercised by this vanguard and by the correctness of its political strategy and tactics, provided that the broadest masses become convinced of this correctness by their own experience.” This is a most valuable teaching of Lenin and we should remember it. Some of our comrades, out of puritanism, fence themselves off from common people — they should get rid of this bad habit. Comrade Ghosh taught us that by only doing routine work, a comrade cannot acquire revolutionary character. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh told, “…Carrying out routine party work like selling party literatures regularly in streets and through door-to-door approaches , participating in street collections, putting up posters, visiting party offices, giving company to other comrades at party centres, attending party classes – if the comrades do all these in a stereotyped fashion, without establishing public contact, neither associating with people around them nor associating themselves with the democratic movements of the people on individual as well as collective basis involving all party comrades in a locality, if they do not carry out political-ideological campaign among the masses through door-to-door approach and personal contact, if they do not have a clear-cut political programme, a well-defined method of campaign, if they do not have contemplation or make any attempt to build mass organizations with those people, that would certainly not lead to attainment of a genuine revolutionary character.” For that, it is necessary to have link with the masses, to live among them, to win them by love, emotion, dedication, good behaviour and involve them in any form of mass- organization and develop mass movements. A newcomer too must be engaged in some sort of mass activity according to his/her aptitude and so that he or she, thereby, does become a leader of a section of the people. That is the only guarantee of his stability. How to spend our time? I quote Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. “To build ourselves up in this way, we need to work among people all twenty four hours – this does not mean that we do not sleep and eat, that we are not carrying out our daily chores, or not having chats with friends, or those having some romantic attachment are not spending any time with the beloved ones. All of these would be there, but they should not fill up our entire mind. It is realistic to accept that such things would come from time to time. To think otherwise is utopian. But these should never become our main concern. Even when we are carrying out our daily chores, or having a solitary time, what should occupy our minds should be the political and organizational problems. There are so many confusing questions, so many contradictory thoughts; hence my thoughts should be about how to counter them whatever the environment be.”
Now, all of you do have relatives and friends, but most of you do not maintain any connections with them. Go to them, be close with them; there will be talks and if they are impressed they will carry the thought to their own circle. Some of them will even help us and join us. Thus attract them in any form. Once who were my classmates of school or college days, have now become fathers or mothers and when I meet them, there will be some discussions. Their sons and daughters will listen to me. Some of them may even be attracted to our party.
There is a section of persons who once were very much active in party work, but have now become inactive for this or that reason. Comrades should visit their houses also. I told the West Bengal comrades to take two days in a month from the party only to meet their relatives, friends and ex-activists of the party. They will become a reserve force for the party. They live among the masses like common people. So they can tell us about the mass-mind, questions and confusions among the masses and by that can enrich us. If by our talks they get convinced, they will convince their own circles. In this way party ideas will spread. They can provide us some practical and valuable suggestions too. Moreover, they can become subscribers of our organs, and donors to our party fund. Some of them may also get involved in some suitable work too.
Comrades must acquire the ability to foresee beforehand the strategy and tactics of the bourgeois class, bourgeois parties and of the social democratic parties, where lies their weaknesses and strength so that we can formulate our own plan accordingly to counter and ultimately defeat them. We should know their economic nature, social-political-cultural features, how and by what catchwords they use to confuse the people. Always, we must be vigilant and prepared for any eventuality as quite suddenly and quickly anything can happen. At any moment, all open activities of the party might have to be stopped or a spontaneous mass-movement can flare up. Ideologically and organizationally, we should have that flexibility and adaptability to promptly respond to a sudden occurrence. When you try to politically convince the people, you are to explain the general political line in a particular way considering the composition of the gathering. They may be workers, peasants, students, youth, women or other sections of the toiling people. Undoubtedly, all are exploited and oppressed by the capitalist class, but each in a particular form. You should also approach keeping that in mind. Otherwise, your talks or discussions will not touch their hearts. Similarly, when you discuss with an individual, study his particular and peculiar mental make-up, problems, questions and confusions, think which point will touch him, will rouse his conscience and enable him to respond. Thus, study his external and internal contradictions like a peasant who before sowing seeds studies the soil, observes the season, tries to select which seed will be suitable, tills the soil for cultivation, uses natural water or water through irrigation, mixes fertilizers with the soil and then only sow the seeds. Only after all these, crops grow. Then comes the time for harvesting, if not get disrupted by flood or drought. The entire process is law-governed. Any development, natural, social or human is always law-governed. While dealing with any phenomenon, its law-governed character must not be ignored rather to be studied and reckoned with correctly.
Do not always run after success or victory. Success or victory depends upon many factors. It depends upon whether you have been able to correctly assess the objective situation, that is, strength of your opponents or adverse circumstances vis-a-vis your strength, whether your strategy and tactics are correct, whether you are mature enough to apply these correctly. A revolutionary too can face defeat after defeat for any of the above reasons, but does not become frustrated. Frustration comes out of unrealistic expectations and ignorance. The source of our confidence is in the scientific revolutionary knowledge about the law-governed historical development of the society, our trust upon humanity. Comrade Mao-Zedong said, ‘defeat, defeat, again defeat then victory.’ Comrade Shibdas Ghosh said, ‘turn your disadvantage into advantage.’ That means turn defeat into victory. How can it be turned? It can be done only by deriving appropriate experiences and knowledge from the defeats. So, acquiring knowledge from defeats is your first victory and will pave the ground for future victory. As comrade Lenin said -”a defeated army learns well.”
We have joined the revolutionary movement for our own emancipation which today is inseparably linked with the emancipation of the working class and that cannot be achieved without revolution. Again we have joined the revolutionary party for leading an ethical life which can be provided by the communist sense of ethics only. Communist ethics say that we cannot hanker for post and position, name or fame. Whatever responsibility is assigned to us, we perform that happily, and do not try to measure whether it is a bigger or a smaller responsibility. At times, rightly or wrongly, you may be dropped from a body; you may be transferred from one to another responsibility or area. Accept it ungrudgingly. Let us recall what Comrade Mao-Zedong taught us when he said “I think, whether they are justified or not, both demotion and transfer have advantages. They help to temper people’s revolutionary will, enable to investigate and study many new situations and acquire more useful knowledge. I myself had experience in this respect and benefitted a great deal from it.” Again, let us learn from Comrade Shibdas Ghosh’s own struggle, when he had said “…there are leaders under whom once I worked, who used to give me instructions. Suddenly I discovered one day that I had become their leader. Not by any resolution, decision of a committee or party body meeting, but in the natural course. When and how it happened, they or I was unaware about it…1 used to follow their instructions, respect them, and worked under them…There had been differences and arguments centering round the questions how to do work in a better way, but it had never occurred to me that those in the leadership were unfit. I did not join the struggle to fight over leadership. If I am a leader today, it is for the revolution and nothing else. Believe me; it is because I did not fight to become a leader.” This is a very important lesson for us.
Now I like to say few words on how a leader should guide body functioning. On this Comrade Ghosh said that ‘‘…by improving committee functioning I mean that opportunities are to be given for extensive discussions by the comrades in the meetings. Even if these discussions are irritating, even if they are fruitless, and repetitive, whether they can still come up with a line through arguments and counter-arguments and for that, scope should be given. We need maximum patience; to lead the collective bodies function. I realize that they are making irrelevant talks; that they are irritating others, or are taking up too much time – these have to be controlled, but in this process of controlling, discussions should not be stopped. When there have been lots of discussions and no further time can be allowed because that would harm the work, then only a decision is to be taken and I may perhaps intervene, but my style should be such that the spirit of discussion is not dampened. That they are seriously thinking, they are trying to say something, they are trying to judge, they are discussing – in my attempt to control, this propensity is not to be discouraged.” This is a lesson for the leaders. Normally, a body meeting should be convened by informing the agenda earlier so that members can be prepared with their opinions or suggestions. Everybody should express their views freely. Discussions should not be reduced into formal debates. It is natural that there will be exchange of views, differences of opinions, arguments with the sole objective to arrive at a correct decision collectively.
Egocentricism, individualism, arrogance, pre-conception and rigidity should not be allowed to hinder the collective process. A body should be viewed just like a medical board where a group of doctors sitting together are examining a patient from different angles by applying medical science and arriving at a correct conclusion. Higher body should look after lower bodies in such a manner that they are functioning regularly and acquiring the ability to function on the principles of proletarian democracy, which is a very difficult task to achieve but at the same time, a prime necessity. To practice constant common association, constant common discussion and constant common activities according to teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh is a pre-condition to develop collective functioning on proletarian democracy.
To keep the functioning of the cells lively and regular is a very difficult task. A cell is mostly composed of applicant members who are politically immature and unstable. They are to be cared for, protected and helped like kids. Cell is the lowest unit of the party composed of 3 to 5 members and it has to be looked after with much care so that each one is involved in some sort of work. Only in this way collective functioning can be achieved. Comrade Ghosh has said that individual initiative is the basis of collective initiative. Definitely, they should implement decisions of the higher body not mechanically but creatively. However, if there is no programme from the leadership, comrades should create their programmes based on the party line by applying their own minds. While individual initiative is to be encouraged, similarly centralism also is to be maintained. We should always remember how to combine individual initiative with the collective work and apply in our life struggle the valuable teachings of Comrade Ghosh. He said, “It is a very difficult task to combine individual initiative with the collective effort. The individualistic trend and bent of mind which we want to fight out is of such nature that because of this, a person having some kind of realization about revolution, even if it is a bit superficial, sometimes creates a mind to join the struggle; but what is found in that case is that because of that factor, he wants to go by his own notions, by his own ideas. On the other hand, he cannot free himself from his individualistic trait, his ultra sense of freedom. … When someone is alone in organizing people in a locality, we find that if he has a fighting zeal and an inspiration to sacrifice, he does the work very well among the people under his own leadership. … But when he has to work according to a plan with other comrades with parallel personality, it often happens that there arises conflict among the different personalities, work is hampered, many complication arise. So one has to learn how to work not only according to one’s plan, but also according to plans formulated by others, voluntarily, happily. And to learn it one has to free oneself from individualistic traits and personal whims. … This can be learnt only by developing the habit of submitting to the collective while working together with masses.” Periodically, whenever necessity arises, party bodies at different levels are to be reconstituted. Some senior comrades, who once contributed but at present have become less active, failing to keep pace with newer requirements or compromising in their lives are to be relieved with due honour and assigned with responsibility that suit them. In their place energetic, developed young comrades are to be promoted. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh further said, “Each district committee, local committee, each frontal body shall by one stroke change its working style and everyone will give thought and try how each one can improve the working style and improve the democratic and political functioning of the bodies. Everyone has to be taught this lesson that he has to improve his political consciousness and initiative. At the same time, it must be pointed out to everybody where and how he is lacking. Whenever meeting with the comrades, amidst all other conversations, they must be asked whether they are doing mass contacts according to their ability, whether they are carrying the politics to the masses, whether they are building up different mass organizations and not just of one type, whether using their own brain they are taking self-initiative, and are trying to organize the masses in whatever way it is possible to do at a particular area, be it clubs or libraries, sports or gyms, literary, drama or music groups, coaching classes or night schools, whatever is possible; or, are they waiting for circulars, waiting till someone else finds out the contacts for them, or are wasting time thinking whether they can do it or have the ability to do it.
Increase your initiative, let there be mistakes even, but carry on doing the work and move ahead learning from the mistakes, but do not sit idle, brooding ‘why have I made the mistake?’ do not waste time. These things have to be explained to the cadres and it will also have to be explained to them that they must win over the people with reasoning, decent and sober conduct, and example of character. Comrades have to be taught these things. What is needed for these are extensive discussions on these at all levels of organization, and the release of a torrent of movement to change the wrong ideas and working style.” To sum up my discussion, I would like to place some suggestions to all comrades:
- a) Those who are yet to begin should start physical exercise in the morning, if not medically advised otherwise.
- b) You must read at least some portion of any speech or writing by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh every day as well as read regularly the works of other giant Marxist philosophers and discuss with comrades. Develop habit of writing and rendering speech.
- c) Once in a week, preferably on your holiday morning, mobilize the local kids for parade, sports, recitation, music, drama etc. Discuss with them the life-struggles of great men and martyrs in order to save them from the present polluted environment. If not all, at least some of them can be saved. Some of them even may join us in course of time. This programme of mixing with kids who are like flowers will be a pleasant experience for us also. Their helpless guardians will also bless us.
- d) Mix with people in your locality, particularly with the poor and downtrodden and also in the institution or enterprise where you work so that you can win their hearts and become their most beloved and trusted by your talks, services and behaviour.
- e) Take individual initiative to build up mass fronts and any form of social-cultural-science-welfare-sports organiza-tion in your area of activities.
- f) Every month, try to involve at least 3 to 4 persons as new activists in the party or in any mass front.
- g) Regularly sell party organs and literatures in ever increasing numbers.
- h) Regularly enroll subscribers to our party organs and donors to our party fund.
- i) Periodically visit workers’ barracks in urban areas, slum areas and poor people in villages; and try to know their sufferings; share their pain; develop emotional relationship with them and try to organize them in any form of activities after fulfilling other tasks assigned to you.
- j) Keep contact with ex-activists, friends and relatives.
- k) Review your daily work if possible by writing diary in the night.
Comrades, we are facing an all-out crisis — economic, political, ethical and moral—which our country has never witnessed before. Family bonds are being shattered. Married life is being ruined. Elderly parents are being thrown out of homes by their sons and daughters. Rapes, gang rapes and other atrocities are going on which we did not find even in the barbaric age of the society. Love, affection and emotion have been turned into commodities in the market. Capitalist civilization is now rotting and the foul smell is spreading everywhere. Humanity is crying for emancipation. Our party as a real communist party is the only hope not only in our country, but also in the world. There are so many confusions among the communist minded people in other countries. We have to guide them also with the powerful weapon of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought. Previously, united CPI and then CPI(M) were strong hindrances before our advancement. Now they are disgraced and discredited. Large numbers of their workers are frustrated and are becoming inactive. A good number of them are now eager to listen to our views. They are studying our literatures, supporting us and joining us. A large number of bright students, youth, workers, peasants and women are joining us. A considerable section of intellectuals are eagerly helping too considering us as the only hope.
It is also true that our frontal organizations are spreading and expanding but still we are far behind the need. Moreover, development should be both quantitative and qualitative. Anti-Imperialist Forum should not remain only to hold some annual conventions. Leaders, organizers should develop its state level bodies, district level bodies to make the people conscious about the danger of imperialism. Comrades, every state committee should depute comrades to work among the workers, poor peasants, agricultural workers, village labourers. Do not forget our party is a working class party. Every day, from the villages, innumerable labourers are coming as migrant workers. They are also to be organized. Of course, we will stress on MSS, DSO. DYO. Komsomol ought to have more cadres. That is true, but these two class fronts must be given proper emphasis. Comrades are to be deputed to work among different categories of working women. Every state, whatever strength they are having should emphasize on it. So comrades, there is a cry from humanity for emancipation. Only Marxism-Leninism-Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought can provide the path of emancipation and this is our historic task. Now let me conclude recalling an appeal of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, “…the coming days are very important to us. You are to build this party fast, within a very short period, with the political and organizational strength necessary to provide leadership to revolution. We could not have achieved this task earlier even if we had contemplated it. But now, with our present numerical strength, if all of us – each and every leader and cadre – strive to put it into reality, with adequate contemplation, we shall succeed to achieve it. To that end, every worker shall have to carry out his respective work without turning away from it, with individual initiative and intellect – no matter whether you can achieve it or not, you succeed or fail. Its method shall be that, on the one hand, you will be learning the party’s politics, and, on the other, you will make every effort to organize people in any sphere on the basis of this politics.”
So, as a student of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, we must respond to and understand our historic responsibility and work accordingly. Here I conclude.
Long Live SUCI (Communist)
Long Live Anti-Capitalist Socialist Revolution
Long Live Marxism-Leninism-
Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought
Red Salute to the Great Leader of the Proletariat
Comrade Shibdas Ghosh