Published fortnightly from Kolkata
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Vol. 53 No. 3 September 15 2019
In this issue
- SUCI(C) expressed grave concern over exclusion of 19 lakh names in NRC, Assam and called for All-India Protest Day on 5 September
- SUCI(C) observed countrywide Protest Day on 5 September last against so-called NRC
- RSS-BJP WANT TO DESTROY SCIENTIFIC AND RATIONAL MINDSET IN THE COUNTRY — Comrade Provash Ghosh at the 5 August Memorial Meeting in Kolkata
- NEWS & VIEWS
SUCI(C) expressed grave concern over exclusion of 19 lakh names in NRC, Assam and called for All-India Protest Day on 5 September
Comrade Provash Ghosh, General Secretary of the Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) issued the following statement on 3 September 2019 :
We express grave concern over the exclusion of such a large number of people more than 19 lakhs from the so called National Register of citizens (NRC), an evil motivated scheme undertaken by the Government of India and the Assam Government at the behest of the extreme chauvinist and communal forces. It is a fascistic move to divide people in the name of community, race, language and religion which will push these hapless, helpless people towards total ruination and death apart from strengthening the hands of the ruling capitalist class to divide the people and to continue its oppressive rule. We, therefore, strongly demand immediate inclusion of all these 19 lakhs people who are genuine Indian citizens residing in Assam for many years and we call upon democratic minded people of India to develop powerful united movement throughout the country to force the central and state governments to include the excluded names in the NRC of Assam. We also call upon the people of the country to come forward to forestall the contemplated move of the RSS- BJP Government to undertake similar sinister moves to prepare so called NRC in all other states of India for dividing people to serve the interest of the ruling class.
In this context, our Party is going to hold an all-India Protest Day on 5 September 2019 in all the states including state capitals. We call upon the people of the country to participate in this programme in a big way in order to pressurize the governments and concerned authorities.
SUCI(C) observed countrywide Protest Day on 5 September last against so-called NRC
Against the sinister conspiracy of the BJP-led central government to take away citizenship of lakhs of bona fide Indians on the pretext of preparing so called NRC, our Party SUCI(C) which from day one has been opposing and exposing this move organized a countrywide protest day in all state capitals and other places. In order to righteously resolve the stated problem of ‘illegal foreign nationals’ SUCI(C) based on correct realization of socio-political reality and taking into cognizance the grim objective situation in the backdrop of a prevailing apprehension about losing identity and language by the common Assamese-speaking people, came with a concrete four point formula as far back as in 1980 which, inter alia, included passing of a special resolution in the parliament to ensure the present status of Assamese as the State language, adoption of fool-proof measures at the international borders to stop any probable clandestine entry of illegal foreigners, implementation of a comprehensive package plan by the government for speedy economic and industrial development of Assam and fixing 25 March 1971 as the cut-off date for detection of foreign nationals and that the process of detection should be in strict compliance with all relevant national and international norms, laws and traditions. Both Assamese-speaking people as well as non-Assamese-speaking people irrespective of religion or ethnicity had wholeheartedly welcomed this four-point formula of our Party. But neither the erstwhile Congress government nor the present BJP government paid any heed to our just proposals. Instead, they preferred to capitulate to communal-chauvinist forces and intensify the divide among the toiling people of the state who had earlier lived in peace and harmony by undertaking a fascistic measure like NRC. Our Party would continue to uphold the cause of common citizens of Assam and make people aware of the hideous underbelly and serious consequence of so called NRC.
RSS-BJP WANT TO DESTROY SCIENTIFIC AND RATIONAL MINDSET IN THE COUNTRY
Comrade Provash Ghosh at the 5 August Memorial Meeting in Kolkata
[This is the second and final part of the text of the speech delivered in Bengali by Comrade Provash Ghosh, General Secretary, SUCI(C), at the 44th Memorial Meeting of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, our leader, teacher and guide and one of the foremost Marxist thinkers of the era, held on 5 August 2019, at Netaji Indoor Stadium, Kolkata. First part of the speech was published in the previous issue of Proletarian Era (Vol. 53 No. 2 dated 1 September 2019). In his speech, Comrade Provash Ghosh dwelt on various important aspects of present political situation. Before publication, Comrade Provash Ghosh elaborated a few points and added some new points. For translation error or incorrect expression, if any, the Editorial Board of Proletarian Era stands responsible.]
BJP wants to destroy scientific, rational bent of mind upheld by the pioneers of Indian renaissance
Do those who have been carrying the flag of the RSS-BJP having been either carried away by mischievous propaganda or temptation of money and other petty benefits, know that the RSS-BJP totally repudiate the ideology and role of the doyens of Indian renaissance? During the dawn of Indian renaissance, Raja Rammohan had said : “The Sanskrit system of education would be the best calculated to keep this country in darkness… The pupils will there acquire what was known two thousand years ago. We find [however] that the Government are establishing a Sanskrit school under Hindu Pandits to impart such knowledge with the addition of vain and empty subtleties since then produced by speculative men…Neither can much improvement arise from such speculations as the following which are the themes suggested by the Vedanta…Nor will youths be fitted to be better members of society by the Vedantic doctrines which teach them to believe, that all visible things have no real existence…But as the improvement of the native population is the object of Government, it will consequently promote a more liberal and enlightened system of instruction, embracing Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, Chemistry, Anatomy, with other useful sciences…”5 Following in his footsteps, Vidyasagar, outstanding renaissance personality, had further said during the sunrise period of Indian renaissance: “That the Vedanta and Sankhya are false systems of philosophy, is no more a matter of dispute… philosophy from Europe which would make the students realize that the Veda and Vedanta are false systems of philosophy should be taught … The bigotry of the learned of India, I am ashamed to state, is no less than that of the Arabian Caliph. They believe that their Shastras have all emanated from omniscient Rishis (sages) and therefore, they cannot but be infallible… Wherever the light of modern European science has penetrated and to whatever extent it has penetrated, to that extent, the influence of the religious scriptures of this country has diminished there. Therefore the expanse of this education has to be increased… Geography, History, Biography, Arithmetic, Geometry, Natural Philosophy, Moral Philosophy, Political Economy and Physiology should be taught to render it complete… We want teachers who know both the Bengali and the English language, and at the same time are free from religious prejudices”.6 Many are not aware that Vidyasagar did not believe in god. Though he was born in a Brahmin family, he never got himself baptized in Hinduism. He never visited any temple. There is no discussion of god, spiritualism or supernaturalism in the textbooks authored by him. For that, John Murdoch, a missionary, was appointed by the then government to investigate the matter, had accused him of being a ‘rank materialist’. But Ramkrishna who was a spiritual man went to Vidyasagar’s house to pay his respect to such a ‘rank materialist’. Vivekananda had said that both Vidyasagar and Ramkrishna were his ideals. In the contemporary period, Jyotiba Phule of Maharashtra, another revered personality, also supported introduction of Western scientific education. So you can see while the British government was stressing on teaching Sanskrit and idealist philosophy, Rammohan, Vidyasagar and Phule were opposing it. Saratchandra, the great humanist litterateur and an ardent follower of Vidyasagar, also stoutly said that: “None of the scriptures can be infallible. The Veda is also a scripture. So, there is no dearth of falsehood in it as well…All religions are false, superstitions of ancient age. There is no bigger an enemy of mankind than this.”7 Emphasis on scientific rational education and call for developing a mindset free from religious bigotry were contained in the literatures of Rabindranath, Premchand, Subramania Bharati, Jyotiprosad and Nazrul as well. But the RSS-BJP oppose this. They are trying to introduce a Hindu religion-based education system in the country by diminishing the importance of English and emphasizing on teaching Sanskrit. By discarding the pathbreaking discoveries of the renowned scientists of both Europe and India, the RSS-BJP are trying to make people believe the utter falsehood that ‘everything was contained in the Veda’ and the ancient sages had invented all these. Even the prime minister himself claimed that the idol of the elephant-headed Ganesha bears testimony of existence of plastic surgery in ancient India. Some other flatterers of the RSS-BJP are also propagating a host of such ludicrous tales. However, they have not yet disclosed which of the sacred hymns of the Vedic scriptures the recently launched Chandrayan to the moon is based on. The fact is that once proper cultivation of science had picked up speed in this country by opposing and not following the prescripts of religious scriptures. Particularly, there was considerable advancement of science during the Buddhist period. Later, it was halted under the influence of the Vedanta. Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy, the pioneer of modern science in India himself had made this allegation in his celebrated work ‘the Hindu Chemistry’. In Europe, dedicated scientists like Bruno, Galileo and such others were brutally persecuted and even killed during the religion-based monarchical rule. In protest against such deliberate attack on science, Vivekananda had said: “We know what is the view of the modern astronomers and scientists regarding the universe. And we also know how immensely such views have caused harm to the olden theologists. Whenever there is a new scientific discovery, a bomb is thrown at their houses. And that is why, such theologists in every period had sought to stop such scientific enquiries.”8 In the light of such a view of Vivekananda, one of the foremost preachers of Hinduism, how would one define the role of the RSS-BJP? Vivekananda believed that since modern science had been discovering newer views of the universe, the protagonists of theology had been feeling panicky and so they were trying to stall cultivation of science. But the current champions of Hindutva have been claiming that modern science is making no new discoveries; everything was discovered by the ancient sages. The difference is distinct. Are the apologists of Hindutva doing it unknowingly? Surely not. Their objective is to disown the importance of modern science, destroy the process of development of scientific rational thinking and thereby misdirect the mindset of the country towards ancient religious traditionalism so as to firm up fascist blind faith. The other objective is to fan up Hindu fundamentalism and ignite the fire of communal hatred and clashes to disrupt the unity of the toiling masses just like what the British rulers once did, and moreover doing so with a view to creating a Hindu vote bank. On the other hand, to ensure that the utterly distressed Indians do not rise up against ruling capitalism and its subservient government, and instead presume all their weal and woes, trials and tribulations of life, scourge of unemployment, deaths on account of starvation and non-availability of medical treatment, to be results of their past sins, ordained by their fate, khodakimarji, nasib ka khel and so forth. If they bear with all these pains and sorrows happily in this lifetime, the god will be extremely pleased and generous to them in their next birth. These are the mystic alleys of blind faith and religious precepts the Hindutva fanatics seek to keep people arrested in. The RSS-BJP are doing this not out of any honest conviction, but with a clear conspiratorial motive. People need to think, will they ignore the great ideals and struggle of the stalwarts of Indian renaissance, discard modern science and instead lend support to the vile conspiracy of the RSS-BJP? If they rally behind the RSS-BJP, will not the country degenerate further? Will not fascism, the biggest enemy of mankind, be more strengthened?
Protagonists of Hindutva opposed Indian freedom struggle
We want to once again bring to the fore another aspect for consideration of the people at large. Are they aware that the RSS branded the Indian freedom movement soaked with the blood of thousands of valiant martyrs, as ‘reactionary’ and opposed it tooth and nail? That is, why the RSS did not join the freedom struggle at any stage. Because M S Golwalkar, the mentor of the RSS, said: “The theories of territorial nationalism and of common danger, which formed the basis for our concept of nation, had deprived us of the positive and inspiring content of our real Hindu Nationhood and made many of the ‘freedom movements’ virtually anti-British movements. Anti-Britishism was equated with patriotism and nationalism. This reactionary view has had disastrous effects upon the entire course of the freedom struggle, its leaders and the common people.”9″Those only are nationalist patriots, who, with the aspiration to glorify the Hindu race and Nation next to their heart, are prompted into activity and strive to achieve that goal. All others are either traitors or enemies to the National cause …”10
Just think for a moment how dangerous this thought is! Since the freedom movement was not conducted based on thoughts of Hindu nationalism, it was ‘reactionary’! Starting from Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, Lala Lajpat, Balgangadhar Tilak to Netaji Subhas, Kshudiram, Bhagat Singh, Sukdev, Rajguru, Chandrasekhar Azad, Surya Sen, Ashfaqulla Khan, Pritilata, Birbala Kanaklata—all the leaders and martyrs of Indian freedom movement were, according to the RSS, “reactionary”, “traitors” and “enemies of the country”. Will the countrymen accept this stand of the RSS, the navigator of the BJP? Will they show affront to the revered leaders and martyrs of our glorious freedom movement? By usurping power and riding on the government propaganda machine, the RSS leaders are boasting themselves as ‘patriots’, ‘nationalists’ and ‘defenders of country’s independence’. How many people know that in British India, in the provinces of Sind, undivided Bengal and North-West frontier state, the Hindu Mahasabha and Muslim League had formed coalition ministries. In undivided Bengal, Fazlul Haque was the chief minister while Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was the deputy chief minister. Let someone dare to prove this history wrong. We can prove this with facts. Golwalkar had even said: “…foreign races in Hindustan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but those of the glorification, of the Hindu race and culture, i.e. of the Hindu nation …or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu Nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment not even citizen’s rights.”11 What a dangerous utterance! Though not found in their direct talks, at present such mentality is vivid in the various observations and activities of the RSS-BJP leaders. Staunchly rebutting such mentality of the RSS-BJP, Netaji Subhas had said in a meeting in 1943: “Hindu Mahasabha has …appeared on the political scene by using religion and thus contaminating it in the process …Every Hindu should condemn this.”12 In another speech he said: “…since the Hindus are majority in India, there is a bogey of Hindu state. These are all utopian thoughts.”13 He also said: “A section of the vested interest from their narrow sectarian outlook is precipitating quarrel and misunderstanding between them (Hindus and Muslims)… in freedom movement, such people should also be considered as enemies…”14 Giving a call to adopt politics sans religion or genuine secular outlook, he pointed out that “Religion should be totally kept out of politics. …There should be full liberty for an individual to profess any religion he wants as a human being. But politics should not be guided by religion or any supernatural concepts. Politics should be guided by economic, political and scientific theories.”15 Rabindranath too had observed that “the country which tries to bind people mainly based on religion and is unable to combine people on any other basis, is indeed ill-fated. The division that this religion creates based on the religion itself is the most dangerous.”16 Saratchandra said: “Only embrace the ideal of universal mankind and never try to judge it on the anvil of Indian ideology, Asian ideology or Hindu ideology. Because, in that case, it would be akin to a narrow ideal of a mean mind, never a universal liberal ideal of universal mankind.”17 He further said with pain that “those who were to be saints have become politicians. That is why, the country is in such a distress.”18 Just before being hanged to death, Bhagat Singh whom the countrymen adorned as ‘Shaheed-e-Azam”, wrote an invaluable essay titled “Why am I an atheist” so as to imbue the students and youth with this ideology. Will the countrymen, the inhabitants of West Bengal abandon all such invaluable teachings of the luminaries of yester years like Netaji Subhas, Rabindranath, Saratchandra and Bhagat Singh and come within the fold of the RSS-BJP?
Who are the real Hindus?
Those who honestly believe in Hinduism need to be acquainted with a few observations of Vivekananda. He said: “…no religion ever persecuted men, no religion ever burnt witches, no religion ever did any of these things. What then incited people to do these things? Politics, but never religion;”19 He further said in his Chicago speech in 1893: “Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization, and sent whole nations to despair. Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now.” 20
In the light of such observations, please examine the preachings and activities of the RSS-BJP. Are they following Vivekananda? Vivekananda further said: “We want to take mankind to that end where there is no Veda, Bible or Koran but all works will be performed through integration of the Veda, Bible and Koran… We believe not only in universal tolerance, but we accept all religions as true.”…”If I had a son, I would not have given him any religious tutelage except practising concentration, one paragraph of prayer and chanting mantras. Thereafter, in course of growing in age and listening to various opinions and advices, he would have been acquainted with something which to him would have been the truth. It is very natural that simultaneously with full freedom and without having any conflict, my son could be a Buddhist, my wife a Christian and myself a Muslim.”21 Will the RSS-BJP accept this Vivekananda as Hindu or call him a heretic? Ramkrishna, the mentor of Vivekananda, had even performed namaz in a mosque and offered prayer in a church. In a very lucid way, Ramkrishna said: “It is not good to feel that one’s own religion alone is true and all others are false. God is one only, and not two. Different people call on him by different names: some as Allah, some as God, and others as Krishna, Shiva, and Brahma. It is like the water in a lake. The Hindus call it ‘jal’, the Christians ‘water’, and the Muslims ‘pani’.”22 It means God, Bhagwan, Allah are all same. What would the RSS-BJP leaders tell about Ramkrishna? Will they dare to say that he spoke and acted against Hinduism?
In the name of recovering the birthplace of Ram in Ayodhya, the RSS-BJP razed a historical monument like the Babri Masjid to rubbles just like the way the Talibanis destroyed the old Buddhist artefacts of Bamiyan in Afghanistan. In this connection, I would like to reiterate another point. Why did Chaitanya, Ramkrishna, Vivekananda who are known preachers of the Hindu religion and revered by the Hindus never raise the demand for reclaiming Ram’s birthplace by demolishing the Babri Masjid? Were they cowards? It is said that the Ramayana was written by Valmiki much before the birth of Ram. Tulsidas had authored the Ramcharitmanas when the Babri Masjid was in existence. But it is not written in either of these works that Babri Masjid was constructed on the birthplace of Ram. Now listen to what Vivekananda had said in this regard: “Take the case of the Ramayana…it is not that in order to acknowledge it as an inviolable authentic epic, one has to believe that there was really anyone like Rama at any point of time… The glory of religion sung in the Ramayana or the Mahabharata does not depend on the existence or non-existence of either Rama or Krishna. Hindu religion is not at all contingent upon any specific individual. In order to examine how far the philosophical truth upheld in any of the mythologies was authentic, it is not at all necessary to scrutinize whether the characters described in those mythologies really existed or they were all fictional.”23
It is clear from this that Vivekananda did not admit real existence of Ram. He even forebode any search for such existence. Only he asked to draw appropriate lesson from the Ramayana. Would the honest believers in Hinduism today hold that the RSS-BJP are correctly following Hinduism and the teachings of Ramkrishna and Vivekananda? Or would they agree that the RSS-BJP are using Hinduism to buttress their heinous political interest? Same is the case with the Muslim fundamentalists of our country as well as other countries. They are also not following the teachings of Hazrat Muhammad and instead abusing Islam for satiating lust for power and harvesting odious political gains.
Background of rise of BJP in West Bengal
A point worth noting is that in undivided Bengal and later in West Bengal, neither the RSS-Hindu Mahasabha nor a personality like Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee could carve out any space. But it is a matter of concern that in West Bengal today, the BJP is raising its ugly head, capitalizing on anti-TMC mentality. You need to understand why they could not do so earlier and how could they now succeed in that. In order to understand, you shall have to know a nearly forgotten chapter of history which a few octogenarians alive today are familiar with. Others who were aware of that history are dead and the present generation does not know anything of it. The thoughts of renaissance and revolutionism dawned upon the Bengal soil first not because the Bengalis had any special characteristics. Since Kolkata was the first capital of the British rule and the thoughts of Western civilization reached this part of British India through the vehicle of English education which the British rulers introduced to create some administrative assistants from within the local people, development of modern scientific thoughts, literature and democratic culture took place here first. Highly impressed by this flourishment of modern thoughts in Bengal, Gopal Krishna Gokhale, a renowned leader of freedom movement and a social reformer of Maharashtra, once commented that “what Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow”. Bengal grew as the bastion of leftism centred on the uncompromising trend of armed revolutionism and Netaji Subhas during the days of freedom struggle. The defeat of fascism in Second World War under the leadership of great Stalin, startling progress of socialism and success of Chinese Revolution attracted the educated section towards Marxism-Leninism in India, particularly in Bengal. It was for this reason that the people here, particularly the educated people and the students and youths did not accept the arch reactionary RSS and later the communal thoughts of the Jan Sangh. You need to keep in mind that based on this leftist mentality of the people of West Bengal, first the undivided CPI and then the CPI (M) grew as powerful left parties here. In the first election of independent India in 1952, the undivided CPI won most of the assembly and parliament seats of Kolkata. Anti-tram fare rise movement of 1952, anti- Bengal Bihar merger movement of 1953, food movements of 1959 and 1966 were all conducted along militant leftist line against the Congress government. Though neither the CPI nor the CPI (M) was a Marxist Party, they practised militant leftism in those days. Our Party was very small then. Still within the joint movement, there was contradiction between the revolutionary line of ours and the vote-based reformist line of theirs. During that period, in order to crush the surging democratic movements, the Congress government brought down severe repression and brutal onslaughts. As a result, hundreds of students and youths became martyrs, sustained grievous injuries and were jailed. Being frightened, Indian capitalism and Congress prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru called Kolkata ‘a city of nightmare’ and ‘a city of processions’. Similarly, the British imperialist rulers dreaded undivided Bengal and Kolkata. Capitalizing on these militant left movements, first the undivided CPI and then the CPI (M) increased their influence. But let alone cultivation of Marxist ideology, the CPI and CPI (M) leadership never involved their workers, supporters and the people in the cult of leftist politics and culture. Nor did they ever develop any socio-cultural-ideological struggle against religious fanaticism, communalism, casteism or provincialism. As a result, the leftist mentality which grew here was mainly based on blind emotion towards Marxism, leftism and leftist slogan mongering. Among the majority of their party leaders-workers-supporters and the follower section of the masses, Hindu- Muslim sentiment was subtly ingrained. There was also influence of many religious superstitions and other prejudices. Despite all these, common people were attracted towards leftism. Under the impact of powerful mass movements coupled with crystallization of severe anti-Congress mentality, the Congress was defeated in the 1967 assembly election in West Bengal. The first United Front (UF) government comprising the CPI, CPI (M), our Party, other left parties and Bangla Congress was installed. Many of you may not be knowing today that before formation of the UF government, a serious difference cropped up between our Party and the other constituents including the CPI (M) over drafting the programme of work. During the time of Lenin, there was no such occasion when a Marxist party got chance to run the government in a bourgeois state. So, he could provide only the guideline as to how a Marxist party would function as opposition in a bourgeois parliament. It was Comrade Shibdas Ghosh who, confronted with a hitherto unprecedented situation, applied the teachings of Marxism-Leninism to provide the historic guideline in regard to the Marxist outlook and approach towards running a government by a proletarian revolutionary party in a bourgeois set up. Our proposal based on the guideline of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh was that the UF government would encourage the class and mass struggles of the workers-peasants and other sections of impoverished toiling masses and unlike the previous governments, the police would not repress and suppress legitimate democratic movements. This should be declared as a policy. Other parties including the CPI (M) were not agreeable to this proposal. Then our Party said in that case, we would not join the government but support it from outside. At that time, the CPI (M) workers as well as the common people had a struggling mindset. So, if the reason for our staying outside the government came to be known to them, the leaders of the CPI (M) and other parties would have faced questions. So ultimately, the CPI (M) and others consented to our proposal presuming that since ours was a small party, we would not be able to do much with that policy. But Comrade Subodh Banerjee, our Central Committee member, became the labour minister of the UF government and announced that the policy of the UF government would be non-interference of police in legitimate democratic movement. This inspired surge of widespread class and mass struggles of the workers-peasants and other toiling masses. The air was rent with the slogan: ‘UF government is an instrument of struggle’. The impact of this was on the other states also. Naturally, the capitalist class and the reactionary forces felt threatened. At their instance, in the second UF government in 1969, the CPI (M) and others took away the labour ministry from our Party and allotted to Comrade Subodh Banerjee, a most popular minister of first UF government, the PWD ministry. Despite unwillingness, our Party accepted that portfolio in the interest of operationalizing the policy of non-interference of police in democratic movement. The CPI (M) leaders had then raised the slogan of so called class-based front in place of united front with a view to consolidating their hold and paving way for setting up a government to be run on their own dictates. At the same time, they began destroying the mass pockets of other constituents of the United Front and instead of developing movements, initiated a politics of distributing freebies and favours using government machinery and thus brought about the downfall of the 2nd UF government. By dint of such a nasty opportunistic policy, they sought to increase their support base among the masses, bring the unemployed youths into their party fold, establish hegemony as the biggest party and stifle the voice of other parties. At that period, the CPI (M) was attacking both the other left parties as well as the Naxalites. This was how the politics of murder and bloodshed gripped the leftist movement of West Bengal. Despondency and frustration began to engulf the people of West Bengal who were once attracted towards leftism renouncing rightist policies of the Congress. Leftism began to lose its credibility. The caution sounded by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh way back in 1969 is very relevant today and merits to be recalled. He said: “In this situation, the fissiparous groups and religious fundamentalist like the Jana Sangh (forerunner of the present day BJP) are waiting in the wings. They are waiting for opportune moment. As soon as whatever attraction the people still have towards left movement destroys, they would come out in the open. The ruling CPI (M) leaders are not conscious of this danger. Throwing to the wind the communist ideology and its quintessence, they are going on misleading the people with tall talks and sweet words, just as the Congress did. Thus they are maligning down the prestige of communism.”24 How significant is that warning today, we hope, would be understood by you all as well as the honest rank and supporters of the CPI (M).
Later, in 1972, the Congress grabbed power through massive rigging and formed government under the chief ministership of Siddhartha Shankar Ray. Immediately after riding to power, the Siddhartha Ray government brought down severe attack on our Party, the CPI (M) and the Naxalites. Many were killed. Very soon this government became unpopular in west Bengal. Alongside the Congress also lost its popularity throughout the country because of clamping emergency and other coercive measures. In this situation, the people of West Bengal once again tilted towards leftism and as the biggest left party, the CPI (M) got advantage of that. In the 1977 election, the CPI (M) enjoying backing of the newly formed Janata Party [comprising the RSS, Jan Sangh, Congress (O) and others] won the assembly election in West Bengal by comfortable margin and formed a government along with their associates. Since then, they ruled the state uninterrupted for 34 long years. I would like to remind you that when the CPI (M) and its associates formed government in 1977, Jyoti Basu, the CPI (M) chief minister said in his first radio speech after assuming office that “there would no more any chaos during the tenure of this CPI (M)-led Front government since the SUCI(C) is not a part of it.” By this, he assured the industrialists and the reactionary circle of not putting them in any embarrassment since they view movements and struggles as unrest and disorder. In any case, after saddling in power, the CPI (M) abandoned whatever little cultivation of leftism and participation in democratic movement was seen on their part as the biggest left party during the first and second UF governments. Thus they earned confidence of the capitalist class. During their prolonged rule, the CPI (M) completely seized absolute control over the police and administration, gave protection to the anti-socials and then used them for creating a reign of terror and intimidation against the opposition. Right from appointment of a security guard in a school to a university vice-chancellor, filling up all government posts, promotion and transfer of government employees— everything was decided at the dictate and in the interest of the party. Nepotism was at its peak. Not by ideology or principle, the CPI (M) leaders recruited a good number of youths in their party by giving them the bait of making fortunes through realty promotion, contractor business, running syndicates of supplying building material as well as enormous scope for extortion and securing cut-money. By indulging in extensive rigging in the elections and precipitating terror, the CPI (M) captured maximum numbers of the panchayats and municipalities and turned these into dens of corruption. Party hold was firmed up in all academic institutions and governance of education system. In the elections to the students’ unions in the colleges and universities, the SFI, the students’ wing of the CPI (M), brought down severe attack on the opponents and forcibly got them to desist from contesting. In the process, they forcibly took control of all these unions. Everywhere, they took recourse to physical assault, terror, threat, intimidation and forced dislodgement to establish total party control. On the other hand, they opened fire on the workers’ and peasants’ struggles in subservience to the class interest of the industrial houses, big business and rich farmers and killed many. Our Party developed many movements on the legitimate demands of the toiling workers-peasants and middle class like re-introduction of English and pass-fail system right from primary level and roll back of enhanced transport fare. The CPI (M) government resorted to indiscriminate baton charge and firing of tear gas shells to crush our movements, 171 leaders and workers of our Party were murdered during the CPI (M) rule. 51 of our leaders and workers were implicated in false cases and sentenced to life term. They brought down brutal attack on Singur-Nandigram movements initiated by our Party. With the help of police and anti-socials, they organized mass-killing and gang-rape in Nandigram. All these they did to buttress heinous petty party interest and satisfy the bourgeoisie. Thus, maligning the great ideal of Marxism and leftism, they lowered it in the eyes of the people. These made the people of West Bengal furious with them. Taking advantage of that, the TMC, a splinter group which dissociated from the Congress centring on power-struggle, came to the fore, was given immense publicity by the capitalist class in the media to project as the alternative to the CPI (M). Aggrieved with the CPI (M) misrule, people were also seeking a change. Raising the slogan of ushering in that change, the TMC won the 2011 assembly election by massive votes.
TMC regime is also full of corruption and misrule like the CPI (M)’s
But did the desired change come by with the TMC assuming power? Except replacement of the CPI (M) by the TMC in government, has there been any other change? As the CPI (M) regime was marked by establishment of party control over police-administration, manipulation of election results in favour by extensive rigging, precipitation of terror, muscle-flexing and forcibly prevention of the opposition from contesting, maintaining and using criminals and anti-socials, extortion, flourishment of realty syndicates, cut-money, bribes and so forth, the TMC rule has also virtually been a carbon copy of the same. The only difference is that the CPI (M) had a kind of binding in the party. So, all these misdeeds used to happen skilfully, to some extent systematically and subtly with their leaders at respective levels having a control. But in the TMC rule, all these are happening in a disorderly, naked and haphazard manner. During the tenure of the TMC, mega scams like the Sarada and Rose Valley Ponzi Fund have taken place. Lakhs of people have been victims of such scams, lost their hard-earned savings and turned insolvent. But it is pertinent to mention that all these scamsters and fraudsters started their operation during the CPI (M) rule. Names of many of the front-ranking TMC leaders have featured as beneficiaries of such scams. Some of the TMC leaders are also named in the Narada bribe scandal. Besides, the TMC government following in the footsteps of the earlier CPI (M) government has doubled the number of liquor-selling outlets on the pretext of augmenting excise revenue. So, debauchery of and atrocities on women by the drunkards are rising. The TMC which has been boasting of introducing pro-woman ‘Kanyasree” project has not been expressing any concern when the state is turning into a den of woman-trafficking. There is no concern of the government over this rising crime. After receiving a severe jolt in the last parliament election, the TMC leadership rose from slumber to find that their own people have been taking cut-money with alacrity. Immediately, the TMC supremo was found to roar against it in media glare. But would such roaring stem the rot? It may be asked whether the TMC government has done anything so far. Our answer would be, ‘Yes’. For example, in electoral interest, it has launched a slew of schemes for distributing freebies like ‘Kanyasree’, distribution of cycles, hefty financial grants to thousands of clubs, Durga Puja committees, theatre groups and opera companies. The TMC government is also financing organization of various pujas and repairing of temples. Alongside, it has also introduced special allowance for moazzams of the mosques and the priests of the Hindu crematoriums. The TMC chief is also wearing hijab and offering namaz during Islamic festivals. Of late, an expert has been hired by spending huge money to receive ‘professional’ advice in regard to the steps necessary to be adopted for winning next election. To a greater extent, the TMC government is now being run as per his advice. A new helpline called ‘Didike bolo’ (Tell the elder sister) has also been commissioned. But still, only future would tell how fruitful have all such moves been in deriving expected result in the next election.
Aggrieved and enraged with the TMC, a good number of people are shifting allegiance to the RSS-BJP with a view to giving a ‘lesson’ to the TMC. Among them are many leaders—big, middle-level and small—of the TMC, the Congress and the CPI (M), both at state as well as local levels. Like other states, the BJP is also luring the unemployed youths with money, promise of jobs and other benefits. Sensing the mood, a number of elected legislatures, municipality councillors, including mayors of the TMC who are alleged by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) to have committed frauds or involved in taking bribes have switched to the BJP. Even a good number of anti-socials belonging to the TMC have gone over to the BJP. Many others are in the queue. In this way, the RSS-BJP are gaining strength in West Bengal. The RSS-BJP leaders are also elated, more so after receiving unexpected number of votes and seats in the last parliament election from this state. Now they are rehearsing for riding to power in West Bengal by winning assembly election in 2021.
Weakness of leftism has helped BJP to gain strength
Is it that the BJP got so many seats and votes by fluke? Was this success driven by only money power and administrative backing of the central government? The TMC too has spent huge money, may be less compared to the BJP. Then how could this be possible? The answer lies in the caution which Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had sounded way back in 1969 and which has been quoted earlier. After the Congress rule, the CPI (M) rode to power. During the 34 years of the CPI (M) regime, the glorious tradition of renaissance and revolutionary trend of the freedom movement have been destroyed. Above all, the prestige of communism and leftism have been maligned and denigrated. In other states, power alternates between the Congress and the BJP. In some cases, the regional parties are also formidable contenders for power. But in West Bengal, the CPI (M) has become so unpopular that despite being the main opposition in terms of vote-share, number of cadres and supporters as well as organizational hold, it could not feature in the mind of the people as the alternative to the TMC. Not only that. Their vote percentage dropped from 28% to 2 %. Instead, the people disgusted with the TMC rule have been rallying behind the RSS-BJP.
Even, having been carried by the wind of polarization and irrespective of their belonging to either the Hindu or the Muslim community, one section of the CPI (M) workers at lower level voted for the BJP while the other section opted to vote the TMC. Even in the villages and various urban localities, people have witnessed how many of the CPI (M) leaders and cadres had voted for the BJP saying that ‘first it would be Ram and then would come the Bam (meaning the leftists)’. In other words, they tried to say that first the TMC should be defeated by the BJP with their help and then the BJP will help them to come to power. As if the BJP would voluntarily vacate the seat of power for them. It has so happened that even some of the polling agents of the CPI (M) did not vote for their own candidates. Can the CPI (M) leadership instead of going for self-introspection evade accountability by squarely passing the blame on their rank and file? Are not the CPI (M) leaders and their policies responsible for this? Usurping the credibility and glory of militant leftism as the biggest left party, did they not, after being saddled in power, ruthlessly crush class and mass struggles? Have they not smeared the prestige of leftism? Did they not strip their workers of even the rudiments of leftist politics and culture and goaded them on into the dungeon of rank opportunism? Can they deny that they did shatter the moral backbone of the youth by destroying the very mindset of cultivating higher ethics and values? Have they not given indulgence to the anti-socials? Did they not inculcate the thought in their workers that the source of power lies in governmental power and not in ideology, character and struggle? If our allegation is wrong, let the CPI (M) leaders refute it with facts. We shall revise our views. We are not saying all these things out of any hostility. We are saying so from grave concern. Neither the British imperialists nor the Congress could destroy the leftist current in West Bengal despite undertaking all sorts of repression and oppression. But after riding to power, the CPI (M) succeeded in doing so. If they had run the government based on real leftist outlook, then their strength should have gone up manifold in 34 years. Why did the reverse thing happen? Why did their strength decimate? We call upon the honest workers and supporters of the CPI (M) to calmly ponder over this. Because, you once joined the CPI (M) being attracted by the noble ideology of communism. Earlier, many faced severe torture and repression and even courted martyrdom with the flag of the undivided CPI and then the CPI (M) in hand. But why has the outcome been so dismal today? Because, you joined the party by merely listening to the slogan of “Long Live Marxism” and seeing the numerical strength. You did not take the pain to meticulously examine the methodology of party formation, political analysis, strategy as well as tactics of the party and whether the ethical-moral standard, culture, conduct as well as the life of the leaders were in consonance with Marxism.
What better governance would BJP provide if they replace TMC?
Those people who are intending to bring the BJP to power in West Bengal in expectation of stalling corruption, reckless use of force and oppression and having a democratic rule need to carefully observe how the BJP is running the government at the Centre and other states. In the BJP regime, how could Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi, Vijay Mallya and such other fraudsters flee the country by embezzling thousands of crores of public money? Why was the prime minister seen in photographs with such utterly corrupt fugitive businessmen by his side? How could the assets of the BJP president and his son increase so astoundingly? During the BJP rule in Madhya Pradesh, the VYAPAM scam involving Rs 30, 000 crores unfolded. The BJP ministers were alleged to have taken bribes of lakhs of rupees for securing government jobs, arranging promotion in government service and paving way for admission in the medical colleges. In order to suppress probe into the scam, as many as 48 witnesses were mysteriously killed. Why till today has there not been any investigation into this large scale corruption, misfeasance and murders? Why have not the guilty been punished? What prompted the BJP government to put a lid on the probe into the alleged Rafale scam just the way the Congress government had suppressed the Bofors scandal?
Why did Chowdhury Lal Singh and Chandraprakash Ganga, two the then BJP ministers of Jammu and Kashmir, join a rally demanding that no punishment should be meted out to the eight persons accused of cruel gang-rape and murder of a minor girl belonging to the minority community in Kathua? Why had the Kathua court case been shifted to another state? Likewise the police of Unnao in Uttar Pradesh refused to register FIR of a rape victim in 2017. When her father went to the police station to lodge the complaint, he was arrested and then killed in custody. Thereafter, when the victim girl tried to commit suicide in front the residence of the chief minister in 2018, the state government was compelled to arrest the alleged rapist. Why was it so? Because the alleged rapist is a sitting MLA of the BJP. Recently, in a road accident, the aunt of the victim and her sister were killed while the victim girl and her advocate sustained grievous injuries. They are still fighting for their lives. Every circumstantial evidence shows that the accident was a staged one. In the face of countrywide condemnation and protest, the BJP has been compelled to suspend the accused MLA. No one knows what will be the final outcome. In the BJP rule from 2014 onwards, incidents of lynching have been a regular affair. Over 100 have been killed in fake encounters in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. A slew of incidents of rape, sexual assaults, trafficking and murders of minor girls have been reported from the shelter homes for distressed women in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar. In 2005, Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife were killed in fake encounter in Gujarat. Tulsiram Prajapati, who was the key witness to this fake encounter, was assassinated in 2006. The present BJP president was one of the key accused of these killings. Since he was repeatedly avoiding court appearance, Justice B H Loya issued a directive to him for being present in the court on 15 November of 2014. But on 1 December 2014, Justice Loya also died under mysterious circumstances. The family of Justice Loya claimed that his was a planned murder as he did not agree to a bribe proposal by the chief justice of the Mumbai High Court for manipulating the trial. There has been no investigation to all these. While forced to acquit all 22 accused in the alleged fake encounter killings of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, his wife Kausar and his associate Tulsi Prajapati due to lack of evidence, Justice SJ Sharma, said that “going by the evidence on record”, the court could not conclude otherwise. But he admitted that all three were killed and the prosecution had failed to put forth any “documentary and substantive evidence” to suggest or establish the alleged conspiracy. He also tendered apology to the families of those killed. Such an incident of a judge having conscience-pricking and seeking apology for having not been able to give justice is unprecedented. He could understand that the CBI diluted the prosecution to facilitate the acquittal. Similarly, Justice Jagdeep Singh, special CBI judge who tried Swami Aseemanand and his accomplices in the Samjhauta Express blast case, also held that the National Investigating Agency (NIA) failed to provide logical evidence which would have nailed the perpetrators of the crime. Judge Jagdeep Singh also spelt out that “there were gaping holes in the prosecution evidence and so an act of terrorism has remained unsolved”. These prove how the CBI and the NIA are being misused to suppress evidence for serving the ruling party. If this very BJP gets power in West Bengal, what would it offer?
Can that section of people of West Bengal who are mulling to support the BJP expect corruption-free, oppression-free, democratic rule from them? Already many of those accused of corruption in the books of the CBI and ED have joined the BJP. Is it for strengthening anti-corruption moves of the BJP or the other way? Assembly elections in the state are almost two years away. But already murderous clashes between the TMC and BJP have ensued. Is it that only the TMC is responsible for it and not the BJP? Will this BJP establish democratic rule and peace in the state? Already in this state, the religious minorities are forced to say, “Jai Shri Ram”. If anyone refuses, he or she is facing murderous assault. Is it an instance of honest preaching of religion or plain and simple hooliganism? If the BJP gets governmental power, such incidents would increase in number. As a reaction to this, if the Hindus in Bangladesh are compelled to say “Allah ho Akbar” and then assaulted for refusing to do so, what shall that be called? Preaching of religion or rowdyism?
Can people support RSS-BJP who opposed renaissance, freedom struggle and even real Hindu religion?
Have those who are running after the RSS-BJP ever thought that the same Hindutva brigade is making every effort to foster medieval religious blindness by destroying the glorious tradition of renaissance represented by Rammohan-Vidyasagar-Rabindranath-Saratchandra-Nazrul? Will they allow that?
Have those thinking to bring the BJP to power forgotten that the very RSS and Hindu Mahasabha (whose protégé is the BJP) had branded the freedom movement, its revered leaders and valiant martyrs like Deshbandhu Chittaranjan, Bipin Chanda Pal, Netaji Subhas, Kshudiram, Surya Sen and Bagha Jatin as ‘reactionary’ and ‘traitors’? And now the same RSS-BJP are conspiring to wipe out their glorious legacy by fomenting religious fanaticism. Would they like that to happen?
Have they cared to notice that the Hindutva of the RSS-BJP is totally opposed to the Hinduism propagated by Chaitanya, Ramkrishna and Vivekananda and this doctrine of Hindutva is invoked not for spreading religious thoughts but for grabbing political power?
What are people gaining by merely replacing one party by another in power through vote?
The people of West Bengal need to ponder over another serious point. Once they blindly supported the Congress and faced severe oppression and repression during their misrule. Then for teaching the Congress a lesson, they again blindly backed the CPI (M) to come to power. Thereafter being disgusted with the CPI (M) regime, they once again followed the same line of lending blind support to the TMC enabling it to ride to power. Now being aggrieved and enraged with the corrupt-coercive rule of the TMC, they are blindly turning to the BJP. Whom would they back once they are disillusioned with the BJP? Will this game of alternating between this or that vote-based power-seeking party continue? Is this periodic change of the incumbent party in power bringing any progress? Or it is accelerating the process of degeneration in every respect? Each time, this or that vote-bird is winning election by vending the dream of establishing a heavenly kingdom. But are the people winning on any count or pushed more and more to the precipice of utter ruination?
Capitalism is the main enemy and root of all evils
All these parties are hypocrites and deceivers. But please keep in mind even if you one day identify a correct and honest political party and vote them to power, they too would not be able to bring any fundamental change to this oppressive system. So long capitalism would exist, unemployment, retrenchment, price rise, death due to starvation and non-availability of medical treatment, rampant corruption, women and child trafficking, rape, murder and such other evils, crimes and aberrations would not only continue but increase. Today, capitalism has turned utterly reactionary and repressive. Its only objective is to earn maximum profit. To satiate this lust for maximization of profit, there is ruthless exploitation of labour. The purchasing power of the people is dipping continuously. Consequently, the demand is falling and capitalist market gets more and more squeezed in. As a result, industries are closing down and retrenchment is on a steep rise. No vacant post in both public and private sectors is filled up by fresh recruitment. Contractual and casual employment marked by meagre wage and maximum working hours is replacing regular employment. The employer has unfettered right to retrench workers and close down industries at will, but the right of the workers to protest or strike is being snatched away. In order to recklessly plunder the wealth of other countries, the imperialist sharks are attacking them, engineering wars against them, subverting their sovereignty, killing lakhs of people, making millions homeless and carrying out wanton destruction. The market crisis of imperialism-capitalism is so acute today that the US imperialists, the chieftain of world imperialism, who once brought in the scheme of globalization to grab global market, are now, after losing in competition, speaking against globalization. They have started a trade war with China, now a social-imperialist power after counter-revolution. This trade war is also a kind of warfare which is akin to the proverbial saying: ‘To subdue or weaken not by beating but by starving’. All imperialist-capitalist countries including India are enmeshed in this trade war. Imperialist-capitalist economy throughout the world is plagued by severe recession. As a result, shutters would be downed on lakhs and lakhs of industries throwing millions and millions of workers and employees out of job.
The greed for profit maximization of capitalism-imperialism is so severe that it does not care at all for human values, humane feelings or cause of human civilization. Just see for yourselves how the scientists are regularly warning about menacing rise in the emission of greenhouse gas because of excessive, reckless and unmitigated use of fossil fuel like coal, petrol and diesel in various industries leading to global warming. Consequently, melting of icebergs in the Antarctic areas is causing rise in the water level of the seas and posing immense threat to the lands. Even the ecological balance is awfully disturbed entailing harmful change in the climate and threatening the natural equilibrium. But the powerful imperialist-capitalist countries including USA, in the interest of profit maximization of the ruling monopolists and multi-nationals, are paying no heed to the warning of the scientists. They are only for augmenting their profit no matter whatsoever harm and damage are being caused to mankind. This capitalism-imperialism is the greatest enemy of mankind.
Please keep in mind that this very capitalism is ruling and oppressing post-independence India in place of the British imperialist rule and exploitation. Not only that. Indian capitalism after giving birth to monopoly and multi-nationals has now attained imperialist character. Not just to the countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America and Australia, Indian finance capital is exported to and invested in even USA and Europe to run industries or conduct business. Indian imperialism is trying to establish its dominance over the sub-continent, including the Indian ocean, by entering into military treaties with USA, Japan and Australia. For a long period the Congress has faithfully served the class interest of ruling Indian capitalism. Now the BJP is engaged in the same job. And what progress has been made by the country? 63 crores of Indians are either unemployed or grossly under-employed. More than 2 crores of workers have lost their job in the last two years. India ranks 103 out of 119 countries in Global Hunger Index. 62% Indians are extremely poor. 67% of Indians possess just 1% of the country’s wealth. 23 crores of Indians remain hungry every day. 7,000 Indians die every day either due to starvation or in absence of medical treatment. Every hour, 5 peasants or retrenched workers commit suicide. Over 3.5 lakh peasants have committed suicide in last few years. India ranks very high in child deaths, trafficking of women and children and ghastly crime like rape.
In a few days, Independence Day will be observed on 15 August with pomp and grandeur. Cores of rupees would be spent for that. There will be canon-firing in the morning, military parade, hoisting of national flag with much fanfare. The leaders and ministers will deliver speeches giving a colourful presentation of ‘how the country has been treading along the path of progress and development’. In the evening, the Presidential palace, Parliament and other government offices and secretariat buildings will dazzle with spectacular illumination. Luxurious dinners will be organized in the President’s residence, Governors’ residences and 5-star hotels. The ministers, leaders, industrial barons and big businessmen will enjoy those sumptuous dinners. And side by side, a dark spectacle would be vivid. Lakhs of footpath-dwellers including children who all belong to the human race will be found scavenging food from the wastes dumped in the dustbins. Many of these children do not know who are their parents, which village or town they belong to. There will thus be silent shedding of tears by thousands of hungry, destitute, helpless Indians. Lakhs of migrant labourers will be found to move from one place to another in a frantic search for job. Many retrenched workers would find solace in suicide. Groaning of mothers holding the lifeless bodies of their children who would die without any treatment will rent the air. Hundreds of poverty-stricken parents would sell their children just for a pittance. Thousands of women would be found to offer themselves as commodities of flesh trade in the streets, market-places, railway stations and bus stands. They have no other way to eke out a bare living for themselves and their families. Screams of thousands of rape and gang-rape victims would go unnoticed, uncared for. To those crores of Indians who think only death can give them relief from this unbearable life, 15 August is just like any other nightmarish day of escalating misery, penury, hunger and haplessness. Did the martyrs like Kshudiram who embraced the gallows with smile or the freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh, Surya Sen, Pritilata and Chandrasekhar Azad who being inspired by that sacrificed their life to herald the dawn their motherland would break the fetters of foreign imperialist rule, ever dream of such a horrific spectacle of independent India?
Could they ever think that falling victim to the sinister conspiracy of the ruling bourgeoisie and ruling parties, the students and youth of this country would one day be oblivious of the glorious memory of the esteemed renaissance personalities and brave freedom fighters of this country and plunge into the dungeon of gambling-liquor-drugs-blue films-sex perversion? Could they imagine that the progress of literature-science-cultivation of knowledge would be halted, human essence-human values-love-affection-tender feelings would all be dying out and social as well as family lives would be wrecked by menacingly growing self-centeredness and self-subservient mentality? Could they anticipate that the objective of life would be to anyhow earn money for finding pleasure in unethical livelihood and vulgar consumerism? Did they foresee an independent India where hundreds and hundreds of women starting from a child to an octogenarian would be raped, gang-raped and even killed by a bunch of intoxicated conscienceless beasts with a human physique? Could they think that even teachers and own fathers would feature in the list of the rapists? What kind of civilization is this? Such bestiality does not occur even in the animal world, let alone ancient human society. These rapists are worse than even the beasts. Not only in India, such things are happening more or less in every imperialist-capitalist country. Capitalism is destroying economy-politics-society-culture-cultivation of knowledge-ethics-morality—everything. So, as I said earlier, this decadent moribund capitalism is the biggest enemy of mankind today. Therefore, this unbearable calamitous life condition cannot be changed by keeping capitalism intact and alternating electoral choice between this or that party through pressing the button of the vote machine every 5 years. What is needed is anti-capitalist socialist revolution.
Soviet Socialism had shown the path to new civilization
When deep darkness had overwhelmed the imperialist-capitalist society during the initial years of the 20th century, a new sunrise was witnessed in Russia where socialist revolution was accomplished in 1917 by Lenin, the great Marxist leader. It marked the augury of a new civilization. This was hailed by luminaries like Romain Rolland, Bernard Shaw and Einstein of the West and leading lights of this country like Rabindranath-Saratchandra-Premchand-Nazrul-Jyotiprosad Agarwal-Subramania Bharati as well as the great martyrs and freedom fighters like Netaji Subhas, Bhagat Singh and other great personalities. According to Rabindranath, this socialist civilization free from all kinds of exploitation was the first to implement the lofty ideal of equality-fraternity-liberty as well as the rule of ‘by the people, of the people and for the people’. This ‘people’ means the working people, not the exploiting class. In the capitalist countries, the Constitutions were authored by a handful of bourgeois legal experts and intellectuals. On the other hand, the Constitution of socialist Soviet Union was finalized based on active participation and overt opinion of millions of the toiling masses. In the capitalist-imperialist countries, only the rich contest elections as candidates. But in socialist Russia, the contestants in most of the constituencies were either workers or peasants. Intellectuals and representatives of the Red Army contested only from a few constituencies. The elected candidates needed to furnish periodic reports of their work to the electorates. There was a ‘right to recall’, meaning that if the electorates were not happy with the work of any of the elected persons, they could recall him or her and replace by a new candidate through election. This right is not available in any imperialist-capitalist country. Whereas earning maximum profit for the capitalist owners is the motive of production in capitalism, the objective of production in Soviet socialism was to satisfy the growing material and cultural needs of the people. There was no unemployment or retrenchment in Soviet Russia. Everyone had a right to get a job. Whatever was earned from production, a portion of that was paid as wage to the workers after discussing with the factory committee trade unions. The other portion was received by the state as social wage. From this social wage, the state used to bear the cost of providing free healthcare and universal education to all, arranging training for sports and athletics, constructing and maintaining sanitoriums and health resorts on the seashores for all, setting up nursery and kindergarten schools for the children and looking after the old and physically challenged people. From the social wage, the socialist state provided free electricity, fuel, water and factory uniforms to the workers. The workers also received housing accommodation at nominal rent and food and necessary clothing at a very cheap rate. Apart from weekly holidays, the workers received leave for a fortnight every year with full pay to take rest in the health resorts. The women were granted maternity leave for one year and a half with full pay. Thereafter, they could keep their children in the crèches at state expenses and re-join duty. Working hour first was fixed at 8 hours a day. Later, it was reduced to 7 hours a day. Afterwards, Stalin, just before his death, proposed to bring it down further to 6 and then 5 hours a day. The state bore the expenses of establishing thousands of libraries, theatre halls and cinema halls, so that the workers could pursue cultivation of knowledge, be acquainted with the classic literature of the world and refresh themselves with cultural entertainments. The teachers, scientists, artists, doctors, lawyers and all others engaged in various professions did not have to go for any extra earning. The state arranged everything necessary for them. No one needed to pay anything for seeking justice in a court of law. The state used the balance fund in its kitty for scientific research and development, discovering new medicines and newer technologies to improve farming and industrial productions, defraying administrative expenses and strengthening the Red Army. It is pertinent to mention here that after achieving revolution, it was socialist Soviet Union which was first to propose total disarmament by all the countries so that the world could be freed from the holocaust of war and the entire money could be spent for people’s welfare. But the imperialist-capitalist powers did not agree to this proposal which compelled Soviet Union to develop military power with a view to resisting imperialist aggression and preserving world peace.
Russia, the most backward country in Europe, had thus, based on Marxism, emerged within a short period as the most developed state in the world. Poverty, starvation, death due to non-availability of medical treatment, unemployment, beggary, prostitution—everything was abolished in Soviet socialism. There was marked advancement in the fields of science, epistemology, art-literature and sports. Religious and nationality hatred were eradicated from the society. Soviet Union achieved the first position in Olympic games. Medical science was so developed that many new medicines were discovered. Russia was first to send a human cosmonaut to take a journey into outer space and thereby achieve a milestone in space technology. Twelve Russian scientists got Nobel Prize.
Soviet Russia was the centre of inspiration of all liberation movements and emancipation struggles round the world. It was vigilant watchdog of preservation of world peace. Socialist Soviet Union under the leadership of great Stalin discharged the prime role in saving the world from the aggression of the fascist axis of Germany-Italy-Japan during the Second World War. Starting from Romain Rolland and Rabindranath, most of the eminent personalities of that time reposed immense confidence on Soviet socialism. Before the Second World War, Bhagat Singh was highly inspired by the spectacular all-round advancement of Soviet socialism as the model of new civilization free from all exploitations and oppressions. So he declared himself as a Marxist and communist before being hanged by the British imperialists. In his felicitation meeting in Purulia, West Bengal, in 1939, Netaji Subhas had observed: “The countless currents and counter-currents in the present world system can be divided into two main forces — the imperialist forces and as their counter-current the surging forces of communism. So, the defeat of Hitlerism means the establishment of communism.”(Crossroads) After defeat of the fascist axis in the Second World War, he in his speech broadcast on Singapore radio in 1945 said: “If there is one man in Europe today who holds in his hands the destinies of the European nations for the next few decades, that man is Marshal Stalin.”Highly impressed by Soviet socialism, Rabindranath wrote in 1939: “notwithstanding many of its shortcomings, I was immensely happy and hopeful by seeing that hermitage of new era of humanity. I have not come across reason for such permanent joy and hope anywhere in the history of human beings. I know that Russia has established this new age on a magnificent revolution. This revolution is against the most cruel and powerful enemy of the people. This revolution is the atonement of many a sins of a long period. … New Russia is engaged in the cult of extracting a lethal spear called greed from the rib of human civilization. Automatically springs my wish that let their endeavour be successful.” 25
Reason behind sad dismantling of socialism
It is very painful that despite achieving so much of success, socialism created by the revolutionary working class in both Russia and China which hitherto were the centres of hope and confidence of oppressed mankind, was toppled following occurrence of counter-revolution through revisionist route which the world imperialist-capitalist camp and the defeated bourgeoisie in both the countries orchestrated by hatching a grave conspiracy very secretly. As a result, severe crisis and dark clouds of reaction have engulfed the world. But those conversant with the history of development of human civilization have no reason for despairing. Because, to achieve ultimate victory, every emerging ideology had to pass through a long period spanning over hundreds of years marked by continuation of defeat followed by victory, then again defeat, again victory and again defeat. Religion which was propagated as the gospel of god had also faced that. This was equally true for Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. Though Buddhism is claimed as a religion, Buddha himself was an atheist. Under the influence of Buddhism, the Vedic Hinduism had to face defeat and was cornered for several hundred years. Worship of various deities, animal sacrifice and dominance of the Brahmins had almost come to a naught. But then again, Shankaracharya with his newly-fangled doctrine of Advaita Vedanta defeated Buddhism and re-established Hinduism. If we count from the advent of Western renaissance to the final victory of the anti-feudal bourgeois democratic revolution for establishing parliamentary democracy in Europe, the span would be of over 350 years. Based on this yardstick, 60/70 years of socialism is nothing. Moreover, neither the movements for establishing religion nor the bourgeois democratic revolution was any struggle to end exploitation of man by man. These were all movements of replacing one exploitative system by another. Slave-master society was replaced by feudalism which was subsequently overthrown and bourgeois democracy was established. Whereas the struggle for establishing socialism has been for abolishing the class exploitation continuing for thousands of years. I had said these words in earlier meetings also because many people are suffering from frustration after sad dismantling of socialism. They think that socialist revolution is not to happen again. Even if it is accomplished, socialism would not last long. This thought is not in accordance with the teachings of history and social science. Out of the social necessity to emancipate humanity from the yoke of exploitation, the oppressed people will rise up again. Revolutionary party and leadership will grow again and anti-capitalist socialist revolutions will be accomplished in various countries. Otherwise, what is the future of the mankind? In capitalism, the horrific all-embracing crisis will continue and intensify to wreak havoc in people’s life.
Exemplary struggle of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, the great leader of the proletariat
In order to accomplish this socialist revolution in India, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh took initiative to build up a genuine Marxist revolutionary party on the soil and founded the SUCI (C) in 1948. Like innumerable flowering students and youth of British India, he was also inspired by the ideal of the renaissance stalwarts and the revolutionaries and joined the uncompromising revolutionary current of the freedom movement. Remaining unwavering in the pursuit of his revolutionary mission despite having witnessed tears rolling down the eyes of his parents, he, then a vibrant teenager from a poor lower middle class family, was totally involved with the revolutionary movement right from his school days. He was very brave, firm in determination and steadfastly committed to his ideal. He drew lessons from the life and struggle of all great men of human history and all great freedom fighters of this country. Driven by his quest for truth and cultivation of knowledge, he was attracted by the ideology of Marxism-Leninism, the highest revolutionary ideology of the era and completely engaged himself with utmost dedication in an arduous all-encompassing life struggle to acquire Marxist outlook, Marxist methodology of analysis, Marxist way of life and its code of conduct, culture, ethics and morality. Alongside, he began to familiarise himself with Marxist explanations of various world phenomena, issues and events. When in jail for taking part in the mass uprising of August 1942, known in history as ‘Quit India’ movement, he could realize what a tragic culmination of the glorious freedom struggle was in the offing once political independence was achieved by transfer of power through compromise. He could also detect that despite being honest and having made lot of sacrifices, the leaders of the undivided CPI failed to grasp the essence of Marxism. So they failed to acquire Marxist outlook, could not get to know the correct process of building a genuine communist party and failed to determine the correct stage and strategy of Indian revolution. In a word, they could not apply the creative science of Marxism concretely in the concrete situation of India as great Lenin and Mao Zedong could do in their respective countries. So undivided CPI developed as a petty-bourgeois party and not a revolutionary party right from its inception. As you know, there were two distinct trends, compromising and uncompromising in the freedom movement led by Gandhiji and Netaji Subhas respectively. There was severe contradiction between these two lines. Great Stalin in his colonial thesis in 1925 provided clear guideline as to what should be the strategy to be adopted by the true communists in British India. He advised the communists of India to unite with the uncompromising petty bourgeois revolutionary trend and oppose the compromising line of the national bourgeoisie. But the undivided CPI leaders did not honour the guideline and repeatedly supported Gandhiji instead of Netaji. They also opposed the August uprising of 1942 as well as the magnificent fight of Indian National Army (INA) against British imperialism under the leadership of Netaji Subhas and supported partition of the country based on religion. In absence of a correct proletarian revolutionary party and due to blunders committed by the leaders of undivided CPI, though thousands of blooming students and youths belonging to common middle class families and working people gave away their life in the freedom movement, made immense sacrifices and bore inhuman torture in jail, the national bourgeoisie comprising Tata-Birla- Ambani-Adani-Mittal-Jindal whose family members did not do anything or suffered in any way during the days country in ferment against British imperialist rule, could usurp power.
So, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh took upon himself the historic task of building up a genuine Marxist party in the country based on Leninist model. He was firm in his resolve. No one knew him at that time. He began his journey with only six revolutionary compatriots. His comrades-in-arm were also unknown. They had no money, no food, no shelter. There was no office room. Days after days they starved, slept on footpath, railway platforms and parks. At that time, not only undivided CPI, even the RSP, Forward Bloc and RCPI were also very big parties. How difficult it was to build up the Party in such an adverse situation! But he went ahead unwaveringly based on his revolutionary conviction about the invincibility of Marxism-Leninism. Many had taunted him. They had taunted that if the SUCI(C) was to be recognized as a party, then the bats were to be considered as birds. They also ridiculed by saying that the SUCI(C) was not a party but a club. At one point, CPI enjoyed recognition of both Stalin and Mao Zedong. They scoffed at Comrade Shibdas Ghosh by asking if he considered himself above Stalin and Mao Zedong. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh calmly replied: ‘Both these great Marxist authorities are my teachers. But you have not developed your party following their teachings. I have assimilated the essence of their teachings and building up the SUCI(C) by correctly applying the same. They are wrongly supporting you because they are not fully conversant with the prevailing situation in India. We are following Marxism correctly. ’With a noble dream and firm resolve, he waded through all adversities and hostilities, surmounted all obstacles. You cannot imagine how tough was the situation. While talking to him, a section of the people argued: ‘This country is so vast. There are so many big parties, so many well-known leaders are there, whereas you are unknown, having no supporter base, no money, no publicity. So you would not be able to do anything. Only your political career would be spoiled.’ He replied: ‘I shall die fighting. I shall go fighting till death. I shall go on struggling for establishing the truth I have acquired. I shall not be able to sell my conscience by bending before falsehood.’ This was how this Party had been developed. A few like me and Comrade Manik Mukherjee who witnessed a bit that hard and historic struggle are still alive. Political classes conducted by him had attendance of 20 to 25 persons including us. Around 100 to 150 people assembled to listen to Comrade Ghosh’s mass meeting at Hazra Park in South Kolkata. That much attendance made us believe that the meeting was successful. Who am I? Just a student of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. Whatever little worth, merit, competence or qualities you find in me and may also have respect for those are all learnt from him. We were inspired, reared and steered by his teachings. So this day of 5 August is soaked in tears. I was present on his bedside before he breathed his last. During the last hours, he only looked at us. His silent look conveyed to us his expectation that we would continue to hold aloft the banner of revolution and fulfil his dream. (Here the voice of Comrade Provash Ghosh was choked in emotion. He paused a bit and then resumed his speech.) We are continuing that struggle, striving utmost to discharge our revolutionary obligation and honour the commitment we made to our great leader, teacher and guide. Our Party is making bold strides ahead.
Today, there are several thousands of our Party workers and a few lakhs of supporters in various states of the country. Our Party organization has spread to 23 states. What is the source of our strength? The source is the noble ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh taught us to win over people by revolutionary ideology, logic and truth. He taught us to win over people by love and emotion, by our character and culture, by our modest behaviour and utmost dedication. He wanted us to courageously rise in protest against any injustice, oppression and repression. Ours is not an election-oriented Party. We do not scramble for seats or power. Our Party is committed to develop class and mass struggles on burning problems of people’s life based on higher proletarian culture and morality. This was the teaching of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh and we are moving ahead with his teachings. I can also tell you another thing. It is true that there has been sad dismantling of socialism in Russia, China and East European countries and a setback of international communist movement. It is indeed painful. Many powerful communist parties of the world who blindly followed either Russian or Chinese leaderships have been in total disarray, utterly confused, considerably weakened or split in several factions. But Comrade Shibdas Ghosh never blindly followed Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin-Mao Zedong. He assimilated their teachings and analysed everything by correctly applying Marxian science of dialectical co-relation. He had profoundly respected Stalin and Mao Zedong as his teachers. But at the same time, without deviating an inch form that high respect, he also pointed out a few mistakes of theirs.
Since our Party has grown based on correct application of Marxism-Leninism, we are not affected by this sad and temporary collapse of socialism like many other parties of world communist movement. We are pained but not frustrated. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had prepared us for such an eventuality. I can proudly claim that based on Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought, our Party has created an example in this regard.
We can also proudly claim that despite immensely unfavourable national and international situations, we are firmly holding aloft the noble banner of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism based on the teachings and guidance of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. We know that there are only two choices. Either one has to allow continuation with capitalism-imperialism-fascism and thereby exacerbate the growing misery, penury and gloom in the life of the oppressed masses or one has to struggle for overthrowing capitalism by accomplishing socialist revolution and thereby save human civilization and take it forward.
Strengthen SUCI(C), the revolutionary party of the proletariat
It ought to be borne in mind that the society is class divided. The division is between the few rich and multitudes of poor, the capitalist owners and the workers, the oppressor and the oppressed. Politics too is class-divided. All ruling parties, no matter what their hues, colours of their flags and slogans are, have been working to serve the class interest of ruling capitalism and thereby perpetuating the growing oppression, repression and deprivation. Only our Party is carrying the banner of revolutionary politics for achieving anti-capitalist socialist revolution.
So, common people need to understand politics. They must understand the class character of each party. Being carried by the media propaganda or confused by the fake promises of the power-greedy leaders or falling victims to heinous capitalist conspiracy of precipitating casteist-communal-ethnic-chauvinist divides, they have anointed this or that party to power from time to time. What have they got? Nothing but deception. Would the people allow such state of affairs to continue? So please take the pain to understand politics. Take initiative yourselves to build up public committees in various towns, villages, localities, factories, slum areas and other institutions to unitedly protest against any injustice or oppression. Do not beg the power-monger leaders for any remedy to your problems. Stand firmly with your self-respect and courageously fight for realizing the legitimate demands of your life with cemented solidarity among yourselves. Cultivate politics. It will be pointless to lament by saying that ‘all parties are the same, all are deceivers’. Please find out the cause of your being repeatedly deceived. Get to know the politics and class character of every party. For that, what is necessary is correct outlook and understanding which only Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought can provide. And what is needed more is higher character, moral strength and human values. So we need to first draw due lessons from the doyens of Indian renaissance and the life and struggle of the revolutionaries and martyrs of Indian freedom movement. Then we need to step higher to acquire higher proletarian culture. By struggling in this way, we should move forward step by step towards preparation for bringing about anti-capitalist socialist revolution. Strengthen the SUCI(C), the genuine communist party on the soil. Think once more—would you rally behind the big parties and the representatives of the enemy who are causing immense harm to you and ruining you in every way or would you stand by a relatively smaller party which has not sold itself for securing votes and seats of power and instead is relentlessly fighting in your interest, in the interest of the poor hapless people and moving with a revolutionary ideology, principle, character and culture? The future of the country lies on answering this question rightly. With this, I conclude today.
Red Salute to the great leader Comrade Shibdas Ghosh!
Source of Quotations:
- Letter to Lord Amherst on 11.12. 1823. Letters of Raja Rammohan
- Collected works of Vidyasagar
- Charitraheen and PatherDabi novels
- Col. Works of Vivekananda
- Bunch of Thoughts
- We or our nationhood defined
- We or our nationhood defined
- Speech at Jhargram, West Bengal in May 1940 published in the Ananda Bazar Patrika on 14-05-1940
- Col. Works of Subhaschandra Vol. II
- Kalantar, Hindu-Muslim
- Sarat Rachanabali
- Political life of Saratchandra—Sachhidananda Chatterjee
- Complete Works of Vivekananda Vol IV
20.. Chicago speech 1893
- Gospels and Works of Vivekananda
- Inspiring Lives of Sri Ramakrishna, Sarada Devi and Swami Vivekananda
- Discussions with Vivekananda, Udbhodan Publication, Vol. IX
- UF Politics and Party Work, SW Vol. III
- Letter to Amiya Chakraborty
NEWS & VIEWS
JPA extended full support to ordnance factory workers’ strike
Comrade Achintya Singha, President, Joint Platform of Action, in a statement issued on 21 August extended full support to the ongoing nationwide strike of Ordnance Factory Workers against Government’s decision to corporatize 41 (forty one) defence production factories and called for solidarity actions of Government Employees to strengthen Ordnance Factory Workers’ resistance struggle against corporatization/privatization
Media say so
Thousands defy crackdown in Moscow’s biggest protest for years
Tens of thousands of Russians staged what a monitoring group called the country’s biggest political protest for eight years on Saturday, defying a crackdown to demand free elections to Moscow’s city legislature. A month of demonstrations over elections for the Moscow city legislature have turned into the biggest sustained protest movement in imperialist Russia since 2011-2013, when protesters took to the streets against perceived electoral fraud. Crowds at the rally in Moscow roared “Down with the tsar!” They are demanding that opposition-minded candidates be permitted to run in a city election next month after they were not allowed onto the ballot. Russian President Putin and his government have so far avoided commenting on the unrest over the Moscow city elections. (Reuters 10-08-19)
Civilian victim of Article 370 abrogation
“The Modi government’s decision to nullify Article 370 and divide Jammu & Kashmir into two Union territories has claimed its first civilian victim—a 17-year-old boy named Osaib Altaf, from Srinagar’s Palpora area. Separately, a visit to Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital, and interviews with hospital authorities, revealed 13 additional cases of pellet injuries. At least some of these pellet injuries were to the eyes of these victims. Altaf’s family told HuffPost India that he was among a group of boys who were near a playground in their locality, when they were chased away by Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, on the afternoon of Monday August 5 2019.’ (Huffington Post 07-08-19)
Union Minister accused of raping married woman
Assam Police have registered a case against Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain for allegedly raping and threatening a 24-year-old married woman in Nagaon district. (PTI and The New Indian Express 11-08-19)
98% of Tax Arrears forfeited
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said it was difficult to recover around 98% of the Rs 11 lakh crore tax arrears as in many cases, the entities against whom these demands were pending had no assets remaining and in several other cases, the assesses were not traceable. The CAG report on review of direct tax arrears, tabled in Parliament recently, said long pendency of tax demands and failure of the tax department to recover them resulted in arrears almost doubling in the four years from Rs 5.8 lakh crore in 2013-14 to Rs 11.1 lakh crore in 2017-18. Of the Rs 11 lakh crore dues, more than Rs 10.9 lakh crore was difficult to recover due to various reasons, the CAG said. (Times of India-07-08-19)
More Mallyas in BJP fold
C.M. Ramesh and Y.S. Chowdary, two of the four Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MPs— both of whom are also industrialists — are under the scanner of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Income Tax department have defected to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Incidentally, last year, BJP MP and spokesperson G.V.L. Narasimha Rao had called both Chowdary and Ramesh as “Andhra Mallyas”—an allusion to fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya —and had written to the Rajya Sabha Ethics Committee for initiating “suitable action” against them. (The Print and Indian Express-21-06-19)