This is the text of the speech delivered by Comrade Provash Ghosh, General Secretary, SUCI(C), at the memorial meeting of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, great leader of the proletariat, organized by the West Bengal state committee of the Party at Rani Rashmoni Avenue in Kolkata on 5 August, 2016. Tens of thousands of people present at the meeting patiently listened in rapt attention ignoring the incessant and torrential rain.
Comrade President, Comrades and Friends,
Those of us who have been raised and nurtured in the midst of caring affection of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh come face to face with our conscience with a question on this very day. How much have we been able to apply whatever little we have been able to learn from him? In order to develop us as true revolutionaries, this great leader had exhausted himself little by little and breathed his last prematurely at an age of 53 only. Question that arises in our mind is how far have we been discharging our role in implementing his teachings both in the sphere of our life struggle as well as in developing the struggle for emancipation of our countrymen? Another thing also surprises many. His name and teachings never appear in the media. Our Party is neither in governmental power nor does it have any MLA or MP which indicates strength of a party, according to general perception, Then what is that magical power with which this great leader has empowered us so much that our Party is expanding fast in every nook and corner of the country? Party organization is now spread in 22 states. Even in other countries, the teachings of this great leader, ‘Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought’, the noblest ideology of the era, are inspiring and imbuing the revolutionaries. Spurred on by the attraction and appeal of that invaluable teaching, you have assembled in this huge gathering and have been listening with so much of emotion and profound respect ignoring such a bad weather and torrential rain. I shall say a few words based on that invaluable teaching.
At the outset, I recall what this great leader said with great pain in a speech way back in 1967 and what is proved to be so tragically true today. He said: “We have become rootless today. We are failing to maintain continuity with the high cultural standard attained during the days of our freedom movement. Lofty phrases we are culling from the outside world no doubt, but we have lost the link with the high cultural tune that had once developed on our own soil…. the high moral, ethical, cultural and aesthetic standard of political and literary cultural movement that was once attained in our country, has fallen down. As a result, we have become rootless. So, we talk big, but do not cultivate noble emotions and delicate feelings.”1
We are to move forward deriving lessons from the life of great men of earlier times like Vidyasagar
I would like to remind you in this connection that the 29th day of July is a historic memorial day that has just passed by. 125 years back, on this very day the great humanist Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar breathed his last. But how many people are remembering him today? How many in this country have observed that memorial day? How many in the various schools, colleges, houses, villages and urban areas of Bengal know his name today? How many in the various parts of this country are aware of his name? We have indeed become rootless today. We have lost our connection with the past. This is a painful truth. But, had a great thinker like Vidyasagar not been there, there would have been no renaissance, no freedom movement and no advancement of education in the truest sense of the term in India. Had Vidyasagar not been there, we would not have got Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh used to say that Vidyasagar was the greatest personality in the glorious period starting from the advent of Indian renaissance to the days of freedom movement. His was a pure character, a noble soul. He was the pioneer of secular humanist thought in this country. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh in his early teens began his journey as a student of all great thinkers, all great revolutionary fighters, all martyrs starting from Rammohan, Vidya-sagar Vivekananda, Rabindranath, Saratchandra, Nazrul, Deshbandhu Chittaranjan, Kshudiram, Subhas-chandra, Bhagat Singh, Ashfaqulla, Surya Sen and Pritilata. He drew lesson from the life struggle of all great men of all periods including the religious preachers. He also taught us to take similar lessons from all of them. Again when he came across and embraced Marxism, the highest ideology of the era, and began his revolutionary struggle as a worthy student of Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin-Mao Zedong, he in course of that struggle further enriched and developed the science of Marxism. We call this enriched and developed understanding of Marxism-Leninism as Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh taught us that we must move ahead drawing appropriate lessons from the life struggle of all great men of yester years. So, as Vidyasagar has been virtually sunk into oblivion today, I would like to say a few words about him for my own education as well as for education of all of you.
It is Comrade Shibdas Ghosh who got us acquainted with the greatness of Vidyasagar. As you are aware, right from Rabindranath, Vivekananda, Deshbandhu, Saratchandra to Subhaschandra, Bal GagadharTilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, scientists like Jagadish Chandra Bose and Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy, poet Nazrul as well as all freedom fighters and martyrs bowed their heads before him in respect. Ramakrishna knew that Vidyasagar was a non-believer in god and religious rituals. Yet Ramakrishna had gone to Vidyasagar’s house to pay respect to him. Ramakrishna invited Vidyasagar to visit his Kali Temple in Dakshineswar. Vidyasagar did not go because he did not believe in temple or religious offerings. Rabindranath had said: “If people of this land acknowledge that I have done something in the field of literature, then I must admit the door of that literature was opened by Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar… He was the first real architect of modern Bengali language.”2 Rabindranath also said: “I learnt meter, cadence and a sweet transition from one note to another from the poetic verses like “Jal pare, pata nare”(rain falls, leaves flutter) authored by this first epic poet.”3 He further said: “The people of our country in a way could not but pay their respect to him; however by projecting the fame of his kindness and charity, they try to hide the noble aspect of Vidyasagar’s character by virtue of which he dauntlessly attacked the fortress of customs and traditions in our country. In other words, this is the greatest credential of Vidyasagar which is attempted to be hidden by his countrymen by raising a screen” Rabindranath says “Neither compassion, nor learning, but the crowning glory of Ishwarchandra Vidyasagr’s character was his invincible manhood and imperishable humanness”.4 This was the glowing tribute to him by Rabindranath. Throughout his life, Saratchandra reflected Vidyasagar’s ideals and struggle in his extraordinary literary creations. He himself mentioned this. How many of you are aware of this Vidyasagar? This is what has happened to the country in the name of development. Almost 200 years back, he came down to Kolkata on foot from his ancient village in Midnapore district covering a distance of around 150 km. At that time, there was no transport system like today. Following the footsteps of Rammohan, he lighted the torch of knowledge in Kolkata. In his early life, he studied Sanskrit and became a scholar of old Shastras (scriptures). At an age of 22, he first started learning English and soon became enlightened about western civilization and Renaissance. At that time, a fight had been waged throughout Europe against religion and religious ideas. A tide of humanist movement free from religion or what we call secular humanist movement was sweeping across there. Movements for establishing democracy, democratic rights and attaining individual freedom were in full swing. Vidyasagar was attracted by the illumining thoughts of renaissance and secular humanism. Ishwarchandra who received the title of ‘Vidyasagar’ (Ocean of knowledge) and ‘Pundit’ by becoming scholar of ancient shastras informed the British rulers of India that “For certain reasons…we are obliged to continue the teachings of the Sankhyaand Vedanta in the Sanskrit College. The Vedanta and Sankhya are false systems of Philosophy, is no more a matter of dispute…While teaching them in the Sanskrit course, we should oppose them by sound philosophy in the English course to counteract their influence… Wherever the light of European knowledge has been reaching out and to whatever extent, influence of the teachings of shastras has been declining to that extent…We want teachers who know both the Bengali and the English languages and at the same time are free from religious prejudices.”5 The text books that Vidyasagar wrote have no mention of god, incarnation theory or supernatural incidents. Rather, his mission was to free people from the influence of all these. But now, ironically, the ruling bourgeois class is emphasizing on providing religious education. Despite knowing such secular humanist viewpoints of Vidyasagar, Ramakrishna had conveyed his respect to Vidyasagar. Vivekananda had said that he had two ideal characters before him—Ramakrishna and Vidyasagar. Why? Because of the magnificent uncompromising life struggle of Vidyasagar. In order to spread the light of knowledge, Vidyasagar had travelled miles after miles on foot to collect donations for establishing large number of schools. He had even borrowed money to set up schools. His purpose was not that the students after graduation and post-graduation or becoming doctors or engineers would take up lucrative jobs and amass wealth. He wanted that the students become men worth the name and stand firmly with higher human qualities and essence. Vidyasagar had set a very high example of self-dignity. Many of you may know that, but it is also possible that some of you are not aware of this. At that time, he was principal of Sanskrit College. An Englishman named Karr was the principal of Hindu College. Vidyasagar once went to see him. Karr welcomed him with his booted feet on the table. Later, Karr came to Sanskrit College. Vidyasagar in reciprocation greeted him with his feet in sandals on the table. Karr complained to the governor. Vidyasagar said: I thought we are uncivilized and the Englishmen are civilized. So, we need to learn from the English people how to behave in a civilized way. I have only behaved in the way that I learnt from Karr. This was Vidyasagar.
Vidyasagar had repeated differences of opinion with the authorities. Because of those differences, he quit the job of Sanskrit College. At that time, he was having huge debts. Naturally, some well wishers asked him how he would earn his livelihood. Vidyasagar said: “I would start selling potatoes and vegetables or open a grocery shop. If necessary, I shall eat only once a day and that too just rice and salt. But I will not accept a job where there is no honour.” He set up such a high standard of self-dignity in those days. How many persons today can dare to do this? There was a list of those who could visit the deputy governor without any obstruction. Vidyasagar’s name featured in that list. Vidyasagar asked the authorities to delete his name. “I shall not go to a place where entry is forbidden to common people”, said he. He had given many valuable moral educations in his book “Kathamala” (Garland of tales) through stories and tales. Those lessons were not only relevant in the then time but are more necessary in the present days when enslavement to greed and hankering for personal gains is the order of the day. One of the tales is about a dog and a tiger. The chained dog receives lots of food in his master’s house. On the other hand, a tiger was in emaciated condition because of starvation. The dog advised the tiger to embrace the lucrative chained life. In reply, the tiger said, “It is thousand times better to suffer from hunger while enjoying freedom than to avail oneself of a feast fit for a king while in abject subjugation.” Just think, how many of the educated intellectuals can think in this manner today, let alone the illiterate and destitute of food. Such was Vidyasagar. He was once sitting in a rich man’s house. There was a hand-pulled fan in that room. Many well- known people were also present there. One gatekeeper brought a letter. He was profusely sweating. Vidyasagar asked him to sit by his side. He hesitated out of shame. Vidyasagar forced him to sit. After some time, he left. Visibly enraged, others present there told him that by asking that gatekeeper to sit beside him, he had insulted them. Vidyasagar asked them, “According to which school of thought should I answer you? If I am to answer according to the thinking you subscribe to, he is a Maithili Brahmin. Your forefathers used to touch their feet. And as of my opinion, we all earn a salary of Rs 400 to 500. And his salary is only Rs5. Once my father also held a job in Kolkata where his salary was Rs 5.” This was Vidyasagar. Indian National Congress was formed at the fag-end of his life. Observing the gestures and postures of the organizers, he severely criticized them by saying: ‘These gentlemen are giving speeches and talking of the country’s deliverance, but they have no idea that millions are dying of starvation in the country.’ When representatives of the Congress invited him to one of their meetings, he asked them, “Would you, if required, rise up against the English rulers with sword in hand?” When they could not give any answer, he said, “Then you better proceed without me.” With what great a foresight he could identify the compromising force even at that point time. Subsequent history has been witness to that.
During the last phase of his life, he was once again advised to go to Karmatar (village of Burdwan district) for recovery of health. He refused to go. He said: ‘Earlier, the local Santhal people there used to have one seer of rice, half seer of pulses and potato. Now they cannot manage to have even one sixteenth of a seer of sattu. Most of them are starving. How can I go there and have good staple diet? This is not possible for me.’ He shed tears and did not go. After a few days, he passed away. He once said with great pain, “How many have seen the unbearable suffering of the impoverished? How many have felt the writhing pain, the agony in their hearts?” 6 Such was his character. You know that Vidyasagar had disinherited his only son because his son had dishonoured his wife. Vidyasagar distributed whatever property he had among 45 destitute families. The last will and testament of Vidyasagar is still remarkable. He donated his property to various charitable dispensaries and schools, many widow mothers and widow girls, many old people and such others who needed help. You will be stunned to hear one incident. Bidhumukhi Chowdhury, one lady doctor made an appeal in Ananda Bazar Patrika on 19 April, 1925. She said, “Vidyasagar’s second daughter came to me for financial help, because, she has no one to look after her. I heard from her that Vidyasagar’s youngest daughter is in Kashi and earns her livelihood by working as a maid. But there has not been a single person in this country who had not received direct or indirect help from Vidyasagar.” 7This was how that lady doctor made an appeal for financial help for Vidyasagar’s daughters. Today, I am not entering into the discussion on how Vidyasagar built up movements for widow marriage, for preventing child marriage etc.
What is the yardstick of measuring a country’s development and greatness?
Whenever saddled in power, our national leaders, state level leaders boastfully declare that the country is having tremendous growth. Is this the sign of that development? Why this noble son of the soil was not remembered on 29 July? What is meant by development? Even if I presume for argument’s sake that the country is making fabulous economic progress, is that creating men worth the name? Is that giving birth to great characters? Who is truly a man of honour? Is it he who has lots of money or property or it is he who possesses higher character and human qualities? Which should be the yardstick of measurement? How should one determine advancement or even progress of a country? Is it not that the criterion should be the standard of character, human quality and ethical-moral base, the people of that country reflect?
Just after five days would arrive 11th August. When we were kids, the mothers of not only Bengal but entire India used to sing the song “Ekbar biday they ma ghure ashi” (“Mother, bid me adieu once so that I can go”) with tears rolling down their cheeks. This is a legendary song written and set to tune on martyr Kshudiram by an unknown lyricist and composer. Netaji Subhaschandra began his journey being imbued by the martyrdom of Kshudiram. Subhaschandra was then a student of lower class in Ravenshaw School in Cuttack. Being inspired by his teacher Beni Madhav Das, Subhaschandra, at that tender age had observed 11th August by undertaking a fast and abstaining from cooking. Kshudiram, an 18 year old student roused the whole country. He was found smiling when the Judge was reading out his death sentence. He smiled even when he stepped on the gallows. It is from these incidents that the song referred to above contained the line, “The whole of India would see that I embrace the gallows with a smile”. Many of you may not know that a fellow prisoner asked Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh the day he was to be hanged why none of his relatives had come to see him. In fact, Bhagat Singh’s relatives were not informed that he would be hanged on that day. His hanging was scheduled on 24th March, but it was advanced to 23rd March at Gandhiji’s request. As his relatives had no information about this revised date, they could not turn up. Bhagat Singh said to that fellow prisoner: ‘My relatives are martyr Kshudiram, martyr Kartar Singh Sarabha’. Kartar Singh Sarabha was another immortal martyr from Punjab. Bhagat Singh stated:‘My bloodline belongs to the martyr Khudiram Bose and the martyr Kartar Singh Sarabha. Our blood is alike, it has appeared from the same origin and will return there.’ Today, it is claimed that the country has made immense progress. But how many of the countrymen remember these great men? Who remembers Subhaschandra or Deshbandhu C R Das, Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai? Even how many truly remember Rabindranath? Rabindranath is alive only in his songs; that too songs on love, nature and hymns. How many are aware that in his speech on his last birthday which was published under the title “Crisis of Civilization”, Rabindranath had said, “…There came a time when perforce I had to snatch myself away from the mere appreciation of literature. As I emerged into the stark light of bare facts, the sight of the dire poverty of the Indian masses rent my heart. …I had at one time believed that the springs of civilization would issue out of the heart of Europe. But today …that faith has gone bankrupt altogether.”8 During the entire period of freedom movement, Rabindranath wanted that the movement be peaceful. In this sense, he was a follower of Gandhiji. But it was he who wrote during the last years of his life:
“Vipers are breathing poison
Voice of peace, tender, will
sound a jesting whisper.
Before I’ll take leave
I call out to all,
who, to take to
fighting the monster,
are readying themselves
in every home.”9
During the last days of his life, Rabindranath’s thinking was undergoing a change. Greeting Soviet Socialism, he said, “…I found efforts for bringing about that change in civilization in Russia. …Witnessing the new face of humanity in that hallowed land, its many shortcomings notwithstanding, I was elated and optimistic. … The new Russia is striving to uproot a huge deadly shell from the heart of human civilization and that is what is called greed. The yearning that springs up by itself: May their sincere endeavour find success!” 10Do the admirers of Rabindranath today know this side of his? Do they recall that? Who knows Saratchandra? Saratchandra’s novel ‘Pather Dabi’ (Demand of the road) once stirred up entire India. In that novel, he showed what the road to revolution demanded. Being frightened, the British imperialist rulers proscribed that book. But people of the entire country used to read that book secretly and drew inspiration from that. In that book, he gave a call for working class revolution. In the novel ‘Srikanta’, Saratchandra showed that the workers who were digging the ground for laying railway track were addicted to drinking and vulgar entertainment—something which you see today in many homes and localities. Saratchandra had seen the beginning of dehumanization of the working class in the capitalist civilization during that very period. In ‘Srikanta’, there is a description of a coolie line. One child was dying of cholera. There was no one to give him even a drop of water. He wrote that when these coolies and their families were living in villages, such situation had never occurred. The neighbours had always extended a helping hand in times of difficulty or calamity. That mind of theirs is no more. He said, ‘Under the pretext of advancement of civilization, the greed of the rich for wealth has turned human beings into heartless creatures.’ This is how he denounced capitalist civilization. Then he said, ‘I am not pained at the death of a human being. I know that a man who is born would die one day. I am pained at the death of human essence and values.’ He exhorted upon the workers that if they are to carry on their shoulder the civilization that has brought them to the path of ruination, let them carry that civilization to its doom. Such were the words and exhortations that once stirred the youth of Bengal as well as the entire country. The immortal martyrs like Surya Sen- Pritilata- Benoy-Badal-Dinesh were initiated into the revolutionary path by reading these novels. Who remembers them today? Why are they not remembered? Is this oblivion of the venerated characters of yester years the hallmark of development? Is this the sign of progress? Why is there a sinister move to wipe out the memory of these great men? The answer has been provided by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. He said, “The ruling class in India is engaged in a conspiracy to totally destroy that very moral character of the nation. They are shrewd to the bone; they know that even by extreme oppression and repression, and by keeping starved, a nation or people cannot for long be kept under the boot by police and military alone. The history of oppression and tyranny of the despotic rulers of all ages tells but one thing — that no amount of brutal and coercive forces of the police and the military can ultimately defend the rule of injustice, or put down the organized power of the people. People’s power asserts itself and stands up if the masses can keep their moral strength intact and find the correct revolutionary ideology.” 11This was what Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had said. Have a look at the pathetic situation of our country today and see for yourself how correct the forewarning of Comrade Ghosh was.
Rulers want to break the moral backbone of youth
Of late, there is a commotion in this state of West Bengal centering round the death of a teen- age boy. School children from middle class families were celebrating birthday by organizing liquor party. There is a galloping rise in liquor consumption in schools and colleges, clubs and even on the open streets. Irony is that once freedom movement started in this country with boycott of all kinds of intoxicating products. And now the government is asking to increase the number of liquor shops. The central government wants increase in liquor consumption. When the CPI (M) was in power, they encouraged mushrooming of liquor outlets. Now, the TMC government is further increasing the number of liquor shops on the pretext of augmenting government revenue from tax on liquor. To many of the school and college students, drinking liquor has become almost akin to drinking water. The aim of the ruling class, its governments and vested interest is to encourage consumption of liquor, hemp-smoking, drug intake and all other means of intoxications. Let Vidyasagar, Vivekananda, Rabindranath, Saratchandra, Premchand, Bharati, Nazrul, Deshbandhu, Subhaschandra, Bhagat Singh be forgotten. In our childhood days, our teachers and guardians familiarized us with the names of these venerated personalities and told us that they were worth remembering at daybreak. It is in this way that we were attracted towards greatness right from the early days of our life. Otherwise we would have not been able to recognize the worth of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. Today, the rulers are wiping out the glorious tradition of our renaissance and freedom movement; consigning the memories of the great characters of that time to the abyss of oblivion. Now the film stars and sports stars are projected as idols. There is wide media coverage of the indecent life and love stories of the glamorous cine-stars as well as palatable tales about the sports persons. Obscene films even blue films are exhibited in cinema halls as well as telecast. Even mobile phones and other media are widely used for propagation of vulgarism and sex-perversion. More the proliferation of the culture ‘drink and be merry’, more endangered is the life and dignity of women. Did Vidyasagar see such spurt in rape, gang-rape and murders? Did Rabindranath or Saratchandra see these either? Were such things so rampant in British rule? Even a three year old girl child is raped and killed. A 60 year old woman is murdered after rape. Gang rapes are galore. A girl is duped in the name of love, taken to a hotel by her so called lover and then gang raped by his friends, are video-graphed and then the clips are sold in the market. News is coming in about complaint of rape by daughter against father. The situation has become so terrifying that at slightest of instances; children studying in 4th or 5th standard are getting involved in perverted sex. Besides that, people are being divested of human quality and made victims of self-indulgence and they are hankering for individual gains so much so that one is prompted to sell one’s own wife, sister or daughter just for earning a few bucks. Old parents are deserted, even killed for property. Even whatever vestige of old culture was there in village life is also on the verge of extinction. Rural economy had long been in the grip of capitalism. Right from vegetables to all other agricultural products are commodities of the national capitalist market. Even a small grocery shop in village is also run on the supply of the industrial goods of national market. The construction of roads and introduction of various modes of transport are also for maintaining this supply line to capitalist market. At the same time, millions of unemployed rural youths, both male and female, are also turned into commodities of national market today. Desperately in search of jobs, they are moving from city to city. They are called migrant labourers. Their culture is also polluted in the process. As a result of this unstable nomadic type of life, their families are also in doldrums. In spite of having wife and children back home, many of these labourers are finding partners elsewhere. Some of them even do not return. Those who come back home at intervals carry with them rotten urban culture and pollute rural life. Those who are suppliers to women traffickers are mostly from the villages but they lead luxurious lives in the cities. Even a group of girls from the distressed families go to the cities from time to time for earning bread for the family. Some of them work as housemaids or easrn something through other means. However, some others earn through unethical means but their family members keep silent despite knowing everything. Earlier in rural life, there was simplicity, a sense of responsibility, a mindset to stand by the neighbours if they were in trouble, along with a simple lifestyle free from any hankering for luxury. But capitalism has destroyed everything. What more harrowing could be the scenario? Love, affection, compassion, tender feelings, the sting of conscience – these are all on the verge of extinction. This is the kind of development of the country we have been witnessing under the regimes of the BJP, Congress, CPI (M) or TMC.
Religion can no more provide morality
Is it happening without any reason? Is it the inevitable cruel fallout of history? Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had shown that these are all happening because of a conspiracy of the worst kind by the capitalist rulers. They want human essence and quality to be destroyed, ethical-moral base to be shattered and human beings to be turned into barbarous animals. Those who commit rape or gang rape are not born as rapists. Wherefrom they acquire such bestiality? Animals are born with beastly characteristics. But men are born with only the physical characteristic of a human being, neither the mental faculties nor a moral base is present at birth. Conscience as well as sense of right or wrong is acquired by a human being from the society, from social life, from the moral-cultural mosaic of the society. Why people are not acquiring higher ethics and morality from the society now? Because, religion can no more provide the desired moral base today. In the dim past, when religion fought against slave-master system and social injustice, religion provided values and morality. There was emergence of many great men based on religion then. But following the inexorable course of history, the progressive ideology reflecting a sense of well-being and sense of morality of one period becomes reactionary and harmful in a subsequent period. That time, it does not fight against ongoing injustice and oppression, rather becomes protector of that. So, when in course of history, religion became obsolete, bigoted and decadent, there was emergence of European renaissance as a new progressive ideology. The exponents of European renaissance while fighting feudalism and religion-based monarchical system used modern science and scientific thought as weapon to combat outmoded religious thoughts and religious blindness. Materialism, mechanical materialism, agnosticism, secular humanism, bourgeois humanist culture, democratic culture – all these were reflected in a surge of renaissance, which stirred the entire Europe as a massive movement in the ideological sphere. Under the influence of this, demand was raised for equality, liberty and fraternity as well as establishment of democratic republic in place of monarchical system. In democratic republic, the people would frame their constitution and laws. The elected representatives of the people would run the country according to the framed constitution. This was the anti-feudal anti-monarchy bourgeois democratic movement. Capitalism was then in its progressive stage filled with youthful vigour. So was raised the slogan of government by the people, for the people and of the people. At that time, there arose new humanist democratic values and morality as against age-old obsolete religious values and morality. A new concept of human essence had arisen. Many renowned figures in the fields of science, epistemology, philosophy and art-literature appeared in Europe at that time based on this movement. In our country, renaissance movement was initiated under the influence of Western renaissance. Rammohan,Vidyasagar, Jyotibarao Phule, and later Rabindranath, Saratchandra, Premchand, Nazrul, Subramania Bharati were representatives of Indian renaissance. Subsequently, we got Deshbandhu, Lala Lajpat Rai, Balgangadhar Tilak, Subhaschandra as well as many other freedom fighters and martyrs in the political movement. During that period, freedom movement gave character and human quality though the compromising bourgeoisie was in the leadership. But the ideal of bourgeois nationalism and the ethical-moral base centred on that, which had served its purpose during the time of freedom movement has lost relevance today. The toiling people had fought for freedom of the country but the aim of Tata-Birla or the Indian national bourgeoisie who was in the leadership was to capture power after the British imperialists quit with the objective of establishing their exploitative rule in place of oppressive British imperialist rule. Due warning regarding this was sounded by Subhaschandra and Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh as also Saratchandra and Nazrul but this warning did not reach the majority of the countrymen.
Common people did not want to understand politics at that time, neither do they want to understand the principles and policies of different political parties now
Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had shown that there were two distinct trends in the freedom movement of this country. One was the compromising trend led by Gandhiji. The other was the uncompromising revolutionary trend which started with Kshudiram and culminated in Bhagat Singh and Subhaschandra. The national bourgeoisie mortally afraid of anti-capitalist working class revolution spent huge money to project the Congress and Gandhiji as the sole representatives of freedom movement. The newspapers gave wide publicity to the Gandhites. But there was no coverage of Subhaschandra and the revolutionaries of the uncompromising trend in the newspapers controlled by the British imperialists and the national bourgeoisie. So, the people of this country could not understand what was the difference between Gandhiji’s line and Suhaschandra’s line. The viewpoint of the revolutionaries never reached out to them. They blindly supported Gandhite Congress. The Congress leaders also wanted that people blindly rally behind them. Thus, it can be seen that people of this country did not grasp politics. People say even today with pain that all parties are same; all of them indulge in deceptive practices. Before election, all the parties talk big and shower the people with a lot of promises. But after the election, it is akin to the proverbial saying that ‘whoever goes to Lanka becomes Ravana’. But as per the tale of the Ramayana, Rama had also gone to Lanka but did not become Ravana. Neither Lakshmana nor Hanuman or Sita became Ravana. But there is a teaching in the Ramayana. The battle of Lanka would not have taken place if Sita could identify Ravana. Ravana came masquerading as a monk to dupe her. And Sita was confused seeing the monk’s dress. Likewise, people of this country could not recognize the anti-revolution Congress leadership during freedom struggle. They did not understand why Gandhiji or the Congress did not honour Kshudiram or Bhagat Singh. They could not understand why Subhaschandra had to resign from the post of Congress president; why was he suspended from the Congress.
Common people did not want to understand politics then. They do not want it today either. They do not care to know which party follows which principle and policy. They think that they are all ordinary family men. So let the leaders decide things. Who are the leaders today? The leaders are they whom the media give extensive publicity. Earlier Subhaschandra, Kshudiram and Bhagat Singh had received no publicity in newspapers or radio and instead the Gandhites received extensive coverage in the media. Similarly Today the bourgeois media does not give any coverage to Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought or the viewpoints of our Party. Because, as during freedom movement, they feared the revolutionaries of uncompromising trend, so today, they dread our Party as the correct revolutionary force. And people do not understand politics; do not examine which is right, which is wrong. They decide who to rally behind based on whom the media give publicity. The power-seeking vote-oriented political parties raise deceptive slogans like ‘development’, ‘change’, ‘achhe din’, ‘garibi hatao’ and so forth and the media give wide publicity to all these. You are witness to what happens after that. Repeatedly, you are deceived. These vote-based leaders also cheat people like Ravana by camouflaging as ‘servants of people’.
Comrade Shibdas Ghosh has acquainted us with new values conducive to need of the era
Teachers, guardians, thinking people, and all of us are agonised and concerned at the way little children are polluted, becoming addict to liquor and other intoxicants, falling victim to sex-perversion and promiscuity. But why are all these happening? One reason is that the ruling bourgeoisie and the parliamentarian parties who serve them are weaving conspiracies to wipe out the memories of the great characters of this country and driving the students and youths towards utter degeneration by smashing their moral backbone. As I have told earlier, the second reason is, when the religious preachers, in the era of slave society used to preach religion and religious ideas by shedding their blood, sacrificing their lives and living in starvation day after day in the face of the attack by slave masters with the sole objective of establishing the rule of religion, awaken the conscience of the people and bring about general welfare to the society, then religious values had endowed the society with human qualities. Later, in course of history, when the monarchs and feudal lords unleashed oppression and repression on people using religion as weapon and by calling themselves representatives of god, religion lost its progressive character and became an impediment in acquiring human values. All sorts of injustice and indecent practices went on in the name religion. At that juncture, in course of the struggle for setting up democratic republic in place of the monarchical system, bourgeois humanist democratic values emerged as new progressive ideals as against old religious values to awaken human essence anew. During our freedom movement, under the influence of both compromising as well as uncompromising trends, the appeal of bourgeois nationalism-humanism succeeded in finding a new human quality. But the national bourgeoisie who then in its own class interest backed the freedom movement is today as rulers running the steamroller of exploitation and plunder under the garb of ‘national interest’. So, it is found today that more the cult of religion and raising the slogan of nationalism, more is the moral degeneration. Because, following the inexorable course of history, religious values and bourgeois nationalism have lost their progressive role and become supportive of exploitation-oppression, let alone opposing them. When the value system of a particular period becomes obsolete in meeting the needs of an emerging period, opposes progress and lends support to injustice and oppression, the necessity arises in the society for new values conducive to the new emerging needs. That is why there is a crisis of values in the society today. So, there is need of newer and higher values. Which values can serve today and it is only anti-capitalist proletarian revolutionary values can serve. I want to say firmly that it is Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, the great Marxist thinker, who has presented to us that required proletarian revolutionary values. However, because of lack of necessary strength, we have not been able to reach out to everyone with those values. But, our Party workers observe the memorial days of the luminaries and martyrs with due solemnity, learn from their life and struggle as per teaching of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. It is because of that teaching that our Party workers reflect decency, sobriety and human essence in their conduct and demeanour though there is difference of standard among us in this regard. All of us are struggling according to our respective understandings in the best possible manner so as to act under the guidance of his teachings in order to reflect the higher proletarian values in our behaviour and acquaint others with that.
Did our freedom fighters and martyrs fight for this independence?
Based on Marxism, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had shown that ours is a class-divided society. The divide is between labour and capital, rich and poor. After independence, there is nothing as one nation or singular national interest. Either it is the interest of the ruling capitalist class or the interest of the working class, interest of the oppressor or interest of the oppressed. We are to view everything in the perspective of this objective reality. One has to judge a party also on the basis of this. A party is either of the capitalist class or of the working class. So, a party is to be judged accordingly from the perspective of class outlook. The capitalists who every day, every hour, every second are plundering billions and billions of rupees and who are turning the entire nation into a country of beggars want rationality to perish, ideas and thoughts to be blunted, intelligence and intellect to be wiped out. They want that no one should question anything, enter into debate on any issue, not know or understand what one’s legitimate rights are. Their objective is to make people greedy, selfish, bestial, heartless and inhuman. The parties subservient to the bourgeoisie class, whether it is the Congress or the BJP or any other, are carrying out this task of dehumanizing people. That is why, we have been fighting against them. The TMC in West Bengal is also doing the same thing today. TMC supremo is distributing Kanyasree dole keeping an eye on election. But does she know how many girl children are dying every day in absence of treatment, how many women are wailing on being raped, how many women are trafficked out of West Bengal? Just for netting electoral gains, she is on a spree of distributing doles in the name of Kanyasree, Yubasree, grants to the clubs and funding for organizing fairs and festivals when her government is having debts running into millions of rupees. Before election, Narendra Modi said that within 100 days, he would recover black money and credit Rs 15 lakhs to the bank account of each family. Has he honoured that commitment? Who are the peddlers in black money? Is it that the jute workers, tea garden workers or the sharecroppers accumulate black money? Who stockpiles black money? It is the capitalists and big businessmen who amass black money in order to evade tax. Those who generate and possess black money, spend millions and millions of rupees to make the vote-based bourgeois parties victorious in the elections. That is why the leaders of these parties after riding to power do not dare to touch the dealers in black money.
This capitalism is the enemy of the people. What kind of development our country is undergoing? The President of the country himself admits that 65 crores (650 million)out of 121 crore (1.21 billion) people are unemployed. Apart from this, official statistics reveal that 77% of the people are below poverty line, unable to spend more than Rs 20 a day. This is the example of development of the country. On the contrary, wealth of the monopolists like Ambanis, Tatas, Birlas, Goenkas, Jindals and Adanis has crossed billions and billions of rupees. Their wealth is growing phenomenally and relentlessly. The central government is running on debt. The amount of debt of the central government is around Rs 69 lakh crores (Rs 6,900 bn). The budget deficit is Rs 5, 55, 000 crore. But the government has waived Rs 4 lakh crores of tax to the capitalists. The same capitalists have usurped Rs 8 lakh crores of the banks by defaulting repayment of loans. On the other hand, the government is bailing out the banks by drawing into public exchequer. Whose government is this? For whom has it brought ‘achhe din’? Just after a few days, 15th August would be celebrated with pomp and grandeur at President’s house and governor’s residence. Big industrialists, big businessmen, ministers, leaders of the ruling parties would observe Independence Day with royal feasts in multi-starred hotels. Side by side, one would witness a heart-rending scene of innumerable hungry children scavenging dustbins to feed on the wastes of those sumptuous feasts. Did the freedom fighters and martyrs fight for this independence? Lakhs of the impoverished enmeshed in debts are committing suicide and a BJP minister is saying that ‘it has become a fashion to commit suicide’. How much cruel these leaders need to be to banter the haplessness of the poor!
Nature of elections today
Election today is a game of billions of rupees. These vote-merchants have destroyed all human qualities, roused the consumerist mentality, greed and lust among the people and shattered their sense of dignity. Common suffering people think that at least they are getting some money ranging from two, five or ten thousands, if they vote for this or that party or be part of the vote machinery of that party. The youths also feel that they are at least getting money for liquor and feast. So, they carry the flag of the party who gives them more money. This has been the bourgeois politics today. Do those who vote against receipt of money ever think whether they are thus selling their human essence and conscience? Why do the parties or leaders pay money, wherefrom they get it? If they had done good work, people would have voted for them out of their own. Since they know they would not receive support from the people, they buy votes by distributing money. Who supplies this money? It is supplied by the industrialists, big businessmen, black marketers, contractors and realty promoters with an object to place parties of their choice in power for limitless loot and plunder in various ways including imposition of tax and hiking up prices. Thus, ruling capitalists and their subservient parties pauperize people throughout the year and give them alms before vote. Politics during our freedom struggle was for sacrifice. The resolve of the freedom fighters was that they would not take up a job, would not care for personal career, would not remain tied up to family life but would instead go to jail, embrace the gallows for discharging their social obligation. Subhaschandra exhorted, “Give me blood, I shall give you freedom.” This was the nature of politics at the time. Today, the sole aim of the power-hungry leaders is to serve the capitalists, become MLAs, MPs and ministers and earn millions and millions of rupees. And for that, they contest election taking millions of rupees from the capitalists, buy the youths and purchase the voters. They know that they would be able to bring the youths to their fold with lure of money because they have been able to destroy the conscience, sense of dignity and honour along with the thinking faculty of the young generation. So, the youths have become purchasable commodity. Thus, a politics of making fortunes have appeared. On the one hand, the capitalists-businessmen, hoarders-black-marketers are plundering billions of rupees while on the other hand, the parliamentarian parties subservient to the bourgeois class are making huge money by becoming MLAs, MPs and ministers. As you may be aware, 80% of the MPs are millionaires (owner of Rs 10 million or more). They are the representatives of myriads of hungry destitute poor and have-nots. The ministers and MLAs are also minting money like this. Their politics is to usurp millions of rupees without making any investment. Even after this, it is stated that the MPs are in such distress that they are unable to maintain their families with current emoluments of Rs1.4 lakhs per month. So, there is a fresh proposal to double their remuneration and other perks. These are the people who call themselves ‘patriots’ and ‘servants of people”.
Role of CPI(M)
In the leftist politics of 1950s and early ’60s also, there was an influence of the politics of sacrifice. At that time, there was no CPI (M) but undivided CPI, and though they were never Marxists but at that time, they pursued the line of struggling leftism. Their leaders and cadres also had a mindset to face police atrocities and go to jail. But the CPI (M) during their 34 year long rule have caused immense harm and damage, on the one hand, by maligning leftism and tarnishing the prestige of leftism while on the other hand, bending to the desires of the capitalist class, they have attempted to crush democratic movements. They opened fire on the jute workers, on the dock workers and on the peasants of Nadia district. They let loose barbarity on the struggling Singur peasants. They also perpetrated genocide by opening fire on the fighting peasants of Nandigram and ever resorted to gang rape of the women in Nandigram. You know all these things. By doing all these, they could propitiate the capitalist class and stayed in power one term after another uninterrupted for 34 years.
Capitalism desires destruction of human qualities and ethical-moral base. The CPI (M) have done exactly that. The other things they have done includes dangling the temptation of personal benefits like a bait in order to augment the strength of their party. Their bait was like this—join us and you would have no problem in getting licence or permit, job, benefit of doing contractor’s business, promotion in service, a professor’s job or the post of a Vice-Chancellor of a university even if you do not have necessary qualifications – for the police officers, a promotion or a transfer to a preferred destination – all these they taught. They taught the students and workers that if they rally behind their party, they would get money, job, employment in contractor’s firm etc. So the politics of distributing favours and undue benefits has been brought in this state by the CPI (M). The TMC is now pursuing the same politics.
TMC rule has been a carbon copy of CPI(M) regime
The TMC rule in the name of ‘poribartan’ (change) is just a carbon copy of the CPI (M) rule. The TMC is doing exactly what the CPI (M) had done. The difference is that the CPI (M) used to do all these things in a very planned, precise and organized manner while the TMC does not have that much intelligence to do such things in so sophisticated a way and hence often gets caught. TMC supremo had said some days back that she is being discredited due to a few people. Only a handful of her men are involved in syndicate business or extortion. Does she herself believe this? Except for a few, the entire TMC is running on extortionists and syndicate dons. However, the CPI (M) is more responsible than the TMC for this. It is the CPI (M) who brought in syndicate trade, crimes like extortion and snatching in this state. The TMC is treading the same path. Because, one cannot think of winning elections without the help and support of these syndicate mafias or extortion rackets. So when the TMC chief says she would not allow realty syndicates to continue, those who run such syndicates chuckle in amusement. The syndicate dons say that their leaders need to give such fake warnings for public consumption. We shall do our job and the leaders would do their job—such is their declaration. That day I saw in the newspaper that the TMC chief minister has told the police officers not even to spare her if she commits any wrong. If such things are said, what would the police officers do? They would silently listen and then leave with a smile. Surely, after such an utterance by the chief minister, you are supposed to find no theft, no burglary, no snatching, no extortion, no rape, nothing in this state! Because, the chief minister herself has said that she should be punished if she does anything wrong! So, how can the criminals dare to do anything! In fact, right from the Prime Minister down to all levels, everyone is indulging in such hypocrisy and deception. Criminals can easily be identified but these people are not that easily identifiable. Once, the talk was about criminalization of politics meaning that criminals were entering into politics. We are of the opinion that the vote-based power-monger political leaders are criminalizing the youths. They are the biggest criminals. But they camouflage themselves as servants of the country and thus dupe the people.
CPI(M) should ponder over
To the CPI (M) leaders, I say that you had not listened to us. 34 years you have run the government in the state. Had you treaded the path of genuine leftism during these 34 years, intensified class and mass struggles as per the suggestion made by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh based on the teachings of great Lenin, awakened leftist consciousness among people, aroused human essence and had refrained from giving indulgence to nepotism, corruption and high-handedness, orchestrating terror and intimidation and controlling anti-socials by foisting your authority on the police, would your party be in such distress today? You had 3 or 4 lakhs of members. If one took into account your student, youth and trade union wings, you had a few crores of people in your fold. But the moment you were ousted from power, everything evaporated into thin air . Where have all these people gone? Why have they gone? Have you ever thought about that? This is because everything was based on governmental power. Your government was like a pot of honey. Let alone Marxism, you did not cultivate even leftism. You have assembled everyone holding out the bait of honey. Once, your party was also in the field of struggle. Where have all the courage and vigour that the CPI (M) workers demonstrated in 1960s even in 1972disappeared?
CPI(M) leaders are labelling autocratic Congress as ‘democratic’
Today, you are to lean on the shoulder of the Congress to stand. This very Congress is one of the biggest bourgeois parties which has strengthened capitalism for a long time, spilled the blood of so many people. This very Congress had rendered West Bengal blood-stained between 1952 and 1966. You might have forgotten that but we have not. You are offering floral tribute to the martyrs of food movement of 1959 on 31st August. Have you forgotten whose bullets these martyrs had fallen to? You are labelling the same Congress as ‘democratic’. You are calling that very Congress ‘democratic’ who had introduced black acts like MISA, TADA, ESMA, NASA, AFSPA etc. and promulgated emergency in the country.
Congress was never a secular force
Was the Congress ever secular? Philosophically secular were Vidyasagar, Saratchandra, Bhagat Singh. Subhaschandra also was politically secular. He had asked to banish religion from politics. He said that there would be no connection of religion with politics. Politics should be governed by social, economic and scientific principles. Did the Congress follow that? At that time, the Congress talked of co-existence of all religions. That is no secularism. In fact, the Congress leadership was dominated by upper caste Hindus. As a result of that, not only the Muslims, even the dalit people also did not join the freedom movement that much. Even the division of the country took place because of that. Has the number of communal riots due to the conspiracy by the Congress been any less in number? Riots orchestrated by the Congress leaders occurred in Bhagalpur in Bihar, Rourkela in Odisha, Ahmedabad in Gujarat, Nellie in Assam and of late, the carnage of Sikh people in Delhi. That very Congress is being painted by the CPI (M) as ‘anti-communal’ and ‘secular’, because they need the Congress for the purpose of election.
You know that we entered into a unity with the TMC centring on Singur-Nandigram movements. The parliamentary elections in 2009 and the assembly election of 2011 took place based on who were in support of those movements and who were against them. We fought those elections along with the TMC, but we never put a tag of “secular’ and ‘democratic’ on the TMC.
For petty gains in election we have not sacrificed our principles
This time also some TMC leaders had sent us feelers. Had we gone with them, we could have won Jaynagar and Kultali. Even the CPI (M) also sounded us that they would leave Jaynagar if we went with them. But for the sake of seats, we have not entered into any unprincipled unity. We have been defeated in the election by money power, muscle power and media power. Have we been weakened by that? Our strength has increased because of the power of revolutionary ideology. That our strength has gone up is proved by this massive gathering of today. Thousands of people are listening with rapt attention despite torrential rain. Even mothers with children in lap are also listening attentively. Can any other party organize a gathering of this character even by spending millions of rupees?
Social-democratic CPI (M) is enmeshed in the politics of pelf and power
So long the CPI (M) as a social democratic party had no opportunity to ride to power in a bourgeois state, they had a struggling leftist character. But once they were saddled in power, they began getting more and more enmeshed in the politics of pelf and power and began losing fast their struggling leftist character. The condition of the CPI (M) today is much similar to that of British Labour Party and other socialist parties of Europe.
We are of the opinion that had the CPI (M) listened to our proposal and candidly admitted their mistakes as per Leninist teaching, adopted proper corrective path and returned to struggling leftism, then their acceptability among the people during the election would have increased to a great extent. The people who are unhappy with the 5-year rule of the TMC also did not want a return of the CPI (M). They have not been able to forget the terrifying experience of 34 year of the CPI (M) rule. This has helped the TMC. In spite of that, in the coming 5 to 10 years, the TMC would lose its popularity in natural course and the bourgeoisie might install the CPI (M)—Congress alliance or the CPI (M) in power. But in that case, whatever little left content the CPI (M) has even today would be further eroded.
Our appeal to CPI(M)
We still request the CPI (M) leaders and workers to ponder over admitting their mistakes before people. Tell the people that what you have done in 34 years was not in accordance with leftism. You have committed wrong. Please seek pardon by the people. Great Lenin had said that if the communists make mistakes, they openly admit that. Not only they admit mistakes but also examine why that mistake had occurred and inform the people about that. And also they tell people how they would rectify the mistakes. I had reminded the CPI (M) leaders of this teaching. Had the CPI (M) been a Marxist party, they would have followed this teaching of Lenin. Even today, there area good number of left-minded cadres in the CPI (M). We appeal to them to realize that their leaders are misleading them. They are strengthening a bourgeois party like the Congress just for securing some seats. As a result, your party is being enfeebled. You raise your voice against this. Let you be back again on the path of struggling leftism. We said this on behalf of our Party at the party congress of the CPI (M). Let us stand together and struggle.
BJP-RSS had opposed freedom movement
Comrades and Friends, you have been taking much trouble in listening despite this heavy downpour. So, I will not take much time. I had many more things to say. Only I would like to mention that fundamentalism-communalism has appeared as a great danger in the country today. The RSS-BJP is fomenting Hindu fundamentalism and communalism. As a reaction, similar forces among the Muslims are also raising their heads. On the one hand, their objective is to intensify religious fanaticism for protecting capitalism because, if religious fanaticism takes firmer root, people can be easily convinced that they are unemployed, dying of starvation and in absence of medical treatment because they had committed sin in the previous birth. They can be persuaded to believe that the divide between rich and poor is the creation of god and everything is ordained by god or decree of fate. If people are made to believe such things, they would not rise in protest against injustice or take to the path of struggle. In this manner, rational bent of mind, democratic thoughts and scientific outlook are being destroyed. On the other hand, by driving a wedge between the Hindus and the Muslims, by fuelling upper caste—dalit conflict and by igniting fire of various kinds of parochialism-chauvinism, the unity of the toiling people and unity of mass movement are being disrupted. Apart from all these, the aim is to create Hindu vote bank, Muslim vote bank, upper caste vote bank and dalit vote bank to buttress narrow sectarian electoral interest of the parties subservient to the bourgeoisie. In spite of the various limitations of our freedom movement, whatever little unity had grown among the masses is now being shattered by them.
The BJP leaders are raising slogan of patriotism. Ask them, what was the role of the RSS leaders who were forefathers of the BJP during freedom movement? When hundreds and hundreds of the blossoming youths were going to jail and facing police atrocities during freedom movement, the RSS was not in that movement. Do you know why? Let me quote from the writing of M S Golwalkar, their theoretician and mentor, “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.” 12He further said that those who were not talking of Hindu nationalism were “either enemies of national interest or traitors or to put in simple terms, idiots.” 13If one has to go by this observation of the mentor of the RSS, what should we call Deshbandhu Chittaranjan, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal GangadharTilak, Netaji Subhas, Bhagat Singh or Kshudiram? You may please consider this, because none of them fought for Hindu nationalism. Now, the BJP-RSS leaders are over their heads and ears in ‘flood of patriotism’. They are lucky that many are not aware of these facts today. We had said earlier that if the RSS-BJP is to be considered as single-minded devotee of Hinduism, then Shri Chaitanya, Ramakrishna or Vivekananda cannot be called Hindu because they did not try to discover the birthplace of Rama or give a call for demolishing Babri Masjid. Ramakrishna had gone to mosque for offering namaz and joined prayer in church. He said that Bhagawan, God and Allah are one and the same. Vivekananda taught that all religions must be respected equally. He even said that “If I had a son, I would not have given him any religious tutelage except practising concentration, one para of prayer and chanting mantras. Thereafter, in course of growing in age he would have accepted Christ, Buddha or Muhammad, whoever he would have wished to. …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.”14
I can cite many such quotes from his works. That is why, I was saying that what the RSS-BJP are doing in the name of religion violates all teachings of religion. As there was strong impact of Netaji Subhas and leftist movement in Bengal, Hindu Mahasabha could not make any inroad here despite having a strong leader like Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. But, today the RSS-BJP is gaining strength here because leftism has been weakened and maligned by the CPI (M). This is a cause of concern. On the other hand, the TMC and the CPI (M) in their respective electoral interests are inflating the strength of the BJP in the state. While the TMC is doing that for creating and protecting “Muslim vote bank’, the CPI (M)’s purpose is to justify their alliance with the Congress and claim that but for this alliance, the BJP would have come to second position in the election. Thus, by over-stating the strength of the BJP, both the TMC and the CPI (M) are helping it to gain further ground.
Religious terrorists are working against the teachings of religion
The terrorist activities going in the name of Islam are totally against the teachings of Hazrat Mohammad. Though Hazrat Mohammad opposed the religion of the three earlier religious preachers i.e. Ibrahim, Musa and Isa, still he reverently called them all ambassadors of Allah. So he advised that they all should be equally respected like him. Being attacked, Hazrat Mohammad himself had to take part in three wars. But he himself never attacked anyone, never killed any of the captives nor allowed anyone to do so. At Medina, he announced that the Idolaters, the Jews and the Muslims would all observe religions as per their respective beliefs. No one should prevent them. Even when Abu Sufian, who was his main enemy and who repeatedly launched attacks on him, was captured and brought before him immediately before his entry to Mecca, all others wanted Sufian to be executed. But Hazrat Mohammad did not agree to that. Instead he initiated Sufian into his religion. This is what Islam religion is. The very meaning of Islam is peace. I have already talked about the preachers of Hindu religion. So, those who are torturing and unleashing violence on the Muslims and dalits in the name of Hindu religion are opposed to Hinduism. Similarly, those who in the name of Islam are carrying out repression and mindless killing of people of other religious faiths are also opposed to Islam.
What is the reason behind the dreadful rise of fundamentalism, religious terrorism and crisis of morality throughout the world? The first reason is that When the Western capitalist civilization after attaining the stage of imperialism almost declined and caused darkness during the resultant disaster to descend upon humanity, at that time, socialism was established in Russia under the leadership of Lenin overthrowing capitalism by revolution. Soviet socialism, it may be recalled, was heartily greeted by the last representatives of humanism like Romain Rolland, Bernard Shaw, Einstein of western world and by Rabindranath, Saratchandra, Netaji Subhas, Bhagat Singh, Premchand, Nazrul, Subramania Bharati of our country as dawn of a new civilization in the world. It was under the leadership of great Stalin, helmsman of Soviet socialism, that fascism was defeated in the Second World War following which socialism was established in East Europe, China and Vietnam. Powerful revolutionary working class movements surged forth in various countries and anti-imperialist movements in the colonies and semi-colonies received tremendous impetus. Based on these, the world humanity again became inspired by a higher ethics and morality. It is extremely painful that the socialist system in Russia was dismantled due to a conspiracy by world capitalism-imperialism from outside and capitalism-revisionism from within. The tragic setback of socialism has once again enshrouded the entire world in darkness and endangered humanity. Romain Rolland, the legendary humanist litterateur and thinker, had once expressed his apprehension that if socialism was destroyed, such would happen in the world. He said, “A formidable coalition of imperialist powers is being formed in the world against the Union of Soviet Republics,…If it is crushed it would no longer be the proletariat of the world alone who would be enslaved, but all liberty, social or individual;…the world will be thrown several stages behind… an all pervading darkness has descended there for some coming centuries.”15In reality, taking advantage of this crisis, capitalism-imperialism is fomenting fundamentalism and terrorism so that democratic mass movements and revolutionary struggles cannot develop in different countries. Imperialists-capitalists know that crisis-ravaged people would repeatedly burst into protest. At the same time, they also know that if there is no revolutionary ideology, higher ethical-moral base or correct leadership to lead these movements, their existence would not be in danger. Protest and dissent would not be turned into revolutionary upsurge. In fact, that is what is happening today. Seizing the opportunity of absence of socialist system, they have devastated Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, orchestrated war in Syria and fuelled Shia-Sunni conflict. Please remember that starting from Al Qaida to ISIS, all are creations of US imperialism. It is the US and other imperialists who are supplying money & arms to these terrorist groups and sustaining them.
Under the circumstances, fresh development of anti-capitalist anti-imperialist socialist revolutionary movements based on Marxism in all countries is imperative to save human civilization from the menaces of unemployment, retrenchment, price rise, deaths due to starvation and absence of medical treatment, crisis of human values and morality, fundamentalism-communalism and so forth. Next year would be observed the centenary of historic November Revolution. On this occasion, we need to renew our pledge to organize and accomplish the victory of socialist revolution in different countries.
Socialist Revolution alone can bring about true emancipation
Millions and millions of oppressed people in the world are crying for emancipation. Only anti-capitalist socialist revolution can beget true emancipation. For that, as Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had taught us, it is necessary to have a correct Marxist revolutionary party, revolutionary politics, revolutionary culture and revolutionary character. With that objective, he had founded SUCI (Communist) as a genuine revolutionary party on this soil. On this day of 5 August, we have to take firm resolve to strengthen our Party further.
Today we once again need characters like Bhagat Singh. Just before his hanging, Bhagat Singh’s friends told him that if he wanted, they could manage to get him out of the jail. Bhagat Singh had replied: ‘Today I am a symbol of revolution. If I flee, the symbol of revolution would be sullied. I shall embrace the gallows with joy so that mothers of India would wish that they could also give birth to likes of Bhagat Singh. As a result, innumerable revolutionary fighters would be born’. Nazrul exhorted to the mothers of Bengal to become mother of Kshudiram. We want that many such revolutionaries, many more Kshudiram, Bhagat Singh and Pritilata who would carry the banner of Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought and fight against capitalism-imperialism.
In the end, I would appeal to all of you to cultivate the life and struggle of all great men in each family, in each locality. Cultivate the life and struggle of revolutionary martyrs. Groom your children accordingly. The children are getting spoiled, falling victim to the sway of rotten culture. I am calling upon our Party workers as well as people at large to assemble the children at least one day in a week, conduct games and involve them in discourses-discussions on culture and art-literature. In course of acquainting them with the life struggle of great men like Vidyasagar, Phule, Vivekananda, Netaji Subhas, Rabindranath, Saratchandra and the revolutionaries and cultivating their teachings, let these children grow up as human beings worth the name. Release a movement to develop human qualities conducive to the need of the era. Otherwise, the future days will be much more harrowing. So, we need anti-capitalist revolutionary politics and culture. And only our Party, SUCI (Communist) is cultivating that politics and culture based on Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought. Strengthen this Party with all your might, become equipped with a proper grasp of revolutionary politics and culture, develop class and mass struggles and build up people’s struggle committees and volunteer corps. With this I end today.
Long live revolution
Long live SUCI (Communist)
Red salute to Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, the great leader of the proletariat
Source of Quotations :—
- On evaluation of Saratchandra, Shibdas Ghosh, SW Vol. III
- Life story of Vidyasagar —Rabindranath Tagore
- My reminiscences- Rabindranath Tagore
- Collected Works of Vidyasagar
- Karunasagar Vidyasagar — Indra Mitra
- Karunasagar Vidyasagar —Indra Mitra
- Ananda Bazar Patrika
- Crisis of civilization —Rabindranath Tagore
- Aikyatan (Concert) —Rabindranath Tagore
- Letter to Amiya Chakraborty —Rabindranath Tagore
- Carry Proletarian Culture to the workers — Shibdas Ghosh SW Vol. III
- Bunch of Thoughts — M S Golwalkar
- Bunch of Thoughts — M S Golwalkar
- Message and writings —Viekananda (3rd Volume)
- I will not rest—Romain Rolland