Comrade Provash Ghosh at the 68th Party Foundation Day meeting on 24 April
(This is the speech delivered by Comrade Provash Ghosh, General Secretary, SUCI(C), in Bengali at the Party Foundation Day meeting at Shaheed Minar maidan in Kolkata on 24th April, 2015. Responsibility of translation error or inadequate expression, if any, lies with the Editorial Board of Proletarian Era)
Every year, since 1948, the Party Foundation Day arrives to us with some special significance. What are the contemporary economic-political-cultural crises wreaking havoc in people’s life, why these crises are recurring and increasing, how should we, as a revolutionary party of the proletariat, analyze these crises and problems and determine our task based on Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought—these are the subject matters of discussion in this meeting today.
Democracy is a farce today
The leaders of our country have been boastfully claiming over these years that India is the largest democratic country in the world. Recently you had a glimpse of the ‘mockery of democratic election’ in the Kolkata municipal corporation vote in West Bengal. Tomorrow you would witness a further round of bloodbath and killing when the elections would take place in other municipalities of the state. From 1972 onwards, such has been the spectacle of ‘free, fair and peaceful’ elections in West Bengal. Those who are in the opposition today had captured power in the same way when they were running the government. Those who then were in the opposition are following the same path to grab power after being saddled in the governmental seat. As if, such is only normal. Only question is who is surpassing whom in this game of power grabbing through violence and rigging. This is how elections are conducted for parliament, assembly, corporation, municipality and even panchayet. As usual, there are voters’ lists, separate electoral laws, the Election Commission for ensuring ‘free and fair’ poll, ‘alert police-administration’ to ensure there is no ‘high-handedness or violence’ and also there is proper ‘arrangement’ to prevent any money-game or rigging. You all know this. But what do you see at the time of voting? All these arrangements vanish as if by a magician’s wand. Democracy, people, free and fair election—everything turns into a farce. The way the kings and landlords earlier used to occupy each other’s territory by their respective armies, the same is happening today. Might has become the right. The people have been made totally cipher.
This is not happening only in this state or in our country. It is going on in the entire capitalist world. Somewhere it is nakedly manifest whereas in some other countries, it is happening covertly. There is a façade of parliamentary democracy, but what is absent is democracy. It is not the people but the bourgeois class who decides the results of elections. It decides from among its servants as to whom to bring to power, whom to reinstate or whom to change. Also, the bourgeoisie decides who should be the main opposition. Accordingly, the bourgeoisie exercises its money-media-muscle-administrative powers.
Tragic end of bourgeois democracy which once raised slogan of equality, liberty, fraternity
See for yourselves what a tragic end the bourgeois democracy which once augured a new chapter in the history of civilization by overthrowing feudalism through a battle attended with much bloodshed and raising the slogan of equality, liberty, fraternity, has reached today.
The small bourgeoisie who fought against the monarchy in seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by organizing the serfs were revolutionaries. They could never think even in their dreams that the bourgeois democracy they had been establishing would come to such a pass today. In those days, there was free and wide competition among the innumerable small capitals in the market. Multi-party democracy and concept of free election evolved as a political superstructure of that. The working class too was able to take advantage of that. At that time, coming out of the womb of mercantile capital, industrial capital broke the barrier of self-sufficient localized markets to create national market and was transformed into national capital. Accordingly, national industry, national market, concept of nationalism, national culture, ideas of humanism, democratic values, democratic institutions – all these had appeared. That was the period when capitalism was progressive. But following the inexorable law of history, national capital in course of development gave birth to monopoly, abolished the phase of free competition, snatched away the democratic rights hitherto provided and having entered into the imperialist stage by giving rise to finance capital through coalescence of banking capital and industrial capital, began occupying other countries, subverting their freedom and plundering their resources. This is the most reactionary stage of capitalism. At this stage, the national monopoly capital of one country also gave birth to multi-nationals. Once the development of national capitalism and sentiment of nationalism were synonymous and inspired people with the spirit of national independence and freedom. Now that capitalism at the stage of imperialism is not only destroying the national independence and sovereignty of other nations but forming MNCs and TNCs undermining national interest of its own country. Now, the sole interest is to preserve sovereignty and freedom of not the country but of capital. Country, people, state—everything is subservient to the interest of sovereign capital. Wherever is scope for maximization of profit, there is onrush of capital. Even at the cost of national industry and economy, the monopolists are getting the work done or producing goods in other countries i.e. through outsourcing, inviting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in various spheres of country’s economy, importing cheap labour from other countries and retrenching domestic workers. To the ruling monopolists, national interest is limited only to the extent necessary for preserving domination over national market and using nationalist sentiment while inciting national jingoism and war tension and embarking on aggression and occupation of other countries. The Indian monopolists and multi-nationals are also doing the same thing. Gone are the days when the Indian national bourgeoisie endorsed the slogan, “Buy Indian goods and boycott British goods.” Recall how many people in this country had once faced atrocities of British police just for wearing khaddar (cloth made of threads woven in domestic spinning-wheel). The then Indian capitalists supported the call, because at that time, wearing khaddar and boycotting British goods was conducive to the need of development of national capital. In the current phase of capitalist globalization, that very concept of nationalism and national sovereignty is an outmoded obsolete concept to the bourgeoisie.
Fascism is the feature of all capitalist-imperialist countries
Many of you are aware that after defeat of the fascist Germany-Italy axis in Second World War, there was a belief that fascism had been smashed for good. But it was the lone voice of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh which pointed out way back in 1948 that though fascist military force has been defeated in the war, fascism has become a common feature of all capitalist countries, whether developed or under-developed, though its form and degree varies from country to country. He showed that fascism has three characteristics —concen-tration of capital, centralization of power in the hands of adminis-tration-bureaucracy and a peculiar fusion between spiritualism and technological aspects of science in the realm of ideology and culture. Right from the days of Congress rule, these characteristics of fascism were being built up. After coming to power, the BJP has increased that danger manifold. The leaderships of the CPI (M) and CPI are not realizing this danger of fascism. In their party congresses, they have only called it as ‘rightist offensive’. But from the very podium of their congresses, we have said that this is a fascist danger which is much more severe and menacing. Branding it only as ‘rightist offensive’ belittles its ominous significance.
Fascism brings disaster to any nation. Once Germany had held a very high position in the fields of philosophy, economics and art-literature. You all know to what low fascism had brought that country and on what scale it caused devastation throughout the world. Sounding caution about the ominous facets of fascism, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had said long back: “Remember, a nation can stand erect even if it goes hungry, can conduct struggle even without food, if it possess higher human attributes. But if fascism takes root, very few will remain in the country worthy to be called man. Because fascism creates hindrance in the man-making process.” (SW. Vol IV. P. 463) He further said: “On the one hand, it destroys the process of rational thinking in people, makes them self-centred, makes knowledge, learning and education technology-oriented, that is, it engenders a group of technocrats in the country who have completely abandoned all sorts of human values, who have no sense of responsibility towards people and society, to whom employment and wage slavery are simply everything, and who are ready to do anything and everything in exchange of money – and in this direction they channelize the cultivation of science and learning. On the other hand, fascism fosters all sorts of spiritualism, age-old superstitions, irrational mindset and blindness. Fascism is a peculiar fusion of spiritualism, obscurantism and irrational bent of mind with the technological aspects of science. (ibid p. 457-58)
RSS-BJP want to destroy scientific and rational mind
Every day, you have been bitterly experiencing what kind of aachhe din (good days) the BJP has brought for the people after riding to power. But it has mounted another dangerous attack. Even Hitler could not do this in Germany. Hitler could not say that all the discoveries of modern science find mention in the Bible or were in existence in ancient Germany. But the RSS-BJP leaders are boastfully claiming that whatever great discoveries the great scientists – starting from Copernicus, Bruno, Galileo, Newton to Einstein, Plank, Heisenberg and Rutherford and our country’s Jagadischandra, Prafulla-chandra, Satyen Bose, CV Raman, Meghnad Saha, Ramanujan, Chandrasekhar and others – made through long painstaking struggle, deep study and arduous experimentation are not at all new. All these discoveries were made by the omniscient sages of Vedic India. We do not know if those omniscient sages had been alive today, would have been ashamed hearing all such loud ‘nonsense’. But their self-proclaimed arch devotees are shamelessly claiming all such trashes. Prime Minister himself did not have even slightest of hesitation in saying that the elephant faced idol of God Ganesha proves that there was invention of plastic surgery in ancient India. All these utterances are aimed at making people feel no attraction towards modern science, destroying rational scientific bent of mind and methodology and turning the mindset of the country into mystic alley of the mythical stories of the Veda-Gita-Ramayana-Mahabharata. The whole attempt is to keep cultivation of science limited to the field of technology, manufacturing of machines and weapons and ensure that the realm of mind is dominated by blind faiths like “the gospels of the Veda are inviolable”, “the prescripts of Manusamhita are sacrosanct”, “what is not in the Mahabharata is not in the entire world”, “the message of the Gita is binding” and so forth. The object is to destroy on the one hand rational mind, thinking faculty and scientific method of analysis while fomenting religious blindness and spiritualism and inciting fanatic Hindu nationalism on the other hand. I have already told you that even Hitler could not do it and had lagged much behind the RSS-BJP in this respect. In this connection, you will relish a story of renowned scientist Meghnad Saha. He was born in a poor family and toiled hard to continue his studies. Later through assiduous cultivation of science, he made some significant discoveries and was acclaimed worldwide for that. One of his father’s friends was a well known advocate in Dhaka. He once asked Meghnad Saha, “What have you discovered that there is so much of commotion around?” Meghnad Saha explained his discoveries with due care to him. After listening up to a point, that old advocate said, “What is new in it? Everything is in the Veda.” Visibly surprised, Meghnad Saha asked him in which of the Vedas were all these mentioned. He replied without any hesitation, “That I do not know. But I know that everything is in the Veda.” Meghnad Saha himself narrated this in his writing. Had that old advocate been alive today, Modi government would have definitely conferred on him the award of “Bharat Ratna” and taken away the doctorate degree of Meghnad Saha.
Politics of RSS-BJP vis-a-vis teachings of Vivekananda
At that time the country was not in such a peril as it is today. There was not such abundance of spineless intellectuals. There was good number of men worth the name. I do not know how many of you are aware that Acharya Parfullachandra, the celebrated scientist, had written out of much pain that like ancient Greece, there was considerable progress in science in ancient India as well. But as the mysticism of the Veda renounced the existence of the material world, under its influence, the progress of science in this land came to a grinding halt. The pundits of RSS who are now bringing forth new bizarre theories would feel sad to know that Vivekananda himself had created problems for them. Vivekananda had said, “Alongside Vedanta is needed Western Science.” (Message and Works of Swami Vivekananda) From this, it is clear that Vivekananda had acknowledged the growth of science in Europe. But RSS pundits might well say that ‘Vivekananda was a man of earlier times. So he had no thorough acquaintance with the holy books and scriptures of this land. Otherwise, he would not have committed such a mistake of saying so.’ There is one more problem Vivekananda had created for them. Condemning the way the religious bigots were bringing down attacks on the scientists and scientific discoveries in Europe, he said: “We know what are the views of modern scientists and astronomers about the cosmic world. We are also aware what damage it has done to the theologists. As one after another scientific discovery has come to the fore, it appeared as if, one after another bomb has been thrown on their homes and for this reason only, in every age, they have attempted to stop scientific research.” (ibid) What would the RSS pundits say about this Vivekananda? That is not all. Opposing the declaration that the Vedanta would be the national religion of India, Vivekananda himself said, “Vedanta does not talk of any specific religion, nation or race. How can then this be the religion of India? (ibid) At another place, he said “no religion has ever repressed the human beings. No religion had burnt alive human beings branding them as witches. No religion had approved such unjust acts. Then who has provoked the human beings to indulge in such acts? Politics only has instigated man to commit such wrongs, not religion.” (ibid) When evaluated on the yardstick that Vivekananda so provided, how would one find the role and politics of RSS-BJP?
RSS-BJP demolished Babri Masjid, a historic monument, claiming that it was constructed on the birthplace of Rama, a mythical character. And listen what Vivekananda had said about this: “Take the case of the Ramayana—if it is to be accepted as an infallible authentic holy book, it is not necessary that one has to believe there was indeed someone like Rama. The greatness of religion which was upheld in the Ramayana or the Mahabharata does not depend on the existence or non-existence of Rama or Krishna…In order to examine however authentic is the philosophical truth of any of the Puranas (Myths and Epics), it is not necessary to scrutinize whether the characters described in the Puranas really existed or they were just imaginary.” (ibid) Had Vivekananda been alive, would he have allowed this destruction of Babri Masjid or would have thwarted such a move with scepter in his hand? Similarly, had Hazrat Mohammed been alive, would he not rise up with sword against the way clashes between the Shias and the Sunnis, mindless indiscriminate killings, atrocities on women, razing of the artefacts of old civilization into rabbles etc. are being orchestrated in the name of religion ? We, the Marxists, are atheists but we respect the historic role played by the religious preachers in ancient times. But we are of the opinion that all religious fundamentalists, irrespective of whether they flaunt Hinduism, Islam or Christianity, are trampling underfoot the ideologies of their respective religious preachers, not for the interest of religion but for serving heinous political interest.
RSS is opposed to freedom movement and renaissance
From this meeting I accuse RSS-BJP of opposing Indian renaissance and freedom movement and denigrating the great tradition of this country. Let them prove that we are wrong.
Opposing Sanskrit education, Raja Rammohan Ray who first lit the flames of Renaissance in order to end the darkness prevailing for many long years by coming out of religious fanaticism, wrote to Lord Amherst: “Sanskrit system of education would be best calculated to keep this country into darkness” (Collected Works of Rammohan) But now the RSS-BJP leaders are bent upon introducing same Sanskrit language on a wide scale. Is it not a well-thought out move to, what Rammohan said, “keep the country into darkness”? Opposing teaching of the Vedanta, Rammohan had said: “…nor will youths be fitted to be better members of society by the Vedanta doctrines which teach them to believe that all visible things have no real existence…prompt a more liberal and enlightened system of instruction embracing Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, Chemistry and Anatomy, with other useful sciences.” (ibid) Vidyasagar who was well versed with all the Shastras (ancient scriptures) went a step further to say: “For certain reasons…we are obliged to continue the teachings of the Vedanta and Sankhya in the Sanskrit college. That Vedanta and Sankhya are false systems of philosophy is no more a matter of dispute. But though these are false systems, the Hindus have profound respect towards these philosophies. Whilst teaching these in the Sanskrit course, we should oppose them by sound philosophy in the English course to counteract these influences…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.”(Collected works of Vidyasagar) As regards who are to be appointed as teachers, he said: “We want teachers who know both the Bengali and the English languages and at the same time are free from religious prejudices.” (ibid) This is how this great renaissance personality had conducted arduous struggle to free the minds of the students from the influence of the Veda-Vedanta- scriptures and foster in them a scientific rational thinking process.
After singularly conducting an intense struggle against the pundits versed in the Shastras, Vidyasagar said with great pain in the fag end of his life: “It will take long for this country to be emancipated. It will be good to this country only if there is cultivation of new men by uprooting seven layers of arable land and abandoning cultivation of men of old obsolete thinking and instincts.” (Collected Works of Vidyasagar) See, even by saying so with great pain, he has also provided a new direction through these words. What he meant was that, first of all, there should be end of the age-long education system or cultivation of knowledge based on Veda-Vedanta-Manusamhita, religious tutelage and bent of mind and then the seven layers of filth accumulated in the social sphere because of this education system have to be dug out and thrown away. After that, there should be introduction of new democratic education system or cultivation of new men. Today, The RSS-BJP leaders are doing just the opposite thing. They are totally abandoning whatever little scientific education is in vogue and emphasizing on cultivation of men of ‘old obsolete thinking and instincts’. The RSS-BJP are stressing on ‘Aryan and Hindu tradition’. But on the other hand, Rabindranath had written: “Nobody knows, at whose call and from where, streams of people in irresistible current merged in this sea. Here Aryans, met the non-Aryans, here the Dravidians, the Chinese, Shak, Hun, Pathans and the Mughals merged in one body.” (Poem —Bharat Tirtha)
He also said: “Muslim content is blended in our art, literature, dress, ragas (tune in music), practices and customs. There cannot but be union of one mind with another.” (Creation of literature) Listen what he said about unity based on identical religion: “The country which tries to bind people based on religion and cannot bind people otherwise, is ill-fated. The division that such country creates with religion itself is the most dangerous division.” Are not the RSS-BJP leaders going against the thoughts of Rabindranath?
Now I shall read out some of the invaluable sayings of Saratchandra, the great secular humanist litterateur and the most powerful exponent of Indian renaissance. Examine for yourself what an exemplary struggle he conducted in those days to establish secular democratic concept by freeing the mind of the people from the influence of religious ideas and spiritualism. Saratchandra was on the side of the uncompromising revolutionary trend of Indian freedom struggle. But he noticed influence of religion on many of the petty-bourgeois revolutionaries belonging to this trend. To free them from that influence, he wrote in his celebrated novel, Pather Dabi (Demand of the Road), “All religions are false—superstitions of the primitive age. There is no greater an enemy to mankind than this.” He said further in the same novel: “You talk of absolute truth, eternal truth. These meaningless fruitless words are so valuable to you! There is no better sorcery to delude the fool. You think only falsehood is to be manufactured. Truth is eternal, everlasting, not made by human being. This is wrong. Like falsehood, truth is also being created constantly by the human race. Truth is not eternal or everlasting. Truth too has its origin and demise.” (ibid) In another celebrated novel Charitraheen (Characterless), he wrote: “No scripture can be an infallible truth. The Veda is also a scripture. So there is no dearth of falsehood in it… try to accept truth in all conditions and in all times. It does not matter even if that proves the Veda or the Shastra false.” In another renowned novel Shesh Prashna (Last Question), he said: “Since I am born in a particular country, why do I need to cling forever to its own customs and practices? What is the harm if its distinctive features are exhausted? Why so much of fondness? What harm is there if all the people in the world subscribe to the same thought, same ideas, same rules and regulations and same prohibitions? Is it the fear of losing one’s identity as an Indian? What is big thing if it is so? No one can prevent you from being called a member of world humanity. Is that pride any less?”
So far I have read out some of the sayings of some of the great exponents of Indian renaissance. Now you yourself can examine how the RSS-BJP are taking this country back to medieval darkness by flouting the teachings of these great men.
RSS did not join Indian freedom struggle
Now I would like to ask a question to the leaders of RSS-BJP. Today they are deluging the country with ‘flood of patriotism’. But what was the role of “patriotic” RSS when thousands and thousands of our countrymen were being imprisoned and hundreds of students & youths were shot and hanged in the freedom struggle? Did the RSS take even a token part in the freedom struggle anywhere? Or they were absorbed in prayer for country’s freedom in their Nagpur ashram? Respected Trailokya Mohan Chakraborty (Maharaj) who was one of the front-ranking leaders of Anushilan Samity and had spent more than 30 years in the jail of British India (including Andaman) and then in the prison of Pakistan, wrote with pain in his autobiography that he failed in his attempt to secure support of the RSS leadership for Netaji Subhas. When the RSS did not participate in the upsurge of August, 1942, the then home minister of Bombay was so pleased that giving certificate to the RSS, he wrote in a report to Central British Government in February, 1944: “…. The Bombay Home Department observed: ‘The Sangh has scrupulously kept itself within the law, and in particular, has refrained from taking part in the disturbances that broke out in August, 1942…’ (Quoted from ‘The RSS and the BJP’ by A G Noorani, 2000, p.46-7) Will “patriotic” RSS leaders give answer to this?
But this role of theirs was nothing unnatural. Because, according to them, since Indian freedom struggle was based on the concept of unified Indian nationalism and held British Imperialism as the main enemy, it estranged the Indians from real Hindu nationalism and turned freedom movement virtually into an anti-British movement. According to them, equating anti-British stand with patriotism and nationalism was a reactionary thinking and its pernicious effect was cast on the freedom movement, its leaders and common people. This is not our view. M S Golwalkar, the RSS guru, had written in his book ‘We and our Nationhood Defined’ that ‘‘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. Being anti-British was equated with patriotism and nationalism. This reactionary view has had disastrous effects upon the entire course of the independence struggle, its leaders and the common people.’’ So, as per the RSS’s view, patriotism was not embodied in the entire freedom movement, in the glorious fight of the revolutionaries and the Azad Hind Force. Right from Subhaschandra, Kshudiram, Bhagat Singh, Surya Sen, Chandrasekhar Azad to Deshbandhu Chittaranjan, Balgangadhar Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, no one was a true patriot. They all were reactionaries. And opposition to British imperialism could not be called patriotism. Now you can examine if holding the flag of RSS is tantamount to demeaning the freedom movement of this country and its brave soldiers or not.
Cause of increase in RSS lies in the compromising leadership of the freedom movement
You also need to know that had not there been serious flaw in the thoughts and role of the leadership of our freedom movement, the RSS-BJP or religious fundamentalism and communalism could never develop with so much of strength. It was the common people who fought in our freedom movement. The boys and girls from the poor and middle class families fought with all their might, sacrificed lives. The wards of the families of Tata, Birla and the ilk did not give their life. But regretfully the leadership was in the hands of the national bourgeoisie. There was no genuine working class party in the country then. Please bear in mind that the national bourgeoisie in Europe during the days of rising capitalism in the sixteenth-seventeenth-eighteenth centuries fought against spiritualism and religious bigotry for establishing democratic scientific outlook and held aloft the flag of renaissance and secular humanism free from religious influence. But after attaining the stage of monopoly or imperialism in the twentieth century, the bourgeoisie turned reactionary and threw away that flag. On the other hand, in 1917, the working class revolution in Russia overthrew capitalism and established socialism. Afraid of anti-capitalist working class revolution, the bourgeoisie became opposed to scientific thinking. As an inseparable part of world capitalism, Indian capitalism also was opposed to revolution. So, Indian capitalism did not grow with the characteristics of capitalism during the days of its advent. That is why, on the one hand, the leadership of the Indian national bourgeoisie opposed armed revolution, prevented the revolutionaries from coming to the leadership of the Congress and tried to ride to power through mutual understanding and compromise with imperialism. And on the other hand, instead of holding high the banner of the thoughts of renaissance carried by Rammohan-Vidyasagar-Phule-Saratchandra-Rabindranath-Prem-chand-Subramania Bharati-Nazrul, it fomented religious thoughts and encouraged spiritualistic bent of mind. Gandhiji himself represented the national bourgeoisie unknowingly and opposed the path of armed revolution. He even stated: “Even if I was assured that we could have independence by means of violence, I should refuse to have it. It won’t be real independence.” (Socialism of My Conception)
How much opposed he was to armed revolution as to say this. His opposition to Netaji Subhas stemmed from this belief. Saratchandra had correctly said then that “Gandhiji is surrounded by the capitalists. His real fear is with socialist revolution.” (Sarat Rachanabali) On the other hand, instead of fighting religious backwardness and obscurantist thoughts, Gandhiji, in bourgeois interest, encouraged spiritualism in the name of unification of all religions and conducted the freedom movement with the Gita-Ramayana-Koran in hand. So, true secular humanist thoughts were not at the forefront of our freedom movement. What was in the fore was religion-oriented nationalism. Though unification of all religions was in the lips, it actually was a Hindu religion-oriented nationalism and that too with those belonging to higher caste Hindu in the leadership. As a result of this, not just the Muslims but even the so called lower caste Hindus also did not participate in the freedom movement. Beholding such tragedy of our freedom movement, Saratchandra regretted that, “Those who ought to have been monks have become politicians. So, the politics in India is in such a distress.” (ibid) Except Bhagat Singh, even most of the leaders and workers of the revolutionary organizations like Anushilan Samity and Jugantar were also influenced by religion in the realm of thought. Not the Gandhites alone, even these leaders did not take initiative to bring about Cultural Revolution imbued with the thoughts of Renaissance. Noting this shortcoming of those leaders, Saratchandra reminded everybody of the necessity of Cultural Revolution by saying that, “Revolution is not there in unnecessary bloodshed but in the minds of the people. So, for it, one has to wait patiently. Political revolution can be accomplished only by eradicating merciless society, a religion without compassion, racial hatred, economic inequality and heartless cruelty against women.” (Pather Dabi) It is a matter of regret that the then leaders could not grasp the significance of these invaluable words of Saratchandra.
Subhaschandra had secular outlook
Among the political leaders, only Subhaschandra reflecting secular outlook stated that, “Religion should be totally kept out of politics. Religion should be one’s personal matter. 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 reasoning.” (Speeches at Forward Bloc conference, Bombay, 1939) Yet this outlook did not get precedence in freedom movement. Because, as you know, both Indian capitalism and British imperialism feared Subhaschandra’s leadership. So they with the help of the Gandhites ousted him from the Congress. As a sequel to that, the entire freedom movement was conducted based on religion. Secular humanism of Renaissance could not leave influence on the people’s mind. Taking advantage of that, the RSS could raise its ugly head later. So, it was the rightist leadership who compromised with religion and created the soil for the RSS to grow. Had Subhaschandra been in leadership, the fallout could have been different.
Why and how Subhaschandra was ousted from Congress leadership
How many people know why was Subhaschandra compelled to resign from the post of Congress President and how was he finally suspended from the Congress which was termed by him as expulsion? Recently, it suddenly came in the media that Pandit Nehru during his tenure as the country’s Prime Minister kept the house of Subhaschandra under surveillance. Immediately, a commotion ensued and the leaders jumped into the field to reap petty political mileage. But nobody uttered a single word about all the aforesaid important facts. Many of you also are not aware of all these facts. Because, in the official history of the country’s freedom movement, there is no mention of all these so as to keep people in the dark. First time, Netaji was elected Congress President unopposed on the eve of the Haripura conference. Because, till that time, the Gandhites could not understand the danger he posed to them. But when Netaji in his speech in the Haripura Congress (i) reposed faith on the struggle of Soviet socialism against imperialism and declared socialism as the goal, (ii) raised the demand of total freedom as against autonomous rule, (iii) wanted abolition of the zamindari (feudal) system and (iv) stressed on the necessity of involving the peasants and workers in the freedom movement, the Indian capitalism, British imperialism and Gandhite leadership sensed a terrible danger. Though Netaji was not a Marxist, but as a nationalist revolutionary, he expressed his respect to Marxism and Soviet Union. For all these reasons, the Gandhites pitted Pattavi Sitaramaiah against Netaji in the next presidential election of the Congress. But despite wide propaganda in the media owned by British imperialism and Indian bourgeoisie and extensive campaign by Nehru-Patel leadership in favour of Pattavi, Netaji could not be defeated. Mainly based on the support of the revolutionary student and youth forces, Netaji became victorious. Enraged at this result, the rightists decided that by no means, they would allow Netaji to function. When Netaji became seriously ill and was confined to bed, they called a Congress conference ignoring his objection. In the Tripuri conference, the rightist leaders mooted a proposal through Govind Ballav Pant, a hard core Gandhite, the cardinal points of which were that (i) The Congress President would not be able to form the Working Committee without the approval of Gandhiji and (ii) Congress President would not be able to take any decision without the consent of Gandhiji. In the voting on the proposal, Netaji was defeated. Why was he defeated was stated by Netaji himself in the following words: “Tripuri was frankly a defeat for us…it was a case of one sick man lying in bed (Netaji was lying on dais with high fever) fighting 12 stalwarts of the Old Guard Congress, …seven provincial ministers … and the name, influence and prestige of Mahatma Gandhi. Our defeat was due further to the betrayal of the Congress Socialist Party (CSP) leadership… The Communist Party was also sailing with the CSP” (Crossroads). In compliance with the Pant proposal, Netaji was compelled to seek Gandhiji’s permission on more than one occasion in regard to formation of the Working Committee. But every time, Gandhiji declined to give consent and feigned ignorance about the Pant proposal. Without forming the Working Committee, Netaji was unable to work. On this episode, Michael Edwards, British historian, wrote: “Gandhiji applied the weapon of non-cooperation against Netaji.” There was a stalemate in the functioning of the Congress. Nehru and others held Netaji responsible for that. Being helpless, Netaji ultimately convened a meet of the AICC in 1939 at Wellington Square, Kolkata, and tendered his resignation there. Thus, Indian capitalism, British imperialism and rightist group in the Congress forced him to resign. After some days, Netaji gave a call of movement against British imperialism and for that, he was suspended from the Congress. Netaji termed this suspension as nothing but ‘expulsion’. Undivided CPI of which CPI (M) was a part then did not oppose this suspension. Thereafter, in order to unite all the leftists of the country as an alternative to the rightists, Netaji organized a conference in Ramgarh in the then Bihar. Inviting the CPI to this conference, he said: “only in this way, the attack of the rightist forces could be thwarted and the base could be created for developing a Marxist party.” (Crossroads) But instead of responding to the call of Netaji, undivided CPI cooperated with the rightist Gandhites.
Undivided CPI did not pay heed to Stalin’s advice
Let me remind you what great Stalin had said in 1925 as a guideline to what should be the role of the communists in the Indian freedom struggle: “in …India …not only that the national bourgeoisie has split up into a revolutionary party and a compromising party, the compromising section of this bourgeoisie has already managed…to strike a deal with imperialism. Fearing revolution more than it fears imperialism, and concerned more about its money-bags than about the interests of its own country, this section of the bourgeoisie, the richest and most influential section, is going over entirely to the camp of the irreconcilable enemies of the revolution, it is forming a bloc with imperialism against the workers and peasants of its own country. … the Communist Party can and must enter into an open bloc with the revolutionary wing of the bourgeoisie in order, after isolating the compromising national bourgeoisie, to lead the vast masses of the urban and rural petty bourgeoisie in the struggle against imperialism.” (The political tasks of the universities of the peoples of the east—CW Vol. VII p. 150-51) It was incumbent on the undivided CPI to follow this guideline of Stalin and forge unity with uncompromising revolutionary Netaji against the compromising rightists. But they did just the opposite. Not only that. They opposed the upsurge of 1942 August and cooperated with the British rulers arguing that since Russia and England had been fighting the fascist axis based on an alliance treaty, it was correct to lend support to the British rulers. Ranen Sen, one of the front ranking old leaders of the undivided CPI had admitted in writing that Stalin had severely criticized the CPI leaders for this wrong stand. Same was the approach of the CPI towards the INA (Indian National Army). Taking advantage of the Second World War, Netaji had taken initiative to bring independence to the country by developing INA with the help of Japan. There can be a debate on whether it was a correct tactics to use Japan against British imperialism. But could it be imagined even for a moment that Netaji had taken a move to establish Japanese domination in place of the British on India? But, the CPI joined the rightist leadership of the Congress and the British imperialists to call a patriot like Netaji “an agent of Japan”. Not just that. The CPI also supported partition of the country into India and Pakistan by propounding a theory that the Hindus and the Muslims are two different nations. Many of the workers of the present CPI and CPI (M) are not aware of this history. Had they been aware, they would have raised question or at least they should have.
CPI did not follow Lenin’s teachings regarding formation of genuine communist party
Were all these simply mistakes of the CPI? By analyzing their politics based on Marxian science, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, the great Marxist thinker, had shown that though in the earlier period, there was no dearth of honesty, commitment and sacrifice on the part of the CPI leaders, they failed to form the party based on the Leninist model and the teachings of Lenin. Way back in 1900, in his pamphlet titled “Fight for the vanguard party”, great Lenin had indicated what is needed to be done at the initial stage of party formation. He wrote: “To establish and consolidate the party means establishing and consolidating unity among all Russian Social-democrats (at that time Marxists were called social democrats), and, for the reasons indicated above, such unity cannot be brought about by decree, it cannot be brought about by, let us say, a meeting of representatives passing a resolution. Definite work must be done to bring it about. In the first place, it is necessary to bring about unity of ideas which will remove the differences of opinion and confusion that – we will be frank– reign among Russian social-democrats at the present time. … Otherwise our unity will be merely a fictitious unity, which will conceal the prevailing confusion and prevent its complete elimination.” (What is to be done?) I want to tell you in this connection that Lenin emphasized on the struggle of developing unity of ideas before formation of the party. That was not just the unity programme of revolution. What he meant was that the struggle for developing unity of ideas was imperative for having correct understanding of Marxism and applying Marxism in all aspects of life, concretization of Marxism in the prevailing concrete situation of each country, developing the concept of Marxist culture as against bourgeois culture and developing collective leadership and democratic centralism. In the later period, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, a worthy disciple of Lenin, and a creative Marxist thinker during the days of our Party formation, had further enriched Lenin’s this concept of unity of ideas. He showed that this is a struggle for developing ideological centralism by applying Marxism in every sphere of life. Only through this struggle for developing ideological centralism, proletarian democracy can be established in the party by abolishing individualism, individual leadership and groups and organizational centralism develops based on proletarian democracy. Through this only is established democratic centralism and proletarian collective leadership as against bourgeois individual leadership. And in the process, collective leadership is manifest in concrete and personified form in an individual who emerges as the highest thinker and leader of the party. In this way ‘one process of thinking’, ‘uniformity of thinking’ and ‘oneness in approach’ develop in the party. On the question of how to form a Marxist party, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had said: “First, those who have taken the lead in forming the party would have to lay the foundation of ideological centralism first among themselves through a socialist movement based on dialectical materialism covering all aspects, including the minutest details, of their personal lives.
Secondly, it is always to be borne in mind that the struggle for developing a concrete concept of collective leadership is, in essence, the primary struggle to build up a communist party. For this, unless ideological centralism, that is to say, one process of thinking, uniformity of thinking, oneness in approach, singleness of purpose has been developed the concrete conception and personified expression of collective leadership within the party cannot be made possible at all. And unless this condition is fulfilled, it is to be understood, the time has not yet come to give a final organizational shape to the party. … Thirdly, through a relentless and painstaking struggle a band of professional revolutionaries is to be developed from among the leaders and cadres who have taken up the cause of formation of a revolutionary working class party. And you should clearly understand that, in the Marxist terminology, a ‘professional revolutionary’ does never mean a paid whole-time worker. Professional revolutionaries are those who constitute the most advanced section of the militant and conscious proletariat who, through a socialist movement, not merely in economic-political fields but in all aspects of life, have been able to embrace Marxism-Leninism, that is the revolutionary ideology of the proletariat, in such a manner that they are capable of engaging themselves constantly in the very many complex battles of the revolutionary life — gladly, unwaveringly and without any reservation — rising above all their personal considerations, needs and difficulties and who can unhesitatingly and happily submit everything personal to the party in the interest of revolution. If the leadership of the party, at different levels, is character of a real communist party. Only when all these three conditions are fulfilled, can the formal constitutional shape be given to a real communist party through a congress.” (Why SUCI is the only genuine communist party in India) In this way he enriched and concretized Lenin’s concept on working class party formation.
I want to tell you that following this process, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had founded SUCI (Communist) as the genuine communist party on the soil on this very date of 24 April in 1948. As I mentioned earlier, the leaders of undivided CPI did not follow the teaching of Lenin while forming the party. They formed the party by assembling overnight various communist-minded groups in different parts of the country. They did not conduct any struggle based on Marxism to develop unity of ideas. So, they failed to concretize Marxism on Indian soil and could not make their leaders and cadres adopt Marxism as a life philosophy. They could not develop communist culture as well. The personal life and political life of the leaders remained separate. In place of democratic centralism, mechanical centralism grew within the party. And from day on, existence of groups remained in the party. The way in the process of conduction of an ideological struggle, there was emergence of first Lenin and then Stalin as the personified expression of the collective leadership and authority in the Russian party, emergence of Mao Zedong in the Chinese party and emergence of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh in our Party; such did not happen ether in the CPI or later in the CPI (M). So right from the start, the CPI and later the CPI (M) grew as petty-bourgeois parties with the name tag of communist. Please keep this in mind.
Comrade Ghosh had further shown that during Russian revolution, capitalism was very weak. In the field of agriculture as well as in the arena of culture, there was influence of feudalism. So, at that time, relatively speaking, there was still some progressive role of bourgeois humanism. Chinese Revolution was also a bourgeois democratic revolution under the leadership of the working class. So in both these countries, the yardstick that “interest of revolution is prior, individual interest is secondary” in evaluating a good communist, had worked.
But Comrade Ghosh understood way back in 1948 that in the developed capitalist countries as well as in India, individualism had turned totally reactionary, inimical to social progress and self-centred. So, the earlier standard of a good communist would no more be adequate. Even such would also not work in post-revolution Russia and China. In these countries, in order to attain the standard of a good communist, one has not only to abandon private property but would have to be free from all kinds private-property mental complex and culture and then happily and unconditionally merge personal interest with the interest of the class, revolution and party.
Correct outlook about international communist leadership
In the same writing referred to earlier, Lenin had shown how a communist party of a particular country would draw lessons from the communist party of another country. He said: “A movement … can be successful only on the condition that it assimilates the experience of other countries. In order to assimilate this experience, it is not sufficient merely to be acquainted with it, or simply to transcribe the latest resolutions. A critical attitude is required towards this experience, and ability to subject it to independent tests.” Instead of following Lenin’s teachings in regard to the approach and outlook towards the international communist leadership, the CPI leaders used to blindly obey the Russian party, Chinese party or the international leadership. Later, when there arose differences between the Russian party and the Chinese party, the CPI leaders and after split, the CPI (M) used to blindly follow the Russian party and the Chinese party respectively. Subsequently, the Naxalites also showed such blind allegiance towards the Chinese party. But Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had shown that internationalism does not mean blind allegiance towards the international leadership or a communist party of another country. Correct meaning of internationalism is to establish dialectical relationship with the international leadership and critically examine its analyses and decisions. He himself held Stalin and Mao Zedong in high esteem as his leaders and teachers. He also taught us to do so. But at the same time, right from 1948, he pointed out some mistakes of theirs as well. As a true internationalist, he from time to time drew attention of all towards some serious problems creeping into international communist movement as well as certain problems developing within socialism. That is why, we have been immensely pained at the debacle of socialism and world communist movement but there has been no frustration in our Party nor has there been any split. Armed with the teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, we were mentally prepared for that.
Lenin also taught another important thing. He said: “We think that an independent elaboration of the Marxist theory is especially essential for Russian socialist, for this theory provides only general guiding principles which in particular are applied in England differently from France, in France differently from Germany, and in Germany differently from Russia.” (Left-wing communism-an infantile disorder) That is why, Lenin did not accomplish revolution by just translating the works of Marx and Engels in Russian. He had to concretize Marxism on Russian soil by correctly applying Marxian science and conducting intense ideological struggle against feudal thoughts, influence of Christianity, Russian bourgeois nationalism, Narodnism, influence of Tolstoy’s thoughts and the so called communists like the Mensheviks. At the same time, he had to carry out ideological battle against revisionism of the Second International and provide international guideline by explaining the imperialist stage of capitalism. Mao Zedong also did not make revolution successful simply by publishing the Chinese version of the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin. He also concretized Marxism on the Chinese soil by ideologically fighting feudalism, influence of Confucius’s philosophy, influence of Buddhism and Chinese bourgeois nationalism. In our country, the CPI leaders did nothing like that. They only ended their responsibility by printing the works of the international communist leaders. It was only Comrade Shibdas Ghosh who launched ideological struggle against the influence of the Veda, Vedanta and other religions, influence of the thoughts of Vivekananda and Rabindranath, Gandhite philosophy, bourgeois nationalism and bourgeois and feudal cultures. And in that process, he concretized Marxism on Indian soil. Lenin had also said: “We do not regard Marxist theory as something completed and inviolable; on the contrary, we are convinced that it has only laid the cornerstone of the science which socialists must further advance in all directions if they wish to keep pace with life.” (ibid) It means that based on Marxian science, answer has to be provided to all the questions emerging in this ever changing dynamic world. The bourgeoisie is bringing newer attacks in the domain of ideology. Newer problems are arising in the realm of knowledge, epistemology, economics, politics, science and culture. All these questions and problems are to be addressed to, analyzed correctly and in the process, the bourgeoisie has to be defeated ideologically. In course of that, Marxism will have to be further developed and enriched. Lenin shouldered this task in a most educative manner. Later, Stalin and Mao Zedong brought further enrichment to Marxism. The other leader who did it was Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. By providing answer to many of the newer questions that emerged in the spheres of philosophy-science-economics-poli-tics-art-literature-culture in the post-Lenin period, he also developed and enriched Marxism. In this regard also, the CPI leaders had done nothing. Whatever I have discussed so far about the CPI is equally applicable to CPI (M) also. Because, the CPI (M) is a part of the undivided CPI and is carrying the same tradition.
Wrong political line of the CPI, CPI (M)
In this connection, I would like to say another thing. When Lenin gave call for socialist revolution in Russia in 1917, there was significant domination of feudalism in agriculture. There was influence of foreign capital as well and capitalism in Russia was very much underdeveloped. Yet, as the bourgeoisie rode to power in February, 1917, Lenin said: “… to that extent, bourgeois democratic revolution is completed.” (April Thesis) And since the main question before revolution is to determine the character of the state, he showed that Russia had entered into the stage of anti-capitalist socialist revolution and all the unfulfilled tasks of bourgeois democratic revolution would be completed in socialism. In our country, both the CPI and the CPI (M) admit that ours is an independent bourgeois state and there is development of monopoly capital here. But while talking of the stage of revolution, the CPI says it is national democratic revolution while the CPI (M) says it is people’s democratic revolution. There is no difference between the two. In both the cases, just like the Chinese revolution, the main enemy to be overthrown is imperialism and feudalism and the progressive national bourgeoisie is an ally of revolution. This is a bizarre theory they both are moving with. The bourgeoisie is in power and according to Lenin, monopoly is the highest stage of capitalism. Then how can there be a progressive role of the Indian national bourgeoisie? Capitalist law is fully operative in Indian agricultural sector. Even vegetables grown in remote villages are also commodities of the national market. There is no separate localized market. Land, production on land, rural labour power—everything is commodity of the national market. Agricultural production is governed by labour-capital relationship. Nowhere can one find even the ghost of feudalism. Only in the field of culture, the bourgeoisie has retained some of the feudal hangovers. Not only monopoly, Indian capitalism has given birth to finance capital and multinationals as well. It has attained imperialist character and extending its domination on South Asian markets. Indian monopolists are investing capital not only in the countries of Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe but even in USA. At the same time, there is inflow of foreign capital here. All the countries are inviting foreign capital. In the given condition, is it realistic to say that India is in the stage of people’s democratic revolution? But they have been ruminating with this weird theory since a long time. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had shown that as inevitable fallout of pursuing such a wrong theory, while the CPI and CPI (M) are practising reformism-revisionism, the Naxalites are cultivating left-adventurism. Though they earlier had formulated this strange theory because of ideological confusion and blindly copying the Chinese Revolution, this theory is now being used by the leaders of these parties to confuse the workers and practise political opportunism. That is the reason both the CPI and CPI (M) had called Indira Gandhi progressive and supported her against the Syndicate Congress in 1967-68-69 and also supported her 20-point programme during emergency. In 1973-74, the students and youths of Northern India built up a movement on various democratic demands. Later when Jayprakash Narayan joined that movement, it came to be known as JP movement. But opposing that movement, the CPI extended direct support to Indira government. And raising the bogey of presence of rightist forces in the movement, the CPI (M) stayed away from the movement and indirectly helped Indira Gandhi. You need to know that at that time we had repeatedly tried to make the CPI (M) understand that since the demands were democratic and a large number of youth and students had come into the vortex of the movement, we, the leftists, must participate in the movement and provide leadership to it by isolating the rightists. But they did not agree. Not only that. Since we had criticized the CPI (M) on this issue, they gave a condition to us that if we wanted to remain in the joint movement, we would have to give up ideological criticism. Our Party said that the Marxist principle is to conduct joint movement based on the theory of unity-struggle-unity. That means, unity will be on the basis of a common minimum programme. Then there will be ideological struggle among all the constituent parties over various questions. Through that, mutual understanding will be better and unity will be stronger. They refused to accept this principle and broke unity with us. I would also like to say that had the CPI (M) agreed to our proposal to join anti-Indira Gandhi movement at that time, then the RSS-Jan Sangh could not increase their strength so much by unilaterally exploiting the credit of the movement and come to the present stage. The BJP could never muster so much of strength. On the other side, though the CPI (M) declined to join the anti-Indira Gandhi movement on the plea of presence of Jan Sangh-RSS, they had in the 1977 election formed electoral alliance with the Janata party constituted by the rightists including RSS-Jan Sangh after emergency. In West Bengal also, the CPI (M) had advanced much in forming a similar electoral pact with the Janata party. But ultimately, it did not materialize because of rift over seat allocation. But the CPI (M) supported the Janata party government at the Centre. You are aware of the subsequent history. The CPI (M) had joined hands with BJP on a number of occasions against the ‘autocracy’ of the Congress and also held hands of the Congress against ‘communalism’ of the BJP. They also lent support to the Congress-led UPA government. All these they did in petty electoral interest.
Why has CPI (M) come to such a pass?
Right from the days of British rule, undivided Bengal and then West Bengal was the nerve-centre of leftist movement. This was due to, on the one hand, the influence of Netaji and petty-bourgeois revolutionism and on the other hand, impact of powerful international communist movement. For that, the British rulers dreaded Bengal. The Indian bourgeoisie was also frightened of Bengal. Nehru could not but say that Kolkata is a city of nightmare, a city of processions. There was a surge of leftist movement in the state of West Bengal in the 1950s and up to mid-1960. People then had high respect for leftism. First the CPI and the CPI (M) usurped this credibility of leftism to increase their party organization. And now after 34 years of uninterrupted rule of the CPI (M)-led Left Front, leftism has been considerably maligned. People have now turned away from the CPI (M) and leftism. It is our Party which has been singularly upholding whatever little credibility communism and leftism has in this state. Just think why has the situation been so? In the 1950s and 1960s, the CPI (M) as an opposition party was in the movement along with us. There used to be conflicts between their reformist line and our revolutionary line centring on the goal, slogan, strategy and tactics of the movement. Still then, they had a role in the struggle. But the situation started getting changed after the United Front government was formed, first in 1967 and then in 1969, and they had tasted power. Lenin had taught that till the preparation for revolution by way of making people totally disillusioned about bourgeois parliament is over, communists should participate in parliament election. But he did not come across a situation when communists have got a chance to run government in a bourgeois set up. So, he could not provide any guideline in this regard. This task was shouldered by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, his worthy student. In 1967 when the leftists got a chance to form government in West Bengal, he said that apart from (i) providing a corruption-free adminis-tration and (ii) maximum spending of government funds in the interest of the poor, (iii) the main aim of this government should be to encourage and intensify class and mass struggles and keep legitimate democratic movement free from interference by the police. For that, if necessary, it should enter into conflict with the bourgeois state and central government and expose their character. On the plea of maintaining law and order, all the parties including the CPI (M) did not agree to this proposal. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh argued that law and order in a bourgeois state is meant for protecting the class interest of the bourgeoisie, not of the people. What is to be seen is whether the movement is legitimate or not. The question of law cannot be important here. After repeated persuasion from our side, they finally agreed formally but did not accept mentally. In 1967, Comrade Subodh Banerjee, a first ranked leader of our Party, became the labour minister. As a policy of the United Front, he declared that “police shall not interfere in legitimate democratic movement.” A spate of movements swept across the state. Slogan was raised that “United Front government is an instrument of struggle”. There was lot of enthusiasm round the country. On the other side, the ruling bourgeoisie was visibly nervous. In order to please the bourgeoisie, the CPI (M) and others did not allot labour ministry to our party in 1969. You all know what happened next. In order to curry favour with the domestic and foreign capital, the CPI (M), during the 34 year long rule, turned the Left Front government into an instrument for crushing class and mass struggles. Besides that, you all have witnessed how the CPI (M) had established their party hold over the police-administration and educational institutions, how nepotism, corruption, precipitation of terror with the help of the anti-socials, muzzling the voice of the opposition, rigging in the election and such other sordid things went on unabated. All these had happened because of the vote-based power politics of the CPI (M). So, whatever little cult of Marxism, leftism, revolution etc. as per their understanding was prevalent in their party is now virtually abolished and after losing governmental power, they are now almost powerless. Despite utmost efforts, the CPI (M) leaders are unable to rejuvenate their workers. In such a distress they are today. All these are outcome of their anti-Marxist revisionist-reformist politics.
I have devoted so much of time to discuss this aspect because I am told by my Party leaders that many workers and supporters of the CPI (M) have come to this meeting to listen what is our viewpoint. I want to tell them that we do not have any ill-feeling towards the CPI (M) or any other party. We do not practise the politics of spreading canards against the others. We only discuss the ideological difference. If their leaders feel that we are wrong, let them tell us with proper logic and reason. We shall correct ourselves if there is reason in what they say. I shall tell the CPI (M) workers not to be frustrated. Let them draw appropriate lessons from their mistakes. Do not run after any party only by seeing the label of “Marxist”, “Communist” etc. Great Engels was the leader of the Second International. But when that International plunged into ideological degeneration, Lenin severed relationship with it and formed Third International. In Russia, RSDLP, the Mensheviks all claimed themselves to be Marxists. Then why did Lenin form a separate Bolshevik party? Take due lessons from all these. Blind following is not Marxism. It is unbecoming of a revolutionary character to obey a party even it is found to be traversing anti-Marxist path, just because he is associated with it for long and is unable to come out of the weakness towards it. Please do ponder over these words.
SUCI(C) wants unity for movement, not for electoral benefit
It is true that in the parliamentary election of 2009 and assembly election of 2011, we had supported the Trinamool Congress (TMC) only for dislodging the CPI(M) from power. Prior to that, our Party had built up many movements against the anti-people policies of the CPI (M) government including abolition of English at primary level. Many of our comrades had shed blood. More than 150 of our workers were murdered. Life term was slapped on 50 of our leaders and workers after implicating them in false cases. All these were done by the CPI (M). In spite of that, we did not give call for removing the CPI (M) from the government. But when they in a fascistic manner, engineered mass killing and mass rape with the help of police and criminals to crush peasants’ movements in Singur and Nandigram, we understood that if they continued to remain in power, more brutal attack will descend on mass movement. It was our Party and not the TMC which started the movements in both Singur and Nandigram. This is known to the leaders of all parties, administration, journalists and particularly the people of those two places. But media do not give us any coverage. So, this news also did not come in the media. When the TMC wanted to join this movement, we agreed because we alone were not in a position to resist the attack. So, we formed public committees at the grass root level involving the TMC. Of course, the TMC had caused an immense damage to the Singur movement. At the initiative of our Party, the Singur peasants bravely resisted the attempt to forcibly snatch land for two full days. But then the TMC chief, in order to divert attention, sat in a hunger strike in Kolkata and told the fighting peasants that this hunger strike would resolve the problem. Thus, the TMC virtually destroyed the Singur movement. And capitalizing on that, the government grabbed the land. But the TMC could not do this in Nandigram. Because, in accordance with our proposal, the local TMC leaders there built up joint resistance. But the media presented the whole issue in such a way as if it was the TMC who was conducting the movement. Before that, the TMC had approached us for an electoral alliance. But we turned it down. It is worth recalling that in 2001, the CPI (M) also gave us similar proposal for having an electoral pact with them. We refused then also. Because, we do not want unity out of the lure of MPs and MLAs. We want unity based on principle and in the interest of mass movement. We had united with the TMC for (i) dislodging the CPI (M) from power in the interest of democratic movement, (ii) preventing the TMC from usurping the success of Nandigram movement, (iii) dissuading the TMC from attacking Marxism-leftism during the electoral campaign, and (iv) allowing the TMC to ride to power and thereby get exposed. People would then be free from the illusion about the TMC which was created by the media when that party was in opposition. Now the people are learning in a hard way what the actual character of the TMC is. With this objective, we had united with the TMC. We had said before the election that once the TMC was saddled in power, we would unleash movement against it. And it was our Party which first launched movement against the TMC government. The TMC had offered us a ministerial berth in its cabinet. We also turned that down.
And you have also noticed that of late, an issue-based unity is developing between us and the CPI (M). It is pertinent to mention here that in 1952, Forward Bloc, RSP, RCPI were all big parties. But because of the role of the CPI in the freedom movement, they were refusing to include CPI in the joint movement. It was at our initiative and efforts that the CPI was taken in. After that, for a long period we had unity first with the undivided CPI and then with both the CPI and the CPI (M). But as I had said earlier, the CPI (M) broke unity with us in 1974. Even when we were conducting movements against their governments in West Bengal and Kerala and our workers were being assaulted and even killed by them, we wanted unity with them at all India level as well as in other states for building up movement against the Congress government. But they gave condition that unless we stopped our movements against them in West Bengal and Kerala, there would be no unity at all India level. We did not accept that condition. This time, the General Secretary of the CPI (M) came down to Kolkata and gave us proposal for unity. We agreed and openly stated all the facts and our viewpoints. These have all been published in a book. As you know, as General Secretary of the Party, I was invited by both the CPI and CPI (M) this year to address the open sessions of their party congresses. There, I had along with other points openly said that, yes, we want left unity, not for the sake of election, but only to intensify working class struggles and mass movements. Why did I say this? Please bear in mind that ours is a revolutionary party. Cabinet berth, MLA, MP—all such things are trifle to us. We develop class and mass struggles with clear revolutionary objective. With the same objective, we fight in the elections. To us one character like Kshudiram or Bhagat Singh is more important than 100 MPs. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh gave maximum importance to building revolutionary character of the Party workers. Guided by his teachings, there is a relentless struggle in our Party to build up character. Quoting Lenin he said, “Better fewer, but better”. He exhorted us to draw necessary lesson from the life and struggle of all the great men of yester years and then advance further to attain higher communist character. This is the reason you appreciate the character of the boys and girls of our Party.
Do not be misled by the deceptive slogans of ‘development’, ‘removal of corruption’, ‘change’
Let me tell you that all these ruling parties are repeatedly deceiving you with the slogans of ‘development’, ‘removal of corruption’, ‘change’ and so forth. And you are also getting carried away by these hoodwinking slogans. Who is prospering in this class divided society? The capitalists or the workers? The oppressor or the oppressed? You ought to examine this question. There is no development in the life of the workers and the other sections of the oppressed people of any of the imperialist-capitalist countries. Rather, penury and misery are increasingly strangulating their life. Throughout the world, imperialist-capitalist economy is gasping with the crisis of recession. There is no way it can come out of that. Absence of market of capitalist economy means there is no buyer in the market. Of the 600 crore odd world population, 201 crore are unemployed. 330 crore of people earn only Rs 178.46 a day. These figures have been furnished by them only. According to President of India, 66 crore out of 121 crore of population are without employment. A commission set up by the government of India reported that 77% Indians can spend only Rs 20 in a day. In such circumstances, what else can be the condition of capitalist market? USA, Europe, Japan –all are ridden with intense market crisis and recession. So, the industrial scenario is marked by increasing number of lock-outs, closures and retrenchment. Great Marx had said long back that the capitalist economy where motive force of production is to earn profit would inevitably land in crisis. He showed that the capitalists invest capital for earning profit. And that profit comes from surplus value generated by unpaid surplus labour. In other words, surplus value is created by depriving labour of its due wage. These working people who are denied their legitimate due are the major buyers in the market. Though they have need, they cannot buy because they have no purchasing power. This gives rise to market crisis. Stalin had shown that today the monopolists look for maximization of profit which leads to maximization of exploitation. Pointing at the then stage of development of capitalism, Marx had said that the capitalists pay that much of wage to the workers which would be needed by them to put in labour by staying alive and also to keep their progenies or the next generation of workers alive. Now capitalism has no more that need. So, there is no need-based wage. Because, there are so many unemployed in the market. Taking advantage of that, the capitalists are forcing the labour to work for 10 to 12 hours a day as against stipulated 8 hours at a very low wage and stressing on contract labour. This is the situation in the entire capitalist world our country included. So, the market crisis is accentuating. Previously, the phase was of demand-based production. Now it is being replaced by credit-driven production. An artificial demand is created by offering loans to the consumers. The banks are giving loan to buy commodities. But that is multiplying the crisis. Most of the people who are taking loans are unable to pay even the interest, let alone the principal. There is spurt in the number of unemployed hungry people in both villages and towns. Lakhs of people are dying out of starvation and without medical treatment. Unable to bear the brunt of rising want and accumulated debt, several lakhs are committing suicide. Lakhs of women are initiated into flesh trade. Woman body has become a commodity in the market of consumerism. This is the template of ‘development’! But is it that there is prosperity of none? As per the figure released by UNO, only 85 financial oligarchs have amassed wealth equivalent to what is possessed by 350 crore of people of the world. Our country is also ranked 5th in terms of the number of billionaires. The number of crorepatis is also galloping in our country. Even 80% of the members of parliament are crorepatis. Think for a while which section of the society these MPs represent. These are the sections that are enjoying ‘development’.
Today, the bourgeois parties and politicians who are raising voice against corruption are themselves found to be corrupt. By firing salvo against corruption of one party, the other party rides to power and then surpasses the previous incumbent in corruption. This is what the Congress and the BJP are doing at the Centre and other regional bourgeois parties in the states. In West Bengal also, the TMC who raised the pitch so much against the corruption of the CPI (M) government, is now, after being in power, outperforming the CPI (M) in that regard. What is the reason for that? All the political parties subserving the interest of extremely inhuman, immoral and utterly corrupt capitalism are bound to be so. As the sole object of the capitalists is to maximize profit at any cost and exacerbate oppression, no matter whether people stay alive or die, similarly only aim of the leaders of these parliamentarian parties is to become ministers and make money by any means through loot and plunder. These leaders are least bothered about the people and their distress. During the days of freedom movement, politics called for sacrifice. And today, bourgeois politics has been reduced to a means for amassing huge wealth, self-aggrandizement, and enjoying lavish and luxurious life. What can you expect from such parties or their leaders? They are hypocrites, cheaters.
In the name of ‘change’, one party is replacing another party in the government with the blessing of the capitalist class. But has that brought any change to your life? Is there any change in the crisis-stricken life of yours? There is no change. Only the crisis is increasing. Seeing all these, a section of the people, out of pain, are lamenting that all these parties are tricksters, cheats. But how are they able to cheat you? Why are you defrauded repeatedly? Have you ever thought of that? It is because you do not want to rack your brains on politics. Your common argument is, ‘We do not understand so much. The cobbler must stick to his last’. That is why you are being duped again and again. You stay away from politics, politics on which is dependent your food, shelter, clothing, job, means of livelihood, education, safety of life—everything. And exploiting your aloofness or apathy towards politics, the bourgeoisie and these cunning political leaders go on fooling you. This has been going on right from the days of freedom movement. The media controlled by the British imperialists and Indian bourgeoisie never gave any publicity to the revolutionaries at the time of freedom struggle. On the contrary, the bourgeois press used to spread canard against them by calling them murderers, dacoits and terrorists. There 1was no publicity of Subhaschandra. But, Gandhiji was projected as descent of god. The countrymen also blindly believed that. Today, we are paying price for that. Later, the bourgeois media conferred the title of “rising sun to emancipate Asia” on Indira Gandhi, the then Congress chief. There has been surfeit of publicity in the bourgeois media to her slogan of ‘Garibi Hotao’ (eradicate poverty), ‘poverty alleviation programme’ of the Congress, the slogan of ‘good days’ by the first BJP government, BJP’s claim of being ‘a party with a difference’, the slogan of ‘aachhe din’ of the present BJP government, its promise of ‘unearthing black money within 100 days and give Rs 15 lakhs to each citizen’, ‘restoration of democracy’ by the CPI(M) in 1977, CPI(M)’s ‘brand of industrialization’, ‘agnikanya’ (Girl of fire) of the TMC leadership, her being ‘a symbol of honesty’ and a host of such things of all the ruling parties. And being confused, you are all running after them and then receiving a jolt. How long will you allow this to happen? If you want to be free from crisis and bring about real change, then please try to understand politics. Do not be befooled by the media propaganda. Do not be dazzled by merely observing mob mobilization behind a party. Recognize the correct party which can show the path of emancipation. Please notice that as the press and radio once gave no publicity to Netaji and other revolutionaries, the bourgeois media today gives no coverage to SUCI(C), founded by the great leader of the proletariat, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. There is such a massive gathering here today. But you will find no mention of it in the press or TV tomorrow. Because, as they had dreaded Netaji and the revolutionaries then, they dread SUCI(C), the only revolutionary party of the proletariat. But could they stop our growth by such a blackout? For a long period after foundation of our Party in 1948, the CPI, CPI (M), RSP, Forward Bloc and Congress used to ridicule us by saying that ours was not a party but a club. ‘If SUCI(C) is a party then the bat is also to be called a bird”—such was the language of their derision. Today, based on the invincible weapon of Marxism-Leninism-Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought, the same very Party, SUCI(C) has spread its organization throughout the length and breadth of the country without any media backing, without any mentionable number of MLAs and MPs. Thousands and thousands of workers-peasants-students-youths-women are joining the Party. There has been impact of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought on other countries also. In Bangladesh, a revolutionary party has been formed adopting Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought as the guiding ideology.
Only socialist revolution can bring real change
You are to understand that in order to bring about real change, what is needed is not a change of the government but a change of the exploitative capitalist system and capitalist state. So, is needed socialist revolution. This was the call of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh in 1948. Please keep it in mind so long capitalism will be in vogue, unemployment, retrenchment, poverty, starvation death, beggary, sale of woman body, rape irrespective of whether the victim is an old lady or a child, crisis of human essence and quality, absence of values, dearth of affection-tender feelings-love—everything will be on an ascending scale. To bring about a fundamental change of this suffocating situation is needed socialist revolution. Soviet socialism had permanently abolished all these aberrations, misery and privation and created a new civilization. Enamoured by that, the doyens of the last century like Romain Rolland, Bernard Shaw, Einstein, Rabindranath, Saratchandra, Subhaschandra, Premchand, Subramania Bharati and Bhagat Singh gave ovation to Soviet socialism. It is a matter of immense pain that the same socialism was dismantled by the counter-revolutionary capitalism from inside and the imperialism from outside. But this is not the end. In France, the working class established Paris Commune through revolution in 1871. That commune was conserved for few months. But ultimately, it could not be protected. Because, out of inexperience, they did not smash the bourgeois state machine and established a working class state in its place. From this, Marx drew necessary lesson. Lenin had applied that lesson in Russia to successfully accomplish revolution. Soviet socialism under Stalin’s leadership registered spectacular growth in economics, politics, education, culture, science and all other fields and overtook USA. Soviet socialism also helped the freedom movements and liberation struggles in other countries and inflicted crushing defeat on the fascist axis in the Second World War. But though capitalism was almost wiped out in the field of economic structure, influence of bourgeois culture and individualism had remained in the superstructure i.e. in the realm of ideology-culture which was termed by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh it as ‘socialist individualism’. There was no effective Cultural Revolution in Soviet Union to fight and eradicate this phenomenon of socialist individualism. And this bourgeois thought in the superstructure attacked and destroyed socialism. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had elaborately explained this. Deriving proper lesson from this debacle and following inexorable law of history, socialist revolution will advance in various countries successfully. Please bear in mind that had Soviet socialism existed, US imperialism could never carry out barbaric activities in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and other countries of the Middle East; Islamic-Hindu-Christian fundamentalism could never raise its ugly head; the participants of ‘Occupy World Street’ movement in US, the striking workers of Europe and the ‘Arab Spring’ agitators could get to know the correct path of struggle for emancipation. Socialism did not come on some individual`s asking for it. It has come in keeping with the law of history. As slave society was established by changing the ancient society, feudalism or monarchy by abolishing slave society and then capitalism by dislodging feudalism, socialism also came in that course by overthrowing capitalism, existed for 70 long years and showed what new proletarian civilization is. Again socialism will be established in various countries in a further enriched form.
Have trust and confidence on Marxism
Please have faith in Marxism. Marxism is not the product of any subjective thinking. This is a comprehensive philosophy based on science. The various branches of science are continuously discovering the various laws of nature, the various laws governing the motion of matter through experimentation and verification. Through dialectically coordinating and integrating all these particular truths and laws of the material world, Marx had discovered the general laws which are applicable to all domains of the material world— the nature, human society, history and all disciplines of science. That is why, Marxism is a science. Marxism only showed for the first time the law of social development which governed transition from ancient society to slave society, slave society to feudalism, feudalism to capitalism. Following the same inexorable law, socialism will replace capitalism and then finally would come communism. Again higher stage of society would follow. The bourgeoisie uses science in industry, agriculture, construction work, transport system and exploring the earth and the cosmic world. But they dread Marxian science. Because, it poses danger to the very existence of capitalism. As natural science has been on a forward march starting from Galileo to Newton, then to Einstein, and then to the scientists of modern times, similarly after Marx-Engels, Lenin-Stalin-Mao Zedong-Shibdas Ghosh in succesion have contributed to continuous advancement and enrichment of this scientific philosophy. The higher understanding of this revolutionary ideology today lies in Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought.
Strengthen SUCI(C), strengthen class and mass struggles
Armed with this powerful ideological weapon, our Party has been relentlessly organizing the mass and class struggles with the objective of accomplishing anti-capitalist socialist revolution. We call upon all of you to come forward, build up people’s struggle committees and volunteer corps in various localities and develop higher cultural movement for building up character. Remember, the capitalist system today is like a mutilated stinking corpse. It is polluting the entire environment. In order to save human civilization, we shall have to overthrow capitalism and establish socialism. So, please strengthen our Party. Let your children come and join the revolutionary struggle of our Party. We need today thousands and thousands of Kshudiram-Bhagat Singh-Asfaqulla-Pritilata who will hold aloft the flag of Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought and fight with all their might. With these words, I end here.