[The speech delivered in English online by Comrade Provash Ghosh, General Secretary, SUCI(C), on 13 August 2021 on the occasion of observance of 45th Memorial Day of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, Founder General Secretary of SUCI (C), our leader, teacher and guide and an outstanding Marxist thinker of the era, is being published in instalments. This is the first instalment.]
Comrade President, Comrades and Friends,
On this occasion, I will begin with reading a few words from a speech of our great Leader Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. ‘‘…When this Party was in the formative stage, we had nothing- no money, no hands, no place to stay. Nobody knew us. How old were we at that time? I was then quite a young man, a person of very young age- and I was telling that there was no genuine revolutionary party in India. Such a party was needed here. After hearing our logic, some people said: ‘Yes, such a party should be built up. Your logic is correct. But only a mad man can think of this. Is it easy to build up a Party? So many big parties are there. They are failing to keep their parties intact. Those are breaking up. So many things are occurring within them. In such a situation, you – who are completely unknown, have no experienced persons with you, no famous leader with you, no publicity is there in favour of you — how would you do such a thing?’ Whenever we talked of building a genuine communist party, people used to taunt us. They laughed at us, calling our thinking as utopian. I did not also go for arguments with them. Rather I used to put questions before them. ‘Okay, I accept your point that nothing could be done. I would not be able to do anything; then you suggest, what am I to do? Should I be a servant of this system; be a bootlicker of this system? Should I sell my conscience? Shall I act, going against my conscience? I cannot do that.’ My words to my colleagues were: ‘Those of you who are ready to struggle along with me can stay, but those who cannot fight like that are free to leave me. If I go without food and die on the streets, I shall die but die with honour, die raising my head high. When I shall die on the street from hunger, then too, I shall be able to protest against any injustice. I can be killed with bullets, but I cannot be bought. But the truth I have understood is that if a new revolutionary Party is not built, whatever sacrifices and bloodshed be there in course of traversing along the wrong path, all would go in vain. Emancipation of the masses would not come by. So a real or true ideology and genuine revolutionary party are necessary. Now I have two paths before me to choose from. Even after knowing all these, I can remain silent, and do nothing and thereby sell my conscience, degrade myself, give up fighting, fail to jump into struggle. Whether I shall win or face defeat, I do not know. Only history would tell that.’’ These words are from a valuable speech of our departed great leader and teacher, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. The speech is yet to be published.
Arduous struggle of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh during Party building
Comrades, these were the feelings and words of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh in the years of 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947 and 1948. That was a period of historic struggle to build up this Party. Now, today, we can claim with pride that history has answered correctly. Today, in about 28 States of India–– thousands and thousands of Party members, supporters and sympathizers are paying their homage to this great Marxist thinker, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. History has indeed answered.
Comrades, we know from history that in every epoch, at every critical hour, at every turning point of social development, when necessity arises for emancipating humanity from the yoke of old obsolete order, a new great leader emerges responding to the historical necessity, and with a great revolutionary ideology. That happened in the case of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh also. He is a product of a historical necessity and based on scientific revolutionary philosophy of Marxism-Leninism, he determined the path to change history too. Most of you know that Comrade Shibdas Ghosh joined the freedom struggle at a most turbulent period of our country when waves after waves of movements were rising and then receding, again rising and again subsiding. At that time, as a teen-aged school student, he joined the freedom struggle. He joined a revolutionary group which was known as Anushilan Samiti. There had been some groups of revolutionaries in India, like Anushilan Samiti, Jugantar, Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, erstwhile Gadar Party and many others. From the very beginning, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had a mind, a keen desire, a thirst to know truth, to acquire knowledge, and to know the life struggles of all the great men of history. Learning from their teachings and life struggles, he used to determine his own future course of struggle. From the very beginning, he was very truthful. Whatever he had found as truth, he was determined to pursue that in his life struggle. He never vacillated, never compromised. And he studied the life struggles and teachings of the pioneers of Indian renaissance, leaders of the freedom struggle, particularly struggles of the revolutionary leaders, struggles of all martyrs. Deriving lessons from those life struggles, he began his struggling life. While he was active in Anushilan Samiti, he came in contact with the revolutionary ideology of Marxism-Leninism. It attracted him very much.
He came from a very poor lower middle class family. And as the eldest son, he was the only future hope of that family. But his unbound love and profound feeling for the common people, particularly for the poor oppressed people, touched and roused his conscience, and he decided to leave family life to join the freedom struggle in the later part of his school days. He said that, when he left his family, he even prepared his mind that one day he might find his parents begging in the streets. He asked himself what then would he do? And he himself answered that when ‘thousands and thousands of fathers and mothers are begging in the streets, crying in the streets. I owe my responsibility to them as their son. So, I cannot go back’. In later life, when his parents were in the midst of much suffering, one of his earlier colleagues of the Anushilan Samiti, provided monetary help to Comrade Shibdas Ghosh’s family without informing him. And he said to his parents that the money had been sent by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. Otherwise his parents would not have accepted it. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh was not aware of it. When he came to know of this, he told his friend: ‘You must not help in this way. With me there are some other comrades, who have also left their family. Can you also undertake the responsibility of all those families? If you can, only then, you can help my parents. Otherwise you must not.’ His friend became angry and told him: ‘You are an unusual person. You are a cruel person.’ But we know that he had profound feeling for all the parents of the poor people of this country and also world over. We know, he said: ‘‘Revolutionary politics calls for nobler feelings of heart’’ meaning revolutionary politics is a higher emotional cult. And his life struggle reflected it in the best way. When he was imprisoned and discussed about formation of this party, many political prisoners called him a mad man. During that time, his age was hardly between 19 and 22. He had no formal education beyond school level. In the jail, there used to be group readings on Lenin’s works. A professor used to translate from English to Bengali. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had always a very keen and critical mind. One respected Comrade Shashadhar Ghosh, who was older than Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, was in that group study. He told me that sometimes Comrade Shibdas Ghosh used to raise some points and asked the Professor: ‘‘You again translate it. Because I feel that Lenin would not say like that.’’ And they were astonished to find that Comrade Shibdas Ghosh was correct.
There was another incident in his jail life. There was an old prisoner, who was a scholar of Vedanta philosophy. He loved Comrade Shibdas Ghosh very much. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh was not acquainted with Vedanta philosophy at that time. And that professor of Vedanta philosophy, knowing that Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had joined Marxist movement, tried to convince him about the Vedanta. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh requested that scholar to explain Vedanta philosophy to him. He did it. Listening to his points of Vedanta philosophy, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh placed his arguments to prove where the Vedanta was wrong. The professor could not answer him. But as he believed in the Vedanta and existence of omnipotent Brahma, he amazingly tried to prove that Brahma indeed existed by telling Comrade Shibdas Ghosh: ‘‘You are the proof that Brahma does exist. Because without the power of Brahma, you could not argue in such a perfect way.’’
There was another interesting incident. Some non-communist people said that communists do not and cannot know music and such other things. Comrade Ghosh differed. And he learnt to play Sitar instrument without the knowledge of many in the prison. When some prisoners were to be released, he said ‘‘I will play the Sitar in their farewell function.’’ Everybody became astonished. He played, and he played well, only to prove that Communists can do everything. That was the first and the last time. He never touched that instrument again. So it was an all-embracing struggle on his part. In jail, there were prisoners of different political parties. Most of them were older than him. He respected them, discussed and argued with them.
Comrade Shibdas Ghosh’s analysis of CPI proved correct
But how could he conclude that the united Communist Party of India (CPI) was not a real communist party? Why was there a necessity to develop a real communist party on the Indian soil? He critically studied Marxism-Leninism and applying his understanding of Marxism-Leninism, he examined the history of the CPI. You know that great Stalin, considering the CPI as a real communist party, had told its leaders in 1925,: ‘‘The fundamental and new feature of the conditions of life of colonies like India is not only that the national bourgeoisie has split up into a revolutionary party and a compromising party, but primarily that the compromising section of this bourgeoisie has already managed, in the main, 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 victory of the revolution cannot be achieved unless this bloc is smashed. But in order to smash this bloc, fire must be concentrated on the compromising national bourgeoisie, its treachery exposed, the toiling masses freed from its influence, and the conditions necessary for the hegemony of the proletariat systematically prepared. In other words, in colonies like India… 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 university of the people of the East, 1925)
This was a very important guidance on the part of Comrade Stalin. You see, he said that the national bourgeoisie was divided into two sections-compromising and uncompromising. At that time, Indian capitalism had developed so much–not the comprador bourgeoisie, but the national bourgeoisie itself and they were compromising with imperialism to get the state power. And they were against revolution. Stalin advised the Indian Communists to isolate the compromising national bourgeois leadership from the freedom movement, form a bloc with the uncompromising section– that is, the petty bourgeois revolutionaries. And who represented petty bourgeois revolutionary line? All the scattered revolutionary groups and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
What is the history of undivided CPI at that time? They could not understand and hence did not follow this guideline of Stalin. Instead of forging unity with these uncompromising forces, they developed unity with the compromising forces. They did it when a serious struggle between the compromising forces led by Gandhiji and the uncompromising forces led by Netaji Subhash had ensued. The Congress, at that time, was a platform, not a homogeneous party. The Socialists, those who believed in socialism, communism, revolution, the forces who believed in non-violence, forces for violence-all were there within the Congress. At the Presidential election at Haripura conference, Subhash Bose was elected as Congress President uncontested. At that time, the aspirant Indian national bourgeoisie could sense the danger for them in Subhash Bose. After being elected as President, Subhash Bose hailed Soviet Union as a friend of Indian freedom struggle. Subhash Bose asked the workers and peasants to join the freedom struggle. Subhash Bose raised the slogan of ending Zamindari system. All these frightened the national bourgeoisie, British imperialism and the compromising section of the Congress. So in the next presidential election of the Congress party, Gandhiji had put up Pattabhi Sitaramaiya as his candidate against Subhash Bose. But, all uncompromising forces of India, particularly the revolutionary youths had unitedly supported Subhash Bose. So, Subhash Bose defeated Pattabhi Sitaramaiya. At that time, Gandhiji said: ‘Pattabhi’s defeat is my defeat.’
Then a conspiracy was hatched to weaken the newly elected President, Subhash Bose. Govind Ballav Panth, a Gandhite, moved a resolution that henceforth the Congress President would take any decision only with the approval of Gandhiji. Earlier, according to the Congress Constitution, the President would have nominated the Working Committee. But the new resolution suggested an amendment to that clause. As per the suggested amendment, the Working Committee would be nominated only with the approval of Gandhiji. This resolution was drafted to weaken the hands of Subhash Bose and strengthen the hands of Gandhiji and his followers. The CPI and others opposed Subhash Bose by supporting the resolution, which was then accepted. Afterwards, Gandhiji also did not cooperate with Subhash Bose. A stalemate was created to compel Subhash Bose to resign. So, Subhash Bose had to resign from Congress Presidentship prematurely. After that, Subhash Bose had given call for a movement against British imperialism. But the Congress Working Committee took a decision that since Subhash Bose had called upon the people for a movement against British imperialism without the permission of the Committee, a disciplinary action was to be taken against him. Subhash Bose was suspended from the Congress. In the language of Subhash Bose– ‘it was not a suspension, it was an expulsion’. Then, Subhash Bose tried to unite all the left forces of India, to develop an alternate leadership. He invited the CPI to join Ramgarh Conference with that objective. And he told the CPI: ‘If this left consolidation can be done, it will pave the way to prepare the ground for the development of Communist movement in India’. But the CPI did not join. They sided with Gandhiji.
Next, there was an uprising in 1942. In that uprising, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh was also a participant. He was imprisoned at that time. The Second World War had then broken out and the Soviet Union had to align with Great Britain, against fascist axis of Germany, Italy and Japan. Without understanding the implication of this alliance in that given context, the CPI blindly opposed 1942 uprising and supported British imperialism. This caused a misunderstanding in our country as if this opposition was according to the advice of Stalin. But Stalin never advised the CPI to do this. Rather in 1951, when a delegation of the CPI went to meet Stalin, he asked them: ‘What did you at the time of the War?’ They answered: ‘We supported Britishers.’ Stalin rebuked them for that. That was the stand of Stalin. So, this stand too of the CPI was non-Marxist.
Netaji Subhash Bose organized the INA utilizing the contradiction among the world forces in the Second World War. Actually, after secretly leaving India, he first sought help from Soviet Union. And Soviet Union told him that, at that point of time, such a help or support to him was not possible for them since it was in alliance with the British against the fascist axis. Then he went to Germany, from Germany to Japan, and took help from Japan –– surely not to allow Japan to occupy India. He was a patriot. This was a tactical line. Whether this tactical line was right or wrong might be a point of argument. But then the CPI openly branded Subhash Bose as an agent of Japan, a quisling (traitor). In this way, the CPI maligned Subhash Bose and the INA’s struggle for India’s freedom.
The CPI also supported formation of India and Pakistan through partition of the country based on religion. They advocated a queer theory – the Hindus represent one nation, and the Muslims represent another nation. By observing and studying all these things, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh came to the conclusion that from the very beginning the CPI did not reflect Marxist-Leninist outlook. It was and is not at all a Marxist Party. He said: ‘Those who founded the CPI were honest and dedicated. They had made many sacrifices. I respect them. But they could not understand Marxism. Like Kautsky and other leaders of the Second International, they only studied the works of Marx and Engels but did not assimilate the essence of it. Plekhanov had studied the works of Marx and Engels. Once, Plekhanov was even the teacher of Great Lenin. But in applying the teachings of Marxism-Leninism in real life, they proved themselves to be non-Marxist. They failed to apply Marxism-Leninism correctly because they studied Marxism just like scholars or pedants but not as a living theory. Knowing the postulates of a theory or ideology and applying that ideology in life and action are totally different things. And here, they failed. They could not accept Marxism as a philosophy of life and hence failed to apply Marxism in all aspects of life.’
Lenin’s teaching on Party formation
Here I shall quote some of the important teachings of Lenin to prove how Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had applied those teachings creatively. And in course of that, he even further elaborated and enriched them. Regarding formation of a Party, Lenin said: ‘‘To establish and consolidate the Party means establishing and consolidating unity among all Russian Social Democrats’’. (Declaration of the Editorial Board of Iskra) When Lenin said Russian Social Democrats, he meant Communists and ‘‘and for the reasons indicated above, such unity cannot be brought about by a decree. It cannot be brought about by, let us say, a meeting of representatives, passing a resolution’’. (ibid) Note this! According to Lenin, unity to form a Party cannot be done only by a decree, or by passing a resolution in a gathering of representatives. ‘‘Before we can unite and in order that you may unite, we must first of all firmly and definitely draw the lines of demarcation.’’ (ibid) Among those who are there to form the Party, where there are differences, those lines of demarcation must be drawn. ‘‘Otherwise our unity will be a merely fictitious unity which will conceal the prevailing confusion and prevent its complete elimination.’’ (ibid) Then he said: ‘‘Without a revolutionary theory, there can be no revolutionary movement.’’ (What is to be done) And Comrade Shibdas Ghosh understood it. How was this CPI formed? Merely some self-proclaimed communists, or at best I can say, communist-minded people, some such persons, some such groups, staying in different parts of the country, contacted with each other, gathered together, and formed the party. Just like a representative passing a resolution and bringing out a decree, they founded their party. They did not follow Lenin’s teachings at all.
Comrade Shibdas Ghosh developed and enriched Leninist concept of party building
Here, regarding ‘revolutionary theory’ of Lenin, Comrade Ghosh said, while elaborating it further: ‘‘By revolutionary theory, Lenin did not mean just the political programme and policies of a Party.’’ (Why SUCI(C) is the only genuine communist party in India) Note this point. Not only programme and policy of the Party. Here is the elaboration made by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh– ‘‘He actually meant a complete epistemological category developed by the Central leadership of the Party by dialectically coordinating the understanding and experiences of different branches of knowledge, including science and covering all aspects of life. …Only through correct application of the fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism, in concrete conditions, and thereby continuously elaborating, concretizing, developing and enriching its revolutionary theory, can revolution be really organized and be victorious in different countries.’’ (ibid)
So, following Lenin’s teachings, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh elaborated: ‘‘What are those primary conditions essential for the formation of a Communist Party? First, those who have taken the lead in forming the Party would have to lay the foundation of ideological centralism.’’ Lenin said unity of ideas. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh’s expression is ideological centralism. I am continuing to read from Comrade Ghosh’s works: (they) ‘‘…would have to lay the foundation of ideological centralism – first among themselves through a socialist movement, based on dialectical materialism, covering all aspects of life including the minutest details of their personal lives…. Secondly, unless ideological centralism-that is to say – one process of thinking, uniformity of thinking, oneness in approach and 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 that the time has not yet come to give a final organizational shape to the Party.’’ (ibid) This is the elaboration of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh of Leninist teachings. He further added :‘‘Thirdly, through a relentless and painstaking struggle, a band of professional revolutionaries are to be developed from among the leaders and cadres – who have taken up the cause of formation of a revolutionary working class party. 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 had been able to embrace Marxism Leninism, that is a revolutionary ideology as 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 consideration, needs and difficulties and who can unhesitatingly and happily, submit everything personal to the Party in the interest of the revolution. If the leadership of the Party at different levels is constituted from among such professional revolutionaries, then only, can a Party acquire the 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.’’ (ibid)
Next, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh said: ‘‘In the present era, by eliminating individualism and individual leadership, from the internal democratic life of the Party, collective leadership can be established only when the collective knowledge of the leaders and members of the whole Party derived through struggles and interaction of ideas, knowledge and experiences, has been personified and concretized in the best manner in a leader of the party.’’ (ibid) Regarding the three conditions, these are the elaborations provided by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh of Leninist teachings. So, following Lenin’s guideline, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh enriched and elaborated it further, and in that course, he founded our Party.
Marxism is a guide to action in a concrete situation
Again I quote Lenin. 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. In Germany, differently from Russia.’’ (‘Our Programme’, SW, Vol. II) There is a general international guideline. But the situation differs from country to country. So Marxism-Leninism is to be concretized in the concrete situation of a country. It was the teaching of Lenin. It was not followed by the CPI. They blindly copied either Moscow or Beijing leadership without caring for concretization of Marxism-Leninism in Indian condition and thus went against the advice of Lenin. But Comrade Shibdas Ghosh concretized the philosophy of Marxism-Leninism on Indian soil and also concretized the general guideline of revolution in the concrete condition of India. Here also, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh correctly applied Lenin’s teachings, whereas the founders of the CPI failed. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh also highlighted another thing very much. He said: ‘‘Marxism is a noble revolutionary ideology. Consequently, the essence, the kernel of this noblest revolutionary ideology too lies ingrained in its cultural and ethical standard.’’ [Why SUCI(C), SW, Vol. II ] Then, Comrade Ghosh said, ‘‘Without acquiring the proletarian culture, which is much superior to, and nobler than bourgeois humanist culture, one can neither have the ability to grasp a revolutionary theory properly, nor apply it correctly.’’ (ibid) In this regard also, the CPI leaders failed. They could not believe that there is a necessity of proletarian culture, which is completely different from bourgeois humanist culture. First, the necessity of proletarian culture is to be felt. Then it is to be developed and acquired. This struggle is necessary. This is also an important elaboration and contribution of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh.
Some valuable teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh
In this way, this Party was built up as a real communist party in our country. There was an arduous struggle on his part to build this Party. I have already read out from his works on this struggle in the beginning. There was a notable incident. In Anushilan Samity, he had a respected leader named Charu Roy whom he and others obeyed strongly. When he heard about the formation of a new party by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, he vehemently opposed it. He warned Comrade Ghosh, ‘Do you know if you disobey me, what will be the consequences’? Comrade Shibdas Ghosh answered smilingly ‘Charuda, you have taught us even to face death for truth.’ That leader became silent. And how adverse a situation was faced in those days of Party formation. I myself witnessed it when I joined the Party towards the end of 1950. Though most of the comrades know this saying of Comrade Ghosh, still I am repeating it to rouse our conscience. ‘‘I can still recollect those early days when we started building up the party there were very few people to support us; we could not even arrange a room as shelter and, day after day, in our fierce battle to build up a new party in the midst of severe obstacles and a completely adverse situation, we had to strive hard even without food, but we had no grievance for all this. For years together we shared a grass-mat only, and so many winters we passed like that. Our old friends will bear it out even today. They will relate that never could they trace any lack of composure in us. How many days we went without food, but we felt ashamed to tell about it! That we could not arrange our provisions, we could not collect even the minimum was considered to be our own failing. What was there to be proud of? How could it be the height of ‘sacrifice’? Even to spell it out was a matter of shame to us.’’ (ibid)
‘‘When I started this Party with just a handful of compatriots, everybody laughed at us. Then, the CPI, then an undivided Party, ridiculed us. They taunted us saying that we have sprouted like a mushroom. They derided us by saying that ‘if SUCI is a Party, then a bat also is a bird. How is it that they too would sit with us.’ The Forward Bloc, RSP, RCPI––every party said that the SUCI was not a party at all- it was just a club. Even sitting with us’’ – means with the SUCI, ‘‘could not be contemplated. I endured all this silently. I ignored all these ridicules, and just proceeded along with firm resolve to build up the Party.’’ (Mass Movement in India and Tasks of the Youth) How did he feel at this phase of struggle? ‘‘A real revolutionary has sacrificed nothing. On the contrary, in place of what he has left behind–a house, a car, some money and means, property and wealth, comfort and luxury, he has achieved something a million times greater; he has regained dignity. The wants and privations, thousands of sufferings and oppressions which the revolutionaries have to put up with may seem very painful to common people, but the peace and happiness which the revolutionaries enjoy, even being in the midst of an apparently painful and constantly struggling life, cannot be fathomed by those who live in comfort and security.’’ (ibid) That was the feeling of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh at that time.
It is an honour to be a member of SUCI(C) today
But today, there are many comrades, many new comrades, students and youths who are in the Party. And when they are joining the Party, they are finding that it is comparatively a big Party, having organization in many states. There are mass and class fronts, many forums. But think of those days – how Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, with firm determination, indomitable spirit, undaunted in pursuit of objective and, what will I say, boundless emotion for the oppressed people, firm commitment to revolutionary cause and unwavering conviction in Marxism-Leninism conducted a firm determined struggle– a struggle of life and death to lay the foundation of the Party. That it was a struggle of life and death was evident from his own words: ‘I can even die’. With perseverance, patience and all out struggle, he built up this Party. Today, being a member of this Party, today being a leader of this Party, makes one an honourable person among people. But we must recall those hard days when our great leader faced so many obstacles to found the Party.
Objective situations of Soviet and Chinese revolutions were different from Indian condition
We know great Lenin and Mao Zedong also faced hurdles while they were engaged in founding the revolutionary parties in their respective countries. But the nature of obstacles were different owing to difference in objective conditions of their countries with all their respective particularities and peculiarities. When great Lenin differed with Plekhanov and Kautsky whom he once considered as his teachers, they were no more Marxists. Lenin correctly understood that they had deviated from Marxism. He differed with the Second International. He differed with the other RSDLP leaders and conducted relentless struggle for 12 long years to form a new Bolshevik Party. At that time he also started with a handful of his associates. So, that was a great struggle on the part of Lenin. That is also an example before us. But the situation was different for Lenin. That was a unique struggle, no doubt. But Lenin built up the Bolshevik Party at a time when he was himself a leader of the RSDLP (Russian Social Democratic Labour Party). He also got some leaders of RSDLP who joined him in the formation of the Bolshevik Party. But, at that time, bourgeois propaganda posed a tremendous obstacle before organizing the first Socialist Revolution. There was a very powerful propaganda that Marxism was wrong, utopian, unrealistic, and there could never be any Socialist Revolution. So to organize a Socialist Revolution in those circumstances was a very difficult task. But historically Lenin proved that Marxism was correct and Socialist Revolution was also possible.
Lenin himself said that the First World War situation had created a favourable ground for revolution, because Russian people were exhausted in the War. They were opposed to continuation of war and wanted immediate end of war and establishment of peace. Famine had broken out. People asked for bread and the peasants demanded land. People also wanted liberty. These slogans were very popular at that time, which made the call for revolution popular. The bourgeoisie who came to power through February revolution in 1917, did not fulfil these aspirations of the people. So the people supported the Bolshevik Party in November1917.
Moreover, the imperialists were at loggerheads with each other during the war and so they could not unite against revolution. And also at that time capitalism was not much developed in Russia. In agriculture, feudalism was dominant. Some industries were developing here and there. But that was not the dominant feature. And the Czarist rule was a most oppressive feudal rule. But capitalism was developing. Revolt of 1905 was a bourgeois democratic revolt. February revolution of 1917 was a bourgeois democratic revolution. So, in that situation, bourgeois humanism and bourgeois humanist culture had a relative progressive role. It also helped the revolution, just like it helped our freedom struggle. The usual answer of the freedom fighters at that time was– first, the interest of the freedom struggle, second, the interest of my family. Family interest was there, but that was secondary. This was the humanistic culture at the time of our freedom movement. In Russia also, that was the slogan. This relative progressive role of bourgeois individualism also helped Comrade Lenin. In pre-revolutionary Russia, there was no existence of full scale parliamentary democracy. Duma was there, but only for a brief period. Trade union movement was developing mostly with a militant character and was not much corrupted by economism, legalism and opportunism. So Lenin did not face that powerful parliamentary illusion among the people, corruption among the workers. Degraded Second International also could not pose that much obstruction to Lenin. After the successful revolution in Russia, Lenin established the Third International in 1919. Success of revolution helped to establish Lenin’s ideological leadership in the international arena as well. In China, which was a most backward and illiterate country having no communication system, it was a gigantic task to organize revolution. You know about the historic Long March. Great Mao Zedong himself had to travel 12,500 kms, either on foot or riding on horse or by a boat. He had to travel in this way. So it was also a very difficult task. But China was, at that time, in the midst of bourgeois democratic revolution. People’s Democratic Revolution means Bourgeois Democratic Revolution led by the proletariat according to Mao Zedong’s words.
It was very difficult to educate, to impart the scientific thoughts of Marxism-Leninism to the Chinese peasants and workers who were mostly illiterate. He also had to face differences with the leaders who fell victim to both left and right deviations. His leadership was ultimately established after 13 years of struggle. He had to lead a few decades long civil war, not only against Kou-Min-Tang regime but also against both Japanese and US imperialism. He had a good number of leaders with him. He did not face parliamentary illusion among the people as there was no parliament. Trade union movement was in incipient phase. He enjoyed full support of the international leadership excepting few months. Moreover, bourgeois individualism also had relative progressive role as China was in the phase of bourgeois democratic revolution. But here, in our country, the conditions and difficulties were altogether different. (To be continued)