World proletarian revolution alone can bring about desired emancipation from oppression and repression
(Comrade Asit Bhattacharyya, veteran Polit Bureau member, SUCI(C), delivered an inspiring and educative speech in Assamese in Guwahati on 26 April last on the occasion of observance of the 74th Party Foundation Day. The original speech in Assamese and its Bengali translation were published in instalments in Ganamukti and Ganadabi, our Assamese and Bengali organs respectively. It has been felt necessary to publish its English translation in Proletarian Era in instalments. The first, second and third instalments were published in the previous two issues i.e., Vol. 56 No. 5 dated 15 October and Vol. 56 No. 6 dated 1 November 2022 and Vol 56 no7 date 15 November 2022. This is the fourth instalment. Responsibility of translation error and inadequacy of expression, if any, lies with the Editorial Board of Proletarian Era.)
A terrible social-cultural crisis
It cannot be denied that along with economic problems, violence, impulse to kill, erosion of values, endless corruption—all are increasing. Unable to pay back debt, destitute finding no means to survive, often resort to suicide. Such tendencies are on the rise. Sometimes you find a whole family is opting for suicide. Not just this. Social life, family life, affection and tender feelings for one another are all getting destroyed. Do you find any party other than ours expressing any serious concern over this? In all capitalist countries including ours, this social and cultural crisis is assuming a horrible proportion. All values are eroding fast. The oppressed impoverished millions have no legitimate means for subsistence. Taking advantage of this, the capitalist rulers are turning them into thugs and goons and using them to crush justified democratic movements.
Just imagine what terrible a conspiracy is this! Those who are exploiting the people to no end, pushing them towards utter ruination in every possible way, robbing them of all their values, are, at the same breadth, making every possible step to turn them into anti-socials and murderers. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, the great Marxist thinker, posed a very pertinent question before us: ‘‘In such an explosive situation what are you expected to do? Do you realize what these hapless people expect of us?’’ Given such a situation, Comrade Ghosh reminded us of the task befalling us. We need to correctly understand the principal contradiction prevailing between the capitalist class and the 95% of exploited masses, between labour and capital and then strive to intensify the contradiction by organizing militant movements as conducive to developing class struggle. We will have to resist and foil the conspiracy that the capitalist class is hatching to obstruct the process of developing such movements and destroy the moral strength of the people.
Proletarian class consciousness and values are needed
In the circumstances, all the revolutionary parties of the world would need to cultivate and invigorate the people with new proletarian revolutionary consciousness and values. Now I would like to say a word or two on the current political situation in the country. To start with, not only we but also many thinking people of the country are aware that the Congress is a party owning total allegiance to the ruling bourgeoisie. During the five odd decades from achievement of political freedom in 1947 to the end of the century, the Congress was in power. Under the Congress rule, people were subjected to ruthless exploitation, oppression and onslaught. Corruption went to a peak. From their bitter experience, people realized that the Congress would not deliver anything good to them. Sensing people’s gradual disillusionment about the Congress, the capitalist class brought to the fore the BJP, the party of their alternative choice.
It is the ruling bourgeoisie who taking advantage of anti-Congress mind of the people pulled the strings from behind to make the BJP victorious in election and assume power. Notable is the fact that parties like the CPI or the CPI(M), despite their claim of being Marxists-leftists, have, in their bid to curry favour with the capitalist class for remaining afloat in the corridors of power, abandoned the ideology of leftism—i.e., the task of uniting the workers, peasants as well as all other sections of the toiling masses irrespective of caste, creed, religion, region and ethnicity, and develop powerful, protracted, militant movements against capitalist oppression and suppression. This anti-Marxist non-left politics of the CPI (M)-CPI helped the ruling class to pave the way for the RSS-BJP to rise to power. The ruling monopolists backed the BJP in every possible way—phenomenal financial help, media support everything. Ever since the BJP came to power at the Centre, first in 1998 and then again from 2014 onwards, they went on forming governments state with full backing of the ruling class. one after another. The few states which are having non- BJP governments, are also fearing dislodging from power by the BJP.
Now the question is how could events take such an unanticipated turn? The main reason behind this meteoric rise of an extremely rightist force is the absence of a united sustained left movement on the essential and legitimate demands of the common people. The left parties like the CPI (M), CPI took no initiative towards that end. The ruling capitalist class, and the RSS-BJP combine took full advantage of that and as against a desired left alternative, succeeded in posing itself as the only choice in place of the Congress. The CPI (M) and their associates, who call themselves leftists and even Marxists, sometimes make show of movement only to derive electoral mileage capitalizing on people’s grievances and thereby ride to power like other bourgeois parties by appeasing the ruling bourgeoisie. But the fact remains that they have discarded the path of movements and have been carving out a space within the confines of bourgeois vote politics.
Here I would like to remind you that Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, based on Leninist teachings, explained the main approach of a genuine revolutionary party towards election in a capitalist set up. He said that say an election has come when mounting waves of united democratic movements are sweeping across the country. Then the revolutionary party along with its allied forces would participate in the election unitedly, with a minimum common programme highlighting leftism. If a few of their nominees go to the legislature, then the elected representatives of the leftists would raise the demands of the people on the floor of parliament and assembly as well as reverberate the house with the voice of extra-parliamentary movements to exert pressure on the government. Thus if it is possible to win a few seats, then movements both within and outside the legislature, both the parliamentary and extra-parliamentary movements can be undertaken simultaneously along leftist line. This is the correct strategy of a revolutionary party for taking part in elections till the people are ready to boycott elections in an organized manner, not negatively but positively and the hour of seizure of power would be arrived at.
Comrade Shibdas Ghosh has further enriched Lenin’s guideline on election
It is essential to create pressure on the government relentlessly through movements. While continuous movements on people’s just demands are to be carried on outside the legislature, effective role of opposition is to be discharged inside the house. This dual strategy is to be continued. The essence of playing such role of revolutionary opposition inside the legislature is to expose the putrid, rotten capitalist system and free people from parliamentary illusion. What is going on inside the assemblies and parliament is extremely damaging. The bourgeois and petty-bourgeois parties with their show of opposition are confusing people. Their sole purpose is to feign opposition for the sake of vote. In reality, they are not and can never be the real opposition. It is because such parties are in servitude of the capitalist class. Their opposition is only at surface level and hence is of no use. Regrettably, the CPI (M) and its allies, under the garb of communism-leftism, are also doing the same thing. Bourgeois parties, whether in power or in opposition, are always holding brief in favour of parliamentarism, election and bourgeois democracy. Parties in power or the bourgeois parties from the opposition—their approach is to always sing praises for parliament, the assembly, election, parliamentary democracy, etc. Under that cover, they seek to confuse people, forestall surge of revolutionary movement and work for keeping the capitalist system intact as long as possible.
While pointing out such heinous conspiracy of the capitalist class, great Lenin taught that so long as the capitalist state system exists, so long as capitalism is not overthrown from state power by revolution in the process of intensifying class struggle following developing powerful militant democratic movement, the task incumbent on a revolutionary party is to simultaneously conduct both parliamentary and extra-parliamentary movements as conducive to each other. The essence of his teaching is that in every capitalist country, the roots of all oppression and repression is the exploitative rule of the ruling bourgeoisie. In such countries, the prevailing electoral system and bringing about a change of government through vote cannot free the working class from the shackles of oppressive bourgeois rule. The working class and other sections of the oppressed masses need to imbibe this truth in depth. This task is incumbent on the revolutionary party.
If through election, the revolutionary party gets a chance to send one or more of its representatives to parliament or assembly, the responsibility of those elected representatives would be to highlight in the house every burning problem irrespective of magnitude inside the House with a view to exposing before people the monstrous exploitative character of the capitalist system.
At the same time, by bringing to the fore how the ministers, bureaucracy subservient to the ruling capitalists are bringing down inhuman torture and repression on the people, they need to remove parliamentary illusion from their mind. It needs mention that in order to perform this task successfully, it is imperative to make sincere efforts to either initiate or participate in the debates or discussions over people’s issues and show how the bourgeois rulers in this era of decadent capitalism want to perpetuate their autocratic rule by depriving the opposition of their rights to express opinion.
(To be Contd.)