This is the English translation of the Presidential address delivered online in Bengali by Comrade Asit Bhattacharyya, veteran Polit Bureau member, SUCI(C) on19 July 2021 in memory of Comrade Mubinul Haider Choudhury, Founder of Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal–BASAD (Marxist) and a life-long revolutionary, who passed away on 6 July 2021 in Dhaka due to multiple diseases at the age of 87. Translation error and inadequacy of expression, if any, lies with the Editorial Board of Proletarian Era
You have heard the valuable speech of our beloved General Secretary Comrade Provash Ghosh so long. He correctly highlighted the different aspects of the glorious struggle carried out by Comrade Mobinul Haider Choudhury. I think his speech will help the workers and leaders of revolutionary movement to properly perceive the life of Comrade Haider Choudhury and his glorious struggle in right perspective. Comrade Mobinul Haider Chowdhury is no more. He lived a long life which he used for the sake of revolution, for the sake of struggle, every day, every moment. Many glorious instances of his struggle are strewn across India also. Further you should recall the struggle, I would say a unique one, which he carried on in the mid-age of his life in Bangladesh.
He accomplished a lot of tasks, conducted a lot of struggles during his long revolutionary life. Even then we are shocked and bereaved for having lost one of our dearest comrades. His absence has created a deep void in the revolutionary movement of India and Bangladesh especially in the left and revolutionary movements in Bangladesh. Hailing from a relatively well-off family of Chattagram (Chittagong), he had come to Kolkata in search of a job. But the moment he came in contact with the message of revolutionary movement from the SUCI(C) leadership, he never felt the need for looking back. He engaged himself totally in the task of organising the Party, SUCI(C), forgetting his abject poverty and his search for a job.
He was like our elder brother. When I was being attracted to the Party in the early 1950’s, I was merely a school student. Till today, I can visualize one scene after another: How he used to walk along the Southern Avenue of Kolkata back home after a Party programme, beaming with inspiration and talking jovially with his comrades. From his appearance, there was no scope to make out whether he had his meal or not. His was the image of an extremely lively character joyfully treading his path. A youth spreading out the messages of revolution with utmost happiness. At that time, I was highly inspired by such instances of his struggling life, the style of living by him and his peers. Of course, in later life, I got the opportunity to know him from very close. Guided and led by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, he went to a lot of places, not only in West Bengal but also in other states including Assam. In Assam, I could see and know him very closely. I noticed his peculiar ability, an unimpeachable ability I would say, to befriend anybody, to explain theoretical issues most lucidly, to develop close social relationships, to present Comrade Shibdas Ghosh and his thoughts properly. In all these cases, I found in him a unique ability to convey the revolutionary message to them. This way, he had been intimately connected with the revolutionary movement in India.
Liberation movement of East Pakistan had just started in 1971. Our great leader Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had precisely comprehended the legitimacy of this struggle and had felt the immense importance of establishing a revolutionary leadership on this liberation struggle which was based on the concept of Bangladeshi nationalism. He openly said in his analysis that if the revolutionary movement in Bangladesh would succeed, it would be extremely helpful to accomplish anti- capitalist socialist revolution in India. It was from this understanding and goal, that Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had come about to think of sending Comrade Mubinul Haider Chowdhury, who had hailed from Chattagram (Chittagong) of undivided British India, to move to Bangladesh to know the different aspects of this liberation struggle right from that soil and to explore the possibility of founding a revolutionary party there. Accordingly Comrade Mubinul Haider Chowdhury moved to Bangladesh. Meanwhile the liberation struggle of Bangladesh had come to the end. Bangladesh emerged as a sovereign independent country. Amidst such a situation, in course of the liberation struggle, a section of students and youths had become keen to know about Marxism, socialism and communism, though their understanding was very perfunctory. Rightly, Comrade Haider contacted them. Based on Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought, he presented the analysis of economic, political, social and cultural situations of the independent Bangladesh as well as the state character of Bangladesh. He also elaborately explained to them the process of developing a genuine revolutionary party on the soil of Bangladesh based on the teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh.
This resolute struggle of Comrade Haider created a sort of storm all over Bangladesh. Among the students and youths those who were seriously attracted towards leftism and socialism, they were magnetically drawn towards Comrade Haider. And in course of this, there was growing interest towards knowing about the life-struggle of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh and his thoughts. Under such circumstances, with Marxism-Leninism and Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought as the beacon, and primarily on the foundation of deep attraction and emotion for Marxism, BASAD or the Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (Socialist Party of Bangladesh) was founded within a short time. Based on concrete decision, the party was formed largely with younger people and started working under the guidance of Comrade Haider. Day by day, it extended its activities and Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought started spreading out in different districts of Bangladesh. We were always eager to know and understand how Comrade Haider Chowdhury was advancing overcoming all hurdles. Bangladesh is our immediate neighbour and so we have in us a special feeling of attachment with that country. That was why, whenever he came to Kolkata from Bangladesh, we used to discuss with him, exchange our views and try to understand his struggle and position. Through those interactions, we could learn from him a lot about Bangladesh and know and understand how he had been conducting this struggle there. With immense courage, he had been travelling across the length and breadth of Bangladesh, recruiting new comrades, building up a set of able leaders and cadres, holding high the banner of proletarian internationalism both in the ideological domain as well as in the process of party formation. There was quite a lot of impact of fundamentalism in Bangladesh even after attaining independence. Right from the beginning of the liberation struggle of Bangladesh, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had pointed this out. After the country had earned independence, Comrade Ghosh asserted firmly that the new sense of nationalism which was going to create a sovereign independent country as well as this liberation struggle are both legitimate. He said, ‘it cannot be forgotten that this nationalism of Bangladesh has been born in the womb of Pakistani nationalism, at the same time has been born as a completely independent entity maintaining a break with the Pakistani nationalism’.
Subsequently, we came to know from Comrade Haider that despite development of emotion and enthusiasm about leftist thoughts and leftist movement, there was perceptible impact of religious fundamentalism. We have to carry on resolute battle against it including conduction of an uncompromising intense ideological struggle. Armed and imbued with proletarian internationalism Comrade Haider kept this struggle living till he breathed his last.
The condolence messages received after his death which were read out here, clearly bring out what an incredible impact Comrade Haider could create on the soil of Bangladesh by conducting a life-long struggle with all means and power based upon the thoughts and lessons of the great leader of the Proletariat, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. It will remain glittering in history. On the soil of Bangladesh, he would always be revered as a fighting revolutionary leader of extraordinary height and calibre. Similarly, his contributions to the revolutionary movement of India have also been enormous and will remain written in golden letters in the history of this country. Besides, he visited various European countries, went to Arab countries and to Pakistan as well. His devotion, singleness of purposive, his sound ideological base left deep imprint upon the leaders and cadres of the revolutionary movements of these countries. Even after being totally engaged in developing a correct revolutionary party in Bangladesh, he used to come to India whenever he could get time.
We had exchanges with him on the prevailing situations of the two neighbouring countries as also in regard to the world communist movement. We also discussed on the indispensable role of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought in resolving the crisis of world communist movement and how we could adopt definite programme to spread this Thought to the entire world. In his memorial meeting, various reminiscences of his life struggle are surfacing in our minds. Carrying the teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh in heart, he went to Bangladesh, his motherland, with a firm resolve to build a genuine communist party based on Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought on that land. His only resource was his own revolutionary character that he attained through arduous all-embracing life struggle based on Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought. The students and youths who were inclined towards the leftist ideology had veered around JASAD (Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal) which had developed with shallow leftist approach. In such a situation, he, with unbound patience tried to make them understand the immense importance to develop a proper Marxist-leftist party. His struggle created among the students and youths a magnetic attraction towards him. In course of this, he made primary effort to form BASAD (Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal) as a platform based on Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought.
Through this process, he roused many students and youths. He prepared and guided them to form a new genuine revolutionary party. But he noticed that a tendency had developed among a few to deviate from Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought. He was quite aged at that time and afflicted by multiple diseases. But disdaining his falling health, he firmly stood against such a harmful trend and did not allow even a scratch on the nobility of Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought. Based on that ideology, he, along with the struggling students and youths took upon himself a new task to found a genuine revolutionary party. In this way, BASAD (Marxist) was founded.
Though he had been suffering from extremely acute diseases, he kept his uncompromising struggle on till the last day of his life. The historic struggle he had launched and the goal he had aspired for to achieve were developing a genuine revolutionary party, standing upon earlier experiences and the foundation of Marxian science. He could not fulfil his mission; he was overcome by death. At the same time, it is also true that he had placed the party BASAD (Marxist) to the position where it has now reached. I am firmly convinced that to those who were his comrades on the soil of Bangladesh till date, to those who have voluntarily taken up the noble task of building up a genuine revolutionary party in Bangladesh, the struggle he had carried out would remain ever-living as a glowing example. This struggle must have left deep influence on their characters. So there can be no doubt in accepting that, acquiring the spirit of the struggle waged by Comrade Haider, those comrades will advance in firm and long strides to fulfil the goal he set before himself , the goal of building up the genuine revolutionary party in Bangladesh.
Life-long revolutionary Comrade Mubinul Haider Chowdhury realized that it was extremely necessary, not just for India or Bangladesh, but for the entire world, to free the world communist movement from the clutches of modern revisionism and to form revolutionary parties in one country after another following Leninist methodology in the particular concrete situation of today basing it upon Comrade Shibdas Ghosh’s teachings. And it is from this realization that Comrade Haider went back to his native land with deep urge and firm conviction for developing a genuine revolutionary party, a genuine communist party in independent Bangladesh. Even amidst the intense grief for losing a steadfast tested revolutionary, which he had been, we can also feel pride that one of our most intimate comrades had carried out a historic struggle with a view to accomplishing a historic task. He was a tested disciple of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh who by conducting his struggle in a correct way had emerged as a revolutionary leader, teacher and guide.
In this background, I ardently feel that all the revolutionary fighters in Bangladesh will have to keep the instance of his life and struggle alive and holding these high as their assets, will have to lead forward the genuine communist movement in Bangladesh in days to come, will have to build up BASAD (Marxist) (Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal-Marxist) as the correct communist party and make it stronger. Comrade Haider’s life and exemplary struggle are great assets to fulfil this necessity, which has to be conserved unblemished and will have to be made use of properly by his successors. For this reason only, I would like to emphasize that the innumerable followers of Comrade Haider in Bangladesh now have much greater responsibility. They will have to proceed with their task guided by the teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh as had been explained to them by Comrade Haider.
We are pleased beyond measure to know that his comrades in Bangladesh, the leaders and cadres of BASAD ( Marxist) who fought valiantly during his lifetime, have already taken pledge, after his demise, to initiate struggle afresh and carry it on uncompromisingly. We will remain by their side in their relentless struggle. As a fraternal party we would certainly extend whatever possible help and support to them.
In this context I wish to raise another point that in revolutionary movement, building up character of individuals is also an important issue. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh drew our attention to the fact that all thoughts and concepts, truth in any and every form are always relative truth. Next, he has also underlined that every man has both good and bad, or positive and negative qualities in him, though understanding of what is good and what is bad at a particular moment is not the same for all. In any case, human character is an admixture of such positives and negatives. In course of contradiction between these two, the quality which becomes dominant or major at a particular moment, determines the kind of character a person acquires. A third point that Comrade Ghosh said is that the noble characters we find in human society, did not or do not appear all of a sudden, nor did or do they fall from the sky. Any such noble character emerges at a particular time, through struggle in a concrete process and centring round the scientific noble ideology of that time. And today, Marxism is the scientific noble ideology of the time. That way Comrade Mubinul Haider Chowdhury also could become a man of a shining, very attractive character by conducting the struggle to assimilate Marxism-Leninism- Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought. Beyond all doubts, this is an outcome of a struggle conducted in a particular process. Of immense importance, I also underline the fact Comrade Haider could carry on such a brilliant struggle in Bangladesh once again proved that today the teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh constitute the highest standard of understanding of Marxism-Leninism. The fundamental issues of Marxism-Leninism that Comrade Shibdas Ghosh dwelt upon while waging the struggle for building up SUCI (Communist) are vigorously relevant in developing and conducting revolutionary struggle of the working peopled of the entire world. Mere sincerity does not bring success in reaching noble objectives, does not help reach our goal. It is extremely important to chalk out the correct process and that is the determining factor. And for that the unavoidable task is to acquire the communist character covering all aspects of life. I feel, the vigorous response the marvellous struggle carried out by Comrade Mubinul Haider Chowdhury had created in Bangladesh, once again proves this truth underlying the process of building a communist character as said above.
I reiterate that such a great character, whose demise gave birth to so deep an impact, did not appear all of a sudden. Like all the early stalwarts, Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin- Mao Zedong- Comrade Shibdas Ghosh also laid greatest importance upon proletarian internationalism. It was from being guided by this great ideology that Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, the great leader of the proletariat, involved himself with the liberation struggle of Bangladesh. We noted his anxiety and eagerness about this struggle, even when he had been admitted in hospital because of serious illness. From this attitude and mindset, he had sent Comrade Haider to Bangladesh with a view to developing revolutionary movement during the days of liberation struggle there. You can guess from this how fervent was his mindset for building up communist movement throughout the world. In course of this, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had invited Comrade Mubinul Haider Chowdhury and other leaders of Bangladesh to Kolkata. He had discussions with them for days together, exchanged views with them. The process of building up revolutionary party in Bangladesh proceeded this way.
Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had correctly gauged the potentiality of building a revolutionary party in Bangladesh. So, he had sent to that country an able organizer like Comrade Mubinul Haider Chowdhury, who had already worked for building up the revolutionary party in India. How far-sighted was his decision has now been proved after the demise of Comrade Haider. His passing away has given birth to a widespread and deep ambience of grief. People there are grievously shocked at the loss of somebody so near and dear to them. Thus even at his death, he is transformed into an immensely courageous revolutionary soldier. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh often said : ‘Do not forget that history records everything’. This teaching of his is also corroborated at this time of demise of Comrade Haider. The lessons Comrade Ghosh repeatedly emphasized, the lessons of conducting life-long uncompromising struggle under the leadership of the revolutionary party, and covering all aspects of life including love, compassion, emotion, everything, the lesson of identifying oneself totally with the interests of the party, revolution and society, the underlying significance of all these lessons are once more highlighted through the life of Comrade Mubinul Haider Chowdhury which blossomed with all revolutionary vigour. The memorial meeting today is organized to take pledge that every revolutionary worker must give shape to this struggle in their own life.
Long live Revolution!
Long live SUCI (Communist)!
Comrade Shibdas Ghosh!
Com. Mubinul Haider Chowdhury!