‘‘What is dignity in real sense? Some may think that I shall become a doctor and that will be an honourable way to lead a life. But it will not be so, if you become a doctor. Because, if a doctor wants to lead a noble life by upholding the ethics of medical science he will have to die of starvation. He will not be able to establish a practice and to earn reputation and will not have a handsome income. Nobody will back him. He will be considered as a mad man. His way of life, his sense of morality and medical ethics will always be in conflict in every sphere of life. Eventually he will turn to be a big failure. If he would care a fig for medical ethics, or broadly speaking if a scientist or an engineer or a chemist or a student of physics would not care for ethics of science in general, and would turn himself a servitor, a service-holder and sell his conscience to Tata or Birla or to a farm or to government for money, then, yes, he could earn a fabulous amount of money and reputation. Am I right? In that case, he may think, ‘No, no, I have not earned money and fame by breaking wagon or having stakes in horse-racing or by organizing a gang of goons. I have earned these by practising medicine honestly and not by cheating’.
But does he know that he has not earned fame only by practising medicine? While practising he has also taken the path of servitude and flattery. As an engineer you have also followed the path of servitude and flattery. You have bowed down before injustice and digested all the misdeeds done by the worst enemies of human civilization by keeping mum. You have sold your knowledge to them and only by this you have earned money. Does it mean dignity of life? The party of Siddhartha Ray (then he was the chief minister of West Bengal) is running after this sort of dignity, while the other parties also follow suit. There are two types of people in the world. One type of people runs after false sense of dignity. And there are others, to whom dignity means a completely different thing. They think that they should abide by what their pricking conscience wants to say; they think where there is real progress, there lies the advancement of society. And that advancement is involved in freeing the individual from narrow-mindedness, weakness, greed and fear and in conducting resolute struggle for that in a dignified manner. Its purpose is to emancipate the society from exploitative system, to bring about social change. And through bringing about this change of society one will change oneself and open up the road to one’s own development.
The total environment of the society is full of superstitions. After all I am a human being, a social being. With my consciousness and good sense, I cannot keep my cool in the antagonistic environment of home and outside, of the society or of my working place. Because I am to live by establishing relation with the production of the society and there is only two ways to live. One is to revolt against this situation, to protest, to struggle against this wrong and to live with one’s head holding high even going without food during this struggle. The other is, being educated and bearing the pride of this education to choose servitude and to sell your conscience at long last, to advocate for vilely serving this production system and injustice on the pretext of this or that. On the other hand, he, who begins to advance through waging struggle against this situation, learns to realize the essence of Marxism-Leninism. He will then have nothing to aspire for himself.
There is another thing which is also to be understood in this context. Is it so that the bond of love and affection exists only within the confinements of our families in this society? With acquiring knowledge if someone could really understand the concept of freedom then he could have realized that he has hearty relation with the crores of people. If I cannot proceed along the path of truth, as a few members of my family will shed tears, does it mean that I give recognition to love and affection? No, love and affection are completely different from weakness. Love and affection never tell one to be weak. It is cowardice which makes a man weak. Love and affection have no antagonism with revolution. So, why shall I fall prey to weakness if love and affection tend to make me weak? Why shall I be weak or why shall I barter away my conscience, or why shall I leave the path of truth due to love and affection? If someone does not muddle up all these things such questions cannot crop up in his mind. Moreover, why should one be confused with such questions? He, who does not understand these questions clearly, gets himself into a muddle. The new workers of our party after hearing all these things may start to think where shall they go or where shall they stay.
What does it mean? They cannot find any place to stay among those millions and millions of people. It means that they have not learnt to work with the masses. That is why I say that knowledge only becomes the guide to action when true knowledge of freedom takes me in the first place to the masses to organize them, induce me to build party organization. That means I live in the party, I live with the masses and among the masses. There is no contradiction here. I learn to think about everything—availability of food, my living, my weal and woe in terms of this understanding. As a result, a group of workers break their old relationship to build a new relationship. Relations with a small number of members of my family have been severed, but so what? A warm hearty relationship with a large number of people has been developed instead, which is more profound, more affectionate and more emotional. This is the life of a revolutionary. If one can grasp it, he will have no room in his mind to nurture these questions.’’
(Revolutionary Life Is The Most Honourable One)