Proletarian Era : 50 years of committed purposive journey


The journey began 50 years back. It was on 15 August, 1967 that the inaugural issue of Proletarian Era made its appearance with a pledge to disseminate the message of Indian Revolution to the vast multitudes of people groaning under the yoke of cruel capitalist exploitation and desperately seeking correct way to emancipation. In its first editorial, Proletarian Era with Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, Founder General Secretary, SUCI(C), and one of the foremost Marxist thinkers of the era as the editor-in-chief, stated: it is “at the living inspiration of Marxism-Leninism, being imbibed with the ideals proletarian internationalism that Proletarian era in making its appearance….It is…futile to talk of revolution and emancipation from all sorts of exploitation without building a genuine working class party, a communist party worthy of its name, without its political and organizational leadership being established over the Indian masses and without the correct ascertainment of the co-relationship of the social forces i.e. the phase of revolution of India. ‘Proletarian Era’ derives tremendous pride from the fact that it carries with it the glory of being the mouthpiece, a fortnightly organ of the genuine working class party — the Socialist Unity Centre of India.”* Realizing the need for Indian Revolution marked by the absence of a genuine revolutionary party, it was Comrade Shibdas Ghosh who took upon himself the historic task of concretizing Marxism-Leninism in the concrete situation of India and in the process build up a correct revolutionary party of the proletariat based on Leninist model through release of a historic arduous socialist struggle covering all aspects of life alongwith a handful of his revolutionary compatriots. Overcoming all obstacles, disdaining all taunts and derisions of the then established big parties including self-proclaimed Marxists who even enjoyed the backing of international communist leadership, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, undaunted in his pursuit of truth and acting in the process of truth and firm in revolutionary purposiveness, could succeed in founding Socialist Unity Centre of India as the genuine communist party on the soil and then rear and steer it along correct line and based on higher proletarian culture and ethics to ensure both organizational spread and ideological supremacy. While most of the others viewed Marxism-Leninism at best as a political theory, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, as worthy continuer of Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin-Mao Zedong embraced Marxism-Leninism as a comprehensive life philosophy based on science that can provide guide to action in every sphere of life. It is precisely here that realization of the essence and worth of Marxist philosophy of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh was different from others around him, and comprehensive and decisive. So, against immense adversities, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, forged ahead with unflinching resolve, providing the correct Marxist line and approach as against all shades of pseudo-Marxism and fake leftism on Indian soil.
It is at a particular juncture of these bold strides ahead that the Central Committee of our Party led by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh decided to bring out a fortnightly English paper that would be the central organ of the Party, providing penetrating analyses of the various national and international issues including crucial theoretical questions based on Marxist methodology besides carrying news of class and mass struggles surging forth in various parts of the country. In the declaration of the objective in the first editorial, it was emphatically stated: “Proletarian Era” considers that it is the duty of a genuine communist party of a particular country to analyse and decide independently the situation of that country on the basis of their own analysis and assessment of the international situation. We are convinced of the fact that no party can lead today any revolution to its logical culmination unless it has been able to concretize the experience of Marxism-Leninism in its own soil, unless it has any thing to contribute to the storehouse of Marxism-Leninism, unless it has a positive role in the formation of the international collective leadership. Only from this, one can ascertain whether in the name of Marxism-Leninism a party is actually behaving in a parrot-like manner, copying international authority blindly or it has been able to concretize the experience of Marxism-Leninism in its own soil, being enriched by the teachings of different international Marxist-Leninist authorities. If an independent analysis about a particular country made by the genuine communist party of that country is in conformity with that of the international leadership—it is very good. But if not, then it will be the bounden duty of that particular party to come into struggle with the international leadership in order to arrive at a collective decision quite distinct from so-called common agreement reached generally by adjustment and patchwork. This does not mean rejection of international leadership at all; moreover this is the only correct method to strengthen the collective whole…. It will be the solemn task of “Proletarian Era” to concretize the experience of Marxism-Leninism on Indian soil, to contribute such valuable things to the storehouse of Marxism that will guide not only the Indian revolution but will also make positive contribution to the communist movement of the world… ‘‘Proletarian Era” is convinced of the fact that without putting an end to social democratism it is impossible to put an end to capitalism. To fight against these forces, to give constant exposure to the masses of their mockery of revolutionary phrase mongering and so-called militant gestures will be considered a paramount responsibility on our part…. “Proletarian Era” will be failing in its discharging its historic responsibility if it does not bring in the limelight the following : What is the correct process of formation of a working class party ? What is the methodology and process of thinking of a working class party? Why did the Communist Party of India (meaning undivided CPI), which was later on split into CPI(M) and CPI, fail to emerge as a genuine communist party in spite of tremendous sacrifice of the rank and file ? What is really meant by collective leadership and what are its concrete features? Does not the nature of split inside the undivided CPI leading to the formation of CPI (M) and CPI and then again the recent formation of a group which is openly revolting against the CPI (M) leadership indicate complete lack of sense of collective leadership inside the party—whether in the part or in the whole ? Under the circumstances, what are the prospects and possibilities of the leadership of SUCI(C) over the revolutionary masses of our country? “Proletarian Era” will endeavour its utmost to highlight the above points…Finally, “Proletarian Era” considers it to be the bounden duty to support all the struggles of the masses for emancipation and against injustice in any country. We declare our unshakable determination to deem all just struggles of the people of any country to be our struggle and pledge our unflinching patronage behind them. “Proletarian Era” is destined to act as the leader of all the struggles of the revolutionary masses. We deserve the support and co­operation of all who stand by the cause of oppressed humanity, the cause of new civilization, the cause of socialism and proletarian revolution.”
As Lenin had said that “organ is an organizer”, the aim was that the standard of “Proletarian Era’ would be such as to organize the Indian masses for revolution based on correct theoretical understanding and desired ideological elevation and unite them under the leadership of the Party. It was Comrade Shibdas Ghosh himself who guided publication of “Proletarian Era’ during the first ten years of its publication thereby providing it a foundation of being a true and effective organ of the revolutionary party. In his guideline to Party workers including those who would be vested with the responsibility of bringing out Party organs under the overall guidance and supervision of the leadership, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh said: “What is this main party thought? It is to create an anti-capitalist revolutionary frame of mind among the people; to create among the general public a hatred against capitalism and all things related to capitalism on the basis of correct appraisal — not just a blind hatred, because blind hatred does not last long. Basing ourselves on correct appraisal we have to create a feeling of hatred against what has become exhausted today or has become harmful, so that when any interest or attraction for them arises in a hidden manner or openly, dressed up in whatever logic, we may demolish them, defeat them, with the sharp weapon of reason — this is how we have to build ourselves up. To make people understand our main standpoint of anti-capitalist revolution by linking up every discussion with it, to free people from the influence of the pseudo-revolutionary forces which have created an image for themselves — these are the tasks. In those spheres where the pseudo-revolutionary forces wield influence, our direction of the main blow should be against them…. Our Party workers must constantly discuss and thoroughly comprehend the main issues about the political foundation and spirit of anti-capitalist revolution to overthrow the bourgeoisie from political power, …Because in a general way the people have a realization about oppression and hunger and they want to fight against oppression. But he who wants to fight against capitalism, at the very next moment on another question he is seen to display an attitude of protecting capitalism. So we need to develop a spirit of all-out fight to destroy capitalism, we need the endeavour to build up a firm anti-capitalist bent of mind embracing the entire mental world, and accordingly prepare ourselves so that each of our discussions becomes effective….we should try to dispel all the confusions that exist in the cross-current of politics in the present state of the society, in the questions that the pseudo-revolutionaries pose, the confusions that exist among those known as progressive and among the rank and file of other parties.” Then addressing the question of bringing out Party organs in the best possible, purposive manner, he said, “…our task is to uphold our correct politics exposing the wrong politics, the opportunist politics of others… but is the work in running our party organs going the right way to serve this purpose?…Propaganda is a great art; one cannot be a good propagandist without being a master revolutionary, without constantly having revolutionary purposiveness in the thoughts. Because, otherwise he will not understand what needs to be said, when and how it is to be said. We shall not distort the truth, but the style of presenting the truth is very important. Revolutionaries do not say anything without purpose, nor do they say everything everywhere and at whatever time. At any particular time if saying anything could create difficulty in explaining the basic politics, the main truth, we do not say it. Should necessity require, we say it at another time. If anyone wants to know what really happened we certainly tell him, but only in a particular way at a particular time. When our aim is to clearly explain a point, we bring in only those matters that make it relatively easier to enlighten the issue, to elucidate it more, to make the understanding of others more clear. If this aspect is not clear to me, through my tendency to bring in many stray, unrelated facts, the main truth that I want to explain becomes clouded. If anyone acts in this way it means that he has not comprehended the basic point about revolutionary politics… To preserve records is a very important question with the editorial board,…the standard of the writings is also continuously improved. For that, the editorial board must take it as a serious point that they are constantly carrying out research on it, discussing, writing and taking notes and collecting materials from other newspapers. They will also have to improve their writing style; it should not be that they just read the other newspapers and then keep them aside. Those who work in the editorial board, and those who want to make the party leadership acquainted with the different news, their style of reading should not be like this. They have to improve their reading style. They must have paper and pen with them. The moment they come across some news, some point, which they think might be needed as reference, may be not right then, but at some future date, must be forthwith noted down along with the date. And these will be preserved, so that we can use them whenever necessary. But the members of the editorial board, the other comrades also do not read in this fashion; as a result they remain unequipped. Therefore an article containing a load of arguments and political analysis will not do. These also need some concrete materials. But if the material is not at hand, we have to search for it; as a result the writing gets delayed. Or else we quote from memory that it was in that paper, but the paper in question cannot be found. That means that here also the style of work has to be improved.”
Clearly, his guidance was that the organ should not contain any fruitless academic discourse, peddle in meaningless pedagogy or high-sounding pedantic dissertations. The organ must endeavour to be as lucid as possible in presenting even complex theoretical aspects and penetrating analyses of events or phenomena — a skill that comes only if the writing staff under the guidance of the leadership learn to prepare themselves accordingly through a continuous struggle for more and more identification with the class, party and revolution so as to have a proper grasp of the ideological questions that enables them to articulate the same in the simplest possible manner, precisely and coherently. So, from day one, “Proletarian Era” had carved out a distinct identity of a standard theoretical organ of revolutionary movement of India.
After sad and untimely demise of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh in 1976, the Party leadership under the stewardship of Comrade Nihar Mukherjee, life-long comrade-in-arms of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, carried forward the task of improving the standard of the organ based on Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought which not only disseminated among the toiling masses the correct Marxist ideological line on each and every question but also immensely helped organizational expansion of the Party throughout the length and breadth of the country. Even the organ helped transporting the illumining thoughts of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh across the border to acquaint the struggling people of various countries with the most developed and enriched understanding of Marxism-Leninism that provides beacon to each and every emerging problem and issue in the post-Lenin period starting from the genesis of modern revisionism, lowering of ideological standard and penetration of mechanical thought process as against dialectical thought process in the international communist movement, menace of individualism, social democratic deviation in working class movement, growing trend of fascism in both advanced as well as backward capitalist countries, confusing the question of authority and authoritarianism, necessity of firmly establishing how the latest developments of science have been reaffirming the basic postulates of dialectical materialism and how it is continually developing, advancing and constantly throwing light on newer and newer problems of life, society and epistemology, imperativeness to develop a standard of consciousness necessary to cope with the multiplicity of newer and newer problems that confront life and the environment, imperativeness to define a new and adequate standard of a good communist in the changing situation and specify the concrete process of acquiring that standard through appropriate struggle and so forth. The present leadership is also taking forward that task under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought.
Thus for last 50 years, ‘Proletarian Era’ has been devotedly committed to this task and playing a significant role in advancing ideological struggle of the Party to supplement and complement the need of Indian Revolution. It can be claimed with all humility that there has hardly been any important issue or question in the national or international arenas—be it economic, political, social, cultural or philosophical — which was not covered in the pages of “Proletarian Era” based on Marxist method of analysis with the sole purpose of unraveling the underlying truth, removing all confusions and convolutions, exposing the trickeries and waffles of the ruling bourgeoisie and its stooges of different hues and thereby strengthening the anti-capitalist revolutionary struggle. The analyses of the Party of various international and universal issues based on Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought have also provided food for thought to the revolutionaries and progressive-minded people round the country and presented before them an acceptable guide to action towards intensifying the anti-imperialist militant peace movement, spearheading fiercest attack on revisionism, resurrect international communist movement on its glory and channelizing the surging people’s movements against ruthless capitalist exploitation along correct line so as to reach their logical culmination. Similarly, in the national sphere, the focus has been on relentless exposure of the various anti-people policies of the bourgeois governments, dangerous fallout of pursuing the ruinous prescripts of globalization-liberalization, mockery of parliamentary democracy, spread of parliamentary illusion, increased tilt towards fascisization, sinister design of the ruling bourgeoisie to disrupt the unity of the toiling people by systematically fomenting divisive thoughts like communalism-casteism-chauvinism-parochialism and constantly trying to pit one section of the people against another, continuous curtailment of hard-earned civil and democratic rights as well as trade union rights, blunting rational thought process by fuelling old obsolete thoughts, triggering cultural degeneration through invocation of rotten anti-life imperialist culture, planned annihilation of ethics, morality, human values and finer senses to robotize people and doom them to social annihilation. And everywhere, the attempt on the part of “Proletarian Era” is to inculcate the imperativeness of revolution as the only way towards emancipation. We are pledge-bound to discharge our revolutionary responsibility in the days to come with utmost endeavour to continually elevate the standard and conduce to the need of Indian Revolution the roadmap of which had been laid down by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, our leader, teacher and guide and the great leader of the proletariat.

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