‘‘…theory also becomes a material force as soon as it has gripped the masses. Theory is capable of gripping the masses as soon as it demonstrates ad hominem, and it demonstrates ad hominem as soon as it becomes radical,’’ said great Karl Marx way back in 1843. Once again, the correctness of his teaching got validated when a huge congregation of the legions of the Indian revolutionary struggle reaffirmed their resolve to free the country from the tentacles of ruthlessly oppressive capitalist rule following the path laid down by great Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin-Mao Zedong and their worthy continuer Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. It was 5 August 2023 when the year-long observance of birth centenary of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh concluded with a mammoth mass meeting at Brigade Parade Ground, Kolkata. Red flags, festoons and attractive flexes lining the roadsides showed the way, the way to the Brigade Parade Ground. The weather played foul till the other day, the ground turning wet and muddy. So what? Unperturbed at the prospect of sitting or standing on the muddy ground drenched in the rain, they came, and silently proclaimed to the country what the situation demands of them and what is the task history has adjured them, of course largely unheralded by the mass propaganda media of the ruling monopolists until at the end this very event forced them into an acknowledgement. Tempered in struggle and steeled in purpose, the legions from 26 states of India—from the far away villages, from the parched countryside, from the sprawling metropolis to other cities and towns, from the foots of the hills to the riverine lands, seashores and far away islands—of the north, south, east and west India, arrived and trekked their way to the venue well before the scheduled time of commencement of the proceedings at 12 noon. The peasants left behind their lands that needed to be ploughed after recent downpours, agricultural labourers had forgone their daily wages. Workers had left their factory sheds, women their homes. The aged had come to join, the children following the elders. Teachers, students, youths, employees converged, like streams join rivers. They flowed in from all directions—on foot, by trains, by buses, in processions—like a gathering current that they are, like storming legion they are destined to be. Many of them had to travel for days to join the march. While whirlwinds of fascist autocratic danger is raging around all and overwhelming forces of darkness have been unleashed, there advanced before all the red flag of liberty waiting to be prevailed in the exploitation-free socialist society that the torchbearers of Indian revolution, the marchers towards Brigade Parade Ground, the ardent students of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh and avid followers of his illumining thought, are determined to establish by fulfilling the necessary historically-ordained conditions.
They were the people who stood in the forefront of class and mass struggles against injustice, oppression and repression of the exploitative regime gasping in its death throes. Resolve was writ large on their face-resolve to bring about desired emancipation of the toiling millions pressed under the grind-wheel of fierce capitalist exploitation. One could hear the muffled step of history, nursing fledgling revolution broodingly under its wings, change its rhythm into prescient beats of a gathering current. Down the streets of Kolkata, marched myriads of men and women imbued with and roused by the message of life and struggle of the great leader. Unforgettable faces beamed in radiance of the resolve to fulfil the behest of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, the great leader of the proletariat: Leave this darkness and squalor, embrace a life as bright as sunshine. Transform yourselves, so you can be equal to the task history bequeaths to you. Look, revolution beckons. If you are to court death for that, die with honour—as befits man. And you have got only one surest way to live and die with honour, that is, by taking active part in the revolutionary struggle of the masses to bring about a revolutionary transformation of the society, and for that purpose you will have to organize yourselves in thousands and close up your ranks. The bystanders on the roadsides could find in them the hope of the people’s true alternative.
The Brigade Parade Ground turned into a sea of people, a living embodiment of the spirit of struggle against the heinous design and conspiracy of the quarters of vested interest to disrupt the people’s unity and amity against ruthless capitalist onslaughts. Inspired citizens, too, gathered in the rally in a dense mass of crescent-like rows facing the all-red rostrum in the east. Rising in a curved top edge, the backdrop of the rostrum, projected a portrait of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, the departed beloved leader. Red flags fluttered all around
Braving all odds, overcoming all difficulties, ignoring the taunts and boos of other political forces including the pseudo-Marxists, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, having realized the need of Indian revolution marked by the absence of a real communist party, took upon himself the historic task of building a genuine Marxist revolutionary party on the soil. In course of his arduous struggle to build up the Party by concretizing Marxism-Leninism in the concrete situation of Indian soil, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh developed, elaborated and enriched many aspects of it and also brought its understanding to a new height at this particular stage of the present era of ‘Imperialism and Proletarian Revolution’ enunciated by Lenin. He also provided a newer and concrete understanding of Marxism-Leninism in course of dealing with the problems that appeared not only in the political and socio-economic fields, but also covering all aspects of life and epistemology—science and philosophy, ethics, morality, culture, art-literature and aesthetics—in the post-Lenin period.
His contributions to the ideological fields of international communist movement made him a Communist Leader of unique distinction. Highlighting that modern revisionism- reformism was the main danger in the present day international communist movement, he showed the correct line of struggle against it. His contribution in the fight against all sorts of illusions being created by different schools of bourgeois philosophy and its modern trends will act as indispensable and valuable guide not only to the revolutionary movement of our country but to the international communist movement as well.
His ceaseless fight against economism, opportunism and diverse varieties of social democratism that have permeated through and through the working class movement, gave a correct and new direction to the working class struggles of our country. His clarion call to the toiling millions of our country was to always adhere to the correct base political line of the proletariat and to build up the political power of the people without which the cherished goal of their emancipation can never be achieved.
He consistently upheld the nobility of communist ideology and taught us that the living soul of any great ideal lies in the higher standard of morals, ethics and culture. He taught us to practise and develop working class revolutionary politics on the basis of communist ethics and morality. It was also his teaching not to fear any difficulty but to face all adversaries with revolutionary zeal and determination and thus be able to turn disadvantage into advantage. Foremost, he embraced Marxism-Leninism as philosophy of life, the science of all sciences, the guide to action, which he practised throughout his life in all its spheres. In the process, he emerged as an epitome of the proletarian revolutionary spirit and valour. No problem at the national or international level in his lifetime remained that was not illuminated by the light of his profound revolutionary wisdom. No walk of life, no branch of epistemology remained outside his easy access. In course of this unrelenting struggle, he became the personified expression of the collective knowledge of the Party, emerged as the leader of the leaders. In every moment of his existence, he thought, breathed and lived for the class, revolution and the Party. He taught: ‘‘The correct revolutionary consciousness is the correct proletarian class consciousness, and the correct proletarian class consciousness is the correct proletarian party consciousness— which means, whether you have been able to recognize the genuine revolutionary party or not.’’ He is no more in flesh and blood. But his teachings remain, along with the noblest example of his entire life struggle. The correct and scientific analysis made by him on each and every national and international question are destined to act as invaluable guide to the proletariat in the struggle for emancipation for decades to come. Many of his contributions in the field of epistemology are definite new additions to the treasury of Marxism-Leninism. So, today the need of the hour enjoins on the toiling masses, the downtrodden, exploited people, the democratic minded people concerned at the turn of events—on all of us—to deeply study and cultivate the teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, and in the quest to apply them in life attain the standard of a true communist with which to change the world.
Coincidently, both birth and death anniversaries of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, Founder General Secretary, SUCI(C) and an outstanding Marxist thinker of the era, fall on 5 August. He was born on 5 August 1923 and breathed his last, prematurely, on 5 August 1976. So, every year, this day of 5 August enjoins upon all of us to renew our pledge to fulfil his dream of achieving Indian revolution like one man. So, throughout his birth centenary year, the entire Party was devoted to spread his thoughts among all sections of the toiling masses through various programmes. Our aim was to reach out to everyone, in every nook and corner of the country. And the response has been overwhelming as was borne out by the vast gathering at the Brigade Parade Ground which demonstrated how flawed is the perception created by the votaries of electoral politics that strength of a party is denoted by the number of MLAs and MPs it has.
The torch bearers from the ranks of the downtrodden, from the ranks of the oppressed, exploited and humiliated who have found the road to emancipation from the capitalist yoke of exploitation injustice and oppression—the men and women, young and old, assembled with the pledge in their heart to fulfil the behest of the leader, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, to attain the cherished goal.
Who else can lead to victory in this dour battle against the most ruthless enemy, imperialism-capitalism? The Party, SUCI (Communist), the detached vanguard of the proletariat, the Party founded, reared and steered by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, the best creation of his, which has come all the way of seventy six years of its life to be steeled now into a formidable force to resist onslaughts and rebuff the enemy of humanity.
The time of commencement of the proceedings was scheduled at 12 Noon. From 11 AM, music squads of different states started presenting songs in their respective languages. The dialects were different, so were the lyrics and tunes, but the content and spirit were aglow in the flame of revolutionism setting million hearts afire. Dot at time started the programme with rendition of the song composed on Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. In absence of Comrade Asit Bhattacharyya, senior Polit Bureau member who fell seriously ill a few days back needing admission in the Critical Care Unit of hospital, Comrade Saumen Basu, Polit Bureau member, hoisted the Red Flag to mark augury of this momentous occasion. Then Comrades Rabin Samajpati, Gopal Kundu and Kantimoy Deb, all Polit Bureau members, inaugurated three exhibitions on the life and teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh as well as photographs of various people’s struggles against oppression and injustice organized by the Party over the past years. Then, Komsomol, the young communist brigade of the Party, presented an inspiring guard of honour with the row of unfurled red flags hovering majestically aloft creating a streaming red wave. Thereafter, fraternal delegates from Bangladesh and Nepal were felicitated which they also reciprocated with warmth of proletarian internationalism. Comrade Amitava Chatterjee, Polit Bureau member, read out the messages received from Workers’ World Party, USA, Party of Communists, USA, Communist party of Pakistan and Communist Unity Centre of Sri Lanka.
Delegates from Bangladesh handed over a memento to Comrade Provash Ghosh. Thereafter, all Polit Bureau members, Central Committee members, State secretaries and leaders of the fraternal delegates offered floral tribute to Comrade Shibdas Ghosh with due solemnity. Addresses of the leaders began after that Comrade K Radhakrishna, Polit Bureau Member and President of the public meeting, addressed the swelling stream of people in English with an emotional voice explaining the immense significance of the occasion and showed how all predictions of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh made long back based on Marxist-Leninist methodology of analysis have proven true, both in national and international spheres. We have received political independence but urge for people’s emancipation has remained unfulfilled. Referring to ongoing Manipur violence and fomenting of communal-casteist-ethnic frenzy, he warned every one of the disastrous ‘divide and rule’ policy of the BJP government and said only a united militant left movement based on correct revolutionary ideology, and not bourgeois electoral politics, can bring the desired emancipation. hereafter, Comrade Satyawan, Polit Bureau member and Haryana State Secretary, SUCI(C), as well as a foremost leader of the historic peasants’ movement of Delhi, delivered his brief and fervent speech in Hindi covering, among others, the salient features of casteist-communal-racist politics of the RSS-BJP which are precipitating disunity and disharmony among the various sections of Indian citizens, destroying education and rational bent of mind, distorting history, and dragging people to the dregs. Both of them exhorted the toiling people to be conscious about the sinister design of the ruling bourgeoisie and rally behind the correct ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought which the SUCI(C) is upholding with revolutionary grit and determination.
Finally, Comrade Provash Ghosh, our beloved General Secretary, addressed the gathering for over two hours dwelling on the various contributions of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh in the sphere of philosophy, on national and international questions, emerging social problems, unmasking modern revisionism, proletarian culture, ethics and morality and the process of building up a correct revolutionary party based on Leninist model. Comrade Provash Ghosh, while speaking mainly in Bengali but occasionally in English, pointed out how Comrade Shibdas Ghosh elaborated, developed, enriched Marxism-Leninism and brought its understanding to a new height. Comrade Provash Ghosh also touched upon the anti-people autocratic role and policies of the BJP government, the oppressive rule of the erstwhile Congress government, the limitless corruption and misrule of the TMC government in West Bengal and the opportunistic vote-oriented social democratic role of the CPI(M) and its associates. He categorically distinguished between the revolutionary line of the SUCI(C) and revisionist-reformist politics of the pseudo-Marxists through a penetrating analysis with facts and evidences and showed how the CPI (M) has abandoned the path of militant leftism right from the day they had a taste of power. History enjoins us the task of accomplishing anti-capitalist socialist revolution.
Not only Indian Revolution, but even World Revolution also today warrant grasp of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh’s developed, enriched and contemporized interpretation of Marxism-Leninism. (Full speech of Comrade Provash Ghosh will be published later). The sea of humanity listened to the speeches with rapt attention. At the end, Internationale was rendered with a fervour of rumbling clouds and groundswell of revolutionary audacity.