(This is an abridged version of the speech delivered by Comrade Provash Ghosh at the Brigade Parade Ground meeting on 5 August 2023.
The full speech will be published in the special issue of Proletarian Era to be brought out later. Responsibility of translation error or inadequate expression, if any, lies with the Editorial Board of Proletarian Era)
Comrades President, Comrades and Friends,
On behalf of the Central Committee of our Party, I welcome all peasants, workers, students, youths, women, middle class people and representatives from fraternal parties who have come to this rally today. The common people who have generously contributed when our party comrades approached them for fund, our friends who have helped us in many ways, I thank them all. Unless common people had generously contributed to our fund, we would not have been able to organize this historic programme of today. We do not have that means. You know, we always depend on public donations.
As most of the people gathered in this meeting speak Bengali, so, I will speak in Bengali. I solicit pardon of those who have come from other states and speak different languages.
The days of hard struggle to build a genuine Communist Party
At the outset, I shall read out a few lines from the speeches of the great proletarian leader, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. ‘‘When this party first started, we had nothing, no money, no people, no place to stay, nobody knew us…… I was then a young man, the young man who dared to say that there is no real revolutionary party in India, such a revolutionary party has to be built anew. Many who heard my arguments said that it should be done. The arguments are good, but this is a crazy endeavour. This is impossible. It cannot be done. I did not argue with them too much. I replied to them, then what do you ask me to do—to be a slave, to be an agent, to sell my conscience? I cannot do this. If I die in this fight, I shall die holding my head high. I maybe shot dead but I cannot be bought. In those days we could not even arrange a room as shelter, and day after day, in our fierce battle to build up a new party in the midst of sheer obstacles and a completely adverse situation we had to strive hard without food, but we had no grievances for all these. CPI was then a united party. They jeered at us, that we have sprouted up like a mushroom; if SUCI is a party, then a bat is also a bird—do we have to sit together with them. I bore all these taunts silently, I did not pay any heed to their jeers. I only moved ahead with a steely determination to build up the party. For years together we slept on a grass mat only, and so many summers and winters we passed like that…. How many days we went without food, but we felt ashamed to talk about it. That we could not arrange our provisions, we could not collect the minimum sum was considered to be our own failing. What was there to be proud of? How could it be the height of sacrifice?… The wants and privations, thousands of sufferings and oppressions which the revolutionaries have to put up with may seem very painful to common people, but the peace and happiness which the revolutionaries enjoy, even being in the midst of an apparently painful and struggling life, cannot be fathomed by those who live in comfort and security. To him there is no greater treasure than revolution, no nobler life than the life of a revolutionary…. I know that I may starve to death, no one will care to enquire whether a person is starving to death…. Yet nothing goes in vain. All revolutionaries know that through the silent death from starvation a revolutionary is conveying the message to fifty or hundred people nothing will happen without a true revolutionary ideology, and a genuine revolutionary party, it does not become futile, it cannot become futile.’’
He thus had a firm conviction that this struggle cannot fail. This huge gathering proves that struggle has not failed. Today’s gathering is just a small fraction of our total organization spread across the country. Workers and supporters from 26 states of the country are present here. We do not have the financial capacity to make adequate transport arrangement to assemble our entire force at one meeting. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh is still alive in our hearts. This Party is making bold strides ahead following the path shown by him. This Party is spreading throughout the country, not based on the number of MLAs and MPs, not by dint of any governmental power, not because of the backing of any media publicity, but being powered by the invincibility of the noble ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh has further elaborated, developed and enriched Marxism-Leninism.
Comrade Shibdas Ghosh was the eldest son of a lower-middle class family. When he was leaving home at a young age at the call of revolutionism in the freedom movement, his parents asked who would look after them? He told them only one thing—millions of destitute parents are crying on the streets. I am their child. It is my duty to wipe their tears. Later he made a historic utterance; —‘‘Revolutionary politics calls for nobler feelings of the heart’’. Thus, the unspoken message of great men of all ages—from Buddha to Jesus, Mohammed, the Renaissance thinkers, freedom fighters and soldiers of proletarian revolutionary movements was articulated by him. He also taught us to view like this.
Why did he accept scientific Marxism?
In those days, he not only wanted the end of the British rule, he also wanted the emancipation of downtrodden impoverished millions from all sorts of exploitation. So, he was in search for the correct way to get that objective fulfilled. He was a seeker of truth. Could that emancipation be brought about following the path of religion? It dawned upon him that such was not possible. The fundamental presumption of religious thought is that this world is run by the Almighty–Allah, God. Rich and poor are his creation. Everything good or bad that happens is the will of the creator of the universe. It is as per His will that all actions and activities are taking place. The poor are suffering today because of karma of their previous births. How to get jobs for the unemployed, how to prevent retrenchment, how to stop price rise, how to get education, how to get medical treatment, how to live, how to protect the dignity of women— answers to these questions cannot be found in the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Geeta, Koran, Bible, Veda, Vedanta.
Could we get the answers of these questions in the gospels of great men? But there also, opinions vary from person to person. Vidyasagar, great pioneer of Indian Renaissance said, there is no truth in the Vedas and the Vedantas, or the religious scriptures. They are all wrong. We need to know about European science and European materialism. Vidyasagar did not believe in God. Another great man Vivekananda sang praises of the Vedanta. Yet the same Vivekananda also acknowledged that Vidyasagar was an exceptionally great man. So, whom shall we accept? Vidyasagar or Vivekananda?
Eventually Comrade Shibdas Ghosh came to realize that only scientific thinking can provide the answer. All discoveries in science are proven by experiments. What is water—the answer of science is the same everywhere in the world. What is electricity—there is only one answer. They are tested and verified. The historic philosophy of Marxism that came up is based on science.It is a scientific philosophy. It is only on the basis of Marxism that real truth can be found out.
Science has shown that the material world is constantly changing. It is in constant motion, it is dynamic. This change, this motion is governed by laws. Each specific object has specific laws. Different branches of science are governed by different laws specific to the respective domains they study. These laws can be known through scientific process, based on which actions can be executed. Like matter, these laws can neither be created nor destroyed. Coordination and correlation of the different laws of the different disciplines led to the discovery of general laws which the philosophy of Marxism is based on. As a result, Marxism is a scientific philosophy, based on which everything in the law-governed, ever-changing world can be studied. It is only on the basis of that truth obtained in course of such studies, which can guide people to traverse along right track.
CPI did not respond to Subhash Chandra’s call
Using Marxism as a weapon, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh judged the freedom movement of this country. He saw that despite so much of sacrifices by the freedom fighters and martyrs, the leadership was in the hands of the Gandhian Congress backed by the capitalists, Tata-Birla and others. Another trend in the freedom movement was led by the middle-class armed revolutionary organizations—Anushilan, Yugantar, Hindustan Republican Party, Gadar Party, and many such isolated revolutionary groups. At that time, in 1925, great Stalin said that the bourgeoisie of India is divided into two groups. The big bourgeoisie was compromising with British imperialism. They were concerned more about their money-bags. They were afraid of working class revolution. It was the duty of the then communists in India to combine with petty-bourgeois revolutionaries, and to isolate the bourgeois leadership in the freedom movement. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh observed that the role of the CPI was completely opposed to Stalin’s enunciation, and was anti-Marxist. At one point, the different petty-bourgeois revolutionaries of India came together to support Subhashchandra as an alternative to the compromising Gandhian leadership. Being elected as President, Subhashchandra told in the Haripura Congress that ‘the Soviet Union is our friend, and the imperialists tremble with fear at the mention of the Soviet Union’. He said that workers and peasants should be brought into the fold of Swadeshi movement, and that the zamindari system was to be abolished. He said that he wanted full independence. As a result, the bourgeoisie, the British imperialists, the Gandhites got scared. They fielded Pattavi Seetharamaiah in the contest for Congress Presidentship for the next term to defeat Subhashchandra. Despite this, Subhashchandra won in the Presidential election. But after his win, the bourgeoisie hatched a conspiracy under the leadership of Gandhiji. A proposal was tabled at the Tripuri Congress that all decisions should be taken in the Congress with the approval of Gandhiji. The working committee should also be formed with the approval of Gandhiji. The CPI and the Congress Socialist Party supported the Gandhites on these proposals. Subhashchandra was defeated. Effectively the Congress leadership did not allow Subhashchandra to function as elected President. As a result, Subhashchandra was forced to resign in the 1939 session at Wellington Square in Calcutta. Afterwards, the Congress suspended Subhashchandra, that is, virtually expelled him from the Congress. Many do not know this history today.
Then in 1940, at the parallel session at Ramgarh, Subhashchandra gave the call for the formation of a ‘Left Consolidation’ front with a view to uniting the leftists and called upon the Communist Party of India (CPI) to come forward and join. He said, this would have prepared the ground for the formation of a correct Marxist Party. But the CPI did not join. With much pain Subhashchandra said that such a great universal humanist ideal like communism could not find a place in India, because the tactics of those who are thought to be communists in this country are such that they push their friends into the enemy camp, they do not know how to embrace others. Thus, the CPI did not take advantage of the opportunity to create an alternative leadership to the bourgeois leadership, keeping Subhashchandra in the forefront, and thereby objectively helped the bourgeoisie to consolidate their leadership. Further, they did not organize the workers and peasants to participate in the freedom movement. In the 1942 August movement, the whole of India was in ferment. The British rulers were trembling with fear, the Gandhites were shaking, but the CPI opposed that August movement. Many thought that the Soviet Union had asked them to do so. But, in 1952, Stalin criticized and admonished them by saying ‘‘Why did you join hands with the British in 1942?’’ This was the role of the CPI. Subhashchandra formed the INA force with Japanese help as a tactic following the dictum ‘to set a thief to catch a thief.’ Was a patriot like Subhashchandra an agent of Japan? Did he want to establish the rule of Japan in India? He wanted to use Japan against the British. He did not allow the INA forces to be deployed against Soviet Russia in the Second World War. Yet the CPI branded Subhashchandra as Quisling and an agent of Japan. When the question of partition of India arose, the Congress, Hindu Mahasabha and Muslim League wanted partition, The CPI also supported partition. It pronounced that the Hindus and the Muslims are separate nationalities.
CPI was built up with a wrong methodology, serious violation of Leninist methodology, so a genuine Communist Party had to be built
Comrade Shibdas Ghosh studied all these events one by one following Marxist method. From his studies, he examined why did such things happen? Then he came to realize that the CPI had been formed following a wrong methodology at his very formation. This party was not built up as a correct communist party. So, he took the initiative to form a genuine Communist Party. While Comrade Shibdas Ghosh was building the SUCI (Communist), the united CPI was a very strong party. They got the support of great Stalin, of great Mao Zedong. Why did Comrade Shibdas Ghosh take the initiative to form SUCI (Communist) Party despite accepting Stalin and Mao Zedong as leaders? He understood that the CPI leaders were honest and sincere; it is also true that they had studied Marxism.
But scholasticism and knowledge are not the same. Scholasticism means mere reading a lot of books. It is book-learning. But Marxism cannot be grasped by mere bookish knowledge. Marxism has to be applied in life. Marxism is a philosophy of life. Marx said, if you have to change the world, first change yourself. All of us are born in a capitalist society. One and all have greed for money, greed for property, craving for fame, desire for position, weakness for family, selfishness which have crept into our mind from the decrepit capitalist society. Feudal thoughts also still influence us. One cannot be a Marxist with such a character. Hence, all these bourgeois outlooks and traits must be eradicated.
Comrade Shibdas Ghosh concretised Marxism on the Indian soil
Lenin said, a Communist Party cannot be formed by issuing a decree or passing a resolution at a meeting. It requires an ideological struggle to achieve unity of ideas. That is, there needs to be a unity of thought among those who would fight with the weapon of Marxism. And a struggle is needed to comprehend what would be the revolutionary point of view on all issues. But the CPI leaders did not conduct that struggle. A few people in Calcutta, Bombay, Kanpur, Delhi who were thinking about Communism suddenly decided that they could form a party combining a few groups. So was formed the CPI. Lenin further said that Marxist theory only provides general guiding principles, which, in particular, are applied in England differently from France, in France differently from Germany, and in Germany, differently from Russia.
According to this Leninist teaching, the general line of revolution must be concretely and particularly applied in the case of India too. While deciding what would be the concrete application of Marxism in India, one has to take into consideration India’s particular economic and political situation, particular culture, particular nature of bourgeois thought and bourgeois ideology of this country, the existence of Hinduism and Islam, the social outlook, behaviour, taste and culture in this country. This is called the concretization of Marxism in the concrete situation of a particular country. The CPI leaders did not think about these aspects at all. They did not give any importance to this teaching of Lenin. Lenin did this in Russia, Mao Zedong did this in China. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had realized this. That is why he attached so much importance to it. And he applied Marxism creatively in this way to the specific situation of India. And in the process, he further developed and improved Marxism and contributed a lot in all fields of philosophy, politics, economy, culture, art, literature, and in all fields of epistemology and science.
The rise of Shibdas Ghosh as a foremost Marxist Thinker
Secondly, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh realized that among those forming the Party, a collective unified thinking on all questions should be developed in accordance with Marxism-Leninism through an intense ideological struggle following the Marxist method. This collective uniform thinking shall be personified in a leader who is the most advanced in the expression of the collective thought. He is the thinker. Such were great Lenin, Stalin, and Mao Zedong. As the CPI in our country did not carry out such an ideological struggle, they could not give birth to any such thinker. It is through such struggle in our Party that Comrade Shibdas Ghosh emerged as a Marxist thinker. This has not been achieved through passing any resolution. This thinker’s appearance happened through struggle, through dialectical interaction and contradiction of thoughts. It is through this process that ideological centralism develops. Thirdly, there is a necessity of developing a band of revolutionaries, who are truly communists of high standard, who have not only renounced private property, but are also free from private property mentality in their thinking—that is, free from such thoughts like, my house, my interests, my feelings, my likings, what I think is right, my name, my position, my anger, my pride, my love, my affection, etc. One may not have any private property, but may still nurture a mentality based on property. Those who are free from this, that is, those who have identified their individual interest with the interest of the working class, the revolutionary party and revolution, such standard-bearers would be the leaders of the party. As long as this does not happen, until such leaders are created through struggle, a revolutionary party cannot be formed. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh formed SUCI(C) following these three processes. On the other hand, the political life and family life of CPI leaders were completely separated. They did not bother about such questions like what would be the nature of communist culture, and how Marxism would be applied in life. The same is true for the CPI(M) later on. As a result, the party could not become a true communist party, despite the cadres, emotional attraction for communism, leftism, their dedication and hard work, assaults and tortures inflicted on them during mass struggles.
In the present era of moribund capitalism, where individualism has given rise to worst form of self-centredness, Lenin’s theory of party formation has been further developed and improved by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, and he built our Party based on it. This task was not fulfilled by the CPI leaders. As a result, the CPI did not emerge as a true Marxist party, but in reality, grew as a petty-bourgeois social democratic party.
It was Comrade Shibdas Ghosh who rightly formulated the correct strategy of Proletarian Revolution in India
When the power was transferred in 1947, he said, the national bourgeoisie has come to state power in India, and thus political independence has been achieved. In this regard also, he had a difference with the CPI. The CPI did not realize in 1947 that the country had become politically independent. They said – it is a step forward; we have just taken one step forward. They also held that Nehru was progressive, and Sardar Patel was reactionary. So, Nehru should be supported. If any CPI-CPI(M) worker is here, they could check in their party congress documents that till 1964, their leaders did not realize that India had achieved political independence in the bourgeois sense. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, on the other hand, showed that the bourgeoisie has come to power in India, and they are not just bourgeoisie, but monopoly bourgeoisie; what Lenin called the highest stage of capitalism. Indian capitalism has reached that level. Now the Indian bourgeoisie has given birth to multinationals, has acquired an imperialist character. Indian monopoly capitalists have invested Rs 16,50, 350 crore rupees abroad in industries and mining. With the Indian national bourgeoisie assuming political power in 1947, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had concluded that the stage of revolution in India is that of anti-capitalist socialist revolution. While Indian capitalism has reached the highest level, the CPI(M) leaders consider the national bourgeoisie to be progressive, and hence their allies in the people’s democratic revolution which is their formulation of Indian revolution. They are still chewing the cud of people’s democratic revolution. As a result of that, they sometimes unite with the Congress in the name of fighting against the communalism of the BJP, and sometimes unites with the BJP in the name of fighting against the authoritarianism of the Congress. I am discussing all this about the then undivided CPI and the CPI(M) which had split from it in the later period to state the facts, not out of any malice. The object of this discussion is to elucidate why Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had to build up a new party, the SUCI(C), as a genuine Marxist Party because of non-Marxist role and character of the CPI.
Another vital question was stressed by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh —‘The essence of any ideology, any philosophy, any great doctrine, lies in its moral-cultural standard’. If a political doctrine and political movement cannot elevate moral strength, raise cultural standards, then remember that such politics is harmful and useless. Just as a lifeless body has to be thrown away as waste, because in the event of holding on to it out of compassion, the putrefied body would cause harm to people in the society, so also the political doctrines devoid of high morals and high culture are to be discarded. This is also a very important teaching of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh.
Many ordinary people outside our Party are here. You appreciate our Party cadres. You say that our Party is completely different. Wherein lies this difference? One is that we are not an election-oriented party. We are a revolutionary party. We do not go down the path of unethical opportunism for securing votes. We do not flatter any big party. Revolutionary politics and revolutionary ideology are practised in a living way in our Party from the highest to the lowest levels, based on the teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. Another thing is that, as Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had taught, we want better character, we want higher culture. Our revolutionary cadres are the children of this society. But why are they different from other children of this society? They are different because they are also morally imbued with the teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. He once lamented, ‘‘We have become rootless today. We are failing to maintain continuity with the high cultural standard attained during the days of our freedom movement. Lofty phrases we are culling from the outside world no doubt, but we have lost the link with the high cultural tune that had once developed on our own soil…. The high moral, ethical, cultural and aesthetic standard of political and literary-cultural movement that was once attained in our country has fallen down. As a result we have become rootless. So, we talk big, but do not cultivate noble emotions and delicate feelings.’’
There is a living struggle for attaining higher character in our Party. So those of you who are of the opinion that our Party, our comrades are different from others and hence are unique— to you all we say that difference and uniqueness are on two counts. On the one hand, based on the teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, we practice revolutionary politics and strive to acquire knowledge. We want our Party workers to acquire higher knowledge. On the other hand, they struggle to attain higher character based on Comrade Shibdas Ghosh’s teachings. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh said, people’s hearts will have to be won not by force, not by bullying, not by calumny against others, not by telling lies but by polite behaviour, decency and logic. We are still following this ideal. We, as taught by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, are struggling to acquire a higher character by learning from the life and struggle of great personalities of the renaissance and freedom movement, from the character of the revolutionaries and then effecting a brake with their ideals because of change in the objective condition, strive to acquire a higher communist character. This is why we are distinctly different from other parties.
Not just vote politics, what is needed are mass and class struggles
We take part in the elections. As long as there are elections, as long as people are involved in it, we will have to participate in the elections to convey our political message to the people. But we never try to win by hook or by crook. Rearing Hindu vote bank, Muslim vote bank, caste-based vote bank—such is not our politics. For us, no one has Hindu identity, or Muslim identity, upper caste or lower caste identity, Bengali or Bihari or Marathi identity. In our reckoning, the exploited people of India are on one side and the exploiting class on the other side. These are the two opposing classes. Our election fight is from the point of view of the exploited class. Hence, our Party stands on a completely different footing. With this standpoint, we can win by making the people conscious and united, well and good, but even if we cannot win, we will never abandon this principle. We will go on preparing the grounds for revolution by giving birth to the political power of the people by intensifying mass and class struggles based on higher culture.
Comrade Shibdas Ghosh warned about the dangers of fascism as early as in 1949
Today everyone is talking about fascism. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh made a historic pronouncement in 1949. He said, Germany-Italy had lost the war, but fascism was not defeated. He is the first one to say that fascism exists today in various forms in all developed and underdeveloped capitalist countries. He said that there are three characteristic features of fascism. One is concentration of capital. Monopoly capital is a centralized form of capital. Another is concentration of all power in the hands of the Executive, trampling on the relative independence that existed earlier for the Legislature, Executive and the Judiciary. Another point he said was, promotion of spiritualism and religious thought in the realm of idea, wherein there is no logic, no causal relationship, no scientific approach. In the name of science, the capitalist-imperialist rulers bring to the fore only machines, technical aspects of science and seek to bring about a peculiar fusion of technological aspects of science and spiritualism. They want to destroy human thought, reason, critical faculty. If this is done, people, will blindly rally behind the bourgeois parties, blindly follow the bourgeois leadership, blindly obey the bourgeois government and the state. Their objective is to inculcate such a regimentation among people. Thus, fascism destroys the very man-making process. At that time many, including the then CPI, did not want to believe his words. Here I want to say one more thing. Fascism is not brought in by any party. Fascism is a stage of capitalism. Parliamentary democracy ousted monarchy and established democratic republic in the early stage of development of capitalism. Capitalism was then the votary of social progress. When capitalism reached the stage of monopoly, its decadent moribund reactionary stage, on the way to decay and extinction, it and not any particular party, gave birth to fascism.
All problems must be judged from a class outlook
Comrade Ghosh said, today capitalism in India has reached a new stage, now there is no such common thing as national interest. Earlier there was a united struggle of the rich and the poor against the British imperialist rule. The British have gone. Now the Indian national bourgeoisie is in power. Capitalism operates for the sake of profit. The interests of the capitalists and of the exploited classes stand in contradiction. As a result, there is no question of unity between the rich and the poor. Now on the one side, there is exploitation and plunder by capitalism and on the other side, there is the class and mass struggles of the exploited people against it. Exploited people today have to judge everything from this class outlook. Every individual while judging anything do so, knowingly or unknowingly, either from the capitalist point of view, or consciously judging from the point of view of the exploited class.
Politics is also twofold—either politics to protect capitalist exploitation, or politics to abolish capitalist exploitation. As long as there is capitalism, people will continue to be ruthlessly oppressed and suppressed. In exploitative capitalist rule, any talk of welfare for all is a hypocritical lie. The country is now divided between the handful of exploiters and myriads of exploited. Hence, everything must be judged from a class outlook.
Crores of poor people are being crushed under double engine BJP governments
You are all victims of the deplorable situation in the country today. As we assemble here today, a dark shadow is pervading all spheres of social life. Economic, political, cultural, moral, social-there is no area where there is any glimmer of hope. Continually the darkness is deepening. The common people cannot fathom where is the end, where is the limit. There is growing despondency in all spheres. In such a situation we have to hold this meeting.
Recently the Home Minister of India claimed that the Prime Minister is the Messiah, the saviour of the poor people of this country. What sort of a saviour of the poor people is he! India ranks 107 out of 121 countries on the Global Hunger Index. Unable to bear the pain of starvation and not being able to repay their debts1,64,033 Indians committed suicide in India in 2021. So many suicides in just one year! 4,500 children, as per published data, die of starvation every day. The actual number is much higher. Three years ago, the report was that there were 9 crore 90 lakh middle class people. Now the count stands at 6 crore 60 lakh. That means 3 crore 30 lakh middle class people have come down to the level of poor. Industrialist Mukesh Ambani, close friend of the BJP, reportedly earns Rs 197.8 crore per day. On the other hand, 68 percent of people in the country have a daily income of less than Rs 146 and 30 percent of people have a daily income of less than Rs 83. The Prime Minister, the poor man’s messiah, has granted around Rs 55 lakh crore of tax concessions and loan waivers to the industrialists in last 9 years, as per a rough calculation. Banks, on the other hand, have been asked this year to waive 60 percent of their bad loans, most of which pertain to the big business houses. And the debt-burdened poverty-stricken common people are committing suicides, being unable to pay back their paltry loans. And the common people are scorched to death in the fire of exponential price hike. This is the gift of the saviour Narendra Modi to the poor of India. The BJP PM talks of, double engine government. We also say, yes, there is double engine government. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister are the drivers of those engines. In the back of the engines, Ambani-Adani-Tata-Birla-Mittal-Jindal as well as the giant multinationals are riding in the bogies. And crores of India’s poor peasants, workers and middle class people are being crushed under the wheels of that engine. In India, the richest five percent own 60 percent of the wealth. And fifty percent of the people, the poor people of the lower strata, own just 3 percent of the wealth. 7,24,000 factories have been closed down till 2022. Then think how many crores of workers have lost their jobs. Capitalism around the world is facing a severe market crisis today. Most of the people in the imperialist-capitalist countries are unemployed, underemployed or retrenched. As a result, people’s purchasing power is diminishing. Therefore, who will buy the goods produced? So, shutters are downed in one after another industry. The ruling circle does not want to admit that it is a recession. Hence a new term ‘slowdown of economy’ has been coined to shield the truth.
War is a necessity for military industry
So accentuated is the economic crisis of capitalism. Hence, all countries, including India, are emphasizing on military industry to artificially stimulate the sagging economy by boosting defence industry. War tensions and local wars are necessities for this militarization of the economy. Global imperialist powers are also joining in local wars, as happened in the Ukraine war. As a result, whether there will be a job or not, and if there is a job, whether it will be permanent or not, all are uncertain. First of all, permanent jobs are vanishing in our country. Instead, appointment of contractual temporary workers at very low wage is taking place. They have no legal rights. There are no fixed wages and no fixed working hours. The workers can be retrenched at any time. Apart from this, migrant labour, gig workers, outsourcing, bonded labour are rampant. Period of slavery in new form is back. Parents are selling their daughters due to poverty. A few days ago, it came out in the papers that more than 13 lakh women went missing in India during two years, 2019-21. Where did so many women go? They all have been trafficked abroad, or within this country. They are being sold in the flesh market. Children are also being sold. There are crores of child labourers in this country.
Freedom Movement was opposed by RSS
The central government is run by the BJP; the same BJP which claims itself to be the symbol of nationalism, the symbol of freedom, the symbol of patriotism. What is the reality? I do not know how many people are aware of the history of the RSS which built up this BJP. When the Swadeshi movement was in full swing in our country, RSS leader Golwalkar was saying that the ongoing freedom movement was not a proper freedom movement. This freedom movement was reactionary. He said, ‘‘The theories of territorial nationalism and of common danger, which formed the basis for our concept of nation , had deprived us of the positive and inspiring content of our real Hindu Nationhood and made many of the ‘freedom movements’ virtually anti-British movements. Anti-Britishism was equated with patriotism and nationalism. This reactionary view has had disastrous effects upon the entire course of the freedom struggle, its leaders and the common people.’’ According to Golwalkar ‘‘they only are nationalist patriots who cherish the glory of Hinduism in their heart and work towards that goal. The rest who, claiming to be patriots, are harming the interests of Hindus, are traitors and enemies of the country.’’ Thus spoke Golwalkar. When martyrs were giving their lives in the freedom movement, when people like Subhashchandra were fighting for country’s freedom, Golwalkar and his followers were saying that those who were fighting against the British were reactionaries. They were enemies of the country, they were traitors. In Golwalkar’s judgment, starting from Deshbandhu Chittaranjan, Bipin Pal, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Lala Lajpat Rai, Subhashchandra, to Kshudiram, Bhagat Singh, Chandrasekhar Azad, Asfaqullah—all of them were traitors, enemies of the country. This is what follows from their arguments. That is why they did not play any role in the freedom movement. Today they are claiming themselves as ‘patriots’. Will you accept this?
The opponents of Freedom Movement are now teaching us patriotism
The RSS-BJP have conferred the title of ‘Veer’ on V D Savarkar, another Hindutva ideologue, giving him a place alongside Netaji Subhash. We have Savarkar’s own words with us. When this ‘‘hero’’ Savarkar was in prison in the Andamans, he filed three mercy petitions with the British government. He prayed, ‘please release me; if released, I will do whatever the British government tells me to do’. He said, I can convince all those who came to work for the country at my call, and they will all work under the instructions of the British government. But many martyrs of this country, including Kshudiram, Bhagat Singh, Asfaqullah and others, sacrificed their lives on the gallows with their heads held high. They did not beg for mercy. Savarkar recruited soldiers for the British forces during World War II, when the August movement of 1942 was underway. He also raised the demand for partition of the country along religious line. Such was the role of RSS-Hindu Mahasabha—the mentors of the BJP during freedom movement. They are now teaching the countrymen patriotism, they are now raising slogans of nationalism. People of the country should realize their true character.
I would also like to emphasize that the BJP is shutting down the practice of science in the country. It is removing Darwin’s theory from text books instead encouraging study of Veda-Vedanta, Manu Samhita. But Raja Rammohan, the pioneer of the Indian renaissance, said that Sanskrit education and Vedanta would lead the society to darkness. He said, we need to learn science and political economy from Europe. And Vidyasagar, the great character of Indian Renaissance, said, ‘we need to cultivate rational, materialist philosophy based on science. The teachers should be those who are well versed in Bengali and English languages and are free from religious prejudices.’ Even Vivekananda said, we have to take science from Europe. He also said, ‘‘We know about what scientists and astronomers tell about the universe. And we also know what a strong blow it gives to the ancient theologians. As one new scientific discovery follows another, as if a bomb is falling in their house one by one. And that is why in all ages they have tried to stop scientific researches.’’ What will the BJP-RSS leaders say about these words of Vivekananda? They are now engaged in discovery of modern scientific theories in Veda-Vedanta, Geeta, Manusamhita, and one day it might even be claimed based on these weird theories that our ancestors had travelled to the Moon during the Vedic period.
Who is true Hindu? Ramakrishna-Vivekananda or RSS-BJP
Vivekananda said, if you talk of the Ramayana, it is not necessary to accept that someone named Rama actually existed. If there is anything necessary to learn from the Ramayana, that should be accepted. He said, ‘if I had a son, he may be a disciple of whomsoever he thinks to represent truth’. ‘‘It is very natural that simultaneously with full freedom and without having any conflict, my son could be a Buddhist, my wife a Christian and myself a Muslim.’’ Will the RSS-BJP leaders accept this Vivekananda as a Hindu? Vivekananda also said, ‘‘No religion has ever oppressed people…. No religion has ever condoned this injustice. But what incited people to do all such things? It is politics that has incited people to commit these wrongdoings, not religion’’. Where do the RSS-BJP stand in today’s India in the light of Vivekananda’s teaching? Are they not using religion to foment communal riots for reaping narrow sectarian political benefits? Was Ramakrishna an agent of the Muslims that he prayed in mosques, read Quran and also prayed in churches? He said that Bhagawan, Allah and God are one and the same, just like, jal, pani and water are one and the same. Then who is true Hindu? Ramakrishna-Vivekananda, or the BJP-RSS? Hence, the BJP-RSS are against renaissance, against freedom movement and also against true Hinduism.
The BJP is building Ram Mandir only with an eye on the next polls. A few days ago, newspapers reported about a conclave of the BJP-RSS. The RSS reportedly advised the West Bengal BJP leaders to organize Ram Navami and Durga Puja, looking ahead to next election. Such is their devotion to religion. It is nothing but devotion to electoral power politics.
Which India does ‘India’ aliance represent
Recently the opposition parties formed an alliance called ‘INDIA’. Which India does this ‘INDIA’ represent? Is it the India of the oppressed and exploited poor people? Or is it the India of Ambani-Adani-Tata-Birla? The Congress is a constituent of this alliance. It is they who first consolidated capitalism in the country, strengthened the base of fascism. The CPI(M) is calling that Congress democratic and secular. Were there no riots during the Congress rule? Communal riots in Bhagalpur, Rourkela, Nellie in Assam, massacre of Sikhs in Delhi—all were perpetrated by the Congress. Is this Congress secular? All the undemocratic laws —TADA, MISA Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), AFSPA—were promulgated by the Congress. The BJP is making these black laws tougher. Is this Congress democratic? Who shed the blood of so many martyrs in West Bengal on 31 August 1959? There is a martyrs’ column at Bowbazar intersection in Kolkata in memory of four women members of the united (undivided) CPI, who were killed by the police during Congress rule. Now the CPI(M) is pasting the label ‘democratic and secular’ on the same Congress.
Regional parties are also not democratic
Are any of the regional parties democratic? In suppressing mass movement and forcibly silencing the voices of the opposition, they are all fascistic. Those who occupy the seat of power and serve capitalism are bound to be fascistic. And all those in governments at the Centre and in the states are corrupt. Remember one thing, today the ‘principle’ of all big bourgeois parties and the regional bourgeois parties, is corruption. Everyone is mired neck-deep in corruption. But each claims to be innocent and calls the other corrupt. In reality, they are competing with each other over corruption. Like Ambani-Adani-Tata-Birla who all have only one goal—ruthlessly exploit people and loot crores of rupees, similarly the only aim of these parties is to have more number of MLA-MPs, to occupy ministerial chair, and plunder money. As if there is a competition to embezzle public money. They argue, if so and so is embezzling public money, why shouldn’t we? As if, if someone loots public money, I am also licensed to commit the same crime. As if it has become their right. The public have also somewhat accepted it. They feel whoever occupies seats of power, they only plunder. This line of thinking is dangerous. As capitalism in its entirety is corrupt today, hence all the national and regional bourgeois parties are all corrupt. They are also corrupting the public. What is happening today is not criminalization of politics, but in fact the criminalization by the politicians.
Even under Trinamool Congress rule, murder-corruption-terror is going on
The Trinamool Congress is also a part of this ‘INDIA’ alliance. The same TMC, when it first came to power in West Bengal, had announced that they want change, not reprisal. But what have they brought about? Their rule is a carbon copy of CPI(M)’s 34-year rule. It is the rule of syndicates, contractors and promoters. Extortion and percentage payments are rampant. Extreme corruption is unbridled. Blood flowed freely in West Bengal during the last election. Police, administration all are under the control of the ruling TMC. The difference with the CPI(M) is that they did so in an organized and very skillful manner while with the TMC, things are loose and blunt. They too are suppressing mass movements. Government servants cannot raise any voice of protest. Nobody can protest. In TMC regime, two of our party workers lost their eyesight during police lathi charge on a demonstration. Recently in Kultali, our Party’s leading comrade Sudhanshu Jana was killed by strangulation and then his body was hung by a rope to give the false impression that it was a suicide. The initial police report said that it was murder, but later it was changed on instruction from the ruling party.
Just as the central government has been cheating the people by instituting the schemes like Ayushman Bharat, Swachh Bharat, Awas Yojana, etc., to garner votes, so also in this state schemes like Lakshmi Bhandar, Kanyashree, Yuvashree, donations to clubs, etc., have been introduced for getting votes. Important tasks like putting an end to unemployment, curbing price rise, etc., are pushed aside and instead people are offered doles and freebies. This is similar to what the Zaminders of the olden days did —squeezing the blood of the subjects throughout the year, and then ceremoniously feeding the poor once or twice a year.
They are trying to purchase the poor people with a kilogram of rice or five hundred rupees; they are buying the unemployed youths by offering subscriptions of several thousand rupees to Durga Pujas organized by the local clubs. Shedding of blood during the elections happened in West Bengal during the Congress and CPI(M) regimes also. The question is not whether more blood was shed at that time, or now, or whether there were more murders at that time, or now. The question is, why such killings take place, why is so much of bloodshed? In other BJP-ruled states, spreading communal hatred and rioting are going on full-fledged in preparation for ensuing polls. Manipur is also on fire for the same reason. Riots are engineered in Haryana. The CPI(M) during its rule issued licenses for liquor shops, offering increase in revenue as the excuse. The TMC has surpassed them and opened more liquor stores.
In 1977 CPI(M) did not have to rig the elections. People then voted with anti-Congress mentality. Afterwards, when the CPI(M) lost the trust of the people, it took recourse to booth capturing and mass rigging. In 2009 and 2011, people of West Bengal voted for the TMC with open arms. Then they did not have to capture booths, did not have to take recourse to rigging; but today they have to because they have lost public trust.
During elections, people are carried away by the election waves created by the capitalists
The election is but a farce today. During election, the bourgeois class pour money in the coffers of the parties of their choice. And this class utilizes the media, the newspapers, TV channels to concoct a wave in favour of the party or parties of their choice. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh said, if people do not have political consciousness, if there is no strength of unity, if people do not identify the true revolutionary party, then they are carried away by that wave. And it has become a common expectation among the people that they would get some money for voting. The price of five votes may be five thousand rupees or ten thousand rupees. For fifty votes, it may be one lakh rupees. One lakh rupees is a lot of money for a poor family. Thus, votes get sold for money. Such is the so-called democratic election. This is what happens during elections. Where does this money come from? From the capitalists, the big businessmen, the black money hoarders and from government funds. They collect back many times the money they invest in the election process by raising the prices of commodities and increasing the tax.
Now the aphorism ‘by the people, for the people, of the people’ exists in textbooks only. In reality, it has become ‘by the capitalists, for the capitalists, of the capitalists’. Money power, administrative power, media power and muscle power determine the outcome of elections. People tell us, ‘you are mad. You want votes and you want donations also’. We say, ‘yes, we are mad. We want to stay mad like this. Because we do not conduct our activities based on the money of the owners, do not function on capitalists’ money. We operate on the basis of financial help from you. We do not want to deceive the public.’
CPI (M) has maligned Leftism
So, there are two politics. One is the politics that protects capitalism, and the other is the politics of overthrowing capitalism. The Politics of these bourgeois parties like the BJP, Congress, regional bourgeois parties is the politics of protecting capitalism. And the politics of the SUCI(C) is to dethrone capitalism, establish socialism and free the society from exploitation. Now the CPI(M) too has given up the path of left movement and joined the bourgeois bandwagon just to get a few seats. The CPI(M)’s current predicament was not there before. The united CPI was once the largest opposition in Parliament. In 1952, the CPI won the majority of seats in Kolkata. Till 1966, the CPI and CPI(M) participated in militant mass movements. Their changeover began from the time they took office in 1967. They began to abandon the path of mass movements. The CPI(M) ruled for 34 years. It was expected that they would increase their strength during this 34-year rule. But why have they lost their strength? Why is the anti-TMC population still not thinking of the CPI(M) as an alternative? Why today they cannot move without holding the hands of the Congress and the hands of a Pir (Muslim religious leader)? The CPI(M) workers may please ponder, to what depth their party leaders have brought the party down. For 34 years they suppressed mass movements to serve the interests of the capitalist class in West Bengal. Supreme party hegemony was imposed in every sphere, the voice of the opposition was silenced, anti-socials were used to further party interest. Thus, they maligned leftism. As a result, the right wing politics has become stronger in West Bengal, in the stronghold of leftism right from the British period to the Congress rule. The BJP has been able to raise its head because of defaming of leftism by the CPI (M). Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had already warned of this danger in 1969. And not only has the BJP raised its head, during the last parliamentary election in West Bengal, everywhere we heard the slogan, ‘now Ram, later Bam (Left)’. Whether Alimuddin Street [the CPI (M) state headquarters] gave the order or not, we do not know. But it happened everywhere in West Bengal. Who taught this opportunism? I request honest CPI(M) workers and supporters to think where the CPI(M) leadership has descended today for election-oriented political gain in the name of tactics.
As the tide of religiosity swells, so does the moral decadence
Capitalism has destroyed mankind’s tender human feelings, has destroyed conscience, killed character; killed love and affection in family life, duty to parents, mutual love and trust in married life. Alcoholism, cannabis smoking, drug addiction are increasing. Another addiction, sex addiction has reached a menacing level. Getting immersed in lurid sexuality all the time, addiction to pornographic pictures, books and films, making lewd comments about female body, making indecent postures to and stalking the women. These are all manifestations of sex addiction. Another addiction is consumerism—you have no money in the pocket, still you must have a mobile; there is no food at home, yet you want a fashionable dress for going out. This consumerism has even infiltrated into the poor in the villages. It is capitalism that brings in these addictions. Because if the youths are not stripped of human essence, quality, values and finer senses, the existence of capitalism will be endangered. Rape has become commonplace—you can read the news of rape every day in the papers. Three-year-old child, six-month-old baby girl are being raped; a hundred year old woman is raped; father rapes daughter. Recently on 28 July last, a case was heard in the Alipore court of Kolkata in which a man was accused of raping his mother. What a horrible situation! Where are we living! This does not happen even in the animal world. How is this happening in human society? As the tide of religious blindness and fanaticism rises, so does the number of rapes in tandem. Capitalism is leading civilization to hell. Rammohan, Vidyasagar, Phule, Vivekananda, Rabindranath, Saratchandra, Premchand, Nazrul, Deshbandhu Chittaranjan, Tilak, Lala Lajpat, Subhash Chandra, Subramania Bharti, Jyotiprasad, Gopabandhu Das and other great men of yester years could not even dream in their worst nightmare that such a terrible situation would prevail in the post-independent India.
Hence the main enemy of the people is capitalism. The fight will be against capitalism. In this situation, our Party stands alone with the banner of revolution. Our goal is to accomplish anti-capitalist socialist revolution. We want to point out that if the BJP loses the polls, that is good. Its arrogance, rabid Hindutva, don’t-care-attitude will be reduced a bit. But even if the ‘INDIA’ alliance wins, communalism will not go away. None of the members of the alliance is secular. Secularism means, not in our language but in Netaji’s words—‘‘Religion will have nothing to do with politics. Politics will be guided by scientific, economic, political logic.’’ Saratchandra and Rabindranath also said the same thing. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh put it in a more developed and elaborate manner that secular means pertaining to this material world, earthly and non-recognition of any supernatural entity. This material world represents reality. Secular humanism is based on this concept.
Thus, neither of them is secular nor democratic. All of them are tied with Ambani, Adani, Tata. If Ambani-Adani-Tata give 100 rupees to BJP, they would give 30 or 40 rupees to others through the electoral bonds. Even if the ‘INDIA’ alliance comes to power in the central government, all the main problems of the country will remain intact. Because they would all practise bourgeois politics, implement bourgeois rules. The alternative is proletarian politics, proletarian rules. So, what is needed is the proletarian alternative. For that, the first thing that is necessary is militant mass movements, class struggles. That is why we want a united front of the leftists. Let them come back to the path of movement. We do not want unity with this party or that party just for the sake of getting some seats. Unity is needed for the sake of mass movements, for the sake of class struggle. Had the CPI(M) been in the vortex of mass movements, the historic farmers’ movement of Delhi could have been spread across India. We had tried our best for that based on our own strength. You should know that the CPI (M) and its associates broke the left unity of six parties which included us, without even informing us. Because they wanted to go with the Congress and did not want militant movements. The CPI(M) workers may please think once, how great a potential of spearheading countrywide militant peasants’ movement and mass struggles was wasted.
In their own interest the poor people are not to despair but have to understand politics
And I would like to tell that pessimistic thoughts like, ‘nothing will happen in this country’, ‘no benefit will accrue to the people’, ‘only harm will be caused to people’ and so forth. It would only increase frustration, and the crisis would continue to grow. You are not being fair to us if you say, all parties are the same, and all of them only utter good words and then betray people afterwards. We are not of the same ilk. We do not cheat people, we do not tell lies. We move with definite principles and ideals. I call upon the people to understand politics. At each election, these leaders come to you with alluring promises that they will do this, they will do that, make tall promises to fool you. They get wide publicity in the newspapers. TV channels and radios air their talks. You too are swayed by that wave. It is true that the leaders cheat, but why do you let yourself be cheated? If we also want to cheat you, why would you get fooled? Keep your eyes open. Understand politics. If you say all the usual things—‘we have a family, we live with children, we keep ourselves aloof from such topics, we don’t care about politics’—you will be fooled again and again. You have been fooled in the freedom movement. It is not the children of Tata-Birla’s homes who have shed blood and given their lives. It was the children from ordinary homes who shed their blood and embraced martyrdom during freedom struggle. But power was seized by the capitalist class. In those days, the people did not want to understand who was right, Gandhiji or Subhashchandra. Then also, the people used to say, ‘we are ordinary people, why do we need to meddle in big affairs, we do not understand such things’. And Gandhiji was like an avatar, like a monk. So, the inevitable has happened. Even today, if the same thing goes on, if you continue saying ‘we don’t understand politics, we are simple, uneducated people’, you will be deceived again and again. Politics has entered your home. Whether your pot will boil or not, whether you have oil to put in the pan, whether the lamp will burn in your house, whether your son will get the opportunity to study, whether you will get medical treatment, whether you will find a job, even if you get a job whether you will be able to hold on to it, whether you will get food—all these are determined by politics. You are governed by politics. When you are casting your vote in favour of a candidate—that is also politics. You are helping him or her to win. If you still do not want to think about politics, that will not do. You have to use your judgement, you have to use your head, you have to study. One party will go out of power and another party will come into power. ‘We have seen this party in power, experienced its misrule, now let us try the other party this time’; you have been saying so for long. Next time you go for a third party. If you act in this way, you will go round and round in a circle, and there will be no succour to your sufferings and deprivations.
15th August is on the anvil. The leaders will give speeches on that day. They will give long lists of what all they have done to develop the country. The Raj Bhavan, Delhi’s Rashtrapati Bhavan, Prime Minister’s residence, parliament building—all will be decorated with lights. There will be gun salutes, big feasts in many star hotels. And the leftovers will be thrown into dustbins, where those will be picked up by the starving rickety children of the sidewalks of the cities. In every other day, in the darkness of the night, the mothers and sisters, stricken by unbearable poverty, will stand in the dark street corners to sell their dignity and modesty. This cruel capitalist exploitation, this agony of unemployment, this consuming fire of inflation, this destruction of human values, these escalating numbers of rapes and gang-rapes, this shameless corruption and hypocrisy of ministers and leaders—will you allow all these to continue and let them grow, or prepare for the anti-capitalist socialist revolution guided by the teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh? It is up to you to decide.
This Party is yours, it is your responsibility to make it bigger
So, comrades and friends, this Party was not formed spontaneously, without any purpose. The history of building this Party has proved how invincible the power of Marxism is. Who created Comrade Shibdas Ghosh? Marxism created him. And Comrade Shibdas Ghosh has further developed and enriched Marxism-Leninism. Need is to understand and grasp Marxism. Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought must be understood and mastered, so that we can develop as worthy revolutionaries based on those teachings, so that we can strengthen the SUCI (Communist), the only revolutionary party in the country, founded, reared and steered by the great leader of the proletariat and an outstanding Marxist thinker Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, and make the anti-capitalist socialist revolution a success by strengthening the mass and class struggles.
All of you who have come from far and wide take the vow to make this Party stronger. You have come with great passion and fervour. Those who are old, I say to you, hand over one or two children of your home to us. They may be shot dead, hanged, but with dignity they will raise the flag of humanity. To the others, the students and youths, my appeal is that leave your personal interests behind and come forward en masse to shoulder the responsibilities of bringing about the desired revolution. And I say to others, do not just express your wish for our Party to grow bigger. Help us to grow bigger, please cooperate actively. You take our message, our discussions from house to house. Stand up for us. I want your full cooperation.
Finally, I will say one more thing. It is your responsibility to protect this Party. Do protect this Party. You as a guardian will criticize, discipline, help any of our workers if you notice any mistake on their part. This is your responsibility. This Party was founded by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. But this Party belongs to you, to the poor people of this country, to the exploited people of this country. This Party is the only weapon for your survival. It is your responsibility to protect this Party. With these words I conclude.