Written/Delivered : 1965 (2nd document)
As revisionist thinking nestled in the Indian party for a long time, we could not build up a correct revolutionary party. Our primary task today is to build up a correct revolutionary party fighting uncompromisingly against this revisionist thinking.
(1) The first among revisionist thought is to regard ‘Krishak Sabha’ (peasants’ organization) and trade unions as the only Party activity. Party comrades often confuse the work of peasants’ organization and trade union with the political work of the Party. They do not realize that the political tasks of the Party cannot be carried out through the peasants’ organization and trade union. But it should be remembered at the same time that the trade union and the peasants’ organization are one of the many weapons for serving our purpose. On the other hand, to regard peasants’ organization and trade union work as the only work of the Party, can only mean plunging the Party in the mire of economism. The proletarian revolution cannot be made successful without an uncompromising struggle against this economism. This is the lesson that com. Lenin has given us.
(2) Some comrades think and are still thinking today that our political task ends with the launching of a few movements on demands, and they regard a single victory through these movements as a political victory of the Party. Not only that, these comrades seek to confine the responsibility of carrying out the political tasks of the Party within the limits of these movements only. But we, the true Marxists know that carrying out the Party’s political responsibility means that the final aim of all propaganda, all movements and all organizations of the Party is to establish firmly the political power of the proletariat. It should be remembered always that if the words “Seizure of Political Power” are left out, the Party no longer remains a revolutionary Party. Although it will remain a revolutionary Party in name then, it will be actually reduced to a reformist party of the bourgeoisie.
When speaking of seizure of political power, some mean the Center. They think that with the gradual expansion of the limits of the movement, our only aim will be to capture power centrally. This thinking is not only wrong; this thinking destroys the correct revolutionary thinking within the party and reduces it to a reformist party. At the World Trade Union Congress in 1953, the well-tested and well-established Marxist leader of China, member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, asserted firmly that in the coming days the tactics and strategy of the unfinished revolution of Asia, Africa and Latin America will follow the footsteps of China. In other words, the strategy and tactics of these struggles will be area-wise seizure of power. It was not only that comrade and member of the Central Committee of the Chinese Party, but Com. Lenin also mentioned area-wise seizure of power in his writings. Above all, the working class in Russia gave a concrete proof of Lenin’s conclusion when they kept the town of Kronstant under seizure for three days. In the era of socialism, all the elements of area-wise seizure of power are present in our framework.
A burning instance of the fact that this is possible is the Naga rebellion. The main condition of this area-wise seizure of power is weapons in the hands of the revolutionary forces. To think of seizing power without arms, is nothing but an idle dream. Our Party has a very long history of struggles. We gave the leadership to the peasants’ and workers’ movements in the extensive countryside of North Bengal. Naturally, we shall have to examine and analyze the movements of the past and draw lessons from them and we shall have to move forward anew in the present revolutionary era.
Analysis of the concrete events and experiences of the past movement : Tebhaga Movement in 1946 and 1947
The participant peasants in this movement numbered about six million. It should be remembered that this was a golden era of armed peasant movement. In the massiveness of the movement, in the intensity of emotions, in the expression of class hatred, this movement was at the zenith of class struggle. To help understand that stage, I am citing a few moving instances of that movement.
A day’s event :
I was then living underground in the interest of the movement. I have personally witnessed the tide of the revolutionary movement. I have seen how a single little note made a man ten miles away come running crazily. On the other hand, I have also seen standing beside the husband, a newly wed young Muslim woman who was subjected to demoniac barbarous assault by the class enemy. I have heard the pathetic appeal of that unarmed husband — Comrade, can’t you take revenge? The very next moment, I have seen the intense hatred of the exploited against the exploiter; have seen that awful spectacle of killing a living man in cold blood by twisting his throat.
Comrades, the above-mentioned incidents demand from us some analysis.
Firstly, what was the historical reason as a result of which this massive form of that movement in those days could create intense hatred against the class enemy?
Secondly, what again were the causes that turned that vast movement into a failure?
First, it was the slogan of seizure of political power that created the massive form of that movement of those days, created the intense hatred against the class enemy. On the opposite side, it was this slogan that made the class enemy adopt his class role. It is the expression of this that we find in the barbaric rape of the young peasant woman and the beastly violent attack to smash the movement. On the other hand the peasants also did not hesitate to attack the class enemy. This raises the question: Why couldn’t power be seized even after this? It couldn’t be seized for one reason only — it was because the fighting people of those days looked to the center for arms; we then lost faith in the path indicated by Lenin. We hesitated in those days to accept that bold declaration of Lenin to carry forward the revolution by collecting arms locally and seizing power area-wise. As a result, the unarmed peasants could not stand up and resist in the face of arms. Even those who fought defying death had also to retreat finally. The lesson that has to be drawn from the mistakes of those days is that the responsibility of collecting arms lies with the local organization, not with the center. So the question of collecting arms will have to be put up before every Activist Group from now on. ‘Dao’, knives, sticks — all these are weapons, and with its help at opportune moments, firearms will have to be snatched. The events described above are manifestations of revisionist thinking in its theoretical aspect. Now, from the organizational point of view, those mistakes will have to be found out which were hurdles in the way of a correct leadership of the vast movements of those days, so that they may not find a place afresh in the revolutionary Party.
To smash all those mistakes in the Party, the Party will today first have to establish its leadership over the mass organizations. For, a review of the history of the party over a long period would reveal that as a result of the revisionist thinking of regarding leaders of trade unions and peasant organizations (krishak sabha) as the real representatives of the people, the party was reduced to a party of a few individuals. Because of this thinking, the party’s political activities became inert, and the proletariat also became deprived of a correct revolutionary leadership. All movements became confined within the bonds of movements on demands. As a result Party members became enthusiastic over a single victory and despondent over a single defeat. Secondly, as a result of overestimating the importance of this organization, another type of localism is born. Comrades think that the Party will suffer a serious loss if any comrade is shifted from his area and they take this as a loss to personal leadership. From this localism another type of opportunism develops. Comrades think that their area is the most revolutionary; naturally nothing should be done here so that there is police persecution. Because of this viewpoint they do not analyze the political situation of the entire country. As a result, commandism develops and organizational and daily propaganda work suffers. As a result, when there is a call for a struggle, they assert that they will not do any small work and commit adventurism. Naturally the question arises—what are the methods that help to get out of these deviations? What are those Marxist directives which become essential tasks for building up a revolutionary party?
Firstly, all works of organization of the future will have to be done as complementary to the Party. In other words, the mass organizations will have to be used as a part of serving one main purpose of the Party. For this reason, naturally, Party leadership will have to be established over the organizations.
Secondly, immediately from now the entire effort of the Party will have to be spent on recruiting newer and newer cadres and on forming countless Activist Groups consisting of them.
It should be remembered that in the coming era of struggles, the masses will have to be educated through the illegal machinery. So every Party member from now on will have to be made habituated to illegal work. To get used to illegal work, it is an essential task for every Activist Group to paste illegal posters. It is only through this process that they will be able to act as the pillar in leading struggles in the era of struggles. Otherwise, the revolution will be reduced to a petty bourgeois idle dream.
Thirdly, it is through these active organizations that the Party will be able to establish its leadership over the mass organizations. So from now on we shall have to help the members of the Activist Groups so that they can fearlessly criticize the leaders of the mass organizations, and their work.
Fourthly, the work of the mass organizations will have to be discussed and decided upon in the Party before it is implemented in the mass organizations. It should be remembered here that the policies of the mass organizations have been wrongly practiced so long in the Party. To hold discussions on Party decisions is not called democratic centralism. This thinking is not in accordance with Marxism. And from all this thinking the conclusion has to be drawn that the Party’s programme will be adopted from below. But if it is adopted from the lower level, then the correct Marxist way is not implemented; in all these activities there inevitably is bourgeois deviations. The Marxist truth of democratic centralism is that the Party directive coming from higher leadership must be carried out. Because the Party’s highest leader is he who has firmly established himself as a Marxist through a long period of movements and theoretical debates.
We have the right to criticize Party decisions; but once a decision has been taken, if any one criticizes it without implementing it, or obstructs work, or hesitates to implement it, he will be guilty of the serious offence of violating Party discipline. As a result of having this idea of Party democracy as that of a debating society, the road for espionage inside the Party is thrown open. Naturally, the revolutionary leadership of the Party then becomes bankrupt and the working class is deprived of a correct revolutionary leadership. This petty-bourgeois sort of thinking inside the Party leads the Party on to the verge of destruction. And this is the manifestation of petty-bourgeois thinking inside the Party. Their comfortable living and attitude of undisciplined criticism reduces the Party to a mere debating society. This thinking becomes a hurdle in the path of building up a Party of the proletariat — strong as iron.
Fifthly, the undisciplined life of the petty-bourgeoisie draws them towards undisciplined criticism; that is, they do not want to criticize within the limits of the organization. To get rid of this deviation, we should remain conscious of the Marxist viewpoint regarding criticism. The characteristics of Marxist criticism are: (1) Criticisms must be made within the Party organization, that is, at the Party meeting. (2) The aim of criticism should be constructive. That is, the aim of criticism is to advance the party from the point of view of principles and organization, and we must always be vigilant that there is no unprincipled criticism within the Party.
Come, comrades, in the present revolutionary era, let us complete the People’s Democratic Revolution by fighting uncompromisingly against revisionism.
LONG LIVE REVOLUTION.