New Year's Message
The year 2014 will be the 65th year of the Republic of India, which was established after the end of British colonial rule. What were our people’s hopes and aspirations 65 years ago? Where do we stand today?
Our people hoped for a society where there will be freedom from exploitation and oppression, where everyone would have enough to eat, live in good houses and enjoy all basic necessities. Our parents and grandparents aspired for a free India in which each adult member can perform useful work and live with dignity, develop individually and contribute to the collective wellbeing of all. It is clear that our people’s hopes and aspirations remain unfulfilled as we march into the 65th year of this Republic. More and more people can see that this Republic only serves to enrich a minority of exploiters.
What is the reason for this state of affairs? The reason lies in the fact that the Ghadar was betrayed. The struggle of our people for liberation from all forms of enslavement and exploitation was betrayed by the traitorous class that continues to rule India. The State, as an instrument of enslavement, remains intact. Congress Party and others in power have only worked to further perfect and prettify the existing oppressive state. What we need to do is to smash this State and lay the foundations for a new State that would be an instrument to liberate Indian society from all forms of enslavement, exploitation and plunder.
Let us throw our minds back to 1857. During the great countrywide revolt against the British Company Raj, valiant fighters like Tantia Tope, Jhansi Ki Rani, Babu Kunwar Singh, Haji Imadadullah and Bahadur Shah Zafar inspired our people to unite as one to drive the Angrezi merchant conquerors out of Hindustan. That first war of Indian Independence could not win victory in spite of the heroism of our people. That is because of the traitorous princes, landlords, merchants and others who collaborated with the British in crushing the revolution. The grandfather of Jawaharlal Nehru was one of them. He was a Kotwal (Chief Police Officer) of Delhi in 1857 and was responsible for the deaths of many of our patriots.
After the Ghadar of 1857, the British bourgeoisie realised that it could not rule in the same old way. Following a Proclamation by Queen Victoria that India belongs to her majesty, measures were taken to systematically induct selected Indians into the colonial administration. A colonial Indian state was built, run by Indians who were trained in preserving and protecting the system of enslavement and maximum plunder of our land and labour.
The British bourgeoisie trained Indian officers and political leaders from among the sons of the capitalists, landlords, princes and other traitorous strata of Indian society. They sent many of them to study in the universities of Britain. They established colleges and universities in our country to teach selected Indians to speak and think in English. They also taught them when to say what. They taught them the sophisticated style of the English bourgeois, how to say one thing while doing the opposite. They sowed deep in the minds of Indians educated in English that they are superior to all other Indians.
The British colonialists sponsored the political development of the traitorous Indian bourgeoisie. The big capitalists and big landlords were encouraged to form a political party with the blessing of London. It is a well-documented fact that the formation of the Congress Party in 1885, originally known as the Indian National Congress, was at the initiative of a British civil servant named Allan Octavian Hume. The British also formed various other groups, who spoke in the name of Hindus, Muslims and other religious minorities.
In 1913, the Indian workers and toilers abroad formed Hindustan Ghadar Party. It was a political party committed to overthrow the British colonial state by force of arms. It was committed to establish in its place a federal Republic of United States of India, to end all forms of exploitation by foreign capital and Indian vested interests.
Hindustan Ghadar Party consisted of valiant fighters coming largely from peasant families, who had become wage-workers abroad or were students in American and Canadian universities. it took an irreconcilable stand against the British colonial authority and its “Rule of Law”. The bold and clear vision of the Ghadaris, their death-defying courage and patriotism inspired thousands of Indian workers abroad to give up their jobs and join the armed revolution to end colonial rule.
One hundred years ago, there were two clearly opposite trends within the anti-colonial movement in our country. One was the trend of those Indians who sought accommodation within the colonial system of enslavement and plunder. Congress Party was the champion of this trend. In stark opposition stood those who were committed to the path of revolution, to completely eliminate all the institutions of the British colonial state, and create an entirely new state to end all forms of exploitation and enslavement. Hindustan Ghadar Party was the champion of this trend.
After the attempted armed uprising in 1915 was crushed, the revolutionary trend continued, both within the country and abroad. It was upheld and carried forward by many revolutionary groups including Hindustan Republican Association, Kirti Party and others.
Following the victory of the socialist revolution in Russia and the creation of the first state of worker-peasant rule, the working people in our country turned towards the Communist Party, which was coming into being in the twenties. Genuine patriots hoped that the Communist Party of India would build on the revolutionary Ghadar tradition and ensure that it triumphs over the compromising trend represented by Congress Party and Muslim League. However, this hope was not fulfilled.
The majority of leaders of the communist movement in our country were trained in the same institutions in which Gandhi and Nehru were trained. They had knowledge of Marxism from books. However, in terms of class instinct and outlook, they gravitated towards the Congress Party.
While Ghadar Party had been very clear and outspoken in exposing Congress Party as an instrument for preserving the colonial system, Communist Party of India did not stick to this position. It wavered from one extreme to another, until it finally became a leftist cheerleader for the Congress Party. Communist Party of India (Marxist), which was formed with the promise of cleansing the communist movement of the tendency to trail behind Congress Party, is also afflicted with the same disease.
Till today, the politics of India remains an arena of struggle between two opposing trends. On one side is the trend of compromising with the capitalist-imperialist system, with the existing State and seeking accommodation within it. On the other side is the trend of revolution, of irreconcilable opposition to the neo-colonial state and system of plunder, and of fighting to replace it with a modern state in the hands of the workers and peasants.
As you all know, the symbol of the communist movement is a hammer and sickle embedded within a five-point star. The hammer and sickle represents the unity of workers and peasants. The five-point star represents the five continents of Asia, America, Africa, Europe and Australia. It means that those who work must and will become the master of society in all continents of the globe.
Unfortunately, many leaders in the communist movement do not think and act with this goal in mind. We have to make the working class and communist movement conscious of this goal.
Traitors, who have been trained to think and act like the British bourgeoisie, are ruling our country. The Indian Republic remains an instrument for preserving a system of exploitation and plunder. The goal of revolution remains an unfulfilled task. The times are crying out, dear comrades, for the completion of this unfinished task.
What kind of democracy does Indian society need today in order to be liberated from all forms of enslavement, exploitation and oppression? We need proletarian democracy – the rule of the toiling majority, in place of the existing bourgeois democracy, which is the rule of an exploiting minority. This means that we cannot stop with changing this or that party or government through elections. It means that we have to change the ruling class. Today, the means of production are concentrated in the hands of capitalists and the state is their organ of rule. This has to be replaced with a state that is an organ of worker-peasant rule. With state power in their hands, the working class and its allies must convert the means of social production into the social and collective property of the people. There can be no other way for change which will defend the interest of the people and put an end to exploitation.
My dear comrades, we have to think like Indians and break the stranglehold of European bourgeois thought and outlook. We have to smash the notion that advanced scientific thought comes only from the West, while everything inherited from India’s own past is backward and useless.
We belong to a very old civilisation, which has given rise to a rich heritage of philosophical, political and economic thought. We have to bring forward from this thought material that which is scientific and useful for our people today, while rejecting everything that is outdated. This will enable us to develop and elaborate Indian revolutionary theory, like the Ghadaris did one hundred years ago.
In order to fulfil its tasks, it is essential for the communist movement to purge itself completely of all forms of compromise and conciliation with imperialism and the existing Indian State of the bourgeoisie. Only by purging itself of all forms of conciliation with bourgeois ideology can the communist movement emerge as a united force at the head of the working class, uniting all the exploited and oppressed masses of people around it. The time has come to expose and defeat those in the movement who are lining up the workers and peasants behind some so-called progressive section of the bourgeoisie, by prettifying capitalism, the bourgeoisie and the Indian State.
We know that when their system is in deep crisis, the capitalists of the world become even more vicious in attacking the livelihood and rights of working people. The Anglo-American imperialists are hatching various plots and war plans to prop up and prolong the life of the crisis-ridden capitalist system. The capitalist class in our country is collaborating with world imperialism to prevent revolution. They are promoting so-called clean politicians and parties that will allegedly deliver corruption-free capitalism, which is a myth.
The bourgeoisie is getting ready to repeat the act of changing horses through the General Elections due in early 2014. They are preparing to prolong the status quo through the ballot and the bullet.
As we herald the New Year, we must soberly assess our work, our strengths and our weaknesses. We must take steps to strengthen our basic organisations and other party forums. We must engage in healthy criticism and self-criticism, in order to overcome our weaknesses. We must sharpen our swords, the might of our pen, and our unity in thought and action. We must fight against the tendency to put down other comrades and glorify oneself. We must respect each other. We must build on each other’s strengths and rejoice over our collective successes. We have to strive to raise the level of consciousness of each individual comrade to the level of the party, which is wiser than all individuals. We have to pay conscious attention to our health and wellbeing so that we remain strong both physically and mentally.
Comrades, I reach out to each one of you and send you warm revolutionary greetings at this time and wish you and your families the best of health and many more successes.
Long live our party! Ghadar Jaari Hai!
With revolutionary greetings,
Communist Ghadar Party of India