The Manifesto of Communist Party by Marx and Engels should be the General Basis for the Unity of Communists.
(This article is published in ‘CLASSSTRUGGLE’ organ of CPI(ML) Central Committee.)
[We are publishing here the Forword written by Comrade Viswam to the book series titled
“The Ideological,oraganisational and Movement Orientation and Attitudes of Indian
Communist Movement” being published by Tarimela Nagireddy Memorial Trust, AP.
Much time has lapsed in examining the ideological and political differences that are at the
root of the divisions in the Communist Movement. There is need to understand the reasons
and basis of differences even after five decades. Today, at a time when the urges for the unity
of Communist Movement and unity of left forces are being expressed, it is necessary to discuss
what are the “ideological, political and movement orientations and stand points of the
Communist party of India”? The hostile atmosphere that continued till now is not without a
reason. This hostile atmosphere is the result of clash of ideological and political issues in
As long as the debate on the political and ideological issues is confined to scholarly
dissertations without going into practice, time will pass away without any squabbles.
The correctness or incorrectness of any policy will be clear when it is put into practice.
Everyone must review the results of past fifty years of one’s practice of their respective
policies. There is need to collectively review by the all.
We must examine our practice as well as our policies in accordance with the tasks set by
the Communist Manifesto for the Communists. The Communist Manifesto had mentioned
various types of Socialism. It had pointed out the limitations of those theories. The Communist
Manifesto had declared: The struggles that begin with the aim that the fruits of labour must
reach the toiling people – the struggles for democracy, liberty and emancipation from
exploitation; for the enjoyment of fruits of labour by the toiling people equally, must continue
as the struggles for the building of a new social and cultural system free from social disparities
and oppressions, as a struggle between two social systems, i.e., that builds an exploitation
free society by abolishing the exploiting society. Finally, the Manifesto had declared the
establishment of a political system where one can do what he or she can do and eat what
they can, i.e., the establishment of a society of highest human values as the ultimate aim of
the Communists. The Communist Manifesto has said that, in the course of building the
Communist Society, the class struggle continues in varying degrees in all its earlier stages.
The Communist Manifesto had declared that there can be no progress and no victories without
waging an undaunting and relentless clash and struggle against all the atrocious features,
trends and practices of private property.
The Paris Commune (1871), the Bolshevik Revolution (1917), the New Democratic
Revolution in China (1949) and the revolutionary movements in various other countries had
only proved this.
It is a historic truth that every exploiting society had been building its own State to carry
on its exploitation, oppression and violence. The Proletarian Party, i.e., the Communist Party
must not forget the question, how to deal with the State in the period before reaching its
ultimate goal and how to overcome the obstacles created by it for the advance of revolutionary movement.
The task of building an exploitation–free new society in place of old exploiting system is
most crucial and difficult one too. The exploiting classes would not simply and on their own
leave the field saying, ‘you build the Proletarian State and the new society’. The Communist
Manifesto said that the exploiting classes had built up the State only to protect the exploiting
system and suppress the defiance, revolts and revolutionary struggles against the system. It
taught that, by revolting, the people lose nothing, but their chains of enslavement. The
Manifesto has made it clear that the Communists must not conceal but openly declare their
aims and objectives and make the people conscious. It is the responsibility of Communists to
develop the forms of organization and struggle necessary for organizing the people.
The Communist Manifesto stands as the guide for the oppressed and toiling people of all
the Continents and Countries. We cannot forget the work done by the Indian Communists in
the light of this Manifesto. They had mobilized the toilers. They had established the Communist
Party. Though there remained many more tasks to be performed by the Communist Party,
what they had done is not less important.
The Communist Party had done a lot of work in the struggle against the British colonialism
and imperialism. It mobilized the working class, the rural toiling people who constituted the
main strength of this struggle and made them to stand as the back bone of national movement.
It had built up militant struggles against the feudal, zamindari and autocratic forces.
It had set for itself the tasks of liberating the country from the imperialist forces and
emancipating the oppressed people, who were living as slaves and semi-slaves under the
yoke of feudalism.
It had consciously worked among the masses of people to arose them against the social
discriminations and inequalities prevailing in our social system.. It had built up the peasant,
agricultural labour and rural poor organizations on the basis of land question, and on the
problems of tenancy, share cropping and wages. Starting with the municipal and press workers
up to the industrial workers, it had organized the struggles of urban working class for better
working conditions, definite working hours and proper wages. In one word, it had moulded
the working class and peasants into the forces of patriotism and class struggle. It had built up
the movements of women, students and youth, and new cultural and literary movements of
writers and artists in support of these movements. It had developed thousands of sacrificing
cadre. It had moved the people in lakhs for the armed resistance and armed revolts and
provided the leadership for them. It was none but the Communist Party which had taken the
objective of defeating feudalism and imperialism and building the State of toiling people to
every nook and corner of our country.
From the Marxist-Leninist viewpoint, the Communist Party had formulated orientations on
the problems of various classes and sections of people in India. It has studied the problems,
formulated the demands and solutions to the problems of language, religion, caste, adivasis,
education & culture, adivasi culture and self-rule, forest rights, drought & famines, artisans,small traders and coastal people.
All those who continue to remain today as Communists are the inheritors of the values
and style of functioning in the political movement established and earned by the Communist
Party. When we own this heritage, we only mean that we must shoulder the responsibility for
the good as well as bad in it. We must rectify. While learning from the theory of class struggle,
we must apply it for the present time. Acting with the consciousness of working class, we
must take good things and get rid of the bad things. This is the responsibility and task of
those who remain as Communists today!
By the Indian Communist Movement, which had taken birth in 1925, we do not mean just
some Communist leaders and cadres alone. The Communist Movement means the movement
built up by the patriots, democrats, toilers – workers, rural peasants, agricultural labour, urban
and rural toiling people, who are working in various unorganized professions, trades and walks,
middle class women, youth, students, writers and artists and the agitations and struggles
organized by their organizations, above all the movement built by many comrades, who
voluntarily sacrificed their lives, to realize the aims.
This was one stage. This was most excellent stage in the communist movement. But why it
is now in divided state? Why it suffered the setback? True. But the communist ideals have not
died. They are alive. The communists, communist revolutionaries who continue to hold high
the flag of these ideals are not small in number. The communist ideals are continuing like the
embers beneath the ash and like rice powder boiling in water. The communists review the
history basing on the strength of these ideals; Learn the lessons; and they move ahead.
The defeat of Fascism and the victory of democratic and peace loving forces in the Second
World War brought many changes in the world arena. Soviet Russia emerging as victor,
rebuilding the country destroyed by the war, the idea that it was moving on the victorious path
of socialist construction; the proletarian parties seizing power in the East European countries;
the Chinese Democratic Revolution being on the brink of victory; the peasants struggles in
countries like India being in an upsurge and the progress achieved by the Communist Party in
various fields have had two kinds of influences on the leadership and cadre of our Party. The
subjective thinking had gained an upper hand as dialectical materialist approach was lacking.
The central leadership had led the working class and peasant movements with two kinds of
guidance. The political and ideological differences in leadership alone were a cause for this.
There was a struggle at the level of Central leadership on two or three understandings.
One: The impact of differences on the question of assessing the class character of the
leadership of Indian bourgeoisie.
Two: The impact of differences on the ideological issues that arose in the International
We cannot ignore the fact that these two were the root causes for the split in the Communist
Party. A cordial discussion on these will show a way for the unity. They will show a way to
correct the inadequacies, incorrect things and the mistakes committed in our understandings
and move ahead.
Is it semi-feudal, semi-colonial system? Or dependent capitalist system? Or neo colonial
system? What is a correct one in these three? There is one more crucial thing along with this
question. What is the stage of our revolution? The differences on this question- in what Stage
we are now in the whole course of social development and its various stages – slave, semi –
slave, feudal, semi-feudal, capitalist and socialist systems? Our communist movement is
plagued by the differences and confusions on this question.
Does not the question, the character of the big bourgeoisie; the process of change of
power into its hands; its subservient relations with imperialism: the feudal landlords and the
imperialists mutually helping each other to exist or not? –does not these questions remain as
a point of controversy. Are not there serious differences in the assessments?
Who is the national bourgeoisie? Is it industrial, big trading class? Is it an upper middle
class, having private property and private income? Have not continuing non-clarities on this
question disturbed the unity in the communist party?
Had not the feature of our Party leadership of getting mesmerized by the philosophical
thinking and leading skill of the bourgeois leadership in the national movement blunted the
orientation and edge of class struggle? Had it not reduced the leading role of our Party as
one of the leadership of national movement? Had not the down-trodden people, rural toiling
people, urban working class, who were a support and foundation stones for the Party, carried
away by the hopes created by the reforms of the governments because of this? Had not the
theories different from Marxism chased us because we left the dialectical principles to winds
in conducting the class struggles? Had not our mass base and hold weakened? Who are on
our side in the class struggle of toiling masses? Who are on the side of exploiting class? Are
we adopting the decisions on these questions on the basis of class? Are not our energies
falling prey to the non-class approach on this question?
Our opponents say that we, claiming to be the Communists, physically are unable to remain in
one organization because we are affected by the feelings of prestige, individual egos and
careerist ambitions. They are even carrying on a big propaganda against us on these lines.
Even the communist sympathizers and well-wishers of revolutionary movement think in this
manner with manifestation of disgust and disappointment. Does not this feature show inability
to go into the philosophical, ideological, political and organizational reasons?
The communist parties are not discussing the differences on the above mentioned issues
in their organizations on the basis of ideology and class struggle. The discussions are being
concentrating on the issues that are either not important or actually non-issues.
The confusions created by the opportunist theoreticians and opportunist intellectuals are
showing their influences on the real and genuine communists and Marxist-Leninists. They are
sowing the seeds of frustrations among the communist well-wishers. Therefore, let us take
up all the above questions for extensive discussion. All the communists have a historic
responsibility and task before them to discuss, without setting the practice aside, the problems
of revolutionary movement in a dispassionate manner and without being affected by affection
Therefore, there is a need for the communists, who own the heritage of Indian Communist
Movement, to make an attempt to recollect and examine the work done by the leaders of our
organisations, the struggles led by them, the attitudes they had taken on various social, political
and cultural issues, the divergences persisted among them, the transformation of divergence
in their orientations into serious differences, inability to remain in one organization due loss
of confidence created by the change from or going back from the adopted attitudes and such
It is only as a part of this effort, the Comrades have taken up the task of examining the
work carried on by the Communist Party since 1940s and the positions taken by it on various
issues. Their effort is commendable. They have collected and examined a lot of material from
the literature, Party organs, Prajashakti, Vishalandhra and Janashakti. They have selected
the articles, speeches, statements, etc. from many documents published nationally and
internationally, divided subject–wise and prepared for publication as separate books. I hope,
all these will help those with Marxist Leninist orientation and those who adopted Marxism- Leninism-Mao’s Thought as their ideological outlook to carry on the examination and research
on the said questions.
26 January 2017