-Rajesh Tyagi/ 31.7.2017
SUCI, renamed in 2009 as SUCI (C), is one of the five main Stalinist Parties in India. Organised by Shibdas Ghosh in 1948, the Party had only two congresses till date: first in 1988 and second in 2009.
Despite its proclamations to the contrary, over a period of around 70 years, SUCI has consistently practised core opportunism- crude economism outside and political cretinism inside the Parliament. Inside Parliament and legislative assemblies, SUCI has sought every opportunity to hang out with this or that bourgeois party. On the ground, since its inception it has swooped down to economism, focusing on agitations on petty everyday issues coupled with massive box collections, as its chief activity.
For instance, during the last Assembly elections in West Bengal, SUCI (C) alongwith CPI (Maoist) had supported the rabid right-wing bourgeois TMC under Mamata Banerjee and assisted it to come to power defeating the 34 year old Stalinist Left-front government led by CPM. Later, kicked aside by TMC immediately after the polls, Provash Ghosh, the General Secretary of the disgraced and humiliated SUCI, wearing a grin, said in a press statement, "The CPM government had turned ‘anti-people’ therefore it was extremely important to end their 34-year tenure in the state. Asserting that “SUCI had made an alliance with TMC for the sake of people of West Bengal”, he added that “Our main target of dislodging the CPM led government has been achieved, and we are no longer an ally of TMC.”
At the height of brutal repression upon Naxalbadi peasant uprising, during 1967-69 and 1969-71, SUCI was a constituent of the CPM led United-Front ministries in West Bengal and actively assisted in suppression of the uprising.
Commenting on Naxalite struggle SUCI declared, “This, no doubt, was a part of the democratic movement for land reforms.... which, if could be organized under correct revolutionary leadership and elevated to the height of militant peasant’s movement, could well-neigh succeed to realize the demands within the present capitalist political-economic-social framework. But the Naxalite leadership spurned the offer and turned the agrarian movement for seizure of illegally held land by rural kulaks and moneybags virtually into a struggle for seizure of state power.”
Not amazingly, SUCI proposed to settle the land issue “within the present capitalist political-economic-social framework” and accused Naxalbari struggle for inviting the repression ‘by not confining itself to land reforms, instead attacking the bourgeois state’. This double faced politics of SUCI, was at direct variance from its own proclamations that India needs an anti-capitalist socialist revolution. SUCI acted against this revolution!
Far from being stray deviations, such opportunistic zig-zags are rather a norm in seven decade old history of SUCI, Despite all demagogy SUCI has hobnobbed continuously with bourgeois parties, more often covertly than overtly.
In April 2008, its leader Bidhan Chatterjee had committed suicide citing the corruption in SUCI as the reason for his suicide. In a letter sent before his death, he accused the top leadership of SUCI of "hobnobbing with real estate promoters and foreign-funded NGOs".
Instead of taking it as an opportunity for self assessment, the leaders of the SUCI accused Chatterjee of anti-Party activities and expelled him from SUCI that drove him to commit suicide.
“I wanted to save the party from within. But I failed…. That’s why I am taking leave of you. You won’t see me again. I have decided to end my life. You are responsible for this,’’ the letter summed up.
Thus, were laid bare the cryptic sources of finance to support public rallies and election campaigns of SUCI, exposed by Chatterjee. SUCI was thoroughly denuded of all pretense of revolutionary politics by the letter of Chatterjee and his suicide that followed.
Degeneration of SUCI is not something new. Since its inception in 1948, the party has hauled the opportunism of its leaders.
Shibdas Ghosh, founder of SUCI, the core opportunist, during his entire life maneuvered hard to remain adhered to the successive power centres inside the Stalinist camp. An encomiast to Stalin during Stalin’s lifetime, Ghosh applauded for Khrushchev’s speech in 20th Congress of CPSU, before turning to Mao, as Mao later emerged as parallel power centre in Stalinist movement.
In his 1956 article "On Twentieth Congress of CPSU", Shibdas Ghosh, wags his tail at ‘peaceful coexistence’ between socialism and capitalism. He writes, "The approach of the CPSU on the question of peaceful co-existence between the capitalist and the socialist states, though not wholly precise, is in general agreement with our explanation. We have explained it long ago that the policy of peaceful co-existence is not merely a diplomatic maneuver but is the reflection of recognition of the objective necessity and is consistent with the principles of Marxism-Leninism. The 20th Congress, it seems, has tried to explain this more or less in the same manner".
Shibdas, endorses it again in 1959, "There is no divergence of opinion as to the correctness of the policy of peaceful co-existence in so far as the theory is concerned and the possibility of preserving peace in the present international situation."
So, that born opportunist, Shibdas Ghosh, agreed with Khrushchev and his Peaceful co-existence. In fact, Khrushchev himself was parroting Stalin, whose 'Socialism in one country' was apparent sanction to 'capitalism in other countries' i.e. a peaceful co-existence.
Needless to say that it was in 20th Congress itself that Khrushchev has criticized Stalin to wash off his hands from his own reactionary past.
Shibdas Ghosh, a person of very low political IQ, never ever bothered to go through the critical debates and the colossal struggle of hostile programs and perspectives that had dominated the political scenario around the October Revolution. Despite his complete ignorance of the great disputes during and after the Russian revolution, Ghosh supported Stalin and Stalinism with apparent bias of a careerist instead of a revolutionary.
Role of Shibdas Ghosh lies in mechanically parroting the commands of Kremlin and later Peking to his supporters in India. A nationalist in his orientation, Ghosh attempted his best to take over the role of national emissary in India, an executor of the policies of Stalinist bureaucracies in Russia and China, but met with little success. His writings are witness to his low understanding of revolutionary politics and Marxism in general coupled with his degraded but futile attempts to take to the tail of the Stalinist bureaucracies in Moscow and Peking.
In so far as political outlook of SUCI is concerned, it shares with other Stalinist Parties its fascination to bogus Menshevik theory of ‘Two Stage Revolution’, first democratic then socialist, taking departure from them in actual staging of the revolution as ‘socialist’ instead of ‘democratic’ that others do.
Failing to understand the complex mechanics of the world revolution with its more complex refractions in different countries, the Stalinists had continued endlessly and ridiculously to debate among themselves about the ‘staging’ of the revolutions in different countries.
This staging- whether a revolution in a given country is democratic or socialist- irrespective of the long acquired proletarian socialist character of the world revolution, is legacy of the Menshevik past of Stalinists and a real mockery of Marxism-Leninism.
Like all other Stalinist Parties, SUCI is also adherent of Menshevik theory of ‘two stage revolution’. Albeit it takes side with the Stalinist camp that argues that India has finished through the first ‘democratic’ stage of revolution in 1947 to usher into a socialist revolution. It marks 1947 as the start of a socialist revolution and completion of the democratic stage. It claims that ascendance of Indian bourgeoisie to power in 1947, has triggered a new era of capitalism and socialist revolution. It argues that Lenin, Stalin and after him Mao had told them that the stage of a revolution is to be determined by the fact as to who is in power.
We quote from two paragraphs of an article published in ‘Proletarian Era’ the Central Organ of SUCI:
“Capitalism had not only become the principal economic form in India, but had consolidated itself and had grown stage by stage to give rise to monopolies, powerful finance capital and financial oligarchy. The Indian monopolists had already been exporting capital abroad and setting up joint ventures in foreign countries in collaboration with the respective native bourgeoisie. Thus, which had already become a junior partner of International Trust and Cartel, was fast growing as an imperialist country.”
From this, SUCI derives the conclusion:
“Thus with a modern bourgeois state in place and the national bourgeoisie firmly entrenched in state power, it was capitalism which stood as the main enemy of the people.......it is clear that Indian revolution could not but be anti-capitalist socialist revolution.....”
SUCI is wrong even on factual counts and all of them!
First, capitalism did not dawn upon India in 1947 but long before that. Capitalism had ushered in India in the form of foreign capital much before ascendance of Indian bourgeoisie to power. Secondly, India was ruled by the bourgeoisie, the British bourgeoisie, long before 1947. Thirdly, 1947 was not an advent of a socialist stage of revolution but the pinnacle of a counter-revolution that had started with hanging of Kakori martyrs and then Bhagat Singh and his comrades. In marking 1947 as take-off line for socialist revolution, SUCI in fact is crediting the Indian bourgeoisie with an artificial radical character, whose ascendance to power according to it, has ushered into a new era- the era of socialist revolution.
Guided by the misguided Stalinist-Menshevik theory of ‘two stage revolutions’, and completely lost in the jumble of dynamics of revolution, SUCI argues that before 1947 the revolution in India was democratic and Post-47 it is socialist.
After advent of Imperialism, and consequent decline of the national bourgeoisie as a revolutionary force, bourgeois democratic revolutions of the past, have been substituted all over the world by Socialist Proletarian revolutions, as the leading force of these revolutions remains the Proletariat. Lenin underscored this transformation, claiming that “Imperialism is the dawn of proletarian socialist revolutions”. This turn implies, not that the revolutions in all countries would place the socialist tasks at top priority but that irrespective of the tasks before the revolutions, the proletariat would render proletariat, after its victory. It did not mean that different countries are sufficiently mature for socialist revolution and socialism, but that the world as a whole was mature for victory of the proletariat and construction of socialism.
Needless to say that the tasks to be resolved by the revolution in separate countries would be different from each other, ranging from elimination of most primitive and archaic forms of production and social relations to destruction of capitalism and that the revolutions in different countries would advance at different pace and tempo from each other.
Notwithstanding the unexceptional and inalienable prospects of unitary class dictatorship of the proletariat emerging everywhere in the state powers ensuing from the revolutions, the formal power combinations in backward agrarian countries like India, where huge mass of the population still comprises of rural and urban toilers, would rest upon alliances between workers and toilers in the form of Workers’ and Peasants’ Government. The dictatorship of the proletariat in backward countries, would thus acquire a democratic character between workers and toilers as against the capitalists and landlords. In advanced countries, the dictatorship of the proletariat would be socialist in character as not depending upon any alliances with non-proletarian sections.
Proletarian Socialist era of world revolution does not imply that the tasks of democracy are over or democratic revolutions have become obtuse. On the contrary it means that these most pressing tasks remain a hangover of the past upon present as the bourgeoisie in these countries, whether in power or not, has failed to address and resolve these tasks and that now the proletariat would resolve these tasks after its political victory in the revolution. Under dictatorship of the proletariat, the democratic tasks would become direct threshold to socialist ones, convulsing into an uninterrupted revolution.
It is these impending democratic tasks in backward countries- the land reforms, oppression of castes and nationalities, persecution of religious communities, backwardness in production, question of women etc. that would provide powerful lever to the working class to catapult itself to power while marching at the head of a national revolution.
Myopic to the uneven and combined development of the world as a whole and the ensuing international character of the revolution, SUCI imparts a very superficial socialist character to the revolution in India. In doing this, the nationally-oriented leaders of the SUCI, confine themselves to a cursory analysis of the economic and political forces within frontiers of India.
This spurious understanding of SUCI emanates from its refusal to see the widespread manifestations of pre-capitalist production and social relations, due to its obsession to economic determinism as well as to the bourgeois power of 1947.
Neither ascendance of the bourgeois nor development of capitalism in India has any direct relationship with character and essence of the revolution. Before or after 1947, the revolution in its political prospects, remains a proletarian socialist revolution in so far as it can and it would advance only under direct leadership of the proletariat, converting this domination to its unitary class dictatorship after victory of the revolution. However, the revolution remains democratic in a double sense. As the proletariat is bound to drag behind it the multi-billion toilers into revolution for its success and after its victory has to base its dictatorship upon an alliance with the toilers in the form of a Workers’ and Peasants’ Government, the character of the workers’ dictatorship would remain democratic during transition to world socialist revolution, i.e. till the proletariat in advanced countries takes the power and comes to the aid of workers state in India. Secondly, the revolution in India retains and would retain even after the revolution for some time, and we don’t know for how much time, a democratic character, as the most pressing tasks of the revolution in India remain democratic- land reforms, liberation of persecuted castes, nationalities and religious communities, illiteracy, disease and general backwardness of economic and social life etc.
At the end of 1920’s, Bhagat Singh the brilliant Indian revolutionary, had far-sightedly characterized the Indian Revolution as Socialist Revolution not because he entertained illusions about impending burden of democratic tasks but as from readings of Lenin and Trotsky he could foresee that the anti-colonial Indian revolution could succeed only as a revolution led by the working class. He clearly envisioned the anti-colonial democratic revolution as direct threshold to the socialist revolution.
Despite its high sounding claims to diagnosis of the mechanics of impending revolution in India, SUCI has failed to take departure from extremely dull and shallow discourse of Stalinists centered around the staging of the revolution and resonates the thoroughly conservative viewpoint of other Stalinist Parties albeit from the other side of the blind alley. Like other Stalinist parties, SUCI has also disoriented itself away from the strategic lessons of the Russian revolution and the debates around it, that form the basis of our understanding about the revolution in our times. SUCI, like other Stalinists covers up its political bankruptcy by its phony claims to ‘mass work’.