lead their people forward along the road of revolutionary struggle for national and social
The CPI was born out of the disillusionment of the national-revolutionaries with the
methods they had employed hitherto, which despite all their unparalleled heroism and
sacrifices had failed to rouse the masses into action against British imperialist rule. In
prison camps and in places of exile abroad, they began to search for more effective forms
of mass, militant struggle against the hated foreign oppressor. They were inevitably
attracted towards the scientific revolutionary ideology of Marxism and the lessons of the
Russian revolution, which had a special message for the people of the colonial countries.
The CPI was born in the fire of the militant and
class upsurge of the workers, and of the peasants and students manifested in a wave of
strike struggles, anti-landlord actions, anti-imperialist boycotts and hartals. This had
already led to the foundation of the ALL India Trade Union Congress in 1920, to the
first celebration of May Day in 1923 with the rallying cry: "Workers of All
Lands Unite". Conscious of the historic role of the workers and peasants in the
freedom struggle, groups of communists went to work among them, to organise them, to build
the trade union movement on the foundation of class-struggle, to bring them forward to the
arena of the broad struggle and to imbue them with socialist ideals.
It was the representatives of all these
anti-imperialist currents, who came together to found the CPI in Kanpur at the foundation
meeting (26-28 December, 1925) , and who thereafter flocked into its ranks.
The CPI was born out of the fusion of militant
anti-imperialist patriotism and internationalism, of the struggle for national liberation
and the class struggle for socialism.
Land to the tiller! Nationalisation of foreign
imperialist capitalist! Adult suffrage! The nations wealth in the nations
hands! 8-hour working day! Democratic rights of organization, meeting, demonstration and
strike! Social equality for women! Social justice for the untouchables! these
and other demands which were destined to become national demands, first resounded after
1925 from the ranks of the CPI.
Communists took initiative to set up and build the
class and mass organisations of different sections of our people.
The AITUC which had been set up in 1920 grew into
the premier and united mass organization of the Indian working class a position
that it held till 1947, despite occasional divergences and splits which were however soon
In 1936 along with many revolutionary-democratic
personalities the All India Kisan Sabha was set up, under whose banner in the years
to come, mighty anti-feudal peasant actions demanding an end to the zamindari system, for
security of tenancy rights and for land to those who till it, were fought.
The same year, i.e. in 1936 the All India
Students Federation was founded, which emerged as the foremost champion and
leader of the student movement throughout the country. Several generations of its leading
cadres joined the CPI.
1936 too saw the founding of the Progressive
Writers Association in which communist writers played a prominent part. Another
big step forward was taken in 1943, with the formation of the Indian Peoples
Theatre Association (IPTA). It was a landmark in the development of our great national
culture. Revolutionary songs, plays, ballets, street plays, revival of folk forms of art
and culture, have helped to bring the people to culture and culture to the people.
From the outset the CPI targeted the native rulers
and the feudal lords who were the support base of the British imperialists in India. Along
with other anti-feudal and democratic sections, communists launched and built the
Praja-mandal and states peoples movement in the native states, which the Congress
FINAL PHASE OF THE FREEDOM STRUGGLE
armed struggle symbolises one of the most heroic of such struggles led by the Communist
Party of India. It was first and foremost a struggle to throw off the Nizams yoke on
the people of the then Hyderabad state, to integrate the state in India and to bring to an
end the autocratic oppression of the people. It developed into a struggle for
expropriating the land of the feudal lords and distributing it to the landless. The
Bhoodan Movement was a sequel to the Telengana struggle.
Earlier, in October 1946, people in Alleppy
(Travancore State) waged a death-defying battle, and people from the two villages of Punnappra-Vayalar
wrote in blood their immortal struggle against the rule of the Maharajas Diwan Sir
C.P. Ramaswamy Iyer who dreamt of a separate state on the American model, and against the
cruel exploitation by landlords and capitalists.
The victory over Hitler fascism, saw the outbreak of
mighty mass upsurge. It was Indias final bid for freedom. The movement against the
trial of officers of the Indian National Army had roused all section of the people. The
anti-imperialist tidal wave had its impact on the armed forces resulting in the historic
uprising of the men and Indian officers of the Royal Indian Navy in 1946. The armed forces
of British imperialism began to turn against the foreign oppressors of our people in a
manner unparalleled since the great revolt the first independence war of 1857. The
post-war upsurge saw numerous militant actions by workers, peasants and students. The CPI
had committed a tactical error in the initial stages, but it recovered from the setback
suffered, by plunging into these mass actions.
The courageous battles fought under the partys leadership, its role in the
anti-imperialist and anti-feudal struggles and struggles on peoples issues over more
than two decades, found reflection in the seats that it won in the countrys first
parliamentary election, and in subsequent elections.
question that faced India soon after Independence was how precisely to end the crazy,
reactionary pattern of the old British Indian Provinces with which had been integrated the
native states in haphazard fashion, and to redraw the political map of India. The CPI
advocated and fought for their reorganisation on the principled basis of common language,
culture and contiguity, which would bring state administration closer to the masses and
enable their linguistic and cultural development. This was a democratic demand which took
account of the specific ethnic and cultural identity of each linguistic community.
There are some unsolved problems even today, mainly
as a result of uneven development and long-suffering neglect of some regions and more
particularly of regions where the tribal people are in a majority, or were in a majority
till recent times. The CPI is carrying on the struggle either for separate statehood or
regional autonomy for such regions inhabited by tribal and ethnic groups, keeping in view
the overall interests of national integrity and balanced development of these regions
themselves. The CPI is also fighting along with other left and democratic parties and
forces for rolling back the erosion that has been caused to the rights of the states
within a federal set-up and therefore for restructuring centre-state relations.
Marxism demands that the specific character of
social oppression should be seen and atrocities should be fought whenever and in whatever
form it occurs. The struggle for social equality and social justice has to be fought in a
The CPI has supported reservation for the backwards,
in addition to reservation for scheduled castes and tribes. The problem today has gone
beyond the dimensions of providing reservations in jobs or higher educational
institutions. There is today an upsurge among dalits, tribals, OBCs and women for
empowerment, for a rightful share in political power and administration.
The CPI has a positive attitude towards this
justified aspiration of those sections who were deprived of any role for centuries. At the
same time the CPI opposes casteism which is in fact a weapon used by the vested interests
in each caste to further their own political and other interests. Our vision for the
future is a classless and casteless society , free from exploitation and oppression.
So as to organise the mass of women to fight for
womens rights, for equality in all spheres of life and against rape and all forms of
atrocities perpetrated on women, communist women took the initiative to organise them. The
NFIW has been especially active in the campaign against the dowry system and dowry deaths,
against rape and all forms of atrocities against women, for 33% reservation and so forth.
The crisis of bourgeois rule in India, has from time
to time made a few bourgeois politicians put forward proposals for replacing Indias
parliamentary system by some sort of presidential system, or a hotch-potch of both.
The CPI has strongly opposed all these proposals and
has firmly defended the parliamentary system as being eminently suited to Indias
specific conditions, characterised by wide diversity and pluralism.
At the same time, to ensure that parliament truly
reflects the peoples will, the party has been campaigning for electoral reforms, for
ridding elections of the influence of money and muscle power.
CPI AND NATIONAL UNITY-COMMUNAL THREAT
is second to none in fighting for the unity and integrity of the country threatened by
separatist and divisive forces.
The CPI has consistently championed the cause of the unity of the motherland, of all
communities, minorities and ethnic groups inhabiting our vast and diverse country. Ever
since its foundation it came forward as the builder of Hindu-Muslim-Sikh unity, as a
fighter against communalism and riots, as a defender of the just rights of all the
Communalism is a form of divisiveness which can tear
our country and its people apart, and threaten our national unity and integrity. In our
conditions, the philosophy of Hindu communalism, Hindutva, paves the way for a
The noble ideas of secularism, of the
democratic-secular foundation of our Republic, of the lofty humanism, brother-hood and
equally of all people irrespective of their religious and other beliefs preached by our
saints, sufis and other great thinkers, of the healthy traditions of our national
movement, are being tenaciously defended today by the CPI and other left against
communalism and fundamentalism of all brands, -be it of the majority or the minority
brand. For life shows that the one breeds and feeds the other.
BJP : THREAT TO INDIA'S FUTURE
|The coming to power of the BJP,
has posed a real threat to Indias secular federal democratic polity. It is a threat
to Indias democratic and socialist future. In the name of pursuing a new economic
policy, the present BJP- led govt. is carrying through a programme of
liberalisation, globalisation and privatisation, under
the dictates of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank and by succumbing to the
presure of imperialist USA and the Developed West inside the WTO. As a result, the public
sector is being privatised and in many cases liquidated; valuable public assets are being
sold for a song; MNCs are being permitted to take over vital sectors of the economy or
replace our labour-intensive informal sector; all restrictions on imports are being waived
and the domestic market is being thrown open to consumer goods dumped by foreign concerns;
the rupee is being devalued; indigenous industries are threatened with closure; prices and
unemployment are rising fast, and the livelihood of millions who live on traditional
industries are seriously jeopardised. The BJP is serving the interests of monopoly
capital-both domestic and foreign, and sacrificing national interests. Its foreign policy
follows its economic policy. It is seen to be snuggling up to the USA and denigrating the
LEFT UNITY:SECULAR DEMOICRATIC UNITY: THE WAY OUT
split in the CPI has adversely affected the Indian Communist and Left Movement, as also
its position in Indias political life.
The CPI has been putting forward the need for the
unification of the Communist Movement, in particular of the CPI and the CPIM on a
principled basis. Differences persist between the two parties. But coordination and joint
action within the Left Front, and especially between the two parties is growing and must
grow. The Left has acquired a certain position in Indias political and social life,
which is widely acknowledged by both friends and foes. The LF and LDF governments
functioning within severe limitations have nevertheless achieved a degree of prestige due
to their stability and work in the interest of the people. A secular-democratic
alternative both to the BJP and the Congress, must have the Left as a major element in it
FLIGHT FOR SOCIALISM
the CPI which from the outset did pioneering work to popularise the ideas of socialism,
and made the first efforts to apply the science of Marxism-Leninism to Indian conditions
and problems. This complex task is yet to be done. It requires great maturity,
understanding Indias social conditions, its traditions and so forth. But if
socialism has become a byword today and if large sections speak in the name of Marxism and
regard socialism as their option, it is thanks to the pioneering work of the communists.
Solidarity with fighting peoples has always been the
hallmark of the CPIs activity and symptomatic of its internationalism. It has always
stood by the national liberation movements and rendered whatever moral, political and
material aid it could to assist the freedom fighters and fighters for social progress in
all countries. It has always come out against imperialist onslaughts and conspiracies;
against wars and local conflicts, and stood for peace and peaceful co-existence.
Our Party has fraternal relations with Communist and
workers parties, progressive and democratic movements in all countries, on the
principled basis of mutual respect, equality and noninterference in each others
affair. While applying Marxism to our specific conditions and struggling for our socialist
future, we pay close attention to the rich exchange of experiences from all countries and
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