CPI (ML) Turns Forty

This year, along with a number of great occasions like the 60th anniversary of Chinese Revolution, we celebrate on April 22 the 40th anniversary of the foundation of CPI (ML). At this moment we are in the thick of an intensely fought election battle; once that is over the entire party will plunge into a year-long campaign to celebrate that occasion with great vigour.

The revolutionary communist party of India was born in close connection with a spirited international campaign against revisionism and as a victorious culmination of a decades-long struggle between the opportunist Menshevik trend and revolutionary Bolshevik trend in the communist movement in this country. 22 April 1969 signified that with its distinct class programme of agrarian revolution as the axis of democratic revolution, the revolutionary proletariat had finally achieved a decisive break with right opportunism, asserted its complete political independence and held aloft the banner of revolutionary Marxism in India. Taking these signal achievements as core values or cardinal principles of revolutionary communism in our specific context, we have always strived to creatively apply them to meet the demands of changing situation.

Thus we came overground to boldly stand up in defence of Marxism against intensified ideological attacks in an atmosphere of apparent crisis of socialism and to unfurl the communist party banner in the midst of emerging democratic movements. Unleashing the inexhaustible revolutionary energy of landless and poor peasants and consciously promoting their leading role had always been a major hallmark of our movement, and when conditions became conducive we tried to further strengthen that feature by launching a militant national association of the rural proletariat. Simultaneously we have sought to broaden the base of peasant movement by forcefully raising the basic issues of peasantry caught in the agrarian crisis. We have consistently safeguarded the party's political independence by refusing to be drawn into myriad opportunist alliances, striving instead to build struggling fronts from below with various social forces on the move and to shape up in the process a genuine Left Confederation.

It is this dynamic and contemporaneous articulation of our fine revolutionary traditions that has enabled the Party to overcome the early setback, rectify mistakes and continue the forward march through shower and sunshine -- as manifested for example in the success of Eighth Party Congress and the wholesome growth of, say, the All India Agricultural Labour Association (AIALA). This living legacy we are determined to carry to new heights, with the 40th anniversary year laying a solid foundation for that. Through a series of rallies, yatras, conventions, seminars and of course agitations on people's issues, we will be carrying the Party's message to all sections of the people. Get organised under the red banner of your Party -- we shall call upon them -- to strike harder against the national and international enemies who are trying to shift the burden of their crises on to your shoulders. We shall utilise the brisk propaganda and agitational activities to recruit new Party members and to form new Party branches. All this will be complemented by vigorous measures to improve the quality of inner-Party life: organising the entire membership in active Party branches, consolidation of district and lower level Party committees, correcting gender and other imbalances in the Party membership and leadership, further regularisation of Party education, streamlining the publicity mechanism, improving the organisational structure of our major mass organisations and so on.

In a word, it is an ideologically and organisationally consolidated expansion that we must struggle for. Because this alone can place the CPI (ML) at the head of the growing people’s resistance and Left resurgence; this alone can lead us towards attaining the ultimate mission with which the CPI (ML) was born and for which thousands upon thousands of the best daughters and sons of India have laid down their precious lives.

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