“THERE can be no alternative to socialism in the history of human civilisation”, said veteran CPI(M) leader Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. He was speaking on the occasion of Ganashakti, the daily organ of CPI(M) West Bengal State Committee, completing its 50 years of glorious existence. To commemorate the occasion, a special gathering was organised at Promode Dasgupta Bhavan, the Kolkata district headquarters of CPI(M) on January 3, 2017. Others who spoke on the occasion were CPI(M) state secretary Suryakanta Mishra, Left front chairman Biman Basu and editor of Ganashakti Narayan Dutta.
The Ganashakti, which appeared on January 3, 1967, was described both by Biman Basu and Narayan Dutta as a paper that serves the interests of the working class. Biman Basu noted that despite all odds and ideological assaults, Ganashakti continues its unabated journey, unhindered till date, catering to the interests of the working class, peasantry, women and other marginalised sections of society. On this occasion, a commemorative issue of Ganashakti, titled “Itihaser Pata Theke” was released by Biman Basu. Veteran distributor of Ganashakti, Binoy Sengupta of Hooghly district, who has witnessed the journey of the organ in the last 50 years, was felicitated by Suryakanta Mishra. As part of this occasion, an essay writing competition was organised and Sounobroto Ghosh, a second year Physics student was given an award.
While addressing the gathering, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee spoke on the relevance of Ganashakti as an organ of the working people. He went back to the history of the world communist movement in the first decade of the twentieth century. He underlined the historic importance of 1917 October Revolution. Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee mentioned the revolutionary role of Vladimir Lenin as the architect of the Revolution. In this period, USSR, based on the socialist principles, could unleash tremendous development in industry, agriculture and culture, which had far reaching effects throughout the globe, especially in the independence movement of the third world countries. He said that worldwide capitalist economic crisis prevailing in 1930s and 40s, culminated in the World War II, and it was the Soviet that could resist the brutal unleashing of fascist assault. While discussing about the collapse of Soviet Union, Bhattacharjee noted that the fall of the Soviet Union is not due to the failure of socialist ideology, but, on the contrary, denotes the lacuna in the implementation part. This collapse, however, as mentioned in the speech, does not undermine the achievements of socialism in history.
Coming back to contemporary Indian political situation, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee vehemently criticised both the ruling parties at the centre and in the state. He said, the ruling party at the centre is the most vicious and reactionary force in Indian politics. They are out to destroy the constitution for establishing a Hindu Rashtra. They eagerly implement neo- liberal policies. Wide unity is needed to counter this force. Standing at this crucial juncture, he emphasised the historical role of Ganashakti in strengthening the working class movement for socialism.
Suryakanta Mishra spoke on the dialectical process that exists between the readers and Ganashakti, as both interact and strengthen each other in their day to day struggle. He emphasised that both the ruling parties at the centre and in the state, namely BJP/RSS combine and TMC respectively promote neo-liberal economic policy, on one hand, and communalism, on the other. Commenting on corruption and demonetisation, he reminded the historical role of the Left that includes a relentless fight against communalism, neo-liberal policies and authoritarian regime of the Indian ruling class.