The ninth congress of the Workers' Party of Bangladesh was held on April 24-27 at Rajasahi. S Ramachandran Pillai, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and Gautam Das, CPI(M) Tripura secretariat member attended the Congress as fraternal delegates. Below we reproduce the text of the CPI(M) greetings to the congress.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) greets the 9thCongress of the Workers' Party of Bangladesh and wishes the Congress all success.
I am confident that the deliberations you have in this Congress will lead to the further strengthening of the Party. Through you, I extend my greetings to all the members of the Workers' Party and salute them for standing in defence of the rights of the working class, democracy and against the exploitation of the ruling classes.
The attacks on the working class, peasantry and all the other toiling sections of the society have intensified in the recent period. The prolonged global economic crisis has further increased the burdens on the working people all over the world. More than six years have passed since the crisis erupted in the United States and now the entire world is engulfed by the crisis, which is not yet showing any signs of abatement. For us Marxist-Leninists, this is not something new, as Marx had taught us long back that capitalism is a social system laden with crises – intrinsic and inherent in the manner it organises production. The present crisis, once again proves the validity of Marxism-Leninism.
Of course, as communists, we are not overwhelmed on being vindicated, rather the crisis once again reminds us of the necessity to hasten our work among the masses, strengthen the 'subjective factor', the Party of the working class, as Lenin used to call it and intensify our struggles against the present exploitative capitalist system. Once again, as Lenin had taught us, no amount of crises can ensure the fall of the system on its own, it 'needs to be overthrown'. The historical responsibility of overthrowing capitalism is thus upon us.
People are coming out onto the streets against the burdens imposed upon them and in defence of their rights. In Bangladesh too we had witnessed how hundreds of thousands of people, particularly youth, had come out in defence of democracy. If the communists fail to decisively intervene and channelise these protests in a correct direction, there is every chance that the fundamentalist forces will intervene to divert peoples' anger into various sectarian and divisive movements. We had witnessed the growth of fascism and Nazism during the 1930's, an off-shoot of the Great Depression. Today, we are once again witnessing a spurt in the activities of the right-wing, fundamentalist, neo-nazi forces in many countries.
In our region, the threat of religious fundamentalism is a serious challenge confronting us. Many countries in our neighbourhood are suffering the consequences of the growth of religious fundamentalist forces. We are witnessing it in Afghanistan, Pakistan, here in Bangladesh and also in our country, India. Imperialism is also keen to use this growth of fundamentalist forces to intervene and destabilise our countries and gain a permanent foothold in the region. It is upon us to resist the growth of fundamentalism, unite all sections of the society and foil the attempts of the ruling classes to use these elements for dividing the class unity of the toiling sections.
As you are aware, we are in the midst of an intense election campaign in our country. The right-wing Hindu communal forces are trying hard to once again gain access to political power. Many of the big corporates in the country are backing them. On the other hand, the ruling Congress-led UPA coalition had completely lost its credibility. It was involved in a series of scams, eating away lakhs of crores of public money. Crony capitalism, the malaise of neo-liberal economic policies, is encouraged by the Congress party at the centre and wherever the BJP is in power in various states. This crony capitalism is generating corruption of a new kind as seen in 'mega scams' rocking our country. Both Congress and BJP patronise such corruption. The people of the country are looking for a credible alternative to both these parties.
Our Party, the CPI(M), is contesting in nearly a hundred seats in these elections and along with the other Left parties is appealing to the people to defeat both Congress and BJP and vote for alternative policies.
As you are aware, our fight is concentrated predominantly in the states of West Bengal, Tripura and Kerala. Of course, our candidates in many other states are also giving a good fight wherever they are contesting. The ruling class and their parties are trying their level best to politically isolate our Party and stifle our voice, but in vain. In West Bengal particularly, the level of attacks carried on our Party and cadre is unprecedented. Hundreds of our comrades were brutally murdered, thousands of our comrades are forced to leave their homes and villages along with their families. The recently held elections to the local bodies in West Bengal made a mockery of democracy. Many of our candidates were not allowed to file their nominations, in many areas we are not allowed to campaign, many of our comrades who resisted and braved the threats of intimidation were brutally attacked, houses were burnt, comrades were kidnapped and murdered. 'Rape' has become a political weapon in the hands of our political opponents. On the voting day, our supporters were not allowed to vote. Despite our repeated attempts the state machinery remained largely silent. The ruling party in the state went to such an extent that it had even printed ballot papers of its own and stuffed them in the boxes and during counting, the agents were thrown out of the centres and results declared to suit their interests.
Behind all these attacks in West Bengal is an intense class struggle – the erstwhile landlords who have lost their lands due to the land reforms introduced by the CPI(M)-led Left Front government when in power, are leading them. The ruling classes want to reverse the land reforms and grab the land from the poor peasants who had benefited from them. The capitalists want the CPI(M) to be marginalised in the state, so that we cannot stand by the interests of the working class and other exploited sections. Our Party is in the thick of this class struggle, resisting all their attempts to reverse the gains made by the working class and poor peasants.
In this context the present elections assume a lot of importance both to our country and the Party.
India and Bangladesh share a common history and legacy. Our people heroically fought against the British colonialists – the exemplary courage displayed by Master Surjya Sen and his student comrades during the famous Chittagong armed uprising forever remains in our hearts. The role played by the people in the war for liberation of Bangladesh is another glorious page that can never be forgotten. History has bestowed upon us the duty to live up to this legacy and fulfill the dreams and aspirations of those freedom fighters. This can be done only by advancing the class struggle and resisting the attempts of all sorts of fundamentalist forces. These can be achieved only by uniting the working class, peasantry and all other toiling sections in the society and lead them in the struggle against the exploitation of the ruling bourgeoisie-landlord classes. These can be realised only through our struggle against imperialism and its lackeys who are once again out to economically subjugate us. The dreams of our freedom fighters can be realised only through our struggles against the present capitalist system and for a system free from exploitation – socialism. This struggle, though long and arduous, is historically destined to triumph.
On behalf of the CPI(M) I hope that the deliberations of this Congress will intensify such struggles and further strengthen the Workers' Party of Bangladesh. As a close fraternal party that enjoys deep bonds of friendship, the CPI(M) will certainly stand in solidarity with all your struggles. Once again I wish the Congress all success.
S Ramachandran Pillai
Member, Polit Bureau
Communist Party of India (Marxist)