The Formation of Communist Party of India (Marxist)
THE Seventh Congress of the Communist Party was held from October 31 to November 7, in Calcutta. This Congress marked the culmination of the struggle against revisionism within the united Party. It marked a programmatic, organisational and ideological break with revisionism. This also meant a complete demarcation on the tactics to be pursued by the Party. The Seventh Congress was a turning point in the history of the communist movement in the country. It adopted a new Party Programme, Statement of Policy and a Resolution on Tasks, in which the strategy and tactics of Indian revolution were enunciated. 422 delegates representing 60 per cent of the Party members existing on the rolls at the time of the Sixth Party Congress held in 1961, stood with the revolutionary section of the Party and participated in the Seventh Congress.
The Programme adopted at the Congress repudiated all the revisionist formulations in relation to the Indian situation and correctly described the character of the State: “The present Indian State is the organ of the class rule of the bourgeoisie and landlords, led by the big bourgeoisie who are increasingly collaborating with foreign finance capital in pursuit of the capitalist path of development”. It rejected the position of the CPSU that the Indian government represents the national bourgeoisie which has to be supported. The Party Congress at the same time did not also accept the stand taken by the CPC, that the government of India was representing the comprador bourgeoisie.
The Programme adopted in the Party Congress had made it clear that the first stage of our revolution will be anti-imperialist, anti-feudal, anti-monopoly capital and democratic. Only after the completion of this stage will it move towards the socialist revolution. The Programme states: “It is obvious that for the complete and thorough-going fulfillment of the basic tasks of the Indian revolution in the present stage, it is absolutely essential to replace the present bourgeois-landlord State headed by the big bourgeoisie, by a State of People’s Democracy led by the working class”.
The main objective of this vital phase, the completion of the democratic revolution is the replacement of the present bourgeois-landlord government by the People’s Democratic government based on the worker-peasant alliance and led by the working class. “It is evident that without dislodging the present big bourgeois leadership which has allied itself with landlordism, from the leading position of State power and in its place establishing the hegemony of the working class over the State, no radical agrarian reforms in the genuine interest of the peasantry can be carried out….” Further, “It is equally clear that our economy cannot get rid of foreign monopoly capital and its predatory exploitation as long as the present government with its policy of compromising and collaborating with foreign imperialist capital continues to rule. To uproot and summarily expel the foreign monopoly capital from the country and place our independence on firm and secure foundations, there can be no other guarantee than that of firmly establishing a government of the People’s Democratic Front led by the working class….unless the present government with its anti-people policies is rejected and decisively defeated and is replaced by an alternative government with alternative democratic policies, it is neither possible for our people to escape the tortuous path of capitalist development which is historically outmoded, nor liberate our people from the clutches of growing monopoly capitalism, a phenomenon that inevitably arises out of such a path of development”.
The central task of the revolutionary movement is to build the People’s Democratic Front (PDF) to dislodge the bourgeois-landlord government headed by the big bourgeoisie. The Programme states that such a PDF can be successfully built and the revolution led to a success only under the leadership of the working class and its political party, the Communist Party. The alliance of the working class and the peasantry is given the highest importance inside this Front. “The core and the basis of the PDF is the firm alliance of the working class and the peasantry. It is this alliance that constitutes the most important force in defending national independence, accomplishing far-reaching democratic transformation and ensuring all-round social progress”.
Around this core of worker-peasant alliance are mobilised its chief allies, the agricultural labourers and the poor peasants. While the middle peasant is a firm ally, it is possible to bring in and retain the rich peasants also in the Front. The urban and other sections of the petty-bourgeoisie are the allies of the working class in the revolutionary struggle. It is on the strength of the worker-peasant alliance that all other vacillating classes are drawn into the Front and stabilised inside it. “….it should be noted that the extent to which the different sections of the national bourgeoisie participate in carrying out the anti-feudal, anti-imperialist tasks also depends to no small degree on the strength and stability of the workers’ and peasants’ alliance. In short, the success or otherwise of building the broad People’s Democratic Front to lead the revolution to victory hinges upon forging the unshakable worker-peasant alliance”.
It is through the PDF that the Party intends to mobilise and weld together all the revolutionary forces, all anti-imperialist, anti-feudal forces of the democratic revolution. It is out of the people’s struggles that this Front is created and built up. The Programme declares that this Front will come into being through mighty mass movements around the programme of the Front.
The Programme adopted in this Congress radically differs from the Programme adopted by the CPI in the Congress they had organised. The basic differences lie in the characterisation of the State and the leadership of the class alliance for the democratic revolution.
The Programme of the CPI characterised the Indian State differently. It did not have landlords in the alliance wielding State power, but only stated that the bourgeoisie in State power had strong links with landlords. Neither did they accept that the bourgeois-landlord alliance was led by the big bourgeoisie; it only accepted that big bourgeoisie wielded strong influence over State power. They also denied the link of the ruling class alliance with foreign finance capital. Flowing from this analysis, was the strategic approach of collaborating with the State power to isolate the big bourgeoisie and landlords. The leadership of their “national democratic front” was thus not of the working class but a joint leadership of the national bourgeoisie and the working class. This programmatic understanding opened the way to class collaboration.
A comparative analysis of both the programmes exposed the revisionist approach of the CPI. Majority of the Party members understood the compromising policies of the revisionist section and this was reflected in the manner in which rallied behind the Seventh Congress of the Party.
The resolution on the Tasks of the Party, which was in fact the Political Resolution adopted in the Seventh Congress, gave concrete direction for developing the communist movement. The resolution directed the Party to rapidly overcome the weaknesses prevailing in the trade union movement, kisan movement and in the Party organisations and that political consciousness be inculcated in all possible ways. In order to build a genuine revolutionary Party, the resolution cautioned: “These tasks cannot be fulfilled without building the Party on the secure foundation of Marxism-Leninism as the initiator, builder and leader of mass movements and struggles. Our activity should be oriented towards taking up the problem of the basic classes, which alone can forge the link that can revitalise the whole Party”.
The resolution directed the newly formed central committee to prepare a detailed document explaining the manifestations of revisionism and sectarianism inside the Party, their political and ideological roots and educate the entire Party to fight such deviations.
The Party Congress also re-adopted a Statement of Policy that was earlier adopted in the 1951 Party Congress, with some modifications. It also adopted a resolution titled, Fight against Revisionism, which was the Political and Organisational Report presented before the Congress.
The Congress adopted a resolution directing the central committee to organise inner-party discussions on ideological questions in a ‘dispassionate manner’. The Congress declared that it is the end of the “first stage of the struggle against the bourgeois-reformist policies and disruptive organisational practices adopted by the Dange group”. It expressed its hope that in the next stage, “which will be over in the next few months, the bulk of those who are today formally with the Dange group, or are remaining unattached will join us, thus recording the fact that the disruption caused by the reformist and disruptive policies pursued by the Dange group has been finally overcome”.
The Seventh Congress of the Party elected a central committee and a nine-member Polit Bureau consisting of Comrades P Sundarayya, EMS Namboodiripad, B T Ranadive, Pramode Dasgupta, M Basavapunnaiah, A K Gopalan, Jyoti Basu, P Ramamurti and Harkishan Singh Surjeet. Comrade P Sundarayya was elected as the general secretary.
The Seventh Congress thus opened the way for a new stage in the Communist movement in the country.