03 August 2020

Comrade Soren Bose left us on the early morning of 17 August. After three days of programmes at Mumbai, which enthused the comrades and all the well-wishers of the revolutionary movement, he was to leave for Calcutta a few hours later. His sudden death, when he was playing a leading role in the reorganization of CPI(ML) is an irreparable loss. It has greatly grieved the Communist Revolutionaries all over India.

Comrade Soren Bose was one of the architects of Naxalbari movement and CPI(ML) under the leadership of comrade Charu Mazumdar in the tumultuous decade of 1960s. For him working under the leadership of and together with com. CM started from the early 1940s when he joined the communist party. To CPI(M) and later to Naxalbari and CPI(ML) they advanced together. He became Polit Bureau member of CPI(ML). Till the last moment he upheld the glorious tradition of CPI(ML) and became a central pillar in the present efforts to reorganize the party based on the concrete analysis of present concrete situation.  He became a great bridge between the glorious late 1960s and early 1970s when the communist revolutionaries all over India fought against revisionism, gave a basically Marxist-Leninist orientation to the Communist movement and launched uncompromising struggle for overthrowing the present reactionary Indian state and to create a New Democratic India under the leadership of CM, and the present when the communist revolutionaries are engaged in reorganizing  CPI(ML) by rectifying all sectarian mistakes, continuing the struggle against all shades of right opportunism and by developing the basic orientation of the party in the concrete conditions of the neo-colonial phase of capitalist-imperialist system.

As he used to say repeatedly, he did not join any of the CPI(ML) groups for long years after coming out of jail in early 1980s not because he was in anyway influenced by the non-party thinking prevalent among many from the earlier CPI(ML) leaders and cadres and among many petti-bourgeois intellectuals, as he was searching for answers to the questions he started raising after he became critical of the tactical line of the movement from early 1970s and after his discussion with the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

He came in contact with the literature of CPI(ML) Red Flag and started discussion with its leading cadres only from 1994. But once he was convinced that the basic orientation of Red Flag is correct he did not hesitate to join it. He became member of Central Reorganization Committee of CPI(ML) Red Flag and secretary of its West Bengal state committee. He started actively participating in the reorganization of the party under the banner of Red Flag. During the last one year he visited Kerala, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Bihar and encouraged the comrades to carry forward the task of NDR in the new conditions taking lessons from the past. He repeated the necessity of uncompromising struggle against both right and left opportunism for building up a Bolshevik style party at all India level. It was during one of these trips, when he was attending the programmes organized by the Maharashtra state committee of the party at Mumbai, he breathed his last. Thus till his last moment he remained a Bolshevik in the true spirit.

When he returned from China in 1970 end after long discussions with top CPC leaders and a brief meeting with Mao, and submitted his report, there were many in the then leadership who suspected the bonafides of the report. As far as the leadership of CPC was concerned, it had begun a rectification against the sectarian deviations which were influencing the CPC during the 1969 Congress. The suggestions of the CPC leaders reflected the spirit of this rectification and the vast experience of the protracted struggle waged by it to achieve victory in the NDR. They repeated the necessity for concrete analysis of concrete Indian situation and for developing the ideological-political-organizational orientation based on it.

But the sectarian influence was so profound in the movement that it was not possible then to start rectification based on CPC suggestions. This sectarianism went to the extent of some of the forces even rejecting the 10th Congress Report of CPC which had rejected earlier 1969 formulations regarding era and many connected positions. Later this metaphysical approach went to the other extreme in 1977 when most of the CPI(ML) forces mechanically accepted the Hua-Teng group’s total rejection of Mao’s revolutionary line, once again in the name of Mao! The upholding of the dialectical relation between developing the revolutionary movement in one country according to concrete conditions there and linking it with proletarian internationalism continued to elude the International Communist Movement. But comrade Soren Bose persisted to uphold his opposition to sectarianism and revisionism, repeated the cardinal points from the suggestions of the CPC leaders, and inspired the Bolshevik party building which is the pre-condition to mobilize the revolutionary masses for the NDR.

Both in his personal and political life he was one of the finest examples of Communist Culture. Starting his political life by organizing the tea-garden workers and peasants of North Bengal, he was always wedded to the mass line and thoroughly hated sectarianism. In his characteristic style he used to educate how mass line advanced the movement, and how sectarian mistakes distorted it and brought incalculable damage to it. In a humorous way he used to self-critically explain the past errors while highlighting the great contributions of the movement.

In these days when imperialism has intensified it frenzied attack on communism and non-party thinking is propagated by various petti-bourgeois, opportunist trends, his life with total involvement in the communist movement for a long period spanning more than five decades, and consistent advocacy of the socialist future are shining examples for the new generation to emulate.

We have received reports of memorial meetings not only from Calcutta, but also from numerous places all over the country expressing shock at comrade Soren Bose’s unexpected departure and pledging to follow the ideals for which he fought all through his life. Red Star joins the Communist Revolutionaries all over the country on this occasion in upholding the great revolutionary contributions of comrade Soren Bose to the communist movement and pledges to tirelessly work for realizing the socialist ideals.

(Editorial of Red Star, September 1997)

The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.