03 April 2019

The CPI(ML) Red Star organized a seminar on 2nd March at Ambedkar Bhavan, New Delhi on the occasion of the centenary of formation of the Communist International (CI) at Moscow under the leadership of Lenin. Highlighting the significance of observing this occasion a paper by com. KN Ramachandran was published (see February issue of Red Star) “Uphold Proletarian Internationalism; Intensify efforts to Rebuild Communist International”. A booklet was also published with important contributions of Lenin on the preparation and launching of the International, the statement dissolving the International in 1943, Chou Enlai’s 1961 article explaining the CPC’s view on rebuilding the International along with the article by KN.

The seminar was presided by com. Sanjay Singh, CC member of the party and Deputy Coordinator of the ICOR. Com. Vimal, secretary of Delhi-NCR committee welcomed the gathering. Presenting his key-note paper com. KN briefly explained the history of the First and Second Internationals, the situation under which the CI was formed, its contributions, criticisms against it and its dissolution, before delving on the critic of the post-Stalin years when no effort was made for the reorganization of the International platform of the communist parties in any form by the leadership of the CPSU as well as the CPC.

He explained that as the Krushchovian leadership in the Soviet Union was abandoning the socialist path itself, it was naturally not interested in the concept of proletarian internationalism. But, in spite of putting forward an in the main valuable document, the General Line of the International Communist Movement (ICM) as part of the Great Debate against the Soviet revisionist line, what is baffling is why the CPC refused to even convene a meeting of the Marxist-Leninist forces opposed to Soviet revisionism including the ML forces emerging during the 1960s. On the contrary, the Chou Enlai article and those who uphold it are putting forward the strange argument that all revolutions took place when there was no International! It amounts to abandoning the very concept of proletarian internationalism itself. He pointed out our continuous efforts to establish relations with fraternal parties and its role in the formation of ICOR which is a coordination of a good number of organizations taking up various international developments seriously. We are not for building a Communist International of the old type, but an International rectifying the mistakes of the past and according to the concrete conditions of today.

Comrade KN Ramachandran concluded by asserting that when in spite of contention for world hegemony, the imperialist powers are colluding to perpetuate the all round domination of the capitalist system in all fields, making the world people’s plight increasingly miserable and leading the world towards an ecological catastrophe, this is the time when the unity of the revolutionary forces at international level is needed more than ever. With this understanding the debate on this question shall be continued.

Though invitations were sent to all organizations and groups left of CPI(M) and papers were invited, only com. Pravin Nadkar had sent a paper which is published in this issue. Comrade Arjun Prasad Singh and Vijay Singh along with progressive intellectual, com Sachin, in addition to com. Pravin who presented his paper spoke in the seminar. Com. Pavin’s paper emphasizes the importance of proletarian internationalism and supported all efforts for international unity efforts according to present conditions. It was a positive approach.

While com. Vijay Singh did not go beyond underlining the contributions of Stalin in this field, com. Arjun Prasad tried to defend the arguments of Chou Enlai which virtually rules out any efforts towards reorganizing the International in any form. Com Sachin dealt with some of the recent trends at the theoretical realm which calls for attention at the international level. Comrades PJ James and Sankar highlighted the importance of strengthening the spirit of proletarian internationalism and called for active steps to strengthen the ICOR and further steps to deepen the international unity of the revolutionary parties to combat imperialist onslaughts.

In his presidential speech com. Sanjay pointed out that we are initiating this discussion which should be continued vigorously in coming days as present challenges before the working class and humankind in general call for strengthening the spirit of proletarian internationalism and step by step moves towards a new International. n

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Kabeer Katlat

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.