It is 15 years since the passing away of Comrade Hardial Bains (15 August, 1939 – 24 August, 1997), who was the principal architect of our Party and its founding. He was an outstanding ideologue, theoretician and creative organiser. He made invaluable contributions to the creation and strengthening of numerous institutions for advancing the cause of the working class and communism on the world scale.
Born in a patriotic family in Punjab, steeped in communist ideals from his childhood and youth, Comrade Bains held proudly aloft the red flag of revolution and communism till his last breath. His karmabhoomi was Canada, where he led Canadian Marxist-Leninists in founding and building the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist).
Comrade Bains followed the developments in India extremely closely, and was deeply involved in the work of Indian Marxist Leninists to advance the cause of the revolution and socialism in our country. He inspired a whole generation of Indian workers and progressive students in North America to take up Marxism-Leninism and the struggle against imperialism, in defence of people’s rights and for the victory of the Indian revolution. He was a founding member and leader of the East Indian Defence Committee and of the Hindustani Ghadar Party (Organisation of Indian Marxist-Leninists Abroad).
Comrade Bains imbued the patriotic Indian workers and intellectuals abroad with pride in upholding our revolutionary traditions, including the heritage of the Hindustani Ghadar Party, the organisation of revolutionaries founded in North America100 years ago. Just like they challenged the might of the British colonial rule at that time, we need to organise to end the colonial legacy and open the path to progress for our country today, was his guiding principle.
We are living in a period of the retreat of revolution. In India and on the world scale, imperialism and the reactionary bourgeoisie have been carrying out the greatest assault on communism and all the highest ideals of mankind. It is an all-sided offensive against all that the working class and peoples have achieved through more than a century of struggle and sacrifice. Immense has been the pressure on the communists in India and worldwide to abandon the red flag of revolution in the face of this onslaught.
The first Congress of our Party was held in 1990 when the world had just entered the period of retreat. The contribution of Comrade Hardial was invaluable in assessing the new period, working out the General Line, elaborating our Program and suitable tactics. He taught us how to look at the new period and address the problems posed by it, especially the need to vest supreme decision-making power in the people’s hands. Recognizing that within this period of retrogression, there is space for the movement for communism to flourish, we have worked according to one agreed-upon plan, to occupy and expand this space for communism by taking up for solution the problem of vesting sovereignty in the people.
The work of analyzing the abrupt changes that had taken place on the world scale, including the work of summing up the experience of the rise and fall of the Soviet Union, and elaborating the General Line for this period, was carried out through a series of conferences during 1991-98. This entire work, in which Comrade Hardial played a key role until his untimely passing away in 1997, culminated in the Second Congress of our Party held in October 1998. The Second Congress confirmed the General Line and adopted the Party Program.
Comrade Hardial Bains instilled in all of us communists that the Party is the most precious thing. Preserving the unity of our Party around its revolutionary line is the guarantee for restoring the unity of communists, for politically uniting the working class and all the oppressed, and for the victory of the revolution and socialism in our country.
In the fifteen years since he departed, we can say with pride that our Party has stuck to the General Line and agreed upon program of action like an unshakeable rock among the shifting sands. It has boldly marched ahead to address the challenges of the time, while preparing for the time when the working class will once again go on the offensive, when the tide of revolution will turn from ebb to flow.