An important conference held in Chennai on 26th February attracted communists and organisers of workers from various parts of Tamil Nadu. The discussion centred around the thesis presented by Comrade Lal Singh on behalf of the Central Committee of Communist Ghadar Party, which has been edited and published as a pamphlet called Necessity for the working class to take power.
The conference began with a verbal presentation in Tamil of this most recent publication of the Communist Ghadar Party. The main points presented for discussion, as summed up in the publication, are the following:
Crisis of capitalism points to the urgent need for the working class to organise to take political power and open the path to socialism, sweeping away all remnants of old oppressive social systems.
Indian working class has the capacity to become the ruling class, provided communists play their rightful role.
Communists must make peasants recognise that their main enemy is the capitalist class headed by the monopoly corporations, which is also the main enemy of the working class.
The existing Indian Union is a legacy of colonialism, a prison house of nations, nationalities and peoples; far from defending its “unity and integrity” we must fight for its reconstitution on a voluntary basis.
Both Congress Party and BJP are committed to implement the same program of the big capitalists; they only differ in what they say and preach but not in the class interest they serve.
There can be no middle road or intermediate stage between capitalism and socialism; political power will either be exercised by the working class or the capitalist class and there is no other possibility.
The existing state and parliamentary democracy cannot be the instruments for the working class to exercise power – we must build new organs of power wherever the toiling masses live and work, and fight for a system of proletarian democracy that vests sovereignty in the people.
The presentation was followed by a lively discussion, which began by young workers asking how they can advance their struggle against violation of their rights in the workplace. Several questions were raised and answered relating to the definition of the working class.
There was a lengthy discussion on the question of the worker-peasant alliance. One of the participants asked what it means to say that the working class must establish its dictatorship, and what does it imply for the poor and middle peasants? During the discussion it was clarified that the interests of poor and middle peasants will be best served by the program of the working class to replace capitalism by socialism, sweeping away all remnants of feudalism, colonialism and imperialist plunder. Small-scale production will inevitably be replaced by large-scale production. Under the leadership of the capitalist class, this is a very bloody and cruel process. Under the leadership of the working class, it will be achieved through voluntary collectivisation of peasant plots with liberal assistance from the state.
Another question that was discussed was the achievements and shortcomings of the revolution in China, and the lessons we need to draw from that experience. It was clarified that major advances were achieved in China following the victory of the revolution in 1949. The elimination of the burden of feudal oppression and the yoke of foreign imperialist domination released tremendous productive forces and raised the living standards of the toiling masses. However, the revolution did not advance to the stage of eliminating capitalism and all forms of exploitation of labour, because of following the line of establishing a joint dictatorship of several classes including the national bourgeoisie.
In conclusion, all the participants agreed that this was a useful discussion, which has only just begun. Many more such sessions are needed. We need meetings and conferences, big and small, to take place in many parts of Tamil Nadu – this was the common sentiment expressed. The conference concluded with a revolutionary song in Tamil, proclaiming that the day is approaching when the rule of the capitalist snake will be destroyed.