Comrade Shiv Verma: Revolutionary to the Core
Harkishan Singh Surjeet
WITH the passing away of Comrade Shiv Verma, on January 10, a sad day for all of us, one of the last figures of the national revolutionary movement led by martyrs Chandrashekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh has left us. With his death we are now bereft of a dedicated revolutionary who not only fought for national independence but, after freedom too, struggled till the last for the rights of the working people, for people’s democracy and socialism.
The quality of the stuff Comrade Shiv Verma was made up of, can be gauged from the fact that he remained active even in his old age, till about one year before he left us at the ripe age of 93.
IN AFTERMATH OF NON-COOPERATION
Born on February 9, 1904 in Hardoi district of Uttar Pradesh, Shiv Verma plunged into the non-cooperation movement (1921-22) at the call of Gandhi, when he was barely 17. However, when Gandhi withdrew the movement on a spurious plea after the Chauri Chaura incident, the whole nation plunged into a gloom. The earlier generations of national revolutionaries, who had suspended their own movement in order to take part in the Gandhi’s experiment of “Swaraj in One Year” with great hopes, now began to reorganize. In Uttar Pradesh too, Sachindra Nath Sanyal, who had been earlier transported for life in the first Lahore conspiracy case (1915-17), and had come out only in a general amnesty follwoing the First World War, assembled a small group of youth and formed the Hindustan Republican Association (HRA) in 1925.
However, the HRA was soon shattered following the Kakori train hold-up of 1925 and the resulting conspiracy case. Ramprasad Bismil, Ashfaqullah, Roshan Singh and Rajen Lahiri were sentenced to death, many including Sachin Sanyal were transported for life, many others got jail sentences of three to 14 years, while Chandrashekhar Azad and Mukundi Lal were declared absconding.
It was in those days that Shiv Verma and Jaidev Kapoor, then studying at Kanpur, met Chandrashekhar Azad and Bhagat Singh. These meetings and those with others soon led to a secret meet at Ferozshah Kotla ground in Delhi in September 1927 where the HRA was resurrected with a new name, viz, Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (HSRA), which was a new type of organization quite different from those operating in Bengal and Maharashtra, two other main areas of revolutionary activity. The HSRA operated in whole of North India from Punjab to Bihar and upto central India in the southward direction. Shiv Verma was elected to its Central Committee as representative of the United Provinces unit. He was also sent as an HSRA, emissary to Bengal to contact the revolutionary groups there though, due to certain reasons, they did not agree to merger with the HSRA.
The inclusion of the world “Socialist” in the name of the party did symbolize the new orientation that these youth had just started undergoing.
What followed next — death of Lal Lajpat Rai following a police lathicharge, Saminders’ murder in a bid to avenge Lalaji’s death dropping of bombs in Central Assembly (now the Sansad Bhavan), the second Lahore conspiracy case and over a dozen supplementary cases, and execution of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev — is all part of history, and every Indian can justifiably take pride in this part of history.
The second Lahore conspiracy case also led to life transportation for Shiv Verma, Jaidev Kapoor, Mahavir Singh, Dr.Gaya Prasad, Pandit Kishori Lal and some others. Shiv Verma was first sent to Rajamundari Jail, now in Andhra Pradesh, and from there to the notorious Andaman Cellular Jail from where, the Britishers hoped nobody would be able to return alive to the mainland.
Before the conclusion of the Lahore case, the accused also waged protracted hunger strikes on the demands of jail reforms, but in fact to continue the anti-imperialist struggle in new forms in the conditions of jail life. It was in such a hunger strike that Jatin Das became a martyr on the 63rd day. Shiv Verma too had reached quite closed to death in one such hunger strike.
However, in various Indian jails as well as in Andamans, these young revolutionaries underwent a veritable intellectual revolution as well. Though this process had started outside and was initiated and led by Bhagat Singh, constant studies, discussions, introspection and review of the revolutionary movement that went on inside the jails, saw the final conversion of a large number of Indian revlutionaries to Marxism-Leninism. This process has been well captured by several writings of Comrade Shiv Verma himself, by Vijay KUmar Sinha’s In Andaman The Indian Bastille, Manmath Nath Gupta’s They Lived Dangerously, Yashpal’s three-volume Simhavalokan (Hindi) and a number of other writings by other revolutionaries.
This process reached its height in the Andamans where the prisoners formed a new organisation named Communist Consolidation, which more than 500 inmates, barring barely a dozen, joined. Shiv Verma played a key role in the formation of the consolidation and editing its hand-written organ The Call. The Consolidation immediately declared adherence to the Communist Party of India.
In Andamans too, Shiv Verma again reached on the verge of death during another hunger strike that claimed the lives of Mahavir Singh, Mohit Maitra and Mohan Kishore.
After the formation of Congress governments in a number of provinces in 1937, when the demand to bring the Andaman inmates to the mainland threatened to develop into a mass movement, and the British Raj had had to vow before this demand, Shiv Verma too was shifted to Naini Jail in Allahabad. His earliest extant writings belong to this very period.
Though a number of revolutionary prisoners were released by 1945, Shiv Verma, Jaidev Kapoor, Dr.Gaya Prasad and Pandit Kishori Lal were not allowed to come out till after independence.
AGAIN IN MIDST OF STRUGGLE
One out of jail, Shiv Verma plunged into mass movements with full vigour and put himself totally at the disposal of the party. In 1948, he was elected secretary of the Uttar Pradesh state committee of the united party.
This was the time when the glorious Telangana peasant armed struggle was at its peak and the party all over the country was facing a very severe bout of repression unleashed by the Nehru government. In those days, UP had had a comparatively strong unit of the party. It was here that two conspiracy cases had been launched by the British, at Kanpur and Meerut, with a view to nip the communist movement in the bud. While Kanpur had been a strong bastion of the labour movement, Ghazipur, Azamgarh, etc., had emerged as centres of a militant peasant movement which was led by many outstanding leaders like the late Sarju Pandey.
It was, therefore, natural that the UP unit of the party too became a target of attack of the government. But the way Comrade Shiv Verma led the party in the state under those most trying circumstances, proved beyond doubt his organizational skills and abilities.
This was the first time Shiv Verma was imprisoned by a government of independent India. He was imprisoned subsequently in 1962 and 1965 also when the government launched an offensive against the Marxists.
After the inner-party struggle erupted in 1951 on the question of party programme and on the questions of strategy of Indian revolution etc., Shiv Verma was removed from the secretaryship of the UP state committee. However, he never grudged it and willingly overtook whatever responsibilities were entrusted to him by the party. It was during this period in mid-fifties that he edited Naya Path, a progressive Hindi literacy journal of repute, and rallied a number of progressive writers on its platform.
At different times he had five also edited Naya Savera and Lok Lahar, central Hindi organs of the party.
Despite all the bitterness created during the inner-party struggle, Shiv Verma continued his activities in the party, on the trade union front and in literary circles etc. After we reorganised the party in November 1964, he took side with the CPI(M). He was elected to the UP state committee of the party and its secretariat. Soon afterward, in 1967 and later, when the party faced a severe challenge from the adventurist disrupters, Shiv Verma fought this trend as resolutely as he had fought revisionists earlier.
LOYAL TO IDEALS OF BHAGAT SINGH
However, during the last one decade or so when his health had started deteriorating, he was relieved of his party responsibilities at his request. Yet he continued his work in other fields. He had founded a Shaheed Smarak at Lucknow which also undertook research and publication works. Now he devoted himself fully to it, and widely travelled all over the country to collect articles, photographs, etc., of the revolutionaries; he even went to the British Museum, London, in this very connection. In fact, he continued his search with the same zeal with which he had earlier retrieved Bhagat Singh’s articles, speeches, letters, etc., from oblivion and had rifted the genuine documents from a mass of spurious ones.
This way, till his very end Shiv Verma continued to follow the bequeath made by Bhagat Singh in his “To The Young Political Workers”, his virtually last letter that was smuggled out of prison.
In his glorious career as a revolutionary Marxist, Shiv Verma also continued to propagate the tenets of Marxism-Leninism, using his powerful pen and enviable command over Hindi language. The five small pamphlets in his Marxvad Parichay Mala series have by now run into millions of copies and also translated into other languages. His Sansmritiyan (Memoirs) and Maut Ke Intezar Mein not only depicted te hard but dedicated lives of our revolutionaries but also proved a mighty source of inspiration for younger generations.
Then the volume he edited, entitled Selected Writings of Bhagat Singh, has a great importance of its on as it amounted to a rediscovery of Bhagat Singh, bringing out to the people his ideas and ideals that were long suppressed by vested interests. Only on March 23 last, the second edition of the book had come out for which he virtually compelled me to write a second Foreword, in addition to one written by late Comrade B.T. Ranadive for the first edition.
Truly the life of Comrade Shiv Verma was a glorious life which he utilized to the hilt for the cause of our toiling masses. A man gets only one life, but not all make virtuous use of it, Shiv Verma fell in a different category altogether, and served the movement without any ambition or grudge, with utmost dedication, courage and identification with the masses. Even though he is now no more with us, his life will continue to inspire all our comrades, supporters and the people at large for a long long time.
With these words, I pay my humble and respectful homage to this dedicated revolutionary. His memories will ever be cherished.
Labels: Life History
SUNDAY, JUNE 19, 2011
An active member of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (H.S.R.A.). Held the charge of Public Organisation at Lahore. Arranged the stay of Bhagat Singh at Calcutta after Saunders murder. Participated in shooting of European Sergant Taylor and his wife on October 1, 1931 at Lamington Road Bombay and escaped. After independence she settled at New Delhi and did social works.
Born in January 1904, Born at Hardoi (U.P.), Died on January 10, 1997
Participated in non-cooperation movement in 1921. Came in contact with Chandra Shekhar Azaad in 1925, member of Central Committee of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association and organizer of H.S.R.A. of Uttar pardesh. Arrested at Saharanpur Bomb Factory on May 13, 1929 along with Dr. Gaya Prasad and Jaidev Kapoor. Sentenced to life imprisonment in Lahore Conspiracy Case and remained in Cellular Jail Andemans. Released on February 21, 1946 and joined Communist party. Edited ‘Naya Savera’, naya Path and ‘Lok Lehar. Wrote many books on socialism. His Hindi book ‘Sansmritiyan (reminisces of revolutionary martyrs) has published in Punjabi under the title ‘Shaheedan De Aang Sang’.
Born in the year 1916,at Satghara Dislt. Montogomery( Now In Pak.)
Father : Pandit Hardyal
Mother : Smt. Dhan Devi
An active member of Naujwan Bharat Sabha. Played a leading role on the defense of Bhagat Singh and his comrades in trial case. Member of Naujawan Bharat Sabha’s executive committee. Was elected General Secretary of Naujawan Bharat Sabha.
Jatinder Nath Das
Born on October 27, 1904 at 30, Dohar Road, Calcutta.
Died on September 13, 1929,at Borstal Jail, Lahore.
Father : Sh. Bankim Bihari Das………………… Mother : Smt. Suhasini Devi
Was sentenced twice in non-cooperation movement. Arrested and interned in kakori Rail Dacoity case. Reached Agra in February 1929 for training revolutionaries of H.S.R.A. in bomb manufacture on the request of Bhagat Singh. Revolutionaries under trial started Fast-unto-death on 14 June 1929 and he joined them in hunger strike on July 13, 1929 and suffered martyrdom after 63 days on September 13, 1929. Viceroy sent a report to Home Secretary London that five lac people gathered at Calcutta during Jatin’s funeral ceremony.
Born on Diwali 1908 at Hardoi (U.P.)
Died on September 19, 1994)
In April 9, 1929 arranged entry passes for Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt and also accompanied them to the assembly to recover these passes before they threw the bombs, lie alongwith Shiv Verma had made all the arrangements of bomb episode at Central Legislative Assembly Delhi on April 8, 1929. Sentenced to transportation for life in Lahore conspiracy case. Remained in Cellular Jail, Andamans.
Born in the year 1911at Galladher, Distt. Mardan (Now in Pakistan)
Hanged in Mianwali Jail,on June 9, 1931.
Father : Sh. Gurdas Mal
His father was a great patriot and freedom fighter who trained him in pistol shooting. Came in contact with revolutionaries when Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were shortly to be executed. He opened fire on Punjab Governor Geoffery de Montomorency on December 22,1930 in the convocation of Punjab University, Lahore. Avoided hitting Dr. Radha Krishnana who was also present there. Was subjected to all kinds of tortures. His father asked him in Jail, “How did you miss the target?” His father was involved in 52 cases by the police and died only after 25 days of Martyrdom of his son. One of Hari Kishan’s brothers Bhagat Ram Talwar helped Subhash Chander Bose to slip away through Khyber pass in the guise of Pathan and after few months Bose took over as Supreme Commander of Indian National Army (Azad Hind Fauj) in Singapore.
Born on October 7, 1907
Expired at Gaziabad (U.P.) on the night of 14th & 15th Oct 1999.
A great revolutionary patriot. Heroic wife of (Martyr) Bhagwati Charan Vohra. Posed herself as the wife of Bhagat Singh, put her son Sachin in his lap and accompanied him and Rajguru from Lahore to Calcutta in train after Saunders murder. Contributed Rs. 3000 by selling her ornaments and other belongings of value for rescue of Bhagat Singh and others under trial. She fired at an European Sergeant Taylor and his wife on October 1, 1931 at Lamington Road, Bombay who were seriously wounded and absconded.
Chander Shekhar Aazad
Born on July23, 1906 at Bhavra Distl. Jhabua (M.P).
Martyrdom in Police encounter at Allahabad (U.P.) on February27, 1931.
Father : Sh. Sita Ram Tiwari
Mother : Smt. Jagrani Dcvi
Participated in non-cooperation movement, Took part in Kakori Mail Dacoity and absconded. His per words : ” Gladly shall we brave the enemy bullets, have been Aazad and shall ever be so. ”
Reorganized revolutionary party and played a leading role despite his limited education. Was elected Commander-in-Chief of Hindustan Socialist Republican Army on September 9, 1928. Hard of determination but sensitive soul who seldom allowed his comrades to be in the forefront in actions. He fulfilled pledge never to fall in police hands, while alive by laying down his life in police encounter at Alfred Park (Now Aazad Park), Allahabad (U.P).
Bhagwati Charan Vohra
Born in July 1903 at Agra (U. P.)
Martyrdom at the Bank of Ravi near Lahore,on May 28, 1930.
Father : Rai Bahadur Shiv Charan Vohra
He and his wife Durga Devi remained involved in revolutionary activities. Was first General Secretary of Naujwan Bharat Sabha and propaganda Secretary of H.S.R.A. He rented room No. 69, Kashmir Building, Lahore and used it as a bomb factory where he planned and executed the bomb blast under the train of Viceroy On December 23, 1929 at 6 A.M. on Delhi-Agra Railway line. While experimenting the bomb required for the proposed rescue operation of Bhagat Singh and others under trial, he was severely wounded by its explosion. India lost one her devoted sons.
“The noblest had fallen He was buried obscurely in deserted place No cross, no enclosure, no tombstone to tell his glorious name.”
Bhagwan Das Mahore
Baikunth Nath Shukla
Born -May 15, 1907
at Jalalpur (West). Distt. Vaishali (Bihar) Hanged in Gaya Jail(Bihar) on May 14, 1934.
Father: Sh. Shri Ram Shukla
Wife: Smt. Radhika Devi.
A revolutionary of Hindustan Socialist Republican Association. He was nephew of Sh. Joginder Shukla, incharge of Revolutionary Party of Bihar. He and his comrade Chanderma Singh killed Phonindra Nath Gosh, main approver of Lahore Conspiracy Case (Bhagat Singh & others). Both were arrested. Chanderma Singh was sentenced to life imprisonment in Motihari case and Baikunth kissed the gallows.
He wrote to his wife Radhika . “She should not cry. I am sacrificing my life at the altar of country’s freedom”.
Born on February 20, 1909 at Kanpur (U.P.).
Died on January 13, 1962 at Delhi.
A comrade S. Bhagat Singh who was also with him during the historic hunger strike in Central Jail Lahore. He was acquitted in the Lahore Conspiracy Case for want of evidence, remained active in communist movement and was general secretary of undivided communist party. Wrote a book in English : “Bhagat Singh and his comrades.”
SUNDAY, JUNE 12, 2011
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Preserving the past a labour of love for him
Malwinder Jit Singh Waraich – a Chandigarh based lawyer – has become the custodian of the documents and literature related to the Ghadar Movement and the trial of the revolutionary Bhagat Singh.
Malwinder Jit Singh Waraich – a Chandigarh based lawyer – has become the custodian of the documents and literature related to the Ghadar Movement and the trial of the revolutionary Bhagat Singh.
For over four decades, he has been relentlessly procuring authentic information about the freedom struggle and publishing books to highlight the contribution of martyrs and freedom fighters in shaping the country.
Born in 1929 at Lodhewala Waraich village in Gujaranwala district (now in Pakistan), Waraich had come to Karnal when his family migrated to India. Having completed MA in Political Science as a private candidate, he joined Guru Nanak Engineering College, Ludhiana as a lecturer in Humanities in 1960. Three years later Bhagat Singh’s nephew Jagmohan Singh joined the college as a student. When he learnt about Jagmohan’s antecedents, Waraich met him out of reverence to the legendary martyr.
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Later, he met the surviving members of Bhagat Singh’s family including his mother Vidyawati.
June 6, 1966 was a turning point in the life of the teacher as he met Baba Sohan Singh Bhakna – a revolutionary and the founding president of the Ghadar Party. Baba Sohan Singh was involved in the 1915 Ghadar Conspiracy and the revolutionaries wanted to replicate the Revolt of 1857. Baba Sohan Singh served sixteen years of a life sentence for the conspiracy.
During an interaction with Baba Sohan Singh – who was then 96 years old – Waraich realised that the freedom fighter wanted to share literature and information related to the freedom struggle with the youth. Baba Sohan Singh’s limitation was that he could write only in Urdu and required a translator. This is where Waraich came into the picture.
Waraich discovered that the government and public had neglected a legendary revolutionary. He assumed the responsibility of tracing other surviving heroes of the Ghadar Movement and highlighting their role in the freedom struggle. Soon after, he edited Baba Sohan Singh’s autobiography and became the ” custodian” of the Ghadar hero’s treasure.
Before the death of Baba Sohan Singh in 1968, Waraich worked relentlessly to disseminate his legacy. He set up the Yuvak Kendra in 1967 whose members distributed literature of the Ghadar Movement.
They also popularised the writings of Bhagat Singh and published Kaumi Lehar – a monthly newsletter in Punjabi. He also published War Against King Emperor: Ghadar of 1914- 15 in 2001 – much after the death of Baba Sohan Singh
In 1996, when lawyer and political analyst A G Noorani wrote a book, The Trial of Bhagat Singh , Waraich drew inspiration from it and started gathering information and other documented material on Bhagat Singh. He wrote a book The Hanging of Bhagat Singh in 2005 and brought out some more books on him through an active collaboration with the Chandigarh based Unistar Books. He also compiled the proceedings of the Lahore Conspiracy Case Tribunal besides publishing Eternal Rebel – a biography of Bhagat Singh.
Waraich has also had the privilege of being associated with revolutionaries Shiv Verma and Jaidev Kapoor. Verma came in contact with Chandrashekhar Azad in 1925 and was a member of the central committee of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association ( HSRA). He was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Lahore Conspiracy Case.
He remained in the Cellular Jail in the Andamans. Kapoor had arranged entry passes for Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt in April 1929. He had also accompanied them to the Central Legislative Assembly to recover these passes before they threw the bombs there. He too was sent to Cellular Jail. Waraich frequently met them and recorded interviews with them till they died. Shiv Verma died in January 1997, while Jaidev Kapoor died in September 1994.
He vividly remembers his interaction with President Dr A P J Abdul Kalam when the latter visited Khatkar Kalan – the birth place of Bhagat Singh on March 23, 2003 – for a function to commemorate the 72nd Martyrdom Day of Shaheed Bhagat Singh.
The octogenarian is now translating literature related to the freedom struggle in Hindi and praying for some more years and energy to leave the treasure for posterity.
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Shahid Bhagat Singh Research Committee , 2409 Krishna Nagar Ludhiana 141001
To Young Political Workers
[ Mr Shiv Verma ji a compatriot and one of the close comrades of Bhagat Singh in HSRA was also a co accused in Lahore Consipiracy Case. He wrote as introduction to this document that it was written on February 2, 1931 and this document is a sort of behest to young political workers of India. At that time the talk of some sort of compromise between the Congress and the British Government was in the air. Through this document Bhagat Singh explained as to when a compromise is permissible and when it is not. He also made out that the way Congress is conducting the movement it was bound to end in some sort of compromise. After analysing to the conditions then prevailing, he finally advised the youth to adopt Marxism as the ideology, work among the people, organize workers and peasants into a Party of form the Communist Party.
This document was published in a mutilated form. All references to congress leaders and Soviet Union, Marx, Lenin and the Communist Party were carefully deleted.
[ In reaction to this self censorship by national press Shahid Sukhdev wrote a letter in which he stated that ” we are not repentance for our death what is more painful is the killing of our ideas and views.” -ed]
But Subsequently, the GOI published it in one of its secret reports in 1936. A Photostat copy of the full report is preserved in the library of the Martyrs’ Memorial and Freedom Struggle Research Centre at Lucknow.]
[ Editorial Introduction :
Written on February 2,1931, this document is a sort of behest to young political workers of India. Even while waiting for death penalty he was thinking with all clarity about the future of India. He wanted to equip his compatriots with a clear vision and emphasized the principles of achieving the goal of complete Independence. His assessment of the national movement at that time is so correct. This document consist of two parts on in the form of a letter and followed by notes under the titles our opportunity, Gandhism, Terrorism, Revolution, Programme and Revolutionary Party.
For some time it has been a puzzle that how it landed in Bengal. Now we have a first hand evidence as recorded by Comrade Ram Chandera the President of Naujawan Bharat Sabha in his memoires “ Naujawan Bharat Sabha and Hindustan Socialist Republican Association / Army published by author in 1986 page 173.” Comrade Ram Chandra records that “ Bhagt Singh had written a letter dealing with political situation as it had developed upto that time. This was brought by late Jaswant Singh a silent and noble revolutionary comrade to me…. ….. I handed over this letter to Subash in order to get his total commitment to Naujawan Bharat Sabha. Subash promised to return the letter to me after the Naujawan Session at Karachi (25th March, 1931 along with Session of National Indian Congress :ed). To keep his word he searched for me. But as I had been detained at Karachi he could not return the letter to me. And then it was lost.” So this explains how it reached Calcutta and must have been read by all type of political workers , and was subsequently found in Calcutta.
Mr CES Fairweather was police commissioner of Kolkata 1939-1943.
This report along with other police reports of that times have been since reproduced by West Bengal Government.
“Terrorism in Bengal “
“Vol 1 A collection of documents on Terrorist Activities from 1905 -1939.” Ed. Amiya K Samanta -1995
Here is the document as published by Mr. CES Fairweather . ]
Notes on the Development of United Front Movement in Bengal (PAGES 45 to 57 )
CES Fairweather 8.9.1936
Revolutionary programme drafted by Bhagat Singh (hanged) and found in the house search of (detenu) Mrs. Bimala Pratibha Devi in Calcutta on 3rd October 1931.
Note :- I am publishing this as I am firmly convinced that all the revolutionary forces at present moment are tending to operate on the lines indicated in the programme. We have recently ( in intercepted correspondence ) had a reference to a “Committee of Action” .Under the scheme the degree of control exercised in the most open fashion and as such a manner that those in control can never be connected with criminal activities.
C E S FAIRWEATHER
The 1st November 1933.
The Young Political Workers.
Our movement is passing through a very important phase at present. After a year’s fierce struggle some definite proposals regarding the constitutional reforms have been formulated by the Round Table Conference and the Congress leaders have been invited to give this *(help if they) think it desirable in the present circumstances to call off their movement. Whether they decide in favour or against is a matter of little importance to us. The present movement is bound to end in some sort of compromise. The compromise may be effected sooner or later. And compromise is not such ignoble and deplorable a thing as we generally think. It is rather an indispensable factor in the political strategy. Any nation that rises against the oppressors is bound to fail in the beginning, and to gain partial reforms during the medieval period of its struggle through compromises. And it is only at the last stage – having fully organized all the forces and resources of the nation – that it can possibly strike the final blow in which it might succeed to shatter the ruler’s government. But even then it might fail, which makes some sort of compromise inevitable. This can be best illustrated by the Russian example.
In 1905 a revolutionary movement broke out in Russia. All the leaders were very hopeful. Lenin had returned from the foreign countries where he had taken refuge. He was conducting the struggle. People came to tell him that a dozen landlords were killed and a score of their mansions were burnt. Lenin responded by telling them to return and to kill twelve hundred landlords and burn as many of their palaces. In his opinion that would have meant something if revolution failed. Duma was introduced. The same Lenin advocated the view of participating in the Duma. This is what happened in 1907. In 1906 he was opposed to the participation in this first Duma which had granted more scope of work than this second one whose rights had been curtailed. This was due to the changed circumstances. Reaction was gaining the upper hand and Lenin wanted to use the floor of he Duma as a platform to discuss socialist ideas.
Again after the 1917 revolution, when the Bolsheviks were forced to sign the Brest Litovsk Treaty, everyone except Lenin was opposed to it. But Lenin said: “Peace”. “Peace and again Peace: peace at any cost-even at the cost of many of the Russian provinces to be yielded to German War Lord”. When some anti-Bolshevik people condemned Lenin for this treaty, he declared frankly that the Bolsheviks were not in a position to face the German onslaught and they preferred the treaty to the complete annihilation of the Bolshevik Government.
The thing that I wanted to point out was that compromise is an essential weapon which has to be wielded every now and then as the struggle develops. But the thing that we must keep always before us is the ideal of the movement. We must always maintain a clear notion as to the aim for the achievement of which we are fighting. That helps us to verify the success and failures of our movements and we can easily formulate the future programme. Tilak’s policy, quite apart from the ideal i.e. his strategy, was the best. You are fighting to get sixteen annas from your enemy, you get only one anna. Pocket it and fight for the rest. What we note in the moderates is of their ideal. They start to achieve one anna and they can’t get it. The revolutionaries must always keep in mind that they are striving for a complete revolution. Complete mastery of power in their hands. Compromises are dreaded because the conservatives try to disband the revolutionary forces after the compromise. But able and bold revolutionary leaders can save the movement from such pitfalls. We must be very careful at such junctures to avoid any sort of confusion of the real issues especially the goal. The British Labour leaders betrayed their real struggle and have been reduced to mere hypocrite imperialists. In my opinion the diehard conservatives are better to us than these polished imperialist Labour leaders. About the tactics and strategy one should study life-work of Lenin. His definite views on the subject of compromise will be found in “Left – Wing Communism.”
I have said that the present movement, i.e. the present struggle, is bound to end in some sort of compromise or complete failure.
I said that, because in my opinion, this time the real revolutionary forces have not been invited into the arena. This is a struggle dependent upon the middle class shopkeepers and a few capitalists. Both these, and particularly the latter, can never dare to risk its property or possessions in any struggle. The real revolutionary armies are in the villages and in factories, the peasantry and the labourers. But our bourgeois leaders do not and cannot dare to tackle them. The sleeping lion once awakened from its slumber shall become irresistible even after the achievement of what our leaders aim at. After his first experience with the Ahmedabad labourers in 1920 Mahatma Gandhi declared: “We must not tamper with the labourers. It is dangerous to make political use of the factory proletariat” (The Times, May 1921). Since then, they never dared to approach them. There remains the peasantry. The Bardoli resolution of 1922 clearly defines the horror the leaders felt when they saw the gigantic peasant class rising to shake off not only the domination of an alien nation but also the yoke of the landlords.
It is there that our leaders prefer a surrender to the British than to the peasantry. Leave alone Pt. Jawahar Lal. Can you point out any effort to organize the peasants or the labourers? No, they will not run the risk. There they lack. That is why I say they never meant a complete revolution. Through economic and administrative pressure they hoped to get a few more reforms, a few more concessions for the Indian capitalists. That is why I say that this movement is doomed to die, may be after some sort of compromise or even without. They young workers who in all sincerity raise the cry “Long Live Revolution”, are not well organized and strong enough to carry the movement themselves. As a matter of fact, even our great leaders, with the exception of perhaps Pt. Motilal Nehru, do not dare to take any responsibility on their shoulders, that is why every now and then they surrender unconditionally before Gandhi. In spite of their differences, they never oppose him seriously and the resolutions have to be carried for the Mahatma.
In these circumstances, let me warn the sincere young workers who seriously mean a revolution, that harder times are coming. Let them beware lest they should get confused or disheartened. After the experience made through two struggles of the Great Gandhi, we are in a better position to form a clear idea of our present position and the future programme.
Now allow me to state the case in the simplest manner. You cry “Long Live Revolution.” Let me assume that you really mean it. According to our definition of the term, as stated in our statement in the Assembly Bomb Case, revolution means the complete overthrow of the existing social order and its replacement with the socialist order. For that purpose our immediate aim is the achievement of power. As a matter of fact, the state, the government machinery is just a weapon in the hands of the ruling class to further and safeguard its interest. We want to snatch and handle it to utilise it for the consummation of our ideal, i.e., social reconstruction on new, i.e., Marxist, basis. For this purpose we are fighting to handle the government machinery. All along we have to educate the masses and to create a favourable atmosphere for our social programme. In the struggles we can best train and educate them.
With these things clear before us, i.e., our immediate and ultimate object having been clearly put, we can now proceed with the examination of the present situation. We must always be very candid and quite business-like while analysing any situation.
We know that since a hue and cry was raised about the Indians’ participation in and share in the responsibility of the Indian government, the Minto-Morley Reforms were introduced, which formed the Viceroy’s council with consultation rights only. During the Great War, when the Indian help was needed the most, promises about self-government were made and the existing reforms were introduced. Limited legislative powers have been entrusted to the Assembly but subject to the goodwill of the Viceroy. Now is the third stage.
Now reforms are being discussed and are to be introduced in the near future. How can our young men judge them? This is a question; I do not know by what standard are the Congress leaders going to judge them. But for us, the revolutionaries, we can have the following criteria:
- Extent of responsibility transferred to the shoulders of the Indians.
- From of the Government institutions that are going to be introduced and the extent of the right of participation given to the masses.
- Future prospects and the safeguards.
These might require a little further elucidation. In the first place, we can easily judge the extent of responsibility given to our people by the control our representatives will have on the executive. Up till now, the executive was never made responsible to the Legislative Assembly and the Viceroy had the veto power, which rendered all the efforts of the elected members futile. Thanks to the efforts of the Swaraj Party, the Viceroy was forced every now and then to use these extraordinary powers to shamelessly trample the solemn decisions of the national representatives under foot. It is already too well known to need further discussion.
Now in the first place we must see the method of the executive formation: Whether the executive is to be elected by the members of a popular assembly or is to be imposed from above as before, and further, whether it shall be responsible to the house or shall absolutely affront it as in the past?
As regards the second item, we can judge it through the scope of franchise. The property qualifications making a man eligible to vote should be altogether abolished and universal suffrage be introduced instead. Every adult, both male and female, should have the right to vote. At present we can simply see how far the franchise has been extended.
I may here make a mention about provincial autonomy. But from whatever I have heard, I can only say that the Governor imposed from above, equipped with extraordinary powers, higher and above the legislative, shall prove to be no less than a despot. Let us better call it the “provincial tyranny” instead of “autonomy.” This is a strange type of democratisation of the state institutions.
The third item is quite clear. During the last two years the British politicians have been trying to undo Montague’s promise for another dole of reforms to be bestowed every ten years till the British Treasury exhausts.
We can see what they have decided about the future.
Let me make it clear that we do not analyse these things to rejoice over the achievement, but to form a clear idea about our situation, so that we may enlighten the masses and prepare them for further struggle. For us, compromise never means surrender, but a step forward and some rest. That is all and nothing else.
** ** **
Having discussed the present situation, let us proceed to discuss the future programme and the line of action we ought to adopt.
As I have already stated, for any revolutionary party a definite programme is very essential. For, you must know that revolution means action. It means a change brought about deliberately by an organized and systematic work, as opposed to sudden and unorganised or spontaneous change or breakdown. And for the formulation of a programme, one must necessarily study:
- The goal.
2. The premises from where we are to start, i.e., the existing conditions.
3. The course of action, i.e., Means and Methods.
Unless one has a clear notion about these three factors, one cannot discuss anything about programme.
We have discussed the present situation to some extent. The goal also has been slightly touched. We want a socialist revolution, the indispensable preliminary to which is the political revolution. That is what we want. The political revolution does not mean the transfer of state (or more crudely, the power) from the hands of the British to the Indian, but to those Indians who are at one with us as to the final goal, or to be more precise, the power to be transferred to the revolutionary party through popular support. After that, to proceed in right earnest is to organize the reconstruction of the whole society on the socialist basis. If you do not mean this revolution, then please have mercy. Stop shouting “Long Live Revolution.” The term revolution is too sacred, at least to us, to be so lightly used or misused. But if you say you are for the national revolution and the aims of your struggle is an Indian republic of the type of the United State of America, then I ask you to please let me know on what forces you rely that will help you bring about that revolution. The only forces on which you can rely to bring about that revolution whether national or the socialist, are the peasantry and the labour. Congress leaders do not dare to organize those forces. You have seen it in this movement. They know it better than anybody else that without these forces they are absolutely helpless. When they passed the resolution of complete independence – that really meant a revolution – they did not mean it. They had to do it under pressure of the younger element, and then they wanted to use it as a threat to achieve their hearts’ desire – Dominion Status. You can easily judge it by studying the resolutions of the last three sessions of the Congress. I mean Madras, Calcutta and Lahore. At Calcutta, they passed a resolution asking for Dominion Status within twelve months, otherwise they would be forced to adopt complete independence as their object, and in all solemnity waited for some such gift till midnight after the 31st December, 1929. Then they found themselves “honour bound” to adopt the Independence resolution, otherwise they did not mean it. But even then Mahatma Ji made no secret of the fact that the door (for compromise) was open. That was the real spirit. At the very outset they knew that their movement could not but end in some compromise. It is this half-heartedness that we hate, not the compromise at a particular stage in the struggle. Anyway, we were discussing the forces on which you can depend for a revolution. But if you say that you will approach the peasants and labourers to enlist their active support, let me tell you that they are not going to be fooled by any sentimental talk. They ask you quite candidly: what are they going to gain by your revolution for which you demand their sacrifices, what difference does it make to them whether Lord Reading is the head of the Indian government or Sir Purshotamdas Thakordas? What difference for a peasant if Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru replaces Lord Irwin! It is useless to appeal to his national sentiment. You can’t “use” him for your purpose; you shall have to mean seriously and to make him understand that the revolution is going to be his and for his good. The Revolution of the proletariat and for the proletariat.
When you have formulated this clear-cut idea about your goals you can proceed in right earnest to organize your forces for such an action. Now there are two different phases through which you shall have to pass. First, the Preparation; second, the Action.
After the present movement ends, you will find disgust and some disappointment amongst the sincere revolutionary workers. But you need not worry. Leave sentimentalism aside. Be prepared to face the facts. Revolution is a very difficult task. It is beyond the power of any man to make a revolution. Neither can it be brought about on any appointed date. It is brought can it be brought about on an appointed date. It is brought about by special environments, social and economic. The function of an organized party is to utilise any such opportunity offered by these circumstances. And to prepare the masses and organise the forces for the revolution is a very difficult task. And that requires a very great sacrifice on the part of the revolutionary workers. Let me make it clear that if you are a businessman or an established worldy or family man, please don’t play with fire. As a leader you are of no use to the party. We have already very many such leaders who spare some evening hours for delivering speeches. They are useless. We require – to use the term so dear to Lenin – the “professional revolutionaries”. The whole-time workers who have no other ambitions or life-work except the revolution. The greater the number of such workers organised into a party, the greater the chances of your success.
To proceed systematically, what you need the most is a party with workers of the type discussed above with clear-cut ideas and keen perception and ability of initiative and quick decisions. The party shall have iron discipline and it need not necessarily be an underground party, rather the contrary. Though the policy of voluntarily going to jail should altogether be abandoned. That will create a number of workers who shall be forced to lead an underground life. They should carry on the work with the same zeal. And it is this group of workers that shall produce worthy leaders for the real opportunity.
The party requires workers which can be recruited only through the Youth movement. Hence we find the Youth movement as the starting point of our programme. The youth movement should organize study circles, class lectures and publication of leaflets, pamphlets, books and periodicals. This is the best recruiting and training ground for political workers.
Those young men who may have matured their ideas and may find themselves ready to devote their life to the cause, may be transferred to the party. The party workers shall always guide and control the work of the Youth movement as well. The party should start with the work of mass propaganda. It is very essential. One of the fundamental causes of the failure of the efforts of the Ghadar Party (1914-15) was the ignorance, apathy and sometimes active opposition of the masses. And apart from that, it is essential for gaining the active sympathy of and organising the peasants and workers. The name of party or rather, a communist party. This party of political workers, bound by strict discipline, should handle all other movements. It shall have to organize the peasants’ and workers’ parties, labour unions, and may even venture to capture the Congress and kindred political bodies. And in order to create political consciousness, not only of national politics but class politics as well as the party should organize a big publishing campaign. Subjects on all proletens ( problems) enlightening the masses of the socialist theory shall be within easy reach and distributed widely. The writings should be simple and clear.
There are certain people in the labour movement who enlist some absurd ideas about the economic liberty of the peasants and workers without political freedom. They are demagogues or muddle-headed people. Such ideas are unimaginable and preposterous. We mean the economic liberty of the masses, and for that very purpose we are striving to win the political power. No doubt in the beginning, we shall have to fight for little economic demands and privileges of these classes. But these struggles are the best means for educating them for a final struggle to conquer political power.
Apart from these, there shall necessarily be organized a military department. This is very important. At times its need is felt very badly. But at that time you cannot start and formulate such a group with substantial means to act effectively. Perhaps this is the topic that needs a careful explanation. There is very great probability of my being misunderstood on this subject. Apparently I have acted like a terrorist. But I am not a terrorist. I am a revolutionary who has got such definite ideas of a lengthy programme as is being discussed here. My “comrades in arms” might accuse me, like Ram Prasad Bismil, for having been subjected to certain sort of reaction in the condemned cell, which is not true. I have got the same ideas, same convictions, same zeal and same spirit as I used to have outside, perhaps-nay, decidedly-better. Hence I warn my readers to be careful while reading my words. They should not try to read anything between the lines. Let me announce with all the strength at my command, that I am not a terrorist and I never was, expect perhaps in the beginning of my revolutionary career. And I am convinced that we cannot gain anything through those methods. One can easily judge it from the history of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association. All our activities were directed towards an aim, i.e., identifying ourselves with the great movement as its military wing. If anybody has misunderstood me, let him amend his ideas. I do not mean that bombs and pistols are useless, rather the contrary. But I mean to say that mere bomb-throwing is not only useless but sometimes harmful. The military department of the party should always keep ready all the war-material it can command for any emergency. It should back the political work of the party. It cannot and should not work independently.
On these lines indicated above, the party should proceed with its work. Through periodical meetings and conferences they should go on educating and enlightening their workers on all topics.
If you start the work on these lines, you shall have to be very sober. The programme requires at least twenty years for its fulfillment. Cast aside the youthful dreams of a revolution within ten years of Gandhi’s utopian promises of Swaraj in One Year. It requires neither the emotion nor the death, but the life of constant struggle, suffering and sacrifice. Crush your individuality first. Shake off the dreams of personal comfort. Then start to work. Inch by inch you shall have to proceed. It needs courage, perseverance and very strong determination. No difficulties and no hardships shall discourage you. No failure and betrayals shall dishearten you. No travails (!) imposed upon you shall snuff out the revolutionary zeal in you. Through the ordeal of sufferings and sacrifice you shall come out victorious. And these individual victories shall be the valuable assets of the revolution.
LONG LIVE REVOLUTION
2nd February, 1931
Indian freedom is not perhaps any longer a far distant dream ; events are moving apace and it may become a reality sooner than we expect . British Imperialism is admittedly in a tight corner. Germany is about to topple down , France is tottering, even the United States shaky. And their difficulty is our opportunity. Everything points to that long prophesised eventuality – the ultimate and inevitable breakdown of the Capitalistic order of Society. Diplomats may agree to save themselves and Capitalistic conspiracy may yet keep wolf of Revolution away from their doors. The British budget may be balanced, the moribund mark granted some hours of respite and King Dollar may retain his crown ; but the trade depression if continued and continued it must be , we know the members of unemployed being multiplied daily as a result of the Capitalistic race in production and competition is bound to throw the Capitalistic system out of gear in the months to come. The Revolution is ,therefore , no longer a prophecy and prospect — but “ practical politics” for thoughtful planning and remorseless execution. Let there be no confusion of thought as to its aspect or as to its immediacy , its methods and its objective.
We should not have any illusion about the possibilities, failures and achievements of Congress movement, which should be, as it is to-day, be better stamped Gandhism . It does not stand for freedom avowedly ; it is in favour of “Parternership” – a strange interpretation of what “ complete independence” signifies. Its method is novel, and but for the helplessness of the people. Gandhism would gain no adherent for the Saint of Sabarmati . It has fulfilled and is fulfilling the role of an intermediate party of Liberal Radical combination fighting shy of reality of the situation and controlled mostly by men with stakes in the country, who prize their stakes with bourgeoise tenacity, and it is bound to stagnate unless rescued from its own fate by an infusion of Revolutionary blood. It must be saved from its friends.
Let us be clear on this thorny question of terrorism. The cult of the bomb is old as 1905 and it is a sad comment on Revolutionary India that they have not yet realized its use and misuse. Terrorism is a confession that the Revolutionary mentality has not penetrated down into the masses. It is thus a confession of our failure. In the initial stages it had its use; it shook the torpor out of body politic, enkindled the imagination of young intelligentsia, fired their spirit of self-sacrifice and demonstrated before the world and before our enemies the truth and the strength of the movement. But by itself it is not enough. Its history is a history of failure in every land – France, in Russia, in Balkan countries, in Germany, in Spain every where. It bears the germ of defeat within itself. The Imperialist knows that to rule 300 millions he must sacrifice 30 of his men annually .The pleasure of ruling may be bombed out or pistolled down, but the practical gain from exploitation will make him stick to his post. Even though arms were as readily available as we hope for, and were it pushed with a thoroughness unknown any where else, terrorism can at most force the Imperialist power to come to terms with party. Such terms a little more or less, must fall short of our objective – complete independence. Terrorism thus hope to wring out what Gandhism bids fair to attain – a compromise and an installment of reforms – a replacement of a white rule at Delhi by a brown rule. It is aloof from the life of the masses and once installed on the throne runs the risk of being petrified into a tyranny. The Irish parallel, I have to warn, does not apply in our case. In Ireland it was not sporadic terroristic activities she witnessed; it was a nation wide rising, the rank and file were bound by an intimate knowledge and sympathy with the gunmen. Arms they could have very easily, and the American –Irish poured out their money. Topography favoured such a warfare, and Ireland after all had to be satisfied with an unaccomplished movement. It has lessened the bonds but not released the Irish proletariat from the shackles of the Capitalist, native and foreign. Ireland is a lesson to India and a warning –warning how nationalistic idealism devoid of Revolutionary social basis although with all other circumstances in its favor, may (be?) lost itself in the shoals of a compromise with Imperialism. Should India, if she could imitate Ireland still?
In a sense Gandhism with its counter – revolutionary creed of quietism makes a nearer approach to the revolutionary ideas. For it counts on mass action, though not for the masses alone. They have paved the way for the proletariat revolution by trying to harness them, however crudely and selfishly to its political programme . The Revolutionary must give to the angle of non- violence his due.
The devil of terrorism needs, however, no compliments. The terrorist has done much, taught us much and has his use still , provided we do not make a confusion of our aims and means , at desperate moments we can make of terrorist outrages our best publicity works but it is none the less fire works and should be reserved for a chosen few . Let not the revolutionary be lashed round and round the vicious circle of aimless outrages and individual self-immolation. The inspiring ideal for all and sundry workers should not be that of dying for the cause but of living for the cause, and living usefully and worthily
Needless to point out, that we do not repudiate terrorist activities altogether. We want to asses its proper value from the standpoint of proletariat Revolution. The youth, who is found not to fit in with the cold and silent organization work, has another role to play- he is to be released from the dry work and allowed to fulfill his destiny. But the controlling body should always forsee the possible reaction of the deed on the party, the masses and on the enemy. It may divert the attention of the first two from militant mass action to the stirring sensational action and it may supply to last with clues for striking at the root of the whole party In either case it does not advance the cause.
Secret military organization is, however, not an anathema. Indeed it is the front line, “the firing line’’ of the Revolutionary party ;must be linked with the “base” formed by a mobile and militant mass party. Collections of arms and finances for organization are therefore to be under taken without any scruple.
What we mean by Revolution is quite plan. In this century it can mean only one thing -the capture of the political power by the masses for the masses. It is in fact The Revolution. Other risings attempt a mere change of your lordships, trying to perpetuate the rotting capitalistic order No amount of profession of sympathy for the people and the popular cause can ultimately hoodwink the masses about the true nature and portent of such superficial replacement . In India too, we want nothing less then the regime of the Indian proletariat in the place of the Indian Imperialists and their native allies who are barricaded behind the same eronomic system of exploration . We can suffer no black evil to replace the white evil . The evils have a community of interest to do any such thing .
The proletariat revolution is the only weapon of India to dislodge the Imperialist. Nothing else can attain this object . Nationalists of all shades are agreed on the objective- Independence of the Imperialists. They must realise rebelliousness of the masses is the motive force behind their agitation and militant mass action alone can push it to success. Having no recourse to it easily, they always delude themselves with the vision of the what they consider a temporary remedy but quick and effective remedy, viz overthrowing the foreign rule by an armed opposition of a few hundreds of determined idealist nationalists and then reconstructing the State on Socialistic lines . They should see into reality of the situation, arms are not plenty, and in the modern world the insurrection of an untrained body isolated from the militant masses stands no chance of success. The nationalists to be effective must harness the nation into action, into revolt And the nation are not the loud- speakers of the Congress-it is the peasants and the labourers who formed more than 95 per cent of India. The nation will stir itself to action only on assurance of nationalization. i.e.. freedom from slavery of Imperialist – capitalists.
What we need to keep in mind is that no revolution can succeed or is to be desired, but the proletariat revolution
THE PROGRAMME .
The need of hour is therefore for a clear, honest programme for the revolution, and determined action for realization of the programme.
In 1917 before the October Revolution had come off Lenin , still in hiding in Moscow , wrote that for a successful revolution three condition are essential :–
1 A political- economic situation
2 A rebellious mass mind , and
3 A party of revolutionaries , trained and determined to lead the masses when the hour of trial arrives :–
The first condition has been more than fulfilled in India ; the second and third yet await finally and completeness . To mobilise them is the work before all workers of freedom and the programme should be farmed with that end in view. We propose to discuss its outline in the following and our suggestion on each section are to be detailed out in the Appendix A and Appendix B .
(1) The base work. – The foremost duty before workers is to mobiles the masses for militant mass action. We need not his play on his blind prejudices , sentiment, piety or passive idealism . Our promises to him are not mere sops or half a loaf. They are complete and concrete , and we can be with him sincere and plain , and should never create in his mind any miasma of prejudices . The revolution is for him, for to name only the prominent heads:–
1 Abolition of Landlordism.
2 Liquidation of the peasants’ indebtedness.
3 Nationalization of land by the Revolutionary State with a view finally to lead to improved and collective farming.
4 Guarantee of security as to housing
5 Abolition of all charges on the peasantry except a minimum of unitary land tax.
6 Nationalization of the Industries and industrialization of the country.
7 Universal education.
8 Reduction of the hours of work to the minimum necessary.
The masses are bound to respond to such a programme – we have only to reach them. It is the supreme task. Enforced ignorance on their part, and apathy of the intelligent classes on the other, have created an artificial barrier between the educated revolutionary and his less fortunate comrade of the sickle and the hammer. That must be demolished by the revolutionary and for that purpose.
1 The Congress platform is to be availed of.
2 The Trade Union are to be captured and new Unions and bodies shaped and modelled on aggressive lines.
3 Ryat Union are to be formed to organize them on the issues indicated.
4 Every social and philanthropic organization (even the cooperative societies) that offers an opportunity to approach the masses should be secretly entered into and its activities controlled so as to further the real objective.
5 The Unions are Committees of artisans workers as well as intellectual workers and are to be set up everywhere
These are the lines of approach for the educated and trained revolutionary to reach the masses. And once they are reached, they can be moved easily by a training, at first in aggressive assertion, of their rights, and later on, by militant offensives like strikes combined with sabotage.
THE REVOLUTIONARY PARTY
It is on the active group of Revolutionary that the main task of reaching the masses as well as preparing them for the action rests. They are the mobile, determined mind which will energise the nation into a militant life. As circumstances arise they come and will also come for some time longer from the ranks of the revolutionary intelligentsia, who have broken away from their bourgeois or petty bourgeois traditions. The revolutionary party will be composed of these souls and they will gather around them the more and more active recruits from the labour, peasant or small artisan classes. It will be mainly a body of revolutionary- intellectuals , men and women , and on them will devolve the duty of planning and executing, publicity and propaganda, initiating and organizing , or coordinating the activities and linking up the different unions into an offensive, of seducing the army and the police and forming the army of revolution with themselves and these forces , of offering combined and organised armed resistance in the shape of raids and risings , of mobilising forces for mass insurrection and fearlessly guiding them(that?) when that hour comes. In fact they are the brains of the movement. Hence what they will require is character, i.e , capacity for initiative and revolutionary leadership and above all it should be disciplined and strengthened by an intensive study of politics , economic problems , of history and social tendencies , and current diplomatic relations, of the progressive sciences and the science and art of modern warfare . Revolution is the creation of hard thinkers and hard workers. Unfortunately, the intellectual equipment of the Indian Revolutionaries is often neglected, but this has made them lose sight of the essential of revolution as well as the proper bearing of their actions. So a revolutionary must make of his studies a holy duty.
The party, it is clear, can in certain matters act openly and publicly It should not be secret in so far as it can help it. This will disarm suspicion and will bestow on it prestige and power. The Party will have to shoulder high responsibilities, So it will be convenient to divide it into certain committees for every area with special tasks allocated to each of them. The division should be flexible, and according to the needs of the hour or on the study of the possibilities of a member, he should be assigned duties under any such local committee. The local committees are subordinate to the Provincial Boards, and they in their turn to the Supreme Council. The work of liaison “ linking “within the province should be the concern of the P .B and inter-provincial liaison is to be maintained by the Supreme Council All sporadic actions or disintegrating Factors are to be checked but over centralisation is not feasible, and hence better not be attempted yet.
All the local committees should work in close cooperation having on each one representative of other committee. The Committee should be small, composite and efficient, never allowed to degenerate into discussion clubs.
The local Revolutionary Party in each area should have :-
(a) General Committee: – Recruitment, propaganda amongst military, general policy, organization. Co-ordination of the popular Unions (See App. A)
(b) Committee of Finance :- This Committee may be composed with a majority of Women members . On it rests the most difficult of all takes and hence it should have ungrudging help from the others. The source of Finance are :- Voluntary contribution , Forced contribution ( Govt. money ). Foreign capitalist and Banking houses, native one in order of precedence, outrages on private personal wealth (however repugnant to our policy reacts against the party and should not be encouraged), Contraband sources (embezzlement ).
(c) Committee of action:- Its composition : A secret body for sabotage , collection of arms . training for insurrection.
Groups (a) Younger: Espionage, local military survey (b) Experts: collection of arms , military training etc.
(d) Committee of Women: – Through no artificial barrier is recognized between men and women, yet for the sake of convenience and safety of the party there should be for the time being such a body entirely responsible for its own members. They may be put in entire charge of the (b) F. C .and of the considerable activities of the (a ) G . C . Their scope on (c ) is very limited . Their primary duties will be to revolutionise the women folk and select from them active members for direct service.
It might be concluded from the programme outlined that there is no short cut to Revolution or freedom. It cannot “dawn on us one fine morning”, That would, were it possible, be a sad day. Without the base work, without the militant masses and the party ready in every way, it would be a failure. So we have to stir ourselves. And we have to remember all the time that the capitalistic order is drifting ahead for a disaster – the catastrophe will come off perhaps ,in course of two or three years . And if we still dissipate our energies or do not mobiles the revolutionary forces the crisis will come and find us wanting. Let us be warned and accept two and three years plan of Revolution.
Duties of the General Committee.
Recruiting groups :-A country-wide youth league chain which is almost complete .It has be linked together and most closely co-operate with the other Schools, Colleges, Gymnasiums, Clubs, Libraries, Study circles, Welfare association and even Ashrams – every inch of it are to be nabbed by the Youth Movement
The Press is the best medium, but in rural areas the platform is to be utilized. Nothing is so helpful for workers and the masses as cheap, plainly written periodicals, books or leaflets. A warning is to be given against the present supply – the stuff we consume. It is not an easy art to say what one has to say and make other hear him. Special duty of seducing the military should be assigned to tried workers , e g , 27 per cent of the army of the Punjabi Musalman are to be tampered by their Punjabi kinsmen .The Gurkhas are a problem, the Sikhs , Marhattas and Rajputs are not so .
Substitution of the bureaucratic authority by that of the masses. The Union of labourers, ryots, artisans, in their aggressive struggle to enforce their own right must be trained for the revolutionary offensive for capture of the political power.
Calling for representatives of the local union, to from the local general Committees, calling for representatives to form the central committee of the party, and for delegates from time to time to meet in conferences for deciding on policy or programme.
Besides the forgoing, the selection of the personal and members of other committees.
Duties of the Committee of Action .
Two classes of members (1) Junior & Women (ii) Senior. It is to be in charge of the underground work.
(1) Composition: – Its membership is bound to be not large but efficient. It should insist on a rigorous discipline. It will supply the leaders for the Revolutionary “ Red’’ Army, hence, extreme care and caution should be taken in its composition, and its existence and activities are to be kept secret from the ordinary members of the party.
Duty of the Junior & Women .
(1 ) Espionage and intelligence supply (2 ) Collection of Arms ;- to the present method should be added the method of direct acquisition through international sources ; ( 3 ) Members should be a sent to Western Countries for the purpose and the for learning the use of arms , e .g . , Lewis and Vickers guns, preparation of hand- grenades , etc; ( 4 ) Action – Survey of the locality. (The Government maps are to be spotted showing routes, canals possible shelters for members.) The model is indicated below from “Field notes, Afghanistan, 1914. “)
Chapter 1. Physical Features, General Boundary, Rivers, Flood seasons, Bridges, Forts and Ferries , Navigability , Waistes.
- Populations , Religion; Language, Tribes , Castes , Distinctive dress and character .
III. Supply – Fodder , firewood , grain transport , Ponies , Mules , Bullocks , Donkeys , Horses , Camels , Motors and Buses .
IV Forces – Police, Military Police – Military their strength, their activities if tempered, Outpost stations , cantonments . Distribution of Police, of the military police , of the infantry , cavalry or artillery – of arms and magazines , guns, pistols , rifles , small arms and big arms . Possible fighting men from the locality – hostile and friendly –
“Roads: Description and a chart as follows
- Form ………………to ……………… ….Miles
2 Stages: …………………..stop …………………Miles
3 Nature: Metalled – Motorable – Kutcha , etc
4 Obstacles; Difficult in rains, etc
5 Water supply, fuel, fodder connection, with remarks.
Training In volunteer corps – University corps, etc. Thorough study of the “Field Service Regulation “ Vol. I And Vol. II is bound to be profitable . This knowledge is essential. Study of more military Literature and acquaintance with wherever possible, Soldiers in barracks and cantons to be encouraged .
Duty of the Seniors .
Action of Finance : To be undertaken at the request of F .C and G .C with their sanction . To be limited to public money and Foreign capitalistic gains , for the present The effect on popularity and unpopularity , should be final test for such action .
On behalf of the Unions at the direction of G .C
COLLECTION OF ARMS.
See foregoing .
ACTIONS FOR TERRRORISING .
Against individual only in very extreme cases when his offence is against the public, not against mere groups or individual. Generally to be discouraged unless forged circumstances .
When the Supreme Council directs. Group rising essential. Raids for arms.