(22nd June, 2010)
Respected Comrade Tufail Abbas,
I was just planning to write to you when you rang me up today. It was a surprise and an occasion of happiness too. I reached Delhi on 27th May after the Central Committee’s meeting at Kerala. Two or three days after I returned to Ludhiana, I received the copies of Awami Manshoor of January to May 2010. Awami Manshoor has impressed me to such an extent that I went through each and every page of all its issues.
The information about Pakistan, particularly the activities of Pakistan Mazdur Mahaz (Workers’ Front) in many areas of Punjab, as provided by the editorial and articles, has not only widened my knowledge but refreshed my mind about the old memories of these regions. I was extremely happy and felt in my zeal that I myself was with the tenants/cultivators and workers there. I was encouraged particularly to read about the May Day meetings and marches with comrades holding the red flags high up in their hands at different places on the occasions, and this assured me that revolutionary ideas will actually emerge very soon in unity. The eminent comrades and activists of Mazdur Mahaz deserve congratulations because you are facing the wrath of blood-thirsty dictatorial rulers.
I was particularly happy to read about your own activities because Lyallpur (now Faisalabad), Lahore, Raiwand, Kasur, Khanewal, Multan, Montgomery (Sahiwal) and Shaikhupura etc., have also been the centres of my work in the early days. This was the region of my birth and upbringing. I was born in chuck no. 140 GB, adjacent to Samundari Tehsil of the then district of Lyallpur. I received my education for some time at Samundari and then in the city of Lyallpur. After that I had my education at Law College, Lahore for three years. This was the period of the Second World War. I obtained my degree of Law in 1940, but the Party instructed me that instead of pursuing my profession in the courts I should take up charge of the Punjab Kisan Sabha because in the times of war many of our activists had been imprisoned. From then on I was the in-charge of the Punjab Kisan Sabha in Lahore till the Partition in 1947.
The report about the Long March of the Anjuman-e Muzareyeen-e Punjab (Cultivators’ Association of Punjab) written by Chaudhry Shaukat Ali in Awami Manshoor, March 2010, is greatly commendable. This long march on the theme of Possession or Death was a very revolutionary step. What a wonder that starting as protest march to stop evictions, it turned into a movement for either possession of land or to get death. Disregarding martial law, many mothers, sisters, daughters, old and young people from Okara and other regions of Punjab participated in this march. Comrade Chaudhry informs that in his 40 years of political life, he did never see so great a passion and zeal. However, I praise the fervour and passion with which Comrade Chaudhry wrote this report. I felt myself a part of this enthusiastic and inspiring long march.
It reminded me of the struggle of 1938 which was started in Nailibar by Punjab Kisan Sabha for cultivators’ rights of share in crops. The struggle had started with the slogan of half share in the crop (Banne ute adh adh) and the fight was with the giant armed landlords of Punjab. The struggle spread in hundreds of villages, and the landlords were brought to their knees and the cultivators succeeded in having rights of half of the crops in the fields they cultivated.
Many other reports of organisational and other activities of Mazdur Mahaz have augmented our interest in strengthening our contacts with you. We have taken special note of the editorial of Tufail Abbas, ‘Workers movement in Pakistan and Pakistan Mazdur Mahaz’ in the May 2010 issue of the magazine. You have very well explained the background of the partition of India based on valid realities while describing the revolutionary movement, particularly the activities of the Communist movement. This (Partition tr.) is a painful reality of the past.
In your editorial you have also explained what kind of stages the Pakistan Mazdur Mahaz has been through before it took the present shape of an open front. We have taken special cognisance of these lines: ‘Our political line from the very beginning is armed with a scientific outlook. From the very day, when Stalin was alive, and against the views of Trotsky, we have been engaged in this struggle. After Stalin had died, we continued our struggle on Marxist lines against the revisionism of Khrushchev and his successors and raised the slogan against Russian social-imperialism.’
On the basis of these words we feel that MCPI (U) is nearest to your political line. We can decide our correct political line from a revolutionary viewpoint, as you have desired. It’s necessary that we remain in touch. In your editorial you correctly write that working in the name of workers and peasants, the communist party helps these exploitative classes on one or the other pretext. This criticism of yours is very true about the CPI (M) in India. Its leadership has sunk so low that having abandoned its own programme adopted in 1964, it has joined hands with Congress in implementing its programme of globalisation.
You would recall that after Partition of the country, the Communist Party of India was facing internal political dilemma for several years. At last, separating ourselves from the Khrushchevite rightist leaders, we formed CPI (M), and adopted its programme in 1964. I too was a part of those more than two dozen workers who comprised of renowned revolutionaries like Comrades Muzaffar Ahmed and A.K. Gopalan. Many of those comrades are no more alive.
Now in these times of bourgeois parliamentary luxury, a new leadership has taken over the CPI(M) who were raised by this very time and do not have any relation with that warring state and the people’s struggle of yesteryears. Lenin had warned against the bad influences of times like this, and had termed it a time of ‘necessary evil’.
We revolted against this leadership of CPI (M) and following the accurate line of 1964, we established the MCPI (U) and updated its programme. We have already established units in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab. For your information we will send you copies of MCPI (U)’s programme, political resolutions and other literature.
The difficulty before us is that India being a very big country, we have to carry out our work only in English. Though, in many of India’s regions people understand Urdu well, but the number of its readers is very few. I’ll try to translate and circulate information included in Awami Manshoor in Party units. But you know because of my age I have limitations and for me now it is becoming very difficult to work very diligently. I am sending to you all comrades this rather incomplete message with difficulty.
Red salute to all comrades.Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri
Translated by Arjumand Ara from the handwritten Urdu text.
This letter was published by Awami Manshoor, Karachi, August 2010, with some editing.
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