CPI(M) in the Deep Embrace of Gorbachevism

V.B. Cherian

The Fall of CPI(M) into the Abyss of Revisionism

Resentment and difference of opinion is growing among the party ranks and the activists of the CPI(M) against the policy deviations that continuously afflicts the CPI(M) which is plunging irrevocably into the morass of revisionism. The 1964 programme applauded and accepted by the various Communist Parties around the world was revised under the influence of bourgeois parliamentary illusions and capitalist vacillations. The 1964 programme was framed through intense struggles against revisionist deviations and dogmatic tendencies. Thousands of comrades who own allegiance to the 1964 programme are strongly opposing the present opportunistic policies of the CPI(M). Even now there are thousands of communists who actively uphold the ideological, political and policy positions of the people’s democratic programme of 1964. Inside and outside the CPI(M) thousands are becoming angry and grief-stricken about the party being degraded into a non-revolutionary party. The easy solution of expelling those who differ with them may not offer consolation to the party leaders now. This note is prepared on the basis of general perceptions arrived at through intense ideological debates among such comrades.

We are living in an era in which the violent growth of imperialism is promoting intense exploitation, insecurity, and war scare. This is a period in which capital is unleashing series of aggressions against mankind breaking all continental boundaries. The economic and political policies and the military support provided to such policies, in the name of globalisation, is making imperialism a vampire. It is the duty of the working class political parties to give the necessary orientation to the emerging resistance against this, even in the third world countries. This historical phase of intensifying working class struggles and the growing contradiction between capital and labour is asserting the inevitability of the socialist transformation. The standpoint of the revisionists that the setbacks which occurred in some socialist countries in 1990’s have changed the content of this historical phase is not in consonance with the Marxian methodology of analysis.

The Indian Communist movement has a proud tradition of struggles. It has encouraging experience of big battles which demanded heavy sacrifices. It has a glowing tradition of serious inner party struggles waged for years for a correct political line and a correct practice. There had been long years of ideological struggles inside and outside the party before the formation of CPI(M), which was the culmination of the struggle against revisionism and left adventurism and ideological and political struggles in search of a correct revolutionary path. The basis of the inner strength of any communist party is the incessant struggle for correct political positions and a sound theoretical approach….

Amendments to the CPI(M) Programme

It was the 14th Congress (1992) of the CPI(M) that resolved to update the party programme in the light of the changes that occurred in the national and international political scenario after 1964. The Party Congress did not hesitate to add that the basic tenets of the Party programme were correct and hence no change in the revolutionary strategy was warranted. But the amendments approved by the special conference of the CPI(M) held at Trivandrum in October 2000 targeted to dilute the revolutionary strategy and the revolutionary goal. The result was the draining away of the revolutionary content of the 1964 programme of the CPI(M).

If the leadership was honest in updating the party programme, was it not the responsibility of that leadership to notify which were the paragraphs that were removed and to explain why they were removed. Shouldn’t the leadership had explained the newly added clauses and the circumstances in which they were incorporated? The silence observed by the leadership during the proceedings and the discussions about updating the party programme was a deception towards the party rank and file and the party at large. The leadership of the CPI(M) is claiming that no changes have been made regarding the stage and strategy of the revolution. But on close scrutiny it will become clear that the amendments were aimed at renouncing the working class revolutionary politics and endangering the revolutionary goal itself. It is surprising for any communist to find that attempts to smuggle revisionist concepts into the content of the Communist Party has succeeded. Every communist should carry out a thorough enquiry to find out which are the portions renounced from and which are the portions smuggled into the 1964 programme of the CPI(M).


The 1964 programme says that in the present stage, the character of the revolution is essentially anti-imperialist, anti-feudal, anti-monopoly and democratic. But where the tasks of people’s democratic revolution is explained all these tasks were cleverly dropped. For example the 1964 programme (Para 89) says that – ‘Feudalism should be put an end to without giving compensation and the land should be distributed among agricultural workers and poor peasants free of cost.’ But in the revised programme that portion is substituted with ‘Landlordism will be abolished by implementing basic land reforms. Land will be distributed free of cost to agricultural workers and poor peasants.’ The fundamental change brought out here takes us to two main conclusions. (1) Compensation will be given for the land seized from big landlords. (2) Giving up the revolutionary antifeudal line of the 1964 programme the party adopts the retrograde Khrushchevian line of peaceful co-existence and class co-operation. In this context the document. ‘Our Task on Kisan Front – April 1967’ published by the CPI(M) in 1967 may be quoted – ‘Experiences reveal that fixing limit to the landholdings and redistribution of land through enactments are totally futile exercises. Landlords can easily overcome the laws. Peasant and agricultural workers organisations and our party should not think that they would get land by fixing limit to the landholding. The party should consistently teach the necessity of putting an end to feudalism, for the distribution of land free of cost to agricultural workers and poor peasants. When Lenin wrote about origin of state and its transformation, he noted that when feudalism was overthrown and capitalist state established it was committed to protecting the interests of landlords. The capitalist state protected all the private property of feudal lords, because the cornerstone of the state is private property ownership. Even when landlords gave their land to the farmers, the state took care to given them compensation (reference – ‘The State’ – Lenin. Chintha Publishers, Trivandrum – 14, page 20). This means that the updated programme of the CPI(M) does not intend to go beyond the bourgeois governments. This will create anxiety among the people who would rally for the anti-feudal struggles along with the revolutionaries and will hinder the strengthening of class struggle. Moreover by heavily compensating the landlords who own thousands of acres of land they will become monopoly capitalists. Also the understanding of the 1964 programme, that giving compensation to landlords will be a big liability to the nation and will undermine national development, is abandoned.

IV (b)

The 1964 programme declared that remunerative prices would be assured for agricultural produces. But the following sentence is added to it in the revised programme – ‘…… to develop a commercial network under the government, so that peasant masses will be protected from big merchants and MNCs and from the heavy fluctuation of the market.’ It is clear from the above that even under the people’s democratic government big merchants and multinational corporations will be allowed to function. It is equal to abandoning the anti-monopoly task of the people’s democratic revolution.

IV (c)

About foreign capital, finance capital and monopolies Para 90 of the 1964 programme says as below – "Foreign capital in estates, mines, refineries, factories, shipping and trade would be taken over. All banks, financial institutions and monopoly industries would be nationalised.’ In the paragraphs that explain the background of the programme it is written that ‘what weakens our industries is not only the low purchasing capacity of peasants and common masses but also the plunder by the foreign capital. Our country cannot become strong and flourishing without increasing industrialisation. Our country can never have a rejuvenation when foreign capital and its invasion continues and when the lion share of profit is taken away from our country’ (1964 party programme, page 90). But in the new programme it is revised as below – ‘Take steps to eliminate Indian and foreign monopolies in different sectors of industry, finance, trade and services through suitable measures including state takeover of their assets.’ It means that all foreign capital will not be eliminated. Only foreign monopoly capital will be taken over. At the same time a new clause is added in the new programme. That is given below. ‘Allow foreign direct investment in selected sectors for acquiring advanced technology and upgrading productive capacities. Regulate finance capital flows in the interest of the overall development of the economy.’ Instead of ‘nationalisation’ used in the 1964 programme, only ‘suitable measures’ is proposed in the revised programme. Actually foreign investment is welcomed in the revised programme. Even in imperialist countries like America and Britain antimonopoly laws exist and are sometimes harsher than the revised programme in controlling monopolies, The declaration in the 1964 programme that ‘foreign trade will be nationalised’ is substituted with ‘foreign trade would be regulated.’

The new party programme observes silence about the devastating flow of foreign capital spelling disaster across the country. How can a party that suffered losses on account of UTI investment talk against finance capital?

All these reveal the revisionist deviation from a firm anti-imperialist stand point. The revised programme is silent about the aim set forth in the 1964 programme to speedily develop the public sector and continuously expand the domestic industry so as to end economic dependence. In the revised programme there is a clear indication that ‘mixed economy’ developed by the Indian bourgeoisie in the post independence period would continue even under people’s democracy. The programme states thus ‘The peoples’ democratic economy will be a multi-structured one with various forms of ownership, with the public sector having a dominating position.’ Even Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister had declared that public sector would be led to the commanding heights of the economy. CPI(M) was formed after 1½ decades long ideological fight-against the revisionists who explained this Nehruvian policy as independent non-capitalist path of development which could lead to national democratic revolution. It is interesting to see that when the (CPI(M) has updated its revolutionary party programme it arrived at the stand taken by Jawaharlal Nehru as well as the CPI.

IV (d)

The educational policy in the revised programme is another example of the revisionist deviation of the CPI(M). In the part 88 (18) of the 1964 party programme it is stated thus ‘government will take over education.’ But in para 6-3 (16) of the new programme it is said that ‘public educational system shall be developed. Its secular character shall be guaranteed.’ As per the revised programme of the CPI(M) people’s democratic government is not going to take over education. Then how are they going to develop public education system. For sure, it is with the help of the private sector. How can the secular character be guaranteed with the help of the private sector? It means that CPI(M) considers secular education as something that can be attained with the help of a tie up with the caste and communal forces which control the private educational sector. With regard to education policy the CPI(M) has degenerated to the position of bourgeois parties.

In the era of globalisation instead of adhering to an educational policy based on the concept of class struggle as per the Marxist-Leninist outlook, the stand of the CPI(M) which provide ground for commercialisation of education will be a big blow to the working class movement. Education has been made a commodity accessible to the rich and denied to the poor. The students and their parents have the right to free and compulsory primary education and extension of that facility to higher levels. The government has the responsibility to provide educational facilities in such a way that this right can be felt by the common man. The state evading the responsibility by selling out the educational sector to the private sector is an invasion on the human rights. Therefore CPI(M) is doing an inexcusable crime to time and history by amending its educational policy in the party programme.

The approach in the revised party programme on the character of the post revolutionary government is significant. It says that the post revolutionary government will not be a people’s democratic dictatorship i.e.; dictatorship of the working class and the peasantry. The revised programme conceives it as a multi-party system as in bourgeois parliamentary democracy.

The changes brought about in the party programme of the CPI(M) reveals the increasing illusions of its leadership in the existing bourgeois parliamentary system. About the formation of state governments in the present set up, the 1964 programme had under consideration only temporary governments which can implement moderate programmes to give immediate relief to the people. But the revised programme speaks of forming governments which can carry out alternate policies not only in the states but also at the centre.

The following new paragraph added in the revised programme reveals the illusion of the CPI(M) that such governments can provide basic relief to the people.- ‘The constitution of the Republic of India which was adopted in 1950 has laid down a set of directive principles to be followed by the state. Those include: adequate means of livelihood for every citizen and the right to work, an economic system which does not result in the concentration of wealth, right to education and provision of free and compulsory education for children, living wage for workers and equal pay for equal work for men and women. None of these principles have been realised in practice. The glaring gap between the constitutional precepts and practice of the bourgeois rulers is a scathing indictment of the bourgeois landlord system instituted after independence’ (para 3.27 revised programme)

This paragraph which declares that the Indian Constitution is perfect and the problem is the non implementation of the directive principles enshrined in it, is an outspoken expression of the illusion that the people’s interests can be protected using the bourgeois constitution.

IV (f)

In the part where bringing the middle class to the side of the revolution is discussed a sentence is added in the revised programme pointing out that intellectuals have an important role in it (para. 7.9). This helps only to spread the misunderstanding that bourgeois and petty bourgeois intellectuals, regardless of their class interest, can do service to the cause of revolution.

The following part that is left out from the old programme while updating, is significant. It reads thus - ‘Our party strongly adheres to the statement of the conference of representatives of 81 Marxist-Leninist parties held in Moscow and the earlier 1957 declaration which upholds a revolutionary analysis of the present day world situation. Both these Marxist-Leninist documents render invaluable guidance to the communists and the working class all over the world. CPI(M) upholds the revolutionary principles in these two documents and keep vigilance about both the revisionist and dogmatic deviations.’ After an analysis of the world situation after the second world war the Moscow declaration evaluates the sharpening contradictions and the revolutionary potential it unfolds. The implication of the CPI(M) deleting these sentences upholding Moscow declaration from the party programme, in the name of updating it, is clear and simple, especially as it is done in the background of the setback in Socialist countries. The aim is to create an atmosphere to renounce communism and embrace revisionism. It is confirmed by another alteration made in the 1964 party programme. The declaration in the 1964 programme that ‘even while committed to fight against modern revisionism which has gripped the world communist movement and remains the main danger, the party will fight against dogmatism’ is reproduced in the revised programme removing the adjective ‘main danger’ given to revisionism. The removal signifies that the CPI(M) is degenerating under the influence of revisionism and therefore is not prepared to concretely evaluate the developments in Russia, China etc. and to take a revolutionary stand in the light of it.

For those who believe that class struggle is a global phenomena this evaluation is the part of their revolutionary alertness. What the CPI(M) lost is nothing but this alertness.

The fall into parliamentarianism

There is a problem which came up for criticism again and again during the investigation of the PB and CC about the cause of the deep crisis into which the CPI(M) has been led during the last decade. It is the realisation that the party leadership and rank and file are overwhelmed gradually by parliamentary illusions.

The undivided communist party could adopt a correct policy in the matter right from the days when the party participated in the general elections in 1936-37 and came to power in Kerala in the election in 1957. After settling accounts with the parliamentary illusions of the CPI in 1964, CPI(M) had to differ with the left sectarian line of the Naxalites who argued for complete abstention from parliamentary work. It was at this time that the controversy on parliamentary path got a new dimension. CPI(M) could define its line in this regard clearly in para 112 of the 1964 party programme. In the tactical line document adopted in 1951 by the undivided CPI after the Telengana struggle, the party had clarified its line about the parliamentary and extra-parliamentary methods of struggle. It explains that even which using the parliamentary forums to unite the democratic forces and expose the existing bourgeois-landlord government the party tries to teach the inevitability of the proletarian revolution.

The CPI(M) had formulated its policies challenging the negative and treacherous approach of limiting class struggle to parliamentary activities. CPI(M) programme aimed at rendering limited relief to the people by contesting elections and assuming power in states where it is possible and unite revolutionary forces through that experience. The party programme emphasised that parliamentary forums would be used so long as it gives opportunity to carry forward the struggle of the working class.

The aforesaid para 112 of the 1964 party programme needs to be specially examined. It mainly explains the manner in which the party should participate in the elections and in the transitory state governments.

After the adoption of the 1964 party programme, the Indian National Congress failed miserably in 8 states in 1967 giving rise to the possibility of coalition governments. But the Central Committee of the CPI(M) decided to participate in governments only in two states - Kerala and West Bengal. At the same time CPI came prepared to share power, even with Janasangh, in all states where it was invited. But CPI(M) had a clear perception about taking part in Central and State government having only transitional character. The party completely rejected any bid to share power in the Centre. The party evaluated that the Central government was led by bourgeois-landlord alliance under the leadership of the big bourgeoisie and participation in such governments would be detrimental to the interest of people’s democratic revolution. It was pointed out without any ambiguity that such a participation would open the floodgates of right revisionism. Comrade M. Basava Punaiah wrote thus- ‘Participation in central governments of temporary nature would have opened the floodgates of the right revisionist understanding that people’s democratic revolution can be completed through the peaceful parliamentary path.’ [The Marxist’ (1985 March)].

Also comrade Harkishan Singh Surjeet wrote in the book ‘CPI(M)-CPI differences’ published in 1985 as follows ‘The concept of sharing power in a Central Government of transitional character comes to the mind when revolutionary perception is lost. How can one think that the Indian bourgeoisie will share power? If participation in the Central Government is accepted, as CPI did as part of their programme of national democracy, it is nothing less than accepting the parliamentary path of revolution. (On CPI(M)- CPI differences, page-4)

Even though this official party line explained by Surjeet in 1985 was in vogue, Surjeet in 1996 proposed in the Central Committee to make Com. Jyoti Basu the Prime Minister of India as the leader of a coalition in which the ruling class parties commanded a big majority. Though the Central Committee turned down the proposal Com. Jyoti Basu biblically criticised the decision of the CC as a ‘historical blunder.’ The story of parliamentary illusions does not end here. In the party congress hold at Calcutta in October 5-11, 1998 the question of sharing power in the Central government was again raised for discussion by none other than the General Secretary of the party and put to vote after discussion. Only two P.B. members, Surjeet and Jyoti Basu stood for participation in the Central Government. The Party Congress turned down their demand. Two things are to be pointed out here.

1. Though the political line of the General Secretary was turned down by the majority, Surjeet continued to hold the position.

2. Jyoti Basu has challenged party discipline by publicly criticising the party decision.

Though the line proposed by Surjeet and Basu to take part in the Central government was rejected by the Party Congress they pushed through their line and imposed it on the party through amendments to the party programme after the Congress. Para 112 of the 1964 programme stood in the way of participation in the Central government. It is now amended as follows…. ‘The party, therefore, will continue to educate the mass of the people on the need for replacing the present bourgeois landlord State and government headed by the big bourgeoisie even while utilising opportunities for forming such government in the state or the Centre, depending on the concrete situation, and thus strengthen the mass movement.’

Thus the hitherto denied opportunity to take part in the central government was opened before the CPI(M). Here the Marxist–Leninist understanding about the state as a ruling class instrument for the suppression of the working class is given up. What further evidence is needed to prove that the CPI(M) has fallen into the abyss of revisionism? It was about this kind of people that Lenin wrote as follow ‘The party of the revolutionary proletariat should take part in the parliamentary forums in order to enlighten the masses which can be done during elections and in the struggle between parties inside the parliament. But to limit class struggle to parliamentary struggles or subserve other forms of struggles to parliamentary struggle or to regard the latter as the highest and decisive from to which all other forms of struggle are subordinate, means actually deserting to the side of the bourgeoisie and going against the proletariat’ (Constituent Assembly Elections and Dictatorship of Proletariat – Lenin).

The CPI(M) leadership has been continuously following for a decade a line of subjugating the party to parliamentary deviation. To add to this, CPI(M) has now adulterated the revolutionary party programme. It was historically very significant that at the time when the Khrushchevian revisionist line of parliamentary road to socialism gained an upper hand, against it the CPI(M) upheld the revolutionary perspective of the 1951 policy statement and also adopted the policy statement as a basic document of the party. But the Party Congress held in March 2002 not only gave assent to the revised party programme but also declared that 1951 policy statement need not be considered any more as a basic party document. By this, the CPI(M) has descended to Gorbachevism which is a developed version of Khrushchevian revisionism. Thus the CPI(M) has abandoned the spearhead of attack against the parliamentary deviation.

It was an understanding of the 14th Party congress that along with the party programme the 1951 policy statement also has to be updated. But the 17th Congress has decided that the policy statement need not be considered as a guiding document of the party. The reason provided by the CPI(M) for this is extremely silly. Their argument is that since the perspective of the 1951 policy statement is included in the new party programme the 1951 policy statement need not exist separately. While saying this the CPI(M) leadership has the obligation to explain which point of the 1951 policy statement, that has not been included in the 1964 programme, was incorporated in the revised party programme.

The 1951 policy statement says as follows … ‘There is a lot of people in our country who think that a people’s democratic government can be installed replacing the present government by means of the parliament. But even sheer moderates (not to speak of the communist party and other democrats) will not think in these days the government and the classes that lead them will permit us to bring basic transformation in our society through peaceful means. Therefore as described in the party programme we have to search for other courses which will lead us to peace and liberty and which will fetch us land, food and peace.’

The policy statement makes it clear that the path of Indian revolution is not copying the Russian revolution or Chinese revolution. It should be an Indian path applying Marxism-Leninism to Indian conditions and at the same time assimilating the lessons from the experience of these two revolutions.

On the question whether the revolution should be peaceful or not, the policy statement gives the following answer- ‘Marxism and history has long decided the matter for ever, for all countries and peoples of the world. Every activities of the people to safeguard their interests and for the attainment of their liberation are sacred. History permits all the activities adopted by the people to demolish the barriers of retrogression and degeneration that gets accumulated in their march towards freedom and progress. But there is one activity that history forbids. It is individual terrorism.’

Thereafter the policy declaration warns against both right and left deviations which either inflates and underrates the revolutionary situation, and highlights the importance of the working class unity and the party, to make the revolution a success.

It is obvious that this policy statement is embarrassing for the CPI(M) which has abandoned the revolutionary ideals and got immersed in parliamentarism. When CPI(M) was formed in 1964 it upheld the 1951 policy statement against the revisionists. But now that the CPI(M) has slipped into the morass of revisionism it, like the earlier CPI, has abandoned the 1951 policy statement.

Changes in Party Programme - A Comparative Study

1964 Programme

Revisions made in 2000


1. Paragraph 89
Abolish landlordism without compensation and give land free of cost to the agricultural labourers and poor peasants.

Paragraph 6.4
Abolish landlordism by implementing radical land reforms and give land free of cost to the agricultural labourers and poor peasants.

The condition ‘without compensation’ was removed in order to give compensation. The result is converting landlords with thousands of acres into monopoly capitalists by giving compensation. Crores of rupees which was to be used for national development is given out as compensation. Therefore the development work would also be entrusted with the monopolies.

2. Paragraph 89
(3) Ensure long term and cheap credit for the peasants, artisans and agricultural workers and fair prices for agricultural produce.

Paragraph 6.4
(3) Develop a State-led marketing system to protect the peasantry from big traders and MNCs and from sharp fluctuation in prices. Ensure long term and cheap credits for the peasants, artisans and agricultural workers and fair prices for agricultural produce.

By this an economy which is dominated by the MNCs and big traders is welcomed.

3. Paragraph 90(1)
All foreign capital in plantation, mines, oil refineries, shipping and trade will be taken over. All banks, financial institutions and other monopoly concerns will be nationalised. Foreign trade will be nationalised.

Paragraph 6.4
(1) Take steps to eliminate Indian and foreign monopolies in different sectors of industry, finance, trade and services through suitable measures including state take over of their assets.

(3) Allow foreign direct investment in selected sectors for acquiring advanced technology and upgrading productive capacities. Regulate finance capital flows in the interests of the overall economy.

‘Foreign capital will be taken over’ is changed to ‘foreign monopoly capital will be taken over.’ Here it is to be remembered that definition of monopoly is being diluted. FDI and finance capital is not seen as enemies. That means they will be seen as friends.

4. Paragraph 90(2)
Develop public sector industries as speedily as possible in order to promote domestic industries and end economic dependence. Along with this start new state run industry, thus making the public sector dominant and decisive.

Paragraph 90(5)
Democratise public sector management by removing those related to the big capitalists from the management and ensure constructive role for workers and technicians in their functioning.

Paragraph 6.6 (2)
Strengthen public sector industries through modernisation, democratisation, freeing from bureaucratic controls and corruption, fixing strict accountability, ensuring workers participation in management and making it competitive, so that it can occupy commanding position in the economy.

Revised programme discusses only the strengthening of the existing public sector industries. Establishing new ones and raising the public sector to decisive heights is not even a remote goal. That means even if the people’s democratic state comes into existence native and multi-national monopolies will be pampered.

5. Paragraph 88(1)
Indian union will be a federation based on democratic centralism.

Paragraph 88(9)
The people’s democratic state shall strive to infuse the spirit of democracy into all our social and political institutions. Trade unions peasant and agricultural workers organisations will play decisive role in this.

Paragraph 6.3
... to develop a federal democratic state structure...

Paragraph 6.3 (7)
The people’s democratic state shall strive to infuse in all our social and political institutions the spirit of democracy.... A key role in this will be played by the political parties, trade union, peasant and agricultural workers associations, and other class and mass organisations of the working people.

‘democratic centralism’ is removed. It means that post revolution state structure will not be a people’s democratic dictatorship (worker-peasant dictatorship). Plural political structure of the bourgeois parliamentary system will be coming into existence. Remember the earlier experience that the first casualty of revisionism both in our country and abroad is the concept of proletarian dictatorship.

6. Paragraph 88(18)
Education shall be taken over and its secular character guaranteed by the state.

Paragraph 6.3(b)
Public educational system shall be developed to provide comprehensive and scientific education at all levels..... the secular character of education shall be guaranteed.

It is a declaration that education will not be taken over by the state.

7. Paragraph 91(5)
Withdraw India from the British Commonwealth. Abrogate all agreements arrived with Britain and America which are against the national interests and which are not conducive to our national pride.

Paragraph 91(5) was removed and a new sentence added. Paragraph 6.7(3).... promote international co-operation for the preservation of the environment and protection of the ecological balance.

CPI(M) has gone back from staunch anti imperialist position. The new sentence signifies a move to receive whatever is offered by the imperial masters in the name of preservation of the environment.

8. Paragraph 104
Every effort should be made to bring the middle class on the side of the revolution.

Paragraph 7.9
......every attempt should be made to win them for the revolution. The role of the progressive intelligentsia in mobilising this strata for democratic causes is an important one.

It is a move to weaken the working class leadership installing representatives from other classes in the leadership labelling them as intelligentsia.

9. Paragraph 112
.........Even while keeping before the people the task of dislodging the present ruling classes and establishing a new government based on firm alliance of the working class and the peasantry, the party will utilise opportunities that present themselves, of bringing into existence governments pledged to carry out the minimum programme of providing immediate relief to the people. Therefore even while utilising the opportunities of forming such governments of transitory nature which we immediate relief to the people and thus strengthen the mass movement the party will continue to educate the mass of the people on the need for replacing the present bourgeois landlord state and government headed by the big bourgeoisie.

Paragraph 7.17
..... Even while keeping before the people the task of dislodging the present ruling classes and establishing a new democratic state and government based on firm alliance of the working class and the peasantry, the party will utilise opportunities that present themselves, of bringing into existence governments pledged to carry out a programme of providing relief to the people and strive to project and implement alternative policies within the existing limitations. The formation of such governments will strengthen the revolutionary movements of the working people and thus help the process of building the people’s democratic front. It however, would not solve the economic and political problems of the nation in any fundamental manner. The party therefore will continue to educate the mass of the people on the need for replacing the present bourgeois landlord state and government headed by the big bourgeoisie even while utilising opportunities for forming such governments in the States or the Centre, depending on the concrete situation and thus strengthen the mass movement.

The earlier concept that state governments are of transitory nature which strive to implement the minimum programme of giving immediate relief to the people is abandoned. The amendment gives the message that even within the limitations of the existing social order peoples can be given relief by implementing alternate policies. Also it was decided to take part in the Central government. The proposal to take part in the Central government which was discussed twice in the central committee and once in the party congress and rejected by a huge majority is pushed into the party through the backdoor. This is a naked violation of the perspective that the party will not participate in a government where it has no decisive influence. This is the exhibition of thirst of certain people to get into central government at least as a junior partner.

10. Paragraph 3-27 (a paragraph newly introduced)
The constitution of the Republic of India which was developed in 1950 has laid down a set of directive principles to be followed by the state. These include adequate means of livelihood for every citizen and the right to work, an economic system which does not result in the concentration of wealth, right to education and provisions of free and compulsory education for children, living wage for workers and equal pay to equal work for men and women. None of these principles have been realised in practice. The glaring gap between between the constitutional precepts and the practice of the bourgeois rulers is a scathing indictment of the bourgeois landlord system instituted after independence.

This new paragraph by declaring that the existing constitution is great and the problem is its non-implementation, spreads the illusion that people’s interest can be protected by properly using the present constitution.

11. From Paragraph 118 of the 1964 programme the following portion is dropped.
We firmly uphold the 1960 November statement of 81 Marxist-Leninist parties which assembled in Moscow and the earlier 1957 declaration which contains a revolutionary analysis of the present world situation. The Communist Party of India upholds the revolutionary principles in these two documents and keeping vigilance against the revisionist-dogmatic deviations defends the purity of Marxism-Leninism.

The documents, analysing the aggravating main contradictions and the revolutionary possibilities that unveils are rejected by this. This was the basic document giving light in the struggle against both right and left deviations.

12. From Paragraph 118
Even while pledging to fight against modern revisionism, which has gripped the world communist movement and which has become the main danger, the party warns against the dogmatic deviations also.

From Paragraph 8.8
The CPI(M) pledges to continue to fight against right revisionist and left sectarian deviations

The CPI(M) which has immersed itself in revisionism is unable to see that revisionism is the main danger that has gripped the present day world communist movement.

The author joined the communist movement while a student in 1959, siding with the CPI (M) in 1964. As a trade unionist he worked at the national centre of CITU in New Delhi between 1989 and 1995, and as National Secretary of CITU 1989-2002. He was involved in party education and was much in demand as a teacher of dialectical materialism and Marxist political economy. He served as Political Secretary to the Home Minister in the Left Democratic Front Ministry in Kerala 1980-81. He was a member of the Kerala Committee of the CPI (M) between 1987 and 1998. Charged with establishing a parallel centre in the party he was expelled in 1988 but was reinstated to all positions and had all charges against him quashed after an appeal to the Central Control Commission. After a change in the party constitution was effected in 2002 at the Hyderabad Congress of the CPI (M), he was again expelled. At present he is a Politburo Member of the Marxist Communist Party of India United and Vice-President of the New Trade Union Initiative. The above essay has been abbreviated.

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