Ajoy Ghosh, the CPI and the Question of Stalin 1952-56


The centre piece of these documents is the resolution of the CPI on the closed speech of Khrushchev at the 20th Congress of the CPSU together with the covering letter by Ajoy Ghosh. These were published for the first time in 2002 in a Russian volume of documents devoted to the reactions of the communist movement to the speech of Khrushchev both within and without the Soviet Union. These are preceded by three articles written by Ajoy Ghosh written in 1952 and 1953 which demonstrate the seismic change inaugurated by the onset of the new turn in the international communist movement in 1956. These articles were not included in the selected writings of Ajoy Ghosh which were published posthumously in the USSR and India. We may point out that the CPI leader stressed the important counsel provided by Stalin to the communists of India which was concretised in the 1951 programme of the party. The advice of Stalin which has been released partially by the former Central Party Archives of the Soviet Union was published in this journal for the first time.

The CPI accepted the main premises of the closed speech of Khrushchev on ‘the cult of personality’ to the effect that in the Soviet Union serious violations of socialist legality had taken place in the period of Stalin. From this the demand was made that the CPSU should investigate the social conditions which were the bases of these violations. Stalin was to be held responsible of the imputed errors. By and large the open position of the CPI corresponded to the position of the CPSU. The covering letter of Ajoy Ghosh reveals amongst other things that the Indian party did demur on the more absurd claims of the Soviet leadership to the effect that Stalin had planned the campaigns of the Second World War on a globe. It raised a query on the one-sided evaluation of Stalin overlooking his achievements.

In 1956 very few communists stood up to be counted in defence of the life and work of Stalin. The communists holding state power all chose to publicly endorse the onslaught launched by Khrushchev. Today the situation is much different. In the Gorbachev period itself the anti-Stalin campaign provoked major responses by Nina Andreyeva in 1988; at a mass level a counter-campaign favouring the cause of Stalin emerged. After 1991 the posters of Stalin began to appear alongside Lenin again in the workers’ demonstrations on Mayday and November 7th. Even so in the literary field the state-sponsored attacks on Stalin continued to predominate. The realities of mafia capitalism in Russia in the last two decades, which introduced a hard-nosed neo-liberalism, brought back unemployment, sky-rocketing prices for basic consumer commodities and the destruction of the Soviet welfare system, hit home. The popular perception of Stalin has undergone a radical change after an half a century of denigration by successive governments as is evident in numerous opinion polls conducted in contemporary Russia. Today there is a veritable flood of books which politically defend Stalin and Soviet socialism so much so that it has disturbed the peace of mind of the post-Soviet establishment and their friends in the United States. The Communist Party of the Russian Federation which is regarded as the political heir of the CPSU, Khrushchev, Brezhnev and the 20th Congress, too, has been compelled to repudiate its earlier positions and defend the heritage of Stalin. Nevertheless the re-interpretation of the period after Stalin has yet to re-evaluate in the light of Marxist-Leninist political economy the pivotal question of the emergence and the domination of ‘market socialism’ in the Soviet Union by the late 1950s. In this sphere the CPRF and the other major reformist communist parties retain the rigid Khrushchevite and Brezhnevite market prescriptions which favoured the establishment of a system of generalised commodity production in the Soviet Union.

When we look back today at the criticism of Stalin made in the closed speech a number of questions arise. How was it that the bulk of the communists did not recognise the family resemblance between the attack on Stalin and the attack by the Russian anarchist Bakunin on the ‘authoritarianism’ and ‘dictatorship’ of Karl Marx in the nineteenth century. Why did they not see the parallels with the attacks by the Russian Anarchists and Mensheviks on the ‘dictatorship’ of Lenin. How did they forget further the attack by Trotsky on the ‘hooligan’ Lenin and the barrage of attacks which Trotsky later made on the ‘dictatorship’ of Stalin and Soviet socialism after the death of Lenin. If the information provided by Krupskaya that Lenin found that Stalin was ‘rude’ and his release from the party general secretaryship had to be considered was highlighted why was the widely published charge of the same Krupskaya ignored when she stated that Trotsky was an agent of the Gestapo? The memoirs of Kaganovich inform us that Khrushchev had been a member of the Trotskyist opposition between 1922 and 1924. He concluded that the closed speech of 1956 was an example of ‘Trotskyist recidivism’.

With the torrent of documents emerging from the former Soviet archives it has become possible to evaluate afresh many of the contentious issues of the USSR. So far as the closed speech of Khrushchev is concerned it is now possible to verify his charges concerning Stalin’s ‘repressions’. This exercise has been ably performed by Prof. Grover Furr of Montclair State University in his remarkable book ‘Antistalinskaya podlost’, where convincingly he attempts to establish that each and every one of the ‘revelations’ of Khrushchev in the closed speech of 1956 are provably false. In a remarkable tour de force heestablishes on the basis of documents that far from encouraging a cult of personality the Soviet leader consistently opposed this practice. He reveals how Khrushchev distorted the context of Lenin’s ‘testament’ as well as the repressions of the 1930s. Furr shows the falsity of the charges that Stalin had neglected to respond to successive warnings of the impending German attack in 1941 and that he had became demoralised after the invasion took place. On the basis of the memoirs of the military figures he refutes the arguments that Stalin was an incompetent military commander who planned operations on a globe. As the well-known spokesman of the nationalities policy Stalin was assailed by Khrushchev for the transfer of the population of the Crimean Tatars and the Chechen-Ingushes during the Great Patriotic War. Furr here argues that given that the bulk of the youth of these nationalities had gone over to the invading armies their transfer as opposed to the repression of the youth worked for the preservation of these small nationalities. In a similar fashion Furr rebuts the assertions of Khrushchev on the death of Ordjonikidze, the Leningrad affair and the Mingrel question. The criticism of Stalin for supposedly inserting self-adulatory phrases in the draft of his own political biography is refuted on the basis of an examination of the textual changes made in the draft which establish that Stalin in fact had deleted the fulsome praise of the Soviet leader. On the grounds of his analysis which is based on the new documents now available Grover Furr surmises that the closed speech in its entirety was comprised of falsifications.

The book prompts a fresh assessment of the closed speech. Yet even in 1956 there were many who understood its hollow character. In his critique of Stalin Khrushchev argued inter alia on the basis of the Letter to the Congress where Lenin critically evaluated the party leadership and his letter to Stalin of 5th March 1923 where he complained of the rudeness of the party general secretary to N. Krupskaya and demanded an apology. The Soviet poet Feliks Chuyev later recalled in a conversation after the fall of the Soviet Union that as a student he had been unimpressed by the ‘revelations’ in 1956 as the key sections of the ‘suppressed testament’ had been circulated in collections of party documents in the 1930s in editions which ran into several hundreds of thousands of copies.

In our view the 20th Congress of the CPSU has to be seen as firmly situated as a consequence of the economic changes which were inaugurated in the Soviet Union with the death of Stalin between 1953 and 1956. With the 18th Congress of the CPSU (b) in 1939 the party and Gosplan began to plan for a 15 year transition from socialism to communism which was necessarily halted by the anti-fascist war. This work was resumed after the war. In his last major work and his discussions with Soviet economists in 1951 and 1952 Stalin adumbrated the changes necessary in Soviet economy to implement this transition embracing inter alia the gradual transition of the collective farms into communes, the inception of a generalised system of products-exchange between the factories and the collective farms and the formation of a new planning body over and above Gosplan which would dispose of the products of Soviet industry and agriculture.

After the death of Stalin the policies of this transition were shelved and the race to establish a market economy was on. Between 1953 and early 1956 commodity and money relations were multiplied in the Soviet economy in industry and agriculture. Notably in 1955 the system of centralised directive planning orientated to laying the basis of communist society was terminated and was replaced by a system of decentralised co-ordinative planning. The system of planning was transformed, first, by the expansion of the direct rights of ministers in the plan and, second, by augmenting the powers of the enterprise directors over enterprise funds and surplus assets. Similar restructuring was carried out in other people’s democracies such as in the People’s Republic of China. Gosbank was given the powers to financially control Soviet enterprises and even to declare enterprises insolvent and bankrupt. These measures were directed towards the creation of a multiplicity of private producers working for profit which is a defining characteristic of the capitalist mode of production. The closed speech in 1956 denouncing Stalin effectively broke the authority of the Soviet leader in the realm of the political economy of socialism and communism and laid the basis for the expulsion from the party of Kaganovich and Molotov the following year thus ending the major political resistance to the conversion of the means of production in Soviet industry and labour power into commodities which was then performed in the ‘economic reforms’ of 1957-8.

While Khrushchev systematically broke up the economic basis of socialism in the USSR he accompanied this with the rising crescendo of assaults on the reputation of Stalin. We may recall that a similar fate had befallen Maximilian Robespierre. Having headed the Jacobin Social Republic which established a revolutionary-democratic dictatorship of the popular classes which swept away the survivals of feudalism, successfully carried out an agrarian revolution, and defeated the international enemies of the French revolution, his overthrow was accompanied by the undoing of progressive reforms and the vilification of Robespierre and the Jacobin republic as a ‘reign of terror’. In the subsequent century it seemed that the reputation of this great democratic leader had been permanently sullied. The rise of the socialist movement and the October revolution changed all of this. The French historians in the light of Marxism and the class struggles in the Soviet Union re-evaluated the historical role of the Jacobin republic and restored the revolutionary reputation of Robespierre, Saint-Just and Marat. Soviet and Russian reaction in the last half century periodically targeted Stalin with the end object of dissolving socialism, erecting and later denigrating ‘market socialism’ and later still to consolidate open capitalism. The successful endeavours of Soviet historians and publicists who in recent years have successfully decrypted and replied to the counterfeit arguments of those opposed to the working class and socialism have laid the basis for the restoration of the honour of Stalin and the Soviet Union not only within Russia but throughout the world.

Vijay Singh


Doklad N.S. Khrushcheva o kul’te lichnosti Stalina na XX S”ezde KPSS, Dokymenty, red. K. Ayemermakher, Rosspen, Moskva, 2002.
Grover Furr: ‘Antistalinskaya podlost’, Algoritm, Moscow, 2007.
Inter, ‘The Historical Significance of the Twentieth Congress’, Revolutionary Democracy, Vol. II, No 1, April 1996.
Vijay Singh, ‘Stalin and the Question of “Market Socialism” in the Soviet Union after the Second World War’, Revolutionary Democracy, Vol. I, No. 1, April, 1995.

 Stalin Illumines the Path

Ajoy Ghosh
General Secretary
Communist Party of India.

The appearance of Comrade Stalin’s classical work, ‘Economic Problems of Socialism in the U.S.S.R.’ is an event of world-historic significance. Supplying precise answers to the vital and urgent questions that have come to the forefront in every country of the world, both Socialist and capitalist, both where the proletariat wields power and where it is still an oppressed class, Comrade Stalin illumines the path that has to be traversed in the march towards classless society, to Communism, and arms the world-revolutionary movement with a clear perspective and clear understanding of the tasks ahead.

Once again, as in every historic epoch since its appearance, Marxism shows its immense vitality, its creative character, its capacity to act as an unfailing guide to the working class in the struggle for human liberation.

K. Marx and F. Engels transformed Socialism from a utopia into a science by discovering the general laws of development of human society and the specific laws of development of capitalist society. By propounding, on the basis of these laws and with prophetic vision, the inevitable overthrow of the capitalist system and the conquest of power by the proletariat, the founders of scientific Socialism prepared the ground for the mass revolutionary movement of the working class for Socialism.

Making a profound analysis of capitalism in its monopoly phase, V. I. Lenin showed why imperialism is the eve of social revolution of the proletariat. On the basis of the law of uneven development of capitalism in the imperialist era, the law which he discovered and elaborated, Lenin showed the inevitability of sharp conflicts and wars between imperialist states, to re-divide and already divided world, and also predicted the possibility of the victory of Socialism in one country, thereby arming the proletariat of each country with a revolutionary perspective and unfettering its revolutionary initiative.

Guided by the theories of Lenin, the Party of Lenin and Stalin translated this prediction into reality and created the first socialist state in the world.

Basing himself on the theories of Marx and Lenin and further enriching and developing them at each stage of historic development, Comrade Stalin, the architect and builder of Socialism in the U.S.S.R., gives in his latest work a masterly survey of the new world situation, points out the profound significance of the disintegration of the single all-embracing world market and the coming into existence of two parallel world markets. He discovered and elaborated the basic economic law operating in socialist society and the basic economic law operating in present-day capitalist society, i.e. the laws which explain the growing contrast between the two worlds, which explain the immense superiority of the socialist system over the capitalist system.

Thereby Comrade Stalin enables the proletariat of all countries, both where it has won victories over imperialism and where it is still struggling, to understand clearly what tasks it has to carry out for the establishment of Communist society and also for the overthrow of imperialism where it still rules.

Thus, today when the transition to Communism is being effected in the U.S.S.R., when a number of countries have firmly set out on the path to Socialism and when the crisis of capitalism has deepened as never before, Comrade Stalin’s work performs a role similar to that performed by the basic scientific works of Marx and Engels in the hey-day of capitalism and by the works of Lenin in the era when capitalism had entered the phase of decay, when the epoch of imperialism and the proletarian revolution set in.

Discoveries of Profound Revolutionary Significance

Of exceptional significance for a correct understanding of the economic situation in all capitalist, colonial and semi-colonial countries is the basic economic law of modern capitalism discovered by Comrade Stalin. A key task of the Indian Communist Party is the economic development in India in the light of this law, the specific features and manifestations of this law in a semi-colonial country like ours – both in relation to the British and American imperialists and in relation to the Indian monopolies collaborating with them, for a share in the plunder of their own people.

The continued British hold over our economy and exploitation of our resources – even after the ending of direct British rule – the strangling of India’s development, the rapid penetration of American imperialism, the sharp rivalry between British and American imperialists for the Indian market, the black-marketeering and speculations indulged in by Indian monopolists who show little concern for the industrialisation of the country, the shameless looting of the state budget in the name of various schemes and projects, the increasingly heavy burdens imposed on all classes of people, including sections of the national bourgeoisie, by the state which is in the grip of monopolists and landlords, the vast swindling and corruption which have become an integral part of every ‘plan’ undertaken by the Government, the decline in agriculture and the catastrophic food situation dooming millions to starvation, the shrinking of the market, the stagnation of industries – all these phenomena must be studied by us in the light of the basic economic law formulated by Comrade Stalin.

Of equally great significance for us are Comrade Stalin’s formulations of the tasks, role and possibilities of the present-day peace movement. These formulations, the Reports to the Nineteenth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Comrade Stalin’s inspiring speech at the Congress supply weapons of inestimable value in the struggle for the preservation of peace and for the defence of national freedom in face of the growing aggression of the American imperialists.

Drawing attention to the significance of two parallel world markets, Comrade Stalin points out that the area of exploitation by the capitalist powers has shrunk catastrophically, deepening the general crisis of capitalism, making even partial stabilisation impossible and confronting the imperialists with an extremely difficult situation.

Criminal Plans of the Warmongers

In an attempt to solve the crisis at the expense of the common people and of the Soviet Union and the democratic states and with a view to securing world domination, the imperialist aggressors, led by the U.S., are feverishly preparing for war. They build military bases all over the world. They seek to undermine the independence and sovereignty of every country and bring it under their sway in an attempt to avert the crisis and as part of their preparation for world war.

The imperialist aggressors led by the U.S., and the capitalist governments that have become their satellites are destroying every vestige of democratic liberty for they know that the war they are planning cannot be launched without fettering the people who abhor war, love peace and freedom, and have sentiments of deep friendship for the Soviet Union, People’s China and the people’s democratic countries.

American imperialism’s drive towards world war proceeds along the path of enslavement of other countries, the destruction of all democratic liberties and the imposition of colossal burdens on the people.

‘U.S. imperialism’, says Comrade Malenkov, ‘is at present not only the aggressor, it is the world gendarme seeking to strangle freedom wherever possible and to implant fascism’. Hence, it is the greatest enemy of all progressive humanity, not excepting the American people themselves.

Guided by the sole motive of making maximum profit and fearing the people of their own countries, the reactionary bourgeois leaders who value dollars more than national freedom, are becoming a willing party to this nefarious game of the American warmongers. They are facilitating American penetration into their countries, bartering for dollars national sovereignty, national independence, the honour, safety and democratic liberties of their peoples.

We are witnessing the initial phases of the same process in India. America has not merely invaded the Indian market, securing a foothold in vital mineral ores, the Government of India itself has entered into agreements with the American Government on terms which have been characterised as bonds of slavery even by orthodox Gandhi followers. In partnership with the American Government, so-called community projects have been launched enabling an increasingly larger number of American agents to spread out over our whole country.

This is the path that leads to national slavery. This is the path that leads to our country being dragged into the criminal war now being prepared by the American imperialists and their allies.

Inevitably, therefore, the struggle for the preservation of peace becomes clearly linked with the struggle for defence of national freedom. It becomes a struggle into which all classes, sections and elements that abhor war, value freedom and honour, can and must be drawn.

‘To bridle and isolate the gamblers of the camp of the imperialist aggressors who seek to embroil the peoples in a sanguinary slaughter for the sake of their profits – such is the principal task of all progressives and peace-loving mankind’, (Malenkov).

Peaceful Co-Existence of Two Systems Possible

There are people in our country claiming to be ‘revolutionaries’ and even ‘Leninists’ – and their number is by no means small – who scoff at the peace movement. They assert that a world war, a war between the ‘two worlds’ is inevitable. And to substantiate their ‘thesis’, they even quote Comrade Stalin’s statement about the inevitability of wars as long as imperialism continues.

Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. Comrade Stalin emphasizes the ‘inevitability of wars between capitalist countries generally’ (my emphasis) as long as imperialism lasts. This inevitability arises from the law of uneven development of capitalism formulated by Lenin, a law whose correctness has been demonstrated by the entire history of capitalism in the imperialist era, a law which not only does not disappear but operates with accentuated momentum in the situation that has developed since the end of the Second World War. To eliminate the inevitability of wars, Comrade Stalin stresses, it is necessary to abolish imperialism. The present-day peace movement can and must play an important role. But the war for which the Anglo-American bloc headed by the aggressive American imperialists are now preparing, the war which can only be a world war and cause untold misery and distress to all countries and all peoples – this war, though its danger is great, can, undoubtedly, be averted or at least put off for a considerable period of time. And the interest of all peoples demands struggle for preventing this war.

Comrade Stalin teaches:

‘Peace will be preserved and consolidated if the peoples take the cause of preserving peace into their own hands and defend it to the end. War may become inevitable if the warmongers succeed in entangling the masses of the people in lies, in deceiving them and drawing them into a new world war’.

The stand of those who assert that a world war cannot be prevented, and that the socialist and capitalist worlds cannot co-exist peacefully amounts in reality to ideological surrender to imperialism.

Their assertion that the two worlds must inevitably go to war against each other means acceptance of the imperialist thesis that if, instead of two systems, there had been only one system, even the capitalist system, that would have been a factor for peace – a thesis the falseness of which has been proved by the entire history of imperialism. It is an assertion based on the denial of the peaceful nature of the socialist and democratic states.

Their thesis that a third world war is inevitable is a thesis which does not take into account the immense and growing might of the socialist and democratic states – itself the biggest factor for peace – the strength of the working class and revolutionary movement, the strength of the peoples’ urge for peace and for national freedom.

Their thesis that a third world war is inevitable leads, therefore, to passivity in face of the offensive of the warmongers, passivity in face of the threat to national freedom, passivity on the struggle for peace.

The two systems can co-exist peacefully. This fundamental Lenin-Stalin thesis holds as true today as ever before. Nay, it holds more true than ever before because of the growing might of the peace-loving socialist and democratic states, the immense sweep of the peace movement and the increasing strength of the working class and national revolutionary forces.

As Comrade Malenkov points out: ‘The present correlation of forces between the camp of imperialism and war and the camp of democracy and peace makes this prospect’ – the prospect of preserving peace and preventing world war – ‘a completely real one.’

Peace Movement – Movement for Preserving Peace and Preventing War

Undoubtedly, the danger of world war is real. But immensely powerful are the forces ranged against it. And these forces are growing stronger every day.

The peace movement aims at rousing the broad masses in struggle for preserving peace and averting a new world war. Every war brings immense misery to the people and retards human progress. Also, one war starts, no matter between which states, the danger of world war will grow.

The peace movement – the broadest non-party, democratic movement for the preservation of peace – will, if it succeeds, result in preventing a particular war, in its temporary postponement, in the temporary preservation of a particular peace. But its success is not enough to eliminate the inevitability of inter-imperialist wars in general – the inevitability of which arises from the economic laws that operate in capitalist society.

All the friendship, and love that the capitalist states profess for each other, all their talk about united struggle against the ‘menace’ of Communism, cannot conceal the reality that inside the shrunken capitalist world, fierce antagonism rages – antagonism between the victor imperialist powers of the second world war and the vanquished powers, antagonism between the victor powers themselves, above all between Britain and America, for markets, for spheres of investment, for spheres of influence. And as the crisis of capitalism deepens and as the prospect of success in a war against the socialist and democratic world grows dimmer, these antagonisms more and more come to the forefront and sharpen.

Nevertheless, the longer peace is preserved, the greater grows the contrast between the two worlds, the stronger grows the working class and revolutionary movement and the greater, therefore, grows the possibility of banishing wars in general through the abolition of imperialism itself.

Such is the perspective that Comrade Stalin’s work and the Nineteenth Party Congress documents based on this work open out before the entire world revolutionary movement.

Communist Party – The Party That Upholds National Freedom and Sovereignty

In his inspiring speech which concluded the memorable Nineteenth Congress of the C.P.S.U., Comrade Stalin made a profound analysis of the role of the reactionary bourgeois leaders of the capitalist world and defined the role that the Communist and Democratic Parties must play. The reactionary bourgeoisie today sells the rights and independence of the nation. For it, national sovereignty, which it swore by in the past, means nothing. For it, democratic liberties, which it once fought for and even upheld, are an obstacle in the path of its anti-national, anti-people’s policies. It, therefore, destroys democratic liberties.

In this situation it is the Communist and Democratic Parties in each country that must uphold and fight for national freedom and national sovereignty, democratic rights and liberties, rallying to this sacred cause all progressive classes, sections and elements. In this way and in this way alone can they become the guiding force of the nation, its true champion.

This is the role that our Party must carry out in India. It must be in the forefront in the struggle for liquidation of all vestiges of British rule, for defence of the national independence and sovereignty threatened by the American aggressors, for preservation of peace, for a life of happiness and prosperity for the people. Guided by the teaching of Comrade Stalin our Party must forge itself into an instrument powerful enough to carry out these tasks.

For a Lasting Peace, For a People’s Democracy
December 12, 1952
No. 50 (214)

Message of Ajoy Ghosh to the CC of the CPSU on the Serious Illness of Comrade Stalin

5th March 1953

Translated from the English

To the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

There are no words to express our deep concern with regard to the serious illness of Comrade Stalin. This is a heavy ordeal not only for the peoples of the Soviet Union, but also for the peoples of the whole world. The situation calls for iron resolution for the realisation of the unity and steadfast devotion to the cause to which Comrade Stalin devoted his whole life.

Deeply perturbed about the news of the illness of Comrade Stalin, the people and the Communist Party of India await information on the recovery of Comrade Stalin.

General Secretary of the Communist Party of India
Ajoy Ghosh
5 March 1953

RGASPI Fond 558, Opis 11, Delo 1485, List 46.

Translated from the Russian by Vijay Singh

Under the Banner of Stalin

Ajoy Ghosh

When only a few months ago appeared the ‘Economic Problems of Socialism in the USSR’, a classic of Marxism-Leninism arming the world revolutionary movement with new powerful weapons, when a few days after, Comrade Stalin made his historic speech at the Nineteenth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union – in those days none could dream that the end was so near, none could anticipate the cruel blow that was to fall and so suddenly and so soon depriving the working people of the world of their greatest and most beloved leader.

Even now one finds it hard to believe that Comrade Stalin is no more in our midst, that his warm heart has ceased to beat, that his voice which roused millions of people all over the world to deeds of unparalleled valour has been stilled for ever.

Words cannot describe what Comrade Stalin did for the working people, for human liberation during his 73 years of eventful life. Symbolising the revolutionary movement of over half a century, his life will ever stand out as a mighty source of inspiration to all peoples of all lands.

One’s mind, inevitably goes back to the sombre 21st of January, 1924 when the Great Lenin had passed away, plunging the toiling masses of the whole world into mourning.

• One thinks of the historic vow taken by Comrade Stalin five days later, a vow which was carried out as no vow has ever been carried out in history

• One remembers the tumultuous events of the twenty-nine years since then, years during which the working class movement grew even mightier, years during which vast masses of people liberated themselves from slavery under the inspiring ideas of Comrade Stalin.

• Lenin’s Comrade in Arms

Comrade Stalin’s life was inextricably linked with the life of Lenin till the latter’s death.

Together, they built the Bolshevik Party, the Model Party of the international working class.

Together, they founded the Soviet State, which has always acted as the citadel of world revolution.

Together, they laid the foundation of the international Communist movement, which under leadership of Stalin, achieved victories the like of which the world has never seen.

Together, they gave us Leninism, the science and technique of revolution in the imperialist era, the Lenin-Stalin principles of Party organisation, the Lenin-Stalin style of work.

In all this, Comrade Stalin continued and carried forward the work of Lenin. In all this, he not only applied what Lenin had taught, he also developed Marxism-Leninism still further, raising it to new heights.

A humanist in the noblest sense of the world, Comrade Stalin taught that only the people are immortal, that it is they who make history, that it is close association with the people that makes a Party strong and invincible.

Relentless enemy of the exploiting classes and oppressors, Comrade Stalin unleashed the revolutionary initiative of the masses against them. No wonder he was loved by hundreds of millions and also hated and dreaded by the exploiting few and their lackeys.

With deep solicitude and profound understanding, Comrade Stalin studied the movement of the Indian peoples. He taught the Indian working class that it is they who must lead the struggle against the British imperialists and their allies. He taught them that they must champion the cause of all progressive classes in Indian society. He taught them that they must build their mass Communist Party; that without this, they cannot win the hegemony of the national movement.

Today, guided by the teachings of Comrade Stalin, the Communist Party of India is striving to carry out this task. The Programme it has put forward – a programme permeated by the ideas of Comrade Stalin – has already evoked powerful response among the broad masses and is rallying millions of people under the banner of freedom and democracy.

Under the leadership of Comrade Stalin the toiling peoples of the world marched from triumph to triumph. Today, confronting the old dying world of capitalism stands the growing world of Socialism and democracy; confronting the instigators of a new world war stand the hundreds of millions of partisans of peace; confronting the forces of imperialism and reaction stand the forces of revolution and progress.

Nevertheless, we cannot afford to forget that the cause to which Comrade Stalin dedicated his entire life, though stronger than ever, has yet to achieve full victory.

Two-thirds of humanity is still in shackles; vast countries like India have yet to achieve even full national freedom; the warmongers, though they have not succeeded in unleashing a world war, are far from defeated yet.

New conspiracies are being hatched, new plans are being made to strengthen the shackles of slavery in the capitalist world, to impose slavery on the liberated peoples, to continue the war in Korea, Vietnam and Malaya and extend them. These plans and these conspiracies will grow in intensity as days pass.

The threat to freedom, the threat to democracy, the threat to peace, continue. The cause of human liberation, of Socialism, has yet to achieve full victory.

This has to be done now without Comrade Stalin in our midst, without his wise advice, without his matchless leadership. Hence the responsibility on Communist Parties of all lands has grown immeasurably. They do bear a burden heavier than ever.

They have to frustrate the plans of the enemy who, encouraged by the passing away of the mighty figure that they dreaded and hated, will make renewed efforts to sow dissensions in their ranks, weaken their will to victory, shake confidence in the working class and in the teachings of Marxism.

The enemy hopes that, with the passing away of Comrade Stalin, the unity of Communist Parties will weaken, the unity of the international Communist movement will weaken, the bond of friendship between the Soviet Union and democratic countries and movements will weaken. He hopes that all this will facilitate the carrying out of his nefarious plans.

The enemy is mistaken. His joy will be short-lived.

It is not on the shifting grounds of expediency but on the granite foundation of common principles, common interest and common aim that the unity which they hate and dread has been built. And nothing in the world can weaken it.

With the passing away of Comrade Stalin the Communist movement will grow doubly conscious of its duties and responsibilities, the Communist Parties will draw ever closer and redouble their efforts to strengthen themselves, remove their shortcomings and weaknesses and forge themselves into still more powerful instruments of revolution.

The old order is doomed. History has signed its death warrant. Nothing in the world can save it. Comrade Stalin’s death will spur the working class to new efforts to complete what could not be completed in the lifetime of its great leader.

This will happen despite billions of dollars spent on armaments, despite the brandishing of atom bombs, despite the butchery of tens of thousands of innocent workers on false charges, because, as Comrade Stalin stated the ruling classes of the capitalist world have become reactionary, have lost contact with the masses, have thrown overboard the banner of independence and democracy.

Comrade Stalin taught the working class and the Communist Parties that it is they who have to uphold the cause of peace national freedom and democracy and it is they who have to act as the most patriotic parties of their people. It is they who have to become the guiding force of their nation.

Heavy Responsibilities

This was the message with which he roused the Communists and other democrats the world over in October last. He told us, in what has become the last will and testament left by him for his disciples, that, if only they unflinchingly hold aloft the banner of freedom and democratic liberties the banner which the bourgeoisie has given up, there is no force on earth which can arrest the onward march of the forces of peace, national freedom and democracy.

Like other Communist Parties the world over, the Communist Party of India is conscious of the heavy responsibilities that this terrible loss has laid on its shoulders. It is conscious of the fact that its own action in carrying out the tasks laid down by the leader who is no more will be the decisive factor in the course of development of the struggles of the Indian people for real freedom, full national sovereignty and lasting peace.

The Communist Party of India realises its responsibilities of rousing the Indian people, of successfully carrying out the first major task facing them – the task of wiping out every trace of British domination in our economy, administration and cultural life.

We realise that not only are the old chains of British imperialism being kept intact, but new chains are sought to be forged in various forms; the British imperialists hope through these chains – old and new – to deprive India of even those few traces of independence and sovereignty which they were forced to grant us five and a half years ago.

The Communist Party of India is also conscious of its responsibility to rouse the Indian people against the American imperialists who are trying more and more to penetrate into our country and make us their tools in the diabolical plan which they are hatching to unleash a third world war.

We have to explain again and again to the Indian people that the slightest weakening on our part in the matter of stout opposition to the American plans of continuing the present wars and unleashing new ones will lead to our being dragged inevitably into the camp of war.

This has now become quite evident from the manner in which India’s acceptance of the ‘principle of voluntary repatriation’ of prisoners-of-war was cleverly utilised by the American imperialists to form the background of their new policy of making ‘Asians fight Asians’.

We have to make our people realise that unless a firm and consistent opposition is organised against the so-called ‘aids’ and ‘grants’ given by the American imperialists. India faces the danger of becoming a satellite of the enemy of world peace.

The Communist Party realises its responsibility of rousing the people against the British imperialists who are deeply entrenched in our administration in our economy, administration and cultural life, as well as against the American imperialists who are trying in various ways to get a foothold in our country.

Failure to discharge this responsibility would be a criminal betrayal of the cause for which the leader of the world peoples fought his whole life, the cause which he advised us to uphold in the last will and testament left by him.

The Communist Party of India knows that it is not alone in shouldering this responsibility. Communist Parties in other countries, genuine patriots and democrats the world over, have been infused with the same spirit of irreconcilable struggle against warmongers, the spirit of uncompromising struggle for national freedom and full democracy.

The Indian Communists will join hands with these democratic and patriotic elements the world over in counteracting the enemies of the State and the Party which Stalin built up.

The Communist Party realises that, in order to discharge these responsibilities, it has to forge into a powerful mass Party.

We realise that the ideological and organisational basis on which the Model Party of the working class was built by Lenin and Stalin is our most valuable inheritance; we will go again and again to the lessons taught by the great Lenin and Stalin in building our own Party.

We are fortified with the thought that, though the great builders of the Model Party of the world are no more with us, they lived long enough to forge such a Party which, under the leadership of its Central Committee headed by such tried and tested leaders as Comrades Malenkov, Beria and Molotov, will continue to carry forward the glorious traditions of Lenin and Stalin.

The Communist Party recalls that the Party which Lenin and Stalin built looks upon the unity of the Party as of incalculable importance. We realise that the slightest degree of disunity in our ranks will be taken full advantage of by the enemies of the working class and of the Party to launch ferocious attacks on the whole working class and its allies.

It will, therefore, be our endeavour to safeguard the unity of the Party as the apple of our eye, as Comrade Stalin continually exhorted us to do.

We realise, furthermore, that one of the most powerful weapons in our hands to forge unity in our ranks is the weapon of criticism and self-criticism, particularly criticism from below. We realise that it is only by wielding this powerful weapon of Bolshevik struggle against the ideologies, forms of struggle and habits of the alien classes that we can preserve and strengthen the unity of our Party and of the working class.

Irreconcilability in principles, merciless exposure of wrong tendencies and shortcomings, the application of the sharp weapon of criticism against every member of the Party including the topmost – such is the basis on which we continuously rid ourselves of our shortcomings and weaknesses.

It is only be overcoming these shortcomings and weaknesses that we will be able to forge the complete unity of the Party.

The Communist Party realises that it cannot discharge these responsibilities unless it takes upon itself the key task of rearing Bolshevik cadres, cadres built in the true image of Stalin. We have to recall how Comrade Stalin looked upon cadres as the gold reserve of the Party, how he took deep personal interest in the development of cadres.

It was this continuous attention bestowed by him on the rearing of Bolshevik cadres which have given us such world renowned leaders as are today heading the Communist Parties of the Soviet Union, China, People’s Democracies, Italy, France, Britain, America, etc.

It is the personal attention paid by Comrade Stalin that helped the creation of such Heroes of Socialist Labour as the Stakhanovites and such Heroes of War as the Red Armymen and guerrillas of the Soviet Union; it was again this that made such epoch-making developments as the Chinese National Liberation War and other struggles that are today taking place all over the world.

We realise that the Central leadership of our party should pay utmost attention to the task of so improving its own work as to be worthy of the leadership of a Party which seeks to build itself on the model of the Lenin-Stalin Party.

It will be the endeavour of every single member of our Central leadership to improve his own work in such a way as to earn him the right and privilege of calling himself a true and loyal disciple of Stalin a cadre built in the image of Comrade Stalin.

We realise that it is only to the extent to which we succeed in doing this that we will be able to build the Party on the model of the Party of Lenin and Stalin.

Cross Roads, Vol. IV No. 5, March 15th 1953, pp. 3, 18.

Great Leader Of The Working People

Ajoy Ghosh
General Secretary
Communist Party of India.

Comrade Stalin is no more.

With deep sorrow, ordinary men and women of all lands bow their heads before their beloved leader. With great pride, they remember that they had the honour of being guided by him. With profound reverence they recollect his colossal achievements in the realm of revolutionary ideas and revolutionary deeds.

Comrade Stalin was the builder of the new society which realises the dream of the noblest thinkers of all time. Under his leadership there was realised the greatest unity of the revolutionary movement of all times – the unity of the international Communist movement, the unity of the toiling people of all lands for a common goal under a common banner.

Under his leadership there arose a new world – stretching over vast areas of Europe and Asia and with population of over 800 million – a world in which all nations live in relations of friendship and co-operation, a world where all peoples and all races enjoy equal rights, a world which knows no exploitation of man by man. Under his leadership there grew the broadest movement of all times, the movement which has drawn its orbit men and women of all countries, of all faiths, and of all political beliefs – the movement to rid people of the horrors of war, the movement to vindicate the principle of peace between countries and nations.

Comrade Stalin lived and worked in a turbulent epoch. It was an epoch in which the historic battle between labour and capital, between imperialism and the oppressed peoples, between exploiters and exploited, had entered into its final and decisive phase. It was an epoch which witnessed the menace of fascist barbarism on the one hand, the development of proletarian revolutions in the countries of imperialism on the other. Comrade Stalin passed away when the common people, led by the working class and the Communist Parties, had already triumphed in one-third of the world, when capitalism in its dying convulsions had revealed itself as the defender of all that is reactionary, when all progressive mankind were rising against the policy of the imperialists, and the balance was shifting in favour of the people.

Comrade Stalin’s leadership was the decisive factor that made possible these epic achievements, that brought about this decisive shift.

Colleague and comrade-in-arms of the great Lenin, Stalin together with him founded the Bolshevik Party, the model party of the working class, the party that showed how the battle for Socialism is waged. Colleague and comrade-in-arms of the great Lenin, he together with Lenin founded the Soviet Union, the land of victorious Socialism, the citadel of the world revolution. Colleague and comrade-in-arms of the great Lenin, he developed and tempered the international Communist movement which has already liberated vast masses from the shackles of capitalist rule. Colleague and comrade-in-arms of the great Lenin, he further developed the science of Socialism, the science of revolution, enriching it with new thoughts, arming the world’s movement for freedom with new weapons.

In his last great work, ‘Economic Problems of Socialism in the U.S.S.R.’, and in his historic speech at the XIX Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, he charted the path to Communism in the U.S.S.R., and pointed out the tasks confronting the working class in all countries in the new era.

Comrade Stalin taught that the working class can win victories only if it is led by its own Party, only if the Party continually strengthens its links with the masses, only if the Party preserves its own unity as its most precious asset, if it firmly and consistently upholds the principle of internationalism, if the Party constantly teaches the masses, learns from the masses and improves its own work through criticism and self-criticism.

A rare combination of profundity of ideas and simplicity of expression, of titanic hatred for the oppressors and exploiters and deep love for the oppressed and down-trodden, of immense theoretical power and practical leadership of day-to-day struggles – Comrade Stalin carried out the historic vow made on the occasion of the death of Lenin. No threat could cow him, no difficulties could shake his iron will, no obstacles could stand in the way of his steadfast and dynamic pursuit of the goal he had set before himself.

Only the people are immortal – taught Comrade Stalin and throughout his life he strove to make the common man, the working people, conscious of its role, of its power, of its responsibility as the maker of history, the creator of the new world. And if the Soviet Union was transformed into the mightiest country in the world, if the hordes of Hitler who dreamed of conquering the world were smashed, this, above all was due to Stalin’s indomitable leadership, to his profound faith in the common man, because of the revolutionary and creative energy of the masses he unleashed, because of the heroic stature which the working class attained under his leadership.

Great was the contribution of Comrade Stalin in every sphere of thought and action but with special attention he will be remembered by the peoples of the colonial and enslaved countries whose cause he advanced as no man had ever done.

The traitors from the Second International belittled the struggle of the colonial people. For them the nations of the East, peoples of Asia and Africa, were ever destined to remain hewers and drawers of water. For them civilisation existed only for the white peoples, who alone had the right to be free. For them Asia and Africa were only sources of raw material, markets, reservoirs of cheap labour to be exploited in the interest of the white masters.

Comrade Stalin taught that no nation can be free if it oppresses others, that the proletariat cannot emancipate itself without emancipating and uplifting the oppressed nations, without making their cause its own. Under his leadership and with the unselfish aid rendered by the Russian people, the oppressed nationalities of the tsarist empire who for centuries had remained backward and downtrodden, attained not only freedom and equal rights but achieved gigantic progress in industry and agriculture, in education and cultural upliftment, in health and well-being. Under his leadership, relations of a new kind were established between nations, relations based on mutual respect, friendly aid and fraternal co-operation. Under his leadership, the Soviet state renounced all unequal treaties, championed the right to freedom of all peoples and waged a determined battle against all forms of national and racial oppression.

The liberating role of the Soviet Army in relation to the enslaved peoples during the anti-fascist war, the magnificent support of the Soviet state which is helping the great People’s Republic of China to rebuild its economy, the fraternal help to the People’s Democracies, the consistent fight for the cause of peace, a cause especially dear to the colonial people who would be the worst sufferers in the event of a new world war – such are the concrete manifestations of the Stalin foreign policy.

The Stalin policy and these impressive acts could not but exert a profound influence on all colonial and dependent peoples groaning under the iron heel of the imperialists, could not but rouse them against their own enslavers and fire them with revolutionary fervour. No wonder, therefore, that the era of Stalin has been the era of unprecedented development of the national-liberation struggle of the colonial and dependent peoples that is shaking imperialism to its very foundations.

The contribution of Comrade Stalin to the problems of the colonial peoples, to the question of national-colonial revolution, to the question of the united front in colonial countries, to the question of proletarian hegemony in the national movement, is known to all. He showed the colonial peoples the path to freedom. He taught how the fight for national liberation is combined with the fight of the working class of the colonial countries, that it is they who must assume the leadership of the national revolution, build a broad united front of all progressive classes and establish firm unity with the vast masses of the peasantry. He taught that national liberation can be attained only through a determined struggle against imperialism, against the reactionary bourgeoisie and feudalism and by unleashing the agrarian revolution. He taught that this demands the building above all of a mass Communist Party faithful to the principles of Marxism-Leninism, rooted in the broad masses.

It is an eloquent tribute to the genius of Comrade Stalin that wherever in colonial countries the people, under the leadership of the working class have taken the path taken by Stalin, there the reign of imperialism had been uprooted once and for all, there complete freedom and democracy have been attained, there the people – the working class, peasantry, intelligentsia and national bourgeoisie – are building a new life. Wherever on the other hand the national movement has been led along the other path, the path of the bourgeoisie, there imperialism still dominates the country, there the people remain sunk in poverty and backwardness.

Traversing the path shown by Comrade Stalin and under the leadership of their great Communist Party and glorious leader Comrade Mao Tse-tung, the people of China have shattered the rule of imperialism in their vast country. They have frustrated the plans of the imperialists who strove to enslave the peoples of Asia and extend the flames of war. Their victories, becoming ever more consolidated with the fraternal aid of the Soviet Union, their historic friendship, cemented in blood with the Soviet people, have marked the beginning of a new path for the peoples of Asia. The days of impunity for imperialist intervention in the affairs of the peoples of Asia, the days of gunboat diplomacy, are over. And all the ravings of the Eisenhowers and Dulleses, and of their European satellites, all their nefarious plans of making ‘Asians fight Asians’, will not bring these days back.

Deep and profound was Comrade Stalin’s love for the Indian people, deep and sustained was his interest in their movement for national freedom. Fully conscious of the treacherous character of the national bourgeois leadership he warned the Indian people against its manoeuvres and stressed the importance of a mass Communist Party which alone could lead the battle for freedom. His counsel in relation to the Indian revolutionary movement will ever be remembered by the Indian Communist Party with reverence, with love, with pride.

Guided by the principles of Stalin, inspired by the ideas of Stalin, imbibing the teaching of Stalin, the Programme of the Communist Party of India serves today as a mighty weapon for uniting the broad masses of the Indian people under the leadership of the working class for full freedom and democracy. With the economic crisis in India deepening every day, with the plans and projects of the ruling classes suffering fiasco and imposing new burdens on the people, with the growing radicalisation of the masses of our people, more and more millions will rally in the coming period for the realisation of this programme.

Comrade Stalin is no more. But his achievements live. His cause lives. The movement he led lives and grows. The world he led to liberation grows stronger, more united, more consolidated.

His work remains unfinished. We, the Communist Parties that he led, must carry forward his banner, must complete his work. Two-thirds of the world has yet to be liberated. The plans of the imperialists brandishing the atom bomb, who want to plunge humanity into the horrors of another war, who are massacring the peoples of Korea, Malaya and Viet Nam, have yet to be finally smashed.

Our responsibilities have grown immensely. But led by the teaching of Stalin, we shall march ahead, preserving and strengthening the unity of our Party, preserving and strengthening the great unity of the international working-class movement.

Great Stalin taught us to uphold national freedom which the bourgeoisie has betrayed. He taught us to hold aloft the banner of democratic liberties which the bourgeoisie has thrown overboard. He taught us to fight for the great principles of friendship between peoples and peace between states. He taught us that by doing this alone we shall rally all progressive people under our banner and advance the cause of liberation.

These theses shall be our guide in the battles ahead.

Victory will be ours for Stalin continues to lead us!

For a Lasting Peace, For a People’s Democracy
March 20, 1953
No. 12 (218)

Letter of the General Secretary, CC Communist Party of India, A. Ghosh, to the CC CPSU on the Reaction of the Communist Party of India to the Report of N.S. Khrushchev

[Not later than 24th August 1956]1

Esteemed Friend,

I am dispatching herewith a copy of the resolution of our Central Committee on the question of the struggle against the personality cult.

The resolution, in very mild tones contains the opinion of the majority of the members of the CC as well as mine on the issue. The common members of the party are much more critical of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union than expressed in our resolution.

I read very attentively the report that was read by Com. Khrushchev, as it was published in the bourgeois press. On the one hand, bringing to light the terrible events which took place and correctly judging personality of Stalin, who is held mainly responsible, the report, at the same time, suffers from serious shortcomings.

Firstly2, I consider that it is difficult to accept some of the facts.

As an example, the assertion that Stalin used to plan military manoeuvres on a globe. In the report itself, reference is made to Stalin’s role in the civil war and this means that he had some knowledge of military matters, that, at least, could read military maps. Why, in such a case, would he think of a globe, when it was a matter of much larger operations. One should also not forget that on such personalities as Churchill, who, undoubtedly, had some understanding of military matters and were not among Stalin’s friends, Stalin during his meetings with them created an enormous impression due to his ability to understand the essence of the matter and assess the situation. How do we explain this? The myth that Stalin alone guided the war effort needed to be cleared, but was there a necessity to go to the other extreme view that Stalin had no knowledge of military matters, so much so that he could not even read military maps?

Secondly, The report does not create the impression of an unbiased document. It is true that in the very beginning of the report it is stated that a detailed assessment of Stalin’s life and actions is not being made in the report. However, as the report mainly talks about Stalin’s mistakes and crimes, it should also have shed light on his achievements. From the report it almost appears that Stalin stopped playing any positive role 20 years before his death and in this period committed only mistakes.

Thirdly, The report has nothing to say about the role of many other people. One may understand why it might have been difficult to oppose Stalin openly, but it is difficult to understand the need to heap praise on him.

Fourthly, The report does not give any analysis of the factors that helped in the emergence of such a phenomena and of the conditions that allowed these phenomena to persist over such a long period of time.

The members of our party have highly praised Togliatti’s article in which many questions are raised.

The CC CPSU in its resolution of 30 June 1956 explains the historical situation in which these mistakes were committed and therefore this resolution is an important contribution. However, many questions raised by Togliatti remain unanswered in it.

Another question arises – the question about the rights of individual in a socialist society and about protection of these rights. It is not possible to keep quiet about these anymore, as we have done in the past. It is impossible to convince people that the ending of exploitation of one class by another class not only creates conditions (and it is so in reality) for fuller exercise of the rights of individual than under capitalism but that ending exploitation in itself is a sufficient guarantee of these rights. Our comrades want to know, can a Soviet citizen, being true to socialist principles criticise not only particular actions but also certain aspects of the policies of the government of the Communist Party. As an example, could a Soviet citizen openly say during Stalin’s lifetime that excessive praising of Stalin is against the spirit of Marxism-Leninism or that the theory of intensification of class struggle was wrong? Or even if such views were expressed could such an article be published in any newspaper? Was not the absence of precisely these rights a major factor that allowed the mistakes to be continued to be committed. What is being done at the present time so as to correct these shortcomings.

Further, it may be asked, as already is being done, has the past been completely broken away from? Why do we keep hearing about some closed proceedings that have occurred recently? Was the article by Togliatti, in which pertinent questions have been raised, published in the Soviet press in full? How are we to understand that one of the resorts has been named after Khrushchev and that just a few days ago we had news that an electrical factory has been named after Khrushchev?

I do not expect immediate response to these questions but I do request you to give them a good thought. I have no doubt that it is not only we who raise these questions but also millions of communists in all the countries, at least, in all capitalist countries.

These questions have arisen not because people hold anti-Soviet sentiments or have turned against the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and not because they do not recognise that important changes have been and are presently taking place in the Soviet Union. These questions have arisen as all of us have started to think critically as the recent events have shaken us profoundly and forced us to rethink the present events. Along with the recent strengthening of the socialist system and also the fact that there can be no doubt about its superiority over capitalism, there is also a view that certain changes are not only possible but also are necessary especially in relation to the broadening of democracy and in relation to rights of individual in the light of the strengthening of the socialist system.

We would like to get a response to our questions about human rights in a socialist society which is detailed and concrete and not, as many a time we ourselves have done, in general terms.

With best wishes
Ajoy Ghosh

Resolution of the CC CPI on ‘The Struggle Against the Personality Cult in the CPSU’

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India discussed the situation created in the wake of the publication by the Department of State of the United States of America purportedly of the report which was read by com. Khrushchev at the special meeting at the XXth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The Central Committee also examined the resolution approved by the Central Committee of the CPSU on 30, June. The facts mentioned in the report came as a big shock for the communists and millions of progressive people in the world. They show that along with extraordinary successes in the construction of socialism in the USSR, during the last period in the life of Com. J.V. Stalin there have been cases of distortion of Soviet democracy, violation of socialist legality as a result of excesses and despotism, and even of norms of internal party life.

The Central Committee of the Communists Party of India considers that, taking note of the gravity of the mistakes and accounting for the scale of the damage, it became necessary to take strong measures for the correcting of and compensating for the damage inflicted. It was necessary to conduct a resolute struggle against the personality cult that is alien to the spirit of Marxism-Leninism, and the intensification of which played an important role in creating the conditions in which these mistakes were committed. The personality cult weakened the role of the masses and the party and obstructed them from taking initiative. Having defined for itself the aim of achieving these tasks the CC CPSU has made a big contribution to the mission of socialism.

The resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union also examines the historical and the social conditions that facilitated the furtherance of Stalin’s cult. The historical conditions – the hostile capitalist encirclement, fascism’s growth and the threat of invasion of the Soviet Union demanded cast-iron discipline, centralisation of the leadership and a degree of limiting of democracy – can be justified. In presence of these conditions some negative features in the personality of Com. Stalin begin to develop and gradually lead to the emergence of the personality cult and suspension of collective leadership that brought in its wake negative consequences. Evidently, Com. Stalin bears the main responsibility for the distortion of Soviet democracy and the violation of intra party norms. It is indisputable too, that in the later period of his life the personality cult assumed colossal proportions. Fully recognising the negative dimensions and serious shortcomings that developed in the Stalinist methods of administration, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of India considers that the one-sided assessment of his role for the last 20 years of his life – years of great achievements in the USSR and the international communist movement evokes doubts in the minds of the masses and can be used by the enemies of communism to frighten them.

Therefore, the Central Committee thinks that an unbiased assessment of the life and work of Comrade Stalin, of the great achievements of Comrade Stalin and his serious shortcomings, is needed to successfully combat against the personality cult and to effectively overcome the ensuing confusion.

The Central Committee thinks that the excessive praising of the personality and the role of Comrade Stalin, which became a usual practice during his life, also needs to be explained. It is also necessary to give a more elaborate analysis of the reasons giving rise to despotism and excesses and only then will it be possible to form an objective assessment of the personality cult. To attribute all the shortcomings and wilful actions to one person is not in accordance with the Marxist-Leninist norms of historical objectiveness.

Disclosures included in the report of Comrade Khrushchev have been used by the imperialists and other enemies of the working people to condemn the Soviet Union and destroy the trust of the people in the socialist system. The resolution of the Central Committee of the CPSU of 30th June correctly elucidates the machination of these enemies and emphasises the need to be true to the ideology of Marxism-Leninism and to proletarian internationalism. The enemies of the working class are trying by all means to persuade the people that the violations of Soviet democracy and excesses are inherent in the socialist system. There is a grave danger that this propaganda may influence many honest and progressive people and the Communist Party of India thinks it is necessary to expose and fight these machinations.

Hardly 40 years have passed since the victory of the proletarian revolution in Russia. In this period the Soviet Union has been transformed from a backward country into one of the most developed countries, from the Tsarist Empire to a country of victorious socialism.

During this period one third of humanity has been liberated from the oppression of capitalism and socialism has grown into a world system. While the capitalist world is in the throes of a deepening crisis consigning hundreds of millions of people to poverty, unemployment and cultural backwardness, the socialist world has witnessed gigantic successes in all the spheres. The example of the socialist world and its positive actions have made a deep impact on the whole course of human history. If now we have the possibility of avoiding war, peaceful transition to socialism of a number of states, if for the countries of the former colonial world new possibilities of independent economic development have opened up then the crucial factor in all of this has been the growing economic, political and moral stature of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries as well as policies that they have pursued. It will not be an exaggeration to assert that never in the history of the world has so much been achieved over so vast a territory in so short a time.

It is clear that any system for which such violations and distortions were inescapable could have sparked the creative energy of hundreds of millions on a scale not witnessed before and bring about such unprecedented social transformation.

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India is convinced that the opponents of socialism and those who want to malign the Soviet Union, though, may temporarily sow confusion, cannot subvert the growing popularity of the idea of socialism in our country and cannot weaken the ties of Indo-Soviet friendship.

The XXth Congress of the CPSU standing on the great achievements of the past and guided by the all victorious ideas of Marxism-Leninism has charted out the course of further development. The decisions of the Congress and the actions following from them have made a great impact on the whole world and have considerably strengthened the movement for peace, democracy and socialism. The mistakes and the excesses made in the USSR are not the consequences of the principles of Marxism-Leninism or the Soviet system, but of turning away from them in different aspects. This happened in the background of great victories of socialist reconstruction carried out in times of extraordinary difficulties. There can be no doubts that thanks to such actions that are carried out to combat and exclude the shortcomings that cropped up during this period, and thanks to further efforts based on a rigorous analysis of past events, the Soviet society will move ahead in all the spheres and bring about sustained growth of socialist democracy. The enemies of socialism asserted that socialism is based on restriction of thought and represents negation of the free spirit which is the source of individual initiative. The socialist society is capable of guaranteeing complete freedom of conscience and freedom of the individual because it removes exploitation of man by man and creates conditions in which the freedom of the individual can exist unceasingly. The successes of the socialist transformation in the economic life make possible to a greater extent the broadening of the sphere of individual freedom and creation of effective guarantees against violations of this freedom.

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India feels the need to underline that for the success of socialism it is necessary to adhere to the principles of socialist democracy and to unceasingly strengthen it.

The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India attaches great importance to maintaining and strengthening of individual freedom and freedom in general under socialism.

The Central Committee is convinced that the international communist movement will make use of the experience of the Soviet Union and will take effective measures to defend and strengthen democracy in all the spheres. Though socialism has become the common goal of all progressive humanity in our times, each country will take towards achieving this goal its own course.

Strictly adhering to the principles of Marxism-Leninism, the Communist Party of India strives to achieve this goal – socialism, by basing itself on the national traditions and the specific features of our country. Adherence to the principles of Marxism-Leninism, the Communist Party of India wants achieve this goal – socialism, on the basis of national traditions and the specific features of our country. Commitment to the principles of Marxism-Leninism, the main aim – socialism and struggle for peace, democracy and defence of national independence form the basis of proletarian internationalism and of fraternal cooperation among the communist and workers’ parties. This cooperation which is based on sharing of experience, freedom to criticism and self-criticism and independence of national parties is necessary for the socialist movement. The Communist Party of India will do everything in order to help the strengthening of the ties of proletarian internationalism.

RGANI. F.5, Op. 28, D.441, LL. 99-106. Translated from the English to Russian.

Doklad N.S. Khrushcheva o kul’te lichnosti Stalina na XX S”ezde KPSS, Dokymenty, red. K. Ayemermakher, Rosspen, Moskva, 2002, pp. 768-773.

Translated from the Russian by Tahir Asghar.

1) The date on the note of the desk for relations with foreign communist parties of the CPSU attached. Written on the note: 'Com. Suslov acquainted. V. Vorontsov.' The document has been cleared by L.I. Brezhnev, P.N .Ponamarev, A.B. aristov (F.5, Op. 25, D.441, L.98).

2) Here and henceforth the words emphasised in the text are in bold.

Click here to return to the September 2010 index.