Arvind Memorial Seminar

Defending Socialism

Harsh Thakor

From 10th March to 14th March the Arvind Memorial Trust held a historic seminar on the question of Socialism and it's transition. It made an effort to analyze and summarize the achievements and flaws of past Socialist Societies. For 5 days about 200 people thronged the venue at Vigyan Bhavan in Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh to debate and understand this crucial issue.

No doubt this seminar was one of the most remarkable efforts to debate and defend the achievements of Socialist China and USSSR in light of the attacks by the bourgeois current on Socialist Societies.The representatives of the Arvind Memorial Trust made a remarkable effort to defend the achievements of Socialist Societies and the ideology of Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Mao as well as the mistakes of Stalin or the errors during the Cultural Revolution. The efforts of the organizers to defend the achievements of Stalin against the bourgeois attack on him as well as the wrong currents within the world revolutionary camp drew serious attention. A very analytical paper was presented by Abhinav Sinha as well as well as Dr Amritpal from Ludhiana. The latter made an incisive analysis of Stalin. Papers were also presented on Socialist China, distortions of the New Left, 50 years since the general line of the CCP on ICM, analysis of Bolivarian and Nepalese revolutions, on Italian Marxism etc. This writer was impressed in the meticulous work done to write the papers, particularly that of Abhinav. A huge range of questions were answered. What was most important that the organizers allowed such a huge range of views to be discussed and debated and freely allowed activists to present papers and views which had variance from the line of the organizers of the conference. It showed the commendable work done to educate cadre politically. The cadres worked day and night with splendid spirit and dedication. Few forums encourage such a broad range of views on Maoism and such broad forum for activists to air their views.

Sadly no major revolutionary groups participated.There is a tendency in the revolutionary camp to bracket the Rahul Foundation of neglecting grassroots work and only printing Marxist publications. But without grassroots work such a seminar could never be held. In fact it is most unfortunate that such sectarianism still prevails in the revolutionary camp which prevented them from attending the seminar. Be it the CPI(Maoist), the CPRCI (ML), the CPI (ML) Red Flag, New Democracy, Liberation or Kanu Sanyal groups-none nor even factions of the Communist League of India participated. This prevented adequate debate. The cadres of the Rahul Foundation are dedicated to their task and would have created a healthy exchange of different views. The components of the revolutionary camp of India do not see the importance of staging such a seminar on the polemics of Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Mao. This writer may not completely agree with the views of the organizers but it was really sad the other groups virtually boycotted the seminar.

Ironically the seminar was staged on the 50th birth anniversary of the legendary Arvind, who carved a permanent niche amongst the revolutionary martyrs. He instilled red flame that forever burned in the hearts of revolutionaries and this seminar ignited his very spirit. Arvind carried the people’s cause on his shoulders and illuminated the flame of Marxism-Leninism being one of the most creative of activists.

Vol. 46, No. 48, Jun 8 - 14, 2014