Archive for History

CID report on the CPP 1952

Posted in Communist Movement, Pakistan with tags , , , on March 15, 2010 by Umer

This is a preface of the report compiled by the DIG of the CID in 1952 on the Communist party of Pakistan. It gives an idea of how the Party’s most bitterest of enemies looked upon it and the kind of work  Sajjad Zaheer and his companions did to erect an efficient party organization within a span of 3 years. The actual report comprised 6 volumes and is to this day within the classified archives of the state. The credit is due to Rauf Malik, of Peoples Publishing House, who through his painstaking efforts has been able to secure only the preface of this document. 

Preface

It hardly seems necessary to enlarge on the purpose and usefulness of this book. Communism is the most inexorable and momentous political force in the contemporary world: it’s strength and potentialities are after under-estimated. In Pakistan the complacency is partly due to the common belief that Islam and communism are incompatible. How many people realize that the Muslims of the southern states of the U.S.S.R and China could not avert its advent? Malay, despite its Muslim population is engaged in a grueling life and death struggle; in Iran the Tudeh Party is gathering strength: in Egypt the horizon becomes marked with red streaks. Strangest of all, Afghanistan, in spite of its despotic masters, has a nucleus of a party whose leader, at any rate, hopes to overthrow the existing regime (details are given later). The threat of the Red expansion is now turning towards India. Guerrillas battled for years with armed forces in the States of Hyderabad and Madras and kept them at bay. In certain provincial assemblies enough communist M.L.A’s have been returned as to hold the balance of power. These factors must have their effect in Pakistan.

2. After the partition, the communist party in Pakistan lost all its veteran workers and was left without financial resources; yet within three years, a powerful party machine has been built up. The budget of the party is perhaps only next to that of the Muslim League. It employs more paid works than any other political party. New links have been forged and work organized amongst students, factory workers, other laborers, Kissans and writers, including journalists. Two candidates were put up for the last assembly elections. Innumerable strikes, processions and demonstrations have been organized. Class consciousness, which was unknown in these parts, has been developed and a distrust of the British created. Sajjad Zaheer, at any rate felt so sure of himself that in February 1951, he decided to plunge his party into the conspiracy hatched at Rawalpindi.

3. Very little is known about the working of the party machine, its underground methods, its insidious technique, the fanatic zeal of its followers and their single mindedness of purpose. This book reproduces some of the most intimate and closely guarded party documents. The books will give an insight into party secrets and its method of working. It dwells also on party ramifications and the manner in which the foundations of the existing order are being furtively undermined. The book is written with the hope that it will create a better appreciation of one of the most pressing problems of our time.
Lahore.

Dated the 18th March, 1952
M. Anwer Ali
Deputy Inspector General Police
Criminal Investigation Department
Punjab.

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On Pakistan and National Unity

Posted in Communist Movement, Pakistan with tags , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2009 by Umer

Resolution passed by the Enlarged Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of India on the 19th September 1942, and confirmed by the First Congress of the Communist Party of India in May 1943.

All-India national unity based on communal harmony and Congress-League joint front is today an urent and pressing necessity to solve the present national crisis, to win national government from the hands of the British imperialist bureaucracy and to defend our Motherland against the fascist aggressor. This has brought the controversy of pakistan versus the unity of India sharply to the forefront. The Communist Party, therefore, lays down the main principles of the Communist policy on this issue.

1. The Communist party draws together the toilers of all castes, communities and nationalities in common class organizations (Trade Unions, Kissan Sabhas, etc.). It unites them politically as the vanguard of the United national front for achieving the freedom of our country and democracy. This is the cornerstone of the policy of achieving communal unity.

2. To build the united national front of the peoples of the various communities and nationalities that inhabit India, for the defense and freedom of our country, it is necessary to dispel the mutual distrust and suspicion that exists among them. This is a remnant of memories of past historical oppression and of present social inequalities arising out of the feudal imperialist exploitation. For this purpose, the basis rights of the communities and nationalities must be made an essential part of the programme of the united national front.

3. The programme of the U.N.F. must declare that in Free India, there will be perfect equality between nationalities and communities that live together in India. There will be no oppression of one nationality by another. There will be no inequalities or disabilities based on caste or community. To ensure this the national movement must recognize the following rights as part of its programme for national unity:

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Farewell to history

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2009 by Umer

by Sitaram Yechury

The victor, inevitably, scripts history. Historians’ labour unearths the virtues and valour of the vanquished describing the plight of ‘people’ caught in the crossfire. The victor, however, does not stop at authoring ‘official’ history of any one event alone but seeks to re-write all history to consolidate its current hegemony. Following the collapse of the USSR and in the present conjecture of the global capitalist recession, the West seeks to reinterpret World War II’s history by equating fascism with communism.

In 2004, to deflect rising global protests against the US military occupation of Iraq, on the 50th anniversary of the landing of the Allied troops at Normandy, all North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders assembled to project themselves as the champions of the victory over fascism liberating Western Europe. They deliberately concealed the fact that for every allied soldier who laid down his life, fighting fascism, there were 40 Soviet soldiers who laid down their lives. Over 20 million Soviet soldiers and people lost their lives. In 1,418 days of war, the Soviet Union lost nine lives every minute, 857 every hour and 14,000 lives a day.

On the 70th anniversary of fascist Germany’s attack on Poland (September 1, 1939, 4.40 am), which started the World War II, a similar attempt is being made to once again distort history. This is necessary for the advanced capitalist powers to seek to prevent the growth of socialist ideas and Left politics, as currently seen in various countries of Latin America, in the wake of the worst capitalist economic recession since the Great Depression. Today, the US has an unprecedented seven million people unemployed. The European Union is faring no better. Under these circumstances, it is imperative for them to decry the glorious role of the Soviet Union and, by implication any socialist alternative, in the defeat of fascism.

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Phenomenal Growth of China since Revolution

Posted in Communist Movement, International Affairs with tags , , , on September 2, 2009 by Umer

This is the graph of GDP growth of China in contrast with West Europe showing the phenomenal growth of China since the revolution. China is rapidly catching up with Western Europe. The incline in the growth in comparison to the rest of China’s own history is astounding. Even West Europe has not seen anything like this in its history. People who criticize the Communist Party of China should also acknowledge its unprecedented historical achievements.

Source: Angus Maddison, The World Economy, p. 42

 

Growth in China

Growth in China

History of the U.S.A. in 3 minutes

Posted in International Affairs with tags , , , , on August 26, 2009 by Umer

Ironies of History: Contradictions of The Khilafat Movement

Posted in International Affairs, Pakistan with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2009 by Umer

by Hamza Alavi

The ‘Khilafat’ Movement of 1919-24, is probably quite unique inasmuch as it has been glorified with one voice by Islamic ideologists, Indian nationalists and communists alike and along with them by Western scholars, as an anti-colonial movement of Muslims of India, premised on the hostility of the British to the Turkish Sultan, their venerated Caliph.1 Little attempt has been made to examine the premises on which the movement was founded, the rhetoric of its leaders being taken at face value. On closer examination we find extra-ordinary paradoxes and contradictions behind that rhetoric.

As for the ‘achievements’ of that Movement, its lasting legacy is the legitimised place that it gave the Muslim clergy at the centre of the modern political arena, armed with a political organisation in the form of the Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Hind (and its successors after the Partition) which the clergy have used to intervene actively in both the political as well as the ideological sphere. Never before in Indian Muslim history was the clergy ever accorded such a place in political life.

The Khilafat Movement also introduced the religious idiom in the politics of Indian Muslims. Contrary to some misconceptions (and misrepresentations) it was not the Muslim League, the bearer of Muslim Nationalism in India, that introduced religious ideology in the politics of Indian Muslims. Muslim Nationalism was a movement of Muslims and not a movement of Islam. It was an ethnic movement of disaffected Muslim professionals and the government-job-seeking educated Indian Muslim middle class, mainly those of UP and Bihar and urban Punjab. Their objectives were modest, for they demanded not much more than fair quotas in jobs for Muslims and certain safeguards for their interests. Muslim Nationalism in India was a secular rather than a religious movement. Nor was it, in its origins, a Hindu hating movement as is sometimes made out. To the contrary, by virtue of the Lucknow Pact of 1916 it had already moved decisively towards a common platform with the broader Indian National Movement and unity with the Congress Party. The Khilafat Movement intervened in that context in a way that decisively killed the politics of the Lucknow Pact. The intervention of the Khilafat Movement in Indian Muslim politics has had a considerable retrogressive ideological influence on the modern Indian Muslim mind that reverberates still in Muslim thinking and their politics in present day India and Pakistan. For that alone, it deserves to be reviewed and re-evaluated.

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Moosa Sai Marx Tak (From Moses to Marx)

Posted in Books & Authors, Marxism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2009 by Umer

Preface and Chapter 1

Moosa se Marx Tak is one the best known writings of the South Asian Marxist and public intellectual, Syed Sibte Hasan. Sibte Hasan remained steadfast in his commitment towards Marxism-Leninism through out his life and contributed enormously in the revolutionary struggle through his pen.  For many decades, Moosa se Marx Tak was the fundamental guiding texts for the activists and students of the Leftist politics of Pakistan. Therefore, it gives me great pleasure to present the preface and the first chapter of this authoritative text translated by Syed Ehtisham (with minor editorial changes) at the Red Diary:

Preface

Marx and Engels devised the term scientific socialism for their political thought, and idealistic socialism for ‘old fashioned’ socialism, which encompassed the reformist plans which European thinkers offered from time to time. The plans had not been inferred from the conditions on the ground, but were a reflection of their subjective aspirations. Scientific socialism, on the other hand, was derived from, and logical conclusion of existing objective conditions (maroozi hallat). Its principles of evolution had been derived from a deep study of the capitalist system.

Scientific socialism refers to a social system in which all means of production-land, minerals, factories, banks, trade-are collectively owned by the society, and the produce is distributed according to the qualitative worth of the work performed by physical and intellectual cadres.

Communism is the next stage of scientific socialism, under which means of production and the produce is so advanced that the measure of distribution is not worth, but need of the people.

Foes of socialism have tried to malign it by asserting that it does not allow any personal possessions. That is far from the truth. Socialism does not permit exploitation of labor for accumulation of wealth by individuals or groups, for example control over land, minerals, manufactories and finance. Private property is sacrosanct under the feudal and capitalist systems (and supported by all religions), where as the foundations of socialism lie in abolition of such private ownership and transferring it to social ownership.

Private ownership has created so many social evils that public ownership is being promoted even in capitalist societies (nationalization of essential services and welfare). Means of production were nationalized (in the post-WW II Europe) and Asian countries.

The other private ownership pertains to items of personal use, like clothes, utensils, home, books, bicycle, radio, etc. Under a capitalist system, people do not have adequate quantities of items of personal use (even in rich societies). A socialist society, on the other hand aims to provide people with sufficient quantity of items of personal use. There is no equivalence in people’s productive or inventive capacity, so the income of each and every one under a socialist system will not be the same.

Socialism does not repress individuality, in fact it encourages it. Only exploitation of labor for personal aggrandizement is proscribed.

Chapter 1: Early Communism

Europeans ‘discovered’ America, and traveled to India in the early 15th CE. They gained great material wealth, and gained important knowledge and information. The general public was entranced by the stories of travelers, and though they contained more half truths and outright lies than facts, the general public listened to them and developed great interest in exploration of the world unknown to them and the greed to acquire wealth.

This mind set induced Sir Thomas Moore to write his classic work “Utopia”, which relates experiences of a fictitious sailor, who happened to land in a far off island, where people lived in a communist society. The same instinct led the English novelist Daniel Defoe to pen “Robinson Crusoe”, and Swift to write “Gulliver’s Travels”.

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