As part of the year-long commemoration of the centenary of the Russian Revolution by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), Indian supporters of the ICFI will hold a public meeting in Kolkata, the capital of the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, on January 14. The event will also feature a screening of Tsar to Lenin, the unique documentary of the 1917 revolution.
The contradictions of the capitalist system, which led to two world wars last century, are now driving the imperialist powers, led by the US, towards a catastrophic nuclear war. These contradictions are also leading to an intensification of the international class struggles. Thus, the conditions that provided the objective basis for the seizure of power by the Russian working class, led by the Bolshevik Party under Lenin and Trotsky, are re-emerging.
The Indian ruling class, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, is lining up behind the US war drive in the Asia-Pacific region, mainly targeting China. It is also carrying out pro-investor economic reforms, attacking the working and living conditions and democratic rights of working people and rural toilers. Indian workers, youth and other oppressed masses, like their class brothers and sisters worldwide, are facing the danger of world war, mass poverty, unemployment and social inequality.
In this situation there is increased interest among workers, youths and intellectuals, in India and worldwide, in socialism. They are seeking a way out of the miserable conditions to which they have been condemned under capitalism. Therefore, the historical lessons of the Russian Revolution—the objective basis on which it emerged, the intense theoretical and political struggles led by Lenin and Trotsky, and why the Soviet Union, the workers’ state created by the revolution, came to an end in 1991—are crucial for the working class today to secure victory in its own October, i.e., world socialist revolution.
Under these conditions, the Indian Stalinists, like the pseudo-lefts worldwide, are playing a central role in obscuring the necessary lessons of the October Revolution, the degeneration of the Soviet Union and its ultimate dissolution by the Stalinist bureaucracy. India’s main Stalinist party, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM, has launched “October Revolution Centenary Celebrations” in a bogus attempt to claim the legacy of the 1917 revolution. Material published by the CPM and speeches by its leaders have presented lies and distortions, including portraying the October Revolution as a mere national event, and not as the opening shot of the world socialist revolution.
Exposing these falsifications, the ICFI supporters’ meeting will discuss the political and theoretical struggles led by Lenin and Trotsky for the perspective of socialist internationalism and the contemporary significance of this struggle for the international working class.
We urge workers, youth and intellectuals to participate in the meeting. It will be conducted in Bengali and English and streamed live via Facebook. A summary will be available in Hindi.
Date and time: Sunday, January 14, 10 am.
Venue: Mukta–Angan Rangalaya, 123, SP Mukherjee Road, Kolkata 700026 (Near Kalighat Metro station).