The reprehensible acts in Tripura by the Hindutva goons of razing statues of Lenin (1870-1924) who led the greatest October Socialist Revolution in 1917 and was the only head of a state (USSR) who supported the Indian freedom struggle, should not surprise anybody.
We must know why a great liberator and unwavering supporter of India’s independence, Lenin is being targetted by the Hindutva goons. It is being done because Hindutva goons are genetically opposed to democratic-secular India which came into being after a long glorious anti-colonial freedom struggle. Those who razed the Lenin statues (Tripura Governor, an old RSS cadre and perennial Muslim basher justified these criminal acts) are the children of those pre-Independence RSS/Hindu Mahasabha [HMS] leaders who brazenly opposed the Indian freedom struggle. These criminals aligned with the Muslim League [ML] against the Quit India Movement of 1942. When whole of the Congress leadership was in jails, Indian masses were being massacred for carrying Tricolour and India had been turned into a jail by the British masters, HMS led by Hindutva icon, Savarkar ran coalition governments with ML in Bengal, Sind and NWFP.
Shamelessly, another Hindutva icon, Syama Prasad Mookerjee was the deputy CM in the Bengal ML ministry. When Netaji attempted to liberate India militarily HMS in league with the RSS organized 'Military recruitment camps for the British armed forces'. It is not known by many that Indians lost 1857 War of Independence mainly due to the support of Gurkha army sent by the Hindu rulers of the Hindu State Nepal. For this support Terai region of India was gifted to Nepal by the British government.
What else can we expect from the children of such anti-national goons?
The Hindutva goons while razing Lenin’s statues in Tripura and abusing him in shameless words were also chanting BHARAT MATA KI JAI (Hail Mother India). Mother India whose liberation struggle their Hindutva icons of the time of the freedom struggle betrayed continuously. The denigration of Lenin by the Hindutva goons is not an insult of Lenin only but India’s great anti-colonial struggle with which Lenin not only sympathised but actively helped as we will see in the following.
TILAK AND LENIN
The renowned historian Amaresh Mishra has chronicled this relationship in the following words:
“ In 1908, Praful Chaki and Khudiram Bose, two Bengali youths, threw a bomb at the carriage of a British officer in Muzaffarpur, Bihar. Chaki committed suicide but Bose was caught and hanged. Tilak, in his paper Kesari, defended the revolutionaries and called for immediate Swaraj or self-rule. Slapped with sedition charges, he was exiled to Burma for six years in 1909.
Bombay's working class hit the streets again to protest Tilak's incarceration. Himself in exile, the Russian revolutionary LENIN HAILED THE STRUGGLE OF THE INDIAN PEOPLE, especially, the working class upsurge. Slamming the British as brutes, Lenin wrote: ‘The most liberal and radical personalities of free Britain…become regular Genghis Khans when appointed to govern India and are capable of sanctioning every means of 'pacifying' the population in their charge, even to the extent of flogging political protestors!
Blasting the “infamous sentence pronounced by the British jackals on the INDIAN DEMOCRAT TILAK”, Lenin predicted that with the Indians having got a taste of political mass struggle, the ‘British regime in India is doomed’.”
Amaresh’s research on Lenin’s Indian freedom struggle connections leads us to know the fact that “Afraid of the Indian Freedom Movement learning from the Russian revolution, or other struggles, like the Irish Independence war, British Indian authorities, began spreading canards against Lenin. Writing in Kesari, TILAK DEFENDED LENIN. Tilak wrote that, ‘LENIN WAS IN FAVOUR OF PEACE...he only wants justice for oppressed...he is popular among the people and the army because he distributed land amongst the peasantry’.”
INDIAN REVOLUTIONARIES AND LENIN
Large number of revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev, Chandershekhar Azad, Ashfaqullah adopted socialism as their creed and died dreaming of independent India on the model of USSR. The slogan, INQUILAB ZINDABAD coined by Maulana Hasrat Mohani and popularized by Bhagat Singh and his comrades was inspired by Soviet revolution.
According to Amaresh Mishra,
“Bengal revolutionaries of 'Yugantar' and 'Anushilan' quoted Lenin freely; in North India, the Hindustan Republican Army (HRA) emerged as a major force. Taken over by BHAGAT SINGH and CHANDRASHEKHAR AZAD after the 'Kakori episode' and the arrest of Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaque Ullah and Thakur Roshan Singh, HRA was changed to HSRA--with the 'S' standing for Socialist…Under Gaya Prasad Katiyar, a HSRA team went to Russia for arms training. Bhagat Singh himself wanted to go to Russia. But developments in the wake of Lala Lajpat Rai's death, led Bhagat Singh to kill Saunders, a British officer. Later, Bhagat Singh was arrested in 1929 for throwing a non-lethal bomb in Delhi, inside the Parliament hall.
During his prison term/trial, Bhagat Singh read a lot of Marxist literature…On 21st January, 1930, Bhagat Singh and his comrades read out a telegram in the British Court that they wanted to send to Russia. The telegram sent "REVOLUTIONARY GREETINGS TO THE GREAT LENIN". Earlier, in September, 1929, Jatindra Nath, another staunch, HSRA admirer of Lenin, died in Bhagat Singh's arms during the historic, jail hunger strike. When, finally, Bhagat Singh was summoned to be hanged, he was reading Lenin.”
According to another chronicler of the close bonds between Lenin/USSR and India’s revolutionary left, Adrija Roychowdhury, a group of Indian revolutionaries met in Kabul and sent a message to the Communist revolutionary, Vladimir Lenin on February 17, 1920, expressing deep admiration of Soviet Russia’s working class struggle that was led by him for
“the great struggle carried on by Soviet Russia for the liberation of all oppressed classes and peoples, and especially for the liberation of India…Lenin responded to the Indian call. ‘I am glad to hear that the principles of self-determination and the liberation of oppressed nations from exploitation by foreign and native capitalists, proclaimed by the Workers’ and Peasants’ Republic, have met with such a ready response among progressive Indians, who are waging a heroic fight for freedom’.”
Adrija corroborates that by 1908 not only leading the Russian revolution was aggressively advocating the need for an international community of revolutionaries and he was happy that
“the international anti-colonial movements in various European and Asian countries has latterly made itself felt so weightily that we see before us the fairly clear outlines of a new and incomparably higher stage in the international proletarian struggle.”
He was well aware of the Indian freedom struggle making strides. He wrote: “In India lately, the native slaves of the ‘civilised’ British capitalists have been a source of worry to their ‘masters’”. According to Adrija Lenin was sure that the Russian revolution would be incomplete unless it was followed by a similar uprising of workers and peasants across Europe and Asia. The anti-colonial struggle in this regard was a necessity, an essential step in that direction, and Lenin did everything in his capacity to motivate and support a revolution against imperialist rules in India and elsewhere.
According to Lenin,
“There is no end to the acts of violence and plunder which goes under the name of the British system of government in India…Nowhere in the world – with the exception, of course of Russia – will you find such abject mass poverty, such chronic starvation among the people. The most liberal and radical personalities of free Britain…become regular Genghis Khans when appointed to govern India and are capable of sanctioning every means of ‘pacifying’ the population in their charge, even to the extent of flogging political protestors!”
How Indian revolution was one of the primary concerns of Lenin can be understood by the fact that he personally received founder of Communist Party of India in Moscow and assigned him the task of formulating a programme of revolution in India and similar countries.
The October Revolution became a single biggest inspiring incident for the emergence of Communist/ Socialist organizations, trade/ peasant/ student/ cultural movements. It became so popular amongst the anti-British masses that British government had to establish a Bolshevik Desk to track the activities of pro-Soviet persons and organizations.
SWAMI VIVEKANANDA AND LENIN
The Hindutva goons are very fond of hanging photographs of Swami Vivekananda and express love for him. However, they do not bother about what he said praising Socialism. He said: "I am a socialist not because I think it is a perfect system, but half a loaf is better than no bread." Before his death in 1902 he was aware of the revolutionary activities of Lenin led Communist Party of Russia known as CPSU and Chinese Communist Party. He believed that the first Proletariat revolution would take place in either Russia or China.
NEHRU, GANDHI AND LENIN
The 1917 Bolshevik revolution under Lenin became instant inspiration for the contemporary anti-colonial movements and their leadership. Jawaharlal Nehru and large number of first rank Congress leaders became fans of October Revolution and Lenin. Nehru violating the White rulers’ ban on travel to USSR
Managed to reach Moscow to join the celebrations of the 10th anniversary of October Revolution. His father, Moti Lal Nehru was with him.
Nehru accepting the inspirational role of October Revolution wrote that
"almost at the same time as the October Revolution led by the great Lenin, we in India began a new phase in our struggle for freedom. Our people for many years were engaged in this struggle with courage and patience. And although under the leadership of Gandhi we followed another path, we were influenced by the example of Lenin".
Gandhi hated revolutions because these relied on of violence for achieving these. However, Gandhi regarded the first Russian Revolution of 1905, a precursor of the October Revolution, as “the greatest event of the present century” and “a great lesson to us”. He admitted that India was also switching to this “Russian remedy against tyranny.”
About the October Revolution Gandhi said that “nations have progressed both by evolution and revolution”, and that "history is more a record of wonderful revolution than of so-called ordered progress”.
STATE PATRONAGE TO HINDUTVA GOONS
When Hindutva goons decide to raze Lenin’s statues there is nothing like spontaneity. It is part of a well-thought Hindutva strategy. Demolition of Lenin’s statues manifests their hardened opposition to the glorious anti-colonial struggle of the Indian people only. It was on February 25, 2018 that RSS chief, Mohan Bhagwat asked RSS cadres to practice ‘Hard-line Hindutva’ and India witnessed Tripura razing.
Our PM who never misses a congratulatory tweet on the birthdays of world leaders and their family members wrote no tweet on this issue. However, home minister Rajnath Singh, another senior RSS cadre disclosed that PM had told the former that PM had condemned razing of Lenin's statues in Tripura but was silent on the shocking support to the razing of statues by Tathagat Roy, Governor of Tripura who in the absence of a ministry is the actual administrator of Tripura. As Indians we know that our PM shows his unhappiness for the consumption of the liberal world. Our dear PM condemned lynching in the name of cow, even described the perpetrators as anti-social but Hindutva criminals continued lynching. PM condemned violence against Dalits (even asking the perpetrators to hit him instead of Dalits) but incidents of violence against Dalits increased in some states ruled by RSS/BJP by 300 percent. PM in the presence of Jordanian King advised Muslims to adopt moderate Islam but RSS Boss, Mohan Bhagwat at the same time asked Hindus to adhere to HARD-LINE HINDUTVA and declared India to be land for Hindus. Even after red flagging by PM the RSS/BJP leaders demanded razing of Periyar's statues in Tamil Nadu which was in fact done. In UP ruled by PM’s favourite Mahant Adityanath, statue of Dr. Ambedkar was smashed.
The time is not far-off when inspired by the Hindutva goons of India the religious zealots of the countries where statues of Gandhi, Vivekananda and Rabindranath Tagore stand become active and raze these statues.
The RSS and its Hindutva subsidiaries are not new to the criminal acts of demolitions. They have razed mosques, churches and even temples to the glee of foreign enemies of democratic-secular India. The destruction of the statues of Lenin, Periyar and Ambedkar is a new high in this anti-national game. The Hindutva gang is pushing India into a state of civil war. All those who claim to share the great anti-colonial heritage of India must unite not to let the Hindutva criminals undo democratic-secular polity of India; the only one which survives out of more than 35 countries which were born after the World War II.(Published on 12th March 2018, Volume XXX, Issue 11)