A meeting of members of the Communist Ghadar Party of India was held in Delhi on August 25, to commemorate the 80th birth anniversary of Hardial Bains, who was born on 15th August, 1939.
Comrade Lal Singh expressed heartfelt feelings and thoughts about Comrade Bains, an outstanding communist theoretician and organizer, a true internationalist who devoted all his energies for the cause of emancipation of the workers of all lands. He was not only the National Leader of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), but also the principal architect of the founding of the Communist Ghadar Party of India. He worked as part of the Central Committee of our Party since its founding in 1980 and until his untimely demise in 1997.
Tracing the life and work of Comrade Hardial Bains since his childhood days in the Punjab, Comrade Lal Singh highlighted different aspects of his invaluable contribution to the communist and workers movement in general, and to our party and the Indian revolution in particular.
Several comrades expressed their deep love and profound respect for Comrade Bains and his work.
Hardial Bains was born in Mahlpur to a patriotic Punjabi family which actively participated in the anti-colonial liberation struggle of our people. He participated in communist youth organisations in India in the 1950s. After going abroad for higher studies, he developed into a leading organiser of students and teachers in the sixties. In university campuses in Canada, Ireland and England, he and his comrades fought courageously against the prevailing imperialist ideology and culture. In 1963, they formed the Internationalists, an organisation which inspired numerous young women and men to take on the task of organising to change the world, with Marxist-Leninist theory as the guide.
Comrade Bains put forward the philosophical outlook that “understanding requires the conscious participation of the individual, an act of finding out”. He argued that it was essential for the individual to act as part of an organised collective in order to ensure that the human factor/social consciousness plays its role and changes the material conditions which block social progress. He stood in the front-ranks of the struggle to build the communist party based on democratic centralism, with the basic organisation as its foundation and mass political work as its mainstay.
Comrade Bains led the struggle to defend Indian immigrants from racist attacks by the Canadian state. He led the effort to build institutions and organisations of class struggle, like the East Indian Defence Committee in 1973, in defence of the people’s rights and against the attacks of the Canadian state.
Comrade Bains led the work to establish the Hindustani Ghadar Party (Organisation of Indian Marxist Leninists Abroad) in 1968. The HGP (OIMLA) inspired and organized a whole generation of Indian workers and progressive students in the US, Canada, Britain and Australia, to take up the mission of organising for the victory of revolution in India.
By September 1977, it was clear that the Indian communist movement was completely fragmented under the pressure of the bipolar division of the world. Different factions were lining up behind the rival factions of the ruling class and merging with the state. Some were supporting the Emergency regime, calling it a fight against right reaction. Others were uniting with the parliamentary opposition and calling for “restoration of democracy”. In such conditions, the HGP (OIMLA) took the decision to spearhead the work for the restoration of unity of Indian communists in a single vanguard party.
Comrade Bains led the organised effort to send trained members of HGP(OIMLA) back home in the period 1977-80, to work for the establishment of such a party on Indian soil. The founding of the Communist Ghadar Party of India in December 1980 was the culmination of the challenging work taken up by HGP (OIMLA) in September, 1977.
When the Indian state unleashed unparalleled state terror against the people of the Sikh faith in the 1980s, Comrade Bains played a key role in the work to combat the poisonous official propaganda, which blamed the people and their religious beliefs. He drew on the best from India’s past, including the Bhakti movement, to elaborate the theoretical justification for defending the Right to Conscience, and for building political unity against the state which was violating this right.
The abrupt changes that took place in the world situation following the disintegration of the Soviet Union posed a new challenge to all communists of the world. The challenge was to analyse what had changed and work out the General Line of the international communist movement. Comrade Bains made invaluable contributions to this work, which led to the conclusion that the world has entered a new period within the epoch of imperialism and proletarian revolution. The tide of revolution has turned to ebb. Communist parties cannot afford to carry on acting as if nothing has changed, repeating old slogans and formulas that were applicable in the previous period. Comrade Bains argued that the Communist Party must champion the struggle for democratic renewal in the present period, for vesting sovereignty in the people.
Comrade Hardial Bains contributed to the theoretical summing up of the reasons for the collapse of the Soviet Union. He contributed to the development of contemporary Marxist-Leninist thought, based on summing up the entire experience of the class struggle since 1917, from the vantage point of the present.
Comrade Bains argued passionately for the necessity to develop Indian theory, a theory emerging out of the conditions of India and suitable for the development of communism here. We Indian communists must provide the working class with its own head, with Indian philosophy and revolutionary theory to guide its struggle for emancipation.
In conclusion, Comrade Lal Singh saluted the unforgettable memory of Comrade Hardial Bains. He expressed the resolve that our Party will work with redoubled energy for the victory of revolution and communism on Indian soil, the mission for which Comrade Hardial Bains lived and worked until his last breath.
Long live the words and deeds of Comrade Hardial Bains!