The communist code of conduct has been an issue over which both confusion and alien practice have been rampant among the self-styled Marxist parties in this country. In a meeting of Calcutta district party workers back in 1969, Comrade Ghosh provided concrete guidelines as to what should be the communist code of conduct in this present age and in what way should the leaders and cadres of the communist movement conduct their inner party struggles, how and why it was necessary for the leaders and the cadres of the revolutionary party to carry on unfaltering pursuit of a life-style and day-to-day conduct, imbibing the higher proletarian culture, ethics and norms free from bourgeois vulgar individualistic traits, what is the correct understanding of the concepts of criticism- self criticism, how should the relation between leaders and cadres be maintained and developed at all stages and phases of party conduction and various such other vital relevant questions.Comrades,
The subject matter of discussion at today’s party workers’ meeting is : What should be the code of conduct which all comrades, from the leading organizers to the rank and file, ought to observe in order to develop the revolutionary consciousness and the revolutionary organization of the masses in accordance with our object and ideology and in keeping with the overall interest of the party. Many comrades may be wondering why all of a sudden we are putting so much emphasis on the code of conduct of the communists. This is because we are observing, surprisingly enough, that as far as the so-called big communist parties of our country are concerned, the very talk of a code of conduct has practically become a matter of the bygone days. Whatever remnants of a code of conduct are found to be surviving still among the workers of these parties — that too, because these are based mainly on the bourgeois sense of morality and code of conduct — is giving rise, to endless problems and complications within their party in this period of all-out crisis and extreme individualism. What is more, these parties have deliberately set aside the question of what should be the code of conduct of the party cadre in their social life. With them, the main criteria for becoming a worker in their party have come to raising slogans, sticking posters and abiding by the programmes decided by the party. In other words, one can become a cadre of these parties just by sticking posters, raising slogans and carrying out party programmes, no matter how one behaves as an individual, in one’s social relationships, or within the party. This is alarming indeed ! Not only is this practice continuously weakening the cohesion in the party, it is at the same time creating many confusions in the mass mind about the communist ideology and moral values. And not only that; even a little observation will reveal that these leaders and cadres, by their very life style and in their day-to-day activities, public contact, mutual relationship, style of propaganda, are only lowering the standard of the revolutionary ideology and sullying the nobility of revolutionary politics before the masses.
While examining the issue of code of conduct of leaders and cadres, obviously the extent of mass support behind the party can never be a point of consideration. To argue that way would be resorting to deception, pure and simple. As a glance at the pages of history will make it abundantly clear that many a time people have rallied in support of many reactionary ideologies even. That does not ipso facto prove that these ideologies were correct or that they reflected a high standard of ethics and culture. However, I don't intend to enter into that issue here. The communists ought to bear in mind always that the struggle to correctly grasp the code of conduct conducive to communist ideology is of paramount importance to uphold the revolutionary outlook and ideology and in conducting the struggle for dedicated implementation of the revolutionary programmes of the party. Moreover, it should also be borne in mind always that the culture and ethical conduct of the leaders and workers, in tune with their revolutionary ideology and principle, act as the most powerful vehicle — besides propaganda campaign — to carry the proletarian politics, revolutionary ideology and culture to the masses. As you see, it is through these two features, more particularly through the leaders and cadres that people first get attracted to revolutionary ideologies and revolutionary struggles, and only afterwards do they begin to grasp gradually the theories of revolution.
Now, this code of conduct has two aspects. One aspect is : the mutual relationship between leaders and cadres, between the party body, on the one hand, and the leaders and cadres, on the other, and the norms of discussion and criticism between leaders and cadres and their general conduct ; and, above all, what should be the attitude, or approach of everybody in the party, from the leaders to the cadres, to each and every aspect of their personal life. The other aspect is : what should be the norm of behaviour of the leaders and cadres in the broader field of social life, in dealing with people, in public relations, in organizing people’s struggles by being with them and, in building up the revolutionary organizations of the people, imbuing them with the revolutionary consciousness. This is so important especially because the high esteem in which the people of our country once held communism has become greatly lowered today, thanks to the moral standard, day-to-day conduct and the individual life style of the leaders and cadres of the so-called communist parties in India. The problem is that since they carry the name ‘communist’, the people take them to be genuine communists and their conduct to be the true communist conduct. Because, they are not really communists, but masquerade as ones, it is precisely their wrong politics and utterly non-Marxist approach in individual life and conduct that have in fact caused this present state of widespread confusion in the mass mind about communism and communist moral values. Hence the necessity has arisen for the leaders and cadres of our party to conscientiously practise and master the true communist politics, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, to adhere most sincerely to the communist code of conduct in their personal life and social relationships. Only if we can do this would the masses realize easily that communism is the noblest and loftiest ideology, higher than any other in the presentday world, and that communism alone can usher in a higher social order free from all injustice and exploitation.
Now a detailed discussion covering all aspects of this code of conduct is not possible in a single meeting. Nevertheless, I like to highlight certain major aspects which are essential to maintaining cohesion in the party and which have become vital for our party at the moment.
First, I wish to take up one aspect in detail. Very often it is found within the party that while we criticize a party policy or a comrade we do not follow any principle. I don't of course mean to say by this that discussion or criticisms within the party are to be stopped. That is by no means the point. Rather discussions and criticisms will all be there in the party and should always be made in an open and free atmosphere. These cannot and should not be stopped, for that is bound to adversely affect the health of the party. At the same time, if there is no principle and definite method in conducting discussions and criticisms, that is , if these are not done in conformity with the thoughts, ideas and ideology of the party, if these do not help to cement the unity and cohesion between the leaders and the cadres, nor do help give shape to the party’s programmes for consolidating the organization and strengthening the mass struggles, if rather they give rise to misgivings and mistrust, if these breed an inactive and passive mood among the comrades, it must be understood then that such kind of discussions and criticisms is surely unprincipled and defeats the very purpose of criticism.
Comrades will always bear in mind the real purpose and significance of any discussion or criticism for a communist. They should remember, first of all, that the object of those who make criticism should be such that if their point is wrong, maybe they are unconscious of it, they should be able to rectify themselves in the course of this criticism. Secondly, its aim should be to correct the mistakes of others, keeping in view the overall interest of revolution and the party, and also to educate the leaders, cadres and masses about revolutionary politics and ideology and the correct method of its application in order to maintain the cohesion of the party and at the same time to train the leaders and cadres on how to work unitedly with the masses in the interest of revolution. This is the necessity, the only useful purpose of criticism for the revolutionaries, the communists. For a revolutionary, the method of criticism is self-criticism first and then criticism of others. That is to say, only after making criticism of his own self first and, side by side, a critical appraisal of the plans and programmes of the party should he proceed to criticize the role of different leaders and cadres in implementing those plans and programmes. Hence criticism becomes really helpful for revolution only when it is based on the attitude of self-criticism. If it is found in a case that criticism is not made following this method or principle, then however fine may be the expression apparently, if one goes deep into the matter it will be found that the criticism is taking this form out of some personal grievances or dissatisfaction somewhere. Of course, in most cases, even when this accumulated grievance bursts out, it is found that comrades do not do it consciously, nor from any ill motive. They fall victim to it for lack of proper party education, and once caught up in it they become ultimately victim of a process. And while pursuing this line of thinking, when a comrade falls victim to this process, then notwithstanding his belief that his line of criticism is correct, he completely fails to realize that in reality even against his will, his bent of mind and his activities are turning out to be anti-party, weakening the unity and cohesion of the party, more particularly causing hindrance to the development of the correct concept of leadership. They often indulge in unprincipled gossiping, discussions and criticisms among themselves, arguing that ‘criticism is necessary only to help the party, since the leadership should not be blindly followed.’ A queer thing happens in such cases. The aggrieved comrades find many friends who are also aggrieved. If you care to observe, you will find that they develop closeness only with those who are disgruntled for some personal reasons. It is grievance that brings them closer.
There is also another kind of comrades who are very good cadres — whose sense is keen, whose class instinct is very sharp — they correctly understand it. They can at once sense that a particular criticism is not of that nature which can help the revolution and the party. Though this kind of criticism is made in the name of ‘the interest of revolution’, these comrades can quite easily smell that somewhere behind these criticisms a self-interest or grievance is at work, and precisely for this reason those who are making such criticisms are not doing so according to the party norm or principle. These honest comrades, whose class-consciousness is sharp, too, make criticism within the party; but they do not do it anywhere and everywhere, hither and thither. They understand it well, rather they feel instinctively where criticism can be made and where not. But those who do not follow this norm, maybe unconsciously or unwillingly, as I have already said, do nevertheless cause great harm. It is indeed harmful even if you are an honest victim.
As Marxists, as dialectical materialists, we are aware that we do not become what we wish to be or what we ought to be simply because we wish or think so. It can never be like that. Whether really we will become so depends entirely on one thing — whether we are truly following in actual life the scientific method, that is, the only course which can enable us to become what we wish to become under given conditions.
Comrades should know that mere scholasticism or bookish knowledge cannot help us at all in this. That is why pedantry and scholasticism alone will never provide us with proper answers, nor can it show the way to a solution. One can lead this struggle successfully only when one applies the revolutionary theory of the party covering all aspects of one’s life after correctly determining the level of ideological consciousness of the workers of the party and the level of consciousness and cultural standard of the vast masses outside the party, while taking into account the development of revolutionary struggles and party organization in the country in the given time and given situation.
It is a grave offense to neglect here even trifles of the individual conduct and take them casually. But as this is true, it is also important at the same time to constantly keep in mind that while conducting collective discussions or criticizing minor lapses in the conduct of an individual comrade in the collective functioning, it is harmful to overlook the total interest of the organization and drag the question too far ; though, of course, individually to each revolutionary his own lapses should be a matter of serious concern.
It should be realized that anything we may learn by reading the theories preached by leaders and thinkers like Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin gives us only a general outline of the Marxist theory. But is it the true understanding of Marxism we acquire thus by reading books? No, its true understanding is not reflected in this type of knowledge. In our country anybody having knowledge of English can know all this, say, in six months’ time. With a little effort a man can memorize many of these things in this period of time. But does it prove he has become a big revolutionary theoretician by that ? Maybe, he can exactly reproduce those theories, which have already been in print, better than those comrades who have not read or have had no opportunity to go through all these books. Maybe, he can make ready references to Lenin or Mao — say, in which book or in which volume some particular quotations are to be found. But does it prove that he is really a man of far greater knowledge? This cannot be the yardstick at all. Because, it is often found that some other comrade, though perhaps having not much knowledge and information on Marxist literature, knows how to organize mass movements, maintain party unity, work collectively and, above all, knows how to behave as a revolutionary — that is, he knows what is the code of conduct of a communist revolutionary and behaves accordingly.
But the other comrade, even after having read so many books and collecting so much information, does not know how to behave and act as a revolutionary. On the contrary, though it is often found that due to a low level of consciousness of the masses and the general rank of comrades their discussions and discourses get a kind of appreciation at a superficial level, for they can off-hand come up with a reference here and a quotation there. But if they lack a deeper realization of the revolutionary theories, then instead of upholding the party line properly all their discussions become too vague and lose purposiveness under the burden of references. Whereas, discussions by a comrade, one who may not perhaps cite so many references but who has grasped the essence of revolution, play a far more effective role in shaping up the revolutionary character and developing political consciousness in others and in upholding the party line properly. Who then has acquired the real knowledge? He who keeps much information and can present them nicely? Or he who may not yet have so much information but has understood the essence of the real thing for which all this is necessary? The fact is that it is the latter who has got the taste of true culture, has acquired the true class outlook, manifested the concrete expression of revolutionary consciousness and reflected the true class conduct. But no one should think I am discouraging the habit of reading or that I mean it is unnecessary. Rather it is very much necessary. But without grasping what revolution really is and failing to acquire a revolutionary character, reading of books often comes down to mere pedantic exercises and whatever positive impact it could have had in advancing the cause of revolution gets lost. Besides, if the real understanding regarding the correct process of acquiring knowledge does not operate within the party, it invariably leads to a superiority complex in those comrades who are attached to reading only and, conversely, to an inferiority complex in those who are not. Both these are great hurdles for a communist in his struggle to build up a true Marxist character.
In this context also bear in mind that being divorced from struggle nobody can become a revolutionary by himself, by reading books only. To become a revolutionary one has to consciously engage oneself in the all-out struggle of the party and be a partisan. Because, remember, the question of class consciousness is still today inherent in the true realization of revolution. And class consciousness is the concrete expression of revolutionary consciousness. It is clear then that loyalty to revolution means unquestioning loyalty to the class. Now what is the correct expression of the concept of loyalty to class about which we are talking ? The concrete expression of loyalty to the class is complete and total loyalty to the class party, the revolutionary party of the proletariat. So, unflinching loyalty to and unbound love for the class and the class party is the correct expression of class consciousness and class realization. Thus acquisition of true knowledge and real revolutionary consciousness means true realization of party consciousness of the genuine working class party and total identification of the individual interest with the class or party interest — at least it means to give more importance to the interest of the class than to individual or self-interest in daily life. Now, it may be that even after being equipped with these basic and essential teachings of revolution from practical struggles and life in general a comrade remains still poor or lacking in factual or informative knowledge. I have been repeatedly pointing out about the informative character of this knowledge, because in our country most people confuse a man of information to be a man of knowledge. But the fact that these persons attached to reading only keep themselves better informed does not prove that they are better in grasping the proletarian politics, its class outlook, method of organization of the party and people’s organizations, or how to behave as a revolutionary. One can very well see that these two are entirely different. So, it can be now seen that a prime condition of acquiring the revolutionary code of conduct is the struggle for identification of the self with the revolution, the class and the party. He, in whom this feeling of oneness is intense, will be able to curb his own individualism and ego, which always, knowingly or unknowingly, tends to lead us astray and make us dissatisfied, irritated and restless. This feeling is the greatest weapon with which to fight these out. Our thinking being individual, this struggle for identification with the party is vital for each and every one of us. Whatever one may otherwise acquire from one’s surroundings, if one falls behind in this struggle one will never be able to free oneself from the severe problem arising out of individualism.
In this context, another point needs to be discussed a little more. During criticism or discussions within the party, many comrades talk of rights. But all having the minimum sense of ethics would surely agree that right cannot have any meaning without obligation. Otherwise, it comes down to rank indiscipline and a privilege only. But how many comrades reflect this understanding while they criticize others? There are comrades who never hesitate to air their opinions on anything and everything, and in doing so they do not even bother to maintain the minimum revolutionary modesty. But do they ever ask themselves what responsibilities they are discharging to revolution and to the party? And have they ever judged with that yardstick whether they really deserve that right? Had they ever analysed their own conduct, they would have surely realized that if their theoretical understanding and sense of obligation were adequate then the same would surely have reflection in every step of their activity, conduct and struggle for identification with the party. But they have no concern at all. Is it intentional on their part that they do so ? Are they doing it consciously ? No, that is not the point.
However, from this discussion a question may arise in the mind of some that if a comrade shares less responsibility or is unable to do party work properly, is he not entitled then to raise a point for the benefit of the party if the point strikes him? I say, of course he is. If the point of criticism of anyone is correct, it will be the party that will benefit from it. So, if one who does not properly do party work raises a point of criticism, then if we, the leaders, or anyone against whom it has been raised get agitated or become furious — this is not just and proper. Rather if accusations against the party comes from an enemy even, we must respond to that too. For, we are not weak. We have nothing to cover up taking recourse to falsehood. Our sole concern is to search out truth and probe the problems. So, if something good comes even from an enemy in regard to a problem, why should we not accept it ? Remember, we consider any critic to be our teacher, whether he is an outsider, a party man, or an enemy even. And that is why a comrade who does nothing but grumble and who does not even know that by doing so he is helping only to pollute his and the party’s health and is not solving any problem, or if he ever points out anything which is worth discussing, reconsidering at least, then we are in favour of it. Here it is pointless to ask whether that comrade has the right to criticize or not, since he does not work for the party as desired and only vents discontent and dissatisfaction. Rather at once we try to entertain that comrade and encourage him. But this is as regards our part in it, the part of the leadership.
But what I want to point out here is how the comrade who is posing these questions and talking of his rights should approach it. He on his part should see that before criticizing others he should at least do something himself. He must understand that if others, a good number of people like him, who have not yet fully linked themselves with the party, nor tried to probe deeply into its problems, or become a part and parcel of its organism, start criticizing the party all at once, forgetting all norms and principles, then what does remain of the health and cohesion of the party. And how does it help them, too? These comrades do not try to realize that the party itself is giving them those very rights one after another for which they are fighting and even if it is not there they are free to fight for and acquire it.
Of course, it may sometimes happen that a leading comrade, an executive, may interfere with and encroach upon the rights of a comrade. It is quite possible. As it is a working class party, so there cannot be any shortcomings or lapses — only those people who have never had any experience of direct work can talk like that. In company with a handful of people they at best can indulge in some utopian dream. But those who have taken the pains to build up a real organization know how many strange things turn up even in the lives of really good and honest people. It may also happen even in the case of a leading executive despite his being honest. Such problems are of a very complex nature. How the scope of all-round development of comrades is hindered, how sometimes restrictions are imposed upon them, without having a proper knowledge and understanding about their real position, and the accepted rights of the comrades enshrined within the party are suppressed in the name of discipline — all these are known to us. Such things may happen and do really happen even in a genuine working class party. So there is no reason to think that it cannot happen in our party.
Such things should surely be fought out even if they come from a leader. Otherwise, it degrades the leader, too, and the cadres as well. But what is the proper method of struggle to fight it ? What is that correct method of struggle to protect the rights acquired by the cadres ? The correct way to conduct the struggle for protecting the rights of the comrades in order to preserve the health of the party, can never be such that it leads to breaking down the very health of the party itself. In that case the struggle for rights would take such a form that whatever health was there is ruined. Quarrels, bickerings and mutual distrust among the comrades would increase, all wearing long faces ; no one is happy or is talking freely but all are criticizing each other behind their back — is it a sign of health ? Remember, criticism and bickerings are not one and the same. What is the need of criticism behind the back if it is in the interest of the party and for bringing about its greater cohesion? Why cannot the criticism be done in presence of the comrade concerned, why is it done behind his back ? What is the need of concealing it ? Why this whispering ? Besides, sometimes some leaders or comrades are found to relate incidents, or to discuss about a certain comrade, or to make a reference to someone in a manner that is not proper. But they cannot, or do not express these exactly in the same way in the presence of leadership or openly before the general rank of comrades as they do it elsewhere. Among them there are two groups. One group is of those who indulge in it consciously, though at present their number is very small. They are unscrupulous. That they behave in this way is in the knowledge of the leadership ; the leaders know it. But the party is, on the one hand, giving them time to rid themselves of this trait, and, on the other, it is still not considering taking any disciplinary action against them in the overall interest of the party. But you will surely understand from what I just said that the leadership is fully aware of it. But there is another type who, although honest, are falling victim to it yet. They are not at all aware that such things happen with them too. When they place their views before the party, then it takes a different form because of the restraining effect of the party atmosphere and the impact of the presence of leadership. But we find that they don’t tell before the leadership and in the open party forum what they tell outside. When a leader or a cadre presents ‘reports’, or makes discussions or criticisms in this manner he completely fails to understand that these are not at all in accordance with the communist code of conduct. This could happen with them quite unawares as the process of rationalization makes their conduct appear logical to them. They should be on guard against it. But those comrades, who indulge in it consciously, should also ponder what they gain thereby. How does it help revolution for which they have dedicated their lives? Those who act in this way do not ask themselves this simple question. Had they asked this question they could have easily seen to what extent their mental health has been affected. They could see that this type of discussion or criticism does not conform to the communist code of conduct, these are only for self-satisfaction. It reeks of something which is not impersonal and not in the interest of the party. Because, what can be said to criticize or discuss about a leader or a comrade in his absence can equally be said in his presence too. And that can be put even smilingly. That brings them closer and strengthens unity and understanding further.
I would mention another point here. In the course of arguments between themselves, party comrades may sometimes get agitated and, not being able to control his temper, a comrade may even slap another. Such things are not impossible, and may indeed happen at times. Nevertheless, always keep it in mind, this had better not happen. If it really happens that in the heat of the moment someone failed to control himself and slaps another, then he should be ashamed of it and try to restrain himself in future. For, comrades must ask themselves : what is the purpose of our argument ? The purpose of our argument is to resolve our differences of opinion with a view to strengthening the unity further in the interest of revolution and the party. But instead of helping if it hampers unity, creates misunderstanding and defeats the very purpose of discussion, then comrades should desist from it. Still if it at all happens, the comrade who gets slapped should think that this could happen only because both are comrades. For whatever the anger or excitement, none can usually think of slapping or beating a stranger. So even if such happens what is there to brood over ? Rather after realizing the true purpose of discussion and criticism, he should try to educate that comrade, too, who behaved in this way.
Hence nothing is there to take exception to even if such incidents occur. Taking it otherwise only means that the comrade is still carrying along his own individualistic attitude and ego, even while remaining in the party. What sort of a revolutionary is he then, who claims he is able to sacrifice his life for the party but who can’t surrender his individualism, ego and false sense of prestige ? In reality a worker who can deliver fiery pulpit speeches, who has suffered imprisonment and claims readiness to sacrifice his life for revolution but who can’t free himself from his own ego is a fake revolutionary. Some day or other this pseudo-revolutionary character is sure to come to light. It may be that someone has many revolutionary achievements to his credit, including martyrdom, yet this pseudo-character is sure to get revealed. Maybe it is not there in an open and filthy manner, but whatever its intellectual garb, it is sure to get exposed. Comrades should particularly remember that if individualism and ego remain like this even in the most subtle form, then it will breed political opportunism, adventurism and revisionism one day. Otherwise, it can never be explained how an erstwhile dedicated revolutionary worker who made one day tremendous sacrifices gradually goes out of the orbit of all revolutionary struggles, becomes completely detached, or turns into a revisionist in later life.
It should be clearly understood that there is no room for personal animosity in discussions and debates on questions like revolution and revolutionary theory. Why should then someone develop grievance against the party when he is ready even to sacrifice his life for it ? It may, of course, be that on a certain issue he does not agree with a particular decision of the party. If the character of his disagreement is of a fundamental nature, then for him the question is to form a different party. Then it is a struggle, straight and direct. There is absolutely no question of any clique or coterie. Everything is open. In that case he has no need to take recourse to whispering about it. But, say, he agrees with the main political line of the party and it is his decision that he belongs to the party and will work for it, but he has differences on certain other questions at the same time. He should then resolve them straightforward with the party through discussion. For that there is no need to vitiate the relationship between the comrades by inciting one comrade against another, one group of comrades against another within the party. We think about many things, which are either collective or individual thinking. But what comrades should always keep in mind is that individual thinking should always be the personified expression of the collective thinking. Therefore, what then should be the mode of this individual thinking in all matters? This method is to resolve, through discussions, the conflicts and contradictions between collective thinking in the party and individual thinking and always accept the collective thinking. This is the primary condition for one’s complete identification with the party. Short of involving oneself in this struggle it will never be understood why one comrade looks askance at another, or one cannot like another. In fact, such things would never become an issue had there not been some personal factor involved. Say, a comrade has developed a notion about the leaders, all by himself, that they are going a bit far on a certain thing. So, he concluded that it was not proper. But instead of taking it to the party he went on nurturing this thought in his own mind. That means, he himself concluded that, on a certain matter, some leaders hold one opinion, some others a different one, while he himself harbours something still different. Now, what will all these lead to ? Different leaders and comrades will be carrying on with their own personal impressions about different individuals within the party. And if such things continue then it will not only create tremendous obstacles in the struggle for building up a collective outlook, uniformity of thinking and oneness in approach but it will also influence his personal lifestyle. But these are all quite common within the party. Many good comrades even fall victim to it. I find that a good number of the Marxists of our country do not care much about human psychology. But I happen to study it a little. Hence many things come to my notice. But it cannot be left to my individual initiative alone since it is not an individual problem but a collective one, concerning all. Therefore, what is required is to bring about a change of the very atmosphere of struggle going on within the party. If a problem arises centring round one individual this discussion also should be conducted in an impersonal way.
Comrades must always bear in mind that however trifling the issue on which difference of opinion exists, if differences in analysing even minor incidents are not thrashed out and resolved being considered insignificant then these may assume one day serious proportion in the greater arena of politics. So, no points or incidents, even the seemingly unimportant ones, should be neglected as minor. Sometimes some comrades admit that they hold a different opinion, but they consider it too insignificant to be taken up. So they don’t feel it necessary to thrash them out or make things clear through discussions. When asked, they would say : ‘These are not that important. So why worry over it when there is unity in the main ?’ But if those were really so insignificant then how could these create turmoils and contradictions in their mind, make them feel so irritated or disturbed ? The fact is that whatever they may say, these are not really so insignificant to them. Another point should be kept in mind. However insignificant may be the points of difference in opinion of a comrade over certain matters or ideas, if he does not resolve these through proper discussions then that invariably affects, however subtle, his process of thinking, his political thinking. This attitude causes great harm to many good comrades. They gradually lose their political sensibility and acumen. So long as the base political line of the party remains correct the party will surely forge ahead, the good workers of the party will go ahead. But the full potentialities of the comrades would not be utilized if such an attitude persists.
In this connection party comrades should not forget that mind is very much like a mirror. As you cannot get a clear image of an object if the mirror is not kept clean and shining, so also if someone is unhappy or gloomy due to some personal problems or something that agitates his mind, say about some comrades or some grievances, or over some theoretical or organizational problems — whether they are right or wrong is an entirely different matter and will be revealed through a critical examination — what reflection will he get in his mind about the very many struggles and incidents or the mode of life of comrades and about everything going on inside the party ? That reflection can never be correct. Then one forms a false picture of reality, since it is a cloudy glass. If the mind is not free it can never reflect the true picture of the objective reality. Even if someone has the ability to see, he cannot notice anything good and worthy that may be abounding all around when his mind is not free. Then it is he who misses much. For, in spite of his intellect, intelligence and power of judgement he failed to see the truth. That is why I say : don’t burden your mind for nothing. A cloudy mind cannot see the objective reality truthfully. Therefore, you will have to free your mind by bringing all differences you may have, even the minor ones, into the discussion and resolving them. And only in this way will you be able to unravel for yourselves the real truth of the objective world free from distortion. Nonetheless, even then mistakes may and will occur depending entirely upon the degree of wisdom, experience and power of grasping. But you should note that theoretical exercise alone cannot keep our minds free. To keep our minds free, it is necessary to conduct an all-out struggle to apply the revolutionary ideology in all aspects of life and make untiring efforts to build up people’s struggles under the leadership of the party along with the struggle to acquire the theoretical knowledge.
Those comrades who do not engage themselves in this all-embracing struggle, who cannot overcome their own shortcomings despite all possible efforts of the party to help them, they can never be an integral part of the party organism. They do not get themselves involved in the living organism of the party despite serious attempts for the same by the leadership. So even if there is any potential in them for becoming a highranking leader, it hampers that also. Instead, they start finding fault with everyone on this point or that. It happens in case of many good comrades also. That is why the party cannot remain content with the theoretical accomplishment of a comrade or his oratorical skill alone. It has to consider another aspect, that is, the aspect of his involvement in the living organism of the party. It has to examine the degree of identification of a comrade with the party. Despite this, there may be so many slips. One whose identification with the class interest is rather deep today and feelings for the party are high, may very surprisingly change sometimes. So, it should be realized that no test is final for any leader or cadre in this struggle for identification with the party and revolution. Failure to conduct this struggle correctly at every moment and giving way to complacency or sense of pride may cause them to degenerate also and if it continues in this way, then one day it may be found that they too have gone against the revolution and the party. Thereby they cause harm to themselves as well as to the party.
In this regard something needs to be said about the leaders and responsible comrades also. In the revolutionary movement leaders and responsible comrades also may sometimes commit mistakes in implementing the party’s policies and in the course of building the organization. That is quite possible and natural. Keep in mind that these mistakes cannot weaken the cohesion of the party provided these are correctly recognized and rectified.
But the revolutionary movement stands the risk of being misled by those leaders who, after having once gained popularity by means of the parliamentary platform or by some other means, crave for more popularity, on the one hand, and tend more and more towards populist gestures which are alien to the communist code of conduct, and, on the other, drift away gradually from the struggle to merge oneself with the party. As I already told you, no test is final for any leader or cadre. If the struggle is not conducted correctly, if leaders fall victim to self-complacency, then they also start deteriorating. The revolutionary workers and leaders should take great care that in their constant association with the people in order to organize people’s struggles against all sorts of social injustice and oppression, they always uphold the standard of proletarian ethics and never, for once, fall victim to the bourgeois or petty-bourgeois hypocrisy, that is, bourgeois or petty-bourgeois populist gestures and style of agitation for gaining cheap popularity.
It is to be remembered that in most cases the realization of the revolutionary theories dawns upon the masses most clearly by the impact of the high standard of ethics and culture reflected by the revolutionaries as they move among the masses to unite and organize them, and this, on the other hand, gradually elevates the cultural standard of the masses, too. At the same time, it should also be kept in mind that as the masses get inspired with revolutionary consciousness, culture and outlook through the examples of the revolutionary workers, so also the revolutionary workers, too, have many things to learn from the masses. But only those revolutionaries can learn from the masses who on the basis of revolutionary ideology can mix with people, acquiring the appropriate revolutionary way of doing so. What happens otherwise ? If leaders and cadres fall victim to populist bourgeois gestures and conduct in their bid to become popular and go on compromising with the culture and taste prevalent among people which has naturally arisen from the existing social system, then their own standard of culture steadily goes down. The essence of acquiring that revolutionary art of mixing with the people lies in correctly realizing the fact through continuous cultivation of revolutionary theory and practice, that the way of becoming popular in the bourgeois sense through populist gestures and populist conduct is completely different in character from the way the revolutionaries become popular. Otherwise, the term ‘revolutionary’ becomes a catchword for one who talks about revolutionary theories and revolutionary ideology but moves like a bourgeois. Those leaders and comrades who betray such signs, though there are but a few of them, should better be on guard against it.
Again, it is sometimes observed that some responsible leaders and senior comrades are incapable of giving association to ordinary comrades. Whenever some comrades approach, either they pick up a book or a paper or get busy with something else. That is, they have a tendency of always posing to be very busy in presence of others. But on the other hand, they are found spending hours together in aimless gossips with their social friends or relatives who are not party comrades either. Gossips like this are obviously apolitical and aimless in nature. And as a result, not to speak of attracting those friends or relatives towards the revolutionary movement, they themselves unknowingly fall victim to the influence of their culture. Thus, those who are not giving association to their party comrades and not having cultural exchanges or exchanges of ideas and thoughts with them, what do they do ? Naturally, in the sphere of culture and taste they get their grist from their associations outside the party, and, as a result, their revolutionary cultural level gradually goes down.
Another aspect quite often noted during mutual discussions and criticisms within the party is the tendency to find fault with and make unnecessary criticism of comrades. While criticizing this way, comrades often fail to observe the communist code of conduct. In judging each individual, communists always begin with their own negatives and start their analysis with the positive qualities of the others. Communists know that nobody is endowed only with qualities and no shortcomings. There can be no great man who has only qualities completely free from negatives. And nor can there be any such man who is all bad and has no qualities. Rather every individual is a combination of both good and negative qualities, in greater or less measures. So, for developing someone’s good qualities, eliminating his shortcomings, the communist method is not to continuously pick at his faults but to encourage more his positive sides and qualities. By encouraging his qualities and helping them develop more and more, his failings get eliminated. But often comrades are found to be oblivious to this aspect while criticizing others. Otherwise, if they were duly aware they would see that even a comrade who is found to be exhibiting a low level of culture, even in him one can find some qualities that are high and make him distinct from the common man. Despite some bad traits he wants to fight for the country, the revolution and the working class which many others fail to do. His longing for revolution has brought him here. We can in no way underestimate this aspect of his character. At the time of criticism, the leaders and workers must always keep this in mind. Whoever has joined the party, especially a party like ours, is surely one step ahead of the common masses and precisely for that he has become our comrade. That comrade should be made to understand that by his conduct he is jeopardizing the very cause of revolution for which he has joined the party. He must realize it and others also must help him realize it. That comrade, too, should think in this way that instead of trying to rectify himself why should he maintain such disposition and habits which strike at the very interest of the revolution and the party — the supreme cause for which he is prepared to fight, go to jail and even lay down his life ? He should ponder what could be the point of his joining the party if he remained as low as before ? Surely nobody has compelled him to join the party ! This is not like joining a mercantile firm, where one has duty from 10 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon. We are all volunteers here, we have come of our own. Everyone here has realized that the question of emancipation of the society and even of their own selves is inseparably linked up today with the question of the emancipation of the working class. It is with this realization that he has joined the party. He has voluntarily made, or is at least trying to make his own struggle for emancipation one and the same with that of the working class. And it is to correctly grasp the essence of this struggle that he has joined the genuine party of the working class and not any other party. Knowing all this, then, why should he behave in this manner ? Having realized all these the comrade should rectify himself.
Let me repeat, comrades may have many things to say about the leadership and about the functioning of the party. Many defects are there, and that is not unnatural. We are trying utmost to rectify them and will continue doing so. But at the same time, can there be any plan, programme, or anything that is absolutely flawless ? No Marxist sees things that way. Only principle-mongers can adopt such an attitude. Just as comrades should not overlook any mistakes in the party, so also they should not air grievances over this. Because, that is harmful. Why should one spread grievances just because some differences have cropped up ? If it is such a matter which needs to be fought ideologically, one should do it with the proper method. And that again with a comradely attitude. If one thinks — may be mistakenly — something to be wrong then as long as it is not resolved one should surely fight in the very interest of the party. To whom should he express it then other than to the party ? But frequently just the opposite happens with some comrades. They do not come straightaway to the party — they come either after facing some difficulty or yielding to a request or pressure, or after much consultation with others. They whisper about it to others, gossip at the back, spread their own grievances among others first, and if perchance sense dawns on them suddenly, they approach the party and get the issue resolved. And still, in the case of some comrades it is found that if the party does not concede their opinion or point, they at last submit, but they cannot happily submit to the collective decision. That should not be the case. Comrades are free to go to any length of discussion as far as practicable, but if they fail to be satisfied with the trend of discussion, they will note the decision, and having known it they should accept it wholeheartedly. There is nothing to be unhappy about had there been no individualistic approach in it.
Before airing his grievance over not being satisfied with any discussion, a comrade should pause to think what would have been his own decision in a similar situation in the overall interest of the party and revolution if he had been in the leadership. Or, he should ponder how the cohesion of the party could be maintained if, say, he assumes the leadership in future and another comrade, in similar conditions, starts airing grievances all around, not being satisfied in talks with him. That is why we say that one should always happily submit to the party decision. Comrades should always keep in mind another point. According to the communist code of conduct, before discussing or criticizing somebody else’s conduct, one should first place oneself in the other’s position. Otherwise, the mode of criticism can never be impersonal. In this way comrades will gain experience ; if necessary, they will conduct struggle again. Fight they must, but always openly. Conducting struggle openly means they have nothing to conceal from the leadership. But we notice that certain comrades are often keeping personal things secret from the leadership and the party. But they don’t keep these secret from many ordinary comrades. If those who act in this way engage themselves in making an analysis of their own minds, they will find that they themselves are also not happy themselves. This conduct does not only weaken the cohesion of the party, what is more, those comrades too gain nothing from it. If in the realm of thinking there was nothing which is purely individualistic, then there would be nothing to be dissatisfied. But within the party another kind of criticism, in which even good comrades participate, is in vogue, the outstanding feature of which is that even if in the course of discussion a particular point is not conceded, even then all concerned can be happy, profoundly happy for all of them are fighting for truth. It should be understood that there is no question of humiliation in submitting to the party happily.
In politics we often encounter a type of men who are always aggrieved. Along with age and experience their ego also keeps on growing. Because no matter how much struggle they have conducted and however much experience they have acquired, they have bypassed the struggle to identify themselves with the party. The comrade did not try to examine his own mind again and again about his own position in the struggle for identification with the party and did not verify it with the impression gained about him by other comrades of the party. Instead, he worked in pursuit of an incorrect line — airing grievances, grumbling at the back, and nurturing all this grime within. What does happen then ? If someone is in politics, say for thirty years, then from mere practice he, too, comes to know many things superficially, and that way with the help of memory he even reproduces theories. So he starts thinking that he, too, has grown very wise and thereby invariably develops an inflated ego. Of course it is true that the knowledge he has acquired from his experience of long years in the political movement, for that he is in possession of much information, so ordinary comrades have many things to learn from him. Nevertheless, he is short of a quality which is be found in those ordinary comrades who can learn something from him. They have grasped the essence, they have correctly understood the party and have realized the identity between the party and the class, which he has failed to realize. Even if they don’t have that experience of say thirty years they have realized that merger of the self with the class is meaningless without merger of the self with the party.
Comrades must bear in mind that the bypassing of this struggle for merger of the self with the party and the class gives birth to ego. And ego invites a multitude of problems. If one falls victim to ego and fails to free one’s mind from it, he will never understand why he is being criticized so much despite his long experience of struggle. The party fully recognizes his abilities and worth, yet the party cannot concede to him any right to power and position. Because, that will invite serious danger for the party. The party would have had no objection to vesting this power of authority in such comrades. For what does it matter to the party to give prestige and honour to a person ? But that cannot be because, as class conscious comrades apprehend, if any power or position is given to him, he may use it in personal interest. From a sense of personal interest and individualistic notions he may gradually even cause distortion of the theory which may ultimately lead to reversal of the theory of the party itself. Even an outstanding pedant like Trotsky could not help being thrown into the dustbin of history. Having harmed some people for some time he ultimately harmed himself. But what is to be noted is that his power and capabilities notwithstanding he could not obstruct the course of revolution. If the advancement of the revolutionary party could have been halted by sheer obstruction and opposition — and as a matter of fact you are quite aware of the malicious abusive campaign let loose against us throughout the country — then how is it that we are advancing despite calumnies against us and mud slinging resorted to not only by the Congress but by the so-called communists ?
Another aspect should also be kept in mind while following this code of conduct. I have already pointed out that you can discuss everything, but we cannot discuss any such thing which we are not able to discuss also in front of the leaders. It is simply not permissible that when we place something before the party and the leaders we do it giving it a theoretical cloak, but outside we make light of it. If making light of things is one’s way of talking, why can’t he talk that way before the leaders, too ? What do I practise myself ? Sometimes it so happens that I discuss about the leaders openly and frankly before a house full of comrades ; and the leaders listen to that. Even I severely rebuke them. It means that if I have to say something, I am not whispering it at their back. I am discussing it before everybody, thousand times if need be, and that in the interest of the party. I tell it to leaders individually, and also tell it in presence of all, in a house full of all the comrades. This helps us doubly. Firstly, if there is any mistake in my own understanding I can correct myself, because it will be detected as I am telling it before all. At the same time, if similar defects are there in other comrades, it also helps to correct them in this way, since it is being discussed before all. Of course, it may be that certain things about some comrades cannot be discussed before another comrade. I don’t discuss that matter with another comrade not because of my personal whim. What I do is to inform the appropriate party bodies who should know it all. So, although I did not reveal it to all, yet it does not remain unknown to the party. And this is what we call maintaining a healthy internal atmosphere of the party. Only when such an atmosphere prevails, feeling of oneness among the comrades develops. And you see the struggle to develop the feeling of oneness with the party is indeed very urgent. This struggle for identification is of paramount importance because, in its absence, even with a correct fundamental line revolution itself may suffer setbacks from internal squabbles and feuds. Then again even if revolution becomes possible somehow safeguarding the fundamental position of the party, these are bound to surface more nakedly afterwards, and in that event revolution itself cannot be ultimately saved. That is why I would emphasize again that this struggle for identification is highly important. This struggle to conduct discussions in an open and free atmosphere must, therefore, continue always.
Again, there is another point to be kept in mind in this regard. It may be that on a specific question the party is in the wrong. Then what should be the method to correct the wrong and how should the comrades act ? Of course, comrades will take appropriate steps to correct it. Because, surely it is not for them to brag at detecting a mistake, nor to sit idle with knowledge that a mistake has been committed, nor even to air grievance and dissatisfaction everywhere on this account. A mistake is of grave concern to the comrades because by that the party is harmed, and the process of developing uniformity of thinking, oneness in approach and one process of thinking is hindered. Hence, neither the leaders nor the cadres can afford to neglect the struggle to build up this process. It is this struggle which will ultimately determine whether the party as a whole was in the wrong or an individual comrade was. And only in this way will unanimity be achieved between the individual and the party, between the individual and the collective. Continuous struggle to achieve unity by resolving all such contradictions is the only way to bring about uniformity of thinking, oneness in approach and a uniform style of propaganda. It is important especially to keep all this in mind.
Now, there should be some norms and methods also in regard to these discussions within the party. As such it is very important to keep in mind which leader and cadre of a particular rank can discuss which matter where and in which manner. While doing discussion or criticism it should be kept in mind that each comrade can criticize comrades of his own rank before his own rank or can criticize other comrades of a lower rank before his own rank or the lower rank. It is to be noted that discussion or criticism over such personal or organizational issues which are not the concern of all comrades — if it involves a comrade of his own rank — a comrade can enter into a discussion on this only in his own rank or at a higher rank. But he can never do it with comrades of a lower rank. Similarly, opinions about a comrade of a higher rank can be placed before others of a higher body only. And under no circumstances should they express these before a comrade of his own or a lower rank. Only ideological and theoretical issues can be discussed by all before everyone. Comrades should be well aware that from the very beginning of our party these norms and the codes of conduct were never sought to be imposed from above as rules. It is only through struggles in our party life that these norms and code of conduct gradually came into practice.
So, we see, these problems are of two categories. One concerns personal or confidential problems of comrades, the other relates to general guidelines evolving out of these individual problems. This second category should be brought to all for their education. But no comrade should, under any circumstances, discuss with comrades of his own or lower rank those organizational or personal aspects of a comrade of his higher rank, which should be kept closely guarded in the party interest, he having come to know from higher party bodies. But comrades can openly criticize mistakes or shortcomings of leaders in regard to their ethical and cultural standard, political conduct and general mode of behaviour. But remember always that you must be in a position to make this criticism before the concerned leader in the same way as you make it elsewhere. Similarly, a comrade may criticize another of his lower rank, in his absence too, but he must also be able to do it in his presence as well. Again, in both these cases, the general aspects of it, the theoretical and organizational aspects can surely be discussed before all. But the Central Committee can discuss about all leaders and cadres of the party.
And, over and above the aforesaid norms, certain other principles also must be maintained. Firstly, in conducting these discussions it must always be observed whether a particular discussion is in the interest of the party. Secondly, in criticizing another comrade the attitude must always be to take due note of his qualities first and then judge in this background the extent of his shortcomings. Thirdly, before forming an opinion about a comrade and expressing the same, it must be thoroughly examined through discussions with the party whether one’s individual impression is in conformity with the party’s opinion or not. It may be that a comrade is nursing an opinion that is not in conformity with the party opinion. If it is found in course of discussion that one’s own opinion on an issue is not in conformity with party's opinion about that particular issue then one must accept the party opinion happily. Because, even if one forms an opinion about something, is it for one’s own satisfaction ? Or for the benefit of the party, in the overall interest of the revolution ? He will have to think in this way. For, if one goes on holding one’s own opinion going beyond the expressed opinions of the party, it will have disastrous consequences. How then would he detect whether his impression about that particular thing is correct or not ? That can be determined only by putting it to a test by bringing it into conflict with the party’s opinion through discussions. Through this conflict, either the party opinion will be changed or his own impression will be changed, or a completely new understanding will come out. One of these three must prevail. Remember, there is no room here for indecision. If someone thinks wishfully that since his own personal opinion is apparently not causing any harm to the party life and its activities, nor is it preventing him from taking an active part in the day-to-day struggles of the party, so he does not think it particularly necessary to resolve it by discussing with the party, then he will commit a grave mistake. For, dialectical materialism has confirmed that no phenomenon is static or unchangeable. Then, would his conceptions or impressions be at rest ? No, they will not, even if he wants to subdue them. It will gradually eat into his mental peace like termites eat into timber. His thinking faculty will start decaying and he will not be able to hide it. For, mind works in a queer way. How it works at a given time is beyond the comprehension of ordinary men. If it so happens that someone is entertaining some ideas in his own mind, avoiding consultation with the party, then it will invariably have adverse repercussion on his entire process of thinking and conceptions as well. Don’t allow the mind, therefore, to work in whatsoever way. So many potential revolutionary characters have gone astray, or are still going, by allowing the mind to indulge in dwelling on petty things. So no idea, however insignificant it may appear, should be allowed to remain undiscussed. And the most dependable weapon to judge the truth is the party. Because, the party opinion has not been built upon sheer individual thinking. It has emerged from the collective experience derived through the interaction and conflict of opinions of all comrades of the party.
Therefore, one thing should by now be clear to the comrades that they are to conduct two types of struggles. One is the political struggle outside ; the other is the struggle within. This inner-party struggle must be properly integrated with the struggle of the working class outside. The day-to-day political battle of the party should be conducted in tune, in conformity with the struggle to build up the party as ‘one man’. So whoever asks a question, and whenever, the same has two aspects. One is the political or theoretical aspect and the other is the aspect of conduct of the person who raises the question. None of these two should be taken lightly. Of course, all comrades have the right to say lofty words. Because we only wish that all comrades develop more and more and that the number of leaders increase. For, only then shall we be able to face this vast problem, this multitude of problems.
Nowadays I often say that the party is growing but not the number of leaders. But how can someone be entrusted with leadership just because he is eager to be a leader ? How can the party entrust someone with leadership unless he has stood the test and the party feels convinced that he would rather lay down his own life but never let the party down ? Many comrades are there who consider themselves quite fit for leadership ! But has their capability been really proved just because they think or dream so ? Have they ever taken into account what mark of ability they have shown in their own lives ? How much of organization have they built themselves ? How far have they conducted party work ? They should ponder over all these. As for us, we only want that more and more comrades attain the ability for leadership. Regular party activities are suffering for dearth of leaders — secretariat work is suffering also. Even the organ of the party, which has such a great demand, cannot be regularly published. Leaders have to do every kind of work — from the highest to the most trivial. Want of competent workers in sufficient numbers is the real crisis before the party today. So each one of you present in this hall will become leaders — that is what we want. But for that you must attain the standard of a leader. What makes a man a leader ? One who can rouse the masses, build up revolutionary organization among the people and, at the same time, maintain cohesion and the health of the party — only he can become a leader. Without all-round abilities one cannot become a leader. There are many comrades who can deliver speeches, can write well, can take political classes, but cannot tackle the complex problems of the organization. In resolving the problems of organization the most important point is that one must be able to clearly understand another’s point of view before telling him anything. Secondly, he who is himself free from problems can alone resolve the multifarious and complicated problems of the organization. How can a leader lead others if he fails to conduct the struggle to free his own self from personal problems ? In that case, the leadership will fall in the hands of a worthless lot, who will issue circulars, conduct classes and take comrades to task but will never be able to resolve organizational problems. Party cannot function with such leaders.
Again, there are many comrades who are ready to sacrifice so many things for revolution but cannot come out of the family life even when necessary and cannot consciously submit to the party. How can they become leaders then ? How did we start ourselves ? Which leader was there to guarantee us a square meal or job in those days that we cared for nothing and plunged into this life leaving everything behind ? Rather, in those days one thing was clear before us, that we might or might not get our meals. These were the tests to begin with. Even before facing such tests at all some are thinking by themselves that they are fit for leadership. They have never reared up a true revolutionary. They themselves have not reared up any person who has revolutionary dedication. Say, a man had been living with his family quite happily and comfortably. Leaving all that behind voluntarily, he has come out to join the struggle happily under someone’s leadership. From where could he have drawn his inspiration ? Hearing speeches only ? Certainly not. Definitely he will keenly observe the very life of the leader which is such that even lies and slanders cannot blur its greatness. We cannot do without such ideal leaders. We need a thousand and one leaders to carry on the revolutionary work. But such ideal leaders are still very few among us. So, we do not object if someone wants to be a leader, but if someone is in a hurry to become a leader without treading the correct path to acquire leadership qualities, he can never become anything like a leader. If he fails to tread the correct path, he himself will become an obstacle in developing as a leader.
One more point has to be discussed when dwelling upon the code of conduct of comrades. Many comrades have a tendency to show too much interest about another’s business, forgetting their own. Now what happens if everybody neglects his own work and minds about another’s ? This way, playing at the time of reading and reading at the time of playing, can make one neither a player nor a scholar. So, everyone should carry out his own task first. After doing his own duty, if one shoulders greater responsibilities, that is very good. This way only it becomes possible to work both individually and collectively. He who discharges his own responsibilities without any excuse can contribute more to the collective. The concept of the collective did not arise to mean that no one has to discharge individual responsibility. Individual initiative and individual responsibility taken up and co-ordinated through a particular method give rise to the collective. This collective is far greater than just the sum total of the individual initiatives and discharge of responsibilities — something advanced which in turn will further guide everyone and help him acquire more and more proficiency in individual work. This is what is called collective. So, you see, collective minus individual initiative of each and every comrade is an empty word and only an excuse for one’s own inaction, or failure in fulfilling responsibilities.
Again there are some other comrades who, whenever you ask them why the work is not being done properly, find out some or other excuse. Or they keep saying that they haven’t yet received the concerned circular. And many such excuses they offer. Of course, it is a fault on the part of the leadership if the comrades do not receive a circular in time. But how can this be an excuse for his sitting idle, or being negligent in work or simply gossiping ? Rather, without waiting for the circular if he carries out a necessary work which if not done will harm the cause of the party and thereafter he goes on to point out that it was a failure of the office, then that would really effectively help the leadership to be free from shortcomings and inspire the newer comrades too. But I find this lacking in many of the comrades. Even the day-to-day routine work is kept pending. If enquired, they tell that they have received no instructions, or whatever else, from the office, so they could not do it. But to set up the daily work for a thousand and one comrades is an impossible task for the leaders. There is the general line of the party, meaning what should be the style of work, the style of propaganda or what are our programmes and policies. These are already explained to all. Now it is the task of the comrades to create their own work, to plan their everyday routine, make public contacts and take up programmes according to this line. This is the part of individual initiative of each comrade. But when this is found to be absolutely lacking in a particular comrade, leaders may perhaps have to plan out even the details of his day to day work. Though, I think that it is not always advisable, since it does not ultimately produce good results. It cripples individual initiative, contemplation and imagination of the comrades.
There are many other aspects of the code of conduct which need to be discussed. But all cannot be dealt with in a single meeting. In future, I will try to discuss, in some other meeting, more about it. I conclude here today.
Speech on August 19, 1969.
First published in Ganadabi,November Revolution Special Issue, 1970.