Speech of S. Ramachandran Pillai, President of the Inaugural Session of the 20th Congress of the CPI(M)
I am very happy to greet you all on the occasion of the 20th Congress of Communist Party of India (Marxist). Prakash Karat, General Secretary of the Party has explained the major tasks before the 20th Congress. The Party Congress is an important event for the Party. The Party Congress is the supreme organ of the Party which decides all political and organisational issues before the Party.
We are holding the 20th Congress in Kerala, one of the strongest units of the Party which has great revolutionary traditions and has produced many great working class leaders like P. Krishna Pillai, EMS Namboodiripad, A. K. Gopalan and many others.
The CPI(M) has been playing an important role in the life of the country. The Communist Party was formed in 1920 by a small group of anti-imperialist fighters inspired by the great October Revolution in Russia. The Communists are the first in the country to raise the demand for complete independence in 1921. While demanding complete independence, the Communists also stressed the need for giving a radical content to the slogan of independence through a definite programme of social and economic change. They included vital issues such as abolition of landlordism, end to feudal domination and elimination of caste oppression. While participating in the freedom struggle, the Communists started organising workers in the trade unions, peasants in the kisan sabhas, students and other sections of people in their respective mass organisations. The Communist Party, while working in cooperation with the independence movement led by the Indian National Congress and the Congress Socialist Party, consistently worked for building and strengthening itself as an independent Party of the working class.
The Communist Party has been playing a progressive role in Indian politics since its inception. The Communist Party has been always championing the cause of the poorer sections, the workers, agricultural workers, poor and middle peasants, middle class employees and other toiling sections of the people. The Party has been in the forefront of the struggle against imperialism, communal forces and other divisive forces.
The Communist Party has to face the severe repressions unleashed by the British colonial rulers and later by the Congress governments and the bourgeois-landlord classes.
Thousands of heroic activists of the Communist Party sacrificed their lifes in the various struggles organised by the Party.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) strives to achieve the revolutionary transformation of the present society by establishing people’s democracy and socialism. The Communist Party, by combining parliamentary and extra parliamentary forms of struggle, strives to build a powerful revolutionary movement for achieving the social transformation. The Party has to face many ups and downs during the course of building the revolutionary movement.
The period after the last Party Congress witnessed many important developments. The Party has been consistently fighting against neo-liberal economic policies and is in the forefront in the struggle against imperialist domination and for defending national sovereignty. The development of the united platform of all central trade unions and the successful general strike on February 28, 2012 was a landmark in the history of the working class movement in the country. There are also moves to build similar united actions among other sections of the people on their immediate issues.
The CPI(M) had suffered electoral reverses in the Lok Sabha elections and in the Legislative Assembly elections in West Bengal and Kerala. The causes of the electoral reverses were examined and appropriate political and organisational measures are being taken.
The corporate media and the political pundits of the ruling classes are making the false propaganda that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Left have lost their importance and relevance in Indian politics. The developments in India, on the other hand, bring to the focus the importance and relevance of the CPI(M) and the Left. The CPI(M) and the Left are the only forces consistently fighting against the neo-liberal economic policies. The CPI(M) and the Left are the main forces fighting against imperialist domination and defending national sovereignty. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Left are consistently fighting for land, food, employment and social justice for the common people. The CPI(M) and the Left are always trying to counter the forces of communalism, divisive forces and defend secularism. The CPI(M) and the Left alone provide the real alternative for the bankrupt policies of the ruling classes.
Other than the Political Resolution, Resolution on Some Ideological Issues, and amendments to Party Constitution, the 20th Congress will seriously discuss how to strengthen and expand the Party all over India and chalk out future tasks.
I am sure that the Party Congress will take important decisions on all issues before it and the 20th Congress will be a landmark in the history of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).
I thank you all.