Pages from history: A Cominform document

(The article below was published in For a Lasting Peace, For a People’s Democracy, Bucharest, Organ of the Information Bureau of the Communist and Worker’s Parties in its January 27, 1950 No. 4 issue. It had a profound influence on the Communist Party of India and laid the seeds of its later split. It is noteworthy that all predictions in this article such as the victory of socialism in the erstwhile USSR, and the revolutions in Malaya, Burma and Philippines have proven false. The portion of special relevance to India has been italicized and the most significant part is presented in italics. It neither clearly excludes nor includes the desirability of unity with Congress – hence the turmoil in the party).


Please note: In a letter to EPW (Oct 14, 2006, pg. 4302 and 4384) KN Ramchandran of CPI(ML)-Kanu Sanyal group quotes certain statements from the Comintern document but does not provide a reference; it is not from the article produced below, by which time the Comintern had been dissolved – Daya Varma)


The text of the article:




One of the outstanding features of the present international situation is the unprecedented scope of the revolutionary struggle of the peoples of the colonial and dependent countries.


            In many countries this struggle is of an armed nature, with hundreds of millions of working people of the countries of the East taking part in it. The scale and the nature of this struggle, led by the working class and the communist parties, show that the peoples of the colonial and dependent countries have resolutely taken the path of revolution against colonial slavery and for national liberation.


            The mighty advance of the post-war revolutionary, liberation struggle in the dependent and colonial countries has shaken the entire system of world imperialism to its very foundations and shows that the colonial peoples refuse to live any longer in the old way, and the ruling classes in the metropolitan countries are unable any longer to rule them in the old way.


            The Great October Socialist Revolution released the revolutionary energy of   the oppressed masses of the colonial countries, linked their struggle for freedom and national independence with the revolutionary struggle of the working people of all countries thus opening the way to their liberation.


            The Lenin Stalin national policy, the victory of socialism in the U.S.S.R, which turned the formerly oppressed people of Russia’s outlying regions into equal Socialist nations who today make up the great fraternal family of Soviet peoples, gave and continues to give a powerful impulse and support to the colonial and dependent peoples in their struggle against colonial and imperialist slavery.


            The victorious people’s liberation war  against fascism, which the Soviet Union headed, the defeat of German and Japanese imperialism and also the fact that such colonial powers as Britain, France, Italy, Holland and Belgium have become considerably weaker all furnished favourable conditions for struggle and for the victory of  the national liberation movement in the colonial and dependent countries.

            The establishment of people’s democratic power in the countries of Central and South-eastern Europe, the increased political and economic might of the U.S.S.R. and the People’s Democracies, the resolute and consistent struggle of the democratic camp, headed by the U.S.S.R., against American and British imperialism the main oppressors of the freedom of colonial peoples  – weakened and could not but weaken the entire system of imperialism  and thus rendered and continue to render decisive assistance to the colonial peoples in their struggle for national freedom and independence.


The world historic victory of the Chinese people over the combined over the combined forces of the reactionary Kuomintang and American imperialism is striking proof of the advance of the national liberation struggle, of the triumph of the Lenin Stalin teaching concerning the strategy and tactics of the communist parties heading this struggle.


The victory of the Chinese people is of enormous significance in strengthening the national liberation struggle in the colonial and dependent countries.


Analysing the conditions of the victory of the Chinese people’s liberation revolution, Liu Shao-chi, Vice-President of the World Federation of Trade Unions, in his speech to the Peking Trade Union Conference of the countries of Asia and Oceania, stated: “The path taken by the Chinese people is the path that should be taken by the people of many [Liu Shao-chi’s used the  word ‘all’, which  was altered to  “many” by the journal-DV] colonial and dependent countries in their struggle for national independence and people’s democracy.”

The experience of the victorious national liberation struggle of the Chinese people teaches that the working class must unite with all classes, parties, groups and organizations willing to fight the imperialists and their hirelings and to form a broad,  nation-wide  united front, headed by the working class and its vanguard –the Communist Party, the Party equipped with the theory of Marxism-Leninism; the Party that has mastered the art of revolutionary strategy and tactics; that breeds the spirit of revolutionary irreconcilability to enemies of the people, the spirit of proletarian organisation and discipline in the mass movement of the peoples.


            A decisive condition for the victorious outcome of the national-liberation struggle is the formation, when the necessary international conditions allow for it, of people’s liberation armies under the leadership of the communist party.


            As the example of China, Viet Nam, Malaya and other countries show, armed struggle is now becoming the main form of the national-liberation movement in many colonial and dependent countries.


            In Viet Nam the armed people have liberated ninety percent of their country from the French imperialists. The 150 000 French troops in Viet Nam are afraid to leave the occupied towns, are bottled up by the armed forces of the Viet Nam Republic.


            In South Korea guerrilla forces are making life intolerable for the police forces of the American-installed puppet, Syngham Ree.


            In Malaya 120 000 British troops are bogged down in a fruitless endeavour to crush the Malayan people’s national liberation army. In the Philippines – the “model” U.S. colony – partisans are in the field against the puppet Quirino Government.

In Indonesia, patriot forces are fighting against the combined Dutch and Hatta quisling troops. Half Burma is in the hands of the peoples forces fighting against the British imperialist agency. The national liberation movement in Latin America, Africa and the Near East is spreading far and wide.


            The mass movement of the peoples in the colonies and semi-colonies, the movement that unfolded after the war and developed into an armed struggle, forced the British imperialists to make a tactical retreat. Sham independence was bestowed on India. But the interests of British imperialism remained “sacred and inviolable”. The Mountbattens have departed but British imperialism remains, and octopus like, grips India in its bloody tentacles (Italics by INSAF Bulletin).


            In these conditions the task of the Indian communists, drawing on the experience of the national liberation movement in China and other countries, is, naturally, to strengthen the alliance of the working class with all the peasantry, to fight for the introduction of the urgently needed agrarian reform and on the basis of common struggle for freedom and national independence of their country, against the Anglo-American imperialists’ oppressing it and against the reactionary big bourgeoisie and feudal princes collaborating with them: TO UNITE ALL CLASSES, PARTIES, GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS WILLING TO DEFEND THE NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE AND FREEDOM OF INDIA (capitalization and Italics by INSAF Bulletin).


            The victory of the revolution in China and the advance of the national liberation struggle in the colonies have thrown the imperialists, who are desperately trying to retain their grip on the colonies, into a fury. It would be a mistake to underestimate the feverish activity of the imperialists who are suffering defeat. The Communist Parties, trade unions and all democratic organizations in the colonial and dependent countries should rally  the working people and all progressive forces, daily exposed the colonising plans of the foreign imperialists and the treacherous, anti popular role of reaction which collaborates with the imperialists. In the metropolitan countries, Communists, whose duty it is to rally and unite the democratic forces in support of the colonial peoples, should remember Comrade Stalin’s words: “No lasting victory is possible in colonial and dependent countries unless a real link is established between the movement for the liberation and the proletarian movement of the more advanced countries of the West.”


            Seamen, dockers and railway men in Marseilles, St. Nazaire and other ports in France have, by their courageous action in refusing to handle munitions for the colonial war in Viet Nam, set a splendid example of international working class solidarity.


            The experience of the revolution in Russia, China and the Peoples Democracies teaches that when a people resolutely goes into a struggle, and when the Communist Parties are capable of heading this struggle, no forces of international counter-revolution and of the foreign imperialists can crush the people’s masses who have taken to revolution.


            Fraternal bonds of solidarity are being forged between the working people of the West and the revolutionary peoples of the colonial and dependent countries. This solidarity of hundreds of millions of people is the rock on which imperialism will perish.” 

Top - Home