Lenin How Not to Understand Lenin, A Reply to Apoorvanand’s Article – Other Aspect

  • A Ranjan and D Rashmi**

“Nicolai Lenin, the great, the genuine man, is dead. His death struck pain into the hearts of those who knew him. But the dark line of death only showed up more sharply his importance in the eyes of the world – his importance as the leader of working people. And if the cloud of hate surrounding his name, the cloud of lies and calumnies, sere still more dense than it is, no matter, there are no forces that could extinguish the torch lifted by Lenin in the darkness of the maddened world. And there has been no man who better deserved to be eternally remembered. Nicolai Lenin is dead. But the heirs of his wisdom and will are still alive. In the end honesty and truth created by man conquer. Everything must yield to those qualities which make a Man. ”


The view expressed by Gorky in obituary of Lenin is altogether inimical to what Apoorvanand in his article published in the Indian Express, has framed Gorky in relation to Lenin.

Apoorvanand puts down “It was again Gorky who threatened the Leninist regime, that he would create a scandal if the accused were given death sentences.” It was in Stalin’s time that Gorky was a central Committee member of the Bolshevik party which bloomed on Leninist principles.

There is no withholding of the fact that gorky criticised Lenin and Bolshevik party in post revolutionary Russia, but that isn’t equitable with tsarism. Lenin too had fair criticism of Bolsheviks but that doesn’t make him anti Bolshevik. Gorky, a life long Bolshevik not only financially supported the bolsheviks but also was banished for seven years, with unrelenting criticism of tsarism. An outsider researcher of a history should have the ability to see it unbriged.

The author either seeks to create a mirage by wrongly situating Rosa and martov against Lenin. Both of them were communist as Lenin. He is dodging the difference between Lenin and Leninism. Lenin didn’t prefer killing “his” enimies . Lenin deported those who had a class intrest not allign with the proletariats and not sworn enimosity ,and to be more precise, it wasn’t Lenin himself but the committees in charge.

In prior part of the article he wonders, “if India had a Lenin at the helm at the time of Independence, what would have been the fate of other political parties, voices and the press? “He should abstain from such conjucturing of history. What if I wonder apoorvanand wasn’t a professor of hindi, if he were a professor of history would he be criticising Lenin?

Mr. professor writes further, “It has been well researched, documented how Lenin presided over the dissolution of what was then called the Constituent Assembly. A majority of its members called themselves revolutionary socialists. Lenin forced it to close after it had sat only for a day. What happened to the dissenters?”

First of all constituent assembly isn’t a permanent entity, it’s for terminates shortly. Nehru too dissolved the constituent assembly. Seconly, left wing of the socialist revolutionaries merged with the bolshevik party and the right of SRs went with white guards. Thirdly, Lenin anuled the constituent assembly only after it refused to accept the decree on land, decree on peace, worker’s control over production. Why didn’t the constituent assembly accept it, after all there should absolutely be no problem for them to uphold such pro people dcree, why didn’t they uphold it then?

Not upholding a pro people decree makes you anti people . Mere saying he dissolved this, he deported them, without shedding light upon the context and the motive seems the author is trying to decieve the readers.Following the same logic counter question can be posed Why did Congress kill members of LeTs? Why did Congress had to kill Khalisthani? He would try to explain how they were threat. But he refuses to take into account the case of post revolutionary Russia.

For a person steeped in vulgar political-economy, and who derive the sap of their existence from the regime,. The bourgeois society is so unshakeable, so much sacrosanct that, even when they are most visibly shaking, they only hope and pray for a return to normalcy, for them all struggle even at such times as an irrational and irresponsible rebellion against the ever-invincible, pious capitalist system. To rephrase Luckas, For them, the fighters on the barricades are madmen, the defeated revolution is a mistake, and the builders of socialism,in a successful revolution – are outright criminals.

Now, the real question arises. When apoorvanand states”, We need plenty of democracy in this hour, diverse voices and criticism of the government and the state to thrive”.what is that plenty of democracy? Didn’t congress deliver plenty of democracy to the tebhaga when females were raped and butchered by army? didn’t congress or any other party or press took cognizance of it? Didn’t any criticism errupt? What has happened to this sham of debate criticism and dissent when peasants uprising of Telegana, tebhaga Naxalbari crushed? An easy escape would be to say it was anarchiat, anti-state and henceforth anti “people, for greater good it has to be nipped.

We shouldn’t forget it’s possible under this very state where Nehru could study at abroad and a child could die of starvation, it’s possible under this very state where tatas and Birlas could florish and make riches out of labour of workers, while the working class could hardly afford a one room house. It’s very much possible under this very system where an miniscule minority have all the riches and a vast majority leads lives on shatters. It’s very much the reality of this system where 1 percent of the population controls 73 percent of the wealth. How’s that the case? I genuinely hope that Apoorvanand wouldn’t agree that God decreed them crores of properties and left the vast majority unattended of any profit? It’s pretty obvious that they accumulated it, what made them accumulate unlimited degree of wealth. Is tata so industrious that he can produc wealth equal to what 10 percent of Indian population would produce?

I certainly think, apoorvanand won’t agree to this proposition as well. So, it’s obviously from the labour, that’s where surplus is generated and this surplus is accumulated, the profit isn’t given to the producers. That make the money of riches increase manifold at one hand for minorities where for majorities poverty grows. How could state with armiesand bureaucracy in lakhs could not see such a phenomena. Or they are just turning blind eye to the poverty of millions??

The article hints that the author understand democracy as dissent and criticism. But he didn’t mention what sort of dissent it should be? Would it incorporate the dissent of workers and peasants who were killed by state in naxalbari? Or it would only incorporate the dissent of rahul over modi?Assuredly it’s the latter one, history of the state not only of India but of the entire world shows it has always gun down the protest of the working class whose surplus is appropriated? Isn’t is just for them to demand their due share? If it’s then why is their voice muzzled right from America to India, in name of inclussivness where state persuaded the politics of exclussivness. This shows that the present state isn’t just a mute spectator but facilitator of this loot. Which nation state has ever opposed this rule of capital, right from Congress to BJP, or even in the land of freedom Democrats to Republicans?

What congress did to the Telangana peasants who had raised their voice against the prevaling exploitative order, same fate was met by SRs and other so called revolutionaries for whom Apoorvanand’s heart is wilting today, in Russia. The only difference was of class. An uprising got quelled, a party got disbanded after Telangana because the toiling masses dissented against their exploitation and in Russia, the bourgeoisie which thrives on sweat and blood of working masses wanted to continue the exploitation which was put to an end by October revolution. They dissented, the dissent was squashed, because it advance of exploration of majority by minority . It’s upto him to decide which side is he on? With the exploiters or the exploited?

If he is with the exploiters he would be dreaded of Lenin certainly read CIA propaganda to slander Lenin and bolshevik revolution like he said it was a coup, not it wasn’t a coup, it was a class revolution. And if he is on side of exploited Lenin would be a beam of light.

His article suggest enogh proof to assume he is with exploiters when he concludes his article stating . //In fact, the pain the poor and the working class of India are going through in the name of fighting with the threat of coronavirus reminds one of the agonies that the Russian people had to endure due to the disastrous policy of Lenin.. //why don’t you talk of working class when the surplus proved by them is accumulated in hands of capitalist? power?

Why do you become advocate of bourgeois who has historically been exploiting working class against working class seizure of power? Second of all he should avoid placing situations out of box. Covid isn’t a crisis created by bad capitalist governance. It’s the manifests the crisis of capitalism itself, however I don’t intend upon discussing covid here, manish azad’s political economy of covid gives a great account of it.

If USSR was that bad a country, why was it making sky rocketing development in every field? Why there were no unemployment like it used to previal in America or even today’s India.

Democracy for an insignificant minority, democracy for the rich, that’scapitalist democracy. The parties, the press , the dissent, the criticism, will only be carried if doesn’t threaten the capitalism ( the appropriaion of surplu produced by working class ) . One person one vote doesn’t give democracy, as the choice as every different choice is made to serve the capitalists.

  • A Ranjan is a Left Activist and associated with Red Youth
  • *D Rashmi is a Left Activist and student. Her name was missed due to editing error. We apologise for this oversight.