By Robert Laurie
Vol. XXI, No 1 April, 2015 £5.00 + £1.00 PP from NCP Lit: PO Box 73, London SW11 2PQ
FOR OVER 20 years Vijay Singh and his comrades in New Delhi have published the twice yearly journal Revolutionary Democracy. The latest issue for April 2015 reflects this milestone with a number of congratulatory messages from various communist parties across the globe. These messages are simply the icing on the cake of another interesting issue which contains articles on present day politics in India and hotspots in the struggle across the globe, along with historical articles and documents.
One message is from Nexhmije Hoxha, the widow of Albanian leader who found the journal valuable after her release from imprisonment by the country’s counter-revolutionary government.
The Indian articles include one on the recent Indian budget by the fascist BJP government, which exposes that its self-proclaimed anti-poverty programme is simply a case of encouraging the “Rich to get Richer and Throw Crumbs to the Poor”. There is an account of the February 2015 election to the Assembly for Delhi state which saw a crushing defeat for the ruling BJP. This interesting article presented something of a puzzle to this reader. It was not until near the end that it dawned on me this was a state, not a municipal election.
Perhaps the editors could supply some more background to articles such as these for the benefit of its deservedly wide international readership. I also needed also needed Google to tell me that “crores” meant 10 million. In addition to articles on recent general economic developments in India there is an account of a 1978 massacre of 42 Muslims by the Uttar Pradesh Provincial Armed Constabulary.
On the international front there are articles providing a Marxist critique of Spain’s reformist “Podemos” movement and a report of a “Conference on Socialism” held by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa in April, which was highly critical of the post-apartheid Tripartite Alliance headed by the ANC.
Many eyebrows will be raised by the statement from the Greek organisation Anasintaxi that the Communist Party of Greece, which is leading the fight against austerity, is: “in essence, the policy of this reformist party is not different than that of Syriza”. Some articles will spark disagreement, but readers will never be bored.
The historical material includes a draft document of the Tactical Line of the Communist Party of India. This had been produced in February 1951 after discussions with the Soviet Communist Party including Stalin. The introduction by Vijay Singh describes its emergence after a period of crippling internal disputes. The programme set the tone for the coming decades, not just for the CPI, but later in the Communist Party of India (Marxist) founded in 1964.
The issue concludes with an illustrated article on the “History of Soviet Architecture: From Palaces to Boxes” by A Bazdyrev, which relates the rise and fall of a specific Soviet architectural style to the politics of the Soviet era. He is particularly critical of a 1954 decision by Khrushchev which “basically liquidated Soviet architecture”.
We can hope that there will be many more anniversary editions of Revolutionary Democracy.