(Janatantrik Samajbadi Dal)
(Janatantrik Samajbadi Dal)
The Party for Democratic Socialism (PDS) is being formed as a secular, democratic and socialist Party. This Party will adhere to the guiding principles of scientific socialism. But it will discard those ideas that are obsolete today. This party will work for bringing about a dynamic change in and revolutionary transformation of society. Taking due lesions from the invaluable experience of the past century, this Party will eschew all forms of dogmatism and conservatism. This Party has a distinct and clear view on a significant ideological issue of the communist movement. i.e. the issue of dictatorship of the proletariat. The PDS believes that the idea of dictatorship must be abandoned today. The effort to construct socialism has been frustrated by traversing the path of dictatorship. In the present age democracy is an important means on the road to social change. Democracy is not the sole preserve of the exploiting classes. Its importance should not be underestimated. It is along the path of democracy that all segments of people including workers, peasants and other toiling masses must strive to advance society. For the full utilization of these principles all impediments hindering democracy must be removed. This is the path for advancement of civilization in the new age; this is also the way ahead for social revolution. The PDS believes that the principal of democratic centralism, which along with the concept of dictatorship has so far guided the functioning of the communist parties, also needs to be abandoned by all progressive forces in the present age. There are numerous examples in the world of how over-centralism in the guise of democratic centralism has endangered democracy, led to bureaucratic tendencies and sapped the vitality of the organization. In the present times the old idea of over-centralism must be abjured. It must be firmly ensured that the organization functions in a democratic manner. Democracy does not mean anarchy. Democracy introduces the requisite discipline. The centralism that is inherent and naturally existent in democracy must be applied in the functioning of the organization. The imposition of ever greater centralism into the democratic process, which destroys the organization's vitality, must be done away with.
The adherence by the communist movement to the above mentioned two ideas has engendered conservation and indifference to fundamental change. This must definitely be removed. The inability to take and apply correct decision on the basis of a scientific outlook and through a proper evaluation of real-life events has repeatedly pushed back the communist and left movement in India. At every historic juncture this movement has failed to adopt correct positions. Various reactionary forces including communal elements have taken advantage of these failures. The ignominy of having an alliance government led by communal forces must be borne in some measure by this movement as well. The recognition that the communist and other left movements had as the most principal movement of a vibrant ideology has got substantially eroded in the present period. The predominance of various kinds of delusions and the inability to take correct decision has resulted in the stagnation of this movement. The potential, which this movement has of emerging as a genuine political alternative, has been lost due to its own weakness and mistakes. Depraved and reactionary political forces including many communal, casteist and secessionist outfits have exploited this situation. This has placed Indian polity in a critical state today. To combat these dangerous challenges facing the country there is an urgent need to create a dogma-free Left democratic force. It is with the aid of scientific thought and consciousness that the current trend among the people to move towards right reactionary forces must be resisted.
For this it is essential to place before the people several good alternatives in the political sphere. This will impart a new vitality and democratic culture to the country's politics. It is necessary to free the masses from the rigid political polarization, which has incited violence and ruined the culture of tolerance. Such polarization of society will push human civilization back into medieval darkness in the name of change. It is necessary to activate the public mind against the debilitating effect of blind polarization of politics in society. The rights of people to freely and fearlessly express their feelings and decisions must be fiercely guarded and encouraged. It is important to strengthen democratic institutions and render them successful through people's participation. It is necessary to put an end to the culture of violence and intolerance in politics. It is necessary to safeguard the dignity and honor of every man. All attempts to exploit human beings and sacrifice them at the alter of politics must be resisted.
The Party for Democratic Socialism is being formed to realize these objectives. This party will work towards building a new consciousness among the people. It will organize mass movements for translating progressive and dynamic policies into reality. This party will participate in elections and work towards building up an alliance of secular and democratic forces. The PDS is committed to the building of a new political alternative before the people.
Resolution on Certain Ideological Issues
[The ideological resolution only addresses certain issues. It is not an exhaustive and comprehensive ideological document. Currently there is a vacuum in the world as far as ideology is concerned. It is necessary to break this impasse and to construct a relevant and minimum framework for a new thought process in order to move forward in the path of progress. This resolution of the PDS is an endeavor in that direction. There has been continuous discussion among people on various ideological issues. A number of alternative thoughts and ideas are being generated through this dialogue and interactive process. The experience of life will determine the correctness of these thoughts and ideas. The present resolution aims to strengthen the process of garnering historical and life experiences. All members and supporters of the PDS and people at large are requested to give their views and opinion on the subjects addressed in this document.]
Aims and objectives of Democratic Socialism:
Since the inception of civilization mankind is engaged in struggles against exploitation and deprivation. History is replete with numerous struggles waged for establishment and expansion of rights of human beings. The revolt by Spartacus against slavery, the American Revolution for democracy, the French revolution for quality, liberty and liberty and fraternity & the Russian Revolution for socialism are all examples of such epoch making historical events.
The PDS acknowledges and recognizes the aforesaid proud heritages of mankind while making political efforts to change society in the interest of the poor and deprived.
The Socialist Revolution in Russia was inspired by a noble dream. This revolution gave an impetus to the struggle of oppressed people the world over. It encouraged liberation movements in imperialist colonies. However the collapse of socialism, primarily due to lack of democracy in this system, created a vacuum in politics and ideology throughout the world. This led to the accentuation of a decadent and unhealthy culture of power-hungry and value-less politics. India is also a victim of the trend. The PDS is willing to work with all like-minded political parties, mass organizations and individuals that wish to bring about a change in this situation. The PDS is committed to put an end to the exploitation of man and ensure for all the right to life, liberty and a dignified social and cultural existence.
The aims and objectives of the PDS are to establish secularism, democracy, non-violence, unfettered development, decentralization of state power, building peoples power, rule of law, wise and enlightened human relationships and democratic socialism.
Against narrow class outlookThe PDS will act as a harmonious tool of unified struggle by people irrespective of religion, race, caste, gender etc. In the past many political parties organizations and individuals worked towards the above mentioned aims and objectives. However many brave efforts were defeated on account of narrow class considerations, promoted by un-satiated desires for power and domination. The theory of the dictatorship of the proletariat, which emanated from class analysis of society eventually, could not be applied successfully for the emancipation of mankind. Learning from this historical experience the PDS formulates its ideology and objectives, by a careful study and analysis of success and failures of all social revolutions of the past. It has drawn from thoughts and lives of all thinkers and leaders who made contributions to the progress of society.
The question of class revolution
The PDS firmly believes that the concept of a singular class-led revolution, which would take society forward, through dictatorship of the same class, is obsolete in the present time. In today's democratic struggles all toiling classes of society including workers and peasants have important and shared roles to play. Mass movements have now transcended narrow class limits and acquire the character of an enlightened and advanced collective movement of the people. The leadership of these movements is not the exclusive preserve of any particular class but emerges democratically through interaction of various liberation ideas and principles. Today's mass movements are conducted not by any particular individual, group or class like in the old times. These movements are increasingly being led by a collective leadership drawn from a number of class and developed on the basis of knowledge and consciousness.
In alike manner the PDS is not a party of any class. It is a scientific, democratic and pluralistic party formed out of the collective mobilization of a wide variety of progressive and struggling people.
Class struggle and class contradiction:
The PDS is conscious of the fact that class struggles are still prevalent in the society. It however discards the old idea that violent actions can resolve these struggles. It considers universal democratic and higher human consciousness as appropriate in the present times and shall strive to acquire the same. The concept of incessant, eternal and ever-shaping class struggle is no longer relevant and has to be abandoned the conflict between classes must be resolved by democratic and social means.
The PDS is of the view that the description of class contradictions operating in the last century has changed its form and character. It has transcended class limits and acquired qualitatively new dimensions based on issues. People from various different classes are taking either progressive or reactionary positions depending on their varied perceptions. It is thus futile to wedge an artificial class division within these mobilizations of people.
In this prevalent and emergent situation - the qualitative and issue-based contradictions of our times can be identified as follows :-
These qualitative contradictions have taken shape as a logical outcome of the severe churning of past contradictions.
The contradiction between dictatorship and democracy is so intense and all pervading that no dictatorship - bourgeois or communist, is free from its impact. Likewise all kinds of domination today face the growing challenge of pluralism. The attempts of the ruling American elite to dominate the world continue to meet with stiff resistance from the people.
In old times, the contradictions, between the working class and the bourgeoisie created conditions for mutual destruction inspired by each one's desperate desire to capture and hold on to state power. The continuation of such single-track path is no longer possible. It is true that bloody conflicts between workers and owners are witnessed even today. But this contradiction is no longer the key to the solution of the problems of the world. Undeniably there is a conflict of interest between the owners and workers. Yet it is no longer wise to view this conflict as an increasingly antagonistic and inimical one. The strength of democratic processes, the rule of law, the recognition of numerous rights of the workers and the unified struggle of the people, makes it possible to transform this contradiction to a non-antagonistic one. Consequently this contradiction is transformed into one which cannot be resolved without the mutual co-operation of these two opposing classes.
Similarly in earlier times the contradiction between imperialism and socialism was direct and intense, each of them seeking to annihilate the other by enhancing their destructive powers. Each camp was self-assured about its own victory. This fight-to-finish for supremacy and world domination created a situation where a frontal confrontation of these two camps would lead to the destruction of the world itself. Eventually the policy makers of both camps realized the danger of this wholesome destruction and thenceforward started pursuing a policy of peaceful coexistence and mutual co-operation. Peaceful coexistence does not mean awarding untrammeled powers and imperialism. Rather it has potentially enhanced the prospects that henceforth people of all countries will determine their own des tiny, democracy and development will flourish, there will be strengthening and democratization of various international institutions and the security and safety of the world will be ensured.
It is also not possible to believe that inter-imperialist rivalry to capture and divide the world market among them would assume the same bloody form of conflict as in the last century. Considering the lethal power the unleashing of which can dest ory the planet itself, any thought the inter imperialist conflict can take the previous form, needs to be aborted by any means. The internal contradictions of imperialist countries may not and should not lead to war. Rather these same contradictions are reshaping as a part of the contradiction between uni-polarity and pluralism, which has already manifested itself during the Iraq crisis.
The class contradictions cannot burst forth as in the past. Yet exploitation, deprivation, aggression, hegemony etc. have not ceased to exist. In this situation what form should the people's movement take against these injustices? How do we analyze the present conditions? It is the urge to answer these questions that have given birth to the concept of transformed contradictions as mentioned above.
The PDS firmly believes that the use of force to capture and retain state power the lost all ethical justification. The advancement of democracy and the consequent empowerment of people have created a contrary situation in almost all countries. In the present times the determinate democratic struggles of the mass of people provide a great weapon with which to utilize the state power for social change. Ignoring this reality only helps the reactionary elements. All forces committed to social change are duty bound to defend democracy. Any assault by reactionary forces on democracy should be resisted and thwarted by the revolutionary forces, whose responsibility is not only to lead people against such attacks, but also to expand democracy after success is achieved. Thus any attempts of socialist and progressive forces to adopt activities such as secret-intelligence based party dictatorship and command economy, as the mode for building socialism, are bound to meet with failure. Any effort to advance by the use of force inevitably ends up a dictatorial and antisocial operation and turns out being self-destructive. It is a matter of satisfaction that communist and socialist forces in various countries are changing themselves and acquiring democratic consciousness in their activities. The world over the trend towards democracy has become irresistible. Forces holding anti democratic views are in a minority.
The question of freedom from violence:
PDS firmly stands for democratic of democratic socialism as opposed to the dictatorial one. Its main features are pluralistic democracy, tolerant politics and society, intelligent and rational construction of economy and culture. The use of force to either block or advance social progress, achieved successes in the past, albeit temporarily. As there were no democratic options, two or more hostile classes had no mechanisms other than engaging in bloodshed to effect changes in society. In contrast, in the present times, the construction of a violence free society and political environment is the path towards progress. People are getting embroiled in fratricidal and futile bloodshed under the influence of political, caste, religious, racial and class hatred and the desired emancipation of the people remins a far cry. The elite sections of each conflicting group of people never want this situation to change as violence helps them to retain their legion and organization. The path of violence is detrimental to the unity of the people. PDS is committed to unify the masses against these machinations and free politics from violence.
Violence is not the answer:
Violence is prevalent not only in India but in almost all countries. But nowhere has a permanent settlement of any problem been effected through this path and even short-term gains did not last for lack of ethical basis leading to further aggravation of the crises. Israel and Palestine have been engaged in a bloody conflict for a long time, the former wanting to destroy the latter by its military prowess. Against this machination, the people of Palestine have developed strong resistance. Side by side suicide groups are attacking Israel and a large number of people from both sides are losing their lives. In the ultimate reckoning however there is no option for these two nations other than to tread on a violence-free path and reach a solution through dialogue. The same is true of India and Pakistan. By hostile relationships they can only invite their own destruction but a violence free friendly path can ensure immense prosperity for both nation.
The same principle applies to relationships between various contending political parties in a country. There is no way for political parties and groups than accepting violence free, democratic and tolerant outlook towards opponents. If not, these parties will only harm the interests of the people of their country through inter-party strife and killings.
THE STATE AND THE CONSTITUTION
In conditions of over expanding democracy it is not prudent to consider the 'State' to be a permanent tool of nay particular class. The democratic strength to enlightened masses can utilize state power for enactment of progressive policies. In this context the theory of smashing state power developed as a corollary to the theory of capture of state power by force has also become redundant. This in no way minimizes the importance of the task to gradually reduce the role of the state in social life and to enhance the role of the people. Great strides of progress in material production and higher echelons of consciousness of people may create a situation in future where the state ceases to exist. It was envisaged long ago in the Communist Manifesto that the bourgeois State and society with its classes and class struggles will wither away and will be replaced by an association of people where prosperity of all will be the precondition for the prosperity of each. Such a civil society may very well emerge on this planet.
At the same time it is necessary to have a clear idea about the Constitution of a country which forms the pivot of wielding state power. It is essential to protect all positive aspects in a Constitution of any country what so ever. It is also essential to fight for inclusion of newer rights for people and work for amendment to the constitution without harming its basic feature like secularism, democracy and equality. This is true for the Indian Constitution too. All parties professing progress and social change must discern and assimilate the democratic strength of the Indian people. They must comprehend the tenets of secularism and equality, which have been flowing through India for centuries. The concept of Indian-ness needs to fostered as part of a broader world outlook and should form the basis of progressive politics.
THE RULE OF LAW
It is important to work for establishment of the rule of law in any country for the benefit of its entire people. The rule of law is an inseparable part of governance and development of democratic societies through the collective endeavor of the people. The election of representatives and rulers of the people by democratic franchise, formulating laws in elected legislatures, interpretation and application of laws by an independent judiciary, free media acting as a watchdog over state and governmental activities are some basic features of the rule of law. The PDS is committed to safeguard the above processes.
The obsession of certain rich nations in retaining old imperialist characteristics and indulging in violence and aggression against other sovereign nations is deplorable. This attitude adopted by the USA and UK was abundantly reflected in the aggression against Iraq. It was necessary to put an end to the dictatorial regime in Iraq. It is also necessary not to relax vigilance against international terrorism. But it was audacious for America and Great Britain to disregard the United nations and world public opinion and launch a unilateral war. This sort of behavior presents a grave threat to the needs of a democratic world order. It smacks of hegemony and domination.
The imperialist countries once created and supported various terror groups in the world; people like Laden ware propped up by them. But today the same groups are disillusioned and alienated on account of the deception, selfishness, arrogance and domineering conduct of their own creators. These terror groups are thus directing their ire against these mentor countries, as evident form the attack on the World Trade Centre and the war in Afghanistan.
The attempts and designs of the imperialist countries to dominate the world have been foiled by the resistance of people across the globe and increasing assertion and positive role of various international institutions. People all over the world are demanding establishment of a pluralistic political environment as opposed to hegemony. This determined bid of the people is creating rifts in the camp of the perpetrators of hegemony and acting as a shield from their evil designs.
The multinational and transnational corporations of the erstwhile imperialist and other rich countries are bent upon making reckless profits. In desperation they seek to bribe leaders of weak governments in various poor countries, misappropriate raw materials, exploit cheap labor and damage the environment with impunity. But they are facing stiff resistance in their designs to dominate and plunder by the patriotic and self-respecting people in various countries. The consciousness and movements of people in various countries joining with people's movements in other countries thereby generating a mighty international force. The two pronged pressure exerted by people's movements and international organizations has brought forth the demand for enactment of international laws to regulate operations of multi-national corporations.
THE PDS AND THE STRUGGLE OF THE WORLD PEOPLE
People's movements across the globe against expansionist forces and countries are not ringed by any single color. These movements are developing out of the mobilization of democratic and equality loving people irrespective of race, religion, color, class etc. The leaderships of these movements are also being evolved through a democratic and natural process. Any attempt to impose this or that particular theory or orientation on these movements is proving to be disruptive and conducive to imperialism.
Similarly and designs to constrict people's democratic movements by the principles and ideas of an individual party or group is harmful. Only by inculcating an intensely democratic and creative culture can any party or group or individual contribute appropriately in the struggle for social change. The PDS is keen to promote and foster this culture.
THE ECONOMIC ISSUES
The PDS is of the view that the economic construction of socialism as against capitalist exploitation and other backward and reactionary economic systems has to be undertaken in a democratic manner. It is opposed to the concept of take over of all property by the state. If shall strive for creation of social character of property. For this it would promote individual ownership of property and nurture every individual as responsible producers of society. Its endeavor will be to create a strong social security system on the basis of a successful production process by utilizing the talent and efficiency of every individual human being. It will strive to create and constantly upgrade an economic foundation where every individual will receive a congenial environment to live and work corresponding to his/her enterprise and ability. The PDS recognizes the existence of property in its various forms viz. individual property, state property, cooperative property, joint property of the state and individual, foreign property, etc. The PDS is opposed to the system of command economy.
THE ISSUE OF SECULARISM
The struggle to liberate human beings from all kinds of backwardness and obscurantism is a noble struggle. Communalism, created by mixing religion with politics, is a menace to society. The PDS wants all progressive and democratic forces to unite their efforts against this menace. It attaches immense importance to the struggle for protection of secularism. It is opposed to all forms of casteism, racism and all kinds of separatist tendencies.
The struggle for equal rights of men and women is a very old one. The subordination of women by men, heralded the advent of subjugation of one section of humanity by the order on economic grounds. It also marked the beginning of class exploitation. The exploitation and deprivation of women persists even today. Civilization can not move forward without the liberation of women. The PDS strongly supports the principles of equal rights for women. It is committed to achieve this goal.
AGAINST CULTURAL HEGEMONY AND DIVISIVENESS
The cultural domination and exhibition of cultural superiority is a harmful and highly deplorable tendency. The PDS wants harmonious development of all cultures as opposed to promotion of one and suppression of another. It wants equal respect for all mother tongues. It strongly supports promotion of equal respect for all mother tongues. It strongly favors promotion of knowledge, science and culture in each and every language. It has unflinching commitment to the progress and development of the language and culture of tribal and other ethnic groups. It firmly believes that link languages in individual countries and at the international level will emerge through the process of dignified development of all languages and cultures.
The aim of the PDS is to advance civilization through knowledge based and conscious participation as well as competition among people, in opposition to all divisive and alienating discords.
To achieve this PDS will struggle
The PDS firmly believes that the goals of equality will be realized through the tolerant and democratic path of pluralism. The harmony between nature and human society will also be achieved through this golden path.
Janatrantrik Samajbadi Dal or Party for Democratic Socialism (PDS), in short Janatrantik Dal, is a democratic, secular and socialist party. This party believes in the ideals of progressive change of society. It aims to end exploitation of man by man. This party is dedicated to the task of basic and qualitative up liftmen of the lives of the poor and deprived people. It is inspired by the entire gamut of enlightened thoughts and ideas, evolved through ages in the direction of democracy, socialism, communism and equality. This party is not the exclusive preserve of any particular class but is a party of all people who are committed to the ideals of social change and are dedicated to the principles of democracy.
The twentieth century witnessed many unprecedented events in the world. This era saw the emergence of the socialist system against capitalism. Colonialism came to an end during this time. Imperialism faced crushing defeats. The Cold War between imperialism and socialism ensured after the defeat of fascism. Imperialism undertook new methods to expand its domination. They took to economic aggression. The socialist world, for many years, stood as a bulwark against these aggressions. During this time socialism also faced crisis and was routed in many countries due to absence of democracy and lack of economic vitality. In this situation it was feared that the old imperialism would resurge. The perverted mentality to dominate the world would resurface. Against this, the trend of multipolarity of the world became growingly stronger. The demand for democratization of the United Nation, IMF, World Bank etc. acquired momentum. This trend of multi-dimensional pluralism is fledgling at present but constitute the growing feature of world politics today.
People in every country of the world are victims of poverty, unemployment, sexual and racial discrimination, national deprivation and industrial stagnation and crisis. The divide between the rich and the poor countries of the world is growing. Regional imbalances are also increasing. It is necessary to recognize the rights of the people of all countries over all the resources of the world and adopt a realistic approach for development aimed at empowering the people. Urgent measures need to be taken to unbind knowledge and science from the clutches of few countries and few people and to use them for overall development of all humanity.
In many countries, various political problems and crises related to various rights of the people have remained unresolved. All these problems need to be settled through foresight and wisdom. The security of the planet can only be guaranteed though democracy, development and peaceful human action as opposed to the path of confrontation, intimidation and violence. The same principles of development and human rights are a key to the solution of the meance of terrorism.
The constitution defines India as a sovereign, secular, democratic and socialist state although these principles have never been implemented properly. Communal policies dismembered India during independence; this painful experience helped India to take the path of secularism. India did not accept the erroneous path which Pakistan took to establish itself as a such based on religion. The task to defend Indian secularism is a supreme task. Janatantrik Dal believes that all countries neighboring India will adopt democratic and secular path and unite in a higher and harmonious sub-continental relationship.
The constitution entails many provisions against exploitation and deprivation of the people. But so far all the elected governments at different levels have failed to properly implement these provisions. The lack of commitment and errors in program of the political parties are responsible for this sad state of affairs.
India's constitution does not permit mixing religion with politics. Many political parties do not adhere to this concept and endanger the nation.
The Indian constitution does not permit use of unfair and unprincipled means in elections. But political parties always resort to the very same thing. They indulge in religious and caste manipulations. They use money and muscle power and subvert the electoral process. The political parties do not practice fielding of only good, honest and clean candidates for elections. This has led to the criminalization of politics in India.
The Indian constitution intends to implement for the deprived people, their rights to education, employment, shelter and health. It also intends to empower the poor people economically. No government run by any political party has ever tried to truthfully implement these rights.
Indian constitution provides for the protection of the federal character of the Indian state. But these principles have been subverted time and again on account of political expediency and machinations. Indian constitution provides for the security and development of the minorities, tribal and various ethnic groups. These principles have never been properly implemented.
Indian constitution incorporates directions for the protection of the rights of the women. Still, women are victims of discrimination and repression. Indian constitution provides for building a happy and enriched climate for the children but millions of children are victims of starvation, malnutrition, illiteracy and immature death.
Janatantrik Dal is committed to fight against all the above injustices and build a mass movement devoted to secularism, democracy and equal rights. Joined by millions of workers, peasants, agricultural labor, students, youth, women and other sections of society and endowed with altruistic ideals and dedication this movement will march uncompromisingly to achieve the above goals. This movement will never lose its way to violence and sectarianism in order to make short-term gains.
Armed with the ideals of change and development Janatantrik Dal will build its organization among people in various parts of the country. Along with other secular and democratic parties, Jantantrik Dal will forge such a political power in the country that will ensure realization of all great ideals of the Indian constitution and improve them for further advance of Indian society and human civilization.
Jantantrik Dal will also necessary amendments to the Constitution in keeping with the task of building a prosperous and happy society for Indian people. In doing this Jantantrik Dal will always safeguard the basic structure of the constitution. Jantantrik Dal will utilize the constitution, all constitutional agencies and institutions, and above all the powers of the State transform society towards democratic socialism.