( Janatantrik Samajbadi Dal )
(Adopted at the Founding Convention of the PDS at Kolkata on February 20, 2001)
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 the revolutionary transformation of society. Taking due lessons 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 the revolution. The PDS believes that the principle 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 conservatism and indifference to fundamental change. This must definitely be removed. The inability to take and apply correct decisions on the basis of a scientific outlook and through a proper evaluation of real-life events has repeatedly pushed back the communist 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 principled 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 decisions has resulted in the stagnation of this movement. The potential, which this movement had of emerging as a genuine political alternative, has been lost due to its own weaknesses 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 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 honour of every man. All attempts to exploit human beings and sacrifice them at the altar 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.