Punjab – a report on Jan Myrdal’s talk in Ludhiana

February 12, 2012

“The Political organization has the Central Role in Raising the Consciousness of People”

by Buta Singh

In America, and especially in Europe, the class consciousness of people has taken a downturn and this is the cause for domination of bourgeois ideology and in organizing public opinion for unjust imperialist wars. That is why there is no strong opposition to these wars and aggressions among the people of imperialist countries.”

This was stated by Jan Myrdal, a famous Marxist thinker and literary figure, in a heavily attended program in Punjabi Bhavan in Ludhiana which was held under the chairmanship of Prof. AK Maleri, Prof. Jagmohan Singh, Satnam, Prof. Ajmer Aulakh and Gautam Navlakha. He was introduced by Prof. Jagmohan Singh to the audience as an anti-imperialist activist and literary authority known throughout the world. In his key-note address Myrdal said that the imperialist wars have assumed an important role in the world due to weakened working class movement. He stressed that the people do not gain political consciousness spontaneously rather it is imparted by the political organization of the working class. He said that the Nazis had achieved success in elections by corrupting the consciousness of their people promising them gains in the loot of Europe. The genocides being carried out by the imperialist USA is not a new thing and one should remember that it is built on the mass scale extermination of the Red Indians. It attacks other countries to control them but is careful to not destroy their oil resources and installations and instead destroys their cultural heritages, history and civilizations. Quoting Mao Zedong he said that though the US imperialism is a paper tiger but it has a great capability of inflicting heavy casualties and destruction to maintain its imperialist grip on the people of the world. In spite of great changes in the world system the plunder of wage labour still holds the key to imperialist exploitation though the mental labour has assumed huge proportions. The developing of the war machine has always been an important aspect of imperialism. The struggles like “occupy Wall Street” are important but the they lack the required political perspective and direction as the political organization which can lead the people to victory is not present. He said that the imperialists have succeeded in splitting up the people of Syria, Iraq and other Arab countries on religious and sectarian lines thus sidetracking the struggles of the people and pitching them one against the other. While answering the questions of the audience he stressed that it is duty of the movements in various countries to enact change in the system in accordance with the objective situation prevailing in respective countries and no single center can lead the movements in various countries. While briefing on his meetings with Mao Zedong he said that he was a genius who could creatively apply Marxist theory according to the social conditions and history of China. Gautam Navlakha translated his speech and his answers to the questions raised by the listeners.

Gautam Navlakha also dwelt on the situation prevailing in the field of democratic rights. He explained on the current war going on against the people in the name of Green Hunt and called on the audience to understand that it is not a war to establish peace by destroying the Maoist violence as the rulers call it but its real mission is to open up the huge natural resources of the country for the plunder of the corporate houses. He said that the war against the people has been going on for the last six decades in various regions like Kashmir, North-East, etc and Operation Green Hunt is its current avatar crusading against the tribal heartland of India. The rulers are extensively oppressing the people through black laws such as sedition and UAPA.

A new book by Jan Myrdal “the Red Star Over India” was also released. Many prominent personalities, like Darshan Khatkar, Kawaljit Khanna, Narbhinder, Balwant Makhu, Sardara Singh Mahal, Amolak Singh, Sukhdarshan Natt Balbir Parwana and many journalists and others like Dr. Darshanpal, Col. A S Brar, and many literary and progressive persons, trade union leaders and activists from the revolutionary and democratic movement participated. In the end, resolutions were passed demanding Sedition and other draconian laws, condemning postponement of the event showing “Jashne-Azadi” and attacks on journalists in the Punjab.