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IN COMMEMORATION OF COMRADE HARDIAL BAINS
Tribute of the Central Committee of RCPB(ML)
Message of condolence from the Central Committee of RCPB(ML) to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) August 26, 1997
Reprinted from The Marxist-Leninist Weekly, Organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), in the issue dated September 14-20, 1997
MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR COMRADE HARDIAL BAINS
EULOGY: OH COMRADE, DEAR COMRADE, OUR BELOVED COMRADE!
National Executive of Indian Workers' Association (G.B.) to Hold Meeting in Tribute to Comrade Hardial Bains
Scottish and Welsh Referendums: The Struggle for Sovereignty Must and Will Continue
TUC Congress 1997: "Partners" In Whose Interest?
New Report Reveals Poor Health Associated with Poverty
|COMRADE HARDIAL BAINS, National Leader of the Communist Party of Canada
(Marxist-Leninist) passed away on August 24, 1997. His untimely death is an
immeasurable loss to all revolutionary and progressive forces the world over.
On September 20, the Central Committee of RCPB(ML) held a Memorial Meeting to
pay tribute to Comrade Hardial Bains. The commemoration was held at Marx House
in London. Over 100 people filled this historic hall to capacity in gathering
to pay their personal and collective respects to Comrade Bains.
At the centre of the platform, beautifully displayed next to a cascading floral
tribute of reds, yellows and greens, was a large smiling portrait of Hardial
Bains, behind which rose the red flag of RCPB(ML). A backdrop of red completed
the setting. A condolence book was placed at the side of the hall in which many
wrote expressing their deepest feelings on the passing of Comrade Bains.
Among the many who joined the members and supporters of RCPB(ML) were members of his close and extended family resident in Britain, the many comrades who worked closely with him in the political, cultural, scientific and other fields through the years, and comrades from organisations from the national minority communities and National Liberation Fronts with offices in this country, as well as individuals and representatives of communist and workers' organisations both from Britain and abroad. Chris Coleman, representing the Central Committee of RCPB(ML), gave the opening address. After remarking how appropriate it was to be gathered in the square where Marx had held meetings, in the building where Lenin worked and in the very room where Comrade Bains himself had given a number of important speeches of a theoretical and organisational character in recent years, the Party representative welcomed everyone in paying their respects to his memory and to commemorate, in the forward looking spirit which infused all his immense activities, his outstanding life and work. The speaker referred to the immense and incalculable contribution to the cause of communism and the national and social liberation of the working class and peoples which Comrade Bains had made throughout his entire life, and of the great legacy which he had left in Canada and for the whole movement of progressive humanity, and of the inspiration that his actions and ideas have and will have, especially for the younger generation. To our Party, as to others, he said, his proletarian internationalist support and guidance has been of incalculable value since our earliest origins, and gave examples of Comrade Bains' selfless assistance, criticisms and encouragement which, he said, were to us the essence of proletarian internationalism, the embodiment of the social love the true communist should feel towards their comrades, the example we should strive to emulate. Even in our grief his memory inspires us to carry on the work with greater strength. The representative especially drew attention to the hours that Comrade Bains devoted to the young people whenever he visited Britain. The speaker referred to the internationalist work of Hardial Bains for the struggling people of the whole world. He considered the dawn for humanity was about to break, that the retreat of revolution would turn into the flow of revolution sooner rather than later. Our best tribute to his memory, said the speaker, will be to carry on fighting for those great causes, for the future of progressive humanity, to which he devoted his entire life. The comrade then called on everyone to observe a moment's silence in honour of the glorious memory of Hardial Bains. After the silence came an instrumental medley of revolutionary songs arranged and played by members of the cultural workers' group with whom Comrade Bains had been working closely. The Irish song "Revolution's Dawn Is Breaking" was followed by the Sonnet in Tribute to the Memory of Comrade Hardial Bains read by its author. The representative of the Central Committee, after reporting on the huge number of messages of condolence that had been received by CPC(ML), then introduced various of the many organisations and individuals that wished to give tributes to the meeting. These included Rod Eley of the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist) who read out the message of condolence of CPI(ML) and Zafar Khan of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front who spoke of the internationalist support for the liberation struggle of the Kashmiri people. A guest from India, Siddharth Varadarajan, in his tribute spoke of the deep influence of Comrade Bains from his days as a student in the 1980s. It is a mark of the far-reaching influence of Comrade Bains in the communist and workers' movement that other communist organisations in Britain also asked to speak. Messages in tribute were given by Andy Brooks of the New Communist Party of Britain and of their paper, the New Worker, Hugh Stephens of the Communist Organisation of Britain and Keith Bennett, journalist and friend of Korea, who all spoke of the seminal motivation of Hardial Bains in the period of the early 1970s. Ajmer Bains, General Secretary of the Indian Workers' Association (G.B.), and a close comrade and friend of Hardial Bains since childhood, brought to life his multi-faceted and towering talents. Tributes also came from a comrade speaking on behalf of the Punjabi publication "Eh Din" and the Indian Progressive Study Group (London), and on behalf of the African and Caribbean Progressive Study Group. A moving tribute was given by an old friend who was a student of Hardial Bains at Trinity College, Dublin, and an original member of the Irish Internationalists, which was immediately followed by a tribute from a representative of the new generation of youth whom Comrade Bains encouraged and inspired to take up the progressive cause. Speaking on behalf of the youth, she spoke of his mighty voice and powerful words of sincerity, truth and wisdom, and of his understanding, patience, warmth and love for everyone, of his qualities as a true teacher, and how proud the comrade would be to see the continuation of the work which he inspired. Tributes were also given by comrades with whom Hardial Bains had worked with very closely in the cultural field, as well as other friends and comrades who had known him. Messages were also read from friends and other progressive forces who were unable to attend. Chris Coleman ended by saying that the gathering had heard the most moving tributes expressing love and respect for Hardial Bains and their resolve to carry on. He was sure that these tributes and the memory of Comrade Bains will prove an inspiration to march on for the causes to which he devoted his whole life. The formal part of the programme concluded with the playing and singing of The Internationale, and as many raised their fists the slogan rang out, "All Glory to the Memory of Comrade Hardial Bains!" As refreshments were served, comrades and friends spilled out onto Clerkenwell Green outside Marx House, and there and amongst those remaining in the hall the spirit of determination to march on along the path he charted and which many joined him in taking up was evident throughout the conversations and reminiscences which carried on for well over two hours.
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|Dear Comrades and friends,
We have gathered today to mourn together the sad and untimely passing of our
beloved comrade and friend, Hardial Bains, the National Leader of the Communist
Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), to pay our respects to his memory and to
commemorate, in the forward looking spirit which infused all his immense
activities, his outstanding life and work.
Though a little cramped, it is most appropriate to gather here, in the building
where Lenin worked, in the square where Marx held meetings of the International
Working Men's Association, and in the room where Comrade Hardial, a loyal
implementer in the concrete conditions of today of the scientific principles
revealed by those great leaders of the working class, made a number of
important speeches in recent years in this very room, the last only last
December when he delivered, in commemoration of his and our comrade, Cornelius
Cardew, a most important speech assessing Cornelius's contribution and setting
out important guidelines on the question of culture.
Our comrade and friend, Hardial Bains, as we all learnt with the deepest sorrow
and shock, passed away in the early hours of August 24 after a determined fight
against a cancer which had been diagnosed only as recently as May this year. We
have been told that, true to his character, to his very last breath his
thoughts and his sympathies were with all of us here and in other countries and
that his words urged us not to be sad but to march on for the great causes to
which he devoted his entire life.
We are very pleased to be joined today by members of his close and extended
family resident in Britain and friends of the family including friends from his
boyhood days in the Punjab. To them, once again, we extend our deepest
condolences and, through them, to all their relatives and family circles on the
loss of such a beloved family member, one who so devotedly provided them with
such strength, direction and assistance.
We are pleased too to be joined by so many comrades who have worked closely
with him in the political, cultural and other fields down through the years
stretching right back to his days as a lecturer in Trinity College, Dublin,
from 1965-67, during which period he founded the Irish Internationalists and
organised the Necessity for Change Conference in London from which work our,
and other, organisations stem. We welcome particularly comrades from
organisations who defend the interests of the national minority communities and
fight against racism and discrimination, promoting their national cultures and
mobilising their communities to participate fully as part of the polity in this
country, and to whom Comrade Hardial provided the greatest assistance and
guidance over the years. We welcome too individuals and representatives of
other communist and workers' organisations in Britain, some who knew him for a
long time, some of whom met Comrade Hardial only recently, some of whom did not
have the privilege of meeting him, but all of whom have expressed a desire to
pay their respects to his memory and to acknowledge the great contribution of
his life and his work to the cause of the working class and progressive
We welcome too representatives of fraternal parties and countries, from the
Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist), from Jammu & Kashmir
Liberation Front, whose parties and heroic people found in Comrade Bains a
steadfast and true friend. We welcome guests from India and from Pakistan.
The broad character of this gathering today, as of the memorial meetings which we know have already been held in Toronto and in Delhi, as well as of the memorial service itself held in Ottawa on August 30, which a number of comrades and friends from Britain attended, attest to the love and regard in which Comrade Hardial was held by countless people throughout the world whose lives were touched by his work and his activity. What has become clear, even in the few sad weeks since his passing, has been how many people who knew him in various ways or worked with him in different fields thought of him as their closest friend, the one to whom one turned to discuss the most serious problems of life and struggle, who saw him as a selfless and unsparing friend and guide and a force for unity. From his earliest days in India, and then in Canada from 1959, Comrade Hardial Bains devoted his entire life and work to the cause of communism, for the emancipation of the working class and the social and national liberation of the peoples of the world. He was the greatest champion of the working class as a class in itself and for itself, setting the course to lead society forward into the twenty-first century on the high road of civilisation. He stood as one with all women, national minorities and oppressed peoples in their struggle to affirm themselves. He reserved his greatest love and attention for the younger generation whom he never failed to encourage to rely on their own convictions and abilities with utmost confidence and to kow-tow to no one. As leader of The Internationalists in the sixties and as national leader of the CPC(ML) since its founding in 1970, Comrade Bains has made an immense and at this time incalculable contribution to the cause of communism and the national and social liberation of the working class and peoples. Reviled and persecuted by the bourgeois agencies, slandered or ignored by the bourgeois media, denied citizenship in Canada for 27 years and barred right until the day of his death from entry to the US on the basis of fabricated evidence, forced out of his career in scientific research and university teaching, we are sure that he will come to be seen as a towering figure of the people's cause of the second half of the twentieth century, whose name will be on the lips of millions. The great tragedy of his passing at the age of 58 and the only regret he expressed to his closest comrades was that so much of the work he had planned was still left to do. He had said that he was about to enter his second life. He had planned to do significant theoretical work crucial to the international workers and communist movement, already having begun summing up the achievements of the twentieth century in the fields of science, philosophy, political economy and culture. Who else at this precise time could do such work? But in his first life he did and accomplished so much! He had done immense work in solving the most important problems facing society at this time with the aim of creating a new society and, on the basis of maximum political mobilisation, building institutions to bring this about. He had made important strides in clarifying the character of this period of retreat of revolution, the tasks of the communist and workers' movement, the need for democratic renewal, the importance of the human factor and social consciousness, the type of Party needed as vanguard of the working class in leading the solution of such problems, and on many other important questions. His great legacy is the Party, CPC(ML), and the mass organisations he built; the economic and political programme put forward by the Party in Canada which makes it the standard bearer of the working class; the huge body of work towards the development of modern communism which we see not just as significant to a few close parties but of significance for the whole movement of progressive humanity; the guidelines for a way forward in countries beyond Canada; the inspiration of his actions and ideas which have and will in the future enthuse countless thousands, especially the younger generation, to carry forward the work he initiated, to bring forth new titans to take to fruition the work he was unable to complete. To our Party, as to others, his proletarian internationalist support and guidance has been of incalculable value since our earliest origins. It was Comrade Bains who led the Necessity for Change Conference organised by The Internationalists in London in 1967 from which our Party traces its origins. He personally inspired generations of our comrades to become active communists. He was immediately at our sides giving support and assistance on the tragic death of our General Secretary John Buckle in 1983. It was his and his Party's views on the character of this period following the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the period of retreat of revolution, and thus the tasks of the communist and workers' movement in those circumstances, which he put forward at the Coventry International Seminar at New Year 1994, at a time when all communist parties were faced with the challenge of finding their bearings in the new circumstances, which created the conditions for us to produce our draft general line "There is a Way Out of the Crisis" and later our draft Programme for the working class. Again, in more recent times, it was with his assistance and guidance that we took up the programme to focus all our work around our paper and gave the fighting call to "Stop Paying the Rich - Increase Investments in Social Programmes." He was always available for advice, in good times and bad. He thought nothing of travelling thousands of miles at short notice to discuss some pressing issue or to speak at an important meeting. Like a real friend, he did not hesitate to deliver criticism if he thought us in error, sometimes gently mocking, sometimes scathing, but always pointing a way forward out of the problem at hand, enabling us to stand on our own feet. And always the first to congratulate us on any advance. To us this was the essence of proletarian internationalism, the embodiment of the social love the true communist should feel towards their comrades, the example we should strive to emulate. With his passing we have lost our dearest comrade and friend, our mentor and guide. It is a great loss made even heavier by its suddenness. But even in our grief his memory inspires us to carry on the work with greater strength. And so we will spare no effort in following his last advice to us too: Tell them, he said in his last days, don't be pessimistic, don't be sad, you must carry on, march on! It has been said many times and we repeat that he reserved his greatest love and attention for the younger generation. This was the case when he visited Britain also. He devoted hours to the young people in our circles and was always concerned about the welfare and progress of even those he rarely if ever saw. And it is that younger generation, here as elsewhere, we are sure, who will most enthusiastically and vigorously respond to his call and carry forward his work. He will live in them. In the last few weeks since his passing, we have heard from or heard of an astonishing number of political figures in many countries far and wide who have known Comrade Hardial over the years, respect him and acknowledge his influence. There was not a freedom movement which did not know him. Nurtured in India, moulded in Canada, his love and generous hearted sympathy was for the struggling people of the whole world. Barred from visiting his native India literally for decades by imperialist intrigue and persecution, with all the pain that caused him, he worked tirelessly from afar for the unity of the Indian communists and for the triumph of the Indian revolution, to lift the pall of oppression and poverty from his homeland. It was his call in the late 70s to the Indian young people studying and working abroad in Canada, the United States and Britain, to return to India, that played a crucial role in the founding and building of the Communist Ghadar Party of India. And even in his very last months of illness he produced in time for the 50th anniversary of formal independence an important thesis on what was required to liberate India. In his travelling to give internationalist support, as we well know, he was indefatigable and unstinting of himself. It is typical of him, and of great significance, that in April, greatly in pain from the as yet undiagnosed cancer that was to take his life, that still he answered the request of the Workers' Party of Korea and journeyed to Pyongyang to deliver the main fraternal speech at the 5th anniversary celebrations of the Pyongyang Declaration - a declaration now signed by some 240 parties and organisations affirming socialism. In what was in fact to be his last public speech, he declared "socialism lives in the present and in the future of humankind. It shall triumph!", to which the mass rally responded with standing ovation after standing ovation. Comrade Bains was indeed a true internationalist and a great force for unity in the workers' and communist movement. We are sure that his influence for unity on the international movement will continue, in this new situation where the old divisions which paralleled the Cold War have disappeared and new opportunities open up, even in a complex international situation and with revolution for the moment in retreat, for the building of one communist movement. As was said in the immensely moving Eulogy delivered at his memorial service in Ottawa, our beloved comrade and friend Hardial loved the dawn. And we know that he considered the dawn for humanity was about to break; that the retreat of revolution would turn into the flow of revolution sooner rather than later. While we grieve his loss, we know from the world outlook he encouraged in us all and of which he was the outstanding embodiment, we know from his own last words not to be sad but to march on, that our best tribute to his memory will be to study seriously the great body of work he bequeathed us and to carry on, in our varied ways, fighting for those great causes, for the future of progressive humanity, to which he devoted his entire life. We will march on. We will carry on the work. To the memory of our beloved comrade and friend, Hardial Bains. Let us stand for a moment of silence in that glorious memory.
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To the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist)
It is with great pain and the deepest sorrow that we have received the sad news of the untimely passing of our beloved comrade, Hardial Bains, national leader of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist). On behalf of our entire Party and all progressive, democratic and revolutionary forces in Britain who are acquainted with his work, we send our most heartfelt condolences to his closest comrade and companion, Sandra, to all his Party comrades and to all family members and friends.
As leader of The Internationalists in the sixties and as national leader of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) since its founding, Comrade Hardial Bains has made an inestimable contribution to the cause of communism, of the emancipation of the working class and the social and national liberation of the peoples, to the cause of all progressive humankind. To our Party, as to others, his proletarian internationalist support and guidance has been of incalculable value since our earliest origins.
The passing of Comrade Hardial Bains, in such complex times for the communist movement, is a great blow to the cause of the Canadian working class and people and to the struggle for enlightenment and emancipation worldwide. But the inspiration and the immense contribution of his work will live on. We are sure that comrades and sympathisers in Canada and elsewhere will turn deep sorrow into strength in carrying on the struggle for those great causes to which he devoted his entire life.
As ever, we stand with you in this time of sadness.
Central Committee Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)
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|This report was carried by The Marxist-Leninist Weekly, Organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), in its issue dated September 14-20, 1997. More than 550 people filled the hall at the Palais de Congres in Hull, Quebec where, on August 30, 1997 the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) held a solemn memorial service for their dearly beloved leader, Comrade Hardial Bains, First Secretary of the Central Committee and National leader of the Party since its founding in March 1970. They came from all over Canada, from Britain, Ireland, Australia, India, the United States and several other countries to pay homage to this great personality and communist leader. The participation of so many comrades, friends and fellow-travellers spoke volumes about the qualities of this man who touched the lives of so many, from his earliest childhood days to the saddest day when, on August 24, 1997, he drew his last breath. Old friends and new and many, many fellow-travellers joined the members of the Party s Central Committee, the representatives of the Party organisations from across the country and Comrade Bains family in bidding Comrade Bains farewell. Besides his life-long companion, Sandra, and his six children, brothers, sisters, cousins, nephews and nieces and their families, those in attendance included many from his childhood days in India, from his early years at the University of British Columbia and from his years as a teacher in Ireland. Along with his Party comrades and many friends representing each period of his life and struggle, many colleagues attended from political, academic and cultural fields, as did workers, women and representatives of some of the most vulnerable sections of Canadian society. The large number of youth who came to pay their deepest respects to Comrade Bains speaks for itself of his love for the youth and his dedication to their cause. Fraternal Parties from India, Britain, Ireland and the United States also came to pay final tribute to their dearest comrade and friend, Comrade Bains. The ceremony started shortly after 3:00 pm. as the casket was brought into the hall led by the red Party flag, inscribed with the words: Historic Initiative, in honour of the work Comrade Bains has developed to transform CPC(M-L) into a mass communist party by the turn of the century and take Canada into the 21st century on a new basis. The tribune at the front of the hall was adorned with the baskets of flowers and wreaths sent by individuals and organisations from across the country and around the world. The portrait of Comrade Bains was flanked by the six flags of the Party, one for each Congress which has marked its development under the leadership of Comrade Bains. When the casket was placed at the front of the hall, a young pioneer laid a single crimson rose on the blood red flag of revolution and communism which draped the casket. The ceremony was initiated by a representative of the Central Committee who informed Comrade Bains of the presence of his comrades, relatives and friends who had come from far and wide to pay their last respects. He read excerpts from some of the hundreds of messages of condolence received by the Central Committee on this sad occasion. His Excellency Bienvenido Garcia, Cuban Ambassador to Canada presented the message from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba. The tributes were concluded by a representative of the Party youth. The Tribute of the Youth was addressed to Comrade Bains, who dedicated his greatest energies to the struggle of the youth for a better world. The tributes were followed by a violin and piano instrumental medley performed by young musicians: Advance Fighting Youth of the World; Here s the Rose, Now Dance; The Party is the Most Precious Thing and We Sing for the Future. One of Comrade Bains favourite patriotic Punjabi songs and the Irish revolutionary song Revolution s Dawn Is Breaking, were followed by some of Comrade Bains favourite Urdu couplets. The Urdu poem: March On! and the Sonnet to the Memory of Comrade Hardial Bains, both written for the occasion, were then presented. The Eulogy, Oh Comrade, Dear Comrade, Our Beloved Comrade, was spoken by Comrade Karen Naylor on behalf of the Central Committee of the Party. All of Comrade Bains comrades, relatives, colleagues and friends then stood for a moment of silence, soon to be enveloped by the strains of the music of The Internationale. While the majority of those present raised their fists to salute their beloved comrade and friend as he lay before them for the last time, everyone present expressed their respects and profound appreciation for the contributions of Comrade Bains to the cause of the proletarians and oppressed peoples of all lands for freedom from want and exploitation, and to their own lives which he touched in so many ways. As the service ended, everyone present walked past the casket one last time, paying their personal farewell. A private cremation took place on September 3. By decision of the Central Committee of the Party and the family of Comrade Hardial Bains, his ashes will be scattered to the four winds over Canada and India, with a final resting place in Mahilpur, Punjab which nurtured him and gave him to us. A memorial will be placed in Ottawa at a later date, to honour his memory forever, along with the memories of Comrade David Hemingway, Comrade Dave Danielson, Comrade Tom Boylan, Comrade Anne Boylan, and other Party comrades whose memories and contributions are cherished by all progressive and democratic Canadians and their friends throughout the world.|
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|You who were the light of so many of our lives. Words cannot express the grief we feel at your untimely loss. None of us can believe that your person, your oh-so-human person, is no longer with us. You who have always been there for us workers, women and youth, artists, writers, journalists, actors, musicians, academics, scientists and researchers; those of us who are national minorities, Native peoples, differently abled, and from amongst the most vulnerable in society, and your many, many, many fellow travellers. In this regard, Comrade, I would be remiss if I did not make special mention of your dear family members, of your beloved children, each and every one of whom made you so proud, your brothers and sisters, cousins, nephews and nieces for whom you were a guide and an inspiration. I would also be remiss if I did not mention your many second families, literally spread throughout the world, on every continent, in oh-so-many countries. And the Party children, Comrade Bains. The children are so sad for they loved you so. As for the younger generation, Comrade Bains, it has spoken for itself, as you taught them to do. You are their pride; you are their joy. They will celebrate your life in their own deeds to change the world. Comrade Bains, the twinkle in your eyes, your mischievous smile, your beautiful artistic hands, your fine mind, your tender love for all of us they all combined to work a magic. Who could resist your purity, your sincerity, your drive to bring out the best in everyone you met, in everyone you worked with, no matter what their age, what their standing in life, what their ideas or opinions? Meeting you was like falling in love at first sight, over and over and over again, just as you too fell in love with the best in everyone, bringing out whatever they had to offer to make this world, "where tears are hung on every tree", a better place, a place in which this great humanity can realise its potential, so tragically squandered by the old forces at this time. Who can comprehend the power of such a love? Could it be, Comrade Hardial, that this is the social love you spoke to us about so often? Is it perhaps that you personified all that is best in the striving of humankind for a new world, a world which is affirmed and does not even know the meaning of exploitation of persons by persons? This, Comrade Bains, is the new world you brought into our lives and have impelled and organised us to fight for. Billions of individuals will realise their full human potential by participating in the lives of their collectives, by arriving at the decisions which affect their lives, and by building their own present and future themselves. Comrade Bains, it is no wonder that your oh-so-unexpected and untimely death has caused such an outpouring of love and expression of boundless admiration. Even those of us who knew about your illness, in the little time we had, could not conceive of it taking you away from us. You fought your illness like a lion. You died, dear comrade, as you lived, facing the situation on the basis of a fighting plan to change it and urging everyone to do the same with the courage of your convictions. Dear Comrade, we ask that you forgive our tears as we mourn your loss. Our sorrow knows no bounds. But we pledge to you today that here on in we will heed your call to not cry but to March On! We pledge to you today that we will indeed March On! We will indeed hold high the banner of our Party, the Party you spared no effort to strengthen so as to make it the worthy Canadian contingent of the international proletariat. We will March On, each one of us taking our place to turn all the successes achieved to date, by the fighting peoples in Canada and elsewhere, into lasting victory. Dearest Comrade, even though your life was filled with many sorrows, you never once complained but marched on along your chosen path, dedicated to the cause of bringing your dream of a better world into being. You who worked so hard and devoted so much of yourself to others have acquired no material riches of any kind. Emigration followed by political persecution separated you from your loved ones and your most precious associations in the land of your birth; the relentless mania of the reactionary ruling classes deprived you of your career as a scientist which was your passion, and of your place as a university teacher which brought you so much joy, but you marched on, absorbing the shocks without a murmur. You faced political persecution, which brought so much hardship to you, your family members, comrades and friends you loved so dearly, by setting an example for us all, deeply appreciative of the struggle waged by the workers and people of Canada and other countries, especially the progressive and democratic forces led by our dear fraternal Party in Brazil, with Comrade Amazonas at the head, to shame the government of Canada into respecting your human and political rights. Your life, you pointed out, was lived in two societies in transition, first in India, the land of your birth, then in Canada, the land which claimed you as its most eminent politician in the second half of this century. You were the champion of Canada s cause for renewal and for putting an end to the old arrangements based on nineteenth-century - considerations, so as to bring forth the new out of the bosom of its working class, women and youth. This entire world is in transition; you showed us how to act in a new way so as to prepare for the twenty-first century in the manner which befits the high road of civilisation and the achievements this humanity is capable of. What turbulent times marked your beginnings in the India of the 1940s and 1950s! What violent times when tragedies were organised or the peoples of India in the form of the partition of your homeland in 1947, fifty years ago this year. The Bengali nation and your own nation, the Punjabi nation, second and third largest respectively in the world, were torn asunder so that the British ruling class could continue to live in opulence off the blood and suffering of the peoples of South Asia. Such tragedies kindled in you the deepest commitment to the cause of freedom so as to restore the dignity of these and other nations the world over. On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of partition, called formal independence, even as you struggled with your illness, you made your plans to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of Naxalbari in May of this year and put forward your thesis on what is required to liberate India. You took up the road of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, the high road of the Great October Revolution, and the cause of the peoples everywhere for freedom, independence and social justice. Your earliest political recollections include not only carrying high the red flag for the liberation of India, youngest party member, death-defying secretary of the All-India Youth Federation for the North West and worthy bearer of the nickname Leader. An integral part of these recollections is the struggles you waged in support of the heroic Korean people fighting a life-and-death war against the aggression of the United States, carried out under the banner of the United Nations. What joy it was for you to visit the Korean homeland, the land of Kim Il Sung and his worthy descendants who represent the Korean nation and are fighting for its reunification, to bring lasting peace to their homeland and the entire Asia-Pacific region. Throughout the 1960s and since, Comrade Bains, you were the truest friend of the African peoples fighting for independence against the colonial powers of Europe, of the peoples of Indo-China, the Middle East, Latin America and Oceania, not to mention the proletarians and peoples of Europe and the United States. Which freedom movement does not know you, Comrade Bains? How many Canadian workers, youth and students you have aroused and provided their struggles with moral and fraternal support? Which Marxist-Leninist Party and communist organisation has not felt your staunch proletarian internationalism and the power of the working unity and friendship you always upheld? Your actions in support of the Cuban revolution from the moment of its triumph are a matter of public record. How pleased you were when you recently had the opportunity to climb the Sierra Maestra to Comrade Fidel Castro s Command Post and fully appreciate the glorious exploits of the Cuban people whose resistance against the U.S. imperialists forms the soul of our America? On your behalf, Comrade Bains, I express your deep appreciation for the assistance given by the Communist Party of Cuba and many many others in Cuba during your illness. The profoundly revolutionary quality of the Cuban comrades made a deep impression on you, reinforcing your efforts to support Cuba in safeguarding her independence and right to her sovereign way of life. Comrade Bains, during your last official trip to the Democratic People s Republic of Korea in April 1997, you delivered a militant speech on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the Pyongyang Declaration. "Socialism lives in the present and in the future of humankind!" you declared. "It shall triumph!" The passion with which you spoke was such that the hall resounded with one standing ovation after another. How you captured the hearts of the Korean people when you hailed their glorious exploits and told them that the key feature of the present-day situation is the need to start afresh, basing ourselves on the successes achieved to date so as to turn these successes into lasting victory! The Korean comrades told you after your speech, "We thought you were a quiet, mild-mannered man, and it turns out you are a lion!" How right they were! We stand before you today, Comrade Bains, to pledge to you that your platform to right the historical wrongs committed by the powers of imperial Europe and America and your goal to create the subjective conditions for the revolution of the working class and peoples of the world will find their expression in us, united as one, each of us lending our shoulder to the task at hand as best we can and know how. We take our cue from you. You engaged in practical politics so as to bring forth the best that humanity has hitherto given rise to and carry it forward. "There is a goal humankind has set for itself," you wrote your youngest daughter when she went to India to study for a year. "It is this goal which has to be taken up. It is the goal to end poverty, disease, famine, ignorance, war, domination of one people by another, by ending the exploitation of persons by persons. This is the only real goal which thinking people can take up. Your formal education will help in taking up this goal, but there is much more to life than formal education. We receive real education by getting involved in the solution of real problems in life. The field of life is the highest school of education, and, in this respect, the greatest school is one which has the aim of ending poverty, disease, famine, ignorance, war, domination of one people by another; the school of ending exploitation of persons by persons." Speaking about your experience as a student and a teacher and, later on, about your attempts at dealing with education in the political sense, you wrote, "What I consider most important in terms of both formal and other education is that one should not bluff one s way through. We should strive to acquire in-depth knowledge which does not come all of a sudden. Education like anything else can be acquired fast by some while others may be slower. Nonetheless, the best are those who see the value of education, the need to prepare, to equip themselves with that knowledge which is necessary to contribute to activities which will advance humankind." Comrade Bains, we hear you. The youth hear you. In preparing to speak to you today, what to tell you when there is so much welling in our hearts and minds, we came to the conclusion that there is time for that. Your life and work were so profound, so rich, so all-sided, so filled with that fidelity, enlightenment and power of prediction required of the human person who is marching, head high and chest out, into the twenty-first century. We will give ourselves time. In the course of time we will turn our grief into collective strength. This is who we are. For you the Party was always the most precious thing, the main organisation necessary to prepare the material conditions on the subjective side for the coming revolutionary storms. We stand on guard for this, your party, worthy contingent of the international workers and communist movement. We stand on guard for the new quality you gave rise to, in the form of the profound revolutionary traditions and political culture that you nurtured on the soil of Canada. Your only regret, you told your closest comrades, was that the second life you were preparing for was not to be. You planned to do significant theoretical work crucial to the international workers and communist movement; you had already begun to sum up the achievements of the twentieth century in the fields of science, philosophy, political economy and culture. Oh Dear Comrade, what a loss! It would be quite a challenge for new titans to come forward to undertake this important work. Dear Comrade, your life-long example and your accomplishments will live in the programme of our glorious Party and the numerous mass - organisations and institutions you established and helped along. It will live in each and every one of us who loved you and admired you or simply knew enough to recognise you as an extraordinary human being. A lion indeed! Born August 15, 1939, under the sign of the lion, into the people known as lions. Died August 24, 1997, under the sign of the lion. We all know this lion, loved this lion, and will cherish him in our hearts and minds forever. Dearest Comrade, not long before your illness took you away from us forever, you summed up the 1997 election results in Canada, pointing out that, whereas the bourgeoisie is in a very deep crisis and has been unable to give rise to a standard bearer of any kind, the working class has its standard in the form of the Party programme which you gave us, the programme, "Stop Paying the Rich Increase Funding for Social Programmes." You also said that all the indications are here to tell us that the situation will turn around very soon, sooner than later. Your political insight and powers of foresight, two outstanding qualities you encouraged us to acquire, never failed us in the past. We are certain that the same will be the case now. Comrade Hardial, you died at 4:40 in the morning, just before the dawn, the dawn you loved so much, the dawn which always accompanied you into each new day. We are certain that this dawn you fought for your entire life, the dawn you yearned to see, in all its beauty of faint pinks and oranges, purples and reds, is just around the corner. On behalf of our entire Party, our class, our women and youth, dear comrade, Farewell! Farewell, Hardial, Farewell! Our dearest comrade, our leader, Farewell!|
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A meeting in commemoration of Comrade Hardial Bains is to be held in Coventry on Sunday, September 28. In its announcement of the meeting, the National Executive of the Indian Workers' Association (Great Britain) points out that Comrade Hardial Bains, National Leader of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) and President of the People's Front/East Indian Defence Committee in Canada, from his earliest days in India, and then in Canada from 1959, devoted his entire life and work to the cause of communism, for the emancipation of the working class and the social and national liberation of the peoples of the world.
The meeting is being held at the Barras Green Social Club, Coventry Street, Stoke, Coventry at 4.00 pm.
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Scottish and Welsh Referendums:
|THE DEMAND OF THE people of Scotland for their own parliament is a crucial demand as part of the demand of the nation of Scotland for self-determination. Similarly, the demand of the Welsh people for their own governmental body is an integral part of the struggle of the nation of Wales for self-determination. The results of the Referendum on a Scottish Parliament where 74.29% voted for a parliament and 63.48% that it should have tax-varying powers on a turnout of 60.16% reflect the sentiment of the Scottish people for their own sovereignty. The aspirations of the Welsh people too are to exercise their own sovereignty. Though they were offered an Assembly with effectively no more powers than the present Welsh Office, 50.3% voted for an assembly on a 50% turnout. Notwithstanding this, the aim of the Labour government was not and is not to grant the peoples of Wales and Scotland their sovereignty. On the contrary, their aim remains to contain and head off the movement. But this places them in a fix. The bodies set up by the Referendums will create an even greater crisis, particularly a constitutional crisis, for the British state, because it will give rise to expectations and aspirations which cannot be fulfilled with the proposed institutions. That is, the right to make the decisions that affect their direct interests, the right to be in control of their own future, will be denied to the peoples. Thus, although the aim of the Referendums has nothing to do with granting sovereignty to the Welsh and Scottish peoples, it will put that issue on the agenda. The Labour government Blair and Dewar have declared that the result of the Scottish referendum is an endorsement of their own programme and policies. The declared aim of the programme is to strengthen the union while so-called "bringing the people closer to the decision-making process". In other words, there is to be a tier of government in which some decisions can be made of a local or regional character. But this is not going to wash with the Welsh and Scottish peoples. The question is inevitably raised as to the relation of a Scottish parliament and Welsh assembly to the Westminster parliament. Tony Blair's stand is unequivocal. It is that sovereignty remains with the Westminster parliament. In this respect, the aim of the referendums has been to raise the question of a parliament or an assembly as part of a programme of "decentralisation" but leave the whole constitutional crisis simmering. The Scottish people cannot be faulted for their endorsement of a Yes-Yes vote. But this is by no means the endorsement of the government's policies that it is claiming. The nations of Scotland and Wales have the right of self-determination up to and including secession. This also inevitably gives rise to the question of a parliament in England which is not a parliament of the British state but is the embodiment of the sovereignty of the people of England. In other words, what has to be put on the agenda is the question of the empowerment of the peoples. A step forward in the context of the Welsh and Scottish referendums would be that the working class should raise the demand for a modern constitution which spells out in specific terms that the nations of Wales and Scotland have the right to self-determination up to and including secession. The peoples of England, Scotland, and Wales, not to mention the Irish people, have the right to govern themselves, which they must affirm. Thus they must affirm their right to sovereignty both as nations and as peoples. Such a new arrangement which would fulfil these rights would be an arrangement whereby the English, Scottish and Welsh peoples have three governments within one state, if they so desire. To emphasise, such a state would only meet the requirements of the 21st century if it came into being on the basis of the free and equal union of each country and is not imposed on them. The issue here is not the "break up of the union" which sections of the bourgeoisie were trying to raise hysteria about, but the recognition of the necessity for the national and social liberation of the peoples of Wales and Scotland. In the case of Scotland, it is the right initially to regain the parliament that was signed away by treachery in 1707. In the case of Wales, the people of that country will also be affirming their right to sovereignty. For the working class of Britain, there is not the issue of the break up of anything that is dear to them or in their interests, but of affirming and fighting for their programme of modern sovereign states of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, which can only strengthen the unity of the working class of each country in their bond of proletarian internationalism. It is an issue, especially for the English workers, of breaking with the outlook, the chauvinism, of the English bourgeoisie which arrogantly declares that the union of "Britain" is the only way forward.|
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TUC CONGRESS 1997:
|THE TUC Congress in Brighton from September 8-11 was the first since New Labour came to power. One of its main features was that the role of the TUC and the trade unions were defined as "partners" with big business and the New Labour government in making the workers get behind their employers in the global market and abandon any independent programme to fight for their own interests and those of society. At the start of the week John Monks General Secretary of the TUC in his keynote address declared that the TUC "stands ready to join a national dialogue with government and with employers" and he called on the Prime Minister to "help move Britain towards the new partnership industrial relations" and on the Director General of the CBI to "recognise that with competitiveness comes skilled and loyal staff enjoying both good conditions and the trust of their employers." In return he called on the trade union movement "earn the right be a national partner" by talking about "our place in the new Britain. Not just we'd like to get, but where we can play a part." On Tuesday, Tony Blair, the Prime Minister addressed Congress on the theme of "modernisation". This he defined as creating an economy "fully attuned to the global market" fashioning a "modern welfare state" where the role of government changes "so it is not necessarily to provide all social provision, and fund all social provision", but to modernise the institutions of the country "to bring them closer to the people" with devolution and finally "to create a clear identity and role for ourselves in the outside world....We have gained new power to make this country count in the outside world." Tony Blair said that his message to the TUC Congress was that he wanted the trade union movement to be a part of making business competitive in this global market, "with everyone in those businesses fighting together." He then called the Trade Unions to "modernise" their political structures and declared "We have nothing to lose but our dogmas, do let us lose them because we have everything to gain for our people". In many of the newspaper reports the media pundits could hardly conceal their delight at these statements from the platform of the TUC. A Times report declared that the TUC's preoccupation with only making the issue one of "good" employers and "bad" employers is a "sign of a new kind of public relations, as well as an abandonment of remnants of a general anti-capitalist case." What has been hammered home by the TUC leaders at this years TUC Congress was the theme that calls on the working class to make its programme one of "partnership" with government and "partnership" with employers. Such a theme is not only betrayal of the class interests of the workers but is completely out of step with the workers' movement. Since the election of New Labour there are many struggles that are breaking out, or continuing, and workers are in struggle everywhere against increasing attacks on their rights at work, and are opposing the cutbacks in health, education and welfare services. Workers need to reflect on the fact that why is such a theme as "partnership" with government and big business being put forward at this time. The financial oligarchy is trying to rescue their bankrupt economic and political system for a few more years. Resistance by the working class is threatening to their plans to continue the anti-social offensive started by Margaret Thatcher's government and continue their drive to compete in the global market at the expense of the national economy. They are banking on hoodwinking the workers into accepting such a "partnership" for as long as they can. For this purpose they are making a lot of noise about reforms to the economy the main content of which is to place it further in the hands of the financial oligarchy. They are also making a lot of noise about modernising the institutions of the country "to bring them closer to the people" with devolution, the main content of which is to not only continue to deny sovereignty to the people but to strengthen the hold of the financial oligarchy over the political system. What the TUC Congress missed was an opportunity to seriously analyse the situation that has been created by the election of New Labour to power. Such a discussion could have started with serious analysis of the direction of the workers' movement against the anti-social offensive which is still continuing and how this struggle can be stepped up. Such a discussion could have identified the real partners of the working class movement which are all the oppressed masses of people fighting against the anti-social offensive, the women, the youth, the unemployed, the intelligentsia, the national minorities, the disabled and so on. Such a discussion could have started to hammer out an alternative programme for the working class and trade union movement and made a contribution advancing the struggle of the working class rather than acting as a roadblock by imposing the dogma of Tony Blair and John Monks for "partnership". It is such chains that the working class must break if it is to advance and avoid further set backs and disasters. Both the financial oligarchy and the global market in which they are increasingly competing pose the greatest danger to workers. Such path is already leading to great tensions and wars as the imperialist powers, including Britain compete, with each other. The pressing need is for the working class to sharpen its political criticism of these so-called "partners" and put forward its solutions to the problems of society. For example, at the Congress on Tuesday, Tony Blair said that "The fact is we cannot solve the debt problem that we inherited...we will spend as much money paying back the interest on our debts as we spend on our schools , as we spend on law and order and as we spend on defence." How can the working class accept New Labour as a partner when it is representing the interests of the financial oligarchy and its main concern is to service massive interest on the national debt to them when it is cutting back on health, education and welfare benefits and other social programmes. Should every aspect of life in society continue to be used to pay tribute to the rich? Of course not. The working class should advocate a new direction for society based on the programme to Stop Paying the Rich and Increase Investments in Social Programmes. This should be the starting point of the programme of the workers for society. Only the working class with its own independent programme can stand up for the interests of the country and of society.|
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|ACCORDING TO recent research on The Health of Britain's Ethnic Minorities, from the Policy Studies Institute, definite sections of people of ethnic minority origin "have the poorest health of anyone in Britain, because so many are living in poverty". The research shows that people of Pakistani and Bangladeshi ethnic origin are 50% more likely to suffer ill-health than other citizens and people of Caribbean ethnic origin are 30% more likely to be in poor health. According to the author of the research "Poor health is associated with poverty. Some ethnic minority groups are among the poorest people in Britain and they also have the worst health." This research is the latest in a number of studies that have linked ill health to poverty. According to a report in the Nursing Times this week which has published a number of similar studies linking ill health to poverty the "problem had been completely ignored and that the results of a public inquiry into the deteriorating situation had not been acted on." The report goes on "This is, in effect, what has happened over the past 18 years. The Conservative government knew that poor people were dying years earlier than their more affluent neighbours but still ignored calls for action". However, the report goes onto claim that "Now Labour plans to tackle the issue head on" and cites the announcement of an independent inquiry into inequalities in health in England, led by the former chief medical officer Sir Donald Acheson that will report in July next year, a new Green paper to be launched this autumn and a White paper Our Healthier Nation which will be launched next year to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the NHS. Sir Donald Acheson's inquiry to examine the impact of poverty, poor housing and pollution on peoples health has been set by the government within the context of its overall financial strategy which is to curtail public spending. The new Green Paper will interpret the problem of ill health caused by the increasing divide between rich and poor as "inequalities in health" which it is already saying only require a "collaborative approach" between government, communities and individuals. Such a strategy of the government does not tackle poverty which is the cause of ill health. On the contrary such a strategy will continue further cut backs in funding to health care under the excuse of "targeting" resources at "inequalities in health". The issue at stake is will New Labour be able to divert people from acting on the real conclusion that arises from this research linking ill health to poverty? The conclusion that people should draw from this research is society cannot start to deal with the poverty which is the cause of ill health when the whole society is geared to paying the rich. Also, they should draw the conclusion that society cannot start to deal with inequalities in the treatment of people when the notion of the right to free comprehensive health care for all is being withdrawn. Such conclusions show that only a programme that demands that society stop paying the rich and increases investments in social programmes can start to deal with the findings of this research.|
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