(The Speech delivered by Vinod Mishra at the National Conference of Revolutionary Youth Association)

You have raised the slogan of patriotism. You know, the 50th anniversary of our independence is being celebrated nowadays. However, despite our being free, the dream of independence still remains to be realised. Bhagat Singh didn't stop at the slogan of independence, side by side he also raised the question: independent India for whom? The British hanged him precisely because he was attracted towards Communism. I must tell you, if you are looking for and ideal of patriotism, it is Bhagat Singh. If there has been one great hero during the whole course of independence movement, he is Bhagat Singh and none else. Hence, we have to learn a lot from Bhagat Singh. His revolutionary fervour, his concern about the country at a quite early age, his kissing gallows with a smile on his face for the freedom of our motherland, all this will continue to remain an ideal for the youth of our country. What is particularly to be learnt from Bhagat Singh is that he studied so many things in a very short span of time, read literature of different countries and pondered over various problems of his country and society. And a few days before his mounting the gallows, he was studying Lenin's 'State and revolution'. By studying this book he had reached to the realisation on his own that Marxism, and not anarchism, was the most effective weapon in our country's independence struggle, in the transformation of our society. I think you must realise the significance of this legacy of arduous study of Bhagat Singh and firmly grasp it.

As an ideal of patriotism the second name we find in the post-independence period, and that is Charu Majumdar. He saw a great dream of a democratic India, a socialist India, and he roused the whole generation of the youth community with that dream. In my view, after independence there has been no leader who could inspire youth in such a large number with a dream and motivate them in the politics of self-sacrifice. Hence I suggest that in order to take a lesson of patriotism, the second personality, the second great hero is Charu Majumdar. Often Charu Majumdar told the youth that only those would remain revolutionary who would integrate with workers and peasant, who would work in the interest of workers and peasants. That is why I appeal to you to let the teachings of Bhagat Singh and Charu Majumdar become your guide in the matter of patriotism.

The British had hanged Bhagat Singh in the dark of night and themselves cremated his body. Charu Majumdar too was murdered in the Lalbazar police lock-up and his body was cremated under police guard. The lesson of patriotism has to be learnt from these two great heroes.

The second slogan of yours is social justice. The scope of social justice is quite large. Since the bourgeois revolution in France, social justice is in vogue, all the progressive forces raise this slogan. But in our country, for quite some time this slogan has been considerably restricted in scope. Nowadays this slogan is looked at in the narrow context of how to increase the share of the privileged upper stratum of backward castes in the bureaucracy, in the state machinery. As a consequence you have seen how all the forces that emerged in the name of social justice find their symbol in Laloo Yadav. He has betrayed the movement, saved his seat with the help of Congress, and now he has landed in the jail. You must fight against this narrowing down of social justice. You must fight with a greater perspective of social justice: to bring the most oppressed, most wretched, dalit and exploited sections of the society, who find there place in the larger scope of social justice, to the forefront of political mainstream, to make them masters of their own destiny; and to elevate them to an equal footing in political, economic and social spheres.

In this perspective you must keep in mind that all the parties and political leaders in our country, all the forces that have come to the fore in the name of social justice or in the name of dalit awakening, all of them have got degenerated. What we witness now is that communalism is on the rise throughout the country. Be it in Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh or Tamil Nadu, wherever dalits are being attacked, everywhere dalits, the poor, wretched people and youth are victims of repression. Nowhere any progressive leadership is to be seen. Left forces like CPI and CPI(M) have joined a United Front government, the remote control of which lies in the hands of the Congress president Sitaram Kesri.

I saw in the newspapers that a martyrs' column has been erected at Baranagar. I came to know that Jyoti Basu has spoken a lot of things there. He said that it was Congress who perpetrated the Kashipur-Baranagar massacre. As a matter of fact, Jyoti Basu has tried to whitewash the historic reality that not only Congress but the local leadership of CPI(M) too had its hand in the massacre. Therefore, from this conference you demand an impartial enquiry of Kashipur-Baranagar massacre. From this enquiry it will be revealed as to who were the persons directly linked with the carnage. We cannot resign ourselves the way CPI(M) wants to maintain its rule by utilising our martyrs. This is certainly an important question. Jyoti babu has further said that if Naxalites join them, forces of the left will get a further boost. They have joined us in Bihar. But we have always told them in no uncertain terms that in West Bengal we cannot march together. Because here you are in the government, and you are following all sorts of anti-people policies.

I must say that today there is a void in the place to be occupied by social justice and progressive forces. Today all the political parties – Janata Dal, Samajwadi Party, even the left parties – are increasingly losing their relevance. The anarchy and disorder that the country has today fallen into gives us an indication to carry the revolutionary struggle forward. It is you who must fill this void. On this count the youth organisation has a big role to play. Today the whole country is in search of an alternative force, a fighting force. Only the youth organisation can fill this gap. For, our struggle is the struggle for a bright future and only youth can wage the struggle for a bright future. Youth are the future of the country, future of the society. Only youth can become vanguards in the struggle for a bright future and none else. Our struggle demands self-sacrifice, it demands great sacrifices to be undertaken and only youth have that legacy of self-sacrifice. Youth always go ahead to participate in the struggles that call for self-sacrifice. Our struggle demands advancing with a new thinking, as the old thinking has become outmoded. Today the country needs new thinking, newer realisations and newer experiments. Youth always come forward to grasp new thinking. That is why I place very much hope on your youth organisation. Not for the conference sake, nor in the ceremonial sense, in reality the overall situation of the country demands that youth must come forward. March forward in the struggle to build an independent India free from foreign bondage, a democratic India — this is the call of the day. So this conference is quite relevant. I hope that after making an overall consideration of the situation, if you start taking primary steps now, within two to four years your Revolutionary Youth Association will become one of the main youth organisations of the country.