Remembering An


Khagen Das


The senior and junior students including many favoured and denoted intellectuals are celebrating the birth centenary of Sushobhan Chandra Sarkar, the greatest learned Professor who had extensively dealt with Marxism on theoretical level throughout his life.


The versatile Professor, indeed, conceived and believed Marxism according to edifice of his own gentleman mindsit. In fact young Sushobhan Sarkar was enamoured of Marxism as soon as he became  familiar with it at Oxford as a brilliant young student. And he came back to India as an ideologically developed communist generated by the Communist Party of Great Britain through Rajani Palme Dutta. Yet Marxism is a materialistic philosophy which demands practice in social life in order to consummate one’s knowledge on Marxism.


With the evolution of private property its owners maintained it by force, the highest form of which is the state-machinery.

All genuine Marxists are aware that class-struggle, in all its various forms, exerts a profound influence on the development of man’s knowledge. For this reason, even a versatile genious who does not participate in class-struggle cannot develop his knowledge regarding the method and path to change the society. In order to do that genuine Marxists must start with class struggle, must start practice, particularly, in mass struggles and class struggles which will ultimately lead to People’s War. This is the history of Marxist practice for the last 150 years. This habit of practice is especially applicable to intellectuals like Professor Sarkar. All of his discussions, speeches and writings basically veered round subjective ideas benefit of practice.


Moreover, Marxists hold that man’s social practice alone is the creation of truth of his knowledge of the external world. What actually happens is that man’s knowledge is verified only when he achieves the anticipated result in the process of a social practice. But we regret to say that we have never witnessed any achievement of the anticipated result in Sarkar’s process of social practice.


In his youth, perhaps, he wanted to be a practical communist and expressed his desire to live in a commune leaving his teaching profession and the family which did not happen since Puran Chand Joshi of the undivided CPI restrained him from doing so with advice that he could serve the Party much better sticking to his teaching profession. In fact the Professor produced intellectuals like his own daughter and son—Sipra Sarkar, and Sumit Sarkar. It is interesting to state that Sipra Sarkar was very much elated at the advent of Glasnost and highly acclaimed it for bringing about the ‘liberal atmosphere’ (sic!) in Russia.


Sushobhanbabu wrote thousands of pages both in Bengali and English on the model, as he perceived Marxism like a subjective ideologist divorced from the people, from their movement and struggles. That is why he along with his readers could never grasp the essence of Marxism.



Not surprisingly Hiran Mukherjee while remembering Professor Sarkar in an article in the Statesman of 19 August 2000 concluded in a most subjective way divorced from the ground reality of national and international situation.


‘Sushobhan Sarkar’s birth centenary bids us remember that ‘‘ideas become a material force when they grip the masses’’ and that the communist idea can prevail only on the strength of a mass movement and a struggle for a new and just and human society’.


But I am extremely sorry to say that the learned Professor failed to realise Marx’s doctrine quoted by Mukherjee.


Basically, bereft of practice throughout his life Prof. Sarkar acclaimed Khrushchov’s declaration of the policy of peaceful coexistence and achieving socialism through parliamentary path which has been proved utterly wrong, and for following which the worst tragic event occurred in Indonesia whose half a million communists were butchered by Suharto, an arch CIA agent, and later on, in Chile the President, Allende elected through peaceful parliamentary path was barbarously murdered along with thousands of communists and their supporters. And thereafter till to date the working people of no country has achieved socialism through parliamentary path and will never achieve so.


Sushobhanbabu praised Khrushchov in an article published in ‘Parichaya’. This author handed over a ‘critique’ on Professor’s accridition of Khrushchov’s anti-Marxist policy declaration to the office of the ‘Parichaya’. At first I was told that my ‘cirtique’ had been sent to Prof. Sarkar for his perusal. After sometime I was told it would take some more time. On third occasion when the office told me it would take more time to consider my ‘critique’, I demanded my article to return me which was never done except harassing me again and again. Why? Was the ‘Parichaya’ authority or the illustrious Prof. Sarkar afraid of Mao Tse-tung thought profusely used in my ‘critique’? And one of the principal themes of Mao thought was : The countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America are the storm-centres of the national liberation movements, which can be hastened through people’s war which is bound to be protracted. And the people will have nothing if they have no People’s army—the Protracted People’s War is the only path for the liberation of the great masses of the people.


Right now we are witnessing the People’s Wars have surged forward in many a third world country.


Sushobhanbabu has awakened his students, both boys and girls, with political ideology but cumulative expansion of this inspiration is not enough. The teaching profession becomes fruitless if the basic principles of  Marxist ideology cannot be imparted to the common people, who are briefly called masses.


No doubt Sushobhan Sarkar had been a renowned Professor holding ostensibly Marxist view, yet he could not consummate his Marxist idea in his life time due to lack of practice.