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Mainstream, Vol XLVI No 34

Creatively Abstract the Legacy of Buddhist Samgha

Sunday 10 August 2008, by Sharad Patil



After the parliamentary session on the trust vote was over, Communist veterans in Kerala and West Bengal, who were thrown out of the party, raised the outcry against Somnath Chatterjee’s expulsion from the CPI-M that “there is no democracy in the CPI-M”. Their complaint is against the ‘centralised democracy’, in the communist jargon ‘democratic centralism’. The issue is not between centralised democracy versus non-centralised one as is still taken to be. Stalin, who is still displayed on the CPM’s calendars and dais, declared in April 1924:

…. Lenin, however, the disciple of Marx and Engels, pursued his activities in the period of developed imperialism, in the period of the unfolding proletarian revolution, when the proletarian revolution had already triumphed in one country, had smashed bourgeois democracy and ushered in the era of proletarian democracy, the era of the Soviets. [Problems of Leninism, p. 14]

The CPSU-B had in actuality smashed Czarist feudalism and not bourgeois democracy, which they claimed to have smashed before allowing it to come into being. Proletarian democracy was in practice dictatorship of the proletariat, conducted in its name by the CPSU-B, actually by Stalin and his myrmidons. Marx or Engels or Lenin or Stalin had no clear idea of socialism. They hugged the myth of primitive communism, rejecting the historical reality of gynocracies and their democracy. The discussion on modern socialism, conducted by Mainstream, is going on without drawing upon the highest level of ‘svatantrya, ‘samata’ and ‘mitrata’ (liberty, equality and fraternity) reached by Nirrti’s Vai-raj and disregarding the rise of gynocracies in the river valleys all over the world, including that of the Khasis in the present Meghalaya.

Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya made a grave mistake in seeing the origin of Buddha’s monastic order in the slave samgha-ganas of his time whom he still considered to be primitive communist. Except for the sexual inequality of the Buddhist Samgha, it functioned according to the trinity of ‘Svatantrya, Samata and Metta’ laid down by the Master. To the Kalamas he advised: “Be self-intellected (svayam-prajna)!” He encouraged differences of opinion in the Samgha and every decision was taken by the general body of the bhikkhus (and bhikkhunis).

The future revolutionary party of India should creatively abstract the legacy of the gynocracies and the Buddhist Samgha. Otherwise the neo-imperial capitalist society and its moribund democracy will be the only fatalist model before the mankind.

Sharad Patil

‘Asantosh’ (General Secretary,
- Wadi-Bhokar Road, Satyashodhak
- Dhule-424002 Communist Party)

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