CPI(M) politburo member Prakash Karat today said his party would undertake a year-long exercise to evolve a “concept of socialism for India in the 21st century” and draw lessons from the failures of the erstwhile Soviet Union. “What should be socialism in Indian conditions that we want to strive for,” he asked the party cadre, adding that the topic should be “extensively debated”.
He was addressing the cadre after launching the year-long centenary celebrations of the 1917 (Oct-Nov) Russian Revolution which bestowed power on the working classes.
“I hope, in the coming year (2016-17), we will advance towards a concept of socialism for India in the 21st century and successfully struggle to make it a reality,” Karat said.
Stating that the Russian revolution had inspired Indian freedom fighters and helped throw out imperialist regimes across the world, he said, “Despite the tremendous achievements and potential of the world’s first Social State, various defects came into being, various distortions (occurred) in the development of socialism in the Soviet Union.”
“The fall of the Soviet Union was an end of the socialist experiment which had begun with October Revolution. We have to draw correct lessons from this failure.
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“We have to draw lessons from that to see that we move towards a renewed, renovated form of socialism in the 21st century,” Karat said.
He, however, asserted that the end of Soviet Union did not mean the “end to socialism”.
The veteran Marxist leader said in the centenary year of the Russian revolution, all the “progressive and Left-minded people in our country will be involved in the discussion regarding how can we advance towards a struggle for socialism in India”.
“Millions of workers, peasants, and agricultural workers are still committed to a socialist vision. We shall use the centenary year to mobilise all the resources we have to see that we open the way towards advancing on the path of socialism in India,” Karat said.