1 – 14th Party Congress

  1. Subhash Chandra resigned from Congress President Ship on 29 April 1939. On 3 May 1939, he declared the formation of Forward Bloc.
  2. On 22 June 1939 was held the All India Session in Mumbai where the Constitution and programme of Forward Bloc was adopted.
  3. First All India Conference of Forward bloc was held in Nagpur, from 18 to 22 June 1940. In his Presidential Address, Subhash Chandra gave a concrete plan of action for winning Puma Swaraj or complete freedom in the immediate future. The conference resolved that, in order to win independence for India, and in order to preserve it, as soon as possible the following steps be taken :
    • The struggle launched at Ramgarh (March 1940) be intensified locally and further widened in its scope under the slogan ‘All Power to Indian People’.
    • Steps are taken to promote and develop national unity on as many fronts and in as many directions as possible.
    • Measures are adopted for forming Panchayat in every locality, beginning from the village right up to the center, to function as organs of struggle and later on as organs of administration.
  4. It was 17 January 1941, dead of night, that the ‘Great Escape’ of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose from India opened a new chapter of the political history of the country. Forward Bloc leaders and workers came under sharp torture and humiliation of the British police and its intelligence. A huge number of them were put to jails and confinements. And Forward Bloc was declared banned on 23 June 1942. ‘Quit India’ movement started from 9 August 1942. Forward Bloc, even when was declared illegal, played a revolutionary role to crown the struggle of the people with success and glory. Forward Bloc workers, along with the radical Congress workers, the socialists and other left forces, except communists, took part in the historic ’42 Movement which was one of the biggest revolutionary mass movements after the Great Revolt of 1857. On the national level leaders of the Party like Sardul Singh Kaveesher, Sheelbhadra Yajee, H. V. Kamath, R. S. Ruikar, K. N. Joglekar, Mukundalal Sarkar, U. Mathuralingam Thevar were noteworthy.
  5. Although still under ban, the active workers of the Forward Bloc from all over India met at Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, in February 1946 to consolidate their forces and chalk out a programme of action. The conference reiterated that Forward Bloc is a Socialist Party, accepting the theory of class struggle in its fullest implications and a programme of revolutionary mass action for the attainment of socialism leading to a classless society.
    Under the directives of the Active Workers’ Conference of the Forward Bloc held at Jabalpur in February 1946, the post-war Revolutionary Thesis of the Party was drawn up, which was subsequently adopted at the Second Plenary Session of the Forward Bloc held at Kunwar Singh Nagar, Arrah, from January 12 to 14, 1947.
    The Arrah Thesis, as was popularly known in the political circle, was a turning point in the history of the Party, which called for ‘the consolidation of the Left forces in India — for achieving the post-war revolution, leading to ‘All Power to the Indian People’, which, as envisaged by Netaji, would fulfill the goal of ‘Freedom, Democracy and Socialism.’
    The other important resolution adopted at the Arrah Congress was the decision to boycott the Constituent Assembly and the Provincial Legislature Assemblies. The Party took the decision as a mark of protest against the right-wing Congress that moved for compromise with the British Government and their conspiracy for partition of India. In accordance with this boycott resolution Forward Bloc legislators like Jyotish Ch. Ghosh, Lila Roy and others resigned from their respective seats. H. V. Kamath did not agree to resign, so he was dissociated from the Party. His resolution amendment proposal failed at a special Party Session held at Bauria in April, 1947.
  6. With renewed faith in Netaji’s call for uncompromising struggle against British Imperialism, Forward Bloc started reorganizing and strengthening the Party since Arrah Congress. Despite all opposition, Congress came to terms with the British Govt. to implement transfer of power at the cost of Partition of India on 15 August, 1947. Forward Bloc was then the only Party who opposed partition and observed the Independence Day as the Day of National Mourning. Forward Bloc members and workers had to undergo a lot of sufferings for it at the hands of Congress opposition, but they stuck to their point which was later appreciated millions of Hindu, Muslim and Sikh who were sufferer because of partition.
    In March, 1948 National Council meeting of the Party held at Varanasi which became the epicenter of various conflicting incidents thereafter, and in consequence of these incidents ideological contradiction surfaced within the Party. Some were in favour of scientific socialism with the theory of class struggle, and the others were not. This contradiction resulted into two parallel conventions, for the socialists at Chandannagar of Hooghly District, West Bengal; and for the anti-socialist at Calcutta. There was virtually a split in the Party.
    The Chandannagar Convention unequivocally declared its firm faith in scientific socialism. The red flag with a leaping tiger and crossed hammer and sickle was adopted as the Party flag.
  7. The Fourth Plenary Session of All India Forward Bloc held at Ingota in Uttar Pradesh, in July 1949, reiterated Party’s theoretical line adopted at Chandannagar earlier. In the resolution of this session All India Forward Bloc declared the Congress party as ‘an organization of the capitalists and the vested interests’, and described the Socialist Party as ‘a party of His Majesty’s Opposition’ only.
    The resolution thus read: ‘The Forward Bloc does not accept the New Democracy stand of the CPI. We believe in preparing for the socialist resolution accepting the tenets of Marxism and Leninism … We want the unity of all the leftist and progressive forces for the success of the socialist revolution.
  8. The Fifth Party Congress of All India Forward Bloc held at Puri of Orissa, in December 1952. Meanwhile some different endeavors were made from different quarters for greater left unity, of which Forward Bloc was also a party. Besides, there was an effort for the reunification of Forward Bloc, and it succeeded with a concluding convention held at Sahid Minar Maidan, Calcutta on 22 June, 1951.It was unanimously decided to accept scientific socialism as the prime objective of the Party.
  9. Important to note: the first General Election of the country was held in February, 1952. And the Fifth Party Congress of All India Forward Bloc held from 28 to 31 December, 1952, at Puri, as stated earlier. The Party Congress endorsed the idea of achieving socialism, based on the theory of class struggle. The Party Flag remained the same as was accepted in Chandannagar Convention.
    In the political resolution it said: ‘Forward Bloc demanded abolition of the Privy Purse, non-payment of compensation to the land-lords, abolition of all taxes that hit the common man, nationalization of key industries, … land to the landless …. scaling down of prices, … formation of provinces on linguistic and cultural basis and cessation from British Commonwealth’ etc.’
  10. The then Chairman of All India Forward Bloc Mohan Singh and General Secretary Sheelbhadra Yajee, in April 1955, all on a sudden declared before the press that, as the Congress party had of late accepted the path of socialism in their recently held session, therefore there was no need of continuing a separate existence of Forward Bloc. This unilateral decision of these two leaders created sharp reaction among the rank and file of the Party. Under the dynamic leadership of U. Mathuramalingam Thevar, Hemanta Kumar Bose and others, Party was reorganized throughout the country, and met an Emergency Session at Nagpur in May, 1955.
  11.  The Sixth Party Congress of All India Forward Bloc was held at Baghora in Madhya Pradesh, from 8 to 11 May, 1958. Most significantly, the resolution adopted in this Party Congress warned:
    ‘The ballot boxes cannot break the vicious circle of capitalist exploitation, nor they can bring power to the people. Extra parliamentary activities of mass action, resulting in an all-comprehensive revolutionary class struggle are needed for this. …. We can and should participate in elections, side by side with our preparation for revolutionary class struggle.’
    ‘The ballot boxes cannot break the vicious circle of capitalist exploitation, nor they can bring power to the people. Extra parliamentary activities of mass action, resulting in an all-comprehensive revolutionary class struggle are needed for this. …. We can and should participate in elections, side by side with our preparation for revolutionary class struggle.’
  12. The Seventh Party Congress of Forward Bloc was held in New Delhi for three days, 18 to 20 August, 1961. In this Party Congress Forward Bloc strongly condemned the Chinese Aggression and asked them to vacate the occupied Indian Territory.
  13. The Eighth Party Congress, held at Madurai February 1966, was an important turn. Chairman Congress: in Tamilnadu, from 18 to 20 of the Party declared at this
    The Government of India had tried to prove, for the reasons best known to them, that Netaji is dead. But the people of the country have refused to accept the report of the Shah Nawaj Inquiry Committee…. the demand for a fresh enquiry on Netaji has become irresistible. I urge upon the Government of India to appoint a committee headed by the Chief Justice of India to enquire into the matter.’
  14. The Ninth Party Congress was held in Calcutta, from 15 to 20 February, 1970. The Party in its document declared:
    ‘Socialism in India must stand on the base of Nationalism. If we are to draw any programme of socialist revolution we must consider the specific conditions of our country. We can see only in Netaji’s ideals the combination of the three principles of Socialism, Revolution and Nationalism. The Forward Bloc, founded by Netaji, must take the responsibility of spreading the message of socialist revolution throughout the country.’
  15. Ramgarh of Bihar observed the Tenth Party Congress of All India Forward Bloc, from 17 to 19 March, 1979. Forward Bloc-declared at the Ramgarh congress:
    In our opinion, the present phase of Indian Revolution is a socialist one. It is only through the socialist revolution that the basic ills of the class-torn society can be removed. ‘
  16. n March 1984, The Eleventh Party Congress was held in Calcutta. The Eleventh Party Congress stated:
    ‘True we are of opinion that the present phase of Indian Revolution is that of Socialist Revolution historically viewed, and our Party has given the call to prepare for the socialist revolution. But the call for a left and democratic unity is a step towards that aim in the context of the existing correlation of class forces.’
  17. New Delhi hosted The Twelfth Party Congress of All India Forward Bloc, which was held from 9 to 15 February, 1991. This Party Congress reiterated the call for a left, democratic and secular unity in order to ensure the democratic advance and safeguard the unity, integrity and independence of the country. The Party Congress indicated about the potential danger to the Indian polity arising out of the growing strength of the Bharatiya Janata Party seeking to replace the Indian National Congress in the Central Govt. And thereby the Party Congress endowed great importance on the left-democratic-secular unity, as it would be the only viable alliterative to both Indian National Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party.
  18. In the perspective of the turmoil developed in the socialist world, collapse of Soviet Union, debacles in the international socialist movement and other odds, a Special Party Plenum was held at Thirubanantapuram, in Kerala, which was most significant one. It was held from 22 to 24 September, 1992. The Document adopted in this Special Plenary Session thus read as:
    ‘When people have been overwhelmed by the negative developments in Europe and Russia, the Indian socialists need not loose heart and join the chorus of funeral thumping over the ‘death of socialism’ and join the gleeful rejoicing of the enemies of socialism …… As all over the world, in the mainstream of the Indian socialist movement mingled from the very day of its inception two conflicting streams. One was the ‘Right Wing’ who stood for a reformist programme above everything else. On the other hand, there were ‘adherents’ and followers of Moscow. ‘But between these two groups was another group which stood for socialism for full blooded socialism, but which desired that India should evolve her own form of socialism as well as her own method’ Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose declared, ‘To this group, I humbly claim to believe.’ …. At this most critical juncture of the world socialist movement, the socialist movement in India, although punctuated with many setbacks in the past, is required to break new path for applying the universal truth of scientific socialism in the extent of concrete realities, particularities and specificities of the Indian situation.’
  19. The Thirteenth Party Congress was held at Ranchi, of Bihar, from 8 to 12 December, 1995. The Party Congress articulated two main points:
    • ‘In India, Parliamentary Democracy has deep roots …. Our Party does not believe that socialism can be achieved through parliamentary methods. But it does not avoid election because it provides opportunities to develop class struggle. Unlike bourgeoisie parties, our Party lays more stress on the extra-parliamentary struggles to achieve its objectives.’
    •  ‘Revolution cannot be imported from outside, neither it can be exported. It is to be organized within the country by the people of the country themselves. And the success of a revolution depends very much on the favourable objectives in the country.’

    And then, before heading towards the Fourteenth Party Congress (December, 2000), the National Council of the Party in its meeting held in New Delhi, on 10 & 11 October 1998, resulted: ‘In the clumsy situation of the Indian politics, it is high time to think loudly on the emancipatory ideals of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. What Netaji thought in 20’s and 30’s are still relevant. In his numerous addresses, he spoke very firmly that the program of socialist reconstruction should be followed in India. The ideology of Netaji can be utilized for harmonize and solve the problems and crisis confronting the present day politics.

  20.  Netaji Chetna Yatra : In 1999, our party has organized a successful ideological campaign on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. This this two-month campaign began on 23rd January, the birthday of Netaji and culminated on 23rd March, the martyrdom day of Shahid-E-Azam Bhagat Singh. The main slogans of the campaign were (1) Unravel the mystery behind the disaapearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, (2) Rebuild in in Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose way. During campaign our party has organized five vehicular jathas from five different corners of the country. (1) Kanyakumari to Delhi from March 2nd 1999, (2) Moirang (Manipur) to Delhi from 7th March, (3) Cuttack to Delhi from 11th March, (4) Mumbai to Deli from 15th March and (5) Jammu to Delhi from 17th March 1999. These 5 yatras converged at New Delhi on 22nd March after travelling thousands of kilometers across the country. Through Netaji Chetna Yatra (NCY), we have distributed lakhs of palm lets about the ideology of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose throughout the country. The NCY have got tremendous public support and appreciation from the people of all walks of life across the country. In the corner meetings, as a part of the NCY hundreds of people gathered spontaneously to hear the speeches of the leaders. The media have given enough publicity about the NCY in all vernaculars. On 23rd March as per our schedule we organized a mass rally from Bhagat Singh Terminal to Netaji Park, New Delhi. The rally was well attended, colourful and well decorated. Such type of rallies was very rare in Delhi. We mobilize all Netaji oranisations, freedom fighters, INA personalities and school college students throughout the yatras and the culminating rally. As a part of this campaign we have organized number of citizen convention and seminars on Netaji at New Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai, Bangalore, Lucknow, Mumbai, Ropar (Punjab), Pune, Nagpur etc. In New Delhi, at the historical Red Fort we have organized a ‘Netaji Pradarshini (Exhibition) from 16th March to 23rd March 2001. Thousands of people have visited the exhibition and seen the light and sound show, which threw light on the life and contributions of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. Though this campaign the Party was able to expand its network and made contact with number of new sympathizers and party friends.
    The significant achievement of these Netaji Chetna Yaras was the formation of New Netaji enquiry Commission. We submitted our memorandum to the government on 24th March 1999 and the government announced the declaration of the enquiry commission on 25th March 1999. The intelligent report from various corners of the country forced the government to set up the Commission to unearth the mystery behind the disappearance of Netaji. The proceedings of the Commission of the Commission are on. The political campaigns, that rebuild India in Netaji’s way is our task to be fulfilled by vigorous mass awareness and movements.
  21. The 14th Party Congress was held at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh from 27th to 30th December 2001. The party had given a clarion call to build a New Party for New Times to meet New Challenges. The 14th Party Congress gave a tribute to Com. Chitta Basu, he died on October 5, 1997. The 14th Party Congress also concluded some points to constitution of AIFB.
    The Party Congress articulated some main points

    • What we need today : Party building is a scientific process. A revolutionary party is the highest form of organization of the best elements of the class. Our party have well integrated policy orientation, sounded ideological background, committed and methodologically arranged programmes and its own structure. We are enrolling hundreds of members every year into the party. The mass organization also enrolls their membership in every year. It means new blood is coming in to the party in a regular interval. But unfortunately we failed to transform the members in to the cadres. A class party need accountable, committed, responsible, responsive, disciplined, indoctrinated and devoted party cadres. So we need.
    • Whole timers: the party needs whole time activists at all levels. In order to carry forward the decisions of the party.
    • Party Centre’s: It is necessary for a cadre base party to maintain party offices at all respective at all respective levels. The party offices are not only a place for discussion but it would be a center for all party activities.
    • Party School: It is also important for a working class-cadre base party to educate its members politically on a regular interval. A well nit curriculum and syllabus must be prepared.
    • Party Organ: The organs are the important instrument for propagating party ideology the mass. With the help of the organs the party can penetrate into the people of all walks of life.