Hardial Bains died on August 24, 1997. According to CPC-ML he died in Hull, Quebec. According to Prakash Rao, Hardial died in Ottawa, Canada ("On August 24, he breathed his last in Ottawa, Canada").
Hardial Bains was the national leader of the Communist Party of Canada (M-L). He founded the Hindustani Ghadar Party (HGP) in the late sixties and the HGP(OIMLA) in the seventies. He was also the founder of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (M-L), Communist Party of Trinidad and Tobago, Communist Party of Ireland (M-L) and the Communist Ghadar Party of India. He also played a significant, if controversial, role in the early history of the MLP-USA. He founded a printing press in Toronto and a business enterprise in New Delhi www.southasia.org/Review.htm.
Comrade Hardial was a staunch defender of the Communist Party of China and Chairman Mao Tse Tung until about 1978 and gave the slogans -- "China's Chairman is our Chairman", "China's path is our path" and "India attacked China in 1962". From 1978 onward he became a most vehement opponent of the the Communist Party of China and Mao Tse Tung whom he then started calling as revisionist, opportunist, anti-Marxist-Leninist, traitors etc. And he started saying that "China's revolution was not a real revolution" and that "China attacked India in 1962". And he spent the next 2 years writing articles and giving speeches against "Mao Tse Tung Thought". From this time on he started calling names to all those who upheld China and Mao Tse Tung. And in India he set up the Communist Ghadar Party in opposition to "Mao Tse Tung Thought" and CPI(M-L) whom he called Maoist. In 1994 he once again started praising Mao as " an outstanding revolutionary and anti-imperialist fighter of the 20th century".
From 1978 onward Hardial became a staunch defender and follower of Albania, the Party of Labor of Albania (PLA) and of Enver Hoxha. He tried to popularize the socialism in Albania and the PLA. After Enver Hoxha's death he praised Ramiz Alia to the skies. After the rout of the PLA (and also of leaders like Ramiz Alia) in elections in 1991-92, Hardial Bains started calling Ramiz Alia "a big bourgeois democrat, bigger than the bourgeoise". And he tried to mobilize opinion in support of Enver Hoxha's wife who was under arrest on charges of having amassed wealth for herself.
Since the early sixties Hardial was a vehement opponent of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) . He characterized the CPSU as anti-Leninist and revisionist because the CPSU said that "revolution was on the retreat" and because they had restored capitalism in the Soviet Union. He joined the band-wagon which called the Soviet Union an imperialist superpower -- Soviet Social-Imperialism, which was considered to be the most dangerous enemy of man-kind together with US imperialism. After the events of 1990-91, when Lenin's statue was toppled in Moscow and the Soviet Union broke up, Hardial Bains described these events as "the collapse of Communism" in the Soviet Union and other countries of Europe and that "this was an onslaught against communism" and that they were a big setback for the communist movement. Hardial Bains never explained how could Communism collapse in a country where (in Hardial's own view) it didn't exist and where "capitalism has been resored". And also how the collapse of a social-imperialist super-power could be a set-back for the communist movement and why Hardial was so concerned about the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Hardial Bains was a vehement opponent of Cuba, Fidel Castro and "Castroism" from the early sixties onward. "Castroism" and "Che Gueveraism" according to Hardial Bains, were the biggest splitters of the revolutionary movement. In the sixties, he wrote several articles denouncing Castroism and Cheism, and even threw some members of the Internationalists out of that organization for their "pro-Castro stance". After the events of 1990-91 in the Soviet Union, Hardial Bains started supporting Cuba and Fidel Castro.
Hardial Bains founded various organizations in Canada to oppose "state-organized racist attacks" like the East Indian Defence Committee (EIDC), West Indian Peoples' Organization (WIPO), Canadian Peoples' Defence Committee, Peoples Front (PF) against racist and facist violence. These organizations tried to implement the slogans "an injury to one is an injury to all" and "an attack on one is an attack on all" and " all for one and one for all" and "self-defence is the only way". These organizations had a mass character and were very active in the seventies in oppposition to racism.
In the late seventies, based on the great support he got from these organizations, particularly EIDC, Hardial Bains set up Community centers in Winnipeg, Toronto and Vancouver B.C. These were called Desh Bhagat Temple (DBT) and were housed in fair-sized buildings which were purchased with money contributed by ordinary citizens, but mainly from the East Indian community. Local radio stations even used to carry ads for them. They were managed by the EIDC and owned by a trust set-up by the EIDC. Hardial used these centers for his political meetings and EIDC got regular revenue from renting these places to citizens for social occasions. In 1989-1990 Hardial changed the composition of the trust, and brought into it his own nominees. These trustees manipulated matters so as to convert these properties into money. By early 1994 the deals had been done and the money was in Hardials' hands and in a matter of time the properties were sold. By 1996, there were no community centers (DBT's) in existence. The beneficiaries of these manipulations were none other than Hardial Bains and his close collaborators. The amount they benefitted by is estimated to be about $2 million!
Several people who contributed money for the purchase of the DBT's and other properties opposed the sale on the basis that they wanted control on the way their money was used. In spite of this opposition Hardial disposed off the properties. He threatened those who opposed the sale with legal action. But in so doing, Hardial lost the support of hundred's of supporters in Toronto and Vancouver. And since the middle of 1994 until his death in 1997, Hardial Bains never again had a political meeting in Vancouver B.C. And at the big anti-racist protest in Vancouver B.C. on June 28, 1998, there was no EIDC. The way Hardial made money for himself by manipulating EIDC and the trust leading to the sale of the community centers (the DBT's), puts to shame the money launderers in Albania and the Ceausescu's in Romania. In this instance of making money for himself, Hardial Bains showed another of his facets, as a cheat extraordinaire.
At different times Hardial Bains put forward various slogans. In the seventies it was "Make the rich pay". In the late seventies he put forward the slogans "bolshevise the party", "prepare for the coming revolutionary storms" because "the revolution is no longer just a dream and an aspiration, but a problem taken up for solution" and "the time has come to go back to India" In the late eighties he gave the slogan for a "Mass Party Press". The CPC(M-L) newspaper never was read by more then a few hundred people and that number has dwindled over the years. And by 1993-94, Hardial's newspaper publishing activity had been completely marginalized primarily due to quality of its content which was poor and was becoming increasingly rhetorical, and also due to the growth of the Internet.
Then at the Sixth congress in late 1993 Hardial gave the thesis that "revolution is on the retreat world-wide". He claimed that this retreat and the "collapse of communism" were happenings which he knew, as far back as in 1985, were going to happen. This thesis was further elaborated in mid-1994 by his collaborators in India, Lal Singh and Prakash Rao, who explained thus "when we say that revolution is in retreat what we mean is that there is an ebb and flow of revolution. At present there is an ebb, later there will be flow".
Hardial and his defenders in India also pointed out that "the greatness of our leadership lies in the fact that it knew in 1985 that the revolution was going to retreat and that the exit policy would come". Hardial indeed had very loyal defenders in India. The question presents itself -- If Hardial knew these things in 1985, how come he never told anyone then? There was no mention of it even in the fifth Congress of CPC-ML in 1988 which talked only of the Mass Party Press. After Hardial died in 1997, these Comrades in India stated that they had failed in uniting the various communist parties and groups in India and summarized their activities in the last twenty years thus "The main point is that in the last twenty years this situation (in India) has not changed".
According to Prakash Rao, "He (Hardial) firmly believed that the twenty-first century would be the century of the triumph of the working class and of socialism and communism. And he worked with conviction and rare dedication, according to a well defined plan, for the realisation of this lofty mission, ...." But neither Hardial nor Prakash Rao have explained what Hardial's plan was, in practical terms, for the triumph and when it would take place -- in year 2000 or in 2093 ? Neither did they say when the ebb (of revolution) would turn into tide.
At the Sixth congress, in 1993, Hardial got a majority of women into the Central Committee and then gave the theory that "women are more revolutionary than men". This theory was his very own which he created to justify his actions in respect of women in his organization and his attitude toward women. His followers in India upheld this theory as well.
In December 1993 he held a meeting in India and wrote a pamphlet titled "What kind of Party" claiming that to be the most important theme of the time. Here is an excerpt from the book
"...... The time has come to elaborate these matters in full view of the class and answer the question, What Kind of Party? Once such a question is elaborated, all those in whose interest it is to build such a party will join together while those who persist on the path of disunity will part company."
That question was never answered or elaborated since he wrote the book. Will it ever be answered, in full view of the class? And then in 1994, he claimed that another theme had become the most important -- "Whither India?" And he published another pamphlet of that title. And recently his defenders in India have defined the purpose of their party is "to put forth ideas and stimulate debate".
At the Seventh Congress in 1997 Comrade Sandra Smith gave the slogan "Take Canada into the 21st century on a new basis" and "It can be done, it must be done". Are these slogans for the working people? If so what do people have to do? And exactly what is that "new basis"? She further theorized ---
"The Party works hard to preserve its living link with the collectives of the people on the basis of the principles that an injury to one is an injury to all, and all for one and one for all. This means that the condition for the prosperity of the part is the prosperity of the whole and that the whole is greater than the sum of its constituent parts."
"... the condition for the prosperity of the part is the prosperity of the whole ..." So, if a part (that is, a few people) is already prosperous, then the whole (that is, all people) must be prosperous. So, the conclusion from Sandra Smith's theory is that the rich (a part) are properous, and so the working class is properous. Or, a few leaders of CPC-ML (the part) are properous so all people (the whole) must be properous. So, everything is hunky-dory, there should be no more need for injury and protests and strife, and consequently CPC(M-L)'s purpose for existence has come to an end. Does Comrade Sandra mean to say that? Logically speaking, the answer to that question should be yes, but she may mean to say something much more profound, like "the whole is greater than the sum of its constituent parts".
"The whole is greater than the sum of its constituent parts". Does this mean that 4 is greater than 2 + 2? Certainly not. Comrade Sandra couldn't mean that! Does it mean that 4 is more important than 2 + 2? Or that $2 million in the hands of 1 "leader" is more important than $5000 in the hands of each of 400 individuals? Plausible, but which would mean that "an in injury to many gives victory to one". The latter is what Comrade Sandra really wants to say. And so, the spirit of the slogan "an injury to one is an injury to all" is completely denied. Comrade Sandra makes the denial by reasoning of the type -- A means (not A). She does use many Marxist sounding phrases but doesn't explain how, both A and (not A) can be true at the same time. Hardial and Lal Singh were more open in this denial and their policy was "we don't care for individuals".
The purpose on the death anniversary of Hardial Bains is not to analyze the words or deeds of Sandra Smith or Charles Boylan or Lal Singh or Prakash Rao but to provide a glimpse of the deeds of these hand-picked lieutenents of Hardial Bains and of their power of thought and reasoning. Hardial Bains has indelibly has left his imprint on these individuals.
Besides writing articles, another of Hardial's major activity was meetings. And after every meeting Hardial had a practice of interviewing his party members individually behind closed doors. And behind closed doors he would ask questions like "what did you think of my speech" or "what do you think of the party". He had such interviews with his women as well. Yet another major activity for Hardial Bains was the struggle he organized every so often against this or that individual and for ideological purity which, in the sixties, he termed as "the proletarian revolutionary line of Comrade Hardial Bains". These struggles according to him were inevitable ("Inevitable struggle's broken out").
By the time of his death, the organizations that Hardial founded were completely marginalized, had a miniscule membership and shrinking rapidly (barring a couple of score persons in Quebec), and had no recognition whatsoever among the working people. Even among the few sections where these organizations were earlier known, they have left behind a dubious reputation for themselves.
Hardial Bains came from Mahilpur in Hoshiarpur district in Punjab, India. His father was a leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) who is reported to have caused attacks on several members of his rival party, the CPI(M-L).
Hardial Bains is known to have manipulated his near relatives, to make them subservient to him, and to use them.
Hardial Bains is survived by his wife Sandra Smith and six children, four by Sandra Smith and two by his first wife whom he divorced.
The occasion of the 1st anniversary of the death of Comrade Hardial Bains is one which calls for a sober evaluation of Hardial's deeds over the years. It is a time to question and review, leaving no stone unturned, his deeds and to judge his true colors, in the words of his follower Geetha Ramachandran "with a commitment to the search for truth rather than to any partisan interests".
It is also an occasion to ask, where is the money which Hardial Bains stole from Canadian working people? His untimely death prevented him from giving an answer "in full view of the class" to this important question. In keeping with the highest values and best democratic traditions of working people everywhere, his collaborators would do well to answer the question "in full view of the class" and to return the money.