Com. Mohammed Amin, senior leader of the CPI(M), hoisted the Red Flag to mark the opening of the 21st Congress of the Party at Visakhapatnam. Com. Mohammed Amin joined the then undivided Communist Party in 1946 at the age of 18, amid the turmoil of the approaching Partition and the promise of a surging trade union movement. Today, after 69 years of service to the CPI(M) and the left movement, as he hoists the flag, Com. Amin spoke exclusively to the CPI(M)’s social media team on his long association with the Party, participation in struggles and the challenges that the Left movement is currently facing.
● On joining the party and the early years in the movement.
I began working in a jute mill when I was 14 years old, and soon joined active trade union work. I became a party member at the age of 18 in 1946, Around the time of Partition, I was sent to East Pakistan to work as comrades were being arrested frequently. After working for six months, I too was arrested and spent nearly 26 months in jail before I was sent back and resumed party work in Calcutta. Over the years, I have also worked with and started unions among jute employees, auto employees, agricultural workers, tea garden workers, in engineering and cloth mills.
I worked together with a lot of distinguished comrades such as Shanti Ghatak, Jyoti Basu, Pramod Dasgupta and Hafiz Jalaluddin and they were of great help to me.
● On the challenges facing the union movement
Both the BJP government at the centre and the Trinamool Congress government in the West Bengal are anti-worker, and we will continue our struggle against them. The unions will continue and will endure. If Hitler could not destroy the unions, what can these people do? Only the working class can save the country from disaster, not the capitalists. They know only to how to fill their own coffers, nothing else.
● On the challenges facing the CPI(M), especially in Bengal
The biggest challenge is what will happen in the future. On the one hand there is a crisis. Rising prices, unemployment and communalism are some of the main challenges we are facing. If we are unable to stop communal forces, then we won’t be able to do anything else. So, we have to fight them. We’ll fight this battle and win.
Bengal will have Assembly elections next year. In both Bengal and Kerala, we have to form governments next year. Moreover, at the all-India level, we are not very strong, but there is no one except the CPI(M) which can stop these communal forces. We will stop them ourselves.
● Message to the youth at a time when large sections of people have turned cynical
Join the movement! All across the world people are moving towards socialism because they have realised that capitalism cannot solve any problems. Capitalism only creates problems. Only the communists can save the people, and the people will definitely come with us.