- Party Founder and Leader -
Hardial Bains (August
15, 1939 - August 24, 1997) was the founder of the Communist
Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) and its leader until
his untimely death in August 1997.
The most important feature of Hardial Bains as a
political personality was his dedication to the solution of the most
important problems facing the society at any time. By sticking to
the present, he worked to tackle the most critical problem on the basis
of maximum ideological mobilization and maximum political mobilization.
That problem today is the vesting of sovereignty in the people so
that they can exercise control over their lives. Hardial Bains believed
that unless this problem is sorted out, nothing else can be sorted out.
In this way, his vision, writings, leadership and methods of work
remain the spiritual weapons and guides
to action for the work of the Party today.
Hardial Bains dedicated the
than seven years of his life to working out how to vest sovereignty in
the people. From September 1990 when he submitted his
brief on electoral reform to the Royal Commission on Electoral Reform
and Party Financing (known as the Lortie Commission) to 1997 when he
gave the call Stop
Paying the Rich; Increase Funding for Social Programs!,
he worked out theoretical positions and found practical ways to provide
this problem with a solution. During the Referendum on the
in 1992, he led the Committee to Vote No on October 26, at which time
he published two books dealing with the constitutional problem in
Canada, The Essence of the Consensus Report on the Constitution
and A Future to Face. Another book published in 1993, A
Power to Share
focuses on the renewal of the political process and is a further
contribution to this work. Following the Referendum on the
Charlottetown Accord, he spearheaded the founding of the National
Council for Renewal which then founded the Canadian Renewal Party as a
non-partisan political association to continue the
work of empowering Canadians.
For Hardial Bains there was a living link, a
between sovereignty and people exercising control over their lives. He
established that this sovereignty for which people must fight points to
the immediate necessity of a modern constitution and a political
mechanism which places the electorate
above their representatives. Such a modern constitution and the
political mechanism can only be the work of the people themselves.
Hardial Bains always took up practical tasks towards
of this problem so as to raise the level of discussion in the polity.
All political parties, political activists and other concerned people
should cooperate, exchange opinions on vital problems facing society
and occupy the centre-stage, he
said. This will go a long way to counter the monopoly
media which disorients the polity so much and disrupts it, causing
serious damage to the interests of the people, Hardial pointed out.
Hardial Bains took up the task to empower the people
after he had worked
to develop the movement for enlightenment from 1984-85 onwards. It can
be said that this work was a prelude to the work of the present to
empower the people.
Besides other things, he worked out in theory and practice new
journalism, both Party and non-Party.
He linked this journalism in an inseparable manner with the concerns of
the people, on one hand, and the achievements of social science, on the
other. By doing so, he affirmed that journalism must serve the solution
of the problem facing society.
Hardial Bains had a long history of political activism
in Canada as
a communist which began early on. After migrating to Canada from India
as a young
man in 1959, he did his post-graduate studies at the University of
British Columbia in Vancouver from 1960-65, where he got involved in
the political movement
of the time. He established The Internationalists in 1963 and
was elected President of the B.C. Students' Federation in 1964.
Hardial Bains taught for a period in the sixties and in
and March of 1967, under the auspices of the Necessity for Change Study
Programme, he delivered a series of important lectures which contained
the main ideas on change and progress which he was to develop and fight
for over the decades
His most celebrated pamphlet at that time was entitled Necessity
He established the Necessity for Change Institute of Ideological
Studies in 1967 which was later to be registered as the Ideological
Studies Centre (ISC) for which he worked professionally for the rest of
Some of his other main activities include founding the
Defend Democratic Rights in Montreal in 1969, following which he built
similar organizations across the country, including the East Indian
Defence Committee (EIDC) in 1973 and the People's Front Against Racist
and Fascist Violence
in 1980. He also always worked very closely with the women and youth,
engaging them in broad ideological and political work involving
both Party and non-party activities.
Going through his political life from the time he
founded The Internationalists in 1963 in Vancouver to the
time of his death, it is not difficult to see the milestones in his
work. From the Necessity for Change
analysis in 1967 to the founding of CPC(M-L) in 1970, Hardial
Bains steadfastly dealt with the problems of the political movement and
society. He never worked for laurels, for power for himself. On the
contrary, he subordinated his own interests to those of the collective
and society and harmonized them.
As National Leader of the Marxist-Leninist Party of
name under which the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) is
registered for electoral purposes) Hardial Bains was one of the few
political personalities in Canada who devoted so much of his energies,
for close to four decades,
to opening the door to the progress of society. To really appreciate
his work from his post-graduate days at UBC in the early sixties to a
brief period as a teacher and a whole life of organizing, it is
crucial to look at him as a person whose only aim in life was the
solution of the problems facing society at any
given time. He repeatedly explained that self-centred and
self-ingratiating personalities can thrive only in conditions where the
present is turned into the last stage in the development of human
society. This, however, is not the case. Human society has yet to
develop to the higher stage of socialism and communism.
As was the case in the past, so today the life of a people is the life
of creating the higher stage of human society.
During the last thirty-five years of his political life
Hardial Bains made other definite contributions besides those mentioned
As National Leader of the Communist Party of Canada
(Marxist-Leninist), not only was he at the forefront of the struggle
to empower Canadians to take control of their lives,
he led the struggle against the anti-social offensive, for a
pro-social program and for socialism. In spite
of all the claims made in the 1989-91 period that it was socialism
which failed when the former Soviet Union collapsed, Hardial Bains
brought forth what socialism really is and how it is the present and
future of humankind. He was convinced that it is only socialism which
will triumph and that capitalism will certainly
Most importantly, he spearheaded the ideological
the revision or dogmatic rendering of communist ideas. His book, Communism
a collection of essays, shows how the abandonment of progressive ideals
and socialism was at the heart of the conflict in the former
Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Hardial himself fought against this
abandonment since the 1960s.
Because of his activities, Hardial Bains is much
admired by his
colleagues and those he met in the course of his political activities.
At the same time, he was slandered, reviled and persecuted by the
Canadian state and establishment forces and denied citizenship until
1988. To the day he died he was
denied entry to the U.S. on the basis of fabricated evidence.
Reading and Discussing the
Works of Hardial Bains
On March 30, 1997, the Central Consultative Forum of the
Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) adopted a resolution that
the entire CPC(M-L) must study the writings of Hardial Bains as a
contribution to the development of a new coherence, both ideological
and theoretical as well as organisational and practical. The writings
of Hardial Bains in the form of essays, speeches, resolutions, reports
submitted to the plenums of the Central Committee and to National
Congresses, plus all the authoritative writings of CPC(M-L), make up a
great treasury, a wealth of material from which the new coherence can
be crystallised at the present time.
The resolution acknowledges that since 1967 the writings
contributions of Hardial Bains have guided and led CPC(M-L), the
vanguard party of the Canadian working class, in carrying out its plan
to prepare the subjective conditions for socialist revolution in Canada
and open a path for society. CPC(M-L), always a party of revolutionary
action, has for nearly four decades met and overcome the obstacles and
attacks organised by the bourgeoisie and its state. It has persisted in
providing leadership to the working class and democratic movements and
the movement for enlightenment. The guidance to and summation of the
struggles over these years are expressed in the writings of Hardial
Bains. His writings express the thinking required to overcome the
hurdles in building the Party in the course of waging class struggle
for the emancipation of the working class and the workers and oppressed
peoples of all over the world. Hardial Bains' writings contribute to
the general body of working class experience, especially as concerns
building a united Marxist-Leninist party in the concrete conditions
faced by the Canadian working class in the period of the bi-polar
division of the world and after. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union
and in the concrete conditions of the present period of retreat of
revolution, Hardial Bains' writings on the current Canadian and
international situation are an important contribution to the
development of contemporary Marxist-Leninist thought.
Selected Works by Hardial
• Modern Communism,
Communist Party of
Communism, Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) by Hardial
Bains reflects the outlook, general line and the framework of the work
of CPC(M-L) during this period of historic shift, this defining moment
for the world.
Hardial Bains explains, "With
this book, CPC(M-L) is presenting itself to the workers, women, youth
students, Aboriginal peoples and national minorities, calling upon them
to come to know what CPC(M-L) is and what it stands for, without any
notions. They must look into the conditions of life in order to
the truth of what CPC(M-L) stands for and draw the warranted
on that basis. This can be accomplished primarily through class
not through bookish learning. Far from adhering to the dogmatic
of communism, to the spectre which imperialism and the reactionary
conjure up at all costs, they must make their decisions about Modern
and CPC(M-L) by themselves, rejecting the phantasm which all the Powers
of Old Europe and North America have conjured up in a desperate bid to
mislead the people and save their crumbling empires. In order to
victory, they must participate in the work of CPC(M-L). This is the
ingredient so as to bring about the changes which are the order of the
"The work is at the takeoff
point for the greatest revolutionary developments that humankind has
witnessed. CPC(M-L) is the most decisive conscious force or this
transformation in Canada, a detachment of the International
Communist Movement, contributing towards the same internationally. Let
all workers, women, youth and students, and all the enlightened forces
join CPC(M-L). The act of joining CPC(M-L) will itself be a great leap
forward for the creation of a new and affirmed humanity, in which every
act of human beings becomes another act for that affirmation, the
of what is truly human.
"Let no one hesitate, as
the period for the victory of the New over the Old is here. Let
engage in the creation of the conditions for the best expression of
own humanity, so that they can realize their aspirations to scale the
which humanity has never reached before in order to affirm itself. Let
the dawn of human progress break! Let the sum of all humanized humanity
rise! Let it shine for all!"
• Necessity for
for Change! pamphlet by Hardial Bains begins with a determined and
thoroughgoing offensive against ideological subversion and blocks to
through social forms. It does so by giving the most revolutionary call,
“understanding requires an act of conscious participation of the
an act of finding out,” placing action in the first place and
in its service.
The Internationalists first
published the Necessity for Change analysis as a pamphlet in 1967. The
Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) reprinted it in 1998 with
a Preface written by the author in May 1997 on the occasion of the 30th
anniversary of its original publication.
The Necessity for Change!
pamphlet is based on a speech given by Hardial Bains during the
for Change Study Programme organised by The Internationalists in
1967. The Central Committee of CPC(M-L) explains in the Foreword to the
1998 edition that "This small pamphlet, with its fighting call that Understanding
Requires the Conscious Participation of the Individual, An Act of
Out, opened the eyes of the participants in the Necessity for
Study Programme to the broad reality from which they must derive their
theoretical and ideological nourishment. It struck a mortal blow at the
prevailing dogmatism and scholasticism which holds opinions divorced
this broad reality. The demand that the entire thinking must begin with
this-sidedness of life, this broad reality, was the sound beginning of
the Marxist-Leninist Communist Movement that was directed against
and opportunism of all hues.
"It is very exciting and
necessary to establish what happened to this idea adopted thirty years
ago. How has it evolved? How does it appear at this time? What relation
does it have with the demand that basic organisations must be organs of
class struggle at their level and constitute the mainstay of CPC(M-L)?
What relation does it have with the demand of our times that all work
be based on the collectives of the people and on the modern definition
of rights, which recognizes that all humans are born to society and
society is duty-bound to recognize their claims upon it?"