We are posting below three statements written by former WSP members who rejected the lies and positions put forward by WSP leadership and left the Party in the recent period. We are in general agreement with their content. While they are not, as of now, speaking on our behalf, we intend to pursue discussions with all the honest and dedicated comrades who saw behind the crude lack of democracy, lies, opportunism and prejudice of WSP leadership. A democratic discussion on all the problems left suspended, befogged, or falsified by WSP is necessary to advance the regroupment of genuine revolutionaries.
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Statement by Vivek S.
Written on 21 October 2018
This letter of mine, Vivek S., is about the bureaucrat of WSP and a liar known as Rajesh Tyagi. In the wake of RR publishing its “open letter to WSP members”, it seems the degeneration of WSP has in fact accelerated. So, it becomes more than necessary for me to publish my own experience with WSP and my opinion on the ongoing political dispute (if you can call it so) between WSP and RR.
I “joined” WSP in December 2016 after a brief conversation with Tyagi on the question of Stalin’s pact with Hitler during WWII. Since there are no clear rules for membership and you may never know if you are really a member or not, I was not sure about my role in WSP for quite some time after “joining” it. Then they asked me to fill a “Google form” and then suddenly they started to tell me, and I quote, “Now you are ‘leader/cadre’ (depending upon situation) of WSP and it is your duty to share WSP’s propaganda on Facebook”.
After that, I started to share propaganda of WSP on my Facebook account, which got deleted by Facebook few months ago (Facebook did put forward the condition of uploading my “real identification document”, which I declined). And then in April 2017 WSP told me about their Skype “conferences/meetings” which I started attending outright. As far as the character of those so called “meetings/conferences” are concerned, it was nothing more than bureaucrat Tyagi preaching his gospels. No one else barely spoke.
Now coming back to the question of “membership”, I tried to inquire about it and only received bureaucratic lines in reply. In fact I am not clear to this day on the question of “how to be a member of WSP” or “Was I a ‘member’ of WSP?”. Such bureaucratic zigzags will inevitably lead to nepotism and, in my opinion, it has indeed led to that already inside WSP.
Today the bureaucratic leadership is denying that I (who was referred as “Comrade V.” in articles of RR) was even a “member” of WSP or questioning that I was ever put in charge of international relations. This cannot be answered of course without taking into account their recent bureaucratic zigzag in which they asked “Why did RR send us mails when they could have just contacted us in any other informal manner such as Facebook messages?”. This is the exact same tactic of WSP which it applies time and again to stall discussions and lie shamelessly when it is so necessary.
RR did contact WSP via its email as was suggested by myself back then and I forwarded the same suggestion to few other groups as well, but it is matter of fact that only RR sent emails to WSP. It was me who told a sympathizer (today a member) of RR about WSP and, no matter what kind of fantasies WSP bureaucrats try to conjure up, WSP has not otherwise succeeded in attracting attention towards itself based on the bureaucratic leaders’ effort on propaganda. Only a philistine will denounce sending “too many” formal emails instead of having communication through informal channels, but of course it goes hand in hand with WSP’s approach of running party so that they can lie according to their own comfort.
I became a member of WSP through informal channels and today they are saying that I was never a member. Bureaucrat Tyagi did put me in charge of “international affairs” in a Skype conference, which again is an informal channel, and today they are denying it too. Alas! If only RR had contacted them through these channels then that lying would have been little bit easier if not wholly easier.
I informed Tyagi about my contacts with an organization in Turkey and there was never response either! This Turkish group turned out to be a Pabloite faction and they abandoned the talks with me very quickly. I told Tyagi about my contacts with a group in Brazil and I explicitly mentioned the name “Revolutionary Regroupment” on multiple occasions in those Skype “conferences/meetings”. After exhausting all other means of having dialogue with Tyagi, I suggested RR to write an “open letter” and I gave the exact same suggestion to one more group. But it was only RR which wrote the letter and I think these situations also act as a political sieve which separates chaff from the grain.
Given the circumstances, if Tyagi had honest obligations towards revolutionary politics he would have held talks with RR at once, even surpassing me as the middle man, but that did not happen. Although bureaucrats were quick to write their childish “rebuttals” of RR’s letter and ensuing counter critique, which again goes on to prove how hollow is their claim of holding discussion on every question before coming up with any political or non-political stands.
I, as an ex-member, of WSP on the other hand, do have my own experiences to destroy these false and exaggerated claims. Discussions among members is a non-existing entity inside WSP. Despite their claims that the motion on general elections of 2019 was “unanimous”, it is a matter of fact that I and other ex-members whom I know, came to know about it only when it got published. I did support that stand, however, and do support it still because it was and still is a principled position with huge potential. There are numerous such examples when discussions and differences get substituted for Tyagi saying “give me a call” at the end of meetings.
I have differences with WSP on many political questions and I will write about them in detail soon but for now I want to make my stand clear on the question of homosexuality. I don’t agree with WSP’s stand on homosexuality. I don’t entertain any pseudoscientific illusions about homosexuality and I stand strictly against its criminalisation. I don’t think that homosexuality is either a “deviation” or “perversion”. Nor would I compare it with any of the criminal activities as it does no harm to anyone except the bourgeois institution of the “traditional” family.
As far as expulsions are concerned, the bureaucratic leaders in the WSP did cut me off from party functioning and few others who I know, systematically and surely. Bureaucrat Tyagi formed a “secret faction” inside party in which he accused me of running “Fake Facebook IDs” (whatever that means) on multiple occasions. Charges were put against me without even informing me, I came to know all about this comrade Vivek K. and when I inquired about them, bureaucrat Tyagi replied (and I quote it literally) “Oh! That was a joke!”.
Thus I was forced to leave WSP and hence I told Tyagi about it, to which he replied “Well we will not force you to”. He told me in same conversation earlier that “There are no ‘members’ in WSP!”. What an amazing bureaucratic stunt! How can you leave or join or even ask for readmission if there is no such thing as “membership” in WSP? No matter how they utilize these bureaucratic stunts in the future, one thing is for sure: it is not going to help them to further their presence in revolutionary politics in any way.
Bureaucrats then went further as to tell RR to consider “V” as WSP’s gift to you. Really? Do they really think that petty bureaucrats like them are in any position to give anyone any “gift”? And moreover, do they really think they are in a position to gift me to anyone? If they really think so, then I would advise them to think again. WSP and its bureaucrats are used to Stalinists, petty-bourgeois radicals and other shades of pseudo-leftists “joining” and “leaving” their little bureaucratic club and they never had such experience till now when genuine revolutionists who “joined” their little clique with honest intentions and found the “holes” in WSP were left with no other option but to face this bureaucracy for a struggle to ensure the birth of a genuine Trotskyist group in India, which will honestly undertake the mammoth historical task of rebuilding the 4th international. They never expected the open letter by Revolutionary Regroupment, nor did they expect a letter from me. I am writing this letter to warn all honest revolutionists who have “joined” and are considering to “join” WSP in the future that it is nothing more than a bureaucratic club.
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Statement by Vivek K.
Written on 15 and 30 October 2018
This is Vivek K. I have been an active supporter of the Workers’ Socialist Party (hereafter WSP) for the past one year. But in early days of this October (2018), such a circumstance was created that I had to separate myself from WSP. Here, it must be made clear that there is no formal membership rule in WSP. Even the founding leaders of WSP are supposedly, according to recent statements by the leader of the group, not members of WSP, they too are supporters only. Despite the fact that I was asked to fill a Google form for WSP and I did it and that I actively and effectively kept on spreading WSP propaganda.
During this year I was a supporter, some people left WSP. I wanted to know the reason for this. The leaders told me that people come and go, and that only an advanced section stays (a response which was not satisfactory to me).
To humiliate some cadres, there was this issue involving a fake Facebook ID. A fake ID showing its support to WSP shared such a post which did not meet party line and a supporter was accused (by rumours) of doing it. I decided to expose this scandal and did some investigation, and presented this matter before active supporters of WSP. Amazingly, no one was interested in this issue. Then I came to know that this accusation was being conducted in the guidance of top leadership.
After this, I realized that there was this ‘clandestine cell’ in the party, around the leaders. WSP leaders never discussed about clandestine cells with supporters (i.e. what is clandestine cell, if it is permissible or not).
Then I got why there is no democracy in the party. On the question of leadership and organisational structure, they (the senior leaders) say there will be a meeting of supporters in November 2018 (informal and unofficial) and that only then the organisation and leadership will be set. Either this has already been decided secretly and unofficially or they are not interested at all in doing it). All this hypocrisy from the senior leaders of the party compelled me to disassociate myself from WSP. I left WSP on October 13, 2018.
On October 15, I came to know about an open letter addressed to WSP members written by Revolutionary Regroupment, Brazil (hereafter RR). They showed their willingness to collaborate with WSP members. They claimed that they have previously attempted to contact WSP leadership for discussions about the need of an International.
Their main points are –
- Democratic Centralism;
- For a communist intervention in the trade unions;
- Defend the deformed workers’ states against capitalist counterrevolution;
- Properly fight all forms of oppression under capitalism.
On the same day I got the answer from WSP on the proposal of RR on its (WSP’s) Facebook page. They (WSP) wrote that RR never tried to contact WSP.
On the question of internationalism, WSP claims itself to be an International. They don’t write WSP India (while WSP has no group outside of India in my knowledge). They propose the Socialist States of South Asia. Also, they claim that WSP is the only left-wing party in South Asia. These statements and their refusal of RR’s proposal show that their internationalism is limited to South Asia. WSP claims that it is an International, the core of the International. But they are not interested to contact revolutionaries outside of India.
It is historically not possible for WSP to be the core of an International or to have an International around it if they are not interested in collaborating with revolutionaries outside India or South Asia. If it were possible, there would be no need to ever create a Third International. The leaders of the October revolution would simply have claimed that the Communist Party of Soviet Union was ‘the International’. All communist parties from other countries would simply have to “organize around it”.
Refusal of WSP on the proposal made by RR for discussions about an International is a nationalist approach.
On the point of democratic centralism, I can say that there is nothing like democracy in the WSP. In the name of democratic centralism, only one leader and his bootlickers enjoy the benefits of the term “democratic”. The WSP claim that any member of WSP can demand a discussion on any issue is nothing but a joke. Supporters can ask some questions to which WSP leaders never give a coherent answer. They respond only with diplomatic lines.
On the question of trade unions, my personal experience was that WSP has no access to trade unions, not a single factory committee was made on the call by WSP. This is because WSP is not interested at all to intervene in trade unions.
On homosexuality, WSP does not have any firm or documented view. It had never published any text on its website about this until the answer to RR. Yet some Facebook posts were shared by leaders when homosexuality was decriminalised in India. Some of those posts were trying to explain natural behaviour of all sexual orientations, while others had the description of homosexuality as a “deviation”. I even “liked” some of those posts, as I did with all WSP posts, which I now regret doing.
Later I came to understand that the central idea of the leaders was that the homosexual relations are not natural. RR, in its open letter, proposed the need for defending social rights of LGBTs properly. Despite the fact that science has proved homosexuality as natural orientation, WSP compares it with perversion and deviation and, even beyond these, calls it a disease. This shows negligence towards rights of LGBTs. This type of negligence may increase homophobic behaviour in society. As Marxists we should take a firm stand and must support the rights of any kind of marginalized or minority sections. WSP’s stand on homosexuality is wholly non-scientific and brings nonsense to the Marxist revolutionary struggle. Such type of argument may increase the bourgeois ideological grab hold on the Marxist revolutionary movement. The working class vanguard must be aware of such type of pseudo-Marxists and expose them as soon as possible, hence ceasing their propaganda in the name of Marxism.
I wrote this all so that revolutionary youth must beware of WSP. The most sinister effect of WSP is that the most advanced cadres of left-wing politics get attracted towards WSP by its rhetorical paraphrases against class collaboration and waste their time and energy. WSP leaders (i.e. all three senior leaders / founders) are just passing their time passionately on social media. They are not interested at all in building a revolutionary party.
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Statement by Priya
25 and 30 October 2018
This is Priya and I am an ex-member of WSP. I have been associated with WSP for the last 2 years, 1 year as an active party supporter and the other year (from 2017 on) as an active party member (yes member, because this was what they told me). But now I came to know that, according to the leaders, there are no members in the party, there are only “sympathizers”, including WSP senior leader Tyagi himself. Any person who has any kind of sympathy towards the party and its program is considered a party supporter or member (whatever it means). I was quite disappointed to hear that.
As an ex-member of WSP, I would like to share some of my own experiences in the last 2 years. Here, I have underscored some simple facts that demonstrate how WSP has travelled even further on its road of degeneration. If we go through the procedure to get into the party, we find that it is quite awkward. They simply recruit those who profess agreement with their politics and program, without more elaborate discussions.
In 2017, an online “Worker-Socialist Movement Introduction form” was sent to be filled by those who agreed with their program and propaganda, which was the way I also joined. There was no political statement required for that application procedure. In that “Worker-Socialist Movement Introduction form” there was a kind of declaration/agreement to be made by the applicant which read: “I am conversant with program, perspective and politics of Workers’ Socialist Party and agree with it”. This “Worker-Socialist Movement Introduction form” was brought to me by 2 of their members who sent this form to me and asked to fill this application procedure and connect with the party through it as soon as possible.
They introduced that with this message:
“Comrade, WSP is appreciative of the sincere support, that you have given to it and consequently to the cause of revolution and Socialism. As you are aware, WSP, the Party of International working class is fighting to organise the revolutionary socialist fighters around a program and perspective based on strategic lessons of Red October. To list your support for the great historic cause, we propose a closer association with you. We request you to take a minute to fill this form and submit to us to enable us to keep live and organic contact with you.”
However, even after filling that form and sending it to them, I did not receive any kind of formal written acknowledgement or note of acceptance from them to get to know for sure whether I was in the party or not. Here, I am also attaching the “Worker-Socialist Movement Introduction form” which was circulated by them. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfIIv0NwM1cn10UYRNOGfvwvR7GbLgqth6iRqapjJmI9kfGQg/viewform
I continued divulging WSP propaganda and participating in meetings. In the last period, though, there were some circumstances which forced me to disassociate myself from this bureaucratic and degenerated party. The conduct of WSP has explicitly revealed their manipulative bureaucratic face. Their allegations were unconscionable. What were the issues with WSP and what is the explanation behind their actions must be debated further for a complete clarification.
I would like to share my points about their “Democratic Centralism” first. They claimed that they genuinely have discussions with their cadres before making any important decision, but instead, they patronize them, constantly demean them whenever they put any questions on them and their leadership. Cadres do not have any idea about how the party is structured. The boasting claim (in their response to RR’s open letter) that “WSP is the party where all discussions take place with full freedom of expression. Any member of WSP can demand a discussion and have it there. There is hardly any important issue that is not debated inside WSP and on which comrades have not expressed their opinions. We involve even supporters to discuss.” is false to the core. And their saying that “We involve even supporters to discuss”, it utter nonsense. No member in WSP can demand any kind of discussion to have it. There is hardly any issue about which they have a democratic and informed debate with their rank and file.
Actually, they confuse “democratic centralism” and “bureaucratic centralism”. The leaders never bother to involve other cadres in any kind of decision-making process. Only Tyagi makes all the decisions (and later names it a unanimous decision). Only God knows what they mean by democracy and full freedom. They quickly start calling people who raise difference with the leaders “traitors”. I feel that their entire approach to the policy of targeting their own cadres for raising questions against the leadership needs rethinking. I consider that this practice is totally bureaucratic and power oriented. Only one man at the highest level of leadership of the party enjoys all kind of democracy along with his favourite guys.
Those who are concerned with the party and want to actively engage in the work towards the rebuilding of Fourth International will have to take a hard look at the reality as it actually stands by wiping off the mist in the eyes. We must cast away false hopes and repeal this false leadership.
In my own experience with the WSP, I found that except for a few people, no other party member ever gets involved in the party works or even has any contributions towards it. They just watch all this sitting from the outside. They act as cheerleaders for the party. They only put the work pressure on few cadres who they find dedicated and a serious towards the main cause. Whenever any cadre tries to ask them about their tasks, functions, ways to function, all their demands and questions find no other place except the dustbin and their appeals to the leadership are falling on deaf ears. By opposing their critics and characterizing raising criticisms as an act of betrayal, it seems as if they, in fact, are side-tracking from the main task of a party. The party has never considered the cadres’ opinions, contributions or criticisms seriously and has always acted in the interests of the few who are in already in the core leadership (or their favourites). All they have offered their cadres is the choice between stay there or leave. If you question them, then they will force you to either stay as passive cheerleaders for them or leave the party.
I was not expected to write or share anything written by myself (they have accused me many times of doing that), other than their propaganda. If I did it openly, I would be expelled from the party (as it happens). They will demean you for doing so. They have already removed many supporters only for not sharing their propaganda. As a party member, I was called upon by them to respect the party lines. These ‘party lines’ include belief and respect for the supreme leader and the savagely unjust rules. Because Tyagi is a liar, he thinks he can make anyone believe practically anything. Cheating, lying, and hypocrisy are the specialities of the WSP’s leadership that maintain the farce that there is any kind of democracy inside the party. Moreover, they are trying to isolate the most revolutionary elements among the youth as well as a section of radicalised workers, thereby strengthening the grip of bureaucracy over the workers’ movement.
Secondly, I was also well aware of everything regarding the RR and their ongoing talks with comrade Vivek S., to be honest. I came to know about this group in the ‘Skype conference’ which is held every weekend in WSP, through one of their active members. Not just one, but many times, I heard about them. But now WSP have denied all this and also in a very derisive tone which is very unfortunate. Although I did not expect from them to even give any reply to the ‘Open letter’, I was surprised by how they replied so quickly. WSP responses were clearly evasive; they obviously did not want to take on any responsibility. The letter written by RR was lucid and to the point.
Thirdly, their stand on ‘Internationalism’ is a matter of grave concern. The claim that “WSP is the International, the core of the international. All those who claim themselves to be associated with this or that national, we find them outside the framework of the struggle for internationalism. We don’t want to open any negotiations where we are identified or invited as a national party”, is a lie. Internationalism is a farce for them. Neither WSP is the International nor does it even want to be one. Their ‘Internationalism’ is only on paper. They demonstrate zero interest towards this and that is why they always try to avoid discussions with other Trotskyists groups out there. They even tried to manipulate all this by scolding others for doing so. Their (WSP) response to the RR’s open letter has ripped apart this farce of internationalism. This is the logical destiny of a party which pays only ‘lip service’ towards internationalism and its core tasks.
Fourthly, there is the question of “factionalism”, which they accuse us of doing against the party, although they are free to do so (only the leadership). They have already created factions inside the party, ‘secret factions’, which they use to put fake charges against their own party cadres (or whoever they want).
Fifthly, not just once but many times the people inside the WSP have accused me of having a fake Facebook ID and told me that it belonged to someone named ‘Abhishek’. They asked me to prove them wrong and I did (every time).
The first time they accused me of this was last year, on 19.10.2017. They accused me of this in one of their Whatsapp groups. After this, they again accused me of the same in the month of February. Then again in May. I really got exhausted from all these nonsensical charges on me. They were only on me, since many of their cadres run a lot of actual fake IDs in different names, something I pointed out but got no reply from their side, as usual.
Seeing their view on homosexuality, I am not surprised at all by this degenerated path WSP is pursuing. WSP is beating the bourgeoisie in the morality race. They are still stuck with bourgeois views of morality. This is a common symptom of all bourgeois ideological infiltrates in the revolutionary struggle.
On Facebook, WSP leader Tyagi wrote (back in July 2018): “We must underscore that this is one of the many perversions that arise from sexual repression, alienation and deformity in hitherto existing conservative societies. Post-revolutionary societies will be totally free of these diseases. If we do not treat homosexuality as diversion and perversion, that would mean that the age of capitalist decay is capable of augmenting and expanding new vistas of human behaviour and choices. Loud claims of the sections of liberal bourgeoisie that sexual deviations, like homosexuality, among humans are rooted in their genes and biology, is an attempt to bail out the oppressive social conditions of capitalism that are solely responsible for all perversions including the sexual ones”.
This is a totally non-Marxist stand and a support for the bourgeois views of morality. Now, the first question which arises here is: what are the parameters by which they are calling alternate choices of love as “diversion” and “perversion”, or even a “disease”? How do you even conclude that heterosexuality is not a perversion which also is inherited from class societies?
Their claim is totally a non-scientific stand, a commonly held bourgeois viewpoint. They at one point (again on social media) said: “You will never see homosexuality anywhere in whole nature, except conservative human society. You would never find a single case among free world of animals or birds engaged in homosexuality except where there is complete deprivation. Simply because this is against course of nature that means of historic evolution of mono sexual species to which man belongs”. He asked to “Cite a single example!”.
Well, I can cite not just one but many examples. But first, we have to underscore that it is neither a disease nor a perversion. It is totally natural. Science has already proven this a long time ago. Homosexuality is both common and highly essential in the lives of a number of species. Genetics has also proved the same, that homosexuality is genetically induced rather than a “lifestyle choice”. Secondly, homosexuality is quite common in the animal kingdom, especially among herding animals. Many animals solve conflicts by practicing same gender sex. Homosexual behaviour has been observed in over 1,500 animal species (including dwarf chimpanzees, lions, ducks, dolphins, etc.). Even if all this data was not available, there is no reason to call a human behaviour which is harmless to everyone else a “disease”. WSP is behind the bourgeois World Health Organization and most Councils of Psychiatry and Psychology worldwide on this issue.
Again they write that “Post-revolutionary societies will be totally free of these diseases”. Only charlatans would say such things. The October revolution of 1917 under the banner of revolutionary Marxism brought the decriminalization of homosexuality (and abolished all the Czarist laws that forbade homosexual activity) by aiming to destroy capitalism’s reactionary moral laws, as well as its other repressive laws and became the world’s first workers’ state provided the only form of government prepared to enforce on behalf of homosexuals the old democratic principle that the state should not interfere in private matters. It stated that: “Soviet legislation treats these exactly the same as so called natural intercourse. All forms of sexual intercourse are private matters.”
On the contrary, legalisation of homosexuality was quickly overturned under Stalin. Repression of homosexuals became a feature of all Stalinist regimes. The one who supports the ideological outlook of the bourgeoisie is no Marxist. Throw your homophobia into the dustbin first. Marxists are not opposed to any kind of sexual choices. They are interested in the removal of capitalism which is the mother of all kind of sexual repression by uniting struggle against homophobic and trans-phobic oppression. But first, we have to break ourselves from the morality perpetuated by the bourgeoisie in terms of the structure of the family and sexual orientation. Marxists side with the oppressed in these struggles for democratic rights and the struggle for real sexual liberation with the class struggle for socialism. The struggle against gender oppression and discrimination based on sexual orientation is an integral part of socialist struggle. If one fails to understand this is, this one is no Marxist.
For these and many other reasons, I finally decided to separate myself from the party. Having said that, I strongly support the cause of the revolution and the task of the rebuilding of the Fourth International. I believe that international collaboration, exchange of ideas and free discussion among vanguards of international working class are essential.