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Mainstream, Vol XLIX, No 18, April 23, 2011

Remembering Lenin

Monday 25 April 2011

(April 22 this year marks the 141st birth anniversary of that immortal revolutionary, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. On this occasion we carry the following tributes to Lenin from two of our most distinguished national leaders.)

Bolshevism...aims at the abolition of the institution of private property. This is only an application of the ethical ideal of non-possession in the realm of economy and if the people adopted this ideal of their own accord or could be made to accept it by means of peaceful persuasion, there could be nothing like it....there is no questioning the fact that the Bolshevik ideal has behind it the purest sacrifice of countless men and women who have given up their all for its sake; an ideal that is sanctified by sacrifices of such master spirits as Lenin cannot go in vain, the nobel example of their renunciation will be emblazoned for ever and quicken and purify the ideal as time passes.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

(Young India, November 15, 1928)

IT is difficult for most of us to think of our ideals and our theories in terms of reality. We have talked and written of swaraj for years, but when swaraj comes it will probably take us by surprise.....

In Russia also the revolutionaries of an older generation lived in a world of theory, and hardly believed in the realisation of their ideals. But Lenin came with his directness and realism and shook the fabric of old-time orthodox socialism and revolution. He taught people to think that the ideal they had dreamed of and worked for was not mere theory but something to be realised then and there. By an amazing power of will he hypnotised a nation and filled a disunited and demoralised people with energy and determination and the strength to endure and suffer for a cause.

Jawaharlal Nehru

(The Hindu, April 5, 1928)

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