"The peasantry, the largest numerically and the most atomized, backward and oppressed class, is capable of local uprisings and partisan warfare, but requires the leadership of a more advanced and centralized class for this struggle to be elevated to an all-national level. Without such leadership the peasantry alone cannot make a revolution.
"The task of such leadership falls in the nature of things on the Indian proletariat, which is the only class capable of leading the toiling masses in the onslaught against Imperialism, landlordism and the Native Princes. The concentration and discipline induced by its very place in capitalist economy, its numerical strength, the sharpness of the class antagonism which daily brings it into conflict with the Imperialists who are the main owners of capital in India, its organization and experience of struggle, and the vital position it occupies in the economy of the country, as also its steadily worsening condition under Imperialism, all combine to fit the Indian proletariat for this task.
"But the leadership of the working class in the bourgeois-democratic revolution poses before the working class the prospect of seizing the power and, in addition to accomplishing the long overdue bourgeois-democratic tasks, proceeding with its own socialist tasks. And thus the bourgeois-democratic revolution develops uninterruptedly into the proletarian revolution and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat as the only state-form capable of supplanting the dictatorship of the imperialist bourgeoisie in India. The realization of the combined character of the Indian revolution is essential for the planning of the revolutionary strategy of the working class. Should the working class fail in its historic task of seizing the power and establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat, the revolution will inevitably recede, the bourgeois tasks themselves remain unperformed, and the power swing back in the end to the imperialists without whom the Indian bourgeoisie cannot maintain itself against the hostile masses. A backward country like India can accomplish its bourgeois-democratic revolution only through the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The correctness of this axiom of the theory of permanent revolution is demonstrated by the victorious Russian revolution of October 1917, and it is confirmed on the negative side by the tragic fate of the Chinese revolution of 1925-27.
"In India, moreover, where the Imperialists are the main owners of capital, the revolutionary assault of the workers against Imperialism will bring them into direct and open conflict with the property forms of the Imperialists from the moment the struggle enters the openly revolutionary stage. The exigencies of the struggle itself will in the course of the openly revolutionary assault against Imperialism demonstrate to the workers the necessity of destroying not only Imperialism but the foundations of capitalism itself. Thus, though the Indian revolution will be bourgeois in its immediate aims, the tasks of the proletarian revolution will be posed from the outset.
"But the revolution cannot be stabilized even at this stage. The ultimate fate of the revolution in India, as in Russia, will be determined in the arena of the international revolution. Nor will India by its own forces be able to accomplish the task of making the transition to socialism. Not only the backwardness of the country, but also the international division of labor and the interdependence—produced by capitalism itself—of the different parts of world economy, demand that this task of the establishment of socialism can be accomplished only on a world scale. The victorious revolution in India, however, dealing a mortal blow to the oldest and most widespread Imperialism in the world will on the one hand produce the most profound crisis in the entire capitalist world and shake world capitalism to its foundations. On the other hand it will inspire and galvanize into action millions of proletarians and colonial slaves the world over and inaugurate a new era of world revolution."
"In a country like India where development is belated and strangled by imperialist subjugation, the weak national bourgeoisie is dependent on its imperialist masters—yesterday the British, today the U.S.—and above all fears its 'own' working class. The only road to liberation for the subjugated masses lies in the successful struggle of the proletariat for state power, at the head of all the oppressed, especially the vast peasantry, under the leadership of a revolutionary workers party. An Indian workers revolution would spark a revolutionary upsurge throughout the subcontinent, from Pakistan to Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Its survival and advancement would hinge on the achievement of social revolutions in the imperialist centers: Japan, North America and West Europe.
"This is emphatically not the perspective of the Indian variants of Stalinism, including Maoism. Stalinism as an ideology arose in the Soviet workers state following the defeat of the post-1917 revolutionary wave in Europe. Beginning in 1923-24 a conservative bureaucratic caste which came to be led by Stalin usurped political power from the proletariat. Among its greatest crimes against the world working class was the resurrection of a variant of the class-collaborationist Menshevik program which had been defeated and discredited in the victorious 1917 Revolution. The Stalinist dogma of 'two-stage revolution,' in which the masses are tied to a mythical 'progressive' bourgeoisie in a first, supposedly 'democratic' stage of struggle, has brought bloody defeat to struggling workers and peasants around the world."
—India: The Nandigram Massacre—'Left Front' Government’s State Repression in West Bengal, Spartacist Canada No. 159 (Winter 2008/2009)
The Development and Extension of Leon Trotsky's Theory of Permanent Revolution (Spartacist pamphlet)
What Is the Permanent Revolution?
Chapter 10 of The Permanent Revolution by Leon Trotsky
Three Concepts of the Russian Revolution by Leon Trotsky
The Classes of India and Their Political Roles:
A Thesis of the Bolshevik-Leninist Party of India (1941)