Hardial Bains

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Hardial Bains (15 August 1939 – 24 August 1997) was the founder of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist–Leninist) and its leader until his death. During his life, Bains was active in Britain, Ireland, India and Canada.


Born in India into a Communist family in the Punjab, Bains became a member of the youth wing of the Communist Party of India (CPI). He was dismayed by what he saw as the revisionism of Nikita Khrushchev following the death of Joseph Stalin, and he broke with the CPI when it supported Khrushchev's criticisms of Stalin.[1]

In 1963, he founded the Internationalists,[2] an anti-revisionist organization that supported Mao Zedong's Communist Party of China in the Sino-Soviet split. This organisation (in Canada) ultimately became the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) (CPC-ML), of which Bains was the founding leader.[2][3]

In 1967, Bains held a conference in London to determine the future of the anti-revisionist movement, the "Necessity for Change" conference. The Irish Communist Organisation disagreed with the other delegates and walked out of the meeting.[4] Bains was a leader of the anti-revisionist movement internationally,[5] and assisted in establishing Marxist-Leninist parties around the world, such as the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), the Communist Party of Trinidad and Tobago, the Communist Party of Ireland (Marxist-Leninist), and the Communist Ghadar Party of India.[6] Bains was also responsible for the founding of the Hindustani Ghadar Party (Organisation of Indian Marxist-Leninists Abroad). He held a leading influence in the Marxist-Leninist Party, USA in the 1970s. (This party was dissolved in 1993.) Modern Communism has written articles on his Marxist-Leninist legacy.[7]

Many of these parties originally held a "Maoist" position in the 1960s and 1970s, and Bains was often identified as a Maoist. However, following Mao Zedong's death in 1976, Maoism was rejected, particularly through the experience of the Sino-Albanian split. Following the leadership of Enver Hoxha and the Albanian Party of Labour, Bains' anti-revisionism deepened in the sense of opposition both to the European revisionism (Khrushchev, Tito and Eurocommunism) and to the Chinese revisionism.[8]

A memorial was erected in the honour of Bains and other CPC-ML "fallen comrades" in Ottawa's Beechwood Cemetery. Poet George Elliot Clarke published a poem titled "Homage to Hardial Bains" in 2000 in the Oyster Boy Review.[9] Bains was attacked posthumously by Ben Seattle in an article on Leninism.org entitled In memory of a charlatan.[5]

Bains wrote several books, including Necessity for Change!, Modern Communism, Visiting Cuba, If You Love Your Class and Thinking About the Sixties, as well as many more articles, pamphlets and speeches.

Sandra L. Smith, his widow, also served as leader of the CPC-ML.[10]


  • Hardial Bains. The Question is Really One of Word and Deed (pamphlet), Progressive Cultural Association, 1997. ISBN 978-0-9530083-0-8.
  • Hardial Bains. The Call of the Martyrs: On the Crisis in India and the Present Situation in the Punjab. National Publications Centre, 1985. ISBN 978-0-88803-133-4.
  • Hardial Bains. Modern Communism (pamphlet), Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), reprinted 1996. ISBN 0-920410-03-0, ISBN 978-0-920410-03-5.
  • Hardial Bains. Communism 1989-1991, Ideological Studies Centre, 1991.
  • Hardial Bains. Necessity for Change! The Dialectic Lives! (pamphlet), The Internationalists, 1967. Reprinted by Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist), 1998.


  1. ^ "Modern Communism and the Political Legacy of Hardial Bains - Part 6: The Events of 1989-91". Modern Communism. Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "CPC - Hardial Bains". Hardial Bains - Party Founder and Leader. Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist). Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  3. ^ Isitt, Benjamin. Militant minority: British Columbia workers and the rise of a New Left, 1948-1972 University of Toronto Press, 2011 ISBN 1-4426-1105-7, (p.123).
  4. ^ Red Patriot magazine (Ireland), July 19th, 1975.
  5. ^ a b Seattle, Ben (5 April 1998). "In memory of a charlatan". Leninism.org. Retrieved October 3, 2011. 
  6. ^ Seattle, Ben (editor) (29 July 1998). "Anniversary". On the 1st anniversary of the death of a charlatan. Leninism.org. Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Modern Communism and the Political Legacy of Hardial Bains". Modern Communism. Retrieved October 3, 2011. 
  8. ^ Saba, Malcolm and Paul (Editors) (5 September 1982). "Once again on Canadian imperialism and the Maoist deviation of the leadership of the CP of Canada (M-L)". The Workers Advocate. Marxist-Leninist Party of the USA. pp. Vol 12, No 8. Retrieved October 4, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Marxist-Leninists seek mass appeal - CBC Archives". CBC News. 
  10. ^ "Sandra L. Smith - First Secretary of the Central Committee -". Communist Party of Canada (M-L). Retrieved October 4, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) leader
Succeeded by
Sandra L. Smith