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All India Forward Bloc (AIFB)

All India Forward Bloc Symbol

About All India Forward Bloc

All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) is a regional political party founded by Subhas Chandra Bose, popularly called Netaji. It is a revolutionary party with a leftwing nationalist political ideology. It believes and propagates the concept of class struggle. It follows that a classless and
stateless society can be achieved only through a socialist revolution which accepts Scientific Socialism as its primary objective. Formed as a breakaway faction of the Indian National Congress (INC) in 1939, the party got an independent political status in India, after 1947.

When Netaji resigned from the post of the President of Indian National Congress in April 1939, he pledged to form a new political party, which would uphold its strong fight against colonial imperialism and domination, at all costs. A rally was held in Calcutta and young girls and boys came together to sign a pledge, under the brilliant leadership of Netaji. The formation of the party was formally announced on 3rd May, 1939. On the 22nd of June, of the same year, the All India Forward Bloc held its first conference in Bombay, where the Constitution and program of the Forward Bloc was drafted. The Central Committee of the All India Forward Bloc was officially announced about a month later, in July. Subhas Chndra Bose became the President, Lal Shankarlal its General Secretary and S.S. Cavesheer from Punjab was elected the Vice-President of AIFB. The Nagpur Conference of the Forward Bloc, held from 18-22 June 1940, remains a historic episode in the history of the life of AIFB. Bose, as the President of the political party, resolved to win Purna Swaraj or complete independence for India by initiating some concrete plans. Steps were taken to form a national unity among all sections of the Indian society. Immediacy was felt to organize the formation of Panchayats, as organs of struggle and organs of administration, right from the village level to the centre.

The formation of Panchayats was made essential if Purna Swaraj was to be attained. However, after the ‘Great Escape’ of Bose in January 1941, the members and workers of the All India Forward Bloc were severely tortured and brutally injured by the police and other state organs of the colonial administration. The party was declared illegal and therefore was banned by the British. However, the AIFB still played a significant role in the Quit India Movement in 1942 and all anti-imperialist struggles which followed it.

The AIFB held frequent meetings and rallies to consolidate its position and reaffirm its strong political presence in the country. The Arrah Conference of the All India Forward Bloc held in January 1947 was a turning point in the history of the party. The Arrah Thesis, as it is popularly called in the political circle, called for the consolidation of the Left forces in India, for achieving the post-war revolution, leading to “All Power to Indian People” as firmly envisaged by Netaji. The party further consolidated its position after Indian independence, by reorganizing a number of its workers committees and organizations.

Today, the AIFB has its mass base primarily in the state of West Bengal. However, it also has small units of operation in states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Tripura, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In West Bengal, the AIFB is in an alliance with the left parties, forming the Left Front. Although there are ideological differences between the AIFB and other left political parties, the Left Front has a very prominent presence in West Bengal.

Election Symbol and its Significance

The Election Symbol of the All India Forward Bloc, as approved by the Election Commission of India, is “a Leaping Tiger” on a red flag. The tiger is seen to be facing the top pole of the flag. At the top right corner of the flag, just above the tiger’s tail, is a crossed hammer and sickle. The body of the tiger is yellow and black in colour, while the hammer and sickle are in white. The red flag is an emblem of socialist ideology, propagating the ideals of class struggle. As is well known, the tiger is the national animal of India. It is fierce, undaunted and full of strength. The “Leaping Tiger” is symbolic of the strength and determination of the leadership of a statesman like Netaji. Netaji and other members of the AIFB were determined to gain for India its independence from the British, at any cost. National unity was to be achieved through cooperation and consolidation of all sections of the society. Netaji adhered to the idea of giving immense power to the people of India. For this, the Indian had to be strong, fearless, full of mettle and spirit and always prepared for the worst circumstances, just like the tiger. The Tiger as a symbol of the fighting spirit of the AIFB, is thus, very significant.

Leaders of AIFB

The leaders of the All India Forward Bloc, who are also their national representatives and executives, are the following:
  • Debabrata Biswas, General Secretary of the AIFB - Biswas is a politician from West Bengal. He is an ex Member of Parliament, in the Rajya Sabha or the Upper House of Parliament. He represents the Forward Bloc from West Bengal. He has also remained the Vice-Chairman of the West Bengal State Fisheries Cooperative Societies Limited. He has remained the General Secretary of a number of organizations under the AIFB, like the All India Agragami Kisan Sabha and others.
  • Velappan Nair, Chairperson of AIFB - Nair has remained the Chairperson of All India Forward Bloc for many decades. He is from Kerala.
  • Narahari Mahato, Member of Parliament - As a member of the AIFB, Mahato represents the Purulia constituency of West Bengal in the 15th Lok Sabha.
  • Nripendra Roy, Member of Parliament - As a member of the AIFB, Roy represents the Coochbehar constituency of West Bengal in the 15th Lok Sabha.
  • Barun Mukherji, Member of Parliament - As a member of the AIFB, Mukherji represents West Bengal in the Rajya Sabha.

Achievements of AIFB

As a regional political party and as one of the oldest existing political parties in India, the All India Forward Bloc has significantly contributed to the political scenario of the country. Some of these achievements are the following:
  • The All India Forward Bloc has a number of mass organizations under its umbrella. Some of these are the youth wing of the AIFB called All India Youth League, the student’s wing called All India Student’s Bloc, the trade union organization called the Trade Union Coordination Committee, its peasant organization called All India Agragami Kisan Sabha, the women’s organization called All India Agragami Mahila Samiti and its tribal organization called Agragami Adivasi Samiti.

  • It has newly formed what is called “India- China Friendship Association.”
  • The All India Forward Bloc initiated the fast implementation of the Manmohan- Haseena Agreement of 2011, which improved the relations between India and Bangladesh. A delegation of the party went to meet the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh to express concerns over issues of water share, enclaves and adverse land between the two nations.
  • The AIFB made significant contribution to uphold the cause of the Tamils in Sri Lanka during the period of crisis and genocide in Sri Lanka, over the issues of race and ethnicity.
  • The AIFB, along with its organization, the All India Agragami Kisan Sabha, protested against the anti-peasants policies of the present Congress government. The AIFB organized strikes, rallies, conventions, picketing and dharnas against the increasing number of farmer suicides in the country and even against increasing oppressive policies of the government towards the peasants.

Contact Details

  • Official Website of AIFB-
  • Head-Office Address of AIFB- All India Forward Bloc, 28 Gurudwara Rekab Ganj Road, New Delhi - 110001.
  • Contact Numbers- PHONE:011-23714131,011-23712273
  • FAX:011-23714131
  • Email id: [email protected]
Last Updated on March 10, 2015