Lenin or Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov was born in eastern Russia in 1870. He was the second son of a respectable school teacher and administrator. Lenin’s father was a member of the privileged class. Lenin thus was born under highly favourable conditions. He was also a brilliant student. But instead of leading a normal successful life, he chose a revolutionary path. Lenin’s elder brother was executed for his revolutionary zeal. This family tragedy must have a profound impact on him.
By the last quarter of the nineteenth century, there were many revolutionary groups with Marxist leanings, who also were opposed to Czarism in Russia and were striving to overthrow it. But the greatness of Lenin lay not only in providing a very capable leadership-to the Bolshevik party with exceptional devotion and missionary zeal but in actually overthrowing Czarism and establishing the first socialist state on this earth.
In the history of revolutions, very few have pursued the cause of revolution with such matchless determination and selfless spirit as Lenin. The so-called Leftists and revolutionaries in India and elsewhere first should go through the life history of Lenin before embarking on a revolutionary path.
We may quote below Churchill’s views on this great personality. Lenin’s “mind was a remarkable instrument. When its light shone it revealed the whole world, its history, its sorrows, its stupidities, its shams and above all its wrongs. It revealed all facts in its focus with an equal ray. The intellect was capacious and in some phases superb.
It was capable of universal comprehension in a degree rarely reached among men.”
Lenin wrote voluminously. His most original contribution to the theory of communism in his pamphlet “What is to be done” (1902). Some other works are “One Step Forward, Two Steps Backward” (1904), Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916), State and Revolution (1918).