The nation-wide underground political newspaper to be published by the Party was to serve as an ideological and organizational centre for uniting the Russian Social-Democrats.
Owing to the absence of bourgeois-democratic freedoms in Russia, a revolutionary newspaper to some extent made up for the lack of legal means and opportunities of rallying the Social-Democrats. Lenin said -
A newspaper is not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, it is also a collective organizer. Political agitation is impossible without a regular and widely distributed newspaper. Its contributions and distributors formed the nucleus of the future Party. The organisation, which will form round this newspaper [said Lenin} the organisation of its collaborators (in the broad sense of the word, i.e., all those working for it), will be ready for everything, from upholding the honour, the prestige and the continuity of the Party in periods of acute revolutionary depression to preparing for,appointing the time for, and carrying out the nation-wise armed uprising.
Such a paper was Iskra. Under Lenin's guidance it carried out, in extremely difficult conditions, an immense amount of ideological, political and organisational work in preparation for the forming of a proletariat Party.
Iskra raised high the banner of proletarian internationalism. It attacked the great-power policy of tsarism, and united the workers of multi-national Russians by fostering in them the feeling of international class solidarity. Iskra became a school for training professional revolutionaries, an organisation which later played an important role in the effort to create a Party.
Iskra prepared the Party's draft programme. It expressed the interests of the people and the requirements of social development. It was an important document on the eve of the Russian Revolution.
Iskra campaigned for a holding of a congress that would consolidate the results achieved by the newspaper and set up a party along the ideological and organisational lines defined by Iskra.
[Author Unknown - among the NJM Study Class(es) papers]