Draft of the Programme of the Communist Party of India

(15th February, 1951)


A delegation of the CPI several times met representatives of the CPSU (b), including J.V. Stalin in two of the sittings, in February and March 1951. The meetings had become necessary as a consequence of the virtual collapse of the CPI as a result of the rightist line of P.C. Joshi, the severe left sectarian line of B .T. Ranadive and the Andhra Committee line which had been headed by Rajeshwara Rao and M. Basuvapunnaiah and which wished to replicate the path of revolution which had been successful in China. It was apparent from the discussions of the two parties that the CPI had to go beyond the limitations of the three earlier failed approaches. In accordance with this the decision was taken to draft a programme and tactical line for the CPI which could be the basis of unity of the communist movement in the country. In the draft published here for the first time a clear break was made from the understanding of people’s democracy which had been adumbrated after the Second Congress of the CPI which was tantamount to advocating socialist revolution in what was still, in 1951, a colonial country.

Moreover, the notion of People’s Democracy was extensively developed in the period after the Second World War absorbing the experiences accumulated after the Seventh Congress of the Comintern held in 1935. People’s Democracy now became the universal preliminary stage of the revolution embracing the countries of imperialism (USA, Britain); the countries of medium level capitalist development of central and eastern Europe which had been dominated by foreign finance capital, which had yet to embark on the establishment of industrial capital involving the factory production of the means of production, and which had strong survivals of feudalism; as well as the colonial countries (India) and the ex-colonial countries (China).

The elaboration of People’s Democracy is abundantly evident in the discussions held by Stalin with Harry Pollitt of the CPGB in the drafting of the British Road to Socialism. In the exchanges with the Japanese communists (K. Tokuda, S. Nosaka, and Nisidzava) Stalin agreed that the National-Liberation Democratic Revolution was the appropriate preliminary stage of revolution in Japan. People’s Democracy was in the fore of the discussions on the party programme with the leaders of the Communist Party of India as also in the correspondence between J.V. Stalin and D. N. Aidit who led the Communist Party of Indonesia.1

The Draft of the Programme of the Communist Party of India was prepared by S. A. Dange, Ajoy Ghosh, Rajeshwara Rao and M. Basuvapunnaiah in Moscow and a copy of it was sent to the CPSU (b) on 15th February, 1951. After the return of the CPI delegation to India the Politburo of the Communist Party of India published a draft of the Programme in April 1951 for the Party and this was discussed in conferences of various units of the party and approved with amendments. An All-India Conference of the Party met in October 1951 and it discussed the draft and the amendments suggested, approved of some and finally adopted the Programme in October, 1951.2

The CPI Programme united the various segments of the leadership of the Party including members of the groups around the rightist P.C. Joshi and the ‘leftist’ B.T. Ranadive who had previously been criticised and disciplined. This unity, in the event, was but temporary. After the death of Stalin and before the Twentieth Congress of the CPSU the earlier divisions on the character of the Indian state and the path of Indian revolution re-emerged. The schisms became accentuated after 1956.

After the 20th Congress of the CPSU the role of imperialism in subjugating the colonial and semi-colonial countries through the export of finance capital was under-rated even as capital imports multiplied in countries such as India. The industrial developments sponsored by foreign capital in India which took place in the second and third five-year plans, and which were almost fully lacking the development of the production of machinery by machinery, were considered to be equivalent to the rise of an industrial bourgeoisie. The tinkering with big landlordism in the 1950s was pictured as the end of feudal relations rather than as its modification. The new Khrushchevite interpretation was most pronounced in the case of the CPI but it was also deeply embedded in a more subdued way in the thinking of the CPI (M). The CPI abandoned the stage of People’s Democracy and adopted the ‘new’ perspective of National Democracy.3 The CPI (M) retained its support, formally, for People’s Democracy and the Tactical Line document formulated in 1951 but in practical terms it adhered to the reformist model based on the ideas of the Twentieth Congress of the CPSU practiced in Kerala by E.M.S. Namboodiripad and later by Jyoti Basu in West Bengal. After the rejection of the perspectives of the CPI and the CPI ML on the basis of a defence of the positions of 1951, the CPI M itself began to abandon these very stands. The letter of resignation of P. Sundarayya as general secretary of the party registered the further abandonment of the perspectives of 1951 and the conversion of the party into one of reformist and parliamentary illusions.4 The codification of the new reformist line was initially elaborated by Basuvapunnaiah and further deepened step by step by the party in the following three decades.5

Vijay Singh


1. Extensive documentation of the international communist movement on People’s Democracy country by country is available at:       http://revolutionarydemocracy.org/archive/index.htm

2. ‘Programme of the Communist Party of India’. Adopted by the All-India Party Conference, October 1951, Communist Party of India, Bombay, 1951. www.revolutionarydemocracy.org/archive/1951prog.htm

3. Mohit Sen, ‘National Democracy – A Note, New Age, Vol. XI, No. 9, September 1962, pp. 46-54.

4. P. Sundarayya, ‘My Resignation’, New Delhi, 1991. www.revolutionarydemocracy.org/archive/resig.htm

5. M. Basavapunnaiah, ‘The Statement of Policy Reviewed’, The Marxist, Vol. III, No. 3-4, April, 1986. www.revolutionarydemocracy.org/archive/ basavapunnaiah.htm

To Comrade Stalin

Sending to you in translation from English a letter dated 15 February from comrades Dange, Ghosh, Rao and Punnaih that was addressed to the CC AUCP(b).

Notes containing questions of the Indian comrades have been attached to the letter as also the draft of the programme of the Communist Party of India.

Chairman of the Commission of Foreign Affairs CC AUCP(b)

(V. Grigorian)
16 February 1951

Translation from English

Draft of the Programme of the Communist Party of India

1. When in August 1947 in Delhi the British imperialist rulers of India set up government in which the leading role belonged to the National Congress, and when the detested British viceroy and the British governors left the country, the people of India thought that it is the end of foreign rule in India and that India has achieved independence and freedom and that the government and the people, now in custody of the land and their labour, factories, our huge natural wealth and the people, could now build a contented life for the millions of inhabitants of our country. We could have begun to work for gradually eradicating poverty and guaranteeing everyone food, housing, clothing and minimum living facilities.

2. The functioning of the Nehru government in the four years that it has been in power has shattered the hopes of the masses in all aspects. The people have concluded by experience that the government of the National Congress, which came to power as a result of the heroic struggle of the people, has been actually brought to power in agreement with the British imperialists, as this was the government that had committed itself to defend and preserve the class of parasite-landlords and the wealth of the princely states in India, which have for centuries supported the foreign invaders and in consort with them looted our people and our country.

3. Five million workers are working in our factories, railways, mines, ports and plantations, are suffering as a result of a decline in their real wages, price rise, rationalisation and unemployment. Their struggle for higher wages and better conditions of life is drowned in the blood during firings and police terror. Their militant trade union organisations are being disrupted, split and suppressed by the government and its lackeys. Demanding increases in production in the name of the people, the government is creating even worse conditions of work for the workers and is only opening possibilities for the exploiters to increase their profits.

4. Millions of peasants, constituting 80% of our people, are weighed down by exploitation just as before. The fruits of the labour of those who possess land and can work it is expropriated by the landlords and the usurers in the form of enormous rents and high rates of interest. The peasants are further burdened with taxes by the state and are totally exposed to the anarchy of the capitalist market. But three fourths of the peasants do not own land. Those, who do not own land and do not find work, live in conditions of perpetual poverty. And those who do find work as agricultural workers or poor tenants in the estates of the landlords and money lenders, are forced to work as bonded labour or slaves and receive wages barely sufficient for the existence of their families. As a result the production of food stuff and raw material for industries is falling and that leads to a difficult food crisis in the country, hunger and death of millions of people. So far the government, headed by landlords and speculators, has been only talking of liquidating large farmer land holdings and is contemplating plans running into millions of rupees for compensating the oppressors of the people so that they may now be able to indirectly with the help of the state gather rent from the peasants. Just as the struggle of the workers, the struggle of the peasants for land, lowering of rent payments and taxes is being drowned in blood. Whole villages in the districts and regions are being subjected to military and police occupation just because poor peasants and landless workers are demanding land, lowering of rent payments, interest and also higher wages and better conditions of life.

5. The middle classes in the towns live no better. High cost of living, decreasing salaries and unemployment is also their lot. Amongst these the ones working in government offices, private shops, banks, insurance companies, schools and colleges encounter the same problems in their lives as the workers and the peasantry.

6. Even the industrialists, factory owners and merchants are hurt by the policies of this government which is completely in the grip of financiers-monopolists, landlords, princes and their foreign British advisors working behind the scene. Distribution of capital investments, distribution of raw material, transport, allotting import and export licences – all of this is done by the bureaucrats in the government apparatus in such a way as to hurt the petty industrialists and traders and to help large monopolists who are in collusion with banks and syndicates in foreign countries.

7. Plans of “reconstruction”, construction of irrigational structures, hydroelectric stations, factories etc., which are being put in practice either directly by the state or jointly by the state and private capital are not fulfilled with the exclusion of those meant for military purposes. They have become a means for plunder of the state budget by experts from foreign firms and suppliers, highly placed bureaucrats, those in power and large stock market speculators. The peoples’ demand for nationalisation of industry put forward by the people suffering as a result of the plunder by speculators is used for fraudulent manipulation in the state budget for the take-over of bankrupt or closed enterprises or for participation in fictitious plans that inevitably fail and are later handed over to the flunkies of the government and private capitalists. The result is that the industrialisation of the country is concentrated in the hands of the Englishmen or the Americans, who are totally disinterested in the transformation of India into an industrial country, and no shift has occurred under the present government as it remains in complete dependence on British capital.

8. All the existing branches of industry are in a state of permanent crisis, as the impoverishment of the masses, especially the peasantry, is on the rise, and an expanding market within the country is not being created for these industries. The existing branches of industry are facing competition from imperialist owners of the colonial world and in this manner come to a dead end.

9. To all of this another fact needs to be added: that this monstrous state in order to survive in the face of mounting dissatisfaction of the masses is suppressing all the civil liberties of the people, declares political parties and groups illegal, bans trade unions and other popular organisations, throws into jails and concentration camps thousands of workers, peasants, students, men and women. Policemen and bureaucrats who are helped by the local leaders of the Congress are being put in charge of agricultural areas. It is not surprising that in order to sustain such a police state the burden of taxes is being increased and more than 50% of the state budget is spent on the needs of the military and the police and also of jails and bureaucrats and not on food, clothing, construction of houses, education, health and better sanitation for the people.

10. The people of India understands the reality of the situation and has begun to understand the necessity of replacing this government of the landlords and princes, this government of financial sharks and speculators, this government subservient to the will of the British commonwealth/will of the British imperialists. The disillusionment of the masses is steadily turning to revolt, not being anymore able to endure slow hungry death. The worker class is rising for a struggle in the towns and the peasantry to resistance in the countryside.

11. In order to thwart the growing unity of the people, mainly the unity of the worker class with the peasantry, the unity of all the classes that are interested in removal of this government of landlords, princes and big capital collaborating with the British imperialists, the government is also using means other than police repressions.

12. Aware of the desire of the masses to make our country completely independent of British imperialism, the government has declared India as a republic. But not desiring in deed to cut its ties with imperialism it has shamelessly declared the republic a part of the Empire.

Staying on in the British Empire is not just a formality, as it is being stated, by playing on the contradictions between England and America for its own benefit, the government of India essentially follows the foreign policy of British imperialism. Though it supports peace and is against nuclear bomb under peoples’ pressure who do not want war and strive for peace, it did not dither to provide medical help, albeit nominal, to American forces in Korea; it allowed British imperialism to conscript Gorkhas and Sikhs for suppressing the independence struggle of the Malaysians. It made available air strips to French airplanes in India on their way to the Peoples Republic of Vietnam to conduct war against this republic. The Indian navy acts as a part of the British navy under British command and the key positions in military apparatus the Ministry of Defence are occupied by British advisors. If the autonomy of the armed forces of the country is a sign of its sovereignty and independence then it must be said that our independence in decisive measure still remains in the hands of British imperialism.

13. The British imperialists, before hiding their rule behind the mask of the new government of the Congress drowned the country in Hindu-Muslim enmity and riots, and later divided the country into two states – India and Pakistan. The imperialists in this manner weakened the economy of India in agriculture and that of Pakistan in industry. This has resulted in quarrels between the two countries to the extent of undeclared war between them and dependence on so-called “independent third party” i.e. the imperialists.

The division of the country allowed the Congress government to drown the demands of the people in the hysteria of Hindu-Muslim war. This division gave the government the opportunity to allocate money, so needed for improving the conditions of living of the people, toward armaments. It also made possible for it to buy armaments from the British imperialists who desire nothing else but to sell low quality commodities and services to account of its sterling debt to India and Pakistan and deprive our people of machines and basic commodities.

14. The division of the country and the communal strife was used to evade the demands of the different nationalities of India for their independent growth and reorganisation of the erstwhile dissimilar British provinces and princely states into linguistically autonomous provinces of a United India. Under the pretext of unification of the country, the language of one province, specifically Hindi, has been declared as the compulsory state language for all the nationalities and states to the detriment of their own mother tongue. Large regions and millions of people of one nationality are forced to live under the domination of bureaucrats and governments in which another nationality acquires pre-eminence. Large areas populated by tribals with their own economy and culture are under the sway of landlords and financial sharks of one or the other non-tribal group; thus the striving of the masses for unity of the country is used, indeed, to sow quarrels and to engineer disunity among the masses.

15. Finally, in order to show that it is a peoples’ government, having spent millions of rupees from peoples’ earning on the arguments in the legislative councils, the government has created what it calls a democratic constitution and according to the provisions of this constitution asks the people to elect the government of its own choice and exercise the fundamental rights accorded by this constitution. Thus they deceive the people declaring that it can bring an end to the present domination of the autocracy if it so wants and achieve freedom with the help of the “democratic” constitution of a free republic of India.

16. The fact that according to the constitution of India the right to vote has been provided to all the adult population and that it can be exercised and will be exercised by the people but to declare that the elections in accordance with constitution alone will put an end to the domination of the landlords and the capitalists in the country and to the imperialist domination over their lives is to deceive the people. Provision of the right to vote to the adult population is a sign of maturity of the class of workers and the people and is one element of democracy, but it cannot reflect in reality the will of the oppressed masses as long as the power of the landlords and the capitalists keeps them in subjugation in the fields and in the factories, as long as the power of money over the press and the means of propaganda poisons them through lies, as long as the power of money uses religion, caste quarrels and conflicts to divide the people, as long as the bureaucracy and the police ban political parties, suppress civil liberties and even jail people who were elected as representatives to legislative bodies for their views and work.

17. To maintain that under the new constitution the masses or the government elected by them may achieve freedom and happiness is to deceive the people. The constitution does not guarantee any rights to the people that may be realised in any way or which are not subject to being violated by excessively autocratic decrees of an unrelenting and sacrosanct bureaucracy. The right to strike, to minimum means of existence, right to work and leisure for the working class and service class receiving salaries is not guaranteed and cannot be realised in any possible manner. The lands of the landlords, the property and incomes of the princes with or without thrones have been made inviolable. A landless peasant can get a piece of land only if he buys it from or pays compensation for it to the landlord. By signing a number of agreements with England and America, the government has made the property of foreign owners in our country sacrosanct and it is not possible to interfere with their incomes and these can be withdrawn from the country freely according to the wishes of the owner.

Thus while the constitution guarantees the domination of the landlords, princes and imperialists over our economy, land and capital, it does not provide any guarantee of life and freedom for our people and only limits itself to virtuous declarations. This constitution is not and cannot be called a democratic constitution of the people. It is a constitution of the state of the landlords and capitalists tied up with foreign, mainly English, imperialist interests.

18. In a situation when the public is losing its illusions, its strivings for unity and struggle for replacing the government of the country and for the transformation of their lives on a democratic basis is becoming stronger and stronger, and has reached a stage when the class of workers in their struggle and the peasants in their resistance movement need protection against the insane military and political offensive of the state and the private armed bands of the ruling class. The Communist Party is of the view that a clear programme needs to be put before the people that would point out what our aims are, what is it that we want to achieve and what meaning does acquiring freedom of the country, democracy and happiness alone have for our people at the present stage of development of our society.

19. At the current stage our party does not demand establishment of socialism in our country. It is not attempting to carry out a socialist revolution in the country. Our party wants a genuine peoples’ democratic government in our country which would restructure our lives on a truly democratic basis. What would be the external characteristics of such a state? What do we mean when we say that life would be restructured on a genuine democratic basis? It is necessary, at this stage, to once again clearly enunciate our objectives in unambiguous terms.

20. The constitution of the Indian democratic republic must provide:

I. Sovereignty of the people. The ultimate power in the state must be exercised by the representatives of the people, who will elected by the people and can be recalled at any time on the demand of the majority of voters and who will constitute in themselves the united peoples council and united house.

II. The independence of the state is not compatible with participation in the status of a member in the British Commonwealth of nations and in the British empire and that, subsequently, these relations shall be terminated.

III. The sovereignty of the elected peoples’ representatives and their House are not compatible with unlimited authority for proclamation of laws by the president or persons nominated by them and shall also be incompatible with separate elections of a president bypassing or overriding the representatives elected by the people as is the case in the presently functional constitution.

IV. Universal, equal and direct voting for all citizens, men and women of India having reached the age of 18 years in all the elections to the Legislative House and to different bodies of local authority; secret ballot, right of every voter to be elected to any representative body, payment to peoples representatives and proportional representation in all elections form the basis for political parties.

V. Local administration on a wide basis and wide powers through Peoples’ committees. Removal of all local and provincial authorities nominated from above (i.e. Governors, magistrates, commissars etc.).

VI. Inviolability of individuals and residences.

VII. Unrestricted freedom of conscience, word, press, meetings, strikes and association.

VIII. Freedom of movement and choice of profession.

IX. Equal rights for all citizens regardless of beliefs, caste, gender, race or nationality.

X. Right of all nationalities to self-determination. The Republic of India will unite peoples of different nationalities of India not by force but on the basis of their voluntary assent to creation of a common state.

XI. Restructuring of the existing artificial provinces and states by liquidating the princely states into national-linguistic states.

XII. Regions inhabited by tribals and regions with population of unique composition differing on the basis of specific social conditions or if it constitutes a national minority will enjoy full regional autonomy and have a regional government.

XIII. All the organs of government, from the highest to the lowest will be elected by the people. All the officials (including judges) may be recalled at any time by a majority of votes of their electors.

XIV. The right of all the citizens to file case against any official in the Peoples’ court.

XV. General arming of the population replacing the police and the regular army. To the workers in the factories and the peasants in the fields who would be serving in the national militia, salary and land shall be guaranteed.

XVI. Separation of the state from the church. The state shall be secular.

XVII. Free and compulsory general and technical education for children of both the sexes till fifteen years of age; the education must be accompanied with conducting socially useful work.

XVIII. Education shall be under the competence of government bodies that are democratically elected.

XIX. The right to the people to be educated in schools in their mother tongue; use of the mother tongue in all social and government offices. The use of Hindi as an all-Indian language shall not be compulsory.

Only a Constitution of the Indian republic including these foundational positions can be democratic. Only with such a constitution people will be free and will organise their own democratic life which will be without interference of bureaucratic and police laws.

21. While outlining the features of such a state it is necessary, however, to assert the need for a radical restructuring of the economy of our country. 80% of our people are living and working on the land. Agricultural produce constitutes the bulk of the produce of the country and there are acute problems with supply of food and raw materials. The main task is to liquidate, without compensation, the right of the landlords to own land. Therefore, the party is demanding and conducting a struggle for immediate and complete liquidation of the rights of the landlords to land for the distribution of the land among the peasants as their property. Such a transfer and distribution of the land must be carried through in a democratic manner by the peasants themselves without any say of the landlords and bureaucrats.

22. Millions of acres of land in the provinces of India belong to the feudal-landlords and princely-moneylenders where the peasants are working in conditions of bonded labour and semi-slave labour and almost all of what they produce is confiscated and they live a life of semi-starvation. These landlords and princes have earned millions and were the main pillar of support of the British rulers in India. They constitute the core of the reactionary forces in India, the root cause of its poverty, backwardness and starvation. The party refuses to compensate the enemies of the people and does not want to hand over the state and its economy into the hands of these exploiters of the people.

During the confiscation and the distribution of the land, the democratic state and the peasants shall see to it that no harm is done to the interests of the rich farmers who helped the growth of agriculture by their own means and efforts, and that the interests of the agricultural workers who are hired for work are guaranteed as far as their salaries and housing facilities are concerned.

23. Annulment of all the debts to the moneylenders which are an hindrance to the productivity growth on the peasants plot and deprive them of their income is another extremely necessary part of agrarian reform in agriculture which needs to be carried out by the democratic state and the peasants’ committees. The present laws on relief to debtors and on decreasing the debts are nothing but a joke at the expense of the peasants and only benefit the moneylender. Only the democratic peasant committees, on their own will, will be able to annul the debts and free agriculture of the deathly grip of the moneylender. Only a peoples’ democratic state helping out the peasantry with cheap credit, tools and means of working the land can build a new foundation for agriculture, give rise to a well-off peasantry and solve the food problem in our country.

24. Large plantations and estates confiscated from the British owners and worked on by hired labour like the tea, coffee and rubber plantations shall be managed by the state with the help of associations and cooperatives of the agricultural workers.

25. Next in priority after the question of land – the basic question of the agrarian revolution – is the question relating to the industry in our country. Despite the widely publicised declarations that the British have left our country, the fact remains, that the majority of the factories, mines and plantations, larger part of shipping and banks of India are owned by the British imperialists who are extracting millions of rupees as profits every year. With such power at their disposal over our economic life, their connections and friendship with the big capitalists in our country, who cooperate with them, the British imperialists hinder the development of our industry from behind the scenes. Thus poverty gets entrenched in perpetuity. We cannot become a strong and a prosperous country as long as we do not carry out industrialisation and we cannot carry out industrialisation as long as British capital exists in India, as long as the time that those collaborating with them keep us tied to the empire and the feudal landlords and the princes continue to exploit the peasants.

Thus the Communist Party of India demands confiscation and nationalisation of all industrial enterprises, banks, plantations, shipping companies and mines owned by the English in India either in their own name or under the name of an Indian company.

26. In this regard we want to observe that we are making efforts that Indian capital develops its own industry in the interests of the people. Therefore, we do not demand nationalisation of the industries which are owned by the Indians. However, in order to support development of industrialisation, they should stop their collaboration with foreign capital.

27. Development of capitalism in the banking sector, domination of the banks over trade and industry, establishment of large trusts and monopolies in a number of industrial branches and the fact that the power of capital is used by the class of property owners for looting the people in conditions of economic decline as a result of the war and the subsequent crisis, have forced the people to demand social control over production and distribution of essential goods. While we support democratic control over certain branches of industry, trade and banking which have so far functioned to the detriment of the society and national interests and have greatly harmed the people we do not demand their confiscation and nationalisation.

28. The disarray that was set off in the domestic economy of India as a result of the division of the country and the conflict between Pakistan and the Indian union provides an opportunity to the reactionary circles to divide the people can be overcome by a strong friendship and mutual help between India and Pakistan. A similar friendly union must be formed with Ceylon. The economy of Ceylon is dependent on the economy of India and supplements it, and a large part of its population consists of Indian plantation workers (Tamils) and other workers who migrated to Ceylon. The Ceylonese and the Indian landlords and traders incite Indian and Ceylonese workers against each other for achieving their selfish aims. The absence of unity is used by the imperialists to sow conflict between India, Pakistan and Ceylon in order to sow hatred between the peoples that results in exodus of millions from their lands of their birth. Only strong unity and friendship can put an end to this game of the imperialists and the reactionary circles of these countries.

29. In order to defend the interests of the working class – the vanguard and the flag bearer of a new life – the party insists that its main demands be met – 8 hour workday, 44 hour working week, weekly day off and paid yearly holidays. Minimum living standard. Ban on use of labour of children younger than sixteen years. Ban on use of labour of women in branches harmful for their health; ban on labour at night for women; paid pregnancy break for women for a period of 8 weeks before and 8 weeks after the birth of the child. Nurseries for the children of women working in the factories and plantations etc. Full social insurance for all types of paid labour against any of loss of ability to work such as illness, old age, loss of limb, accidents, maternity, professional illness, widowhood, loss of parent and unemployment. The insurance business will be organised by the people being insured themselves. The expenditure related to insurance will be borne by the capitalists. Establishment of workers’ inspection whose members are chosen by the workers’ organisations shall encompass all enterprises that have hired labour including domestic servants. The law on the women’s question and its implementation must be put under the scrutiny of inspectors chosen by the workers’ organisations and the tenants. Establishment of the labour exchanges; these must be proletarian organisations which will cooperate with the trade unions and other organisations of the working class. Arbitrages must be set up in the industry and all branches of the national economy. Legalising the trade unions and recognition of their right to collective agreements and also their right to strike.

30. The Communist Party of India is of the view that the present system of indirect taxes allows the financiers, speculators, landlords and moneylenders to avoid taxes while it transfers, hugely, the burden of taxes on to the working population. The Communist Party, thus, demands abolition of all indirect taxes such as sales tax etc., and introduction of a single agricultural tax in the countryside for all the peasants working the land and a progressive tax on the salaries of the service class and other incomes of the other classes.

31. As long as the problem of the return of the large number of refugees to their national territories is not resolved on the basis of unity and friendship between India and Pakistan and as long as, finally, this question is not resolved by the nationalities themselves through popular-democratic means, the dislocated workers, peasants and the middle classes need to accommodated in special urban areas and be provided with means of labour and conditions for restarting their lives in their own national way. Only then the reactionary forces will stop using them for carrying out their plans of dividing the people and drawing us into communal and religious clashes and for thwarting the impending democratic revolution.

32. Unemployment in the towns and the villages, shortage of land and millions of refugees are used in the pernicious plans of the imperialist reactionaries and their collaborators for creating mercenary armies needed as gun fodder in their imperialist wars and for crushing revolutionary peoples demanding their freedom. The soldiers of the India army, hired in this manner, have sacrificed their lives in the service of the imperialists and the reactionary ruling classes because they have no opportunities for honest earning in their land of birth. The Gorkhas, Sikhs, Punjabis, Madrasis and the Maratha corps in the history of the British army and now in the present Indian army are evidence of our past. Paltry salaries in the army, a shining medal and memory of insults heaped by the mercenary officer coming from the class of landlords have not solved the problems in their lives.

33. A genuinely peoples’ democratic government is not afraid of arming its people for the defence of its country. Its army is not a mercenary army which they join because they do not have land and work. Therefore, peoples democracy asks all those willing to do so to return to their and work that will made available to them by the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal revolution. They shall become peaceful democratic citizens and shall stand in defence of the country with the people in a patriotic peoples’ army only when their own democratic government will call on them to do so. This is the image – pride, honour and free labour of free citizens – that our party presents for the officers coming from a middle class background who are serving in the armed forces of India.

34. The Communist Party of India puts this programme before the people of India so that it may get a clear picture of the aims that it is fighting for. Our party calls on millions of working people, the class of workers, peasantry, the middle classes as much as on the national bourgeoisie interested in the freedom of the country and decent life for all, a life that would not know the fear of unemployment, poverty, ignorance, internecine conflicts and hatred, a life free of threats of war and the police baton, a life that will allow all the nationalities to build their own life and culture and everyone to build a prosperous democracy, to try that the present rule and social-economic organisation dominated by imperialists, landlords, princes and their collaborator – big capital – is ended and another created – a government, constitution and a democratic system outlined in this programme.

35. The people of India under the guidance of its workers and the Communist Party, guided by the teaching of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, in close unity with the millions of peasants of our country will achieve the success of this programme. The principles and philosophy of Marxism and the guidance of the Communist Party have brought almost half of humanity to socialism, freedom and a true democracy led by the Soviet Union. The peoples of Asia, led by the great Chinese peoples’ democracy is fighting for freedom from imperialism. India is the last major colony still existing only to be robbed and exploited. The communist party is of the opinion that India too in the near future will take its place amongst the great nations of the world as a victorious peoples’ democracy and will take the path of peace, prosperity, and happiness based on the labour of man free of exploitation.

36. The programme our party put before the people totally meets the interests of all classes except the imperialists, landlords and princes because it is a programme for full independence, a programme of anti-imperialist and anti-feudal revolution. It is a programme of construction of a contented life for the great majority, running into many millions, of the population of our country. All the progressive forces of the country, all the progressive political parties, groups and individuals must forge a grand unity of the peoples in the form of a democratic front in order to fight for the implementation of this programme of freedom and peace.

Translated by V. Pavlov

Underlining and tick marks byV.M. Molotov.

RGASPI. F. 82. Op. 2. D. 1205. LL. 1-27.

Translated from the Russian by Tahir Asghar.

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