On the Situation in the Communist Party of India, 1949

V. Grigoryan

These two reports by V. Grigoryan, of September and December 1949, summarise, in the context of the reactionary pro-imperialist and pro- feudal Nehru government, the problems associated with the politics and practice of the three principal groups within the CPI. First, the limitations of the right-wing P.C. Joshi group which had a conciliatory role with regards to the Nehru regime; second the left-sectarian Trotskyite-Titoist group headed by B.T. Ranadive which refused to recognise the semi- colonial and semi-feudal character of the Indian state and considered that socialist revolution was the order of the day. This group took a Trotskyist position on the role of Mao’s understanding embodied in On People’s Democratic Dictatorship which recognised the need for further development of capitalism in China, along the lines of the views of Lenin with regard to Russia, and the requirement of a multi-class dictatorship led by the working class in that semi-colonial and semi-feudal society. Grigoryan further evaluates the third communist group headed by M. Basavapunnaiah and Rajeswara Rao for its attitudes to the kulaks. In later writings Soviet communists including Stalin indicated the limitations of the Andhra Committee in drawing lessons from the Chinese revolution when they did not take into account the benefits which had existed from the liberation of northern China by the Red Army which advantage the Indian democratic forces would not have in the absence of an adjacent socialist country. The polemics of the Indian communist movement in the period 1947-1953 maintain their relevance as the profound errors of that period were reproduced in the post-Stalin period. The CPI and the CPI M rapidly dropped the understanding of the semi- colonial character of the Indian economy despite the multiplication of foreign capital in the country while the CPI ML reproduced the limitations of the Andhra Committee in a concentrated form with the addition by Charu Majumdar of individual terrorism allied with the focoism of Che Guevara. The Trotskyist-Titoist understanding of BTR of the end of imperialism and the survivals of feudalism and the need for socialist revolution, as opposed to People’s Democracy, as the immediate objective, have been repeated from the 1980s by neo-Trotskyists such as Ram Nath and Moni Guha and those inspired by their reformist ideology.

Vijay Singh.

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