Letter from
Dange, Ghosh, Basavapunnaiah and Rao
in Moscow to the CC CPSU (B)

(1st March, 1951)

To Comrade Stalin

I present in translation from English the letter transmitted on March 1 of this year by comrades Dange, Ghosh, Punnaiah and Rao addressed to the Central Committee of the CPSU (b).

Chairman of the Foreign Policy Commission of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b),


V. Grigorian
March 1, 1951

To the Central Committee of the CPSU (b)

Dear Comrades,

  1.  We all agree with the amended draft of the Programme that you sent us.
  2.  However, there are some issues that we would like clarification on at our next meeting. In order not to waste time for questions during the meeting, we set out our questions in advance.
  3.  We noticed that the following questions were omitted in the revised project:
    1.  Agricultural workers’ wages as part of the peasant issue,
    2.  The repatriation of refugees, numbering several millions, and which are a very real and burning problem used by reactionary political parties,
    3.  Control over finance and trade, which are currently creating a black market and will maintain it for a long time.
  1. There is no doubt that these issues will be resolved when the main problems of agriculture and industry are resolved by people’s democratic means. Is the special mention of them intentionally omitted in the Programme?
  2.  Do you think that the term “landlord” should be specifically defined in order to distinguish the feudal lord from the capitalist and clearly show who should be subject to confiscation? In general, this term will be understood as a feudal landowner, however, doubts can arise if there is no clear definition.
  3.  In paragraph 25, on equal rights, the word “beliefs” is omitted. Has this been done in order to show that those who hold certain beliefs, such as fascist convictions, will not get equal rights? (1)
  4. In paragraph 40, the words “the introduction of an eight-hour working day” are used. The fact is that in India, according to the law of 1947, an eight-hour working day has now been introduced and most large enterprises comply with it. However, it is not yet applied to mines and some other industries. Therefore, we do not require the “introduction” of the eight-hour day, but its application in all industries and institutions.
  5. The 44-hour week is not introduced by law and is not carried out anywhere, except for railway workshops and several institutions. Is it too early for the 44-hour week, or is this question not so important that itshould be specifically mentioned in the Programme?
  6. The problem of artisans, of which there are several million in our country, was not mentioned by us either as part of the peasant question or as part of the worker question. For example, there are about 2 million craftsmen alone, some of them have their own tools of production, and some don’t. Only the development of agriculture and industry can lead artisans out of their predicament. Do we need to specifically mention the problem of these artisans and the help they need?
  7.  Paragraph 22 refers to “proportional representation”. In India, by tradition, this means representation on a “religious and communal basis”, i.e. Hindus, Muslims, Untouchables, etc.

Shouldn’t we clarifv our understanding of proportional representation in order to avoid misinterpretation of the phrase in the Indian context?

With fraternal greetings,

S.A. Dange
Ajoy Ghosh
M. B. Punnaiyya
K. Rajeshwar Rao

Translators note: The word “refugee” in the Draft, underlined by the Indian comrades, is absent. It was inserted by Comrade Dange later (24th February) together with some stylistic changes. In the draft the term ‘religion’ is mentioned.

Translated (from the English) by V.Pavlov

RGASPI F. 82. Opis 2. D. 1805, LL. 49-51

Underlining by V.M. Molotov.

Translated from the Russian by Polina Brik

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