ALLIANCE MARXIST-LENINIST (NORTH AMERICA)
Issue NUMBER 5. OCTOBER, 1993.


Second Part of:
THE ROLE OF THE BOURGEOISIE IN COLONIAL TYPE COUNTRIES:WHAT IS THE CLASS CHARACTER OF THE INDIAN STATE ?
CHANGING  LINE, REVISIONISTS DISTORT LENIN AND STALIN  

TABLE OF CONTENTS OF THIS SECTION
-ATTITUDES OF THE COMMUNIST MOVEMENT TO THE INDIAN BOURGEOISIE 64
-MABENDRA NATH ROY (M.N.ROY) AND LENIN 65-76
-FORMATION OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA 76-77
-ROY IN PRACTICAL WORK 78-86
-THE ATTITUDE OF J.V. STALIN TO THE INDIAN REVOLUTION 87-89
-REVISIONISTS TURN ULTRA-LEFT: OTTO KUUSINEN, AND WANG MING. 89-98
-DECOLONISATION? 98-103
-TWO FLANK ATTACK ON CPI: RIGHT BRITAIN, LEFT COMINTERN 103-111
-REVISIONISM TURNS RIGHT. DUTT FOLLOWS. 112-122
-REALPOLITIK 123-128
-SOVIET VIEWS ON INDIA - DYAKOV 128-132
-YUGOSLAV REVISIONISM ENTERS DEBATE 133-134
-YUGOSLAVS TAKE CONTROL OF CPI-ADVENTURIST TURN 134-137
-CONCLUSIONS PERIOD UP TO 1948. 138
-BIBLIOGRAPHY 139




ATTITUDES OF THE COMMUNIST MOVEMENT TO THE INDIAN BOURGEOISIE

Up to the Second World War, there was a continuing struggle between the two wings (comprador and national) of the capitalist class in India. The differences within the industrialist camp became manifested in a variety of ways, including how to react to the increasingly powerful workers movement. Tata for instance (who received a Knighthood from the British Crown for his services) suggested a United Front of capital against trade unionists that would include British firms. However, some refused, most especially, Birla refused:

HOW WERE THESE DIFFERENCES TREATED BY THE LEADERS OF THE COMMUNIST MOVEMENT ?

Previous analysis details the attitudes of the Comintern, Stalin and M.N.Roy up to the 1930's (See M.N.Roy and the Colonial Question, parts 1 and 3, London, 1977). Here we briefly revise those conclusions; in order to extend our analysis to 1947.
 
WE WILL THEREFORE POSTPONE THE FURTHER EXAMINATION OF THE ECONOMIC EVENTS OF POST INDEPENDENT INDIA IN DETAIL, UNTIL WE HAVE DEALT WITH THE POLITICAL STRUGGLES BETWEEN THE CLASSES OF INDIA.
 
 MABENDRA NATH ROY (M.N.ROY) AND LENIN.

It is well known that Mabendra Nath Roy - M.N.Roy - had major clashes with the ECCI (Executive Committee of the Communist International) over the general line of the ECCI on the question of colonial states, as well as many other questions. Roy had first come to general attention when Lenin had modified his "Theses on Revolution in Semi-Colonial Countries", to take some account of Roy's view. Roy had stressed the relatively vacillating role of the national bourgeoisie, and Lenin accepted some of this. But Roy would later overemphasise the degree to which Lenin had taken on Roy's views.
 
Though these differences between Lenin and Roy were expressed in terms of how much weight to place upon the national bourgeoisie, underlying it was a very different assessment of the strength of the workers movements in the colonial countries:

The Theses on the National and Colonial Question were adopted at the 2nd Congress of the Communist International (CI), which was in Petrograd and Moscow from July 19th to August 7th, 1920. M.N.Roy and Evelyn Roy were the delegates from the Communist Party of Mexico. M.N.Roy was elected to the National and Colonial Commission of the Congress. Lenin submitted his "Theses on the National and Colonial Questions" to the congress and Roy submitted "Supplementary Theses" on the same subject. 
 
Roy's semi-Trotskyite conception of the revolutionary process in colonial type countries was based on an exaggerated picture of the industrial development of India. As he expressed it in his report: In his original draft Supplementary Theses on the National and Colonial Question presented at the 2nd Congress, Roy expressed firmly the conclusion that the interests of the working class of colonial type countries are fundamentally in conflict with those of the entire bourgeoisie, so that support for a "national liberation movement" in which any section of the native bourgeoisie participated must be rejected on principle: These formulations were in clear contradiction to those of Lenin:  It was for that reason that Lenin deleted all the above passages from Roy's Supplementary Theses before they were put to the Congress. Roy on the other hand, fought unsuccessfully for the deletion of the passages cited above from Lenin's Draft Theses: In his autobiography, Roy clarifies that his opposition to Lenin on this, was based on his rejection of the view that the national capitalist class in a colonial type country could play any anti-imperialist role: Roy's semi-Trotskyite view was supported at the Congress by Giacinto Serrati of Italy and by Sultan-Zade of Persia. Firstly they declared that the revolutionary process in colonial type countries was essentially "an economic struggle", thereby rejecting the political (ie national-liberation) content of the revolutionary process in colonial type countries: Lenin deleted this sentence from Roy's draft.

Secondly Roy's Draft Supplementary Theses declared that colonial type countries exploitation was "the main" source of strength of the developed capitalist countries:

Lenin amended this passage to read that colonial type exploitation was "one" of the principal sources of strength: Thirdly Roy declared, along with Maoism, that super-profits from a colonial type country could be used to give a concessions to the entire working class of the dominant developed capitalist country: Lenin amended this passage to read the super-profit from a colonial-type country could be used to give concession only to a stratum of the working class in the developed dominant capitalist country: Fourthly, Roy's Draft Supplementary Theses declared that socialist revolution was not possible in the developed capitalist countries, without prior successful national-democratic revolution in the colonial type countries: Lenin amended this passage to read: The minutes of the 2nd Congress confirm that Roy was opposed on this point by Lenin: The only change made in Lenin's original Draft Theses as adopted by the congress was to make clear that the working class in a colonial type country should support a bourgeois-led movement only if it was genuinely revolutionary -  the term "bourgeois democratic" being replaced by the term "nationalist-revolutionary": At the same time Roy's viewpoint on the colonial question contained positive features which contributed to the development of the Marxist-Leninist theory of the revolutionary process in the colonial-type countries.
 
Firstly he drew attention to the existence of a tendency within the bourgeoisie of these countries, to compromise with imperialism: Roy saw the whole of the bourgeoisie as a compromising force, and incorrectly drew the conclusion that the working class should not associate itself with the bourgeoisie of a colonial type country nor support national democratic liberation movements.

Despite this, Lenin saw the positive factor in Roy's view.
This was that a distinction had to be drawn within the bourgeoisie of a colonial-type country between a section which favoured national-revolutionary struggle against foreign imperialism (later called the "national bourgeoisie") and a section which favoured compromise with imperialism and while it might profess support for the national liberation movement, in practice objectively served imperialism by damping down national-revolutionary struggle (later called the "comprador bourgeoisie"):

Secondly Roy in the original Draft of his own Supplementary Theses, put forward the concept that if the revolutionary process in a colonial type country were under the leadership of the working class, such a country could avoid going through a period of capitalist development: Lenin agreed with this, a concept that had not appeared in his own Theses: On this basis was elaborated the Marxist-Leninist Theses that if the working class were able to gain leadership of the national-democratic revolution this revolution could be transformed relatively uninterruptedly, into a socialist revolution.

Thirdly, Roy drew attention to the fact that in some colonial-type countries-such as India and China- a significant native working class had already developed and was objectively capable of gaining the leadership of the national-democratic revolutionary movements in these countries:

Roy made the same point in his original Supplementary Theses, although he wrongly presented the movement of the working class in a colonial type country as in fundamental contradiction with the bourgeois nationalist movement: This point was the main reason Lenin approved that his own Theses be supplemented by Roy's: Lenin in his Report and Theses at the 2nd congress of the CI saw (in the absence of a significant working class in the backward colonial-type countries with which he was primarily concerned) the leadership of the national democratic revolution by the working class as being exercised by the working class of the developed capitalist countries and in particular by the working class of Soviet Russia: Finally Roy's view was that the whole of the bourgeoisie in the colonial type countries was essentially counter-revolutionary. Although as he put it this was incorrect, it contained an element of truth later embodied in the Marxist-Leninist formulation that, to the extent that the working class was seen to be winning the leadership of the national-democratic movements, even the national bourgeoisie (which desires independence) will then desert the national democratic revolution and go over to the side of the imperialist counter-revolution. In fact they will prefer a subordinate exploiting position under imperialism to the ending of the exploitation that would be brought about as the working class uses its leading position to transform the national-democratic revolutions into a socialist revolution.

The germ of this Marxist-Leninist position was incorporated into the "Theses on the Eastern Question", adopted by the 4th Congress of the CI in November 1922.

In conclusion, Roy provided some vital insights that were openly endorsed by Lenin and later Stalin. These insights helped clarify and form the line to be adopted.

Roy's Leftist theory was of a different order of the conscious and disruptive Leftism of Trotsky. By his contributions to the debate, Roy enhanced and supported the development of a Marxist-leninist line. Basically Roy supported by his views the development of the revolutionary process in colonial countries. Trotsky could not.
 
Trotsky delivered the Main Report at the Third Congress of the CI in 1921. He touched on the colonial system along the original, and unmodified Leftist lines of Roy, but took these even further. According to Trotsky:

1) Imperialism is industrialising the colonial-type countries especially Indian and China.

2) The bourgeoisie of a colonial type country is essentially a comprador bourgeoisie since it is "intimately bound up with foreign capital", and "represents a large measure an agency of foreign capital".

3) Therefore the struggle of the bourgeoisie of colonial type country against foreign imperialism is not merely"inconsistent"and "half-hearted", but "semi-fictitious".

4) The mere development of a working class in such a colonial type country paralyses any national-liberation aspirations on the part of the bourgeoisie.

5) Therefore even the national-democratic revolution can only achieve victory under the leadership of the working class.

FORMATION OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA

There were a number of different pro-Communist groups within India. During the winter of 1922-23, Roy attempted to unify the following communist groups in India into a single party:

 But a proposed conference to be held in Berlin never materialised. Ahmad was arrested trying to get there and the others refused to undertake the venture. Roy was then heavily involved with advice to both Singaravelu Chettiar and Sripad Dange on the organisation of broad legal Workers and peasants parties (WPP). This is discussed in more detail below. After the Cawnpore Conspiracy Case of 1924 (See below), these ventures were somewhat retarded also.

The Communist Party Of Great Britain (CPGB) had tried with Charles Ashleigh's mission in 1922 to make contact with the Indian workers, but failed. Percy Glading in 1925 also failed. However, the CPGB still claimed in 1925 to have the 'right' to direct all communist work throughout the British Empire. Roy angrily rejected this as "imperialism". But the Conference in Amsterdam on July 11-12th 1925, called by the Eastern Section of the CI discussed plans for "An Oriental Conference". It marked a new stage in the leadership of the CPI, which effectively was removed from Roy's direction:

The official History of the CPI,by Dr.Gangadhar Adhikari tries to minimise this take over. He claims the episode was an unjustified attempt by Roy to ensure that Roy could direct work of Indians living within Britain (Adhikari, Documents of the CPI, Ibid, Volume 2. p.562).
 
Nonetheless, Roy's influence was naturally high, and his appraisal of the Indian movement was better than the British. This meant that he could not be excluded entirely.
But when Roy was sent to China by the ECCI in January 1927 (See below), Ben Bradley and Philip Spratt of the CPGB remained to be effectively in control.
 
In September 1924,"Satyabhakta" (whose real name was Chakanlal) announced the formation of an Indian CP. But the conference called by him, set out with a mandate to achieve Swaraj purely by constitutional means. He also wished not to join the CI. The Conference at Cawnpore, met on December 26th-28th 1925 under the Chairmanship of Singaravelu Chettiar.

But Satyabhakta, by his own admission was "over-taken" by other workers. The conference adopted a Constitution and elected a Central Executive Committee (CEC) with Sachidanand Ghate and Janaki Bagerhatta as Joint First Secretaries. Though elected to the CEC, Satyabhakta resigned on the issue of affiliation to the CI. In a letter dated March 20th, 1926 to Bagerhatta, Roy advised immediate affiliation to the CI. In 1959 the Secretariat of the CPI accepted that the Cawnpore Conference of December 1925 was the Foundation Conference of the CPI.
 
ROY IN PRACTICAL WORK

Despite his tendency to ultra-leftism, in relation to India, Roy's line in general correctly followed Lenin's tactics. But Roy did continue to especially point to the lack of spine in the bourgeoisie:

This view of Roy, had earlier led him to flirt with Trotskyism. But, ultimately Roy rejected Trotsky, upon principled grounds, at the critical time that Trotsky was marshalling forces to attack Stalin over Stalin's "alleged failure" in China.
 
IN POINT OF FACT, IN HIS IMPLEMENTED POLITICAL LINE ROY'S VIEW WAS NOT DISSIMILAR TO STALIN'S ON INDIA (SEE BELOW).
 
But, in his theory, Roy underplayed the role of the national bourgeoisie. In fact to bolster his views, Roy would frequently exaggerate the strength of the working class. No doubt that is what Lenin warned him against in his book "India In Transition": Or perhaps Lenin meant to warn against the manifestly inaccurate assertion of Roy's that there were in India no 'remnants of feudalism' : Thus, Roy did tend towards a certain Leftism towards the national bourgeoisie, but he also usually accepted and implemented the Leninist line in practice. The facts of his career show this to be so, in both India and China. His defense of Stalin's line in the Chinese revolution, against Borodin and the hidden revisionist members of the CPC (including Mao Tse-Tung - See M.N.Roy Report Part Two, London, 1977) show this to be so. His defense of the Marxist-Leninist line, marked also a rupture of his relations with Trotsky, whose attack on Stalin was rebuffed by Roy.

In some ways, Roy was correct in his original estimation of the degree to which capitalist relations had penetrated the Indian sub-continent. As described above, Marx's attitude to the railways pointed the way for Roy's view. The degree of industrialisation would support Roy in his view of the strength of the changing capitalist relations, though he over-emphasised it. Following this track Roy tended to overestimate the proletarian movements. Thus, early on he underestimated the resilience of Gandhi's sway over the masses:

Nonetheless, despite this he tried to work with the "best" elements and win them across. He did this not only with the beginning of the Workers and Peasants Party formed by Singaravelu Chettiar; but also with the work of this party within the Congress Party as he proposed to Sripad A. Dange.
 
In this he correctly distinguished between the wings of the national and comprador bourgeoisie. He had a clear view of the Congress, and how to work with it: Roy believed that this would result in a growth of a truly revolutionary mass party: In his letter to Sripad Dange, Roy was responding to Danges' call in "The Socialist" of September 16th 1922, for a broad legal "workers and peasants party" to operate within the Indian National Congress (INC). He agreed with Dange, and made the basic points that the working class should attempt to take over the leadership, otherwise as the 2nd Congress of the CI had discussed, the bourgeoisie would ultimately desert and betray the struggle: As this and other material ("Memorandum to the Conference for Organising a Working Class Party in India", Volume 2 Adhikari, Ibid, p.147.) makes clear, Roy was correctly putting forward the line of the CI (still following the Marxist-Leninist line) that there was a "revolutionary significance" to the national bourgeoisie; that it represented for the Workers and Peasants Party an opportunity to become part of a broader anti-imperialist united front: The same memorandum states clearly that the Workers and Peasants Party should be distinct from the Communist Party, but that the highest level members will be in both. He saw the need for the CPI to be underground and legal, with the WPP as its open above ground organiser. But that it should also have members whose consciousness was not Communist. (See memorandum, Ibid).

In accordance, with this he assiduously courted leading Left Congress men, like Sampurnanand (later Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh); but especially Chitta Ranjan Das (C.R.Das) a leading Bengali politician who in 1921 was President Elect of The INC. Indeed Das would say publicly:

Indeed, the police files concluded that the influence of Roy: But Das and others were scared off, by the provocations launched by the Secret Intelligence agencies and the Reuters Despatches.

An Action Program that had been intended for the INC, at the 37 the Annual Session at the December 26th, 1922 GAYA Conference; and penned by Roy, was widely printed as a "Bolshevik" despatch. Enhancing the imperialist plot to discredit Roy, Roy also 'shot himself in the foot'.
For in Demand Two he did include a Leftist Deviation, namely that the Principal Means of Production would be taken over and operated by workers' committees.

This provocation - of leaking his letter - occurred on the occasion of a major debate between Das and Gandhi on the question of Non-Cooperation as applied to the Montague-Chelmsford Reforms, and effectively it stopped any on-going active joint collaboration between the "official" INC and the Communists. Nonetheless at this same conference, S.A.Dange and Singaravelu Chettiar openly declared themselves as Communists, and with Das formed an organisation for labour.
 
But, the imperialists did achieve their desired effect - of scaring off collaboration between Congress and communists. It scared off Das and his faction who backed away from the struggle with Gandhi; professing abhorrence at tactics of violence being proposed by the Communists. As well as being scared off from the Communists, Das and his program for Council entry (to disrupt the imperialists inside the councils) was rejected by the Congress.

Das then formed a separate party named the Congress Khilifat Swaraj Party within the INC.
 
The imperialists now launched the Cawnpore Conspiracy Case which in March 1924 prosecuted eight Indian Communists, Dange, Roy, Ramscharanlal Sharma, Muzzafar Ahmad, Shaukat Usmani, Ghulam Hussain, Nalini Gupta and Myaluram Singaravelu Chettiar. Roy was abroad, but thought the defence in the Trial was poor, and did not help the cause.
 
Therefore the charge that Roy was sectarian and Ultra-Leftist in practical action regarding the National bourgeois, must be rejected from the evidence of his actual practical work in India.

He correctly applied United Front policy; saw that the proletariat had to be independent in such fronts, and saw the ultimate refusal of the national bourgeoisie to light the flames of anti-imperialism if they were to be themselves quickly engulfed.

In fact in a later judgement, given after his ostracisation from the ECCI, the British Secret Service saw his role (as compared to the "vaporous thunderings" of the official ECCI-recognised member of the CPI, one Deshpande) rather clearly as the biggest enemy they had to contend with:

In the Communist International, Roy defended his notions. In the Fourth Congress, in 1922, he argued to the Congress that: This generally correct line of course had to be interpreted in various settings. But events were moving fast within the Communist International itself.

By the Fifth Congress, despite Roy's opposition, the ECCI was preparing to establish direct relations between the ECCI and the Indian National Congress. This implied to Roy an over-reliance on the nationalists, with potential to limit the workers independence of action. Roy argued that:

But the ECCI rejected Roy's implied repudiation of the Indian National Congress having the sole control of the national liberation agenda.

Furthermore, the ECCI virtually directed the CPGB to take control of the direction of struggle in India:

Manuilsky publicly rebuked Roy for deviation and nihilism. The Congress appointed a commission (which included among others Roy, Manuilsky, Stalin and Katayama) to review the colonial question and prepare detailed recommendations. At the subsequent Plenum of the ECCI, the Comintern continued ostensibly to regard the Indian bourgeoisie as having great potential: Though the Gandhian party was far from collapse, the general assessment of need to work within the INC was correct at this stage. In fact, Roy's own practice at this stage was very similar to that argued for by the CI (See above). He had been a major influence on Das, and the Swaraj party.

But while Roy had no desire to switch from this line, the CI was preparing to switch. Actually, very soon the CI was to take a major swing to the Ultra-Left, adopting effectively a Trotskyite line.
 
The Communist Party Great Britain (CPGB) now took up the direction of the CPI, with a resulting serious struggle between the CPGB and Roy.
Roy charged the CPGB with "imperialism". This struggle became temporarily patched up (See p.75 Overstreet & Windmiller Ibid, and Imperialism of the CPGB, by Communist League, M.N.Roy Report Part 1, April 1977, p.40).

In order to facilitate this take over of the CPI by the CPGB, Roy was diverted away from Indian affairs. The ECCI arranged that he be sent to China on a special mission to the Communist Party of China during their alliance with the Kuomintang; the national bourgeoisie.
 
The revisionists of the ECCI sent Roy on his mission to China, anticipating that he would assist them in their covert disruption of the international movement, particularly if he had to work with Borodin, their other representative in China. He had after all had a disagreement with Lenin over the Colonial Theses at the 2nd Congress. Actually Roy wanted to go to India, and not to China at all. Roy had accepted the Mission at Stalin's behest and "promise that if he was successful", Roy would then be sent to India (p.94 Overstreet and Windmiller, Ibid).
 
Whilst in China he proposed a Marxist-Leninist line that fitted in well with Stalin's view. Roy defended the line of Lenin in practice in China. Unfortunately owing to the revisionism of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC), and the other envoy of the ECCI, Borodin, a correct line was distorted and the massacres of the Chinese workers took place. This was nothing less than a sabotage perpetrated by Borodin and the CPC itself.

Both Borodin and the CPC had fought against Stalin's urgent instructions and Roy's own similar instructions to escalate the class struggle as the bourgeois allies were about to renege. The ensuing massacre of the Chinese workers and peasants was not the responsibility of either Stalin or Roy (M.N.Roy Report, Part II, December 1977. p.1-35).
 
Bourgeois historians Overstreet and Windmiller agree that the ECCI was responsible for the debacle:

It was NOT Stalin who prevented a timely rupture of the CPC with the counter revolutionary Kuomintang. It was the Comintern ECCI revisionists. The details of the failure of the Chinese Revolution can be found in Part Two of the M.N.Roy Report of the CL, London, 1977. [Later Note see also: Open Letter to Ludo Martens].
 
The ECCI, having dislodged Roy as the leader of the Indian forces, now also dislodged Stalin from the ECCI. This dislodgment was effected by distortedly presenting the Chinese Revolution as being the Failure of M.N.Roy's Mission to China and Stalin's leadership. It is true that Trotsky's open attacks on Stalin were successfully rebuffed. But Dmitri Manuilsky and Otto Kuusinen were more subtle. They used the debacle to distort the Marxist-Leninist line on the role of the revolutionary bourgeois. They now repudiated it saying that the experience in China had shown its lack of value.
 
The Chinese experience was in reality a sabotage of the correct Marxist-Leninist tactics.
 
It is in connection with the Chinese mission, that Roy showed his true allegiance to Stalin. When the defeat of the CPC in China (under the ill-advised leadership of Borodin and the CPC) was made the focal point of an attack on Stalin by Trotsky, Roy defended Stalin's advice to the CPC. In this defence he repudiated Trotsky's claim on Roy's allegiance. It is not surprising that he was considered a "Stalinist" by his enemies such as Saumyendranath Tagore: This Tagore, a leader of the Bengal Workers and Peasants Party arrived in Moscow in 1927, and one of his actions was to denounce Roy. He accused Roy, when he met with Osip Piatnitsky; (later exposed as a revisionist, but then the Treasurer of the Comintern) of fabricating members of the CPI and of misappropriating funds. To these charges Overstreet and Windmiller find: By the Sixth Congress of Communist International, Roy was publicly excoriated. At this Congress in fact the line of the CI became overtly Ultra-Leftist (See below). Roy was actually finally expelled from the CI in 1930. Of course following this, Roy degenerated into a bourgeois humanism, and gave even more weight to the bourgeois of the INC. But this occurred after his persecution by the revisionist ECCI and does not invalidate his earlier contributions.

THE ATTITUDE OF J.V. STALIN TO THE INDIAN REVOLUTION

Stalin, when addressing the People's of the East had distinguished by 1925: "at least three categories of colonial and dependent countries":

So already, Stalin had distinguished between India and China, on the basis of the degree of proletarianisation. Though Roy took it "one step too far", he was saying something very similar to this. Consistent with these differences in the countries, there were differences in the maturity and the differentiation of the bourgeoisie; and therefore of the proletariat. The bourgeoisie was even more likely than to be scared stiff of the democratic revolution inflaming the socialist masses. So the Indian bourgeoisie already, in 1925 contained "moneybag" sections that had reneged. Gandhi's responses at Chauri Chaura confirmed this analysis (See above) From these differentiations flowed the tasks of the Indian proletariat: We can conclude that in the view of Stalin, there were indeed TWO wings of the Indian bourgeoisie.

One wing had already by 1925 concluded a pact with imperialism. Unfortunately this section is not named by Stalin. But given the nature of events, as outlined above this faction was clearly that of Gandhi. The Indian National Congress had already split by this time into two broad factions. These subsequently reunited at various times, but always stayed within the same party apparatus, the INC.

Unfortunately, the leadership of these factions, over the national struggles, was NOT effectively countered by the workers and peasants, led by the Communists; as had been advised by Stalin.
 
It should also be clear, that Stalin was one of the leading proponents of the Workers and Peasants Parties. These parties in India had a major role to play and carried great sway.
 
But, it was precisely these parties that the hidden revisionists wanted to disrupt. It was also these parties, towards which in practice Roy had been following a correct line. In his memorandum to the Lucknow Conference of the WPP, in letters to S.A.Dange, as discussed before, Roy took a correct line in urging the WPP to take part in the Congress Party. (M.N.Roy Report part One. Ibid, p.34).
 
The CI now proceeded to implement a disastrous Ultra-Left Turn. This in effect took Royism to its logical conclusion- a step that as we have indicated Roy never actually took in practice. This logical conclusion was to deny any need to work with and for United Front with the revolutionary bourgeoisie. As part of this Ultra-Leftism, "non-pure" Communist organisations, such as the Workers and Peasants Parties were to be destroyed.
 
SIXTH CONGRESS COMINTERN REVISIONISTS TURN ULTRA-LEFT ; OTTO KUUSINEN, AND WANG MING

Stalin was elected to the Presidium of the 6th Congress, to the commission to draft the "Theses on the International Situation and the Tasks of the Communist International", and to draft the Programme of the CI. But crucially, he attended only the opening session of the congress, and took no part in its proceedings.
 
The Congress was dominated by Otto Kuusinen. Kuusinen later showed himself as a proven open revisionist (See his participation at the infamous 20th Party Congress of the CPSU) but for the moment he remained a hidden revisionist. At the Sixth Comintern Congress in 1928, he denied that the Indian bourgeoisie had already joined with imperialism:

This statement was incorrect as it tended to widen the Front in a Right opportunist manner, by inadequately distinguishing between Nehru and Gandhi. However despite this, the statements did show an overall correct assessment of the possibility of work with the INC. However, simultaneously there were far more ominous strains being sounded. As Bairathi puts it: The Comintern was being directed towards a sectarian mode that was narrowing the possibility of any principled United Front as advocated by Stalin above. The line took wing by open and vehement denunciations: In fact the line of the CI was now in contradiction to both Lenin and Stalin. Lenin had said that: The Theses of the Congress paid lip service to both Lenin and Stalin's views on the matter. They also paid lip service to the need to find genuine national-revolutionary movements to work with; recognise the division of the colonial bourgeoisie into two sections including the comprador section; and even speak of a "radical profound objective contradiction of interest between the national bourgeoisie and imperialism".

However the essence of the later CI Theses is that no section of the bourgeoisie can be a significant ally:

The Theses then draw the conclusion that: In order to be credible, an economic basis for this statement was required. the Theses accordingly proclaimed that: Therefore according to the Theses, the national bourgeoisie although they may profess to support the national-liberation movement represent a "vacillating compromising tendency", a "reformist" and not a revolutionary force in relation to the national-democratic revolution: BUT AT THE 2ND CONGRESS OF THE CI IN 1920, LENIN DID NOT EQUATE THE "BOURGEOIS DEMOCRATIC "TENDENCY IN COLONIAL TYPE COUNTRIES WITH "NATIONAL-REFORMISM".
 
On the contrary Lenin had asserted that there were two types of "bourgeois democratic tendency in colonial type countries: a "national-reformist" tendency and a "national-revolutionary" tendency: STALIN HAD ALSO SHARPLY DISTINGUISHED BETWEEN THE "COMPROMISING WING OF THE BOURGEOISIE OF A COLONIAL-TYPE COUNTRY (IE THE COMPRADOR) AND THE "REVOLUTIONARY WING (IE THE NATIONAL BOURGEOISIE): The 6th Congress Theses on the other hand, present the political trend representing the interests of the pro-imperialist forces which seeks to hold back the national-revolutionary movement of the masses by drawing them into a program of "peaceful constitutional reform" as a political trend representing the interests of all the national bourgeoisie.": The political conclusion is that the national bourgeoisie is fundamentally a counter-revolutionary force in relation to the national-democratic revolution: The bourgeoisie of a colonial type country was then seen as being essentially as one single block characterised by "ambiguity": If this is so, could one work with these bourgeoisie ? Apparently not, according to the CI: In attempting to cover partly their tracks, to mask the contradictions of these Theses, with Lenin and Stalin; in verbal presentation Kuusinen substituted the word "improbable" for "impossible" : The British delegation objected to this loophole (especially as regards to India) and demanded that the Theses should declare it to be "impossible" for the national bourgeoisie of a colonial type country to play a revolutionary role in the national-democratic revolution. Kuusinen refused to erase this loophole for the moment, and the British delegation refused to vote for the acceptance of the Theses.
But in effect, Kuusinen had already reversed the decisions of the 2nd Congress.

The "Indian delegates" to the 6th Congress were Shaukhat Usmani (Sikander Sur), Ghulam Luhani (Spencer), Mohammed Shafiq (Raza), Clemens Dutt, Mohammed Sipassi (Mahmud), Saumyendranath Tagore (Narayan), Habil Ahmed Naseem and Masood Ali Shah.
None of them however were accredited by the Communist Party of India. They were in full agreement with the line of the 6th Congress, and with Kuusinen.
 
It was in his Report that Kuusinen now moved to attack the Workers and Peasants Parties of India, that had been so successful:

OF COURSE, THE "SOME COMRADES" INCLUDED STALIN WHO FAVOURED THE FORMATION OF SUCH PARTIES IN THE COLONIAL TYPE COUNTRIES : But the attack on the Workers and Peasants Parties (WPP) was entirely in line with the documents written by Trotsky in June 1928, and submitted to the congress: Even the "Indian delegation" and the British delegation were opposed to the Congress Resolution which stated: Very soon, however all opposition to the 6th Congress Theses was effectively crushed: At this 10th Plenum of the ECCI, held in Moscow from July 3rd to 19th 1929, Roy was formally expelled from the CI.

Otto Kuusinen cited amongst other things, Roy's objection to the new CI line; which was currently against the formation of an alliance within the INC between the CPI and the Independence League. Salomon Lozovsky and Pavel Shubin attacked Roy's "Menshevik sabotage" of the CPI, and again attacked the loophole left over from the 6th Congress (ie that it was very improbable - but not impossible - that the national bourgeoisie might play a revolutionary role):

In his Main report to the Plenum, Otto Kuusinen renewed the attack on the WPP in India, implying that their development had held back the development of the CPI and alleging that they had carried out "hardly any work" among the peasantry: Working in a Marxist-Leninist party was posed in a false and total contradiction to working in both such a party and a WPP. In other words, this meant abandoning broad front principles of work, in order to become purely and narrowly "Communist". P.Schubin lamented that the: But there had been difficulties in going faster for the revisionists.
The WPP were extremely successful at the height of the strike waves in India in 1928, and were seen to be powerful.
Moreover, the attempts to destroy the Marxist-Leninist line necessitated camouflage, and there was a welter of charges and counter-charges. The confusing state of the Congress was summed up: The principal Thesis of the 10th Plenum "On the International Situation and the Tasks of the Communist International", now proceeded to reiterate a frankly Trotskyite line. It called for "Soviets Now" in India, just as Trotsky had called for In China: This Leftist line was quickly transformed into public statements: Obviously this line is totally and stupidly anti-Leninist, and sectarian, and could not win the uncommitted. But: The Ultra-Left turn accomplished a devastating toll on the CPI and its mass links, the WPP.

DECOLONISATION?

As long ago as the period of the 3rd Congress of the CI, Trotsky had maintained that:

 Trotsky had linked this view with his overall denial of any differentiated bourgeoisie in colonial type countries. This buttressed his denial of any positive revolutionary role for the bourgeoisie in colonial type countries. Logically, by this he was led to advocate a one-stage working class revolutionary process in colonial type countries.
 
By a re-birth, this process of imperialist industrialisation of the developing country was later called Decolonisation, by the revisionists. Actually, the final weapon by which M.N.Roy was ultimately destroyed by the revisionists in the Comintern, was the analysis of decolonisation. The revisionist attack was formally launched at the 6th Congress of the CI. During this congress, the CI leaders vigorously pursued "decolonisation". That the attack was clearly a "set up" job, or premeditated, is shown by the fact that Roy had been asked to prepare a report on the phenomenon of Decolonisation. This was a word that had not been until then part of the currency of language in the CI: M.N.Roy was charged by the CI on his return from China to prepare a draft resolution on the matter. He later realised that it was to serve as a means of discrediting him: Actually Roy was very acute and prescient in his diagnosis of the British path: The political deviations which flowed from the analysis of the CI in the 6th Congress were traitorous and represented a revision of Lenin and Stalin's themes. But "Decolonisation" - meaning an industrialisation of India - was already taking place. It is significant that the CPGB, then being parachuted into the leadership of the CPI; itself was divided. Eugene Varga, the CI economist had already announced in Inprecor: BECAUSE THE DEBATE TOOK PLACE IN THE CI WITH A SECRET AGENDA BY WHICH TO REMOVE STALIN AND ROY FROM ANY EFFECTIVE DEALINGS WITH THE CI; THE DEBATE WAS QUITE CONFUSED : The CPGB argued that the British were in fact industrialising; but that this was had nothing to do with any thing called "Decolonisation": Petrovsky (The CI representative in Britain and thus part of the CPGB delegation) dissented from this defence: This demonstration of an 'independence', on the part of the CPGB leaders, was unacceptable to the revisionist CI.
The leaders of the CPGB not having proven themselves sufficiently revisionist for the revisionist CI, were therefore replaced at the 10th Plenum of the CI in 1929.
The new CPGB leadership was sponsored by the revisionist CI, and included the crypto-revisionist Harry Pollitt (who later inaugurated the policy of the so called "Parliamentary Road to Socialism"). Although  R.P.Dutt's membership was retained, only 12 of the old CC of the CPGB were re-elected, and 23 new members were added.
 
To return to "Decolonisation", if the following equation is true, ie. : Then it would appear that M.N.Roy was right; and that Varga and the CI was wrong. Industrialisation was indeed progressing.
 
The relative weight of the proletariat was still weak, which is why Stalin's policy of the WPP had been the correct one. But there was in fact, an industrialisation. Whether the term "Decolonisation" was appropriate is another issue. Clearly, British imperialism had no intention of leaving the Indian stage if she could help it. The process of industrialisation has been outlined above in the Political Economy section.

We must agree with the delegate who complained that things were not clear. Decolonisation was a masquerade debate with a hidden agenda to throw out Roy, and finally destroy his influence in the CPI of India, in order to place a subservient CPGB in the saddle of the CPI.

The CPGB certainly knew that Britain had recently reversed its' Tariff Policy in India - allowing an industrialisation to proceed OVER the objections of British Industrialists (see part one). Unless the CPGB had the resolved intent to challenge revisionism in the ECCI, they would not clearly state the facts. The Opportunists of the CPGB made their choice. Indeed of the CPGB delegation, only Petrovsky was honest enough to not indulge in the half way house of accepting industrialisation as fact, yet attacking the shibboleth around the word decolonisation.

It has been noted that the British bourgeois political economists have noted the trends towards an increased industrialisation in India and the manner in which Britain was "disengaging" under the pressures of:

So much so that current bourgeois commentators like Tomlinson have themselves taken up the term Decolonisation. Indeed one of the sources used in the text here is entitled: "The Political economy of the Raj. The Economics of Decolonisation In India." B.R.Tomlinson.

The modern day political economists have access to secret despatches. These have shed some light on the thought processes of the imperialists. For instance; Lord Hardinge, Vice-Roy of India. Despatch to the Secretary of State for India, November 1915:

 IT IS CLEAR THEN THAT THOUGH VARGA MAY HAVE DISAGREED, THERE WERE SIGNS THAT THE BRITISH WERE AT LEAST DISCUSSING THESE NOTIONS. THE ABOVE DESPATCH WOULD NOT OF COURSE, HAVE BEEN SEEN IN THE PUBLIC LITERATURE DOMAIN, AND ON THIS THE CI AND VARGA MAY BE EXCUSED.

BUT, Varga and the CPGB must have known of the formation of the Industrial Commission chaired by Sir Thomas Holland of the Munitions Board in 1916, in India, whose report was pertinent:

Finally, Varga also should-must-would have known that the British were beginning to re-negotiate Tariffs and the Indian traders and industrialists were partaking in discussions at the Ottawa Summit of August 1932. This was signed between India and Britain and a separate set of agreements were made between India and the Dominions.
 
These type of Agreements (see above section in Political Economy of the post war years) stated above, were impelled by several factors. Firstly the need for British imperialism to ensure that in case of war the Indian state could produce goods; the need to prevent penetration of foreign capital and goods- especially in the cotton industry Japan. And finally, the continued pressure from Indian industrialists.
 
THE TWO FLANK ATTACK ON THE CPI:
ON THE RIGHT FLANK BRITISH IMPERIALISM, ON THE LEFT FLANK THE REVISIONIST COMINTERN

The generally correct tactics of Roy (following Stalin's guidelines) had left a very definite legacy promoting joint activity with progressive elements wherever possible. This is shown by the repetitive need of British imperialism to rupture by provocation Roy's ties with the more militant Congress elements. Furthermore, the WPP disparaged by Kuusinen as valueless were in actual fact, arming the workers and peasants daily. During the years 1927-8, a great strike wave had begun in India which showed the power of the developing movement.
 
In November 1927, the British Government announced that an All British commission would be set up to visit India and make recommendations for a new Constitution for the colony. In December 1927 the WPP issued a manifesto calling on the Madras session of the INC to boycott the Simon Commission (headed by Sir John Simon) and to mobilise the Indian people for full independence. As discussed above, the progressive wing of the INC led by Jawarharlal Nehru called for similar demands. The pressure of the WPP undoubtedly helped and the CPI official History agrees :

1928 opened with mass demonstrations throughout India against the Simon Commission. In April began the six month long strike in Bombay led by Communist leaders of the WPP (Bombay). In May during the strike, the famous Girni Kamgar (Mill Workers) Union (GKU) came into being with a membership of 80,000. In Calcutta also large scale strikes of jute and railway workers took place, led by the WPP (Bengal), and here too militant trade unions came into being:                           No. Of Man-Days Lost(Million) A British Intelligence report confirmed this picture: When the British proposed at the Simla Legislative Assembly in 1928 the Public Safety Bill, it was obviously targeted at the Communists. But it was vigorously opposed by the nationalists.
Motilal Nehru opposed it on both legal grounds and also he saw that it would be used against the nationalists. His son, Jawaharlal Nehru argued to the press on February 4th, 1929, that the Government was very mistaken if they if it imagined that this legislation: The bill being defeated, by a vote of 60-61, it was re-introduced tied to a clause to cut money from abroad for organisations. Again both Motilal and the younger Jawaharlal argued against it as being ultimately a weapon against the nationalists: By April 29th, 1929, H.G.Haig Secretary to Government of India wrote to Langsford James, Barrister-at-law that: The British, if not the Ultra-Left CPI were well aware of the dangers in a United Front of the Nationalists and the Communists. As H.G.Haig wrote to one J.C.Crerar: To effect an education of the nationalists, the Government had released a letter, dated December 30th, 1927 from M.N.Roy to the CC of the CPI and the WPP. This letter intercepted by the police, was read into the record of the Legislative Assembly on September 10th 1928, and became known as the "Assembly Letter".
 
In this letter Roy emphasised the importance of members of the CPI working in and playing a leading role in the "Workers and Peasants Parties" (WPP).

In the letter, Roy further advised that the CPI should affiliate with the CI, and the WPP to the League Against Imperialism (established at the Congress of Oppressed Nationalities in Brussels from February 10th to 15th 1927, where Jawaharlal Nehru had played a role). His letter also warned against the direction of the CPGB, in particular of their envoys Philip Spratt, and Benjamin Bradley:

In addition the letter purported to paint Jawaharlal Nehru as an agent of the Communists: We may surmise that Roy was doing something right that British intelligence kept trying to derail him.
 
Meanwhile, as Imperialism's dancing partner, the CI antics were directly parallel to those of British imperialism.
 
Thus the Sixth Congress as we have saw, had now adopted an anti-WPP line.
The first Workers and Peasants Party was formed in Bengal on 1st November 1925: Roy had advocated for a long time illegal and legal parallel organisations. Stalin had before him, advocated massive wide broad mass Worker and Peasant parties that were not Communist. These were the manifestations of this line. In the "Masses of India", of November 1926, and Inprecor (International Press Correspondence) of December 1926: So successful had the policy been that even the anti-Roy members of the CPGB "controllers of the CPI", like Philip Spratt as yet continued to extend the WPP's over India - thereby opposing the CI ruling.

It was abundantly clear that in the conditions of colonial India the development of such broad, legal mass workers and peasants parties (WPP) under the Communist leadership, as advocated by Stalin, had been successful in enabling a tiny handful of Communists to independence and lead masses of workers and peasants along paths of militant struggle:

In 1928, February-March it was decided to have an All-India conference of the WPP, in order to unite the four provincial parties into one. It met December 21st-24th 1928, in Calcutta, presided over by Sohan Singh Josh of the Kirti-Kisan Party of Punjab, and declared that the WPP: But, by now even this type of conference was actually contrary to the stand of the CI which had called for the dissolution of the WPP. As the Colonial Theses had said : As the CPI official history puts it: THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE CI HAD SENT A MESSAGE TO THE CPI THAT THE WPP WAS NO LONGER A SECTION OF THE CI, ORDERING THE CPI TO DISSOCIATE THE WPP FROM THE INDEPENDENCE FOR INDIA LEAGUE ORGANISED BY JAWAHARLAL NEHRU AND THE OTHER CONGRESS LEFT-WING LEADERS.
THE LETTER ARRIVED ON THE THIRD DAY OF THE CONFERENCE. The letter went even beyond the 6th Congress Colonial Theses in characterising the entire Indian bourgeoisie as "counter-revolutionary". Moreover The ECCI declared the "Greatest danger" to the revolutionary movement to be the "bourgeois nationalists" especially the "petty bourgeois intellectuals" organised in the Independence League: This Left Deviationism in relation to the colonial-type countries had its counterpart in relation to Germany in the ECCI's assertion the social-democracy, and not fascism constituted the "main enemy" of the German working class in these years. This analysis has been published separately by the CL (See Subject Index web-site).

The WPP Conference adopted a Resolution that took a mid point on this, heeding the ECCI to some extent:

But the Conference resolved that members of the WPP should continue to work with the INC, but as a concession to the ECCI, it declared that this would only be "temporary", and that they would not accept office in the INC without special permission of the ECCI (Labour Monthly Vol. 11, March 1929, p.160). Further instructions came through Dr.G.M.Adhikari from the ECCI to dissolve the WPP, which were ignored until the Meerut case effectively completed the destruction of the WPP by incarcerating its leaders.
 
The leadership of the CPGB, as yet not purged further by the ECCI (At the 10th Plenum as discussed above), supported the defiance of the ECCI. The CPI and the CPGB refused to liquidate the WPP (Labour Monthly Vol 11, No.3, March 1929; p.159). Robin Page Arnot in a pamphlet published later in the same year explicitly declared: As discussed above, the ECCI would purge those such as Robin Page Arnot for their temerity in defying the CI's analysis. But more importantly, this betrayal of the WPP by the CI, at just a time when the mass struggle was taking off, and the vicious polemics against the Congress - all safely destroyed any chances for an effective broad anti-imperialist front. One where the Communists could have led the class coalition.

THE FINAL BLOW TO THE WPP WAS DEALT BY THE BRITISH, WITH THE LAUNCHING OF THE MEERUT CONSPIRACY CASE, ON 20 MARCH 1929.
 
This lasted three and 1/2 years, and crippled the Communist movement, by depriving it of virtually its entire leadership of 31 at a time of uprising. As Rajani Palme Dutt commented:

COMINTERN REVISIONISM TURNS RIGHT, DUTT FOLLOWING.

Having over the previous years destroyed the possibility of any effective joint united front, it was now safe for the hidden revisionists to call again for a United Front.
 
At the Seventh Congress of the CI, the line switched again, under the direction of the hidden revisionists Georgii Dimitrov and Wang-Ming. This time to a Rightist line.

Dimitrov now declared that:

Wang Ming "severely chided" the CPI for its past failure to join actively in the national-imperialist struggle: The DUTT-BRADLEY THESES, laid out the new turn and were printed in Inprecor (International Press Correspondence) Vol 26. February 29th, 1936, pp 297-300.
 
THE DUTT-BRADLEY THESES STATED THAT CONTRARY TO THE STANCE OF THE ULTRA-LEFT 6 TH CONGRESS :
1. THERE WERE TWO WINGS OF THE CONGRESS.

Though Dutt and Bradley had previously only seen "left national reformists" (A term that Lenin had not used- as discussed above), there was now identified a progressive element that pressed for:

2. BUT IN FACT THIS WAS NOT A REVERSION TO THE STALIN LINE OF THE UNITED FRONT IN THE COLONIAL-TYPE COUNTRIES.

For where Lenin and Stalin had called for independent WPP, that themselves should take part in forums of the revolutionary bourgeoisie, Dutt and Bradley identified the Congress as :

THE CLASS UNDERSTANDING OF THE TWO WINGS OF THE BOURGEOISIE WAS OBFUSCATED, PROMOTING CONFUSION.
 
We have shown thus far, how the Congress was a United Front of the comprador and the national bourgeois.
 
THIS PROPOSAL OF DUTT AND BRADLEY URGED A FOUR CLASS COALITION, OF THE COMPRADOR BOURGEOISIE, THE NATIONAL BOURGEOISIE, THE PEASANTRY AND THE WORKERS.

Its purpose was NOT to revert to Leninist-Stalinist understanding of the national liberation struggle in colonial type countries, but to further confuse and disorient the Communist movement.

3. MOREOVER THE PRINCIPLE OF INDEPENDENCE OF ACTION OF THE COMMUNISTS IN THE UNITED FRONT WAS IGNORED.

In practice the line taken was for 'Unity", but this was bought at the price of ignoring class issues.
 
4. THE THESES STATED THAT "TRANSFORMING THE CONGRESS", WAS REQUIRED.
 
This would require "collective affiliation" of mass organisations. The Constitution of the Congress would require democratisation. An unambiguous anti-imperialist program should be adopted. And finally it must eliminate the "dogma" of non-violence.
These points are correct.
However it should be asked how likely they were ever to be adopted; and whether they were merely a veneer to an underlying opportunism. In light of the subsequent policies below inlcuding support of Gandhi at a critical time), it is clear that there was never any real intent to implement this.
 
The main vehicle by which the CPI now moved to a United Front was via the Congress Socialist Party (CSP) (See p.32), At the Meerut Second Conference of the CSP, in January 1936, led by Jayaprakash Narayan and Minoo R. Masani, the CSP engaged in an alliance with the CPI.
 
The proposal originated from the CSP, not from the CPI. The CPI were reluctant to accept, but the Dutt-Bradley Theses were put into effect with a newly appointed leader of the CPI. One P.C.Joshi, who was made General Secretary. Under his direction the CPI effectively penetrated the CSP, with numerous conversions to communism. The CSP National Executive grew alarmed, but continued.
 
In fact the disagreements in some instances came from the CPI being to the RIGHT of the CSP:

THE LEADERS OF THE CPI THEN ENGAGED PERILOUSLY CLOSE TO LIQUIDATIONISM: Owing to the discovery of internal documents of the CPI stating that thee CPI was the only socialist party, the CSP grew alarmed but did not expel the Communists.
 
NOW THE CPI PROPOSED "IMMEDIATE MERGING OF THE TWO PARTIES. AS TO BE EXPECTED FROM THE FORMULATIONS NOTED ABOVE IN THE DUTT-BRADLEY THESES, WORK WITH THE CONGRESS PARTY WAS CONDUCTED FROM A RIGHT DEVIATIONIST LINE.
 
Initially the CPI took a correct principled approach to the issue of party independence. Thus when Dange openly supported the All India Trades Union Congress AITUC over Congress candidates in Bombay, he was threatened with disciplinary action by the Congress. Dange was President of the AITUC and member of the All India Congress Committee. He replied: BUT THE CPI CHANGED THEIR LINE TO A RIGHT OPPORTUNIST ONE SOON AFTER:

1. THEY SUPPORTED GANDHI OVER SUBHAS CHANDRA BOSE:

This occurred at the very time when Bose's candidature for re-election as Congress President was opposed by Gandhi. Here was an opportunity to split off the more determined section of the INC from the vacillators:

The CPI cadre were confused, as Ajoy Ghosh wrote in the National Front: 2.OTHER ERRORS OF A RIGHT DEVIATION RAPIDLY FOLLOWED :  3. MOREOVER THE LABOUR POLICY AND MILITANCY OF THE TRADE UNIONS WAS WOUND DOWN.

The policy was to be based upon:

This phase represented a swing to the Right, and effectively denied any independence of action to the Indian Communists. This situation pertained right up to the Second World War. As Harry Pollitt (crypto-revisionist leader of the CPGB) put it: WHAT MORE OPEN REPUDIATION OF A CORRECT UNITED FRONT IN A COLONIAL TYPE COUNTRY COULD THERE BE?

THIS WAS NOW A COMPLETE RIGHT DEVIATION FROM A CORRECT MARXIST-LENINIST VIEW OF THE ROLE OF THE TWO WINGS OF THE NATIVE BOURGEOISIE IN COLONIAL TYPE COUNTRIES.

THE CPGB HAD DONE ITS WORK FOR THEIR REVISIONIST CI MASTERS.
 
In fact the Government of India of the British in the secret police files contains an assessment made by the Governors of the Bombay and Bihar to the Vice-Roy on the Communist Party of India (CPI) and its wartime offer of support in 20th September, 1943. This report revealingly analysed the CPI as being a nationalist, and NOT an internationalist party:

The British Imperialists recognised that there was an effective fusion of policy between the CPI and the INC. Sir Richard Tottenham in a Secret note: In fact under Joshi's leadership (controlled by R.P.Dutt of the CPGB) the policy of the CPI was being watered down to be virtually indistinguishable from the INC: It must be thought strange for a Communist Party to say this when the world's admiration for the Soviet Union and its feats was at a height because of the Anti-Fascist War, and shortly before the powder keg of a Naval Mutiny in Bombay was to blow up. Thus after the Second World War, militancy was again high:  The Communist leadership itself declared: Socialist Party commentator Madhu Limaye passed the judgement that: In fact, in the words of the bourgeois historians of the CPI, in the immediate post war period, the CPI was: In pursuit of respectability, the party took up its electoral rights- in of itself a correct move.

BUT THEN IT PROCEEDED TO ACCEPT THE COMMUNAL DIFFERENTIALS :

THE CPI HAD BY NOW CAPITULATED TO A DIVISION OF INDIA ALONG RELIGIOUS AND UNPRICNCIPLED LINES.

ULTIMATELY THIS HELPED TO LAY THE GROUNDWORK FOR THE BRITISH IMPERIALIST PLAN TO DIVIDE INDIA INTO TWO STATES ALONG THE LINES OF RELIGION.

THE OLD BRITISH POLICY OF DIVIDE AND RULE WAS BEING AIDED BY THE COMMUNIST PARTY.
 
It is perfectly safe to say, that by this time the party, (Still firmly in the hands of the revisionists) had basically ceded to the Indian National Congress full hegemony. Moreover this action of the CPI to enhance communalism was not the first or the last. The opportunist and incorrect tactics with reference to the National Question, will be dealt with in Part Two. As outlined, Rajani Palme Dutt and Ben Bradley of the CPGB, were important in effecting this revisionist victory in India.
 
Before discussing Russian Indologists, such as Dyakov, we briefly discuss the CPGB attitude to the Mountbatten Plan, and its advice to the CPI. This Plan as is well known, aimed to allow a faltering Britain to retire from India physically, but maintain its position as the imperialist power over a Neo-Colony.
 
By the time that the Mountbatten Plan was announced, R.P.Dutt had already been heavily involved in the right opportunist shift of the CPI. His statements over this period were critical to the formation of policy to the CPI. In March 1946, Dutt arrived in India as a Reporter for the Daily Worker, covering the Cabinet Mission to India:

ACCORDINGLY DUTT WENT TO GREAT LENGTHS TO ACHIEVE THE MARRIAGE OF CPI AND THE INC.
 
He forced the CPI to repudiate their Electoral Statements on the Constituent Assemblies for all the regional nascent Nationalities. This was a move that Dyakov very strongly condemned.

But Dutt went further, he in essence again wished to take away from the CPI its' independence of room and identity, from that of the Congress:

THE CPI NOW FELL IN AND SENT A MEMORANDUM TO THE CABINET MISSION THAT ACCORDED WITH DUTT'S PRESCRIPTION.

THE CPI BASICALLY AGREED TO THE MOUNTBATTEN PLAN WITH ITS PARTITION OF INDIA.THEY HAD NOT CHALLENGED THE HEGEMONY OF THE INC IN THE INDEPENDENCE STRUGGLE. INDIA WAS NOW DIVIDED INTO TWO STATES, THAT IN CONSTANT TENSION WITH EACH OTHER ALLOWED FOREIGN IMPERIALISMS TO CONTROL THE SUB-CONTINENT.
 
THIS WAS THE DENOUEMENT OF THE RIGHT PERVERSION OF UNITED FRONT TACTICS THAT FOLLOWED THE 7 TH CONGRESS OF THE COMINTERN. BUT BEFORE THAT RIGHT TURN, THE ULTRA-LEFT TURN OF THE COMINTERN AT THE 6TH CONGRESS, HAD COST THE WORKERS AND PEASANTS OF INDIA, THE LEADERSHIP OF THE NATIONAL INDEPENDENCE STRUGGLE.
 
AS A DIRECT RESULT OF THE TWISTS, THE RULING CLASS OF INDIA WAS NOW A CLASS COALITION COMPRISED OF :

THIS CLASS COALITION RULED INDIA FOR THE NEXT PERIOD.

WE WILL DISCUSS IN DETAIL THE FUTURE CLASS SHIFTS THAT WERE TO OCCUR, IN PART TWO.

BUT IN BRIEF THESE MAJOR SHIFTS WERE TO BE :
 
1.THE GREAT IMPERIALIST POWER TO WHOM THE COMPRADORS WERE ALLIED TO.

According to the fortunes of the great powers, the dominant foreign imperialism to whom the compradors were tied were the British, then the USA, then the Russian social imperialists (after the death of Stalin. The competition between the Soviet social imperialists and the USA capitalists imperialists, allowed a certain limited room for manoeuvre for even the compradors. Especially since there was no principled Communist party.

2. THE RELATIVE STRENGTH OF THE MARWARI NATIONAL CAPITALISTS VIS A VIS THE COMPRADOR FACTION.

The class coalition was an unstable one. At varying times one was more dominant than the other. The Nehru wing proceeded to install a State Capitalist regime that within tight confines, tried to build an industrialised state. They were hampered at every step by the instruments of foreign Western capitalist imperialism such as the World Bank etc. The state apparatus suppressed the other developing national classes of India. At varying points, the dominant faction of the ruling coalition became the comprador capitalist class.
 
REALPOLITIK : BRITISH IMPERIALISM IN A JAM :

It has been asked how Britain could possibly relinquish control of India voluntarily? After all, the keystone of the Indian Jewel in the Crown of British Imperialism was critical to Britain's position as an Imperialist power. Lord Curzon had warned in 1907, that if India were lost so would a great deal else be lost: BUT ACTUALLY, THE BRITISH DID NOT "LET INDIA GO VOLUNTARILY". THEIR OBJECTIVE POSITION WAS WEAK.
 
In the face of a continuing loss of control over events in India, the only alternative to attempting to leave India as a full Imperialist power, was to crush the INC and worse the developing mass movement. This, though led badly and opportunistically, still had the potential under correct leadership of drawing together a huge discontent. The Bombay Naval Mutiny had indicated how delicate the situation was. Moreover, Britain was in fact "Shoved" off the stage by the brutal attitudes of its partners in crime. Its erstwhile ally, the USA, now took its chance and called in its' debts: Mr. Atlee, then Prime Minister summed up the alarming situation in the House of Commons on 24 August, 1945: In concluding the accounts, Cairncross presents the gloomy sums that faced the British imperialists: The financial picture of trying to resuscitate the Home economy, and at the same time preventing the Indian sub-continent from exploding into revolution did not make much sense to the British.

THE IMPERIALISTS THOUGHT THAT THEY COULD MAKE A BARGAIN WITH INDIAN INDUSTRIALISTS AND LEAVE THEM THE STAGE, WHILE THEY CONTINUED TO PULL THE EFFECTIVE STRINGS.

The British were not totally correct, but they did effectively hamper an Indian independent development, as the history of so called "Western Aid" showed, over the next 30 years. But in fact, as they physically left the sub-continent, hoping to remain the imperialist pay masters of the new Indian neo-colony, the USA rapidly stepped into their shoes. These developments will be discussed in detail in Part Two.
 
But the British did not entirely succeed in extinguishing the thirst for full control by the Indian bourgeoisie with whom they made bargains, and this forms the history of the State Industrialisations carried out under the Mahanoblis Planning Commissions (See Part Two).
 
That the British had their suspicions about the underlying desire of some of the Indian industrialists is made clear by their approach to Partition. The main purpose of Partition was to enable the Imperialists to continue to dominant the economy of the Indian sub-continent. This would be performed in two main ways.

Firstly Partition in fact effectively divorced the raw material from the heavy industrial base for working on the raw material. The internal balance of Trade at Partition expressed in millions of rupees shows this clearly:


 A. RAW COTTON, RAW JUTE, FOOD                 -950                 +950
B. COAL, IRON, COTTON TEXTILES,
SUGAR AND JUTE MANUFACTURE.                 +900                   -900


Cited "Eastern Economist" January 2nd, 1948.

 The Second major reason for the Partition was the even more simple raison d'etre of divide and rule. The British had long known that the Indian sub-continent was composed of different nations: The false notions that India's nationality depended upon religion were played upon to create even further disruption and chaos. All players on the poetical scene agreed for differing reasons to this tactic. We have already outlined above the view of D.N. that the big bourgeoisie of Marwari-Gujerati-Parsi background induced the Indian National Congress not to seriously contend Partition; because this would hamper the emerging regional bourgeoisie who would challenge the newly dominant Central bourgeoisie.
 
The CPI contributed to this subterfuge by including the so called nations of "Hindu" "Moslem" and "Sikh" in their catalogue of the Indian Nations.
 
Their approach to the elections was also opportunist, as outlined above. They agreed that there should be separate electoral rolls,and that they would defer in a Hindu area to a Hindu candidate and the same in a Moslem area, if they were sanding no candidates themselves.

We will deal in detail with the CPI's twist on the national question at a later stage, in Part Two.
 
SOVIET VIEWS ON INDIA - DYAKOV .
 
Dyakov, a Soviet Indologist, was clearly correct in his general line on the issue of the multi-national state of India. His views are therefore of interest to us. During the period 1948-50 stage moreover, his pronouncements make some sense. It is also clear that there was a major difference of opinion in Indologists in the USSR, concerning the class character of the Indian state.

Dyakov disagreed with the CPI in its analysis of the Mountbatten Plan for Indian partition and "Independence".
Whereas the CPI thought it to be progressive (See below), Dyakov denounced it:

But the genesis of this final line went through a sequence.

Initially the line of Dyakov was that the national bourgeoisie ultimately betrayed the revolution in 1947. Later on, Dyakov would retroactively revise his opinion as to when the betrayal came. Dyakov does  not explicitly name the section of bourgeoisie that were represented by the INC. Nonetheless, since one does not expect a comprador bourgeoisie to do anything but retard the movement for national liberation; it is clear that the bourgeoisie of the Congress that Dyakov refers to are national bourgeoisie.
 
Another India commentator, E.Zhukov, however seems to have undertaken some varying positions. His views were later to be in a sharp contrast to Dyakov. In the pre 1947 era he declared for the UN; a position which seems naive and objectively a hidden support for imperialism:

Dyakov, prior to the Mountbatten Plan, was also commenting on the Congress; making clear that he considered it a class coalition: It is possible that Dyakov had a very poor assessment of the role of the CPI, since he discussed it rarely: Even immediately after the announcement of the Mountbatten Plan for India Dyakov still referred to Nehru as a "Left wing progressive" (p.249, Overstreet and Windmiller). But very shortly after, Dyakov attacked the Mountbatten Plan: Zhukov at this point came out strongly against the Congress and stated that the Indian big bourgeoisie had: However the USSR India specialists had differences in their line between themselves: To resolve these differences, an extraordinary step was taken. The Academy of Sciences in June 1947 held a Special session to discuss the Indian situation.
At this session, the keynote address was delivered by Zhukov. His views have been summarised above; drawn from an article published in July 1947, that formed the basis of Zhukov's Keynote address at the Academy of Sciences.
 
Zhukov disagreed fundamentally with Dyakov and Balabushevich.

The latter two felt that the Nehru Government represented not only the big bourgeoisie, but the middle bourgeoisie as well, and that the latter too had turned reactionary. The different class balances had of course different corollaries for the CPI:

On the Partition of India both Balabushevich and Dyakov were also in agreement: It is of interest that both Balabushevich and Dyakov at this time revised their earlier slightly rosier opinions of the Congress: Finally, we should note that Dyakov later on changed his mind about the role of Mohandas Gandhi. But this was at a much later time, when revisionism had been openly and brazenly victorious. His earlier opinions are cited above, are for the most part of a correct orientation. Now Dyakov thought differently: For the reasons we have stated above, we would disagree with this analysis of Gandhi. Dyakov's later comments came after Kuusinen and other revisionists in the CPI had praised Gandhi. The same Kuusinen who in the 20th Party Congress of the CPSU attacked Stalin, in the wake of Khruschev.
 
YUGOSLAV REVISIONISM ENTERS THE DEBATE
After the Mountbatten Plan, the Yugoslavs entered the debate on the role of the national bourgeoisie. Larger issues of more general theoretical concerns than just India were being raised. Andreii Zhdanov at the First Cominform meeting, held in Poland in September 1947, denied the neo-Trotskyite line. This line denied any progressive role for the national bourgeoisie was left in 1947: Zhdanov did however point out that: At this meeting, the Yugoslavs pushed the line that: Why should the Yugoslavs get embroiled in this debate at this particular juncture?

Firstly, it would appear that the main political aim of the Yugoslavs here was to further obscure the differentiation between the first stage and the second stage of the revolution in a colonial country. Obviously this would mean that clarity in the international movement was replaced by obfuscation; it would tend to retard the revolutionary process in the colonial countries.
 
Secondly, the Yugoslavs were clearly tied to imperialists, in particular the British and the USA. The strategy being outlined by the Yugoslavs would objectively aid imperialism by damaging the likelihood of successful anti-imperialist struggles being launched. This would apply also on the Continent of Europe in the People's Democracy. Here the successful application of correct United Front tactics were crucial for the carrying over into the socialist part of the revolution.
 
But, thirdly and crucially for the Yugoslavs, this obfuscation would have the added benefit of obscuring the fact that the Yugoslavs had not entered (nor even wished to enter) the Socialist stage.
 
FOR IF ONE CAN "INTERTWINE" THE DEMOCRATIC AND SOCIALIST REVOLUTIONS, IT IS NO LONGER NECESSARY TO DISCUSS THE TWO STAGES - THE SOCIALIST AND DEMOCRATIC.

Of course Lenin and Stalin point out that Marxist - Leninists should move from the First revolution to the second Socialist phase without a "Chinese Wall" in between. Lenin and Stalin had pointed out that the more resolute in the vanguard of the First revolution the proletarians are, the quicker it is possible to move into the second stage.
 
It is not surprising that the Yugoslavs would apply this line to the People's Democracy.
 
The Yugoslav explanation of the People's Democracies (then being set up in the European countries following the defeat of German fascism), was that they were a new type of state directed at foreign imperialism:

THE YUGOSLAVS TAKE CONTROL OF THE CPI - AN ADVENTURIST TURN

Unfortunately, the Yugoslav revisionist leadership had taken hold of the CPI.
One set of revisionists in the control of the CPI were substituted for another.
That initial set had been Joshi, who had obeyed the dictates of R.P.Dutt and the behest of the revisionist controlled CPGB.
Following the Cominform Meeting, the new set of "foreign leader revisionists" for the CPI were led by the Belgrade revisionists, whose tool was Ranadive.
They were to move the CPI into an Ultra-Left form of attack upon the State. The CPI declared a "War" against the Nehru Government:

Ranadive now entered a Terroristic ultra-Left phase of the CPI.
 In order to do this he had to attack those actually leading an insurrection. This was the Telangana Insurrection leadership. Joshi had ignored Telangana to this point. At the 2nd All-India Party Congress in December, 1948 when Ranadive took control, Telangana was used as a positive example. Ranadive became General Secretary. Ranadive and Bhowani Sen proclaimed that Telangana was the new model for CPI policy. Dutt in Labour Monthly now followed closely and approved the new line. The line was that: BUT HAVING DECLARED WAR ON THE NEHRU GOVERNMENT, THE CPI HAD NOT GONE UNDERGROUND. IT WAS DEVASTATED BY ARRESTS AND DECLARED ILLEGAL ON MARCH 26TH, 1948.
 
Within one month of the Second Congress of the CPI, the party was desperately floundering. But the top leadership was deliberately excluded from arrest and left outside. Only now did they go underground. Ranadive from hiding issued declarations for general strikes and peasant rising, for which no work had been prepared, and the appeal fell on dry soil. The party deteriorated at this time into individual terrorism. The Congress party was incorrectly labelled as being Fascist. This adventurist path soon lost the CPI support.
 
After the exposure of the Yugoslavs by the Cominform, the CPI was rebuked.
Dyakov wrote: Telangana, an open insurrection had taken an avowedly Maoist line by exempting the rich peasantry from CPI attack. This class collaboration was of course inconsistent with the Ultra-Left swing of the CPI and it was condemned by Randive: Of course the Andhra Communists had been Ultra-Rightist, or Maoist on this issue.
Nonetheless, an Insurrection had already been mounted.
A parallel can be made to Stalin's view that the Kuomintang Generals should not have their lands expropriated, whilst they cooperated with the worker and peasants. The Andhra Communists do not say this but their line appears to be similar: Eventually, following the attack of the Stalin controlled Cominform upon Yugoslav revisionism, the CPI shook off the Yugoslav domination.
But it was the CPI pro-Mao faction that would  unseat the Ranadive faction.

For as long as it had been untrained in thinking for itself, the CPI had of course to substitute a new master. The history of the party appears to have been from the days of Roy's expulsion, a new line and a new International Big Brother.

WE END HERE; & LEAVE THE SITUATION AT THIS POINT, UNTIL PART TWO.
THE ASSESSMENT OF THE MAOIST DISTORTION INTO THE STRUGGLES IN COLONIAL TYPE COUNTRIES WILL BE ANALYSED IN RELATION TO INDIA FURTHER.

PART TWO WILL ALSO ANALYSE THE CLASS CHARACTER OF THE INDIAN STATE, AFTER 1948.

PART TWO WILL ALSO EXAMINE THE MULTI-NATIONAL NATURE OF INDIA, AND ITS' IMPLICATIONS FOR THE CURRENT STRUGGLES IN INDIA.
 



CONCLUSIONS OF THE PERIOD UP TO 1948.

1. There were two wings of the Indian bourgeoisie. One had already capitulated to imperialism by 1925. The other had some progressive role for it left.

2. However unless the Communists had an independent stand and pushed from the left in a united principled front, the revolutionary wing would also tend to collapse.

3. In the event of a significant mass movement developing, even greater was the tendency of even the revolutionary bourgeoisie to shrink from the final hurdles.

4. A class coalition of the Marwari Pan-Indian national bourgeoisie and the comprador bourgeoisie, and the landlord class had taken control of the Indian state after the reactionary Partition of India.

5. By 1947, Dyakov proposed a three class strategy against capitalism in India, seeing no future progressive role for the bourgeoisie.

6. Since the Pan Indian Marwari class was now in power, and obstructed progress to the Democratic stage, they can no longer be a class ally of the Indian workers and peasants. But the developing regional national bourgeoisie, themselves oppressed by Pan- Indian bourgeoisie can be a temporary ally of the Indian workers and peasants.

7. The CPI fell into disastrous turn after turn. In all its turns, it was led away from the correct Marxist-Leninist strategy of class alliances in the colonial type countries led by the working class.

8. At the end of 1948, there was not a revolutionary situation. The adventurist turn of the CPI under Ranadive, and encouraged by the Yugoslavs was an error.

9. The CPI had capitulated to distortion of the National Question in India, laying the ground for future disastrous errors here.

10. The beginning of the incorrect turns can be directly traced to the hands of the clique around Kuusinen, Manuilsky, and Dmitrov. They sabotaged the Comintern and overturned a correct understanding and implementation of the United Front.
 


THE SWINGS FROM ULTRA-LEFT TO RIGHT TO ADVENTURISM, HAD LEFT THE WORKING CLASS AT THE MERCY OF THE NEW RULING COALITION OF INDIA.

ONCE MORE, INCORRECT THEORY HAD ALLOWED HUGE PRACTICAL ERRORS.
 



 BIBLIOGRAPHY

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Kennedy, P:" British Ext.Policy, 1865-1980."London 1981.

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Lyall,Sir A:"Life of Marquis Dufferin and Ava."Vol2.Lond 1905.

Markovits, C:"Indian Business Nationalist Politics 1931-1939" Cambridge 1985.

Marx, K.: "British Rule in India""On Britain." Moscow, 1971.

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Overstreet, G.D., Windmiller, M. "Communism in India." Berkeley and Bombay, 1960.

Prakash,K:"Language, nationality politics India" Madras, 1973.

Roy, M.N.: "India in Transition." Adhikari Vol 1: Ibid.

Roy, M.N. "Memoirs" Bombay, 1964

Ross,A.:"The Emissary. G.D.Birla, Gandhi, Independence"

London, 1986.

Shirokov, S.K.:"Industrialisation of India", Moscow, 1973.

Smith,V.A.ed Spear.P,"Oxford History of India" Delhi, 1988.

Stalin, J.V.:"Political Tasks of the University of Peoples of The East. May 1 1925. Reprinted San Fran, 1975 in : Marxism and the National Colonial question.

Stalin J.V.:"Concerning Questions of the Chinese Revolution",

"Works", Vol 9, Moscow, 1954.

Tomlinson, B.R.:"The Political Economy of the Raj,1914-1947", Surrey, 1979

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Vol 1, London, 1973",

Trotsky, L: "Perspectives of the Chinese Revolution" Ibid.

Wedderburn, Sir William:"Alan Octavian Hume", London, 1913.
 




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