Communist Ideology in national movement
The Communist Ideology within the Indian national movement went through various phases and faced challenges. Here are some key points regarding the Communist movement during this period:
- Repression and legal cases: The government harshly repressed Communists, resulting in trials and imprisonment. Cases like the Peshawar Conspiracy Case in 1922-24 and the Kanpur Bolshevik Conspiracy Case in 1924 targeted prominent Communists such as S.A. Dange, Muzaffar Ahmed, Nalini Gupta, and Shaukat Usmani.
- Meerut Conspiracy Case and Solidarity: The Meerut Conspiracy Case, where 32 defendants were tried, became a national sensation. Nationalist leaders, including Jawaharlal Nehru, M.A. Ansari, and M.C. Chagla, defended the accused. Mahatma Gandhi also visited the Meerut prisoners in jail, expressing solidarity. The prisoners’ defence speeches were widely published, introducing many to communist ideas for the first time.
- Split from the Congress: Following the resolutions of the Communist International’s Sixth Congress, the Communists severed their ties with the Indian National Congress, considering it a bourgeoisie party. They viewed Congress’ mass movement for Poorna Swaraj as a ploy to gain influence and strike an agreement with British imperialism.
- Disbanding the Workers’ and Peasants’ Party: The Workers’ and Peasants’ Party, composed entirely of Communists, was disbanded. The Communists focused on forming an independent and centralized Communist Party, believing that a two-class party would be vulnerable to petty-bourgeois influences.
- Exclusion from the national movement: The Communists’ shift in political position led to their exclusion from the mainstream of the national movement, especially during a crucial time of mass struggle. The Communist Party also experienced internal divisions, and the government declared the CPI illegal in 1934.
- Involvement in the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM): Despite their exclusion, many Communists actively participated in the CDM and refused to separate themselves from it. Socialist and communist ideas continued to spread during this period.
- Reorganization and rejoining the national movement: In 1935, under the leadership of P.C. Joshi, the Communist Party was reorganized. The Communist International’s Seventh Congress advocated for a united front with socialists and anti-fascists in capitalist countries. The Dun-Bradley Thesis laid the groundwork for the Communist Party to rejoin the national movement led by the Indian National Congress.
- Efforts within the Congress: The Communist Party urged its members to join the Congress and mobilize the masses to join as well. They aimed to bring the national movement under the influence of the working class while actively working within Congress.
- During this period, the Communist movement faced repression, legal challenges, and a shift in political positions. However, many Communists remained engaged in the national struggle, and the reorganization of the party and its involvement in the united front approach marked a change in communist politics in India.
Socialist Ideology in national movement
Socialist ideology had a significant presence within the Indian national movement during this period. Here are some key points regarding the socialist influence:
- Involvement in the Congress: Socialists held positions within the All-India Congress Committee and occupied official roles in Congress district and provincial committees. This allowed them to have an impact on the decision-making processes and shape Congress’s agenda.
- Powerful peasant movements: Socialists organized and led powerful peasant movements in various regions, including Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Bengal, and Punjab, between 1936 and 1942. These movements helped establish their reputation as militant anti-imperialists and further popularized their socialist ideology.
- Formation of a socialist party: Dissatisfied with Gandhian strategy and leadership, a group of young Congressmen who were attracted to socialist ideology worked together in jails during the years 1930-31 and 1932-34 to form a socialist party. They studied and discussed Marxist and other socialist ideas while in prison.
- Attraction to Marxism, Communism, and the Soviet Union: The socialist-minded Congressmen were drawn to the principles of Marxism, Communism, and the socialist experiments in the Soviet Union. However, they did not necessarily align themselves with the dominant political line of the Communist Party of India (CPI).
- Search for an alternative: Many of these socialist-minded Congressmen were actively seeking an alternative political path and were exploring options beyond the CPI’s political line. They were looking for a distinctive socialist approach that aligned with their aspirations and goals.
- These points illustrate the active presence and influence of socialist ideology within the Indian national movement. Socialists held positions of influence within Congress, organized powerful grassroots movements, and sought alternatives to the dominant political line represented by the CPI. Their dedication to socialist principles helped shape the discourse and direction of the national movement.
Q. Who were the socialists in the Indian National Movement?
Ans. Socialists in the Indian National Movement were individuals and groups who advocated for a more equitable and just society, often emphasizing socialist principles like economic equality and social justice.
Q. What was the primary role of socialists in the Indian National Movement?
Ans. Socialists played a crucial role in advocating for the rights of the working class and peasants. They worked towards addressing socio-economic inequalities and collaborated with other leaders to achieve independence.
Q. Name some prominent socialist leaders in the Indian National Movement.
Ans. Leaders like Jayaprakash Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia, and Acharya Narendra Dev were prominent socialist figures who made significant contributions.
Q. What were the key principles of the socialist movement within the Indian National Movement?
Ans. Socialists emphasized principles such as land reforms, economic equality, social justice, and reducing the disparities in wealth and power.
Q. How did socialists interact with other political groups and leaders during the independence struggle?
Ans. Socialists often collaborated with other political groups, including the Indian National Congress and the Communist Party, to advance the cause of Indian independence and social justice.
Q. When did the socialist movement begin in India?
Ans. The socialist movement in India has its roots in the early 20th century, but it gained prominence during the independence struggle.
Q. What were the major influences on the Indian socialist movement?
Ans. Indian socialists were influenced by both Western socialist ideas and the socio-economic conditions in colonial India. They were inspired by leaders like Karl Marx and Fabian socialists.
Q. What were some of the challenges faced by Indian socialists during the independence movement?
Ans. Socialists often faced opposition from other political groups, as their vision of socialism sometimes conflicted with the dominant narrative of the Indian National Congress.
In case you still have your doubts, contact us on 9811333901.
For UPSC Prelims Resources, Click here
For Daily Updates and Study Material:
Join our Telegram Channel – Edukemy for IAS
- 1. Learn through Videos – here
- 2. Be Exam Ready by Practicing Daily MCQs – here
- 3. Daily Newsletter – Get all your Current Affairs Covered – here
- 4. Mains Answer Writing Practice – here