The Congress Socialist Party (CSP), formed in October 1934 under the leadership of Jayaprakash Narayan, Acharya Narendra Dev, and Minoo Masani, had a clear objective of transforming and strengthening the Indian National Congress.
Key points regarding the CSP’s goals and perspectives:
Here are key points regarding the CSP’s goals and perspectives:
- Transformation of Congress: The CSP aimed to bring about a transformation of the Congress party. This transformation was understood in two senses, namely, ideological and organizational.
- Socialist vision: The CSP sought to gradually persuade Congress members to embrace a socialist vision for India after gaining independence. It aimed to promote a more radical stance on labour and peasant issues within the Congress.
- Process-oriented transformation: The ideological and programmatic transformation of the Congress was perceived as a continuous process rather than an abrupt event. The CSP recognized the need for a gradual shift in Congress’s outlook.
- Organizational changes and leadership: The CSP envisioned changes in the top leadership of Congress as part of the transformation process. Initially, it aimed to remove the existing leadership, which was deemed incapable of taking the struggle of the masses to a higher level.
- The nucleus of socialist leadership: The CSP aimed to establish itself as the core of an alternative socialist leadership within the Congress. The Meerut Thesis of 1935 articulated the goal of redirecting anti-imperialist elements in the Congress away from the existing bourgeois leadership and toward the leadership of revolutionary socialism.
- The CSP’s formation reflected a determination to bring socialist perspectives and values into Congress, with the intention of influencing its ideology, program, and leadership. The party aimed to create a socialist nucleus within the Congress to drive the transformation process toward a more radical and pro-people direction.
- As the Congress Socialist Party (CSP) navigated the political landscape, there were shifts in their approach and challenges they faced. Here are key points regarding the CSP’s journey:
- Abandoning the alternative leadership model: The CSP found the idea of an alternate Left leadership of the Congress and the national movement to be unrealistic. Instead, they embraced a “comprehensive” leadership model that aimed to include socialists at all levels of government.
- Tripuri and Ramgarh sessions: The notion of alternate Left leadership within the Congress and the national movement gained traction during the Tripuri session in 1939 and the Ramgarh session in 1940. These sessions highlighted the need to avoid splitting the Congress on a Left-Right basis and recognized the importance of mobilizing the Indian people under Mahatma Gandhi’s leadership.
- Challenges of alternative leadership: While the CSP and the Communist Party of India (CPI) understood the limitations of pursuing an executive left-wing leadership and the need to work within Congress, they struggled to fully internalize this understanding and often returned to the concept of alternative leadership.
- Pragmatic approach: Unlike Jawaharlal Nehru, the CSP’s leadership, along with other Left-wing groups and parties, was unable to fully theorize or internalize the importance of Gandhiji’s leadership and the limitations of seeking an alternative leadership. However, when faced with crucial decisions, the CSP adopted a pragmatic approach similar to Nehru’s, which drew criticism from other left-wing organizations.
- Ideological currents within CSP: The CSP’s leaders represented three ideological currents—Marxist, Fabian, and influenced by Mahatma Gandhi. This ideological diversity sometimes caused confusion and challenges for the party, as Marxism in the 1930s struggled to accept such political currents on the Left as legitimate.
- Papering over ideological differences: Despite the ideological variations among its leaders, the CSP maintained a sense of friendship, comradeship, and a commitment to nationalism and socialism. This allowed the party to overlook their basic ideological differences and work together.
- Acceptance of Marxism: While there were ideological currents within the CSP, the party as a whole accepted Marxism as the foundational definition of socialism.
These points illustrate the complexities faced by the CSP in reconciling ideological differences, navigating political realities, and finding their place within Congress and the national movement. Despite challenges, the CSP remained committed to socialism and played a role in shaping the discourse and direction of the movement.
Emergence of Left-wing Groups
In the 1930s, a number of other Left-wing groups and currents emerged.
In the 1930s, alongside the Congress Socialist Party (CSP) and the Communist Party of India (CPI), several other Left-wing groups and currents emerged in the Indian political landscape. Here are key points regarding these groups and their common political program:
- M.N. Roy and the Royists: M.N. Roy returned to India in 1930 and organized a group of Royists, who underwent various political and ideological transformations over time.
- Forward Bloc: Subhas Bose, after resigning from the presidency of Congress, formed the Forward Bloc in 1939 with his left-wing supporters.
- Other Left-wing organizations: The Hindustan Socialist Republican Association, the Revolutionary Socialist Party, and various Trotskyist organizations were active during the 1930s.
- Independent left-wing figures: Swami Sahajanand Saraswati, Professor N.G. Ranga, and Indulal Yagnik were notable left-wing figures who worked independently of any organized left-wing party.
- Common political program: Despite ideological and organizational differences, the CPI, CSP, Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Bose, and other Left groups and leaders shared a common political program. This program included anti-imperialism, anti-landlordism, worker and peasant organization in trade unions and kisan sabhas (peasant associations), a socialist vision for independent India, and a socialist program for economic and social transformation. They also advocated an anti-fascist, anti-colonial, and anti-war foreign policy.
- The goal of establishing socialist dominance: Despite their courageous and dedicated participation in the freedom struggle, the Left failed to achieve its fundamental goal of establishing socialist ideas and parties as the dominant force in the national movement.
These Left-wing groups and leaders played a significant role in promoting socialist ideas, advocating for worker and peasant rights, and challenging imperialism and landlordism. While they shared a common political program, their efforts to establish socialist dominance within the national movement fell short of their aspirations.
Q. Congress Socialist Party kya hai?
Ans. Congress Socialist Party (CSP) ek bharatiya rajneetik dal tha jo svatantrata sangram ke dauran aur uske baad rajneeti mein ek mahattvapurn bhumika nibhaya. Iska uddeshya samajik nyay aur samajwadi moolyon ki raksha karke bharat ki azaadi aur vikas tha.
Q. Bihar Congress Socialist Party ka gathan kab hua?
Ans. Bihar Congress Socialist Party (CSP) ka gathan 1936 mein hua. Bihar CSP CSP ke rashtriya shakha se alag thi aur samajvadi moolyon par adharit rajneeti ki disha mein agrasar thi.
Q. Congress Socialist Party ke mool sansthapak adhyaksh kaun the?
Ans. CSP ke mool sansthapak adhyaksh Jawaharlal Nehru, Acharya Narendra Dev, Subhas Chandra Bose, Ram Manohar Lohia, aur JB Kripalani jaise neta the. In netaon ne CSP ki sthapna aur uske moolyon ki vikas mein mahatvapurn bhoomika nibhayi.
Q. Congress Socialist Party ki sthapna kisne ki thi?
Ans. Congress Socialist Party ki sthapna Jawaharlal Nehru, Acharya Narendra Dev, Subhas Chandra Bose, aur anya samajvadi netaon dwara ki gayi thi. Inhone CSP ko bharatiya rashtriya kangres se alag ek aise dal ke roop mein sthapit kiya jahan samajik nyay aur samajwadi moolyon par adhik jor diya gaya.
Q. Congress Socialist Party ke adhyaksh kaun-kab rahe?
Ans. CSP ke adhyaksh ke roop mein vibhinn samay par alag-alag neta rahe. Jaise, Acharya Narendra Dev, JB Kripalani, aur Ram Manohar Lohia CSP ke adhyaksh rahe hain. Har adhyaksh ne dal ke mukhy uddeshyon aur darshanik drishtikon ke prati mahatvapurn bhoomika nibhayi.
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