Thursday, March 27, 2008

Indian communists during the Freedom Movement

K.K. Chaudhari: Quit India Revolution (Popular Parakashan, Mumbai)

The betrayal of the Indian Freedom Movement by the Communists has been described quoting chapter and verse by, K.K. Chaudhari in his excellent work Quit India Revolution (Popular Parakashan, Mumbai). The Communist betrayal of India was systematic and thorough. The Communist, official organ of the CPI, of November 1940 lampooned Gandhi's individual satyagraha movement mercilessly. This anti-Congress diatribe continued with the Communists charging Gandhi of all people of betraying the national cause. When the AICC passed the Quit India Resolution. People's War, the new organ of the CPI ridiculed it, saving of the earlier labours of the Congress Working Committee that "after nine days of labour, the Working Committee has brought forth an abortion". The British gleefully accepted the Communists as their saviours. Writes Chaudhari: "It should be emphasised that the British did not entice the Communists into betraying the Quit India Movement. In fact the Communists and their ally N.M. Joshi, went about, systematically and persistently, brandishing their usefulness to the Government". The British Government took no time to release the traitorous Communists, till then in jail, in order that they may fight the Congress. Among those released were B.T. Ranadive, R.S. Nimbkar, S.G. Patkar, S.S. Mirajkar, Sajjad Zaheer. The British felt that the only party. that could sabotage the Quit India Movement was the CPI. As Chaudhari has stated (p. 193): "On many occasions the Communists were indeed more royalist than even the king of England". In exchange for the release of Communists, CPI General Secretary P.C. Joshi promised Home Secretary Reginald Maxwell to run pro-government guerrilla camps in Punjab with the collaboration of the military, authorities. People's War called all opponents of the CPI, including the Congress as Fascist elements and fifth columnists" (p. 199). Joshi was so anxious to prove the CPI's bona fides and its utility to the British that he claimed it was doing a better job of stemming the Quit India Movement, of denouncing Subhas Bose and leaders of the underground - Jaya Prakash Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia. Achyut Patwardhan and others than the Government themselves (p. 200). P.C. Joshi argued that Communists were more vigilant in tracking down 'saboteurs' (Congressmen) than the police and the CID. Communists emphatically claimed that they had successfully divided the nationalists. In a 120-page report to the Government Joshi bragged about what the CPI had done to sabotage the Quit India Movement. Several files in the National Archives of India testify, to this. The CBI was happy to assist the British bureaucracy in intelligence work against underground Congressmen (p. 207).

And what is the Communist record in the creation of Pakistan? Based on documentary evidence, Chaudhari notes how "by incessant and vociferous repetition" the Communists proclaimed the thesis that "India was not one nation but a collection of separate nationalities, that the demand for Pakistan is a just and democratic one because Hindus would oppress them (Muslims) in future, that Muslim League itself now (has become) progressive and secular and that Congress must concede to the Muslims the right to self-determination" (p. 208). The CPI complimented itself on how Muslims were flocking to it because of its espousing the demand for Pakistan. When not even the British, at that time, were ready to accede to the Muslim League's demand for Pakistan the Bombay Committee of the CPI went to the extent of adopting a resolution (13 April 1943) to the effect that the League's demand for Pakistan should be accepted in principle (p. 209). The Communists were willing to sell India down the drain. As Chaudhari observes: "Documentary evidence indeed makes it amply clear that the Government did not entice Communists: the Communists went about systematically and persistently brandishing their utility to the Government. They made feverish approaches to the bureaucracy offering their services". It is significant that not even hard-core Muslim Leaguers were betrayers of the nationalist cause. As Chaudhari observes: "A scrutiny of documentary evidence in the form of Bombay Congress Bulletins and newspapers makes it amply clear that no Muslim in Bombay was found to help the CID in the matter of investigation of sabotage activity or arrest of Congressmen, as was done by the Communists... Congregations of Bombay Muslims were praying for Gandhiji's life during his epic fast".

1 comment:

Dirt Digger said...

The gall of the communists to complain about the BJP about Gandhi's death and congress for its discriminatory politics!!!
The same communists who sided with China during the 1962 war.
Thanks for the post HF.