ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Alternative Trajectory of Development?

In his article “The Left in Decline: A Response” (EPW, 10 March 2012) Prabhat Patnaik mentions that I was factually wrong in saying that the Communist Party of India (CPI) opposed the Quit India movement at the behest of the Soviet Union. As a matter of fact, the CPI considered the Soviet Union as the citadel of socialism and that to follow its line as if it were a gospel truth was the revolutionary task of the party.

When, after the end of the second world war, the Soviet Union found itself encircled by imperialist powers, it propounded a theory generally known as the Zhdanov thesis which said that the final battle between socialism and capitalism had at last begun. This implied that communists in all countries, including in newly liberated countries like India where lackeys of imperialism had been bestowed with power according to Soviet understanding, should rise in revolt to overthrow such governments. The CPI immediately took to this adventurist line and suffered badly. Very soon the Soviet Union changed this line vis-à-vis newly independent countries when it found that the ruling bourgeoisie, instead of being a running dog of imperialism, was cultivating friendship with the Soviet Union to build their countries.

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