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Congress in the Thirties

Congress in the Thirties David Hardiman The Indian National Congress and the Raj, 1929-1942; The Penultimate- Phase by B R Tomlinson; Macmillan, London, 1976; Rs 55.

The Formative Ideology of Jawaharlal Nehru

The ambivalences of Jawaharlal Nehru's ideology were to he embarrassing and sometimes even dangerous in the years after 1947 when they dominated his thinking, and that of the large number in India who followed his lead, because it necessarily meant a dilution of the thrust of policy. Looking back today at the ideology of Asian and African nationalism, Nehru's efforts at formulating a coherent body of thought and practice seem halting, incomplete, and perhaps circumscribed by his class background. .

Reincarnation of Gandhian Ideas

December 27, 1975 effect. These incendiary weapons consist of a quantity of a highly volatile self- igniting liquid, such as triethyl aluminium, very slightly thickened with a polymer. This incendiary material can be used in a wide variety of grenades, shells or cluster bombs.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at 100

Howard Spodek This evaluation of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel emphasises the earlier years in which Vallabhbhai be- came the Municipal Councillor, 1917-22, and subsequently the President of the Ahmedabad Municipality, 1924-26; the "suba of Borsad", 1924; and after the Bardoli satyagrafia of 1928, "the Sardar". It is based primarily on his activities in Gujarat.

Gandhi Is Alive and Well

November 15, 1975 outflow on account of imports, dividend, servicing of foreign exchange loans, royalties, etc. Here too, however, the management feels that the company will have to put in more stren- ous efforts, as there are recessionary trends and fierce competition in the international markets. The company has undertaken a phased programme to establish a central research and development laboratory

Jawaharlal Nehru and the Capitalist Class, 1936

Bipan Chandra Jawaharlal Nehru grew more and more radical during 1933-36. This was his most "Marxist" phase, the Indian summer of his Leftism. The radical Nehru produced consternation among the Indian capitalists and the Right-wing in the Congress. They took certain steps to counter and contain him

Gandhi's Politics

RAVINDER KUMAR is one of those few Indian historians who are acutely aware of the many yawning gaps in the study of modern Indian history. These relate to areas of enquiry as well as to methods of investigation. This is undoubtedly a stupendous task, and in the existing state of our historiography it is no mean achievement to he able to diagnose some significant lacunae. And this is the least that one can say about the essays edited by Kumar tu order to get some insight into the first major agitation led by Mahatma Gandhi. This is a crucial phase for understanding an important shift in modern Indian politics. The Rowlatt Satyagraha was the first countrywide anti-British agitation which facilitated the trans- formal ion of Indian nationalism from a movement of classes to one of masses. It also ensured Gandhi's emergence as a dominant political figure, a fact which was to have a variety of effects on subsequent national development. But these were consequences which maybe even Gandhi had not visualised while issuing the call for agitation. Convinced of the righteousness of his cause, but unsure of the response to his call, Gandhi was really acting on faith rather than on calculation. He was at the time virtually a lone, though widely admired and respected, individual unbacked by any political organisation or group interest. If anything, there was a good deal of cynicism in the contemporary political circles regarding the efficacy of his methods in India.

Socialism or State Capitalism

H K Paranjape ONE of the curiosities of the Approach document is that it speaks about the "establishment of a fully democratic and socialist society" having been accepted as "the only means for the realisation of these goals" (emphasis added). The "socialist society" is thus not a goal but merely a means, the goals being "consolidation of the demo, cratic political order, prevention of concentration of economic power, reduction of disparities in income and wealth, attainment of balanced regional development, and spread of the institutions, values and attitudes of a free and just society". The Fifth Plan, it is stated," must take the country another major step forward along the chosen course". Overlooking the inconsistency between the establishment of a fully democratic society being a means as well as a goal, one should expect that the Approach would at the least specifically indicate how the country would move along the socialist path in whatever limited way during the Plan period. Such a hope however is belied.

Conservative Influence of Liberalism-Indian Reappraisals

Conservative Influence of Liberalism Indian Reappraisals Arun Shourie In spite of the familiar indices of progress little has changed in the 25 years of the country's independence in regard to two crucial matters. First, all evidence suggests that no progress has been made in reducing the absolute numbers of those who live below the poverty line. Second, little progress has been made in destroying privilege. Some of the most odious forms of privileges have indeed been done away with; but new privileges have replaced these. In fact, many of the policies and instruments that were designed to destroy the advantages of the privileged and the propertied appear in retrospect to have buttressed the very advantages they were intended to eliminate.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh — IV

There is much evidence which suggests that the RSS leaders expected to influence politics in a Congress Party dominated by Vallabhbhai Patel. When the Congress Working Committee passed its resolution preventing RSS members from joining the Congress in late 1949 and when Patel acquiesced in this, the RSS did begin to look for some alternative way to influence politics. Those elements in the RSS who proposed more direct political involvement received a hearing within the organisation that would not have been possible before 1948. This was the backdrop to the formation of the Jan Sangh and the RSS's role in it. To extend the RSS's influence, a large number of other institutions were formed to spread the RSS ideology among various types of groups (i e, students, labour, teachers, etc). Rather than 'infiltrate' existing institutions, the RSS helped form separate groups. Because RSS members were excluded from many interest groups and political parties in the post-independence period, this option was, in a sense, forced on the RSS. [This is the fourth, and concluding, instalment of this study of the RSS. The first three parts discussed the origins and growth of the RSS, the relationship between the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha and the ban on the RSS following Gandhi's assassination which ted many in the RSS to conclude that the organisation would have to transform itself into a political party if the movement was to survive.]

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh — III

Following Gandhi's assassination Golwalkar was arrested and the RSS was banned. Throughout the period of the ban (and after as well), the government assumed that the RSS was a political body. However, the government's assessment of the RSS's political nature was wrong, at least at that time. The government often considered the RSS to be the volunteer arm of the Hindu Mahasabha. But what connections the RSS had with the HM were extremely tenuous and these connections had virtually ceased in 1940. Upto the time of the ban, many swayamsevaks were members of the Congress. Hedgewar had refused to allow the RSS, as an organisation, to champion the cause of any political party. Until the ban on the RSS in 1948, Golwalkar gave the same advice. Members might participate in politics, but not as representatives of the RSS. The pracharaks (the full-time cadres) were, and still are, explicitly forbidden from being members of any political party. The ban shocked the swayamsevaks. Many felt that the RSS had to transform itself into a political party if the movement were to survive. Sardar Patel, then Home Minister, himself feared that it might do this. He sought to prevent this and to bring the RSS cadres into the Congress. For a time, it looked as if he might succeed. In October 1948 the Congress Working Committee ruled that RSS members were permitted to join the Congress. The Working Congress decision immediately set off a controversy within the Congress, with the supporters of Patel favouring the decision and the followers of Nehru opposing it. Eventually, Nehru persuaded the Congress Working Committee to deny membership to RSS men by stipulating that they could join, but only if they gave up their RSS membership. These developments prepared the ground for those elements in the RSS who proposed more direct political involvement receiving a hearing within the Sangh that would not have been possible earlier. [In the first part of this four-part narrative the origins and growth of the RSS were discussed. The second part examined the relationship between the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha. In the fourth and final part, to be published next week, will be examined the genesis of the Jan Sangh and the role played by the RSS in its formation.]

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh — II

Upto 1937 the Hindu Mahasabha was a loosely organised group collected around prominent individuals. The two major issues dividing the reformers (in the Hindu Mahasabha), led by Lajpat Rai and Sharaddhanand, from the Sanatanists (the orthodox ones), led by Parmanand, Munje and Kelkar, were the elimination of caste restrictions and political participation. In 1937 Savarkar was elected President of the Mahasabha and settled these differences by resolving to build it into a political organisation representing the Hindus.

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