This Blog Post is to evaluate the role of CPI(Later CPI & CPM) in India Freedom Struggle and later(such as China War, etc)
Nationalism as a concept alien to communism. For a communist, Ideology comes first before country. For several Years, they had difficulty accepting India as a single country, they used to call India a confederation of nations.
So it is not surprising that the communists called all national heroes name- Mahatma Gandhi, Subhas Bose, Jaya Prakash Narain to name a few. Sabotaged the Quit movement, refused to accept India's freedom, started an armed rebellion against the Indian state, sided with China in the Sino-Indian conflict in 1962, supported the Emergency and press censorship in 1975, criticized Pokharan-II etc.
However, the most subversive role of the communist movement has been providing philosophical and intellectual underpinning to all such anti-national movements. CPI leadership supported the two nation theory thus Pakistan demand of the Muslim league. They even accepted Sikhs Demand for separate homeland.
Communists role during Quit India Movement is well Known. The role of CPI during China war is more Disgusting. It ranged from Declaring "Chairman Mao, Our Chairman" to Giving overt and covert support to china.
We will Broadly divide this Segment into two Section namely Before Independence, After Independence
The story of Communist betrayal of the freedom movement is sickening. The CPI newspaper kept denouncing Gandhiji and Subhas Chandra Bose as "blind Messiahs" and accused them of decadence. In February 1941 the Communist wrote that "the national movement under bourgeois leadership has entered into a blind alley". The Communists heaped abuse on Gandhiji, the Congress. Jayaprakash Narayan and Subhas Babu, and denigrated the clarion call of "Do or
Die" as an indication of bankruptcy of thought.
K.K. Chaudhari in his Book Quit India Revolution: The Ethos of Its Central Direction:
Chaudhari says that "on many occasions the Communists were indeed more royalist than even the King of England". In submissions to Sir Reginald, Joshi showed what a splendid job he and his party were doing to break up the Quit India Movement. Chaudhari writes that the 120-page report "could not have been improved by any other collaborator of the British or by any quisling". Joshi was so anxious to prove the CPI's utility to the British rule that he claimed that he was doing a better job of stemming the Quit India Movement, of denouncing Subhas Babu and leaders of the Congress underground. than the government itself! Notes Chaudhari: "The tone and contents of Joshi's performance report reveal crystal clear what the CPI had done to sabotage the 1942 movement."
On the Communist Support for Creation of Pakistan he writes
"By incessant and vociferous repetition Communists proclaimed the thesis that (1) India was not one nation but a collection of several separate nationalities. (2) the demand for Pakistan is a just and democratic one because Hindus would oppress them in future; (3) the Muslim League itself has become progressive and secular and Jinnah himself was secular and anti-religious and (4) the Congress must concede to the Muslims the right to self-determination."
The diaries of former Soviet Ambassador to India IA Benediktov give a good Insight on various acts of CPI. The Benediktov diaries form part of the Russian Archives Documents Database at the National Security Archive of George Washington University, Washington, DC. Excerpts from the diaries can be accessed on the website of the Cold War International History Project of the Woodrow Wilson Centre in Washington, DC.
One of entries describe a conversation with the Secretary of the National Council of the Communist Party of India (CPI), Bhupesh Gupta. During the conversation, Gupta urgently requests Soviet financial aid for the Indian party for use in an upcoming election campaign; the answer conveyed by Benediktov ten days later suggests that the Soviets responded positively to the request, although the amount is not indicated:
Today I received Gupta at his request. Gupta communicated that on 16-17 January a meeting of the Secretariat of the CPI took place in Delhi, at which was discussed the future work of the party apparatus in connection with the death of A[joy]. [Kumar] Ghosh….Gupta said that he desires that the ties of the CPI and CPSU do not become weakened in any way after the death of Ghosh. The assistance in various forms and the comradely advice of the CC CPSU have always been enormously useful to us, he underscored….Gupta said that no other party, not even the communist party of China, can occupy in the hearts of Indian communists the place which belongs to the CPSU…
Gupta reported that after the death of Ghosh at the present time in the party there is an acute insufficiency of means for the preelection campaign. He expressed the fear that with the death of Ghosh the source for receiving means for the communist party from the CPSU might be closed. These questions were handled by Ghosh alone, Gupta underscored. He never consulted with him /Gupta/, and even less with [Elamulam M.S.] Nambudiripad and G. Nair/ with the latter two only about using the assistance/. All these matters were held in strictest secrecy from other leaders of the party and members of the National Council. This explains the fact that not a single report on this question has appeared in the press. Gupta said that he cannot singlehandedly take on responsibility in questions of assistance, therefore he considers it necessary to consult with Nambudiripad, whom he characterized as a person of crystalline honesty and whom Ghosh trusted. Gupta confidentially reported that A. Ghosh had not consulted on this problem with Akhmed or with [Shripad Amrit] Dange, who once proposed that he entrust to him alone all matters connected with the receipt of aid from abroad.
The Mitrokhin Archive II:
"The Mitrokhin Archive" refers to the collected notes taken by Vasili Mitrokhin over 30 years. They became public following his 1992 departure from Russia to Great Britain. The notes purportedly contain Soviet intelligence operations details obtained from KGB archives. Mitrokhin was a Major and senior archivist for the USSR's foreign intelligence service and the First Directorate of KGB.
In this he describes:
The CPI was funded in many ways, including transfer of money through car windows on Delhi roads: “(C.) Rajeshwar Rao, general secretary of the CPI from 1964 to 1990, subsequently provided receipts for the sums received.”
Then there was the infamous rupee-ruble trade: “In 1959, the CPI general secretary, Ajoy Ghosh, agreed on plans to found an import-export business for trade with the Soviet bloc, headed by a senior Party member codenamed DED...Within little more than a decade its annual profits had grown to over 3 million rupees.”
Mrs Raj Thapar former communists of "Thapar couple Fame:
Mrs Raj Thapar former communists of "Thapar couple"' fame in her memoir "All These Years (Penguin, 1991)" writes "To this day I cannot fathom what lay behind the communist support for the idea of Pakistan, what vested interests possessed them to waste their cadres, their energy, to help what obviously the most reactionary trend in our political life. And of all people, (Mohan Kumaramangalam), who I then thought had devoured all the basic writings of Marxism, how could he hold, support, back and supply Jana was with the intellectual arguments he so urgently needed."
A Glimpse thru Mahatma Gandhi's Letter
His letter to Communist leader P C joshi on June 11, 1944 on How Communist Betrayed Labour Leaders: Role of Communists was so illustrious that even Mahatma Gandhi got wind of their deeds.In his letter to Communist leader P C joshi on June 11, 1944 Gandhi himself talked about the Communist party helping the authorities arrest the leaders of labor unions.
"MY DEAR JOSHI,
I had expected a prompt reply to the questions I had raised at our meeting. Meanwhile some additional questions have arisen which please, answer when you answer my first questions.
1. What is the meaning of “people” in “people’s war”? Does it mean war on behalf of India’s millions, or the Negroes in East, South or West Africa, or the Negroes of America, or all of them? Are the Allies engaged in such a war?
2. Are the finances of the Communist Party, represented by you, subject to public audit? If they are, may I see them?
3. It is stated that the Communist Party has actively helped the authorities to arrest leaders and organizers of labour strikes during the last two years.
4. The Communist Party is said to have adopted the policy of infiltrating the Congress organization with a hostile intent.
5. Is not the policy of the Communist Party dictated from outside?
M. K. GANDHI"
In his reply on June 14, 1944 P. C. Joshi does not deny the charge: He says it cannot be proven. Then gloats about this achievement of theirs:
"That we successfully prevented the Indian working class from resorting to strikes even in a period of their worsening material conditions is the measure not only of our influence over it but its capacity to understand national interests as its own."
(Letter no 136, page 100 and Appendix IX, page 444)
How Communists acted as Fifth Columnist for British: In an Article article of V Sundaram Writes:
"Bhulabhai Desai reported in the light of cold documentary evidence how the Communist Party of India had functioned as a fifth Columnist, acting as a paid agent of the British Government in India. His recommendations were referred to a Committee consisting of Pandit Nehru, Sardar Patel and G B Pant who endorsed the findings of Bhulabhai Desai. Charge sheets were then served on the Communist members."
This fact of history (if the article of V Sundaram is not good enough) can be verified through a look at the correspondence of Mahatma Gandhi with P.C. Joshi (a general secretary of the Communist party at the time). Refer Letter of Mr. Joshi to Gandhi dated February 1,1945(Appendix VIII page 470) here Mr Joshi talks about question of their moral bonafides and the file containing the evidence against them.
Letter no 595, Page no 354: In this letter Mahatma Gandhi Sarcastically asks P. C Joshi
Received your letter. Shall I reply in the national language?
Then Continues Saying
I did not write to you because you yourself had asked me not to do so. Yes, you are right, complaint was mine......
But complaints continue coming to me.
Letter no 721, Page no 413 In this letter Mahatma Gandhi writes on unprincipled nature of Communists:
Many honest Congressmen come to me or write to me from the various provinces that communists have no principles save of keeping their party alive and beating their opponents with any stick that came to their hands.
In this letter, it is also mentioned that Bhulabhai Desai who was preoccupied and not keeping well was one of the members of the tribunal suggested by communists to have the charges against them examined)http://www.gandhiserve.org/cwmg/VOL086.PDF
Letter no 658. Letter to P. C Joshi dated August 21, 1945
The news, almost daily poured into my ears by Congressmen to the effect that the Party is unscrupulous in its methods and that it even resorts to violence.
Letter no 515. Letter to Dr. Syed Mahmud January 22, 1945
As to the Communists, you should see the papers. I went out of my way to meet them and to befriend them. But Joshi wrote peremptorily that I should not write to him any more. He wanted me to speak to him thro[ugh] Bhulabhai, Mrs. Naidu or C. R.
Letter no 409, Letter to Shanta Patel dated July 16, 1945
The Congress working committee appointed a sub committee consisting of Pandit Nehru, G B Pant and Sardar Patel to look at the charges
Excerpts from CIA Dossier which was declassified recently
How CPI Started Betraying during China War
On the 28th, Nehru for the first time made a statement in Parliament substantiating the press r e p o r t s of such Chinese incursions and armed clashes . This statement inflamed Indian public opinion; according to a private comment that day by the chief of the Communist Indian Press Agency, it confused and staggered the party members. During the next two days the CPI Central Secretariat, minus Ghosh, held an emergency meeting on the problem, following which the party issued the first in what was to be a long and varied series of statements on the border, a vague declaration glossing over the question of border violations, holding (as the Chinese were to do) that the entire border has never been defined, making no mention of the MacMahonline , and urgently calling for negotiations. The CPI subsequently came under wide public attack as a result of its failure in this statement to take a clear-cut stand supporting the Indian government position.
how CPI planned to start Armed Rebellion
In Feb 1958 an official of the Soviet Embassy contacted CPI Leaders to renew the request to setup an underground organization. While Ajoy Ghosh refused, HK Surjeet and others privately decided that Ghosh was taking a complacent line and decided to reach out to the CPSU outside of party channels. The CPI did proceed to recruit a secret organization within the Indian Army.
In February 1959, Ajoy Ghosh in his report to the Central Executive Committee that China Russia insisted that the CPI must develop a standby apparatus capable of armed resistance, while intensifying penetration of Indian Military forces.
In the September Central Executive Committee meeting Ajoy Ghosh argued against the tendency to welcome Chinese military presence on Indian borders to justify a new militant line for the CPI. This was rejected by the hard left who argued that with the PLA now present along the Indian Border the Indian Party had a channel of support for Armed Operations and a potential liberator in the event of mass uprisings.
CPI Propaganda War and Ideological Support
On the border question, the leftists circulated at the CEC meeting a document upholding the Chinese case entirely , and claiming that the dispute was linked both with a shift in Indian foreign policy and Nehru's reactionary domestic tendency recently shown in Kerala. This document said that the government was using the dispute to distract the Indian people from the real issues and to create a situation where the CPI could be isolated and outlawed. It called on the party to "expose this game of the Nehru government".
Ghosh, however, is reported to have proposed a "middle way" suggested to him in Moscow, whereby the CPI would state that acceptance of neither the MacMahon line nor the line shown on Chinese maps should be made a precondition for Sino-Indian negotiation . This formula, plus a statement of the CPI's conviction that socialist China could never commit aggression, formed the core of the CEC resolution eventually adopted on this subject and published on 25 September. This second CPI resolution on the border dispute aroused a great public uproar; the CPI's failure t o place any blame upon China or to support any aspect of the Indian government's position was widely denounced as virtually treasonable.
The history behind CPI Resolution criticizing Chinese Aggression!
On 11 July Ghosh left for one of his periodic visits to Moscow, to consult with CPSU leaders on a variety of subject. In early September Ghosh returned to India, bearing with him instructions reportedly given him by CPSU Presidium member Kuusinen to see that the CPI in its forthcoming Election Manifesto made some gesture in support of the Indian nationalist position on the border issue.
During a Central Executive Committee meeting held from 11 to 17 September at which a draft Election Manifesto was prepared, a plank on the border issue was drawn up, reportedly by Ghosh personally, which was said to have condemned China as an aggressor, to have strongly supported the Indian position on the border.
However, when during the following week Ghosh attempted to get the National Council to approve this plank, , from Ranadive, denying all support to the Indian position . Sundarayya and Basavapunniah threated to leave the meeting, and Sundarayya and Konar each warned that their respective organizations in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal would not be bound by the plank if adopted. When the Ghosh CEC plank was submitted to a vote, it was defeated, 25-22. The CCP was duly informed by the leftists of the details of the struggle over Ghosh's plank, as well as of the fact that Kuusinen had encouraged Ghosh to write that plank.
How CPI hoped to switch side to China During War
The left - faction members of the CPI Central Secretariat--Ranadive, Bhupesh Gupta, and particularly Basavapunniah--became increasingly active late in 1959 in promoting the line given them in Peiping throughout the CPI. In mid-November, Basavapunniah was reported by two sources to have repeated,to a meeting of CPI leaders concerned with creating an underground organization, his belief that the CPI lack of a contiguous foreign supply base during the Telengana revolt had now been remedied with the Chinese occupation of Tibet and other frontier areas. In late December he was said to have reiterated to a meeting of the Maharasha State Council Mao's statement to Ghosh that Tibet, Sikkim, Bhutan, and the Northwest Frontier Agency are provinces peopled by the same race, that China had a historic right to these territories, that the MacMahone line was not valid , and that the Indian government's raising of "the bogey of Chinese aggression" had resulted from its realization that Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and India would be deeply affected by the social and economic revolution in Tibet.
How CPI planned to sabotage Defense Services
Dange claimed that the CPI had decided to establish a network of underground "combat cells" all over India during the next two years, to be used in case of need; and Jaipal Singh, the head of the CPI secret organization in the defense services , told a recruit after the congress that his organization was in full swing again after having been deactivated in May 1960 because of party factionalism and government attention to his activities . Nothing more has been heard since the congress about tile possibility of Chinese help to and guidance for these CPI underground activities ; there had been indications earlier in the year that Peiping had responded to the leftist plea for such help by predicating it upon leftist seizure of organizational control of the CPI at the party congress,
GOI Reply to Parliament on CPI Stand during Indo China War:
On November 13, 1962 while replying to the discussions in the Rajya Sabha, Lal Bahadur Shastri pointed out that Jyoti Basu equated India with China during the war and called the Chinese aggression as provoked by Indian statements and “across an imaginary line called MacMohan line”. But the Marxists were not merely satisfied with words. Kalimpong town had become a den of Chinese spies. Every move of the Indian army was monitored and reported to the enemy. Like in 1942, the communists played a major role in helping the Chinese.
B. Raman(ex Boss of IB) in an Article "China's Interest Is Our Interest' Published in Outlook writes:
After joining the IB in 1967, I went on a visit to Kolkata. Those were the days of the Cultural Revolution in China. The Marxists were not yet in power in West Bengal, but were very active. As I was travelling in a taxi from the Dum Dum airport to downtown, I saw the following slogan painted by the Marxists on the walls everywhere: "China's Chairman is our Chairman."
A Report by CID - Andhra Pradesh State Police by Sri ABV Rao, IPS
The Marxist-Leninist-Maoist (M-L-M) ideology was propounded by the radical elements of undivided Communist Party of India starting from 1964. It resulted in several break ups of the original Communist Party into two main factions of CPI and CPM and several splinter groups on the M-L-M lines. Besides ego clashes of leaders and competition for leadership, the most important factor responsible for the rise of these splinter groups was the active –ideological and material- support extended to them initially by the Communist Party of China and later, by some other East Block countries.
Once formed under the directions and guidance of the Chinese Communists, the Indian M-L-M parties acquired a momentum of their own and pursued their own course. Holding on to slogans like “China Chairman (Mao) our Chairman”, they became more Maoist than Mao himself!! The Deng reforms altered the ML parties’ course as little as the fall of communism in USSR altered the political agenda of the mainline Communist Parties of India (CPI and CPM). The ML parties found a ready phrase to denounce Deng’s reforms – “Revisionism” – used extensively by Mao to denounce the Soviets after the Stalinist era.