The Road to Revolution in India

-Workers’ Socialist Party/ 11.12.2012

Hereunder is the fourth article in the series that is being published by the WSP in response to the two papers issued by the Stalinist Maoist group 'praxis collective' led by Shashi Prakash of RCLI. In their papers, this group has presented absolutely wrong ideas on lessons of Russian Revolution and prospects and history of revolution in India.  For earlier three articles, click here:

Part Four

After explaining in preceding three write-ups, how the understanding of Stalinists-Maoists runs affront to the whole course of Russian revolution, let us now deal with their recipe for ‘Indian revolution’, upon which these nationalists have focussed so much in their two papers.
‘praxis collective’ insists that the Indian bourgeois came to power in ‘un-natural’ way, i.e. through agreement with colonialists, but never tells us how this ‘way’ is ‘un-natural’! ‘praxis collective’ lost in dreams of old bourgeois revolution in Europe, forgets that this 'un-natural' is the sole 'natural' way for the bourgeois to come to power in any country, under the new conditions, the conditions of imperialism. Illusions about the imaginary revolutionary role, power and character of national bourgeois are so deeply embedded in the conception of Stalinists-Maoists that its ‘way through compromise’ appears totally un-natural and exceptional to them. These believers in potency of bourgeois forget that in the era of imperialism, no section of national bourgeois can come to power without such counter revolutionary measures- arrangements with imperialists, on the back of workers and peasants and against them. The trajectory of all bourgeois regimes, from Africa to Latin America, irrespective if they appear as republics or dictatorships, is through such arrangements only.

Oblivious to this historic truth, ‘praxis’ looks at advent of bourgeois power in India in 1947 traversing through ‘un-natural’ path! In this, it also misleads itself on the character of this power and overlooks the fact that this new power issued itself not only in arrangement with colonialists but with landlords too, and in fact rested upon their coalition.

‘praxis’ complains again and again that the bourgeois in India fell short of taking power at the head of a real revolution. It goes to explain in detail the best case in 1947 - the scenario if bourgeois regime would have appeared through a revolutionary road by overturning colonial rule and completed the democratic revolution! It also indicates the second best scenario, that the communist party must have pushed the bourgeois regime under Nehru for ‘radical’ reforms! These measures are proposed in its first paper and repeated again and again in the second, under the sub-heading, “Could it have been otherwise in relation to India?” It asks to itself, “Could the capitalism come to India through any other way, i.e. through revolutionary way?”, and then proceeds to explain the error of Indian bourgeois in 'opting' against the revolutionary road.

To be sure, for ‘praxis collective’, the riding to power by the national bourgeois in 1947, by itself is not ‘un-natural’. For it, ‘un-natural' is the path through which bourgeois rode to power, i.e. through compromise. ‘Praxis’ is not terming the power of the bourgeois itself ‘un-natural’, or counter-posing it against the ‘natural’ prospects of coming to power of the proletariat. On the contrary, for ‘praxis’ power of the proletariat was out of question in 1947, as capitalism was not sufficiently mature for it.

'praxis' tells us, capitalism in India in 1947, was not mature enough to deliver a bourgeois power, and claims that the power under national bourgeois was far 'advanced' than its economic basis. Then how this power of national bourgeois was established in 1947? In -un-natural way! One can only laugh at it!!

If the bourgeois power in 1947 was advanced than its economic basis, as 'praxis' tells, then this power becomes 'progressive' in history!  In fact, this is the central theme of Stalinist and Maoist politics in India. And this is false to the core! 

The power of Indian bourgeois that was established in 1947 was not 'advanced', but was already outmode as lagging behind by centuries to the economic basis of world capitalism. Indian economy was integral part of the world economy through capitalist markets of colonial Britain. Long before 1947, the world economy was mature as a whole not only for already obsolete bourgeois power that appeared in bygone centuries, but far ahead of it, for proletarian power. October revolution was live proof of it.

The revolutionary democracy that fought through anti-colonial revolution in India, was in essence, a struggle against this rule of world bourgeois. So in natural course, the anti-colonial revolution in India, could not have issued a bourgeois power, which by all historic parameters was already delayed in history. Bourgeois regime, thus could have established itself, only through a counter-revolution, by suppressing the wave of anti-colonial revolution and through unprecedented violence. And that was the exact course it took to come to power in 1947, first through direct persecution of mass movement and its leaders like Bhagat Singh, followed by intrigue of communal partition.

'Praxis' forgets that even before 1947, India was already ruled by bourgeois power, the power of foreign bourgeois-first Portugese then English, and that for more than a century before Indian bourgeois could come to power in 1947. So, in 1947, India was not only sufficiently mature but over-ripe, not only for the historically obsolete bourgeois power but in fact for much higher power than that- a proletarian dictatorship, followed by peasantry.

'Praxis' confuses itself by trying to solve the riddle of productive forces and production relations within confines of national frontiers of India, sealing it off from world economy as a whole, to come to a wrong conclusion that the bourgeois power in 1947 was advanced to its economic base and thus essentially had a progressive character. It ignores that the capitalist economy is essentially a world economy in first instance, while its political state is national in character.
To confuse us, ‘praxis collective’ says that as capitalism was not sufficiently mature for the proletariat to take power in 1947, so the democratic bourgeois legitimately took to power, albeit through ‘un-natural’ path of compromise. This unambiguously implies that the ‘natural’ path for the bourgeois is not through compromise but through revolution! In saying that, ‘praxis’ presents itself clearly, as apologist for the historic legitimacy of the bourgeois power of 1947.

Not to our surprise, ‘Praxis Collective’ has sanctioned a revolutionary potential and progressive role to the Indian bourgeois, having deep illusions in its role and capacity in taking to the revolutionary road. The fact is, by virtue of its position within imperialism, Indian bourgeois could not have travelled through the revolutionary road even an inch. The most natural way of its taking to power and further advance, was through compromise and arrangements not only with the sections of imperialists but with local landlords too. And therefore, the revolutionary movement in India, could have culminated not in the power of the national bourgeois in 'natural course', but in the dictatorship of the proletariat resting upon an alliance of workers and peasants in power.

Why this revolutionary possibility could not materialise in favour of revolution and why it settled itself in favour of counter revolutionary national bourgeois, though the anti-colonial revolutionary wave had already put such gigantic forces at the disposal of the proletariat? How the weakest class of bourgeois captured power in 1947 in arrangement with colonialists, who themselves were on the threshold of a political crash? How come the revolutionary movement was brutally suppressed and sub-continent partitioned? These are the real issues that Stalinists-Maoists strive to evade and suppress from workers and youth, as the answers to them uncover the most shameful history of Stalinists.

Workers, Peasants and revolutionary youth were leaned upon the revolutionary road, en-masse. Anti colonial movement was approaching its peaks at the opening of 30s. It took the worst turn both against colonialists and the national bourgeois under Gandhi, as colonial government hanged Bhagat Singh and his comrades- Raj Guru and Sukhdev and Gandhi played an explicitly complacent role in his hanging. The result was a shock wave throughout the country against both of them. Gandhi faced the wrath in run-up to congress president-ship, as elections were held close to execution of Bhagat Singh, where Pattabhi Sitaramaiya, Gandhi’s supported candidate was defeated by huge margin of votes by Subhash Bose. The mass revolutionary wave continued to rise higher and higher against colonial rule, drifting away more and more from the national bourgeois leadership under Gandhi.

Co-incidentally, this was the period when after death of Lenin, Stalin had expelled and executed the whole leadership of the Bolshevik revolution in infamous purges. Stalin and the Comintern under him were commanding the Communist parties in backward countries to remain in permanent alliance with national bourgeois to reach their own ‘February’. This was the time when Stalin was also making zig-zags between Hitler and democratic bourgeois. Stalin made a joint front with Fascists and invaded Poland in unison with Hitler. As Hitler betrayed Stalin, Stalin fell to lap of democratic bourgeois of England and France. CPI, like other communist parties, followed Stalin in this zig-zag leaving the rank and file into complete disarray. To its worst, as Stalin settled with British against Hitler, he forced CPI to collaborate with British colonialists, and abandon fight against it. Top leaders of CPI, served colonial government even as spies. Finding great opportune time to re-gain its lost credibility among the masses, Gandhi launched his ‘Quit India’ movement. Stalinist CPI supported British rule against the mass movement and was completely isolated from workers, peasants and the radical youth. Completely isolated and defeated National bourgeois staged a come-back and once again placed itself at the head of the national movement, only to head it off very soon in collusion with colonialists.

The movement however, reached its peak with Naval mutiny in 1946, which triggered a real uprising. The CPI however was holding the tail of colonial government at that time and failed to play any role. The leaders of mutiny were cleverly trapped to surrender by bourgeois emissaries like Sardar Patel and Jinnah, and the uprising was cowed down, before its leaders were betrayed and punished later. 

In collusion with each other, the bourgeois congress and muslim league and the Stalinist CPI agreed on the Mountabatten plan prepared by colonialists, that included communal  partition the country and peaceful transfer of power to the bourgeois. Communal Partition resulted into biggest ever tragedy in human history, leaving more than two million casualties. As masses of workers and peasants lynched each other, national bourgeois in agreement with colonialists and Stalinists, took power on both sides of the border.

This was the live correlation of class forces, achieved on the corpse of the anti-colonial revolution, that had brought Indian bourgeois to power in 1947. It is this correlation of forces, which keeps bourgeois in power today, not only in India, but throughout the world. It is this correlation of forces, in which both Stalinists and Maoists play their role in binding the international working class to sections of national bourgeois and thus prevent it from taking to power and establishing its dictatorship.

But ‘praxis collective’ does not even mention this all, deliberately suppresses this, distorts the issue, as it itself believes in the doomed path of Stalinism, on whose hands is splattered the blood of the world proletariat and its revolution.

Leon Trotsky, the leader of the Fourth International, which he organised after complete degeneration of the Third International under Stalin, one year before his murder, wrote a letter to Indian workers in which he gave clarion call to the workers in India to defy the bogus command of Stalin, overturn the British Power through an anti colonial democratic revolution and establish dictatorship of the proletariat, upon alliance of workers and peasants.

After murdering Trotsky, the last surviving top leader of October Revolution, Stalin disbanded Comintern, the world party of socialist revolution, founded by Lenin and Trotsky, and entered into peaceful co-existence with world capitalism through treaties of Yalta, Potsdam and Tehran.

Appearance of the dictatorship of the proletariat in backward Russia in 1917, instead of advanced west, demonstrated it beyond doubt that the establishment of proletarian dictatorship does not depend upon level of development of capitalism inside a country, but upon concrete correlation of class forces inside the revolution at given time. Level of development of capitalism inside the country would only determine the concrete tasks before the dictatorship in its intial phase, the tempo of advance of the revolution and the real correlation between the proletariat in power and the peasantry that follows it.
But ‘praxis collective’ intermingles the two different issues: 'coming to power of proletariat' and 'building of socialism' in a country, and confuses itself. It plays soccer between productive forces and production relations, base structure and super structure, to uphold and hail the legitimacy of bourgeois power in 1947, and exclude the possibility of proletarian power. Down with Stalinists Maoists, the eternal servants of capitalists!!

Even after 1947, ‘praxis collective’ assigns the task for Communists, to ‘pressurise the bourgeois government under Nehru’, the legitimate government which incidentally came through un-natural path, to carry out the program of reforms more radically’. That means even after bourgeois had come to power, the communists were not to fight for its overturn making a revolutionary opposition to it, but should have formed the left radical wing of this power, striving to lean it to the left instead of right. So the democratic tasks were to be realised not through revolutionary struggle of workers and peasants against bourgoeis and its government for power, but by pressurising it! This is exactly the role what old bolsheviks had been assiging to themselves in February and were rebuked by Lenin for this.

'praxis' tells us that it was the official line of Comintern under Stalin to pressurise the bourgeois government to carry out the tasks of democratic revolution. Comintern had not survived to witness 1947 and to give any such line, as it had continued to degenerate under Stalin, and was disbanded by him in 1942 to appease and assure world bourgeoisie that Kremlin has completely turned its back upon the project of 'world socialist revolution' for which Comintern was organised under Lenin and Trotsky. But, of course, it was Kremlin under Stalin which had commanded Communist Parties not to fight for power but collaborate with new bourgeois power and rather put pressure on it to carry out tasks of democratic revolution. It is why peasant uprising of telangana which had presented a great opportunity for the working class to head it towards a revolution under the leadership of its party, was scuttled by Kremlin and the leaders inside CPI under B.T. Ranadive who supported Telangana uprising were thrown out of the CPI. When bourgeois government under Nehru and Patel was brutally crushing the peasant uprising of Telangana under its military boots, Stalin was advocating the policy of pressurising the govenrment to revolutionary tasks. The opposition of Stalinists to the peasant war directed against bourgeois power which could have sent sparks for a workers' uprising in cities, is endorsed by 'praxis'. It glorifies the illusions that Kremlin itself had and exported them to India, in the power and revolutionary potential of the bourgeois. They do not even mention the telangana uprising and its lessons! 

First casualty of this Stalinist line for communists, 'of pressurising' the bourgeois government for radical reforms instead of fighting for power, was the Chinese revolution itself, where Stalin had forced the CCP to collaborate with and thereby pressurise the bourgeois Kuomintang to the left. This turned out to be death warrant for the revolution of 1925-27. Trotsky, who opposed this substitution of 'pressurising' for the proletarian revolutionary struggle for power, was exlied for this sin, immediately after the defeat of Chinese revolution. Opposing this capitulationist policy of Comintern under Stalin, Trotsky wrote in "from Marxism to Pascifism", in Ocotber 1928, from Alma Ata, "Stalinist national socialism tends to convert the communist International into an auxiliary means of 'pressure' upon the bourgeoisie". " The struggle is decided not by pressure upon government, but by revolutionary struggle for power. The pascifist effects of the proletarian class struggle, like its reformist effects, are only by-products of the revolutionary struggle for power and not substitute for it."

It's most touted slogan that Indian bourgeois had carried out democratic reforms through ‘Prussian Path’ falls flat in the face of absence of a manorial economy in India, which is essential pre-requisite for ‘Prussian Path’. Lenin said:  In India the foundation for the ‘Prussian’ Path’ – the gentry’s manorial economy – has been historically absent since there is no allotted peasant land that could have taken the form of ‘wages’. Absence of manorial economy, is part of absence in India of feudalism in general and instead of pre-dominance of Asiatic modes of production (AMP), as Marx had put it. When 'praxis' denies this to say that Marx had later changed his views on it, it only echoes the falsehood of Stalin, which he carved out in 1929 in the aftermath of the defeat of Chinese Revolution of 1925-27, due to false policies of Comintern under him. Stalin had imposed  in China a policy advocating collaboration with bourgeois Kuomintang under Chiang Kai Shek and Wang Ching Wei, on the ground that China was 'feudal' and thus the task of Communist Party was not to contend for power against the national bourgeois, but to collaborate with it to carry out 'democratic' revolution. Stalin and behind him Mao, by advocating collaboration with bourgeois in China, and thereafter in all countries, thus destroyed the core of Lenin's politics based on workers-peasants alliance directed, in perpetual opposition to the bourgeois. This false policy of Comintern resulted in triumph of bourgeoisie, complete annihilation of Chinese revolution and immense set back to the world revolution in general. After defeat of Chinese revolution, Kremlin bureaucracy opened an open assault against proposition of Marx that feudalism, marked by manorial economy in the village, was absent in Asian economies.

Most essential peculiarity of capitalist development in India is that capitalism had come to India much before the birth of national capitalist, in the form of foreign capital and since then its economy has continued under its domination. This leaves the Indian Bourgeois even more weak historically to take and hold the power. Under no circumstance it could have captured the power against proletariat and peasantry, except through becoming an agency of imperialism and betrayal of working class at the hands of Stalinists.

On the pretext of democratic nature of revolution and low level of development of capitalism, Stalinists and Maoists justify the advent of bourgeois to power in 1947 and have kept the revolution bound hand and foot after 47.

‘Praxis Collective’ then serves the politically meaningless recipe of ‘new socialist revolution’ endorsing the abortion of revolution in 1947 and legitimacy of the bourgeois power that was issued by it.

If 1947 marks anything in history, it marks only continuity of bourgeois power, change of hands between its foreign and national, British and Indian sections, of no real significance for workers and toilers in the country. With the aid of Stalinists, the bourgeois succeeded in throwing back the revolution and could stabilise their power post-1947. Contrary to perception of 'praxis' that decorates bourgeois power of 1947 as more advanced to its economic base, this 'bourgeois democracy' was a masked dictatorship of the same world capital, that had ruled India till then through a more open and naked form-colonial rule.

WSP calls upon revolutionary minded youth and workers to tear down the illusions created by Stalinists and behind them Maoists, and turn to the true perspectives of Indian revolution, based on lessons of October. Revolution in India would open as democratic revolution to soon grow over to socialist revolution in un-interrupted manner, and the appearance of the dictatorship of the proletariat based upon an alliance of workers and peasants, is the pre condition for this revolution to take-off.

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