Twenty-two years ago the contradiction between the Indian people and British imperialism became so acute that it erupted into an unprecedentedly violent revolutionary storm which swept through the country. A most significant thing was that, for the first time in 90 years after the Great Revolt of 1857, masses of soldiers, naval ratings and air-force men openly participated in revolutionary activities against their hated imperialist oppressors. This fact completely changed the character of the movement in two important respects: (1) the National Congress led by the Right-wing reactionary Gandhi-Nehru-Patel-Rajendra Prasad-Rajagopalachari clique was unable to keep the upsurge under their control and (2) the British imperialists were not only deprived of the help of this clique through which they used to disrupt people’s movements from within, but were also unable militarily to suppress the roused people by naked force.
The situation thus proved extremely favourable for the people and extremely dangerous for the imperialists and their lackeys. Common fear of the impending revolution brought the imperialists and the reactionary Congress leaders, representing the feudal and reactionary bourgeois interests, together. Jointly they set about opposing and hurling back the revolutionary tide. When the people were fighting heroic battles in the cities and many rural areas against the ferocious bloody oppression by the British and eagerly working for their overthrow, Nehru, Patel and other reactionary Congress leaders forsook the people openly and obediently joined the so-called Interim Government as apprentices under the British viceroy Wavell. Encouraged by this, the imperialists at once struck with their most poisonous weapon by engineering large scale communal conflicts among the people in Calcutta, Noakhali, Bihar and elsewhere.
This proved fatal for the cause of the revolution and helped to change the situation into a favourable one for the imperialists and the Congress counter-revolutionaries led by Nehru. It was on the basis of this that the imperialists and Nehru and Co. acted feverishly to work out a deal that would “stabilize” this favourable situation in the interests of the British imperialists and their Indian lackeys. In the process, the reactionary Congress leaders openly and cynically sold away such basic national interests as unity and independence of India and willingly accepted the partition of the country and the continuation of imperialist control in the form of Dominion Status.
The so-called ‘transfer of power’ effected on August 15, 1947, once again demonstrated the truth, which the Marxist-Leninists in India have repeatedly stressed, that the Indian bourgeoisie is utterly incapable of leading the democratic revolution against imperialism and feudalism. On the contrary, they showed themselves up as utterly reactionary and capable of giving up even such vital national interests as independence and unity of the country for the sake of their own narrow class interests and the interests of the feudal lords and the imperialists. By betraying the people’s interests and the basic interests of the country, the Indian ruling classes led by Nehru willingly chose for itself the role of a lackey of imperialism and an inveterate enemy of the Indian people.
However, the serious defeat of the revolutionary forces in 1945-47 was primarily due to the fact that the revisionist leadership of the CPI led by Joshi, Ranadive, Dange and Co. refused to break away from reactionary bourgeois influence and to allow the proletariat to take an independent principled stand and lead forward the anti-imperialist struggle of the people. On the contrary, they forced a capitulationist line on the Party and toed the line of the reactionary Congress leaders. It is this which proved extremely helpful to the British imperialists and the Congress reactionaries in disrupting the revolutionary upsurge and made it possible for them to carry out successfully their evil designs against the people. The transfer of power enabled the imperialists to confuse, disrupt and suppress the revolutionary masses of India much more effectively than they ever could themselves.
Many years later, Mountbatten, the chief imperialist architect of the deal, openly gloated over this fact. He said: “The danger lies, as always, in subversion. It is much less since Indian independence. “From that point of view, the withdrawal of Britain had strengthened India’s ability to destroy Communist cells and counteract Communist propaganda. They [i.e., the Congress rulers] put down the Communists whereas the British couldn’t without arousing the Indians’ sympathy for the Communists.” (At a press conference at the Citadel, the military college of South Carolina, USA; Hindusthan Standard, Dec. 22, 1962). At that time the imperialists were launching a general offensive against the revolutionary peoples of Asia. U.S. imperialism in China and the Philippines, the British in Malaya, the Dutch in Indonesia, and the French in Indo-China were carrying on bloody aggressive wars against the revolutionary national liberation movements.
In India, for reasons stated above, the British imperialists commissioned the services of the Congress reactionaries led by Nehru for this purpose. The violent, cruel and bloody suppression campaign launched by the Nehru government during 1947-50 against the anti-feudal revolutionary struggle of heroic Telengana peasants and all progressive democratic people’s movements, its banning of the Communist Party and progressive mass organizations, were objectively, actually, an integral part of the imperialists’ bloody war of suppression against the revolutionary peoples of Asia. The Nehru government was merely carrying out in India what imperialists needed most but were unable to do themselves. The Nehru government was defending, on behalf of the imperialists, a most important base of imperialism in Asia against the anti-imperialist struggle of the Indian people. Thus, from the very first day of their coming into power, the reactionary National Congress leaders led by the arch-reactionary Gandhi, Nehru, Patel and Co. were branded by history as bitter enemies of the Indian people and of India’s freedom, independence, unity and democracy.
The ruthless determination of the Nehru government to preserve the vested interests of imperialism, feudalism and the Indian bourgeoisie is clearly demonstrated from the following facts published by the Nehru government itself. During the period from August 15, 1947 to August 1, 1950, its police or armed forces opened fire on the people no less than 1,982 times, killed 3,784 persons and wounded nearly 10,000, jailed 50,000 and shot down 82 prisoners inside jails. A report in the British paper New Statesman and Nation (September 10, 1949) said, “In India, I am told on excellent authority, there are at least 100,000, and perhaps as many as 200,000 Communists and others ‘detained’; ….it means that the National Government of India has more people detained without trial than the British ever had at a single time.”
What Nehru was doing in India was exactly what the imperialists were trying to do all over Asia, namely, preserving the old Asia, an age-old victim of imperialist plunder and oppression. But the new Asia, free from imperialist and feudal exploitation and oppression, was already emerging irresistibly in the vast plains of China. Nehru was championing the interests of imperialism and domestic reaction, which the people of India and Asia were trying to destroy. Nehru and the government that he led were, therefore, a natural and inveterate enemy of the revolutionary peoples of India and Asia, and more specifically of revolutionary China emerging under the leadership of great Mao Tse-tung, which spearheaded the new Asia.
The thundering victory of the great Chinese Revolution in 1949 decisively split Asia into two — the Asia still under imperialist domination and struggling for national liberation and the new, independent, powerful and vigorous Asia shedding the brilliance of a thousand suns, represented by China. Since the victory of the Chinese revolution, imperialism headed by the U.S imperialists has been trying to achieve two things in Asia: to preserve whatever parts of Asia remained under their domination and to destroy China and peoples’ revolutionary movements in all countries in order to restore the rule of exploitation and oppression there.
For this, they chose India as their biggest and most important base — militarily, politically and economically. They put great reliance on Nehru to help them achieve their goal. Nehru was, in fact, the key man on whom the U.S. imperialists relied for their counter-revolutionary, anti-China, criminal designs. “Washington’s hopes for a democratic rallying-point in Asia have been pinned on India,…and on the man who determines India’s policy Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru” (New York Times, October, 1949). And, “He [Nehru is in a sense the counter-weight on the democratic side to Mao Tse-tung” (Ibid, August 29, 1950). It must be admitted that Nehru willingly accepted this new job from the U.S. imperialists.
The entire policy of the Nehru government since 1949 was closely linked and directed to further the objectives of the U.S. imperialists in Asia. Imperialism needed a “counterweight”, an “alternative” show-place opposed to New China, to smother, or at least to diminish the tremendous impact that China’s brilliant success both in smashing the power of imperialism and domestic reaction and in making amazing economic progress was having upon the oppressed peoples of Asia and Africa. In short, the revolutionary path, i.e., the “Chinese path,” which is also the only correct path to liberation from the bondage of imperialism and its lackeys, had to be challenged on behalf of world imperialism and reaction by upholding an “alternative path” before the oppressed millions in India, Asia and elsewhere, the so-called “democratic path,” and thus ensure imperialism’s continued domination over them.
And world imperialism led by the U.S.A. pinned its hopes on India and Nehru. Everything of importance that was done in India under Nehru since 1949 was essentially the carrying out of this ‘mission’ of world imperialism — no more, no less. Opposition to New China and detracting from its immense growing revolutionary prestige in every way — this has been the pivot of Nehru’s entire foreign policy. Consolidation of imperialism’s economic and political positions in India itself formed the basis which guaranteed the continuation and deepening of this policy of hostility to China. And consolidation and development of imperialism meant nothing other than intensifying the cruel exploitation and oppression of the Indian people manifold. Hence, strengthening imperialism’s position and determined hostility to New China boiled down, in the final analysis, to ceaselessly intensifying exploitation and oppression of the Indian people. Opposition to China and intensified exploitation and oppression of the Indian people have thus been the two aspects of the same policy which Nehru consistently followed in the interests of world imperialism led by the U.S.A. and of India’s reactionary classes.
Nehru’s policy may, therefore, be justifiably termed as one of opposition and hostility to both the Indian and the Chinese peoples. ‘Parliamentary democracy’, ‘development’ and ‘non-alignment’ have been the three main slogans with which the Congress rulers led by Nehru deceived the Indian people, basically served the U.S. imperialists and Indian reaction and consistently pursued its policy of hostility to China. For about two decades the Congress rulers have carried on their utterly reactionary policies under cover of these deceptive slogans. But how could such a thing happen for so long in India where the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal hatred of the people is so intense?
The main reason for this lies in the treacherous capitulationist line followed by the revisionist leading clique of the Indian Communist movement. The Dangeite renegades and the neo-revisionist leading clique of the CPI(M) have always been enthusiastic admirers and supporters of these deceptive slogans. All these years they have ceaselessly preached among workers, peasants and other toiling people the poisonous notions that India under the Congress rulers has attained genuine independence and sovereignty; that the so-called parliamentary democracy, despite its ‘limitations’, is something that should be defended and upheld by the people; that the so-called ‘industrialization’ and ‘development’ mark a real advance toward “economic independence”; and that the so-called “non-aligned” foreign policy of the Congress rulers is, despite ‘limitations’, a genuinely peaceful and progressive policy.
Today, these renegades have become even more loud in defending, upholding and preaching these deceptive slogans of the Congress rulers. By doing this, they have tried to confuse the people’s minds, blunt their class outlook and lull them into accepting, without protest, the ruthless and increasing exploitation and oppression to which they have been subjected by the imperialists and their lackeys. These renegades have thus actively helped the Congress rulers to carry on their reactionary policy with impunity and arrogance. Where is, therefore, any basic difference between the revisionists and neo-revisionists, on the one hand, and the Congress rulers, on the other? They are merely the two sides of the same coin. Jointly, they are serving the imperialists and the Indian reactionaries to exploit and oppress the Indian people as they please. But all the ravings of the Congress rulers and their lackeys, the revisionists and neo-revisionists, will never be able to hide the fact that India under Congress rule is neither sovereign, nor independent, nor democratic. Even today the Congress rulers, through the membership of the Commonwealth, owe allegiance to the British Crown.
The so-called sovereign Parliament of India is based on a Constitution which was drawn up “in accordance with the proposals” of the British Cabinet Mission and as demanded by the British overlords (see the British government’s Declaration of February, 1947). The Constituent Assembly, which framed this Constitution was elected on the basis of restricted franchise (of about 14%) under British supervision in 1946. Even Gandhi, while endorsing the Congress Working Committee’s decision to enter this Consembly, had to admit that it was “not a free Assembly” (Speech at AICC session on July 7, 1946). Such, in brief, is the legal and formal position of the much-boasted sovereignty. India’s ‘independence’ is only a clever device to hide its real dependence on the imperialists. Lenin taught, “It is necessary constantly to explain and expose among the broadest masses of the toilers of all countries, and particularly of the backward countries, the deception systematically practiced by the imperialists in creating, under the guise of politically independent states, states which are wholly dependent upon them economically, financially and militarily” (Draft Theses on the National and Colonial Question, June 1920).
Lenin’s description exactly suits today’s India, and we must do exactly what Lenin taught us in this respect. In India there is democracy only for the Indian ruling classes and their imperialist and Soviet revisionist patrons, and only oppression and no democracy for the exploited Indian people. Why should then the Indian people defend the so-called ‘parliamentary democracy’? On the contrary, to liberate themselves from their native and foreign oppressors, they must determinedly oppose this so-called ‘parliamentary democracy’ and overcome all false notions spread by the reactionaries.
The five-year plans and the so-called industrialization, the community development projects and development activities of the Congress rulers have nothing to do with the people’s interests. These are only clever devices to enrich the foreign and Indian exploiters, intensify exploitation of India’s labour and resources and are directed to turn India into a military-political-economic base of the U.S. imperialists against China and the revolutionary peoples of Asia. The Indian people gain nothing from these plans, projects and developments other than increased exploitation and loss of rights.
The so-called plans have-in reality been executed under the advice, supervision and help of the U.S. imperialists and Soviet revisionists not only to expand their scope of exploitation but also to build up in India a war machine at the cost of the Indian people’s blood and sweat, which could be used in the interests of the U.S. imperialists. As Nehru himself revealed on November 9, 1962, “No modern war could be fought without a proper industry and no industry could be built up without an agricultural background. Through the Five-Year Plans, India had been…strengthening the country, even from the defence point of view” (Speech in Rajya Sabha).
He said, “India had tried in the past years to build up a base which could, when necessity arose, be turned into a proper war machine. It was so because without a base of this kind, it would not be possible to carry them through very long” (Ibid). He also made it clear that the target of this “base building” and “war machine” was China: “It was also a question of judgment as to when this final challenge [from China] will come” (Ibid, Hindusthan Standard, November 10, 1962). He further said: “We thought of defence chiefly from the point of defence science, defence production, technicians and others because that takes time while a soldier being trained does not take very much time.”
It may also be remembered here that Nehru and others openly said that 80% of the Third Five Year Plan was directly connected with defence while the rest was connected only indirectly. How, in the face of all this, can one deny the fact that the five-year plans etc. are merely part of the general aggressive plans of the U.S. imperialists and are closely linked and co-ordinated with them? The foreign policy or the so-called non-alignment policy of the Congress rulers has been, like its economic ‘development’, directed against China and the revolutionary people’s movement in Asia. Not once did the Congress rulers genuinely support the national liberation movement of any country of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
On the contrary, they have consistently tried to disrupt such movements and always helped the imperialists directly or indirectly in their bloody suppression campaigns against revolutionary peoples. They allowed the U.S. imperialists to use the Indian soil to carry on subversive activities in Tibet during and after the Chinese revolution. They gave all facilities to the British to recruit and train Gurkhas in India to be used for suppressing the Malayan people’s struggle for liberation. The French imperialists were allowed to use Indian airports for sending troops, etc., to suppress the liberation struggle in Indo-China. The Congress rulers even directly participated in suppressing the revolutionary people’s movements in Burma and Nepal.
They are following the British imperialist policy towards Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim and are holding them in subjugation by means of unequal treaties. They openly supported the U.S. imperialist aggression against the Korean people. By supporting and forging close links with the present reactionary regimes of Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia and with the hated Chiang clique, the Congress rulers merely prove that they have become even more cynical and shameless in serving the interests of the U.S. imperialists. There has never been nor is there anything ‘peaceful’ or ‘progressive’ in the foreign policy of the Congress rulers. The truth is, their so-called ‘non-alignment’ has essentially been a policy aimed at isolating China, splitting the socialist camp and thus helping the notorious ‘containment of China’ policy of the U.S. imperialists. Mr. M. C. Chagla, former Indian Ambassador to Washington and later Indian High Commissioner in the UK, explained the non-alignment policy like this: “India’s present policy had prevented the two Communist countries [the Soviet Union and China] coming together and bridging the gulf which exists between them…Therefore…we might succeed by our non-alignment policy in bringing the West and Russia closer together and isolating China” (Hindustan Standard, January 13, 1963).
Dange, the arch reactionary, echoed the same at a meeting in Central Bombay. He said: “India’s non-alignment policy was successful in isolating China from other Communist countries” (PTI, February 17, 1963). In fact, after the Khrushchev revisionists had usurped power in the Soviet Union after Stalin’s death, there began to emerge a world-wide counter-revolutionary ganging up between the Soviet revisionists, the U.S. imperialists and the Indian reactionaries. Till then, both U.S. imperialism and Nehru had been working jointly to split the national liberation movements of Asia and isolate China by advertising the so-called ‘Indian path’ of ‘peaceful’ attainment of independence and the ‘democratic’ path to progress.
The three ‘peaceful’ frauds of the Khrushchev renegades — ‘peaceful co-existence’, ‘peaceful competition’ and ‘peaceful transition to socialism’ — which were directly aimed at splitting the world Communist movement and people’s revolutionary struggles, opened up great new scope for the U.S. imperialists and Nehru. China, the mainstay and base of world revolution, became the immediate common target of attack of Khrushchev revisionists, U.S. imperialists and Nehru government. Nehru played a most important role in building up this anti-China counter-revolutionary axis between Moscow, New Delhi and Washington, which began to work for isolating China from the revolutionary peoples of Asia and Africa (through Nehru) and from the world Communist movement (through the Khrushchev gang ). Splitting the national liberation movement of the oppressed peoples and the world Communist movement became the two principal objects of this axis. China, which refused to yield and valiantly raised higher the banner of revolution and Marxism-Leninism, proved the main obstacle in their path. The battle-cry of the reactionaries and imperialists of the Moscow-New Delhi-Washington axis, therefore, became “beat down China!” The rapidly growing Indo-Soviet ‘friendship’ was merely an expression of this anti-China ganging up.
The active encouragement and help of the Soviet revisionists made the U.S. imperialists more aggressive and they ventured on new aggressive provocations against China. Nehru was neatly placed in the centre of this monstrous plan of the U.S. imperialists. The development of this Moscow-New Delhi-Washington axis with its edge directed against China found its visible expression almost simultaneously in two incidents in 1959 — the notorious Camp David meeting between Khrushchev and the U.S. President, and the first bloody clash on the Sino-Indian border. To subserve the global interests of the U.S. imperialists and the Soviet revisionists, a so-called ‘border question’ was artificially introduced into Indian politics and a phony ‘border dispute’ was created, in which Nehru, as before, played the most important role. Fomented, engineered and materially aided jointly by the U.S. imperialists and the Khrushchev gang, this ‘border dispute’ burst into an open conflict in October 1962. A host of Congress leaders starting from Nehru plainly admitted that the real issue involved in the bloody clash with China was not the few square miles of barren, uninhabited, mountainous territory. But they did it only after the clash had taken place. Why? The reason is, the Soviet revisionists and the U.S. imperialists needed a clash, and not a settlement, between India and China. Nehru himself noted this fact long before the emergence of this Moscow-New Delhi-Washington axis against China. During the Korean war, in a letter to Sri B. N. Rau, India’s representative in the UNO, he wrote: “I see that both the U.S.A. and the UK on the hand and the USSR on the other…are not anxious that India and China should be friendly towards each other” (The Statesman, December 7, 1965).
However, later Nehru himself played a most significant role in setting India against China as required by Moscow and Washington. The border conflict of 1962 was essentially a confrontation between the forces of world imperialism and its accomplices and lackeys, on the one hand, and the anti-imperialist forces of revolution, on the other. And the rout of the Indian soldiers on the Himalayas merely epitomized the fiasco suffered by imperialism and its lackeys, the Soviet revisionists.
The basic interests of the Indian people are in complete harmony with the interests of the Chinese people. They have a common interest in fighting and destroying their common enemies — U.S. imperialism and its accomplices, the Soviet revisionists. And in the present era this is the most stable and unbreakable bond that binds the world’s peoples into a revolutionary brotherhood. The friendship and solidarity between the peoples of India and China are unshakable precisely because it is based on their common struggle against U.S. imperialism and the Soviet revisionists. It is clear as daylight that those who are interested in preserving the system of exploitation and oppression in India, namely, the U.S. imperialists, the Soviet revisionists and their Indian lackeys, are the ones who go about condemning and vilifying China. Indeed, only the enemies of the Indian people can be the enemies of China and revolution. The enemies of the Indian and Chinese peoples are the same — imperialism and its lackeys.
The Congress rulers are willing lackeys of the worst enemies of the Indian people — the U.S. imperialists and the Soviet revisionists. They have proved themselves to be bitter enemies of Indian independence and liberation. They are the worst oppressors of the Indian people and of the various nationalities. The Congress rulers are the cruel bailiffs of the plunderers of the Indian people and enjoy all the ‘freedom’ in killing and oppressing the people. Holding the people in subjugation by unlimited violence and deception is their job which they perform gladly at the command of the U.S. imperialists and the Soviet revisionists. There is absolutely no need for the people to suffer these Congress rulers even for one moment longer. The people have also nothing to do with the other existing political parties who live off the people to serve the forces of reaction. The most poisonous tools that the Congress rulers are now using against the revolutionary Indian people are the revisionist renegades of the CPI and the CPI(M). The people can never liberate themselves from the clutches of exploitation and oppression unless they first thoroughly eliminate the revisionist poison spread by these disguised agents of reaction.
People, arise! Raise high the red banner of revolution and Mao Tse-tung’s thought and advance determinedly along the path of Naxalbari!
Close your ranks, defy difficulties, defeat revisionist poison and march unitedly forward to achieve genuine independence, national liberation and people’s democracy!
Smash the U.S. imperialists and Soviet revisionists and their lackeys!
Support and unite with the valiant struggles of our Naga, Mizo and Kuki brothers and other oppressed nationalities against the Congress reactionary regime!
Victory will surely belong to the Indian people!
[Published in Liberation, Vol. I, No. 10 (August 1968).]