This study by Dr. Rahul Shastri examines the early evolution of the attitude of communism towards nationalism in general and towards Indian nationalism in particular. It also looks at how the ideas of communism were received early but were refracted through the typical Indian genius, into the overarching compass of spirituality.
It then moves on to examine the confrontation of world communism with Indian nationalism, the attempts of comintern to yoke Indian nationalists to their war chariot, and how Indian nationalism escaped its bear-hug.
The study also examines the parallel but interacting emergence of a CPI of comintern in Tashkent and Moscow and of unaffiliated communist organisations and functionaries in India during 1920-30. This decade also saw a shortlived bid of an Indian communism to seek a national political life – a bid that was crushed by hostile takeovers, disciplinary actions and establishment of the ideological and organisational stranglehold of comintern over Indian functionaries.
This period ended in 1930 with the formal affiliation of the CPI of India to the comintern. Ever since and increasingly, this party became merely a wing of world communism – presenting a national visage primarily to enhance recruitment, extend its organisational and ideological footprint, and to advance and enhance the objectives of global communism.
Since any prospect of communism of a specifically Indian variety – of an ‘Indian communism’ as it were, ended with the affiliation of the CPI to the comintern and its conversion into a contingent of world communism in 1930, this study of the early period of Communism in India, ends with that year.