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By Shalini Sharma

The activities of the novel left in Punjab in pre-Independence India through the Nineteen Twenties and 30s have usually been considered as international and quintessentially un-Indian because of their largely vilified competition to the hand over India crusade. This ebook examines a few of these deterministic misapprehensions and establishes that, in reality, Punjabi communism used to be inextricably woven in to the neighborhood tradition and traditions of the quarter. through concentrating on the political heritage of the organised left, a substantial and turning out to be strength in South Asia, it discusses the formation and actions of radical teams in colonial Punjab and gives worthwhile insights as to why a few of these teams didn't perform the Congress flow through the run-up to independence. moreover, it lines the effect of the colonial state's associations and guidelines upon those radical teams and sheds gentle on how and whilst the left, although devoted to progressive motion, came across itself obliged to assimilate in the new framework devised through the colonial kingdom.

Based on an intensive research of basic resources in India and the united kingdom with distinct emphasis upon the language utilized by the revolutionaries of this era, this booklet may be of significant curiosity to teachers within the box of political historical past, language and the political tradition of colonialism, in addition to these engaged on Empire and South Asian studies.

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96 In James’s portrayal of the Soviet Union, where he argued that Marx’s theories had been taken to ‘brutal and extreme conclusions’, the dangers of communism to the ‘civilized’ classes of India were emphatically clear. Moreover, as James pointedly added: it is not a fact that Russia is a happy land peopled by Communists. It is a fact that it is ruled by Communists with the help of the OGPU [State Political Directorate or secret police] and the Red Army . . [where] the people of the country are terrorized into submission to the rule which is imposed upon them.

They either change their names or they at any rate throw some doubts upon their occupations’,101 was a naïve attempt to brand them as sly and deceitful when in fact they had no choice but to act by stealth. Damned on every count as bad and dangerous to the health of the Indian polity, communists were described as fanatics determined to pervert the cause of nationalism, usurp the property of the wealthy, set the workers against their employers and indoctrinate impressionable youth against their elders and betters, all in the enterprise of achieving purposes which were deeply dangerous and wholly unacceptable.

Langford James, the prosecutor, saw communism as the work of a fifth column Downloaded by [INFLIBNET Centre] at 05:35 29 August 2012 The Punjab, communism and the state 29 determined to overthrow the Raj.  N. Roy’s dangerous enterprise of ‘fostering’ communism. ’ Gandhi’s success was attributed to an appeal based mainly on religion, which was, admittedly, ‘anti-British’. Thus, ‘with a demi-God like Mr. ’92 But the point is that Gandhi’s call to religion was seen, in the Indian context, as a legitimate expression of a ‘genuine nationalism’; whereas communism was seen to be godless and hence infinitely more dangerous.

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