The Indian Communist Party and the Sino-Soviet Dispute

The Indian Communist Party and the Sino-Soviet Dispute

Postby admin » Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:55 am

The Indian Communist Party and the Sino-Soviet Dispute
(Reference Title: ESAU XVI-62)
by Office of Current Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency
February 7, 1962


This is a working paper, the second in a series of ESAU studies assessing the effects of the Sino-Soviet dispute on certain key Communist parties. The paper tries to show how the development of a broad Sino-Soviet conflict in recent years has fostered pro-Soviet and pro-Chinese factionalism which now threatens to split the Indian party.

The preparation of this paper has been greatly aided by the cooperation and assistance of several other analysts, especially [DELETE] of the Asian-African Division of the Free World Area of OCI, Allen Whiting of the Special Studies Group of the Department of State, and the analysts of the Radio Propaganda Branch of FBIS. The first two chapters of the paper also reflect a debt to the work of Kautsky (Moscow and the Communist Party of India, New York,1956). Overstreet and Windmiiler (Communism in India, Berkeley, 1959), and Masani (The Communist Party of India, New York, 1954). We alone, however, bear responsibility for the conclusions reached in this paper.

The Sino-Soviet Studies Group would welcome comment on this paper, addressed to Harry Gelman, who wrote the paper, [DELETE]



o A. Soviet Shift to Militant Line (1947)
o B. Ranadive Rise to Power in CPI
o C. CPSU Shift Toward Broad Alliances, Away From Armed Struggle
o A. Evolution of Soviet Line Before Stalin's Death
o B. Death of Stalin and Third (Madurai) CPI Congress
o C. The CPI and the Development of the Bandung Line
o A. The Effects of DeStalinization
o B. The Effects of the Line on Peaceful Transition to Socialism
o C. Formation of the Kerala Government and Its Aftermath
o A. The 21st CPSU Congress
o B. The Fall of the Kerala Government (January-July 1959)
o C. The Tibetan Revolt
o D. The Border Dispute
o E. The October Anniversary Talks
o F. Increasing Leftist Ties with Peiping
o A. Soviet Moves in Early 1960
o B. Peiping's Lenin Anniversary Articles
o C. The WFTU Clash in Peiping
o D. The Bucharest Conference and Its Aftermath
o E. The CPSU's August Letter and Its Consequences
o F. The Hanoi Confrontation and the CCP's September Letter
o G. The Moscow Conference (November)
• A. Left-Faction Resurgence Before the April Congress
• B. Soviet and Chinese Policy Toward India Before the Congress
• C. The Indian Party Congress, April
• D. The CPI Between Its Congress and the 22nd CPSU Congress
• E. The 22nd CPSU Congress and Its Aftermath
• F. Prospects for the Indian Communist Party
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Re: The Indian Communist Party and the Sino-Soviet Dispute

Postby admin » Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:55 am



By January 1962 the Communist Party of India (CPI) had reached a point at which an open schism in the party in the coming year had become a serious possibility. The renewal of the Sino-Soviet conflict at the 22nd CPSU [Communist Party Soviet Union] Congress had greatly worsened an already tense situation within the Indian party, and strengthened forces which for many years had been working toward a split in the CPI: the growth of unprecedented factionalism and indiscipline, the weakening of the authority of the party center at the hands of defiant provincial party committees, the slow decline in the authority of the CPSU for many reasons and the growth of Chinese party prestige in the eyes of many CPI members, and the steady polarization of leftist and rightist Indian party factions along pro-Chinese and pro-Soviet lines.

This process had received its initial impetus during the internal CPI battle between 1947 and 1951 over the methods of struggle the party should follow, the immediate goal it should pursue, and the classes it should admit into its alliance. At that time the left-faction leader Ranadive took control of the CPI as general secretary, and in conformity with what he thought was CPSU policy he led the Indian party in the application of violent insurrectionary tactics against the Nehru government. Modeling his efforts on the Russian revolution, Ranadive gave primary emphasis to the struggle in the cities rather than in the countryside; and he called for a one-stage revolution to overthrow both the imperialist enemy and the Indian bourgeoisie simultaneously and bring about immediate Communist party rule in India. Ranadive's tactics failed dismally, and were disastrous for the party. Opposition to Ranadive rose throughout the CPI, and he attempted to suppress it ruthlessly, increasing the chaos within the party.

The leaders of the Andhra provincial party committee then came forward and attacked Ranadive's line; citing a relatively successful peasant revolt which had been going on for some time in the Telengana district of south India, they called for the party to abandon insurrection in the cities and to rely instead upon armed struggle in the countryside. They also demanded that the CPI ally itself for this purpose with anti-feudal sections of the well-to-do peasantry, as well as with anti-imperialist sections of the urban bourgeoisie (the "national bourgeoisie"). Therefore they wished the party to aim at a two-stage revolution in which efforts would be directed first at ousting from power the agents of imperialism and feudalism, and only later at securing firm Communist control of the Indian government. The Andhra leaders explicitly stated that the Chinese revolution rather than the Russian revolution was their model, and they fervently hailed Mao Tse-tung as their inspiration and guide.

Ranadive responded with public attacks not only upon the Andhra leadership but also upon Mao; Ranadive attempted to portray Mao's advocacy of alliance with the national bourgeoisie as an anti-Marxist betrayal of the revolution and an attempt to restore capitalism. There is evidence, suggesting that Ranadive was encouraged to do this by signs of serious strain between Mao and Stalin at the time the CCP was coming to power in 1948 and 1949. Eventually, however, the CPSU accepted the desirability of the alliance with the national bourgeoisie and the two-stage revolution, and Ranadive fell from power in the CPI, to be replaced by the Andhra leadership. The Andhra leaders publicly apologized to Mao for Ranadive's attacks, and attempted to apply the line they had advocated. Peasant revolt, however, proved no more successful than urban insurrection, and armed struggle was finally abandoned altogether, with the Andhra group in turn replaced by a new leadership headed by Ajoy Ghosh as general secretary.

Two lasting results flowed from these events. First, although the "Chinese path" had not proven entirely applicable to India, a degree of Chinese influence was implanted and permanently legitimized within the CPI as a source of inspiration and guidance second only to the CPSU. Secondly, the factionalism, blatant indiscipline, and regional disregard for central authority which had grown during the struggle against Ranadive became permanent features of CPI life, to a degree seen in hardly any other Communist party. The authority of the central CPI machinery was henceforth so weakened in relation to the provincial party organizations that never again did the central party leadership make a serious attempt to enforce a uniform, rigid line upon the often defiant provinces.

The most important feature of the next few years (1951-55) for the CPI was the gradually softening Soviet attitude toward Nehru. By slow degrees the Indian party was forced to follow the evolution of Soviet policy in agreeing first that there were some positive aspects to Nehru's generally black foreign policy, then that Nehru's foreign policy was generally good but that his domestic policy was bad, and finally that there were favorable features of his domestic policy as well. The CPI had to be bludgeoned by Moscow and its agents in the central CPI leadership into taking each painful step along this path, usually with a considerable time lag behind the development of Soviet policy; each such gradual modification of line toward Nehru was accomplished only over the strenuous objections of a large section of the Indian party which did not wish what it regarded as opportunities — to advance the cause of Communism in India by opposing Nehru — to be sacrificed for the sake of Soviet foreign policy interests.
Such CPI recalcitrance was reflected in the party program adopted in 1951, and then was strongly manifested at the Third CPI Congress at Madurai in December 1953. However, the Soviet movement away from hostility to Nehru, begun cautiously three years before Stalin's death, accelerated greatly thereafter in the Bandung period of 1954 and 1955, when Nehru exchanged visits with the Soviet and Chinese leaders and the USSR began a program of economic assistance to India. Under the impact of these events, the CPI became increasingly bound to a moderate policy involving reliance upon parliamentary elections. This trend was to receive its greatest development after the 20th CPSU Congress in 1956.

By the time of Stalin's death, any serious divergence between Chinese and Soviet policy toward the "national liberation movement" would seem to have disappeared, and Moscow and Peiping appear to have acted in close coordination in fostering warmer relations with Nehru in 1954 and 1955. However, the relative importance of the Chinese party and the Chinese revolution as a guide to Asia — which the CCP had stubbornly upheld during Stalin's lifetime — was inevitably increased as a result of his death, a fact reflected during this period in statements by both Soviet and Chinese leaders.

The 20th Congress of the CPSU in February 1956 and the events which flowed from it administered a series of fundamental shocks to the CPI with results which were to affect greatly the relationship of the Indian party to Moscow and to Peiping down to the present day. The first and most important of these shocks was that of deStalinization, which on the one hand greatly intensified the spirit of cynicism, the internal disorganization, and the personal indiscipline already widespread because of the party's previous history, and on the other hand greatly accelerated the long-term decline in the authority and prestige of the CPSU which had begun with the death of Stalin, while simultaneously enhancing the appeal of the CCP to those sections of the Indian party sympathetic to Peiping's viewpoint. This development was followed by the Soviet suppression of the Hungarian Revolution and the subsequent execution of Nagy, which weakened the CPSU's position among rightist sections of the party. A third difficulty was meanwhile occasioned by the 20th Congress line on peaceful transition to socialism, and particularly by the extreme interpretation of that line as applied to India provided by an authoritative Soviet article in the summer of 1956 which implied that Nehru, and not the CPI, would lead India into the socialist system. This viewpoint was directly challenged in public by general secretary Ghosh, and the CPSU soon retreated to a more orthodox position — which, however, still enjoined CPI support for Nehru and CPI reliance primarily upon parliamentary tactics. Forces in the Indian party favoring the parliamentary path were strengthened by the party's accession to power through elections in the state of Kerala in April 1957; and the CPI moved from the April 1956 line of the Palghat party congress (where the party cautiously acknowledged the possibility of peaceful transition to socialism through parliamentary means backed by mass movements, and announced its intention to explore this possibility by conducting itself as a parliamentary opposition) to the April 1958 line of the Amritsar Congress (which exuded confidence that the parliamentary takeover in Kerala could be repeated in other Indian states and eventually even in the center).

Meanwhile, by the fall of 1956 the first indications began to appear of growing divergence between the Chinese and Soviet parties over how far the soft line toward the national bourgeoisie of Asian countries should be pursued. Chinese objections on this score, originally suggested at the time of the Eighth CCP Congress in September 1956, were reinforced as the Indian Communist party became increasingly committed to the parliamentary line in the wake of the Kerala election. Chinese comments began to be heard in 1958 concerning the pernicious effect the Kerala Ministry was having on the militancy and Marxist orthodoxy of the CPI. At the same time the left wing of the Indian party led by the Andhra, West Bengal, and Punjab organizations, infuriated at the restrictions and inhibitions which were imposed upon the party as a whole by the need to preserve the Kerala government in power, became more and more inclined to regard the long-respected Chinese party as a source of inspiration more congenial to its interests than Moscow.

At the end of 1958 there was a momentary hardening of the Soviet line toward Nehru, occasioned primarily by the campaign being conducted by the Congress Party and other forces in Kerala to oust the Communist government.
This firmer Soviet attitude was exemplified by an article by Yudin in Problems of Peace and Socialism rebutting Nehru's attack on Communists as addicted to violence; Yudin's article placed the onus for any possible violence on bourgeois resistance to a peaceful transfer of power to the Communist party.

This Soviet shift in emphasis proved to be temporary, however, and in 1959 the polarization of the CPI between a moderate pro-Soviet wing and a militant pro-Chinese wing was to increase greatly. In 1959 the CPI for the first time became gravely affected by the growing differences between the Soviet and Chinese postures toward the "imperialist" world', their attitudes toward the ruling national bourgeoisie of underdeveloped countries, and their views on the most appropriate means of Communist assumption of power. The gap between the CPSU and the CCP on each of these issues, which had been alternately expanding and contracting in previous years, suddenly widened greatly. This was partly the result of events over which neither party had control: the Tibetan revolt, Nehru's decision to oust the Communist government in Kerala, Washington's decision to invite Khrushchev to the United States. It was also, however, the result of a conscious turning to the right by the CPSU and to the left by the CCP. On Moscow's side, there was an apparent decision taken in January 1959 to abandon the stronger tone used toward Nehru in the fall of 1958 and to bear with this bourgeois nationalist leader for a considerable distance. This resulted first in peremptory CPSU restraint of the CPI upon the occasion of Nehru's ouster of the Kerala government, and later in the Soviet adoption of a publicly neutral posture toward the Sino-Indian border dispute (a posture bitterly resented by the CCP), as well as in vigorous Soviet efforts to convince Nehru of Soviet friendship as the border dispute developed. On the Chinese side, there was instead a hardening of attitude toward Nehru at the very beginning of the year, which helped to determine Peiping's later response to events in Kerala and to the border dispute. At the same time, Khrushchev in the fall of 1959 adopted the softest line toward the West generally he had ever publicly voiced in the aftermath of his visit to the United States, while Peiping grew increasingly shrill in its warnings against Western treachery and in contradiction of the Soviet line.

Against this background of increasingly divergent policies, the CCP in 1959 for the first time began to make aggressive efforts to promote its viewpoint among sympathetic sections of the CPI, particularly within the militant West Bengal provincial party organization.
At the same time Ranadive and the other leftists in the party apparatus were drawn increasingly into an identification with and defense of Peiping's position in the border dispute, while right-faction leaders throughout the party became increasingly inclined to conciliate Indian nationalist opinion by supporting the Nehru government's stand and condemning Peiping.

In 1960 the Soviet and Chinese parties came into open and repeated conflict, and this conflict was transformed into an organizational struggle within the world Communist movement in which both sides eventually found themselves appealing to the loyalties of the key leaders of each of the principal Communist parties of the world. Although the CPSU, because of its fears of precipitating a formal schism in the Indian party, for a long time left the CPI out of its efforts to mobilize foreign Communist support against Peiping — and even attempted to continue to deny to the CPI the reality of the Sino-Soviet dispute — the Indian party eventually had to be drawn into that dispute if only because bloc policy toward India was one of the key matters at issue between Moscow and Peiping. CPI representatives took part in the Sino-Soviet confrontations which took place in Peiping and Bucharest in June, in Hanoi in September, and in Moscow in October and November. The Indian party was formally apprised of the Soviet position in a CPSU letter to the party center in August, and was given a Chinese reply more indirectly through West Bengal channels the next month. Under the impact of these events, the rightist CPI leaders pressed an offensive against leftist-faction positions, which they were anxious to identify clearly with CCP resistance to CPSU authority; the leftists in the central party machinery, for their part, were anxious to deny their own estrangement from the CPSU by denying as long as they could the reality of Sino-Soviet differences. When a clearcut choice was finally posed in September, vacillating and opportunistic CPI leaders (the majority) swung to the rightist side identified with the CPSU, and the CPI passed a secret resolution attacking Peiping and supporting Moscow. Passage of this resolution was resisted by the leftist CPI national leaders, however, and was bitterly denounced by left-faction representatives in the provinces throughout India. One important provincial party organization, in West Bengal, went so far as to pass a counter-resolution directly attacking the conduct of the CPSU and Khrushchev by name and supporting Peiping — the only such resolution definitely known to have been passed in any Communist party in the world. While the delegation led by Ghosh to Moscow supported Khrushchev on most issues during the November conference of Communist parties, it did not support his demand for a condemnation of factionalism within the Communist movement (implicitly, Chinese factionalism) because of the grave danger that such action would split the CPI. Khrushchev's eventual retreat at that conference on this crucial issue of discipline within the international movement — together with the inclusion of many Chinese positions in the ambiguous document produced by the conference — served to encourage the CPI leftists generally and to leave those of them who had openly defied the CPSU unrebuked and more firmly entrenched than before.

The year 1960 ended with the left faction of the CPI continuing to report to the Chinese party and to receive guidance from it, while gathering strength throughout India for an assault on the central party machinery in 1961. There was a gradual increase in leftist strength and assertiveness throughout the Indian party before the party congress met in April 1961, and Suslov, the CPSU delegate to that congress, was obliged to counsel Ghosh to make substantial concessions to the leftists on the wording of the party's political resolution — in order to preserve Ghosh in office as general secretary and to prevent a threatened open split in the party (which nevertheless came very near to materializing). There is good evidence, however, that the CPSU and Ghosh themselves favored a balanced line including both support and criticism of aspects of Nehru's foreign and domestic policies, and a long-term strategy of building a national democratic front through cooperation with "progressive" Congress Party leaders to achieve limited nonsocialist reforms as a prelude to the gradual Communist assumption of power. Suslov did not have to contend with direct Chinese competition at the CPI Congress, the prospective CCP representatives having been ordered to leave India beforehand by the New Delhi government.

While the new National Council elected by the Congress had a reduced rightist majority — because of the leftists' threat to break up the party unless their wishes were acceded to— the rightists subsequently used this National Council majority to reverse leftist control of the Central Executive Committee and the Central Secretariat, the two top party organs charged with running the party. When Ghosh led a balanced CPI delegation to the 22nd CPSU Congress in October, however, even moderates who were normally staunch CPSU supporters were shaken by the open attacks there on the Albanian leaders and the renewed assault on Stalin. Ghosh indicated his reservations about Khrushchev's course of action by declining to attack Albania in his speech to the CPSU Congress — like a number of other normally pro-CPSU foreign delegates — although two months later, again like the leaders of some other parties, he belatedly added mild public disapproval of the Albanians. Greater turmoil resulted within the CPI as a consequence of this CPSU Congress than had ever existed before, both because of the new CPSU offensive against Albania and the CCP and because of the attacks on Stalin and the displacement of Stalin's body. There were widespread attacks on Moscow and Khrushchev over these actions within all factions of the CPI, and one provincial party organization — that of Andhra Pradesh — passed a resolution condemning the CPSU, the second such resolution to be passed within the CPI in little more than a year. Ghosh eventually published an article publicly regretting the manner in which Moscow had again embarked on deStalinization, and declaring that the CPSU had forfeited its claim to infallibility.

These internal difficulties of the CPI were greatly augmented by the simultaneous rekindling of the Sino-Indian border dispute, a statement by Ghosh strongly attacking the CPR, and a subsequent People's Daily editorial condemning both Nehru and Ghosh. At the close of 1961, both leftist and rightist CPI leaders were warning of the likelihood of an open split in the Indian party after the elections of February 1962.
While it seemed likely that the CPSU would make every effort again to prevent such a split, Moscow's long-term chances of success in this effort were dependent on such factors as the future course of Sino-Soviet relations, the fortunes of the "peaceful coexistence" line, and the number of concessions Moscow was willing to make again to the CPI leftists. The Soviet problem was further complicated by the death of Ghosh in January 1962, and the lack of a suitable successor combining loyalty to the CPSU with acceptability to both wings of the Indian party.
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Re: The Indian Communist Party and the Sino-Soviet Dispute

Postby admin » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:00 am


The gradual growth of Peiping's influence and prestige within large sections of the Indian Communist party as a guide secondary to the CPSU has apparently been known and tolerated by the Soviet party for the better part of the last decade. It was this long-term Chinese "presence" in the CPI which in 1959 and 1960 — when Peiping began openly to challenge Soviet authority within the Communist movement on a world-wide scale — was to combine with the factionalism and astonishing indiscipline of the Indian party to produce a threat to CPSU primacy which endures to this day.  

Both factors — the legitimization of a degree of permanent Chinese influence, and the growth of factionalism and regional disregard for central authority to a point seen in hardly any other Communist party — had their origin [1] in the internal party struggle between 1947 and 1951 over the methods of struggle the party should follow, the immediate goal it should pursue, and the classes it should admit into its alliance. Many of the positions espoused at that time by individual CPI leaders — not to mention the CPSU and the CCP — have since been altered or even reversed. But there have been lasting effects from certain developments of that time: that the central CPI authority attempted to apply a certain line, in conformity with what it thought was CPSU policy; that this line proved disastrous for the Indian party; that other leaders openly proposed another line, which they specifically acknowledged to have been derived from Chinese teachings rather than from Moscow; that the central leadership reacted with violent denunciations of heresy, with suppression, expulsions, and similar methods to enforce its line on the party; that the central leadership also published a direct attack on the Chinese party as the source of this Indian heresy; that rebel CPI leaders in the center and in one important provincial organization nevertheless continued to defy the leadership; that Moscow eventually accepted certain elements of the Peiping line and forced them upon the Indian party; and that the old CPI leadership was removed and temporarily disgraced. While this was not the entire story (Moscow first and the CPI later concluded that the "Chinese path" was not entirely applicable to India, and the discredited CPI leaders were eventually readmitted to a central leadership coalition of all factions), nevertheless two effects have persevered: on the one hand, considerable respect for the wisdom and authority of the Chinese party were implanted permanently within the CPI; and on the other hand, the authority of the central CPI machinery was so weakened in relation to the provincial party organizations that never again has the central party leadership made a serious attempt to enforce a uniform, rigid line upon the often defiant provinces.

A. Soviet Shift to Militant Line (1947)

These events were set in motion for the CPI by the Soviet decision in 1947 to discard the rightist, united front-from-above line enjoining support for bourgeois governments which the CPSU had required of the world Communist movement after the USSR's entry into World War II. The CPSU now ordered a general shift to a militant strategy of violent opposition to bourgeois governments, general strikes, demonstrations, armed resistance, and, in colonial areas, "wars of liberation." The first authoritative signal for this shift was given in Zhdanov's report to the founding meeting of the Cominform in September 1947; but because Zhdanov dealt explicitly only with Europe, nowhere in this report did he indicate clearly whether or not the alliance which was to carry out the armed struggle in colonial countries against imperialist rulers could include sections of the native bourgeoisie which might be anti-imperialist (the "national bourgeoisie") or sections of the native peasantry which were not impoverished but which might be anti-feudal (the "middle" and "rich" peasantry). That Stalin in 1947 had not made up his mind on this question was indicated by the conflicting interpretations provided by authoritative Soviet speakers at the proceedings of a meeting of the Soviet Academy of Sciences on India in June 1947 which anticipated the Soviet switch to the militant line, and in articles by the same experts in December amplifying Zhdanov's thesis. [2]

The Chinese Communist Party, on the other hand, adopted a clear position on these ambiguous Soviet statements. On 25 December 1947 Mao Tse-tung delivered a report to the CCP central committee setting forth a line which was principally intended for the contemporary Chinese scene but which was also implied to be valid for other Asian parties. Mao condemned "ultra-left" policies toward the petty and "middle" bourgeoisie, explicitly set forth the immediate aims of his "New Democratic" revolution as the elimination of feudalism and monopoly capitalism rather than capitalism in general, and then added a call for "all anti-imperialist forces" of the various Eastern countries to unite to oppose imperialism and the reactionaries as he had defined them — by implication, therefore, to aim at a two-stage revolution (first anti-imperialist and democratic, and only later socialist), and to use a four-class alliance (proletariat, peasantry, petty bourgeoisie, and national bourgeoisie) against imperialism and the pro-imperialist sections of the bourgeoisie.

Although the Cominform organ For A Lasting Peace, For A People's Democracy published a summary of this Mao report, it omitted all mention of Mao's demand for the initial retention of capitalism and the alliance with the middle bourgeoisie, thus effectively obscuring Mao's central point. The CCP line on this issue was restated more forcefully and explicitly, however, the following year, in a passage in Liu Shao-chi's article "Nationalism and Internationalism," written in connection with the bloc break with Yugoslavia. While warning the Communists of colonial and semi-colonial countries — including India — to beware of "national betrayal by the reactionary section of the bourgeoisie" which had already surrendered to imperialism, Liu insisted that the Communists "should enter into an anti-imperialist alliance with that section of the national bourgeoisie which is still opposing imperialism." He added that "should the Communists fail to do so in earnest, should they on the contrary oppose or reject such an alliance", this would be a "serious mistake." Although this article was written in November 1948, it was not published in Soviet media until the following June, when the CPSU showed many signs of having finally accepted the line of an alliance with the national bourgeoisie. In the meantime, throughout 1948 authoritative Soviet writers had continued to take ambivalent or contradictory positions on this issue, and it seems likely that this CPSU indecision was one of the reasons for Moscow's long delay in publishing Liu's article. [3]

B. Ranadive Rise to Power in CPI

Meanwhile, even as Mao spoke in December 1947 a shift was occurring within the Indian Communist party which was bringing into control a faction which interpreted Zhdanov's September directive simplistically, not only assuming it to be a call for armed struggle against the Nehru government but also seeing it as a demand for a limited worker-peasant alliance against all sections of the Indian bourgeoisie to bring about a one-stage revolution overthrowing capitalism and ushering in socialism. This shift took place at a December 1947 CPI central committee meeting in which the balance of power within the party swung away from P. C. Joshi — the old CPI general secretary who had led the party since the middle thirties, and who had advocated support for the new Nehru government — toward B.T. Ranadive, who has since to this day remained at least the titular leader of the CPI leftist faction. The central committee adopted a resolution making no distinction between sections of the Indian bourgeoisie, and lumping all of the bourgeoisie with imperialism and feudalism as the enemy to be fought now.

This line was confirmed and developed three months later at the Second Congress of the CPI in February 1948, when Ranadive formally replaced Joshi as general secretary. The Political Thesis adopted by this congress identified the entire world bourgeoisie with the imperialist camp as the common enemy in every country; explicitly rejected the notion of significant differences among the bourgeoisie; called for a united front from below (to entice away the proletarian following of the Congress party) rather than a united front from above (which would have meant the Joshi line of alliances with and support for Congress party leaders); held that "a revolutionary situation now existed in India, and called for a violent effort to bring about a one-stage revolution. This party congress was held in Calcutta immediately upon the conclusion of an international youth congress there sponsored jointly by the World Federation of Democratic Youth and the International Union of Students which is believed to have given the signal for the armed Communist uprisings which soon afterward began in a number of other Asian countries.

Following the Second Congress, Ranadive proceeded to apply insurrectionary tactics against the Nehru government; in so doing he sought to adhere to the model of the Russian revolution and to rely primarily upon struggle in the cities rather than in the countryside. There were attempts at massive paralyzing strikes, violent demonstrations, acid-throwings, and so on, and many party leaders went underground. The Nehru government responded with a vigorous crackdown against the party which effectively anticipated and countered these measures and placed much of the party's top leadership in prison. Meanwhile, the CPI's violent tactics steadily reduced the number of effective party members, decimated the fronts, and rapidly eliminated the party's influence over the masses; calls for strikes were heeded less and less, and eventually, as Ranadive's opponents later charged, the party was reduced to sponsoring acts of "individual terrorism" by tiny groups of die-hard militants.

Andhra Citation of Mao as Guide

While this was going on, Communist leaders in the Telegnana district of the southern Indian princely state of Hyderabad (which had not yet been incorporated into India) had for three years been leading a relatively successful revolt among the local peasantry by relying upon a radical program of land reform. The contrast between the success of this effort and the failure of Ranadive's tactics encouraged the Andhra provincial committee — to which the Telengana party leaders were subordinated — to circulate within the party in June 1948 a document challenging Ranadive's line and calling for a line combining agrarian revolt with Communist alliance with the national bourgeoisie and all strata of the peasantry. The Andhra leaders explicitly acknowledged that they were inspired to adopt this line by the experience of the Chinese revolution, and not by what they termed "classical Russian revolution." They declared that "Mao, the leader of the historic Chinese liberation struggle, from his unique and rich experience and study, has formulated a theory of new democracy" which was a "new form of revolutionary struggle to advance toward socialism in colonies and semi-colonies" and which was something "distinct from the dictatorship of the proletariat." An essential aspect of this Maoist line which the Indian party should copy, they felt, was the limitation of the struggle in the present stage to one against imperialism and feudalism, and the consequent formation of a broad alliance with the anti-imperialist "middle bourgeoisie" of the cities, as well as the "middle peasantry" and (if possible) even the "rich peasantry" of the countryside. The Andhra party committee cited as the justification for this line a statement by Mao on 24 April 1945 to the 7th CCP Congress, in which Mao complained that "some people cannot understand why the Communist Party of China, far from being unsympathetic to capitalism, actually promotes its development," and explained that "what China does not want is foreign imperialism and native feudalism and not native capitalism which is too weak."

Ranadive Attack on Mao

While neither Mao nor the Andhra Communists had in mind either the indefinite retention of capitalism or the abdication of Communist leadership, and while there is no good evidence that the Andhra party in hailing Mao as a model consciously intended to reject CPSU authority, Ranadive for polemical purposes chose to profess these conclusions in the counteroffensive he made to the Andhra document. In his first response, in the CPI journal Communist of January 1949, Ranadive contented himself with defending his line of a single revolution leading directly to socialism, led by the proletariat in firm alliance only with the poor peasantry and the rural proletariat, and with suggesting that the battle against the Indian bourgeoisie was even more important than the struggle against foreign imperialism. In July 1949, however, he wrote an article in the same journal which directly assailed not only the Andhra document but its ideological inspiration, Mao Tse-tung. In this article Ranadive emphasized that the CPI accepted only Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin as authoritative sources of Marxism, and not Mao, whom he implicitly compared with Tito and Browder. He declared that "some of Mao's formulations are such that no Communist party can accept them; they are in contradiction to the world understanding of the Communist parties." Citing the 1945 Mao quotation from the Andhra document, he termed the formulation about the CCP promoting the development of capitalism "horrifying," "reactionary," and "counterrevolutionary," and in hypocritical fashion interpreted Mao literally, asking: "Are we to understand that while Communists in Europe, the USSR, and India fight world capitalism, the CCP proposes to rebuild it in China?"

Joshi subsequently claimed that eighteen months before Ranadive expressed these views publicly he had disseminated them in private oral discussions within the CPI on the eve of the February 1948 CPI Congress. Ranadive at that time had reportedly declared that Mao's "New Democracy" was reeking with reformism and that the Chinese revolution would not be consolidated and directed towards socialism until its leadership revised its views or was made to revise them. Ranadive was also said to have predicted that a "whole pack of reformists" who had got control of certain other Communist parties after the wartime dissolution of the Cominform would soon be ousted. In a February 1949 article in Communist, Ranadive indeed made public similar vague charges of revisionism against the leaderships of unspecified European Communist parties.

For Ranadive to pass from these private charges of vague public allusions to his direct public attack on Mao in July 1949, however, was a remarkable act, particularly in view of the fact that the CCP at that moment was in the process of consolidating its conquest of mainland China, while the CPI was a tiny and hopelessly defeated remnant of a party.
Despite Ranadive's undoubted personal fanaticism and irresponsibility, it seems likely that he must have had what he considered good evidence of strong friction between Stalin and the CCP to justify his action. [4]

There are two known items of evidence dating from late 1948 and early 1949 which do suggest that at the very time when the CCP was coming to power in China, Stalin was experiencing particular difficulty in adjusting himself to the heightened status of Mao and the Chinese party within the international movement which was the inevitable consequence of this event. First, the British Communist Palme Dutt, in a report to a Conference on the Crisis of British Imperialism on 2 October 1948, listed five new features of the post-World War II "national liberation movement". According to the version of Dutt's report published in Britain, the second of these points declared: "The advance of democratic China represents a powerful force in the world situation which exercises a profound influence on the development of the liberation struggle of the colonial peoples throughout Asia." The version published in the Cominform journal on 15 October, however, listed only four features; the point about China was omitted.

When next the temper of Kashmiri politics boiled over, it was Freda rather than B.P.L. who was on the spot and propelled to prominence. In the spring of 1946, Sheikh Abdullah launched the Quit Kashmir movement. While the Congress's earlier Quit India campaign was directed against the British, Sheikh Abdullah was seeking the eviction of Kashmir's royal family and the establishment of representative government. The maharaja responded with repression. Protests were violently dispersed. Sheikh Abdullah was arrested in May 1946; hundreds of his supporters were also detained. Several of his key colleagues managed to reach Lahore. Some leaders of the National Conference, notably G.M. Karra, operated underground. Bedi was in Lahore and too well-known to make the journey to Srinagar without attracting immediate arrest. Freda, by chance, was in Kashmir on a camping holiday with her new baby, Kabir, then just four months old and still being breastfed. On Kabir's nineteenth birthday, Freda wrote him a long and intensely personal letter in which she dwelt on the political drama in which he was caught up.

In summer, we went up to Kashmir as usual. Papa left me in Haji Brar, and went down to Lahore again, promising to return. Then the storm burst. Sheikh Abdullah started the 'Quit Kashmir' agitation. He was promptly jailed along with all his followers. I felt I must do something. What, I didn't know. Srinagar was a long way away and all the people I could discuss things with were behind bars. I came down to Srinagar. You were always with me like my skin, tucked up in your little Moses basket. I daren't leave you for a minute so wherever you + I had to go, we went together.

How can I put in words that painful summer? The police wanted me to leave Kashmir as they knew Papa and I were friends of the rebels. So they issued a notice to me to leave. I wrote on the back of the notice that I didn't accept it, as I didn't recognise the people who issued it. From then on they pursued me. C.I.D. watching, following. I was doing nothing, of course; just feeding you. Whoever I stayed with, the poor boatman, were called and harassed [sic] by the Police. It was so difficult: they wanted to protect me, but I was giving them trouble. Finally, to save the boat people, I took a room in a cheap Punjabi hotel in the city, with a Frontierman Manager, some Peshawari Hindu, I've forgotten his name, but he had a heart of gold. 'Just you sit here and feed that baby,' he said, 'and don't worry about anything.'

But the hotel food made me sick, + my milk began to suffer. It was then that that saintly old man, a Kashmiri Pandit, ... heard of my plight and sent me every morning and evening a tiffin box full of pure vegetarian food. That kept me going, and you too ....

Once, the 'underground' Kashmiri nationalists wanted to meet me, and I was given a 'burqua' (you were tucked away under it, close to my heart) and slipped out of a house I was visiting by the back door, + so reached a room in the centre of the old city.14

In this intimate letter written many years after the events described, Freda downplayed both the bravery and the political significance of her actions. The state authorities' issuing of an 'externment' or deportation order against Freda in June 1946 was widely reported -- so too was her refusal to comply. This was a political trial of will, and Freda could not be sure that if the maharaja's police moved in, she would be gently treated. The British communist Rajani Palme Dutt -- in Kashmir in late July as a public show of support for Sheikh Abdullah -- complained of the 'reign of terror' let loose by the maharaja and his police. He met Bedi in Lahore, noting that he was 'large' and 'robust'. Bedi, in turn, helped to organise meetings for Palme Dutt in Srinagar, including with Freda. 'I saw armed sentries posted on all the bridges and strategic points,' he wrote in Labour Monthly. 'An Indian journalist who accompanied me to Srinagar was subjected to a police raid at night by ten C.I.D. men, who made a complete search of his room, as well as of the room of Freda Bedi in the same hotel. The driver of the car which I had used in Srinagar was ... arrested and beaten up to extract from him information as to my movements.'

Freda's secret meeting was to pass on messages between the National Conference leaders -- presumably those in Lahore -- and those such as G.M. Karra who were operating undercover in Srinagar. In the absence of much of the male leadership of the National Conference, women activists stepped into the breach. At the behest of some of these women, Freda dressed up in clothes which would have disguised her European appearance but hardly made her inconspicuous. '"People wouldn't put me in an old muddy burka," said Freda. "They wanted to dress me in the best they had, and they would go to the bride's chest." In ballooning garments encrusted with embroidery, and with daintily crocheted inserts just big enough for her blue English eyes to peer through, Freda moved about, relaying directives ... Her temporary retreat into purdah had been an experience for her. "It's a strange sensation it gives you," she said. "You're behind a bridge. You have this queer knowledge that you can observe everybody and no one can see you. It's a peculiar mentality that must develop among Muslim women."' Sajida Zameer Ahmed recalls escorting Freda, disguised in a burqa, on a horse-drawn buggy around Srinagar to meet underground activists. She also took on another invaluable role for Freda -- babysitting Kabir so that his mother could devote herself more fully to the political role she had taken on.

-- The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi, by Andrew Whitehead

Anna Louise Strong Book

A more dramatic piece of evidence — and a reason why the CPSU at this time may have been unwilling to publish the seemingly innocuous statement above, which in subsequent years has been repeated many times by Moscow — was provided by the case of Anna Louise Strong and her book, "Tomorrow's China." This book, based on a year's stay in China from July 1946 to July 1947 and on repeated conversations with the top CCP leaders, was published by the Communist press of many countries late in 1948 and early in 1949. In India, it was published by the CPI's People's Publishing House of Bombay in the fall of 1948 under the title "Dawn Out of China." In this work Miss Strong paid repeated tribute to the experience and authority of the Chinese Communist party and Mao and the particular and unique relevance of Mao's teachings to the revolutions of Asia. She even went so far as to state explicitly that "it is to Mao Tse-tung and to Communist China much more than to present-day Moscow that the nationalist revolutions of Indonesia, Indo-China, Burma, look for their latest, most practical ideas," and that Mao's strategy was made to fit such peoples because China's problems are similar to theirs. Mao's analysis of China's revolution, she said, "is studied eagerly in the colonial lands of Southeast Asia;" and she thought that "Marxists all over the world agree that in order to understand the modern problems of Asia, it is necessary to study Mao's thought," since Mao was the "first Marxist in Asia" to succeed in applying Marxist principles to new conditions and in giving those principles a new development.

One aspect of the Maoist teachings thus lauded by this book is the "New Democracy" line calling for an alliance with the middle bourgeoisie and preservation of some native capitalism for the sake of the common struggle against imperialism and its adherents. In a later private conversation, Anna Louise Strong stated that in her last interview with Mao in 1947, she declared her intention to bring this Maoist line for the anti-imperialist struggle to the attention of other Asian Communist parties; thereupon, according to her account, Mao interrupted her to urge that she bring it to the attention of the Russians as well. In fact, after her book had already been published by a number of Communist parties, she did visit the Soviet Union in an effort to get the work published there, and appears to have been naively surprised at the insistence of the Moscow publishing house that drastic changes be made in the text. Finally, she was arrested in Moscow in February in 1949, charged with espionage, and subsequently expelled from the country. Her old friend Borodin, who had attempted to help her in dealing with the Moscow publishers, was also arrested and later died in prison.

The fact of Anna Louise Strong's arrest by the Soviet authorities a few months after the appearance of her book hailing Mao was likely to have been seized on by Ranadive as evidence of Stalin's attitude toward both Mao's pretensions and Maoist policy. Thus encouraged, Ranadive and his lieutenants in the party center persisted in leading the party on in its violent course despite the disastrous effects this was having, and despite the growing opposition to the Ranadive line not only from the Andhra committee but also from the party trade union leaders led by S.A. Dange. Too deeply committed to his line to draw back, Ranadive attempted to apply Stalinist methods of suppression within the CPI, arbitrarily dissolving rebellious local party committees and expelling dissidents on a wide scale, and thereby compounding the chaos throughout the party.

C. CPSU Shift Toward Broad Alliances, Away from Armed Struggle

One of Ranadive's opponents who was first suspended from the party and then, in December 1949, expelled, was the former CPI general secretary P.C. [Purand Chand] Joshi. Joshi responded pugnaciously to his expulsion by launching a one-man campaign against Ranadive, sending a long letter to Stalin and to other foreign parties documenting Ranadive's departure from Soviet intentions, and publishing these and other documents in a journal founded specially for the purpose. Joshi was aided in this effort by the fact that CPSU policy doubts had apparently been resolved by mid-summer 1949 in favor of the line of the four-class alliance and the two-stage revolution. In early June Pravda finally published the text of Liu Shao-chi's "Internationalism and Nationalism"; this fact was cited by Joshi [5] as having been ignored by Ranadive when publishing his attack on Mao. Also in June 1949, reports delivered at an important meeting held by the USSR Academy of Sciences upheld both armed peasant struggles and the participation of the national bourgeoisie in the anti-imperialist alliance in colonial countries; and the same line was taken in a collection of papers published by the Soviet Pacific Institute later in 1949.

Soviet Subordination of Chinese Experience

In addition, one of the latter papers published by the Pacific Institute now described the Chinese revolution as having profited "from the tremendous experience of the CPSU", as having "creatively applied the teachings of Lenin and Stalin" under conditions of a semi-colonial country, and as constituting for this reason "a vast treasury of revolutionary experience itself" for colonial peoples of the East to draw upon. This attempt to subordinate the significance of Mao's thinking was reiterated in a Soviet message on the founding of the CPR published in Pravda on 6 October 1949, in which the CCP was depicted as having won its victory by "basing itself" on Stalin's "analysis of the. . .conditions for a victory of an anti- imperialist and anti- feudal revolution." It thus seems that the CPSU, finally convinced of the expediency of Mao's four-class strategy for the revolutions of Asian parties — and also confronted by Mao's victory with the necessity of defining the CCP's relation to those revolutions — attempted to resolve both problems by adopting this Maoist line and depicting it, and all Chinese experience, as derived from Stalinist teachings.

The CCP seems never to have accepted this distinctly subordinate niche for Mao, although Mao in March and July 1949 did perform the ritual of acknowledging Chinese successes to have been made possible by the Soviet victories in World War II. At the November 1949 WFTU Peiping Conference of Asian and Australasian Countries which formally ratified the Maoist strategy as suitable for the Asian parties, Liu Shao-chi declared, without any obeisance to Soviet experience or teachings, that "the path taken by the Chinese people... is the path that should be taken by the peoples of the various [NCNA English] colonial and semi-colonial countries in their fight for national independence and people's democracy." [6] (Emphasis supplied.)

The Question of the Suitability of Armed Struggle

This "Chinese path" was defined by Liu as a broad united front, including the national bourgeoisie and the petty bourgeoisie but based on the worker-peasant alliance and resolutely dominated by the Communist party — plus a national army led by the party waging armed struggles from bases in the countryside while conducting only "legal and illegal mass struggles" in the cities. [7] (Emphasis supplied.) Although Liu did insert certain qualifications — declaring that this "way of Mao Tse-tung" should be followed in other countries "where similar conditions prevail," that an army should be set up "wherever and whenever possible," and that armed struggle is the main form of struggle of "many" colonies and semi-colonies — the main thrust of his argument was in the opposite direction, implying that the Chinese felt that armed struggle on their model was indeed well-nigh universally suitable in Asia.

The CPSU has since intimated that at the time it was not in complete agreement with the CCP on this point, implying that the Soviet party, while finally accepting Mao's doctrine of a four-class alliance in colonial countries, may also have been just beginning to consider abandoning armed struggles in certain countries where they had proven inexpedient, and that the CPSU may therefore have been reluctant to commit all the Asian WFTU organizations to a line suggesting that violent tactics were still generally suitable. While there is no conclusive evidence, certain of Liu's statements have a highly polemical flavor which lends some credence to this. He said that "if the people of the colonies and semi-colonies have no armed forces to defend themselves, they will lose everything," that the existence and development of the working class' organization and the united front depends on armed struggle, and that armed struggle is the "inevitable" course for colonial peoples. He emphasized that "the fighters of the national-liberation wars of Vietnam, Burma, Indonesia, Malaya, and the Philippines have acted entirely correctly"[8] — as if someone had questioned this. He declared that it is "impossible" to overthrow imperialism and establish a people's democracy "by taking any other easier way" than that of armed struggle, and warned that "if anybody attempts to do so, it would be a mistake. [9] Ultimately, however, the WFTU Conference — presumably in deference to Soviet views — in one of its resolutions urged the colonial and semi-colonial countries to take into account "local conditions and national characteristics" in choosing "the appropriate methods" to build a united front and defeat the imperialists, suggesting that armed struggle was now far from generally obligatory. All in all, the evidence suggests that while both Moscow and Peiping still endorsed armed struggle for many Asian countries, and both admitted the need for some present exceptions, the CPSU now saw the necessity for more exceptions from this policy than the CCP was yet willing to admit.

January Cominform Editorial and Fall of Ranadive

This interpretation is given some support by an editorial published in the Cominform journal on 27 January 1950 which reiterated Liu's main points but in such a fashion as to suggest more vigorously that there were some Asian countries where armed struggle could not now usefully be employed, and that India was one such country. This editorial also quoted Liu's statement that the Chinese path should be taken by the people of the various colonial countries, but changed NCNA's "The various" to "many," possibly meaning to indicate that the CPSU saw exceptions to the applicability of armed struggle and to limit the stature of the Chinese party and its experience. The same function was served by the editorial's specific injunction to the Indian Communist party to be guided by "the experience of the national-liberation movement in China and other countries. " (Emphasis added.) In addition, the editorial now instructed the CPI to unite with "all classes, parties, groups and organizations" willing to join it in a battle against imperialism, feudalism, and "the reactionary big bourgeoisie."

The initial reaction of the Indian party to this signal was to heed the second instruction — to reject Ranadive's narrow approach and form a four-class alliance — but to misinterpret the more indirect suggestion that armed struggle itself be ended. In May 1950, a central committee meeting ousted Ranadive as general secretary and installed in control the Andhra leaders, headed by Rajeswar Rao. The triumphant Andhra group proceeded publicly to withdraw and apologize for the Ranadive attacks on Mao Tse-tung, and then to attempt to put into effect the Chinese formula of armed struggle in the countryside combined with "legal tactics" in the cities. This, however, proved no more successful than the Ranadive line. The party's "liberation war" lost support among the Telengana peasantry after the Indian government occupied Hyderabad and applied strong military pressure on the revolt; and efforts to open agrarian rebellions in other areas were largely unavailing. At the same time, it proved impossible to obtain from the Nehru government the legal status in cities necessary to build a united front there so long as the party was using violence in the countryside. The process of disorganization within the party accelerated, [10] and a campaign of opposition to the line of the new leadership was resumed by Joshi and by the trade union leaders under Dange, who challenged Rajeswar Rao's contention that a revolutionary situation now existed in India. Another center of open opposition came into being when dissident party leaders working in the central apparatus banded together to form the so-called "Party Headquarters Unit;" these rebels even went so far as to found a journal for the publication of material opposing the line of the party leadership.

Toward the close of 1950, the CPI received a series of guidance materials from the British Communist party supporting the views of the party opposition, accusing the Rao leadership of having misunderstood the January 1950 Cominform journal editorial, denying that a revolutionary situation suitable for armed struggle now existed in India, and urging concentration on the building of a broad united front and the application of all legal tactics, including participation in elections. Early in 1951, similar instructions were reportedly given to the CPI directly by the CPSU when a delegation of CPI leaders of all factions is said to have visited Moscow. A document entitled the "Tactical Line" said to be based upon this Soviet guidance was circulated secretly within the party at this time, and subsequently published in slightly sanitized form as a party draft Policy Statement in May 1951. The "Tactical Line" stated, and the Policy Statement implied, that the final objective of the CPI was still an armed revolution to overthrow the Nehru government; but both documents denied that this was now feasible. These documents condemned both Ranadive's insistence on seeking revolution primarily through general strikes of industrial workers, on the Soviet pattern, and Rajeswar Rao's preoccupation with partisan warfare among the peasantry, on the Chinese pattern. It was pointed out that the latter policy had been unsuccessful partly because the Indian party, unlike the CCP, did not enjoy the advantage of a firm and contiguous base across the border — in the Chinese case, the Soviet Union. (This point became important eight years later, when the PLA appeared on the Indian-Tibetan border in force during the suppression of the Tibetan revolt, and CPI leftists then began to argue that the party now had its contiguous base and could revive insurrectionary tactics.) The "Tactical Line" called on the CPI to learn from both the CPSU and the CCP and to prepare for the time when both methods could be used in conjunction; in the meantime, the party was to content itself with building the "revolutionary unity" of "all discontented sections and classes".

In reality, the subsequent history of the Indian Communist party has been wholly occupied with the party's efforts to build this "revolutionary unity," and the revolution itself has become an increasingly remote (and more complex) goal as the policies of the CPI and the CPSU have evolved. As Ajoy Ghosh replaced Rajeswar Rao as the CPI leader to apply the new line in April 1951, the Indian party had come almost full circle since 1947; but the party had now changed considerably. While it was now accepted that the simple "Chinese path" was not immediately suitable to India, it was also driven home in the minds of all that the Chinese Communist party and Mao were mentors whose views should be respectfully studied after those of the CPSU. The rigid, arbitrary Bolshevik discipline which Ranadive had attempted to wield within the party was now gone forever; moreover, as the secret organizational report delivered to the Sixth CPI Congress in 1961 noted, elementary Communist discipline was itself permanently discredited by the misuse Ranadive had made of it, and the extraordinary public factional defiance of central authority which had originally been justified as the only means to dethrone first Ranadive and then Rao was from now on implanted as a regular feature of party life. The new CPI general secretary, Ajoy Ghosh, was caught up immediately in such contention of opposing factions, over the line the party should adopt toward the Nehru government.



1. This is not to say that factional strife and respect for  the Chinese party had not existed in the CPI before this period,  but only that an enormous qualitative change occurred on both  counts after this time, which Indian Communists have themselves  remarked on.

2. For the details of these articles, see the discussions, by Kautsky (Moscow and the Communist Party of India, New York,  1956) and Overstreet and Windmiller (Communism in India, Berkeley, 1959).
3. Another reason, presumably, was Liu's insufficiently harsh  attitude toward Tito.
4. Although it is barely possible that Ranadive was given  direct instructions by the CPSU to attack Mao, this seems unlikely, if only because — as will be seen — by the time Ranadive wrote in July 1949 the CPSU had already accepted the  particular Maoist doctrine which was the central object of  Ranadive's assault. It appears more likely that Ranadive  used earlier broad indications of Sino-Soviet difficulties  as justification for attack on the authority cited by his  internal party opponents.
5. Joshi's writings in this period were replete with polemical  defenses of the Chinese leaders against Ranadive's attacks; and Joshi in subsequent years became known as the CPI leader  most closely identified with Peiping. Joshi 's adherence to  the alliance with the Indian national bourgeoisie, however,  outlived the eventual passing of Peiping's fondness for this  line; and Joshi was finally forced, most reluctantly, to support the CPSU against the CCP when the Sino-Soviet conflict  surfaced in 1960.
6. NCNA English version of 23 November 1949. The Soviet Union was  mentioned only in passing in this speech; and Liu alluded to  the European satellites as "the new democracies."
7. Li Li-san, a former CCP leader who in 1930 had been instrumental in applying Stalin's disastrous advice to the Chinese party to concentrate on armed struggles in the cities  rather than in the countryside, was also brought out at this  WFTU meeting to testify to the "historical lesson" taught by  his mistake and to the proven correctness of Mao's line of  relying on armed struggle in the countryside white essentially  "lying low" in the cities. Li's statements were probably  directed in large part at Ranadive, who was now repeating  Li's old policy; they were probably also intended as a reminder to the Asian parties of the fallibility of CPSU advice.
8. Earlier, in his speech, he had also hailed India as one of the countries where armed struggles were taking place; the Manifesto issued by the Peiping WFTU Conference did not do so, suggesting--as does subsequent evidence — that the question of the suitability of India for armed struggle may have been one of the points at issue.  
9. Liu here added unusually vigorous and lengthy warnings about the untrustworthiness and vacillations even of those sections of the bourgeoisie which participated in the anti-imperialist alliance (the national bourgeoisie), and their incapacity to lead the national liberation movement or accomplish the democratic revolution. This danger of the Communists losing control of the alliance to the national bourgeoisie would naturally come to the fore with the abandonment of Communist-led armed struggle against a clearly-defined imperialist and reactionary enemy; in such cases, there would be an increased possibility that some Communists would classify native governments such as Nehru's as national bourgeois, and hence worthy of being supported against a common imperialist enemy rather than fought. Something like this, in fact, eventually happened in India in response to changes in Soviet policy which Peiping at first accepted but finally again came to denounce.
10. Afterwards the CPI Politburo testified that in the course  of this joint "inner-Party struggle" and battle against the  government the functioning of every party unit had received  "the rudest shock;'" that at the end of the struggle in 1951  there was "very little of Party organization;" that local,  district, and provincial committees had to be set up all over  again; and that the party's fronts had become "virtually  non-functioning."
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Re: The Indian Communist Party and the Sino-Soviet Dispute

Postby admin » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:01 am


The most important feature of the next few years for the CPI was the gradually softening Soviet attitude toward Nehru. By degrees the Indian party was forced to follow the evolution of Soviet policy in agreeing first that there were some positive aspects to Nehru's generally black foreign policy, then that Nehru's foreign policy was generally good but that his domestic policy was bad, and finally that there were favorable features of his domestic policy as well. The CPI had to be bludgeoned by Moscow and its agents in the central CPI leadership into taking each painful step along this path, usually with a considerable time lag behind the development of Soviet policy; each such gradual modification of line toward Nehru was accomplished only over the strenuous objections of a large section of the Indian party which did not wish what it regarded as opportunities — to advance the cause of Communism in India by opposing Nehru — to be sacrificed for the sake of Soviet foreign policy interests. Such CPI recalcitrance was reflected in the party program adopted in 1951, and then was strongly felt at the Third CPI Congress at Madurai in December 1953. However, the Soviet movement away from hostility to Nehru, begun cautiously three years before Stalin's death, accelerated greatly thereafter in the Bandung period of 1954 and 1955, when Nehru exchanged visits with the Soviet and Chinese leaders and the USSR began a program of economic assistance to India. Under the impact of these events, the CPI became increasingly bound to a moderate policy involving reliance upon parliamentary elections. This trend to receive its greatest development after the 20th CPSU Congress in 1956.

By the time of Stalin's death, any serious divergence between Chinese and Soviet policy toward the national liberation movement would seem to have disappeared, arid Moscow and Peiping appear to have acted in close coordination in fostering warmer relations with Nehru in 1954 and 1955. However, the relative importance of the Chinese party and the Chinese revolution as a guide to Asia — which the CCP had stubbornly upheld during Stalin's lifetime -- was inevitably increased as a result of his death, a fact reflected during this period in statements by both Soviet and Chinese leaders.

A. Evolution of Soviet Line Before Stalin's Death

Until July 1950, Soviet and Chinese propaganda had been hostile to the Nehru government since its inception. The New Delhi regime was described as a lackey of the British and American imperialists which aided them in turning India into an advance base from which to combat the national liberation movement of Asia. The government, the Congress party, and the Praja Socialist Party were alike labeled reactionary "flunkies" of the Anglo-American warmongers. Izvestiya in October 1949 called Nehru's neutrality hypocritical; a Chinese writer in April 1950 said that he was at the "beck and call of the imperialists;" and the Soviet New Times in June 1950 said that the ruling circles of India were standing aloof from political entanglements only because they were afraid of exposing themselves in the eyes of the masses.

Shortly after the opening of the Korean war, however, there came a change. On 1 July 1950 the Indian Ambassador to Peiping tentatively suggested to the CPR that a solution to the Korean problem could be reached by referring it to the UN Security Council, with the CPR being admitted to her "legitimate place" there and the Soviets consequently giving up the boycott of the Council they were then maintaining. When this suggestion received a favorable response from Peiping, Nehru on 13 July sent identical letters to Stalin and Acheson with a formal proposal along these lines, which was promptly accepted by the USSR and rejected by the United States. This event was warmly welcomed and publicized by Moscow and Peiping, with People's Daily hailing "the world-wide support for the peaceful proposals "of J. Nehru and the reply of J. V. Stalin." From this time on, both Communist states appear to have been motivated by a growing awareness of the uses to be made of Indian foreign policy. In the propaganda, statements by New Delhi unfavorable to the Communist position on Korea tended to be downplayed or ignored, while favorable statements or actions were emphasized and exaggerated. Although praise for Nehru personally continued to be almost wholly absent, the Indian government as such was often referred to in amicable terms. Mild criticism of the government, largely regarding domestic policy, reappeared in Soviet media about two months after the Nehru-Stalin exchange and persisted sporadically until Stalin's death.

In December 1950, R. Palme Dutt, a leading British Communist who had often in the past served as an agent for the transmission of CPSU policy changes to the CPI, attempted to persuade the Indian party to modify its line in response to this new element in the bloc attitude toward Nehru. In a pamphlet published by the CPI in Bombay in which Dutt purported to answer questions addressed to him by the CPI, he held that the signs of a change in Indian foreign policy exemplified by Nehru's stand on the issues of Korea and Peiping's admission to the UN amounted to "a very important development." Although this was only "a beginning" and although Nehru did not yet have "a consistent peace policy," yet he was showing at least "hesitant and limited" opposition to imperialism, which it was the duty of the CPI to encourage. It was also the duty of the CPI to bring maximum popular pressure upon the Indian government when it vacillated in order to defeat the designs of that wing of the Indian bourgeoisie which favored imperialism and to strengthen the hand of that bourgeois wing led by Nehru which diverged from imperialist aims.

The Indian party, however, was not yet ready to accept even this partial reappraisal of Nehru. The party Program and Statement of Policy drafted by the politburo and central committee in the spring of 1951 and formally approved by an All-Indian Party Conference the following October both took a negative view of Nehru's foreign policy. The Program declared that the government "essentially carries out the foreign policy of British imperialism" and insisted that Nehru's policy on the issue of peace was "spurious" and hypocritical. A decade later, Pravda was to print an article by CPI general secretary Ghosh which retroactively condemned these statements of the 1951 CPI program as erroneous.

As Soviet foreign policy continued to explore further the advantages to be gained from Indian "neutrality", it simultaneously continued to push forward the "peace" line exemplified by the Stockholm Peace Appeal of March 1950, which had as its central aim the mobilization of the broadest possible public opposition — on a non-class basis — to the foreign policies of the "imperialist" powers, particularly the United States. The CPI was placed under increasing pressure by Moscow to devote central attention to this "peace" campaign against America, and this in turn reinforced the pressure on the Indian party to modify its line toward Nehru, who was viewed by Moscow as facilitating this campaign in certain respects.

In this context, the issue of the line to be taken toward Nehru was fought out within the CPI for the next few years in terms of the question of whether British or American imperialism was the chief enemy facing the Indian people. Those CPI leaders who either out of obedience to Moscow or because of their own less militant inclinations wished to take a softer line toward Nehru held that the struggle against the main international enemy— the United States — was paramount in India as well, and that all other considerations ought to be subordinated to the cause of attracting the maximum possible Indian support, including Nehru if possible, to the peace campaign. An opposing CPI faction was led by the chieftains of the Andhra provincial party, Rajeswar Rao and Sundarayya, with increasingly significant support now also from West Bengal and the Punjab, which were traditionally centers of Indian terrorism. This faction tended to pay obeisance to the world fight against American imperialism and to the peace campaign, but to emphasize that the primary enemy of the Indian Communist. Party remained British imperialism, which still controlled India as a semi-colony through its economic investments and through its political instrument, the Nehru government. Implicit in this line was the demand to carry on mass struggles (if, for the time being, no longer violent uprisings) against the New Delhi regime, and not to compromise these struggles for the sake of the -broader interests of Soviet foreign policy.

B. Death of Stalin and Third (Madurai) CPI Congress

Throughout 1952 and 1953 the second, or militant faction remained the stronger of the two within the Indian party, with the central party leadership led by Ghosh striving to bridge the gap between the increasingly divergent views of Moscow and the Andhra militants. While an extended party plenum at the close of 1952 criticized the CPI's neglect of the peace movement and promised to make this the central task of the party, a central committee resolution the following March continued to identify Great Britain as the chief enemy and to describe the Nehru government as a collaborator with imperialism. Although Moscow is reported to have sent a directive to the CPI a few months later urging it to stop criticizing Nehru on this score in the interests of winning him over to the "peace camp," strong opposition to this line persisted within the party.

A major showdown on this issue took place at the Third CPI Congress, which was held in the south India city of Madurai from 27 December 1953 to 4 January 1954. The draft political resolution presented to this congress by the leadership of Ghosh and Dange on the whole took the position desired by Moscow, with some concessions to the party militants. The resolution devoted somewhat more attention to the needs of the struggle against American imperialism than to the fight against Britain, but attempted to finesse the question of which was more important by depicting the two as compatible, since "the question of defeating the war plans of American imperialists, the defense of India's freedom from the American threat" was "closely linked with the question of India's winning freedom, liquidating feudalism" and of accomplishing "a break with the British Empire" and the removal of the "British stranglehold on India's economy." A similar compromise stand was taken on Nehru. The resolution said that the Indian government's role on a number of international issues had been "appreciated by the peace-loving masses", and enumerated New Delhi's "denunciation of the atom bomb, its help in ending the hostilities in Korea, its condemnation of the tactics of Syngman Rhee," its opposition to U.S. military aid to Pakistan, and its conclusion of cultural and trade agreements with the USSR and China. The resolution warned, however, that this did not mean that "democratic forces should uncritically and unconditionally give general overall support to the government policies even in the international sphere," since those policies "do not follow consistently a policy of peace and democracy;" and the resolution went on to list actions by New Delhi which had helped imperialism. The conclusion reached was that "while supporting all the positive measures," the party should "intensify pressure on the Indian government in order to make it pursue a consistent policy of peace." (At the same time, the party was called on to build a broad united front in such a manner that Communist policies and freedom of action were not restricted in any way, while yet gathering support to replace the Congress Party government with a "government of democratic unity" of the CPI and its allies.)

All this was not satisfactory to the Andhra militants, who submitted a document to the party congress known as the "Andhra Thesis" which did not specifically argue the question of policy toward Nehru, but which deplored "general talk of fighting Anglo-American imperialism" and insisted that the long-term need to oppose America as the "international enemy" should not be allowed to obscure the immediate and primary "concrete task" of the CPI, which was to fight British imperialism and its agents in India. Despite the presence at the congress of Soviet embassy representatives, as well as British party general secretary Harry Poll it — who emphasized the anti-American line in his speeches — delegates from Andhra, Punjab, and West Bengal reportedly tried and failed to amend the political resolution in accordance with their views. When the resolution was finally passed, one leftist Andhra leader, Basavapunniah, is said to have formally announced the abstention of nearly one-third the delegates present. The leadership attempted to appease the militant opposition by granting them strong representation on the new central committee, which was balanced to include members of all factions.

Although the CPSU had had difficulties a number of times before in getting the CPI to amend its line in response to a shift in Soviet foreign policy, it is likely that the obstruction it encountered at this CPI Congress — and on several occasions again in the next few years — was due at least in part to the beginning of a gradual erosion of CPSU authority resulting from the death of Stalin. With the. demise of the Soviet vozhd in March 1953 the Soviet party lost an irreplacable asset in its dealings with foreign Communist parties, since the awe inspired by the man who had dominated the movement for three decades was found to be not transferrable. The difficulties this caused for the CPSU within the CPI were eventually to be greatly increased, first by the process of deStalinization and then by the gradual rise of Chinese opposition to Soviet policies.

C. The CPI and the Development of the Bandung Line

After the Madurai Congress, Indian- American relations declined for a variety of reasons in the spring of 1954, and the evolution of a Chinese and Soviet policy conciliatory to Nehru was accelerated. In June 1954, Chou En-lai visited New Delhi for talks with Nehru, following which a communique was issued enunciating the Five Principles (Panch Shila) of peaceful co-existence. A few days after Chou's arrival, CPI general secretary Ajoy Ghosh departed for an extended stay in Moscow, ostensibly for medical reasons but in fact primarily for lengthy conversations on the new course of CPI policy. The party was meanwhile plunged again into violent controversy shortly after Chou's departure from India. On 18 July, the editor of the party weekly New Age , the Politburo member P. Ramamurthi, wrote an article in which he declared! that the Nehru-Chou talks had wrought a "change in the relationship of forces in Asia;" welcomed "warmly and enthusastically" the development of "cooperation and friendship" between New Delhi and the bloc; and advanced the slogan of a "national platform for peace and freedom." This slogan was immediately attacked strongly by militants from all sections of the party as implying that the CPI should now conclude an alliance with Nehru and the Congress party organization, and in early September 1954 a coalition of leftists from various provinces actually succeeded in getting a central committee plenum to condemn the party Politburo for having committed a "reformist" mistake in authorizing the publication of Ramamurthi's article.

This action by the central committee was extremely revealing in its demonstration of the extent to which authority with in the party had been dispersed among the provinces since Rana dive's time. A later party document commented that after the central committee had registered its rebuke, "even this criticism ... was not considered enough by certain Provincial Committees who thought that the Politburo had not been dealt with adequately." This document analyzed the motivation of the central committee leftists as follows:

The central committee had to evolve a tactical line in a changing situation, and for that it had to try to understand the changes themselves. This was completely lacking. Fear gripped the committees — fear of committing reformist mistakes. Some comrades of the central committee even went so far as to ascribe the success of the congress in strengthening its position to reformist mistakes committed by the party.

The "reformist mistakes" which the leftists felt the leadership had committed may have included an instruction which (a British service reported) had been sent out by CPI headquarters to party workers in the spring of 1954, advising them to go slow in their agitation against the government in view of the "delicate nature of the international situation." In Parliament, during the spring and summer, CPI representatives had found themselves restricted by party policy to attacks upon the West and to criticism of the government's domestic financial and economic policies; because Nehru had seized the initiative in espousing an anti-Western position on a number of foreign policy issues — e.g., colonialism, Korea, Indochina, and U.S. military aid to Pakistan — Communist deputies were forced to trail behind him with praise on each such issue. Such "tail ism" with respect to the national bourgeoisie was most uncomfortable for the militant section of the Indian party.

Dutt Cominform Article

On 8 October 1954, however, the Cominform journal published an article by A. Palme Dutt in which this British Communist indirectly reaffirmed the Ramamurthi thesis, this time from an authoritative forum. This article is said by a subsequent party document to have thrown the politburo "into a state of panic." Already "divided and demoralized" by the central committee's accusation that it had backslid into reformism, and without general secretary Ghosh who was in Moscow, the Politburo on 3 November hastily summoned an emergency meeting of the central committee and there placed before it a resolution rejecting the line taken in Dutt's Cominform article. During five ensuing days of debate in the Central committee, something like an abortive revolt against CPSU authority appears to have taken place. The Andhra leaders are reported to have revived their old argument about the superiority of Chinese to Soviet experience as a model for CPI tactics,11 and other speakers are said to have declared that it was obvious that Moscow (and hence Dutt) could err; the recent Soviet reversal of line toward Tito was cited as proof of this. In the midst of the debate, however, a telegram is reported to have arrived from Ghosh in Moscow urging the party not to be hasty in rejecting Dutt's line; and finally the central committee did reject the politburo resolution and adopted instead a resolution taking a noncommital attitude toward Dutt, declaring that "more time and thought" were required to resolve the "important differences" within the central committee.

A few weeks later, Ghosh returned from Moscow and immediately began to write articles and public statements suggesting that he had shifted further to the right. His new line was summarized by a statement on 7 December that ''the internal policy of the Nehru Government does not suit the interests of the masses, while the foreign policy does." The task of imposing this line on the CPI was helped by the return visit which Nehru had recently paid to the CPR that fall, but was made more difficult by speeches which Nehru subsequently delivered in November praising the CPR but bitterly attacking the Indian Communist party. While Ghosh attempted to keep the CPI from responding with personal attacks on Nehru, the organ of the West Bengal party, Swadhinata, nevertheless did publish an editorial assailing the Prime Minister; this was the first known example of what was to prove a persistent policy of defiance of the party center by Swadhinata which continues to this day.

February 1955 Andhra Elections

The objections of the CPI leftists to the trend of Soviet foreign policy were augmented by certain Soviet statements made shortly before the holding of important elections in Andhra province in February 1955. An editorial in Pravda on 26 January 1955 — India's Republic Day — not only praised the foreign policy of "the outstanding statesman Jawaharlal Nehru" but went on to list and praise the domestic accomplishments of the Nehru government in the fields of agriculture, consumer goods' production, education and public health. Incidental praise for New Delhi's foreign policy was also contained in the 8 February 1955 speech delivered by Foreign Minister Molotov to the Supreme Soviet, as well as in another Pravda editorial of 21 February. Such statements — and especially the 26 January Pravda editorial — were skillfully used in Congress Party propaganda against the CPI in the Andhra election campaign; this had considerable effect, particularly in view of the fact that the Andhra party, as the moderates in the party center later emphasized, applied "sectarian tactics" during the campaign and "failed to recognize the progressive orientation in the Government's foreign policy." After the Andhra party had lost this election, some party leftists accused Ghosh of having been secretly pleased with this failure as constituting a blow to the conceit of the Andhra provincial committee and to its independence of the party center. Along with being indignant at Moscow for its unprincipled actions in making these statements, the leftists were angry at Ghosh and the party leadership for having failed either to print the January Pravda editorial and Molotov's statements in New Age or to have issued a secret circular about them, so that the Andhra leadership was not given guidance on the Soviet line and was caught publicly contradicting it.

Throughout 1955 the USSR and the CPR continued to develop the new policy toward Nehru. In April the Bandung conference of Asian and African, leaders was held, and Chou En-lai showed the Asian bourgeoisie a disarmingly moderate image of the CPR and Chinese Communism. At about the same time a tentative contract was sighed based on an earlier offer of Soviet aid on favorable terms in constructing a large steel mill in India. In May, an editorial in the CPSU journal Kommunist gave the first indication of a coming change in the previously hostile Soviet appraisal of Gandhi. In June, Nehru paid an extended visit to the Soviet Union.

While Nehru was touring the USSR* the CPI central committee held a month-long meeting heatedly debating these events; at the close of this session a new political resolution was adopted representing a compromise between the opposing factions, finally supporting Nehru's foreign policy while taking a confused and contradictory but largely hostile line toward his domestic policy. Instead of, uniting the party, this CPI compromise, like so many others before and since, only exacerbated the factional struggle. A later Politburo report declared that three "more or less well-defined groups within the: party -- the supporters of the resolution and its leftist and rightist critics — now began an "intense political struggle" which "became the main feature of inner-party life from top to bottom," so that "even the current activity of the party came to a standstill in most provinces." The rightists were at this stage once more led by P. C. Joshi, who had staged a gradual comeback within the party since 1951 and was now again writing for New Age. Joshi was strongly influenced not only by the new bloc line toward Nehru, but also by Nehru's avowals of "progressive" and "socialist" goals;12 in July 1955, in a private conversation with a follower, he expressed great admiration for what he termed Nehru's great contribution to Asian socialism, called the Prime Minister a great mass leader and genuine progressive, and said that it would be suicidal for the CPI to continue a policy of opposition to him. Joshi now wanted the party to support Nehru all along the line and work toward a coalition government with his wing of the Congress party. At the other extreme, the leftists of Andhra and the Punjab were angry even at those kind things which the party had said about Nehru's foreign policy, and blamed Ghosh for rendering tacit support to what they felt was Joshi's "appease Nehru" line.

These opposing views were disseminated by their respective Politburo champions within the provincial committees where each leader had his strength, and were even published in the internal central committee organ Forum. During this period the politburo itself, by its own subsequent testimony, had virtually ceased to meet. With the roots of their political and party strength in the provinces or in specialized fields of activity such as the trade unions, hardly any of the politburo members wished to or did devote attention to the weak patty center. This indifference — and its corollary, the continued failure of the provincial organizations to keep the center informed of what was going on throughout the party — had come to be a more or less permanent feature of CPI life, and was lamented by organizational reports delivered to central committee meetings and Party congresses in 1951, 1954, 1956, and again in 1961.

On 7 July 1955, soon after the conclusion of the central committee meeting, Ghosh suffered a recurrence of his annual illness and went to Moscow, where he remained until 6 September. [DELETE] he carried back with him a CPSU document intended for circulation to foreign Communist parties providing some advance information on the line on "peaceful transition to socialism" that was to be promulgated at the 20th CPSU Congress the next spring. It is not known whether this document was discussed at the central committee meeting held in September after Ghosh's return; this meeting was reported to have reached substantial agreement in support of Nehru's foreign policy "in the main," but to have displayed continued great differences' over the line toward his domestic role. A central committee resolution now reversed previous CPI opposition to the government's Second Five- Year Plan, and proclaimed a dual policy toward Nehru of supporting him where he was correct and opposing him where he was reactionary. Meanwhile, amendments to the party program were prepared for ratification by the next CPI Congress, watering, down the 1951 statements defining Nehru's government as an appendage of imperialism.

Khrushchev- Bulganin Visit

In mid-November 1955 the CPSU completed this phrase in the shift in policy toward Nehru when Khrushchev and Bulganin visited India, offered a long-term program of technical assistance to India's industrialization, and paid several tributes to Gandhi, to Nehru, and to Nehru's "progressive" statements favoring socialism. Aware of the divisive effect these statements and actions were bound to have on the already divided CPI, the Soviet party Reportedly attempted to offset this in advance with a letter sent to the CPI politburo in October. This letter is said to have declared ambiguously that the Indian party should not be discouraged by anything the Soviet government said in public but should carry on in good spirit, building up the party until such time when a more active line could be taken. Several weeks later, a member of the visiting Soviet delegation is said to have conveyed similar advice to the CPI leaders, urging the party not to become "panicky" because of the Bulganin-Khrushchev speeches of praise for Nehru, and declaring that Soviet long-term aims were the reduction of Indian dependence on and ties to the United States and Britain and the infiltration of the Indian economy through the supplying of basic industrial aid.

Rise in Chinese Stature

This period of 1954 and 1955, when the CPR was working in close harmony with the USSR in promoting the soft line toward the bourgeoisie of India and other Asian countries, was to prove the all-time high point both for Sino-Soviet cooperation generally and for the degree of recognition given by Moscow to the stature of the Chinese party. Even two years before Stalin's death, he had given some implicit recognition to Chinese claims by allowing to be printed in the Cominform journal an article by Lu Ting-i stating that Mao's theory of the Chinese revolution was a "new development of Marxism-Leninism in the revolution of the colonial and semi-colonial countries" and a "new contribution to the treasury of Marxism-Leninism." Lu went on to say that while the "classic type of revolution for the imperialist countries is the October Revolution," the classic type for the colonial and semi-colonial countries was the Chinese revolution. In March 1954, a year after Stalin's death, CCP politburo member Chen Yun publicly reiterated this claim, asserting that the Chinese revolution was "the major sector" of, and inspiration for the revolution in the East. For a variety of reasons, some possibly related to internal CPSU politics, the Soviet party not only made no effort after Stalin's death to counter these Chinese claims, but made gestures specially intended to placate Peiping. On 8 February 1955 Molotov publicly referred to the CPR as co-leader of the bloc with the Soviet Union; although Peiping never itself picked up this formula, it was reiterated for a time by Moscow and a number of foreign Communist parties, including the CPI. An equally striking gesture was Pravda's formal announcement, in a special communique on 3 March 1955, that the accusations of espionage and subversion brought against Anna Louise Strong at the time of her arrest and expulsion in February 1949 had been completely groundless; just as her treatment by Stalin had been meant as a reproof to Mao's pretensions, this statement by Stalin's heirs was very probably intended as an indirect apology to Mao.



11. There is no evidence that the CCP at this time encouraged any CPI leaders to take this line, and it appears unlikely that Peiping would have done so — both because of the relatively harmonious Sino-Soviet relations existing in this period and because Peiping 's current line toward Nehru was not in fact that of the CPI militants.

12. In December 1954 the Indian government had introduced a resolution into Parliament declaring the goal of government policy to be the creation of a socialist pattern of society.  
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Re: The Indian Communist Party and the Sino-Soviet Dispute

Postby admin » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:02 am


The 20th Congress of the CPSU in February 1956 and the events which flowed from it administered a series of fundamental shocks to the CPI with results which were to effect greatly the relationship of the Indian party to Moscow and to Peiping down to the present day. The first and most important of these shocks was that of deStalinization, which on the one hand greatly intensified the spirit of cynicism, the internal disorganization, and the personal indiscipline already widespread because of the party's previous history, and on the other hand greatly accelerated the long-term decline in the authority and prestige of the CPSU which had begun with the death of Stalin, while simultaneously enhancing the appeal of the CCP to those sections of the Indian party sympathetic to Peiping's viewpoint. This development was followed by the Soviet suppression of the Hungarian revolution and the subsequent execution of Nagy, which weakened the CPSU's position among rightist sections of the party. A third difficulty was meanwhile occasioned by the 20th Congress line on peaceful transition to. socialism, and particularly by the extreme interpretation of that line in application to India provided by an authoritative Soviet article in the summer of 1956 which implied that Nehru, and not the CPI, would lead India into the socialism system. This viewpoint was directly challenged in public by Ghosh, and the CPSU soon retreated to a more orthodox position which still enjoined CPI support for Nehru and CPI reliance primarily upon parliamentary tactics.

Forces in the Indian party favoring the parliamentary path were strengthened by the party's accession to power through elections in the state of Kerala in April 1957; and the CPI moved from the April 1956 line of the Palghat party congress (where the party cautiously acknowledged the possibility of peaceful transition to socialism through parliamentary means backed by mass movements, and announced its intention to explore this possibility by conducting itself as a parliamentary opposition) to the April 1958 line of the Amritsar Congress (which exuded confidence that the parliamentary takeover in Kerala could be repeated in other Indian states and eventually even in the center).

Meanwhile, by the fall of 1956 the first indications began to appear of growing divergence between the Chinese and Soviet parties over how far the soft line toward the national bourgeoisie of Asian countries should be pursued. Chinese objections on this score, originally suggested at the time of the Eighth CCP Congress in September 1956, were reinforced as the Indian Communist party became increasingly committed to the parliamentary line in the wake of the Kerala election, and Chinese comments began to be heard in 1958 concerning the pernicious effect the Kerala Ministry was having on the militance and Marxist orthodoxy of the CPI. At the same time the left wing of the Indian party led by the Andhra, West Bengal, and Punjab organizations, infuriated at the restrictions and inhibitions which were imposed upon the party as a whole by the need to preserve the Kerala government in power, became more and more inclined to regard the long-respected Chinese party as a source of inspiration more congenial to its interests than Moscow.

At the end of 1958 there was a momentary hardening of the Soviet line toward Nehru, occasioned primarily by the campaign being conducted by the Congress Party and other-forces in Kerala to oust the Communist government. This firmer Soviet attitude was exemplified by an article by Yudin in Problems of Peace and Socialism rebutting Nehru's attack on Communists as addicted to violence, and placing the onus for any possible violence on bourgeois resistance to a peaceful transfer of power to the Communist party. The Soviet shift in emphasis proved to be temporary, however, and in 1959 the polarization of the CPI between a moderate pro-Soviet wing and a militant pro-Chinese wing was to increase greatly.

A. The Effects of DeStalinization

At the fourth CPI Congress, held in Palghat from 19 to 26 April 1956, the question of the attacks on Stalin made at the 20th CPSU Congress two months before was a central issue. Although there is no direct evidence, certain passages in the speech made by Ghosh to the Indian congress suggested that some of his audience might have been already aware not only of the public criticism of Stalin made at the 20th Congress, but also of at least the gist of Khrushchev's secret indictment of the former dictator.13 Ghosh in his speech alluded to the consternation spreading throughout the CPI, acknowledging that "some of our comrades say that the whole moral basis on which they stood is shaken and there is nothing on which to stand." He strove to counter this feeling by offering a mixed appraisal of Stalin as an outstanding leader who had made certain mistakes toward the end of his life, and by defending Stalin's past role as "the international leader of the Communist movement" and the CPSU's role as "the party which has acted as a model" for the movement. He indicated his own dismay at the way deStalinization was being handled by saying that "many of us may be critical of the way in which certain things were done,"14 but pleaded that the party not to give way to "cynicism" regarding the USSR and the CPSU, insisting that the Soviet party "remains the leading party" of the international Communist movement. But Ghosh cited questions he said were being asked within the CPI regarding what other Soviet leaders were doing during "all these days" of the cult of the personality, and what made it possible "for such things to continue for such a long time;" furthermore, Ghosh acknowledged that he had no satisfactory answers to give to these questions, and that "what replies have been given have not satisfied me." Similar dissatisfaction with Soviet actions and answers was to be expressed publicly by Ghosh in December 1961 in the wake of the public Soviet attacks on Stalin at the 22nd CPSU Congress.

Subsequent reports have suggested that the Soviet attacks on Stalin were particularly devastating for Indian Communists who were old-timers in the party, and who had become adept at rationalizing Stalin's shortcomings and the repeated Soviet betrayals of CPI interests for Soviet foreign policy interests. The elaborate rationalizations established through the decades of Stalin's tenure were now destroyed. The organizational report submitted to the Sixth CPI Congress in 1961 testified that the Soviet deStalinization campaign of 1956 created a "big shock" within the "entire party," and "undermined the faith of a large number of party members in the international Communist movement." As a result, "ideas of questioning" what had been accepted as "unquestionable truths became the order of the day;" these newly-questioned truths included "the need for the unity of the party, discipline, democratic centralism, and., the solidarity of the international movement." While this was a phenomenon which took place in many Communist parties in 1956, it was particularly marked in the CPI because of the party's previous history and because, as the 1961 organizational report noted, disregard for discipline had already become a widespread fact in the Indian party before 1956. Reports in the summer of 1956 now spoke of "anarchy in the party;" hardly anything was kept secret any more, and faction leaders in party headquarters disseminated a constant flow of rumors and propaganda among their followers to discredit the factional opposition or to inform their supporters of discussions at the top. This CPI internal propaganda war was to be of great importance during the Sino-Soviet polemic of 1960.

Simultaneously, the prestige of the Chinese party began to grow throughout the CPI as that of the CPSU fell. For a time, this was even the case with such a normally loyal Soviet adherent as Ghosh. In his speech to the Palghat Congress, Ghosh pointedly referred to Peiping's comment on deStalinization, the People's Daily article "On the Historical Experience of the Dictatorship of the Proletariat." (While rendering a generally favorable judgment on Stalin's virtues and shortcomings, this article explicitly referred to the errors in policy into which Stalin had led the CCP from 1927 to 1936.) Ghosh declared that this article dealt with the question "in a more satisfactory and a more elaborate way than I have seen so far anywhere," and recommended that all party members read the version of the article reprinted in New Age . A resolution of the Palghat Congress subsequently called on the Central Committee to make sure that all party organizations had this People's Daily article for guidance when discussing the 20th Congress.

Hungarian Revolution and Nagy Execution

Within the right wing of the Indian party, disenchantment with the CPSU was furthered by the Soviet suppression of the Hungarian Revolution in November 1956. In an open letter published in New Age on 18 November responding to a socialist challenge to the CPI on this issue, Ghosh defended the Soviet action apologetically but admitted that the party had been wrong in the past in "idealizing the USSR" and in not having paid more attention to other people's criticism of the Soviet Union, Prior to a December 1956 meeting of the central committee, one staff unit in CPI headquarters submitted a memorandum to the party condemning Soviet policy in Hungary, and a clash on the subject of Hungary reportedly occurred at the central committee meeting. The December 1956 issue of the CPI monthly journal contained an article strongly suggesting disallusionment with party methods and attitudes toward truth stemming from the Hungarian events, and the following August a "nihilist group" of second-level party leaders with a similar point of view was said to be preparing a rebellious report on the "implications of Hungary" for circulation within the party.

Following the execution of Imre Nagy in the summer of 1958 there was a similar stir of discontent, particularly within provincial party organizations which were peculiarly sensitive to Indian public opinion. In Bombay, where the CPI had an important alliance with non-Communist parties to protect, the trade union leader Dange made a public statement critical of the executions; and a similar statement was issued on 30 June by the Kerala party, which was by then seeking to preserve its rule in the province. In general, while CPI objections to the Hungarian and Nagy incidents tended to be concentrated among sections of the party which opposed the leftist point of view — and which therefore could not ultimately gravitate toward the CCP as Peiping became increasingly militant — these contributions to anti-Soviet feeling within the party nevertheless did add to the general erosion of CPSU prestige which began with Stalin's death and was hastened by the deStalinization campaign.

Besides the statements already cited, there is considerable evidence to document this overall decline of CPSU stature and the gradual compensatory rise in Chinese prestige during 1957 and 1958; until late in this period, the phenomenon was general through all factions of the party, and did not yet represent a polarization of purely leftist CPI opinion along anti-CPSU and pro-CCP lines. In April 1957 a meeting of the West Bengal provincial committee reportedly ignored a letter from a CPI politburo member stressing the leading role of the Soviet party, and resolved to "interpret and apply" Marxism-Leninism according to local conditions and to follow Soviet policies only as a general ideological beacon. In June 1958, a group of West Bengal CPI members submitted a letter to party headquarters bitterly complaining of CPI subservience to the CPSU as demonstrated both by the party's failure to condemn the Nagy execution and the CPI's abrupt withdrawal of friendly greetings to Yugoslavia after the second bloc break with that country. In July 1957, the politburo member Z. A. Ahmad declared to friends that "the USSR is no model now," and that the CPR was such a model, if not a completely satisfactory one. In August 1958, Mohit Sen, an important CPI central apparatus functionary close to Ghosh, declared that Khrushchev did not have a great personal grasp of the "iron laws of history," that Mao, on the other hand, did, and that this Maoist insight was partly responsible for the success of the Communist movement in China. In October 1957, a long series of speakers at a closed meeting of the Bombay city party committee, led by the Bombay party secretary, strongly attacked the USSR and the CPSU and the CPI's subservience to the CPSU. And in August 1958, a veteran member of the Maharashtra provincial committee claimed that many members of the CPI had become hostile to the CPSU since the 20th CPSU Congress, that these members no longer considered the CPSU the leader of the international movement, and that they felt Mao had been the real world leader since Stalin's death; this view was said to derive partly from the fact that the CCP, like the CPI, was Asian, and partly from the fact that the Chinese leaders had committed fewer blunders than those of the CPSU.

B. The Effects of the Line on Peaceful Transition to Socialism

The second major shock to the CPI flowing from the 20th CPSU Congress was the Soviet formal enunciation of dicta on the non-inevitability of war and the possibility of a peaceful transition to socialism, coupled with the intimation that since it was vital to bloc interests to maintain India as a member of the intermediate "peace zone" of neutral states, India was one of the countries in which it was most urgent for the Communist party not to assault the ruling national bourgeoisie directly, but rather to attempt to work for power peacefully, and primarily through parliamentary methods.

This Soviet line does not appear to have been fully anticipated by the CPI; in March, immediately after the CPSU congress, all copies of documents previously distributed within the party in preparation for the Indian congress were reportedly withdrawn from circulation, and the same month a battle over a new resolution incorporating the new line to be presented to the congress was fought at a central committee meeting between Ghosh and the leftist forces of Sundarayya15 and Ranadive. This battle was resumed at the April Pal ghat Congress itself, where Ghosh cautiously explained and defended the new Soviet thesis at some length. Eventually the moderates won, and the congress adopted a line calling for defense and support of all government actions both foreign and domestic which were deemed progressive, and criticism only of those particular actions deemed reactionary. The CPI proclaimed itself now a parliamentary "Party of Opposition in relation to the present Government" which had the duty of holding up to the people the prospect of an "alternative government." In short,, the Indian party formally set out to explore the possibilities of the parliamentary road to socialism, without committing itself explicitly to the view that this road would necessarily prove successful and that all other paths would be forsaken.

This much the CPSU was able to secure without an unusual degree of difficulty; but when in the summer of 1956 the Soviet party published a two-part article in a prominent propaganda outlet, the journal New Times , intimating that Nehru himself — given proper support by the CPI — would lead India to socialism, all but the extreme right wing of the CPI rebelled. The article, by Modeste Rubinstein, marked the greatest extent to which the soft line toward the Asian national bourgeoisie had ever been carried by the CPSU. Rubinstein cited without contradiction and praised the significance of the various endorsements of "socialism" for India by Nehru and the Congress party; he hailed the growth of state capitalism in the Indian economy as a "progressive" factor (unlike state capitalism in the imperialist West) , and added that the role of Indian state capitalism differed from the role of state capitalism in the CPR only in that it was being used "consistently" to build socialism by Peiping; he cited Lenin as saying that state capitalism is a step towards socialism, and suggested that other necessary steps would come with the growth of the state sector of the economy under Nehru's leadership; finally, he declared that "given close cooperation by all the progressive forces of the country, there is the possibility for India to develop along socialist lines," and that although India's "advance along the socialist path" would be slower than and would differ in many respects from that of "say, China," only dogmatists would object to these peculiarities, which represented one of the "multiplicity of forms of socialist development."

This essentially revisionist line was violently attacked by Ghosh in an article in the October 1956 issue of the monthly New Age, where Rubinstein's articles were also printed for comparison. Ghosh took umbrage at the Soviet writer's flat statement that the peaceful path to socialism "had been advocated for many years by Jawaharlal Nehru," at his whitewashing of all of the "reactionary" side of the Indian government's policies, and particularly at Rubinstein's omission of all indication that the proletariat and the Communist party must lead the way to socialism.

While the CPSU thereupon retreated somewhat, and never again espoused Rubinstein's rightist line quite so openly, it continued to enjoin CPI support for Nehru's "progressive" policies and CPI reliance primarily upon the peaceful and parliamentary path to power. Moreover, to the present day Soviet journals (unlike those of Peiping) have continued to insist upon the "progressive" role of state capitalism in underdeveloped countries such as India; and at least until the Sino-Soviet polemic of 1960 forced Moscow to harden its line somewhat to retain the support of the Communist movement, many Soviet statements continued to suggest ambiguously that the "socialist" inclinations of the national bourgeoisie of Asian countries — while certainly not Marxist — nevertheless should be relied upon somehow to facilitate the gradual slide of these countries into the bloc orbit.16

Growing Chinese Opposition

There is some evidence to indicate that as the Soviet view of the national bourgeoisie grew more sanguine in the months immediately following the 20th party congress, Peiping objected, and that it was at this point that Chinese and Soviet policy began to part company. [DELETE (7 lines)]  
That same month — on 17 September 1956 — Anastas Mikoyan addressed the Eighth Congress of the CCP in Peiping. In this speech Mikoyan paid warm tribute to the Chinese party and to "the distinguished Marxist-Leninist Mao Tse-tung" as having made a "major contribution to Marxist-Leninist theory; and he declared that the Chinese had found "their own distinctive new forms and methods of building socialism." The major Marxist contribution and the distinctive new form which Mikoyan actually cited, however, was the Chinese alliance with the national bourgeoisie and the Chinese effort to move toward socialism through state capitalism. Later in his speech, Mikoyan dealt at length with Communist policy toward the underdeveloped countries and their national bourgeois rulers; he quoted Lenin on the "new transitional forms and ways" these countries were seeking "to avoid the torments of capitalism," and he indicated in polemical language what those forms should be. Mikoyan declared that "we must not overlook the fact" that the capitalist world is not homogenous, and the underdeveloped countries differ greatly from the imperialist countries; and he insisted that "we must be able to see" the difference between state capitalism in India and state capitalism in the United States. He held that "Marxists Cannot but regard positively" the growth of state capitalism in the newly independent countries, he suggested that this was their "new transitional form" to avoid capitalism, and he argued that this was a factor promoting growing sympathy for "socialist ideas and slogans" in such countries.

In short, the evidence suggests that Mikoyan praised the Chinese use of state capitalism and an alliance with the national bourgeoisie for the building of socialism under Communist control in China as justification for a sanguine Soviet attitude toward the growth of state capitalism in underdeveloped Asian countries where the national bourgeoisie and not the Communist party was still in control. The evidence also suggests that the Chinese objected to this distortion of their doctrine and experience to bolster policies they could not endorse. This interpretation is supported [DELETE (6 words)] by the content of the Rubinstein article (which appeared a month before Mikoyan spoke) , and by Chinese articles much later which denounced people who thought that under the leadership of the bourgeoisie one could "march into the period of socialism by way of state capitalism." [DELETE (6 lines)]

The Indian party was represented at the September 1956 Chinese party congress by the rightist Joshi, the Andhra leftist Sundarayya, arid the Kerala moderate E.M.S. Namboodiripad. After attending ;:the congress they went to Moscow in early October, and late in the month returned to India to report to a politburo meeting on their travels. Information is generally lacking on what they were told regarding policy toward Nehru by the CCP and the CPSU, although one report does state that Chinese leaders at the party congress warned the Indian delegation that they must increase their efforts to organize the peasantry to avoid electoral losses, since Communist strength among urban groups was unreliable.

C. Formation of the Kerala Government and Its Aftermath

The right-wing faction of the CPI favoring parliamentary tactics and a moderate approach to Nehru received a major windfall in April 1957 when the Communist party was victorious in the elections in Kerala and proceeded to form a government in that state — the first time in the history of the world Communist movement that a Communist party had achieved even this limited degree of power through a parliamentary election. This event swung the controlling weight of opinion, within the CPI toward the moderates and kept it there for the next three years. The Kerala election also caused a wide stir in the international Communist movement, and in July 1957 a reliable report stated that Namboodiripad, the new Communist chief minister in Kerala, had been asked by the CPSU to forward a full report to Moscow on the methods used to attain power under a bourgeois parliament.

While the following of the CPI left faction was for the time being reduced by the Communist advent to power in Kerala, the consequences of this event only further infuriated the die-hard party militants. Reports throughout 1957 told of the difficulties Namboodiripad was having in attempting to reconcile the demands of the party extremists with the need to keep up a "democratic" facade in Kerala; the militants wished him to put through radical party measures regardless of the consequences, whereas Namboodiripad was concerned with the need to convince Nehru in New Delhi that the Kerala regime would not overstep certain moderate limits and therefore should not be pushed out of office. (Thus in October 1957 the party leftists in control of the Kerala peasant federation rejected a series of measures on land reform approved by the Communist ministry, in each case demanding that more radical steps be taken.) Even outside Kerala, the CPI found itself under unaccustomed new restrictions, since it now could not agitate any issue which might undermine the Kerala government in its restrained course. The party could not, for example, demand nationalization of industries without compensation, expropriation of foreign assets, or other steps which the Kerala government itself was unwilling to take.17

November 1957 Moscow Meeting

The tensions created in the party by this situation were manifested at politburo and central committee meetings held 'in October in preparation for the international Communist gathering in Moscow the following month. The central committee considered a document presented by Namboodiripad which clearly reflected the rightist influences brought to bear on him by the responsibilities of office. He espoused a "democratic and socialist" path to socialism — a policy "national in character and socialist in content." He advocated mild criticism of the Nehru government combined with full Communist cooperation with the government's Five-Year Plan programs. He urged Communist trade unions to cooperate with employers to find ways of increasing factory productivity, and even suggested that workers' wages should be increased only to a limited extent "so as to keep the wage bill below total output so that the savings thus effected could be diverted to finance the Plan."18 The leftists, led by the West Bengali Bhupesh Gupta, of course objected to this strenuously; they attacked the concept of the "democratic path to socialism," and argued that the parliamentary road was essentially a non- Marxist one which could be followed only under extraordinarily favorable conditions. The central committee reached no decision, and a delegation representing all factions was chosen to go to the 40th anniversary celebrations in Moscow.

At the Moscow meeting, the CPSU reportedly advised the CPI and other parties that they were now in a position to win elections, and should promote the progress of socialism through parliamentary means. At the same time, the Soviet party is said to have urged that each party build up a strong underground apparatus capable of waging armed struggle should this ever become necessary. Ghosh and at least some other, members of his delegation are believed to have rejected this demand as unsuitable for the CPI, citing as reasons the failure of armed struggle in Telengana, the fact that the CPI had now committed itself to building a mass party, the difficulty of maintaining secrecy in such a party under Indian conditions, and the fact that party cadres were needed for parliamentary or mass work. The CPI delegation finally agreed to build direct contacts within the Indian army first, and then to consider the advisability of seeking a standby apparatus against the possibility of the need for armed struggle.

In February 1958, an official of the Soviet Embassy in New Delhi is reported to have contacted CPI leaders to renew the request that the Indian party consider establishing an underground organization. Ghosh reportedly again refused, but the leftist leaders Sundarayya and Basavapunniah of Andhra and Surjit of the Punjab privately decided that Ghosh was taking a complacent and reformist line, and resolved to try to contact the CPSU again out of party channels. Sundarayya went to Moscow for a month in April to try to promote the cause of the underground apparatus, but because of Ghosh's opposition, the leftist efforts were apparently blocked for some time. On the other hand, the CPI did apparently proceed to intensify the recruitment of a secret organization within the Indian armed forces.

The CPI Amritsar Congress

What had apparently happened was that the CPSU by dint of continuous pressure upon the CPI over a period of several years, had finally induced the Indian party to accomplish a ponderous turnover in its thinking — a shift from actual armed struggle against the Nehru government, first to an attitude of militant hostility preparing for an imminent resumption of armed uprising, then to grudging partial support of Nehru and cautious testing of parliamentary tactics, and then to support of Nehru on many issues and broad reliance on parliamentary elections. Having wrought this massive change, it was not so easy for Moscow to get the CPI soon to introduce into the new line an element firmly associated in the minds of the Indian leadership with their mistaken old line.

This was particularly true since Moscow was far from wishing the CPI to abandon parliamentary tactics or the moderate line toward Nehru generally. In late March 1958 Ilya Ehrenburg, in New Delhi for a World Peace Council meeting, was reported to have conveyed Soviet advice to the Indian party to continue to seek an alliance with and conciliation of the national bourgeoisie, and to refrain from posing excessive demands to them now which might tend to drive them into the Anglo-American camp. At the Fifth CPI Congress held at Amritsar a few weeks later, Ghosh took such a position, proposing that the CPI ally itself with democratic forces within the Congress party to isolate and force the ouster from positions of power of the reactionary elements in that party. Several reports indicate that Ghosh was opposed at the Amritsar Congress again by a coalition of leftist forces headed by the West Bengal and Punjab organizations, and led personally once more by Ranadive, who had been readmitted to the central committee in 1956. In his speech to the congress, Ranadive is said to have opposed Ghosh's line toward the national bourgeoisie and to have warned that "when the struggle enters the final stage the imperialists and the national bourgeoisie will unite to fight against our party." In the political resolution adopted by the congress,19 Ghosh's line of cooperation with progressive forces within the Congress party (meaning principally Nehru) was accepted; the CPI made it clear, meanwhile, that it would continue to fight the reactionary sections of the Congress party in their strongholds in the Indian provinces. The CPI also made its most optimistic forecast to date on the chances of its coming to power by peaceful means; although it still did not explicitly disavow violence, and termed the success of the parliamentary road only a "possibility," the tone of the political resolution strongly suggested that this was an excellent possibility. The influence of the Kerala success was strongly felt here: the resolution said that "the process begun in Kerala can be carried forward toward the establishment of alternative democratic governments in some other States," and that the Kerala victory had given the people "confidence" that the Congress party could eventually be defeated and replaced also in the center. This was the famous "Amritsar line," which was to be bitterly debated within the party in 1959 and 1960.

Leftist Opposition Begins Turn Toward CCP

Throughout the latter half of 1958 left-faction opposition to the Amritsar line continued to grow. In a speech before a meeting of the Maharashtra Provincial Council in October 1958, Ranadive criticized the Amritsar thesis as revisionist, referred to the possibility of world war, and visualized an "end to democracy" in India after Nehru's retirement or death, when the Indian Army, he thought, would take over the administration of the country. At about the same time, Indian journalists working for TASS in New Delhi reported that Chinese embassy officials there were most unhappy about the "basic leadership of the CPI and had grave doubts of the fidelity to Marxism of the Indian party; these Chinese officials were said to be particularly unhappy about the Kerala experiment and its influence on the CPI, and reportedly saw "no hope in the Nehru regime." These views were to be reiterated to CPI general secretary Ghosh by Mao and Chou personally during Ghosh's visit to Peiping four months later after the 21st CPSU Congress. In view of this trend of thought among the Chinese leadership, CPI leftists who had long since become disillusioned with the CPSU and who had long deeply respected the CCP now began to turn toward Peiping for support in opposing the Amritsar line. In mid-November 1958, the Andhra leftist Basavapunniah was said to have commented to a colleague that he was "fed up" with the Soviets, and that he believed, even more strongly than he had for some time, that the real source of inspiration for the CPI now was Communist China. Basavapunniah announced his intention to visit the CPR immediately after attending the 21st CPSU Congress in January, and he planned to talk to Chinese leaders "as a disciple talks to his teacher."20

Temporary Hardening of Soviet Line Toward Nehru

At about the same time, in the last quarter of 1958, there also occurred a temporary shift in emphasis in the Soviet line toward Nehru. This was apparently directly related to events in Kerala, where the Communist government had come into increasing difficulties, partly as the result of its own imprudent actions (such as the use of its police to fire on hostile demonstrators), and partly as the result of a continuing campaign which the Congress party and its Kerala allies were waging to unseat the Communists. In early October the CPI central executive committee and national council for ten days seriously debated whether the Kerala government should be ordered to resign in order to extricate the party as a whole from its dilemma. In the midst of these meetings, however, an obscure Moscow publication — the newspaper Vodnyy Transport (Water Transport) — broke the total Soviet press silence of Kerala to run an "Observer" editorial discussing the campaign of "provocations" against the Kerala regime. This editorial ended by declaring that "in spite of all the tricks and slander, reaction in Kerala has not succeeded in causing the Communists to give up the course of selfless service to the people which they have set for themselves; the struggle in Kerala has not yet ended." It is difficult to think of any reason for a newspaper of this type to be alone in publishing an editorial such as this except as a discreet signal to the Indian party not to resign in Kerala; and in fact the CPI national council so decided.

The difficulties of the Kerala government continued, however, and in raid-October; Soviet officials in New Delhi, who reportedly had been very happy when the Kerala regime was formed, were said to be becoming increasingly pessimistic on its prospects. At the end of October a junior-level Soviet embassy official was reported to be inquiring whether the Kerala government was becoming unpopular as a result of the police shootings there.

In mid-December, the speaker at a Moscow public lecture referred to a drift to the right and a loss of popular support by Nehru and the Congress party; he alluded to certain mistaken Indian votes at the UN and to certain Indian government "differences with the socialist countries," and he chastised the non-scientific notion of socialism Nehru had demonstrated in a recent article in the Indian Economic Review. The speaker spoke of the CPI as a "large, open Communist-party of growing strength," and stated that "in Kerala, where the Communists are in power, they are doing well."

That same month an article in the international Communist journal Problems of Peace and Socialism by Pavel Yudin, the Soviet ambassador to the CPR, took Nehru to task for the statements in his Economic Review article attacking the Communists as devotees of violence; Yudin made it clear that the Indian bourgeoisie would be responsible for any Communist resort to violence if it refused to allow power to pass peacefully into Communist hands. While this article may have been partly intended to put pressure on the Nehru government to prevent it from swinging more decisively toward the West, its primary design seems to have been to attempt to induce Nehru not to dismiss the Kerala Ministry, while informing the CPI that it was permitted to build up mass struggles against the Nehru government to bolster its bargaining position. At the same time, Yudin intimated that the CPI should support Nehru's "bourgeois state" against imperialism and feudalism, and thus indicated that no permanent change in line was intended.

Within the CPI, the Yudin article was circulated among party units as a basis for discussion. Ranadive and his followers immediately seized upon it triumphantly as justification for their position, while such moderates as Dange, Joshi, and Namboodiripad criticized it (Namboodiripad did so publicly). Unlike the CCP's hardening of line toward Nehru, however, this CPSU shift at the close of 1958 was to prove most transitory, and by early the next year Moscow and Peiping were again taking increasingly divergent lines toward Nehru, with serious consequences for the Indian party.



13. The text of the secret speech was not released by the U.S. State Department until 4 June. 14. A subsequent CPI Central Committee resolution in July 1956 warned that a wholly negative, "one-sided appraisal" of Stalin's role "causes bewilderment among the masses and can be utilized by enemies of Communism to confuse them."

15. Sundarayya was a CPI militant who had shared authority in the Andhra Provincial Committee with Rajeswar Rao during the Telengana days; by 1956, Rao had changed his views and shifted to the rightist faction in the party, so that henceforth he and Sundarayya led two groups contending for control in the Andhra organization.

16. For a detailed discussion of these Soviet statements, see pages 44-60 of the FBIS Radio Propaganda Report RS.47 of 28 April 1961, "Divergent Soviet and CPR Views on the 'National Liberation Movement.'"

17. The Communist regime in Kerala, in its anxiety to build up the state as an Indian showcase of Communist accomplishments, actually was offering substantial inducements to some of the largest and most conservative Indian industrialists to bring capital into the state.

18. A similar proposal was incorporated in the rightist draft political resolution submitted to the Sixth CPI Congress in April 1961, but was defeated by the leftist opposition at that congress.

19. Aside from the passing of this resolution, one other event of some significance occurred at the Amritsar congress: the party adopted a new constitution in which the old Bolshevik names for party organs were replaced by names somewhat more congenial to the Indian scene. Thus the politburo became the central secretariat, and the central committee became the central executive committee; in addition, a new large party organ — the national council — was established at a level between the central executive committee and the party congress. These and other changes formalized and further encouraged a decentralization of authority in the party which had long existed in practice because of the strength of the provincial committees and the weakness of the party center.

20. In fact, Basavapunniah was unable to attend the Soviet Congress as a CPI delegate, and is not believed to have visited China with Ghosh in February. This hardly affected his views, however.
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Re: The Indian Communist Party and the Sino-Soviet Dispute

Postby admin » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:03 am

Part 1 of 2


In 1959 the CPI for the first time became gravely affected by the growing differences between the Soviet and Chinese, postures toward the "imperialist" world, their attitudes toward the ruling national bourgeoisie of underdeveloped countries, and their views on the most appropriate means of Communist assumption of power. The gap between the CPSU and the CCP on each of these issues, which had been alternately expanding and contracting in previous years, suddenly widened greatly. This was partly the result of events over which neither party had control: the Tibetan revolt, Nehru's decision to oust the Communist government in Kerala, Washington's decision to invite Khrushchev to the United States, It was also, however, the result of a conscious turning to the right by the CPSU and to the left by the CCP. On Moscow's side, there was an apparent decision taken in January 1959 to abandon the stronger tone used toward Nehru in the fall of 1958 and to bear with this bourgeois nationalist leader for a considerable distance: this resulted first in peremptory CPSU restraint of the CPI with respect to Nehru's ouster of the Kerala government, and later in the earnest Soviet effort to convince Nehru of Soviet friendship during the Sino-Indian border dispute. On the Chinese side, there was instead a hardening of attitude toward Nehru at the very beginning of the year, which helped to determine Peiping's later response to events in Kerala and to the border dispute. Khrushchev in the fall of 1959 adopted the softest line toward the West generally he had ever publicly voiced, in the aftermath of his visit to the United States, while Peiping grew increasingly shrill in its warnings against Western treachery and in contradiction of the Soviet line. Against this background of increasingly divergent policies, the CCP in 1959 for the first time began to take a more aggressive attitude toward promoting its viewpoint among sympathetic sections of the CPI.

A. The 21st CPSU Congress

Ajoy Ghosh led a four-man, predominantly moderate CPI delegation to the 21st CPSU Congress in late January; two other CPI leaders — Ranadive and the West Bengali Joly Kaul — had been scheduled to go to Moscow, but were denied pass- ports by the government of India, presumably because New Delhi was anxious to prevent the left wing of the CPI from making direct contact with high-ranking Soviet leaders. While in Moscow, Ghosh had private conversations on CPI policy with Suslov and possibly other Soviet leaders, while Kerala Chief Minister Namboodiripad, another member of the delegation, had prolonged talks with Mikoyan on possibilities for the expansion of Indian trade ties with the bloc. On 9 February, upon the close of the congress, Ghosh went to Peiping, where he is reported to have had talks with Mao and Chou.

In subsequent conversations with other CPI leaders, and in his report to the Central Executive Committee in late February, Ghosh depicted the Soviets and the Chinese as having given him similar advice on two points. Both were said to be concerned with the increasing danger of right-wing military coups in the Middle East and Asia, and with the possibility of such a coup taking place in India; both parties were said to have insisted that to meet this threat the CPI must develop a standby apparatus capable of armed resistance, or at least the cadre of an underground party, while intensifying efforts to penetrate the Indian military forces. Suslov is also reported to have questioned the ambiguous CPI agrarian policy; while conceding that the Indian party could not now take a line advocating collective and state farms, he suggested that it emphasize voluntary cooperative farming. Mao: and Chou were said to have later concurred.

On one central point, however — the line to be taken toward Nehru — a sharp divergence between the Soviet and the Chinese positions was reported by Ghosh. He found the Soviets in early February almost apologetic about the Yudin article of December 1958 — which had implied a firm attitude toward Nehru — and unwilling now to endorse the article as a guide to CPI policy. Instead, the CPSU leaders were said to have suggested vaguely that the CPI should take a public position agreeing with Nehru whenever it could and opposing him only when it must — in other words, that the CPI should emphasize areas of agreement with Nehru and minimize areas of disagreement. The Chinese, on the other hand, were said to have expressed emphatic approval of the line taken in the Yudin article, and to have urged that it be vigorously followed up by the CPI, that the Indian party stop mollycoddling Nehru. The CCP leaders were reported to have condemned the "revisionism" they found rampant in the CPI, exemplified by the opposition within the party to the establishment of a strong underground apparatus for armed action. Peiping is also said to have told Ghosh that the influence of the Kerala CP — and the parliamentary line identified with it — was "far too strong" upon the Indian party as a whole.

The positions here attributed to the Soviet and Chinese parties in February 1959 are completely consistent with the way each reacted to events later in the year. Moreover, good evidence exists on the Soviet side to confirm a modification in the Soviet line on Nehru at the beginning of 1959. On 20 February, two weeks after the close of the CPSU congress, in a public lecture on the CPI in Moscow the speaker severely condemned the leftist mistakes made by the Indian party in the insurrectionary Ranadive period; warmly praised the gradualist program of the Amritsar Congress at great length, hailing Ghosh and Namboodiripad as the architects of that program; declared that it was only "since the Amritsar Congress" that the CPI had become a "truly mass party;" and expressed the view that CPI parliamentary majorities similar to that in Kerala were soon to be expected in West Bengal and Andhra. Most notably, the lecturer was evasive and noncommital in responding to a question from the floor on the significance of the Yudin article — in contrast to the forthright criticism of Nehru expressed in a similar Moscow lecture in mid-December 1958. Since these lectures are organized by a "society" supervised closely (and particularly so in Moscow) by a section of the CPSU Central Committee, it is likely that the differences between them reflected a real shift in party policy.

One result of this divergence between the Soviet and Chinese lines on Nehru in early 1959 was to intensify factional differences within the CPI and while not yet jeopardizing CPSU control of the CPI, to make some of the left-faction leaders increasingly aware that Peiping was a more reliable bulwark for their position than Moscow. One report in March stated that the party leftists, overjoyed at the original appearance of the Yudin article, were continuing to rely on it as vindication for their stand against the Amritsar thesis, whereas the moderates led by Ghosh were opposed to the line taken by Yudin in part because they knew that Yudin's formulations "did not enjoy the decisive blessings of Moscow." The leftist Basavapunnaiah, who had in the past already shown signs of private disenchantment with the CPSU and enthusiasm for the CCP, complained to a friend in mid-February that the compliments paid Nehru in the published speeches at the 21st CPSU Congress were "ill-advised and unfortunate," because these "gratuitous compliments" would undo much of the good Basavapunniah thought had been done by the Yudin article. (Basavapunnaiah was here alluding to the speech of Khrushchev, who hailed Nehru and his government in connection with the completion of the Bhilai steel plant, and particularly to that of Mukhitdinov, who gave the "progressive forces of India" — the Communist party — only secondary credit for India's economic and foreign policy achievements, giving primary credit to "the farsighted policy of the outstanding statesman of the East, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.") Basavapunnaiah went on to regret that during Ghosh's visit to Peiping the Chinese had been unable to talk him out of his soft policy toward Nehru, and lamented that "perhaps it is too much to hope for" that the Chinese could "put some sense into Ghosh's head." Although there is little evidence to determine why Moscow softened its line on Nehru once more in January 1959, it is possible that this decision was connected with the decisions of the Nagpur meeting of the Indian Congress Party in that month, when the left wing of the party backed by Nehru pushed through a strongly worded resolution supporting land reform. (Basavapunnaiah in February expressed the fear that the results of this Congress Party meeting would induce Ghosh to swing to the right.) It also appears possible, however, that the decision to relax pressure on Nehru was in some way related to a broader CPSU decision taken at this time to pursue more actively the "peaceful coexistence" strategy against the Western world; the first concrete manifestation of such a broad decision was Mikoyan's self-invited exploratory trip to the United States in early January, and the second was Khrushchev's enunciation, at the end of that month, of the 21st Congress thesis that wars, besides not being inevitable, could even be eliminated from the life of society while capitalism remains.

B. The Fall of the Kerala Government (January-July 1959)

The unsuccessful efforts said to have been made by the CCP leaders in February to dissuade Ghosh from following the moderate line furnished him in Moscow constitute the first example of such direct Chinese interference in Soviet direction of the Indian party ever reported.21 It is credible that Peiping should have begun such efforts at this time, since it was precisely in this period following the 21st CPSU Congress that the CCP is known to have begun strenuous attempts to strengthen its influence throughout the world Communist movement. In addition to the Indians, party leaders from Latin America, Japan, Indonesia, and even Italy are known to have consulted with the CCP in Peiping in the spring of 1959. The Italians — the first delegation of Italian Communists .ever to come specifically for an exchange of views with the Chinese party — arrived in Peiping in April and remained for May Day; according to one unconfirmed report, they were told by Mao Tse-tung of his determination to win Moscow's recognition of a special role for China in guiding the "struggle" of the Asian peoples. As has been noted, the Soviets were reliably reported to have ascribed such intentions to Mao as early as September 1956; and a third report was to depict Mao as hinting at the same point to Ghosh in October 1959.

It should be noted, however, that there is no available evidence that as of the spring of 1959 the CCP had yet attempted to bypass the CPI central, pro-Soviet Ghosh leadership and to establish direct links with left-faction elements sympathetic to Peiping's viewpoint. This was to happen in the fall of 1959, as the result of a continued polarization of the CPI and a growing estrangement between the Ghosh leadership and Peiping.

In the meantime, left-faction Indian Communist leaders had begun to pursue more aggressively policies independent of Chinese guidance but parallel to Chinese attitudes. As the Communist position in Kerala grew more precarious in the first months of 1959, Ranadive took the offensive: at a CPI Central Secretariat meeting in New Delhi before the 21st CPSU Congress, he urged a radical review of CPI policy, arguing that a Communist government in an isolated province such as Kerala would always be in trouble unless the party left the defensive and adopted an aggressive program of action throughout the country sabotaging the working of the Congress government. No decision was taken by the Secretariat, and Ranadive's line was apparently rejected in the Moscow consultations. On 12 March, Ranadive wrote a letter to Ghosh reiterating his views; he warned that Kerala would be the graveyard of the CPI unless the needs of the party were given priority over the desire of the parliamentary government in Kerala to remain in office, and recommended that if the Kerala regime were threatened with ouster by an opposition combination, the party should retaliate by posing a nationwide threat of upheaval. This line was again advanced by Ranadive and other leftists at a Central Executive Committee in May, where the left faction severely attacked the report on Kerala delivered by Namboodiripad.

As the campaign of the Kerala opposition to oust the Communist government grew stronger in June and July, and it began to appear more likely that Nehru would eventually yield to entreaties to suspend the Kerala government, recriminations began to multiply within the CPI, With leftist positions gaining as the situation worsened. in early July, Namboodiripad and Kerala party secretary Nair held negotiations with Nehru over a Kerala settlement; the Indian Prime Minister demanded new elections and Communist acceptance of a coalition caretaker government with the opposition included until the elections were held. A draft agreement along these lines was submitted by Namboodiripad to a National Council meeting in mid-July, which rejected it, in part because Nair maintained that the CPI probably could not win new elections at this time in Kerala, And would be better off exploiting the martyrdom of outright removal by the central government. Having killed Namboodiripad's agreement with Nehru; the National Council gave consideration to the tactics to be adopted in the likely event of the dismissal of the Kerala government. According to one report, while no one openly demanded the explicit public repudiation of the Amritsar thesis, many of the speakers — and not only the leftists — thought the party would have to consider seriously whether it could continue to rely upon parliamentary tactics. The leftist Sundarayya said that the party had been drifting to the right since the Palghat Congress and should never have committed itself to any one definite method of seeking power. Other leftists at this time reacted even more strongly; at a West Bengal party meeting late in July, one leader gloomily predicted the quick advent of fascism, military despotism, and attempted suppression of the CPI. Rightist CPI leaders associated with the conciliation of Nehru were somewhat more cautious in their reaction. At the mid- July National Council meeting, the rightists Ahmed, Joshi and Dange thought the Congress Party was killing "democracy" in Kerala, but nevertheless felt it would be good tactics for the party to continue to repeat publicly the slogan of peaceful, parliamentary transition to socialism. A similar moderate qualification was reported to have been inserted by Ghosh into a speech he gave to Party Headquarters Unit in New Delhi on 27 July; this private talk nevertheless marked the furthest swing to the left by Ghosh in several years. Ghosh was reported to have acknowledged that the parliamentary line and the Amritsar thesis were errors, and had been proved so by Kerala; he admitted that revisionism and reformism had made grave inroads into the party, and that he himself had fallen prey to them; nevertheless, he said, the party must still avoid the danger of left adventurism, of taking up arms and thereby losing the support of sympathetic "democratic" elements. Therefore, he proposed that the CPI continue to state "outwardly" that the Amritsar thesis still applied, while in fact returning to its earlier attitude of refusing to place firm reliance on parliamentary tactics.

At this point, with the CPI in turmoil and extreme reactions to the Kerala events by some of the more militant provincial party organizations a good possibility, a CPI leader returned to New Delhi from Moscow on 28 July with a CPSU letter for Ghosh. The letter was reported to urge that the CPI should not break the law, that it should take no action which could result in the spreading of "fascism," that it should not be provoked into violence "but should follow democratic means and come to power throughout India state by state." The letter added, somewhat defensively, that the CPSU "expects that the CPI will not differ from the CPSU's opinion when it judges the Indian political situation both objectively and subjectively." That same evening a special Secretariat meeting was called to discuss the letter, and decided that the CPI would not; abandon the Amritsar thesis (at least publicly), would not launch a violent anti- government movement, and would not boycott future elections. On 31 July, three days later, the Indian government removed the Kerala Communist regime. The next day, West Bengal secretary Jyoti Basu, having returned to Calcutta from the New Delhi meeting, called a special meeting of the West Bengal Provincial Committee to halt preparations for a general strike which had been planned as retaliation for the expected Kerala government ouster. This response from the stronghold of the CPI militants — in contrast to the disobedient stand taken by the West Bengal party the following year — demonstrated that in mid-1959 the CPSU still retained the capacity to exert operational control over all sections of the Indian party when necessary.

From 6 to 8 August the Central Executive Committee met to consider the new CPI strategy in the light of the latest Soviet instructions. The leftists Sundarayya, Basavapunriiah, Bhupesh Gupta and Ranadive urged a review and change of party policy; Gupta also proposed a revival of the CPI illegal apparatus to be run from the party secretariat, completely insulated from the overt party. Ghosh was reported to have pleaded for patience and the deferring of Gupta's proposal until after the Kerala elections scheduled for the fall". At this time, the Ranadive group was said to have resolved privately to attempt to dislodge the moderates from control of the CPI and to secure full abandonment of "the Amritsar line if the CPI should be defeated in the Kerala elections; meanwhile, no overt attempt was to be made to displace Ghosh, since the leftists realized that Moscow's endorsement of their program was a prerequisite which could not be immediately secured. Accordingly, following the line taken by Ghosh in a public statement on 2 August (when he stated that he would not draw the general inference from Kerala that Nehru had ceased to be a progressive force), the Central Executive Committee meeting agreed not to attack Nehru publicly except on the specific issue of Kerala, lest speculation that the Amritsar thesis had been abandoned be encouraged. A fairly moderate public resolution on the Kerala ouster was adopted, and the meeting decided to send Ghosh to Moscow later in the month to appraise Khrushchev of the details of the intervention in Kerala.

One of the primary goals sought by the CPI after the July 1959 events was the cultivation of sympathy over the Kerala events from both the public generally and the left wing of the Congress Party in particular. Ghosh placed hope in the considerable group of influential Congressmen who did not approve of the Government's intervention in Kerala; this group was counted on to bring pressure on Nehru to soften his hostility toward the Communist party. In several of his subsequent complaints against the CCP, Ghosh was to claim that this CPI strategy was working well — that a wave of popular sympathy was attracting mass support for the party, splitting the Congress Party, and turning the Kerala events into a pyrrhic victory for the reactionaries and a strategic gain for the Communists — when suddenly all this was ruined and the tide of popular opinion turned against the party by the outbreak of the Sino- Indian border dispute. While much of this argument is polemical exaggeration and rationalization on Ghosh's part, it does seem likely that the CPI would have emerged from the Kerala crisis with comparatively little damage to its national base of popular support had the border conflict not intervened.

C. The Tibetan Revolt

There is considerable evidence to indicate that just as the surfacing of the Sino-Indian border dispute in the fall of 1959 had its origin in events connected with the Tibetan revolt in the spring, so also the emergence of public Sino-Soviet differences in line over the border issue in the fall was preceded by more subtle differences over the Tibetan issue months before.

In the beginning, this was not so: the two bloc partners made an apparently coordinated initial announcement of the Tibetan revolt on 28 March, and Moscow twice in early April repeated in radio commentaries Peiping's claims that Kalimpong, in northern West Bengal, had been used as a base for the Tibetan rebels, despite Nehru's public denial of this charge on 30 March. Subsequently, however, the USSR suppressed from its public coverage all such charges against India, and excised hostile references to India from reports on CPR articles or speeches carried in Soviet media. Moscow limited the blame for the uprising to Tibetan reactionaries, Western imperialism, and Chiang Kai-shek. Peiping, on the other hand, continued to repeat its statements about Kalimpong, together with public attacks against Indian "reactionaries" and "expansionists" for their sympathy and alleged aid to the rebels. By late April, after strong criticism of the CPR had been voiced by the Indian press and in the Indian Parliament, Peiping expanded its attacks into a concerted mass campaign in which the Indian Government was repeatedly implicated in the revolt and in the "abduction" of the Dalai Lama. Personal denunciations of Nehru at nationwide mass meetings in early May culminated in a 6 May People's Daily editorial article reproving Nehru's attitude toward Tibet, renewing charges of Indian interference there, and suggesting that Nehru, while often differing with the "imperialists," nevertheless was also sometimes strongly influenced in his policies by the Indian "big bourgeoisie" tied to imperialism. This article did, however, signal a momentary end to CPR polemics on the issue.

The CPI throughout this period adopted a public attitude strongly defending Peiping, but not usually going beyond the limits of the Soviet treatment of Nehru. On 5 April — when the Soviet line blacking out all references to Kalimpong had not yet been clearly established — the weekly CPI organ New Age ran an article urging an investigation of activities in this border town, as well as a CPI Secretariat resolution suggesting the same point. The same issue carried the text of the letters released by Peiping to prove that the Dalai Lama had been taken to India under duress, as well as several other articles strongly backing the PL A action in Tibet and denouncing Western imperialism's attempt to split India and China. After this — in line with the Soviet example — charges about Kalimpong are not known to have been featured in CPI media, but Indian party organs and spokesmen continued to defend Peiping, and their statements were regularly picked up by NCNA. The closest approach to direct criticism of Nehru in these statements appeared in an article by Ghosh in early May, where Ghosh complained that some of the Prime Minister's statements were "heavily biased in favor of the rebels," and denied that all of India's conduct during the rebellion had been unimpeachable or that "all the blame lies with the Chinese." Along with this rather mixed defense of Peiping, Ghosh expressed pleasure that Nehru had "indignantly rejected" the crude attempts of the imperialists to change India's independent foreign policy. The CPI secretary showed great defensiveness over Nehru's reaction to the Chinese charge of "expansionism," professing to believe that this charge had not been intended against Nehru or the Indian government, but only against "certain reactionary circles in India." In later communications and contacts with Chinese leaders both in 1959 and in 1960, Ghosh is known to have repeatedly protested against the unwisdom of these Chinese intimations that the Indian government was "expansionist" and against the harm this brought to the Communist cause in India.

Details are available on only one reported meeting between representatives of the CPI and the CCP during this period of the Tibetan uprising. [DELETE (8 words)] early in April CPR ambassador to New Delhi pan Tzu-li requested a meeting with Ranadive to receive information on the attitude toward the Tibetan situation being taken by both the government of India and the CPI. On receiving this request, the CPI Central Secretariat authorized Ranadive to meet Pan, although the CPI had previously designated Joshi as the liaison man with the Chinese Embassy. Peiping was thus not yet attempting to bypass central Indian party channels, as it was to do later in contacting left-faction leaders. Ranadive in his talk." with Pan is reported to have offered him the CPI's support on Tibet, but to have kept within the bounds of Soviet policy on this issue, advising Pan not to attack Nehru directly but to concentrate fire on the leading rightist anti-Chinese leaders in India. Although Ranadive the following month was to write an article implying that the Indian government was intervening in Chinese affairs by allowing the Dalai Lama to operate in India, his line toward Nehru was nevertheless fairly restrained and did not notably depart from that used by other CPI leaders in this period; the CPI leftists generally did not publicly take a line sharply differentiated from that of other party leaders on relations with China until Soviet differences with Peiping on the border issue came into the open in September.

Although it has been reported that Ranadive' s meeting with Pan was the only CPI contact with the CCP until August, there is some reason to suspect that this was not so, that the CPI leadership was in communication with Chinese representatives some time in May or June — perhaps again orally via the Chinese Embassy — and that the CPI at this time urged Peiping to propose a meeting between Nehru and Chou En-lai to smooth over Sino-Indian differences over the Tibetan events. While there was no hint in Soviet or CPI white propaganda media during this period that the CPSU was then anxious for a Nehru-Chou meeting, this was hardly surprising in view of the exceedingly delicate nature of the matter, since the CPR public position was that events in Tibet were of no concern whatever to India. Indirect confirmation of such a Soviet desire was, however, available from another source: the conduct of the Indian weekly tabloid Blitz, which is not controlled by the CPI (and has, indeed, criticized the Indian party on occasion), but which is thought" to be partly subsidized by Soviet intelligence and which has many times shown itself to be more intimately responsive to Soviet foreign policy aims and maneuvers than Communist party organs. Blitz began its coverage of the Tibetan revolt, like the Communist New Age, with an almost identical article complaining about the anti-Chinese intrigues in Kalimpong, and similarly soft-pedalled this point thereafter (though it did not drop it completely) as the Soviet press fell silent about Kalimpong. Blitz thereupon carried articles supporting Sino-Indian friendship and denouncing U.S. attempts to exploit the Tibetan revolt to undermine Nehru's "independent" foreign policy; these articles were regularly cited by NCNA, the Chinese News Agency. On 25 April, however, Blitz also published an open letter to Chou En-lai urging the convening of a tripartite conference of India, China and Tibet on an informal basis to assure the "continued friendship between India and China". Although an NCNA dispatch the next day termed this a "nonsensical suggestion," Blitz reiterated it a week later, noting that "the Chinese would not like a meeting between India and China over Tibet" since Peiping does not "consider Tibet an independent state," but nevertheless insisting that "there are all-compelling reasons for a meeting between India and China."

D. The Border Dispute

If the Soviet Union did indeed try to recommend a Sino-Indian meeting to Peiping — however cautiously and indirectly — this is likely only to have increased CCP resentment and subsequent Chinese intransigence. In the light of the almost simultaneous events in Tibet and Kerala, Soviet policy appeared to Peiping to be growing increasingly conciliatory toward Nehru as the latter swung ever further toward the right; the USSR seemed to be attempting to buy off Nehru, at the expense of fundamental Communist interests and Chinese national interests. This Soviet line of unprincipled conciliation — in Chinese eyes—was subsequently seen to be extended to the imperialist world as a whole when Khrushchev's visit to the United States was announced in August and accomplished in September and as Soviet emphasis upon the need for "mutual concessions" mounted in the early fall. Chinese propaganda was to grow increasingly shrill throughout the fall in denunciation of such naive acceptance of imperialist "peace gestures." Therefore, while the initial border clashes with Indian troops may well have been unpremediated in Peiping and the result of actions for which New Delhi was partly responsible, subsequent CCP policy toward the border dispute— and equally toward the CPI — was certainly strongly conditioned by the growing dispute with the CPSU over world-wide policy, as well as by Peiping's rigid conception of its national interest and its hardening attitude toward Nehru.

The juxtaposition of significant Chinese and Indian forces on the border in many places for the first time seems to have resulted directly from the Tibetan revolt. On the Chinese side, there was a determination to seal off the Tibetan-Indian border, both to prevent the further escape of Tibetan rebels and to cut off that aid to the rebels which Peiping believed was being furnished from the Indian side of the border. On the Indian side, the alarm felt at the entry of much larger PLA forces into Tibet generally and at the Chinese effort to establish a much stronger presence than ever before in border areas which had long been in dispute seem to have prompted New Delhi to attempt to build up an appropriate counter-presence along the border. Clashes began to occur both at the eastern and western ends of the frontier in late July and early August, in each case as the result of Chinese offensive action to enforce their concept of the border. While the Indian government continued to withhold confirmation of these clashes until late in August, rumors earlier began to appear in the Indian press, and the border problem became an object of anxious concern at the CPI Central Executive Committee meeting held from 6 to 8 August. [DELETE (5 words)] the CEC then decided to address a letter to the Chinese party on the whole question of Sino-Indian relations. Said to have been drafted jointly by Ghosh and Ranadive, the letter was delivered to the Chinese Embassy during the second week of August. The letter reportedly described the emotions aroused among the Indian population over the Tibetan issue and over the undemarcated Sino-Indian border, particularly in view of the Chinese refusal to clarify their stand on older Chinese maps claiming areas regarded by India as belonging to her. (Nehru had alluded to these maps in a press conference in the first week of August.) The letter is said to have deprecated the Chinese indiscriminate use of the terms "Indian imperialists" and "Indian expansionists", and to have urged that only specific groups such as the Praja Socialist and Jan Sangh parties be singled out for attack (as Ranadive had suggested to Ambassador Pan in April). The letter regretted the Chinese attitude shown toward certain Indian front meetings in recent months, such as the All-Indian Conference for Afro-Asian Solidarity in Calcutta in April (when the Chinese walked out from a discussion of Tibet) and the 28 June Panch Sheel celebrations sponsored by the All- Indian Peace Council and attended by many international representatives (the invitation to which was ignored by Peiping). Finally, the letter urged the CCP to contact the Indian Ambassador in Peiping to arrange a meeting between Nehru and Chou to settle Sino-Indian differences.

This letter was never answered by the CCP. It is possible that it was from this point on that Peiping began to classify Ghosh among the hopelessly lost souls along with Nehru, and began to concentrate efforts on promoting its point of view among sympathetic provincial CPI organizations such as that in West Bengal. Reports of such Chinese efforts began to appear during the following months.

In the meantime, rightist-inclined provincial party organizations, such as the one in Maharashtra, had begun their long swing in the other direction; the first sign of this occurred on 23 August, when Dange told the Maharashtra Provincial Executive Committee in Bombay that the CPI should state openly that the MacMahon line is the valid border in the east.

On 26 August, Ghosh departed on his visit to the USSR. On that day and the day before, Chinese troops had made two additional attacks on Indian posts in the eastern border area (the Northeast Frontier Agency). On the 28th, Nehru for the first time made a statement in Parliament substantiating the press reports 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 CPI. 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 MacMahon line, 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.
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Re: The Indian Communist Party and the Sino-Soviet Dispute

Postby admin » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:04 am

Part 2 of 2

September Talks in Moscow and Peiping

On 30 August, the Indian Government is reported to have asked its ambassador in Moscow to present India's case to Khrushchev personally. By early September there were therefore two sets of Indians in Moscow trying, for different reasons, to get the Soviets to apply pressure on Peiping: the Indian Embassy, and CPI representative Ghosh. There is every indication that the CPSU leaders, seriously disturbed for several reasons by the effects of the Indian border crisis, were prepared to apply such pressure through a variety of channels. According to one unconfirmed report, a Polish Deputy Premier told Yugoslav representatives in Belgrade in late August that the Chinese action on the border had been neither initiated nor supported by Moscow, and added that Moscow was aware that splits long latent in the CPI were being aggravated as a result of the Chinese attitude. Moscow, claimed the Polish official, had informed the CPI that it entirely disapproved of Peiping's actions, and this CPSU comment was itself further intensifying CPI factionalism. While it is barely possible that such a message could have been delivered to CPI headquarters late in August, there is no confirmation of it from the Indian side; more important, it is doubtful from subsequent CPSU conduct that it would have risked further exacerbation of CPI factionalism in this way. On the other hand, there is little doubt that the CPSU told its trusted man Ghosh something of this sort in Moscow. On 3 September Ghosh, apparently after consultation with CPSU leaders, sent to Peiping from Moscow another CPI letter asking the Chinese party again to initiate high-level negotiations with India, and to shape its policy with a view to keeping India out of the imperialist camp. This letter also went unanswered. That same day a note from Peiping to the Indian government accused India of "aggression" along the border and demanded withdrawal of Indian troops from the disputed areas. On the 6th, in a banquet speech before a visiting Afghan official in Peiping, Chou En-lai hinted at a possible link between Khrushchev's impending visit to the United States and Chinese policy toward India. While "reiterating the Chinese people's welcome" to the forthcoming Khrushchev-Eisenhower exchange of visits, Chou added that "however, we cannot but note that the imperialists are stepping up the creation of tension in the Far East and sowing discord in relations among the Asian and African countries," and concluded that this required "the governments and peoples of all Asian and African countries" to continue to manifest "sharp vigilance" — in other words, to maintain an undiminished militant posture. (Emphasis added.)

On the morning of 6 September, Ghosh flew to the Crimea, where Khrushchev was preparing for his trip to the United States, and remained there in consultation with Khrushchev for three days. [DELETE (4 words) at one time during this period Ghosh attended a joint meeting with Khrushchev and some Chinese representative, at which Khrushchev expressed his unhappiness over the course of events on the Indian border and warned of the harmful effects this could have upon Asian nationalism generally. While this is unconfirmed, it is entirely likely that the CPSU was in direct communication with the CCP over the border situation at this time; if so, the results for Moscow were unsatisfactory. On 8 September, Chou En-lai dispatched another letter to Nehru, professing willingness to have the border dispute subjected to negotiations, but making no specific proposal for a meeting with Nehru. Chou reiterated all Chinese claims to disputed territory, and specifically rejected the validity of the MacMahon line in the east. He also charged that Indian troops were guilty of "armed attacks" on Chinese frontier outposts. That same evening, Ghosh returned to Moscow, and the next day the Soviet government issued a special TASS announcement deploring the clashes on the Sino-Indian border, urging a negotiated settlement, and taking a conspicuously neutral stand on the merits of the conflicting claims. It seems likely that this announcement was decided on during the Khrushchev-Ghosh talks, and was finally triggered by the unyielding stand taken by Chou in his 8 September letter.

There is abundant subsequent evidence that the 9 September TASS statement was deeply resented by the CCP, was regarded (despite its air of neutrality) as humiliating "open criticism" of the Chinese party by a paternalistic CPSD, and was thought to be a Soviet betrayal of an obligation to support another bloc party for the sake of further unprincipled conciliation of the Indian bourgeoisie. This event undoubtedly added to the already strong Chinese objections to the line now being taken by the CPSU toward the West in general, and contributed to the eventual Chinese decision to launch an open world-wide offensive against that line in April 1960.

During the period surrounding the issuance of the TASS statement Moscow took further strong measures to impress upon the Indian government and public Soviet dissociation from the Chinese position. All available means were adopted, including repeated use of diplomatic channels in Moscow and New Delhi, of the satellite governments, and of leaks to the Indian press; one Indian diplomat spoke of the "almost obsequious" Soviet attitude. On 12 September, shortly before Khrushchev's departure for the United States, he reportedly spoke with the Indian Ambassador, reiterating earlier proposals for a visit by him to India. That same day, a Khrushchev letter was delivered to Nehru in New Delhi by Ambassador Benediktov, reportedly attempting to minimize the significance of the border dispute, urging that it be settled by mutual discussions, and intimating that Khrushchev would attempt to use his personal influence to aid in a settlement.

Meanwhile, before he flew to the Crimea, Ghosh in Moscow had received a message from the CPI Central Secretariat urging him to visit China after "consulting with the Soviet comrades," to see Mao and Liu, to impress upon them the dire consequences that would follow for the CPI if the border conflict were not. solved quickly, and to urge them to take the initiative personally in seeking a peaceful settlement. This proposal must have received Khrushchev's approval, since on 9 September, on the morning after Ghosh's arrival back in Moscow, Ghosh departed again for Peiping. He remained there four days, returning on the 13th once more to Moscow to report to the CPSU. Reports differ as to whether Ghosh was seen by Mao, Liu, Chou, or Teng Hsiao-ping; most accounts agree, however, as to the essentials of Peiping's position. The CCP told Ghosh that the Indian public was being given false information by their government, that the border conflict was caused entirely by Indian armed provocations, that the border had never been demarcated, and that the culture of the peoples of the border areas was like that of the Tibetans, not the Indians. At the same time, the Chinese Communist leaders made it clear that their response in the dispute was being strongly conditioned by their view of the Indian political scene. They felt that reactionaries supported by the United States were gaining power in India and were steadily drawing Nehru into the rightist camp; according to one report, Ghosh was even told that Nehru was now the "running dog of the American imperialists" who had at last "lifted his mask". The CCP leaders indicated that they had been driven toward this view of Nehru by the Tibetan affair and had been reinforced in their conviction by the Kerala disaster. They warned Ghosh that if the CPI continued to support Nehru, the CPI right wing would be totally absorbed by reactionary forces; the CPI, they said, must be prepared to exist on its own strength. For their part, the CCP leaders felt that it was because Nehru had swung toward the reactionaries that the CPR could not afford to yield a single inch of its territory in Tibet, and had to strengthen its position on the border "inch by inch." They apparently refused to take the initiative in seeking a Nehru-Chou meeting. When Ghosh pointed out that the CPI was being badly hurt by the continuation of the dispute, the Chinese leaders are said to have listened carefully but to' have made no commitment or clear statement of their intentions. Ghosh was given the impression, however, that Peiping wanted the dispute to be settled peacefully, and was told that the CPR at present was contemplating no overt action against the Indian frontiers.

Much of this information on the CCP position was reported by Ghosh to a CPI Central Executive Committee meeting in Calcutta in late September, which Ghosh hastened back from Moscow just in time to attend.22 At the same time, Ghosh gave the Indian party leaders some inkling of the differences growing between the Chinese and Soviet lines. The Soviet leaders had also been very disturbed about Nehru's action in Kerala, and worried that Nehru might be changing his policy and drawing nearer the United States. On 5 or 6 September Ghosh was said to have addressed and answered questions before a lengthy meeting of CPSU Central Committee officials devoted entirely to Kerala. Eventually, however, the Soviets again decided to maintain the current policy. When Ghosh returned to Moscow from Peiping in mid-September and there reported the advice he had been given, the CPSU apparently directly contradicted the CCP; Ghosh reportedly was told that the Indian national bourgeoisie was not about to fall under the control of the Western imperialist countries, that the CPI should continue to follow the Amritsar line, and that the CPI should above all avoid actions which might tend to precipitate a civil war in India.

This advice was in line with statements already made by Khrushchev to Ghosh the week before in the Crimea, according to a note later circulated by Ghosh to the Indian CEC meeting. Khrushchev was said to have told Ghosh that the CPI and Communist parties in other non-bloc countries should avoid up- risings and other "warlike situations" since their effect would now hinder rather than aid the growth of Communism; that such uprisings would lead to the suppression of Communist movements by reactionary forces; that Communist party tactics now should be different from those used in the past since "now Communism cannot be established with the aid of an outside force;" and that the avoidance of war for three or four years would enable bloc military strength to surpass that of the West.

This Soviet advice was used by Ghosh at the September Central Executive Committee meeting in arguing against an increasing tendency of the left-faction leaders to welcome the Chinese pressure on the Indian border as justifying a new militant line for the CPI. In abandoning insurrectionary tactics in 1951, the Indian party^had cited, as one of the reasons why such tactics had been erroneous, the absence in India of a firm and contiguous revolutionary base across the border such as the CCP had had in the USSR. The CPI leftists now argued that this was no longer true, that with the PLA now present in force on the Tibetan border the Indian party had both a channel of support for armed operations and a potential liberator in the event of mass uprisings. Repetitions of this argument by the leftists throughout 1960 have since been reported on many occasions by several different sources; it was first heard at a 13 September 1959 meeting of the CPI parliamentary fraction, where it was voiced by Basavapunnaiah, Ranadive, and the head of the CPI secret apparatus Jaipal Singh. In opposing arguments for this thesis at the subsequent September Central Executive Committee meeting Ghosh not only evoked Khrushchev's authority, but warned that the Amritsar thesis, as a fundamental tenet of the CPI, could only be altered "when changes in the international situation coincide with internal political changes" — that is, when a change in the CPI line would serve the current overall interests of Soviet foreign policy. Nevertheless, the leftists are reported to have been able to force through the meeting a compromise whereby the CEC requested Indian provincial party secretariats to prepare for central party consideration their suggestions for possible amendments to the Amritsar Thesis.

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 negotiations. 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 to place any blame upon China or to support any aspect of the Indian government's position was widely denounced as virtually treasonable.

This reaction from all sections of the non-Communist public was to place severe pressure upon those provincial party organizations heavily dependent on electoral alliances with other parties; as a result of the indiscipline prevalent in the CPI, certain rightist-inclined provincial organizations were to succumb to this pressure and oppose the central party line. The center of this opposition was Maharashtra on the west coast, and its leader was Dange. In mid- September Dange reiterated privately to a Maharashtra State Council meeting his August position that the MacMahon line should be taken as the basis for negotiation. After the Calcutta Central Executive Committee meeting, on 7 October, the multi-party alliance to which the CPI belonged in Bombay met and issued a public statement upholding the MacMahon line and accusing the CPR of "forcible occupation" of Indian territory; Dange, who headed the Communist representatives present, concurred in this statement. This action is said to have infuriated the CCP leaders, who communicated their anger to Ghosh, then in Peiping for the Chinese tenth anniversary celebrations; Ghosh on 9 October sent a message to the CPU Central Secretariat via the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi demanding that no further statements be made on the border situation by any CPI members. Dange issued a public statement slightly softening the strong stand taken by the multi-party alliance, and the Central Secretariat applied pressure upon the Maharashtra CP; but on 14 October the Maharashtra Provincial Committee defied the party center by passing a resolution supporting the multi-party resolution and endorsing the action of the Communist representatives there.

A number of other prominent CPI leaders took positions in late September and early October opposing the "unpatriotic" stand taken in the CPI's 24 September Calcutta resolution. In particular, an influential section of the Kerala party was reported becoming vociferously anti-Chinese because the CPR's attitude on the border was hurting the party's chances in the Kerala elections scheduled for February 1960. Four Kerala leaders were reported to have sent a memorandum to the Calcutta meeting explaining the difficulties the border issue was causing them, and recommending that the Central Executive Committee state openly that the CPR had made mistakes and committed aggression. On 3 October, former Kerala Chief Minister Namboodiripad told newsmen that "the refusal of the Communist party to denounce China is costing it the goodwill of a large section of its sympathizers in India."

It was against this background that the CPI prepared to celebrate the CPR's tenth anniversary in early October 1959. The central party leadership made a vigorous effort to counter the tide of anti-Chinese sentiment within the party in a 4 October special issue of the weekly New Age devoted to the anniversary. New Age — edited by P. C. Joshi, who was not a leftist but who nevertheless had long been the most fervent admirer of the CCP among the Indian party leaders — on this occasion went far beyond a mere defense of Sino-Indian friendship, and took positions which demonstrated how little comprehension many CPI leaders who later proved to be loyal to the CPSU still had of Moscow's sensitivity to certain Chinese policies and ideological claims, and how lightly the CPSU was still treading in communicating its position on these issues to the CPI.23 This issue contained one article hailing the policies of the Chinese "leap forward"; another article hailing the practical and ideological advantages of the communes24 and terming them the "morning sun rising above the broad horizon of east Asia;" another calling Mao Tse-tung a "great Marxist-Leninist" whose theory of combined unity and struggle with the bourgeoisie was "one of the very decisive contributions of the Chinese Communists to the general theory of the world liberation struggle;" and still another citing and endorsing Mao's "paper tiger" thesis. The CPSU by October 1959 had long been in conflict with Peiping on each of these topics, and no such sweeping endorsement of all of the CCP's policies was ever made again by New Age.

E . The October Anniversary Talks

The CPI leadership meanwhile prepared for another round of talks with the Chinese and Soviets in connection with the CPR anniversary. Ghosh headed a five-man delegation to Peiping in early October; on the tenth, he again visited Moscow to report on his discussions with the Chinese, and on the 18th he returned home. While in Peiping, Ghosh is reported to have had at least one joint meeting with the Soviets, Chinese, and representatives of other Asian parties, plus one or two separate talks with Khrushchev and Suslov, and several private talks with Mao and Liu, [DELETE (2-1/2 lines) in these talks with the Chinese Ghosh reiterated his earlier plaints about the harmful effects the dispute was having upon the CPI, only to be told that the Indian Government and Nehru were now thorough reactionaries, that the CPI was getting panicky over nothing, and that China was being isolated not from the people of. India, but only from the Indian reactionaries. Several other earlier reports indicated that the Chinese again emphasized that their determination to take a firm stand on the border had its roots in the Indian conduct during the Tibetan revolt and the Dalai Lama's activities in India. Peiping reiterated its claim of Indian responsibility for the border clashes, but professed a readiness to negotiate, and reportedly hinted at willingness to trade Chinese recognition of the MacMahon line in the east for Indian recognition of the Chinese claim to Ladakh in the west. [DELETE (4 lines)] the Chinese leaders, while angry over the stand taken by right-wing leaders such as Dange, expressed appreciation of the manner in which the central CPI leadership had thus far resisted nationalist pressures, and acknowledged that the CPI could not take a stand openly supporting the CPR.

Mao and Liu apparently once more refused, however, to commit themselves to initiate a request for a Nehru-Chou meeting, and even rebuked the CPI for having failed to understand how such a Chinese initiative would play into Nehru's hands. Repeating their pessimistic view of Nehru — and attributing his hostile stand on Tibet and the border to the fears of the Indian bourgeoisie of the effect of the example of socialist China on the Indian masses — the CCP leaders nevertheless recognized the need for the CPI to do everything possible to keep Nehru from moving still further to the right. Liu is reported to have warned the CPI to beware of Nehru as "the most clever interpreter of the policy of British imperialism in Asia." This evaluation was reinforced by an article published in the Chinese journal World Knowledge on 5 October — in the midst of the Peiping talks — which provided the most hostile CPR public allusion to the Indian government since the Tibetan revolt the previous spring. The article admitted that the bourgeois leaders of some newly independent countries have "certain contradictions with the imperialists," but insisted that "at the same time they maintain such intricate relations with the imperialists as lead them to manifest an expansionist ambition." Under the pressure of the imperialists and domestic reactionaries, said World Knowledge , "such double-faced 'neutralists' often show vacillations. " The context made it clear that "the leaders in India," through their actions toward Tibet and the Chinese border, had shown themselves to be such double-faced neutralists.

There is abundant indication, both from the public Soviet statements in Peiping and from subsequent events [DELETE (two words)] that the Soviet delegation made a serious and unsuccessful effort at this time to overcome Chinese opposition to the entire course of Soviet foreign policy. Although there is no conclusive evidence, it also seems likely that Khrushchev made some effort to persuade the Chinese to modify their posture on the border issue, at least to the extent of initiating a proposal for negotiations between Nehru and Chou; if so, it appears from Mao's subsequent remarks to the CPI delegation that Peiping continued for some time to resist and resent this suggestion. Later, after Chou En-lai had finally proposed such talks in his 7 November letter to Nehru, the Indian Ambassador in Moscow is reliably reported to have told his government that this offer, even though hedged in by qualifications, had been sent under Soviet pressure; and the same assertion was made to the Indian Government on 16 November by a Soviet embassy official in New Delhi. The Soviet official added that his government regretted that the offer of negotiations had not been made at least a month earlier, but that Chinese policy was not flexible. There is little doubt that the USSR was making every effort to exaggerate the extent of its pressure on Peiping in the eyes of the Indian government and public; thus on 10 October a lurid account in Blitz depicted Khrushchev as having sternly upbraided Chou for the Chinese stand and as having ordered him to reply politely to Nehru's message of congratulations on the CPR anniversary (which Chou in fact did). Nevertheless, it seems to have been clearly the desire of the USSR throughout this period to have negotiations begun and tension reduced between China and India as rapidly as possible, and it is equally clear that Peiping was dragging its feet.

When Ghosh visited Moscow after his October stay in Peiping, he is reported to have been given a briefing on the Soviet peaceful coexistence strategy similar to that furnished him by Khrushchev the month before. Soviet party leaders told Ghosh that the aim of the peaceful coexistence line was to prevent war for a number of years sufficient to give the bloc decisive command of the balance of power, so that the rest of the world could subsequently be enabled to gravitate toward Communism without fear of "imperialist" intervention. According to another report, Suslov is said to have: told Ghosh that the CPI must at all costs not allow itself to become isolated from the Indian people, even if this required the party to take actions not in the immediate interests of the socialist countries.

Thus armed with Soviet permission to take whatever steps might prove necessary to conciliate Indian nationalist opinion, Ghosh returned to New Delhi, and on 18 October held a press conference in which he emphasized at great length Mao's assurances to him of Peiping's peaceful intentions and sincere desire for a peaceful settlement with India. These remarks by Ghosh were given extensive coverage in New Age of 25 October; in the meantime, however, a new clash had occurred between Chinese Communist troops and Indian border guards in the Ladakh area, Indians were killed and Indian prisoners taken by the Chinese, and Peiping had officially protested that the clash was the result of provocation by the Indian side. Ghosh was thus placed in a ridiculous position, and reacted sharply in the light of the Soviet guidance he had received. An emergency meeting of the CPI Central Secretariat was held on 24 October, following which a public statement was issued calling the Ladakh clash a "tragic event" and saying that there was "no justification whatever" for the firing. The Secretariat also sent a note to the Chinese Embassy outlining the feelings of the Indian people about this event, declaring that the Chinese government should have expressed regret instead of making a protest, and saying that Peiping should be the first to take the initiative in starting negotiations, since "there is no problem of prestige" in doing this (presumably, an allusion to Mao's indication to Ghosh that this was indeed a matter of prestige). This note was sent to the CPR Ambassador o n 24 October with the request that it be forwarded to Peiping; [DELETE (2-1/2 lines)]  

In the last week of October, CPI leaders were reported to have contacted the heads of several bloc diplomatic missions in New Delhi to ask that the CPI stand on the border issue not be misunderstood, and that any future apparent disagreement with the CCP be regarded as a tactical move by the CPI. These warnings were apparently initiated by Ghosh as a preliminary to a move on his part to promote a somewhat more nationalistic posture for the CPI. At the subsequent meetings in early and mid-November in Meerut of the Central Executive Committee and the National Council, Ghosh did indeed support some of the demands of the right faction of the party led by Dange. After intense resistance by the left faction, the Meerut meetings eventually produced a new compromise party resolution which, while still ambivalent, was several degrees closer to the nationalist position. The Indian government's claims for the MacMahon line in the eastern [DELETE [16 lines)] half of the border were for the first time explicitly endorsed and the Chinese claims rejected; but the western border in Ladakh was declared to be undetermined, and Chou En-lai's proposal for a meeting with Nehru was welcomed without mention of the prior condition of a Chinese troop pullback which the Indian government placed upon such a meeting.

While the CPI was moving in this direction, the CPSU was taking an increasingly contradictory position on the Indian border dispute: while in public growing more and more critical of the Chinese line, Moscow in private was attempting to restrain CPI factionalism by denying any differences with Peiping. In Khrushchev's 31 October speech to the Supreme Soviet (which marked the high^water point of the conciliatory peaceful coexistence line toward the West generally) the Soviet Premier expressed deep regret over the Ladakh incident of the week before, said that "nothing can compensate" the relatives of the casualties, and appealed for friendly negotiations "to the mutual satisfaction of both sides." On 2 November a CPSU letter was reported to have been received by the CPI which insisted that the stand taken by Khrushchev was designed to influence the Indian government , which denied that any rift could exist between Moscow and Peiping, and which vaguely warned the CPI to move cautiously and misunderstand neither the CPSU nor the CCP. But on 15 November, the CPI weekly New Age published an interview between its Moscow correspondent and Khrushchev at a Kremlin reception on the evening of 7 November. The New Age correspondent quoted Khrushchev as calling the border dispute "a sad and stupid story," as arguing that the area in dispute was uninhabited and without strategic significance, and as citing the example of the USSR's cession of territory to Iran as a model of amicable settlement of such differences. Khrushchev was said to have declared, "we gave up more than we gained; what were a few kilometers for a country like the Soviet Union." While these statements could have been intended also to affect Indian government policy, their immediate effect can only have been upon CPI rank-and-file membership, and must have suggested to party members the reality of the Sino-Soviet differences the 2 November CPSU letter had just sought to deny. While Soviet media never published this Khrushchev interview, portions of it were reported by a New York Times correspondent present, and it is in any case most unlikely that New Age would have invented statements of this type attributed to Khrushchev. The CCP is reliably known to have bitterly resented both this statement and the one contained in Khrushchev's 31 October speech, and to have viewed them as stages in a mounting Soviet public attack on Chinese policy.

F. Increasing CPI Leftist Ties With Peiping

It is possible that Khrushchev's insertion of these anti-Chinese hints in the central CPI organ in mid-November represented one of the first rather feeble Soviet attempts to counter the increasing Chinese effort in the fall of 1959 to create an area within the CPI subject to CCP guidance and removed from CPSU tutelage. [DELETE (5 words)] Ghosh told the Central Secretariat after his visit to China that Mao had hinted to him that the CCP wanted to exert a greater degree of leadership over the Asian parties — and particularly over the CPI. The most vigorous of Peiping' s efforts in this direction were concentrated in West Bengal. There the leftist party leadership — with CCP encouragement — came to take an increasingly strong line throughout the fall in opposing conciliation of Nehru and of rightist tendencies in the CPI, and in openly fighting actions of the central party leadership sanctioned by the CPSU but harmful to the interests of Peiping.

On 8 October, the West Bengal party sent a resolution to the Central Secretariat emphasizing that "some reformist and anti-party elements have come into the CPI and the first job of the CPI should be to expel them." In late October, the West Bengal State Council heard with approval the leftist Bhupesh Gupta report — along the line taken by the CCP in the Peiping talks with the CPI leadership — that the Indian government was seeking a convenient excuse to stir up anti-Chinese and anti-Communist feelings so that the sympathies of the Indian masses could be retained while India was dragged into the imperialist camp. A lone rightist speaker, who accused the CCP of "left-sectarian mistakes" and of initiating the border troubles to harm the Khrushchev peace offensive, was overwhelmingly voted down. In mid-November, the West Bengal party leadership was reported by several sources to be extremely hostile to the border resolution of the Meerut National Council offering gestures of conciliation to Indian nationalism this resolution was called self-contradictory, and the central party leaders were accused of toeing the line of "bourgeois Nehru." The editorial staff of the Calcutta party organ Swadhinata determined not to publicize this party resolution or to slant its news reports in accordance with it . There is evidence that rightist CPI leaders made an abortive attempt to have the party Control Commission investigate the line taken by Swadhinata. At a West Bengal Provincial Executive Committed meeting in early December, it was formally decided to oppose the results of the Meerut meeting, and subsequent reports told of gains made by pro-Chinese left-faction elements within the party organizations of Assam and Tripura — neighbors of West Bengal — thanks to the missionary influence of the West Bengali leaders.

There is good evidence of Chinese encouragement of this evolution of the West Bengal party toward open defiance of the party center. According to one report originating with the West Bengal police, a new CPR consul in Calcutta, shortly after his arrival in September, held several meetings with prominent members of the West Bengal party to appraise them of current Chinese policy on the border dispute and to suggest the line that they, should take in countering anti-Chinese propaganda. A West Bengal government intelligence report in November claimed that four powerful radio sets had been installed in the office of the China Review in Calcutta to listen to broadcasts from Peiping, and that handouts were being quietly given to Swadhinata for propaganda work on the basis of these broadcasts. Chinese propaganda then in turn played back the line furnished in Swadhinata: in a conversation [DELETE (6 words)] the next year, Ghosh complained that the Chinese had published nothing about the November 1959 CPI National Council meeting, but did fully publicize the subsequent meeting of the West Bengal party and the writings in Swadhinata. In addition, the West Bengal party was reported [DELETE[ (3 words)] to have organized a special class, scheduled to begin in mid-December, for leading party members: this class was designed 'to explain the differences between the attitude of Communist China and the Soviet Union, with special emphasis on the Chinese concept of 'permanent revolution.'" Finally, it was from about this period of the late fall of 1959 that indications of Chinese financial subsidies to section's of the Indian party — and particularly to left-faction strongholds such as West Bengal — began to increase. By the following spring, the new and unaccustomed affluence of the West Bengal party leaders, and the heightened assertiveness which accompanied it, were being remarked on bitterly by CPI rightists.  

At the same time, the left-faction members of the CPI Central Secretariat — Ranadive, Bhupesh Gupta, and particularly Basavapunnaiah — became increasingly active late in 1959 in promoting the line given them in Peiping throughout the CPI. In mid-November, Basavapunnaiah 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 Maharashtra 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 MacMahon 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.

A more remarkable indication of the lengths to which the left faction in the CPI center was willing to go to advance the CCP viewpoint within the Indian party — and to promote the notion that the CPSU endorsed that viewpoint — was furnished by the reports they circulated within the party at the end of 1959 of a supposed secret Mao-Khrushchev meeting. [DELETE 9 words)] |these reports were first initiated by Ranadive on 12 December, when he claimed, with much circumstantial detail, that the party center had received a letter from the CPSU reporting that Mao and Khrushchev had met in Northeast China on 24 November to discuss and reach agreement on a wide range of world topics, including the border dispute. Subsequently, a text of this purported letter became available in CPI archives, diverging from Ranadive's oral account in some details, but claiming unanimity between the CCP and CPSU on the border dispute as well as on the coming summit conference.

The alleged CPSU letter is not credible for several reasons; firstly, the alleged meeting itself is not credible. Further, while it is not impossible (in view of past and subsequent CPSU attempts to deny differences with Peiping to the CPI) that the CPSU could have deliberately misinformed the Indian party about the alleged meeting, the Soviet party would not have made some of the statements found in the text of its purported letter: for example, the statement that Mao and Khrushchev had agreed that the West desired a summit meeting "because they wanted to take time to make their 'position of strength' stable and stronger;" just such a claim that Western "peace ^.gestures" were a "smokescreen" behind which the West was being allowed to redress the military balance of power while disarming and demoralizing revolutionary forces was the central theme introduced into Peiping 's propaganda attacks on the Soviet peaceful coexistence line in the late fall of 1959. The most likely explanation appears to be that these oral reports and the purported text of a Soviet letter were manufactured by Ranadive, Bhupesh Gupta and Basavapunnaiah — the three chief leftists within the Central Secretariat — for use within the Indian party. It is probably significant that the first version of this CPSU letter was reported by Ranadive four days after General Secretary Ajoy Ghosh was stricken with a heart attack and hospitalized on 8 December; Ghosh was out of the way until February, during which time Basavapunnaiah is believed to have acted in his place. According to one report, Basavapunnaiah, Ranadive, and Bhupesh Gupta in late December were employing this supposed letter not only as evidence that the CPSU and CCP were working closely together, but as a means of pressuring provincial party units against taking a strongly nationalist line on the border issue. It is known that Basavapunnaiah attended a meeting of the rightist-dominated Maharashtra State Council in the third week of December and attacked the Indian government over the border issue; it is possible, though there is no direct confirmation, that he cited the purported CPSU letter at this meeting.

If this interpretation is correct, the falsification of the CPSU position indulged in by the CPI leftists on this occasion was a prelude to the more openly anti-CPSU campaign of falsification they launched after the 1960 Moscow Conference, when they Hooded the Indian party with reports of a humiliating defeat for Khrushchev by the CCP and of CPSU surrender of guidance over the CPI to Peiping.

Change in Line Over Eisenhower Visit

It is also possible that Ghosh's removal from the scene and the temporary leftist assumption of control of the central party machinery in December 1959 played a role in the drastic CPI reversal of line toward President Eisenhower's visit to India in that month. On 5 December, a full meeting of the CPI secretariat was held to decide the party's policy toward that visit; a fights among the leaders was reported to have occurred similar to that at the Meerut National Council meeting two weeks before, with Ghosh's interpretation of the earlier guidance given him in Moscow again proving decisive. On 7 December, the secretariat issued a statement (published in New Age a week later) welcoming the President warmly and hailing his visit as an "event of great importance." Subsequently the All- Indian Peace Council, a CPI front, sent Mr. Eisenhower an effusive letter of welcome. On 9 December, however, Soviet Ambassador Benediktov sent a note to the party secretariat criticizing its judgment in issuing its statement, and saying that if such a decision actually was their best tactical line, the announcement should have been made by an executive body lower than the secretariat to avoid confusing the party rank and file. Benediktov was reported irritated over press reports comparing the welcome accorded Khrushchev on his last visit unfavorably with that given President Eisenhower now. There is no evidence, however, that he suggested that the CPI publicly reverse its appraisal of the motives of the Eisenhower visit. On 15 December however, a CCP "analysis" of the Eisenhower journey was reported received by the Central Secretariat; it was said to emphasize that the President's "peace talk" was false and that the real purpose of his trip was to discuss military and defense matters with his allies, as exemplified by his talks in Pakistan. The next day the secretariat met — this time without Ghosh, who was now in the hospital — reviewed the matter, and issued a public statement denouncing the Eisenhower visit along lines similar to those said to have been contained in the Chinese analysis. This CPI statement was published in the 20 December New Age , together with another long article attacking the President as the "Voice of Big Business." Also in this issue of New Age — and once again testifying to the growing pro-CCP orientation of the leftist Central Secretariat members — was an editorial on the 80th anniversary of Stalin's birthday taking a basically pro-Stalin line much closer to that of the commentary published in People's Daily on this occasion than to that of the fairly critical editorial published in Pravda.



21. There is no evidence that the Andhra party's citation of Chinese authority in preference to Soviet authority in its battle against Ranadive in 1948 was prompted by direct contacts with the CCP; and the advice which the CCP did give to CPI leaders at the Chinese Eighth Party Congress in 1956 was not in open conflict with a known Soviet line.  

22. The militants in the CPI central apparatus, hoping to push through a leftward change in CPI policy in Ghosh's absence, reportedly had written to Ghosh in Moscow advising him not to hurry back for the Central Executive Committee meeting.
23. As will be seen later, despite the contradictory lines on India already being taken by Moscow and Peiping, the CPSU continued to attempt to hide the essence of its general foreign-policy dispute with the CCP from all except a very few Indian party leaders until well after the dispute had broken out into the open in the spring of 1960. Joshi apparently stubbornly refused to believe that Moscow could be in serious disagreement with Peiping and consequently was a vehement supporter of the CCP's line on the border issue and other topics until the CPSU's position was finally made clear to him in mid-1960 — whereupon he abruptly switched sides.

24. There is no good evidence to indicate that reverberations of the Sino-Soviet dispute over the communes had ever been very widely felt within the CPI, although Ghosh in a private talk with Andhra leaders in December 1958 did indicate that he had been informed by the Soviets of their dissatisfaction with the "inner party situation in Communist China" because of the commune issue, among other things.
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Re: The Indian Communist Party and the Sino-Soviet Dispute

Postby admin » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:05 am

Part 1 of 2


In 1960 the Soviet and Chinese parties came into open and repeated conflict, and this conflict was transformed into an organizational struggle within the world Communist movement in which both sides eventually found themselves appealing to the loyalties of the key leaders of each of the principal Communist parties of the world. Although the CPSU, because of its fears of precipitating a formal schism in the Indian party, for a long time left the CPI out of its efforts to mobilize foreign Communist support against Peiping — and even attempted to continue to deny to the CPI the reality of the Sino-Soviet dispute — the Indian party eventually had to be drawn into that dispute, if only because bloc policy toward India was one of the key matters at issue between Moscow and Peiping. CPI representatives took part in the Sino-Soviet confrontations which took place in Peiping and Bucharest in June, in Hanoi in September, and in Moscow in October and November. The Indian party was formally appraised of the Soviet position in a CPSU letter to the party center in August, and was given a Chinese reply more indirectly through West Bengal channels the next month. Under the impact of these events, the rightist CPI leaders pressed an offensive against leftist-faction positions, which they were anxious to identify clearly with CCP resistance to CPSU authority; the leftists in the central party machinery, for their part, were anxious to deny their own estrangement from the CPSU by denying as long as they could the reality of Sino-Soviet differences. When a clearcut choice was finally posed in September, vacillating and opportunistic CPI leaders (the majority) swung to the rightist side identified with the CPSU, and the CPI passed a secret resolution attacking Peiping and supporting Moscow. Passage of this resolution was resisted by the leftist CPI national leaders, however, and was bitterly denounced by left-faction representatives in the provinces throughout India. One important provincial party organization, in West Bengal, went so far as to pass a counter-resolution directly attacking the conduct of the CPSU and Khrushchev by name and supporting Peiping — the only such resolution definitely known to have been passed in any Communist party in the world.25 While the delegation led by Ghosh to Moscow supported Khrushchev on most issues during the November conference of Communist parties, Khrushchev's eventual retreat at that conference on the crucial issue of discipline within the international movement — together with the inclusion of many Chinese positions in the ambiguous document produced by the conference -- served to encourage the CPI leftists generally and to leave those of them who had openly defied the CPSU unrebuked and more firmly entrenched than before.

A. Soviet Moves in Early 1960

In the months immediately preceding the outbreak of open Sino-Soviet polemics in April 1960, the CPSU appears to have made further efforts to impress its position on the CPI and to maintain the good will of the Indian government. According to one report [DELETE (five words)] the CPI on 12 January received a letter from the soviet party attempting at some length to justify Soviet economic aid to India on the grounds that Nehru was a liberal democrat whose foreign policy up to now had been progressive; Soviet economic assistance was depicted as helping him to maintain his "progressive" neutrality as far as possible, and the maintenance of this neutrality, said the CPSU, "will be a major factor for building the strength of the socialist forces in India."

Whether or not this report is accurate, it seems likely from the conduct of the CPI leadership after the Kerala elections in early February that the CPSU had been in some form of contact with the CPI in January to exercise a restraining influence once more. In those elections, the Communist party was defeated in its bid to return to office by an anti-Communist alliance, yet increased its popular vote and its percentage of the total vote. The CPI was reported divided as to how to interpret this, with the leftists apparently again seeking to deny the usefulness of the parliamentary approach. Before the elections, in a private conversation on 26 January, Basavapunnaiah had predicted a Kerala election defeat and had asserted that such a defeat would be salutary for the CPI in that it might teach the party a lesson regarding the "illusion" of parliamentary democracy. Yet on 5 February, when the final results became known, the CPI Central Secretariat issued a public statement saying that the party had "no hesitation in accepting the results of the elections in a truly democratic spirit," while the secretariat of the Kerala party declared that the CPI in Kerala would "play its role as a constructive and responsible opposition." The adoption of this posture indicates that the moderates had been able to predominate at this point, presumably with CPSU assistance. The rancor of the leftists, however, was made evident in a March article on the elections by Ranadive in the monthly New Age. Ranadive noted that the party, "taking the realities of the situation into consideration," had stated that it would work as a constructive opposition party, but at the same time was at pains to link Nehru personally with all the most nefarious and reactionary activities of the Kerala anti-Communist alliance which enabled that alliance to defeat the CPI.

Warsaw Pact Meeting and Khrushchev Visit

At about the same time that the CPl was thus reacting to its defeat in Kerala in early February, Khrushchev was reportedly launching a fairly strong attack on Peiping's policy toward India in a speech before a Warsaw Pact meeting in Moscow. [DELETE (2 lines)] charged that the Chinese actions on the Indian border had created tension during a period of international detente, and that as a result a great deal of support for the Communist cause in the neutralist countries of Asia had been forfeited. This indictment is known to have been greatly elaborated by the CPSU in confrontations with the CCP later in the year. It was at this February Warsaw Pact meeting that the CPR representative, Kang Sheng, is believed to have had the first of the Chinese personal altercations with Khrushchev in 1960 over differences on foreign policy; moreover, Peiping subsequently took the unprecedented step of publishing a sanitized version of Kang's speech revealing its dissenting view of disarmament, reduction of tensions, and other questions.

A week after this meeting, Khrushchev visited India, preceded by further Soviet- inspired reports intimating his anxiety to heal Sino-Indian differences. (Thus the Soviet home service and press two days before Khrushchev's arrival picked up an open letter to him published in Blitz appealing to the Soviet premier to play the role of peacemaker during his visit.) Reports agree, however, that during his meeting with Nehru, Khrushchev did not offer to mediate the dispute, but merely expressed his anxiety for an early settlement and was given a copy of Nehru's invitation to Chou to visit India in April. [DELETE (2 lines)] reiterated to Nehru his disapproval of Peiping's border policy. This was apparently not mentioned, however, in the account of the meeting Gromkyo passed to the Chinese ambassador that same day, according to the version the ambassador subsequently furnished GPI leftist leaders. This version instead stressed that Khrushchev told Nehru the Chinese felt they were misunderstood in India, and that he attempted to disabuse Nehru of the notion that the USSR could exert significant influence on Peiping (a notion which the Soviet government and Blitz had been eager to promote the year before) . It is possible that both versions were correct, and that Khrushchev, while deploring the Chinese actions, now denied any capability to change Peiping's stand and attempted to persuade Nehru to accept the CPR offer to trade recognition of the MacMahon line for the acceptance of some Chinese claims in Ladakh.

That the CPR was intent on maintaining this stand — and may have been apprised in advance of the position Khrushchev intended to take with Nehru — was indicated by a note the CPI secretariat received from the Chinese party on the eve of Khrushchev's visit, urging the CPI once more to prepare the Indian public for a settlement along the lines advocated by Peiping. On 27 February, after Khrushchev had left, the CPI secretariat received another note through the Chinese embassy with a copy of Chou's reply to Nehru accepting the invitation to India. When Chou actually visited New Delhi in late April, however, the concessions by Nehru which the CPR may have anticipated did not materialize, and the CPI was advised by the Chinese delegation that Nehru was under such great pressure from rightist leaders that he could not act independently.

B. Peiping's Lenin Anniversary Articles

In April 1960 the CCP opened a massive public offensive against the CPSU foreign policy line through four key statements tied to the anniversary of Lenin's birth: an article in the 1 April Red Flag signed by Yu Chao-li (a pseudonym), another in the mid-April Red Flag signed by the journal's .editorial department, a People's Daily article on 22 April, and a speech by propaganda department director Lu Ting-i the same day. Central to the many implicit indictments leveled at Soviet policy in these statements was the theme that the peaceful coexistence line as enunciated by Khrushchev was dampening the militancy of revolutionary forces throughout the world.

The publication of these statements had an electrifying effect on all factions of the Indian party. In Bombay, all issues of the April Peking Review containing the first Red Flag article were reported quickly bought up by CPI functionaries; the article was termed a "bombshell" for the CPI. Its effect within the rightist-dominated CPI Maharashtra Provincial Council was reportedly to weaken the position of the leftist faction still further, since the article was recognized to be a "thinly- veiled attack" on Khrushchev's peaceful co-existence line. On the other hand, among the leftists in the party Central Secretariat — Ranadive, Basavapunniah, and Bhupesh Gupta — the article was warmly welcomed; this group was said to have immediately decided to use the Red Flag arguments to support efforts to modify a draft political resolution to be considered by the CPI National Council in May. The influence of this article seemed to be reflected in an article Ranadive wrote in the 24 April New Age on the Lenin anniversary: Ranadive put his emphasis on Lenin's call for militant and "irreconcilable" struggle and Lenin's fight against "reformist and revisionist distortion of Marxism," and failed to mention Khrushchev's name. In contrast, an article by Ghosh on the same subject in the same issue of New Age paid repeated tribute to Khrushchev, to Khrushchev's visit to India, to the spirit of Camp David and the need for negotiations.

Basavapunnaiah, however, seems to have reacted rather naively to the Chinese offensive, assuming, on the basis of the first Red Flag article, that it meant not that the CCP was attacking the CPSU but rather that Peiping and Moscow were together beginning another campaign against revisionism. He was encouraged in this view by Moscow's continued reluctance to worsen CPI factionalism by admitting the existence of a Moscow-Peiping struggle, despite the fact that this struggle had now come out into the open. During the third week of April Basavapunnaiah was reported to have made the rounds of bloc embassies in New Delhi appealing for support for his faction. On the 24th, he was said to have had a joint meeting with Soviet embassy counselor Romanovskiy and Chinese embassy first secretary Ma Mu-ming. He reportedly told these gentlemen that he was very happy with the 1 April Red Flag article as it would help the CPI in its fight against revisionism, and appealed for more such intervention by the Soviet and Chinese parties in aid Of his faction. According to the version of the interview Basavapunniah later repeated, both Romanovskiy and Ma "welcomed this suggestion," and Romanovskiy offered innocuous reasons to explain the apparent slight differences between the Soviet and Chinese approach in Asia.26

Later in April, after the second Red Flag article entitled "Long Live Leninism" had become available to him, Basavapunnaiah noted in a private conversation the confusion which he thought existed in the CPI on the subject of this article; many Indian Communists, he said, had drawn the conclusion that there was a deep ideological controversy between the CCP and the CPSU. Basavapunnaiah declared his intention to "explain" at the forthcoming National Council meeting that there was no controversy but only "a difference in approach and in their attitude toward judging situations." He also disclosed, however, his intention to distribute to the National Council members copies of the "Long Live Leninism" article which he had had made.

In addition to producing a galvanizing effect on the CPI left-faction leaders through the publication of the April documents, the CCP appears to have offered direct covert guidance to those leaders during the same period. On 25 April, Ranadive was reported to have had a half-hour meeting with Chen Yi, who was in New Delhi as part of the Chou mission; this was said to have been the only contact between the CPI and the Chinese delegation. Ranadive at this meeting was reportedly given a document containing Peiping's assessment of the political scene in India and in Asia generally. This document apparently reiterated CCP warnings on the growth of "right reaction" in India and stressed that Nehru was under constant pressure from the rightist group inside the Congress party, and that he was not the same man he was a few years ago and could no longer make an independent decision. Other information on this document is lacking.

The May CPI Meetings

The CPI Central Executive Committee met in Calcutta from 3 to 6 May, and the National Council the following week. In the midst of their deliberations, the party leaders were confronted by the spectacle of the 8 May New Age weekly, which carried without comment lengthy extracts from both (a) the 22 April Lu Ting-yi Lenin Day speech in Peiping and (b) the Kuusinen address in Moscow on the same day providing the first major Soviet public response to the CCP. The decision to publish both speeches was reportedly made by New Age underlings in New Delhi who had been placed in a quandry in the absence of the party leaders. However, when delegates at the Calcutta meeting in their speeches cited this and other evidence to demonstrate the existence of a Sino-Soviet conflict, they were reportedly rebuked by Ghosh, who characterized such insinuations as inspired propaganda. This Ghosh line was in accord with instructions passed by Soviet Embassy Counselor Yefimov on 4 May to Nikhil Chakravarthy, manager of the Communist Indian Press Agency: Yefimov was said to have declared that the theme of Sino-Soviet differences was being exploited by people who hoped to create con- fusion in the minds of CPI members, that the IPA should increase its propaganda against this confusion tactic, and that he would supply propaganda material for this purpose from the Soviet embassy.

While in early May the CPSU and the CPI leaders obedient to it were thus exercising remarkable restraint, this was not true of the left faction. [DELETE (6 words)] the leftists had become much more aggressive in pushing their point of view and much more tightly organized as a faction. (This factional discipline was to become increasingly apparent in subsequent provincial party meetings; thus at a meeting in Maharashtra a month later it was reported that the leftists had met beforehand to agree on their line and tactics and to decide who would speak on each question.) The increase in leftist sentiment at the Calcutta meetings was in part attributable to fortuitous events which had aided the leftist anti-Nehru attitude: Nehru's failure to yield to Chou during the New Delhi border talks, the statements strongly critical of China which Nehru had made at a subsequent visit to London, and the announcement of a U.S. -Indian grain deal. But in large measure the increase in leftist aggressiveness must be attributed to the strong open and covert ideological support the extremist CPI faction had just received from the Chinese party.

As one result, the Hay National Council meeting was unable to resolve the running dispute in the party over the line to be taken toward Nehru and the Amritsar thesis; moveover, the meeting was unable to accept the ambiguous but largely rightist draft political resolution prepared by the Central Executive Committee the month before. The question of this resolution was put off, with opposing views circulated for general discussion by all party members, and was not to be decided until the party congress the following April.

Meanwhile Ghosh, who had resumed the post of general secretary in February, was again given leave for three months by the party because of illness, and was temporarily replaced by Namboodiripad. Ghosh, who had in the past often used his illnesses as cover for trips for "treatment" to the USSR, was reported planning such a trip in the near future. Other reports indicated that the CPI. was planning to send a small delegation to the USSR inconspicuously for guidance, and Ghosh may have undertaken such a trip in late May.

May Contact With Chinese Embassy

On 21 May, two weeks after the National Council meeting, Ranadive sent an intermediary to meet with the Counselor of the Chinese Embassy, Yeh Cheng-chang, at the latter' s request. Among other things, Yeh was reported to have inquired as to the Indian public's reaction to the failure of the summit meeting, and was told that the public was blaming both the United States and Khrushchev. Yeh remarked that the U-2 incident had proved the Chinese Communist thesis that Leninism would never be outmoded so long as imperialism remained in the world, and added that the Chinese knew that there would never be a successful summit. The Chinese representative asked Ranadive's intermediary for his reaction to the "Long Live Leninism" article, and was told that the article provided a good warning against the revisionist trends "developing in some Communist parties." Following the line taken by the Chinese leaders in their discussions with Ghosh in Peiping in October 1959, Yeh told Ranadive's man that Nehru was the best representative the Asian national bourgeoisie could have found to implement Ghandi's ideology, which Yeh said was primarily designed to help check the spread of Communism in Asia. Turning to the border issue, Yeh repeated the CCP line that a "little bunch of people" in India were trying to exploit the Sino-Indian conflict to divert attention from the domestic economic crisis. Citing, significantly, West Bengal as his example, he claimed that a recent Calcutta parliamentary by-election which had been won by a Communist had shown how little the border issue had affected the Indian public; in West Bengal, Yeh said, the people were "hungry for bread" and cared for little else.

The impact of Chinese views upon the West Bengal party hinted at by Yeh was once again demonstrated a few days after the Yeh interview, during an informal gathering of provincial party leaders in Calcutta. West Bengal CP Secretary Jyoti Basu, commenting on the failure of the summit conference, was said to have declared that events had shown that the Chinese party had been correct all along in its line toward the United States. Basu reportedly added that the CPI had made a great mistake in not actively opposing Eisenhower's December visit to India, and pointed to the good political capital being made by the Japanese party in fighting now against a similar Eisenhower visit to Japan. Joly Kaul, another prominent leftist, stated at the same meeting that he agreed that the Chinese Communist Party had shown much political acumen and that Chinese theoreticians had emerged as the real leaders of international Communism. Kaul was said to have urged that every important West Bengal party leader be required to study care- fully the recent writings and speeches of the Chinese leaders — referring, presumably, to the "Long Live Leninism" documents. It is not known whether or not this suggestion was carried out, but it will be recalled that preparation of a similar program to impart the wisdom of the CCP to West Bengal cadres had been reported in December 1959.

In addition to the May meeting with Yeh Cheng-chang, to Ranadive's interview with Chen Yi the month before, and to the two CCP notes to the CPI in February on the Chou visit, at least two other communications between the Indian and Chinese parties in the first five months of 1960 have been reported. On 10 April, left-faction leaders were said to have furnished to both the Soviet and Chinese embassies texts of the CPI's predominantly rightist draft political resolution with appropriate unspecified "explanations;" and in early May, Ranadive reportedly forwarded to Peiping and Moscow copies of a state-by-state survey of the composition of the CPI which the Chinese party had apparently been the first to request, the previous year. There is thus good evidence of a steadily improving Chinese "presence" in the central CPI apparatus as second authoritative center to which to report and from which to receive guidance.

C. The WFTU Clash in Peiping

The second major event in the 1960 struggle between the CPSU and the CCP took place at the WFTU meeting in Peiping in the first week of June, where the Chinese party broke Communist discipline by openly lobbying among both party and non-party foreign delegates in an attempt to get WFTU to abandon the Soviet line on disarmament, war, and the nature of imperialism. This Peiping effort to impose its line on WFTU apparently won varying degrees of support from a considerable number of the delegates, but was eventually substantially defeated as a result of the opposition of the CPSU delegation led by trade union chief Grishin — only, however, after a furious battle among the delegates in which all the CPSU's latent strength within WFTU was called into play.

There is reason to believe that the current leader of the right-wing faction within the CPI, S. A. Dange, played an important part in this CPSU counterattack. Dange — who had as- sailed the CPR over the border issue before party meetings and in public during the fall of 1959, and who had reportedly refused to go to Peiping with the CPI delegation for the October 1959 Chinese anniversary celebration — came to Peiping in June 1960 in his dual capacity as leader of the Communist-dominated Indian trade union federation and vice-president of WFTU. While Peiping published a highly edited version of the WFTU proceedings stressing those speeches (and portions of speeches) which had supported the Chinese line, the NCNA accounts severely cut the speeches of delegates (such as the Italians and Poles) who are known to have backed the CPSU — and furnished no hint of a speech by Dange at all. This is likely to have been both because Dange was personally obnoxious to the CCP and because there was little in his speech that could be published in a sanitized version; it is almost certain that he did speak. Vitbria Foa, an Italian delegate, reported in Avanti on 14 June that "the Indians" were among those delegates who had lined up solidly with the Soviets against the Chinese, helping to "fight with great energy... not only in the public debate, but also in the commissions." It has also been reported that Dange personally led a Soviet-sponsored campaign to have delegates boycott a banquet given by Chou En-lai to proselytize the CCP viewpoint; also, that Dange charged at the WFTU meeting that Liu Ning-i was turning the meeting into a political forum. (Liu, the head of the CPR trade union organization, had warned in his 7 June public speech to the meeting that "in the struggle to safeguard peace the international working class movement should take care that its activities help and do not hinder the struggle," adding that "no trade union organizations truly representing the interests of the working class would allow so-called 'aid" by imperialism to be confused with the unconditioned, sincere, and friendly assistance of the socialist countries." This barb was probably directed primarily at certain past Khrushchev hints that Western aid to underdeveloped countries under some conditions could play a useful role, but it may also have been aimed partly at Dange and his organization. In the secret resolution passed by the CPI in September criticizing China — which Dange was instrumental in pushing through — Liu was attacked by name for having violated "the principle of the nonparty character of mass organs.")

On 11 June, shortly after the close of the WFTU meeting, Basavapunnaiah passed to the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi a written report on Dange which the CCP had evidently requested from the CPI leftists in the course of its battle with him. The report outlined positions alleged to have been taken by Dange at the May National Council meeting in Calcutta, portraying him as having urged tolerance toward capitalist investments in India and cooperation with the Indian bourgeoisie, as having emphasized differences between the CPSU and the CCP on questions of war and peace, and as having again condemned the CCP stand on the border issue. While it is likely that some of Dange's positions were deliberately distorted by Basavapunnaiah for his own purposes, the mere request for this report was indicative of the Chinese party's attitude toward both Dange and Basavapunnaiah.

The Chinese action in bringing their quarrel with the CPSU before a forum at which non-party people were represented not only further exacerbated that quarrel but furnished the Soviet party with a charge against the CCP — violation of party discipline — which could be used to some effect in appealing for the support of the world movement. The CCP's behavior at the WFTU meeting was denounced (without naming China) in an article Grishin wrote in Trud after his return from Peiping, in a Bulgarian article in August, and in Mukhitdinov's speech in Hanoi in September. It was also assailed directly in the CPSU circular letters attacking the CCP during the summer, and finally at the Moscow conference in November, where Dange was reportedly pressed into service as an eyewitness to prepare a memorandum documenting the CPSU charges about the WFTU events.

D. The Bucharest Conference and Its Aftermath

While the WFTU battle was going on in Peiping in early June, the CPSU appears to have taken initial steps in a counteroffensive against the Chinese party. According to a subsequent Chinese account to CPI representatives, the CPSU sent two letters to the CCP on 2 and 7 June attempting to secure Chinese participation in an international meeting to discuss outstanding differences at the Rumanian party congress later that month. [DELETE (15 words)] also at some time before the Bucharest meeting sent a strongly worded letter to the CCP attacking Chinese conduct and policy over a wide range of issues; it is possible that this message was identical with one of the two CPSU letters of early June. Dange, who is known to have visited Moscow in late May before going to Peiping for the WFTU meeting, subsequently reported that he was told by a CPSU secretariat member of the Soviet intention to send such a letter. Judging from reports of a version of this Soviet letter which the Chinese delegation at Bucharest apparently distributed to the delegates there in an effort to fix Soviet responsibility for the deterioration of relations between the parties, the CPSU message contained, among other things, very sharp charges of CCP errors in foreign policy toward India, together with complaints that Peiping 's policy was arousing suspicions of the Communist movement among Afro-Asian bourgeois leaders and evoking doubts as to Communist desires for peace. These reported private charges against the CCP dovetail well with the public attacks on contemporary "left-wing deviationists" made in the Soviet press at about the same time (10 June), and correspond still more closely with the charges made two months later in an article by the leading Soviet oriental expert Ye. Zhukov in Pravda on 26 August.

While it seems possible that Dange was telling the truth when he claimed to have been informed in Moscow of the Soviet intention to send a strong letter to Peiping, it is less clear whether any CPI leaders were told in advance of Soviet purposes at the Rumanian party congress. Although Dange also subsequently claimed that he and Ghosh had been privately told in late May of Moscow's intention to attack the CCP before an international gathering at Bucharest, this seems doubtful, if only because the Bucharest events in late June showed signs of last-minute Soviet preparation. In any case, it is certain that the!" Soviet party made no attempt in June to enlist the formal support of the CPI organization against the CCP, while it did make such efforts to gain the backing of other parties. According to one report, the CPSU even sent a short note to the CPI Central Secretariat shortly after the WFTU meeting admitting that differences existed between the Chinese and Soviet parties on the subjects of war and peaceful coexistence but minimizing those differences and urging the Indian party not to take them seriously. In contrast, officials of the CPSU central committee are known to have discussed the Sino-Soviet dispute at length on 13 June with a group of European and African delegates to the WFTU meeting, and to have asked at least one of these representatives to have a plenum of his party's central committee convened after his return home to discuss the WFTU meeting and to condemn Peiping.

This continued Soviet effort to insulate the fragile Indian party from the effects of the dispute apparently contributed to the shock caused by the Bucharest proceedings to the two leftists chosen to represent the CPI, Basavapunnaiah and Bhupesh Gupta. In addition to attending the public sessions of the Rumanian party congress, where they heard Khrushchev make a scarcely veiled attack on the Chinese leaders as "children" who mechanically repeated what Lenin had said on imperialism, the Indian delegates attended a series of private interparty meetings. The first of these took place early during the Congress, when Soviet functionaries gathered the English-speaking foreign delegates27 to show them a CPSU letter dated 21 June, various versions of which were subsequently circulated to certain parties. This letter was distributed to the participating delegates and then taken back immediately, with no note-taking permitted; Basavapunnaiah later commented that he considered these security measures humiliating. The 21 June letter contained a long, detailed exposition of the Soviet version of the background of the dispute, including complaints against Chinese conduct in the international fronts and charges of CCP deviation from mutually agreed positions on war and peace, the nature of the present era, and the forms of transition to socialism. According to a reliable report, this letter also claimed that the CCP had charged the CPSU with "abandoning class positions" by "flirting with the national bourgeoisie," and had demanded that the policy of giving aid to such countries as India be revised "because the national bourgeoisie of these countries are not capable of carrying on the struggle against imperialism and are, in fact, becoming imperialists themselves." The CPSU letter answered this purported Chinese statement (which the CCP later claimed to be distorted) by insisting that Soviet economic aid to these countries "objectively" promotes peace and weakens imperialism, and by warning of the need not to "skip stages in the revolution" — that is, not to discard the alliance with the national bourgeoisie before the time was ripe.

Following their perusal of this document at the private CPSU briefing during the congress, Basavapunniah and Bhupesh Gupta attended a closed meeting of some 50 Communist parties held immediately after the conclusion of the congress of 25 and 26 June. On the 25th, they heard representatives of some 20 parties speak in a general debate during which most of the speakers supported the Soviet line and criticized Chinese policies; on the same day, the Chinese representative made an initial defense of the CCP position. During the debate on the following day Khrushchev made a long and violent attack on Peiping policies and on Mao personally, a significant portion of which concerned the Sino-Indian quarrel. Khrushchev accused the CCP of deliberately creating a conflict with India in order to injure the CPSU peaceful coexistence line, of causing the Indian Communist party to become disorganized and to lose power in Kerala, and of. pushing Nehru toward the imperialist camp. He declared that for a few kilometers of insignificant territory China could easily have reached a peaceful agreement with India as the USSR had in the past with Iran (repeating more explicitly the argument used in his November 1959 interview in New Age). Only the fact that the Soviet Union did not support the CPR position, he said, preserved good political relations with India and avoided a deterioration of the situation in Asia. This speech was heatedly rebutted that same day by Peng Chen.

It was between the speeches of Khrushchev and Peng Chen on the 26th that Bhupesh Gupta spoke on behalf of the CPI. Taking his cue from the evasive stand adopted by a few other Asian party representatives, Gupta attempted to remain vague and neutral, attacking neither the CPSU nor the CCP. He insisted that Nehru was primarily responsible for the border conflict between China and India (contradicting Khrushchev), and added that Nehru had done this to divert the attention of the Indian masses from their own difficulties (echoing the line repeatedly given to the CPI by Peiping) . He made a gesture toward Khrushchev by stating that the original position of the CCP had not facilitated a rapid solution of the problem, but immediately added that the Chinese party had received a CPI delegation and had given careful consideration to its suggestions on the border issue. Gupta concluded with a fervent appeal for unity. The left faction of the CPI leadership had thus refused to back the CPSU in a direct confrontation with the CCP upon an occasion when such support was surely desired and when, because of the secrecy of the meeting, such support need not have come to the knowledge of the CPI rank and file to harm internal party discipline.

CCP Renews Claim to Asian Leadership

It is possible that the line taken by Basavapunniah and Gupta at Bucharest was influenced by the "private discussions" which they subsequently disclosed having had with the Chinese delegates at some time during the meetings. In a later conversation with party cronies, Basavapunniah ascribed to the CCP one position which was not known to have been overtly expressed in any document or Chinese speech at Bucharest, and which was likely ito have been furnished him directly in these private talks. The CCP was portrayed as believing that China must now play the same role in Asia that the USSR had previously played in Europe in bringing Communist regimes to power, and that the CPR should therefore be given a free hand in Asia.

The credibility of this report is enhanced by the fact that similar statements had been reported by different sources as having been made in Peiping to Ghosh in October 1959 and to an Italian party delegation the previous April. Nor was Basavapunnaiah' s June 1960 claim to be the last such item of evidence. [DELETE 6 words)] in October 1960 [DELETE (7 words)] stated that one of the main causes of the dispute was the political attitude of China and the USSR toward Southeast Asia, and that the CPR contended that as an Asian country she should have a free hand in that area and she refused to be criticized about her policies there. Similarly, among the positions reportedly attributed to the CCP in a special CPSU memorandum on the dispute discussed at a Polish party plenum in September was the contention that the center for African and Asian parties should be in China, just as the center for the European parties is in Moscow. While it no doubt suited the polemical purpose of the CPSU to stress this as evidence of the Chinese promotion of disunity, it nevertheless is probable that the CCP leadership has in fact long considered itself the logical leader of the Asian parties and that it took steps to advance this notion among those parties — including the CPI — as Sino-Soviet relations worsened in 1959 and 1960.
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Re: The Indian Communist Party and the Sino-Soviet Dispute

Postby admin » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:05 am

Part 2 of 2

Interview With Suslov

Following the Bucharest meetings Basavapunniah and Bhupesh Gupta proceeded to Moscow, where they remained for some time in late June and early July. The two CPI leftists had originally planned to seek support in Moscow for their faction against the position of Ghosh and Dange, but it is unlikely that they had much success in this effort after their performance in Bucharest. In a reported conversation with Suslov, however, they were given further Soviet guidance on Nehru which did not substantially alter the CPSU line. Suslov was said to have declared that the Indian bourgeoisie was the greatest bargainer between East and West, and that Nehru was coming under greater and greater rightist pressure to move him toward the right and the West, but that the USSR could not ignore him, and would in fact continue to support him and wait for an opportunity to draw him toward the socialist camp. Suslov added that Nehru was establishing a "strong and stable capitalist base" in India which would probably outweigh the public sector of the Indian economy. He advised the CPI to formulate a "clear line" on Nehru on the basis of an examination of the Indian internal situation, and to adopt a policy toward Nehru independent of the USSR policy toward him. This is the ambiguous and somewhat hypocritical advice which Soviet leaders had been giving the CPI for a number of years — ever since the USSR's hostile posture toward the Indian government was abandoned, in fact — and ignored the fact that the CPI could not successfully take a public stand on Nehru that was seriously discordant with the views on Nehru publicly expressed by the Soviet Union. In line with his own inclinations, Basavapunnaiah subsequently interpreted Suslov's remarks as meaning that 'the CPI should consistently oppose Nehru, although it is clear from Basavapunnaiah' s own account that Suslov was at great pains to avoid saying this.

CPI Meetings

Basavapunnaiah and Bhupesh Gupta had also originally intended to visit Peiping after Moscow if they had sufficient time, but it is not known whether they did so. At any rate, it was not until 13 July that they returned to India, and it was not until several weeks after that that they reported to the party on the Bucharest events of late June. In the meantime, Basavapunnaiah is believed to have consulted with Sundarayya, his mentor in Andhra who is probably the most extremist of all the important CPI leaders, on the line the left faction should take at the forthcoming party meetings. From 3 to 10 August, Gupta and Basavapunnaiah reported on Bucharest to the Central Secretariat, and from 10 to 17 August, to the Central Executive Committee. Certain portions of the written report, however, were considered too sensitive for presentation to the Central Executive Committee: for example, the more polemical portions of Khrushchev's closed-session speech, and the exchanges between him and Peng Chen. Nevertheless, according to Basavapunnaiah, at least one right-wing CEC member rebuked him and Gupta for not having supported the CPSU at Bucharest, and the CEC split down the middle in its discussion of the CPSU-CCP differences, with Ghosh and the rightists supporting the CPSU, Namboodiripad and Ranadive attempting to remain neutral, and most of the CPI's principal leftists — including Basavapunnaiah, Gupta, Basu, Sundarayya, Surjit, Bora, and Konar — supporting the Chinese position. The CEC decided that its next meeting in early September would discuss the national and international situation thoroughly and prepare a resolution for the National Council.

Despite the secretariat's attempt to keep the most sensitive facts about the Bucharest encounter from disseminating through the lower echelons of the party, the nature of the Sino-Soviet conflict seems to have become common knowledge throughout the CPI in July and August, due largely to the efforts of the right-faction leaders, who wished to use the dispute as a weapon with which to discredit and isolate the leftist leaders identified with the CCP in the eyes of the party rank-and-file for whom the CPSU retained primary authority. Conversely, the leftist faction had a vested interest in trying to suppress knowledge of the dispute. This proved impossible not merely because the non-Communist Indian press published those details of the conflict known to the Western public, but also, as the leftists subsequently charged, because rightist leaders such as Dange leaked party information about Bucharest to bourgeois organs such as Link . Ever since the WFTU meeting, it was said, Dange had attempted to convey to his followers in the CPI a strong anti-CCP bias, supposedly assuring them that the Chinese party leadership would be overthrown by Khrushchev. After Bucharest, Ghosh was said to have also conducted a whispering campaign within the party, saying that Khrushchev had instructed him to expose the Trotskyite tendency of the Chinese party. At a Maharashtra provincial party meeting on 20 August, Dange thus referred openly to the Bucharest events, defending the CPSU and characterizing the Chinese position on the border issue as "totally wrong;" he defended his frankness as justified because the party members had read it: all in the newspapers anyway.

The July Blitz Articles

This rightist faction effort to keep the CPI rank-and-file informed was given involuntary assistance by the simultaneous CPSU efforts to reap some subsidiary benefit from its troubles with the CCP by impressing on the Indian public and government that the USSR had been defending peace and friendship with India against the views of the warlike and hostile Chinese. On 30 July, Blitz published an unsigned article on the general theme, "Is China Going Trotskyite?" This article referred, among other things, to details of the Sino-Soviet battle at the WFTU conference; to statements made in Khrushchev's speech to the secret meeting at Bucharest; to the manner in which the Chinese press had obscured and distorted Khrushchev's Bucharest "speeches;" to the details of a recent CPSU Central Committee resolution attacking narrow nationalism and leftwing sectarianism; to recent East German public rejection of the Chinese communes; and to a recent resolution passed by the Trotskyite Fourth International endorsing the Chinese line as the correct one. A second long article, signed by Blitz's editor, Karanjia, charged the Chinese with "gloating" over the failure of the summit conference, said that Peiping had been responsible for the 1959 abortive move against Kassim by the Iraqi CP, and generally depicted Khrushchev and Nehru as twin angels of peace fighting against the dogmatist, Trotskyite alliance of Mao and Eisenhower.

Despite the fact that the Soviet ambassador later denied to CPI leftists having planted this material in Blitz to attack the Chinese, [DELETE (3 words)] official told the CPI that he had definite information that this was so, and Karanjia himself has reported that the material had been sent to him by "leaders of the Soviet faction in the CPI Central Secretariat" at the behest of the Soviet embassy. Whether or not the articles were channeled to Blitz through Ghosh, the details and wide range of information included seem likely to have originated in the CPSU. This Soviet effort to impress Nehru was successful: Karanjia subsequently claimed that Nehru had talked to him about the article and had written Khrushchev for more data on the Bucharest clash; presumably Khrushchev responded, since three months later Nehru told a cabinet meeting that he had now come to know that at the Bucharest meeting the Soviets had criticized the Chinese for their action in Tibet and for their attitude toward India on the border problem.

Leftist Appeal to China for Revolutionary Aid

At about the same time that this was going on, the most militant of the CPI leaders were for the first time explicitly turning to the Chinese party and away from reliance on the Soviet party in their plans for a future revolution. In early August these leaders are believed to have passed to the CCP written proposals asking CCP collaboration in Indian underground organization work aiming at eventual revolution, collaboration which would be expanded after the leftists had taken control of the CPI at next year's party congress, as they hoped to do. It was explained that this request was addressed to the Chinese because they "understand the problems of the militant wing of the CPI," and because the CPR and not USSR, has a border with India, so that only China could provide the supplies and arms necessary for an Indian revolution. A week later the originators of this proposal were informed that it had been forwarded to Peiping, that it was expected that Peiping would approve the proposal and that active collaboration would probably begin in a few months.

In the light of this left-faction initiative, the CPSU appears to have acted naively in consenting to one more joint effort with Peiping to minimize the impact of the Sino-Soviet dispute upon the CPI. [DELETE (20-25 lines)]

E. The CPSU's August Letter and its Consequences

In the third week of August, a few days after the joint Sino-Soviet meeting with Ghosh and Sundarayya, the CPI received from the Soviet Embassy a lengthy CPSU letter informing the Indian party directly for the first time of Moscow's grievances against Peiping. This letter was said to reiterate points made in Khrushchev's speech in Bucharest and in the 21 June circular letter distributed there; it was also said to be based upon material provided by the July 1960 plenum of the CPSU Central Committee, including the speech which Khrushchev is known to have delivered at that plenum but which was never published. [DELETE 3 words)] a sanitized version of this letter [DELETE (9 words)] appears to have been circulated widely among free world parties, and some details of it are known. Among other things, the CPSU circular message again emphasized the need to win the uncommitted countries to the side of the bloc through pursuance of a "peaceful coexistence" policy coupled with generous economic help. The letter denied the Chinese charge that the CPSU was thereby "strengthening reactionary regimes,"28 accused the CCP of being "obsessed" with the "so-called strength of reaction" in the non-Communist world, and declared that Peiping, by magnifying "minor issues" — for example, with India — had hurt the Communist cause and impeded the work of local Communist parties. The letter added that these and the other charges it leveled at the Chinese were being provided to give world Communist leaders a basis for their discussions so that these matters could be resolved at a scheduled meeting in Moscow in November.

This letter was used by the rightist faction to force the CPI into a direct attack on the Chinese party. At a Central Executive Committee meeting held from 4 to 7 September, the rightists forced through by a small majority a secret resolution condemning China which had been written by Ghosh in consultation with Dange. An alternative' leftist draft by Basavapunnaiah was rejected. All the leftists. on the CEC lined up in opposition to Ghosh's resolution; Dange afterward boasted that he had forced Ranadlve — who would have preferred to abstain and to avoid taking a position opposing the CPSU — to commit himself and vote against the resolution.

This September secret resolution backed' the Soviet line on the possibility of averting war, on the significance of the 20th CPSU Congress, on the increasing bloc deterrence of imperialist aggression and the dogmatism of those who did not think imperialism was so deterred, on the Importance of the struggle for disarmament, on the significance for the bloc of the "peace zone" and of India above all, and on the increasing possibilities for a peaceful transition to socialism in a number of countries. The resolution blamed the Indian government for giving succor to the Dalai Lama, but condemned the CPS for having described Kalimpong as the command center of the Tibetan revolt, for having said the Dalai Lama was brought to India under duress, and for having used the phrase "Indian expansionism." Peiping was accused of having made a mistaken assessment of the Indian situation "without any effort to ascertain the views of the Communist Party of India." The USSR, on the other hand, was said to have taken a correct stand on the border dispute as a "conflict between two countries of the peace camp." Much detail was provided on the harmful effect the Chinese actions had had on the CPI. It was recognized that there had been a change for the better in Peiping's line after the October 1959 visit of the CPI delegation, but it was said that this had happened too late. The CCP errors were said to have been the result of a new and mistaken assessment of the role of the national bourgeoisie of India. The CPI reaffirmed its disagreement with this assessment, and its belief in peaceful transition to socialism as the basis of Indian party policy. Finally, the resolution expressed concern over the open discussion of Sino-Soviet divergencies in the bloc press, which, it said, "has done damage to the Communist movement;" along the same line, it criticized the actions of Liu Ning-i at the WFTU meeting in bringing party disputes openly before non-party bodies.

Along with this secret resolution, the Central Executive Committee adopted a public resolution omitting any mention of China but otherwise similarly supporting Soviet positions on the averting of war, on policy toward India, on the non-violent transition to socialism, and on the "creative" application. of Marxism-Leninism truths. This resolution explicitly "reaffirmed" the positive assessment of the Indian Government's foreign policy made by the Amritsar and Palghat party congresses. The open resolution was. promptly summarized by TASS on 8 September and published in Pravda two days later.

The secret CEC resolution had been intended as the Indian party's written contribution to the deliberations of a multi- party international editorial commission (on which the CPI was represented) which was to meet in Moscow in October to attempt to reconcile CPSU-CCP differences. Against the strenuous opposition of the CPI leftists, the CEC also agreed to have the document circulated to members of the CPI National Council and to the various Provincial Committees of the party. Below that level, the resolution was not to be shown but was to be described orally to the rank-and-file with suitable omissions. Dange's forces, however, were not content with this, and appear to have been responsible for the subsequent leak of the gist of the resolution to the mass-circulation Indian weekly Link — an action which occasioned further bitter recrimination from the leftists.

The September resolution evoked, in fact, a violent and unique reaction in the left-faction strongholds. On 7 October, Ranadive was reported to have instructed an Intermediary to inform the Chinese Embassy that this resolution had already been formally opposed by the provincial parties of West Bengal, the Punjab, and Tamilnad. In fact, the West Bengal and Punjab organizations had not yet done this, and there is no evidence that the Tamilnad party ever did so. However, certain details which. Ranadive told the Chinese embassy had been placed in these leftist resolutions were eventually found in the secret resolutions subsequently passed by both West Bengal and the Punjab, suggesting that a coordinated attack on the controversial CEC resolution may have been organized in advance from the center.

On 21 October the West Bengal party passed three resolutions containing the only explicit attacks on the CPSU and on Khrushchev personally known with certainty to have been made by any Communist party organization in the world during the 1960 Sino-Soviet struggle. Although these resolutions were supposed to be secret, at least one of them was promptly leaked into the Indian bourgeois press, presumably in answer to the earlier rightist-inspired leaks.

The first West Bengal resolution, on questions of the international Communist movement, stressed the provision of the 1957 Moscow Declaration that revisionism is the main danger facing the movement, and found the views of the CPSU difficult to reconcile with this. The 20th and 21st CPSU Congresses and the statements of CPSU leaders were criticized for ignoring the danger of revisionism. Khrushchev and other Soviet leaders were attacked for having used language about the imperialist leaders that had created confusion and illusions among the people. The Chinese party was defended as having always supported peaceful negotiations, although mild regret was expressed that some of the recent CCP writings could create the impression that the Chinese did not fully appreciate the significance of such negotiations. The CCP was lavishly praised for the active struggle it had carried on regarding Algeria and colonialism generally; "in this respect," said the West Bengal party, "the position of the CPSU was not quite strong until recently." Many writings and statements of CPSU leaders during the past year were said to have failed to stress properly the importance of mass struggles against imperialism, creating a "wrong understanding" in other parties, particularly in the CPI. In particular, the "writings, statements and speeches of CPSU comrades" were attacked for having praised the results of the domestic policies of the government of India "in such a way that difficulties were created in the way of the development of class struggle in our country." The West Bengal party also could not understand why news of the heroic struggle it was carrying out against the anti-people policies of the Indian government was never published in the Soviet press. The resolution implied that the CPSU, through its stress on peaceful transition to socialism, was leading the CPI to rely solely on parliamentary elections, "which is a reformist conception." The resolution ended by terming both the CPSU and the CCP "the most mature, experienced, and leading parties," and expressed the hope that the CPSU would fulfill its responsibilities as leader "in a more inspiring way."

The second West Bengal resolution denounced the CEC action itself as "wrong and harmful," because the CEC had spoken out without having "acquainted itself with the views of the CCP." The CEC was accused of having acted solely on the basis of Soviet accusations, plus the evidence of "one or two Red Flag articles and one or two speeches," while "conveniently avoiding to take into account a number of articles and speeches of the Soviet leaders and some documents of the CPSU in the context of which the Red Flag articles were written" — that is, the Soviet provocations which had obliged Peiping to speak out. This resolution demanded that the Indian party take particular care in its actions "because the divergencies of opinion were primarily between two great Communist parties of the world, both of whom have rich revolutionary experience, have successfully applied Marxism-Leninism to concrete conditions and have led great revolutions, and both of whom exert great influence on the course of the world revolutionary movement." (Emphasis supplied.)29

The third West Bengal resolution expressed "serious anxiety and uneasiness" over the reported news of the withdrawal of Soviet technicians from China and the closing of two weeklies in Moscow and Peiping, but did not assign blame to either party for these events.

The Punjab resolutions, passed on 24 October, echoed most of the West Bengal strictures against the CEC resolution and the revisionist errors of the CPI leadership, but did not explicitly attack the CPSU. The resolutions of both provincial organizations traced the growth of revisionist influences in the CPI in some detail, touching on the pernicious effects of deStalinization, the 1956 New Times Rubinstein article, the reactions to the Hungarian revolution and the Nagy execution, the Kerala parliamentary experiment, and the CPI's handling of Eisenhower's 1959 visit.

It is characteristic of the present relationship of the CPSU to the Indian party that the authors of these resolutions — and particularly of the West Bengal direct attack on the CPSU — to this day are not known to have been reprimanded or attacked by either the CPSU or the central CPI organs, but on the contrary have been courted by the CPSU and have remained in positions of authority within their provincial organizations.

F. The Hanoi Confrontation and the CCP's September Letter

There is reason to believe that the Punjab and West Bengal resolutions were prepared under the influence of guidance which the leftist faction received from the Chinese party shortly after the Third Vietnamese Party Congress of 5-15 September. The CPI was represented at this Hanoi Congress by one man from each wing of the party: K. Damodaran, a prominent Kerala rightist who had rebuked Basavapunnaiah and Gupta at the August CEC meeting for not having supported the CPSU at Bucharest; and Hare" Krishna. Konar, one" of the most militant of the West Bengal leaders.

The Hanoi Congress was the apparent scene of intensive lobbying among the Soviets, Chinese, and Vietnamese for the support of the Vietnamese party; it was there also that Soviet delegate Mukhitdinov made a public condemnation of "dogmatists" who wanted to "force on the other side" their erroneous ideas. There is no evidence that the two Indian delegates had any part in these negotiations, but it is known that Konar and Damodaran did have at least one private joint meeting with Soviet representatives during the congress. At this meeting, Konar asked the Soviets a series of hostile questions, covering points later touched on in the West Bengal attack on the CPSU: he alluded to the harmful nature of Khrushchev's remark at the 20th CPSU Congress on the improvement in Indian living conditions, he asked why there had been no coverage of the Indian strikes and struggles in the Soviet press, and he called attention to the confusion which had been created by the Soviet action in calling Eisenhower a man of peace, thereby "dulling the people's vigilance." The Soviets replied to these points in a notably defensive manner, denying that they had dulled anyone's vigilance, denying that Khrushchev's 20th Congress remark had been harmful, and promising to improve Soviet press coverage of the Indian party's anti-government struggles (a promise never kept). In their turn, the Soviet representatives asked Konar and Damodaran for their views on the Bucharest events; Damodaran replied in support of the Soviet line, while Konar reportedly answered "as at the August CEC meeting" — that is, in agreement with the CCP.

At one point during the congress, Damodaran and Konar appear to have also had an extended discussion of the Sino-Indian border question with the Chinese delegation, during which Damodaran reportedly asked why Peiping had not been willing to give up land to settle the question as the Soviets had done in the 1920s in the case of Turkey and Iran (repeating a point made in the August CPSU letter to the CPI). Following the congress, Li Fu-chun, the chief CCP delegate, accompanied the two CPI representatives to Peiping, where they had discussions with Chou En-lai.30 Chou evidently gave most of his attention to the leftist Konar, and relatively little time to Damodaran, who subsequently complained of the cold treatment he had received in Peiping. During one joint meeting with both Konar and Damodaran, however, Chou is said to have taunted them with the news of the anti-Chinese September Central Executive Committee resolution (which had reportedly been passed to the CPR Consul General in Calcutta by West Bengal leaders). [DELETE (5 words)] the Chinese leaders at this meeting furiously attacked the resolution, saying that the Indian party had wrongly assessed the implications of the Sino-Soviet dispute and had shown that it harbored illusions about Nehru. The Chinese told Konar and Damodaran that they had explained to Ghosh the reasons for their actions in the border dispute and therefore did not know why he had condemned them in the CEC resolution; they added that they knew, however, that this resolution had not been unanimous.

The CCP also appears to .have given Konar a separate lengthy briefing which reiterated the overall Chinese position on points in dispute with the CPSU. Judging from the oral report which Konar subsequently gave to a West Bengal party meeting in Calcutta, this briefing actually constituted a summary of a letter which the CCP had sent to the CPSU on 10 September and was to present to the international editorial commission in Moscow in October, defending Chinese conduct against charges made in the 21 June CPSU letter and attacking Soviet positions' on war, peaceful transition, and policy toward the national bourgeoisie. According to the version of this CCP letter eventually presented to the international commission, Peiping inter alia denied that it had discarded a policy of seeking to conciliate the neutral countries of Asia and Africa, and denied that it had called the national bourgeoisie of these countries "imperialist." The CCP heavily emphasized, however, the contradictory and unreliable nature of the national bourgeoisie, particularly in India, where the bourgeoisie "shows an increasing internal anti-democratic tendency and is gradually retreating from its external anti-imperialist position," although it still retains a neutral posture. It was for this reason, said the Chinese party, "that the incidents with China occurred and that India resisted reaching an accord." But the CPSU, said Peiping, supported the Indian bourgeoisie; although Moscow appeared to agree with the Chinese policy of "unity and struggle" toward them, yet the CPSU "was opposed to the fight which we waged against the governing classes of India when they attacked us."

Although it has been reported that Konar had several private meetings with the CCP delegation in Hanoi, during which he may have been given some of this information, it seems probable that his principal briefing took place during his lengthy interview with Chou in Peiping. According to one report, it was in Chou's presence that Li Fu-chun read out to Konar excerpts from the 10 September letter. At the same time, the CCP reportedly told Konar that the full 150-page letter would eventually be sent to the CPI — in Calcutta, and only thereafter to New Delhi; the Chinese were said to be determined to ensure that the letter came first into friendly left-faction hands in West Bengal. There is no evidence, however, as to whether or not this promised full text was ever received. On the other hand, the CPI leftists are believed to have made extensive use of the summary of the letter which Konar had obtained; Upon returning to India, Konar reported on what he had been told to the Central Secretariat in late September, and then to the Calcutta party organization on 5 October. Konar also seems to have circulated a document paraphrasing the CCP letter within the West Bengal party, among the leftists in the Central Secretariat, and possibly elsewhere within the CPI; subsequently, the CPI rightists made an abortive attempt to have him censured for this activity. There is little doubt that the West Bengal anti-Soviet, resolutions of 21 October were strongly influenced by the Peiping letter, and that it was to this Chinese answer which the West Bengal party was alluding when it said that the Central Executive Committee should have waited to "acquaint itself with the views of the CCP."

G. The Moscow Conference (November)

The Indian party delegation which attended the 81-party conference in Moscow in November 1960 was a balanced one, including, in addition to Ghosh, Dange, representing the right wing, Namboodiripad arid Ramarurthi, representing the center, and Bhupesh Gupta, representing the leftists. The delegation was reportedly organized in this way because the CPSU, in submitting its formal invitation to the CPI to send five delegates, had recommended that they include persons who had opposed the September CEC resolution as well as some who had supported it. This action by the Soviet party — which is consistent with the subsequent attitude of the CPSU, and particularly with the conduct of Suslov at the CPI congress the following April — demonstrated that Moscow had no intention of abandoning authority over the CPI leftists to Peiping and was determined to try to prevent the further polarization of the Indian party along pro-Soviet and pro-Chinese lines. While this Soviet policy, coupled with the adoption of a line slightly more critical of Nehru, was eventually to improve the CPSU position among some of the CPI leftists and for a time prevent further anti-Soviet outbreaks such as the October 1960 West Bengal resolution, the long-run objective has not to date been achieved: the ideological division of the party has persisted and Chinese prestige within sections of the party has continued to be very strong.

The first effect of this Soviet effort to regain ascendancy over the leftists was to inhibit Ghosh somewhat in his support for the CPSU at the Moscow meetings. Both in the editorial commission meetings in October (which prepared a draft of the Moscow Statement) and the full 81-party meetings in November (which fought over the draft and finally adopted the Statement) Ghosh made vigorous indictments of the CPR's policy toward India during the Tibetan revolt and the growth of the border dispute, along the lines of the September CPI resolution. In so doing Ghosh backed the CPSU in what was one of the principal points at issue in the Moscow debates between Teng Hsiao-ping and the Soviet spokesmen: Communist policy toward Nehru and other leaders of the national bourgeoisie. In certain other respects, however, Ghosh showed a tendency to hedge. He made several gestures calculated to propitiate admirers of Peiping, and, most notably, did not support the CPSU on the central question at stake in the conference — the question of authority within the international movement, and whether or not a condemnation of "factional activity" should be included in the Statement (Which, would ''imply Chinese acceptance of the rule of the Soviet majority). In the end, the Soviets were forced to yield to Peiping on this point rather than accept an open split in the world movement, and the final document did not condemn factional activity.

According to an Italian party report on the conference regarded as probably true, the Indian delegates, while supporting most elements of the Soviet line, made it known that they would not sign the document unless the Chinese agreed to it, because the CPI would otherwise have split into pro-Soviet and pro-Chinese segments. It is this concern to secure the continued adherence of the CPI leftists which seems to have restrained Ghosh's conduct. Bhupesh Gupta, the principal leftist on the Indian delegation, had reportedly warned before leaving India that he would not support the anti-Chinese line of the September CPI resolution and might openly back Peiping; yet after the conference, CPI spokesmen repeatedly emphasized to party meetings that Ghosh's Moscow speech had been previously endorsed by all members of the CPI delegation. It is possible that the CPI delegation succeeded in persuading Gupta not to object to Ghosh's line on the border issue on condition that Ghosh declined to support the CPSU on the question of factionalism and discipline, a more vital matter both to the CCP and to its Indian adherents.

Private Meetings with CPSU and CCP

At the close of the Moscow conference, the Indian delegation had several private conversations with the Soviet leaders, while Gupta also appears to have conferred with the CCP representatives, to whom he was introduced by Peng Chen, whom he had met at Bucharest. Dange also subsequently claimed that there had been a separate three-way meeting of the CPI, CPSU, and CCP, at which! he and an unnamed Chinese delegate had a heated verbal exchange, calling each other "revisionist" and "adventurist." According to Dange, at this meeting the CCP finally agreed that it would not create any more incidents on the Indian border before the 1962 elections, to avoid further injury to the CPI. While there is nothing improbable in this — and while such a Chinese commitment would be consistent with another commitment which Peiping is reported to have made to Khrushchev to give him a period of grace of undetermined length to test the intentions of the new American administration — Dange 's claim has not been confirmed, and has been denied by certain of the CPI leftists.

The entire CPI delegation seems to have conferred with Suslov at the beginning of December, while Ghosh alone had another interview with Suslov and Ponomarev on the 9th, after the rest of the Indian delegation had gone home. Only two points emerge with any clarity from these private conferences. First, the Soviets again declined to furnish the CPI with a clear-cut line to take toward Nehru, again unhelpfully telling the Indian party to work out its own policy without regard to the public Soviet attitude toward the Prime Minister.

Secondly, it seems to have been agreed between the Soviets and the Indian leaders that a peaceful transition to power would not be possible in India without the creation of an armed revolutionary capability as a second string to the party's bows to be held in reserve. The CPSU had been pressing the CPI off and on for several years to build up such a subsidiary underground mechanism, and had sometimes encountered considerable resistance to this suggestion from the adherents of the parliamentary line, including Ghosh — resistance about which the Indian militants and Peiping had both bitterly complained. Following the National Council meeting in Meerut in November 1959, at a time when the CPI was seriously expecting to be outlawed as a result of the Chinese border crisis, the party had reportedly decided to reactivate its underground apparatus. Organizational work along this line had apparently been suspended in the middle of 1960, however, as a result of insecurity resulting from factional activity associated with the Sino-Soviet dispute. (In answer to a question from a foreign Communist delegate at the Vietnamese Party Congress in September, Konar had reportedly declared that the CPI did not then have an underground organization functioning on an all-India scale, but that such an organization existed in West Bengal which could give shelter to party members in times of crisis.)

The renewed Soviet effort in Moscow in December to have the Indian party return to building an underground organization was probably the result of three factors: first, a Soviet estimate that a possibility existed that right-wing military dictatorship could evolve in India after Nehru's death; second, the adoption of a somewhat more militant CPSU line than heretofore toward the national liberation movement in general (although this line was still considerably more cautious than that of Peiping); and third, likely CPSU awareness that the CPI leftists had begun to bypass Moscow in appealing to Peiping for help in building an underground organization.



25. It is quite possible, of course, that such [DELETE (1 word)] resolutions were passed by the Chinese, Albanian, and perhaps also the Malayan and Burmese parties.

26. While it would have been quite in character for Basavapunnaiah to have invented this interview, its credibility is enhanced by the fact that the CPSU apparently advised Ghosh and other non-leftist CPI leaders during this period to continue to deny to the party the reality of Sino-Soviet differences.

27. The CPSU organized at least one similar gathering, for Spanish-speaking delegates, and possibly others.

28. Khrushchev in August and September is known to have reiterated several times — particularly to the East European parties — that the CCP had opposed the granting of economic aid to bourgeois nationalist governments of underdeveloped countries, and that Peiping was particularly incensed by Soviet assistance to such men as Nehru and Nasser, assistance which Peiping claimed was maintaining their regimes in power and hindering the rise of the local Communist parties. This attitude had been widespread in the CPI in 1954 and 1955 at the onset of the new Soviet policy of assisting Indian industrialization.

29. A resolution very similar to this is known to have been placed before a meeting of the Andhra party in November by forces led by the local left-faction leader Sundarayya; but it was defeated.

30. The Vietnamese Party Congress was not the only scene of Chinese and Soviet proselytizing of Indian party representatives abroad in September. At about the time that Konar and Damodaran were flying from Hanoi to Peiping, the head of the All-India Youth Federation (a CPI front) at a World Youth Forum meeting in Moscow was being buttonholed by representatives of the All-China Youth Federation and the Soviet Komsomol in turn and harangued with the two parties' opposing arguments on disarmament and war.  
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Re: The Indian Communist Party and the Sino-Soviet Dispute

Postby admin » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:38 am

Part 1 of 3


The year 1960 ended with the left faction of the CPI continuing to report to the Chinese party and to receive guidance from it, while gathering strength throughout India for an assault on the central party machinery in 1961 . There was a gradual increase in leftist strength and assertiveness throughout the Indian party before the party congress met in April 1961, and Suslov, the CPSU delegate to that congress, was obliged to counsel Ghosh to make substantial concessions to the leftists on the wording of the party's political resolution to preserve Ghosh in office as general secretary and to prevent a threatened open split in the party. There is good evidence, nevertheless, that the CPSU and Ghosh themselves favored a balanced line including both support and criticism of aspects of Nehru's foreign and domestic policies, and a long-term strategy of building a national democratic front through cooperation with "progressive" Congress Party leaders to achieve limited non-socialist reforms as a prelude to the gradual Communist assumption of power. Suslov did not have to contend with direct Chinese competition at the CPI Congress, the prospective CCP representatives having been ordered to leave India beforehand by the New Delhi government.

While the new National Council elected by the Congress had a reduced rightist majority — because of the leftists' threat to break up the party unless their wishes were acceded to — the rightists subsequently used this National Council majority to reverse leftist control of the Central Executive Committee and the Central Secretariat, the two top party organs charged with running the party. When Ghosh led a balanced CPI delegation to the 22nd CPSU Congress in October, however, even moderates who were normally staunch CPSU supporters were shaken by the open attacks there on the Albanian leaders and the renewed assault on Stalin. Ghosh indicated his reservations about Khrushchev's course of action by declining to attack Albania in his speech to the CPSU Congress — like a number of other normally pro-CPSU foreign delegates — although two months later, again like the leaders of some other parties, he belatedly added his mild disapproval of the Albanians. Greater turmoil resulted within the "CPI as a consequence of this CPSU Congress than had ever existed before, both because of the new CPSU offensive against Albania and the CCP and because of the attacks on Stalin and the displacement of Stalin's body. There were widespread attacks on Moscow and Khrushchev over these actions within all factions of the CPI, and at least one provincial party organization — that of Andhra Pradesh — passed a resolution condemning the CPSU, the second such resolution to be passed within the CPI in little more than a year. Ghosh Eventually published an article publicly regretting the manner in which Moscow had again embarked on deStalinization, and declaring that the CPSU had forfeited its claim to infallibility.

These internal difficulties of the CPI were greatly augmented by the simultaneous rekindling of the Sino-Indian border dispute, a statement by Ghosh strongly attacking the CPB and a subsequent People's Daily editorial condemning both Nehru and Ghosh. At the close of 1961, both leftist and rightist CPI leaders were warning of the likelihood of an open split in the Indian party after the elections of February 1962. While it seemed likely that the CPSU would make every effort again to prevent such a split, Moscow's chances of success in this effort were dependent on such factors as the future course of Sino-Soviet relations, the fortunes of the "peaceful coexistence" line, and the number of concessions Moscow was willing to make again to the CPI leftists. The Soviet problem was further complicated by the death of Ghosh in Jaunary 1962, and the lack of a suitable successor combining loyalty to the CPSU with acceptability to both wings of the Indian party.

A. Left-Faction Resurgence Before the April Congress

The long and defiant struggle of the Chinese party against the CPSU in Moscow before the eyes of the entire movement, the near-standoff between Chinese and Soviet positions in the final Statement of the Moscow Conference, the Soviet surrender to Peiping on the key issue of whether to condemn factionalism in the Statement, and above all, the fact that both the CCP and the Indian party leftists stood unpunished and unchastened after their direct attacks on the CPSU — all this had the effect of encouraging the militant wing of the CPI, of emboldening these leftists in their efforts to strengthen their position throughout the party in preparation for the capture of control of the party at the coming party congress.

The most immediate sign of this emboldened leftist attitude was found in the blatantly ant i- Khrushchev and anti-CPSU whispering campaign about the Moscow conference which was conducted within the party shortly after the conference by the leftists in the party center — Basavapunnaiah, Bhupesh Gupta, and particularly Ranadive. Disseminated in this way were the assertions that the CCP had been supported against Moscow by all the Asian parties except India, by many Latin American parties, and by Czechoslovakia as well as Albania; that the Soviets had replied in a weak and unsatisfactory way to Teng Hsiao-ping's powerful criticisms of Khrushchev and his policies, and that the CPSU had eventually been forced to acknowledge that it had made major mistakes; that the Soviets had specifically admitted that their criticism of China on the border issue had been wrong; that Moscow had agreed to support whatever policy the CPR adopted in the future on the border dispute; that Peiping had been given authority over all the Asian parties, and particularly over the CPI,31 and that Suslov had sternly overcome Ghosh's objections to this; and finally, that Moscow had agreed to supply Peiping with the technical knowledge and all the assistance needed for the production of atomic weapons. It is virtually certain that all of these statements were false; but what was more significant was the openly anti-Soviet attitude which the leftists now were willing to convey through such fabrications.

This defiant leftist attitude was also demonstrated at CPI provincial party meetings toward the close of the year. In late November, a meeting of the West Bengal party by an overwhelming vote formally reaffirmed the pro-Peiping and anti-CPSU resolution adopted the previous month. Speaking at this meeting, Konar reportedly stated that he and the West Bengal Communist Party would never accept a "Moscow line that did not correspond to the Indian realities." He added that the day of abject CPI acceptance of Moscow policy was over, that "policy made in Moscow" no longer carried much prestige. He said that the West Bengal party would undertake a full program of peasant and industrial agitation the next year which would "further vindicate the West Bengal CP stand that continued social revolution as conceived by the Chinese party is vital to the Indian Communist movement." Konar cited the cases of Cuba, Algeria, and the Congo to support the claim that social revolution, even using violent means, did not mean an inevitable international war; he professed to believe that China had extended support all the way to Cuba, and would therefore have no difficulty in supporting the CPI. In short, he held that the Soviet thesis of peaceful coexistence had been used merely as an excuse for inactivity by the Indian party, and he refused to put up with this.

Left-faction assertiveness also was marked at meetings of the Kerala and Andhra parties held in early December; moderate leaders in both organizations were reported shocked at the degree to which leftist sentiment had increased. In Kerala, extremists were encouraged by the swing toward the left of former chief minister Namboodiripad, who had grown increasingly disillusioned with Ghosh's moderate line since the ouster of the Kerala government in 1959. In Andhra, a powerful leftist bloc led by Sundarayya now controlled nearly half the strength of the provincial party; here the leftists refused cooperation with the rightist leaders and were able to prevent the election of new party organs" or the adoption of a political report.

December National Council Meeting

This leftist offensive was also marked at the tumultuous meetings of the Central Executive Committee and the National Council which met in Bombay at the year's end to hear reports on the Moscow conference. It was later claimed that the rightist leaders at the CEC meeting cast doubt on the reality of the "unity" achieved between the CPSU and the CCP at Moscow, for which they were denounced by the leftists. Several accounts agree that the National Council heard conflicting explanations of the meaning of the ambiguous Moscow Statement from the opposing factions represented on the Moscow delegation, with Gupta and Namboodiripad reportedly providing an interpretation "along the lines of the Chinese article Long Live Leninism," portraying the Statement as accepting the CCP viewpoint, while Ghosh, Dange and Ramamurthi took the opposing line.

Much of the National Council debate apparently centered on the concept of the "national democratic state", which the CPSU had had inserted in the Moscow Statement to connote a transitional phase between a former colony's achievement of political independence and the assumption of direct Communist control. The national democratic state was there defined as one which had won complete economic independence from the imperialist world and assumed close economic ties with the bloc; which had adopted an "anti-imperialist" foreign policy; in which the state-owned sector had become predominant in the economy; and in which a list of "democratic reforms" and "democratic freedoms" had been achieved, two of the most important of which were land reform and freedom of activity for the Communist party. The national democratic state would be ruled by a broad united "anti-imperialist front" embracing "all patriotic strata" of the country concerned, including national bourgeoisie, peasantry, and proletariat. Although it has been implied by Soviet articles that the proletariat (the Communist Party) would have some importance in this coalition, the minimum degree of Communist influence acceptable in a national democratic front and the length of time the Communist party should be willing to wait to secure firm control have never been spelled out by Moscow. Peiping, long hostile to Soviet gradual is tic and evolutionary notions on the Communist assumption of power in underdeveloped countries, has been suspicious lest the new concept be used to justify a further indefinite delay in the achievement of Communist hegemony. Unlike Moscow, Peiping has therefore never publicly mentioned the national democratic state, and in fact was to print a veiled, attack on the concept in People's Daily on 10 October 1961, on the eve of the 22nd CPSU Congress.

Against the background of this fresh Sino-Soviet disagreement over a concept just placed in the equivocal Moscow Statement, the Indian party leaders split into three groups at the December National Council meeting in their application of the concept to India. An extreme rightist group considered India already a national democratic state, thought the Indian bourgeoisie was completing the democratic revolution in a consistent manner, and wished to support Nehru on all major policies. A centrist-moderate rightist group did not think India now a national democracy, but thought it could become so; this group wished to oppose the. reactionary policies of the Congress government but to support the progressive ones, and to make Nehru's progressive policies the basis for the establishment of a national democratic front in which the national bourgeoisie would in effect be allowed to remain temporarily in the lead. The leftists, who were numerous, thought Nehru's government was leaning more and more toward feudalism and imperialism, and called for a national democratic front led by the workers and peasantry which suitable bourgeois elements would be allowed to join but not to lead; this front would lead a struggle against the reactionary policies of the Nehru government. This internal party debate, of central importance to CPI policy, reached no conclusion at the December 1960 National Council meeting, and was to be resumed again at a similar meeting in February 1961 and still again at the party congress in April. A party commission was meanwhile set up to consider this issue in preparing a political resolution for the February National Council meeting. (A second commission was to write a new draft constitution for the party, and a third to study party policy toward the border dispute.)

While the leftists were thus stalemated on the question of "national democracy," they were apparently successful in imparting a more militant and revolutionary tone to the meeting generally; in line with the earlier Soviet stipulation in Moscow, the National Council members were reported to have been generally agreed that a peaceful transition to power was possible only if preparations for an armed capability were made simultaneously. Jaipal Singh, the head of the secret CPI organization in the Indian armed forces, was subsequently said to have been heartened by this new militant trend in the party and to have decided to reactivate his organization in May 1961 following an expected victory of the left faction at the party congress.

Meanwhile, the leftists — aware that the cessation of Sino-Soviet polemics as a result of the Moscow meeting had left the September CEC resolution attacking China out of date — moved to have the National Council formally repudiate the resolution. While this effort narrowly failed, several sources agree that the National Council tacitly decided to return to the compromise line on the border dispute enunciated at Meerut in November 1959, when the CPI had upheld the MacMahon line in the east, termed the Ladakh border in the west undefined, and refused to assign blame to either country for the dispute. No public statement on the border issue was made, however.

CCP Guidance to Leftists (December-February)

During the months immediately following the Moscow Conference the left faction of the CPI was further encouraged by a series of contacts with Chinese embassy officials in which Ranadive and his representatives furnished the CCP with a running account of the current progress of the CPI factional battle as well as an elaborate assessment of the history of that battle over the past two years. In return, Peiping furnished the CPI militants with repeated oral and written interpretations of the 1960 Moscow Statement and guidance in the application of the provisions of that Statement to India. The essence of the Chinese advice was to regard the Moscow Statement as guidance to parties not in power to adopt a new and more militant line for the attainment of power. This was said by Peiping to pertain especially "to newly liberated countries where the class struggle is not being carried on," specifically including India, for whom the question of national democracy did not apply. The CCP found in the Statement the "implicit" assertion that peaceful coexistence between a Communist nation and a newly-liberated capitalist country does not require the Communist party of the latter country to give up its struggle for Communism for the sake of good relations between the two countries; this, said Peiping, "clarified" the concept of peaceful coexistence which had confused some parties in the past (meaning the CPI, among others) and had led to a pacifist approach. While the CPSU would also maintain (and had maintained for years) that the CPI should not give up its struggle for Communism or adopt a "pacifist" approach for the sake of Soviet-Indian relations, it is certain that Moscow would not read into this very broad negative generalization the authorization for a militant, across-the-board offensive against the Indian government which Peiping was trying to commend to the CPI leftists.

[DELETE (10 lines)]

CPI-CCP Correspondence

In the midst of these dealings with the CPI left-faction leaders, Peiping at the end of December is believed to have sent a formal party letter to CPI headquarters — the only such message known to have been sent through official party channels after the Moscow Conference. [DELETE (5 lines)]. Details on this Chinese message are sketchy, although [DELETE (4 words) it was concerned in large part with the border issue. [DELETE (5 words)] the CCP expressed readiness to support any just struggles of the Indian people and expected the CPI to reciprocate on international issues of concern to Peiping; the Indian party was particularly expected to oppose and expose the Indian bourgeoisie when the latter instigated border difficulties. [DELETE (6 lines)]

Ghosh Circular Report

Meanwhile, in preparation for the expected battle at the forthcoming National Council meeting in February, soon after the close of the December National Council session Ghosh, with the probable assistance of Dange, drew up a circular report on the Moscow meeting for circulation to all National Council members. This report was notable for its polemical tone. It emphasized more than once that while all parties had participated in preparing the Moscow Statement and while all parties were equal, the CPSU had played the "leading and guiding role... in preparing the Draft and in convening and steering the conference." Ghosh followed this up by reiterating the Soviet line and attacking the CGP position on the prevent ability and the consequences of war, warning (as Ulbricht had done publicly in his report on the Moscow Conference to the East German Central Committee in December) that it was "wrong" to want to conceal the destructiveness of nuclear war from the people. Ghosh endorsed the Soviet claim that their peaceful coexistence line was "the general line of the foreign policy of the socialist countries" — a point which is known to have been kept out of the Moscow Statement at Chinese insistence. Ghosh denied that the demand for general disarmament (a principal Soviet point) was a "bourgeois liberal" slogan, breeding "illusions about imperialism" (as the CCP had repeatedly said it was) . He said it was the task of all Communist parties to approach the mobilization of the masses "through simple and clear slogans and a non-sectarian approach." He stated that it was one of the aims of peaceful coexistence "to draw closer towards the socialist camp the newly-liberated and peace-loving states, thus consolidating and extending the peace zone." To this clear indication of the approach the CPSU wished to be taken toward India Ghosh affixed a strong endorsement of the need to create a national democratic front to bring about a national democratic state. Such a state, he emphasized, would not be the same as a people's democracy, since it would be ruled by a coalition of several classes "in which the working class and its party is an important but not yet the leading force."

On the other hand, Ghosh affirmed the need for the working class and the peasantry gradually to strive to "assume increasingly the leading role" in the national democratic state. Moreover, Ghosh also picked up from the Moscow Statement the more militant positions now again espoused by the CPSU, on the subject of just liberation wars (which he said do not weaken peace but strengthen it); on the Communist need to be prepared for violent as well as non-violent transition to power (confirming the CPI decisions taken in Moscow in December); on the need not to equate the peaceful path with reliance solely on parliamentary elections without regard for mass movements; and on the need to "unmask" demagogic bourgeois efforts to use the slogan of socialism to deceive the masses (while yet "fully supporting all measures of the national government which weaken the position of imperialism and feudalism.") Despite the concessions to militancy listed, however, Ghosh's circular was on the whole moderate in program as well as vehemently pro-CPSU. Most notably, he implied considerable tolerance for the "progressive role" of the Nehru government.

A couple of weeks after the dispatch of this circular report, Ghosh courageously carried the battle into the stronghold of the opposition by appearing (unexpected and unwelcome, as the leftists remarked) at a January conference of the West Bengal party State Council. There he heard Jyoti Basu, the West Bengal secretary, attack the central party leadership as having failed in its responsibilities. Basu charged that the leadership should have issued a self -critical report on revisionism in the CPI; he said the "so-called nationalist faction has forgotten Marxism and trailed behind the bourgeoisie;" he denounced the rightists for having mouthed diatribes against "China and international Communism;" and he found that the central leadership had harbored illusions about parliamentary politics, which had been used as a refuge from which to ignore mass movements. A West Bengal speaker who subsequently attempted to defend Ghosh's moderate program was almost shouted down, and found himself generally isolated at the meeting.

Ghosh thereupon got up and pugnaciously defended himself, the authority of the CPSU, and the moderate program he espoused for the CPI. Ultimately, he said, it was the Soviet draft enriched and enlarged by amendments and discussions that had been adopted almost in its entirety by the Moscow Conference. From this fact," he declared,

it was proved beyond doubt that the Soviet party was the leader of the World Communist movement — both in theory and in practice. If this basic fact were forgotten, the worst form of deviationism might creep into any national party giving rise to revisionism and chauvinism. It would be childish to even attempt to challenge the leadership of the Soviet Party or to think in that line. It was quite a different thing to point out mistakes or question certain formulations of the Soviet Party, but to question its leadership was altogether a foolish act. Even pointing out mistakes or suggesting possible rectifications should not be done in a manner so as to undermine the Soviet Party or to cast aspersions against it.

Unfortunately, Ghosh told the West Bengal leaders, in many centers in India attempts had been made to undermine the leadership of the Soviet party. Ghosh made a peculiar citation of authority to demonstrate the foolishness of such attempts: the Chinese party, he claimed, however great its differences with the CPSU on certain questions, had never tried in its writings or statements to belittle or undermine the Soviet leadership. (This would probably have been a good tack to take with the West Bengal party chiefs if they had not had abundant evidence to the contrary.) Ghosh also asserted that one should not forget that democratic centralism means that a strong center must guide all lower units — ignoring the fact that the CCP at Moscow had specifically rejected the notion that the discipline of democratic centralism applies in relations between parties of the international Communist movement.

In addition, Ghosh upheld the line he had marked out in the circular report for a CPI transition to power without civil war through utilization of the parliamentary method bolstered by a united front of workers, peasants and progressive bourgeoisie. The West Bengal party conference, however, rejected this approach and adopted one emphasizing that Nehru was not to be trusted, that there could be no unity "with any section of the bourgeoisie who are allied with the ruling class," that the worker-peasant alliance (in fact, the Communist party) must lead and control the national democratic front from the very beginning, and that a "fierce campaign" must be launched against the "anti-people policy of the government." Jyoti Basu meanwhile retired as party leader to concentrate on the forthcoming 1961 election campaign, but was replaced by another prominent leftist and strong supporter of the CCP, Promode Das Gupta. The leftists in control of the West Bengal machine at the same time succeeded in purging the only rightist previously represented on the West Bengal Secretariat.

February National Council Meeting

A few weeks later, the National Council met to decide on the draft political and organizational reports to be placed before the party congress in April, as well as on a new draft program for the party to replace the one adopted in 1951. The National Council was also to decide on a new public resolution on the border dispute to be issued by the party; this appeared to be necessitated by the: Indian Government's publication in mid-February of the findings of the Indian team that had been negotiating with the CPR.

In most cases, the party commissions that had been preparing the individual draft reports had split along familiar lines into right and left segments, so that the National Council was presented with two or more drafts on each subject. For example, Ghosh and Ranadive each presented his version of the long-awaited party political resolution. Ghosh's resolution set forth the aim of replacing the present "vacillating" and "compromising" government with a government of a national democratic front which in turn would facilitate the peaceful transition to socialism. It called for a broad^based campaign seeking the cooperation of "patriotic elements in every party" to establish this front and secure gradual changes in the government's policies. In addition to endorsing the usual "united front from below" tactic of seeking to draw support from the rank-and-file of the Congress and of such parties as the Paja Socialists, Ghosh's resolution called for the employment of "united front from above" tactics in some cases — for example, the conclusion of direct alliances with local Congress committees or other local organizations "to which the peasants who are not under our influence are politically attached."32 Ghosh identified only the extreme right of the Congress party and of the big bourgeoisie as the enemy of the national democratic front, and consequently declared that the "democratic forces must adopt a correct attitude towards the small and medium industrialists" who are anti-imperialist, and that Communist-controlled trade unions must even abate their demands toward these industrialists in the interests of "drawing them closer to the democratic masses." While criticizing strongly the Indian government and Nehru for their policies toward feudalism, Western loans, land reform, and the Communist Kerala regime, this resolution several times praised Nehru, particularly for his foreign policy and his support for the public sector of the Indian economy.

In contrast, Ranadive's resolution took a much harsher view of Nehru, did not support alliances with local Congress committees, was not so eager to bring the bourgeoisie into the democratic front, and was much stronger in its exposition of the need to struggle against the policies of the Indian government. While Ghosh's political resolution was approved with minor amendments by the National Council, the leftists secured the right to circulate Ranadive's draft with Ghosh's and to have both considered by the party Congress in April.

A similar result followed the National Council battle over the proposed versions of the new long-range party program. Opposing drafts were submitted by Dange and Bhupesh Gupta. Dange's draft program, among other things, reportedly called for increased emphasis on the development of very broad party front groups in which very diverse non-Communists would be brought to the forefront; stressed that the CPI should make every effort to win the support of progressive members of the Congress Party throughout India; and proposed that the CPI support Congressmen judged sympathetic to the CPI in local and national elections. Gupta's draft attacked Nehru's policies at great length, opposed the creation of more broad-based front groups and particularly the use of Congressmen in these organizations, and reportedly called for an internal purge of rightist tendencies in the CPI. While Dange's draft was approved, Gupta also won the right to submit his text to the party congress.

In the case of the organizational report, only one draft was submitted -- by Namboodiripad — supposedly because the minority rightist faction on the commission preparing this report had refused to participate. Namboodiripad's report, in addition to submitting a draft of a new party constitution, severely chastised the indiscipline in the party as well as the revisionist and "Parliamentary" habits of thought he found widespread. While this report met with opposition in the National Council, it was finally decided without a formal vote to present it to the party congress, where more severe trials awaited it.

Finally, a sharp battle was fought in the National Council on the border issue, with inconclusive results. An effort by some of the rightists to secure an open condemnation of China was overwhelmingly defeated, and a subsequent attempt to obtain endorsement of the Indian case on the basis of the report of the Indian negotiating team was blunted. Eventually, a resolution was adopted and published formally reiterating the Meerut November 1959 formula (approval of the MacMahon line in the east and of an undefined ''traditional boundary" in the west), blaming nobody, saying that the Indian people think the Indian case is strong but that China also thinks her case is strong, and fervently calling for more negotiations. However, despite leftist protests, the resolution also upheld India's exclusive right to negotiate the boundaries of Kashmir — of which Ladakh is a part — with China (reproving CPR feelers on this subject to Pakistan), and to carry on frontier negotiations on behalf of Bhutan and Sikkim (reproving Chinese efforts to bypass New Delhi in contacting those two Indian dependencies) . The inclusion of these provisions was a definite victory for the rightist faction.

On the whole, the National Council meeting seems to have been a standoff, provisionally approving rightist positions on some questions and leftist positions on others, evading still other issues, and passing everything on to the party congress for the decisive battles. The leftists tended to be encouraged by this outcome; they kept the Chinese party informed of events, and passed on to Peiping their optimistic forecast of victory in April. Dange's forces, on the other hand, were rather somber; Dange thought the rightists had won their last victory (such as it was) on the border issue, and expected a very close division of forces at the party congress, with the outcome in doubt.

Continued Swing Toward Left in Provinces

Information from a number of the CPI provincial organizations in the months before the party congress confirmed both the leftist claim of a swing in their direction and Dange's estimate of a very close alignment of forces. Leftist assertiveness was particularly noted on the border issue: in mid-February, while the rightists at the National Council meeting were vainly trying to get the party to endorse the report of the Indian negotiating team, an organ of the Kerala party prominently published the gist of the report issued by Peiping's negotiators, under the headline "Indian Documents Are the Products of British Imperialism." In West Bengal, local party meetings were being told that the West Bengal party organization fully accepted the Chinese contention that the Indian government was keeping the border issue alive in order to get aid from the West. One West Bengal leader in late February not only publicly denied that the CPR had committed aggression against India, but was quoted by the press as declaring that "we should be ashamed to criticize China, the greatest socialist country, living in the land of beggars." (Emphasis supplied.)

An index of the changing balance of forces in the party was furnished by the reception given the two drafts of the political resolution — Ghosh's version which had been endorsed by the National Council, and Ranadive's alternative — as they circulated through the provincial organizations. West Bengal party secretary Das Gupta told the leftists on the CPI Central Secretariat in mid-March that he did not intend to publish the National Council resolution in the West Bengal organ Swadhinata; subsequently, the West Bengal State Council overwhelmingly voted to reject the National Council draft and to accept Ranadive's resolution. Identical action was taken in the other left-faction stronghold in the Punjab, despite a personal visit and plea by Ghosh to try to stem the tide. Dange made a similar appearance before the vacillating party organization of Tamilnad, in south India, where the former rightist Ramamurthy had been reported inclining toward the left since the beginning of the year because of the need to preserve his position in the face of increasing left-faction sentiment; despite Dange's efforts, Tamilnad also rejected the Ghosh draft and accepted Ranadive's alternative. In Assam, neighboring the West Bengal organization and often influenced by it, the party leader Phani Bora, a Ghosh supporter, was obliged to trim his sails and avoid submitting either resolution to a vote to avoid being unseated by his leftist opposition.

In certain other provincial organizations, however, the Ghosh draft was endorsed; and in the right-faction stronghold of Maharashtra, where Dange and Ranadive held a furious debate in mid-March, the leaders laid plans to lobby among uncommitted delegations at the party congress for the Ghosh political resolution, as Well as for a direct indictment of the CPR oh the border issue.

B. Soviet and Chinese Policy Toward India Before the Congress

These internal party struggles and maneuverings in preparation for the party congress were inevitably influenced by the very different policies being pursued toward India by the Soviet Union and the CPR. The Soviet posture toward Indict was composed, in equal parts, of a limited amount of pressure seeking specific foreign-policy objectives; a fair amount of public flattering of India and of Nehru; and discreet ambivalence on the question of the Sino-Indian border. The Chinese attitude, on the other hand, was one of simple and unremitting hostility, in which Peiping's energies were chiefly devoted to documenting the charge that Nehru had become an imperialist lackey of the United States whose every move was inimical to the interests of the entire bloc.

Soviet Policy

Soviet pressure in early 1961 was chiefly concerned with the question of Indian support for United Nations operations in the Congo, support which Moscow sought strenuously and unsuccessfully to have withdrawn. In this effort the USSR appears to have worked in close coordination with the central leadership of the Indian Communist party. The December CPI National Council meeting, for example, issued a resolution mildly criticizing the Indian government for not having shown itself in "complete solidarity with the leading African governments" by having recognized the Gizenga regime in the Congo. Toward the end of January, an article by Joshi in the Republic Day issue of New Age, while generally praising Nehru's foreign policy, criticized his policy toward colonialism, saying that New Delhi had "remained silent too long before expressing Indian solidarity and on occasions was not firm enough."

In the third week of February, Nehru received letters from Khrushchev asking him to support Soviet demands on the Congo, including the end of UN activities there. Bhupesh Gupta, a parliamentary spokesman of the CPI, reportedly was briefed in advance on these letters by the Soviet Embassy, and on 27 February raised a question in Parliament designed to obtain public acknowledgement from Nehru that Khrushchev had requested him not to accede to any demands from Hammarskjold to send Indian troops to the Congo. Nehru at the time would only acknowledge having received letters from Khrushchev, but subsequently made his position clear by announcing that his government would send a brigade of combat troops to support UN operations in the Congo. Thereupon, a CPSU letter to the CPI at the end of February reportedly requested, among other things, criticism of the Indian government's foreign policy shortcomings. An article in Izyestiya on 9 March asked, in passing, if it was "so essential" for the Indian people to support the "bankrupt" UN Secretary-General; and an article in the CPI's weekly New Age three days later discreetly made the same point. An article by Ghosh published in Pravda on 5 April said that the Indian government had shown "unwarranted vacillation" on the Congo issue by not having recognized Gizenga or attacked Hammarskjold; this was repeated in Ghosh's speech to the CPI Congress, in the Political Resolution published after the Congress, and in the advice Suslov reportedly gave to CPI leaders during the Congress.

The only other major criticism made of Indian foreign policy by Moscow in the first half of 1961 concerned the Cuban invasion: on 4 April, an article placed in Literary Gazette expressed at some length Soviet "bewilderment" at Nehru's statement that he was unable to judge the right or wrong of the Cuba situation; this article was broadcast by Moscow six times to South Asia in English, and was understandably picked up promptly by NCNA.

These examples of pressure, however, have been more than balanced by the many Soviet statements and actions flattering and supporting the Nehru government. In December 1960, soon after the Moscow Conference, the Soviet New Times ran an article appraising and on the whole approving the new third Indian five-year plan. In late January, the CPI's New Age printed a two-part article by the deputy head of the Soviet Institute of Oriental Studies on Indian state capitalism: a qualified verdict was rendered that so far state capitalism in India had been progressive and had fulfilled a national function. In late January a Soviet broadcast to Asia described how India was "growing stronger year by year, becoming more influential and more wealthy", primarily because of her progressive foreign policy. On Indian Republic Day, 26 January, the Soviet leaders sent warm congratulations to the people and government of India and to Nehru personally, praising them for India's contributions to the causes of peace, disarmament, and the ending of colonialism. The semi-annual CPSU slogans published in April similarly flattered India. On 28 April, a Soviet broadcast in Bengal (possibly meant for the West Bengal Communist Party to hear) stressed that the Soviet Union and India have "kept faith in the fundamental Bandung principles," and quoted Khrushchev on the Unanimity of views between the USSR and India on nearly all international problems placed before the UN. And in June another Soviet broadcast, in Mandarin to China, pointedly emphasized to Peiping the cooperation which India had furnished the bloc in opposition to imperialist schemes for the recognition of "two Chinas" by the United Nations.

These statements have been accompanied by the continuation of Soviet assistance to the Indian economy. During a Kosygin visit to India in February a credit agreement between the two countries, negotiated and announced the previous year, was signed with much fanfare; and a few days later the USSR Ambassador in New Delhi, Benediktov, publicly denied to Indian newsmen published reports in the Indian press about differences between the Soviet Union and the CPR over Soviet aid to India. A further sizable credit at low interest from Hungary was announced in March. In April the Soviet Ambassador to Mexico, while piously denying in a private conversation that Soviet foreign commercial activity was ordinarily subordinated to political motives, admitted that this was true in the case of India.

Finally, with regard to the Sino-Indian border issue, Moscow was equivocal in the first half of 1961. On the one hand, the CPI was apparently instructed to say as little as possible. Guidance to this effect may conceivably have been furnished Indian party leaders in Moscow in December 1960; at any rate, at the end of February 1961, a letter was received from the CPSU, signed by Suslov, asking the CPI not to make statements categorically condemning China, but on the other hand to do nothing either to antagonize further Indian public opinion on this issue. This guidance was reiterated by Suslov during his visit to India in personal briefings to CPI leaders on 6 and 14 April, and the CPI went from reiteration of the Meerut formula (in the February National Council resolution) to silence on the border issue (in the resolutions of the April party congress) . At the same time, the Soviet-linked Indian organ Blitz continued to manifest a strongly nationalistic, explicitly anti-Chinese line. The Soviet Union itself was non-committal, particularly in regard to the question of its maps of the Sino-Indian border, a topic on which New Delhi was repeatedly prodding Moscow during the spring. In March, an Indian spokesman declared that 1959 Soviet maps had shown Bhutan and Sikkim as independent states, whereas much older maps had shown them as Indian protectorates; he said India had brought up this matter repeatedly, the last time in November 1960, but that no positive reply had yet been received from the USSR. According to Indian government announcements, by April the GDR, Hungary, and North Vietnam had assured India that they would not print incorrect maps again, but other Communist countries — as Nehru put it on 21 April — "were reluctant to correct them as they felt to do so would mean taking an active political step."
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