B T RANADIVE^
The Role Played by Communists in the Freedom Struggle of India
THE ROLE PLAYED by the Communists in the freedom struggle of our country generally not only goes unrecognised but the Communists are periodically maligned and slandered as opponents of the freedom struggle by hired hacks and interested bourgeois historians.
It is obvious that the Communist Party did not play a decisive role in the freedom struggle; otherwise the Indian people would not have been facing the miserable conditions they are facing today, with poverty and unemployment increasing, with the spectacle of a nation at discord, a victim of every divisive force. The leadership of the freedom struggle remained firmly in the hands of the bourgeois leadership of the Indian National Congress. Even when mass struggles sometimes went beyond the limits set by the Congress, when people turned to armed resistance, the consciousness of the masses accepting this leadership did not change, and therefore the struggles could not spread all over India.
The cohesive and unifying elements were represented by the bourgeois leadership and the non^class nationalist ideology it preached. The illusion of a homogeneous society free from internal class conflict is common among oppressed people, and it dogged the Indian masses to the last. When a people have to fight a foreign enslaver the illusion of complete homogeneity among them is easily created. Very few raise the question how, under the old social system, the country got enslaved. If at all it is raised, it is hushed up saying that all these questions can be settled once we are free. No thought is given to the play of various interests and their position in relation to the foreign rulers. No effort is made to demarcate those whose interests run counter to the ultimate interests of the masses, who pursue narrow class aims of their own in the people's struggle, and to ensure that they do not prevent the freedom struggle from running its full course.
The Communists were reviled as saboteurs of the freedom struggle when they pointed out the class limitations of the Congress leadership
*Member, Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).