Social Scientist. v 14, no. 152 (Jan 1986) p. 34.


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A SATYANARAYANA

Rise and Growth of the Left Movement in Andhra, 1934-1939

IN THE GENERAL logic of the nationalist historiography the anti-imperialist movement led by Congress is regarded as drawing together all the "people" against the British. The "people" is here viewed as an undifferen-riated category either in terms of'classes' or 'communities'. What remains, however, insufficiently stressed is the fact that the broad mass of people had their own interests to safeguard, along with a concern which led them to cooperate with the Congress in the anti-imperialist struggle. Therefore, their actions involved them in a particular relation with the nationalist leadership and frequently they developed conflicts with their programme, strategy and tactics.

In this paper an attempt has been made to study such actions of the groups comprising the peasantry, the agricultural labour and the working class as represented by the left, i.e., the Congress socialists and Communists in Andhra during 1934-39 and their aims, objectives and struggles in the context of a particular political development.

The abandonment of the Civil Disobedience Movement had left a "residue of bewilderment" and disillusion among the younger Congress members, an entire generation of whom had entered the political ar^na during 1930-32 and they were dissatisfied with the Gandhian methods of struggle and leadership. A majority of them also felt that the Gandhi-Irwin Pact did not give adequate protection to the peasantry and other sections who had suffered in the movement. This feel ing of "neglect" was the background for the "socialist minded men" meeting (in May 1934) at Gokhale Public Hall, Patna, when the Congress Socialist Party came into being.' For them, independence did npt merely mean the overthrow of the British, but the liberation of the common masses from economic exploitation and the removal of exploitation through the achievement of socialism.

During this period Andhra witnessed the rise of several revolutionary societies, such as the Hindustan Socialist Republican Party (HSRP) which aimed ^to attain Swaraj through revolutionary means"'. In fact, scores of

* Deportment of History, Osmaniť Uliivermy, Hvdcr.ilwi.



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