Social Scientist. v 14, no. 159-60 (Aug-Sept 1986) p. 3.

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The Left In India s Freedom Movement And In Free India

THE AUTHOR of this paper has been an active participant in the left movement since the early 1930s. His personal knowledge of the movement is naturally confined to the progress registered during the last half century. The left movement, however, dates back to the early years of the present century, or almost three decades earlier than the author's entry into it.

The Lal-Bal-Pal Leadership

The emergence of the left movement in India coincided with radical trends in the anti-imperialist movements in several other colonial, semi-colonial and dependent countries, particularly in Asia. The defeat of Czarist Russia at the hands of a newly emerging Asian imperialist power (Japan) and the first Russian Revolution (1905) inspired radical forces throughout Asia. Lenin in his writings noted this new trend in the oppressed countries which, he pointed out, could become an integral part of the revolutionary movement developing in the capitalist countries. Demarcating himself from the right-wing Social Democrats of the second International who took a negative stand on the freedom struggles of the oppressed peoples, he did his best to educate the revolutionaries in the international movement on the importance of fraternal cooperation between the two forces—the working class^in capitalist countries fighting for socialism and the peoples of the oppressed countries trying to throw off the colonial yoke.

On India in particular, Lenin made a positive assessment of the emerging left in the freedom movement headed by Lokmanya Tilak who made the historic declaration "Swaraj is my birth right; and I will have it". The barbarous sentence given by a British court to the Lokmanya, following which there was a protest general strike of the Bombay working class, was noted by Lenin as a significant pointer to the emergence of a national revolutionary trend in India.

Tilak and his distinguished colleagues Lala Lajpat Rai and Bipin Chandra Pal—known as the Lal-Pal-Bal trio -introduced what came to be known as the "politics of militancy", as opposed to that of

^O^n^ral Secretary, Corpmunist Party of India (Marxist).

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