Social Scientist. v 15, no. 169 (June 1987) p. 67.


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Book Review

In Defence of India s "Marxist Establishment"

p,c. JOSHI : Marxism and Social Revolution in India and other Essays, Patriot Publishers, Price : Rs. 140, pp 227

I AM GRATEFUL to the author of this volume for having taken note of my Economics and Politics of India's Socialist Pattern, bracketing it with the works of such renowned social scientists as Gunnar Myrdal, Charles Bettelheim, Paul A Baran, Barrington Moore Jr., Katheleen Gough and a host of other scholars ; they all "reflected a somewhat similar orientation and approach" to mine (P. 67).

I do not, however, belong to the distinguished company of professional social scientists. I am a part of what Dr. Joshi calls the "Marxist Establishment" in India. It was in the course of my practical political activities—first as a radical democrat, a socialist and finally as a Communist—that I developed theoretically.

The opening essay in this collection and at least two that follow contain a sharp critique of the "Marxist Establishment" or "traditional Marxists"—another term used by Dr. Joshi to describe us. As such, Dr, Joshi has taken up cudgels against my book as well. It is therefore necessary to put the record straight.

Marxism as Political Programme and Tactics

Let me at the very outset express my agreement with the author when he says, "In India, Marxism first spread as political programme and tactics of the Communist groups." (P. 3) The Indian national revolutionaries who went to the Soviet Union, in the early years of the existence of the first socialist country in the world, formed the first group of Indian Communists. Moved by no other consideration than the intense desire to see their country free, they saw in the new revolutionary state a sure guide and leader. Out of these groups of emigre Indian revolutionaries the Communist Party of India was first formed in the Soviet city of Tashkent on October 20, 1920.



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