Social Scientist. v 2, no. 21 (April 1974) p. 73.


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BOOK REVIEW

Review Article

The National Question

S N MAZUMDAR, THE NATIONAL QUESTION AND ITS LENINIST Solution in the Soviet Union, Classical Publications, Calcutta-17, 1974, Price Rs 5.00

THOSE who keep in mind the Marxist-Leninist stand on the national-colonial question as enunciated and elaborated by Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin will agree with S N Mazumdar's contention in the preface to his book The national Question and its Leninist Solution in the Soviet Union, that India, a multi-national state, has much to learn from the Soviet experience in solving her own national problem.

However, despite his wish Mazumdar has taken care to leave it to others to concretely assess the national question as it confronts us in our country and to apply the Marxist-Leninist teachings in the particular epoch we are passing through. Quoting Marx or Lenin appears to be enough for the author. He makes no attempt to apply the essence of the revolutionary theory in the concrete historical conditions available in our own country. He is in his full element when he confines the theory within the arbitrary limits of the title of his book.

Within these limitations the author conclusively establishes the supremacy of the Marxist-Leninist, socialist way over the capitalist way in resolving the national question in the Soviet Union.

The sharp contrast between national oppression in Tsarist Russia and equality of nations, voluntary union of nations and nationalities brought under working class dictatorship is clearly focussed by the author in his 122-page book.

He begins with a short account of pre-revolutionary Russia "the prison house of peoples especially for the non-Russian peoples" in the Tsarist time. Apart from the brutal economic exploitation and political suppression, the Tsarist government followed the policy of forceful Russi-fication of these backward nationalities. It consistently pursued the policy



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