REVIEW ARTICLE 159
point out that not only has the Indian working class formed itself but gone into^rction in defence of the democratic leader Lokmanya Tilak.
The emergence of those two classes, their conflicts, along with their unity in the struggle against British imperialism—these have of course been mentioned in the opening essay in Habib*s book. The all-class national movement, including the anti-imperialist sections of the bourgeoisie, but increasingly coming under the hegemony of the working class had been set as the objective of the Marxist vanguard in the national movement. How this process advanced, how the two classes came in conflict with each other on the perspective towards the freedom struggle has not been explained in these essays, except in a general reference to the'anti-imperialist united front and the assertion that the force of the working class has played a positive role in the developing anti-imperialist movement.
It is over six decades since the programme of anti-imperialist united front was formulated, with the perspective that the working class unites with, but struggles against, the bourgeoisie. How this unity-struggle pattern developed, how the bourgeoisie threw the banner of anti-imperialist united front away, how it came to a compromise with British imperialism on the transfer of political power, how in the process the bourgeoisie accepted the demand of the Muslim League for the division of India, how the proletariat and its party demarcated itself from and fought the bourgeoisie in the post-independence decades—all these have been left unexamined.
This process has now reached a new stage in which the present-day leadership of the Indian bourgeoisie has abandoned even those elements of the struggle against imperialism which were present in the Nehru line adopted in the mid-1950s. In its place has come the new economic policy of the Narasimha Rao government (with its counterpart in the political sphere, both domestic and foreign), which as gone far in making India a satellite of world imperialism.
The situation however is not so gloomy as we may fear. For, resistance to the course adopted by the Narasimha Rao government is growing—resistance in which the worker-peasant masses are playing a crucial role. This, in fact, is the essence of the present-day national political situation.
I hope that Prof. Habib, in co-operation with other Marxist historians, will develop this aspect of the history of classes and class struggles in India.