64 SOCIAL SCIENTIST
of interest was Neelkant^s "Gajanan Madhav Muktibodh". The first lumber gave seven short-stories, five book reviews, a few short notes on dramatic activity in Allahabad, etc.
Formidable in bulk and enjoying involvement of a score of progressives among Hindi writers, the first number of Katha aroused immediate interest. The editor, Markandeya, himself a writer reputed for serious purposive writing, was able to bring together most of the well-known names. This is an achievement in itself since under the pressure of Western literary influences, almost all writers had earlier remained ^ scattered. But even more important than this was that in the changing historical situation, it had become necessary to thrash out and propagate a different kind of awareness about social reality. It was, however, natural that such an awareness took its own time to mature. Thus the first number could not go much beyond starting the process. The discussion on "Nirala'9 remained verbose and wayward, while Neelkanth only summarised, though very competently, Muktibodh's writings.
The real strength of Katha,, however, came out in its second number. It openly recognised the importance of discussion on political issues, in this way striking hard at the ^writer's inhibition about things political. The much vulgarised word 'socialism5 was the subject of the seminar. Well framed and comprehensive questions were posed editorially before political leaders of different shades of socialist opinion ; namely S N 'Dwivedi, (PSP), MadhuLimaye (SSP), Tridib Kumar Chaudhry (RSP), C Rajeshwar Rao (CPI), B T Ranadive (CPI-M). These leaders were unanimous on the big gap between the professions and practice of 'Congress Socialism' which resulted, in the words of Madhu Limaye, into the strengthening of "capitalism, bureaucracy and feudalism". Though not unexpectedly, they suggested^ different methods to take the country out of the present state. S N Dwivedi did not accept the principle that the present Indian Constitution was hindering the way to socialism. C Rajeshwar Rao on the other hand envisaged that all leftist and democratic political parties and the progressive section of the Indira Gandhi Congress should unite to fight 'monopolists and landlords'. At another ]p>Iace he asserted that the CPI was the only party which offered a left alternative to Congress Government and that they had been suggesting a joint front of democratic parties so that the people were pulled out of the 'quagmire of Congress Government9.
\ B T Ranadive differed with others in a fundamental way when he said that State power is used by the ruling class to suppress the people and that the Indian Constitution represented the interests of the ruling class. He added that whenever people posed a threat to State power, the ruling class curbed them ruthlessly. He criticised all parties, the Right Communist Party included, for nurturing illusions about the parliamentary method. ^ He ascribed the weaknesses of the communist movement in India to its deviation from Marxism to this or that side and its failure to contribute t6^ar3s the worker-peasant revolution led by the