Social Scientist. v 3, no. 33 (April 1975) p. 72.

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Review Article

Silver Jubilee with J\fo Silver Lining


POLITICS of the ruling classes has always been in conflict with that of the working class and its allies. It is reflected from right to left across the Indian spectrum. The economic and political crisis of the country is the culmination of ruling class policies for capitalist development at a time when world capitalism itself is shaking to its very foundations. The bankruptcy of the policies, and the conflict between the classes form the subject of EMS Namboodiripad's Conflicts and Crisis.

This book of 21 chapters begins with a flashback to the dawn of independence when Mahatma Gandhi, disillusioned by the communal holocaust and the animosity between the two nascent states of the subcontinent, refrained from participating in the festivities. Whatever he stood and fought for had lost their meaning. He saw also the seeds of disruption within the Congress Party: the battle royal had started between its organizational and ministerial wings—between Kripalani and Nehru— the forerunner of the Nehru-Tandon clash in 1951, the Kamaraj Plan in the last days of Nehru and the bitter controversy in the post-Nehru period. As Gandhiji then, so too have the people been disillusioned with Congress policies. This was one of the reasons for the Communist Party of India (Marxist) to abstain from the Jubilee Year celebrations in 1972. The relevant extracts are quoted from the GPI (M) statement.

With a semi-fascist terror raging in West Bengal, with widespread repression in other parts, with mounting economic misery of the people after 25 years of independence, and with the threat of an authoritarian one-party dictatorship coming from the ruling party, it would be dishonouring the memory of the martyrs to participate in the official celebrations which are really made to give only a popular boost to the government and the Congress Party1.

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