Social Scientist. v 8, no. 88 (Nov 1979) p. 23.

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Communist International and Indian Tirade Union Movement (igig-igs^)

THE present article deals with the formative period of Indian communists9 involvement in the Indian trade union movement. I call it the formative period because the Communist Party of India had not yet come into existence, at least organizationally, and the existing communist groups, individually or collectively, had not yet been able to establish themselves in the field of trade unions. Some of them were, however, already involved in the politics of anti-imperialist freedom movement of the Indian National Congress under Gandhi's leadership (S A Dange and Singara-velu Chettiar), while others were coming into the political arena through academic or journalistic activities (Muzaffar Ahmad).1

Broadly speaking, four (later on five) groups of communists were functioning at this time from Bombay, Calcutta, Lahore and Madras (later on Kanpur), led respectively by S A Dange, Muzaffar Ahmad, Ghulam Hussain and Singaravclu Chettiar (Shaukat Usmani was the leader at Kanpur)2. Even at this formative period, these groups had accepted the Communist InternationaFs (Comintern) leadership unconditionally and sought the latter's constant guidance. However, the first congress of the Gomintern which met in Moscow from March 2 to March 6, 1919, was not attended by any representative or delegate from India. Nor did

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