“The Indian Independence Movement,” by Kumar Sarkar

A nice, short analysis of the Indian independence movement, written by Kumar Sarkar, the nom de guerre of an Indian Maoist revolutionary. Most Indian and Nepalese revolutionaries use noms de guerre due to state repression in their homelands. This is a good piece, nice and short, well-written by a smart guy, from a Marxist perspective, that you might enjoy if you are interested in the subject.

I believe that India was deindustrialized in the 18th – early 19th centuries. Following that, colonialism succeeded in preventing the growth of a national bourgeoisie capable of leading a democratic revolution and industrialization. Emerging bourgeois forces were not independent, and they compromised with Brahminic ‘feudalism’ instead of smashing it, as it happened in Europe during the ‘classical’ bourgeois democratic revolution.

The product was a predominantly comprador bourgeoisie, often still with feudal roots and a strange mixture of bourgeois-Brahminic feudal ideology. The non-comprador elements never gained any real strength.

Thus, the democratic revolution failed to take place, probably nipped in the bud that was once about to show itself, in Bengal. Casteism, discrimination against Muslims, which is an extension of casteism, Brahminic land relations and social order remained virtually intact.

The so-called nationalist movement that started in 1905 in Bengal against its partition was a deformed phenomenon from the beginning, without the support of the Muslims, and in fact often directed against them. This was repeated all over the sub-continent till 1947 with its abortive end and partition of India.

The role of Nehru, Krishna Menon, Subhas Chandra Bose, etc. cannot be understood with the European model of Marxism. The political philosophy of Bose and that of the so-called ‘socialist group’ within the Congress have not been researched yet. Nehru’s individual pro-Marxist attitude ended after his association with Gandhi. The class base of these people remains to be investigated and can only be understood in the background described above.

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