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New Left Review I/61, May-June 1970


Meghnad Desai

Vortex in India

A Socialist revolution in India would be an event of fundamental significance to the international class struggle. An immense population of 550 million whose rural and urban masses are plunged in abysmal misery and unemployment make India one of the great potential storm-centres within world capitalism. In the last decade, it has become clear that one after another the landmarks of post-independence politics are rapidly disappearing and a turbulent and uncharted future lies ahead. The split in the Communist Party of India between the cpi (Right) and cpi (Marxist) in 1964 and the subsequent split in the cpi (Marxist) which has led to the formation of the cpi (Marxist-Leninist); the formation of United Front Governments in Kerala and West Bengal embracing both the cpi (r) and the cpi (m); the peasant revolt in the Naxalbari district of West Bengal in 1967 and the present emergence of a guerrilla movement in the Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh; the widespread defeat of the Congress Party in the 1967 elections and the vertical national split in the Congress Party in late 1969—this chain of developments must be judged against the economic relations and class structure of Indian society which provide their fundamental background.

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