History of Communist Party 1920-2020

Special Congress 1958: On the Back of Electoral Victories and Intense Debates

THE period from 1957 was one of gradually intensifying debate inside the Communist Party over fundamental ideological issues. However, the Party put aside all its ideological differences and rallied unitedly in the fight to defeat the Congress Party in the second general elections held in 1957. Though the Congress retained power at the centre and in all states, except Kerala, a massive change took place in the political landscape of the country.

Kerala – The First Elected Communist Government

THE formation of the communist government in Kerala on April 5, 1957 was hailed in India and throughout the world as a new experiment. Before this, the Communist Party had never won a free and fair election in any part of the world. The Communist Party won 65 seats in the then legislative assembly of 127 and emerged as the single largest party in the first elections held for the newly formed Kerala state. It secured more than 50 per cent of the votes in 34 constituencies and between 48 and 50 per cent votes in 8 constituencies.

On the Formation of Linguistic States

Communists had played a pioneering role in the struggle for the formation of linguistic states. Apart from struggle for the formation of Vishalandhra, Aikya Kerala, many communist and left leaders played an important role in the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement (commonly known as the Samiti) that led the struggle for the formation of Maharashtra. On the other hand, RSS and its head, Golwalkar opposed the formation of linguistic states.

The Fourth Congress: Inner-party Struggle Begins

THE demand for the formation of linguistic states was always one of the important demands raised by the Communist Party. This was also one of the major demands of the various peasant struggles led by the Communist Party. After independence, the Congress government refused to concede this demand on the plea that it would lead to the disintegration of the nation. Refuting this argument, communists campaigned extensively among the people and also conducted various struggles.

Third Party Congress – An Attempt towards Course Correction

THE first general elections, with universal adult franchise, were held in 1952. Immediately after the conclusion of its all India conference, though hampered by severe limitations, the Communist Party went into preparations for these elections. Most of the members of the Central Committee of the Party could not campaign in these elections as the widespread terror perpetuated by the military and police forces in the strongholds of the Communist Party, continued.

Tripura: Struggle for Democracy and Tribal Rights

IN the early 1940s, the Communist Party was present mainly among a few urban non-tribal people in Tripura. During this period, after the conclusion of Second World War, twelve educated tribal youth came together to form Janasiksha Samiti (JSS, Mass Literacy Association) on December 27, 1945. The objective of the JSS was to not only campaign for literacy, but also to struggle against exploitation, various social ills and superstitions prevalent in the tribal society.

Lessons from the Glorious Telangana People’s Armed Struggle

General JN Chowdhury of the Indian army boasted that ‘within six weeks he would liquidate communists all over the Hyderabad State.’ Accordingly, some unofficial estimates indicate that the government of India spent as much money and resources in Hyderabad then, as it had spent in its war with Pakistan over the issue of Kashmir during the years 1947-48. Even then, it failed to ‘liquidate communists’ in the Telangana region.

The Glorious Telangana People’s Armed Struggle – III Police Action and Withdrawal

THE Union government launched ‘police action’ on September 13, 1948, on Hyderabad State to force the Nizam to accede to the Indian Union and to suppress the spreading Telangana peasant movement. Except in a few pockets, the Nizam’s army did not resist the Union forces and surrendered themselves. The Nizam himself, surrendered within five days – on September 18, 1948.

Glorious Telangana Armed People’s Struggle – II

THE upsurge of the Telangana peasants shook the Nizam’s rule to its foundations. In order to re-establish control over his domains, the Nizam resorted to large-scale terror. The newly independent Indian government concluded a stand-still agreement with the Nizam and supplied his government with arms and ammunition. Armed storm-troopers, ‘razakars’, were organised and let loose on the villagers, with the government’s backing. Looting, arson, torture, murder and rape became widespread.

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