History of Communist Party 1920-2020

The First Party Congress – 1943

THE first Congress of the Communist Party of India (CPI) was held in 1943 in Bombay. It was held for eight days, from May 23 to June 1. 139 delegates attended the Congress, representing a membership of 15,563. By this time, Party organs were being brought out in 11 languages, with a combined circulation of 60,000. It was estimated that at least 6,00,000 people were reading these organs, along with other leaflets and pamphlets brought out by the Party.

People’s War and Quit India Movement

THE Communist Party had come out in opposition against the Second World War which broke out in September 1939. The Party called upon the people in India to oppose the war and take the lead in launching struggles against the harsh economic conditions resulting from the war. Though the Party faced severe repression with hundreds of its workers being arrested and the ban on the Party and its publications, the members of the Party led many struggles against price rise, food shortages and strikes by the working class.

The Anti-Imperialist War

THE start of the Second World War in 1939 had a tremendous impact on the political developments in India. The British viceroy, without consulting any of the Indian representatives, declared India also a participant in the war. Following the declaration of war, prices of essential commodities shot up. People were discontented at the resulting rise in the cost of living. The Communist Party immediately came out with a declaration opposing the war.

Communist Pioneers – Leaders of Social Reform Movement

MANY communist pioneers were also leaders of social reform movements. The Communist Party, as can be seen from various documents adopted from its initial days, was firmly against discrimination and oppression based on caste and religion. They were also for equal status to women. Many youngsters and freedom fighters were attracted towards the Party due to these ideals and also because of the practical work done by the communists among the masses. This further strengthened communist base among the downtrodden sections.

Red Flag Marches Ahead 1937-39

AS part of the united front tactics, communists started working in the Congress and concentrated on building various mass and class organisations. Red flag was marching ahead and the united front against imperialism was emerging as a powerful force with the active participation of workers, peasants and intelligentsia. The growing impact of trade union and kisan sabha activities forced the Congress to include many demands of the working class and peasantry in its election manifesto for the 1937 elections.

Formation of All India Mass Organisations

COMMUNISTS took the initiative to form various class and mass organisations as part of their efforts to mobilise vast sections of the people for social transformation. In 1936 itself, three all India organisations – All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), All India Students’ Federation (AISF) and Progressive Writers’ Association (PWA) were formed. Communists, along with Left and progressive sections in the Congress, played an important role in their formation.

Dutt-Bradley Thesis

THE Dutt-Bradley Thesis was published in International Press Correspondence (INPRECOR), the journal of Communist International, on February 29, 1936. It was also called the thesis for Anti-imperialist People's Front in India. This Thesis was published in the background of significant international and national developments. While internationally fascism was on the ascendancy, nationally, this was the time when the Civil Disobedience Movement was called off and there was big disappointment among the younger elements in the national movement.

Grappling with Certain Theoretical Questions 1928-1935

THE Sixth Congress of the Communist International (1928) had a profound impact on the communist movement in India. The Colonial Theses of the Sixth Congress revised the understanding of the theses adopted at the Second Congress of the Comintern (1920) under Lenin’s guidance. In the period between the Fifth and Sixth Congress, many right-opportunist groups were expelled from the communist parties in various countries and from the Comintern itself. The Comintern also had to attach special importance to the fight against Trotskyism.

Formation of the All India Centre-XII

THE internal situation in India during the late 1920s and early 1930s was quite complex. The repercussions of the Great Depression that engulfed the entire capitalist world were very painful to Indian people, because the British imperialists tried to resolve the crisis faced by their own country, at the expense of Indian people. Consequently, protests and anger against British rule further intensified and became more widespread.

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