DV Rao

Introduction

As India celebrates the Amrut Mahotsav (75 years) of its independence, the questions still remain why India still lags behind, why imperialists still have a say in running the country.

In this era of imperialist globalization, Political Independence became increasingly a concept more imaginary than a reality. India, the second most populous country with a huge economy, often succumbs to pressures from foreign powers and foreign agencies like IMF and World Bank, in matters of economy and even politics. Its policies on farm subsidies and farm laws were guided by them, by MNCs and by their Big Business allies : One Union Minister reportedly told a farmers’ delegation, in an official round of negotiations, that even PM Modi cannot abrogate the laws unless Ambani, Adani and the like agree.      India’s stance towards Iran, a major supplier of oil on favorable terms, is just one case where it bends to US pressure on foreign policy. Its stance towards China was always influenced by the imperialist powers, mainly the Super Powers of the day. Unlike the much smaller countries like Venezuela, Iran, Cuba, North Korea, not to speak of China, which assert their independence, India bends to pressures. Why is it so?

This is an important question of history and politics that is still relevant, and will be useful, particularly to the younger generation who are fed on notions spread by the ruling classes and their system of education and media.

This polemical article by DV Rao (1917-84), veteran communist revolutionary (CR) leader of Telangana People’s Armed struggle (1946-51) who was also a Member of LokSabha (1957-62), discusses the question of the formal nature of India’s independence.

The same views were held by his inseparable veteran comrade-in-arms, T. Nagi Reddy (1917-1976), also a Member of LokSabha (1957-62), whose view was summed by the title of his famous book India Mortgaged.

“This is because a complete and real independence includes economic independence which is fundamentally different from political independence. What we achieved as a result of Transfer of Power was political independence but not complete and real independence…” explains DV Rao in this article, written in early 1981: “It was a result of compromise,between the British colonial masters and the Indian ruling classes.

Economic independence constitutes the Base and is decisive, while political independence is part of the super structure, he explained: Being linked with and dependent on imperialist capital, its economic independence was always constrained; that in turn determined its formal political independence, which varied in degrees from time to time. Various ruling class political forces in India are linked with, and subordinate to imperialists, and are also influenced by inter-imperialist contradictions, he explained.

Thus India’s was not a complete and real independence, DV Rao asserted.

This evaluation of India’s independence was among the ideological-political basic questions that divided the communists, into reformists and revolutionaries, from 1947 itself (see Part-1).

What is the assessment of the Indian state, what strategy and what tactics need to be adopted towards it was a key question of Indian revolution. This article touches that basic question.  

The article briefly touches also the Theory of Differentiation of Countries of the Three Worlds, and how it operated in the world and in India. There is a detailed separate theoretical work (published in The Proletarian Line (PL) No.1, 1979 April) on the Theory by DV Rao.

 Russia then and now

While studying the article, which mentions this Theory, it is to be noted that those were times when US and Soviet Union were both super powers that indulged in star wars, with huge nuclear arsenals. The latter became the main aggressive and the more dominant imperialist power that indulged in foreign interventions and military occupations as in Afghanistan, where it was the occupationist force for a decade, and was hence called Social imperialism (Socialism in words, and imperialism in deeds).

Brezhnev-led Soviet Union had openly supported and aided Indira Gandhi’s fascist Emergency (1975-77), and manipulate the Indian polity. Brezhnev had openly asked CPI to support Indira’s “socialist” regime, an advice suicidal to CPI, as established in 1977 polls.

It had indulged in Regime Change policies, toppled its own protégés (Najibullah and Babrak karmal) as in Afghanistan, and had a role in toppling Morarji-led Janata regime, so soon after a historical, and first-ever electoral victory by non-Congress forces at the Centre. Its notorious role in Middle-east (of no war, no peace that tacitly helped Israel), divisive role in Africa (Angola), in Indo-china (Vietnam vs Kampuchea), in South Asia (Bangladesh, Sikkim) was well known to contemporary observers. It had massed one million troops along its China border for years together. Gorbachev in late 1980s formally wound up these aggressions, too late, and Soviet Union finally collapsed in Dec 1991.

Simultaneously, it was also a period when US was trounced in Indo-China, Vietnam in particular, by 1975, and was helpless against a political revolution in Iran 1979 against US puppet regime of Shah of Iran, when its Embassy and scores of Americans were under siege for 444 days.

US-led military alliances SEATO and CENTO, which involved Third World countries, collapsed and were dissolved, the former in 1977, and the latter in 1979.

It was during that period when Soviet Union was dominant, US President Nixon (in 1972) visited and recognized China, allowed it to take its legitimate seat in UN and its Security Council, more than two decades after PRC was founded. It was only after Soviet collapse that US came up again, and sought a unipolar world.

DV Rao, towards the end of this article, discussed Political Independence in terms of international experience as summed up by Lenin. US and the West bombard through the media that Marxism is outdated, but it is still closely studied by imperialist agencies. It is pertinent to mention that in an Interview to India’s frontline.in magazine, Feb 2, 2018, John Bellamy Foster, Editor of Monthly Review, and an American scholar of political economy, said : “In U.S. strategic circles (I know this from my own academic training in international political economy and international relation theory), they still study Lenin’s Imperialism.”         

This famous long article was written by DV Rao, with the pen name Adityan, as a polemical document and was first published in the Proletarian Line ( PL Number 12, May 1981), the journal founded and edited by him. It was also published in Telugu.

Read Part-1 of this article

https://countercurrents.org/2021/08/on-the-question-of-political-independence-part-1/

It contains the following sections:

  1. Transfer of Power or Real Independence?
  2. Economic independence constitutes the Base which is fundamentally different from political independence which is part of the super structure.
  3. Differences Between Revolutionaries and Reformists like CPI, CPI-M on India’s independence.

This Part-2 has section IV below that explains how India’s political independence was constrained and influenced by the two super powers who were contending for hegemony over South Asia. DV Rao extensively commented, in the PL, during 1979-1984 (he died in July 1984), their role in India, South Asia, and the world. Their role in India was so brazen, as indicated by one of his editorials titled Indian Democracy On The Payrolls Of The Two Super Powers ( PL No.2, June 1979).

The later, section V discusses political independence in terms of international experience as summed up by Lenin.

All emphases and sub-titles are added.

  • Intro by Ramakrishnan

Now Part-2 of DV Rao’s text follows.

***                  ***

IV

The Two Super Powers And Their Role In Contemporary India

Fault finding is no criticism at all. To attempt to find faults when there are no faults is height of dishonesty.

Here is an extract in full which our “critics” quote in part with the vain expectation that it will save them:

‘.……It is clear that Soviet Union does not hold that privileged position which it had enjoyed during the later half of Congress regime. Yet we cannot say that it is weakened considerably. This being the situation, the present regime as represented by Janata Government has no anti-Super power role to play. Therefore to call the present regime’s policy as a struggle for independence against hegemonism is a misnomer. Its activities also bear witness to this.

“Therefore this (Janata) regime cannot be a part of United Front against super powers, not to speak of imperialism as such… (PL No. 1. P.40)

Obviously, this extract forms part of the article In Support Of The Theory Of The Differentiation Of The Three Worlds.

 (It is a long major theoretical work by DV Rao published in PL No. 1, April 1979, that scrupulously adopts the method of Seeking Truth From Facts, which Mao described as the kernel of Marxism. It discussed Basic Contradictions Of The Present Era, Inter-imperialist Contradictions, Strategy And Tasks Of The World Revolution, Soviet Union Then And Now, War And Revolution etc. It also discussed the then current political developments in the world like relative roles of the two super powers USA and Soviet Union, Economics and Politics of the Third world, and developments in India, like the first non-Congress govt at the Centre, that claimed to be a new era – RK.)

It explains how Morarji Desai-led Janata Party regime, could not carry on struggle for independence against hegemonism as a whole, i.e., against the hegemonism of the two super power. Thus it concludes that the regime cannot be a part of United Front against the two super powers. Here the whole question is dealt in a broader sense, rather strategic sense, keeping in mind its links with the two super powers. At the same time it takes note of the political change brought about by relative weakening of Soviet Union in India, with the emergence of Janata regime.

It should be noted that the Janata regime, from its inception, was a conglomeration of anti-Soviet, middle of the road, and pro-Soviet forces in which were included pro-US, pro-Second world forces together with forces of anti-two super powers. This being the situation, the regime as a whole was characterized as one which could not carry on the struggle against hegemonism The timing of the article was before Feb. 1978, when the new regime was yet to display its opposition role vis-a-vis Soviet Union. In this background a euphoria was created by certain M-L Groups in favour of an anti-Soviet United Front including pro-US forces. (Some of them had indeed supported it, and were exposed by DV -RK)

This did not mean that this stand-point did not visualise any struggle what so ever, for independence and against the hegemonism of the two super powers in general and Soviet Union in particular. The heterogeneous nature of Janata Party could not allow it to have a uniform policy of ‘no struggle’ against super powers. Forces ranged against one or the other power or both gained an upper hand at time and had their say either on issues or for a brief period. Morarji’s refusal to sign non-proliferation treaty (NPT) and disclosure of Nanda Devi affair were certainly anti-US stand and his pro-US attitude was not full-fledged. In the same way his anti-Soviet stand was more clear (refusal to wage war against Pakistan, refusal to support the war of aggression against Kampuchea; refusal to recognise the puppet Heng Samrin Government; reducing military and economic dependence on Soviet Union etc.) These are facts which cannot be denied, whether one may like them or not.

How are are we to explain this contradiction? Being representatives of comprador bourgeoisie of a section of imperialist powers including the two super powers, they cannot be compared to those representing national bourgeoisie and those representing that section which is connected with the Second world countries alone who could carry on struggle against the hegemonism of two super powers. Inter-imperialist contradictions, and the contradiction between national bourgeoisie and imperialism result in a struggle of this nature. But the Janata combine included the representatives of comprador bourgeoisie of both the super powers, in which anti-Soviet, and middle of the road forces were comparatively strong and more assertive, at a certain phase of its regime (This was not clear in the earlier phase). The series of anti-Soviet measures indicate the same. Besides this the compradors of US imperialism, weakening as it is, need not rely on it for every-thing. Exposure of Nanda Devi affair reflects the same.

Therefore it is quite correct to say that “August 15, 1947 was the beginning of political independence of our country. But the successive Congress Governments subordinated themselves to imperialists to such an extent that it has become nominal. They were British imperialists to begin with and then US imperialism. Subsequently they became lackeys of the two super powers in general and Soviet Social Imperialism in particular. Janata regime was an exception in the sense that it attempted to assert a marginal independence. Therefore the struggle for independence against the two super powers in general and Soviet Union in particular is going on in our country. It is growing from strength to strength, in spite of the odds it is facing.”

(PL. No. 8, August 1980. P. 1, Emphasis added.)

We have explained earlier that the power transferred was political. Therefore it is quite correct to say that there was a beginning of political independence ever since August 15, 1947. The role the Congress regime is also clear because it was one of becoming a lackey of imperialism. That Nehru regime took certain measures against the wishes of US imperialism did not alter the situation. But our ‘critics” started encountering difficulties when Janata regime asserted marginal independence, Elsewhere we specified in clearest terms that it was against Soviet Social Imperialism. It applies here also, though there was no special mention of it. At the same time, it was not pro-US in all respects. It was more anti-Soviet than anti-US. A regime (Janata) which opposed Soviet Union, a stronger super power, to a certain extent, has no difficulty in opposing US, a weaker superpower. Therefore there is nothing wrong if we say that it asserted marginal independence not only against Soviet Union but also in general implying that it was against the two super powers. To say that Janata regime had done nothing against the wishes of US is wrong and is not based on facts.

Besides this, the article said that the Janata regime “attempted to assert a marginal independence”. To attempt is one thing and to succeed is another thing. The events mentioned earlier clearly show that there had been an attempt. But the success was only partial and not total, because it was toppled by Soviet Union and its lackeys, before it could take further measures in this direction. It also shows that Soviet social imperialism is not ready to reconcile with the marginal independence which the Janata regime had asserted. Herein lies the significance and role of marginal independence.

Further when we say that the struggle for independence is going on in our country, we mean that it is essentially a people’s struggle which has become a permanent feature as also in other countries of the third world. Janata regime had a very very limited role which helped the struggle. The communist revolutionaries are always in the front line of the struggle against hegemonism in general and Soviet hegemonism in particular. But the anti-Soviet forces other than communist revolutionaries had made their open appearance during the Janata regime. They became more powerful after it was toppled, by voicing their protest against the occupation of Afghanistan by Soviet troops, and by the stir against Breznev when he arrived in India (Dec.1980), which (the stir) led to change his route though he was placed in a bullet proof car. Not to see this means equating Janata party with Congress (I) even in secondary aspects. This in turn means departing from the Theory of Differentiation of Countries of Three Worlds.

So, we assert: it is correct to say that Indian comprador bourgeoisie, being one of the ruling classes aligned as it is with both the super powers, cannot carry on struggle for independence and against the hegemonism of the two super powers.

It is also correct to say that Janata regime had attempted to assert marginal independence. After all marginal independence is also political independence but not real independence. Therefore our stand-point is quite consistent with the Theory Of Differentiation Of Three Worlds and its application to our country because one of the main points of the theory is : even the comprador regimes can play a limited independent role of varied nature (more on it will follow), in the context of super power contradictions, inter-imperialist contradictions, contradictions between first and second world countries, advancing national liberation movements etc.

The “critics” pretend that they agree with this formulation contained in the article ‘In Support Of The Theory Of Differentiation Of The Countries Of Three Worlds’ which runs as follows:

“……… With no revolutionary elements (proletariat) and no revolutionary democratic programme, the national movement becomes relatively revolutionary when it is composed of and led by reactionary elements like feudal or bourgeoisie opposed to socialism. It is revolutionary to the extent it is anti-imperialist”. (PL. No. 1, Apr 1979, P. 30)

They conclude from this as follows:

“Consequently it follows that in such a situation as above, regimes and countries with relative independence from imperialism will emerge. This happens when the leading forces are reactionary but not compradors at least to begin With. Such regimes and countries may recede back into no independence at all or nominal independence if the country does not advance to achieve complete independence with genuine revolutionary forces taking over the leadership.”

Their conclusion has nothing in common with what the article says. The extract quoted specifies feudalism and bourgeoisie as reactionary elements. The term bourgeoisie never excluded comprador bourgeoisie. At the same time, it is unequivocal in saying that “it is revolutionary to the extent that it is anti-imperialist”. The Indian National movement, though reformist to begin with, has transformed into a relatively revolutionary one in due course of time. The compradors retained the leadership because the working class failed to dislodge them. The compradors, being what they are, were for transfer of political power, to the exclusion of economic power: They had it in August 1947.

The comprador bourgeoisie is pro-imperialist before and after transfer of power. It is indisputable. It does not mean that it was for continuation of colonial regime and was opposed to transfer of power. Even British imperialism had opted for transfer of power when it was impossible for it to continue colonial regime.

Our ‘critics’ fail to understand that by transfer of political power into their hands, compradors are in a better position to serve the interests of imperialism than without power. No wonder that the compradors wanted transfer of power from the very beginning. Therefore to say that non-comprador reactionary forces (feudal and bourgeois elements) alone want and can have relative independence is wrong and historical experience does not prove it.

Even international experience does not support their stand-point. Chiang Kai-shek of China, the top-most representative of US compradors, had played a role of independence against Japan, during the war against Japan. Presently the ASEAN countries are playing an independent role against the super powers in general and the Soviet Union in particular. One of the ruling classes of these countries is, in the main, comprador of Second world countries (and not the compradors of US and British imperialism as mentioned in the article; P. 2)

Imperialism, once powerful is not always powerful as it is sought to be made out by the “critics”. In the changed situation after the Second World War and with the weakening of US imperialism, the struggle for independence has undergone certain changes. The same article dealing with Asian Security Pact and the attitude adopted by some Asian countries, has to say the following :

“Most of them (Asian regimes: author) are comprador and pro-American regimes, while a few others were or are fighting for their independence. Iran and Saudi Arabia are American Comprador monarchist regimes. (The article was written when the Shah of Iran was still in power). Their reactionary and counter-revolutionary nature is indisputable. Their rejection (Asian Security Pact-author) is dictated by American interests. At the same time, it is an act of independence as against Soviet Union while inter imperialist contradictions are operating in rejecting Asian Security Pact, the ruling classes of these countries as represented by their respective Governments, while defending the interests of US imperialism, have manifested their opposition in action by rejecting the proposed treaty or refusing to sign a bilateral military treaty with Soviet Union. Herein lies their act of independence and its limited character. It has a definite significance in practical politics… “

(P. 33; PL No 1, Apr 1970. Emphasis original)

The extract is the part of the same article “In Support Of The Theory Of The Differentiation Of Countries Of The Three Worlds” which the “critics” claim to accept. It makes us clear that sections of comprador bourgeoisie can play a role of relative independence against imperialist powers with whom they are in the main not connected. It assumes decisive importance when the struggle is against the two super powers in general and Soviet Union in particular. In our case (India) the struggle against Soviet Union assumes decisive significance.

Relegating this decisive task, our ”critics” accuse us of ”excluding US imperialism from hegemonism” and of ”mixing up the forces of hegemonism with the forces of anti-hegemonism”. We have reasoned out this point, long back thus:

“As for the national independence, there are some who oppose both the super powers, particularly Soviet Union. Then there are those who are pro-Soviet and anti-US. Though anti-US trend is national, its being pro-Soviet makes it more anti-national because it is the principal enemy as an imperialist power. Therefore, in the present situation, it cannot be characterized as a national force equaling that of anti-Soviet forces. Still there are some others who are anti-Soviet and pro-US. Though they are pro-imperialist forces, in the sense of being pro US, they are playing the role of forces of national independence and democracy to a smaller measure because of the super power contradiction, and also because Soviet Union is the main aggressive imperialist power we are accused that by opposing Soviet Union, we are supporting US imperialism. They must bear in mind that while concentrating our struggle against Soviet Union, we are not relegating our struggle against US into the background. Those who accuse us of this are neither fighters against US nor (against) reactionaries at home. Empty words lead them nowhere.”                   (PL No. 9, Sep 1980. Editorial : ‘Let us not allow fascism to re-emerge’)

Therefore, those who relegate the struggle against Soviet super power into the background by bringing to the fore the struggle against US and countries of the second world are helping Soviet social imperialism indirectly if not directly.

The struggle for independence is protracted because formal independence or relative independence are transitional forms when compared with the real independence which is the objective of the struggle. In view of this, non-comprador regimes may change into those enjoying different degrees of independence other than what they were earlier. To say that they will change into regimes of “no independence at all” is to say that colonial regimes will stage back, which is not the normal feature of post Second World War period. Of course, there are instances when imperialist powers, more so the two super powers occupied countries with the result that a war of liberation was forced on them (US in Vietnam, and Soviet Union in Afghanistan). But then, it is a struggle between revolution and, counter-revolution but not a relatively stable regime of “no independence at all”…obviously there is no basis whatsoever for such thinking.

We are having countries, which are enjoying a fair measure of independence where ‘”genuine revolutionary forces” have not taken up the leadership. Some of the African States are a standing example. To achieve real independence, the leadership of genuine revolutionary forces is necessary. The struggle may consummate national democratic or people’s democratic revolution. Leadership of such forces is not necessary for political independence. One must be able to differentiate between the two.

V

Lenin on Political independence

Lenin has said something, important as it is, about political independence of a country, which should serve as eye openers to our “critics’. He said :

Finance Capital is such a great, it maybe said, such a decisive force in all economic and international relations, that it is capable of subordinating to itself, and actually does subordinate even States enjoying complete political independence.”      

(P 703, Lenin-Selected Works-Vol 1, Moscow 1946, from Imperialism, The Highest Stage Of Capitalism.)

(“In U.S. strategic circles (I know this from my own academic training in international political economy and international relation theory), they still study Lenin’s Imperialism,” we quoted a scholar above-RK.)          

It is clear that complete political independence does not come in the way of finance capital to enter and expand into those countries.

On the other hand they can go together. Not only that. It can subordinate states enjoying even complete political independence to serve its interests. Though it is said keeping in view the early stages of imperialism, it applies even today in one measure or other when it is greatly weakened. A weakened imperialism cannot adopt the same policy as it did when it was strong. Lenin refers to it in these words :

“Even the colonial policy of capitalism in its previous stages is essentially from the colonial policy of finance capital.”

It is clear from this and experience also proves it, that imperialism has not one and the same policy during all stages of its existence. It will be the same in future also.

For example, its policy by the end of 19th century was to divide the world among themselves (imperialist powers). By 1916, it has changed into re-division of the world, because the division was complete. The policy of re-division was continued subsequently (after the 1st World War), with a change, in which imperialists sought suppression of revolutions, proletarian as well as national democratic.

In the context of post-Second World War situation, wherein national liberation movements have advanced rapidly, they preferred native regimes to their own for continuing hegemonism, domination, oppression and exploitation. It is obvious that advancing national liberation movements are having their adverse impact on these policies. As a result, their policies are facing defeats after defeats, either partially or fully.

Colonial possession is the best form which an imperialist power prefers to have. But when it is impossible to have it or retain it, it keeps open to other forms of subjugation. Why it wants a colonial possession is described by Lenin as following:

“ Colonial possession alone gives complete guarantee of success to the monopolies against all the risks of the struggles with competitors including the risk that the latter will defend themselves by means of a law establishing a state monopoly…” (P. 704).

Imperialist powers want their own colonial possessions so that each one may have a monopoly of the entire resources of the country concerned (for exploitation etc). Herein lies the significance of colonialism. But once it ceases to be a colony, and becomes independent, other powers, especially the dominant powers, make their way into the newly independent country. Lenin has said about the other forms as follows:

“Since we are speaking of colonial policy of capitalist imperialism, it must be observed that capital and its corresponding foreign policy, which reduces itself to the struggle of the great powers for economic and political division of the world, give rise to a number of transitional forms of national independence.” (P. 706)

Thus, it is not the colonial possession alone which is the source of exploitation etc, for individual imperialist powers; there are other forms as well: They are transitional and numerous. It means not a single form lasts forever. They are forms of national dependence, which means that they are not colonial possessions, with colonial regimes. What are they? What are the forms of national dependence?

Lenin adds further :

“The division of the world into two main groups of colony-owning countries on the one hand and colonies on the other – is not the only typical feature of this period, there is also a variety of forms of dependent countries ; countries which, officially are politically independent, but which are in fact enmeshed in the net of financial and diplomatic dependence.”  (P. 706).

Then he refers to semi-colony as one form of dependence, and adds “Another example is provided by Argentina”.

Here Lenin never characterized dependent countries with “a variety of forms” as colonies or having no political independence. On the other hand, he categorically says that they are officially politically independent. The colonies where there was transfer of power, ceased to be colonies and became dependent countries of one variety or another.

Semi-colony is one such form of dependence. These countries are “in the net of financial and diplomatic dependence”. At the same time they are politically independent, as is clear by the above extract. Accordingly India is politically independent because it is a semi-colonial country.

Lenin mentions commercial colony as one of the form of national dependence : He quotes Schulze Gaevernitz approvingly thus :

“South America, and especially Argentina is so dependent financially on London that it ought to be described as almost a British commercial colony.” (P. 706).

Argentina was politically independent. At the same time, it was a commercial colony also. The difference is crystal clear.

Lenin says further :

“A somewhat different form of financial and diplomatic dependence, accompanied by political independence, is presented by Portugal. Portugal is an independent sovereign state. In actual fact, however, for more than two hundred years, since the war of the Spanish Succession (1700-01) it has been a British protectorate.         Relations of this kind have always existed between big and little States. But during the period of capitalist imperialism, they become a general system, they form part of the process of ”dividing the world” they become a link in the chain of operations of world finance capital “. (P. 706-707)

Portugal was an imperialist country possessing colonies till recently. Its being a British protectorate did not come in the way of having political independence and being a Sovereign State. Lenin does not confine “relations of this kind” to Portugal alone. He generalises them for big and small states and for entire world finance capital.

What more evidence one should adduce to show that there can be political independence for a county without having economic independence?

If Lenin had written Imperialism; The Highest Stage Of Capitalism from which all the above extracts have been taken, in 1916, he had added the following subsequently (1920) :

“… the need constantly to explain and expose among the broadest masses of the toilers of all countries, and particularly of the backward countries, the deception systematically practised by the imperialist powers in cheating under the guise of politically independent states, states which are wholly dependent upon them economically, financially and militarily…” (Draft of Thesis on National and Colonial Questions.)

Though Lenin says that the new States, thus created by imperialist powers are a ‘guise,’ he does not say that the states are not politically independent. He specifies that they are dependent economically, financially and militarily. It is clear that, even with a “guise”, the new States thus created are politically independent. The need for exposure lies in the total dependence on imperialist powers, economically, financially and militarily. The political independence becomes a ‘guise”, because of their dependence on these matters. That is to say that it is not a real independence. At the same time, it is political independence. No other interpretation can be given to this important thesis of Lenin.

After the Second World War, the question of political independence assumed more importance than ever.

Why? Almost all the former colonies have become politically independent. The independence which they are enjoying differs in forms and degrees. Sometimes the measure of independence is large and considerable.

Today there are two super powers driving towards hegemonism all over the world. They have been attempting to topple the regimes which are asserting their independence against the two super powers to begin with. Subsequently Soviet Union is in the main toppling the regimes opposed to it. The struggle for independence acquires special significance in view of this situation which is developing after the Second World War.

There was the question of political independence, during the heyday of imperialism (before the First World War). It was there before Second World War when the great power rivalry was intensified and liberation movements began to advance. It assumed serious proportions after liberation; the Second world imperialism has greatly weakened and national liberation movements were greatly strengthened and are advancing. Therefore, it is not new in politics, as is evident from what Lenin has written. What is new is the context of “Three Worlds Theory” in which it is coming to the fore.

There is a mention of political dependence of India on imperialist power in Com. DV’s Court Statement which was explained earlier. Is it not a fact that Congress government acted as a politically dependent on Soviet Union when it has proclaimed internal Emergency in June, 1976? Yes. It did. We can cite more such examples. This has happened because the concerned Government had reduced the political independence to formal independence further and further. As a result, it had to depend on foreign powers on political matters also. Generally speaking, economic dependence makes political independence formal in various degrees. In India it has reached to low levels at times when the regime had to depend on foreign powers politically also. This does not change the significance of political independence which India has.

VI

Conclusion

In fact our ‘critics’ are creating fuss about nothing by digging out the question of ‘Transfer of Power’ to negate that there is no political independence in India, to prove that we have departed from our programme, and Theory Of Differentiation Of Countries Of The Three Worlds. They have indulged in a hopelessly futile exercise and failed to prove their contention in any way whatsoever.

That there was a transfer of power on 15th August 1947 is a fact. It was also a fact that it was political power. Therefore the event of Transfer of Power denotes a political change, i.e., political independence. That is why we say that the event indicates the beginning of political independence. These are all based on facts and not on fantasies. (The ‘Transfer’ of Power was meant to contrasts the ‘seizure’ of power by revolutionary means).

The presence of comprador bourgeoisie as a leading force either in the national movement or in the regime does not negate political independence, which means continuation or restoration of colonial regime: obviously it is absurd. Formal independence is the normal pattern when the comprador bourgeoisie is one of the ruling classes. It is used to contrast real independence, and it has no economic independence. Indian formal independence belongs to this category.

Comprador bourgeoisie can also play an independent role against an imperialist power or powers, when there is a contention between .groups of powers and when it belongs to one of them.

In a situation when world revolution is advancing rapidly, it is possible more than ever. To negate this means, negating inter imperialist contradictions, which undoubtedly is opportunism.

The “critics” are crying wolf that we are departing from our fundamental line, the programme and Theory of Differentiation of Countries of Three Worlds. They have miserably failed in their attempt. In fact they are preparing themselves to take a departure from our fundamental line. Hence the clamour. We are safe with the line, the programme etc. We are advancing by implementing our line with correct orientation. Therefore, it is the “critics” who have to reconsider their position.

Read Part-1 of this article: 

https://countercurrents.org/2021/08/on-the-question-of-political-independence-part-1/

***

For more on the author DV Rao visit:

Comrade DV Rao: Unique Role In  Indian Communist Movement

For com T. Nagi Reddy’s views on Transfer of power, and its context, visit:

The Bourgeoisie And The Bourgeois Democratic Revolution

For some official Documents that explain the Transfer of Power, visit;

Pages from History – 1947 August 15 : Some Documents that explain the Transfer of Power

 


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One Comment

  1. S. N. Murthy Ch says:

    Stating that India has not attained any kind of political independence is just left phrase mongering and not useful to work out proper strategy and tactics to conduct an anti-imperialist mass revolutionary movement to achieve real and full independence. Com.D.V.Rao has excellently and objectively explained the nature and implications of transfer of power took place in August,1947 and how it evolved over time under various regimes which is helpful to conduct a proper and effective struggle.