ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Urban Labour Market

september 15, 1979 leadership from working class struggles. While speaking of the need for Communists" to identify with the poor, he held up the example of Gandhi: " .. he in his life style identified himself with the poor peasant and thereby made him feel that he was one with him, instilled into him the courage to stand up against the foreign rule." Is this assessment borne out by facts? When the poor really stood up against foreign rule, Gandhi held him back, as happened in Chauri Chaura. As for his life-style, it was more of a receptive facade than a genuine mark of identification with the poor. Perhaps the late Sarojini Naidu was more clearsighted in her assessment of Gandhi's life style when she said many years ago: "The world does not know how much we have to spend to keep Gandhiji oner", the most interesting part of the present book is the last chapter entitled 'Memoir of an Indian Communist' which is actually a republication of an interview with K Damodaran which appeared first in the New Left Review, No 93, September-October 1975. Unlike many Indian Communist intellectuals, Damodaran was frank and bold enough to evaluate the entire past of both the Indian and international Communist movements and raise pertinent questions. He spoke in the interview of his differences with the Chinese and Soviet comrades during 1962, his growing disenchantment with the Soviet Communist party, and creeping doubts about electoral victories in India. Thus, Damodaran on Trotsky: 'l don't believe in the Stalinist falsification of history in which Trotsky was depicted as an im- a list spy and a fascist agent... I mime Trotsky, Bukharin, Rosa Luxemburg, Gramsci, Lukacs and other Marxists should seriously be studied and critically evaluated by all Communists. Marxism will be poorer if we eliminate them from the history of the world communist movement,' Or, when the interviewer asked him about the 'necessity of helping to stimulate and create organs of popular power of a Soviet type which could organise the masses independently of the bourgeois state and could be utilised to challenge the state when the need arose", Damodaran admitted: "These problems you mention are very important and vital ones, but I am sorry to say that they did not enter into the dicussions which took place [within the CPI], One of the results of Stalinism has been precisely that the key importance of organising the masses through their own organs of power, such as Soviets, has disappeared".

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