Buddhadeva Bhattacharya

Origins of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP)




Footsteps shuffling a thousand years in this square
will not rub off the trace of your blood from these stones
though the babble of countless voices cross this quietness
that bell will echo, tolling the hour of your death
though rain may rot these walls to their foundations
it will not quench the blaze of your martyred names
nor the dead band of a thousand nights of oppression
stifle your living hope for that destined day
that we throughout the world, so many of us,
are yearning toward the final day of suffering,
the clay of justice won through bitter struggle
and you, O fallen brothers, out of the silence
your voices will rise in the mighty shout of freedom
when the hope of the people flames into paeans of joy.

   — Pablo Neruda

Source: pamphlet
Published: 1982
Transcription/HTML: Mike B.
Proofread: Sukla Sen
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2006). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.




Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight


[MIA Transcribers' Notes] The 'Origins of the RSP' by Buddhadeva Bhattacharya, a scholar of some repute and a political activist himself, is essentially a historical document. Even though it is rather slim but valuable nevertheless.

For one, despite abundance, in fact overabundance of foot-notes and citations of source documents — typical of the author's style, this monograph is also largely based on live interactions with many important 'subjects' of the History that this slim volume deals with. That's no mean advantage.

The foreword — an even briefer historical account of the period concerned, is contributed by his political and ideological mentor, who despite the rather small size of the following of the political trend that he came to champion and lead occupies an important position in the annals of modern Indian history. His portrait adorns the Central Hall of the Indian Parliament together with selected others.

The main importance of this volume, however, lies in the subject matter itself. It deals with a certain minority, but nevertheless pretty hallowed in popular perception, militant trend within the huge tradition of colonised India's struggle for national independence — quite often rather misleadingly almost exclusively equated with its best known leader M. K. Gandhi, better known as Mahatma (the Great Soul) Gandhi.

It traces the trajectory of the evolution of the leading section of militant nationalism into a Marxist current.

Its social base consisting of primarily middle class upper caste Hindu youth with privileged social background fired with idealism was evidently at odds with its dedicated efforts to convert itself into band of 'declassed' professional revolutionaries as prescribed by Lenin. The author, however, makes no attempt to tackle this problematic.

The other point of considerable significance is that it deals with a minority trend within Indian Marxism which attempted to and stood on its own feet defying and challenging the overwhelming moral, psychological and political authority of Stalin in the arena of international Communism. In the days, when dissent ipso facto amounted to treachery, and even worse, it was no mean achievement. It is a highly engaging story, if only on this count.

Despite his openly partisan character, the author is known for his high degree of scholarly integrity. That undoubtedly adds to the value of this volume as a piece of historical document dealing with a specific chapter and aspect of India's Freedom Movement — its complex and evolving relationship with Marxism in terms of the genesis of a political party, swearing by Revolutionary Marxism-Leninism, called the RSP (Revolutionary Socialist Party.)

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