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India’s People Still Demand Freedom!

(July 1942)

From Labor Action, Vol. 6 No. 30, 27 July 1942, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

“Events happening from day to clay and the experience which the people of India are passing through confirm the opinion, of congressmen that British rule in India must end immediately, not merely because foreign domination at its best is evil in itself and a continuing injury to a subject people ...

“The freedom of India is thus necessary not only in the interests of India but also for the safety of the world, for ending Nazism and fascism, militarism and other forms of imperialism ...”

With these words the Indian National Congress, headed by Gandhi, has once again confirmed the overwhelming belief of that nation’s 400,000,000 people. “We demand immediate and unconditional independence from British imperialist rule.” This is their belief.

Almost three months have passed since the Cripps mission to India failed and His Majesty’s loyal servant was unceremoniously booted out of the country. During that period the Japanese have conquered Burma and are now slowly preparing the way for a full assault upon India from their occupied positions.

During that period the people of India by their steadfast opposition to the British, by their refusal to lift a finger to help the imperialist troops who occupy their nation, have more than confirmed everything that Labor Action has previously written on this matter. Only complete independence will move them into action or self-defense. While their conservative leaders (Gandhi, Nehru & Co.) have kept up a constant game of negotiation – trying to make an agreement with the British masters – the workers and peasants have refused to participate in this treachery. Instead, they forced, the expulsion from the Congress of C.R. Rajagopalichariar, the most openly pro-British of all the conservative Congress leaders!

Now the Working Committee of the Congress has adopted a resolution stating that unless the British grant them independence the National Congress will be forced to launch a nation-wide “civil disobedience” movement against the imperialists. The resolution is full of numerous loopholes and open doors that will permit the resumption of negotiations between England and Gandhi, if the former are willing, but it nevertheless shows how determined and resolute are the people who want to fight NOW for their independence.

The British have already indicated that they will not resume negotiations and that they are set to use force and violence against any national movement when and if it begins. In this they merely prove – once more – the hypocritical nature of their democratic pretenses.

The question of India is still before the world. It will never be settled until imperialist rule of that great country has been wiped put. If the people of India finally start a mass movement for their independence it will be a more than welcome day for the socialist and working class movement.

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