Labour Monthly, December 1942
Source: Labour Monthly, December 1942, p. 386-387, reviews by Clemens Dutt;
Transcribed: by Ted Crawford.
There is no excuse now for not knowing something about India. Quite a number of informative pamphlets and studies have been issued this year. It is perhaps natural that the most useful should have been written by Indians. But it is also a sign of the times that they have a wider outlook and a fresher way of presenting things than most of the English ones.
Professor Gangulee’s scholarly study is not the best example, but it has many points of interest. Half his book is devoted to the path traversed by other countries in establishing a democratic constitution, notably France, the U.S.A., Ireland, the U.S.S.R., and the new states established in Europe after the last war. Unaccountably, he omits all reference to China. This is not a Marxist book, but just because the author has some knowledge of Marxism he is able to avoid the usual platitudes of academic political philosophy. In his historical picture and comparisons he does not hesitate to bring out the class basis in the establishment of bourgeois democracy.
Unfortunately, the professorial caution, which is evident in his treatment of the U.S.S.R., prevents him from going very deep in the application of his Marxist experience to India.
For a real understanding of the political issue one must turn to Joshi’s pamphlet. For breadth of view, logical thought and vivid presentation nothing could excel it. It is the authoritative voice of a mighty living movement which knows that the future belongs to it.
Finally, one may mention two recent examples of informative pamphlets. For those who know nothing about India and would like a brightly written compendium of facts about the country and its problems, that by Matters can be recommended. True the author is not an Indian but an Australian who has been a Labour M.P. He offers no solutions, but his sympathy for the Indian viewpoint is evident. For some of his factual material he seems to have culled freely, but without acknowledgement, from R.P. Dutt’s India Today.
The other booklet looks like a typical well-printed Oxford University Press school book. One expects old-fashioned, imperialist propaganda, but finds agreeably enough an intimate description that could only be written by an Indian, even though one who has closely associated British views. Its weakest feature is its simple acceptance of the India Office view of the Cripps negotiations and its echo of official complacency about India’s war effort.
1. Constituent Assembly for India by N. Gangulee (Allen & Unwin, 16s.).
2. The Indian Communist Party : Its Policy and Work in the War of Liberation by P.C. Joshi. (C.P.G.B., 6d.).
3. India by L.W. Matters. A Hurricane Book (W.H. Allen & Co., 9d.)
4. India by T. A. Raman. The World Today series (Oxford University Press, 3s. 6d.).