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Following the withdrawal of CDM, there was a two stage debate on the future course of action.

  1. What course should the national movement take in the near future (period of 1934-35)
  2. The course of action to be taken in 1937 over the question of office acceptance in the context of provincial elections held under autonomy provisions of Government of India Act 1935


At this stage 3 proposals were put forward. The third one represented the rise of strong leftist trend within the congress.

  • 1) There should be constructive work on Gandhian lines                                                                  THE STRATEGIC DEBATE 1934-1937
  • 2) There should be constitutional struggle and participation in elections to the central legislature due in 1934; MA Ansari, Asaf Ali, Bhulabhai Desai, S. Satyamurthy and BC Roy supported this. Their argument for the same was:
  • In the period of political apathy, elections and council can be utilized to keep up the political interest and morale of people
  • Participation in elections and council work didn’t amount to faith in constitutional politics
  • Another political front will help build up congress and prepare masses for next phase
  • The approach would give congress a certain amount of prestige and confidence, and a strong presence in councils would serve as an equivalent to the movement
  • 3) A strong leftist trend within the congress represented by Nehru was critical of both the above options. He argued that these will sideline the political mass action and divert attention from the main issue of struggle against colonialism. Instead he proposed for continued non-constitutional mass struggle because the situation was still revolutionary owing to continued economic crisis and the readiness of mass to fight.                                          THE STRATEGIC DEBATE 1934-1937
  • Basic goal was the abolition of capitalism and establishment of socialism
  • Entry in to council work would mean spiritual defeat and surrender of ideals

He suggested to have class organizations- peasants, workers, traders, businessmen to prepare them for the mass movement.

He suggested that these class organizations be affiliated with congress to influence its policies and activities. He believed that there cannot be genuine anti-imperialist struggle with co-operation the class organized masses.                                                            THE STRATEGIC DEBATE 1934-1937


  • In 1937, the provincial elections were announced and then again the debate of future action loomed. 1935 act was to be opposed. This was clear to everyone.
  • But whether to fight elections, Congress was clear to fight elections of the basis of detailed political and economical action plan to deepen the Anti-Imperialist consciousness of the people.
  • But if the elections are won, the congress was to agree to create government? To this, there were different opinions in the left and Right wing of the congress.


Modern History

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