Rise of Congress Socialist Party : 1934 Onwards
Congress Socialist Party, or (CSP), was a left-wing group within the Congress. It was formed with Acharya Narendra Deva as President and Jay Prakash Narayan as General Secretary in 1934.
The rise of this party was due to the increased left influence in the Indian National Congress. By 1935, one third of the Congress members were Congress Socialists. These leaders rejected the idea of Gandhi (which they saw as anti-rational). Though, they remained active in the workers and peasants movement, they rejected the sectarian attitude of the Communist Party of India.
They were influenced by Marxism-Leninism. The members ranged from the advocates of arms struggle to nonviolent resistance. The ideal of this party was decentralized socialism in which a substantial share in the economic power of co-operatives, trade unions, independent farmers, and local authorities.
Some important points:
J P Narayan was lodged in the Nasik Jail in 1932 for civil disobedience against British rule. Here he met with Ram Manohar Lohia, Minoo Masani, Achyut Patwardhan, Ashok Mehta, Yusuf Desai and other national leaders.
After his release in 1934, JP Narayan convened a meeting in Patna which founded the Bihar Congress Socialist Party with Narayan as general secretary and Acharya Narendra Deva as president.
On October 23-23, 1934, another conference was held in Bombay where they formed an all India level “Congress Socialist Party” with Narayan as general secretary and Masani as joint secretary and Acharya Narendra Deva as president.
The greeting “Comrade” was used in the new party.
Masani mobilized the party in Bombay, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya and Puroshottam Trikamdas organized the party in other parts of Maharashtra.
The CSP was not separate from the Congress. Its constitution defined that the members were all required to be members of the Indian National Congress. Members of communal organizations or political organizations, whose goals were incompatible with the ones of CSP, were barred from CSP membership.
Many communists joined the CSP, it adopted Marxism in 1936. They had a conference on the sidelines of the Faizpur Conference and then propounded a doctrine that was aimed to transform the Indian National Congress into an anti-imperialist front.
Thus, emergence of the CSP had a long lasting impact on the politics of the Congress for many years to come.