Congress Socialist Party (CSP)

The CSP was founded in 1934.

The party was founded as a socialist caucus within the Indian National Congress.

The Socialist Party of Congress was founded by revolutionary and young congressmen who had come  into contact with Marxist ideas during their long term imprisonment in the Civil Disobedience Movement

The Congress Socialists belonged to the westernized middle class.

They practiced Marxian Socialism, Congress Nationalism and liberal democracy of the West. J.P Narayan and Minoo Masani were released from jail in April 1934.

JP Narayan convened a meeting in Patna on 17 May 1934, which founded the Bihar Congress Socialist Party.

JP Narayan became general secretary of the party and Acharya Narendra Deva became president.

The meeting in Patna called for a socialist conference to be held in conjunction with the Annual Conference of Congress.

They founded a new All India Party, the Congress Socialist Party, at this meeting, held in Bombay on October 22-23, 1934.

JP Narayan became the general secretary of the party and Masani joint secretary. In the new party, the greeting ‘comrade‘was used.

Minoo Masani mobilized the party in Bombay while in other parts of Maharashtra Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya and Purushottam Trikamdas organized the party.

The CSP constitution specified that CSP members were members of the Provisional Socialist Party Congress and that they were all expected to be members of the National Indian Congress.

The Communists joined CSP in 1936, as part of the Comintern’s Popular Front policy.

Communists dominated CSP in Kerala and Orissa.

Communists, in fact, controlled the whole Congress in Kerala at one point through its hold of CSP.

The CSP had adopted Marxism in 1936.

The CSP wanted to transform society by implementing social reforms.

They were more under the influence of Western liberalism rather than Marxian Communism.

They were not in support of Marx saying that transformations and improvements would only occur violently.

But their ideology remained related to Indian nationalism.

They did not support the ideas of Congress to extend conditional support to the British Government during the Second World War.

They began mass revolutionary activities and during the Quit India movement increased significantly.

The CSP coordinated the movement of the peasants and brought about a union between different trade unions.

Of course, the Socialists in India did not pursue one common ideology because it consisted of Marxists like J.P. Narayan and Narendra Dev, Socialist Democrats like M.R. Masani, Gandhian like Patwardhan and Populist like Dr. Ram Monohar Lohia.


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