Discuss the relationship between leftists and Congress during 20th century India.
The relationship between leftists and Congress in 20th century India was complex and evolving. In the 1920s, leftists played an important role in strengthening the organization of the farmers’ movement, and the Congress connected itself with farmers in the larger interests of a mass movement. This led to many Gandhian leaders, such as Rajkumar Shukla, Rajendra Prasad, and Jamnalal Bajaj, joining the farmers’ movement. During the non-cooperation movement, a spice trader from Udaipur called himself a representative of Mahatma Gandhi and joined the farmers’ movement. However, there were also tensions between leftists and the Congress, as seen in Manabendranath Roy’s criticism of Gandhian philosophy in 1922. Leftists like Sripad Amrit Dange, Muzaffar Ahmed, and Singaravellu Chettiyer emphasized dual organization, which conflicted with the Congress’s emphasis on mass mobilization. In the 1930s and 1940s, the relationship between the leftists and Congress became increasingly strained, as the Congress’s nationalist agenda clashed with the communists’ focus on class struggle. After independence, the Congress established a dominant political position, while the leftists remained a minority force. However, the leftists continued to be an important presence in Indian politics, particularly in states like West Bengal and Kerala. In recent years, the left has experienced a decline in popularity but still remains a relevant force in Indian politics. Overall, the relationship between leftists and Congress has been marked by both cooperation and conflict, reflecting the complex dynamics of Indian politics.