Raza’s essay looks at the role of the Meerut Conspiracy Case in shaping the course of leftist politics in India. In particular, it takes the case study of a regional leftist movement, and its prime figure, Sohan Singh Josh, to illustrate how the Left was impacted by the case. It argues that the trial set the stage for the creation of an official communism in India, which led to unbridgeable rifts within the leftist spectrum across India, and particularly in the Punjab. This essay then touches on how that was true for politics as a whole. Thus, the trial contributed to the sharpening of political divides that distinguished the 1930s from the previous decade, which was remarkable for the amorphousness of the boundaries between ostensibly different political camps. If Meerut is viewed in terms of a simplistic binary of success or failure, then this development alone was the state’s most significant success since it made the political landscape more manageable and hence controllable.
Ali Raza; Separating the Wheat from the Chaff: Meerut and the Creation of “Official” Communism in India. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 1 December 2013; 33 (3): 316–330. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/1089201X-2378112
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