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Thursday, Oct 21, 2021
Outlook.com

Dialectical Schism

The China war deepened the divide between India’s Communists

Dialectical Schism
Getty Images (From Outlook 22 October 2012)
Dialectical Schism
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The Sino-Indian conflict of 1962 over the disputed boundary was a short war, lasting barely four weeks. Yet, its impact on Indian politics, particularly on the Indian Left, has been immense. The “China question” was not only instrumental in splitting the undivided Communist Party. In subsequent years China and its ideologues kept popping up at regular intervals, splitting the Left movement further and allowing wide-ranging groups, from Naxalites to the Northeast insurgents and the Maoists, to draw sustenance from them.

The furrows on veteran  CPI leader A.B. Bardhan’s forehead deepen while discussing the “China question” that split the Communist Party of India in the aftermath of the war. The differences amongst leaders, brewing over the past years, came to a head after India’s humiliating defeat.

“China cannot be the aggressor,” Jyoti Basu had proclaimed at a public rally in Calcutta soon after the war. Many of his party colleagues agreed, squarely blaming the Indian leadership’s intransigence on the...

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