Comintern and the Destiny of Communism in India: 1919-1943

Sobhanlal Datta Gupta. 2011. Comintern and the Destiny of Communism in India: 1919-1943 – Dialectics of Real and a Possible History (Kolkata: Seribaan, Rs. 895.00)

After the opening of Moscow’s Comintern archives and the archives of the Communist Party of Great Britain in the 1990s, this is the first full-length study of the impact of the Communist International (Comintern) on the shaping of Indian communism. Based on materials collected from these once forbidden archives, the book also takes into consideration the private papers of Horst Krueger in Berlin, a whole range of inner-party documents and the new Comintern historiography (primarily Russian and German, apart from English) that has developed over the years. The book is the culmination of the author’s research for more than a decade on the shaping of communism in India in the Comintern period. The revised and enlarged edition of the book incorporates many new materials which have come to the surface since the publication of the first edition in 2006 and also introduces a comparative perspective, highlighting how communism developed in the countries of the East, and examines how the path chosen by the Indian communists was so different from that of the Communist Parties in China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Korea, for example.

A Malayalam version of the first edition of the book, under the title Cominternum Indian Communist Partiyum (Thiruvananthapuram : Prabhatham Printing & Publishing Ltd), was published in 2010. A German version of the present revised and enlarged edition bearing the title Komintern und Kommunismus in Indien: 1919-1943 (Berlin : Karl Dietz Verlag) is forthcoming in 2012.

Sobhanlal Datta Gupta (b. 1948), former Surendra Nath Banerjee Professor of Political Science at the University of Calcutta, has an abiding interest in the intellectual history of Marxism and Marxist theory. His recent works include The Ryutin Platform (Stalin and the Crisis of Proletarian Dictatorship) (ed.) (Kolkata: Seribaan, 2010) and Marxism in Dark Times : Select Essays for the New Century ( Delhi, London, New York: Anthem Press, 2012). Currently he is working on a three volume work on The Socialist Vision and the Silenced Voices of Democracy: New Perspectives on Rosa Luxemburg, Georg Lukács and Nikolai Bukharin. He can be contacted at or

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