Congress Socialist Party - Birth Of A Party

The second disobedience movement of 1932 saw Gandhi, Nehru and other important leaders being put behind the bars. JP became the active General Secretary of the Congress. He organized the underground office and directed the struggle in various parts of the country. Eventually, JP was also arrested in Madras in September, 1932 and was sent to Nasik Central Jail and was reported as “Congress brain arrested.” In Nasik central jail he luckily met a number of young congress leaders, M. R. Masani, Achyut Patwardhan, N.C. Goray, Ashok Mehta, M. H. Dantwala, Charles Mascarenhas, C. K. Narayanswami. JP’s first jail term in Nasik was to prove as much of a landmark in his life as his stay at the university of Wisconsin where he became a Marxist and a sympathizer of the communist party. All of them had little to do except discuss politics and get to know one another. They agreed in the discussion that all history was a process of class-struggle and that proletarian revolutions were inevitable. The collapse of capitalism with all its brutalities was inescapable and would give birth to socialism as a matter of course. This was not an article of hope or faith but a scientifically demonstrable truth about society. The result of all these fervent discussions was the emergence of a new revolutionary party-the Congress Socialist Party (CSP) which pledged to infuse the freedom movement with socialist ideals. This party decided to work both within and outside the INC. Here JP made his Marxist influence on the newly formed party. There was no doubt that CSP was not a homogeneous party of unified elements but they certainly united so far as the immediate goal of freedom was concerned. As JP was both a socialist and a nationalist, he tried his best to win over the communists and the Congress men for creating a broad Socialist front to fight imperialism.

With the formation of the CSP, JP’s life was devoted to encouraging groups of like-minded radicals throughout the country to set up branches and at the same time organizing & strengthening urban worker’s and peasant’s organizations. When the INC in 1934, decided to participate in elections to legislative assemblies, the CSP vehemently opposed it and restrained its members from contesting elections. However, among the Congressmen, the attraction of ministerial office rapidly obliterated the previous commitment to mass struggle. The CSP remained firm on its stand to emphasise on mass struggle.