श्रीपाद अमृत डांगे (मृत्यु: 22 मई 1991)

May 22, 2017

श्रीपाद अमृत डांगे (अंग्रेज़ी:Shripad Amrit Dange, जन्म: 10 अक्टूबर 1899 - मृत्यु: 22 मई 1991) का भारत के प्रारम्भिक कम्युनिस्ट नेताओं में बहुत महत्त्वपूर्ण स्थान है। श्रीपाद अमृत डांगे भारतीय कम्युनिस्ट पार्टी के संस्थापक सदस्यों में से एक थे।

वे बम्बई के रहने वाले थे तथा उन्होंने भारत में समाजवादी विचारों के प्रसार करने के लिए 'द सोशलिस्ट' नामक समाचार पत्र प्रकाशित करना प्रारम्भ किया।
उन्होंने मज़दूरों में चेतना जाग्रत की तथा उन्हें अपने हितों के लिए संघर्ष करते हुए प्रोत्साहित किया।
श्रीपाद अमृत डांगे द्वितीय और चौथी लोकसभा के सदस्य चुने गये।
कानपुर षडयंत्र केस के तहत जिन 4 समाजवादी नेताओं पर मुकदमा चलाया गया था, उनमें डांगे भी सम्मिलित थे। इसके अंतर्गत उन्हें 4 वर्ष की सज़ा दी गई।
उन्होंने 'गांधी व लेनिन' नामक पुस्तक भी लिखी, जिसमें इन दोनों नेताओं तथा उनके विचारों का तुलनात्मक विश्लेषण किया जाता है।

Shripad Amrit Dange (10 October 1899 – 22 May 1991) was a founding member of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and a stalwart of Indian trade union movement. During the British Raj, Dange was arrested by the British authorities for communist and trade union activities and was jailed for an overall period of 13 years. After India's Independence, a series of events like Sino-Soviet split, Sino-Indian war, and the revelation that while in jail, Dange had written letters to the British Government, offering them cooperation, led to a split in the Communist Party of India, in 1964. The breakaway Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) emerged stronger both in terms of membership and their performance in the Indian Elections. Dange, who remained the Chairman of the CPI till 1978, was removed in that year because the majority of party workers were against Dange's political line of supporting Indian National Congress, and Indira Gandhi, the then Congress Prime Minister. He was expelled from the CPI in 1981. He joined the All India Communist Party (AICP), and later, United Communist Party of India. Towards the end, Dange got increasingly marginalised in the Indian Communist movement. He was also a well-known writer and was the founder of Socialist the first socialist weekly in India. Dange played an important role in the formation of Maharashtra state.

Shripad Amrutpant Dange was born in 1899, in the village of Karanjgaon in Niphad Taluka of Nashik District, Maharashtra. His father worked in Mumbai as government officer and was major landowner of the area and lived in one palace like house in Karanjgaon. Dange was sent to study in Pune. He was expelled from college for organising a movement against compulsory teaching of the Bible.[citation needed] While in work, Dange was exposed to conditions of workers when he undertook voluntary work in the textile mill areas of Mumbai. Dange was drawn into active politics by the fervour of nationalist movement against the British rule in India. Bal Gangadhar Tilak, a veteran leader of Indian National Congress from Maharashtra, the earliest proponent of swaraj (complete independence) greatly inspired young Dange. Later, when Mahatma Gandhi launched the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1920, Dange gave up his studies and joined the Independence movement.

He became interested in Marxism, while following the Russian Revolution of 1917. He grew increasingly skeptical about Gandhism, especially about Gandhi's promotion of cottage industries as the sole solution for India's economic ills, while overlooking possibilities of an industrial economy.

The industrial town of Kanpur, in December 1925, witnessed a conference of different communist groups, under the chairmanship of Singaravelu Chettiar. Dange, Muzaffar Ahmed, Nalini Gupta, Shaukat Usmani were among the key organisers of the meeting. The meeting adopted a resolution for the formation of the Communist Party of India with its headquarters in Bombay.,The British Government's extreme hostility towards communists, made them to decide not to openly function as a communist party; instead, they chose a more open and non-federated platform, under the name the Workers and Peasants Parties.

In 1920 the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) was formed at Mumbai by N.M. Joshi and others. Joshi was a philanthropist who was sympathetic to the workers'cause. At that time AITUC did not have a cohesive ideology, but it was sympathetic to the Indian National Congress. When Dange wrote about the founding session of AITUC at Mumbai, he brought out the organisation's Congress roots:

The AITUC was guided principally by the Congress leaders. The masses at this period were being led by Lokmanya Tilak and his group, in which Lala Lajpat Rai from Punjab, Bepinchandra Pal from Bengal and others had a big place. Mahatma Gandhi had refused to sponsor the idea of founding the AITUC and so he did not attend.

Communists were also largely excluded when, again in Mumbai, in 1923, jobbers and mill clerks came together and started Girni Kamgar Mahamandal (Great Association of Mill-Workers). They participated in the long textile strike in 1924.

During the period, prior to India's Independence, the Communist Party of India's responses to freedom struggle were dictated by the Comintern's views. After its admission to the Third International, the Communist Party of India was seen to be guided by the policies imposed by Joseph Stalin on the international communist movement. Stalin's policies were, in turn, dictated by Russia's geopolitical interests. As a result the positions taken by the CPI ran many times counter to popular nationalist sentiments, leading to erosion of the Party's popular base.

Up to 1934, the CPI viewed India's freedom struggle as a movement of the reactionary bourgeoisie politicians. The British government had banned communist activities from 1934 to 1938. When the Comintern adopted the Georgi Dimitrov thesis of popular front against fascism, CPI declared support for the Congress in 1938. The communist leaders like Dinkar Mehta, Sajjad Zaheer, E.M.S. Namboodiripad, and Soli Batliwala became members of the national executive of the Congress Socialist Party.

The Raj re-banned the CPI in 1939, for its initial anti-War stance. The line was changed when, following the Nazi-Soviet pact (1939-40). The Communist Party of India did not take an active stance against Adolf Hitler and his policies. But when Hitler attacked Poland, the Communist Party of India had called World War II, an 'Imperialist War'. But when he attacked the Soviet Union, the same Communist Party of India decided to call the war, a People's War.

After the USSR had sided with the Great Britain in the war, the Communist Party of India was legalised for the first time. Saying that the freedom struggle would impede the war against fascism, the CPI stayed away from the freedom struggle. The Indian National Congress was able to politically corner the communists, as the popular sentiments were overwhelmingly supporting Gandhi's Quit India Movement.