April 1, 2022


Ques-By the end of 28 month rule of Congress provincial governments, relationship between the party and the workers' and peasants' movement had frayed. Give reasons for it. 

Answer: The Congress won the election in 1937 by targeting the newly enfranchised voters who included sections of the industrial working class and sections of the peasantry, including some of the Dalits. But, the achievements of the Congress ministries during the next two years frustrated all these groups, due to the following reasons.

  1. Administrative constraints- Congress could not change the basically imperialist character of the administration which was still under the iron grip of viceroy and governors.
  2. Limited Powers: The provisional ministers did not have enough powers and suffered from lack of financial resources.

      3.Organizational hindrances- Due to clashes between diverging class interests, organizing a cohesive mass movement was difficult. E.g. the clash between capitalists and trade unionists. 

       4.Lack of time- The congress ministries did not last long due to the onset of WWII. In some provinces, radical agrarian reforms bills could not be passed on time.

       5.Depressed agrarian sector- The agrarian structure had become too complex. There was not enough information about land rights, money landing and debt. Any structural reform was time-consuming as was revealed after independence. 

       6-Capitalist class-The capitalist class wanted to lower down the pace of congress working in favour of workers alone.

        7-Constitutional dilemma- Although the basic strategy was to use offices for masses but the dilemma emerged, could a party which ran a government be simultaneously the organizer of popular movement and enforce law and order machinery? What if some of the protests took the violent form? 

8. Communist revival -There was a communist revival around 1933-34 after civil disobedience movement was withdrawn. It lead to increase in working class’ enthusiasm and militancy. As suggested by  Shekhar Bandhpadhyay in his book, this too was perhaps a reason why the congress seemed anti-labour.

9.Violent movements – Inevitably, many of the population movement clashed with the congress government. In Bihar, the kisan movement often came into frontal confrontation with the ministry. Violent agitation in mills of Bombay against Industrial Disputes Act.