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British Labor Party Leaders Betray
Masses of Both India and England

Oppose National Liberation for People of India

(7 March 1942)

From The Militant, Vol. VI No. 10, 7 March 1942, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

British imperialism’s loyal handmaidens, the leaders of the British Labor Party, have declared themselves against national independence for India. What the British rulers – mindful of the explosive situation in India – have as yet hesitated to state in definite terms, “their labor lieutenants have stated for them.

This latest lackey service for British imperialism is embodied in a report issued Feb. 27 by the Labor Party’s Executive Council which is to be presented to the party’s annual conference May 25–28.

The British labor leaders’ treacherous blow at the struggle for national liberation-m India is cloaked, naturally, in the hypocritical assertion that the, war constitutes the obstacle to immediate emancipation. The report states that “full settlement of the complex issues of Indian self-government must await the close of the war”.

Thus, these labor tools of British reaction sound a pious “Amen!” to the various bargains and promises being projected by the British government and ruling class in their desperate attempt to side-track the struggle for Indian national independence and to win the support of India’s oppressed 400 millions for the war.

Sops for India

For the time being, the British labor leaders suggest a sop to the Indian masses. They offer a plea for the complete “Indianization” of the British Viceroy of India’s Executive Council, nine of whose 14 members are already Indian. As the British labor leaders well know, the Viceroy has the decisive power in India, and the addition of a few more hand-picked native agents of the British on his Executive Council will leave the Indian workers and peasants in as complete subjugation as ever.

Echoing the traditional lying argument of the Colonel Blimps themselves, the British labor leaders make Indian independence conditional on “agreement ... between the different interests in India.”

This refers to an alleged irreconcilable Hindu-Moslem conflict in India, a conflict which the British rulers are attempting systematically to incite and provoke in accordance with their policy of “Divide and Rule.”

Their instrument for these provocations, the reactionary Moslem League in India, actually contains less Moslems than the India Congress Party, and in the 1937 Provincial elections secured only 4.6 per cent of the total Moslem vote.

Echo Ruling Class Lies

But the British labor leaders do not hesitate to use this hoary and fraudulent argument of British imperialism to justify their own traitorous stand.

In their statement on India, the British labor bureaucrats reveal once more their close ties to British imperialism and the corruption which the bribes of the British rulers have bred among them.

No small portion of these bribes have been the crumbs dropped from the colonial, tables of British imperialism, which has feasted in large measure on the bounty of India. It is for these crumbs that the British labor leaders are continuing their betrayal of the Indian masses – and of the British workers themselves.

By bending their well-oiled knees before the British rulers, the labor leaders help to alienate the masses of India from the English working class and to reinforce the rule of British capitalism over the British workers.

The Indian workers and peasants can be the most powerful and loyal allies of the British workers in their fight against capitalist reaction, including the threat of fascism. But so long as the British capitalists remain in power, and so long as the British labor leaders bow before these oppressors of India, such an alliance cannot be realized.

Task of British Workers

The indispensable alliance of file British and Indian masses must be forged. It can be done only after the traitors are drummed from the leadership of the British, labor movement and after the English workers rid themselves once and for all of the reactionary yoke of the Churchills and the British capitalist rulers, take political power in their own name and establish the Workers Government of England.

Such a government, as an initial duty, will proclaim the unconditional national liberation of India. It will at once stretch out the hand of international workers’ solidarity to the free masses of India. Together with them, it will call upon the oppressed workers and peasants of the world to take their destinies into their own hands, and to join that international struggle which will put an end to world capitalist imperialist reaction and launch the world socialist order of freedom, peace and plenty.

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