On India Articles and Book Reviews-By Clemens Palme Dutt

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The present volume is a compilation of Clemens Palme Dutt’s select articles and book reviews on India, published in Labour Monthly between 1925 and 1930. The book comprises fourteen write-ups in total, among which ten are analytical essays and four are book reviews. This is, probably, the first ever compilation of C. P. D.’s original writings.Like many early British Communists,C.P.D too, was closely associated with a number of rising citizens of imperial India,living in London in the 1930s and ’40s, who would became world leaders in the newly independent developing states in later decades. He had a particularly good relationship with all of the young stars of Indian nationalism. One was V.K. Krishna Menon, who was at that time a Labour councillor at St. Pancras.Menon later became India’s UN representative and a government cabinet minister. A record of their intimacy and a sign of C.P.D.’s special role in the Spanish Civil War came to the fore when Menon wrote to him about an ambulance for use in Spain that he had apparently asked him to obtain,presumably with funds from Indian progressives. A leader of the left in the Indian National Congress, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who became the first rime Minister of India and a pivotal figure on the world stage, was another confidant.By February 1939, C.P.D. with his new family had returned to the U.K. from Paris and was soon heavily involved in writing articles for the Party press. By way of paid employment, in April 1939, he became the proprietor of his own business,’The European Translation Bureau’, which had an office in Doughty Street. This concern, however, did not last long, and in December 1940, he replaced Hymie Fagan as a director of Central Books Ltd., the Communist Party Bookshop, and took over the charge of the Central Literature Commission of the
Party. He was also a director of Modern Books, the Party’s longstanding publishing house at that time. C.P.D. was solely responsible for the first-ever translation of Engels’s Dialectics
of Nature in English, published in 1940. It is assumed that he finished the job while he was in Paris. Upto 1941 he was also
associated with Fore Publications, and was a member of the Editorial Board of the Modern Quarterly.

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