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Saturday 11 July 2009

In Prof Bipan Chandra’s lengthy treatise “Marxism in India: Need for Total Rectification” in Mainstream (July 4, 2009), some mistakes have inadvertently crept in. The most glaring ones are as follows:

In paragraph four, column one, on page 21, the sentence in the fourth line should read: “He could be active on the peace or friendship fronts or in his own professional associations and trade unions.”

In paragraph four, column two, on page 22, the first sentence should read: “Now, it is remarkable that on the whole, and for nearly 50 years, the Indian Marxists have evolved their programmes and policies, strategies and tactics, without making an exact appraisal of ‘the specific historical situation and, primarily, of economic conditions’, that is, without making a historical and economic study of India.13”

In paragraph five, column two, on page 25, the first sentence should read: “It may be pointed out that some of the most creative thinking was done by Marx and Lenin during 1848 and 1917 respectively, that Lenin developed his ideas and programme and tactics in a free debate with his comrades precisely between March and November 1917, that some of the richest and sharpest polemics in the history of Soviet Marxism occurred during the period of the Civil War and the International Intervention during 1918-22 when often the very life of the new Soviet regime was in danger, that Mao Ze Dong succeeded in changing his party’s line precisely during the Long March and developed new concepts and programme, and even organised a major rectification campaign inside the party, during the life and death struggle against Japanese imperialism.”

In paragraph one, column two, on page 26, the sentence on the third line should read: “Those with strong belief in their capacity to think wait for and work for the chance to join the select ranks of leaders who have the ‘right’ to think for themselves.”

In paragraph two, column two, on page 27, in the 13th line a sentence should be added after the full stop following the word “confusion”: “And since confused men, it is said, cannot act, men must not be confused.” The next sentence should read: “The best way to avoid confusion, many come to believe, lies not in making the people and the politically involved understand the social reality or the programme through clash of ideas and their own political experience and practice, but in keeping ‘wrong’ and ‘confusing’ ideas out of their reach.”

These errors are regretted. —Editor