In this article we will discuss about the Role of Forward Bloc Party in India’s Struggle for Independence
Subhash Chandra Bose and Jawahar Lal Nehru are known for their Leftist views in the Congress. The former, however, very much differed from Mahatma Gandhi on many points of ideology and also on implementation of programmes.
When in 1922 non-co-operation movement was suspended both Nehru and Subhash clearly expressed their displeasure. Subhash was of the view that no non-co-operation movement in India can succeed without active co-operation of youth in that. He also was not in favour of mixing religion with politics.
In 1931 he criticised Gandhiji, for the weak role which he played during Second Round-Table Conference in London. He was very strongly opposed to federal system for India, as was provided under the Government of India Act, 1935.
Not only this, but he was not in favour of adopting any constitutional means for attaining freedom of the country. He was so much disgusted with the working and approach of Indian National Congress that he decided to form a new separate party.
Subhash wanted that the new party should stand for the abolition of land lordism and introduction of a uniform land tenure system for the whole country. The programme of the party included unity of all radical organisations under one national organisation to consolidate all activities. It stood for promoting the interests of the peasants and workers and not of the landlords and the capitalists.
It wanted that cause of country’s liberty should also be propagated outside India and existing international organisations should be used for the purpose. It favoured reorganisation of agricultural and industrial system of the country. The party favoured democracy but for checking chaos there should be a strong party bound together by military discipline.
The party also stood for building a new social structure on the basis of village communities of the past and wanted complete political and economic liberalisation of the people of India. It also wanted to establish new credit and monetary system.
In 1938 as President of the Indian National Congress at Hari Pura session when his Presidential address was not liked by right wing congress leaders for his radical views. In 1939, he was re-elected as Congress President after defeating Gandhiji’s candidate Pattabhi Sitaramayya.
When, however, Congress party adopted a resolution that Congress President should form his Working Committee in consultation with Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose left the party and on May 3,1939 and formed a new party, called Forward Bloc.
Objectives of the Forward Bloc:
The aim of the party was to bring all radical elements of the Congress party in the newly founded Forward Bloc. It stood for complete independence of India and carrying on anti imperialist struggle till the goal was achieved. The party stood for social ownership and control of both means of production and distribution.
It also stood for application of principles of equality and social justice, which in party’s view should be the basis of new order in free India. The Bloc strongly favoured linguistic and cultural autonomy for all sections of Indian society. Another objective of the party was to make and develop India as a thoroughly modern state.
One of the important objectives of the party also was to guarantee equal rights for every individual and also to provide opportunities to the people. It stood for scientific large-scale production so that there was economic regeneration in the country. Forward Bloc also stood for freedom of religious worship for all.
One cannot say what momentum the Bloc would have gained but it received serious set back when in 1940 Subhash Chandra Bose left India. His followers, after him till the news of his death on August 18, 1945, continued to receive attention of the people.
They also continued to criticise various schemes which were put before Indian leadership for freedom of the country. They also opposed the partition of the country. After independence Forward Bloc continued to receive some support in Bengal but is now out of focus of the people, except in Bengal, where it still has some hold over the people.