The Sickle and the Crescent: Communists, Muslim League and India’s Partition



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The Sickle and the Crescent: Communists, Muslim League and India’s Partition makes an in-depth study of the role played by the communists in India during India’s Partition in 1947.

While Indian National Congress and Muslim League are primarily blamed for vivisection of the country, the communists’ support to the Muslim League between 1942 and 1947 only accelerated the birth of the two nations: India and Pakistan.

The Communists, following the Soviet model of the Nationality Theory, declared that India was only a family of nations, where places like Punjab, Hyderabad and Bengal being nations had the right of self-determination to the extent of right to secede — a theory only corroborated League’s demand for a separate state of Pakistan.

With the end in view of expanding party base in an opportune political scenario, it makes an interesting read to examine how the Communist Party of India, a class-based representative had joined hands with the Muslim League having roots in religious sentiments

The discourse is the outcome of relentless research made in the archival sources including the intelligence documents which unearth the communists’ participation in the Muslim League sponsored Direct Action Day in August 1946 which, as a sequel of communal bloodbath, rendered hundreds dead and thousands homeless only in the city of Calcutta itself.

The Sickle and the Crescent: Communists, Muslim League and India’s Partition offers a new approach to India’s Partition and aims to evoke a fresh debate and rethinking.

Sunanda Sanyal obtained his MA both from the University of Calcutta, India and the University of Leeds, the United Kingdom and took up teaching as his profession. Sunanda taught at Ramakrishna Mission Vidyamandira, West Bengal besides being a postgraduate faculty in both Calcutta and Burdwan Universities. A devoted educationist, Sanyal initiated revolutionary changes when he was a member, education commission. Sunanda Sanyal, a quiet, determined writer and president of the Ganamukti Parishad, a non-political organisation of eminent people, which works towards ‘cleansing politics’, has written extensively on the contemporary political scenario in West Bengal, India. Sunanda, a forced migrant from the erstwhile East Pakistan, in search of his ‘homeland’, has undertaken this research project on Partition.

Soumya Basu, an enterprising research scholar, made sustained efforts in collating the pertinent documents from various archival sources across the country.

Honourable Association