Nehru - Toward Freedom (1936).pdf

Fascism and imperi alism thus stood out as the two

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Fascism and imperi alism thus stood out as the two faces of the now decaying capitalism, and, though they varied in different countries according to national characteristics and economic and political conditions, they represented the same forces of reaction and supported each other, and at the same time came into conflict with each other, for such conflict was inherent in their very nature. Socialism in the west and the rising nationalisms of the Eastern and other dependent countries opposed this combina tion of fascism and imperialism. Nationalism in the East, it must be remembered, was essentially different from the new and terribly nar row nationalism of fascist countries; the former was the historical urge to freedom, the latter the last refuge of reaction. Thus we see the world divided up into two vast groups today the imperialist and fascist on one side, the socialist and nationalist on the other. There is some overlapping of the two, and the line between them is difficult to draw, for there is mutual conflict between the fascist and imperialist Powers, and the nationalism of subject coun tries has sometimes a tendency to fascism. But the main division holds, and, if we keep it in mind, it will be easier for us to understand world conditions and our own place in them. Where do we stand then, we who labor for a free India ? Inevitably we take our stand with the progressive forces of the world which are ranged against fascism and imperialism. We have to deal with one imperialism in particular, the oldest and the most far-reaching of the modern world; but, powerful as it is, it is but one aspect of world im perialism. And that is the final argument for Indian independence and for the severance of our connection with the British Empire. Be tween Indian nationalism, Indian freedom, and British imperialism there can be no common ground, and, if we remain within the im perialist fold, whatever our name or status, whatever outward sem blance of political power we might have, we remain cribbed and con fined and allied to and dominated by the reactionary forces and the great financial vested interests of the capitalist world. The exploita tion of our masses will still continue, and all the vital social prob- 390
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lems that face us will remain unsolved. Even real political freedom will be out of our reach, much more so radical social changes. With the development of this great struggle all over the world we have seen the progressive deterioration of many of the capitalist-im perialist countries and an attempt at consolidation of the reactionary forces under fascism or Nazi-ism or so-called "national" governments. In India the same process has been evident to us during these past years, and the stronger the nationalist movement has grown, the more have efforts been made by our imperialist rulers to break our ranks and to gather together under their banner the reactionary elements in the country.
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