Indian Communists and Trade Unionists on Trial: The Meerut Conspiracy, 1929-1933

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Title Indian Communists and Trade Unionists on Trial: The Meerut Conspiracy, 1929-1933
Subject & Keywords India; Asia; history; politics; communism; BOAPROTEST
Description On 20 March 1929, thirty-one people, suspected of either communist or trades unionist affiliations, were arrested across India, including Bombay, Calcutta and Poona. They were to be shortly followed by a thirty-second person - Hugh Lester Hutchinson - in June of the same year. Collectively, they were charged under section 121A of the Indian Penal Code, of conspiracy to deprive the King of the sovereignty of British India." Ever since the Bolshevik revolution of October 1917, there grew a ubiquitous fear within the West of the spread of communism via Moscow's chief manifestation, the Comintern (Communist International). Indeed, it had long been suspected by the India Office that the Comintern had instructed the three Britons charged in the trial - Philip Spratt, Ben Bradley and Lester Hutchinson - to travel to India with the specific task of engendering a revolutionary espirit de corps within India's own growing trades union movements. More than this, however, the Meerut trial also demonstrates an indigenous expression of anti-colonialism from which, it could be argued, the British authorities were ultimately unable to counter. Given the highly protracted nature of the trial, public sympathy for the accused and imprisoned grew rapidly and the following documents add weight to this assertion. Collectively drawn from the British Library, Labour History Archive & Study Centre and Working Class Movement Library, the following documents bring together an array of differing, and balanced, perspectives on both the trial itself as well as its consequences for British imperialism as the sun was beginning to set on the Empire. Accompanied by an online guide and scholarly introduction to the collection by John Callaghan, professor of Politics and Contemporary History, University of Salford.
ISBN 9781851172696
Contributor British Library; LHASC; WCML
Type Text
Language Eng
Rights Digital images © 2012 Microform Academic Publishers. All rights reserved.
Publisher Microform Academic Publishers
Coverage 1929 - 1933
Created On 11th December, 2012 - 4:58pm
Last Updated 11th December, 2012 - 4:58pm
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