Dutt, Rajani Palme


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Dutt, Rajani Palme

 

Born June 19, 1896, in Cambridge. A figure in the British and international workers’ movement; historian and publicist.

Dutt was the son of an Indian physician. (His mother was Swedish.) In 1916 he served in the army but was sent to prison for an antiwar action. Dutt studied at Oxford University; in 1917 he was expelled for spreading Marxist propaganda, but he passed his examinations for the university degree as a special nonmatriculating student. From 1914 to 1920, Dutt was a member of the Independent Workers’ Party. He became a member of the British Communist Party when it was founded in 1920. In 1922 he became a member of the Central Committee (since 1943, on the Executive Committee) and the Politburo (since 1943, on the Political Committee of the Executive Committee) of the Communist Party. From 1943 to 1961, Dutt was vice-chairman of the Executive Committee of the Communist Party, and from 1961 to 1965 he was vice-president of the Communist Party. In 1921 he began editing the journal Labour Monthly. From 1922 to 1924 he edited the newspaper Workers Weekly, and from 1936 to 1938 he edited the newspaper Daily Worker. At the Seventh Congress of the Comintern (1935) he was elected a candidate member of that body’s Executive Committee.

Dutt is the author of many books and pamphlets on theoretical, political, historical, and economic questions. In his works he analyzes the crisis and disintegration of the colonial system, the specifics of the crisis of British imperialism, and the character of the national liberation movement in India and other countries. His works have facilitated the unmasking of the bourgeois and reformist concept of the historical development of the British Empire, Great Britain, and India, and particularly the theory of the “peaceful transformation” of the British Empire into a “commonwealth of independent and equal states” and the “voluntary” granting by Great Britain of independence to its colonies. In 1962, Dutt received an honorary doctorate in history from Moscow State University.

WORKS

Modern India. London, 1927.
Capitalism or Socialism in Britain? London, 1931
Life and Teachings of V. I. Lenin. New York, 1934.
World Politics 1918–1936. New York, 1936.
The Problem of India. New York, 1943.
Britain’s Crisis of Empire. London, 1950
In Russian translation:
Novyi angliiskii reformizm
. [Leningrad] 1928.
Fashizm i sotsialisticheskaia revoliutsiia. Moscow, 1935.
Indiia segondnia. Moscow, 1948.
Krizis Britanii i Britanskoi imperii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1959. “Sud’by ’Sodruzhestva.’ ” Mezhdunarodnaia zhizn’, 1969, no. 5.

N. V. MATKOVSKII and I. A. LEBEDEV

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