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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 17, 1962

ENTRY FROM THE JOURNAL OF SOVIET AMBASSADOR TO INDIA I.A. BENEDIKTOV

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    Journal entry by Benediktov describing a conversation with Secretary of the National Council of the Communist Party of India, Bhupesh Gupta. During the conversation, Gupta urgently requests Soviet financial aid for the Indian party for use in an upcoming election campaign; the answer conveyed by Benediktov ten days later suggests that the Soviets responded positively to the request, although the amount is not indicated.
    "Entry from the Journal of Soviet Ambassador to India I.A. Benediktov," January 17, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of Foreign Policy, Russian Federation (AVPRF), Fond 090, Opis 24, Delo 5, Papka 80, Listy 14-19. Obtained by James Hershberg and translated by Kathryn Weathersby. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112990
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Today I received Gupta at his request. Gupta communicated that on 16-17 January a meeting of the Secretariat of the CPI took place in Delhi, at which was discussed the future work of the party apparatus in connection with the death of A[joy]. [Kumar] Ghosh....Gupta said that he desires that the ties of the CPI and CPSU do not become weakened in any way after the death of Ghosh. The assistance in various forms and the comradely advice of the CC CPSU have always been enormously useful to us, he underscored....Gupta said that no other party, not even the communist party of China, can occupy in the hearts of Indian communists the place which belongs to the CPSU...

Gupta reported that after the death of Ghosh at the present time in the party there is an acute insufficiency of means for the preelection campaign. He expressed the fear that with the death of Ghosh the source for receiving means for the communist party from the CPSU might be closed. These questions were handled by Ghosh alone, Gupta underscored. He never consulted with him /Gupta/, and even less with [Elamulam M.S.] Nambudiripad and G. Nair/ with the latter two only about using the assistance/. All these matters were held in strictest secrecy from other leaders of the party and members of the National Council. This explains the fact that not a single report on this question has appeared in the press. Gupta said that he cannot singlehandedly take on responsibility in questions of assistance, therefore he considers it necessary to consult with Nambudiripad, whom he characterized as a person of crystalline honesty and whom Ghosh trusted. Gupta confidentially reported that A. Ghosh had not consulted on this problem with Akhmed or with [Shripad Amrit] Dange, who once proposed that he entrust to him alone all matters connected with the receipt of aid from abroad.

Gupta categorically denied that the Chinese friends are giving the CC CPI [Central Committee of the Communist Party of India] financial assistance. The National Council has not received, is not receiving, and will not receive assistance from the CCP [Chinese Communist Party], Gupta declared, and we never will appeal to them with such a request. Moreover, the interlocutor underscored, the Chinese do not know anything about Soviet aid. Gupta noted that he knows this precisely, since he enjoys the trust of both groups in the party. The interlocutor further underscored that the only other channels of aid from abroad are the aid received by the Punjab organization from Sikhs living in England and also the aid at the trade union level through Dange.

Gupta repeated several times that the aid is needed precisely now, since the pre-election struggle must be concluded in the first week of February. After the elections we would like to receive your support in the matter of the theoretical preparation of party cadres, he said. Gupta expressed the conviction that the CPI not only will preserve its seats in parliament, but also will be able to increase their number.

Gupta said that in the election struggle the reactionary forces within the country are now directing their main blow at the authority of the USSR, which has increased in connection with its position on Goa, Kashmir and other questions. The main task of the CPI in the pre-election struggle, Gupta said, is to make clear to the population that the Soviet Union is giving selfless aid to India, is its true friend...

[(AVPRF), Fond 090, Opis 24, Delo 5, Papka 80, Listy 14-19; document obtained by J. Hershberg; translation by K. Weathersby.]