Shripad Amrit Dange


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Dange, Shripad Amrit

 

Born Oct. 10, 1899, in Bombay Province. A leader of the Indian and international workers’ movement. Maratha by nationality.

Expelled from Bombay University for revolutionary activity, Dange became in the 1920’s one of the leaders of the left wing of the anti-imperialist movement in Bombay and a leader of the Bombay trade unions. He published the Marxist monthly The Socialist in Bombay from 1922 to 1924.

Dange was one of the founders of the Communist Party in India. In 1928 he took part in the formation of the revolutionary trade union of textile workers, Girni Kamgar, and was its general secretary. From 1943 to 1945, Dange was chairman of the All-India Trade Union Congress and from 1945 to 1947 its deputy chairman. From 1947 to 1949 he served again as chairman and in 1949 became its general secretary.

In 1943, Dange became a member of the Central Committee (after 1958, the National Council) and in 1951 a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee (after 1958, the Central Executive Committee) of the Communist Party. From 1958 to 1962 he was a member of the Central Secretariat of the National Council of the Indian Communist Party. Dange was a member of Parliament from 1957 to 1962. He returned to Parliament in 1967 and headed the Communist faction in the National Assembly. After the death of A. Ghosh, Dange was elected in April 1962 as chairman of the National Council of the Communist Party of India. He was repeatedly arrested for revolutionary activities and spent more than 15 years in prison.

Dange was an active participant in the organization of the World Federation of Trade Unions and became its deputy chairman in 1949. He was the author of the first Marxist study of the country’s ancient history, India From Primitive Communism to Slavery (in English; translated into Russian in 1950). In addition, Dange wrote many works on the history and contemporary problems of the Communist, workers’, and trade union movements in India and abroad.