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Joshi, P. C. (1907–1980)

Shatarupa Sen Gupta


P. C. Joshi was born in in Almora, Uttar Pradesh. He joined the Workers' and Peasants' Party in 1928 and became the joint secretary of its United Provinces unit. Alarmed at the rise of communist and trade union activities, the British launched a series of repressive measures, culminating in the arrest of 31 labor leaders, including Joshi, on March 20, 1929; they were tried for three years in the famous Meerut Conspiracy Case. Joshi joined the Communist Party of India (CPI) the same year. He was released in 1933 and participated in the All-India Textile Workers' Strike from Kanpur, for which he was again arrested and imprisoned for two years. Joshi became general secretary of the CPI in 1935, the period of the Comintern's turn to Popular Frontism. His period as party chief (1935–48) was marked by a combination of significant growth – both horizontally and in number of members – and a reformist orientation. Joshi was able to push the party towards penetrating civil society by forming mass organizations of students, women, and people in the creative arts. In 1943 he married another remarkable revolutionary: Kalpana Dutt, a supporter of armed revolution, who later became a party member. After the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the CPI declared that the war was a “Peoples' War” against fascism, which led to the decriminalization of the CPI by the Indian government. Taking ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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