Kolkata

Veteran Communist leader Vidya Munshi dead

Veteran Communist leader, scholar and writer, Vidya Munshi, passed away on Monday in Kolkata. She was 94.

Arguably the first woman journalist of the country, Ms. Munshi was born in Mumbai in 1919 and worked in various newspapers and magazines, including The Blitz.

She stood first among women in the school-leaving examination and left for England to study medicine.

In 1942, Ms. Munshi joined the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) and took part in several programmes of the Communist party in Europe, mainly against the violence and cruelty committed by fascist forces.

In 1945, on behalf of All India Student’s Federation, the student’s wing of the Communist Party of India (CPI), Ms. Munshi participated in an eventful women’s conference (World Federation of Democratic Youth) in Paris.

Ms. Munshi headed the board that publishes the CPI’s mouthpiece, ‘Kalantar’ for several years and was an active member of the party. She headed State Women’s Commission till 2000. She documented her life, the political upheavals and the shaping of women’s movements of her time in great detail in a brilliant memoir, ‘In Retrospect. War-time Memories and Thoughts on Women’s Movement.’

Many important leaders, including members of various political parties, paid their last respects to their favourite ‘Vidya-di’ on Monday afternoon. Her last rites were performed in a city crematorium.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 2:10:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/veteran-communist-leader-vidya-munshi-dead/article6188994.ece

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