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Comrade Sak

There has been a recent revival of interest in the life of Shapurji Saklatvala, the Black Communist MP who won the seat of Battersea North in 1922. Comrade Sak charts Saklatvala's movement from privileged Parsi beginnings in the Tata family to revolutionary communist.


Marc Wadsworth
Politics, History
United Kingdom, India
Date published
1 Sep 1998

It examines his quarrel with Gandhi over the goals and tactics of the Indian independence movement and Saklatvala's not always easy relationship to the Communist International. Above all, the study documents his role in a radical phase of British Labour politics and the traditions of local activism which made the Battersea North constituency such a congenial home.

Drawn from his speeches and letters, Saklatvala's passionate and radical voice speaks clearly to our times when the mainstream left is in retreat. His words and his life serve to remind us that the goals of ending inequality and making possible human liberation are too important to be consigned to historical memory.

What Marc Wadsworth brings to this study are the insights of an active participant in the contemporary struggles to define a Black position within the British Left. In exploring how Saklatvala negotiated the roles of Indian anti-imperialist, Black MP and Communist, Wadsworth has written an important study of Black Working Class history in the 1920s and 1930s.

Marc Wadsworth has worked as a senior news reporter at Thames Television, Chair of the NUJ's Black Members' Council and National Secretary of the Anti-Racist Alliance. He currently works as a freelance journalist and broadcaster.

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Marc Wadsworth

Former Editor of Blaqsport and Managing Editor of the Black Media Journal.

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