A R Desai
A Sociologist by training and part of what came to be called Bombay School of Sociology. He was member of the Trotskyist Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and resigned from its membership in 1981. He consistently advocated and applied dialectical-historical model in his sociological studies. Author of many books including A Profile of an Indian Slum, that covers the Khar-Golibar area presenting a marxist analysis of the slum question.
Dr A R Desai was our political mentor during 70s (1972-75). He used to conduct study circles during Diwali, Christmas and summer vacations on historical materialism, sociological theories and ideology of Karl Marx, V. Lenin, Trotsky, J. Paul Sartre and other post structuralists. He also gave us the analytical vision to examine Indian reality from left perspective. After every lecture he would give us set of questions or issues on which we were expected to bring a write up next day. Thats how many of us started writing on variety of issues such as students movement, Sampooran Kranti Movement, youth uprising in Sri Lanka, problems of women liberation and intra-left debates. He also encouraged us to translate important works on marxist economic theory or women's question, agrarian question, problem of nationality into Gujrati language. Some of felt that only attending study circle was not adequate, and we needed to get into action and form students groups. Study and Struggle Alliance and came up with charter of demands for students of MS University, Baroda. When the student election took place we took part in it in different facilities focussing on principles, programmes and policies that we wanted in the higher education. Along with this we were working with the Industrial labouring class that were predominantly textile workers. Mechanisation, rationalisation and automation in the textile industry and threatened the workers, many factories were retrenching the workers when they demanded 8.33 % as deferred wage, the mill owners and the established unions were not ready for. Same trade union leaders were money lenders. In the industrial clusters we used to focus on education and health, rationing , price rise and hoarding. During the Navnirman agitation this came a big issue. When leaders from Mumbai such a Mrinal Gore, Tara Reddy, Ahilya Rangekar, Manju Gandhi came to know about our group and its activity they set up the similar Anti Price rise group in collaboration with activists of AITUC, CITU and HMS. - User:Vibhutipatel