Socialist Bombay: Origin, Rise and Fall

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Initial socialist leaders in Bombay were people like Yusuf Meharally, Minoo Masani, Achyut Patwardhan and Kamala Devi Chattopadhaya who formed the Bombay Socialist Group in the city in the year 1933 followed by the formation of the Bombay Presidency Congress Socialist Group on 25th February 1934. The objective of the Group in words of Masani was to place before people and the Congress party "a programme that would be socialist in action and objective". The background of this was the lodging of many socialist-minded young men people like Jayaprakash Narayan, Minoo Masani, Achyut Patwardhan, Ashok Mehta, Charles Mescrenhas, Narayan Swami, M L Dantawala, N G Gorey and S M Joshi in the Nasik Jail in 1932-33, in connection with Civil disobedience Movement. While in jail they all felt a need to form a Congress Socialist Party with in the Congress Party (INC) wedded to Marxism.

At the same time a group of ‘left-wing’ Congressmen disillusioned with the policy of Congress, met at Poona in July 1933 for the purpose of organizing a Socialist opposition group. They elected a committee to draft a constitution and programme which subsequently became known as the “Poona draft”. The meeting was organized by Purshottam Tricumdas, Yusuf Meherally, Smt. Kamladevi Chattopadhyay and Acharya Narendra Deva.

Socialist Party of Bombay Municipal Corporators-1950 G G Mehta, Vasanti Shroff, V B Varaskar, Dr Narde.