Comrade Perin Chandra
COMRADE Perin Chandra passed away peacefully on January 7, 2015 after 96 years of an active and eventful life as a communist and peace activist, loved and admired by all. Perin was born in Chaman, now in Pakistan, on October 2, 1918, the eldest daughter of a doctor in the Indian Army, Phiroze Bharucha and his wife Pilloo. She had an idyllic childhood in various Army cantonment towns, and a stint in a boarding school in Shimla. By the time she went to college in Lahore, inspired by the national movement, she started wearing handspun and handwoven khadi and joined the women's wing of the Congress. Through the women's movement she came into contact with Marxist ideology and this shaped her mission for life. In 1942 she married her comrade Romesh Chandra and they plunged into their work in the Communist Party of India with enthusiasm. The rupture of Partition would dislocate their lives for a period but they migrated to Bombay and then to Delhi, dedicated to the struggle for a better life for the working people. The greater part of her adult life was spent in the peace and solidarity movement, working tirelessly to champion the cause of internationalism and third world solidarity with anti-war and pro-peace movements everywhere. This included the movement against the US occupation of Vietnam, the struggle to free South Africa from apartheid, the Palestinian movement and struggles at home against communalism, caste discrimination and for people-to-people contacts between Indians and Pakistanis. For many years she was general secretary of the All India Peace and Solidarity Organization. Mourned by comrades in the labour, women's and peace movements, friends and family, she will be missed by all who had been in contact with her. She is survived by Romesh and her children Shobha and Feroze.