R. Palme Dutt

In Memory of Shapurji Saklatvala

March 28th 1874 - January 16th 1936

Source: The Labour Monthly, Vol. 18, February 1936, No. 2
Transcription: Ted Crawford
HTML Markup: Brian Reid
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2010). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

The death of Shapurji Saklatvala removes from our midst one of the most valued contributors of the LABOUR MONTHLY since its earliest days. Shapurji Saklatvala was in the truest and highest sense a revolutionary tribune of the people, a leader of the British working class and of the exploited and subject peoples all over the world against the bondage of imperialism and for the victory of the international revolution. The British working class, to whom he devoted the twenty-six most fruitful years of his life in ceaseless labour and struggle, owes him a deep and imperishable debt. The Communist Party, whose banner he upheld from its foundation, for whom he first blazed the trail of representation in Parliament, to whose cause he gave unflinching service through all this decade and a half, owes no little of its present growing hold in the heart of the masses to his work and to his teaching. Trade Unionism has lost one of its most devoted champions, who understood as no other the unity of the trade union fight in Britain and in the Empire. In India, and among all the subject peoples of the British Empire, his name is a name of veneration. The armed might of the British Empire feared this man as no other, whose only weapon was the truth, and dared not let him tread foot in its subject territories or even among his own people in the country of his birth. Saklatvala represented an idea, which is only beginning to reach fruition, the idea of the union of the workers in the imperialist countries with the exploited masses in the colonies as the indispensable condition of victory over imperialism. To this cause he devoted his life. In him burned the true fire of revolutionary internationalism, the hatred of all oppression, the burning enthusiasm springing from the depths of love for humanity, which made him one of the greatest orators of our generation and the beloved of the masses wherever he spoke. In the history of the international revolution and in the memories of many peoples over the earth the stature of Saklatvala will grow greater as time recedes, and as the great work to which he set his hand goes forward to the victory for which he laid the foundations.