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Today’s young progressive activists are not the sole bearers of the fight against racism and for a radical alternative, even though they are the beacons of hope for the future. I am 73 years old. I have been active since I was 14. Originally from India, I have been a Londoner since 1963. I regard myself a socialist and feminist political activist fighting for workers’ rights and against racism, Islamophobia and misogyny in this country. I am also involved in the fight against communalism and castism in India and for poor people’s, such as tribal people’s, rights. Furthermore, with my equally political Irish wife, a lifelong fighter for Irish women’s right to choose, I am engaged in supporting Irish women who come to London for an abortion denied them in both Irish states. The Grunwick strike was an important milestone in my political career. When the strike began in August 1976 I was the president of the Central London branch of the Indian Workers’ Association (GB) - IWA (GB). Together with my IWA colleagues I worked closely with the strike leader Mrs Jayaben Desai. We realised from the start that the dispute at Grunwick had three important elements - gender, race and class - a fight by largely female Asian workers to be treated respectfully as women, paid a living wage and to belong to a trade union. What follows is an account of my political journey to Grunwick and beyond – practical experiences from involvement in various struggles and ideological quests ranging from revolutionary paths to single issue campaigns. Of necessity there are several threads: early days in India before I came to study at the London School of Economics (LSE) in 1963; formative experiences in the student revolts at LSE from 1966 to 1969; a brief sojourn to India with dreams of revolutionary change; my involvement with the IWA (GB) led by anti-revisionist, pro-Chinese Indian communists supporting the Maoist Communist Party of India known as CPI (ML); Grunwick days and ultimately, post Grunwick, work on single issue campaigns with many organisations in India and here. Now at 73, with reduced mobility, I continue to do researching and writing to pursue the same political aims. Early days in India At the age of 14 I was radicalised in India during the Maha Gujarat movement that went on from 1956 to 1960 for the creation of the separate state of Gujarat for Gujarati-speaking people from the bilingual Bombay state. I took part in daily morning rallies; producing leaflets arguing the case for bifurcation under the guidance of my older and experienced Muslim mentor (1) Badamiya Peerzada; reading, analysing and trying to see in the broader context what was happening in my hometown of Ahmedabad. I saw first-hand how the Indian National Congress, using the state’s might to maintain the status quo, was forced to concede by dedicated non-violent protesters. Socialists at the London School of Economics While studying at the LSE I got involved in student protests which had an international dimension. In 1966 the LSE announced the appointment of Walter Adams, then director of University College in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), as the next director. Students, led by the Socialist Society, which I had joined, objected because Adams was a part of the racist regime in Rhodesia. Their concerns were ignored and the appointment confirmed in January 1967. There were sit-ins, suspension of students and arrests followed by a sit-in outside the Bow Street police station. More sit-ins and occupations of administrative parts of the LSE followed throughout 1967 and 1968. I participated in all of these. Then came the closure of LSE in 1969 over students tearing down steel gates installed by the director to prevent us from occupying the admin buildings containing student files. What went on reminds me of a caustic saying in China after the Kuomintang (Chinese nationalist party that ruled China until 1948) was defeated by the Communist Party: ‘Under the Kuomintang too many taxes, under the communists too many meetings.’ Sharing a flat with the socialist leaders of the LSE’s student movement as I was, I did attend too many meetings, but also learnt a lot about challenging the powerful and winning concessions. International dimension There were other events occurring which influenced politically aware and active students at the time. The volatile period of civil unrest among workers as well as students in France beginning in 1968 was punctuated by national demonstrations, massive general strikes as well as occupation of universities and factories across France. In March 1967 there was the massive demonstration in London, the biggest in Britain until then, against the Vietnam War. All politically active left-wing students in the LSE protests were influenced by these events. All were searching for answers from radical literature and revolutionary movements. I read widely: Marx, Engels, Lenin, Mao, Che Guevara, Fanon, the history of the Chinese and Cuban revolutions and much more. Struggles in India I was also keeping abreast of developments within the communist movement in India (2) because I was determined to return home and join the struggle there. I had been following the Sino-Soviet split in the communist movement worldwide and the formation in India of three communist parties. The main point of contention was whether in a primarily agricultural feudal society such as India it was possible to grab state power with armed struggle by the peasantry rather than industrial workers. There had been two significant armed insurrections, the Telangana Rebellion between 1946 and 1951and the Naxalbari uprising in 1967. Both had started in tribal areas by peasants led by local communists who defeated feudal landlords but were rebuffed by the Communist Party they belonged to at the time. In the Telangana region of the princely state of Hyderabad the agitation led by communists belonging to the Communist Party of India – CPI - between 1946 and 1951 was successful in taking over 3000 villages from the feudal lords and distributing 1,000,000 acres of agriculture land to landless peasants. Following the Soviet party’s line of peaceful co-existence with the capitalist world, the CPI asked them in 1951 to surrender their arms. By 1964, when the CPI had become completely Muscovite in its views and policies, a split occurred leading to the formation of the Communist Party of India Marxist - CPI (M). In spite of much local opposition, however, it rejected armed struggle and adopted the tactic of united fronts of progressive forces to win parliamentary elections. In May 1967, during the first term of the United Front government in West Bengal, in which the CPI (M) was represented, militants of the Naxalbari block in Darjeeling district occupied land illegally possessed by landlords, seized harvested paddy and successfully fought the local police and landlords’ gangs with primitive weapons. The West Bengal CPI (M), pressured by its coalition partners to maintain ‘law and order’, expelled nineteen party members in June 1967. On the other hand, the Chinese party declared the armed uprising in Naxalbari as the birth of a great revolutionary movement in India. (3) Although the Naxalbari uprising was suppressed, it remained a landmark of the Indian polity which further led to several similar armed conflicts in parts of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. (see Lal Sena and the Naxalite–Maoist insurgency). All were led by local communist groups which regarded the Chinese revolution and Mao’s philosophy of waging a class war in a feudal society as their guide. They branded the Soviet position which was considered to be abandoning the class struggle as revisionist (reformist), a term coined by the Chinese. The term ‘Naxalites’ came to be associated with all such groups. A Coordination Committee of some of these groups formed the Communist Party of India Marxist Leninist – CPI (ML) - in Calcutta in 1969. While a lot of factions emerged from the CPI (ML), all of them were Maoist groups loosely called Naxalites. Back to India with dreams of revolutionary change In 1973 I went back to Ahmedabad on a one-year sabbatical leave from my full time job as a lecturer at the Enfield College of Technology, now Middlesex University. The idea was to settle in India and support the emerging Naxalite movement. In Gujarat both CPI and CPI (M) had some presence but not CPI (ML) which had only a handful of sympathisers. Prominent among these was Kumarbhai, a sexagenarian communist from Kerala running a small trade union of pottery workers who was in contact with one of the factions of the Naxalite movement. I helped him run the union and also started a Slum Dwellers’ Association to protect slums from demolition by property developers in cahoots with the police. I ended up leading a strike by the union to get the employers to implement the minimum wage law that had been made applicable to potteries during my stay. It was a formative experience for me. Families of workers on strike had nothing to eat after the first week while I continued to eat well. Some of the employers turned out to be from the school I had attended; they tried to cajole and bribe me to suspend the strike, failing which they reported me to the police as a Naxalite. Indira Gandhi, India’s Prime Minister at the time, had declared Naxalites as the ‘single greatest threat to India’s security’ and sympathisers were being rounded up, imprisoned and tortured all over India. When sympathetic government officers let it be known to my friends that it was advisable for me to leave so I returned to London and joined the Central London branch of the Indian Workers Association known as IWA (GB). In 1974 the then president of the Central London branch, Ranjana Ash, a long –standing supporter of CPI (ML), stepped down and I was elected to the post. In 1975 I bought a house in East London with my politically active Irish partner but instead of working with the East London branch of the IWA (GB) continued as president of the Central London branch. Reasons for joining the IWA (GB) in 1973 In a nutshell I joined IWA (GB) because it was run by anti-revisionist, pro-Naxalite Indian communists. When I returned from India there were two IWAs - IWA (Southall), effectively confined to the Southall area only, and IWA (GB) with 18 branches. (4 Both organisations were carrying out welfare work, trade union and anti-racist activities as well as international solidarity campaigns. But there was an important difference in the ideology of their leaders. IWAs led by Association of Indian Communists While all the IWA branches were mass organisations open to any Indian living in the UK, with a total of 20,000 plus members, each one of them was set up and run by Indian communists. On arrival in Britain they had joined the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB), a revisionist organisation, but also set up their own communist organisation in 1966 called the Association of Indian Communists (AIC). The Sino-Soviet split was reflected in the CPGB with adherents and opponents of ‘the British Road to Socialism’, the pro-Soviet analysis published by CPGB in 1951 recommending fighting for socialism within the democratic framework by working within the Labour Party and trade unions rather than waging a class war. A similar split was also reflected among AIC members in their attitude and actions not only in this country but also in India. IWA (Southall) was led by the AIC followers of the Soviet line. In 1971 their leader Vishnu Sharma became a member of the Executive Committee of the CPGB. In India they supported the CPI (M). In contrast the IWA (GB) eschewed “entryism” (meaning infiltration in political organisations such as the Labour party and trade unions) in Britain and supported the CPI (ML). The IWA (Southall) and the IWA GB) also had different perspectives on race relations in Britain. The IWA (Southall) worked with government bodies whereas the IWA (GB) refused to become involved with state-sponsored organisations. The IWA (GB) claimed that the IWA (Southall) had an assimilationist philosophy and saw their role in educating Indians to make themselves acceptable to British society. This was in contrast to the IWA (GB) which considered the problem to be racism, and saw their role as one of fighting racism and not of Anglicizing Indians. After the passing of race relations legislation in the mid-1960s these differences had become more pronounced. I joined the IWA (GB) as a way of pursuing my revolutionary dreams without knowing about, leave alone joining, the Association of Indian Communists. Once Ranjana Ash left the branch there was no AIC member left but all the branch central committee members were sympathetic to the Naxalite cause. Activities of the Central London Branch As Indian ‘communists’ in London we primarily involved ourselves with Indian workers’ struggles in London which had two dimensions: fighting for rights at work and fighting against racism, The 1960s and 70s was a period of expansion of medium-sized manufacturing and engineering companies in West London. Many of these hired recently arrived Indian migrants from Uganda and Kenya as a source of cheap labour. (5) Struggles broke out all over the place for minimum wages, parity with white workers about wages and working conditions, proper work contracts, right to join trade unions and more. Strikes, walk-outs and other forms of struggle were commonplace. Among other things, we joined picket lines, distributed leaflets, sought support from other workers and from trade unions. The silk thread-making firm Perivale Gutterman’s strike in Perivale near Southall in 1973 and the strike at the film processing business run by Grunwick Processing Laboratories Ltd in Willesden in 1976 were the most notable examples of this side of our work. Grunwick strike - August 1976 to July 1978 (6) Grunwick Laboratories was described in 1977 by Which? magazine as the most efficient and the least expensive of all the film-processing companies. From 100 employees in 1973, by 1976 it had grown to a workforce exceeding 480. Pre-tax profits were £13,500 in 1969, £126,719 in 1973-74 and £210,687 in 1975-76. By August 1976 when the strike broke out in the mail order department, Grunwick was occupying several properties within half a mile radius of Dollis Hill underground station in Willesden. (7) Grunwick exploiting a vulnerable workforce Grunwick was successful in persuading photographers from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany as well as Britain to post their films directly to the company for rapid and good quality turnaround at cheap rates. The low prices it offered depended on hiring a cheap and vulnerable work force. In 1974 when Jayaben Desai, the leader of the strike, started work, the majority of her co-workers were white women. (8) The presence of a large and vulnerable workforce in the shape of thousands of Asians of Indian origin expelled from Kenya and Uganda and concentrated in a few areas of Britain, one being the borough of Brent in west London, meant that the company discriminated in favour of cheaper Asians. By 1976 over 90% were people of colour whose wages in real terms were considerably lower than what was paid in 1974. Holiday entitlements were also reduced and compulsory overtime with little or no advance notice was enforced. The role of IWA (GB) We arrived at the Grunwick factory gate soon after the strike had begun. The starting point was a walk-out by Jayaben Desai, joined later by 130-odd workers, the majority of them women, over the humiliations they suffered. They were required to ask permission to go to the toilet and reprimanded for staying there for more than ten minutes even during pregnancy or menstruation. What began as a walk out for self-respect was soon to become a strike for the recognition of APEX (Association of Professional, Executive, Clerical and Computer Staff) as their union. The workers wanted APEX to negotiate on their behalf. The management was willing to take them all back but not recognise the union. The national press chose to present it as a story of poor, helpless Indian women in saris, speaking very little English, being denied their normal rights as workers. We worked with Jayaben to persuade those who had not walked out to join the struggle. As the only Gujarati speaker in the branch I took the lead in this. Armed with a list provided by Jayaben and accompanied by a woman member of our IWA (GB) branch, I visited the homes of non-strikers. I found a complex picture of why some women were not able to join – urgent financial need or disapproval by a dominant male member of the family being the chief reasons. All had stories to tell of their own experience of the humiliating treatment by management and compulsory overtime without prior notice - the two most common grievances. And almost all were apologetic about not joining. It is difficult to say if our visits made a difference or not, but more workers did join the strike during the weeks that followed. Late in October 1976 we accompanied Jayaben in directly approaching local post office workers to get them to stop delivering mail to Grunwick, which they did. Also we had a fund raiser event at the Brent Trades Union hall. During mass pickets we were at the factory gates and on a few occasions we were able to bring coach loads of IWA (GB) supporters from the Midlands’ branches. From the trade union side the key organiser was Jack Dromey, the Secretary of the Brent Trades Council who was a non-voting member of the strike committee. There was a major push by Jayaben and the strike committee to send deputations to factories, building sites and shipyards up and down the country to reach out to workers all over the country. This was followed by Jack Dromey’s successful appeal to Arthur Scargill, the leader of the Mine Workers Union, all of which resulted in massive pickets every day to stop the bus ferrying the scabs from going into the factory. The strike became the cause célèbre embracing Labour supporters, feminists and progressives of different political colours. Hundreds of chemists’ shops who used Grunwick’s film processing service boycotted the factory. There was wide and regular coverage in the media, including in the influential feminist magazine, Spare Rib. (9) The strike dragged on for nearly two years, from 20 August 1976 to 14 July 1978, but failed to achieve its goals. The Grunwick strike was lost in spite of Labour government ministers joining the picket lines, first unofficial, and then official, stopping of postal delivery to Grunwick for a period and worldwide support from the trade union movement including the banishing of air transport of Grunwick’s goods from Europe. Furthermore, there were two favourable reports by ACAS, a High Court decision in favour of ACAS and against Grunwick, the Scarman Report recommending union recognition and the finding by Brent Magistrate’s Court of the police being guilty of arresting strikers without due cause. The employers were determined to hold out and were financed by the National Association for Freedom. Private planes were used to fly in films from all over Europe for processing. George Ward, the Anglo-Indian Managing Director of Grunwick, ignored ACAS reports labelling ACAS as the ‘Association of Comrades for the Advancement of Socialism’. Lord Denning’s Appeal Court ruling overturned the High Court verdict and declared the ACAS report invalid. The House of Lords confirmed Denning’s ruling against ACAS. The state deployed the Special Petrol Group (SPG) which used methods developed in Northern Ireland by the notorious Royal Ulster Constabulary. Again and again they tore into the mass pickets and used violence unseen in normal policing of strikes. The right wing tabloids were able to print images of ‘pickets fighting with the police’. The unions were not prepared to fight until the end. They tried to impose a limit on the number of pickets. For a while, anticipating an opportunity to gain a foothold among the Asian immigrant workers, they had paid double the strike pay and officially sanctioned the Union of Postal Workers (UPW) to ban postal deliveries. But they were losing control and faced with images in the tabloids of pickets fighting with police, feared a legal backlash which did materialise after Margaret Thatcher became the Prime Minister. As ‘the Grunwick Strike’ by A. Sivanandan clearly explains, the Social Contract, the government-trade union collaboration agreed by the Labour government and the trade union movement, ensured that both the TUC and the UPW withdrew support. For the Managing Director Ward, and his managers, the main issue was the workers joining a union which threatened their cheap source of labour. Race or gender were irrelevant to the bottom line except when they could use it to increase their profits. They did, of course, use race and gender to get their way. Having replaced the largely white workforce with vulnerable Asian immigrants from Kenya and Uganda, Ward had made a detailed study of workers’ home backgrounds and tried to use cultural and religious differences between different sub-groups of striking Asian workers to his advantage. Workers’ struggles in the 1970’s, including the one at Grunwick, were, among other things, about unions negotiating with employers on behalf of its members about wages, annual holidays, working conditions and other aspects of workers’ rights. Today in Britain we are fighting against zero hour contracts and a ‘self-employed’ workforce. The rights of workers to join picket lines in solidarity with others, as was done so dramatically by miners during the Grunwick strike, is now illegal. In France collective bargaining is still the norm but Macron, the new president of France is trying to outlaw it. The struggle goes on. Lessons learnt Experience of working in conflicts like Grunwick made me question my younger self’s belief that all-out revolutionary struggle is the only way forward. It reinforced my emerging view that to bring about change, working in broad-front organisations on single issue campaigns should not be dismissed. I came to understand the importance of forming alliances with sympathetic individuals and organisations to maximise the strength of one’s forces, even where they embraced views at odds with my own on fundamental issues such as human rights, women’s rights, or even racism. One particular case stands out in my memory that concerns the leader of the Grunwick strike, Jayaben Desai. Jayaben was a fearless fighter for social justice for workers, but was also a member and supporter of the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS), the UK branch of the Hindu nationalist extremist group Rashtriya Swayamaevak Sangh (RSS) in India known for its hostility to and attacks on Muslims. I remember a conversation with her in which she was berating Muslims in India. ‘Their houses smell’, ‘they breed like rabbits’ etc. I pointed out that what she was saying about Indian Muslims was exactly the same as the far right National Front was saying about all the black migrants, including us. Her response was: “What I am saying about Indian Muslims is true, what the NF says about us is not”! On the other hand, it is fair to say that without Jayaben there would not have been a strike. 60% of those on strike were female, and the leading force was Jayaben Desai. There was a lot of simmering discontent among the workforce but no one else was able to articulate workers’ grievances in Gujarati as she did. Her English was far from perfect, but her fearless quick-witted retorts to rude managers gave courage to others to come out and stay out. The most famous one of these is the one where she says before walking out: “What you are running here is not a factory, it is a zoo. But in a zoo there are many types of animals. Some are monkeys who dance on your fingertips, others are lions who can bite your head off. We are the lions, Mr Manager.” Equally impressive is her retort to a manager who said ‘you can’t win with that Sari on. Why don’t you change into a mini-skirt?’ ‘I will tell you something, manager’ she retorted, ‘Mrs Gandhi wears a sari and she runs a country of 600 million people. You can’t even run a little factory’. I also realised that strikers and their supporters had contradictory views on fundamental issues. Among the other contradictions that struck me at the time was the proud declaration by most female strikers, including Jayaben, that while picketing they had never failed to provide cooked meals, a clean and tidy house, and care of their children, no matter how early they had to rise each morning! British feminists who joined the picket would not have shared or appreciated this view! However, I found during our attempts to get more women to join the strike that the issue was much more complex. It is best articulated by Ann Rossiter (10) in an article published in Spare Rib. It says: “It takes a great deal of guts for an Asian woman to come out on strike and stand on a picket line in the full glare of publicity day after day. All sorts of psychological pressures are brought to bear on her. Members of her family may gossip and deprecate her, as it is considered a dishonour for a woman to put herself in the public eye.” Being the great strategist that she was, Jayaben came up with a practical solution. She and Jack Dromey got the strike committee to organise a meeting for the husbands and relatives of the women strikers. For three hours one Sunday forty of the husbands fired questions at Jack Dromey, Adrian Askew, an APEX official, and the officers of the strike committee. The meeting made a decisive contribution towards helping the women play a full part in the strike and brought into the dispute the families of those on strike. ‘I think a standard approach from now on in a strike situation like this must be to involve the strikers’ relatives’ remarked Jack Dromey. (11) I found to my amazement that disagreements about fundamental values were to be found among political activists as well. Male chauvinism was not the preserve of the strikers’ menfolk; it was widespread among IWA (GB) members whether they described themselves as ‘comrades’ or not. Added to this litany of contradictions was the existence of racism amongst Asian workers and IWA (GB) comrades towards African Caribbeans, and of white workers towards all people of colour. Post-Grunwick decades After Grunwick I began to veer towards single issue campaigns which is where I had started during the Maha Gujarat movement. Throughout the 40 years since the strike ended I have been involved in anti-communal, anti-racist and pro-poor struggles except for a brief period to follow my academic career at the LSE. There have been successes and failures. I record below only some of the major ones in which I think I played a meaningful part. Anti-communal work o Alliance Against Fascist Dictatorship in India (AAFDI) 1975 to 1977 AAFDI was set up by the IWA (GB) in the autumn of 1975 after the introduction of Emergency rule in India by Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, from June 1975 till 21 March 1977. During this period she suspended elections, imprisoned leaders of all opposition parties as well as anyone suspected of being a Naxalite, curbed civil liberties, curtailed press freedom and endangered judicial independence. I was on the executive committee of AAFDI and also one of the editors of an occasional publication launched by the organisation called India Today which was produced from my home in the East End. By uniting with all those who opposed the emergency rule in India AAFDI was able to organise a massive demonstration in London on 26 January 1976 which got a lot of publicity in the Indian press. o Other anti-communal organisations Two important organisations were formed to tackle serious manifestations of communalism in India by the Sangh Parivar - the family of organisations for students, women, tribals etc, - led by the RSS. In 1992 the Alliance Against Communalism and for Democracy in India was formed in the aftermath of the demolition of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya, in India’s Uttar Pradesh state, which led to communal carnage in every district of India. It brought together not only left wing organisations but progressive organisations and individuals of all faiths and political colour to counter the propaganda being put out in Britain in the name of all Hindus by the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh - HSS. In 2002, Awaaz South Asia Watch was launched in the wake of the massacre of 2000 plus Muslims in Gujarat in March 2002 for which it is said that Narendra Modi, the current Prime Minister of India was culpable. On two occasions Awaaz was able to stop Modi visiting London to address HSS organised meetings while he was the chief minister of Gujarat. The editors of this book assure me that as the SMG and TMG were an important part of the founding and running of these two organisations, their work will be covered in the next book in the series. Anti-racist work o Newham 8 Defence Campaign and Newham Monitoring Project The 1980’s saw a spate of attacks on Asians in the East End of London by violent racists. (12) A high profile instance at the time was what came to be known as the Newham 8 case. Eight Asian youths were arrested on 24th September 1982 and faced charges of Threatening Behaviour and Actual Bodily Harm. All they had done was to defend themselves after repeated attacks on Asians at the Little Ilford School and East Ham and Manor Park underground tube stations. The Newham 8 Defence Campaign was launched by the Newham Monitoring Project (NMP) with the slogan “Self-Defence is no Offence”. The NMP was also active in other anti-racist campaigns which I participated in while I lived in East London. Pro-poor work o Mega-dam project on the river Narmada In 1991 the World Bank was forced to appoint a team to conduct an independent review of the human and environmental impact of a mega-dam and water distribution project on the river Narmada in India. I had been working with Medha Patkar, the dynamic Gandhian leader of Narmada Bachao Andolan - Save the Narmada Movement – (NBA) set up to fight for the rights of tribal people whose land was going to be submerged by the dam. The review team led by Bradford Morse asked me to help assess the problems caused to the people whose land was going to be submerged by the 75,000-km canal network being built for the project. The assessment was done jointly with my academic colleague Sridharan. Our report was a part of the so-called Morse Report which led to acrimonious debates (13) between the World Bank’s managers and its board of directors, ultimately leading the World Bank to withdraw from the project, annulling the large loan offered to the Indian state to carry it out. In its turn, the World Bank’s withdrawal was an important factor in the Indian Supreme Court’s decision in 1994 to stop further construction (14) pending a proper judicial review. By now the dam has been built. Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the work completed on 20th September 2017. Medha Patkar and the NBA spoke to the press on the day, saying ‘How can they declare the project is complete when rehabilitation of tribal people whose land and homes are submerged, is not complete?’ The fight for the tribal peoples’ rights goes on. Publications: The most important of these is the book, ‘Narendra Modi Exposed’, (15) prior to the general elections in India which brought Modi to power as Prime Minister of India. Among other things it exposes the myth that the Supreme Court of India has absolved Modi of culpability in the Gujarat riots of 2002. Finally In recent years, with increasing mobility problems and other health issues, the main work has been researching and writing for campaigns. With the Hindu Rashtra agenda of the RSS being implemented in India under Narendra Modi and zero hour contracts, Islamophobia and privatisation of education and National Health services becoming the norm in this country, there is no shortage of work for an activist - young or old!