Homi Daji: Veteran CPI Politician passes away


May 19, 2009

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Veteran Communist Homi Daji, a former MP, died on Thursday at a private hospital in Indore, sources in the Communist Party of India (CPI) said. He was 84.

Daji was admitted to the hospital May 2 after he experienced difficulty in breathing and his lungs became infected. The Madhya Pradesh government had announced an assistance of Rs 1,00,000 for his treatment.

Belonging to a middle class Parsi family, Daji was born on September 5, 1923. He participated in the All India Student Federation Movement for the first time in 1946 at Indore and never looked back after that.

He contested on a CPI ticket for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly twice — in 1957 and then in 1973 — and won by a huge margin both times. Daji also contested Parliamentary elections from Indore in 1962 as an independent and won. The veteran trade union leader was married at an early age and had two children — a daughter and a son — both of whom died of cancer.

Daji remained State secretary of CPI in Madhya Pradesh from 1965 to 1985 and state general secretary of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) for about a decade in the sixties. He was a member in all India secretariat of CPI from 1990 to 1996 and simultaneously also remained AITUC’s national general secretary from 1990 to 1994.

He is known for giving a new lease of life to the trade union movement in Indore and in the state as well.

During the 1962 war with China, then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru called him to Delhi and asked him to represent India in official talks with China.