This campaign leaflet for Shapurji Saklatvala was distributed in 1931 and features details of his campaigns, as well as information on a series of rallies at which he would speak. First elected MP for Battersea North in 1922, Shapurji Saklatvala was the third Asian MP to win a seat in the House of Commons. He was active in the working- lass movement, joining the Independent Labour Party in 1909, before switching to the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) in 1921.
North Battersea was an overwhelmingly working class constituency and Saklatvala won, standing as a Labour candidate, with a majority of 2000, but lost the seat in 1923. In 1924 he stood for the CPGB, regaining his seat, before losing it at the General Election in 1929. He stood as a candidate again in 1931, but without success.
During his career as a parliamentarian, Saklatvala worked hard to bring wider attention to the negative impact of colonial rule in India. He was also a champion of workers’ rights and working towards the improvement of conditions of the working classes, of whom many lived in terrible poverty. For him the capitalist exploitation of the working classes was intertwined with the colonial exploitation of his homeland, and these concerns were front-and-centre in his campaigning.
- Article by:
- Susheila Nasta, Dr Florian Stadtler, Rozina Visram
From the suffragette Sophia Duleep Singh to the Communist MP Shapurji Saklatvala: explore the lives of notable South Asians in 19th and 20th century British and Indian politics.