Uppsala University Library

Memoirs of an Indian revolutionary

The many manuscripts containing various depictions of foreign history include Kali Ghosh’s autobiography, a testimony of India’s fight for independence from the British colonial power during the early 20th century. [H 542]

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Kali Ghosh

Kali Ghosh (approx. 1900-1978) grew up in Bengal at the time when the independence movement against the British colonial power was gathering momentum. He became involved in politics early on, and joined the radical groups during the 1920s, eventually leading to his arrest, imprisonment and exile. In London, he met the Swedish journalist Paula Wiking, whom he married and who encouraged him to write his autobiography. This unique document, portraying a disillusioned young man for whom the only way to oppose the British occupation was through violence, was written on a typewriter in the 1930s but remained unpublished until 2013. Kali Ghosh became a journalist, and worked together with his wife for publications including Blitz. Despite being in exile, he never abandoned his strong political convictions and was an active member of the Communist party. 

After the death of Paula Wiking-Ghosh in 1968 and his own death in 1978, the manuscript was looked after by Paula’s family in Sweden. When it was finally published in New Delhi in October 2013, the original manuscript was presented by Janken Myrdal, grandson of Kali Ghosh’s Swedish wife, to Uppsala University Library. It has been given the designation H 542, and can be requested for study in the special reading room.

The printed version, with introductory texts by Professor Janken Myrdal and Professor Gunnel Cederlöf, is titled The Autobiography of a Revolutionary in British India (New Delhi, Social Science Press, 2013).

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