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Vishnu Sharma

Born in the Punjab in 1921, Sharma was active in the peasant movement and later in trade unions, becoming Assistant General Secretary of the Punjab Provincial TUC at a time of the British Raj. Because eof his militancy, he was arrested six times and imprisoned for a total of 31/2 years. He was forced to stay in his village for 21 months and visit the police at 11am every Sunday. Sharma joined the Communist Party of India in 1937.
 
He left for Britain in 1957, arriving on a Friday, speaking no English and with just three pounds in his pocket. On the Monday, he joined the British Communist Party. He worked in a rubber factory in Southall, taught himself English and immersed himself in trades unionism; Sharma became a member of the British Communist Party’s Executive Committee from 1971.
 
Long active in the Indian Workers Association, he was elected President of the Southall IWA in 1977. He was also Vice-Chair of the Campaign against Racial Discrimination, a founder member and full time worker for the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants and a member of the National Council for Commonwealth of Immigrants, the forerunner of the Commission for Racial Equality, from which he resigned in protest at the 1968 Immigration Act. He was a member of the original Steering Committee of the Anti-Nazi League. The author of a Communist Party pamphlet, “No Racist Immigration Laws” (1979), he died at age of 72 in Delhi after attending a Congress of the Communist Party of India.
 
Main source: Morning Star May 1st 1992