Kobad Ghandy

Kobad Ghandy (born 1951) is an Indian communist activist and ideologue. He became involved in revolutionary politics whilst a student in England in the 1970s, and worked as an organizer for the civil rights movement in India. He was a founding member of the Committee for the Protection of Democratic Rights. He was arrested on the accusation of being a politburo member of the underground Communist Party of India (Maoist) in 2009. He was acquitted and released after almost a decade in jail in 2019.[1][2]

Kobad Ghandy
Personal details
Born1951 (age 69–70)
Bombay, India
(m. 1983; died 2008)
EducationThe Doon School
St. Xavier's College, Mumbai
University of Cambridge

Early lifeEdit

Kobad Ghandy was born to Nergis and Adi. Adi was a senior finance executive in Glaxo. He hails from a wealthy Parsi family in Mumbai.[3] Ghandy attended The Doon School and later St. Xavier's College, Mumbai.[4] He went to England to pursue a course in chartered accountancy but got initiated in radical politics, was deeply influenced by the revolutionary ideology and returned to India with his course unfinished.[5]

Return to IndiaEdit

Upon his return to India, he became active in revolutionary politics in Maharashtra.[6] He was the founding member of Committee for the Protection of Democratic Rights.[7] He spent the late 1970s and early 1980s in Nagpur, working as a CPDR organizer.[8]

Party leaderEdit

Ghandy became a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) People's War in 1981.[6] When the CPI(Maoist) was formed in 2004, he remained a Central Committee member of the new merged party.[6] Ghandy reportedly participated in a 2005 meeting with the Nepalese Maoist leadership in Delhi, along with Kishenji, Prachandra and Baburam Bhattarai.[9]

Ghandy was elevated to the Politburo of the CPI(Maoist) at the 2007 Unity Congress.[6] He was placed in charge of the CPI(M) Central Committee sub-committee on mass organisations and was responsible for the production of English-language party materials.[6]


He was arrested in South Delhi[10] om 17 September 2009 while undergoing treatment for cancer.[11][6] His arrest was made public on September 21, 2009.[6] Per a statement by CPI(Maoist) the arrest had occurred after Ghandy had been betrayed by a party courier.[6] Ghandy had made a visit to the guerrilla zone prior to his arrest.[6]

Personal lifeEdit

Kobad Ghandy married Anuradha Shanbag in 1977[5][12] She was also a Central Committee member of CPI(Maoist).[5] She died of cerebral malaria in April 2008[5] in the jungles of Dandakaranya in Central India.

Popular cultureEdit

The character 'Govind Suryavanshi' in the 2012 Bollywood film Chakravyuh, portrayed by Om Puri, is said to be based upon Kobad Ghandy.[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Oct 16, TNN /; 2019; Ist, 11:36. "Sedition case: Maoist leader Kobad Ghandy gets bail | Surat News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 April 2021.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ "73 yr old Maoist ideologue Kobad Ghandy gets bail". Deccan Herald. 14 October 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  3. ^ Vishwa Mohan, Rahul Tripathi (24 September 2009). "Cancer landed Kobad in police net". The Times of India. Retrieved 24 September 2009.
  4. ^ "India's unlikely Maoist revolutionary". BBC News. 23 September 2009.
  5. ^ a b c d Rahul Pandita (26 September 2009). "The Rebel". Open magazine. Retrieved 26 September 2009.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Indian Vanguard. Betrayal led to Kobad Ghandy’s arrest: CPI MAOIST
  7. ^ Punwani, Jyoti (22 September 2009). "The Kobad Ghandy I knew". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Maoist who went to school in Doon, London". Indian Express. 23 September 2009. Retrieved 28 September 2009.
  9. ^ CNN-IBN. Be practical, hold talks: Nepal Maoists to Kishenji
  10. ^ B Vijay Murty and Karan Choudhury (22 September 2009). "Top Maoist leader arrested in Delhi". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 28 September 2009.
  11. ^ Rahul Tripathi and Vishwa Mohan (24 September 2009). "Cancer landed Kobad in police net". Times of India. Retrieved 28 September 2009.
  12. ^ Kobad Ghandy (8 May 2010). "Letter to the Editor". Open magazine. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  13. ^ "Om Puri plays Maoist Kobad Ghandy - The Times of India". The Times Of India.

External linksEdit