Amir Haider Khan 1900-89

Amir Haider Khan

Born in Sealian village of Rawalpindi district (now in Pakistan) in a poor family. Went to Bombay to work as a shiploader at a young age. Travelling by ship he made contact with Indian revolutionaries abroad. Left his ship and stayed in America, where he worked in an automobile factory. Obtained an aviator’s licence and purchased a second-hand aeroplane. Joined the Communist Party of the USA and was sent for training to Moscow. After completing his training, he returned to India. Worked for the Party in Bombay while serving in the General Motors Company. Upon getting news of an arrest warrant against him, he went underground. While in hiding, visited Europe. On return to India, devoted himself to building the Communist Party in Madras (Chennai). Was responsible for recruiting a number of young political workers into the Communist Party, among whom was P. Sundarayya. On May 7, 1932, towards the fag end of the Meerut trial, he fell into the hands of the police. To bring him for trial at Meerut at that stage would have meant starting the entire proceedings from the beginning – which the government wanted to avoid. Proceedings, however, were started against him in Madras, and he was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for two years. After release from jail he was again arrested in 1936. Released in 1942, he settled down in his native place. Struggled against military dictatorships in Pakistan, and spent many years in jail. Made his first visit to India after independence in 1988. Died on December 27, 1989.