Madanlal Didi, Chandigarh, Panjub|
Madanlal Didi was born on 19th March 1924 in district Potia in Punjab. He said that his high school and college was in Ludhiana and he grew up there. In his college days he was attracted to influenced by Subhash and the national movement. However in those days he was with the RSS. Later he got disillusioned with the RSS on the question of the national flag and why they would not include Muslims in their struggle against the British. He also joined the Quit India movement and in that process he was taken by his communist friends to a party school where his attraction to left concretized and finally he joined AISF and worked for it till he joined CPI in 1943 after which he started work with the TU movement. Then he narrated in detail the various TU struggles he led and was associated with- like the safai karamchari struggle where he came to realize the problems of the scheduled castes in Punjab and was jailed in the process of that struggle. Then hosiery workers struggle in Ludhiana during which he formed the Hosiery Workers Union and made AITUC a force among the textile and hosiery workers. Then he organized as part of his efforts to mobilize the textile workers the handloom workers and power loom workers. Then he also organized the bank employees. He narrated the losses he suffered in the process of the TU struggle for e.g. in Pearl Hosiery struggle. Then he narrated the other struggles he led like for e.g. Punjab Roadways, HMT workers, Kharar textiles, PWD workers, PEPSU Roadways workers, All India Cement Workers struggle, JCT Mills struggle, Abohar textile mills struggle, Punjab State Electricity Board Struggle. Then he talked in detail about the impact of the CPI split of 1964, and the immigrant labour problem, the minimum wage issue. He also narrated the experiences he underwent when the CPI went underground i.e. during the armed struggle period. So Madanlal Didiís interview was extremely interesting and shed a lot of light on the TU movement in the pre-partition and Punjab side. He personally comes across as a very loving, witty and affectionate man whose warmth is very infectious.