ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Danial Latifi, 1917-2000

Danial Latifi, the third generation nationalist who passed away in Delhi last month, was a fighter for many causes, ranging from civil liberties and minority rights to women’s empowerment and, in his final years, the preservation and promotion of Urdu language.

Danial Latifi, a third generation nationalist, passed away on June 17. He was 83. He was born on March 15, 1917 at Bombay. His grandfather, the late Justice Badruddin Tyabji, was the president of the Indian National Congress in 1887.

In 1935, Latifi joined St John’s College, Oxford, to study jurisprudence. During his stint at Oxford, Latifi participated in the Union debates, where he even beat Edward Heath who later went on to become prime minister of England. While in England, Latifi was drawn into revolutionary student politics and the Indian freedom struggle. He, along with the late Mohan Kumaramangalam and the late Feroz Gandhi, founded the Federation of Indian Student Societies in Great Britain and Ireland, which played an important role in the foundation of the All India Students’ Federation. On his return to India in 1939, he joined the freedom struggle as well as his legal practice with Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Soon after second world war began, Latifi was arrested and convicted under the Defence of India Act and was imprisoned. In 1946, he moved to Bombay and became the general secretary of the BBCI Railwaymen’s Union.

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