Perin Bharucha-Chandra

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Perin Bharucha Chandra
Perin Bharucha-Chandra.png
Born(1918 -10-02)October 2, 1918
Chaman, Balochistan (now in Pakistan)
DiedJanuary 7, 2015(2015-01-07) (aged 96)
Mumbai, India
Cause of deathProlonged illness
Alma materLahore University
OccupationVeteran Communist
Indian freedom fighter
Peace activist
Known forWas a leader and a stalwart of the All India Peace & Solidarity Organisation (AIPSO)
Notable work
Under Perin’s guidance the AIPSO office at New Delhi House was professionally run
Spouse(s)Romesh Chandra (later divorced)
ChildrenShobha (Daughter)
Feroze (Son)
  • Capt.Phiroze Byramji Bharucha (father)
  • Pilloo (mother)

Perin Bharucha Chandra– October 2nd,1918 - 7th January, 2015[1] was a veteran Communist, an Indian freedom fighter and a peace activist born in British India. She was born in Chaman, Balochistan (now in Pakistan) in a Parsi family of British Indian Army Doctor and later Surgeon General of Lahore, Capt.Phiroze Byramji Bharucha (Promoted to Lt.Colonel) and his wife Pilloo. She played an integral role in the Cold-War era to promote peace & peaceful conflict resolution. Born to a career soldier and doctor she moved around a lot due to the nature of her fathers posting in the Army. A believer in Scientific Socialism, She married (later divorced) Romesh Chandra, a former chairman of the World Peace Council for several years, son Pheroze, a senior journalist, and daughter in law Chandita Mukherjee, noted documentary film maker and activist.[2][3][4]

Early Life and Education

Perin Bharucha was born in 1918 in Chaman, Balochistan in now Pakistan. She had a idyllic childhood in various Army cantonment towns and a stint in a boarding school in Simla. By the time she went to college in Lahore, inspired by the national movement, she started wearing handspun and handwoven khadi and joined the women's wing of the Congress. Through the women’s movement she came into contact with Marxist ideology and this shaped her mission for life.[5] In 1942 she married her Comrade Romesh Chandra and they plunged into their work in the Communist Party of India and the Indian Freedom struggle. The Partition of India would dislocate their lives for a period as they migrated to Bombay and then to New Delhi with a life dedicated to the struggle for a better life for working people of India and the world.[6]

She completed her graduation post her marriage (adherent to a common belief prevalent among people in Punjab of having equal education among couples) at Kinnaird College & later Lahore University. It is during her Kinnaird College days that she got involved in the freedom struggle for India. She was known to be an efficient organizer, peace activist and aid relief worker, who quickly formed a large group of members working out of a one room rented house in Lahore. Helping raise funds, provide relief and create awareness during the various natural calamities like the Bengal Famine. It is said that she led many sorties in the farming hinterland of Punjab with Sheila Bhatia to requests me she became the first woman General Secretary of All India Students Federation (AISF)

Post Independence

She was a close associate of many stalwarts like Ajoy Ghosh, I.K.Gujral senior Socialist leader and the former Prime Minister of India, Indrajit Gupta the former Home Minister of India, Romesh Chandra former General Secretary and President of World Peace Council to name a few.[7] Apart from being a veteran Communist, she served in the peace movement of international communism and was part of its Indian leadership.

As Com. Perin Romesh Chandra played an important role in Indian peace movement as well as formation of the All India Peace Council and later on the All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation. Under her leadership the AIPSO led numerous struggles in support of liberation movement of South Africa, Vietnam, Palestine, Bangladesh etc and contributed greatly to strengthen the international peace and solidarity movement and World Peace Council. The AIPSO became the biggest peace movement in Asia-Pacific region.

Life as a Peace Activist & AIPSO activism

Perin was a leader and a stalwart of the All India Peace & Solidarity Organisation (AIPSO) being at the helm of affairs working out of the New Delhi office of AIPSO.

Notable Works

The Fire Worshippers, 1968

During her time at AIPSO she also authored many books, some are yet to be digitised. Her first notable work as an author was in 1968 with the publishing of The Fire Worshippers, first published by the Strand Book Club, Bombay in 1968. The novel focuses on the customs of the Parsi community and in a first, deals with problems of inter-caste marriage in the community. She was the first Parsi novelist to highlight the contentious issue of inter faith marriage. It also speaks about the Parsi ethnicity and how in rapidly changing India the Parsi is disappearing or rather assimilated into the greater society of the country.[8]

In the novel Bharucha tries to reject the concept of ethical purity through Nariman, an idealist, who wants marry outside his family as Nariman's father, Pestonji Kanchawalla resists disintegration of his community beginning from his own family through the proposed mixed marriage of his with Portia Roy, a non-Parsi girl. The book provides an interesting snapshot of Paris class structure in post independence Bombay.

As Novy Kapadia states in the book Perspectives on the Novels of Rohinton Mistry:

"Perin was quite clairvoyant. In the 1960's, the trend of mixed marriages amongst Parsis was a trickle but as the author subtly hints, it could become a deluge. Within the space of three decades, the trend of inter-faith marriages has increased rapidly amongst the Parsi community. So in the novel, we find Pestonji objecting to his son's marriage because he felt he would become a trend-setter."[1]

The Fire Worshippers in someways is called as a trend setter and later inspiration for Parsi literary mahouts writers like Bapsi Sidhwa, Rohinton Mistry, Firdaus Kanga to name a few.


Her death was mourned by all walks of society and across the world by various Leaders and stalwart Communists. Including comrades in the women's and peace movements, friends and family, from around the world. She is survived by Romesh(now deceased) and her children Shobha and Feroze. She died on 7th January, 2015 following a prolonged illness at the ripe old age of 96. Her body was donated to Grant Medical College, Mumbai as per her last wish. Interestingly Grant Medical College is where her father had studied medical science as student.[7][5][9][10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Chandra, Perin. "Comrade Perin Chandra". Peoples Democracy.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. Bharucha, Perin (January 8, 2015). "Freedom Fighter Perin Chandra dies". Business Standard News.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. Mukherjee, Chandita. "Children's Film Society , India". Children's Film Society, India.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. Chandra, Perin. "OBITUARY : PERIN CHANDRA (1919-2015) : INSAF". INSAF- International South Asia Forum.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Chandra, Perin. "The Passing of Perin Chandra". Outlook India.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. "Obituary: Perin Chandra(1919-2015".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Freedom Fighter Perin Chandra Dies". Business Standard News.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. Bharucha, Perin (1968). The Fire Worshippers. Cornell University, Library: Bombay Strand Club, 1968.
  9. Chandra, Perin (January 9, 2015). "CNDP Mourns the sad demise of Perin Chandra". CNDP India.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. Chandra nee Bharucha, Perin. "Lest We Forget". Mainstream Weekly.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

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