A.B. Shah

  S. Ramanathan

  Basava Premanand

  G.D. Parekh

  J.B.H. Wadia

  Samaren Roy

  Mani Ben Kara

  Sib Narayan Ray

  V.B. Karnik

  Susheel Mukherjee

  Malladi Ramamurthy






Humanists I Met

V. B. Karnik


I know V B Karnik since early 1960s. Our acquaintance commenced with correspondence and then grew into thick friendship. He visited several times to Andhra Pradesh and especially Hyderabad city. Dr G R Dalvi was in 

Administrative Staff college of India and invited Karnik for training classes and lectures on labour problems. That is how we utilised the services of V B Karnik for Radical Humanist conferences, study camps and lectures. We are fotunate that way.

V B Karnik is Vasant Bhagawant karnik. In Mumbai he is fondly known as Baba.

He was born in 1902 and studied in Mumbai and Pune. He worked as Vakil for some time. But Karnik devoted his life to labour problems and worked with N M Joshi. He was in almost all trade unions in Mumbai and rose to the level of all India trade union leader

V B Karnik lived in Ratilal mansion in Mumbai and shifted to Sahitya Sahawas later. 

He was the first person to meet and help M N Roy when the later stepped into Mumbai city during 1930s under psuedonym Mahamood.

Since then V B has become the right hand of M N Roy. V B stood firm in all difficult situations of Roy and rescued him in difficulties. When Roy was in jail, V B was in touch through letters and visits, raised funds, helped to run journals like Independent India, Radical Humanist. During the formation days of league of Radical democrats  it was V B who organized meetings, membership and trade unions. When Roy was attacked with the scandal of receiving 13 thousand rupees from Britishers during war period, V B defended him and published a powerful rejoinder to the critics.

The labor wing of Radical Democratic Party was strong support for M N Roy which was all due to the efforts of V B.

Their close friendship lasted till the end.

V B continued his humanist effort after the death of Roy. He edited Radical Humanist and worked in Radical Humanist organization.

I met him and discussed with him on several occasions in Dehradun camp (1975), Bombay conferences, Nagpur meetings and Andhra tours. We organized innumerable meetings of V B at Hyderabad

Later V B came to Andhra to the Leslie Sahaney democratic training camps where we learnt much from V B.

Karnik wrote extensively on labor problems and life history of M N Roy. I translated all his major works into telugu and Telugu Academy at Hyderabad brought out them. The biography of M N Roy by V B Karnik which I translated is running into several editions as it was brought out by Telugu Academy. The Strikes in India and History of Trade Unions are reference books. Both of them are translated by me and again published by Telugu academy. The brief biography of M N Roy by Karnik was also published by National Book Trust and it was also translated by me into Telugu and published by NBT.

When his wife was cruelly murdered during 1970s I visited him and consoled. He stood bold and continued his efforts which are not small thing.

I visited VB till the last days. He died in 1985.


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