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Sohan Singh Josh

(1898 – 1982) – (Punjab)

Sohan Singh Josh (Aged 84) was born on 12 November 1898 in Chetanpura, Amritsar district, Punjab, India. His father Lal Singh wanted him to be educated but since there were no schools nearby, Sohan Singh began his education quite late. He completed the Middle standard examination from Church Mission School, Majitha, and the Matriculation examination from D.A.V. School, Amritsar. For his higher education, Josh joined Khalsa College, Amritsar, but had to leave soon after due to financial difficulties.

After leaving Khalsa College, Josh went to Hubli in Bengal Presidency and later to Bombay, where he worked at the Censor’s office until 1918. He returned to Amritsar later to become a school teacher. In 1921, Josh became actively involved in the Akali movement for the liberation of gurdwaras from mahants. He vehemently opposed British Raj in India and as a result of his anti-British activities, he was arrested, tried, and sentenced to three years in prison. At the time, he also became a member of the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee and the Shiromani Akali Dal.

Josh was a prolific writer and helped to bring out a revolutionary paper, Kirti, in 1925. It was the main vehicle for Bhagat Singh to propagate his ideas. Josh was a leader in both the Kirti Kisan Party and the Naujawan Bharat Sabha, being prominent in both organizations simultaneously.

He was imprisoned for his role in the Meerut Conspiracy Case, released in November 1933, and thereafter aligned himself with the Communist Party of India. In 1943, he became the editor of a newly founded communist paper, Jang-i-Azadi. He passed away in 1982.