B. T. Ranadive
General Secretary, Communist Party of India
In office
Preceded byPuran Chand Joshi
Succeeded byChandra Rajeswara Rao
President, Center of Indian Trade Unions
In office
Preceded byPosition Established
Succeeded byE. Balanandan
Personal details
Born(1904-12-19)19 December 1904
Dadar, Bombay Presidency, British India
Died6 April 1990(1990-04-06) (aged 85)
Political partyCommunist Party of India (Marxist) (1964–1990),
Communist Party of India (before 1964)
OccupationFreedom fighter, leader
Known forCo-founder of Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Bhalchandra Trimbak Ranadive (/rɑːnəˈdv/; 19 December 1904 – 6 April 1990), popularly known as BTR, was an Indian communist politician and trade union leader.

Personal life

BTR memorial in Allepey

He was elder brother of Ahilya Rangnekar, a CPI-M leader and 6th Lok Sabha member from Mumbai North Central (Lok Sabha constituency). They belonged to a Marathi Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu(CKP) family but Ranadive, a brilliant student, would teach Dalit students in his spare time.[1][2][3][4]

Political career

Ranadive completed his studies in 1927, obtaining an M.A. degree with distinction and in 1928 he joined the clandestine Communist Party of India. In the same year he became a major leader of the All India Trade Union Congress in Bombay. He was active with the Girini Kamgar Union of the textile workers in Bombay and with the struggles of the railway workers. He became the secretary of the GIP Railwaymen’s Union. In 1939, he married Vimal, a trade union activist.

In 1943 he was elected to the central committee of the party. In February 1946 Ranadive played a major role in organizing a general strike in support of the Naval ratings revolt.

At its 2nd Party Congress held in Calcutta in February, 1948 the party elected Ranadive in place of P.C. Joshi as its general secretary.[5] Ranadive was the general secretary of CPI 1948-1950. During that period the party was engaged in revolutionary uprisings, such as the Telangana armed struggle. In 1950 Ranadive was deposed, and denounced by the party as a "left adventurist".

In 1956, at the 4th Party Congress in Palghat BTR was again included in the Central Committee. He became a leading figure of the leftist section of the CC.

At the time of the Indo-China border conflict in 1962, Ranadive was one of many prominent communist leaders jailed by the government. In 1964 he became one of the main leaders of Communist Party of India (Marxist).

At the founding conference of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions in Calcutta May 28–31 1970, Ranadive was elected president.


The central building of CITU in New Delhi is named after him— BTR Bhavan.

BTR (right) with AKG
BTR Bhavan, Kerala


  1. ^ "Red Salute To Comrade Ahilya". People's Democracy(weekly)-Vol. XXXIII,No. 16, April 26, 2009. Ahilya Rangnekar was born in Pune in 1922 in a Chandrasena Kayastha Prabhu family. Her father Trimbak Ranadive was deeply influenced by the social reformers of his times...(she was a trained classical singer, and had a lovely voice which she had often used in street performances to sell the Party paper on Bombay's streets along with her more well-known brother, the radical communist leader and trade union fighter, B T Ranadive ((cite magazine)): Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  2. ^ "sactown magazine". She strongly believed that Ranadivés had an obligation to fight for social justice because of their caste (the Hindu designation of social rank). The family is Kshatriya—born to be warriors and rulers ((cite magazine)): Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  3. ^ "Silicon Valley hotshot scripts NBA plan for India". Finally, when asked about his memories of his grand uncle, the late Indian communist leader BT Ranadivé, he says laughing, "I know he wanted to make people's lives better, which is what I also want to do, but in a different way."
  4. ^ Parvati Menon (2004). Breaking Barriers: Stories of Twelve Women. LeftWord Books. p. 10. My family was from the Chandrasena Kayastha Prabhu community, popularly called the CKP community, from which a large number of the social reformers came." Ahilya recalls an event that took place in Malad, where a big satyagraha was organized against untouchability. "My father, although a government servant, gave this campaign all his support.My brother B.T. Ranadive, who was a brilliant student, used to tutor dalit boys when he was at University,...
  5. ^ Chandra, Bipan & others (2000). India after Independence 1947-2000, New Delhi: Penguin, ISBN 0-14-027825-7, p.204