Photos : When Cuban Revolutionary Che Guevara visited India
In 2007, Om Thanvi, editor of the Hindi daily *Jansatta*, became curious about Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara’s visit to India in 1959. Che was an icon on T-shirt, but why was so little known about his trip to the subcontinent? The journalist thinks it’s because Indian Communists chose to forget the Argentine’s visit because of Che’s comments against Russian communism.
Gripped by curiosity, Thanvi sent a colleague to the photo division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Officials there said Che never visited India because, if he had, they would have displayed the photographs in the diplomatic gallery. When Thanvi showed them evidence that Che had indeed come to India, they finally looked hard and found 14 photographs.
In official records, the officials explained, Che was mentioned by his official name, Commander Ernesto de la Serna. All over the world, it was much later that he came to be known as Che Guevara, and that is why it had been so difficult to find his photographs in the archives.
When Thanvi first published these photographs in *Jansatta*, some people did not believe them. So he went to Cuba to find out more about Che’s India visit. Among other things, he found a copy of Che’s report on the trip, Nehru’s memento to Che, and three photographs of Calcutta taken by Che.
Thanvi also traced KP Bhanumathy, who had interviewed Che for the All India Radio. She showed him her article recalling the interview. She also provided Thanvi some photographs taken during the interview. Thanvi also found some photographs and reports in the *Hindustan Times* archives.
Here are the amazing photos from the government archives and the other treasures Thanvi discovered:
From the book *Self Portrait* by Che Guevara, published by the Centre for Che Studies, Havana, in collaboration with Ocean Books, Australia.