Sudhi Pradhan (1912-1997) left his medical studies in 1939 to become a full-time member of the CPI and eventually an organiser in the Indian People's Theatre Association. His main achievement was to bring eminent folk artists such as Ramesh Sil, Nibaran Pandit and Gumani Diwan on the same platform as better-known urban artists. He was a preeminent scholar, archivist and chronicler of the Marxist cultural movement.
Orphaned early, Sudhi Pradhan, spent much of his neglected childhood among poor children of dalit communities, learning quickly to overcome caste-barriers and class-divisions. His studies were often interrupted by his participation in the freedom movement, which included prison-terms brining him into contact with impressive communist personalities. In 1939 he left medical studies to become a full-time member of the CPI and eventually an organiser in the Indian People's Theatre Movement. His main achievement was to bring eminent folk-artists like Ramesh Sil, Nibaran Pandit and Gumani Diwan on the same platform with the more publicised city-bred performers. This enriched the movement immensely. The last 20 years of his life were devoted to travelling from one district of West Bengal to another, seeking out folk artists, helping them to preserve what they themselves had created. He also approached the Panchayats, to pursuade them to become instrumental in providing support to traditional folk culture. Almost to his last breath, he was an organiser of the movement of people's theatre and people's art.