(Tributes paid to martyrs and departed leaders and progressive personalities at the Inaugural Session of the 10th Congress, CPI(ML), Mansa, 24 March 2018)

 

This house salutes the legacy of Karl Marx in his 200th birth anniversary year.

This house remembers and salutes the fighters of the Great November Revolution in its Centenary Year. This house remembers and salutes the martyrs and fighters of the Naxalbari upsurge in its 50th anniversary year, and of our party the CPI(ML) as it nears the 50th year of its foundation.

Since our 9th Congress, our party and people’s movements in the country have suffered very heavy losses. We have also lost many iconic Left and anti-imperialist figures all over the world. In this period, with the rise of fascist forces in India, there has been a spate of hate crimes, political assassinations, and acts of state violence that continue to claim lives.

This house expresses deep grief at the deaths of 39 Indians who were killed by the ISIS in Iraq, and condemns the callous manner in which the Government of India concealed the information and then released it in Parliament without first informing the kith and kin.

This house mourns the farmers who were forced to commit suicide due to agrarian distress. This house salutes the farmers killed in police firing while agitating for their rights in Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh and Bhangar, West Bengal; the peasants and adivasis killed in police firing fighting eviction in Jharkhand and Assam; those killed due to demonetization; the victims of starvations deaths in tea gardens and due to Aadhaar exclusions; and the victims of communal violence, communal lynch mobs, and caste atrocities, and demands justice for them all.

This house salutes CPI(ML) leader Comrade Zafar Hussein Khan of Pratapgarh, Rajasthan who was killed by a mob of Government officials for resisting their attempts to harass and humiliate poor women defecating in the open. This house salutes Comrade Mariappan of Tamilnadu, who was brutally beheaded by members of the Hindu Munnani.

This house mourns Dika Kumari, the Dalit girl killed in her school Bihar and demands justice for her. This house salutes the legacy of Ambedkarite student activist Rohith Vemula, whose life was claimed by institutional murder, and demands justice for him. This house salutes Professor Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar, Comrade Govind Pansare and Gauri Lankesh – all assassinated by saffron terrorists for their work as rationalists, anti-communal activists, writers and journalists. This house salutes the many journalists killed all over the country for courageous reporting, including Santanu Bhowmick and Sudip Datta Bhowmick of Tripura.

This house mourns those who were killed in train accidents and railway station stampedes as a result of the callous laxity in rail safety norms. This house mourns the victims of natural calamities including floods and cyclones in various parts of the country.

This house pays tribute to Comrades Satish Yadav, Budhram Paswan and Yusuf Molla, martyred during electoral violence; Comrades Mahesh Ram, Ram Pravesh Ram and Garo Paswan martyred in Begusarai; Comrades Satyanarain Yadav and Kamleshwari Rishidev, martyred in Araria, Bihar; Party activists Comrade Rajendra Mahato (Tarari, Bhojpur) and Sanjay Chaurasia (Raghunathpur, Siwan) killed by feudal-criminal elements; Comrade Dinesh Maurya, member of the Chandauli DC who was killed by feudal criminals recently; and Comrade Ramdev Yadav, member of the Bhagalpur city Committee.

This house expresses deep respect for the late Fidel Castro Ruz, the iconic leader of the Cuban revolution; for Nelson Mandela, leader of the struggle to liberate South Africa from apartheid; and for the revolutionary hero of Viet Nam General Giap under whose military leadership the fighting forces of Viet Nam had inflicted crushing defeats on the armed forces of France and USA. These fighters were among those who left us in the intervening years since 2013.

This house salutes the memory of Pakistani human rights activist Sabeen Mahmud who was assassinated in 2015, and mourns the untimely loss of Pakistani feminist and rights activist Asma Jehangir.  This house salutes the Bangladeshi rationalist and anti-communal bloggers who were assassinated. This house salutes Daphne Caruana Galizia, the celebrated investigative journalist from Malta who was assassinated while she was investigating the Panama Papers links to Malta.

This house celebrates the life and work of the American folk music singer and activist Pete Seeger, and the Latin American public intellectual and conscience-keeper of the world, Eduardo Galeano; the great Indian actress Zohra Sehgal who passed away at the age of 102; and the great physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking.

We salute the great writer Günter Grass; the legendary actor-playwright and theatre-person Dario Fo; Marxist art critic and writer John Berger; noted Marxist scholars Randhir Singh, Ellen Meiksins Wood, and Benedict Anderson; writer and activist Mahasweta Devi; scientist and radical intellectual Richard Levins. We salute the great boxing legend, symbol of Black pride and inspirational anti-racist, anti-imperialist and anti-war icon Muhammad Ali.

We mourn the untimely and sudden death of journalist and Marxist intellectual Praful Bidwai, and the writer and activist Mike Marqusee.

The passing of revolutionary poets Nabarun Bhattacharya, Viren Dangwal, Ramashankar ‘Vidrohi’, and writer Madhukar Singh was a great personal loss for us – they were closely associated with the revolutionary Left movements in the country.

We pay respectful tribute to the veteran communist and CPI leader Comrade AB Bardhan.

Since our 9th Party Congress, we suffered the heavy and untimely losses of two of our leaders – Politburo member Comrade Swapan Mukherjee and former Central Committee member and AIPWA President Comrade Srilata Swaminathan.

We also had to bid loving farewell to our beloved veterans: former Politburo member Comrade Ganeshan, and AIPWA leader and former Central Control Commission member Comrade Geeta Das.

We pay respectful tributes to CPI(ML) founding member and founding editor of Liberation Comrade Suniti Kumar Ghosh, leaders of the Naxalbari upsurge Comrades Khokan Majumdar and Khudan Mallick; and Comrade Bela Dutta, veteran communist activist since the Tebhaga movemet of 1940s.

We also lost Comrade Brij Bihari Lal (Mahashayji), freedom fighter and veteran CPI(ML) leader from Pilibhit who had also served on the Central Control Commission of the Party; Comrade Navin ji (Shivkumar ji), a first generation leader of the Naxalbari movement; Comrade Parmanand Mishra (Roshanji) of Madhubani, a former Central Committee member of the party; and Comrades Surendra Prasad and Ishwar Chand Tyagi, former members of the Central Control Commission.

Comrade Shah Chand ‘mukhiya’ – popular leader of peasant struggles in Bihar, incarcerated in jail after being convicted under the lapsed draconian anti-terror law TADA, passed away. Comrade Baleshwar Choudhury, convicted in the same TADA case, also passed away, as did Comrade Indal Mehta, also unjustly convicted and jailed in a separate case. We remember these comrades with grief and rage, and determination to continue their struggles.

We mourn the passing of trade union and human rights activist and founder of New Socialist Movement Comrade Mukul Sinha; peasant leader of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha KS Puttaniah; anti-communal campaigner Asghar Ali Engineer; Dr. BD Sharma, defender of the rights of indigenous people and scheduled areas; journalist Neelabh Mishra; educationist Vinay Kanth; Marxist academic Javeed Alam; Kannada writer UR Ananthamoorthy; Hindi poets and writers Kedarnath Singh, Kunwar Narain, Chandrakant Devtale, Neelabh Ashq, Pankaj Singh, Dr. Tulsiram, Om Prakash Valmiki, Jaiprakash Leelwan, and Doodhnath Singh; noted educationist from Jharkhand BP Kesri; writer Kumar Satyendra;  revolutionary Tamil poet Inquilab; Odiya writer Prafulla Das; Samajwadi Jan Parishad activist Sunil Bhai; independent trade union activist Comrade Thomas Kocherry; human rights activist PA Sebastian; distinguished news photographer of Patna, Krishna Murari Kishen; Gandharvasen and Megh Raj, founders of the Naxalite movement in Punjab; Marxist economist Nirmal Chandra; renowned progressive scientists UR Rao, Yash Pal and PM Bhargava; long-standing supporter of the party Shri JK Dhaundiyal; and Dr. Sanjay Biswas of the people’s science movement.

We bid adieu to Communist leader Comrade Sukomal Sen, Madhavi Sarkar; veteran communist leader Comrade Prabhulal Paswan (Kishunjee); Comrade Ashok Ghosh, senior leader of Forward Bloc; Comrade Debabrata Bandyopadhyay, senior leader of RSP; Comrade Kovai Iswaran (veteran comrade of ML movement, Chennai); noted social activist Biplab Halim; senior AITUC leaders Comrades Gaya Singh and DL Sachdeva; Comrades Nishith Bhattacharya and Asit Sinha (both veteran leaders of the ML movement in West Bengal); and Arun Ghosh (veteran Leftist librarian and Party well-wisher in Kolkata).

We remember Comrades Doug Lorimer and John Percy, leaders of Socialist Alternative, Australia, who enjoyed warm friendships with many of us, with great affection and respect. We miss the valued friendship and comradeship of Canada-based Marxist academic and activist Dr Daya Varma, who attended every Congress of the CPI(ML) between 1982 and 2002.

We pay our respects to Comrade Narayan Sanyal, leader of CPI(Maoist), who passed away last year, and to veteran TU leader and secretary of CPI(ML) ND West Bengal committee Comrade Paltu Sen. We pay our respects to veteran communist leader Comrade Jagjit Singh Layalpuri, Comrades Kala Tamang and Bhim Sher Thapa of CPRM, Comrade Saudamini Katre, veteran leader of LNP(L), veteran CPI leaders Comrades Satpal Dang and Triveni Sharma Sudhakar, former Bihar state secretary of CPI Comrade Jalaluddin Ansari; and veteran CPIM leader and trade union leader Comrade Mohd. Amin.

We mourn the untimely death by illness of Comrade Rama Gairola, member of the Uttar Pradesh State Committee of the party and a promising AIPWA leader, and of Comrade Jagnarayan, member of the Delhi State Committee. We also pay tributes to Comrade Madan Singh, member of the UP State Committee, Comrade Man Singh Pal, member of the Uttarakhand State Committee; Comrade Mahesh, former member of the UP State Committee; Comrade Koppanghi Venkatanarayana, former member of the Andhra Pradesh State Committee; Comrade Mitranand Singh, member of the Bihar State Committee; Comrade Subrata Chakraborty of the West Bengal State Committee; Comrade Rajarshi Dasgupta (Pushanda), member of the West Bengal State Committee; Comrades Ammaiappan, TKS Janarthanan, and Annadurai, members of the Tamil Nadu State Committee; Comrade Janardan Harijan of the Jharkhand State Committee; Comrade Ajoy Rajknowar, former member of the Assam State Committee and founder leader of Assam State Power Workers Union; Comrade Tapan Bhattacharya, veteran former member of West Bengal State Committee and Comrade Ashok Swain, member of the Odisha State Committee.

We pay respects to Comrade Bishuda (Biswaranjan Das) of Potiram, South Dinajpur district, veteran of the historic Tebhaga peasants struggle, and former member of Party’s West Bengal State Committee; veteran leader Comrade Dilip Mondol (Probodh Bardhan), member of the Jharkhand State Committee of the party, and Comrade Ramkishan of the Haryana State Leading Team.

We pay our respects to Comrade Ganga Prasad, who, till his last days, was a familiar presence in Lucknow running the Lenin Pustak Kendra (Book Shop); to senior CPI (ML) leader Comrade Ramesh Chandra Pandey (affectionately known as Baba); to Comrade Mulkraj who was one of founder members of the CPI(ML) in Delhi and also founder of the All India General Kamgar Union, which is one of Delhi’s oldest functional Unions; to Comrade Pan Singh Jaggi of Uttarakhand and to Comrade Virendra (member of the cultural team Jagaran from Jharkhand). We pay respects to Comrades Haricharan Teli and Ishaq Ali (veteran comrades and also fathers of martyr Comrades Gobinda Teli and Akkel Mian respectively of Tripura), and to Comrade Kamaleshwari Devi (wife of Comrade Jagadish Master).

We also pay our respects to senior employees leader Comrade Tripti Trivedi, Comrades Ram Narain Rai, and TP Srivastav and Suresh Singh (leaders of worker-employee movement); and Comrade Arun Singh (coal workers’ leader, Dhanbad.

We also mourn the passing of Comrade Ramkrishna Sinha, member of the Party’s Jalpaiguri District Committee and a leader of AICCTU; Comrade Sarsingh Kamsa, a coalmine worker and Secretary of Langlongsu Party Branch in Karbi Anglong; Comrade Pheku Sharma, District Committee member, Kaimur; Comrade Suleiman Hafiji (secretary, North Dinajpur District Committee); Comrade Ahmadi Begum, (District Committee Member, Mirzapur, UP); Comrade Narsingh Baori, District Committee Member, Rayagada, Odisha;  Comrade Narayan ji, a member of the CPI(ML)’ s Gonda district unit; senior member of the Udaipur district committee Comrade Chatra Bhai; member of the Darbhanga District Committee Comrade Ram Bahadur Das; Comrade Daud Qureishi (member of West Champaran DC); Comrade Vindeswari Singh (long-standing comrade of Bhojpur DC), Comrade Munniji, one of the founders of AIPWA in Bihar; Comrade Sankarnarayanan of Tamilnadu; Comrade Ram Sakal Das of the Muzaffarpur DC; Comrade Siraj Khan of the Koderma DC; Comrade Radha Mohan Singh of the Dhanbad DC; Comrade Sanajit Murmu of the Hooghly DC; Comrade Jamuna Poddar of the Bhagalpur DC; Comrade Dhiren Sarkar, former Secretary of the Malda District Committee; Comrade Shambhu Prasad Singh, member of the West Champaran District Committee; Comrade Kamli Devi, member of the Araria DC; Comrade Shanti Devi, a popular and fighting leader of AIPWA from Tarari and a member of the Bhojpur DC; Comrade Vikas Mahto who had recently been elected Secretary of the CPI(ML) Jaipur City Committee; Comrade Jamuna Prasad Aatreya, long standing in-charge of the party’s Chhapra (Bihar) district unit; Comrade Saraswati, former Secretary of the Kanpur district committee; Comrade Bindheswari Singh, a veteran communist leader and member of the Bhojpur DC; Comrade Virendra Kumar Singh, member of the Supaul district committee; Comrade Ramapati Yadav, member of the Beguserai district committee; Comrade Sunil Kumar, member of the Bhagalpur DC; Comrade SK Bharti, member of the Purnea DC; Comrade Raja, member of the Tiruvellore district committee; Comrade Byomkesh Banerjee, senior AICCTU leader of West Bengal; Comrade Lalit Mohan Chokiyal, member of the Garhwal DC; Comrade Dilkeshwar (DK) Choudhury, the oldest member of Bokaro’s district committee; Comrade Rohtas Bharti, one of the earliest members of the party in Delhi; and Comrade Sharda Devi (Kanpur), Comrade Krishna Nageswar Rao (Andhra Pradesh), Comrades Gopal Das, Lalan Ravidas and Arun Pandey (Giridih); Comrade Faiz Khan of the Udaipur district committee; Comrade Ramdas Mandal, member of the North Dinajpur district committee; Comrade Kishori Devi of the East Champaran district committee; Comrade Mantosh Prasad, Muzaffarpur district committee; Comrades Vasudev Tyagi and Munnilal Rajbhar, veteran activists from Ghazipur; Comrade Siyamani Devi, AIPWA leader from Patna; Comrade Bhdhdev Azad of Patna; Comrade Shibsadan Jamatia of Tripura; and Comrade Sanajit Murmu of Hooghly district.

Let us rise and observe silence in memory of all those who have given up their lives for the cause of revolution, democracy, anti-fascist resistance; equality and peace.