Comrade Ramesh Chandra Pandey

CPI (ML) senior leader Ramesh Chandra Pandey (affectionately known as Baba) passed away on 11 April 2017 at the age of 77. He was born in Lohar Farna village, Badhara block, Bhojpur district on 12 February 1940. He was a post-graduate with a keen interest in politics and literature, and composed poetry.

Com Ramesh Chandra joined the communist movement in his student days. His brother Comrade Videsh Chandra was a distinguished lawyer and CPI (M) leader from whom Ramesh got his political training, and soon he started working for the urban poor in Ara as a committed communist activist. In 1967 a spark from the Naxalbari farmers’ revolt reached Bhojpur and Comrade Ramesh Chandra could not remain untouched by it. His elder brother and other CPI (M) leaders were deeply affected by the Naxalbari movement and they initiated a serious discussion within the Party. Com. Ramesh Chandra was also deeply influenced by the ‘Harijanistan’ movement led by Master Jagdish in Bhojpur, and he was gradually attracted to the CPI (ML).

When Bihar State Kisan Sabha was established in 1981 following the special National Conference of the Party, Com Ramesh Chandra along with several other CPI (M) comrades joined the CPI (ML) and started working with the Kisan Sabha. Soon he became well-known as a State level Kisan Sabha leader and became the State President. In 1985 he contested from the Badhara Assembly seat under the banner of the IPF and secured considerable votes. He went to jail several times in his political life. Till 2000 he discharged the duties of the Office Secretary of the Kisan Sabha. After that he came to the Party State office and shouldered important responsibilities till the day of his death.

Com Ramesh Chandra had been suffering from kidney ailment since 2003 but he never let his illness come in the way of his political work. He had been very ill for the past one year and on dialysis for the past one month. He was well loved and respected by comrades of all ages, from senior leaders to student activists. His death is an irreparable loss to the Party, especially to the State office. He will always remain an infinite source of inspiration to all of us.

Long live Com Ramesh Chandra !

Comrade Ganga Prasad

Comrade Ganga Prasad breathed his last on 4 April 2017 in Lucknow. He was suffering from age related illness for quite some time.

Born in 1938 comrade Ganga ji could not continue his formal education beyond 11th standard after his father’s untimely demise. He had to do something for a living, so he learnt the job of the lathe mechanic and worked in various towns till his job in the Lucknow unit of the Union Carbide Corporation. His quest for learning, and experimenting with, the ideas for a social transformation towards an egalitarian society continued simultaneously. He began his political endeavors with socialism of Ram Manohar Lohiya, soon after the first non-Congress united front government was formed in UP in 1967, he was disillusioned with this variety of socialists.

He began organising workers of Union Carbide into a successful trade union. He also learnt Homeopathy which he practiced for free to help his fellow workers. He came in contact with the Party in 80s during the formation of Indian People’s Front.

He along with two of his comrades was terminated by the management in 1985 for his struggle against the discriminatory practice of running separate canteens for the officers and workers inside Union Carbide premises. He demanded to merge two canteens to end the discrimination. An indefinite sit-in was organised which continued for 11 long months but the management remained stubborn. Eventually, he organised workers who forcibly entered into the officers’ canteen and successfully had a mass level tea and snacks party there as a mark of resistance. This infuriated the management of the multi-national corporation who was well aware of the role social discrimination plays in increasing profits through various modes of oppression and exploitation! After the termination comrade Ganga Prasad’s battle became longer. He and his comrades fought back and ultimately got reinstated on the same job.

Comrade Ganga Ji was retired from this job in 1996. Instead of living the life of a retiree, he decided to devote full time and energy in revolutionary work and took charge of Lenin Pustak Kendra which was in its founding stage. His activism and dedication turned it into not only a successful book centre for the left, progressive and democratic literature but also a rallying point for the left and progressive leaning people who used to visit here regularly for exchange of ideas. Besides, he became synonymous with the mobile book stall of the Lenin Pustak Kendra which has become an essential part of almost every programme of the Party, be it a big rally or a convention or a seminar, in different parts of UP. The Lenin Pustak Kendra in Lucknow has evolved into a vibrant centre for disseminating left literature under his leadership. His concern for reaching out to the maximum number of people with left literature and ideas was remarkable.

Hailed from a dalit family, he fell in love and married an upper caste girl in his village resisting caste hierarchy and social discrimination nearly half a century ago. He exemplarily lived the life of a rebel throughout and was an ideal communist in principles as well as in practice. His quest for learning and commitment for an egalitarian society constantly shaped and refined his life and thoughts. We must strive to keep his dream alive and fulfilled. We must work to expand the reach of the left and progressive ideas to every deserving individual in the society and must also take the Lenin Pustak Kendra to newer heights in this endeavor. This is needed much more in times when corporate backed fascists are trying to strangulate every idea behind hard won people’s rights, freedom and democracy.

We pay our tribute to an exemplary life. Red Salute to Comrade Ganga Prasad !

Comrade Narayan Sanyal

CPI(ML) dips its flag in tribute to Comrade Narayan Sanyal, Politburo member of the CPI (Maoist) who passed away recently in Kolkata.

Comrade Narayan Sanyal left a job in a bank to join the CPI(ML) in the 1960s. When Satyanarain Singh split from the CPI(ML), Comrade Narayan Sanyal was made the secretary of the party’s Bihar leading team. Along with most other members of the leading team he was arrested in 1972-73 from Ranchi. He was released later in 1977.

He joined the CPI(ML) Party Unity in the early 1980s and eventually became its Secretary. He worked for the mergers of the PU and PWG and later, the PWG and MCC to form the CPI(Maoist).

He was arrested again in 2005 and was released on bail in 2014.

Red Salute to Comrade Narayan Sanyal !