The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) pays homage to the memory of comrade Suniti Kumar Ghosh, one of the founder members of our party and founder editor of our central organ Liberation, who passed away in Asansol, West Bengal, on 11 May. He was 96.
Comrade Ghosh was born at Shibpur in Howrah and graduated from Ripon College in Kolkata. After attaining Master’s degree in English from the University of Calcutta, he joined the Dinajpur College (now in Bangladesh) as a teacher. There he became closely associated with the Tebhaga struggle in 1946-47 and became a member of the Communist Party of India (CPI).
Externed from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in 1949, he settled in Calcutta. He worked as a lecturer in English in Vidyasagar College, Kolkata. After the formation of the CPI(M), he worked as an important organizer of the party’s lecturers’ cell. Like many other revolutionary intellectuals, comrade SKG, as he was better known in the party, immersed himself completely in revolutionary political activities in the wake of the Naxalbari upsurge.
Comrade Ghosh was a member of the All India Co-ordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries (AICCCR) and a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) – in both cases from the very inception. Liberation started appearing from November 1967 under his able editorship. It became the organ of AICCCR from May 1968 and carried the ideological, political and organizational line of the revolutionary communist party, then in the making, to communists scattered across the country and thus helped unify them on that basis. From April 1969, as the central organ of CPI(ML), it played an exemplary role in revolutionary journalism and party building. He would contribute articles not only to Liberation but occasionally also in Deshabrati, the party’s Bengali organ
After the setback in the revolutionary communist movement around 1972, comrade SKG devoted most of his energy in writing books and articles with the same revolutionary fervor and theoretical rigor. The books he wrote include The Indian Big Bourgeoisie: Its Genesis, Growth and Character; India and the Raj 1919-1947: Glory, Shame and Bondage (in two volumes); Imperialism’s Tightening Grip on Indian Agriculture; The Indian Constitution and Its Review; Development Planning in India: Lumpen-development and Imperialism; The Himalayan Adventure: India-China War of 1962 — Causes and Consequences; The Tragedy of Partition of Bengal; India’s Nationality Problem and Ruling Classes. He also edited The Historic Turning Point: A Liberation Anthology (in two volumes), a selection from the writings which appeared in Liberation during 1967-1972.
He also wrote several books in Bengali, such as Bharater Communist Party (Marxbadi) – Ekti Mulyayan (Communist Party of India (Marxist) – An Assessment) and Phire Dekha (Looking Back). Many of his writings were translated into Bengali, Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam. Published in 2009, Naxalbari: Before and After, Reminiscences and Appraisal was his last major work.
The indefatigable Marxist theoretician continued to fight with his pen till he was 92. His revolutionary zeal – unshaken to the very last – will forever inspire us. Our deep sympathies with his bereaved family members, comrades and friends.
Red salute to Comrade Suniti Kumar Ghosh !
[with inputs from comrade Amit Banerjee and photo courtesy Subhashis Mukhopadhyay]