Comrade Ganeshan (PV Srinivas), passed away at 2.30 am on 6 December 2016 in a hospital in Delhi, where he had been admitted with respiratory illnesses and tubercular meningitis some weeks ago. He was 78.
PV Srinivas was born in Kerala. Poverty drove his parents to migrate to Chennai. He studied only up till Standard V. He worked as a hotel employee and was among the first in Tamil Nadu to form a Hotel Workers’ Union. As a labour organiser, he would also argue many workers’ cases in labour court. He joined the communist movement, becoming a leader of the CPI(M). Together with Comrade Appu, he had helped launch the CPI(M) Tamil organ Theekadir. However, he along with Comrade Appu and several other comrades developed several differences with CPI(M), over the nationality question and support for the anti-Hindi agitation. He came out of CPI(M) and joined the CPI(ML).
When a young student comrade Ganeshan – an engineering student at Annamalai University who had joined the revolutionary student movement inspired by the Naxalbari uprising – was killed, PV Srinivas adopted his name to keep his memory alive, and has been known as Comrade Ganeshan ever since.
Comrade Ganeshan was arrested and jailed during the Emergency. He led many militant working class struggles in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Thiruvalluvar.
Comrade Ganeshan became a Central Committee member of the CPI(ML) in 1980, and was Polit Bureau member of the CPI(ML) between 1982-88, and was elected to the Central Committee in 6th Party Congress of CPI(ML) in 1997.
Comrade Ganeshan will be remembered as a revolutionary and organic intellectual of the working class. All his life, right up to his final illness, he enthusiastically followed the progress of Left movements, working class movements and people’s movements in India and the world over, maintaining a dialogue with intellectuals and activists in India and abroad across parties and across all sectarian boundaries. Comrade Ganeshan’s warm comradely hospitality to all guests and comrades at the CPI(ML)’s Central office in Delhi endeared him to all.
His mortal remains were kept at CPI(ML) headquarters in Delhi where comrades and friends paid him hearty tributes. The cremation took place at Nigambodh Ghat, Delhi.
Red Salute to Comrade Ganeshan !