The octogenarian leader of Naxalbari peasant upsurge, Comrade Khokan Majumdar passed away on 29 May at North Bengal Medical College & Hospital. He had sustained his 2nd cerebral stroke on 19 May night. For the last 10 days of his life he remained unconscious and heaved his last in the ICU of the hospital.
In the annals of revolutionary struggles of India, Comrade Khokanda deserves a special mention for his life-long unflinching dedication to people’s causes braving all odds.
Way back in 1948, Abdul Hamid (who came to be popularly known as Khokan Majumdar) came in contact with a number of communist activists, most of them were doctors, while serving as a ward boy at Lake Medical College in Kolkata. Under the tutelage of a party whole-timer Com. Satya Chakraborty, he, along with Anadi Das, Secunder Ahmed et al, was urged to form a consolidated union of hospital wardboys, sweepers and nursing staff to press home their legitimate wages and other demands.
The same year he joined a rally at Kolkata Monument (Shahid Minar) held in support of the armed struggle of Telangana. Few days later he was taken to Police Headquarters under arrest and subsequently convicted for 2 years imprisonment. During this period of incarceration, he came to know about Comrades Souren Bose, Nripen Bose, Mujibur Rahaman from Darjeeling district. After securing an early release by an order from Kolkata High Court, he returned to the fold of communist party and engaged himself in active medical relief works for the refugees of East Pakistan under the aegis of Public Relief Committee.
Came 1954 and Comrade Majumdar opted for party work in Darjeeling district. He was introduced to Comrade Charu Mazumdar by Comrade Ratanlal Brahman. He had been offered a job at Rohini Tea garden, but he rejected it and became a party whole-timer.
In the build-up of the protracted Naxalbari peasant struggle, he was entrusted to organize both the tea garden workers and the poor peasantry at Hatighisha area. With Babulal Biswakarmakar, Keshab Sarkar, Mandal Karmakar, and Panjab Rao, he led the historic peasant resistance against police atrocities at Jhorujote, where the notorious police officer Sonam Wangdi fell to the arrows of militant peasants on 24 May 1967. He was one of the 4 proud leaders of Naxalbari Spring Thunder who, along with Comrades Kanu Sanyal, Khudan Mullick and Dipak Biswas, comprised the 2nd party delegation to China and met Comrade Mao in Beijing (Peking).
Comrade Khokanda also planned and led the ambush on the police camp at BirsingJote, where Comrade Babulal fought a 4-hour heroic battle against the police force to become the first leader-martyr of Naxalbari on 8 September 1968.
All through his political career, he actively took part in inner-party debates and firmly withstood overwhelming confusions after the set-back. And he stood very staunchly defending the glory of Naxalbari for the next 50 years.
Comrade Khokanda could endear himself to one and all, even outside the party circle with his jovial, inviting smile. He remained very excited over our preparation to observe the 50th anniversary of Naxalbari Movement and despite his deteriorating health, he enthusiastically participated in the inaugural rally of 3-days Padayatra, organized by the party’s Darjeeling district committee to revisit the footsteps of the martyrs in Naxalbari-Kharibari-Phansidewa villages in November 2016.
As we missed him on the 25 May ‘Naxalbari Lal Salaam’ rally at Siliguri, party general secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya, Comrade Kartick Pal, Comrade Partha Ghosh along with district leaders made a visit to the hospital to enquire about his wellbeing.
The day he passed away, Comrade Kartick pal and other leaders from Darjeeling district committee went to Naxalbari to pay homage to this great leader of the masses. The next day a long procession led his hearse to North Bengal Medical College & Hospital to donate his body as per his last wish.
Long live Comrade Khokan Majumdar!
Long live the revolutionary legacy of Naxalbari Struggle !