People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 10, 2005
Guests Of Honour At The 18th Congress
COMRADE Subodh Roy got involved in the freedom struggle, even while in school, under the influence of Surya Sen. The revolutionaries in Chattagram (Chittagong) planned an armed rebellion against the British administration and Subodh Roy joined them. He was the youngest participant and was only 14 then. The revolutionaries captured two armories, telegraph office and cut off rail links. Eleven youth were killed in the exchange of fire between the British troops and the revolutionaries. Subodh Roy had to suffer tremendous torture in jail. He was sentenced to penal confinement in Andamans. It was in Andaman jail that the communist ideology attracted him. After his release in 1940, he joined the Party. After independence, Comrade Roy shifted to Calcutta and joined as a wholetimer at the Provincial Centre of the Party. One of the major contributions Subodh Roy made was his painstaking research on the history of the Communist movement in India. The result is “Communism in India: Unpublished Documents”. He is a special invitee to the West Bengal State Committee now. He is 89 years old.
DR (Capt.) Lakshmi Sahgal after acquiring her MBBS degree in l938 left for Singapore in 1940 to set up practice. In l943, on the invitation of Subhas Chandra Bose, she became the leader of the Jhansi ki Rani women’s regiment of the INA and the only woman member of his cabinet. In l971, she worked with the Peoples Relief Committee of West Bengal among Bangladeshi refugees and soon afterwards she joined the CPI(M). Since then she has served the Party. She was a member of the UP State Committee and was elected vice-president of AIDWA at its first conference in l980. She was the joint candidate of the Left parties in the 2002 Presidential elections. She is 90 years old.
COMRADE M P Narayanan Nambiar is a member of Madai Area Committee in Kannur district. He played an important role in building up the peasant movement in North Malabar. He is a member of the AIKC and state vice president of the Kisan Sabha. He joined the Party in 1937. He was jailed for seven and half years in the freedom struggle and braved the notorious Salem jail firing in 1948. He is 90-years old.
COMRADE K V Thankappan became Party member in 1946. He actively participated in various struggles of coir workers. He was one of the leaders of the Muhamma camp which was organised to impart training to the volunteers of the historic Punnapra Vayalar struggle. He was arrested in 1948 and imprisoned for a year. He worked underground for one and half years. He worked as Cherthala taluk secretary, Alappuzha district committee member, district secretariat member and office-bearer of district and state committees of toddy workers and coir factory workers. At present he is a member of CPI(M) Cherthala Area Committee, State Treasurer of the Toddy Workers Union (CITU) and vice president of the CITU Alappuzha district committee. He is 82 years old.
COMRADE Sandhya Chatterjee participated in student movement in 1938 and became the founder member of Chandannagar Mahila Samiti in 1939. She joined the Party in 1943. She spent two years in jail under the British. She was the first woman Mayor of Chandannagar Municipal Corporation in 1982. She was elected as MLA twice from 1987 to 1996. During her tenure as an MLA. She is 80 years old.
COMRADE Bidya Debbarma joined the Party in 1948. He is a member of Tripura state committee since the formation of the CPI(M). He was one of the associates of Comrade Dasaratha Deb since initial stages of the ‘Janashiksha Movement’ of 1945. He played a prominent role in organising resistance against the Army of the Territorial Council, first by uniting the tribal people in Janashiksha movement and subsequently in the Tripura Rajya Upajati Ganamukti Parishad of which he is still a central committee member. He was a minister in the first Left Front government in 1977. He was elected to the legislative assembly for six terms. He was jailed for 9 years and 7 months and was underground for 13 years. He is 89 years old.
COMRADE K Krishna Murty joined the Party in 1944 and from that year onwards he has been working as a wholetimer. He participated in the heroic Telangana armed struggle and was one of the important leaders in the Nalgonda district. Till the recent state conference, he was a member of the Andhra Pradesh state committee of the CPI(M). He is now a special invitee. For a long time, he has been associated with the agricultural labour movement. At present, he is the state president of the Andhra Pradesh Agricultural Labour Union. He underwent two and half years imprisonment and was underground for ten and half years. He is 81 years old.
COMRADE Parsa Satyanarayana is a veteran trade union leader. He worked among coal miners in Singarani colleries. Comrade Parsa founded the workers union inspite of severe repression. When during World War II, the British rulers banned all activities, Comrade Parsa, along with others, organised underground activity. He became a wholetimer in 1943. He was imprisoned both by the British rulers as well as rulers of independent India. In the 1952 elections, he contested and won the elections while he was under detention. A long time member of the secretariat of the Andhra Pradesh state committee of the Party, Comrade Parsa was also the first state president of the CITU. He is 79 years old.
Comrade K R Sundaram joined the Satyagraha movement in the year 1937 and went on a padayatra to participate in that struggle. There he was arrested and imprisoned for two months. In jail he came in contact with Comrades M R Venkataraman and P Ramamurthy and after attending political classes taken by them, he joined the Communist Party in 1943. He helped organise the beedi workers, municipal conservancy workers and the motor and automobile workers. He was a panchayat president for 23 years in his native place. Till 1996, he worked as the secretary of Vellore district committee of the Party. During the emergency days, he was imprisoned. He was a member of Legislative Assembly for two terms. Even at this age of 84, he is taking part in all activities of the Party.
Comrade M Pandian born in the year 1928 at Sivagiri (Thirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu). He entered into active social life at the age of 16 when he got involved in collecting funds for relief to those who suffered during the Bengal famine of 1944. He was in the forefront of planning and organising peasants’ struggles in his native district, which provided a strong base for building the
Communist Party in the year 1946. When the Party was under severe attack, Comrade Pandian went underground and served the Party in different capacities including that of a courier. Undeterred by the brutal attack by the police during those trying times, he stood firmly with the Party. When the Party was banned in the year 1948, he was imprisoned for six months. He was in jail for a total of 18 months. He was the secretary of Thirunelveli district committee of the Party from 1979 to 1991 and now is a member of that district committee. From 1967 to 1993, he was a member of the Tamil Nadu state committee. He is 77 years old.
COMRADE Kitty Menon came in contact with the Party in 1941 while studying in Cambridge. She became secretary of Federation of Indian Students in London in 1944. She represented the AISF at the founding Congress of the WFDY. Returned to India in 1947 and took up teaching in a college in Bombay. Arrested in 1949 during a demonstration demanding release of political prisoners, she was jailed for nine months. Shifted to Delhi in 1952 and worked in the Delhi University. Worked in the Delhi University Teachers Union and elected to the Delhi University Academic Council for two terms. After retirement in 1982 began working in the central committee office as a member of the People’s Democracy unit. She is 82 years old.