People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 10

March 16, 2009


Sanzgiri: A Life of Struggle

Mahendra Singh

VETERAN communist and working class leader, Comrade Prabhakar Sanzgiri was a former Central Committee member of the CPI(M), former state secretary of the Maharashtra CPI(M), former vice president of the CITU and president of Maharashtra CITU, a former member of the Maharshtra state legislative assembly and legislative council.

As a young college student in pre-independent India, Sanzgiri was attracted by the Marxist ideology and plunged into the student, working class and national movement. A brilliant science scholar, he gave up his studies to become a dedicated full time trade union and communist activist. He played an active role in all the mass movements of the past 70 years, including the freedom struggle, the trade union movement, the Samyukta Maharashtra movement and the movement against the emergency. He led numerous struggles of the working people. During the above struggles he spent several years in jail. After the Emergency, he contested and won the Bhandup assembly elections as the CPI(M) candidate, supported by opposition parties. Subsequently he was also a member of the Maharashtra legislative council for 6 years.

He played a major role in building the Bhandup CITU centre and in organising and leading the workers of CEAT Tyres Ltd. and other workers of the tyre industry nationwide. He was a gifted lecturer on Marxism, with an extraordinary ability to translate Marxist thinking and socialist ideology into simple language comprehensible to workers, farmers and rural labour.

Along with his contributions as a working class leader, Comrade Sanzgiri was a renowned thinker, speaker, and award winning writer. Till 2008, he was for many years editor of the Jeevan Marg, organ of the CPI(M)ís Maharashtra state committee. His popular books Anuchya Antarangat, Manavachi Kahani, Charvaka Te Marx, and Dr Ambedkar: A Marxist evaluation, and those on science, philosophy and politics, went through many editions and have been translated into many languages.

With Comrade Sanzgiriís passing away, the CPI(M), CITU, the nationís communist and working peopleís movement have lost a selfless leader who dedicated his life for fighting inequality and oppression. The CPI(M) Central Committee and Maharashtra State committee, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions salute the departed leader of the working people and offer respectful homage to his memory.

Comrade Sanzgiri is survived by his wife Suman Sanzgiri, a CPI(M) state committee member, his sons Anniruddha, Ajit, Shailesh and daughter Ruta, their spouses and several grandchildren.