People's Democracy

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

Vol. XXX

No. 15

April 09, 2006

Comrade Anil Biswas Remembered

PAYING HOMAGE: The entire gathering observing two-minute silence in memory of Comrade Anil Biswas


B Prasant 


A PACKED Netaji Indoor Stadium – even the floor space was covered in full – listened to the CPI(M) leadership reminisce on the communist leader that was Comrade Anil Biswas. 


The condolence resolution reflected a very realistic and sober evaluation of the life of the departed CPI(M) leader, an evaluation that appropriately stressed his deep-rooted and highly developed political persona.


Prakash Karat, general secretary of the CPI(M) was the principal speaker in a meeting that Biman Basu, the newly elected state secretary of the Bengal unit of the CPI(M), presided over.


By the time the meeting commenced with strains of Rabindrasangeet in the air, the whole area off the B B D Bagh-High Court was packed with people who came in their thousands to pay their homage to the late Comrade Anilda. 


The adjoining and large indoor arena of the Khshudiram Anushilan Kendra was filled with people eager to catch a glimpse of the proceedings on the large-screen video format being run from close-circuit cameras. 


The vast and circuitous length of the passages skirting the two stadia plus the indoor stadium compound and campus were teeming with people a full hour before the meeting would commence.


The CPI(M) leadership placed wreaths at the portrait of Comrade Anil Biswas on the dais, which had as backdrop a large close–up photo of the departed leader set against the background of a crowded rally.




Prakash Karat spoke in Hindi and emphasised the importance that vichaardhara (ideology) had in the political outlook of Comrade Anil Biswas.  Prakash Karat who had had a thirty-year-long comradeship with the departed CPI(M) leader said that he witnessed as Comrade Anil Biswas developed into a ‘responsible and exemplary leader.’  “Of late, after being elected general secretary, I found myself conferring with Comrade Anil Biswas on various Party matters, almost every day.”


The best among the second generation of communist leadership in India, noted Prakash Karat, Comrade Anil Biswas had an additional advantage because he grew up and was nurtured in what the speaker described as the most powerful ekai or unit of the CPI(M), i.e., the Bengal unit, and Bengal herself possessed a rich communist heritage that the late CPI(M) leader drew sustenance from.


Organiser, leader, expedient political visionary steeped in the tenets of Marxism-Leninism, and ever engaged in the strengthening of the Party and of the mass fronts, Comrade Anil Biswas was valuable addition to the communist movement and the Left movement, said the CPI(M) general secretary.


Committed to the politics and ideology of the CPI(M) and immersed in mass contact, Comrade Anil Biswas, the speaker noted, strengthened the mass base of the Party while enriching the practice of Marxism-Leninism in the concrete reality of the country.


While Comrade Anil Biswas, whose principal assignment was Bengal, remained deeply committed to the development of the Party and the mass organisations in the state, his outreach benefited the CPI(M) as such on a larger canvas.


Citing examples, Prakash Karat said that Comrade Anil Biswas, who was inducted into the commission for the updating of the Party Programme while still a member of the central committee and not the Polit Bureau, contributed in a major way to the process of updating.


Prakash Karat also pointed to the rigorous political-ideological scrutiny that Comrade Anil Biswas had done, probing and analysing the debacle of the Soviet Union, basing the exercise on the classics of Marxism-Leninism. Karat drew the attention of the meeting to the conclusion of Comrade Anil Biswas that the Soviet instance was a deviation and that Marxism-Leninism would never ever die.  This was subsequently underlined by the continuing resurgence of communism across the globe.




In Bengal, Comrade Anil Biswas gave full attention to the strengthening of the Left Front and the Left Front government.  Comrade Anil Biswas stressed on the need to further deepen and widen mass contact and to augment Left unity, said the CPI(M) general secretary.


The depth of knowledge and information that Comrade Anil Biswas possessed was exemplified by the head of a foreign delegation that visited Bengal with full doubts about the apparent difficulty in maintaining the revolutionary character of the Party and running a provincial government.  The concerned leader later reported to Prakash Karat and said that an hour-long conversation with Comrade Anil Biswas had convinced him that there was no contradiction between the twin realities. 


Comrade Anil Biswas’s passing away has raised a challenge before the CPI(M) and the Left and a fitting tribute to Comrade Anil Biswas’s memory would be to ensure that the seventh Left Front government was set up in Bengal with a massive majority.  Comrade Anil Biswas, concluded Prakash Karat, “has shown us the way to take the Party further forward.”


Biman Basu, the state secretary of the CPI(M) raised the condolence resolution and was in a deeply reminiscent mood.  He recalled his first introduction to Comrade Anil Biswas and he noted how subsequently they had worked shoulder-to-shoulder in the CPI(M) and how they had closely cooperated in orchestrating their addresses at meetings and rallies, dividing portions of the subjects within themselves.


Biman Basu dwelled on the solid information base that the late CPI(M) leader had possessed.  Comrade Anil Biswas would hunt down important books and articles, here and abroad, and surf the internet for new information.


Speaking on the three emergent phase in the campaign movement of the CPI(M) and the Left Front, Biman Basu said that Comrade Anil Biswas was concerned deeply with the campaign movement prior to the Brigade Rally on January 8, he was involved in the organisation of the election campaign for the assembly polls, and then he was engaged in the task of facing the new challenges that the upcoming election had thrown up.


Voice choked with emotion, Biman Basu said that Comrade Anil Biswas had passed away in the most untimely way: “his was not the age to die in.”


Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M) and Bengal chief minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee recalled his college and university days when both he and Comrade Anil Biswas were deeply involved in the students’ movement.  Comrade Anil Biswas’s skill, said Buddhadeb, lay in his ability to grasp Marxism-Leninism, to apply the tenets learned, and evaluate the evolving international situation.


Comrade Anil Biswas was also a skilful and able editor, as seen in the manner he could bring about changes in the Bengal CPI(M)’s official organ, daily Ganashakti.  He was also known for his organisational ability.




Comrade Anil Biswas, continued the speaker, was also involved in the rectification campaign and he would not tolerate deviations.  He would uphold the ideology and take it to the masses. 


Comrade Anil Biswas would tackle complex problems with patience and consummate ease.  He was also capable of undertaking tough decisions and then sticking to the decisions thus taken. “Comrade Anil and I would be able to undertake criticism and self-criticism freely and fiercely in each other’s presence, with little rancour involved.”


Buddhadeb too stressed that the best tribute to Comrade Anil Biswas would be to make sure that the seventh Left Front government was set up in Bengal.


Speaking last, veteran communist leader Jyoti Basu stressed the importance that Comrade Anil Biswas had attached to Marxist study.  The CPI(M) has gown larger and the Party members include a large percentage of the youth.  They must be taught to get themselves steeped in the classics of Marxism-Leninism as in the ideology of the CPI(M).  “Comrade Anil and I shared this view.”


Jyoti Basu enumerated the achievements of the Left Front government over the years and said that the most fitting tribute to Comrade Anil Biswas would be to ensure a big win in the assembly elections towards the setting up of the seventh Left Front government.


Among other who spoke at the meeting that was attended by the entire leadership of the Bengal unit of the CPI(M) and of the Left Front constituents, were Ashok Ghosh of the Forward Bloc, Kshiti Goswami of the RSP, and Manjukumar Majumdar of the CPI.


The meeting concluded with a mass rendering of the Internatioanle.