People's Democracy

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


No. 10

March 11, 2007

Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar: In Remembrance


Jyoti Basu addressing the condolence meeting in Kolkata


A WELL-ATTENDED meeting was held in Kolkata in the evening of March 1 in memory of the departed CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and CITU all-India general secretary, Chittabrata Majumdar. The venue was the spacious Mahajati Sadan in downtown Kolkata, a setting where Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar himself had participated in and addressed numerous CPI(M) and CITU conferences and meetings. 


The condolence meeting was addressed by CPI(M) general secretary, Prakash Karat, and CPI(M) Polit Bureau members Jyoti Basu, Biman Basu, and Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. Central committee member of the CPI(M) and AIKS leader Benoy Konar was in the chair. The leadership present, garlanded Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar’s portrait on the dais.


A whole array of CPI(M) and CITU leaders were present at the meeting including Nirupam Sen, Surjya Kanta Mishra, Mohd Amin, Shyamal Chakraborti, Shyamali Gupta, Banani Biswas, and Gnan Shankar Majumdar from Jharkhand, Hemen Das from Assam, Khagen Das from Tripura, Arun Mishra from Bihar, and Bishnu Mohanty from Orissa. Also present were the leaders of the Bengal Left Front, TU leaders, and Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar’s wife Sabitri and daughter Barshana. 


Jyoti Basu in restraint of his obvious grief at the passing away of another younger comrade and friend said that the departed CITU leader had developed a tactic of joint leadership where there would be no walls of silence dividing the working class movement. ‘I have worked in the CITU from the time it was set up and thus I had the occasion to work and for many, many years with Comrade Chittabrata at the state and central levels of the organisation,’ said Jyoti Basu. He recalled the role of Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar as a TU leader who a popular leader.


Recalling that the late CPI(M) and CITU leader preferred to speak plainly, never flinching from calling a spade, a spade, Jyoti Basu noted that ideas would form clearly in Comrade Chittabrata’s mind and he would work accordingly and always in a neat and organised manner. He was not a comrade who could ever be accused of narrowness of the mind, said the veteran communist leader. Comrade Chittabrata, recalled Jyoti Basu, would spare no efforts to keep the TU movement together, never considering in matters touching the unified TU movement, even the BMS despite its link up with the BJP and the RSS. 


A true internationalist, Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar would participate relentlessly in international TU conferences against imperialist globalisation in particular, and he was very well able to leave his mark in the fora he would participate in. He was regarded with respect at the international level of the TU movement. The task in the days ahead, concluded Jyoti Basu, would be to strive and fulfil the work Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar could not complete before passing away.


Prakash Karat spoke next and he dwelled on the contributions made by Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar in Party building and working class movement. Prakash Karat mentioned the rare qualities and the rich experience that the late comrade possessed and he said that it a big misfortune that Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar’s life was cut short before he could make more and more contributions to strengthening the nationwide TU movement and Party organisation. Recalling also the long discussion, he had held with the departed CITU leader on the eve of the all-India conference of the CITU recently, Prakash Karat said that a unique feature of Comrade Chittabrata was that he would note down his thoughts in his usual neat manner and with meticulous attention to details.




Delineating the fierce aggression of imperialist globalisation on the workers’ struggle worldwide, Prakash Karat said that Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar was always active to devise ways and means to thwart the attacks. Rich in experience of leading the workers’ struggles in Howrah and Bengal, Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar was an active internationalist having close connections with the TU struggles in France and Australia in particular. Whenever a bill was placed in the parliament, Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar would look at the bill from the point of view of the working class. 


Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar was among the first TU leaders who would analyse the development and growth of technology from scientific point of view. When IT had not become popular a couple of decades back, Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar would keep all necessary facts and analyse them rigorously. A disciplined communist who would always adopt a firm and principled stance, Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar’s demise would be a great loss to the Party and the CITU, concluded Prakash Karat who said that ‘we must go forward drawing lessons from the rich heritage of movements and struggles that the departed comrade leaves behind.’


Biman Basu said that a comrade who would roar out in protest whenever attacks would come down on the toiling masses, Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar worked until the very end for the interest of the mass of the people. Shaking off his long-standing and debilitating illness, Comrade Chittabrata would relentlessly take part in Party and CITU programmes leading from the front. Just as he would not bother about his own health so he would never give the interest of the toiling masses ever a go by.


Biman Basu recalled how Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar would neatly complete any assignment given to him and said that in 1985, he fulfilled such apparently mundane assignments like building up the PBX system and organising computer connectivity at the Muzaffar Ahmad Bhavan. Comrade Chittabrata was involved in the production of publications on Party education, and TU functioning said Biman Basu who added to note that the CITU leader was notably successful in bringing together the mass of the people under the banner of the movements and struggles of the TU. ‘We would remember him through working deep amidst the people and looking to safeguarding their interest and that would be the apt tribute to the memory of the departed leader,’ concluded Biman Basu. 




In his address Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said that the passing away of Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar was a loss in the task of advancing the struggles of the toiling masses, especially in the complexity of the scenario unfolding. Active as an activist and then as leader of the TU movement, Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar was also a great success as minister for cottage and small-scale industries in the first Left Front government in Bengal. Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar led a simple even humble, lifestyle. Deeply delving into the problems and prospects of the TU movement, be it in a factory or statewide, Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar was well versed in the dynamics of an industrial set up.


Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar was deeply interested in information-technology from a time when IT was not quite the vogue, which it became later on. He would have detailed knowledge of the hardware, software, and connectivity of computers especially personal computers. His role in the development of a strong science movement in Bengal, said Buddhadeb, must be given due importance. He realised that a scientific outlook must be built in a country yet dominated by backward thinking, for the class and mass struggles to forge ahead. Wherever he worked, declared Buddhadeb, his scientific approach was clearly apparent. He noted in conclusion how Comrade Chittabrata Majumdar would come up with a set of valued advice on the process of industrialisation in Bengal. 


Benoy Konar who presided and raised the condolence resolution called for a pledge to be taken to build up new leadership to fill the void left behind by the departed CPI(M) and CITU leader.