People's Democracy

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


No. 49

December 09, 2007



Comrade Dinesh Debbarma Passes Away

Haripada Das




A DEEP pall of grief engulfed Tripura following the passing away of Comrade Dinesh Debbarma who breathed his last in G B Pant Hospital on November 28, 2007 in Agartala. He was 88. A veteran leader of CPI(M) and a noted  pioneer of the movement led by Gana Mukti Parishad (GMP) from its inception, Comrade Dinesh Debbarma was an ex-MLA and  minister of the first and second Left Front governments.

For the past three years, he was unwell, suffering from diabetes and allied ailments. His condition deteriorated on November 9, 2007 and was admitted to G B Pant Hospital. Immediately after getting the sad news, many Party and GMP leaders, workers, and sympathisers rushed to the hospital to have a last glimpse of the departed leader. Party state secretariat member and GMP general secretary Niranjan Debbarma, GMP CEC member Biswamani Debbarma also hurried to the hospital and paid homage to the leader. As a mark of homage to Comrade Debbarma, Party flag everywhere in the state was kept half-mast on the following day. 


Born in 1920 at Maharani, then a most backward tribal village of Kamalpur sub-division, presently Dhalai district, Comrade Dinesh Debbarma plunged into Janashiksha movement (movement for universal education) initiated by late Comrade Dasaratha Deb during king’s regime. He was one of the founder members of the Tripura Rajya Upajati Ganamukti Parishad in 1948. He attained membership of undivided communist party in 1950. As he had played a spectacular role in the hills for the advancement of democratic movement uniting the tribals and nontribals, naturally, he invited wrath of the then ruling circles, who detained him for 33 months. He had to go underground for more than six years to avoid further detention. He played a vital role in the formation of Party in Kamalpur and at the same time for the expansion of GMP organisation all over the state in sixties. He was in the vanguard of the movement for protecting democratic rights of the people, preserving ethnic entity of the tribal communities and for proper rehabilitation of the lakhs of refugees who migrated from erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). He was the state council member of the undivided communist party since its formation in the state. In the struggle against distortion of Marxism, he sided with the CPI(M) in 1964. He was the state committee member of the CPI(M) from the day of its inception, till his death. In 1982, he was elected to the Party state secretariat where he successfully discharged his responsibility till 2003. For a long period, Comrade Dinesh Debbarma was vice president of Tripura Rajya Upajati Ganamukti Parishad. In 1998, he was elected as president of this organisation and continued for five years.


Comrade Dinesh Debbarma was elected to the Assembly for three terms in 1978, 1983 and 1988. He was minister for two terms, in 1978 and 1983. Due to his able guidance as minister for Panchayat and Rural Development during the first Left Front government, first ever Panchayat elections in secret ballot could be held in the state. Also he played an important role in the formation of long aspired Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council in the state. Comrade Dinesh Debbarma’s mortal remains were laid in state honour at the Sadar divisional committee office, Melarmath, where Polit Bureau member Manik Sarkar, Party state secretary Baidyanath Majumder, state secretariat members Anil Sarkar, Niranjan Debbarma, Badal Chowdhury, Gautam Das, Tapan Chakraborty, Manik Dey, Narayan Kar , Sadar divisional committee secretary Samar Adhya, state committee members Krishna Rakshit, Chhaya Bal, Tapas Datta, Pranab Debbarma, CITU leader Sankar Datta and many Party leaders  of  Sadar and Bishalgarh areas paid homage to the departed leader.


The Party state secretariat met and paid respects to the memory of Comrade Dinesh Debbarma. On November 29, 2007, the last journey of Comrade Dinesh Debbarma started from Sadar divisional committee office to Party state committee office. Baidyanath Majumder draped red flag over the body and paid floral tributes, followed by other state secretariat members, state committee members, state committee office and Desher Katha workers and many others present there.     Innumerable grief-stricken Party leaders, workers, and sympathisers attended the funeral procession in Agartala. And thereafter the mortal remains of Comrade Dinesh Debbarma were moved to his native village at Maharani of Kamalpur sub-division, Dhalai district accompanied by Party Central Committee member and TTAADC chief executive member Aghore Debbarma, Party state secretariat member and minister Manik Dey and GMP CEC member Biswamnai Debbarma. On the way to Maharani, the vehicle had to stop at many places where the people gathered to have a last glimpse of their dear leader and paid their last respects to him.


A view of the funeral procession in Agartala


The people of Kamalpur thronged beside the roadside to have a last glimpse of their beloved leader Shakti da, as people used to fondly call him so. They stopped the convoy at Ambassa, Kulai, Salema, Santirbazar, Halahali, and then at Party divisional committee office at Manikbhander. At Ambassa, Central Committee member Bijan Dhar paid his last respects to Comrade Dinesh Debbarma.


CPI(M) Tripura  state secretariat in a condolence message said Comrade Dinesh Debbarma was one of the leader in developing communist  and democratic movement, uniting the tribals and nontribals in the state.  A symbol of ethnic unity in the state, Comrade Dinesh Debbarma was also an important Party organiser in its formative era. State secretariat while expressing profound grief for his demise, remembered with high respect his robust contribution in strengthening Party organisation and leading many big mass movements. State secretariat also expressed deep sympathy to the family of Comrade Debbarma.


Chief Minister Manik Sarkar in a condolence message deeply mourned the passing way of Comrade Dinesh Debbarma, who dedicated himself to the people’s movement since the days of Janashiksha movement. He was one of the stalwarts during the formation of Ganamukti Parishad and shouldered great responsibilities to widen its mass base. Chief Minister recalled the important role of Comrade Debbarma in maintaining peace and amity in the state. His honesty, simplicity, modesty sincerity in duty, were exemplary virtues, Manik Sarkar said.


Tripura Rajya Upajati Ganamukti Parishad in a statement expressed profound grief over the death of its ex president Comrade Dinesh Debbarma. Terming his demise as a great loss to the democratic movement of the state, GMP CEC expressed its conviction to carry forward the unfinished task left behind by Comrade Debbarma. GMP also expressed sorrow to the family of the departed leader.    Comrade Dinesh Debbarma is survived by a daughter and five sons.