People's Democracy

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


No. 15

April 20, 2008


Guests of Honour at the 19th CPI(M) Congress


1. Comrade K M Kunhikannan became a volunteer of Kisan Sabha in 1936, even while he was in school. He joined the Congress Socialist Party in 1937. He became a member of the Communist Cell of Madikkai in 1940. He underwent imprisonment several times before and after independence. He was arrested in connection with the Karivallur case. He also remained underground for two years. He was a member of the Kasorgode district committee and a member of the district committee of the Kisan Sabha. From 1963 to 1973 he was vice president of Madikkai Panchayath and from 1973 to 1984 he was president of Madikkai Grama Panchayath. He is 90 years old.

2. 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 a half years. In

 1951, he was arrested and tortured severely. 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)’s Cherthala area committee and vice president of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) Alappuzha district committee. He is 85 years old.


3. Comrade Sailesh Choudhury joined the party in 1941. At a very young age he came in contact with the revolutionary stream of the freedom struggle and assisted the underground organisation of the Anushilan Samity. As a student he came in contact with the leaders of the Communist Party. He left school and joined the workers’ movement at the Dhakeswari Cotton Mill at Dhaka. Comrade Choudhury joined the Swadhinata Patrika, the daily organ of the Party, from its inception. In August 1963 he joined the Deshhitaishi, weekly organ of the state party, and continues to work in it till date. In 1967-69 he was a correspondent of the Ganashakti, then the party eveninger. A whole-timer of the Party for long years, Comrade Choudhury was imprisoned twice and went underground once for six months. He is 82 years old.

4. Comrade Meera Chatterjee joined the Party in 1943. While in school in Darjeeling, she participated in the student movement. She along with some others flouted the ban on political movement in the district in those days. She started participating in the women’s’ movement from 1942. While in Kolkata for doing her graduation, she organised the students. Later under the banner of the All Bengal Teachers Association (ABTA), she took part in the teachers’ movement. She was imprisoned thrice and remained underground for 13 months. In jail she participated in a 54 day hunger strike. Since 1964, she has been actively participating in the women’s movement in 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. Comrade Meera Chatterjee has donated all her property in Jalpaiguri to the Party. She is 83 years old.

5. Comrade Ananda Pathak was associated with different activities of the Party since 1944. He joined the Party in 1948. He organised the tea garden workers and later on became the leader of the All India Plantation Federation and cinchona plantations in Kalimpong. He was elected to the state legislative assembly, was a member of the Rajya Sabha for two years and a member of the Lok Sabha for 11 years. He was imprisoned four times and remained underground for two years. Currently he is the editor of Agradut Patrika, Nepali fortnightly organ of the CPI(M), Darjeeling district committee and a special invitee to the West Bengal state committee. He is 88 years old.

6. Comrade Sandhya Chatterjee participated in student movement in 1938. She became the founder member of Chandannagar Mahila Samiti in 1939. She was a graduate from the University of Calcutta. 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 a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) twice from 1987 to 1996. She is currently a member of the Hooghly district committee. She is 83 years old.


7. Comrade Bidya Debbarma joined the Party in 1950. 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 from the initial stages of the Janashiksha Movement of 1945. He played a prominent role in organising resistance against the Royal Army and subsequently the Army of the Territorial Council, by uniting the tribal people in the 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 CPI(M)-CFD ministry 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 92 years old.


8. Comrade D Moni, joined the Party in 1944. Hailing from Kanyakumari district, which them formed part of Travancore, he participated in the struggle against the Diwan of Travancore and later for the formation of linguistic states. In a daredevil act he unfurled the Red Flag on a tree top within the Magistrate Court. He had to face the wrath of the police on a number of occasions and was subjected to torture. He spent two and a half years in jail and five and a half years underground. He played a leading role in the formation of trade union in rubber plantation and among cashew and palmyrah workers in Kanyakumari district. He was elected to the Kuzhithurai Municipal Council on three occasions and was also its chairman for a term. He represented the Vilavancode assembly constituency four times. Currently, he is a member of district secretariat of the Party. He is 84 years old

9. Comrade G Veerayyan came into contact with the Party in 1949-50 and is one of the founder members of the CPI(M) in Tamilnadu. He is one of the leaders of the militant peasant movement in Tanjore district and has led various struggles of peasants and agricultural workers for land and against untouchability. He was a member of the Central Kisan Council of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) and is a former general secretary of the Agricultural Workers Union in the state. Currently he is the state president of the All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU) and is editor of the Tamilnadu Kisan Sabha's monthly journal. He has held various positions in the Party since 1964 and is currently a special invitee to the state committee. He was elected to the state legislative assembly twice. He is 76 years old.


10. Comrade Alluru Satyanarayana joined the Party in 1943. As a student he was drawn into the student movement, the freedom struggle and subsequently to the communist movement. A participant in the historic Telengana armed struggle, he spent one and a half years in jail and four years underground. He was the district secretary of the Party in West Godavari district for 25 years. He later shifted to the state headquarters as a member of the secretariat of the Party and the CITU. Presently, he is a special invitee to the State Committee. He has attended all the Party Congresses since the 4th Congress. He is aged 80.

11. Comrade Kondragunta Venkateswarlu joined the Party in 1949. He was a participant in the heroic Telangana armed struggle. His brother, Kondragunta Ramulu, was killed in the struggle. He was twice tortured in police camps. He spent more than three and a half years in jail and spent two years underground. He was state secretary of the CITU from 1970 to 2005. He was a member of the Andhra Pradesh State Committee from 1982 to 2005. He has been the chairman of the State Control Commission since then. He is aged 74.