People's Democracy

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


No. 3

January 25, 2009


Comrade Sailesh   Chaudhuri Passes Away

B Prasant

ANOTHER link has been snapped between the pre-independence Bengal Left-led revolutionary movement against colonialism and the communist struggle, with the passing away of Comrade Sailesh Chaudhuri, a member, until recently and until a serious disease rendered him physically challenged, on the board of editors of the weekly organ of the Bengal CPI(M) Deshahitaishee.

State secretary of the Bengal CPI(M) Biman Basu presently in Purulia, and Ashok Bandyopadhyay, present editor of the weekly among others have condoled the departed comrade’s passing away.

Born in the former East Pakistan on November 25 1925, Comrade Sailesh became a Party member at a tender young age in the year 1941. He developed himself theoretically and in the fields of struggle, bit by tiny bit, until he was a soldier of the then CPI, and later the CPI(M) -- after the united Party split in 1964.

We recall the fiery decade of the 1970s when Comrade Sailesh was found by us reporting on the jute strike from the now-sick Gondolpara jute mill in the heart of bustling Chandernagore in Hooghly, living his life amongst the chatkal mazdoors, mingling with them, sharing the considerable burden of their lives as lay-offs increased by quantum leaps – and the mazdoors under the Chatkal Mazdoor Union would not give up. This trend of Comrade Sailesh’s style of reportage continued until the recent Panchayat polls when he would roam the districts and watch the rural bodies in action. No wonder, his reportage had the stamp of field-level authenticity.

Comrade Sailesh wrote in simple language and was never a show off although he was by any standard a ‘star’ reporter, an asset to any media, Communist or otherwise, if only for the hard factual reporting he would exult in. Comrade Sailesh Chaudhuri was a man filled with expectations for social change and remained a Communist to the core until his death.