People's Democracy

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


Vol. XXXIII

No. 32

August 09, 200

Tens of Thousands Pay Homage

to Comrade Subhas Chakraborty

From Our

Correspondent

 

TENS of thousands of people rallied on the streets of Kolkata on August 4, 2009 to bid adieu to Comrade Subhas Chakraborty. One of the most popular Left leaders in West Bengal, Comrade Subhas Chakraborty, a state secretariat member of  CPI(M),  breathed his last on the day before in a hospital in the city. He was 67. He was suffering from cancer but braved the disease with his characteristic boldness and exuberance. Finally, he was admitted in a hospital on July 27 and never returned.

The entire state went into deep grief as Biman Basu broke down in tears when he had to announce the passing away of Comrade Subhas Chakraborty at the hospital gate. Hundreds of people gathered in front of the hospital a day earlier itself on getting to know the deteriorating condition of Comrade Chakraborty. 

Jyoti Basu expressed deep shock and lamented the passing away of Comrade Chakraborty at a relatively young age. The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) expressed deep grief and put on record that Comrade Subhas Chakrabarty was a popular leader who served the Party with dedication. His death was a loss for the Party and the working class movement in West Bengal. Prakash Karat and other leaders of the Party recalled their memories of him.

 

But it was on August 4 when a sea of humanity poured out to pay their last homage to the departed leader. His body was taken from the mortuary first to the CPI(M) district committee office of North 24 Parganas, his main area of political work. From there the last remains were brought to Dumdum, where he started his political activity and from where he has been elected to the assembly for the last 32 years (from Belgachia East constituency). Hundreds of people lined up on the streets as Comrade Subhas Chakraborty’s body reached his residence, Salt Lake Stadium, Writers’ Building, legislative assembly, Netaji Indoor Staidum, CITU state office and finally it was kept for hours in CPI(M) state committee office at Alimuddin Street. At every place people thronged to have a last glimpse of their dear leader, cutting across social-political lines. In the state committee office, thousands of people remained in queue for hours to pay their last respects.

 

CPI(M) Polit Bureau members, including Biman Basu, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Nirupam Sen and Md Amin paid their homage to Comrade Chakraborthy at the state  committee office. Sitaram Yechury who arrived from Delhi, rushed straight from the airport to join the funeral procession.

The funeral procession, like a silent wave, crossed about 10 kilometers with more and more people joining the procession on the way. It took hours to reach to burning ghat, where the last rites took place amidst resounding slogans of “Red Salute to Comrade Subhas Chakraborty”.

 

A LIFE OF

STRUGGLE

 

Born in Dacca on March 18, 1942, Comrade Subhas Chakraborty grew up in Nager Bazar in Dumdum where he became a militant student activist during his study in Motijheel College. He became a member of the Communist Party in 1958. Comrade Subhas Chakraborty had to go to jail for leading movements of students  against fee hike.  He took part in the successive food movements, struggles against imperialism, movements against price rise and for the spread of education. In the stormy days of sixties, he became one of the leading figures in the student movement. After the break with the revisionists, Comrade Subhas Chakraborty was one of the chief organisers of the BPSF and was elected the general secretary of the BPSF in 1969. He also became the state secretary of the newly-formed SFI in 1970. Comrade Chakraborty  was the second all-India  general secretary of SFI , a post he held until 1979.

 

Comrade Subhas Chakraborty waged a relentless battle against both revisionism and sectarianism.  He became a member of the CPI(M) state committee in 1971. In the days of semi-fascist terror in West Bengal, he played an important role in defending the Party. His electoral battle started as far back as 1967 when he was elected a councilor with overwhelming popular support  in the then south Dumdum municipality—and he remained a councilor till 1978. In 1977, he won from the Belgachia East Assembly constituency and he represented the constituency for another six consecutive terms. Comrade Subhas Chakraborty was made a minister in the Left Front government in 1982.  He was in charge of sports, youth welfare, dairy development, and later transport department. He was a successful minister as well.

 

Comrade Subhas Chakraborty was the state vice president and member of the all India council of CITU. He was associated with a number of trade union bodies. He was a member of the district secretariat of the CPI(M) in North 24 Parganas and contributed greatly in building up the organisation and the mass base of the Party. He became a member of the state secretariat of the Party in 2008. 

Comrade Chakraborty was deeply involved with the world of sports and culture, as also with a string of social activities. He was the person whose determination created Salt Lake stadium, one of the largest of its kind in Asia. His close links with the people, cooperative attitude and down to earth behaviour earned him respect and love from all sections. It was evident even after his demise when people from all walks of life mourned his untimely death. Diego Maradona mourned the death of Comrade Chakraborty in a condolence message sent to his family.

 

Comrade Subhas Chakraborty leaves behind his wife Ramala, who  is a member of the district committee of North 24 Parganas of the CPI(M) and their son, Anubhav.