People's Democracy

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


No. 37

September 13, 2009



Kisan Sabha Leader Holur Shankar Passes Away


THE dreaded disease of bone marrow cancer has snatched away from us a committed and dynamic young farmer leader of Karnataka. Holur Shankar (45), a state committee member of Karnataka Prantha Raitha Sangha (KPRS), an affiliate of All India Kisan Sabha, passed away on August 28 at Kidwai Institute of Oncology, Bangalore, where he was admitted for treatment. Though Comrade Shankar won several struggles against injustices, he could not win the struggle against nature.


Holur Shankar was active in the peasant and Left movement in the undivided Kolar district. Comrade Shankar was the district joint secretary of KPRS and president of its Kolar taluk unit. He was also the Kolar taluk committee secretary of Communist Party of India (Marxist).


Popularly known as �Shankranna� among farmers and farm workers, particularly women folk, Comrade Shankar was in the forefront of the struggle demanding proper implementation and expansion of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA). He led many agitations of the tomato growers, mango growers, milk farmers and others.


Having joined the movement in his college days, he worked as district president of the Students Federation of India and built a strong movement among students.


After graduation, he became a wholetimer of the CPI(M) and dedicated his life to the peasant movement. He also worked for communal harmony in the region. He successfully organised a convention of Muslim minorities demanding implementation of the Sachar committee report and also a convention of the disabled people.


Shankar attracted the ire of officials and police, as his fearless leadership quality put them in the dock many a time. The kisan leader was arrested during an agitation demanding settlement of the wage arrears under the NREGA and the case is still pending in the court.


On diagnosing that Comrade Shankar was suffering from cancer, state committees of the CPI(M) and KPRS took the responsibility for his treatment and the wellwishers of the movement, from farm workers to bank employees, started contributing funds for the purpose. However, despite trying their level best, the doctors could not save the life of this young fighter.


�Comrade Shankar�s untimely death was a big blow to the movement of peasants and farm workers,� CPI(M) state committee member Gandhinagar Narayanswamy said. According to G C Bayya Reddy, KPRS state secretary, the death of this fearless fighter at a very young age was a big loss to the movement in the region. �Comrade Shankar will be remembered for his dedicated work for an upliftment of the downtrodden people of the society,� he said.


Draped in red flag, Comrade Shankar�s body was kept at the KPRS district office to enable the people to pay him tributes. Later, the body was taken to his native place Holur where the funeral took place. CPI(M) state secretary V J K Nair, its district secretary G Arjunan, KPRS state president Maruthi Manpade, CITU leader S Varalakshmi, Dalit Sangharsha Samiti leader S Muniraju and G C Bayya Reddy were among those who participated in the funeral procession and addressed the condolence meeting.