People's Democracy

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


No. 05

January 30, 2011


Tripura Remembers Comrade Nripen


Haripada Das


COMRADE Nripen Chakraborty shall ever be respectfully remembered by the Indian communists for his invincible commitment to Marxism and his pursuit and proper application of a class outlook, directing all his work in the interest of the toiling people. So said Prakash Karat, general secretary of the CPI(M), at an overflowing hall meeting in Agartala Town Hall on January 21,  on occasion of Comrade Nripen Chakraborty’s birth centenary.


The CPI(M)’s Tripura  state committee secretary Bijan Dhar presided over the meeting that was also addressed by Polit Bureau member and Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar, Central Committee  member Aghore Debbarma, the CPI’s state council secretary Prasanta Kapali, Forward Bloc state president Dr Brajagopal Roy and RSP state secretary Sudarshan Bhattacharjee.


It was expected beforehand that the Town Hall would prove too little to accommodate the audience. So the organisers arranged a video screen outside the hall for the large number of those who could not get into the hall. At the outset, floral homage was paid at the portrait of Comrade Nripen Chakraborty by party Prakash Karat, Manik Sarkar, Bijan Dhar, the Central Committee members in the state, state secretariat members and leaders of other partners of the Left Front. 


Expressing his felings on the occasion to remember a brilliant communist leader that Nripen Chakraborty was, Prakash Karat said communists in the forties and fifties were subjected to prolong detention and inhuman torture, which Comrade Nripen Chakraborty was not spared of. He was the comrade who sowed the seeds of communism in Tripra among the tribals and gradually drew the Bengali population to it.


Highlighting his unique performance as the chief minister of Tripura and his role in outlining the direction of the firstLeft Front government in the state, Karat highly admired his views about the utmost importance of tribal-non-tribal unity which spurred the growth of the communist movement in Tripura and led to the formation of a Left Front government in the state. In contrast to the ethnic hostility that prevails in other states of the North East region, Tripura stands as a unique example of ethnic unity, thanks to the contribution of Comrade Nripen Chakraborty, said Prakash Karat who also recalled his arduous work in confronting the semi-fascist terror of the Congress-TUJS coalition regime in 1988-93. This was what led to the heroic comeback of the Left Front to office.


Regarding the deviation that Comrade Chakraborty suffered from in his later years, Karat said any leader should be evaluated in a comprehensive manner, taking into account his performance during his whole life.


On this occasion, Karat also spoke on the issue of price rise on an alarming scale, ridiculing the prime minister’s suggestion to invite the WalMart company to take over the country’s retail trade. He said it is indicative of whose interest the UPA-2 government intends to serve. If only the ruling Congress party had least of the concern for the people, the central government would not have audaciously rejected the apex court’s directive for free distribution of food grain instead of letting them to be rotten in the open sky at a time when 45 to 50 per cent children of our country are victims of malnutrition.


So far as corruption scams are concerned, one finds that an astounding, enormously big amount of money is involved in these scams in case of the Commonwealth games, 2-G spectrum, Adarsha housing etc. These are the cumulative effect of the liberalisation policy the UPA government is pursuing, Karat said. As the Left parties are putting forward a real alternative to this anti-people, pro-imperialist policy framework of the UPA government, an all-out attack from all corners has been lunched against them. Being a forward pillar of the communist movement, West Bengal is witnessing concentrated attacks that aim to dislodge the Left Front government in the next assembly election. However, Karat was confident that this time too the party would successfully rebuff these attacks with the help of the people, just as it has foiled many other conspiracies hatched up earlier against the communist parties. 


Paying heartfelt homage to Comrade Nripen Chakraborty and recalling his life and deeds, Manik Sarkar said Nripen Chakraborty was a mass leader in true sense, an ideologist, a strategist and at the same time a great teacher who led an eventful colourful life. He started his political carrier as a freedom fighter against the colonial rulers and then joined the Socialist Forum which worked inside the Congress. He, however, realised that mere freedom from British imperialism would not free the vast impoverished sections of the masses from the shackles of exploitation. Thus he joined the Communist Party.


Elaborating his role during the formative days of the communist movement in the state, Manik Sarkar said Nripen Chakraborty started work underground in the trial areas of Tripura with the pseudonym of “Jagat-da.” Those were the tumultuous days of a resistance movement under the leadership of Comrades Dasarath Deb, Sudhanwa Debbarma and Hemanta Debbarma. Comrade Nripen helped in chanelising the movement in a right direction and within a few years he earned the unflinching trust of the tribal people. It was his closest relations with the masses that made him such a great leader. He led innumerable struggles and movements but remained calm all along --- never overjoyous in victory nor frustrated in defeat.


As an administrator, Manik Sarkar added, Comrade Nripen skilfully exhibited how an administration in a bourgeois landlord system could be directed to serve the people. Even while being a chief minister, he forgot not even for a moment the class which he represented and the section of masses which he was to serve. Similarly glorious was his role in fighting the semi-fascist terror regime during 1988-93. The whole of his life teaches us to maintain closest relations with the masses, take up the people’s issues, uphold the Marxist-Leninist perspective and lead the masses in the streets. If we fail to learn proper lessons from his life, this commemoration will turn to be just ceremonial. 


Lambasting the heinous attack on the common men’s life and livelihood as an outcome of the LPG policies pursued by the central government, Manik Sarkar said people must be awakened to this danger and drawn to the street. Stormy days are ahead of us, he warned.


Reminiscing Comrade Nripen, Bijan Dhar described him as a communist ideologue and at the same time a sharp journalist, a powerful orator, an able party organiser, an efficient administrator and a skilled legislator who successfully utilised the floor of assembly to rouse the masses against all injustice. Outlining the tribal policy of the CPI(M), Comrade Nripen used to say that tribals should be befriended not through assimilation of their culture and heritage but through their preservation. 


Comrade Nripen Chakraborty roamed through the hills and plains of Tripura, mostly on foot, to build the party organisation at a time when the entire state was a difficult terrain. Only his firm belief in Marxism and commitment to the people’s interests could make him bear the hardships that came his way, Aghore Debbarma recollected.


The hall meeting concluded with the singing of Internationale in chorus.