People's Democracy

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


No. 41

October 14, 2012






TU School in Comrade Sanzgiri’s Memory


P R Krishnan


BHANDUP in north east Mumbai became the first place in the state of Maharashtra to have, under the banner of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), a trade union school for the working class. The school is in memory of Prabhakar Sanzgiri who was a veteran of the communist movement in Maharashtra.


The inauguration of the school took place in the Sangharsh Hall of CITU centre in Bhandup on September 14, at the hands of Mohamed Amin, former general secretary of the CITU and former member of the CPI(M) Polit Bureau. The entire locality around the Sangharsh Hall was decorated with red flags, banners, festoons and standards. Apart from Sanzgiri’s close friends and colleagues, a large number of workers and trade union functionaries were present at the inauguration function. A majority of them were social activists or political and trade union functionaries. The meeting in the fully packed Sangharsh Hall was presided over by Maharashtra state CITU vice president K L Bajaj.


Recalling his association with the late Comrade Prabhakar Sanzgiri, Mohamed Amin said that the contribution made by Sanzgiri in the growth of the communist movement and the working class movement is valuable. Amin was glad to note that the CITU in Maharashtra could open a school for perpetuation of the memory of this stalwart leader. He further said that opening of the school was a commendable step which would prove useful in imparting training in trade unionism and render political education to the young generation. That will enable them to work for social change.


One may recall that Comrade Prabhakar Sanzgiri, who passed away on March 9, 2009, was one of the founder leaders of the CPI(M) and the CITU in Maharashtra whose centre of activities for a long period of more than four decades was  Bhandup. This is one of the strongholds of CPI(M) and CITU in the state. It was therefore quite appropriate that his colleagues in the CPI(M) and CITU and the other functionaries and activists in this centre thought of and gave shape to the scheme for a study centre in the area, and they fulfilled their dream by opening a school in memory of this leader whose contribution in building up the Bhandup centre of CPI(M) and CITU is valuable. The school has been named “Comrade Prabakar Sanzgiri Training School” The purpose of the school is to organise classes in trade unionism, impart political knowledge, and train social activists and political functionaries and equip them with class consciousness so that they may work better for social transformation and for establishing a society free from exploitation.


Others who spoke on the occasion were Dr D L Karad, general secretary of the CITU’s Maharashtra state unit, and Kumar Shiralkar of All India Agricultural Workers Union. In their speeches, they cited many examples from Sanzgiri’s teachings and lauded the services rendered by him for the downtrodden. CITU leaders Sayeed Ahemad and Dr Vivek Monterio also spoke in the meeting. Prominent amongst those on the dais in the inaugural function were CPI(M) and CITU leaders like Hemkant Samant, Dr S K Rege, Mahendra Singh, Madan Naik, Advocate Armaity Irani and K R Raghu.


During the prolonged period of his political life, Sanzgiri had been president of the Maharashtra state committee of CITU and secretary of the CPI(M) state committee. Prior to the split in 1964, he was once the secretary of Bombay committee of the undivided party. He was also a member of the Central Committee of the CPI(M), was once elected to the Maharashtra state legislative assembly from Bhandup and was also a member of the state’s legislative council. He was editor of the CPI(M)’s Marathi organ Jeevan Marg and authored four books. These are (1) Anuchya Antarangat (Inside the Atom), (2) Manavachi Kahani (The Story of Man), (3) Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar: A Marxist Appraisal, and (4) Charvak te Marx (From Charvak to Marx).


(The writer has been one of the oldest associates of Comrade Prabhakar Sanzgiri in Maharashtra.)