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Memorial Meet

His Lustrous Legacy Shall Always Inspire Us

The untimely departure of Comrade Vinod Mishra from amongst us weighs heavy as a mountain over the entire Party. The enormity of the loss is being equally felt in all left and democratic circles. Speakers at a memorial meeting held on 30 December 1998 at Gandhi Memorial Hall (Pyarelal Bhawan), New Delhi and attended by various political leaders, intellectuals, workers, students, women and cultural activists, expressed the deep sense of loss that has come upon the entire left-democratic movement in India.

Speaking first on the occasion, Comrade Ram Naresh Ram said that the grief expressed by people during Comrade VM’s last journey from Luknow to the crematorium in Patna itsefl reveals that in the death of VM, the struggling people of India had suffered a great loss. As a true tribute to VM, he said, we must resolve to carry forward the unfinished task of Comrade VM.

Comrade Swadesh Bhattacharya, while initiating the meeting, paid tribute to his long-time Comrade-in-arms VM and said that the entire party has geared up to face the challenge that has come up with the unexpected demise of our General Secretary.

It was no easy task starting from scratch and building up an organisation that is CPI(ML) today, and all those in the communist movement realise how commendably Comrade Vinod Mishra undertook this daunting task, said AB Bardhan, General Secretary of CPI. He said that Vinod Mishra was one of the most important leaders of the Indian communist movement. Prakash Karat, Politburo member of CPI(M), said he had the hope that VM would continue to enrich the debate on tactics with his clear understanding of the Indian communist movement. He had taken up the cause of the most downtrodden section of Indian population, the peasantry.

Paying tribute on behalf of SUCI, Ashutosh Banerjee said that the death of any communist leader in today’s times was a blow to the toiling masses but VM’s death was much heavier and his loss was being felt in the entire left movement in India.

Ram Gopal Yadav, General Secretary of Samajwadi Party, said that Comrade VM had been a source of inspiration to people belonging to all left and socialist streams. He was the leader of all oppressed people, no matter which political banner they followed.

Tapan Bose of Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy recalled the support and strength provided by Comrade Mishra in their endeavour to establish closer people to people dialogue between India and Pakistan against the ruling classes’ divisive politics of two nations of Hindus and Muslims. Sayed Naqvi, noted journalist, recalled his last meeting with VM where he had expressed his deepest concern for the unity of left and democratic forces in a common platform against communal fascist forces.

Almost all speakers felt this was the need of the hour and that a true tribute could only be paid by fulfilling this dream. Others who spoke on the occasion were Abani Roy, General Secretary of RSP, DD Shastri of Forward Bloc, Surendra Mohan, socialist ideologue and JD leader, VK Patole of CPI(ML)-New Democracy, Prakash Rao of Communist Ghadar Party, Subhash Ghatade of CLI, Swami Agnivesh of Bonded Labour Liberation Front and Comrade Kumudini Pati, life partner of Comrade VM and a CC member.

The last speaker Dipankar Bhattacharya, the new General Secretary of CPI (ML) said that VM was among the most dynamic leaders that entire communist movement of India had ever produced. After the setback to the Naxalite movement in early ’70s, VM raised the party from the ashes not just because he was well versed in organisational skills or that he had a charismatic personality. Rather it was because he had realised that the Naxalite movement had its roots in the concrete conditions of Indian communist movement and so he laid focus on the work of party building through ideological-political battles between revolutionary and opportunist lines. VM’s role, he said, can be appropriately compared only to that of Lenin in the period after the debacle of 1905 in Russia or to that of Mao in the ’30s. The only difference is that while Lenin and Mao led their revolutions to victory, Indian revolution lost Comrade VM extremely prematurely. But VM’s legacy shall ever inspire us in the long march of Indian revolution.

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