Your memory shall always inspire us

Since our last Congress in Varanasi, it has been a journey full of unprecedented challenges — not only in terms of facing the fascist forces in every area of our social life but also in terms of absorbing heartbreaking shocks and learning to turn our sorrow into resolve and strength.

Barely three months after the Varanasi Congress we lost Comrade Anil Kumar Baruah, who had been elected by the Congress a member of the Party’s Central Committee. He fell to the bullets of ULFA assassins in Assam on February 11, 1998 during the Lok Sabha election campaign. A poet and cultural activist having deep roots in Assamese society and a renowned fighter for democracy, Comrade Anil Baruah will remain a role model for revolutionary intellectuals and cultural activists.

The same year in October 1998, the cruel hands of death snatched away from us Comrade Nagbhushan Patnaik – the legendary leader of the Naxalbari-Srikakulam movement, senior member of Polit Bureau of our Party. As President of the Indian People’s Front he was widely respected in Left and democratic circles as a symbol of the Indian people’s revolutionary quest for real independence and democracy. Described by Comrade Vinod Mishra as “a man of steel”, Comrade Nagbhushan defied all physical ailments to carry forward his revolutionary mission with indomitable will. His death defying spirit will continue to inspire revolutionaries in the years to come.

Hardly a year had passed since the Sixth Congress when we suffered the biggest loss of decades — we lost the supreme architect of the Party’s historic recovery and resurgence, Comrade Vinod Mishra, our General Secretary, on December 18, 1998. Com. VM had taken over this strenuous responsibility at a much younger age after the martyrdom of Comrade Jauhar (Subrata Dutta) in a heroic battle in Bhojpur on 29 November 1975. That was the period when the Party had just begun to reorganise after heavy setbacks of the early 1970s. Comrade VM led the Party from the Second to the Sixth Congress, from its initial phase of re-organisation to its maturing into an all India formation, from a small fraction of CPI(ML) to a unified and strong all India Party of the Communist Revolutionaries capable of combining all forms of struggles and organisations suited to our conditions and determined to march ahead towards revolutionary democracy and socialism. Comrade VM’s pathbreaking and insightful Marxist analysis of the Indian society and his broad vision of communist unification will remain an inexhaustible source of inspiration and guidance for all sincere communists. While offering its warm tribute to Comrade VM, the Seventh Congress of the CPI(ML) rededicates itself to the great mission and vision of Comrade VM.

Red Salute to Comrades Vinod Mishra, Nagbhushan Patnaik and Anil Baruah!
Com. Taqi Rahim
Com. Prithviraj Singh
Com. A.N. Das
Com Tapan Bose
Com Bachhan Singh

The Seventh Congress of the CPI(ML) pays its sincere homage to Comrade Taqi Rahim, a communist leader of long standing who had joined the Party in the evening of his life but worked with the energy and spirit of a young communist to spread the message of the Party till he breathed his last on March 4, 1999. He was president of Inquilabi Muslim Conference and also a member of the Central Control Commission elected by the Sixth Congress. Two months later, we lost another veteran leader of the Party in Bihar, Comrade Bachchan Singh. He was a widely respected teacher who had graduated from the socialist movement to the communist movement and inspired many young socialists to join the CPI(ML) after the disappointing denouement of the 1974 movement. And last year we lost yet another link with the first generation of the communist movement of Bihar with the passing away of Comrade Prithviraj Singh, a founder member of the communist party in the state who had taken an active part in the historic peasant movement of the 1940s led by Sahajananda Saraswati. In Punjab, we have lost Comrade Hakim Singh Samaon, who was one of the founders of the Naxalbari movement in the state and remained a pillar of strength for the Party through the turbulent years of the Khalistani insurgency and state terrorism.

Comrade Narendra Singh, a scientist with long association with the Party and the movement passed away on May 25, 1999. Comrade Singh was based in the Netherlands and represented the Party in many international communist gatherings in Europe. A year later, on August 6, 2000 we lost most prematurely Comrade Arvind N. Das, one of the most brilliant and innovative activist-academics and media personalities produced by the Naxalbari movement. Comrade Arvind had a passionate commitment to the cause of development of productive forces and the revolutionary movement in what in one of his well known books he has described as the Republic of Bihar. He was also keenly involved in launching the Indian Institute of Marxist Studies and organising the first series of DD Kosambi Memorial Lectures.

We also mourn the loss of Comrade V. Subba Rao, veteran trade union leader and former president of Indian People’s Front and Dr. J. D. Vohra, who had also been an IPF Vice-President and a close friend of the Party in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

In the past five years we have lost a number of our long-standing comrades-in-arms who devoted their entire lives for the advancement of the Party and the Revolution. Among them are Comrades Butan Paswan or ‘Chanarji’ of Bhojpur, Tapan Chakraborty, a first generation Naxalbari activist and Secretary of the Party’s Darjeeling District Committee in West Bengal, Abhijit Mukherjee, a long-standing Party member in Kolkata; Lalchand Sahu of Bihar; Syda and Satyabhama of Andhra Pradesh; Prasanna Rajkhowa, Kaljit Rai and Dhelku Bawari of Assam and Deepak Bose and Kala Bhandari of Uttaranchal. We will always draw inspiration from their sincerity and devotion to the cause of the Party and the people.

No less than twenty-five cadres, fighters and sympathisers braved police bullets during political agitations, raids and fake encounters. The Seventh Party Congress salutes the indomitable courage and supreme sacrifice exemplified by these comrades and renews its pledge to make every necessary sacrifice to carry forward the revolutionary battle. Red salute to our revolutionary heroes, Comrades Hridayanand Ram, Vishwanath Ram, Jagia Devi, Ramji Patel, Godhan Ram, Mular Paswan, Dharmendra Ram, Vishram Pandey, Anand Kumar, Hareram Musahar, Sukhari Chaudhary, Kishore Sahni, Rajnath Paswan, Shyamdev Paswan, Garib Mahto, Rita Devi, Amrik Baitha (Bihar), Laldhan Mahto (Jharkhand), Nadha Naiko (Orissa), Guhari Tripura (Tripura) and Dr. Ramesh Bind (Uttar Pradesh).

Comrade Mahendra Koch of Karbi Anglong lost his life while on the way to Delhi to participate in “March to Parliament” held on 30 November 1998. Comrades Biswajit Merak, Hamri Hanse and Roopsing Bey lost their lives in the course of campaigning for rallies. The Party Congress deeply mourns the death of these comrades.

Comrade Jagdev Sharma, a popular AICCTU leader and member of the Palamu District Committee was killed in broad day light by the local mafia in May 2000. A few days before his killing Comrade Gurudas Chatterjee, Marxist Coordination Committee MLA from Nirsa, Dhanbad and a leader of the Bihar Colliery Kamgar Union had been gunned down by the coal mafia. Comrade Gurudas was also a close friend of our Party during the underground days. Let us reassert that such cowardly killings can never silence the voice of the workers and that the working class movement shall carry on the fight to eliminate the mafia and other vested interests.

The long list of our leaders, cadres, fighters, members and sympathisers who sacrificed their lives in the course of agrarian movements bears testimony to the fact that any genuine movement for democratisation can only proceed by defying the most brutal violence unleashed by the forces of the status quo. Over the last five years, we have lost 163 persons in struggles against the Ranvir Sena, 16 people died in struggles against the Shahabuddin gang and its associates and 117 persons have died in combating other feudal-mafia-criminal gangs. Our determined efforts to intensify the movement for emancipation of the rural poor and elimination of all feudal-criminal gangs can be the best homage we can pay to our martyrs.

The number of martyrs who fell victims to anarchist attacks launched by the PWG and MCC against our Party is no less. While 52 leading comrades lost their lives to the PWG attacks, 14 were killed by MCC in Bihar and Jharkhand. In Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills districts of Assam, as many as 11 of our comrades were killed by the miscreants of KPF/UPDS/ASDC(U). In west Bengal and Tripura too we have lost at least 4 comrades in the hands of CPI(M)-backed criminals.

The Seventh Congress of the Party also We have also lost a large number of comrades in many These apart, at least 225 of our members departed from us during the period between Sixth and Seventh Congress. The Seventh Congress of the Party rises to pay revolutionary tribute to all these comrades and pledges to continue the revolutionary spirit and tradition of our great martyrs and to work hard to fulfil their unfinished mission.

The Seventh Congress pays tributes to Comrades Kondapalli Sitaramaiah, Telengana veteran and founder of CPI(ML)-People’s War, Bhaskar Jadhav, General Secretary of Lal Nishan Party (Leninist) and Dr. Datta Samant, the legendary leader of the Maharashtra textile workers’movement.

The Seventh Congress of the CPI(ML) pays its homage to the departed leaders of other Left parties, Comrades Indrajit Gupta, Geeta Mukherji, Vimla Farooqi, Z.A. Ahmed, P.K. Kodiyan, K.T.K. Thangamani, Ila Mitra, Alok Bharati and M.S. Krishnan of the CPI, Comrades EMS Namboodiripad, Susheela Gopalan, Vimal Ranadive, Hanumantha Rao, Shailen Das Gupta, Niren Ghosh, Benoy Krishna Choudhary, N. Prasad Rao, Suryanarayana Rao, R. Ramraj, P.R. Parameswaran, Dasharatha Deb and Shailendra Shaily of the CPI(M), Comrades Tridib Chaudhary, Makhan Pal, Nani Bhattacharya, Sushil Bhattacharya and Dr. Buddhadev Bhattacharya of RSP, and Comrades Chitta Basu and D.D. Shastry of the Forward Bloc.

We pay our respect to renowned people’s poets Nagarjun and Vamik Jaunpuri, eminent Hindi literary critic Dr. Ramvilas Sharma, and left lyricists Majrooh Sultanpuri and Kaifi Azmi.

The Seventh Congress mourns the death of all those who fell victim to communal fascist forces’ onslaughts and state repression throughout the country and pledges to intensify the battle for freedom and democracy.

We pay our heartfelt tribute to the veteran communist leader of Nepal, who lived and died fighting for the oppressed people of his country, Comrade Manmohan Adhikari, Chairman of Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist).

We also salute all those martyrs who fell victim to imperialist aggression throughout the world and rededicate ourselves to the goal of a world without imperialism and barbarism, a communist world of peace, progress and human solidarity. q