Comrade Mahendra Singh,
You Continue to Live On–
In the Aspirations of Struggling People!

Comrade Mahendra Singh16 January will mark one year since that dauntless fighter of people’s battles – CPI(ML) CC Member and MLA of the Jharkhand Assembly, Mahendra Singh – was assassinated in Jharkhand, as he was campaigning for re-election to his fourth successive term from the Bagodar Assembly constituency. One year on, the CBI enquiry into his killing is yet to show any progress. The SP Deepak Varma and the BJP MLA Ravindra Rai – both implicated in his murder – as well as various notorious members of Jharkhand’s coal mafia, are yet to be seriously interrogated by the CBI. There was strong evidence to show that Comrade Mahendra was killed because, in the Assembly, he had relentlessly been raising the issue of the nexus between the coal mafia, Deepak Varma and Ravindra Rai.

On 16 January, a massive Shaheed Mela will be held at Bagodar in Comrade Mahendra Singh’s memory, with cultural programmes and a mass meeting of the rural poor of Jharkhand, followed by the State Conference of the Jharkhand Mazdoor Kisan Samiti on17 January. In Delhi , a Citizens’ Meet will be held on 16 January, on the question of challenges facing people’s movements in BJP-ruled Jharkhand, at which a book of Comrade Mahendra Singh’s writings will be released.

Paying homage to the legacy of Comrade Mahendra Singh, we carry a poem written by him on the Tapkara massacre, in which tribals had been killed in police firing.

On the Anniversary of the Tapkara Massacre

With beauty,

The blood-stained bodies of seven adivasis

Lie on Tapkara’s soil today,

Their troubled souls

Cloaked with earth.


Wound upon wound on their hearts and bodies,

Black people

Even today,

Stand guard

So that the Koel Karo

May flow unchecked,

Raking time on its banks,

Splashing waves

Sending letters on

Sal leaves.

We’ve heard – the legal establishment

That separates the grain from the chaff

Has put a ban on the flow

Of the Koel Karo,

Sent the guardians

To Birsa Jail

So that the origins of

The black skin’s glow

May cease


Flood lights may glitter on the highway.

Someone said

Birsa has laid down his arms;

It’s in reply to such lies that

The Koel Karo’s stream proclaims


Because in the Birsa armoury

The martyrdom of seven adivasis, in full beauty,

Is recorded

With their troubles souls