Homage to Comrade KRP

POPULARY CALLED as " KRP ", Comrade Karu Palaniappan was one of the most beloved leaders of the trade union movement in Ambattur Industrial Estate in Chennai. Not even a single person would have seen him without a red towel on his shoulders, a symbol of communists in the cultural milieu of Tamil Nadu. Red towel is a synonym for comrade KRP. Wearing red towel is not just an identity, but a passion for him. During his stay at Burma in his younger age, he also had an occasion to shake hands with Comrade Mao, the legendary leader of the Communist Party of China, as a part of a gathering of spectators which he always fondly recollected.

Hailing from among the working class, Comrade KRP was most respected even among his political rivals for his commitment to the cause. He was a nightmare for the employers of the Industrial Estate who violated labour laws. On the other hand, he was the most beloved leader for the working class that fought for the cause of establishing their rights. He was a person with a good sense of humour and mingled effortlessly with everyone. Simplicity, plain living, persistent love for struggle and single-minded loyalty towards the Party and the Party line are the hallmarks of Comrade KRP's personality.

After his return from Burma , he joined the TI Cycles Limited as a worker. He became active in the trade union movement in the factory very soon. Being a natural rebel, he fought against the compromising attitude of the trade union leaders with his own, self-styled perception of a revolutionary trade unionism. In the process, he came closer to our movement and became one of the leaders of the revolutionary trade union movement in Chennai. He was also one of the founders of Democratic Labour Union, our first ever experiment of formation of our own revolutionary trade union in the country.

Since then, he had been active in our trade union movement and has served as AICCTU leader in various capacities. He had been arrested in various struggles. He has served as a member of the party's Chennai City Committee for more than a decade and has been a whole-timer of the party for more than two decades.

Comrade KRP emerged as a trade union leader from among the working class and was loved by almost all workers and activists. He is a symbol of dedication, loyalty and consistent struggle, both in public and private life. He remained and will continue to remain as a source of inspiration for the worker comrades and the Party ranks in the years to come for his relentless dedication for upholding revolutionary line and tradition of the party.

Unfortunately, Comrade KRP expired in a tragic road accident on 12 June 2006 at the age of 72. His loss cannot be compensated. The Party shares the grief of his family and comrades and resolves to continue the unrelenting struggle for revolutionary trade unionism and revolutionary transformation for the emancipation of the country and the people.

Red Salute to Comrade KRP!