Homage to Comrade Jagdish Prasad

ON AUGUST 6, 2006, freedom fighter and veteran communist leader Comrade Jagdish Prasad, who was the founder of Samkaleen Prakashan and ex-member of CPI(ML)'s Central Control Commission, breathed his last. He was 86 years old.

Born in Bharatpura village of Patna district, Comrade Jagdish Prasad joined the freedom struggle right during his student days and was jailed during the 1942 Quit India Movement. In jail, he came into contact with communist cadres and gradually he was transformed into a firm communist. Coming out of jail, he started work in the Patna region maintaining close relations with the united communist party and joined party publication work in 1952. Subsequently, he also organised a library in the name of noted Hindi poet Nirala through his own efforts. In the early 1990s when the Soviet Union had just collapsed and Marxism came under serious attack, he joined the CPI(ML). Comrade Jagdish Prasad shouldered the responsibility of establishing a new publication house. And as a result of his tireless efforts, Samkaleen Prakashan was founded on the May Day in 1992.

On the occasion of inauguration of the Samkaleen Prakashan, renowned historian Ram Sharan Sharma said that, “the university made us literate but among those who really educated us, Comrade Jagdishji was the foremost”. Certainly it was a true tribute to Comrade Jagdish Prasad, the man of iron will. Paying his tributes, his son Vijay Prasad said that in his personal life too Comrade Jagdish was most punctual and hardworking. All through his life he remained an embodiment of truth and honesty and he advised his younger comrades too to follow the same ideals.

Comrade Jagdish was clear about his mission and his role. That is why he never deviated from his commitment to the Party and revolution. The job of publication and book-selling is often quite tiresome, but he nearly spent his whole life doing this job with great devotion and spirit. The Sixth Party Congress of the CPI(ML) held in Varanasi in October 1997 elected him as a member of the Party's Central Control Commission.

On August 7, his body was placed in CPI(ML)'s State Office in Patna where leaders and cadres of CPI(ML), CPI and CPI(M) and many others paid tributes to the departed leader. Liberation shares the grief of Party comrades, left forces and Jagdishji's relatives and resolves to carry forward his mission of popularisation of Marxist literature. Red Salute to Comrade Jagdish Prasad!

Dr. Vinayan

Dr. Vinayan, founder of Majadoor Kisan Sangram Samiti (MKSS) in Bihar , passed away on 18 August at the age of 59. Vinayan, an MBBS from Agra Medical College , went to Bihar in 1974 to join the students' upsurge which later came to be known as the JP movement. He was jailed during the Emergency. After his release, he opened a dispensary at Sikaria village in Jahanabad district to serve the rural poor. In the early 1980s he emerged as the leader of Mazdoor Kisan Sangram Samiti, a mass platform floated by the then Party Unity group which was active in the rural areas of Patna-Jahanabad region. For some time the MKSS was also involved in a combined anti-repression campaign along with the IPF, especially against the infamous Arwal massacre. Subsequently the MKSS suffered a split and he moved away from the Party Unity faction. Bihar would always remember his courageous role in the struggle against oppressive feudal forces and the state under difficult conditions.