Comrade Dilip Banerjee
Innumerable friends, comrades and close associates bade farewell to the most loveable comrade Dilip Banerjee on Poila Baishakh (Bengali New Year or April 15). A veteran Party member, Comrade Banerjee died of an undiagnosed neural ailment resulting in multiple complications including a gastro-intestinal disorder on April 13 2009 at the SSKM Hospital, Kolkata. He was 67. Senior doctors, friends, comrades and relatives left no stone unturned to heal comrade Banerjee, but in vain.
Comrade Dilip Banerjee, popularly known as Dilipda, had a rare personality and used to act as a bridge between the Party and large sections of democratic persons outside the Party in Kolkata. He had the rare quality of taking affectionate care of people in distress. In fact he was like a responsible friend as well as parent or brother to others.
Dilipda did his PhD in synthetic chemistry from the University of Jadavpur in the turbulent 70s and got actively involved in the revolutionary movement. In the early 70s he was arrested and faced severe torture in jail – resulting in lasting damage to his nervous system.
During the process of party reorganisation in the mid 70s Comrade Banerjee again came in touch with the Party. Very affectionate to junior comrades and friends, he played a special role in developing a number of youngsters as Party wholetimers. During underground days he shouldered a great responsibility in providing medical facilities to Party leaders and cadres. In the 70s he was known as Dactarbabu.
Ever committed to communist values, Comrade Banerjee always avoided publicity and led a very simple life. Together with his fellow comrades and likeminded friends, he founded Chitrachetana, which produced a few short films in the early eighties based on various movements. These were: Sarkari Santras (State Terror), Boba Yuddha (Silent battle -- based on closed and sick industries), Ashanta Assam (Assam in turmoil). He had a special aptitude in art and culture, particularly in drama, cinema and the fine arts. Apart from being a member of the editorial board of Lok Samachar (the organ of Gana Front, the precursor of IPF in West Bengal) he also wrote in other magazines as art critic and on other topics. After the demise of comrade Arijit Mitra he took charge of Nabanna (organ of Paschimbanga Gana Sanskriti Parishad) as an editor and fulfilled the responsibility till death. He also contributed to Deshabrati (organ of the Party's West Bengal State Committee), Liberation and Nabanna on contemporary art and culture.
An employee in Indian Paints Association -- an offshoot of Indian Chamber of Commerce -- Comrade Banerjee was dismissed from his job on flimsy grounds for building a trade union in his workplace. However, through a legal battle he got back his job with full compensation. He always stood by the people and their struggles and against any kind of anti-worker, anti-peasant activities of the ruling class. He was the vice president of General Insurance Workers’ Union till death. He was involved in the civil liberty movement in West Bengal and built up the PUCL in the State together with late Mr Latif, ex-MLA and eminent lawyer. In the last years of his life he worked as assistant secretary at Indian Chemical Manufacturing Association, Kolkata.
Comrade Banerjee, a bachelor, left behind his widowed elder sister, younger sister and so many friends and comrades. Eminent litterateur and President of Paschimbanga Gana Sanskriti Parishad Nabarun Bhattacharya, Indranath Bandyopadhayay (Joint Secretary, Paschimbanga Ganatantirk Lekhak Silpisangha), Amitava Chakraborty (State Council Member, CPI), litterateurs Swapnamay Chakraborty, Kinnor Roy, Tarapada Acharya, Swapna Dev, Pachu Roy, mass singer Pratul Mukherjee and Abhijit Basu, eminent personalities like Prof. Mihir Chakraborty, Goutam Sen, Debashis Bhattacharya, Sujato Bhadra, Mohit Roy, Saswati Ghosh, Chandan Ghosh, veteran journalists Barun Dasgupta, Sankar Roy, Pratim Basu, Joydeep Majumder, CPI(ML) politbureau member Kartick Pal, CCM and State Secretary Partha Ghosh, CCMs Kalyan Goswami and Arindam Sen, Deshabrati Editor Animesh Chakraborty and many other party and mass organisation leaders, cadres and friends offered last tributes to Comrade Banerjee in a funeral procession that started from State Party Headquarters on April 15 2009.
Long live Comrade Dilip Banerjee!
Long live his dreams!