WEST BENGAL: Comrade Nakul Mahato
VETERAN leader of Communist movement in West Bengal, Comrade Nakul Mahato passed away on September 20, at the age of 93. Comrade Nakul Mahato was born in 1924 at Purulia, the district which became his area of work and source of all passions as well. He was involved with Radical Party in the initial stage of life. He was the first graduate from JK College in Purulia. Thorough many struggles, including the struggle to include Manbhum with Bengal, he joined the Communist Party in 1957. He played a very important role in developing the peasant and communist movement in the district. He was elected as secretary of Purulia district committee of CPI(M) in 1964, a responsibility he continued to discharge for 47 years till 2011. He was, from then, a state committee member also. In his early life, he was a school teacher which he left to be a whole-timer of the Party. Under his able leadership, Purulia became one of the strongholds of CPI(M). During Emergency and some other movements, Comrade Mahato had to remain underground. He was jailed for 14 months too.
Comrade Nakul Mahato was very popular among poor and tribal people of the district. He was the president of AIKS district committee. He contributed immensely in establishing schools and colleges in backward areas, cooperatives, academies for maintaining the heritage of tribal and ethnic minorities. He was one of the founders of Adivasi Lokshilpi Sangha- a cultural platform of tribal and folk artists. He was deeply engaged in developmental activities in Purulia and was widely respected by all sections in the district.
Even in his last years, despite his failing health, Comrade Nakul Mahato used to join Party activities, rallies with enthusiasm.