Vol. XLI No. 53 December 31, 2017

Comrade NM Sundaram

THE secretariat of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, in session in New Delhi has expressed its shock over the sudden demise of Comrade NM Sundaram, one of the senior leaders of Indian Trade Union movement and especially that of the insurance workers movement December on 26, 2017 at Chennai. He was 80.

Comrade Sundaram, had led the All India Insurance Employees Association, in various capacities including that of the general secretary for sixteen years and president for six years.  He had played a major role in the struggle of the Indian working people against privatisation and other disastrous impacts of neo- liberal economic policies.  He was a prolific writer and orator and had written articles and books on various aspects of neo-liberal economic policies.

CITU pays its homage to the memory of Comrade Sundaram and also conveys condolences to his family members and to the comrades of AIIEA.


Born on January 8, 1938, NM Sundaram was a young of 19 years when he joined LIC in the year 1957 (the first batch of LIC recruits in Assistant cadre). At a young age of 25 he became the general secretary of SZIEF, the largest zonal unit of AIIEA. He continued to lead the zone till 1988 when he became the general secretary of AIIEA. He continued as the general secretary of AIIEA from 1988 to 2003 and functioned as the President from 2003 to 2007. Though he retired from LIC in 1998 he was active as the leader of AIIEA. No sooner did Comrade Sundaram take over the leadership than started the liberalisation policies of the government. Privatisation of public sector became the cornerstone of the new economic policies. It was during this period that privatisation of public sector insurance acquired centerstage of the policy paradigm. But he was a visionary who could see that the defeat of these policies could be only with the support of the people of this country. Thus started AIIEA’s no holds barred campaign among the public and the volumes of literature that AIIEA brought out had the unmistakable imprint of Comrade Sundaram’s astute observation and incisive analysis. It would be a truism to say that Comrade NMS grew with the organisation and the organisation grew with him. The two-pronged campaign strategy – ‘campaign from the seat’ and ‘campaign on the street’– was very successful.

AIIEA salutes and dips its banner in memory of the great leader of the insurance employees’ movement. AIIEA conveys its deepest condolences to the family of Comrade Sundaram and also to all the comrades of AIIEA.