THE CPI(M) in Bihar has lost two of its veterans in the past month -- V K Thakur and K K Singh.
Thakur, the former state secretary and Central Committee member of the Party, breathed his last on August 12 at his residence in Darbhanga. The Party paid tributes to him by organising condolence meetings at two places in Darbhanga on August 18 and 25.
As the Left parties were engaged in organising a human chain in Bihar on August 28, the news of sudden death of one of the founder-members of the CPI(M), K K Singh, was received with shock and disbelief. Though he lived a full life of 92 years and was residing at the party headquarters, he was quite active till he peacefully died in his bed. Senior left leaders -- general secretary of CPI(ML) Dipankar Bhattacharya, CPI state secretary Satyanaryan Singh, Arun Singh of SUCI(C), Ashok Thakur of Forward Bloc -- and hundreds of CPI(M) leaders and workers, after participating in the human chain, rushed to the party office.
For V K Thakur, a condolence meeting was held on the university campus in Darbhanga on August 18. Teachers, professors, doctors, social and political activists paid tributes to Thakur, extolling his six decades of active and militant life, espousing the cause of the poorest of the poor. On August 25, amidst pouring rain, a condolence meeting was organised at his native village Kanshi, which was addressed by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat. In her hour-long speech, she made a stirring call to emulate the revolutionary legacy of V K Thakur who started his struggle against feudal land ownership against his own family and distributed land among the landless. Since then he never looked back and dedicated his entire life for the cause of the peasantry and rural proletariat. His simple life and dedication for communist cause will always inspire the coming generation. CPI(M) state secretary Awadhesh Kumar and central committee member Arun Mishra were also present.
On August 29, a condolence meeting was organised for the two leaders at the Party’s state headquarters in Patna. Other Left parties were also invited to attend to event. CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Hannan Mollah and leaders of CPI, CPI(ML), SUCI(C) and Forward Bloc addressed the gathering.
Hannan Mollah, while paying tributes to the departed leaders, narrated his decades-long working relations with them. He briefly touched upon the present political scenario in the country and exhorted the participants to carry forward the revolutionary legacies of the two veterans and fight to realise their dreams. CPI state secretary Satyanaryan Singh, CPI(ML) leader K D Yadav, SUCI (Communist) leader Sadhna Mishra also paid tributes to the veteran leaders.
CPI(M) state secretary Awdhesh Kumar placed tow condolence resolutions, highlighting the political works and the immense contributions made by the two leaders in organising the party in Bihar. One-minute silence was observed. At the start of the meeting, the photographs of the two leaders were garlanded by party and left leaders and participants of the meeting.
The Left parties – CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML), SUCI (Communist) and Forward Bloc – jointly took up the issues of sexual abuse of girls at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur, growing atrocities against women and dalits, and evictions of the poor people, particularly dalits, from government lands.
A bandh called over the issues in Bihar on August 2 was a resounding success. The opposition bourgeois landlord parties were forced to support the bandh call.
The RJD, Samajwadi Party and other organisations extended their support and even participated in enforcing the bandh. The government was forced to remove state welfare minister Manju Verma over the shelter home case. The Supreme Court directed the Patna High Court to monitor the ongoing investigation into the case by the CBI.
In the meantime, the CBI officer in-charge of the investigation was removed, which created suspicion among the masses that the central and state governments were trying to shield the culprits who are very close to the ruling dispensation.
The Left parties decided to organise a candlelight march and demanded a transparent investigation. It also demanded that the investigation should cover all the 110 shelters in the state and that NGOs should be barred from running these homes. Candlelight marches were organised across the state on August 14 and hundreds of people, even those outside the fold of Left organisations, took part in them. The Left parties met two times in the intervening period and decided to carry on the struggle and make it a mass movement against the anti-people and communal government of the state and prepare the people to vote the JD(U)-BJP out in the next parliamentary election.
On August 28, the Left parties organised a human chain, raising the issues pertaining to the ongoing investigation into the shelter home case. It attracted a large number of participants across Bihar. In Patna, the human chain was formed from Budhha Smiriti Park to JP Roundabout near Gandhi Maidan. Leaders of CPI(M), CPI(ML), CPI, SUCI(Communist), Forward Bloc participated in it.
FUND COLLECTION FOR KERALA FLOOD
A fund collection drive was held for the flood-affected people of Kerala. The people of Bihar responded generously to the drive. Party and mass organisations have collected money and sent it to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Relief Fund. Kerala witnessed its worst floods in a century last month, which killed hundreds of people, rendered thousands homeless and damaged properties worth thousands of crores of rupees.