January 19, 2020

WEST BENGAL: Comrade Avik Dutta Passes Away

CPI(M) West Bengal state committee member and former editor of Ganashakti, Comrade Avik Dutta passed away on January 14. He suffered severe brain haemorrhage in December 2018 and was under treatment for the last one year. He was 57.

Comrade Avik Dutta joined in the communist movement through the student movement in Howrah district. He was a district secretariat member of the SFI. He was a brilliant student and passed his MA in journalism from Calcutta University, where he stood first. He joined Ganashakti when the Party daily became a morning daily in 1986. As a skilled journalist, he reported many important events. He was also capable of doing many other works related with publication of a newspaper. He was one of the leading comrades who articulated modernisation, use of new technology, publication of new editions of Ganashakti. He became CPI(M) state committee member and assistant editor of Ganashakti in 2002. He became editor in January 2017. He played a major role in fighting back multi-dimensional attack on Ganashakti for the last eight years.

Comrade Avik Dutta also played an important role in creating and developing alternative television channel, challenging corporate dominance. Many young journalists started their professional career under his guidance.

Comrade Avik Dutta, as a journalist, accompanied Comrade Jyoti Basu to USA and UK. He also accompanied Buddhadev Bhattacharya to South Africa. He reported from Montenegro during the turbulent days in Eastern Europe. Later Comrade Dutta visited China in a Party delegation.

He was hard working, and performed multifarious tasks of the Party with disciplined dedication.

He left his wife, a leader in teachers’ movement and son, both of whom are associated with the Party.

Party leaders paid homage to him after his body was brought to CPI(M) state committee office. Party general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Polit Bureau members Biman Basu, Surya Misra, Md Salim laid Red Flag over his body. State committee members, leaders of mass organisations paid their tribute. His body was then taken to Ganashakti office where comrades offered last salutes to their dear comrade with a heavy heart. Comrade Avik Dutta’s body was taken to Kolkata Press Club where journalists and media organisations paid their respect. He was cremated in the afternoon.

Budhhadeb Bhattacharya, in a condolence message, said that Comrade Avik Dutta was hard working, meticulous and capable of doing many jobs. It is difficult to replace such a loss. Manik Sarkar expressed his profound grief.

Condolence messages were sent from Peoples’ Democracy, Loklahar Deshabhimani, Daily Deshar Katha, Prajasakti and Swadhinata among others.


Senior Communist Com Abdul Wahab Passes Away at 96

SENIOR leader and a steadfast organiser of the CPI(M) in Tamil Nadu, Comrade Abdul Wahab, passed away on January 14 at his home in Cumbum of Theni district, Tamil Nadu.

Comrade Wahab  was born on February 1, 1925. He entered the communist movement as a student at American College, Madurai, along with Comrade N Sankaraiah. After studies, he went to Chennai and worked in Janasakthi office. When the Party was banned in 1948, he worked from underground among the Golden Rock Railway workers. During this period, he also worked in Thanjavur and Dindigul districts. When the ban was lifted in 1951, he worked among the tea estate workers in Devikulam, Peermedu areas of the present Idukki district and conducted many movements for the tea workers.

Thereafter, he functioned as Periyakulam taluk secretary, secretariat member of Madurai district committee and finally got elected to the state committee. In 1964, at a state committee meeting held at Kumbakonam, Comrade Wahab was among the 31 signatories for the formation of CPI(M) in Tamil Nadu. At the end of 1964, he was arrested under Defence of India Act (DIR) and was kept at Cuddalore Central Jail for 16 months. After he was released, in the 1970s, upon the request of the Kerala state committee, he worked in Kottayam district for a few years and returned to Tamil Nadu in 1975.

Comrade Wahab was elected to the state committee and also took over as the general manager of the Party daily newspaper, Theekkathir, and carried out the responsibility till 2001. Behind every progress made by the Party newspaper over the years, Comrade Wahab stood as a rock to strengthen the institution and made it into a daily from a weekly. He was also elected to the secretariat of the state committee, and continued in that position till 2001. Even after that, he was associated with the Madurai urban and Theni district secretariats. When his health was not permitting to move around, he moved to his home at Cumbum where he spent his last days.

The CPI(M) mourns the death of one of its most dedicated comrades who worked steadfastly for the growth of the communist movement in Tamil Nadu. Comrade Wahab passed away in his sleep on January 14 and is survived by his son Mohammed Yakob, daughters Syed Ali Fatima, Wahida Begum and Zaila Begum.