Comrade Maruti Manpade
THE All India Kisan Sabha, in a statement issued on October 20, paid tributes to the memory of Comrade Maruti Manpade who passed away at Solapur on 20th morning due to Covid related complications. He was 65 years old. A militant leader of the All India Kisan Sabha, presently vice president of Karnataka Prantha Raitha Sangha affiliated to AIKS, he worked for a long time as its president. He has been a member of the Central Kisan Committee for long and was also a member of the All India Kisan Council till his death. He was earlier a state secretariat member of the CPI(M). AIKS loses a fearless leader who stood steadfast for the rights of the peasantry.
Coming from most oppressed background and a family of agricultural workers, he was a lifelong fighter. Com Manpade had quit his government job in 1981-82 and immersed himself in the democratic movement, working as a whole-timer. He got elected as a member of the zilla panchayat and had also contested as a CPI(M) candidate to the assembly and to parliament also. He was in the forefront of the struggles for land rights and against social oppression in Karnataka. He was a regular presence in padayatras and rallies for land rights of Bagair Hukum cultivators and for house-sites for the poor. He organised the MGNREGA workers and panchayat workers and was also the president of Panchayat Workers' Association. He also played an active role in organising devadasi women for their liberation. Com Manpade was also associated in organising the Dalit Hakkugala Samiti and along with others played a significant role in the struggle against caste oppression. He also emphasised on the need for crop based organisations and organised tur (arhar) farmers' and sugarcane farmers in the state. He stood against communal forces and for the protection of rights of the minorities and oppressed sections.
Even during the pandemic, he travelled and took part in struggles including the protest in Bangalore against the three anti-farmer and anti-worker bills last month. His death is a big loss for the workers and peasants’ movement. AIKS extends heartfelt condolences to all members of his family and fellow comrades.
THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), in a separate statement, expressed shock and grief at the sudden demise of Comrade Maruti Manpade, a leader of the peasant movement and the trade union movement in Karnataka. He the president of Karnataka Gram Panchayat Workers Union (CITU).
He was a mass leader who was in the forefront of many struggles for land rights, demands of sugarcane and other farmers in the state. He helped organising the panchayat workers, MNREGA workers etc. He also helped in organising the anganwadi workers in the initial stages of the union. He was active in the ongoing struggles in the state against the current farm laws and labour codes.
He also played a crucial role in the struggle against social oppression in Karnataka and was a part of the Dalit Hakkugala Samiti (Dalit Rights movement). He was actively involved in organising the movement of ‘devadasi’ women in the state.
CITU conveys its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family and comrades and pays homage to the memory and contributions of the departed leader.