April 25, 2021

AIKS mourns death of Comrade Munda

THE All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) paid homage to its veteran leader, Comrade Rajendra Singh Munda, 92, and  who passed away on April 18.  The AIKS called him a doyen of the peasant and Adivasi movement and said that he was an inspiring leader who led many struggles for land and forest rights.

A much loved leader known for his simple life and endearing style of work, Comrade Munda was affectionately called Rajen Babu. He was the state president of the Jharkhand Kisan Sabha and also member of CPI(M) state secretariat. He was a member of the All India Kisan Council and the vice president of Adivasi Adhikar Rashtriya Manch.

He was thrice elected to the assembly from Silli constituency in undivided Bihar from 1977 onwards. In his long political career he was imprisoned many times including during the emergency. Prior to the formation of Jharkhand he was nominated to the executive committee of the Jharkhand Autonomous Council.

The AIKS expressed condolences to his family and fellow comrades. “AIKS flags shall fly half-mast in honour of the departed leader. He shall remain an inspiration for generations to come. AIKS pledges to take forward his struggle with greater strength,” it said.

Comrade Munda was one of the main leaders of the struggles revolving around the Section 71 of Chotanagpur Tenancy Act that ensured that thousands of acres of land was returned to the adivasi cultivators. There were many murderous attacks on him by the White Flag Army of feudal landlords and reactionaries during the mahajani and kisan struggles.

On May 19, 1979, when the White Flag Army attacked, he escaped an attempt on his life while two comrades Dwarka Mahto and Dani Datta were martyred saving him. On March 15, 1988, during the Bharat Bandh, he was saved from police bullets by Comrade Shashodhar Munda who became a martyr in the process of protecting him. On April 10, 1992, at Doriya in Arki block of Khunti district there was yet another murderous attack on Rajen Babu in which his bodyguard Gopal Munda was martyred. It was facing these intense attacks in which Ranchi district alone saw the martyrdom of 67 comrades that Comrade .Rajendra Singh Munda and others kept the red flag flying, the AIKS said.

“His was a life dedicated to the liberation of the oppressed, for the land rights, forest rights, rights of the working class and for a life of dignity for all. He was also an active presence in struggles at Delhi and elsewhere. Soft-spoken and humble to the core he was uncompromising in waging class struggle and fearless in taking up the cause of the oppressed. It was truly a life filled with struggles for more than seven decades till his death,” the AIKS said.