CDRO tribute on the untimely death of three civil and democratic rights activists


February 1, 2013, Sanhati

The member organisations of CDRO are saddened by the death of three democratic and civil liberty activists in the last one week – Professor Dipankar Chakroborty, Vice President of Association for Protection of Democratic (APDR), West Bengal; Chandrasekar (47), civil right activist and a popular human rights lawyer in Andhra Pradesh and Pradeep Sapolia, Secretary of Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR), Dist. Mansa Unit, Punjab.

Professor Dipankar Chakroborty (71), popularly known as Dipankarda passed away on 27th January when he was being taken to the hospital after he developed respiratory problem. A great intellectual and Human Rights campaigner, Dipankarda was born in Dhaka on 14 December, 1941. He grew up in Murshidabad and then completed his education in Bahrampur and Kolkata. He taught economics and retired from Krishnanath College at Baharampur. A veteran of the Left movement since the sixties, he began publishing and editing Aneek in 1964 when ruptures in the CPI on ideological and political issues led to split and birth of the CPI(M). In the wake of the Naxalbari uprising three years later that had triggered another split and birth of the CPI(ML), Chakroborty did not join the new party. But he devoted himself to publishing Aneek. When APDR was formed in Calcutta on 25 June 1972, Dipankarda took the initiative to form one of its first branches outside Calcutta in Murshidabad in 1974. Since then, till his last breath he was one of the stalwarts who steered APDR through many turbulent periods. With promulgation of Emergency in 1975 APDR was banned and Dipankarda was arrested. He spent 19 months in prison and was released in 1977 and since then throughout his life he engaged himself in the publication of Aneek and participated in the socio-political activities in Bengal and other parts of India as an individual and also assumed various responsibilities in APDR. During the Singhur movement when the police was illegally evicting the Singur people by brutal force, Dipankarda stood by the side of the people. He was arrested from the Singur farmlands along with many activists such as Medha Patekar, Amitadyuti Kumar and Sumit Chaudhary. At the time of his death he was Vice President of APDR.

Chandrasekar (47), a popular human rights lawyer passed away on 22nd January. He is known for his significant role in getting the death sentence of Chalapati Raju and Vijayvardhan commuted to life imprisonment. Chalapati and Vijayvardhan were accused of setting a bus on fire in which 23 people were killed. He also played an extraordinary role as a public prosecutor in Tsundur Carnage case in which dalits were hunted and killed by upper caste people. It was by his effort that accused were convicted in this case. Chandrasekar always played a leading role in taking up the cases of dalits and the downtrodden. He did so from a deep sense of conviction, and his life was dedicated to the cause of providing justice to the downtrodden and dalits. His concern and hard work in fighting extra judicial murders (fake encounters) in the state unnerved the police establishment. He approached the High Court and Supreme Court and National Human Rights Commission for justice in extra judicial murders and continued his fight till his death. He abhorred death penalty and played a key role in the campaign to abolish this system in Andhra Pradesh.

Pradeep Sapolia (48), an advocate by profession died on 26th January. As a pro-people advocate, Pradeep always showed an interest in providing legal assistance to the struggling farmers and agricultural labourers in Mansa and other districts of Punjab. Many of the people oriented organisations felt at ease in approaching Pradeep for seeking legal assistance. His closeness and sympathetic attitude towards these organizations can be seen from the fact that all these organizations active in Punjab attended the memorial service in his memory on Jan. 31. In the recent time, when AFDR was reviving its activities in Punjab, Pradeep took keen interest and played an active role in its Dist. Mansa unit. Pradeep took keen interest and actively participated in the two recent fact finding reports against police repression on the people which AFDR brought out.

Their loss would create a void both within the civil liberties and people’s movement and the organizations in which they were tirelessly contributed their time, intellect and resources. CDRO pays homage to their memories and their pro-people activities.

Paramjeet Singh (PUDR)
Kranti Chetanya (APCLC)
Tapas Chakravorty (APDR)
Parminder Singh (AFDR)
Phullendru Komsam (COHR)
(Coodinators)

 

#RIP -Dipankar Chakraborty (1941-2013)


January 29, 2013, Sanhati

55.jpg

Dipankar Chakraborty, leftist author and activist, and editor of the Bengali political magazine ‘Aneek’, passed away at 10.05 PM on 27th January, at his Teghoria residence in Kolkata following a cardiac arrest. He was one of the founder members of APDR (Association for Protection of Democratic Rights). At the time of death he was one of the Vice Presidents of APDR. Aneek was launched in 1964 and has been published uninterruptedly since; except for the 19 months when Chakraborty was in jail during the Emergency. He had been a dedicated supporter of and participant in peoples’ movements in West Bengal, while not holding back from criticizing what he felt were failings of these movements. His loss would be sorely felt in the movemental and intellectual space in Bengal.

Press Release from Aneek

Mahasveta Devi, Sankhaya Ghosh and others condoled the death of Dipankar Chakroborty, the editor of Left journal ‘ANEEK’.

Dipankar Chakroborty (71), the founder-editor of the independent Left journal, ANEEK, passed away on Sunday night. A cardiac patient, he had suffered respiratory problem last evening and died on the way to hospital. He is survived by his wife, son and daughter and grandchildren.

He was born in Dhaka in 1941 and grew up in Murshidabad after the partition. Educated in Baharampur and Kolkata, Chakroborty taught economics at Krishnanath college at Baharampur. he later settled in Kolkata.

A veteran of the Left movement since the sixties, he began publishing and editing ANEEK since 1964 when ruptures in the CPI on ideo-political issues led to first split and birth of the CPI(M).

In the wake of the Naxalbari uprising three years later that had triggered the second split and birth of the CPI(ML), Chakroborty did not join the new party. But he made ANEEK an independent forum for debates on contemporary communist movement, both national and international.

Under his stewardship, ANEEK has become one of the leading left periodical in Bengal and among the few ‘little magazines’ which have survived five decades against all odds. He himself was an accomplished political commentator and had several books to his credit. Chakroborty was jailed by the S.S Roy government during the Emergency. A life-long defender of human rights, he was also one of the founders of Association for Protection of Democratic Rights and its vice-president.

He was always active in the campaigns of release of political prisoners irrespective of the creed of the ruling parties and governments since the seventies. He stood by peoples’ movements and joined protests in their support despite his failng health– from Maruti to Nonadanga.

He was also one of the founders of Peoples’ Books Society, a major publication house and a enthusiast of Little Magazine movement in Bengal.

Noted novelist and activist Mahasveta Devi who knew Chakroborty closely expressed her ‘profound shock’. ” I am deeply grieved. It’s an irreplaceable loss for the human rights movement as well as for me,” the octogenarian writer said. Poet Sankhaya Ghosh, also mourned Chakroborty’s death. ” I feel like losing a near and dear one,” he said.

More militarism, less mass support: Naxalbari veterans


 

Mohua Chatterjee,
Times of India | Oct 8, 2012,
NEW DELHI: It may be a little known fact but 95-year-old Mujib-ur-Rahman narrated it with glee while going through his days with Charu Majumdar, Naxalbari and the present day state of the Maoist movement at the JNU Students’ Union hall room.
“Soumen Tagore had come, Jai Prakash Narayan had come… they wanted to join the Communist party. They asked what post they would get… they were looking for posts when we were all equals in the party… they went back. Tagore started his own radical organization and Jai Prakash Narayan started his Socialist Party,” Rahman said while recalling his association with the Communist Party that started following his release from Dhaka jail after the 1942 movement.
Heroes of Naxalbari and politburo members of the CPI (ML)-Janshakti party, Mujib-ur-Rahman, Khokan Majumdar, Khadan Mallik, Shatibala Munda and Suniti Vishwakarma were in JNU to address students, with just one message, “we should be united, only then can we fight the others.”
They call themselves the real communists—men and women who stood with their leader Charu Majumdar and were part of the armed struggle of peasants that started from Naxalbari village, outside Siliguri in north Bengal, in 1967.
Even today, in the sunset of their lives, they believe the movement has not failed but has suffered because of “internal fighting” and hence its splintered existence.
Khokan Majumdar, who lives and works out of Naxalbari even now at 82 years, suffered a cerebral stroke four years ago has developed a speech problem. He told TOI, “The biggest difference between the Maoist movement today and the one we started before independence is that CPI (M) stresses on militarism. Without the mass line, that is people’s movement to fulfill people’s demands across the country, the movement cannot succeed.”
Asked why their movement failed, the reply was prompt. “Chiner chairman amader chairman. Keno? (Chinese chairman is our chairman, why). That could never have worked,” said Khokan Majumdar, who was born Abdul Hamid and ran away from home in Naxalbari when 12 to escape the life of a bidi binder. He became a trade union leader in Kolkata.
The years of struggle and spending half their lives in jail have not dampened their spirit. “Those of us who had started… are almost over, old and dying now, today’s movement is internally divided… united front will help us consolidate,” said Majumdar with a smile on his wrinkled face.
They said the biggest hindrance for the organization to grow was “the emergence of a middle class that is hungry for power… it is a dangerous trait”. The other reason, both said, was the government’s development work, which is “satisfying the people for the time being”.

 

Let me tell you a story of this place Naxalbari


A capella version of Naxalbari at the poetry open mic that won the first prize, recently . A cappella music  (Italian for “in the manner of the chapel”  )is vocal music or singing without instrumental accompaniment, or a piece intended to be performed in this way.

This song speaks of the Naxal areas in and around Chattisgarh and how messed up things are for the tribal community with both the police forces and the naxalities exploiting and murdering them.

The song refers to soni sori, custodial torture and rape, Dr Binayak Sen, Anna Hazare and Irom Sharmila  among many others.
The song is sung by  Ashwini Mishra  a.k.a A-List has been a rap artist and performer since 2004 . Since then, he has performed on a number of platforms such as the St. Xaviers and Bhowanipore college fests in Kolkata as well hosted and performed at a number of hip hop shows in club BED.More recently, he opened for Zero and Parikrama at the MICA collegest fest- MICANVAS back in 2008 and has been performing at open mics across Mumbai over 2010. He performed as one half of rapper-drummer duo “Various Artists” at Concert By The Bay in January 2012.
Currently he is working on his second album as a follow up to his 2006 underground EP, “I can’t lose” which was launched in Kolkata.

A-List represents a conscious approach to hip hop, using the music to talk bout more than just nightclubs, alcohol references and skimpily clad women. This is reality rap.

 

For updates on more music/videos, follow

http://www.facebook.com/alistrap
http://www.twitter.com/alistrap
http://www.reverbnation.com/indianemcee

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