Solidarity Visit to Comrade TP Chandrasekharan’s Family
A JNU Students’ Union team comprising JNUSU President Sucheta
De and JNUSU Councillor Shivani (both elected from All India Students’ Association – AISA) visited the family of martyred comrade TP Chandrashekharan on 1 June. They were accompanied by JNU students from Kerala, Lal and Sharad.
CPI(ML) Liberation Central Committee member Kavita Krishnan from Delhi also accompanied the team. They met with Comrade TPC’s wife Rema and his son, as well as his mother and other family members, and expressed heartfelt condolences.
The JNUSU leaders and Comrade Kavita Krishnan addressed a press meet on 2 June. On the evening of 2 June, they addressed a memorial meeting for Comrade TPC organised at Kodangallur in Thrissur district. In spite of the late hour and rainy weather, hundreds of people had gathered for the meeting. They listened intently as JNUSU President Sucheta De addressed them, saying that JNU students and well-wishers of the Left in Delhi were outraged at the murder and also at the attempts by CPI(M) to tarnish the memory of Comrade TP Chandrasekharan. Left Coordination Committee Secretary K S Hariharan's moving speech had a tremendous impact on the gathering. CPI(ML) leader Comrade Kavita too addressed the gathering.
On 3 June, the Left Coordination Committee (Edathupaksha Ekopana Samiti) and Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) had organised a Communist Sangamam (meeting) at the Nalanda Hall in Kozhikode. Hundreds of comrades – not only from the RMP and LCC but also those who had hitherto been in the ranks of the CPI(M) – gathered at the meeting. They hoisted the red flag at the venue and raised slogans. The prevailing mood was to assert that the communist movement and red flag can have nothing to do with the politics of barbaric murder. Right at the beginning of the meeting, the video visualisation of a poem by noted exponent of Kerala's traditional Sopaana Sangeetham, Njeralath Hari Govindan, in memory of Comrade TP Chandrasekharan, was screened. This beautiful poem and its musical visualisation had a great emotional impact on the packed hall.
On the dais were seated communist veteran ‘Berlin' Kunhananthan Nair, who has the distinction of having attended the CPI's first Party Congress in 1943; LCC Secretary Comrade KS Hariharan; Comrade TP Chandrashekhar's 17-year-old son Abhinandan; RMP's Onchiyam Secretary Comrade N. Venu; well-known writer N. Sugathan; K.C. Umesh Babu, poet and political activist; CPI(ML) Central Committee member Kavita Krishnan, JNUSU President Sucheta De and JNUSU's Councillor from School of Social Sciences, Shivani Nag. The meeting was presided over by LCC President Comrade P Kumaran Kutty.
Addressing the gathering, 'Berlin' Kunhananthan Nair observed that the CPI(M) had degenerated into a party of a 'corporate' character. He commented on the tremendous popular goodwill enjoyed by VS Achuthanandan's gesture of visiting Comrade TPC's family in Onchiyam the previous day, even as the official CPI(M) continued to call TPC and his party 'traitors.'
Comrade Kumaran Kutty commented on the way in which CPI(M) leaders were intimidating the police, saying that this in itself exposes that CPI(M) has a lot to fear from the investigation into the murder.
Kavita Krishnan greeted the gathering of communists on behalf of the CPI(ML) and the All India Left Coordination (AILC). She said that the CPI(M) is trying in vain to justify the murder by branding Comrade Chandrasekharan as a 'traitor' and a 'parliamentary opportunist.' However, it is Comrade TPC and others like him who embody the true communist spirit. They left the comforts, power, and parliamentary prospects of a party like CPI(M) – not to join the UDF or Congress, but to brave all the dangers and discomforts in order to defend the red flag. She reminded comrades of how in 1993 the CPI(M) had burnt alive 5 agricultural labourers in Karanda (West Bengal) on the day of panchayat polls, because they had left CPI(M) to join CPI(ML). She said that true tribute could be paid to Comrade TPC's memory by continuing his efforts to build a genuine Left alternative to the degenerate CPI(M) in Kerala and in the country.
JNUSU President Sucheta De said that students in JNU are outraged that the CPI(M) has killed a honest, brave, and committed Left leader who dared to challenge them. She shared the experience of JNU, where the SFI arrogantly defended Singur, Nandigram and other indefensible crimes by CPI(M), confident that JNU would remain its bastion. But JNU students overwhelmingly and repeatedly rejected SFI and opted for AISA, and in the process the Left base among students expanded. She expressed the confidence that young comrades and genuine well-wishers of the Left would reject the CPI(M) and would strengthen the effort to build a genuine revolutionary left platform inside Kerala and in the country.
Shivani Nag, addressing the gathering, said that she was struck by the fact that when they visited Onchiyam, Comrade TPC's young son greeted them with a 'Laal Salaam (Red Salute).' Clearly he did not associate the Red Flag and Red Salute with his father's killers, but rather with his father's own efforts to leave the CPI(M) and build a fledgling revolutionary Left party. She said that the defeat of the CPI(M) in West Bengal and Kerala did not signify a rejection of the Left values and politics, rather it was a rejection of the pro-corporate and anti-people policies of the CPI(M). In West Bengal, she said, the right-wing autocratic TMC regime had come to power, but genuine Left forces were mobilising against the all-out attack on democracy and the Left by the TMC. She called for the urgent need to build a Left alternative in the country, that would reject the CPI(M)'s politics of violently and brutally murdering dissenting voices – be they Comrades like TPC or peasants of Singur and Nandigram.
In Kerala, it is very apparent that the common people and even the Left rank and file are completely in sympathy with Comrade TPC's family and his party – and are totally unwilling to swallow the CPI(M)'s denials, threats, and its position that Comrade TPC was a right-wing renegade.
[This note has been kindly made available by
Member,Central Committee,CPI(ML) and a member of the editorial board of Liberation monthly ,which is the central organ of CPI(ML). She is also Secretary, All India Progressive Womens Assossiation AIPWA ]