A leader whom all salute
Living all through in the commune, he was a perfectionist. For him Marxism was raison d'�tre and the only theory that guided him in all his actions....
Living all through in the commune, he was a perfectionist. For him Marxism was raison d'�tre and the only theory that guided him in all his actions. He was known for donating money that he had saved from his meagre party wage. He was its sole occupant in his last days Bansuri Veteran leader Samar Mukherjee, who died on Thursday at the ripe age of 100, was a freedom fighter and a foot soldier who rose to become the pillar of the Communist party, following seven decades of devoted and selfless service. A confirmed bachelor, he dedicated his entire life as a Communist to the cause of the working class and exploited sections of people in India. The widely revered Mukherjee represented a generation of Communist leaders who renounced creature comforts and remained wedded to the party and its core ideology. Mukherjee was born in Amta, Howrah district, on November 7, 1913 -- exactly four years before Lenin took power in Russia. Born before the October Revolution, he saw the formation and development of the Soviet movement and the Socialist camp. Although the Soviet Union got dismantled in 1991, Samar Mukherjee's faith and conviction in Marxism and socialism never wavered. Mukherjee was dismissed from school for protesting against the Simon Commission during the British rule and was jailed for taking part in the Civil Disobedience Movement. He completed his studies later. He was known among comrades and in various other circles as an exceptional, outstanding and dedicated Communist leader. As a parliamentarian, the articulate Mukherjee represented Howrah in the Lok Sabha for three consecutive terms between 1971 and 1984. He was elevated as the party's leader in the house and in parliament. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1986. He was a member of the West Bengal Assembly from 1957 to 1971. Mukherjee was a parliamentarian during tumultuous periods in Indian history, including Emergency, semi-fascist terror in Bengal and during the 'Golden period' (from 1977) when the Left Front established its governance of West Bengal. Mukherjee became a member of the undivided Communist Party of India (CPI) in 1940. Known for his simple and spartan lifestyle, Mukherjee left his family in 1940 to live in a party commune in south Kolkata's Dilkhusha Street (Howrah) to which he moved in 1965. Living all through in the commune, he was a perfectionist. For him Marxism was raison d'�tre and the only theory that guided him in all his actions. He was known for donating money that he had saved from his meagre party wage. He was its sole occupant in his last days. When the party split in 1964, he joined the CPI-M. Mukherjee served the party in multiple roles. He was the general secretary of its labour wing CITU, headed its refugee arm, and went on to become a member of the politburo and the central committee. He also chaired for long the party's disciplinary body -- the Central Control Commission. Samar was associated with the Railway Workers Movement and was the general secretary of the Center of Indian Trade Unions from 1983 to 1991. He was an office bearer of CITU since its formation and until his recent retirement from active work. He was thorough with the organisational principles of the party of the working class and educated several workers to become leaders. The party celebrated Mukherjee's birth centenary in November 2012. A biography of Mukherjee titled '100 Years of Samar Mukherjee: A Tribute' was released in Bengali and English on the occasion. The centenary celebrations itself constituted a tribute to the great leader. For, it was only the second time in the history of the CPI-M that the party officially celebrated the birthday of a leader. Muzaffar Ahmad, a stalwart of the country's Communist movement who died in 1973, is the only other leader whose birth anniversary has been observed since 1963. At Mukherjee's birth centenary celebrations, CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat recalled: "Most of (Samar) Mukherjee's salary and allowances as an MP would be taken over by the party; yet he would come to the party office every year to deposit a cheque for the party fund."