Remembering Prof Banwari Lal Sharma
All of us who ever met the affable, down-to-earth Prof Banwari Lal Sharma, and were infected with the inexhaustible fighting spirit, never ending kind feelings for all comrades and struggle groups, uncompromising commitments to deprived people's causes -- got a harsh shock this morning, when we learned that Prof Sharma is no more. He breathed his last at Chandigarh early this morning.
Prof Banwarilal Sharma, the National Convenor of Azadi Bachao Andolan, "was an indefatigable activist who was our mentor and dearest friend, who inspired us and led us into so many action programs against the onslaught of multinational corporations on India".
A well known mathematics professor in earlier yaers - who taught in India & France, he was also in the forefront of the country-wide anti-nuclear struggles, often travelling the length & breadth of India -- in sleeper class coaches even in the peak of summer -- to bring different movement people together in common cause, to inspire & lead the National anti-nuk Yatras against the Jaitapur and Kudankulam NPPs, and was deeply involved in all other such movements. He was also the architect of one of the adivaasi resistant movements to corporate coal mining efforts in the tribal belts in Jharkhand, and brought adivaasi rights to the fore.
He pushed himself too hard - often ignoring the realities of his advanced age and the heart condition. For him, the massive aggression of the corporate-Govt nexus that is devastating both marginalised people & nature, was a far higher priority.
It is a huge shock, but the hope is, the brightly shining light that was Prof B L Sharma and the call of Azadi Bachao that he carried -- will keep inspiring us all to do more, to give more and never to compromise.