Remembering Vaskar Nandy


A meeting to commemorate the memory of Vaskar Nandy, the deceased CPI(M-L) leader (1939-2018) who breathed his last on 4 May after a long struggle with the fatal cancer disease, was held on 11 June at Moulali Yuva Kendra, Kolkata. The meeting was presided over by Subhas Deb, and the proceedings were conducted by Sailen Bhattacharya. Both of them were political colleagues of Vaskar Nandy. The meeting was fairly well attended, and besides representatives of various organisations, quite a number of political activists, intellectuals, cultural workers etc came to pay tribute to Vaskar Nandy. Those who spoke included Arup Vaishya, Ashim Chatterjee, Aloke Mukherjee, Kartik Pal, Pradip Singh Thakur, Sushanta Jha, Samudra Datta, Sailen Misra and several other persons, including a young student organiser. Wreaths were placed on Vaskar Nandy's photograph by many persons, including the editor of Frontier. His last piece of writing, along with an obituary, was circulated in limited number in the form of a pamphlet by the monthly Purbasha Ekhan. The audience was enchanted with songs by Pritthi Ranjan Dasgupta and Lalan, a cultural group.

In some of the speeches, there was some degree of discussions on the personal qualities of the deceased. These discussions were not irrelevant. But others touched more concrete considerations of the present. Notwithstanding differences in emphasis, one common point stressed by several speakers was the necessity for united action against the forces of communal fascism now striding the country. It showed that the organisations belonging to the far left were getting serious about the task of the hour and hence trying to rise above their differences over finer points. Thus, the memorial meeting transcended the limit of formality and ended with a note of hope and optimism, because the sentiments of the democratic people and blood of martyrs demand unity of action, not petty factionalism.

Vol. 50, No.51, June 24 - 30, 2018