A Tribute

Raj Kishore

Harsh Thakor

Raj Kishore breathed his last in the morning on December 22, 2021 in his village in Champaran, battling illness since 2014.At the time of death he was 89. He devoted his entire energy when alive into the liberation of oppressed masses. Even a non -Maoist or non- Marxist liberal may admire his contribution towards serving the people.

Raj Inshore sowed the seeds of the revolutionary Cultural Movement in Bihar through the Krantikari Budhijibi Sangh, pursuing the trend of the Maoist Communist Centre. With most sensitive touch, iron determination and meticulous insight he steered all the revolutionary forces and classes and knit them into a single organisation. Some of the finest writings by intellectuals were produced under Raj Kishore's tutelage projecting how the peasantry was entrapped by the forces of semi-feudalism and caste hierarchy and how women were still enslaved. Plays were written portraying how medieval landlordism was still an integral part of the system and projecting how Mao thought was still relevant. Few writers of Bihar more incisively defended the ideology of Mao tse Tung .He was one of the major architects of the All India League for Revolutionary Culture in 1983 in Delhi ,which was a historic event in the Indian revolutionary Movement. Here mass organisations united belonging to the trends of the CPI (ML) People’s War and Maoist Communist Centre. One can't forget the close relations he had with communist revolutionaries like Varavara Rao and Sanober of Maharashtra. He dipped his pen in Jan Jwar to defend the armed resistance waged by the Maoist Communist Centre through Krantikari Kisan Commitees to deliver a shattering blow to the armed senas (vigilante groups) of the upper castes portray the mass programmes of the fronts of students, youth, peasants and artists as well as defend Maoism after the fall of USSR. Raj Kishore unlike many in the Revolutionary Maoist contingent, defended Stalin tooth and nail .Few intellectuals so illustratively defended the Chinese revolution and its achievements on the 50th anniversary in 1999.Few more artistically portrayed the Chinese Red army and Mao's teachings leading the Chinese Revolution. Raj Kishore also through publications disseminated many of the teachings of Marx, Lenin and Mao. Raj Kishore inspired the formation of the Revolutionary Students League, the first student organisation in Bihar which emulated the line of the Andhra Pradesh Radical Students Union. Raj Kishore enabled the mass revolutionary movements to move with the flow of water, in spite of facing the most hazardous obstacles.

In 2005, after formation of the Revolutionary Democratic Front with the merger of All India People’s Resistance Front and Struggling Forum for People’s Resistance Raj Kishore was appointed secretary of the newly formed front. It was formed as a platform to defend the anti- imperialist and anti-feudal movements. No mass front contributed in such magnitude to defend the revolutionary movement against proto-fascism or give solidarity to the armed resistance struggles. Most courageously it challenged the autocracy of the Indian state in Kashmir and forged a front with organisations struggling for the self-determination of Kashmir.The RDF was a precursor to the Committee for the Release of Political prisoners headed by Amit Bhattachrya and late Gursharan Singh.It sponsored or gave solidarity many a platform to confront autocracy, assisting oppressed sections to organise themselves .

Raj Kishore as a leader left no stone unturned in garnering all the democratic forces to challenge oppression on Muslims, Operation Green Hunt, American War Mongering and caste oppression. With great fortitude he led the Revolutionary Democratic Front to stage its inaugural conference in Hyderabad which was an event of historic significance. In spite of facing the hurdles of unofficial ban the cadres all around the country in areas like Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Telengana staged state level conferences.

Raj Kishore was the editor of Jan Pratirodh, which flashed it's pages portraying the genuine mass struggles in all spheres, and published many an article condemning Brahmanical fascism. Raj Kishore as leader of RDF, also played a laudable role in the movement to release political prisoners framed, particularly on Maoists and Muslim activists.

Back to Home Page

Vol 54, No. 35, Feb 27 - March 5, 2022