Adieu, Comrade Rajaram !

Comrade Rajaram passed away on 1 September at PMCH in Patna. A member of Bihar state standing committee of CPIML and a veteran of the 1974 movement, he was a member of the party's central committee for almost two and a half decades and then chairperson of the Central Control Commission for two terms. He was the founder general secretary of the Indian People's Front (IPF).

He was suffering from cough and fever along with urinary tract infection but his passing came as an unexpected blow to all.

A large number of people, members and leaders from various political streams, paid him tributes at the MLA quarters in Chhajjubagh. His last journey on 3 September was attended by thousands after a brief condolence meeting addressed by Comrades Dipankar Bhattacharya, Swadesh Bhattacharya and other leaders. Leaders from Left and Mahagathbandhan parties paid him tributes.

Life to the Revolution

Comrade Rajaram dedicated his life to the revolution. He began his life from Fatuha, a small town near Patna, and worked for the expansion of the party in many states including Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. He was also deputed in the party headquarters in Delhi for a long time. Simplicity in personal life and firmness in commitment were his basic qualities that will remain a source of inspiration for the younger comrades.

Comrade Rajaram started his political life when he was a student and joined left politics. Later he became an important figure during the 1974 students’ movement that began from Bihar.

He had left CPI(M) to join Comrade AK Roy in the early 1970s, and was arrested during the Emergency. After his release he joined the CPI(ML) and played a key role in founding the Indian People's Front and spreading the message of revolutionary democracy across the country. Subsequently as a member of the Central Committee of CPI(ML) he led the Party in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar.

During the 1974 movement he was brutally beaten up by police in Fatuha for leading the protest and sent to jail.

He was always in forefront of people's struggles. He was in the convening committee of Kisan Sabha in the 1980s. His  firm belief in the struggle for justice and rights for most oppressed classes, of dalits and peasants led him to dedicate his entire life to this cause. He played a vital role in bringing many leaders of various people's movements and intellectuals across the states on a common platform in the process of forming the Indian People's Front in early eighties.

In the 1984 elections, comrades Rajaram and Rajendra Patel had to face brutal feudal and police repression while they were campaigning in Hilsa. They were arrested and kept in shackles. At that time Karpuri Thakur had intervened against their torture in custody. They were released after seven months from jail.

Comrade Rajaram dedicated himself for the revolution, braving all odds. He always stood in solidarity with every kind of oppression and exploitation.

During the 1984 Anti-Sikh riots, he came to the streets to defence of the members of the Sikh community. For this, he was later honoured by the Gurudwara in Patna with a Saropa.  He worked in many states including Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, besides Bihar.

A large number of activists, leaders from various parties and members of civil society bade him farewell with raised fists and tearful eyes. Leaders from Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi attended his last journey.

CPIML General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, Politburo members Swadesh Bhattacharya, Manoj Bhakt, Janardan Prasad, Amar, Dhirendra Jha, Mina Tiwari, Shashi Yadav, Bihar state secretary Kunal, Ex-MP Rameshwar Prasad, KD Yadav, Prabhat Kumar, Nandkishore Prasad, leaders of various mass organisations and activists, comrade Sangita, partner of comrade Rajaram, and Abhishek, his son along with other family members paid floral tributes.

CPI state secretary Ramnaresh Pandey, CPM’s Arun Mishra, RJD leader and ex-Speaker of Bihar Assembly Uday Narayan Chaudhary, Congress leader Mohan Sharma, eminent journalist Shrikant, ex-MLAs KD Yadav and NK Nanda and many personalities from left and democratic movements attended the funeral procession.

Comrade Dipankar said in his address we have lost a very experienced and committed leader. Comrade Rajaram’s sudden passing is very shocking and a great loss for the democratic movement at this crucial juncture. His legacy will live forever among communists and soldiers of anti-fascist struggle in India.

Uday Narayan Chaudhary said he was acquainted with comrade Rajaram in 1982-83 and since then this association continued in various ways, that he also received CPIML magazines through him. Now is time to take a pledge to follow the path of Rajaram and learn from his life which was dedicated to the struggle for justice to the most deprived and oppressed people in the society. Ramnaresh Pandey, Arun Mishra and Abhishek Kumar also addressed the condolence meeting. KD Yadav recalled his 52 years’ long camaraderie with Rajaram and said he was a strong pillar of the CPIML. His commitment for social transformation never waned away.

Comrade Rajaram was elected general secretary of the Indian People’s Front in its founding conference in 1982. He had led many people’s struggles braving state repression and jail terms.

CPIML downed its flag at half-mast in his honour. We pay our deep condolences to Comrade Sangeeta, Comrade Abhishek and other bereaved members of his family. Comrade Rajaram's legacy will live on and continue to inspire communists and other anti-fascist fighters in every sphere of struggle.

Red Salute to Comrade Rajaram.

Adieu, Comrade Rajaram