Kolkata : The 133rdbirth anniversary of ‘Kakababu’Muzaffar Ahmad, one of the pioneering figures of the communist movement of the Indian subcontinent since its inception, was observed in Kolkata on Thursday. Ahmad, fondly referred to as ‘Kakababu’ or ‘beloved uncle’ in Bengali, was among the tallest Left leaders in Bengal, who helped the communistparty tide over many a crises till his death in 1973. He was a central committee member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) at the time of his death.
As secretary of the Bengal provincial committee of the party, Ahmad was part of the turbulent pre-Independence period when the communist party was declared illegal on and offby British imperialists . He had been imprisonedfor large numberof years during his political life span from1920 to 1973 but was steadfast in his commitment to the progressive movement and later the communist movement . He was also imprisoned in the Meerut conspiracy case.
As part of the function on Thursday, which was held in Pramode Dasgupta Bhawan, the Muzzafar Ahmad Memorial Prize was handed over to two recipients this year -- Snigdhedu Bhattacharya for his book,Mission Bengal -- A Saffron Experiment, and Madhushri Bandhyapadhyafor his book in Bengali onPragitihas Bharatbarshe Parijan o Janogoshti Gathanon the progressive tradition in India.
Later, addressing a public meeting organisedwhile adhering to COVID-19 protocols, CPI(M) polit bureau member Biman Basusaid that communist movement leaders should emulate Ahmadand many other leaders, such as Abdul Halim, who led a spartarn life as whole-timers of the party. Recalling his time with Kakbabu during the 1964 riots in the state, Basu remembered how all the comrades spent nights in No 20 Harrison Road, the party’s district office, so and were on call to stop any untoward incident.
CPI(M)state secretary Surjyakanta Mishra said despite the last Assembly elections ( that saw a massive mandate for the Trinamool Congress and rout of the Left Front) people were seeking an alternative. He said while introspection and self-evaluation was a constant process and it was needed more after the last Assembly election results, which were nothing less than “devastation” of the Left parties.
Mishra said even people who had voted for TMC or BJP now want an alternative, adding that only in tough situations are people tempered like steel.
Mishra said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and TMC are not same, as the former is mentored by the fascist Rashtriya Sevak Sangh or RSS, but it was TMC leader Mamta Banerjee who had earlier given RSS the certificate of being “patriots”, and RSS mouthpiece,Panchajanya, had referred to her as ‘Devi Durga’.
Taking a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks on the economy showing signs of “green shoots”, Mishra said this government was hell bent on selling everything, from banks, insurance to defence sector production units .He said the sort of economic depression that the world was witnessing has not been seen since the past 140 years.
Speaking in the meeting,CPI(M) polit bureau member Mohd Salim said that each election was now a technological coup. He said the party’s detractors, be it on social media or mainstream media, were trying to constantly drive a wedge among its supporters.
On the positive side, Salim pointed out the good work being done by Red Volunteersin Bengal, right from being with the poor people in the times of distress, such as doing relief work after the cyclone, during the lockdown, during the pandemic as well as floods.