Comrade Sankar Saha, member of the Polit Bureau of the Central Committee of Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) and President, AIUTUC breathed his last on 31 May 2021 at 8.10 am at Calcutta Heart Clinic and Hospital after prolonged illness. He was 81.
Born in the year 1940 at Nagarpur of Mymensingh district of the then undivided Bengal, Comrade Sankar Saha graduated from the University of Calcutta, both in arts and commerce. He came in touch with Marxism – Leninism- Shibdas Ghosh Thought and in contact with the SUCI (Communist), the genuine revolutionary party of the proletariat in our country in the early 1960s through Comrade Swapan Roy Chowdhury and decided to dedicate himself to the cause of working class revolution. Within a short period of time he got associated with the working class movements and the AIUTUC, the only revolutionary trade union organization in our country.
Comrade Sankar Saha was elected as the member of the Central Committee of SUCI (Communist) in 2009 at the Second Congress of our Party in Delhi and became member of the Politburo of the Central Committee in the year 2018 after the Third Party Congress held at Ghatsila. He was looking after the Party organizations of Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and some other states from the Central Committee of the Party.
In the year 1991, Comrade Saha was elected as the West Bengal State Secretary of AIUTUC in the state Conference held at Santaldihi. Thereafter, he became the General Secretary of the organization in the year 2006. Subsequently he was elected as the All India General Secretary of AIUTUC successively in the All India Conferences of 2008 and 2013 held in Delhi and Bangalore, respectively. He was then elected as the President of AIUTUC in the year 2020 in the All India Conference of AIUTUC held at Dhanbad, Jharkhand. During this long period, Guided by the revolutionary thoughts of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, Comrade Sankar Saha reared and steered the trade union organisation AIUTUC as an instrument of class struggle for the emancipation of the working people from the yoke of exploitative capitalist system. He fought relentlessly to free the working class movements and the trade union organization from the vile influences of economism – reformism – legalism and all sorts of petty bourgeois opportunism.
Because of his vast and immensely enriched experiences in the trade union movements in course of prolonged period of struggles, Comrade Saha represented AIUTUC in many important labour committees. He was a member of the National Social Security Board, member of the Central Advisory Board (CAB) of the Minimum Wages Act 1948, member of the Board of Governors of National Safety Council, and member of the National Productivity Council. He was also a member of the ESI Corporation and for a long period he was an important member of Central Board of Trustees (CBT) of Employee’s Provident Fund Organization. He also represented AIUTUC in different such committees at different times.
Comrade Sankar Saha also played a distinguished role in carrying abroad the revolutionary thoughts of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh as part of his unflinching obligation to Proletarian Internationalism. He represented AIUTUC in the 16th International Congress of World Federations of Trade Unions (WFTU) in Athens of Greece in April 2011 and also the 17th International Congress of WFTU in Durban of South Africa in October 2016. He was a member of the ILO Convention Committee and was nominated from AIUTUC as a member of the Workers Delegation in the International Labour Conference of ILO for 15 years in its annual sessions at Geneva of Switzerland. He attended the Conference of Bangladesh Workers and Employees Federation in October 2019.
Following the great teaching of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh that revolutionary politics calls for nobler feelings of heart, Comrade Saha could develop himself as a beloved leader close to the hearts of the downtrodden working people and also of the comrades of different ranks within the organization. He possessed a pleasing personality and a character blended with many qualities. People of different walks of life, leaders of other organizations of our country including those of international repute and even well placed men in the administration where he had a definite weight to bear also held him in highest esteem because of his characteristic honesty to the core and reflecting firm ideological commitment in his life struggle. This created a penetrating impact on all sections and all strata of the people.
Though he was a highly popular leader by virtue of his qualities accepted by all and sundry, he was free from any sort of populism. He fought within the organization relentlessly to eradicate trends of populism, self-styled projections, self-advertisement to earn cheap popularity, in howsoever subtle and sophisticated manner that may manifest and one may fall victim of it. He was well-versed with the labour laws and guided the organization in the legal battles of the working people against the employers and the government but at the same time fought the trends and vices of bourgeois legalism which confines the working class consciousness and their movements within the ambit of the existing bourgeois framework.
Comrade Sankar Saha was the epitome of unity within the organization and guided the comrades with unimaginable patience, prudence and revolutionary purposiveness to build up the working class movements on the edifice of higher culture.
The sad demise of Comrade Sankar Saha is a big loss to our Party and the working class of our country lost a front ranking beloved revolutionary leader.
The Central Committee of the Party pays heartfelt tribute to the decades long illustrious struggle of Comrade Sankar Saha and observes solemnly one minute silence as a mark of respect to him.
Red Salute to Comrade Sankar Saha!
Long Live SUCI (Communist)!
Red Salute to Comrade Shibdas Ghosh!