The Constant Struggle to Mould Herself Following the Teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Helped Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya Acquire the Higher Qualities of a Revolutionary Character Comrade Provash Ghosh’s speech at the Memorial Meeting on 4 June, 2018

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I have to speak with a heavy heart burdened with the deep pain of losing a dear comrade. This is a difficult task. Particularly, when we, who are old in age, face the pain of the demise of a younger comrade it is all the more unbearable. But I have resolved to strictly control and restrain my emotion and shall try to place a few points before you.

You know that our party is not just a political organization. The great Marxist thinker Comrade Shibdas Ghosh built up this party with revolutionary objective and following a further developed method on the basis of Marxism-Leninism-Proletarian Internationalism and a higher revolutionary culture, with the object of creating a completely new band of men. Amidst the encircling environment of darkness he had illumined for us the new path to acquire a true human character. It is his teaching that this is a task reflecting to higher emotion of the heart, and a work of love. The revolutionary struggle of our Party is for the emancipation of the exploited people, and it flows from the love for the people. Today, when due to the acute crisis in social values family life and social life are breaking down, when love and finer emotions are getting destroyed, our Party is growing up like a family bound together by the bonds of a new type of love, based on a higher form of proletarian culture. In this family when some younger member who had still much to contribute to revolutionary movement passes away, that causes even greater pain.

I think that all of you know Pranati Bhattacharya by name. You also know about the post she held in the party and the responsibility that she discharged. But except for very few leaders and party workers, the rest of you had no opportunity to directly know her. I own to that onus and am deeply sorry for it. A junior comrade Sushmita on first hearing a brief discussion by her at the Shibpur Party Centre asked me after her demise, “Why didn’t you send Pranatidi for discussions to different places? She explains the matter in such a simple and easy way that it touches the heart.” This is my remorse also. I was contemplating to send her to different districts, different states, so that others would come to know and appreciate such a character. Just then her killer disease was diagnosed. So I did not have the opportunity. I repent, why did I not take this step earlier !

I shall say a few words to make you acquainted with Pranati Bhattacharya who is not known to many of you. I am in full agreement with the points mentioned in the condolence resolution, and in the touching tribute of the revolutionary leader from Bangladesh, Comrade Mobinul Haider Chowdhury.  What I shall speak about is based on my impressions about her; I have also collected information from others who intimately knew her and concluded my impressions are correct and I have also come to know some new facts about her which were not known earlier. I do not know whether I shall be able to cover everything in this talk, but I shall try. I need to mention that I used to visit Purulia District only seldom. I saw Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya sitting with many others in the students’ meetings. It took me some time to know and appreciate qualities of Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya. The leaders who preceded me and used to go there regularly did love her and had affection for her. May be, her qualities had not developed then, or were not apparent to them.

The childhood, adolescence and youth of Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya were spent in West Bengal in a different environment. The world socialist camp was in existence, there was a strong influence of the international communist movement, the current of anti-imperialist movement was strong, and in West Bengal the influence of leftism existed. I am talking about 1967-68 period. Comrade Ranjitda has reminded me to mention that she was born in a poor, non-descript rural family in the backward and unknown village in the poorest and most backward district of Purulia. Whatever be the reason, the influence of the Renaissance, the freedom movement and religious values was working within the family. Pranati Bhattacharya had deep respect for her parents. They had higher taste and culture. There was an atmosphere of cultivation of literature and music in the family. Her mental make-up was built up in this environment. The party organization in Purulia was built up by the departed leader Comrade Pritish Chanda. On one hand he established contacts among the railways workers at Adra, and on the other hand he was also building up party organization at Arsha and Bagmundi. Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya came in contact with Comrade Pritish Chanda through Comrade Nirmal Mandal, former Purulia District Secretary of our party. I first met Comrade Pranati in 1968. I went to Jiaganj in Murshidabad District for a students’ meeting of DSO. Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya brought a few students to that meeting. Because of financial hardship she was sent to her elder sister’s home for studies. From her expressions I could feel her dedication and a desire to do something, but could not sense anything more than that. In those days the party organization in Jiaganj was very weak. I told the then District Secretary of Murshidabad, Comrade Prangour Basak, to nurture her, because the local party organization would not be able to do it. Soon after, Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya went back to Purulia. From time to time I saw her in the students’ programmes. My visits were very few. Then departed leader Comrade Sukomal Dasgupta used to look after the Purulia District. Comrade Ranjit Dhar also went from time to time; so did departed leader Comrade Ashutosh Banerjee. For her characteristic quality all looked at her as a dedicated party worker, loved her, had affection for her. There is one class of comrades who like to come close to the leadership, have many talks with them, and want to be intimate with them. But Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya used to attend the meetings, listened intently and worked dedicatedly. But it was not in her habit to come close to the leaders, to become intimate – probably because of this all her qualities escaped the notice of the then leaders. When I was elected as the State Secretary, Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya was elected as a member of the Purulia District Committee. Comrades know that being the State Secretary I did not move in the different districts as much as I did earlier. Since Comrade Nihar Mukherjee became the General Secretary, almost from the beginning he was stricken with illness. Continuous mass movements were going on one after another in West Bengal; many comrades became martyrs to the CPI(M) violence. In the midst of all these I became largely Calcutta-centric. In 2002-03 I attended a Purulia District Committee meeting on some organizational problems, and I noticed for the first time her grasp of the objective reality on organizational matters, her concern for the junior comrades and being at the same time polite but logically forceful while expressing differences with senior comrades. This was the first time I got attracted observing all these. And I developed expectations about her. At that time the Purulia District Committee was beset with many problems. The then District Secretary was suffering from illness. We, the leaders, were thinking about what to do. In 2006 I proposed that let Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya be given the responsibility of the district. Our senior leadership loved her very much, had great affection for her. But they had doubts whether as a junior comrade she could discharge the responsibility as the leader of other senior comrades under whom she worked earlier. In the end I sought the opinion of departed respected General Secretary Comrade Nihar Mukherjee. After listening to the details Comrade Nihar Mukherjee gave his consent. The work she did as District Secretary after this, winning over the senior and junior comrades, is praiseworthy and exemplary. Earlier there was no coordination in the work of two parts of the Purulia district. When Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya became the Secretary, for the first time under the leadership of a united District Committee combining the two parts started the organizational work in a coordinated way. Earlier there was a deficiency in keeping regular contacts among the comrades and there was a longing among the comrades for mutual love and respect. Now they got a secretary who shared their joys and sorrows of daily life and who won over all by love and compassion and became like a mother to the party workers of the district. Those who were her seniors under whom she had worked earlier also had no hesitation in accepting her leadership. They looked upon her with affection and trust. I have heard that in the District Committee meetings she would give recognition as colleagues to those who were like her sons or daughters and would behave with the seniors like their younger sister and would listen to everybody before coming to a decision. This is not an easy matter. She carried the revolutionary teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh in her heart, expressed unquestioned allegiance to the party and the leadership, and on her own initiative started working for building up the organization and mass movements; with boundless love for all the party comrades and the oppressed people, and through her dedication, smooth flowing work style, and by her firm, strong personality, dignity and courteous behaviour reflecting a high standard of culture she won over many both inside the party and outside.

I want to stress one point here. She is a very educative example for you and also for us who are sitting on the dais.  Many comrades have said, and it is my observation also, that a great quality of her character was that by looking at her no one could perceive that she was a District Secretary, a State Committee member, a State Secretariat member, and later a staff member. There was no change in her behaviour, demeanour, actions and life-style before and after becoming a leader. She was near and dear to one and all, a person with whom they could share their joys and sorrows, to whom they could unburden all their feelings. This was a great side of her character. We should all learn from this. She never wanted to be a leader, never thought about which Committee she was in, never had any question about who was getting importance and who not. She was immersed in her work. This is the quality of a true leader. It is a fact that when she was first included in the State Committee she asked, “Am I qualified for this?” I told her, “You have to prove that you are qualified.” I saw tears in her eyes when her staff membership was announced in the Second Party Congress at Delhi. Comrade Nihar Mukherjee made the decision that some of the then existing staff members had lost their qualification to be staff members any more. Late Comrade Protiva Mukherjee lost her staff membership. When her name was announced as a staff member Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya was found piteously weeping holding Protiva Mukherjee in an embrace. I observed it from the dais. Later Comrade Protiva Mukherjee also told me. On this issue I want to tell that who among the existing staff members would retain the membership and who would lose was decided by Comrade Nihar Mukherjee himself. He asked for some new names from us. Regarding some of the names he raised questions and did not agree. When Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya’s name came up his face lit up. This is still vivid to me.  He only said, “Call her here, I want to see her.” I realized that she had a place in his heart also. There was not a trace of ego, vanity or self-projection in her, boasting “I am a leader.” This is the sign of a true leader. When she was bedridden, she was included in the Central Committee. Hesitantly she told Comrade Saumen Basu, “Why have you made this decision? What qualification do I have? What more will I be able to give to the party?”

What I want to stress is that no leader of our level nurtured her, looked after her, gave her daily guidance to build her up. Her own constant struggle to mould herself on the basis of the teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh elevated her to this stature. We all know that both internal contradiction and external contradiction act for the development of everybody. External contradiction acts successfully if the internal contradiction responds. Many times it is seen that that one whose qualities I am trying to improve is not responding properly even though the person is very close to me. On the contrary there are some who are far from us, meaning from the leaders, but have read the works of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh or heard his speech, have heard valuable discussions by the leaders, have culled from them and have thoroughly assimilated them. Such a struggle to build oneself up also helps one to achieve higher standard. This is what happened in the case of Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya. ‘’ To know one thing, but to behave otherwise, talk otherwise” – she was not like that. It is not that she did not make any mistake. Mistakes do happen with everybody. But there was no negligence on her part for rectification, when she by herself recognized the mistake or when someone else pointed it out to her. This is another educative point for all.

I had the opportunity to closely interact with her since 2006. It is true that afterwards she became very close to me. She had a great thirst for knowledge. In the beginning she did not do much reading. Later she read very thoroughly and carefully. When she had any queries she used to ask over telephone or would come to Calcutta. When she could not come to Calcutta, 2-3 times a week she would surely telephone me and inform me about many developments, would seek my advice or would want to know about some theoretical topics. She had a deep understanding about philosophy, politics, national and international situations, and all such topics. Her theoretical knowledge, being blended with finer emotions and higher culture, was expressed in such a simple way that the theory did not dazzle. She could penetrate deeply into a person’s innermost recesses. All have remarked about her simplicity and her easy effortless style. Many have the mistaken notion that if one is simple, that means that he or she is a simpleton. This is not at all correct. If one is less intelligent, he or she has one type of simplicity. But a wise, highly intelligent man is also simple, of a different type. Intelligence is not an inborn quality. Intelligence is an acquired ability to judge logically. If intelligence is guided by the correct ideology, then it is creative and beneficial. But if intelligence is led astray, is guided by personal interest, then it is nothing but shrewdness or cleverness and is harmful or evil. If one is very intelligent and simple then he can grasp a complex matter in a simple way and can express it also in a simple manner. She had this ability, though she was not usually vocal in presence of higher leadership, senior comrades. She listened carefully with an attitude of learning. That is why many senior leaders could not gauge her level of knowledge. To the juniors she would explain the essential points in a simple way with very few words.

It does not always happen that one who is a party leader is also a mass leader. If that happens the roles of both of them become more effective.  A party leader provides guidance to the party workers, directs them, conducts committee work, throws up programmes, looks after the inner life of the party, maintains the party discipline. A mass leader mobilizes the people, builds up mass movements. Hence not all party leaders become mass leaders. On the other hand a mass leader may not automatically acquire the ability to be a party leader. A mass leader may be a trade union leader, a women’s leader, a youth leader, a students’ leader, the President or Secretary of a mass organization – but they are all proclaimed leaders. Another type of leaders intimately mixes with the masses, becomes one with the poor people, shares their joys and sorrows, gets accepted almost as a family member, mobilizes them to launch various protest movements, and in this way wins their heart and thereby evolves as their leader. This is not an easy matter. This is how Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya became a leader of the people of Purulia District. Hence when her cortege reached Purulia thousands of people assembled with tears in their eyes. She had open entry into any household, in the slums, in tribal quarters, in Muslim quarters. People felt she was one of them. In Purulia District she was held in high esteem by all – the poor, the educated and the illiterate. The leaders and workers of other parties also had respect for her in spite of political differences. In times of adversity or trouble she would rush to them. Whenever there was any injustice or oppression she would jump to protest, irrespective of whether she had anyone with her or not, whether anyone called her or not, whether instructions came or not. Some such protest movements are mentioned in the condolence resolution, but these are not enough.

The common people of all strata rushed unhesitatingly to her with their problems, be it family distress, or deep pain in women’s life, or problems between husband and wife, or problems with children.  She had won a permanent place in the hearts of countless such people. During train journey, or bus journey, or morning walk, or while waiting at the railway station and sipping tea, – everywhere she would enter into discussions with the public on diverse topics. Through all her discussions, the party SUCI (Communist) would be carried to the people, her teacher and guide Comrade Shibdas Ghosh would be carried to the people. There are many comrades who mix with the public, conduct movements and gain personal popularity, but in a natural way the party and the leadership would not become popular. Only they can do it for the party for whom revolution and revolutionary party is the only life; they do not have any separate sense of self-identity. I can say with conviction that in Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya at least I did not find any sense of personal desire or want.

She criticized the lapses or defects of comrades, but many comrades have tearfully written to me that they did not feel the slightest sense of hurt from such criticisms. Her criticism was blended with love and affection. And she herself was ready to accept criticisms from others. She would easily own up her mistakes even to the juniors. She would learn from seniors and juniors alike. If someone talked hurting her, it was not in her character to hit back. On the contrary with love she drew that person closer. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh wanted such qualities for a revolutionary character, and Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya did acquire many of these qualities through unwavering struggle, and these became an integral part of her character in a natural and effortless manner. It is not an easy task to conduct such a struggle to totally remould oneself. Wherever she went she left a lasting impression. In Bankura District there were many problems, there were problems of understanding between the leaders and between the party workers. Those who were earlier in the responsibility could not resolve all the problems. Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya was given the responsibility. Here she played a very important and effective role. Her sphere of activities was limited to Bankura and Purulia Districts. Working within this small area she proved her great ability. No speech or writing of hers was published in party organs. She was not known through these. But the glow of her sparkling high character spread beyond the boundaries of the two districts.

Comrade Shibdas Ghosh wanted that the women in our party should not develop as feminine persons, but as true and worthy human beings. Being fettered by the male-dominated society, women suffer from inferiority complex, subservience to the male, lack of self confidence, weakness towards husband and children, and narrow-mindedness – Comrade Ghosh wanted women to come out of these and develop themselves as strong and powerful characters. This was his dream. I am sad that Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya knew Comrade Shibdas Ghosh only from a distance. Comrade Ghosh did not know Comrade Pranati intimately. There were a few women comrades in the Purulia District in those days who outwardly appeared to be promising. The leaders of those days brought them to meet Comrade Ghosh. But they could not advance very far in the difficult revolutionary struggle. But Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya did not get this opportunity. I have already told you the reason. She used to work silently with low profile. Outwardly it was difficult to gauge her promise; moreover she was somewhat shy at that time. Had Comrade Ghosh met her he would have been very happy and delighted. She was a woman but there was no trace of the so-called feminine traits. With kindness and firmness she possessed a humane attractive personality.

At that time Comrade Swapan Ghosh left his job and became a whole-timer. The party centre was going through great hardship; the party also did not have the financial strength. The neighbours helped a bit. Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya used to move through the whole town on foot. I have heard from the comrades that throughout the day Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya would move from locality to locality doing party work. After returning to the centre, as the only female comrade she would do the household work at the centre. There was privation and penury, but these did not affect her in the least. Singing songs, reciting poems, with great joy she worked without break.

Comrade Bulbul Aich has wonderfully expressed  the beauty she witnessed in the married life of Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya – it was not possible to guess who was her husband, who was her child. I fully agree with her thought. Pranati Bhattacharya’s approach to married life and to her child was exemplary. She brought up her child by leaving him in others’ homes in the slums, in the locality, while she was going out for party work.  I want to tell you in this context that she was fighting the killer disease for two years, but not for once did she say that she wanted to see her son. She called other comrades to meet her and enquired about the party work. She knew that death was knocking at the door, and she prepared the comrades mentally and organizationally to face that eventuality. But she never said, “I would like to meet my son.” It would not have been wrong had she asked for it. This would have been natural. One day I asked her, “Shall I call for your son?” She replied, “No, he is doing party work, let him learn how to work. What will he do here?” What a splendid example is such a mental attitude for a mother on the death bed. This is an invaluable treasure, a creation of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh’s teaching. Her child is also like that. He also did never say, “I want to be with my mother.” I summoned him twice. He came to meet her and went back. Two days before her death I called him. He came, met her and said, “I am going back, I have to look after the comrades there; the funeral arrangements have to be made.” I hope that the son would live up to the dream of his mother, become great in character. She has reared up a number of such young children with mother’s love.   Sometimes a child became wayward, and the parents felt helpless and worried; there are instances when such a child was sent to Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya; through her magical healing touch of love and affection the child was totally transformed. I hope that such children will honour her love and will shoulder big responsibilities for the party. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh wanted such impersonal, ethical motherhood. His call to the women was, “Be like Bindu and Narayani of Saratchandra`s literature.” Such ethical motherhood was personified in Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya. I tell it with conviction. Nowhere did she make any self-projection that she did all these things. Only a few days before her death she met and provided a valuable guideline to a newly married couple to whom she was close and affectionate. They told me about it. I hope that they also would honour her guideline.

I am touching upon another point. I have noticed that she never complained about any comrade. Her only complains were against herself, “Why can’t I work in a better way? Comrade Shibdas Ghosh taught so many great lessons, made so many valuable discussions; you also have made many discussions. Why can’t I work accordingly?” Such was her complaint against herself. Here I want to say something. Once I had hurt her. I knew that she loved all comrades with all her heart. She did not differentiate between the comrades in giving her love. Yet a comrade once came and told me that he was noticing some partiality in Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya. I did not believe it, still I conveyed this to her. She looked at me partly surprised, partly sad, and said, “I have to reflect on why he said this.” She did not say anything else. Next day she went back to Purulia. I was also somewhat feeling bad. Next day I called her over phone. I shall now read from her diary about the incident. On 1 January, 2015 she wrote, “My mind is disturbed. Questions have been raised about me. It seems that there has been some mistake somewhere. I do not know whether the truth will be revealed on some day”. The next day she wrote, “Provashda telephoned in the morning. He asked me ‘Why are you sad?’ He understood that my mind is disturbed. He said, ‘Many problems will come in life. Wrong criticisms will also come. But don’t let that disturb your mind.’ I felt better after talking with him.” Listen carefully what I am reading next. She wrote, “I do not have any particular person dear to me. I love everybody very much. I am sad, why that comrade could not discern it?” Such was Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya. Let me relate another incident. There was a study class for DSO and DYO at Medinipur. It was very hot. She wanted to attend, but she broke her leg. She telephoned that she could not come. I decided to go and visit her. Comrade Haider was with me. We went to Purulia. In that hot weather she came rushing to look after us in spite of her injury. As a result the pain in her legs became worse and I scolded her. She wrote in the diary, “Others cannot comprehend the relation that we have with our leaders. Our main concern becomes how to create a little bit of comfort for them. We cannot think of anything else then. We can give up our lives to make them comfortable. Is my love a bit unreasonable? I do not know. Haiderda is a sick man. He has suffered very much in the travel. Provashda is also wrecked by the travel for such distance in this high heat.” Such feelings and emotions for the leaders are another aspect of her character. Again if some comrade is falling back in the struggle, she thought that the comrade has to be helped so that he can advance. Instead of holding the particular comrade responsible she was thinking why couldn’t she help him – it was her own failure. She had deep respect for comrades who were active earlier, but are now held back by age or illness or family entanglements. She always highlighted the good qualities of others. When someone pointed out the deficiency of another she would immediately show the respective comrade’s good qualities. She gave respect to all, young and old. Many comrades wrote to me about these, I also personally know about these characteristics. I have myself observed that she became happy when someone was praised, and when she was praised she became embarrassed. Spirit of competition, irritation, jealousy, malice that are products of the bourgeois system – I did not see even a trace of any of these on her.

Also note how she fought with the killer disease. Dr. Tarun Mandal is sitting here; he told that when she was first diagnosed with cancer in Delhi, he was worried how to convey the information to Pranatidi. Dr Mandal told that he did not need to convey the news to Pranatidi, she herself understood it, and accepted it quite easily. All the doctors have told that she never asked anything about the disease. She never raised any question about the disease or the treatment. She thought that the party is looking after the matter, the party would decide what to do. Why should she think about it? This detachment in the face of sure death – what a great example is that! Dr. Tarun Mandal told that he did not realize the severity of her pain at first, because there was no outward expression. This was at the last stage of her life. This is also an extraordinary example. Those who have witnessed it know how unbearable the pains of cancer patients are. Even when she was in acute pain, we did not see in her any tears, restlessness, remorse or outward expression of pain. She silently endured everything. When asked, she would reply that there is only a little bit of pain. She said ‘a little bit’, but in reality it was unbearable. She told this with a smiling face. Such was her conduct till the moment of death. Her concern was not to distress others by expressing her suffering, or letting them know about it. What a strength of character, what a  noble mentality is this! She could not sleep throughout the night, but if those who were looking after her wanted to remain awake, she did not let them. As long as she was able she somehow tottered to the bathroom, did not call others. With those who went to visit her, she discussed about party work, gave many suggestions. But even with the severe pain she had great attraction to music. Almost every day she arranged singing sessions with the comrades. She listened to music cassettes; once in a while she also lent her voice. In her young days she was interested in music, she had a good voice and she wanted to be a singer. When she got associated with the party she accepted revolutionary life to be object of her music. Her musical life was intermingled with her revolutionary life. In the last stage of her life she made every visitor to sing whether they had the ability or not. She used to listen to old-time music, classical music, music of Rabindranath and Nazrul. I heard that two days before her death she asked Comrade Kumkum, who is in this house, to sing; she is a good singer, but if she missed a tune, or forgot the lyric, Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya prompted her.   Such was her mentality. She spent her days of illness not worrying about her disease, but with thoughts and contemplation about party work, reading different books or having the books read to her and cultivating music.

She stayed at the Shibpur Centre. During day time I could not usually meet her. She could not sleep at night, and she lied down during the day. I did not disturb her. I visited her when I returned from the Party Office at 8.30-9 p.m. She eagerly waited for this time. She was stricken with an incurable disease, was suffering from severe pain and was facing imminent death; what could I say to console her!  I only asked her, “Are you feeling any pain?” Her reply with a smiling face was always, “Only slightly.” After her death two comrades told me that till I came she used to lie on bed suffering. Before my arrival time, she would get up and spruce herself up a little bit; just to show me with a smiling face that everything was all right with her – perhaps from the happiness of meeting me, perhaps not to cause any distress for me. I am astounded when I think about these things. It is amazing how she could behave in such a natural manner when she was stricken with such a disease which inflicts so severe pains in the patients that they toss and turn in pain, some even ask for poison to end their life. All this is the result of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh’s teaching; she set an example of how a revolutionary wages a fight when faced with certain death accompanied by unbearable pain.  We shall also have to pass through such a test.

Hospital sources have informed what relations she had with all the doctors, medical staff, nurses and attendants who came in touch with her – some had problems with their children, some had problems in their married life, some had problems of understanding between themselves – she used to discuss with them, counsel them, give them guidance. She used to imbibe them with party teachings, inspired them to live like a real human being. Just two days before her death she enquired with a nurse what was the status of her problem, that is, whether the guidance that she gave helped solving it. These are invaluable lessons for all of us. Does everyone who gets admitted to the hospital be the guardian of all? Till the moment of her last breath she tried to impart some teaching of Comrade Ghosh in everyone she came in contact with. That was the sole aim of her life. When she went for the last time to the Hospital from the Shibpur centre, I knew that she would not come back. I went to her room to meet her, and again met her at the gate. Even with that state of her health she admonished me, “Why have you come here?” I held her hands and told her that I would visit her at the hospital. She replied, “No, you must not come!” Doctor Subhash Dasgupta told me that she repeatedly told him that Provashda must not come; there would be danger of infection. Just the day before her death she told Dr. Dasgupta in a firm voice, “Subhash, you have nothing more to do. Now give it up.” For the last time she asked, “How is Provashda?” Subhash informed that I am all right. In other words, her last thoughts were, let Provashda and others, the leaders, be in good health and live long to do and guide party work.  At night taking my permission Subhash let an injection for sleeping to be administered to her. The doctors, nurses and staff were in tears. Subhash later told me that not only us, but the whole hospital wept at her death. So close she became to everybody!

We are all conducting life struggle as students of our great teacher Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. To attain higher communist character we are learning from each other how far each has been able to apply in life this invaluable revolutionary teaching. In this memorial meeting I placed before you some chapters from the life struggle of Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya, so that we who are living can comprehend and be inspired by the example of how starting from a very ordinary stage it is possible to elevate oneself to an extraordinary level through conducting constant struggle based on Comrade Shibdas Ghosh’s teachings.

From 1950 I am in the party. I have witnessed so many martyrs’ death, the passing away of so many young comrades – I ask myself, how many more such deaths I have to witness! But then I recall and gather strength from the words of pledge that Comrade Stalin uttered after great Comrade Lenin’s demise. Comrade Mao Zedong said after the demise of great Stalin, “Turn grief into strength”. And I recall the words of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh after the demise of Comrade Subodh Banerjee, “…politics calls for noble feelings of heart. Nobler still is the feeling that spurs on to revolutionary politics. Tender as it is in one way, inherent in it are stern reality, strict discipline, and steadfast sense of duty. Our work cannot suffer because of our grief. Outwardly, the conduct of this politics appears so heartless. But it is here, in what appears so heartless, that the significance of true realization of grief lies… Even death of the most beloved, a profound loss or an event leading to deep emotional upsurge cannot make them oblivious their duty.’’ Every time I am confronted with the death of a comrade, I recall these teachings of the great leaders and derive strength. I would ask you to gather strength in the same way. When we are no more there you will have to move on the basis of these teachings. I am ending here

Long Live Revolution!

Red Salute to

Comrade Pranati Bhattacharya!

Red Salute to the Great Leader of the Proletariat

Comrade Shibdas Ghosh!

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