Homage Read out at his Memorial Meeting on 9 July 2021. Comrade Dhurjoti Das, member of the Central Committee and Odisha State Secretary of SUCI (Communist), breathed his last on 24 June 2021 at 2.45pm at Calcutta Heart Clinic and Hospital at the age of 67 years due to metastatic hepatocellular malignancy. Despite best possible efforts by the team of doctors, nurses and other medical staff, his precious life could not be saved. The sudden and premature demise of Comrade Dhurjoti Das is a rude shock to the revolutionary movements in the state of Odisha and also in our country.
From childhood, due to the political background of his family, Comrade Dhurjoti Das had an imprint of the noble ideology of SUCI (Communist), particularly through his eldest brother Comrade Durgapada Das. But he came in close contact with the revolutionary thoughts of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, an eminent Marxist thinker and founder General Secretary of SUCI (Communist) in 1968 at Rourkela during his school days through close association of Comrade Tapas Dutta, departed Central Committee member and former Odisha State Secretary of SUCI (Communist) as well as an eminent sculptor and respected revolutionary leader. Within a short period of time, Comrade Das decided to dedicate his entire life to the struggle for the emancipation of the working people and other exploited masses. Beside Comrade Tapas Dutta, in his upbringing as a dedicated revolutionary, he was also inspired by Comrade Provash Ghosh, our beloved General Secretary of the Party.
Comrade Dhurjoti Das started his political life as a sincere activist of All India Democratic Students Organization (AIDSO). In 1969, he played an active role at Rourkela in the historic movement initiated and steered by our Party and AIDSO on the demand of constructing Talcher-Bimlagarh railway link. Since then he plunged himself headlong in the vortex of students’ and mass movements and never looked back. He disowned the path of academic careerism, lure of any lucrative job and embraced the noble life of a communist revolutionary. The ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought guided the course of his illustrious revolutionary life struggle which spanned for over five decades.
In 1970, Comrade Das actively associated himself with the statewide movement in Odisha for installing a second integrated steel plant in the state. Our Party played a commendable role in this movement. From 1970 to 1972, Comrade Das led many students’ movements in Rourkela and appeared as a prominent student leader there. In 1973, he was deputed to Sambalpur to build up organization in the western districts of Odisha. In 1974-75 he played steering role in organizing and leading several students’ movements in Gangadhar Meher College of Sambalpur. In course of such movements, Comrade Dhurjoti Das emerged as a prominent and beloved student leader in Sambalpur and other adjacent districts. In the process, many students were attracted towards the revolutionary students organization AIDSO. A good number of them attended the historic All India Conference of AIDSO at Cuttack in the year 1974 which was graced by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, the great leader of the proletariat and other distinguished personalities like Shri Nabakrushna Chowdhury and Comrade Subodh Banerjee. In 1974-75, Comrade Das was in the thick of the historic J.P movement that swept across many states including Odisha. During the movement, he was arrested under ‘Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) in 1975 at Sambalpur and imprisoned for 20 months during the period of 21 months long national emergency clamped down by the then Congress government at the centre to crush the mounting militant mass democratic movements across many states of the country. The long imprisoned life told upon his health condition to a good extent.
Comrade Dhurjoti Das was elected as the Odisha State President of AIDSO in the year 1977 and the State Secretary of the organization in the year 1983 in the All Odisha Students Conferences held at Sambalpur and Bhubaneswar respectably. Guided by Comrades Tapas Dutta and Provash Ghosh, in 1980, he spearheaded the historic All Odisha Students’ movement which originated from Sambalpur but eventually turned into a statewide mass movement involving all cross sections of the people. The then state government implicated him and a few other student leaders in false murder cases to crush the movement. In 1984, Comrade Das was in the leadership of All Odisha Students’ movement in the aftermath of ghastly murder of 14 engineering students of Burla. In 1983, our Party under the leadership of Comrade Tapas Dutta organized one month long historic bicycle procession covering all the districts of Odisha demanding permanent solution of flood, drought and cyclone. In this movement Comrade Das played a commendable role.
Through all these students’ and mass movements, AIDSO emerged as a formidable revolutionary students’ organization in Odisha, acclaimed not only by the students but all sections of the people and SUCI(Communist) came to the limelight as the only dependable left organization to lead militant mass democratic movements on the edifice of higher ethics and culture.
Along with organizing and leading series of students’ movements, Comrade Dhurjoti Das under the guidance of Comrade Tapas Dutta moved across the state to organize different sections of the downtrodden masses and played an important role in building up the revolutionary organization of SUCI (Communist) in the state alongwith his compatriots. In this struggle, Comrade Das played a notable role in expanding our Party and the mass organizations in the districts of Sundargarh, undivided Bolangir, undivided Sambalpur, undivided Koraput, Mayurbhanj, Angul, Keonjhar, Jajpur, Kendrapara, undivided Puri and also in many other parts of the state.
In 1987, he was elected as the member of the Odisha State Committee of SUCI (Communist) in the first state conference held at Cuttack. In 2008, he became the state secretary of our Party after the sad demise of Comrade Tapas Dutta. Subsequently, he received Staff Membership and elected the State Secretary in 2009 and thereafter re-elected in the same position in the second and third state conferences of SUCI(Communist) held at Angul and Bhubaneswar respectively and continued to remain so till he breathed his last. He was elected to the Central Committee of our Party in the 3rd Party Congress held in 2018. During this long period, he was at the centrestage of innumerable mass democratic movements in different parts of the state. Notable among those were the 12 day long movement of the Contractor Workers of NTPC in the year 2008. For a brief period, he was the President of Talcher Super Thermal Workers’ Union. He guided the successful movement against the displacement of poor people for construction of J.R. Power Plant in the Kishorenagar area of Angul district. He was also associated with the movement against the Baliapal Missile Range project in Balasore district. Our Party all along had to fight resolutely against the parochial and communal forces in different parts of the state to forge unity of the working people. Comrade Dhurjati Das was in the forefront of all these battles.
He was an avid reader of literature besides his cultivation of political and philosophical works. He possessed the quality of theoretical articulation of different subjects and was also a good mass orator. He contributed immensely to the publication of Party literatures, particularly the works of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh in Odia language and also in the publication of The Odia Party organ. He had the quality of composing poems, songs and stories. He also contributed greatly in renovating the Party press for publication work.
Throughout his life, Comrade Dhurjoti Das devoted himself untiringly and incessantly for the cause of the advancement of working class revolution. A broad hearted, courageous with deep tender feeling for the common people and a revolutionary blended with many more qualities is no more.
The sad, sudden and untimely demise of Comrade Dhurjoti Das is a big loss for the cause of revolutionary movement in the state of Odisha and also for our country. The Odisha State Committee of SUCI(Communist) pays respectful tribute to its departed State Secretary Comrade Dhurjati Das and observes one minute solemn silence in paying respect to his five decade long memorable contribution in strengthening SUCI(Communist), the genuine communist party on the soil for accomplishment of anti-capitalist socialist revolution in our country and emancipation of the exploited working people.
Comrade Dhurjoti Das
Comrade Shibdas Ghosh