After prolonged illness, veteran member of Polit Bureau, Central Committee, SUCI(C) and former Secretary of South 24 Parganas District Committee of West Bengal, Comrade Debaprasad Sarkar breathed his last at the age of 87 years at the Calcutta Heart Clinic and Hospital on 28 June last.
When he was a student, he heard a discussion by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, Founder General secretary of the SUCI(C), one of the foremost Marxist thinkers and philosophers of this era and our beloved leader and teacher. Deeply attracted by that, he joined the Party and started working in the Jaynagar area under the leadership of now departed Polit Bureau members Comrades Sachin Banerjee and Subodh Banerjee, as well as Comrade Yakub Pailan, another departed Central Committee leader and South 24 Parganas District Secretary. Soon after, on the merit of his ability and capability attained through struggle, he became a member of the district secretariat and later a member of Party’s state committee.
At the second Party Congress held in Delhi in 2009, he was elected Central Committee member and officiated as the Secretary to the Central office for a long time. At the third Party Congress held at Ghatsila in 2018, he was elected to the Polit Bureau.
Before he was laid down with serious illness and was admitted to Calcutta Heart Clinic and Hospital, he had spent quite a long time of his life at Shibpur Party centre and at Jaynagar Party office.
Comrade Debaprasad Sarkar had taught for a long time at the noted ‘Jaynagar Institution’. A teacher at the secondary level, his was a leading role in teachers’ movements and movements on education related causes. In 1969, when the CPI(M) sought to turn ABTA (All Bengal Teachers’ Association) into its Party organization, it was Comrade Debaprasad Sarkar, who along with another departed Central Committee member Comrade Tapan Roy Chowdhury, conducted a prolonged painstaking struggle to build up STEA(Secondary Teachers’ and Employees’ Association). Even though STEA, a mass organization, comprised certain members who belonged to other parties, all of them held Comrade Sarkar in great esteem and confidence and unhesitatingly worked under him.
Comrade Debaprasad Sarkar also played a leading role in the historic movement developed throughout the state against the anti-people language policy, and in the movements to resist bus-fare hike and price hike of essential commodities The role he played in development of ‘Save Education’ movement against the wrong educational policies of the different governments at the Centre and the state, is also worthy of remembrance.
He had again led the historic movement which was initiated by our party in 1990, against the fare hike of vehicles, and had courted arrest. A teenager Madhai Haldar, who embraced martyrdom in this movement belonged to the district of South 24 Parganas.
Much later, during the movements at Nandigram and Singur against forceful acquisition of farm lands, his was a leading role, both inside and outside the Assembly.
From 1977, Comrade Debaprasad Sarkar had been elected to the Jaynagar Assembly Constituency at a stretch for 34 years. His speeches enriched with facts and theoretical knowledge, delivered at the Assembly against the anti-people policies of the government were highly appreciated even by the ruling circle.
When Comrade Sarkar was an MLA, powerful movements were developed in his constituency in demand for laying down of new railway tracks, converting single line into double line and increasing the number of trains, the extension of the hospital at Padmerhat as well as against eco-tourism in the Sundarbans and installation of an atomic energy centre there. Movements were also held under his leadership demanding electricity, arsenic free water and improvement of the educational institutions in the area. As a result of the movements, the demands were achieved.
Comrade Debaprasad Sarkar was unrelenting in inspiring kids and young children to acquire higher values and culture. Even while afflicted with severe ailments, he would present clear analysis on the basis of Marxism-Leninism-Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought to guide different programmes of our Party and the mass organizations. This will continue to inspire all comrades in the days to come.
Comrade Debaprasad Sarkar had a pleasing yet strong personality and many other noble qualities and traits in his character. As an individual, owing to his dedication to his ideology, intense integrity of character which were reflected in his life- struggle, he was respected not only by our Party leaders and cadres but also by the leaders and workers of other parties, members of the Assembly, officers at different levels of administration and journalists.
By correctly applying the teachings of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh in his life, Comrade Sarkar emerged as a first-ranking communist revolutionary. On his demise, our Party, the exploited proletariat and democratic movements have lost a powerful leader.
Red Salute to
Comrade Debaprasad Sarkar