Kolkata: Centenarian CPI (M) leader a freedom fighter, Samar Mukherjee, who was known for his oratory and leadership, died of old age ailments on Thursday. He was a bachelor. (Agencies)
Mukherjee, who turned 100 in November last year, was the oldest living member of CPI(M), having joined it in 1940. The CPI(M) leader, who spent a major part of his life in a party commune was born just four years before the Great October Revolution in Russia and saw the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Widely respected by both the old and the new generations of the communist movement, Mukherjee led a spartan lifestyle and left his family in 1940 to live in a party commune in Howrah when he became a member of the undivided Communist Party of India.
When the party split in 1964 over the ideological differences, he joined the CPI(M).He moved to the CPI(M)'s commune in South Kolkata in 1965, where he stayed till his last days.
Mukherjee had his first brush with imperialism during the British Raj when he protested against the Simon Commission, which was sent to India in 1928 to study constitutional reform. He was a member of West Bengal Legislative Assembly from 1957 to 1971.He was born in Amta in Howrah district on November 7, 1913. His 100th birthday was celebrated by the CPI(M) leadership with pomp.
Known to be a perfectionist, Mukherjee, represented the party in the lower house of Parliament for three consecutive terms from 1971-84, from the Howrah Lok Sabha constituency. He was elected to Rajya Sabha in 1986.
Mukherjee, served the Indian communist movement in various positions as general secretary of CITU, member of CPI(M) politburo and central committee. For several years, he served as the chairman of the party's control commission.
Mukherjee's body will be kept at the CPI-M state headquarters at Alimuddin streets for people to pay homage before it is donated to a hospital as per his wish, party sources said.
"Rarely have we seen such an individual who sacrificed all personal interests, living a spartan life in a Party commune in the service of the Party. He was affable, easily accessible and loved by the people," the CPI (M) said.
Karat condoles death
CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat expressed profound grief at the death of party veteran Samar Mukherjee, saying he was a Communist who made "outstanding contributions to the movement."
Karat, who is in the Kerala capital, said Mukherjee devoted his entire life for the revolutionary movement in India and had played a vital role in building the party and the trade union movement in the country.
The participants at a seminar held here in connection with the golden jubilee of the party's ideological journal "Chintha", where Karat was the main speaker, observed a minute's silence as a mark of respect towards the departed leader.
CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and other senior leaders from Kerala also condoled the death of the Marxist stalwart. "Mukherjee was the senior most leader of Indian revolutionary movement who turned his life into a ceaseless struggle by firmly holding on to Marxism and Leninism", Vijayan, also a polit bureau member said. He recalled that Mukherjee also distinguished himself as an able parliamentarian and astute trade union leader.
Kolkata: Centenarian CPI (M) leader a freedom fighter, Samar Mukherjee, who was known for his oratory and leadership, died of old age ailments on Thursday. He was a bachelor.