Saturday, July 7, 2007

Red Salute to Comrade Jita Kaur

Comrade Jita Kaur came into the ML movement through her active participation in the student’s movement in Gorakhpur. She became an activist of the PSO, Gorakhpur at a time when the entire state of Uttar Pradesh was seething with student’s protests against academic anarchy and hold of anti-socials and criminals enjoying political patronage of bourgeois political parties, in the campuses. In her early days Jita was an idealist who had seen through the sham of religious ideas and it was for the greater cause of revolution that she decided to devote herself completely. Jita’s joining a revolutionary left organization had its impact on her personal life, her father Sardar Rattan Singh being a Congress leader as well as well known religious leader in Gorakhpur. As a woman, Jita continued to fight her battle in the conservative background of her home and the feudal-patriarchal milieu in this backward district of Purvanchal. After she finished her post-graduation, Jita began to take keen interest in the women’s movement, and formed the Jagrit Mahila Parishad in the District. She was an ardent activist who began to combine the aspirations of young middle class women with those of the most downtrodden sections of society. In the process she also became associated with the Indian People’s Front in Uttar Pradesh. As a leader of the UP IPF, Jita got involved in the struggle of people being displaced from Ramgarh Tal area in Gorakhpur. The Ramgarh Tal Pariyojana was posing a grave threat to the livelihood of the local inhabitants and to ward off their fear and insecurity, Jita left her home and began to live with the affected people. In the process she began to build a new mass-base for the I P F. Jita not only became popular as a mass leader fondly called ‘didi’, she became immensely loved by the women. She had played a major role in involving several intellectuals and women of the town in support of the people of the Tal. She also contested Assembly elections in Gorakhpur on IPF banner.

Comrade Jita gradually began to organize women activists in the state and in the process also met and involved Ajanta Lohit in IPF work. She later became a state committee member of the CPI (ML). When the founding conference of AIPWA was being held in Delhi, Jita came to Delhi to assist in the preparation work. Later she became associated with AIPWA work in Delhi and also became state committee member of the Party in the State of Delhi. In Delhi Jita organized Party work in East Delhi and North-West Delhi. When the need arose she left for Punjab and began to work in Mansa. She was a state committee member of the Party there and was also entrusted with the task of organising AIPWA. She helped streamlining the State Party Office in Mansa and played an important role along with the comrades in Punjab in organising the Party. She encouraged young activists and women to work as whole-timers in the Party. She contested Parliamentary elections in Ludhiana in 1998. She was the National Secretary of the AIPWA and in this capacity she visited Uttarakhand, Punjab, MP and Bihar for AIPWA programmes. She was also very active in the joint women’s movement and became popular with women’s activists from other streams. She was an active participant in the joint women’s conferences held in Patna and Calicut.

When she was in Delhi, the Central Office of AIPWA was entirely managed by her in the most creative, living and economic way. Many women comrades who stayed here still miss the cosy ‘room of one’s own’ where women’s issues, politics, personal problems of women were discussed and resolved. Battered women, women marrying against their parents’ wish, or going for inter-religious marriages, girls thrown out of home or those fighting against patriarchal attitude of in-laws or husbands came for help and AIPWA office was a place that provided strength and succour.

It was after the Burdhawan conference that she fell sick and was diagnosed having gall bladder cancer in November 2006. She was undergoing treatment in AIIMS. After 2 cycles of Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy, she had become very weak. Doctors opined that the tumour could not be removed by operation since it had spread to the liver and was resistant to the therapy. She was also put on Alternative treatments—Tibetan and Sino-Vedic. Jita was alternately staying in Comrade Srikant’s house and in the Party Office. On 14 June she was taken to Jalandhar by her elder sister and brothers for a few days, but she passed away there on 23 June morning. Her body was brought to Mansa on the same day where a large number of Party leaders, members, supporters and representatives of various fraternal organisations came to bid her farewell.

Comrade Jita dedicated her entire life, and everything she possessed, for the cause of the people and the Party. She was a very hard-working and energetic woman activist and all those who knew her will remember for her warm, loving and caring personality, for her political uprightness and honesty as well as for her relentless struggle in the face of odds.
Red Salute to Comrade Jita Kaur!

1 comment:

irfan said...

Yes she was a very soft spoken and articulate comarade. Once in an informal chat she admitted that she love to wear jewellery, posses things and seek a home to live in. And ofcourse all these desires were not seperated from her committment towards people's cause. All of us who work beyond our interests, are one way or the other associate ourselves with the buzzz of life. Red salute comrade!