Banbehari Chakraborty (1924-2014)

April 17, 2014


Banbehari Chakraborty (1924-2014), a life-long proponent of revolutionary politics in India passed away at 2 a.m. on 14th April, in his house, surrounded by his comrades and students who were his constant companions for the last 30 years.

He was born in Nalikul, Hoogly district, West Bengal, but his family moved to Sreerampore when he was five. He got involved with Anushilan Samity of Bipin Behari Ganguly in his school days. After his matriculation his family settled in Benares where he became a part of the National Movement. During the Quit India Movement, he was noticed by Com. Rustamji Satin of the of the CPI, who had a high regard for Banbehari till his last days. Soon after he became a member of the communist party of India.

He followed the revolutionary line during the split in the communist party in 1964 and again in 1967-69. He was one of the principal speakers in the 1st May, 1969 rally of the AICCCR held at Shahid Minar Maidan, Kolkata. His revolutionary ideological struggle continued at both the field and ideological levels. His fearless criticism of both right and left deviations within the communist movement made him an outcast again and again among the established political organizations. But he carried on his political organizational practice undeterred throughout India.

Some of his principal writings in chronological order are :

  1. Devaluation of Indian Currency (Bengali) – 1966
  2. The gilded value of Shakespeare’s Theatre (Bengali) – 1966
  3. The lessons of Chinese Revolution (Bengali) – 1969
  4. From East Pakistan to Bangladesh? ‘Independent Bangladesh’ or a new colony? (Bengali) – 1972
  5. Against Cultural Aggression : on Rammohan – Incomplete-(Bengali) – 1973-74
  6. Whither class-struggle: Inside or outside the Parliament (Bengali) – 1977
  7. The Stalin Question (English) – 1978
  8. My glimpses of the militant journalist – Mohit Moitra (Bengali) – 1982
  9. On journalist Girish Chandra and his era (Bengali) – 1983
  10. Marx on the stagnation of Indian society and the tradition of Jajmani (Bengali) – 1983
  11. The political psychology of Indians – the tradition of Jajmani (Bengali)- 1984
  12. Problems of Marxism (Bengali) – 1988
  13. On Socialist Art and Culture (Bengali) –
  14. In Search of the sources of Destalinisation (Bengali) – 1990

Apart from the above he continued to contribute to various magazines and publications in Bengali, Hindi and English.

[N.B. A meeting in his memory will be held at Mahabodhi Society Hall, College Square, Kolkata on 16th of May, 2014 at 6:30 hours]