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Surendra Mohan - End of A Socialist Era (1929 - 2010)

by NAPM, 18 December 2010

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National Alliance of People’s Movements
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Surendra Mohan Ji breathed his last today morning. Even as we are trying to deal with the loss of some of his contemporaries - Prabhash Joshi Ji, L C Jain Saheb and Shanta Toofani (Mata ji), the year 2010 has dealt another blow to our collective struggles for a world of dignity, freedom and democratic values. In these testing times of declining political values and rampant corruption, Surendra Mohan ji is known for his personal and public integrity. He stands tall amidst many of his political comrades in the Socialist tradition who have forgotten their roots and are indulged deeply in the political machinations. He was not only a political leader and ideologue of the socialists but an activist who was concerned about the issues of farmers, workers, dalits, tribals and all those living on the margins of current development paradigm and stood with people’s movements.

Surendra Mohan ji never cared for the outcomes of his political beliefs and actions, which meant going to Jail when he opposed Emergency and much later on several occasions. He undertook three day fast along with Siddhraj Ji Dhadha in support of the Narmada Bachao Andolan’s struggle in the Narmada Valley demanding justice for those to be submerged. He always tried to straddle both the worlds of parliamentary politics through political parties and also of social activism with social movements. He never formally left the party but he actively contributed to any processes aimed at bringing together the social movements and any attempt at formation of wider alliances. In early 90s when National Alliance of People’s Movements was taking shape, along with Kishan Patanik and many others he guided us with his political acumen, analytical understanding of issues and long experience. Recently he presided over the coming together of Hind Mazdoor Sabha and Hind Mazdoor Kisan Panchayat after a long time in Bombay.

He had versatile interests and had a brief stint in a college library, a school teacher, a college lecturer, an entrepreneur, a trade union leader, an environmental activist, a political columnist, a human right and civil liberty activist, Chairman of Khadi and Village Industries Corporation, a political activist and leader, and a Parliamentarian of standing and he excelled in all. But we will remember him for his beliefs in Gandhian principles and the socialist causes, impeccable honesty and integrity. He will be missed by all of us, young and old alike in the movements since he always encouraged people to join the political struggles and lent his voice. Till his last day he continued to be physically active by being present at most of the gatherings and contributed regularly to the journals.

We pray for his soul and wish all strength to Manju Mohan ji and others in the family and vow to carry forward our collective struggles for a better world.

Zindabaad !

Medha patkar & Narmada Bachao Andolan; Aruna Roy & Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan; Prafulla Samantara; Geeta Ramakrishnan; Vijaya Chauhan (Narmada Nav Nirman Abhiyan), Suniti S R, Rajendra Ravi; Bhupendar Singh Rawat; Ajit Jha; Vijayan M J; Joe Athialy, Madhuresh Kumar and many others from NAPM.