Comrade Rama Gairola

IT is with deep sorrow and shock that we learnt of the untimely death of Comrade Rama Gairola at the prime of her life and revolutionary political journey at the very young age of 30. She was a CPI(ML) State Committee member and AIPWA Joint Secretary in Uttar Pradesh. She died while being treated for dengue.

Dengue has spread in epidemic proportions in Puranpur where the CPI(ML) party office is located. Comrade Rama was involved in helping dengue patients in her locality, when she herself contracted the disease.

The fact that she was diagnosed with dengue – a curable disease – on time and yet her life could not be saved is a comment on the state of health services in rural India.

Comrade Rama was very much liked by the workers, peasants, and women amongst whom she worked. She had been a model elected member of the Zila Panchayat – a post she won with a record margin in 2010 after an election campaign conducted on her own, without any money power, on foot from village to village. She fought against the custodial killing of a dalit youth Rampal while contesting this election. Inside the Zila Panchayat she was a voice for the struggles of people, raising her voice against rampant corruption in different development schemes. She won hearts all through the five years of her tenure. When the Zila Panchayat illegally sanctioned construction of shops on the hospital land it was her struggle that forced the authorities to stop the construction. She joined peasants in the struggle against inclusion of 95 villages of Pilibhit under the Tiger Project, leading thousands in the gherao of central minister Maneka Gandhi’s office in Pilibhit which is the latter’s parliamentary constituency.

She had rejected an award from the UP State Government in protest against violence on women and Mulayam Singh’s rape culture ‘boys are boys, they can make a mistake’ remark.

She had begun organising ASHA and Anganwadi workers and had worked hard during their protest and chakka jam – road blockade – recently held in the state capital Lucknow.

Comrade Ram Gairola lived the life of a revolutionary, and became a fulltime activist. She had to fight personal battles against patriarchal restrictions in her own home, and chose her life companion braving heavy opposition from parents.

We are committed to carrying forward Comrade Rama Gairola’s struggles.

Liberation Archive