Revolutionary People’s Poet : Durgendra Akari Passes Away

On November 5th, a condolence meeting was held at the CPI(ML) office at Ara at 2 pm for revolutionary people’s poet Durgendra Akari, who passed away the same morning at his village Edaura. He had been ailing for the past two years.

A large number of cultural activists, CPI(ML) leaders and common people flocked to the CPI(ML) office to pay respects to Akariji, as he was popularly known, and to participate in his cremation.

At the condolence meeting, CPI(ML) State Secretary Comrade Kunal, PB member Com. Nand Kishor Prasad, former MP Com. Rameshwar Prasad, State Committee member Com. Sudama, Com. Santosh Sahar, district secretary Com. Jawahar Singh, writer Neeral Singh, critics Ravindranath Rai, Rakesh Diwakar, Sunil Choudhury, and poet Krishnakumar Nirmohi as well as several other Left activists and cultural figures paid tribute to Akariji.

Akariji was the voice of the poor, the landless, the agricultural labourers. He was born in 1943. He joined the 1974 movement and subsequently, was drawn to the revolutionary communist movement in Bhojpur. During Emergency, Akariji defied muzzling of dissent, refused to go underground, and would travel in trains, selling his books with poems against the repressive Congress rule. He was threatened and also offered incentives to stop writing and he was also attacked physically, but he always had great confidence in the strength of people’s struggles, and never fell silent. He composed poems on the struggles of the poor, against state repression, and against both the Laloo-Rabri Government and the Nitish Government. His poems have always been popularly sung in the course of people’s movements.

Jan Sanskriti Manch published a collection of his songs, titled Chahe Jaan Jaye in 1997. In the preface to that book, well-known freedom fighter, communist and people’s poet Ramakant Dwivedi ‘Ramta’ wrote that Akariji, who lost his father as a child, did not get schooling, and worked as a sweet-maker and worker. Only later in life, in the course of the movement, did he learn to read and write. He composed songs in the language of the landless poor, based on their own experiences. He endured attacks by police and goons and was even jailed because of his protest songs. Akariji was committed to the struggles of the rural poor and the politics of the CPI(ML).

Liberation Archive