Comrade Ganga Prasad

Comrade Ganga Prasad breathed his last on 4 April 2017 in Lucknow. He was suffering from age related illness for quite some time.

Born in 1938 comrade Ganga ji could not continue his formal education beyond 11th standard after his father's untimely demise. He had to do something for a living, so he learnt the job of the lathe mechanic and worked in various towns till his job in the Lucknow unit of the Union Carbide Corporation. His quest for learning, and experimenting with, the ideas for a social transformation towards an egalitarian society continued simultaneously. He began his political endeavors with socialism of Ram Manohar Lohiya, soon after the first non-Congress united front government was formed in UP in 1967, he was disillusioned with this variety of socialists.

He began organising workers of Union Carbide into a successful trade union. He also learnt Homeopathy which he practiced for free to help his fellow workers. He came in contact with the Party in 80s during the formation of Indian People's Front.

He along with two of his comrades was terminated by the management in 1985 for his struggle against the discriminatory practice of running separate canteens for the officers and workers inside Union Carbide premises. He demanded to merge two canteens to end the discrimination. An indefinite sit-in was organised which continued for 11 long months but the management remained stubborn. Eventually, he organised workers who forcibly entered into the officers' canteen and successfully had a mass level tea and snacks party there as a mark of resistance. This infuriated the management of the multi-national corporation who was well aware of the role social discrimination plays in increasing profits through various modes of oppression and exploitation! After the termination comrade Ganga Prasad's battle became longer. He and his comrades fought back and ultimately got reinstated on the same job.

Comrade Ganga Ji was retired from this job in 1996. Instead of living the life of a retiree, he decided to devote full time and energy in revolutionary work and took charge of Lenin Pustak Kendra which was in its founding stage. His activism and dedication turned it into not only a successful book centre for the left, progressive and democratic literature but also a rallying point for the left and progressive leaning people who used to visit here regularly for exchange of ideas. Besides, he became synonymous with the mobile book stall of the Lenin Pustak Kendra which has become an essential part of almost every programme of the Party, be it a big rally or a convention or a seminar, in different parts of UP. The Lenin Pustak Kendra in Lucknow has evolved into a vibrant centre for disseminating left literature under his leadership. His concern for reaching out to the maximum number of people with left literature and ideas was remarkable.

Hailed from a dalit family, he fell in love and married an upper caste girl in his village resisting caste hierarchy and social discrimination nearly half a century ago. He exemplarily lived the life of a rebel throughout and was an ideal communist in principles as well as in practice. His quest for learning and commitment for an egalitarian society constantly shaped and refined his life and thoughts. We must strive to keep his dream alive and fulfilled. We must work to expand the reach of the left and progressive ideas to every deserving individual in the society and must also take the Lenin Pustak Kendra to newer heights in this endeavor. This is needed much more in times when corporate backed fascists are trying to strangulate every idea behind hard won people's rights, freedom and democracy.

We pay our tribute to an exemplary life. Red Salute to Comrade Ganga Prasad !

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