In Memoriam: Comrade Saroj Dutta (1914-1971)

Today, August 5th, is the 40th anniversary of Comrade Saroj Dutta’s martyrdom. It is but a week after, July 28th, the anniversary of Comrade Charu Mazumdar’s martyrdom. In 2 shorts years the revolutionary movement in India lost two of its most important leaders, and both times at the hands of the police. Comrade Saroj Dutta unfortunately remains largely unknown outside of the Indian revolutionary movement and his works have never been translated from Bengali to English. Attached below is a biography that I copied from one of the best early Indian Maoist blogs on the internet, Maoist Resistance. Comrade Saroj Dutta is perhaps most controversially today known as one of the chief party ideologues that theorized the “statue breaking movement” that took place in Kolkata and shares some of the obvious parallels to the GPCR that was taking place in China, and a cautionary tale about the uncontrolled militarization of a party or its support base in the context of urban mass movements.

Comrade Saroj Dutt, commonly known as comrade SD, is an important name in the history of Indian Communist movement. He was born in 1914 in a semi-landlord family of Jessore in East Bengal.

Comrade SD joined the Amrita Bazar Patrika, after completing his post graduation in English from University of Calcutta in early forties. Later he became a political whole-timer, and joined Swadhinata, the organ of the Bengal State Committee of the CPI. He was also the editor of the famous literary journal – Parichaye.

During his imprisonment in 1962, SD came in contact with Comrade Charu Majumdar. Being a staunch communist, he aired harsh criticisms against the Dangeite leadership and joined the CPI (M) after the split in 1964. When the CPI (M) leadership nakedly advocated Khrushchev’s line of class-collaboration, comrades SD, Sushital Roy Choudhuri, Asit Sen and others formed the Marxist-Leninist Institute, an anti revisionist study group. After the Naxalbari upsurge, he vehemently criticized the party leadership and was expelled. Comrade SD was instrumental in the formation of the AICCR and the CPI (M-L). He became the editor of Deshabrati, the Bengali organ of the West Bengal State Committee of the CPI (M-L). He relentlessly fought for the consolidation of comrade Charu Majumdar’s authority, and played an important role in intra-party debates.

From 1970 onwards, comrade SD became one of the most wanted persons in India. The police was always hunting for him like a hungry wolf. Finally, in the early hours of 5th August, 1971, he was secretly eliminated by the state machinery. Comrade SD was the ideologue of the famous statue breaking movement, that rocked the urban life of Bengal in the early seventies. His write-ups in “Patrikar Duniyaye” in Deshabrati are treated as rare gems in the treasury of Leftist Journalism.

Note: I have not forgotten about my promise to write about the latest issue of Maoist Road that is being circulated on the internet (this will probably be coming shortly), and the differences that I see between Mao Zedong Thought, Mao Zedong Thought-ism and Maoism and why I do not think that the division between two are not simply semantical differences (however, I must admit that this particular comment may not get published in the exact format of a blog entry per se and is not going to happen before October). In the next few days I will also  be writing a review essay of Wakamatsu Kōji (若松孝二)’s fantastic and gut-wrenching film “United Red Army: The Path to Asama Mountain Lodge” which will also serve as a historical fragment about the history of the Communist League (Bund), the United Red Army, and also the Japanese Red Army and how they related to other Japanese Far Left organizations in the early 1970’s.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s