Press Trust of India
KOLKATA, 18 JULY: Centenarian CPI-M leader and freedom fighter, Samar Mukherjee, who was known for his oratory and leadership, died of old age ailments today. He was a bachelor.
Mukherjee, who turned 100 in November last year, was the oldest living member of CPI-M, having joined it in 1940.
The leader, who spent a major part of his life in a party commune was born just four years before the Great October Revolution in Russia and saw the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Widely respected by both the old and the new generations of the communist movement, Mukherjee led a spartan lifestyle and left his family in 1940 to live in a party commune in Howrah when he became a member of the undivided Communist Party of India.
When the party split in 1964 over the ideological differences, he joined the CPI-M. He moved to the CPI-M’s commune in south Kolkata in 1965, where he stayed till his last days.
Mukherjee had his first brush with imperialism during the British Raj when he protested against the Simon Commission, which was sent to India in 1928 to study constitutional reform.
He was a member of West Bengal Legislative Assembly from 1957 to 1971. He was born in Amta in Howrah district on 7 November 1913.
His 100th birthday was celebrated by the CPI-M leadership with pomp.
Known to be a perfectionist, Mukherjee, represented the party in the Lok Sabha for three consecutive terms from 1971-84, from the Howrah Lok Sabha constituency. He was elected to Rajya Sabha in 1986.
Mukherjee, served the Indian communist movement in various positions as general secretary of CITU, member of CPI-M politburo and central committee. For several years, he served as the chairman of the party’s control commission.
Mukherjee’s body will be kept at the CPI-M state headquarters at Alimuddin streets for people to pay homage before it is donated to a hospital as per his wish, party sources said.
“Rarely have we seen such an individual who sacrificed all personal interests, living a spartan life in a Party commune in the service of the Party. He was affable, easily accessible and loved by the people,” the CPI-M said.