The Staunch FighterFor The Communist Revolutionary Cause

The UCCRI(ML) condoles the passing away of Comrade Gananath Patro, a prominent Communist Revolutionary leader hailing from the State of Odisha. He breathed his last at 4.50 pm on Saturday 6th June 2020 at his home in Rourkela, Odisha. With advancing age and suffering from various ailments he was bedridden for the last several years. He was 79 years of age when his end came. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, a son and grand-children.

Comrade Gananath Patro was a native of Banida village, located in Jaleswar P.S.limits of Balasore district of Odisha. He was born on the 16th of February, 1941 to Prasanna Patro and Durgamani Patro. He had his schooling at Nampo and Jaleswar and passed his PUC from FM College, Balasore. He finished his graduation (B.Sc. (Hon) Chemistry) in 1964 and post-graduation (M.Sc. Chemistry) in 1966 from Ravenshaw College, Cuttack and in 1967 joined a job as a lecturer in Chemistry at Sri Krishna Chandra Gajapati College (SKCG College) at Parlakhemundi. He left his job in 1969 to devote himself to serve the people as a Communist Revolutionary.

Comrade Gananath Patro was influenced by Communist Revolutionary politics in his early youth. He heard accounts of the heroic armed struggle of the Telangana peasantry from his uncle Kedarnath Mahapatro who was staying at Kharagpur and was in touch with many Telugu people there who were influenced by Communist Revolutionary politics and the Telangana Armed Struggle. Comrade Gananath Patro came in touch with leaders of the CPI and CPI(M) during his student days when he worked in their student organizations. When the Communist Revolutionaries decided to break ranks with the CPI(M), he joined them and left his job in 1969 to work as a full-time functionary.

By this time, left-adventurism had raised its head among revolutionary forces in the form of the CPI(ML) led by Charu Majumdar. It spread havoc among them and disrupted the revolutionary movement. Then, in addition, an admixture of left and right deviation followed as represented by several CPI(ML) groups. It is as a result of these opportunist trends that the revolutionaries lost a decade of precious time as Comrade Gananath Patro noted and pointedly referred to in the course of his review. At this juncture (1976-77) he concluded that the mass revolutionary line put forward by Comrades DV Rao and T.Nagi Reddy was the correct line andjoined the UCCRI(ML). Subsequently the UCCRI(ML) witnessed the rise of opportunist forces who left the organization in 1981 opposing the Communist Revolutionary line. Comrade Gananath Patro spent a considerable time in the company of this opportunist group only to realize that it was a “rudderless boat” which had failed to deliver the goods as far as the task of uniting the revolutionaries and building up a Communist

Revolutionary movement was concerned. He remarked in particular that the above said group was consciously opposed to developing agrarian revolutionary struggles by taking up the land question, citing one pretext or another. He made these remarks when the UCCRI(ML) contacted him when he was faced with trying circumstances in connection with the Narayanapatna agrarian struggle in 2009. He left the opportunist group and decided to work together with the UCCRI(ML) to advance the revolutionary movement and the cause of unification of Communist Revolutionaries. He took steps in this direction which helped the UCCRI(ML) in the effort to carry out both these tasks. His subsequent arrest in January 2010 seriously affected the progress of this work. In addition, the incarceration of about two and a half years which resulted from this arrest led to a serious deterioration in his health and this proved to be another obstacle.

The UCCRI(ML) helped Comrade Gananath Patro and his comrades to weather the storm of repression and arrests in connection with the struggle of Narayanapatna peasants. Comrade Gananath Patro attended the fourth Andhra Pradesh State Conference of the Grameena Pedala Sangham (Organization of the Rural Poor) held in 2013, April 26, 27, 28 at Warangal. He declared at the public meeting held on April 26 and attended by 12,000 people that Comrade DV and TN have shown the correct path and that we will march forward along that path. He maintained cordial and fraternal relations with the UCCRI(ML) till his last breath.

Comrade Gananath Patro played a leading role in the various agrarian struggles, democratic and anti-imperialist struggles in Odisha State.

Comrade Gananath Patro was a picture of simplicity, honesty, moral integrity, self-sacrifice and communist convictions – traits which he displayed all his life. He was undaunted in the face of severe repression. He faced the travails of an underground life as well as of incarceration with the resoluteness of a Communist Revolutionary.

He had a strong ideological bent and was a keen student of Marxism-Leninism Mao Zedong Thought. He was not only a post graduate in science, but was a strong advocate of the scientific sprit.

This short account of Comrade Gananath Patro will be incomplete without mentioning the selfless support and sacrifice of his wife Comrade Shephali Mahapatra, at all the ups and downs of his turbulent life as a Communist Revolutionary. She also participated in the various activities along with him as an associate. She continued this association even after she joined as a school teacher in 1989. Even his children had to face their own share of difficulties as Comrade Gananath Patro completely subordinated his personal life to the cause to which he was devoted. We convey our condolences to his wife and all other family members in this hour of bereavement.

Comrade Gananath Patro spent his entire life in the service of the people and the cause in which he believed. His passing away is a severe loss to the communist revolutionary movement. Communist Revolutionariesshould learn from the best qualities which he displayed and dedicate themselves to advance the cause for which he lived and died. This is the proper way to pay tribute to Comrade Gananath Patro.

 

Long live the memory of Comrade Gananath Patro!

Long live Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought!

Victory to the People’s Democratic Revolution in India!

 

Unity Centre Of Communist Revolutionaries Of India (Marxist-Leninist),

UCCRI(ML)  Issued by Vinod, Secretary

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We shall March Ahead Along the Path Shown by DV Rao and TN

– Com. Gananatha Patro’s Speech at GPS-AP Conference in 2013.

Following are extracts from a Report published in The Proletarian Line ( No. 86, April 2014), the magazine of communist revolutionaries founded by DV Rao, as it gives a brief picture of the adivasi peasant movement he had led, and the approach he believed and practised.They were part of a larger ongoing revolutionary mass movement in India, briefly mentioned in the report.

GPS-AP, Grameena Pedala Sangham (in Telugu, for Organization of the Rural Poor), evolved into a state-wide organization in early 1980s with ‘abolition of landlordism and land to the tiller’ as its central slogan, with the goal and line of ‘agrarian revolution’, developed by comrades DV Rao and T. Nagi Reddy, Communist Revolutionary leaders of India. GPS was formed with the approach of uniting peasantry and farm labor into one organization, rather than dividing them into two, as “rural poor” constituted a single force that can effectively fight landlordism. This was the lesson of various mass movements of rural poor, past and recent, as summed up by comrade DV Rao in one of his writings. This approach was different from separate organizations for “farmers” (Kisan Sangh) and agricultural labor (Khet Mazdoor), as was the practice with reformists and revisionists. Thus, GPS represented a new, unique type of revolutionary mass movement that has accumulated experiences in over 30 years of struggle.

About 20000 acres of land was occupied by the rural poor led by GPS, in the last 20-25 years, in addition to about 10000 house-sites. Forest lands, banjar/fallow lands, temple lands, tank-bed lands, sea-coast lands, tribal lands grabbed by non-tribal landed rich, ceiling-surplus lands are among the types of lands in possession of the people. The GPS faced and survived intense and prolonged spells of repression, by landlords as well as police forces. There were arrests, legal and illegal, and convictions (including a few life sentences) in hundreds of cases involving upto ten thousand people including women, children and aged. There were tortures and killings too (by landlords as well as police). GPS had to face and counter disruption and violence by various parties and groups. There were, in the Conference, hundreds of rural poor – poor, landless and adivasi peasants – who were victims of repression including tortures and imprisonment who attended and had an exchange of experiences.

Comrade Gananath Patro (GP) attended the fourth Andhra Pradesh State Conference of the Grameena Pedala Sangham (Organization of the Rural Poor) held in 2013, April 26, 27, 28 at Warangal. He declared at the public meeting held on April 26 and attended by 12,000 people hat Comrade DV and TN have shown the correct path and that we will march forward along that path. That was the last major public speech he made, as he was already sick, and weakened during his imprisonment.

A 100-page report of GPS activities was presented and adopted (with suggestions, additions etc.), as also a set of resolutions on various issues. Fraternal delegates from Delhi, UP, Bihar, Orissa, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala addressed the rally and the sessions and had an exchange of experiences of various movements;  thus the Odisha Adivasi movement was introduced to comrades from various parts of India.

Com. Gananatha Patro, GP as he was called, the key leader of Narayanapatna movement of Orissa State, who was arrested in the course of struggle and released recently, made an effort to speak in Telugu. He could learn Telugu while working in the movement among Telugu people, he said. Orissa had many movements and a big adivasi movement is going on in Narayanapatna. In the past, they fought against the establishment of a military base in Baliapal, occupied some land along the coast of Bay of Bengal and it is in the possession of the poor even now.

“Abolition of landlordism and land to the tiller” is the central slogan of People’s Democratic Revolution. When we were working to realise this, the Government deployed police and there was resistance. Such struggles are taking place throughout the country -Telangana, Sambalpur, Narayanapatna and many other places he said.

Most of the people in Narayanapatna are adivasis. The land is community land. The remnants of primitive communism are still present there, despite modernity. Ancient and indigenous breeds of wheat etc. are available there but are in grave danger of extinction from the flooding of hybrids in the name of Green Revolution. It has taken place in some small pockets of Orissa. Of course, it is on a much bigger scale in AP. These capitalist methods of America pushed the agricultural sector into a severe crisis and the farmers are resorting to suicides. But how is the callous government treating them? He recited a Oriya stanza on this. As a routine, it just announces some compensation. But we are not for these begging bowls.

We demand: Give us land, provide amenities. We have abundant natural resources, organic manures and traditionally proved agricultural methods. With these we can produce good crops. The Government is not willing. Adivasis’ lands are going into the hands of new landlords and the rich. We questioned all this and continued the movement under the leadership of Chasi Moolia Adivasi Sangham. Thus com Gananatha Patro explained vividly the background to Narayanapatna movement.

The comrade further explained: The key leader of that Sangham is com. Nachikalinga, an Adivasi peasant who worked for the people. With great sacrifices, he changed the people for good and made them to give up vices such as drinking etc. Emancipation of land, liberation from hunger and intoxicants – people are organized with these three slogans. Now people there have land, water etc. They are producing two crops by shift-cultivation. But Central and State Governments are unleashing fascist repression on these very people and they are resorting to the same wherever there are struggles, he criticised.

Comrades DV Rao and T.Nagi Reddy have shown the correct path and we will march forward along that path, he declared. I have a heart disease and threat of death. I take this as a challenge and prefer to carry on the struggle even at the cost of my life – he declared with revolutionary passion. He sang the first lines of a Telugu song “Don’t drop the flag that you have raised – Salutes to the Red Flag”, overwhelmed by that spirit. As he completed his speech with revolutionary slogans, people are moved with his strong comradely feelings and spirit resonating in his voice.

Resolution passed by GPS-AP Conference On Land Struggles in Narayanapatna (Orissa)

Adivasis of Narayanapatna area (Koraput/ Orissa), adjoining AP-Orissa border, have been fighting over the years landlords who grabbed adivasis’ lands, under the leadership of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) led by com. Gananatha Patro, prominent communist revolutionary of Orissa. In the face of intense police repression on adivasis and their leadership, adivasis led by CMAS seized back vast tracts of land. As part of efforts to suppress the movement, two activists were shot dead and hundreds detained. Com, Gananath Patro was imprisoned for more than an year, apart from around 150 adivasis including women and children. Attempts were made to arrest and murder com. Nachikalinga, the chief leader of CMAS. GPS condemned this repression, demanded an end to this onslaught, and extended solidarity and support to the militant struggle for land. (The Proletarian Line, No. 84, May 2010 issue published a detailed report of this struggle, including efforts by OPDR-AP in support of CMAS).

GPS urged relief and compensation to the peasants who were hit by untimely heavy rains and hailstorms, apart from power-cuts, in recent past. GPS paid homage to several activists and leaders who contributed to the rural poor movement and those who died since 3rd State Conference, and to those who extended solidarity.

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The solidarity extended by UCCRI-ML, GPS and OPDR (Organization for Protection of democratic Rights-AP) to the Narayanapatna adivasi movement led by Com GP was exemplary, not merely verbal. More than 120 adivasi peasants of that movemnt were imprisoned in Odisha for long. Repression by the State, lack of resources and opportunism and factionalism caused them undue sufferings. It was at that juncture comrades from AP (now bifurcated) extended support for years. At a time when repression overwhelmed the Narayana patna adivasi movement, and few dared to venture out, OPDR General secretary Com RVK Satynarayana (no more, he died in 2016 October) and UCCRI-ML functionary Com ChSN Murthy had visited Odisha several times, met several people, extended and mobilised support and solidarity, and organized legal defence to get them all released. All this took a couple of years of efforts. Advocates Nihar Patnaik and Balakrishna had conducted the case in Koraput.


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