INDIA VOTES 2024: Having lost its sheen, staying afloat is goal of Left parties : The Tribune India

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INDIA VOTES 2024: Having lost its sheen, staying afloat is goal of Left parties

INDIA VOTES 2024: Having lost its sheen, staying afloat is goal of Left parties

Photo for representational purpose only. - File photo



Tribune News Service

Manmeet Singh Gill

Amritsar, May 20

In a constituency, which has seen the stalwarts of the communist ideology such as Sohan Singh Josh, Baba Sohan Singh Bhakna, Satyapal Dang and Vimla Dang walk the streets here, the Left (ideology) is perhaps making its last-ditch efforts to stay afloat.

Communist movement as old as history of ideology

The story of the communist movement in Amritsar is as old as the history of the ideology. In fact, in some ways, it is even older than that. Baba Sohan Singh Bhakna of Bhakna village here became the founding member of the Ghadar Party in the US on July 15, 1913. And then, who can forget the illustrious Dang couple — Satyapal Dang and Vimla Dang — the last citadels of the communist ideology and practice.

The story of the communist movement in Amritsar is as old as the history of the ideology in the country. In fact, in some ways, it is even older than that.

Baba Sohan Singh Bhakna of Bhakna village here became the founding member of the Ghadar Party when it came into being in the US at a meeting on July 15, 1913.

In a district, which has sent numerous communists to the state Assembly and several to prominent positions in communist parties, the Left has fielded Daswinder Kaur as the joint candidate of CPI and CPI (M).

However, in 2019 elections, Daswinder as the CPI candidate had secured only 16,335 of the 15.5 lakh votes polled. In 2014, Amarjit Singh Asal of the CPI had managed to get 1.28 per cent of the polled votes. Interestingly, most farmer unions are associated with the Left parties, but still when it comes to elections, the support of the agrarian community is not translated into votes.

Unlike the present crisis, when communists are not able to save their election deposit, they frequently won elections from here during the good old days. Sohan Singh Josh from Chetanpura village near here was the first communist to be elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly in 1937. Acchar Singh Chinna from Harsha Chinna represented Ajnala constituency for the two consecutive terms starting from 1952.

And then, who can forget the illustrious Dang couple — Satyapal Dang and Vimla Dang — the last citadels of the communist ideology and practice. Satyapal Dang remained MLA for four terms and became minister once. Vimla Dang too was elected to the Assembly in 1992.

The couple repeatedly headed the Chheharta municipality. Vimla passed away in 2010 and Satyapal three years later in June 2013. They did not leave behind any money, property or children, but their legacy. Until last they lived in the anteroom of the party office in Chheharta.

Veteran communist leader Rattan Singh Randhawa said, “The ideology has not lost its relevance yet. People have shown immense faith in the leadership of Left leaders during the farmers’ agitation recently.” He said, “In the present scenario, when country is facing fascist forces, the Left is the only ideology, which can come help the masses.”

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#Baba Sohan Singh Bhakna #Ghadar Party


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