Nripen Chakraborty , a tragic hero abandoned by his own followers, denied tribute even on death anniversary

Nripen Chakraborty , a tragic hero abandoned by his own followers, denied tribute even on death anniversary

By TAPAS DEY | January 3, 2017

The day of December 25 is known and celebrated across the world as ‘Christmas’ on birth anniversary of prophet Jesus Christ, founder of the present world’s dominant faith ‘Christianity’. But in the Indian subcontinent , the day has a significance for an altogether different reason : twenty fifth December is also the birth anniversary of former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and founder of Pakistan Mohammed Ali Jinnah who had redefined the entity of the subcontinent. Be that as it may-in homeland Tripura the day is remembered by people as the death anniversary of state’s decade long (1978-1988) former chief minister Nripen Chakraborty.

There was a time when Nripen Chakraborty who had breathed his last in a Calcutta hospital on December 25, 2004 was the last word on anything in the state, specially within his party. The present generation of CPI (M) leaders including the chief minister Manik Sarkar who have been ruling the state since the year 1998 had all been recruited and brought to the party fold by Nripen. But after he had been expelled from the CPI (M) on April 13 1995 for irresponsible allegations made by him against West Bengal chief minister Jyoti  Basu in the media his former disciples and hand-picked followers virtually deserted him though a few of them used to meet him personally in the MLA Hostel No-2 where Nripen had confined himself. Things had been stretched to such an extent that even meeting  Nripen in person in his temporary abode in the MLAs hostel became a matter punishment .

It was out of sheer compulsion that the CPI (M) politburo and the state secretariat had readmitted Nripen to the party fold, sensing his imminent death to thwart a revolt from party’s rank and file. The party willy nilly did its duty till the cremation at Bat-tala crematorium-the final rituals were performed in perfect Hindu style by Nripen’s nephew Asish Chakraborty-but then everything returned to the set pattern of communist party. There is absolutely nothing to commemorate Nripen-no road, school or college or any institution though there are quite a few in the name of Marx, Engels ,Lenin et al. There was a proposal after the construction of second bridge west of old Jawhar bridge to name it after Nripen but somehow the demand or lack of response to it died down, as if by a natural process . The bridge was named after Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

Any reference to Nripen in anything has been erased completely. But this is part of the communist DNA as evident in many formerly communist ruled country. Merely because of verbal dissent against party line and policy issues innumerable top leaders holding high positions were liquidated in erstwhile Soviet Russia , China and other East European countries . There are lot of books still available in the market detailing  the blood spilling in the name of ideology and party which was and still continues to be a metaphysical entity to the communists. The Indian communists are not really communists as they practice power politics in a parliamentary form of democracy : they may be identified as social democrats . But the legacy still thrives and the so-called communists or socialists wallow in it . So there is no reason to deplore the fate Nripen has been consigned to.


The writer can be contacted at dey.tapas@gmail.com

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