Press Release

Comrade Sailen Dasgupta

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) expresses its profound grief at the passing away of Comrade Sailen Dasgupta, member of the Polit Bureau and Chairman of the Left Front committee in West Bengal. Com. Sailen Dasgupta died on the night of July 10 in a Mumbai hospital, where he had undergone heart surgery. He was 81 years old.

Com. Sailen Dasgupta was one of the main organisers of the CPI(M) in West Bengal where he served as the Secretary of the State Committee from 1990 to 1998. He was also one of the key figures in the Left Front who played a major role in consolidating its strength and unity.

Born in 1920 in the Barishal district in undivided Bengal, Sailen Dasgupta joined the Party in 1939, one year after his matriculation. He was first arrested in 1936 for revolutionary activities with the Anushilan Samiti. He became a wholetimer of the Party in 1944. He worked for sometime as a worker in a cotton mill and later in Kolkata port.

Belonging to a poor family, Sailen Dasgupta left his job and became a wholetimer even though his family was in dire straits. The commitment he made then to become a full-time revolutionary was sustained by him for nearly six decades.

Sailen Dasgupta became a member of the State Council of the united CPI in 1954 and continued in the State Committee of the CPI(M) after the split. Sailen Dasgupta became a member of the State Secretariat in 1982 and took over the Secretaryship of the State Committee after the demise of Comrade Saroj Mukherjee in early 1990. He was elected to the Central Committee the same year and to the Polit Bureau in 1991.

In his Party life, Sailen Dasgupta played an important role in the State Centre of the Party and also in the Central Committee office. When the CPI(M) Central Committee office was opened in 1966 in Calcutta, Sailen Dasgupta joined the Party Centre. He worked there till the Central Committee office shifted to Delhi a decade later. At the State Centre of the CPI(M), Sailen Dasgupta discharged many important responsibilities for the Party. In recognition of this he became the Secretary of the West Bengal State Committee of the CPI(M) and the Chairman of the Left Front Committee, duties that he carried out with distinction.

In making the CPI(M) and the Left Front a strong and consistent force in West Bengal, the contribution of Sailen Dasgupta was notable.

Sailen Dasgupta will always be remembered for his fine qualities. He was a leader who cared deeply for the cadres and his affectionate behaviour endeared him to all. Having gone through all sorts of difficulties in developing the Party and the Communist movement, he gained valuable experience which helped the Party to face various situations. He played a significant role in promoting the publication of the Marxist and Party literature. In the last few years, despite bad health, Sailen Dasgupta continue to contribute to Party work. He was active in the organisational work for the recent assembly elections.

Sailen Dasgupta was exemplary in his unfailing devotion and meticulousness to work. He was modest in his behaviour and constantly strove to equip himself with Marxist ideology. His death is a grievous loss to the CPI(M) and the Left movement in the country. His memory will always be cherished by the Party ranks and Left supporters. The Polit Bureau pays its respectful homage to this outstanding leader and sends its heartfelt condolences to his wife, daughter, son and other family members.