Wednesday, May 21, 2014
The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) expresses its deep grief at the passing away of Comrade R Umanath, veteran leader of the Party at Tiruchirapalli. He was aged 92 years.
R Umanath was a member of the Central Committee of the Party from 1978 to 2012. He was elected a member of the Polit Bureau in 1991 and served in that capacity till 2008. He served as a member of the Tamilnadu State Committee and Secretariat of the Party for several decades.
He began his political activity as a young student by participating in the freedom struggle. He joined the Communist Party in 1939 while studying at the Annamali University in Tamilnadu. He left his studies to become a wholetimer of the Party.
Umanath became a talented organizer of the trade unions and played an important role in building the trade union movement in different parts of Tamilnadu. He was one of the founders of the CITU and was the first General Secretary of Tamilnadu CITU. He served as the General Secretary and later as the President of the State CITU for long years. He served as the national Vice President of the CITU till 2010.
Comrade Umanath served as a member of the Lok Sabha in 1962 and 1967. Later he was elected to the state legislature for two terms. He was a powerful speaker in Tamil and English and made a mark in the parliamentary forums.
The Communist Party was repressed by the British rulers in the years before independence. Com. Umanath was convicted along with other Communist leaders in the Madras Conspiracy case and jailed for two and a half years. He spent altogether nine and half years in jail both before and after independence. He also spent seven years underground, the last period being during the Emergency in 1975-77.
Com. Umanath was a staunch Marxist-Leninist. He set an example of the Communist style of work among the working class. As a member of the Polit Bureau and the Central Committee, Umanath made a notable contribution to the evolution of the Party’s ideological and political line.
Married to Papa Umanath, they both were an inspiring example of dedicated work and simple style of living.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) pays homage to the memory of this outstanding communist leader. It conveys its heartfelt condolences to his daughters U Vasuki and Nirmala Ravi.