Harekrishna Kongar

In 1930, law-disobedience movement started countrywide. Back then Comrade Kongkar was a student of 9th grade in Memary Bidyasagar Smriti Bidyamondir. He joined the law-disobedience movement and was arrested. being a high school student. Later he established connections with Binoy Choudhury, Saroj Mukherji, Abdul Halim and involved himself with Communist ideals. He began becoming educated on Marxism and internationalism of the working class from Saroj Mukherji, Binoy Choudhury. Even then he continued with revolutionist movement at full fledge. He was arrested in 1932 for his revolutionist activist and faced rigorous imprisonment for 6 years. Then he was exiled to Andaman in 1933. While in exile, he studied Marxism- Leninism in his cellular jail. He came into contact with Narayan Roy and joined the Communist Consolidation. In the beginning of 1938, he was released. And in that very year, he got the membership of the Communist party. He was then actively involved in the Canal movement from 1938-39.

According to the 1938 Bradley Thesis, Communists were working from within Congress. Here, Comrade Kongar’s role was to maintain communication between the comrades of the Calcutta, Bardhamaan, Haora, Hugly congress. This role helped Kongkar to develop leftist ideals in congress workers and he lived up to his role completely.

He was elected in the State committee in the 6th state congress of the undivided Communist party, held in the Calcutta Muslim Institute on the 17-21 December, 1953. In the 7th state congress- 16-21 January, 1956- held in the same hall, Kongar was elected as a member of the state secretaries of the party. He became a member of the central executive committee and national council of Communist Party of India in the 5th special congress of the party held in 1958, in Amritsar. Harekrishna Kongar was also one of the 12 members of the National council of west Bengal, elected in the 6th and the last congress of the undivided Communist party of India, held in 1961 during the disagreements of ideals within the party, in Bijoywadar. He was also a member of the 25 member central committee later selected by this national council.

In 1957, Harekrishna Kongar was elected in the Legislative Assembly of West Bengal from the Kalna centre (Two seats). He was the Minister of Land and Land revenue department of the 1st and 2nd Juktafront Government. From the same centre, he was again elected in the Legislative Assembly in 1962, 1967, 1969, 1971.

In 1962, Kongar was arrested under the Protect India Law during the China-India border conflict. For the same reason he was arrested in 1964 and again in 1966. He played an important role while the reformists were being rebuked from the party. During the establishment of CPI (M), he was elected a member of the secretaries of state and central committee of the Communist party. Then he was re-elected as a member of the central committee in the Cochin congress in 1968 and Madurai in 1972. He put up a mighty struggle against narrow mindedness.

Kongar was introduced to the movement of the farmers through the canal movement. After this he was one of the main organizers and leaders of the farmers’ movement, all over the country. He was the first to be elected as CKC member in All-India Krishak Shava, which was held in 1954, from 13-19 September in Moga, Punjab. He was elected in the same post again from the Amritaras congress, Mayabharam congress, Trichur congress. In 1953 he was elected as West Bengal Provincial Krishak Shabha’s Secretary.

In Madurai, the 19th congress of Krishak Shava was held in 1968. During this time, Kongar went undercover. And from this congress he was elected as the General Secretary of all-India Krishak Shabha, and held this post till his death. He was re-elected in this post from the Kalan congress, in Roka of Punjab, Bargul congress and finally in the Shikar congress in Rajsthan.

Harekrishna Kongar breathed his last at the age of 59, on the 23rd July, 1974.

Translator:  Auroni Semonti

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