Mohammed Ismail


Ismail had to face the loss of his father at the age of 6. He arrived in Kolkata when he was 11 years old. While being a student he had to work at the industry of an English owner and from here his strong conscience against the exploitation of the owners bloomed, which has driven him towards the political struggle of the workers and for independence. This man was arrested for being involved in Khilafat Andolon only at the age of eighteen. By then he had arrived at the decision that Kolkata- the centre of the struggle against Imperalism, would decide the course of his life. During his imprisonment, he managed to master his mother tongue Urdu as well as Bangla and Hindi.


Till 1935, Ismail was involved with the ideology of National Congress. He lived in 41 Jakaria Street, which was where the residence of Abdul Halim was also situated. And it is in this Comrade’s company, Ismail was drawn towards Communist Idealism and in that year he gained the membership of Communist Party. Following party’s orders, he organized workers’ trade union and took part in Political movements from the platform of Congress.

In 1939, he was elected as a member of Bengal Provincial Congress Committee, and joined Haripur Congress as Bengal’s representative. From there he got elected as a member of AICC. At the same time he took the responsibility of directing a Urdu weekly named ‘Rafiq’ which was a publication of the Communist Party from Kolkata.

Ismail got elected as a member of the working committee of AITUC in 1935 also. Following this in 1957 he became the All-India Vice-President of AITUC, and held this glory till 1970. During his term, he directed intense struggle against Revisionists, in effort to shape the Workers’ Syruggle into a Revolutionary Political struggle. As ACITU was formed in 1970, he was elected as the President of CITU West Bengal Provincial Committee and in 1971, was elected as the All India Vice-President of the same organization. He held this position till his death.

Mohammed Ismail was elected as Councilor of Calcutta Municipal Corporation in 1944 as a candidate of Communist Party, from Workers’ Central. In 1967, he was elected to the house of people from Barakpur Central. Following this, even after being elected twice to the house from the same Central, the contest between Mohammed Ismail and the then Chief Minister Dr. Bidanchandra Roy in the 1957 Legislative Assembly Elections for Boubazar Central still remains etched in history. HE was tailed back only for 540 votes.

From the 2nd congress of Communist Party in 1948 held in Kolkata, Ismail was elected as a member of the central committee. With the dissolvation of the Todaninron Provincial Committee, he became Secretary of the new one. He became a member of the state committee of C P I (M), with its formation in 1964 and held his membership till the last day of his life.

Mohammad Ismail had played an extraordinary role in organizing trum workers, rail workers and chaut (jute product) workers. Through the course of his life, from 1938 he remained as the president of the trum workers union as well as that of the rail workers union of Bengal-Assam.

This revolutionary took his last breath on the 14th November, 1990.

Translator:  Auroni Semonti

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