Saturday, 6 April 2013

Emotional tribute paid to Com. Shalini; resolve expressed to complete her remaining works and fulfil her dreams

Lucknow, April 4. It would not be easy to fill the void created due to sudden demise of a young cultural organiser like Com. Shalini. While working on several fronts at once, the contribution which she made in popularising the progressive and revolutionary literature not only in Lucknow but throughout the country will be unforgettable.
At a condolence meeting organised by 'Janchetna' and 'Rahul Foundation' in memory of Com. Shalini, she was remembered with utmost fondness by the writers, cultural activists, social activists and literature lovers coming from different places including Delhi, Punjab, Mumbai, Allahabad, Patna, Gorakhpur etc apart from the intellectuals and citizens from the city. Besides paying an emotional tribute, a resolve was expressed in the meeting to carry forward the ideals for which Shalini remained committed till the end.

Shalini was battling with pancreatic cancer since last 3 months. It was in the second week of January in Lucknow that she was diagnosed with cancer. She was immediately rushed to Delhi where it was learnt that the cancer is in the fourth stage and she was also suffering from bone metastasis, i.e. the cancerous cells were spreading to her bones as well. Since then she was being treated in Delhi's Dharmshila Cancer Hospital. On 29 March, she passed away in this very hospital. She was only 38 years old.

The secretary of Rahul Foundation, Satyam, said that Com. Shalini's political life had begun at the young age of 20. Apart from participating in the publication and distribution of progressive literature in Gorakhpur, Allahabad and Lucknow, Shalini used to enthusiastically take part in mass campaigns, movements and dharnas and demonstrations etc. Besides the Janchetna book centre, she, along with other comrades also used to go to homes and offices with books and magazines in a bag; she used to tell people about the progressive literature and used to prepare new readers. During her 3 years stay in a commune of young woman comrades in Gorakhpur, Shalini was active on woman front, cultural front and student front. She had taken the decision of working as a full time revolutionary activist way back in 1995 itself.

Even during her work in Allahabad as in-charge of 'Janchetna', she, along with a team of other woman comrades, used to take part in various social and political activities among the students of Allahabad University and youths and citizens of Allahabad city. Several writers and cultural activists remember her even today.

For last one decade or so, Lucknow was her location of work. Along with taking responsibility of the works of the central office of 'Janchetna' and the book outlet. she also used to share the publication related works of 'Parikalpana', 'Rahul Foundation' and 'Anurag Trust'. Besides taking up the responsibility of the activities of the head office of 'Anurag Trust', library, children workshops etc., the dedication and affection with which Com. Shalini served and looked after the veteran chief trustee of the trust, late Com. Kamla Pandey, could only have been done by a true service oriented communist. In 2011 when a decision was taken to build the central library of 'Arvind Memorial Trust' in Lucknow, it was Shalini who took up the main responsibility of its management. She was the president of the 'Janchetna' Books society, member of the board of trustees of 'Anurag Trust', executive member of 'Rahul Foundation' and director of 'Parikalpana Prakashan'. It is noteworthy that along with so many departmental responsibilities, Shalini also used to take part in the general political propaganda and movement related activities as far as possible. She also used to go to the poor's settlements in Lucknow to teach kids from time to time. It was Shalini who used to stand most of the times at the Janchetna stall in Lucknow's Hazratganj which is opened every evening.
Poetess Katyayani remembered her with warm affection and said that while battling with death at every moment, Shalini taught us what it is to be living like a real human being. Till her last days, Shalini used to think about her responsibilities and political and social activities only. She frequently used to give some information or suggestion to comrades over phone. Right from the beginning she used to care about others many more times than about herself. She was well aware that the death was at her doorstep, but the fear of death and disappointment could not even touch her. Her belief in returning to the front of the responsibilities after getting well and her optimism towards this used to give hope to us as well.

Com. Shalini was a young, committed communist organiser. In today's time when many people's faith is wavering, people are doing various sort of compromises, the attack of the bourgeois culture is weakening a substantial portion of young activists, Shalini kept on moving on her path without even subtly getting influenced by all this. After setting her goal of life once, she never compromised or looked back. She did not hesitate to do complete rupture from the familial and property relations for the sake of her ideals. Coming as she was from a usurer, trader and land lord family background, the firmness with which Shalini abandoned her old values and the candour with which she adopted the communist values remains rare and exemplary in today's times.

Rambabu, artist and president of Anurag Trust, Abhinav Sinha, editor of Ahwan, Shalini's friends and her comrades Kavita and Shakambhari who were with her in her last days, Gitika from Janchetna, writer Sushila Puri, Namrata Sachan, A.M. Rizvi from RDSO and others remembered the different aspects of Shalini's personality.

Asha Mishra of Indian Woman Federation said that till her last breath Shalini remained stick to the values and the ideology for which she fought. The ideological understanding and the deep devotion to the work which was visible in Shalini at a young age are rarely found these days.

Some selected condolence messages sent from the intellectuals, writers and activists from different parts of the country were read out on their behalf as per their request. The head of the cultural bureau of the Unified Nepal Communist Party (Maoist), Ninu Chapagain said that the cultural workers of her party express revolutionary solidarity with Janchetna, Anurag Trust and Rahul Foundation as they take up the many responsibilities fulfilled by Comrade Shalini. Her work on many fronts of the cultural struggle will definitely bear fruit for many years to come, through those she inspired, organized, and worked alongside, as well as untold numbers for whom she made revolutionary literature available. Pahal's editor Gyanranjan said that the sacrifice which Shalini made while working on all our ideological fronts remains an example in itself. There is no other example before us in such a tough time. Writer Shivmurti said that in his message that the death of Com. Shalini is an irreparable damage for the struggling common people. I was aware of the different aspects of her personality for a long time. The long poem 'My Last Wish' which she wrote before her death reflects her courageous and revolutionary thoughts and firm willpower.

Kavita Srivastava from PUCL said with revolutionary salute to Shalini, her works, her writings, her thoughts and her courage that Shalini's Blog has been one of the nicest things that could have happened to her. Senior writer and journalist Ajay Singh said that for him Shalni and the Janchetna Book Stall in the carridores of Lucknow's Hazratganj became synonym to each other. Shalini always used to welcome with a subtle and friendly smile and she used to tell about the new and old books and magazines. Sitting on a stool, Shalini's erect posture is imprinted on my conscience, he said. Pragatisheel Vasudha's editor Rajendra Sharma said in his condolence message that Com. Shalini created a wide definition of people's struggle while combating on many fronts at once. Such a sudden demise of an honest comrade like her is a shocking accident. An illuminating pole star has left from our ranks.

Several people including poet Naresh Saxena, Malay, Vijendra, Naresh Chandrakar, Kapilesh Bhoj, writer Subhash Gatade, Dr. Anand Teltumbde, Chandreshwar, Virendra Yadav, Madanmohan, Bhagwanswaroop Katiyar, Pratap Dixit, Shalini Mathur, Shakeel Siddiqui, Girishchandra Srivastava, Ajit Pushkal, Film director Faiza Ahmad Khan, Udbhavna's editor Ajey Kumar, Baya's editor Gaurinath, Sablog's editor Kishan Kaljayi, Samyantar's editor Pankaj Bisht, Janpath's editor Omprakash Mishra, Prof. Chaman Lal, journalist Javed Naqvi, Divya Arya, Dr. Sadanand Shahi, Shamsul Islam, Mumbai's Harsh Thakore, Lokayat's Neeraj Jain from Pune, CCI's Partha Sarkar, secretary of Jan Sanskrit Manch Pranay Krishn, Jales's Pramod Kumar, social activist Ashok Chaudhary, V.R. Raman, Dr. Meena Kala, Mohini Manglik, Hargopal Singh, theatre activist Rajesh and Dr. Sadhna Gupta said in their condolence messages for Com. Shalini that the manner in which she continued the struggle for life while fighting against several odds is a valuable lesson for all the youth, particularly for the women who are moving ahead with the goal of freeing this country from the shackles. Considering the condition of the revolutionary movement, it would not be easy for filling the void created after her demise.
On this occasion a tree was planted in her memory on her ashes.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Condolence Messages

Very sorry to hear about her passing. I am sure her life will continue to inspire many.

Faiza Ahmad Khan
Filmmaker, Mumbai

Very sorry to here this. You tried your best. May the departed soul rest in peace. Lets learn from her efforts and take the thought forward.

Professor, Chandigarh University

Dear friends of Rahul Foundation and Jan Chetna,

Krantikari Salaam to Shalini, her work, her writings, her views, her courage!!

I am Kavita Srivastava from the PUCL. Shalini's Blog has been one of the nicest thing that could have happened to me. Although I regret that I learnt of it only after her death when I opened the link sent to me by  somebody .

Since then I have been reading her expressions and sharing it with friends. I have found her writings very inspirational and bold. She was really a woman of courage. We have been circulating and reading her poems in particular the last wish, pablo neruda other passages like Jai Jeevan out loud and have been sharing the link of the blog to others.

IT was life that needed to live longer.

I will send the feed back to you later of how a section of the women's movement has responded to Shalini's poem's and writings when I sent the link of the blog to

I just wanted share that there is a discrepancy in the Hindi poem " my last wish". The last paragraph of the english translation is not there in the Hindi poem. Please repaste the original Hindi poem to the blog.

The hindi lines of this para is missing.

Comrades! I do not await death
But to get back to my work.
Cancer can be defeated by
Positive attitude and firm resolve
And all possible treatments are going on.
But still if I am unable to return to my front,
There is nothing to worry,
I will remain present in your thoughts and determinations.
I know, you will turn grief into strength
To make up for my loss.
You can turn one into a hundred.
We have to save the children! Save the dreams!!
We have to wake up forgotten ideas,
And explore new thoughts!
We have to recruit new soldiers
And make the people realise once again
That they are the makers of history.
I may or may not be with you,
But this fight will go on, till victory comes.
The caravan will keep on going, until it reaches our destination.




I am so sorry to learn about the death of Comrade Shalini. I personally, and also on behalf of Jan Sanskriti Manch find myself one with all of you in this moment of grief and irreparable loss. Long live her memory and her dreams of a better world.

Pranay Krishna, Gen Secy. Jan sanskriti Manch


Very sad news. Pay my tribute. Let her spirit survive through her dedicated work

Chaman Lal

(Retired) Professor Chaman Lal, Former Chairperson
Cenre of Indian Languages
Former President,JNU Teachers Association(JNUTA)
Jawaharlal Nehru University
New Delhi-110067, India
Former Visiting Professor on Hindi Chair
The University of the West Indies,St Augustine campus,Trinidad


Our condolence .Red Salute to Com. Shalini!

Ashok Choudhary



Gopi Kanta Ghosh


RIP Com Shalini!. A big Laal Salaam to your memory..

Jawed Naqvi


immensely saddened by the news of com shalini's death. our red salute to
her and hope that her dreams unfulfilled will one day materialize.

Shamsul Islam


A very sad news indeed. Let us work for the realization of her unfulfilled

dreams. Lal Salaam Comrade Shalini!

Basu Acharya


I pay my tributes to com. Shalini

P K Kaushal

M C P I(U)


Tribute to Com.Shalini

Appukuttan P


We express our deep sorrow over sad demise of a promising leader of our time who devoted every second of her life to achieve a goal meant for mankind.

KK Roy



My red salute and heartfelt condolences to com Sh!

Dr. Anand Teltumbde


Our condolence to Com Shalini. Red salute.
SRUTI (Society for Rural Urban & Tribal Initiative)


Dear Comrades,
We offer our heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of Com.Shalini. She leaves behind a gap which cannot be
filled easily given the state of the revolutionary movement. It is a big loss. We hope that you will gather
the strength to overcome the hard situation. RED SALUTE TO COM. SHALINI

With revolutionary greetings,

Partha Sarkar,
For and on behalf of CCI.

आपकी साथी शालिनी के बारे में पता चला। बहुत दुख हुआ। आपके लिए यह बहुत मुश्किल वक्‍त है। मैं दुआ करती हूं कि आप और आपके बाकी साथी एक-दूसरे को हिम्‍मत दे सकें।

दिव्‍या आर्या, बीबीसी


We are extremely sad to loose such a devoted female activist. We cannot afford to loose such persons.
Mohini Manglik

Very Sad. Was just talking about her half an hour back. She was a fighter and very brave. Only solace is that she is free from suffering. 
Meena Kala

May her soul rest in peace.
Asad M. Rizvi

कॉमरेड  शालिनी को हार्दिक श्रृद्धांजलि।

कपिलेश भोज, अल्‍मोड़ा

Condolence meeting in memory of Comrade Shalini

4 April 2013

Condolence meeting in memory of Com. Shalini, Young Revolutionary and President of Janchetna Books Society, 5 PM, Janchetna, D-68, Nirala Nagar, Lucknow. 

Organised by: Janchetna and Rahul Foundation.

Red Salute to Com. Shalini!

On the night of 29 March, our beloved comrade, a brave young revolutionary and an important organiser of laying the foundation of several revolutionary endeavours, Shalini left us forever. It was in the second week of January that she was diagnosed with cancer and since then she was battling with this fatal metastatic cancer with exemplary courage and bravery. Immediately after getting diagnosed with cancer, she was taken to Delhi's Dharmshila Cancer Hospital where doctors told in the beginning itself that the cancer was at very advance stage and its complete cure was not possible. They could only provide treatment for relief from pain and extending the life. However, with the consent of the doctors of Dharmshila Cancer Hospital, she was also given treatment with two methods of alternative therapy. The doctors of theses therapies were very much confident that Shalini could get well. Com. Shalini was aware of all this since the beginning and she was battling with the disease with amazing courage, positive attitude and lust for life.
She was administered with the first Chemotherapy in January and two more rounds in February and March. Since the medicine in the first chemo did not work, the doctors had changed the medicine since the second chemo. She was supposed to be given the third round of chemotherapy since since 29th March. But meanwhile her condition was continuously deteriorating. She had become very weak due side effects of chemotherapy and due to repeated bouts of vomiting it was very difficult for her to eat anything. Due to tumour, the stomach was repeatedly getting filled with liquid and she was to be taken to the hospital even for its removal. Due to body infection she had to remain admitted to hospital from 2 March to 10 March and then from 14 to 19 March. In the meantime she was also administered with the third round of chemotherapy. Even after returning from hospital she had to be given injection for many times a day for avoiding infection. On March 27, due to blood pressure getting dipped very low she had to be admitted to the hospital again.
On the morning of 28 March, doctors took her to ICU so that dopamine could be administered for making the blood pressure normal. On the morning of 29 March we had a word with Dr. Anish Maru, who was supervising Shalini's treatment, that since chemotherapy was not yielding the desired results and since as per him there was no chance of complete cure, could we take her to the Nature Life International situated in Calicut as they claim that in some cases patient were successfully cured there. Dr. Maru did not raise any objection and said that as soon as Shalini was in position of travelling, she could be taken there.
We had also spoken to Dr. Jacob, chief of Nature Life and we had made all arrangements for Shalini's travel as well. The entire team which looked after her was supposed to travel along with her. Even Shalini wanted the same. Meanwhile at 9 pm on  March 29, due to sudden internal bleeding and obstruction in the windpipe she had a cardiac arrest for 3-4 minutes after which the doctors restored the pulse through CPR and she was kept on ventilator. The doctors at the ICU said that after this incident her condition had deteriorated and that they could not do anything till next morning. The comrades present there immediately informed to all the comrades and Shalini's mother. Subsequently another cardiac arrest took place at around 11:14 pm and this time all the efforts of doctors to resuscitate her were proved unsuccessful. She breathed her last at 11:25 pm.
Comrade Shalini wrote in her political will (Last wish),
"if I lose out in the battle of life
My body must be wrapped in our cherished red flag
And then it must be donated to a government hospital or medical institute
For the purpose of scientific research or to donate organs to poor and needy patients.
I will legally assign the responsibility for this to two of my comrades.
If this is not possible for any reason
My body should be taken to an electric crematorium
On the shoulders of my comrades
And my last rites must be performed without any religious rituals
With raised fists and the International being played.
We wanted to complete the legal formalities for her wish for donating her body as soon as possible, but our first priority was her health. She was in this hospital for almost the entire month of March and even at home she was in no position to take strain. It was for this reason she could not get the opportunity to donate complete the legal formalities for body donation. Secondly, no one including the doctors had idea that death will take her away so soon. Respecting the communist values and the last wish of comrade Shalini, her comrades gave salute with tight fist and with international song to her dead body which was wrapped with the red flag. On March 30, 2013 She was cremated in electric crematorium at Delhi's Lodhi Road without any religious ritual with the slogans like 'Red salute to Com. Shalini' and 'Com. Shalini you are alive in our collective resolve'.
Com. Shalini's life, her single minded devotion towards revolutionary work, her commitment towards her role in the battle for people's emancipation without caring a little for her personal joy and grief, dreams and aspirations remains an inspiration for all of us in today's time. The memory of Comrade Shalini will continue to inspire us to move ahead on this path with firm steps. It is our promise to Com. Shalini that in order to accomplish the works for which she devoted 18 years of life, we will work with double enthusiasm. She had an immense love for revolution and communist principles and she hated those tremendously who threw mud on them. Her life is also a living testimony that no compromise should be done with the enemies of revolution.   

A revolutionary Life:

Com. Shalini's political life began in her teens, when in 1995 she went from Lucknow to Gorakhpur to participate in a month-long cultural workshop and a three-day Shaheed Mela (programme organised in memory of the martyrs) . After this, she started living in a commune with young woman comrades in Gorakhpur. Shalini worked on the women's front, cultural front and the student's front while she was in the commune for three years. Meanwhile she completed her Masters course in ancient history from the University of Gorakhpur. She had already decided in 1995 to work as a fulltime revolutionary worker.
During 1998-99, Shalini moved to Lucknow and started participating in the publication of Marxist literature from Rahul Foundation and other activities. From 1999 to 2001 she looked after the Janchetna bookshop in Gorakhpur, regularly organising street exhibitions, door-to-door campaigns and various other things to promote pro-people literature. She worked as the incharge of the Janchetna centre in Allahabad from November 2002 to December 2003. Since 2004, she had been looking after the responsibilities of the central office and book shop of Janchetna in Lucknow. Apart from this, she had also been assisting in the publication activities of Parikalpana, Rahul Foundation and Anurag Trust. Along with looking after the activities at the main offices of Anurag Trust (library, reading room, children's workshops etc.), Com. Shalini took care of the veteran activist and main trustee of Anurag Trust, late Com. Kamla Pandey with the affection and dedication befitting a true communist. When in 2011, it was decided to build the central library of the Arvind Memorial Trust in Lucknow, it was again Shalini who owned the main responsibility.
She was  the president of the society who runs Janchetna Books, member of the board of trustees of Anurag Trust, executive member of Rahul Foundation and a director of Parikalpana publications. It is noteworthy that besides shouldering all these departmental responsibilities, Shalini had also been an active participant of general political propaganda activities and agitational actions as much as possible.
Com. Shalini was a hard-working, young communist organiser with a rich experience of eighteen years of difficult and turbulent political life full of ups and downs. She was unwavering in her belief in communism and had always been tenacious and hard-working like a labourer in her political work. Meanwhile, many showed their backs in the battlefield. Many have compromised, left the ranks to wallow in the mire of decadence, settling in cozy nests, even preaching pragmatism to others or becoming peddlers of opportunist politics. None of these could ever affect Shalini, who remained resolute on her path. She never looked back or compromised once she decided her goal in life. Even when her father degenerated due to his vested interests and class arrogance and started a campaign of slandering and character-assassination, Shalini completely broke her relations with him without a second's delay. The firmness with which Shalini made a decisive rupture with all property relations despite coming from a usurer, trader and landlord family and the earnestness with which she adopted communist values, is both rare and exemplary in today's time.