Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Com. Shalini: A Revolutionary Life

Shalini in a program at Janchetna, Lucknow
Comrade 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 has been looking after the responsibilities of the central office and book shop of Janchetna in Lucknow. Apart from this, she has 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 cared for 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 handled the main responsibility.

Presently, she is 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 has also been an active participant of general political propaganda activities and agitational actions as much as possible.

Com. Shalini is 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 is unwavering in her belief in communism and has always been tenacious and hard-working like a labourer in her political work. Meanwhile, many have shown their backs in the battlefield. Many have comprised, 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 has 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, are rare and exemplary today.

Today, this brilliant comrade is fighting a decisive battle with dangerous metastatic cancer. We are sure that not only us, but every progressive intellectual and sensitive citizen, all well-wishers of our ideological-political-cultural experiments and our work on children's front will also wish that our young comrade wins this battle. We are trying to provide her the most advanced medical facilities for the treatment of cancer available today. We are also trying alternative therapies. The treatment is going on in Delhi but we are also sending the medical reports to experts in Mumbai, Chennai, Ireland and US and are receiving consultations from them. All this is possible because of the collective efforts of comrades and friends. And their financial contributions. Certainly, there will be no dearth of progressive left, democratic people who would wish to save this precious life. As you know, the treatment will be a long one and very expensive. We want all the help and assistance from all co-travelers and well-wishers in this campaign.

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