Volume 6, No. 11, December. 2005


Comrade Shamsher Singh Sheri, Alias Comrade Karam Singh      (Com. K. S.), has departed from us for ever!

Let us pledge to follow his ideals and foot-steps!



Comrade Shamsher Singh Sheri, alias comrade Sher Singh Sheri, alias com. K.S., a Central Committee and Polit Bureau member of the CPI (Maoist) has departed for ever from his party comrades his fellow comrades inside the communist revolutionary movement, his friends, relatives, members of his family and the oppressed people of India, at some undisclosed place. His party made its best efforts to save him. The attack from disease was so terrible that he could not be saved in spite of all efforts of his party comrades. The dangerous disease of cerebral malaria-jaundice combine attacked him in the harsh conditions of underground life, which got aggravated over time, and ultimately resulted in his death. Not to speak of party comrades, even comrade Sheri was not conscious of it. He attained martyrdom on Oct. 30, 2005. Spurning the comforts of life, he devoted all his life to the service of the people.

Comrade Sheri was born in village Khokhar Kalan, in the Lehra Gaga area, subdivision Sunam, district Sangrur, Punjab. Although this area is an economically extremely backward area of Punjab, yet it has been an area of rich legacy of the revolutionary movement right from the beginning. It had been a stronghold of the armed Pepsu Tenancy movement under the leadership of the then Red Party. Comrade Teja Singh Swatantar, the most popular veteran leader of the communist Movement of Punjab and founder of the Red Communist Party, though not a native of this area, worked for a long time in this area and the people of this area considered him as their own. The great martyr Udham Singh was also a native of this area (Sunam), who took revenge for the bloody massacre of Jallianwalla Bagh on April 13, 1919 by shooting down General Dyer in the Kaxton Hall of London after a full twenty-one years. The Sikh General, Akali Phoola Singh, known as true, sincere, expert in warfare and great hero was also a native of village Lehal Kalan of this area, who, despite being an army commander of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh, gave lashes to Maharaja Ranjeet Singh at the Akal Takhat, the highest religious seat of the Sikhs. None can forget comrade Rahi of village Ugrahan, who, despite his blindness devoted all his life to the service of the people and worked as a courier of the Red communist Party. Comrade Sheri has not only continued the revolutionary legacy of this area, but has carried it to greater heights. Future generations will feel proud of it.

Comrade Sheri was born in the end of 1942. He was sixty three years old. He belonged to a middle class peasant family. He had six brothers and three sisters. Comrade Sheri was the youngest of all. He was still three or four months old when his father died. He along with an elder brother was married in 1957. At that time he was about fifteen years old. His wife Harbans Kaur, village Bhullran, district Sangrur was barely nine years old. Due to the custom of child marriage prevalent in Punjab at that time, he was bound by the bonds of marriage. But the real beginning of his family life started only a little before he went underground. In the mid 1980s, during his underground life, two sons were born to his wife. The elder Krantipal Singh is a student of B.A. final and the younger Sachinderpal Singh is a student of B.Sc. economics (Honors). It is a matter of great pride that inspite of the conditions of severe repression and comrade Sheri‘s staying out of home for 35 years, his wife unflinchingly stood with him till the end. She firmly stood with comrade Sheri even in the conditions of acute repression and social pressure.

Com. Sheri passed his middle class examination in 1957 privately and got coaching from Paras Raj academy Sunam. He cleared his matriculation from Lehragaga. After matriculation he joined Mahindra college Patiala for graduation. He did his B.A. part 2 from Mahindra college. Right at the outset com. Sheri had a keen interest in literature. During this period he composed several songs and poems which were published in the college magazine. He was a good player of Kabaddi. He fractured his leg while playing Kabaddi. Because of financial constraints and un-satisfactory treatment he developed a disability in the leg. Due to an open clash with goonda elements in Mahindra college he had to migrate to Ripudaman college Nabha in 1963. He completed his B.A. final from this college in 1964. During this period he came into contact with Darshan Bagi the first general secretary of the PSU and prominent student leader of Punjab and other leaders. After that he jumped into the student movement in Punjab earnestly.

It was the period when the national liberation struggles the world over were inflicting heavy strikes against the world imperialist system and the Chinese revolution was advancing by defeating the counter revolution, through the historic Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution unleashed under the leadership of com. Mao Tse-Tung. During these tumultuous years com. Sheri not only joined the revolutionary movement but also rose to the leading ranks of the student movement of Punjab. During this period he got admission in the govt. college Ludhiana and Khalsa college Amritsar. He was elected the secretary of the district committee Amritsar of the Punjab Students Union in Aug. 1967. At the time of the election to the state committee in Oct. 67 he was elected as propaganda secretary of the state. After the arrest of Darshan Bagi, the first general secretary of PSU in Dec. 1968 under PDR, he was elected acting general secretary the same year. When the first manifesto and constitution of the Punjab Students Union was adopted in July 1969 he was working as the general secretary of the PSU.

It was the period when the Naxalite Movement unleashed in May 1967 under the leadership of com. Charu Majumdar had provided the concrete alternative in the form of the line of protracted people’s war as against the revisionist line of the CPI and CPM. At that time com. Sheri upheld the formation of CPI (M.L.). Following the decision of party he went under ground in 1969-70. He not only upheld the line of armed struggle theoretically but also established himself as an important and influential leader implementing the line of protracted people’s war. After the fake police encounters of some senior comrades in Punjab, he was elected as a Punjab state committee member of the CPI (M.L.). He is known as one of those involved in the action that eliminated Sikander Singh, DSP Patiala, — known as one of the most successful military actions by the Naxalite movement of Punjab in the period of 1969-70. After that Com. Sheri was associated with all the military actions in the districts of Patiala and Sangrur.

Although he remained warranted for long during his student life, yet during these military actions Com. Sheri was widely hounded by the police. Severe repression was unleashed on the people of his village, his friends, relatives, his wife, his brothers and his connections in the revolutionary movement. If ever any native of village Khokhar was found by the police it considered its duty to torture him. His wife Harbans Kaur and his sister-in-law Harbans Kaur were both imprisoned for about three months. They were tortured. His brothers Ranjit and Harbans Singh etc. were also tortured. His friends and about 80-90 young men were selectively tortured. Apart from the action in Patiala, at the time of attack on the police post of village Dadhahoor of distt. Sangrur, the murder of landlord at Changaliwala, during the famous student struggle at Moga in Punjab the repression was at its height. His wife was prevented from cultivating the land. His landed property was attached by the Govt. After the change in situation his wife took courage and began cultivating the land. It forced the govt. to restrain. Even today his land is attached in the govt. records. His family can not sell the land, cannot get any loan, cannot get any power connection, etc. At the time of the birth of his children the police humiliated his wife as to how these children were born; where did they meet? Not only did com. Sheri and his family withstand the severe repression, but he did not bow before any police officer or political leader of the state throughout his life. He remained underground and devoted to the revolution. He never showed any weakness while leaving his home or of bowing before repression or family pressure. He persevered on the path of the revolution with his head held high. The repression by the govt. further tempered him.

After the disintegration of the CPI (M.L.) in Punjab he joined the organization named UCCRI (M.L.) in 1974. He worked as a member of the regional committee of this organization from 1974-82. The right reformist line of the UCCRI (M.L.) did not suit him. At that time the process of disintegration also started in this apparently strong organization. Due to upholding the revisionist Three World Theory the major part of the central leadership deviated to the revisionist line, though its minority rejected this revisionist theory. Com. Sheri was one of the important leaders resisting this revisionist attack. He took a clear cut position on this and other issues. At the time of the split in this group in 1982 he was one of those who rejected the right reformist line of this organization and became a member of the leading committee of the anti CC group. During the first conference of this group in Nov. 1983 this group was named RCCI (M.L.). Com. Sheri became the founder secretary of this group.

When in May 1984 the Revolutionary International Movement was founded, this group, under his leadership, upheld it. On the issue of assessing the developed region as a part of the imperialist policy of green revolution, two revisionist trends emerged in the communist revolutionary movement of India including Punjab. One trend propounded the path of socialist revolution and general insurrection, by changing the character and path of Indian society on the basis of such a process of development. This revisionist trend upheld participation in parliamentary institutions. This trend characterizes India as economically dependent on imperialism and politically independent or partly independent from it. The second trend talks of the sum total of the national revolutions.Com. Sheri struggled against these two revisionist trends and firmly upheld the theory of new-democratic revolution and protracted people’s war.

After the second conference of RCCI(M.L.)in 1992 this organization was split into two groups, RCCI(Maoist) and RCCI(MLM) in 1995. Comrade Sheri remained secretary in the 1996 and 2002 conferences of the RCCI(Maoist). Under his leadership the RCCI(Maoist) made a commendable contribution in organizing the Co-ordination Committee of Communist Parties and Organizations of South Asia ( CCOMPOSA). Under his leadership the RCCI(Maoist) and MCC were unified in Jan., 2003. After this unification the MCC was named as the MCCI. He was elected a member of the central committee of the MCCI before unifying with the CPI (ML) People’s War. In September, 2003 Com. Sheri played a significant role in the unity between the Organizing Committee, RCCI (MLM) and MCCI. In the capacity of central committee member of MCCI he earnestly played a role in preparing the unity documents released after the unification. In the first meeting of the two central committees held on 21 Sept.2004, he was elected a central committee and polit bureau member of the CPI (Maoist). Com. Sheri made a commendable contribution in the polit bureau and central committee meeting in solving the problems faced by the CPI (Maoist). Com. Sheri persevered boldly during the phase of disintegration of the revolutionary movement. He learned from left and right mistakes. In a gloomy phase when many of his comrades returned to their homes he studied a lot of books on the Marxist classics. Passing through this process he emerged as a mature theoretician. He prepared several documents and many articles which are a precious capital of the communist revolutionary movement in India.

Due to his views and practice, the right reformist critics always labeled him left adventurist. On the contrary, on account of his continuously maturing views, the name of Com. Sheri came to be known in the forests and mountains of India and Nepal. Instead of Com. Shamsher Singh Sheri or Sher Singh Sheri he came to be known as com. K.S (Karam Singh). The pangs of his death are being felt in the strongholds of Maoist movement — Bihar, Jharkhand, Andhra, West Bengal, Dandakaranya etc. and Punjab.

Com. Sheri persevered on the red path himself as well as he won over hundreds of young men in the fold of the Maoist movement in Punjab. Thanks to his efforts today the Maoist movement of Punjab is flapping its wings to grapple with the state. At such a crucial moment Com. Sheri‘s death is a big loss for the Maoist movement of Punjab. The loss of such a towering leader will continue to be felt for long by the Maoist forces of Punjab.

Com. Sheri advocated the unity of Maoists not only of India but firmly advocated the unity of the Maoists of the whole world also. He held that world imperialism is our common enemy. Working class is an international class. The conditions for its emancipation are the same. Its complete emancipation is linked with the elimination of world imperialism. So international unity is also imperative along with the unity at the national level. Only the communist movement unified at the international level can effectively defeat the fresh challenges of world imperialism. Also only the Maoist movement unified at the all-India level can solve more effectively the internal problems faced by the Maoist movement. Com. Sheri‘s death is a big loss for the Maoist forces in Punjab and India.

On the whole, Com. Sheri was a versatile leading figure of the Naxalite movement, who devoted all his life to the liberation of workers and peasants. He had youthful vigour even at the age of 63. He never surrendered before the problems of the revolutionary movement. He never submitted to state repression. He always subordinated his personal interests to the common interests. He made relentless efforts to unify the fragmented Maoist movement. He played a leading role to unite the Maoists of Punjab with those of the country and the world. It will not be an exaggeration to say that com. Sheri was a living history. The revolutionary ranks and labouring people will always remember him. They will always seek guidance from this heroic son of the land, for whose liberation he devoted all his life. Let us pledge to follow his ideals and foot-steps!

Successful Conclusion Of The Function Of Homage To Com. Sheri (Com. K.S.)

On 13th Nov.2005, at village Khokhar Kalan a huge gathering of about six thousand peasants, agricultural labourers, women, youth and others from different places of Punjab paid homage to Com. Shamsher Singh ‘Sheri‘, a prominent leading figure of the Naxalite movement and member of central committee and polit bureau of C.P.I.(Maoist) amidst resounding revolutionary slogans and an atmosphere of surcharged emotions. The call of the function of homage was given by Com. Shamsher Singh ‘Sheri‘ Homage Committee. This committee was constituted jointly by the revolutionary groups based on individual representatives after his death.

It will not be out of place to mention here that the cremation of Com. Sheri was performed in his native village Khokhar Kalan on 31st Oct, 2005. 1500 people marched through the village and bade farewell to him. It was announced to raise a memorial in the memory of Com.Sheri on the spot where he was cremated.

The slogans like ‘Naxalbari Zindabad‘, ‘The path of Naxalbari is our path‘, ‘Long live Com. Shamsher Singh ‘Sheri‘, were resounding from the stage as well as from the audience on Nov. 13, 2005. At the beginning of the function the red flag was lowered by convenor Tara Singh on behalf of The Homage Committee in the memory of the communist leader by observing silence for two minutes. Com. Balwant Singh ‘Makhu‘ conducted the stage on behalf of the committee. The different members of the committee, Com. Darshanpal, Com. Jaspal ‘Jassi‘, Com. Mukhtiar ‘Puhla‘, Com. Rajender Sharma, Com. Nirbhai Singh ‘Dhudike‘, Com. Hari Singh ‘Tarak‘ and convener, Com. Tara Singh addressed the gathering.

Resolutions and condolence messages from several organizations and forums associated with Naxalite movement were read from the stage. First of all the message from Central Committee of C.P.I.(Maoist) {Extracts printed below} and State Committee Punjab were read out. After that the messages from C.P.I.(M.L.)(Naxalbari), Communist Party Reorganisation Center of India (M.L.), Communist League of India(M.L.), Revolutionary Communist Centre of India(M.L.M.) were read out. A special message from the magazine ‘A World To Win’ of Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, was also read out.

The speakers and the messages from organizations eulogized the long revolutionary life of Com. Shamsher Singh ‘Sheri‘. They eulogized his leading role in the dissemination of the theories of Marx, Lenin and Mao, his loyalty to the path of Naxalbari, in mitigating the bitterness between communist revolutionary organizations MCCI and CPI(M.L.) P.W. and in building CPI(Maoist).

Another quality of martyr Com. Shamsher Singh ‘Sheri‘, was that he was very eager to build and realize the world revolutionary movement. He played a role in the development of RIM. He firmly held that imperialism is also our enemy. To struggle against it we should also unite at the world level. He often firmly supported the revolutionary struggles of Peru, Nepal, Philippines and anti imperialist struggles in Iraq, Palestine and other countries and the struggles being fought against the rulers in imperialist countries themselves. He had a particular affinity with the Nepali revolution. His role in the building of CCOMPOSA will be ever remembered. He firmly detested the politics of class compromise and class collaboration.

Com.Shamsher Singh ‘Sheri‘s‘ life partner Smt. Harbans Kaur was honoured by The Homage Committee. Com. Tara Singh, the convener of the Committee presented a shawl to her, Com. Jaspal ‘Jassi‘, presented a memento and Com. Mukhtiar ‘Puhla‘, presented a photo of Com. Shamsher Singh ‘Sheri‘. Prominent revolutionary dramatist Gursharan Singh specially arrived at the function to pay homage. A calendar of Com.Shamsher Singh ‘Sheri‘ issued by the bimonthly magazine Lal Kaffla was released from the stage, which was purchased by the people afterwards. The common message issued by The Homage Committee was adopted as a resolution at the function. Apart from this a resolution condemning the state repression on the communist revolutionary movement and the just struggles of nationalities in India was adopted. A resolution condemning the repression on mass struggles and instituting false cases against people’s leaders and imprisoning them was also adopted. The people of the village and the area fully cooperated. The people of the village managed the mass kitchen. The activists of Lok Sangram Manch(RDF) established a commune in the village for the preparation of this programme. This commune lasted for a week. Slogans were written on the walls of 5 –7 villages everyday. Posters were pasted and rallies were held.

At the end of the function it was announced to immerse Com.Shamsher Singh ‘Sheri‘s‘ ashes in Satluj at Hussainiwala near the memorial of martyrs Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev by RDF in the form of March. On Nov.14 this march starting from village Khokhar Kalan via Sunam ,Barnala, Moga reached Hussainiwala. A carvan of 50 vehicles immersed Com. Shamsher Singh ‘Sheri‘s‘ ashes in Satluj at Hussainiwala on the evening of 14th Nov. 2005. A rally was held at the memorial of martyrs Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev. After that the rites were performed by Com. Shamsher Singh ‘Sheri‘s‘ life partner Smt. Harbans Kaur and the people of the village.

Extracts from the Condolence statement of the CPI (Maoist) read out at the function on Nov 13th:

"Let us pay the red Homage to our senior leader Com. Karam Singh!

Let us strive hard to fulfil his great ideals of Socialism and communism!!

Our Central Committee(Provisional) [CC(P)] is greatly shocked by learning the unexpected and unfortunate news of the demise of comrade Karam Singh (KS) alias Sher Singh Sheri, the beloved and regardful veteran leader of the Party in the morning of 30th.october 2005…….

First of all, our CC(P) on behalf of the entire Party; Central Military Commission(CMC) and the entire PLGA; all the organs of revolutionary people’s democratic power; all the revolutionary and democratic mass organisations; all the revolutionary sympathisers and masses of our country bow our heads humbly and pay red homage to our beloved leader comrade Karam Singh.

Comrade KS stayed for a month in a Guerrilla Zone in last September. Comrade KS was attacked twice by the malaria in the field itself. In that battle field our people’s doctors saved him. But out side we failed to save him from the combination of killer diseases. We lost another valuable leader like some other leaders and cadres of our Party who died previously by the cerebral malaria. These dangerous diseases are the by-products of the economic- industrial-environmental-drug and other policies of the governments of the imperialist countries and the governments of India and the third world countries. These diseases are spreading like wild-fire and killing lakhs of people every year in our country.

Comrade KS was a veteran leader of our Party with almost four decades of revolutionary career. He entered revolutionary politics as a young pioneer in his student life, like many young heroes of Punjab. He courageously, along with many comrades of Punjab, rebelled against the revisionist CPI and neo-revisionist CPI(M) leadership and supported the revolutionary line of Naxalbari and the leadership of comrade Charu Mazumdar, and joined the CPI(ML). He was one of founding members of our Party in Punjab and one of the first State Committee members of the CPI(ML). He was also one of the leaders of heroic peasant armed struggles of Punjab. After a long gap of isolation and a long process of efforts for the unity of genuine Maoist forces, the RCCI(Maoist) of Punjab under his leadership in a crucial juncture unified with the MCC in 2002. The RCCI(Maoist) under the leadership of comrade KS boldly opposed the then ongoing clashes between MCC and PW and strived their level best to stop the clashes. As a senior CCM of the MCCI he played a significant role in achieving the unity between the MCCI and PW, and contributed well ideologically and politically in the preparation of basic documents of the new Party. Since the formation of CPI(Maoist) he played a valuable role in the new CC(P) as a PBM

Our CC(P) pledges to fight for the fulfilment of the cherished dreams of comrade KS to establish socialism and communism in the country and the entire globe. Our CC(P) calls upon to the entire rank and file of our Party, all Commissions and Commands and the PLGA, and the revolutionary camp to hail the martyrdom of comrade KS and uphold his ideals.."




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