Their Legacy Strengthens Our Struggle To Oust the Fascists From Power
ON 18 December 2018, marking the 20th anniversary of the death of Comrade Vinod Mishra, a park in Ara in memory of the Bhojpur revolutionaries was dedicated to the public. The park - named Kranti Park - includes busts of Comrades Jagdish Prasad, Rameshwar Yadav, Ram Naresh Ram, Jauhar (Subrata Dutta) and Vinod Mishra and is a memorial to the revolutionary movement that transformed the social and political landscape of Bhojpur and Bihar. It was thanks to this movement that the Dalit landless poor of Bihar asserted their right to form associations, demand wages & land, destroy feudal practices, cast their votes and elect representatives from their own revolutionary movement to Assembly and Parliament.
The Kranti Park is also a public space open and welcoming to the poorest and most oppressed people of the region. While memorials to revolutionary martyrs exist in rural Bhojpur, Kranti Park is the first public memorial of its kind in the city of Ara.
Meet Some of the Bhojpur Revolutionaries
Comrade Jagdish Prasad, immortalised by the writer Mahasweta Devi as 'Master Saheb, was a schoolteacher who became a revolutionary. His political journey began by forming a ‘Bhim Sena’ and demanding ‘Harijanistan’ - a separate nation for Dalits and the oppressed. From these beginnings he was drawn to the CPIML, the new revolutionary party born from the Naxalbari upsurge, and it was he who laid the foundation of CPIML in Bhojpur. On 17th of February 1967 Master Jagdish was brutally beaten up by zamindars for opposing their election manipulation and booth capturing against the candidature of the young Ram Naresh Ram. He resigned from his job as a schoolmaster and sought to set up CPIML in Bhojpur after this, aided by Ram Naresh Ram.
Comrade Ram Naresh Ram - Parasji as he was known - was an organic intellectual and leader of the struggles of oppressed landless peasants in Bhojpur. After he and Jagdish Prasad faced the furious backlash of the feudal forces when he decided to contest elections in 1967, they both sought out the CPIML, convinced of the need for a revolutionary Left movement to liberate the oppressed Dalit landless labourers and end exploitation and oppression. They became the architects of the CPIML in Bhojpur. Comrade Ram Naresh Ram was a Politburo member and leader of the CPI(ML)’s legislative group in the Bihar Assembly from 1995-2010. He passed away in October 2010.
Legendary figure of the Bhojpur peasants’ struggle Comrade Rameshwar Yadav was born in a middle farmer’s family at Ekvari in Sahar, Bhojpur. Known as Sadhu Ji for his brief stint as a Sadhu - an ascetic - Comrade Rameshwar Yadav was martyred in an encounter with the police at Sona Tola in Sahar on 14 Jan 1975. Rameshwar Yadav led a dacoit gang in youth because feudals were afraid of dacoits. Jailed for dacoity, he read Communist works, met Master Jagdish on his release. On Ambedkar Jayanti 1970 he determined to join CPIML, a 'party like the one in Vietnam.'
Comrade Subrat Dutt (Jauhar), was the second General Secretary of CPI (ML) from 22 April 1974 till his martyrdom on 29 November 1975. Comrade Vinod Mishra succeeded him as General Secretary, steering the party through various crucial phases including a tactical shift towards emphasising mass struggles and electoral assertion of the oppressed rural working class.