AFTER giving his whole life to raising his voice against oppression and repression by oppressive government forces, Dr Shamsher Singh Bisht bid his final goodbye to this world on 22 September 2018. He was beloved of our generation by the name Shamsher Da and lived in Almora District in Uttarakhand. He was different from many people’s leaders in Uttarakhand in that he always sought solutions for the basic problems of the hill people within the ambit of the solutions to the basic problems of the country. This was the reason why in his youth he was influenced by Marxism along with the Sarvodaya Movement.
In 1982 when several of the country’s people’s movements and people’s organizations came together under the IPF (Indian People’s Front), he was a Founder Member and the Uttar Pradesh President of the IPF. He always maintained unity and integrity of movements with the struggles of all people’s organizations across the country. Outside Uttarakhand, in the country as well as abroad, he was recognized as a representative of Uttarakhand’s people’s struggles.
His political movements began during his student life in 1973-74 when he took part in the agitation against the auction of forests in Uttarakhand, and continued with his active participation in every people’s movement in Uttarakhand. During this phase he formed the Uttarakhand Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Vahini, which later became the Uttarakhand Sangharsh Vahini and finally became a local political Party called the Uttarakhand Lok Vahini. Dr Shamsher Singh Bisht was currently the President of the Uttarakhand Lok Vahini. His role in the Forest Movement and the Nasha Nahi Rozgar Do’ (Give us Employment, not Addiction) anti-liquor agitation in 1984 will always remain a memorable inspiration to the new generation. For the past few years Shamsher Da had been battling a kidney ailment and was undergoing treatment at AIIMS, Delhi.
Respect and tributes to Shamsher Da!