On this day (March 9) four years back we lost a pillar of our Party and revolutionary movement lost of a beacon. Com. Rayala Subhash Chandra Bose (Ravi to all of us) was among the rare who do not make their presence obtrusive but their absence becomes all pervasive; they do not beat their own drums but whose contributions to the movement shine bright. Like a bright star his shine has not dimmed and will not dim by the distance of time.
Though we had been in the same party for nearly four decades I got to know Com. Ravi closely for more than two and a half decades after he became the Secretary of APPC and later elected as a Member of Central Committee. His life involving different phases of struggle, his simple disciplined life; his focus on work and no nonsense attitude inspired affection, respect and awe among the cadres and leaders alike. Successes of revolutionary movement not only in our country but anywhere in the world would bring immense happiness to him while setbacks would not deter but make him probe the reasons behind them. His unassuming and self-effacing manner hid a revolutionary of steely determination and unbound commitment.
Com. Ravi came across as a comrade with very few needs. He would place very few demands on the comrades. He never smoked; he did not even take tea for last several years of his life. Comrades helping in meetings would bring a cup of milk for him while giving tea to others which he would very reluctantly accept and that too only once a day. In such a long period when we spent much time in meetings together, I cannot remember any time when Com. Ravi complained of anything in the arrangements in wherever he slept and whatever he ate. We used to attribute these exemplary traits to his long squad life which had made him very punctual in his work and very frugal in his personal needs.
Com. Ravi was a party person. That is because of his deep realization that without Party there could be no meaningful advance in revolutionary work. From this deep commitment arose two important facets of his work. He was always forthright in his views in committee meetings and he would express them with clarity and force. If he had not made up his mind on any issue of importance he would say so and would ask for opportunity to express his views later. However, once a decision was taken he would strive hard to implement it. He would make suggestions for implementation of the decision in the true of democratic centralism as if it was his own opinion. This is easy to say so in words but not so easy to follow it in practice. But it was easy for Com. Ravi as he considered himself integral part of the Party and hence whatever affected the Party affected him. He would sometimes say that because of his strict adherence to implementation of the decision of the Party some comrades who knew his opinions call him names. Though pained at this, it did not bother him as he considered it his bounden duty to follow democratic centralism which considered indispensable for functioning of the Party. Com. Ravi used to emphasize the Party as the highest form of class organization. He considered any dilution of this as deviation of the proletarian character of the Party and any deviation from this as a compromise with the proletarian character of the Party.
Com. Ravi was a team person. He would always use to utilize for study any time available to him for study. But importantly he would pay attention to the political development of other comrades and would suggest to them what to read and help comrades in that, explaining difficult aspects with lucidity and clarity born out of deep and clear understanding of the issue.
Com. Ravi was always very enthusiastic about unity of revolutionaries as well as united action with other forces which would be helpful in developing people’s struggles. He always supported proposals for unity with other organizations. He never allowed his personal views to come in the way of pursuit of the unity of communist revolutionaries even while reminding the comrades to move ahead with realistic expectations.
Com. Ravi had developed a habit of deep reflection on the problems facing the revolutionary communist movement. He always combined his firm grasp of strategic orientation of the revolutionary movement with detailed study of the concrete conditions in which this strategic orientation is to be applied. In essence he deep conviction in revolutionary mass line and he would oppose any deviation from it. Whenever he would express an opinion, whether one agreed with it or not, it would command serious attention of all the comrades. He would give patient hearing and deep thought to the opinions of other comrades. It was a great experience to have worked with Com. Ravi in the same Party and that too in the same committee. One had much to learn from him and I did learn a lot from his experience of the revolutionary movement and also from the organizational methods practiced by him.
Com. Ravi would always volunteer for the most hazardous tasks faced by the Party. Whether it was the difficult situation in Godavari districts in mid-80s or the challenge of re-energizing the movement in North Telengana Com. Ravi will always volunteer to take up the tasks. This, the finest quality of a revolutionary communist, was in him in abundance.
Comrades joining the party should learn from Com. Ravi’s life and work. As CC in its homage to Com. Ravi said, “Com. Ravi symbolized the finest qualities of a revolutionary communist. His simple and disciplined life, his ideological conviction in Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought, his undaunted commitment to New Democratic Revolution, his organizational methods of taking everybody along while adhering to strict discipline, his willingness to take up arduous and risky tasks, his willingness to endure every hardship and offer every sacrifice in the interest of the revolutionary movement made him stand out as one of the finest leaders of the revolutionary movement of the country.” Comrades will imbibe these qualities in their political and personal life. They have much to learn from his work and example and learn they must to serve the cause of New Democratic Revolution in the country.
It is good to have those qualities for any length of time. But to practice them for about five decades, most of these in arduous UG, is really worthy of emulation. Even partial translation of them in one’s life will make a comrade worthy. He lived his entire life in that manner.
Today with the Party facing serious challenges and also opportunities, we greatly miss his contributions both in formulating as well as practicing the appropriate tasks. His example however inspires us to advance to make new democratic revolution in India.
March 9, 2020