India: Red Salute to Comrade Saketh Rajan and Comrade Shivalingu

By Kamala Rao

Indian reactionary armed forces murdered Saketh Rajan and Shivalingu, two militants of the Communist Party of India [CPI (Maoist)], on February 6, 2005. This year marked the 17th anniversary of the martyrdom of Rajan and Shivalingus, two heroic fighters of the Indian revolution. Both comrades were deeply committed to developing and expanding revolution and laid down their lives in the struggle.

Comrade Rajan, born into a savarna (upper caste) family of the feudal ruling class, was a pioneering revolutionary in Karnataka, located in southwestern India. Despite his background, he was well aware of the oppression of the current society and strove to learn how to end it. His parents wanted him to become an engineer, but he abandoned that path to study literature. It was in his studies that he learned of revolution and Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.

By 1983, Rajan dedicated his life to serving the people. He started as a student activist and quickly developed into one of the foremost revolutionaries of Karnataka by leading the party building effort in the state. He participated in struggles against imperialist factory building and mining expansion, which served to displace and exploit the people. Rajan committed himself to building a guerrilla zone in Karnataka to transform it into a base area.

In 1987 he was elected to the first State Committee in Karnataka of the former Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) (People’s War) [CPI (ML) (People’s War)]. He later became a delegate to the ninth All India Congress of the CPI (ML) (People’s War) and was elected to its Central Committee as an alternate member. Rajan kept his position when, in 2004, the CPI (ML) (People’s War) merged into the current CPI (Maoist).

Rajan was a true student of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. He applied Marxist political economy to the history of Karnataka, from which he produced the book Making History. Unlike an academic, Rajan wrote the book while he was embedded in the people’s struggles. They recognized this fact, and the book became widely adopted throughout the Kannadiga nation.

Comrade Shivalingu was a true servant of the people. He came from a peasant background in Karnataka, and was inspired to join the revolutionary movement in 1998. Although beginning as a student activist, by 2001 he was requested to join the growing guerrilla zone in Karnataka. He readily accepted the call and stopped his studies to do so.

Shivalingu was young and put his boundless energy towards revolution. His tireless work inspired the masses of the region. His perseverance in the struggle continued until his death. He was assigned as a guard for Rajan and laid down his life in service of that post.

Both Comrades Saketh Rajan and Shivalingu are remembered fondly among the Indian masses. Less than five days after their deaths, over 100 People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) militants carried out an attack against the Karnataka State Reserve Police (SRP). Both Comrades’ lives serve as shining examples of serving the people wholeheartedly even in adverse conditions.


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