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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Veteran trade unionist, CPI(M) leader M.K. Pandhe passes away :

                In the passing away on Saturday of veteran trade unionist and CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Madhukar Kashinath Pandhe, 86, the party has lost one of its foremost leaders who worked for the welfare of the working class for more than seven decades.
                Much before he received a doctorate from the prestigious Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Mr. Pandhe entered public life by becoming the secretary of the Sholapur Students Union in 1943. In the same year, he joined the Communist Party of India and rose to become the secretary of the All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC).
                After the Communist Party split, Mr. Pandhe joined the CPI(M). He had the unique distinction of being one of the prime leaders of its trade union, Centre of Indian Trade Unions, serving as its general secretary for a decade and later as its president till last year. At the time of his death, he was its vice-president.
                One of the central themes of his work was to bring about unity among various trade unions and among other Left organisations. A measure of success came recently when the Congress-backed Indian National Trade Union Congress joined hands with other organisations to pressure the government to secure the rights of workers and highlight common issues like price rise.
                Mr. Pandhe was candid in articulating his views on contemporary developments, especially the neo-liberal policies pursued by the successive governments at the Centre since the launch of economic reforms in 1991.
                “As a dedicated Marxist-Leninist, Mr. Pandhe strove consistently to equip the working class movement with the ideology of socialism and to develop the political consciousness of workers to enable them to discharge their revolutionary role in social transformation,” the CPI(M) Polit Bureau said.
                “Com. Pandhe was a true internationalist and firm in his anti-imperialism, who worked constantly for developing the solidarity of the working class movement all over the world.”
                Mr. Pandhe was elected to the CPI(M) Central Committee at the 10th Congress in 1978, and to the Polit Bureau two decades later. He remained in these positions till his death.
                The party said the Left movement had suffered an irreparable loss.
Source: The Hindu, August 20, 2011

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