WE pay our tributes to Comrade Jeeva who passed away on 14 June 2020. A heart patient, he was suffering from illness for quite some time. Later, it was revealed that he was also affected by Coronavirus when the body was examined by the medical college. Jeeva was very calm, unshaken even amidst major crisis and a spirited comrade. In 1994, when the party was facing state repression on a large scale for its opposition to the feudal and caste atrocities, Comrade Jeeva stood like a pillar for the party in Sivagangai town. At that time, party began its struggles from “Jeeva Tailor” shop against the white terror that was unleashed in the district, particularly on the route from Devakottai to Siruvachi via Madakottai village which was our party stronghold. Comrade Subbu from Madakottai became a martyr in the years long struggle against feudal oppression by dominant caste forces against Dalits in the region. Comrade Vinod Mishra, then General Secretary of the party, also went to the village to pay his respects when Comrade Subbu became a martyr. This is the region where CPIML successfully conducted a temple entry struggle for Dalits.
Eleven comrades including Subbu, Simpson, Narayanan were inside the jail on falsely implicated charges of murder. Within a week or so another 13 comrades including Comrades Balasundaram, Namasivayam and TKS Janardhanan were arrested during a district committee meeting in the office and put behind bars in a fabricated case under Arms Act. Comrade Simpson, who was inside jail was also implicated in the case. All leading cadres and leaders were in jail. Even bus services in the route from Devakottai to Siruvachi were suspended and police outposts sprang up in all villages in the route. Comrade Shankar from Chennai and Pandian from Madurai went to Sivagangai district to organize resistance struggles in the absence of all leading district cadres. Comrade Jeeva took a firm stand and engaged in the task of organising resistance struggle in such a situation of repression. The first resistance rally and public meeting in a series of struggles was organised at Sivagangai town and Comrade Jeeva played a major role and also presided over the public meeting in such a situation of major repression by the state and the feudal forces.
He, being the lone member of the party in the town, was regularly observing historic days like May Day, Marx Memorial Day and all by reddening the area by prominently displaying red flags and festoons and attracted the attention of the public. He sincerely worked for the party and the people till his last breath. He has displayed his determination and party spirit by writing in his last letter that the party should be informed of his death and his body should be handed over to medical college for research while not observing any obscurantist rituals. He has also expressed his desire for the unity of all communist parties and called upon all to work for achieving the dream. In a district like Sivagangai which is well known for caste oppression and domination and controlled by “Naadu” panchayat (self-styled dominant caste structure of parallel rule that punish the lower caste violators of the caste order), Comrade Jeeva represented the struggle and voice of equality and self dignity against domination.
More importantly, despite difficulties and setbacks in the district, he always stood with the party and lived as a communist till his last breath. His “Jeeva Tailors” was the address and shelter for several people with Left, progressive and revolutionary ideas. He has also worked in PUCL for several years. The small bag that he carried will always have party literature and he would be seen distributing it even in social gatherings like marriages and other functions. White-clad Comrade Jeeva, with a smiling face, was a silent propagandist of the party ever.
CPIML expresses its deep condolences to his family, friends and the party comrades.
Red Salute to Comrade Jeeva!