Long Live Comrade N. Sankaraiah!

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) expresses its deep grief at the sad demise of Comrade N. Sankaraiah, the freedom fighter and veteran communist leader today 15th November, 2023 at Chennai where he was admitted in a private hospital under brief illness. He was 102 years old.

Born on 15th July 1922, Sankariah joined the Communist Party in 1940 and became one of the key organisers of the united Party in Tamilnadu.

Comrade Sankaraiah was first arrested in 1941, when he was a student of The American College in Madurai. He organised a protest in support of the students of Annamalai University in Chidambaram, at the instance of late Communist leader A.K. Gopalan, who was in underground then in Madurai. When the police searched the students’ hostel, they found pamphlets written by Sanakaraiah, and he was arrested. The incident put an end to his institutional studies. He could not complete his degree, as he was put in prison just 15 days before his final examinations. His first jail term lasted 18 months.

Comrade Sankaraiah had also actively participated in the Quit India movement during the struggle of Independence. In his long political career, he had spent nine years in prison during both pre-Independence days, and later after the country achieved freedom as well. He was the one of the major accused in the Madurai Conspiracy case filed in 1946. When CPI(M) was subjected to repression in 1965, he was arrested and incarcerated in prison for 16 months.

He made a major contribution in building the Communist movement in Tamilnadu and he served as the secretary of state committee from 1995 to 2002. He was the party Central Committee Member for more than two decades. He was elected thrice to the Tamilnadu state Assembly in 1967, 1977 and 1980. He was the leader of the CPI(M) group in the Assembly in 1977 and 1980.

He was also involved in organizing peasants and became the General Secretary and President of the All India Kisan Sabha.

He was an erudite speaker in chaste Tamil and could drive home the working class politics and policies among the toiling people lucidly. In the death of Comrade N. Sankaraiah, Indian working class movement has lost one of its tallest leaders of having great legacy of sacrifice and dedication. CITU dips its red flag in memory and respect of Com N. Sankaraiah, and convey its heartfelt condolences to his two sons and family members.  

Issued By
Tapan Sen
General Secretary

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