Tribute to Comrade Moni Singh

Published : 29 Dec 2021 08:14 PM

Today is the 31st death anniversary of Comrade Moni Singh, founder president of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB).  He died on this very day in 1990 at the age of 84. Moni Singh was born on 28 July 1901 in a middle class family in Kolkata. After the death of his father he came to Susang Durgapur, present day Durgapur upazila of Netrokona district. Moni Singh got involved with movement against British colonial rule during his high school days. Later he joined the secret Aushilon Samity and waged armed struggle against British imperialism. 

The British government issued arrest warrant against young Moni Singh in 1921. During the arrest warrant Moni Singh conducted campaign for independence with great determination. He also started agriculture labour movement in his own area Susang Durgapur in 1921. Thus he became popular among textile workers. Moni Singh joined Communist Party in 1928 and he was a very dedicated activist. He also joined the trade union movement in Kolkata with full devotion. 

Due to his active participation in trade union movement the government became furious and arrested him in 1930. He got released from jail in 1935.  But he was under surveillance of police. However, he did not stop his activities. During home arrest he inspired the farmers to organize Khetmajor movement to establish farmers' right. During that time his maternal uncle Zamindar of Susang Durgapur stood against the movement. 

Despite serious antagonism by the family members he continued the movement with courage to establish farmers' rights. At that time he became more popular due to leading the Khetmajor Movement. Due to the movement and the demand of fair price of jute he was arrested again for one year and 6 months. After being released from jail in 1937 he got the membership of communist party. At that time he decided to organise a labour movement in Kolkata again.

But the Hajong and Garo people of Susang Durgapur requested him not to move to Kolkata and lead movement against zamidar's Tonk tax. He could not ignore their request.

Local meaning of Tonk is a paid tax for land use by the crops. At that time the zamindars of Mymensigh area imposed this type of tax that was difficult to pay for the poor Hajong and Garo people. According to this rule a fixed amount of paddy had to pay to zamindar as tax for using the land.

Famers were compelled to pay the tax. But they did not get any seed and fertilizer for cultivation. On the other hand, land owner was the zamindar. So zamindars could increase tax for their land as they wished. They used to change the farmer whenever they wanted. In this situation the poor farmer of Hajong and Garo community had difficulties to abide by this kind of rule.

Such kind of oppression agitated Hajong and Garo people. As a result, the farmers of Hajong and Garo organized movement against this unjust rule and Moni Singh led this movement. The movement was stated in 1937 and ended in 1949. When the movement was reached to tougher stage Moni Singh was arrested in 1941. Later he was elected as Presidium Member of Bengal Krisan Sova in 1944.

He attended the all India Krisan Sova as Chriman of Krisan Sova Reception Committee. British Colonial period has ended by that time but there was all engulfing communalism which was clearly understood by the established religion based Pakistan. Moni Singh and his many fellows did not accept of the partition based on religion.

They were conducting their movement against communalism and for establishing socialism. As a result the Pakistan government banned the communist party and issued arrest warrant against Moni Singh. At the same time the Pakistan government declared Tk 10 thousand award to seize of Moni Singh. This declaration compelled him to remain underground.

Despite oppression he played crucial role against military autocratic regime of Pakistan. In this tougher period in 1951 banned Communist Party held its' 2nd National Conference and Moni Singh was elected as the General Secretary and subsequently in 3rd Conference he again was re-elected at the same position. The Pakistan Government arrested him in 1968 and he was released in 1969 but was arrested again in the same time.

In 1971 when Rajshahi jail was broken by the prisoner at the time Moni Singh was released from jail. In 1971 comrade Moni Singh organized freedom fighters and established especial guerrilla force of NAP-CPB and Chhatra Union. Besides, he also played an important role  to convince Soviet Union socialist country in favor of our liberation war of 1971.

He was a Member of the Advisory Council of the Provisional Government of Bangladesh during the liberation war in 1971. In 1973 in 2nd  national conference of Communist Party he elected the President of Communist party and next in 1980 in 3rd national conference of Communist Party he was re-elected as President of Communist Party. After 1975 the Communist Party banned by the by military government and during the military rule Lt. Gen Ziaur Rahman arrested comrade Moni Singh  in the middle year of 1977 at the age of 77.  

This legendary revolutionary was politically active up to the age of 84. On 23rd  February in 1984 he become seriously sick and took his last breath on 31st December in 1990. His struggling life still inspire people of our country to be patriot. He sacrificed his whole life for the oppressed people. 

When politics was engulfed by the hypocrisy and corruption he played  an important role to prevent the decay patriotism and morality in politics . For his dedication, love and courage to defend the right of marginal people the people of Bangladesh still remember him with red salute (Lal Salam).

Rakhi Mrong is writer and human rights worker