Sunday, December 26, 2010

Surendra Mohan passes away

Veteran socialist leader and thinker Surendra Mohan passed away in Delhi this morning.

A prolific author and a leader widely respected for his simple life and political integrity, Surendra Mohan was a member of Rajya Sabha (1978-84) and the Chairman of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (1996-98). He was 84 and is survived by his wife, Ms Manju Mohan, a son and a daughter.

Born in Ambala, Haryana, on December 4, 1926, Surendra Mohan joined the socialist movement in 1946 when he was still a student. After teaching Sociology at Kashi Vidyapeeth for two years, he opted to be a full-time political worker.

He proved his mettle in the Socialist Party and rose to become its General Secretary from 1973-77. He was one of the founding General Secretaries of the Janata Party in 1977 and played a vital role in its historic victory. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha for a term from 1978-84.

He remained with the Janata Party, Janata Dal, Janata Dal (Secular) and was finally the President of the recently formed Socialist Janata Party. He was a conscience keeper for the various factions and parties that emerged from Janata family.

A political leader who believed in the power of ideas, Surendra Mohan was a prolific reader and regular columnist in Hindi and English for many newspapers. He was also the co-editor of the socialist journal Janata. Four collections of his essays in Hindi were published besides three books authored by him.

He was associated with Peoples Union for Civil Liberties ever since its foundation and was very active in promoting human rights. During the last three decades of his life, he spent much of his energy with youth, social movements and peoples organizations like the National Alliance for Peoples Movements, Socialist Front, Rashtra Seva Dal.

An internationalist at heart, he was active with Socialist International and supported Nepal’s democratic struggle. A friend of all the pro-people initiatives in the country, he would be missed by a wide range of followers and admirers across the political spectrum, socialist workers, pro-people intellectuals and peoples movements across the country.

Yogendra Yadav,Senior Fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, 29 Rajpur Road, Delhi 110054 IndiaOffice Phone: 23981012 (telefax Lokniti, CSDS), 23942199 (PBX, CSDS)

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