Volume 1, No. 2, April 2000
Here sleeps my brother.
Don’t stand by him
With a pale face and a sad heart.
For, he is laughter !
Don’t cover his body with flowers,
What is the use of adding flowers to a flower ?
If you can,
Bury him in your heart.
You will find
At the twitterings of the bird of the heart,
Your sleeping soul has woken up.
If you can,
Shed some tears.
All the blood of your body
(Written on the walls of a cell in Presidency Jail, Calcutta, probably by a student during the Naxalbari uprising)
It was a revolutionary transformation of an ordinary student, from an A.P. village, who came to the capital city with high ambitions, into a guerilla fighter of the People’s War. That was the transformation of Naveen into Balakrishna.
Starting his journey on the revolutionary path, amongst the low undulations of the Aravali, where the JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) is situated, Naveen graduated into M-L-M Thought, and within a decade reached the peaks of the Eastern Ghats at Darakonda, to lay down his life during a raid conducted by People’s War guerillas on a police camp on February 18, 2000. Though the raid was a major success, giving a large stock of weaponry, two revolutionaries laid down their lives.
Com. Naveen was born thirty-five years ago at a village in Krishna district in a middle peasant family. Due to deteriorating financial conditions his further studies were supported by a maternal uncle. He completed his graduation in Hyderabad and joined M.A. Sociology in Meerut University in 1984. In 1986 he came to the JNU, for his M.Phil course. In end 1988 he joined the Ph.D course at the JNU.
During his studies at Meerut, he got attracted towards Marxism and joined the SFI. But he was soon disillusioned by its politics and kept aloof from it, during his earlier stay at the JNU. In 1986, the Delhi Radical Students Organisation was formed. Naveen, by now, very critical of SFI politics, formed the Student’s Forum, which stood for the exposure of the SFI’s politics of compromise at the JNU. In 1988 he joined the DRSO. Though the earlier leadership got inactive, Naveen made it a force to reckon with at the JNU.
Those were the days when leftist ideology was declining in the JNU , which was known as a centre for the leftist student movement. Com. Naveen was a revolutionary students’ leader who aspired to rejuvenate radical ideology in the university. He put in untiring efforts to build an all India revolutionary student movement and made himself and his room the centre for the revolutionary student movement in Delhi. He not only took part in every student movement at the JNU, the DU(Delhi University) and other colleges but also participated in every programme and activity organised by ML parties and their Mass Organisations as a representative of the DRSO, and contributed to making these a success.
Naveen not only countered the neo-colonial theories of the earlier leaders and thereby defend the political line of the DRSO, he also actively supported the right of self-determination of the nationality struggles, bringing DRSO close to the students of Kashmir and the North-east. In 1989 when Delhi became the centre for the upper caste anti-Mandal mania, the DRSO swam against the tide, supporting reservations for the backward OBCs. When there were vacillations even amongst the revolutionary ranks, Naveen stood like a rock, patiently explaining the necessity for DRSO to support reservations, thereby drawing it closer to the oppressed sections.
The decade of the ’90s was the period when the CPI (ML) [PW] was creating a lasting impression on the revolutionaries in the various states and was making preparations for building a nation-wide revolutionary party. During this time, numerous revolutionaries from across the country, from Midnapore (Bengal) in the East, to the mountains of Terai region (UP) and Jammu & Kashmir in the North approached Com. Naveen for establishing contact with the Party. Com. Naveen always showed a keen interest, both, while receiving them with affection, and while informing the Party about them, after making a proper assessment of them. It was during this time that he decided to work as a professional revolutionary.
Since 1990, Naveen became a professional revolutionary. He left JNU in 1992 discontinuing his Ph.D course to join a law course at the Delhi University (DU) in 1993. In 1990 itself, he represented DRSO in the all-India student body, AIRSF, taking responsibility for editing the student magazine KALAM. By 1995, in a special party meeting of the Delhi Area, he was elected as an area committee member of the Delhi unit of the CPI (ML)[PW]. Naveen played an outstanding role at the International seminar on nationality struggles which was held in February ’96. The seminar, held under the auspices of the AIPRF played a key role in linking the class struggle with the nationality struggles, giving birth to the CCNDM - Coordination Committee of Struggles of Nationalities and Democratic Movements. This effort of Com. Naveen remains as a strong bridge between the revolutionary and nationality movements. As a part of this effort he clearly explained the process of emergence of class and revolutionary struggles in India to the representatives who came from different countries of the world. Particularly he accompanied the world famous intellectual, William Hinton, when he travelled to many places in India and helped him understand the movements going on in those places.
Many students from the North Eastern states, who were studying in DU and JNU and were influenced by the national liberation struggles in their states and were either directly or indirectly connected to those movements, have utilised Com. Naveen’s room at least once, in order to establish relations with the revolutionary students in Delhi. He would sit with them in some corner of the vast campus and discuss the various movements and share literature. For all those who were branded as separatists and kept under surveillance of the enemy, the first person to come to mind for seeking help was Com. Naveen. He not only developed a friendship with activists of the Naga, Assam, Manipur nationality movements in the North-eastern states and activists of Kashmir and Punjab in the North, he also participated in every activity organised by them at Delhi. Many recognised Com. Naveen as a representative of the People’s War Party and movement, and maintained affectionate relations with him.
In 1994-95, for the first time Naveen visited Balaghat district in order to understand the Adivasi movement in DK and the growth of Guerilla Zones. In April ’96 he went underground to become a staff member of SCOMA (Sub-Committee On Military Affairs). Inter alia, he began taking responsibility for ‘Jung’--- -- the party’s military organ. During 1997-98 he also visited the North-East many times, and once even visited their base camp and won the affection of the rank-and-file with his simple, role-model behaviour. In 1997 he was relieved from Delhi responsibilities, raised to DCM level and a staff member of the Central Committee.
With a good height, a pleasing personality, an affectionate behaviour, a microscopic analytical methodology, a role model living style, and with a continuous study of world literature for establishing socialism of which he dreamt, Com. Naveen always shared his knowledge with friends and tirelessly sought to win over intellectuals to the side of revolution. With all these qualities he was a role model for students and youth.
Com. Naveen was known for his simple living habits and forth rightness. He was always ready to make honest self-criticism without any petti-bourgeois hangovers ... showing an eagerness and sincerity to rectify mistakes. He always stood for taking up things ‘critically’, not blindly. He stood for fighting against wrong ideas, come what may. He was for principled fight, without any liberalism. When the democratic rights organisation condemned "private violence" in 1990, he came out with a brilliant pamphlet criticising the wrong view. Com. Naveen was always floating new ideas, putting them in writing, for discussion in the proper forums. Com. Naveen was always for the unity of words and deeds, theory and practice. He was an intellectual, in the tradition of martyrs Christopher Caudwell, David Guest, who laid down their lives in the Spanish Civil War, or the gold medalist Chaganti Bhaskar Rao martyred in the forests of Srikakulam. Com. Naveen, now Com. Balakrishna blended his pen with the gun and laid down his precious life fighting a brutal enemy.
Red Salutes to Com. Naveen !