In the thirty years of my political life, I have witnessed a good number of close comrades embracing martyrdom. My tears had dried up braving the martyrdom of those innumerable comrades. Still when I reached Siwan on that fateful day, and the mother wailing beside the corpse of her son Chandrashekhar grabbed my hand and said, “Mishraji, my son Chandu has left us”, I could not check my tears. In our movement we have, on the one hand, youth belonging to dalit, poor peasant families marginalised by the society playing the vanguard role and, on the other, the creamy section of students in established universities of the country marching ahead breaking the barrier of career, getting integrated with people in the lowest rung of the society. Chandrashekhar is a link in that chain of that legacy and probably the first left student leader from Jawaharlal Nehru University who, instead of getting submerged in the limelights of Delhi, preferred to sacrifice his life in the land of Siwan, where he himself was born.
There have been leftist presidents in the JNU who have hardly spent a single night in the huts of peasants and workers, and still they adorn the polit bureau of some party, often to be seen on the television screen roaming in the corridors of power. Chandrashekhar was quite different from all these guys and he shattered the wall between Delhi and Siwan.
In the political crisis that surfaced after 30 March in Bihar, it had become quite necessary to take the relevance of Bihar bandh to the people of the city and a sharp speaker was needed. This was the background in which Chandrashekhar alighted on 31 March to address corner meetings on the streets of Siwan. There was a direction to come back before dusk. We could not anticipate that the attack would take place in this manner in broad daylight, at the busiest square of the city. Failure to take this into consideration, particularly in the context of ruthless character of the brutes we were dealing with, was indeed our weakness.
In Bihar we are witnessing nowadays that the might of administration and police is openly protecting the criminal-mafia gangs. Whenever the so-called banned Ranvir Sena perpetrates an heinous massacre, the police is seen to stand by them. But only a few days ago, when Party Unity men launched attack avenging the (Haibaspur) carnage, the whole of government machinery immediately came to life and brutally killed six youth of 15 to 20 years of age.
I do not want to use the word 'nikamma' (indolent) again because the use of this word once has already created a furore. But what else can be said of a home minister who, instead of issuing any special instruction to arrest the killers of Chandrashekhar, thought his duty over by prevailing upon the prime minister to send rupees one lakh to the mother of Chandu?
We didn't have any direct struggle with Shahabuddin, nor was he on our priority list, because we too knew that for whatsoever reasons, he enjoys support among the Muslim masses. We were engaged in fight against upper caste feudal forces in some other parts of Siwan. But when these forces got mauled at our hands, Shahabuddin himself came up as their patron and took a plunge against us. We don't like to engage ourselves in fighting against someone without a reason. However, we do insist that in case a battle is imposed upon us, we would not be among those who back out. A good lot of our comrades have been martyred, Chandu has sacrificed his life and I know it well that many more of our comrades would have to embrace martyrdom. But, until Shahabuddin's reign of terror is finished off from the soil of Siwan, our challenge will continue.
The martyrdom of Chandu in the battle against Shahabuddin is not just an issue between two persons. Shahabuddin makes the concrete symbol of what we today call criminalisation of politics, one who enjoys the patronage of persons at the helm of power. On the other hand, Chandrashekhar is the symbol of all the clean and honest persons of the society who want to impart a progressive orientation to the country's politics. Therefore, to keep this challenge of Chandrashekhar alive is the common duty of yours, ours and all. In case we fail to press ahead this common struggle from a common platform, we would not be able to stop the death of, nobody knows, how many Chandrashekhars.
Chandrashekhar was killed at the hands of a criminal politician, and now there is a conspiracy being hatched to kill him for a second time. Who can have objection to endeavours like erecting memorials, introducing scholarships, forming trusts, etc. in the memory of Chandrashekhar, but if all this is done at the cost of obliterating his ideals and covering up his killers and their politics, wouldn't it amount to killing Chandrashekhar for the second time? In outrage the people of Siwan have by now punished several members of the killer gang. Our party promises you and the country that combining all the dimensions of struggle, we will certainly avenge Chandrashekhar. The only appeal to you is that you don't allow the conspiracy to kill Chandrashekhar for the second time to succeed.