With great grief, Mazdoor Ekta Lehar announces the passing away of our dear comrade Prof Dalip Singh in Mumbai, on April 22, 2012. He was seventy eight years of age at the time of his untimely death.
Prof Dr Dalip Singh was a fierce defender of justice and human rights, and an outspoken opponent of state terrorism. In the period following Operation Blue Star and the genocide of Sikhs in 1984, Prof Dalip Singh worked closely with our party organizations to expose the false anti Sikh communal hysteria spread by the state and the Congress Party, and to build the unity of the people against state terrorism and state organized communal genocides. As Vice Principal of Khalsa College in Mumbai, and as a prominent and respected member of the Sikh community in Mumbai, he was in the forefront of the struggle of Sikhs to defend their Gurudwaras as their own community institutions, in the face of the efforts of the Mumbai police to take control of the Gurudwaras in the name of allegedly countering terrorism.
Prof Dalip Singh was arrested under the draconian Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA) in 1988 at the age of 57 and spent 4 months in Nabha jail in Punjab. He was subsequently released on bail for lack of evidence. Barely had he resumed teaching political science in his college, he was rearrested under TADA. This time, he was declared to be part of a “larger conspiracy case” connected with the assassination of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Prof Dalip Singh was kept in solitary confinement in Tihar jail in cells meant for death row prisoners. He was denied blankets and utensils, and his blood pressure medicines. When the jailor refused to give him his Guru Granth Sahib, despite court orders, he forced them to do so by going on hunger strike for three days. This time around, Prof Dalip Singh spent 8 months in jail.
During this period of Prof Dalip Singh’s incarceration, there was a massive uproar amongst the people of our country in his defence, and demanding his release. People were convinced that the case against Prof Dalip Singh was a fabricated case. People were convinced that the Indian state had arrested Prof Dalip Singh as part of its efforts to crush all voices of dissent. Our Party, as well as prominent rights activists of our country came forward to publicly defend Prof Dalip Singh. This struggle of our people exposed the politically motivated character of the charges framed against Prof Dalip Singh. Finally, Prof Dalip Singh was released as the state could prove nothing against him.
Prof Dalip Singh emerged from this great struggle with full of optimism and faith in our people. He always had full faith in the party and carried out its decisions militantly. He contributed enormously to the building of the Committee for Peoples Empowerment in the nineties. He was the founder member of the Lok Raj Sangathan. It was he, who at the founding Convention of the Lok Raj Sangathan held in Pune, who proposed the name “Lok Raj Sangathan” which was later unanimously adopted. Well after his retirement from college, Prof Dalip Singh played an active role in the building of the Lok Raj Sangathan.
On hearing the news of the untimely passing away of Prof Dalip Singh, the Communist Ghadar Party of India organised a memorial meeting in his honour in Mumbai. Comrades of the Party paid rich tributes to the memory of Comrade Dalip Singh in this memorial meeting.
The passing away of Prof Dalip Singh is a great loss to our Party and to all the fighters for human rights and the empowerment of the people. On this sad occasion, Mazdoor Ekta Lehar extends its deepest condolences to the bereaved family of Prof Dalip Singh.