Comrade Shekhar Kapure (or SK as he was popularly known) passed away in the morning of September 25th 2019 at his residence in Titwala, Mumbai. He was 59 years old.
Ever since he joined it in 1998, for more than 20 years he was a militant fighter of the Communist Ghadar Party of India. He was born in Khusnoor in Nanded district of Maharashtra. After finishing his schooling and graduation at his native place he came to Mumbai hoping to study law. While studying he started working part time in a garment factory so that he could pay his tuition as well as boarding fees. But very soon seeing the atrocious condition of the garment workers he started to unite the worker to oppose their exploitation. He soon got so immersed in the struggle that he gave up his studies to devote himself full time to organising the workers. He along with other militant colleagues formed the Ladaku Garment Mazdoor Sangh (LGMS) in 1998.
It was during his struggles among the garment workers that he met his life-partner, Lata and she also was one of the front rank fighters of LGMS.
To fight the cunning maaliks of the garment industry, SK and his comrades had to make many visits to the Factory Inspector, Provident Fund Commissioner and the labour courts. It was tiring work and required patience and dedication. However LGMS under the guidance of the Party became known as an uncompromising fighter for the rights of the workers. Workers of more than 125 garment units became members of LGMS. Ever since its founding, SK along with other leaders led LGMS with a lot of initiative, skill, resourcefulness and honesty. The unwavering passion with which he fought for their cause brought him undying loyalty and affection from the workers.
S.K also had a passionate desire to learn and understand Marxism Leninism and eagerly and enthusiastically participated in all the studies that the Party conducted. He always expressed wonder and admiration for our great teachers, Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin for their ability to foresee and analyse the conditions of capitalist exploitation in their times more than a 100 years ago which are relevant even today.
S.K. fight against injustice was not limited only to garment workers; he went wherever Party asked him to go. He led many struggles for improving the ration supply for the people of Worli, Ulhasnagar, Bhiwandi and the villages surrounding it. He also pioneered the establishment of the Railway Passenger Association at Titwala which fought to improve the facilities for the people of Titwala. He helped to build similar movements led by the Party in Dombivali, Kalyan, Badlapur and Diva stations. He was always seen at the forefront of people’s struggles wherever he participated and if any authority including police tried to put obstacles, he would use his long years of experience to neutralise them and ensure that the authorities were forced to respond to the people’s demands.
His revolutionary spirit was known to all and in Party meetings he would express this by singing militant and touching songs and poems reflecting the woes and aspirations of the toiling masses of India.
In his early and untimely death, the Communist Ghadar Party of India has lost a valiant fighter for the cause of the working class and all toilers and for building a more humane society. He is survived by his dear and lifelong companion who stood by him like a rock, nursed him through all his illnesses and enabled him to come back and continue his work as a soldier of the Party.
The comrades of the Party, especially those who had the chance to work with him, will sorely miss his cheerful and optimistic presence.