Baba Bujha Singh remembered in Medford

Gathering at Gurudwara
baba gatheringat Guru web
Gathering at Gurudwara

MEDFORD, MA: Hardeep Kaur Mann and Jaspal Singh arranged the Langar (Community Meal) at Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar, Medford, MA, on Sunday July 16 to commemorate the 37th death anniversary of her grandfather, Baba Bujha Singh.

Baba Bujha Singh, who was a freedom fighter, Indian revolutionary leader and an activist of the Ghadar Party, died on July 28, 1970. Hundreds of devotees attended Satang and Langar at the Gurdwara to honor his life and work for social justice and dignity of common people.

As a Ghadar Party leader in Argentina, he tried to overthrow British colonialism in India. He returned to India, after studying at the Comintern University, Moscow and China Baba Bujha Singh later joined the Communist Party of India. Within the Communist Party, he was a prominent figure in the protester faction that eventually formed the Lal Communist Party in 1948. After the Lal Communist Party was dissolved, he joined back the Communist Party of India as one of the leaders of CPI and later of CPI (M-L). He also became a symbol of the Naxalite movement in Punjab.

Baba Bujha Singh criticized the positions adopted by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union as ‘anti-communist’ and argued that the 1956 congress would eventually lead to the disintegration of the Soviet Union. In 1967, he resumed political activism in the wake of the 1967 Naxalbari uprising. Baba Bujha Singh began contacting leftwing protesters inside the Communist Party of India (Marxist), urging them to rebel against the leadership of the party.

In the later years of his life, he became passive and did not involve himself in party politics. Even then, he was killed in a fake police encounter on July 27, 1970 by the Indian state at the ripe age of 80 years near Phillaur.

After his death, Baba Bujha Singh became an icon of the Naxalite movement in Punjab. His struggle for justice and dignity has been recognized in Punjabi literature and a feature film by poet Shiv Kumar Batalvi who wrote the poem Budhe Rukh Nu Fansi and film maker Bakhshinder who produced Baba Inqlab Singh on his life.

After Baba Resham Singh offered Shraddhanjali to Baba Bujha Singh, Hardeep Kaur Mann presented her deepest Shraddhanjali to her grandfather and the hero of Punjab by narrating his life and work to the devotes. Gurinder Shigh, secretary of the Gurdwara introduced Patricia D. Jehlen, current Massachusetts State Senator of the Democratic Party to the devotees.

She represents the Second Middlesex District. She also proposed her Shraddhanjali along with many other community dignitaries and actively participated with her husband in the Langar event along with all the devotees. She offered her availability and help to the Indian community of her district with a big smile on her face.

Geetha Patil

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