A friend’s highly educated parents were former communists from the Naxalbari movement, communists in the real sense of the word, ones that can talk on Marxism for hours.
His father died in jail when Ray was the CM of Bengal and the mother, in her eighties now, lives alone in the hills of bengal to serve the poor people there – arranging medical camps, sourcing un-sold medicines from chemists to distribute to poor plantation / estate workers, arranging science classes for hill children etc.
An idealist that the mother was, she never forced her ideas on her children and let them do what they wanted. She had struggled hard, worked as a teacher all her life, to bring her children up.
All her children are well settled, one is an engineer in India, another, a banker in Singapore, and a daughter is a doctor in Punjab. The banker son has never been with his father.
Despite pressure from children, the mother has refused to move out of her ancestral home in the hills. She says ‘I am here to serve. I can’t while away my time baby sitting for you in foreign countries.’ She has been serving the hill children for the last two decades. Idealism personified.
This is the communist whose feet I would fall at. In these times of #urbannaxals, we better remember what a true communist would be like.