Women Martyrs of the Indian Revolution-Comrade Sham Kuvar (Sunanda)


Martyrdom : 20-01-2008

On 20th January 2008 at 11.30 am on the borders of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh at Nirpura Tekdi the cruel MP police force ‘Hawk Force’ attacked the squad in which the Sub-DVCM Sunanda was martyred. The sentry comrades already started firing and with the caution of the commander the defence team advanced, in which Com. Sunanda was also a member. The defence team advanced firing rapidly and protected the leadership from the enemy. She got injured at this time. By the time she told the comrade at her side, that comrade also got injured. She informed the leadership of the injuries and came over till about 100 metres on her own.

Other comrades rushed to her giving her cover firing. They lifted her from that spot and brought her over. All the comrades retreated. But due to excessive bleeding during retreat she died on the way. Thus she laid down her precious life while protecting her comrades. Sunanda’s life was one of struggle. Sham Kuvar born in a poor madavi adivasi family became the revolutionary Sunanda by fighting against feudal opression from her childhood. She had been a victim of social customs. Her parents wanted to get her married to her uncle’s son (called the putul tradition). She fought for her democratic right to marry according to her liking.

When she was in the village, she joined the mass organization and took part in the anti-liquor struggle. She had an active role in organizing the women. She fought in the family and likewise she inspired the women also to fight against these customs. Compared to men, women have to fight more to enter the social arena and it is all the more difficult if she is a mother. Com. Sunanda serves as a beacon light to all such mothers who cannot decide between motherhood and dedication to the people. She left three little children at home and joined the movement. Her motherly love was of a higher degree, that was why she could not love just her children and embraced lakhs of people with her love. She understood the inter link between the problems of her family and that of the whole society and plunged herself into the People’s War to solve them.

She learnt to read and write after joining the party. She gradually developed from a squad member to a Sub-DVCM. She was a delegate to the district party conference in 2000. Since then she was a delegate to all party conferences and plenums of the North Gadchiroli-Gondia division (Maharashtra state) till its third conference in 2006. In the division wide classes conducted to develop women’s movement in the division, she played an important role by placing many points on how patriarchy was developing in the society and party and how to recognize it. She used to regularly read the party documents, collect reports from the field and study them and report all issues to the party committee. Whether it was an organizational matter or personal matter she always put it before the party committee. Such was her discipline.

She had an amazing ability to bear all the rigours of a guerilla life. Her guerilla life started in the Tipragadh squad when she joined it in 1992. Seeing her determination she was selected for technical work. She worked in that field steadfastly from 1993 to 1995. She once again joined the squad after that. She was in the Devri squad for a period and then she was transferred to the Tanda Squad. For two years she played a prominent role in organizing people into struggles. She participated in all struggles side by side with the people. There was a historic rally on famine in Tanda in which she played a crucial role. She was elected to the AC in 1998 on virtue of her work.

Later till her last breath she looked after the responsibility of the Darekassa squad which was the major part of her work. The prominent struggles under her leadership were two huge rallies for water in famine, the bamboo and tendu leaf struggles for increase in rates. Large meetings were held by forming struggle committees. The participation of thousands of people in a rally in 2003 from Darekassa area is a testimony to her deep relations with the masses.

She was a warrior and was always in the forefront in military matters. In the ambushes at Bevartola and Bendadi and in the Churiya raid, surrounded by the police in Chand Suraj and in the police ambush at Pipariya, she fought bravely. She fought the police in many firings courageously. She was much disciplined in following commanders’ cautions. We can find this in her last battle too where she laid down her life. Many are the great revolutionary characteristics of Com. Sunanda which we have to emulate. Only by fighting till our last breath for a new society we can pay our homage to her.

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