A hardcore nationalist who was known in his youth as “London Thod Singh” (one who breaks London, the centre of colonial power), Harkishan Singh Surjeet took to politics in Punjab at a young age as a follower of iconic freedom fighter Bhagat Singh. For one who joined Bhagat Singh’s Naujawan Bharat Sabha in 1930 when he was barely 15, Surjeet embraced Communism as a 20-year-old, joining the Communist Party of India (CPI). Decades later, he was one of the nine who founded the breakaway Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)

Born to a Bassi Jat family in Bundala, Jalandhar district Harkishan Singh Surjeet (23 March 1916 – 1 August 2008) was a communist politician from Punjab, India. He was the General Secretary of CPI(M) from 1992 to 2005 and was a member of the party`s Polit Bureau from 1964 to 2008.He was such an eminent person,The pragmatic kingmaker & revolutionary who strongheadedly discussed and took steps to seek into the sensitive and social concerns of the society.The nonagenarian leader was cremated on Aug 3rd,2008

Surjith-3 From the mid-1960s Surjeet visited Britain at least twice a year. In 1966 the CPI (M)-backed Association of Indian Communists was set up in London. He personally supervised its annual elections and those of the Indian Workers’ Association (Great Britain).

A politician is one who influences society and public decisions through an understanding of political power and group dynamics with his mature understanding and tactics.Political offices may also be held in corporations, and other entities that are governed by self-defined political processes.He was a master in the art of backroom operation, the pragmatic Marxist leader `Papaaji`, earlier known as `London Thod Singh`, first found his way into the coalition politics and marked his entry well. He was one of those who laid the foundation of Indian politics.

Why not he can be certainly named `The Kingmaker` as he played the lead role in keeping Baratiya Janata Party out of power in India in 1996 and his assistance to Indian National Congress helped them to be in power till now. Though today both CPI-M and Congress are sharing bitter relations but `Pappaji` is still respected and admired for his determination. He played a crucial role in 1989, 1996 and 2004 in creating political formations and setting up of governments, which excluded the communal forces.

He started his political career in the national liberation movement in his early teens, as a follower of Bhagat Singh. In 1930 he joined the movement of Bhagat Singh, Naujawan Bharat Sabha. On the anniversary of the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Surjeet hoisted the tricolour flag at the court in Hoshiarpur, an action during which he was shot two times. During the proceedings of the case he answered the judge by the mane of London Tod Singh. In 1936, Surjeet joined the Communist Party of India.In the pre-war years he started publishing Dukhi Duniya and Chingari. When India became independent and partitioned in 1947, Surjeet was the General Secretary of CPI in Punjab.

The seven and a half decades-long political life of Harkishan Singh Surjeet began by playing a pioneering role against the staunching british rule before before emerging as a national leader of the Communist Party of India and the All India Kisan Sabha

Surjeet`s stand for the country

His firm stance and leadership in fighting against Khalistani terrorism in Punjab and the sacrifice made by over 200 Communists in fighting extremism constitutes a glorious chapter. From the late fifties, Surjeet was involved in tackling the problems of Jammu & Kashmir. He played a role in the evolution of the Assam Accord in the eighties. Imbued with deep anti-imperialism and the values of the nationalist movement, Surjeet looked at all issues of national unity from a democratic and secular standpoint.

Actually, in 2008, through his demise, India lost a dedicated activist. As General Secretary of the CPI(M), he became the most authoritative spokesman for the Left and democratic forces in the country. He worked tirelessly for the defence of democratic and secular values and to see that India maintained its non-aligned and independent foreign policy. His views were sought and his advice heard with respect in political circles. In his death, the Party has lost an outstanding leader and the country an authoritative representative of the Left and secular tradition.

While as a common man he would always be remembered as a man committed to the welfare of the downtrodden, `real angel for the poor and working class`. His ideologies and principles will always be cherished.He is survived by his wife and two sons and a daughter. One daughter predeceased him.