New Delhi, Apr 6 (UNI) Academics and civil and human rights activists, along with CPI-ML workers, paid rich tribute to Orissa's 'Lok Pakhya' leader Rajendra Sadangi who died last week, describing him as ''a crusader of anti-displacement movement'' whose ''irreplaceable contribution to these ongoing struggles in the country was noteworthy''.
At a memorial public meeting here yesterday organised by Janhastakshep, a People's Intervention Group, several speakers noted that Sadangi, who breathed his last on March 27 due to celebral malaria, was able to ''energize and mobilize the intellectuals, the peasantry and Adivasis on the issues of forced displacement, neo-colonial exploitation and the agrarian crisis''.
Sadangi's growth trajectory from NDDB Director to a social activist witnessed a complete transformation in later years as he had begun working for revolutionary Left movements and actively participated in the Kalinganagar struggle against the tribals' displacement by POSCO.
Delhi State Secretary of CPI-ML (New Democracy) Aparna said Sadangi, a believer of reformist interventions, understood the need for New Democratic Revolution when he came close to the people and had a first hand experience of their problems. He played a critical role in coordinating several anti-displacement movements in Orissa and was beginning to take on this role at national level.
He had even exposed the role of NGOs as defenders of the ruling classes and imperialist forces, she added.
Sumit Chakravartty, Editor 'Mainstream', said: ''Rajendra Sadangi's life is an example to all those who go to Business Management Schools and do not bother about the dispossessed and the poor struggling for their rights. The best homage to him would be through carrying his role forward by working for people's movements.'' Prof Pralay Kanungo, Centre for Political Studies, JNU, who knew the late leader since college days, said Sadangi used his in-depth knowledge of traditional farming methods as an effective form of resisting neo-colonial intervention and exploitation.
Prof Ish Mishra from Hindu College said the social activist had built an effective resistance against the ''corporate onslaught''.
Calling Sadangi, who was deeply committed to the people's cause, a ''fearless and fierce'' leader, the speakers said he was a source of immense inspiration particularly for the people of Orissa.
UNI JSS KD MIR HT1052