JNU’s anti-Emergency face to man of all seasons: D P Tripathi dies at 67

Written by Manoj C G
| New Delhi |

Published: January 3, 2020 4:46:02 am

D P Tripathi (1952-2020)

IF THERE is a politician who may relate probably the most to India’s winter of simmering discontent and the shock invocation of revolutionary Pakistani poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz as half of the confrontation with energy, it’s D P Tripathi. Rather, it was D P Tripathi. The sharp, witty and incisive Tripathi (67), who was as soon as the face of the scholars’ resistance towards Emergency within the mid-1970s, died on Thursday. He was battling most cancers.

In a political period marked by charged debates and fraught, at instances bitter, relations between leaders, Tripathi — DPT to his buddies — was a category aside. He was the quintessential old-school politician who cultivated and nurtured heat private relations with leaders throughout the political spectrum. From the CPI(M) to Congress after which to NCP, and a short affiliation with former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar in between, he switched events, shocking even his buddies, in his over four-decade political life, however remained firmly dedicated to left of the centre ideology. Tripathi cherished poetry, particularly Faiz’s writings, and literature. His love for poetry and Faiz resulted in a guide ‘Celebrating Faiz’, a group of some of the poet’s writings in numerous genres, in 2011.

Read | Leaders remember D P Tripathi: ‘Perfect blend of diligence, intelligence in politics’

In reality, Tripathi was one of the organisers of Jashn-e-Faiz in Allahabad when Faiz got here to India in 1980. He was then a lecturer within the political science division at Allahabad University, which he left in 1988. The occasion introduced collectively three literary giants on a single platform for the primary time — Hindi poet Mahadevi Verma, Urdu poet Firaq Gorakhpuri and Faiz.

Politics was his lifeline. Tripathi got here into prominence within the mid-1970s when phrases like “dictatorship” and “resistance” had been excessive on the political lexicon. Having joined Jawaharlal Nehru University in 1973, he was president of the JNU Students’ Union (SFI) when Emergency was declared on June 25, 1975. Like many others, he went underground and waged a resistance.

Stories of how he stopped Maneka Gandhi, who was then a scholar of German at JNU, from attending class because the college students had been on a strike towards Emergency, and the way he had to keep in hiding in a washerman’s home behind the Statesman Building on Barakhamba Road within the Capital for a couple of days after that since his act had angered “those in power” are half of the resistance narrative of a distinct period. He was arrested in November that yr, and despatched to Tihar Jail, the place he spent the subsequent two years with different political detainees like Arun Jaitley.

“He led the fight against Emergency in JNU, and was jailed under MISA throughout the period of Emergency. He was a courageous leader who stood up. JNUSU was one of the few university unions which came out boldly against the Emergency… In that period, the JNUSU became a fighting students’ union; the struggle had started earlier, but the high point was that fight against the Emergency… and Tripathi symbolised that struggle,” mentioned senior CPI(M) chief Prakash Karat.

Many of Tripathi’s contemporaries mentioned his “sharp intellect”, “political acumen”, “brilliant oratorical skills” and erudition in Hindi, Sanskrit and Urdu literature at all times stood out.

Tripathi was visually challenged. “Despite that, he was very erudite… in reading and was very quick on the uptake… He had a literary flair. He was quick in coining slogans… I still remember how he came up with a slogan for my campaign (badi ladai, ooncha kaam, Sitaram, Sitaram),” mentioned CPI(M) basic secretary Sitaram Yechury, who succeeded Tripathi as JNUSU president in 1977.

Politics remained his ardour, however not the color of the celebration flag. He left the CPI(M) and embraced the Congress three years later. Tripathi, who had change into the image of resistance towards Indira Gandhi’s Emergency at JNU and even stopped her daughter-in-law from attending a category, joined the grand previous celebration in 1983.

When Rajiv Gandhi was Prime Minister, Tripathi was recognized to be his confidante. “I as soon as went to his home and noticed three chief ministers ready to meet him… He was influential throughout these days… I keep in mind that he managed Amitabh Bachchan’s election from Allahabad,” recalled Hindi creator Akhilesh.

In 1999, when Sharad Pawar left the Congress to type the NCP, Tripathi left with him. He remained with Pawar after that, as celebration basic secretary and spokesperson. In 2012, the NCP despatched him to Rajya Sabha — he grew to become an MP shut to 4 a long time after he entered politics.

“A firm voice who took a stand for my party as a spokesperson and general secretary. He has been with us since the establishment of the NCP and played a very important role at the national level. His demise is a personal loss to me. May his soul rest in peace,” mentioned NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

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