The death of W.R. Varada Rajan, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader, in Chennai has caused grief to thousands of his comrades in the banking sector who benefited from his cool and composed counselling. Comrade Varada Rajan was an unassuming leader who won the Villivakkam constituency with a huge lead over his rival. Yet he remained a humble servant of the masses.

As a colleague of his in the Bank Employees' Movement in the 1970s, I knew him as one who commanded respect from all his peers. He harboured no ill-will towards his contemporaries in the rival camps (I was in a rival camp). While it is beyond comprehension how a leader of his calibre could end his life in the way he did, his commitment to the cause and the steadfastness with which he adhered to it by donating his belongings to the party and his body for medical research make him stand tall.

G.M.K. Ranga Rao,


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