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Mainstream, VOL LVII No 30 New Delhi July 13, 2019

Shameem Faizee is No More

Saturday 13 July 2019

by Krishna Jha

TRIBUTE

I refuse to shed tears for him. And refuse to accept him as a memory. He will be there, always, judging, advising, patiently listening to us for a stretch of time, then with a soft, stern smile, give one of his one-liners and our entire build-up would crash down. Then he would himself pick and choose the valid ones from the debris. That was him.

In the last room of the first floor of Ajoy Bhavan one could see him sitting at his table, doors ajar, any one could come and speak to him. The room was bare and gave an austere look, with a shelf full of books and documents. It was the editor’s room. And he has left it never to come back.

Shameem Faizee, a member of the National Secretariat of the Communist Party of India, in- charge of People’s Publishing House, and the editor of New Age, the central organ of the Party (CPI), breathed his last on the night of July 4, 2019, and with him, an era ended. It was an era, when partisan writing attained new levels, putting simple straight facts without any ambiguity. The form was informal, content rich and carried a message. Com Shameem knew well how to use his pen, or lately keyboard. In his editorials, the central theme of the week was analysed, crystallised and placed in a context. Even the smallest detail was never overlooked.

Immensely brave, he never faltered in doling out the most bitter criticism against the establishment, though only through stating facts. For writing resolutions that had to be crisp and precise, Com Shameem was unma-tched. He also used to write reports and analysis of contemporary issues, for the party and also for New Age. He had authored and edited several books and pamphlets on contemporary political and social issues of national and international importance. He was an expert on West and South Asian develop-ments as well as on minority issues. He had a deep knowledge about the happenings in India and whenever he spoke about them in meetings and party classes, it was meticulously woven.

For those working in New Age, he was not only an editor, he was also a guide to help evolve their style, skill and to acquire knowledge. He allowed them to be spontaneous, but also scientific. With him one realised how freedom becomes appreciation of necessity, as once Marx had said. As at every step, in sculpting of the approach and turning the report rich with information, he helped unassumingly.

He commanded huge respect within the party and outside. The States he was in-charge of on behalf of the CPI, have lost a leader who always found ways to resolve the complexities faced by the comrades while working among the masses.

Com Shameem Faizee was born on March 3, 1946, at Kamtee in Nagpur district. He was brought up in Nagpur city and joined the party in 1965. He was soon called to the All-India Party Centre, Ajoy Bhavan, Delhi to work with the Central Journals Department of the CPI. He became an elected member of the National Council in 1989 and a member of the National Executive of the party in 1995. He was elected to the Central Secretariat of the party in 1998. He continued to serve the party in this capacity till his last breath.

He studied journalism and chose it as his career. He joined an English daily, The Hitvada, in Nagpur in 1965 as a sub-editor. He had good command over English, Urdu and Hindi. He became the editor of Hayat, an Urdu journal of the CPI, in 1979 and also took charge of the Party’s central organ New Age in 1996. He also served as the Managing Director of the People’s Publishing House (PPH) from 1996 till his demise.

In his long career as a journalist, he was associated with the Urdu fortnightly Umang, CNS, Daily Patriot, Communist Jayza, etc.

He was also active in the cultural movement (IPTA), and Progressive Writers’ Association (PWA) and was in the National Executive of both. Being a journalist himself, he actively organised the journalists too and was in close touch with the Indian Journalists Union.

The CPI in a statement said: “...at a time, when there is a Right-wing offensive in the country, his absence is a great loss not only for the CPI but all progressive forces. His contribution to the party and to the ideological battle will be remembered ever and remain as a source of inspiration.”

Our Red Salute to Com Shameem Faizee, and deepest condolences to his bereaved family.

The author, a senior journalist, works in New Age; she can be reached at e-mail: whereiskrishna[at]gmail.com

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