Monday, 14 August 2017

Changing Narratives on Bhagat Singh Chaman Lal*

                          There are few heroes in the world, who remain in public imagination for very long time, though their narratives keep changing. In few cases these heroes become icons and symbols as well, of certain nationality or culture. Shakespeare (England), Tolstoy (Russia) or Tagore (India) become icons of universal literary or cultural values. Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam), Nelson Mandela (South Africa) or Mahatma Gandhi (South Asia) became symbols of anti-colonial liberation struggles worldwide. Bolivar or Jose Marti become icons of Latin American nationalism. Che Guevara, Fidel Castro or Chavez become icons of modern revolution in Latin America. Bhagat Singh and Che Guevara both have become icons of world youth too, though both earned their name in history in two extremely different corners of the world. One in South America and other in South Asia.
      Bhagat Singh died young at the age of 23+ years, but he earned fame during his life time as well. In the last two years of his life from April 1929 to 23rd March 1931, he was extremely popular among undivided Indian people, which included today’s Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Born on 28th September 1907 at Chak no 105, Lyallpur Bange, now in Pakistan known as Faisalabad district, he made his mark in public life at quite young age of 17 years, when he formed Naujwan Bharat Sabha in Lahore along with his friends and comrades. Prior to that also, he had started participating in political life of the country. His family, including his father Kishan Singh and two uncles-Ajit Singh and Swaran Singh were part of Congress party and movement for freedom struggle. All three were going to jail ample times, Swaran Singh died young at the age 23 years after he contacted TB in jail, Ajit Singh was close associate of Lala Lajpat Rai and was sent to Mandalay jail in Burma in 1907 for organising peasants, who were victims of indebtedness as they are today. Later Ajit Singh remained exiled in Latin America for 38 long years till March 1947, when Jawaharlal Nehru as interim Prime Minister facilitated his return to India. Bhagat Singh, as his other comrades like Chandershekhar Azad got disillusioned from Congress party as Mahatma Gandhi withdrew his massive Satyagraha-non-cooperation movement in 1922, due to burning of a police station in Chauri Chaura in Gorakhpur district of UP. Bhagat Singh was not even fifteen years then and Azad was just fifteen plus, who participated in that movement and suffered thirty lashes on his back by shouting on every lash-‘Mahatma Gandhi ki Jai’! So these young people thought Congress party is not capable of fighting British colonialism, they need to organise revolutionary movement to overthrow British colonial regime. In 1922, Bhagat Singh joined National College Lahore, where he did his F.A. in 1923 and was further enrolled for B.A. in 1923. There were his other college friends-Bhagwati Charan Vohra, Sukhdev, Yashpal, Jaidev, Ram Chandra etc. They had nationalists and revolutionary teachers like Principal Chhabil Das, Jaichander Vidyalankar etc. who had contacts with revolutionaries in other parts of the country. National college Lahore had Dwarkadas library, which was getting latest books from world over, including books on Soviet Socialist revolution led by Lenin in 1917. Bhagat Singh was as much a voracious reader of these books, as some of his teachers were, even at such young age of 16-17 years. He had creative skills as well, as he acted and directed many nationalistic plays during his college days, one of which was watched even by Sarojini Naidu then. Organising Naujwan Bharat Sabha on the pattern of ‘Young Italy’ of Mazzini and Gary Baldy was his first socio-political activity. As per Comrade Ram Chandra, he was elected President, Bhagat Singh as General Secretary and Bhagwati Charan Vohra as Propaganda secretary of the Sabha. Bhagat Singh went to Kanpur with contacts from his History teacher Jaichander Vidyalankar and met revolutionary group there, which included Shiv Verma, Jaidev Kapoor, Bejoy Kumar Sinha etc. With the efforts of Sachindernath Sanyal many revolutionary groups of the country like Jugantar and Anushilan merged to form new all India party named as ‘Hindustan Republican Association/Army’ (HRA). In Kanpur Bhagat Singh worked as journalist in Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi edited Hindi paper-‘Pratap’, where he wrote in the pen name of ‘Balwant Singh’. Bhagat Singh later remained associated with papers like ‘Maharathi’ and ‘Arjun’-both Hindi journalsfrom Delhi and ‘Kirti’-Punjabi and Urdu from Amritsar and Meerut, in all these papers he wrote under different pseudo names.
    So the first and most objective narrative of Bhagat Singh’s life emerged from his early life-an energetic young mind with quest for knowledge and liberation with creative mind. (Photographs attached) Interestingly the latest narrative of Bhagat Singh is acknowledged again as a most well-read Thinker Revolutionary with Socialist vision for post liberation India!
                    This foremost and objective image of Bhagat Singh had been and still being distorted wittingly or unwittingly, but lately mostly wittingly by a planned conspiracy to overshadow his ideological orientation which is so obvious and clear from his writings, which are being published in collections in various languages. By now his complete writings (120+--letters, statements, Jail Notebook and essays in four languages-Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and English)) have been published in Hindi, Marathi and Urdu languages and large number of writings have been published in Punjabi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Bengali, while few of his writings have been published in Sindhi, Odia, Assamese, Manipuri and Gujarati as well. So it has become difficult to appropriate him in superimposed images of political vested interests, like RSS and some Sikh extremists tried to do.
    After becoming part of Hindustan Republican Association/Army (HRA), along with Chandershekhar Azad, Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaquallah and others at all India level, Bhagat Singh and his comrades in Lahore continued with mass activities from Naujwan Bharat Sabha and Punjab Students Union. He was an avid student of history and was learning its lessons fast. HRA conducted Kakori Rail dacoity in August 1925 and lost its major leaders like Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaquallah, Roshan Singh and Rajender Lahiri by the end of 1927, when all four were executed.


From National College Lahore Drama club group photo
National College Lahore group photo.BS fourth from left standing with white turban
          Bhagat Singh convinced remaining comrades of HRA to leave the path of dacoities and have a new vision of Indian liberation inspired by Socialist revolution in Soviet Union led by Lenin. So HRA comrades held meeting in Ferozeshah Kotla grounds of Delhi on 8&9th September 1928 and converted it in Hindustan Socialist Republican Association/Army (HSRA), while keeping its armed wing alive under the commandership of Chandershekhar Azad, it focus shifted to political propaganda for liberating India from the yoke of colonialism and capitalist exploitation and building Socialist India free of exploitation through mass uprisings of peasants and workers. However before they could actively take to their changed political path, Simon Commission came to India in October 1928 and Bhagat Singh and his comrades convinced Lala Lajpat Rai, the tallest political leader of Punjab to lead mass procession against Simon Commission in Lahore, despite their criticism of late communal orientation of Lala Lajpat Rai. Procession was brutally lathi charged on 30th October 1928 by Lahore police led by SSP Lahore James Scott and DSP J P Saunders, resulting in the death of Lala Lajpat Rai on 17th November 1928. At the resounding call of avenging Lala Lajpat Rai’s death by Basanti Devi, widow of late Chittranjan Dass, the most radical congress leader of Bengal, Bhagat Singh and Comrades, departing from their new perspectives, assassinated J P Saunders, exactly a month after on 17th December 1928. Bhagat Singh was part of this action and now time was short for these revolutionaries to act. And the second biggest action of these young thinker revolutionaries-Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt was to throw a harmless bomb in Central Assembly Delhi on 8th April 1929 to protest against two anti-people bills pushed throgh by ordinances by British colonial government. These bills were Trade Disputes Bill-an anti-working class law and Public Safety Bill-an act to supress civil liberties. This action was more in line with their new perspective as the action was ‘not to kill or harm’, but ‘To Make the Deaf hear’, a phrase taken from French revolutionary Valliant, who had thrown bomb in French Parliament in similar circumstances in December 1893 and was executed in 1894. Bhagat Singh was inspired by Valliant’s similar action earlier and both had lot of similarities in post action life as well. Both kept on studying till the last moment in prison, Bhagat Singh was reading a book on life of Lenin till last, so was Valliant reading some other book, both had refused to wear black mask on faces at the time of going to gallows and made a show of exemplary bravery by going to gallows singing. Both asserted their atheism on gallows as well, refusing to partake any religious rites before kissing the rope.
   It was only after Delhi Assembly bomb action, police found out Bhagat Singh’s involvement in Saunders assassination and after the conclusion of Delhi trial in June 1929, Lahore conspiracy trial began in July 1929. First resulted in ‘Transportation for Life’ on 12th June 1929 and second in death sentence on 7th October 1930. It was the period of both trials that Bhagat Singh image was raised to skies by his and his comrades exemplary brave conduct in courts by challenging the authority of colonial courts by shouting slogans and singing patriotic songs, getting beaten up publically and observing 150 days hunger strike in jail, highlighted by national and international media on front pages and by the time Bhagat Singh was executed along with Rajguru and Sukhdev on 23rd March 1931, he no longer remained a name, he turned into an immortal icon of bravery and intelligence. Mahatma Gandhi the foremost symbol of India’s freedom struggle got damned for ‘not saving Bhagat Singh’s life’! And it was Mahatma Gandhi and Congress party, while criticising their actions, underlined the exemplary bravery of these patriots, creating an immortal but incomplete image of supreme martyr-Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, which continued and continues most popular narrative in Indian society. It goes to the credit of Periyar in Tamilnadu, who projected correct image of Bhagat Singh in his editorial in Kudai Arsu issue of 29th March 1931 and got Bhagat Singh’s essay ‘Why I am an Atheist’ translated and published in Tamil by 1934. Further It was Prof. Bipan Chandra, who in 1978 or so, completed this bravery image by adding to his socialist visionary thinker revolutionary by reproducing his immortal ideological essay-‘Why I am an Atheist’ with his introduction and underlining his personality to be of ‘A Marxist in the making’! By the publication of Bhagat Singh’s major writings, including his Jail Notebook in 1994, his ‘Marxist in the Making’ image got further enhanced to ‘Marxist Socialist Revolutionary of India’ image! This image is being contested by some right winger politicians, trying to confine his image to just ‘nationalist revolutionary’, which is complete distortion and insult to Bhagat Singh’s much larger world image, now popular even in Pakistan and many other countries like Che Guevera!
         Changing narrative on Bhagat Singh can be seen from his changing photo images as well. Till almost 1980, the predominant actual photo image of Bhagat Singh was of his last photograph taken in Delhi studio in early April 1929, just before assembly bomb action. However with the rise of identity politics, in Punjab and at many other places, his ‘hat wearing image’ was replaced by a painting based photograph of ‘turban wearing image’, which was and is not his real photo image, it is imaginary picture by a painter. It affected politico-social life so much that in Bhagat Singh’s ancestral place in Banga, his hat wearing statue, inaugurated once by thn Chief Minister Giani Zail Singh in 1974 or so, was taken off and was replaced by ‘turban wearing statue’! In Raipur-Chhattisgarh recently, Bhagat Singh’s hat wearing statue was even smashed by some Sikh religious bodies, without realising as no one among religious fundamentalists reads Bhagat Singh’s writings, that he was an atheist!
        Bhagat Singh narratives have become highly politicised lately, his writings and ideas based images and narratives are being tried to be superimposed on his real, objective and ideas based images and narratives, as RSS does with all history, but how long? Bhagat Singh is like a burning fire, even in his iconic existence, he does not allow rightist fascists to even touch him and exposes their duplicity and hypocrisy in no time, as it happened in matter of naming Chandigarh airport on his name. Both Punjab and Haryana Governments in 2009 had unanimously urged Central Government to name Chandigarh airport as Shaheed Bhagat Singh international airport, however while name chanting RSS tried to name it on little known RSS leader Mangal Sen first and then adopted a conspiratorial silence on the issue. While Yogi Aditynath is bent upon getting Gorakhpur airport named on Yogi Gorakhnath and Agra airport on Deendyal Upadhyaya’s names and Moghul Sarai railway station as Deen Dyal station, cat is out of bag on Bhagat Singh, none in RSS wants his name to be perpetuated by naming Chandigarh airport on his name or naming any University on his name, though keeping name chanting on!

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Sangh Parivar’s duplicity on Shaheed Bhagat Singh-National Herald-22nd March 2017

Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Statues of martyrs Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev near Amritsar

On one hand BJP-RSS have been trying to appropriate Bhagat Singh and on the other the BJP government in Haryana has been trying to name Chandigarh’s international airport after RSS leader Mangal Sein

Shaheed Bhagat Singh had truly become a national icon by 1931. A fascinating character who was hanged at the young age of just 23 on March 23 that year, he had captured the national imagination after he and other revolutionaries killed ASP John Saunders.

There was no part of India and no newspaper in any language that did not carry reports on his trial. Between 1929 and 1931 he hogged the headlines and all national leaders from Mahatma Gandhi to Dr Ambedkar and Jawaharlal Nehru often issued statements on the case and commented on the course of the trial.

But not a single RSS leader is known to have uttered a single word against his hanging. Both Golwalkar and Savarkar were conspicuous by their complete silence. Both were self-styled revolutionaries but they did not oppose the hanging of Bhagat Singh. So much so that researchers have stumbled on statements issued by Periyar to condemn the death sentence but not a single statement was found by any person related to the RSS.

It is nothing short of an irony that the same RSS is today trying to appropriate Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s legacy.

Bhagat Singh remained in prison for two years and wrote extensive letters to both newspapers and to his Comrades. When he and his comrades hurled the bomb in the Assembly, the headline in The Times of India was ‘Reds Storm The Assembly’. And of course the slogan made popular by him was ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ (Long live the revolution).

There is, therefore, no doubt that he was a communist in his thoughts and his socialistic thoughts are reflected in his writing, which were carried by all prominent newspapers of the time including Modern ReviewTribuneAnandabazar PatrikaHindustan Times and others. Even the pamphlets he hurled in the Assembly were in red.

It is remarkable that newspapers from different corners of India, The Leader published from Allahabad, Pratap published from Kanpur, Free Press Journal published from Bombay (now Mumbai), The Hindu from Madras (now Chennai) besides the newspapers published from Lahore, Delhi and Calcutta (now Kolkata) were all one in acknowledging his powerful messages. The extensive coverage he received made him the most popular leader of his time.
“There is urgent need to rediscover Bhagat Singh’s idea of the nation and nationalism. He wrote against communal riots. He also wrote against atrocities on Dalits. His nationalism was not narrow but the result of well-thought out arguments. His broader nationalism is what can take on the narrow, parochial discourse on nationalism made popular by the Sangh Parivar.”
Dr Chaman Lal
Mahatma Gandhi grudgingly had to admit that Bhagat Singh was very courageous! Nehru said Bhagat Singh’s views were very progressive. But despite the grudging acknowledgment of his deed, his ideas and thoughts were never given much importance or prominence by Congress leaders. Even after Independence his writings were largely ignored.

It is worth recalling that Bhagat Singh’s seminal work, “Why I am an Atheist”, was first translated by Periyar into Tamil in 1934, long before it was published in Hindi.

During the Naxalbari movement in the seventies, the Left laid claim to the legacy of Bhagat Singh but neither the media nor the academia paid much attention to it.

It was during this time that eminent historian Bipan Chandra wrote an introduction and re-published Bhagat Singh’s essay ‘Why I am an atheist’ as a book. That generated fresh interest in Bhagat Singh. The revolutionary’s niece Virender Sandhu also came out with a book while my own book in Hindi titled “Bhagat Singh aur Unke Sathiyon ke Dastawez’” was published in 1986 by Rajkamal.

While scores of editions of this book have come out, there was little in English besides the one brought out by Bipan Chandra.

This was also the time when the BJP and the RSS began attempts to appropriate Bhagat Singh. During the agitation for a separate Khalistan, these elements claimed that Bhagat Singh had raised slogans of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. While Bhagat Singh may well have raised the slogan, what is incontrovertible is the last slogan he had raised before he was hanged. It was ‘Inquilab Zindabad and Down with Imperialism”.

RSS mouthpiece Panchajanya brought out a special issue on Bhagat Singh in 2007. The 100-page special issue strove to prove that Bhagat Singh was not a communist and that he did not write the book, “Why I am an Atheist’.

Communist parties woke up rather late to Bhagat Singh’s revolutionary credentials. Some half-hearted measures were taken by Left Front Governments to publish Bhagat Singh’s letters and the ‘Dastawez’ was also eventually translated into Marathi.

The RSS and the BJP have been forced to concede that Bhagat Singh was indeed a communist and an atheist. But now their emphasis is on depicting him as a ‘nationalist’ though there is a sea of difference between their narrow nationalism and Bhagat Singh’s nationalism.

Bhagat Singh was not in favour of Independence that would replace the English masters with Brown Sahibs. He imagined a nation in which the workers, farmers and the common man are liberated and empowered. He spoke of an international brotherhood and federation.

BJP’s double standards are evident. It was agreed, for example, that the Chandigarh International Airport would be named after Shaheed Bhagat Singh. But ever since a BJP Government took over in Haryana, its attempt has been to name the airport after a late RSS leader Mangal Sein!

There is urgent need to rediscover Bhagat Singh’s idea of the nation and nationalism. He wrote against communal riots. He also wrote against atrocities on Dalits. His nationalism was not narrow but the result of well-thought out arguments. His broader nationalism is what can take on the narrow, parochial discourse on nationalism made popular by the Sangh Parivar.
Dr Chaman Lal* retired from Jawaharlal Nehru University and is an eminent academic, author and translator. He is an authority on Bhagat Singh
*As told to Vishwa Deepak

Distorting History: When The Right Wing Hung Bhagat Singh on Valentine's Day, Instead of March 23 -The Citizen-22nd March 2017
Distorting History: When The Right Wing Hung Bhagat Singh on Valentine's Day

Wednesday, March 22,2017
NEW DELHI: Bhagat Singh is such a charming personality that many aspects of his life and ideas have taken the shape of fiction, whereas the facts of the same are entirely at variance with that fictional creativity.

Since the social media-- especially Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter-- has become very popular, all sorts of imaginative things are being said about not only Bhagat Singh, but of Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Ambedkar and others as well.

Most of the imaginative stories are coming from right-wing religious fundamentalists. Nehru is attacked in a most vicious manner, with some even suggesting that he was born of Muslim ancestors.

Since Bhagat Singh cannot be attacked in such a vicious form, he is subjected to being a ‘victim’ of the mechanism of various hues of the Congress party etc. In recent times he was made to hang on February 14, this was later revised to ‘sentenced’ on February 14 and thereby use the date to attack those Indians who celebrate the “western decadent” Valentine’ Day, and denigrate them for not showing ‘respect’ to the supreme martyr!

After many years of showing ‘concern’ for the supreme martyr by beating up young couples in parks for celebrating ‘Valentine’ Day, this year these ‘big nationalists’ got some drubbing on the mainstream media for spreading such rubbish through the social media!

But there are other fictions and distortions made in the post martyrdom life of Bhagat Singh. Worst of all is distorting his real pictorial presentation to imagined painting based presentations. Till 1947 or even till 1970’s, the most popular and real photograph of Bhagat Singh---wearing the famous hat--- was clicked on April 3,1929 at a Kashmere gate studio of old Delhi, before he and BK Dutt went to throw bombs in Central assembly on April 8.

This photograph was first published in the April 12,1929 issue of ‘Bande Matram’(Urdu) from Lahore and in Hindustan Times of Delhi on April 18, 1929.

However, after the 1970’s the sense of ethnicity took over, despite the fact that in the same period, his writings were also rediscovered and published reflecting his clear ‘Marxist Socialist’ orientation! Some artists took one of his older paintings showing him in a yellow turban with a bearded face to give it a massive publicity. Some of his original photographs also emerged in this period, from 11 to 20 years of age with a white turban or without one.

Famous artist Sobha Singh made a painting based on his 1927 Lahore police detention photograph, which emerged during the 1960’s. But more popular creations in paintings were of an “arrogantly moustached Youngman with pistol and yellow turban’, who could scare the ‘Gora Angrez’!

This overbearing image which continues to distort the real Bhagat Singh even today, was countered at a creative level by some progressive painters in the 1980-90’s till today. They paint Bhagat Singh from his real photograph, wearing a white kurta pyjama with a white turban and a book in hand.

The irony is that common masses don’t want to love Bhagat Singh as he really was---the thinker revolutionary. They prefer the romanticised yellow turbaned, pistol flaunting, Bhagat Singh, striking fear in the Gora Angrez. So much so, that Bhagwant Mann, after becoming a MP, tried to copy Bhagat Singh by wearing a saffron or yellow turban in the supposed ‘Bhagat Singh’ style! The fact of the matter is that neither Bhagat Singh ever wore a yellow or saffron turban, or wore even any turban for that matter in the style that Mann tries to project.

Only two of his dresses are available in his four real family held photographs-white turbaned with white khadi kurta pyjama, one at the age of 11 years at home and the second when he was 17 years of age and studying at the National college Lahore. This was from a group photograph of the drama team.

A third photograph is of when he was in police custody in Lahore in May 1927, with open head hair sitting on a cot with a police officer interrogating him. The fourth and last photograph of Bhagat Singh is of April 3,1929 taken at the Kashmere gate studio, wearing a half shirt, with khaki shorts and a felt hat. The photographer testified in a Delhi sessions court that he had taken this photograph.

In most parts of the country and abroad, except Punjab, this continues to be the most popular photograph of Bhagat Singh on display in offices or homes. Yet in Punjab at Khatkar Kalan-Bange, Bhagat Singh’s ancestral village site, the Hat wearing statue was inaugurated by Punjab Government ministers. However, it was taken away to some other place to be replaced by a statue donning a turban, during the late 1970’s as per Punjabi poet Amarjit Chandan, who has the photograph of the original statue!

So much so that at Raipur in Chhatisgarh, some miscreants even cut the head of the hat wearing statue of Bhagat Singh a couple of years ago! Most recently in September 2016, a statue of Bhagat Singh was placed near a Gurdwara in Pune with the same ugly pistol flaunting, yellow turbaned moustached Bhagat Singh!
In other deliberate distortions, writer and journalist Khuswant Singh was targeted with the claim that his father Sir Sobha Singh was the cause of Bhagat Singh’s hanging.Sobha Singh was present in the Delhi Central Assembly on April 8, 1929 in the visitors’ gallery and he did identify Bhagat Singh and Dutt in court at Delhi, but without making any statement. And in the Delhi bomb case Bhagat Singh and Dutt were ‘transported for life’! Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev were hanged in the Lahore Conspiracy case in the Saunders murder case, and interestingly, the judgement is now again under judicial review before the Lahore High Court after being challenged by Lahore lawyers!

Another major distortion or fiction is about Bhagat Singh’s faith. While he himself clearly professed being ‘an atheist’ and ‘Socialist Revolutionary’ influenced by Marxism, yet Bhai Randhir Singh, a respected Ghadarite revolutionary claimed that Bhagat Singh ‘accepted his fault’ for shaving his hair. And that he re-converted to Sikhism under his influence in jail where he grew a ‘six inchbeard’ at the time of hanging!

Bhagat Singh was too farsighted about this and he was so conscious about this perceived distortion of his ideas that immediately after meeting Bhai Randhir Singh, who was released from Lahore jail after this meeting, Bhagat Singh penned ‘Why I am an Atheist’ on October 5-6, 1930 to rebut all the arguments which might have come across in the meeting between the two. Yet some right-wing admirers of Bhagat Singh claimed ‘Why I am an Atheist’ to be an interpolation of leftists. But the brief editorial note with the essay, ascribes it as received from Bhagat Singh’s father Kishan Singh. And rebuts the claim by making it clear that the first publication of the essay was on September 27, 1931 issue of the Lala Lajpat Rai established weekly ‘The People’ from Lahore and its Tamil translation.

There have been other genuine debates among various political personalities of that period, such as Lala Lajpat Rai blaming these youth for trying to ‘Make Lenin’ of him; or Bhagat Singh and his comrades supporting progressive Congress leader Dewan Chaman Lal against the conservative group of the Congress; and he calling them names after they threw bombs in the Assembly and the youth attacking him as ‘pseudo-socialist’;Sukhdev accusing him of falling in a ‘love trap’ and Bhagat Singh explaining the worth of ‘real love’ in an exchange of letters; Sukhdev supporting the idea of ‘suicide’ in torture chambers and Bhagat Singh snubbing him for not facing life’s difficulties squarely...etc. etc.
Bhagat Singh at 11

Bande Matram-12-4-1929

Hat photo Bhagat Singh-Kashmere Gate Delhi-April 1929 

Bhagat Singh in National college Lahore
(Chaman Lal is a retired Professor from JNU and a Fellow of Punjab University Chandigarh.)
(Cover Photo: Bhagat Singh first arrest)

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Bhagat Singh Execution controversy

Those nonsensical Sanghis who are stupidly or mischievously trying to make 14th February 1931 as Bhagat Singh execution or sentence date-they should first check facts!
May be ABP channel at 8.30 pm focus on few of these facts!
Dateline-Lahore Conspiracy Case and Bhagat Singh execution orders-
1.Saunders assassination in Lahore-17th December 1928
2. Bhagat Singh arrest-8th April 1929 at Delhi Central assembly after bomb thrown
3.June 1929-Convicted in Delhi Bomb case-life sentence, sent to Punjab jails.
4.10th July 1929-brought on stretcher to Rai Sahib Kishan Das court for Lahore conspiracy case-being on hunger strike since 15th June
5. Hunger strike in Lahore jail till 4th October 1929.Two more hunger strikes of fifteen days each
6.Tribunal to hear Lahore conspiracy case through Lord Irwin ordinance 1st May 1930
7. Boycott of Tribunal by Bhagat Singh and comrades.
8.Tribunal Judgement-7th October 1930-to be hanged on 27th October.
9. Appeal to Privy Council-Bhagat Singh defense committee
10. Motilal Nehru before his death on 6th February makes it sure appeal in Privy Council taken seriously
11. 11th February 1931-Privy council 5 member board headed by Vicsconsin Dundedin hears the arguments of Bhagat Singh lawyer D.N Pritt and dismisses the appeal same day. Dinshaw Mulla Indian member of privy council board makes no protest or dissent
12. Gopi Chand Bhargav-Punjab Congress leader and later CM of Punjab, Lal Duni Chand, Amolak Ram Kapoor, Prannath Mehta. Asif Ali, Jeevan Lal Kapoor-later Supreme Court judge-Lawyers fighting Bhagat Singh case.
13. Last attempt-two petitions in Punjab High Court Lahore on 21st March after execution orders for 24th March issued.
14. Both petitions heard and dismissed by Lord Broadway and Justice Bhide on 23rd March at 3 pm.
15. 23rd March- Execution of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev at Lahore jail between 7 pm and 7.33 pm-12 hours before due date-24th March at morning
Source-The Trial of Bhagat Singh, Oxford University Press, New Delhi

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Seven Books by Che Guevara and one on Tania-the Revolutionary

              Seven Books by Che Guevara and one on Tania
1.The Bolivian Diaries-Authorised edition, Ernesto Che Guevara, Introduction by Fidel Castro, Preface by Camilo Guevara, 1st ed. 2006, Ocean Press, Melbourne-New York, Pages 303, Indian price, Rs. 450/
             This is one of most important book of world revolutionary movements. This is Che Guevara’ diary notes in his Bolivia mission. Beginning 7th November 1966, the diary has regular entries for exact eleven months, till 7th October 1967, one day before his capture by Bolivian army, propped up by US rulers. On 8th October 1967, Che Guevara was captured and no courtesy was shown to the world’s most respected revolutionary figure, a former minister in Cuban Government, known to all the world’s most powerful men—UNO, Mao Ze Dong, Khrushchev. Except for Cuba and Fidel Castro and world’s revolutionary people, having no influence over the events at that moment, no bourgeoisie politicians of the world, expressed any sorrow or condemnation at the brutal cruel treatment to a wounded Che and brutal murder of him next day at the behest of US imperialists and that US lackey in Bolivia dictator Barrientos. Che Guevara was at his marvellous best even during his one day custody, bearing all the pains heroically and challenging his killers to shoot him, as the killers had no courage to do that. Though diary is not important in terms of any theoretical foundations, but it is most important to know in a matter of fact manner, that how selflessly and heroically Che Guevara led this most difficult mission of makin revolution in Bolivia; despite his serious asthmatic problem, leaving Cuba at a time, when he was providing marvellous leadership in building socialism as Castro’s most trusted comrade; with most of the circumstances in Bolivia being hostile and conditions not favourable to advance the revolution. But Che was Che, he could not agree to Fidel’s assessment to wait for more favourable circumstances and ground preparation, before he could join the forces there. And equally great was Castro, who kept his word with Che, to allow him to leave the Cuban Government and let him organise Cuban like revolution in the rest of Latin American countries, a dream nurtured by Simon Bolivar to create a revolutionary United States of South America. Che wished to begin in his motherland Argentina first, but conditions were not yet ripe there to lead such movement. Bolivia was also not ripe yet, but taking inspiration from Cuban victory, the struggle started by just 82 men on Granma and left with only 15-16 people, yet within two years defeating the 80 thousand army of dictator Batista in Cuba and leading first successful socialist revolution in Cuba on 1st January 1959. Fidel Castro not only relieved his comrade and close friend Che to lead the revolution, he provided men and arms from his early Cuban revolutionary expedition, including many senior Communist party cadres, who sacrificed their lives in Bolivian mission like Che himself.
      The Bolivian diary has been edited very meticulously. Apart from Diary entries of Che, it includes rare photographs of that period, editor’s brief note, Maps of the area, including guerrilla zones; glossary of people and terms/events, Preface and Introduction and five communiqués issued by National Liberation Army (ELN) of Bolivia, fighting under the leadership of Che. The actual diary entries are covered in about 220 pages. Life sketch of Che is also given in beginning. 
  Camilo Guevara, eldest son of Che Guevara has written brief but moving preface to the diary. Camilo rightly observes that 7th October 1967 last entry of Che in diary are-‘there is not the slightest tone of discouragement, pessimism, or defeatism; on the contrary, these words seems to be a beginning, a prologue... (page1) Camilo describes 8th October, Che’s wounded body in captivity as-‘Yet his body is still upright and armed with conviction, preparing for another battle’ (page 2). Camilo is sure that the enemies could have never capture Che, despite his wounded leg, broken rifle and no other weapon, but for he could not leave his other sick and wounded companeros. Camilo describes the scene on 9th October as well, when Che was murdered as the ‘order to murder him came from Washington’. Che never mistreated his captives, most of the times the prisoners of Bolivian army were released after warning them, no one was ever tortured or killed as he never believed in committing cruelties even on enemies. Camilo beautifully concludes that –‘Without a trial, without a thought, the new man Che Guevara represented is killed. But what is born is a yearning for the new human being, who is neither an illusion nor a fantasy.  Xxx A dream, dormant for many centuries takes shape: an ethical, virtuous selfless human being. This time stripped of all myth and mysticism; this person must be fundamentally human. (Page 8)
  Fidel Castro wrote –A necessary Introduction to the dairy in 1968, when the diary was first time published in original Spanish in Havana, of which two lakh copies were circulated free to Cubans; and is part of diary in this edition, which has been included in his memoir on Che as well. In this introduction Fidel narrates the story iof acquiring diary of Che from interior minister of Bolivia, who lost his job for this and establishing its authenticity. Introduction underlines the intense human character of Che and his immense bravery, it also exposes the brutalities of Bolivian regime, which was lackey of US imperialism and was playing a puppet’s role. Castro also exposes the treachery of Mario Monje, secretary of Bolivian Communist party at that time, who ditched Che. Even the other group led by Oscar Zamora became venomous critic of Che Guevara. Moises Guevara, miners leader joined the movement and sacrificed his life. Other comrades of Monje like Inti and Coco Perado also joined and proved their bravery, but Monje went to the extent of sabotaging the movement. Che knew many peasant sin Bolivia but was suspicious and cautious of their character. Despite so many difficulties Che and his comrades performed marvellous feats and Bolivian army could succeed only on 26th September 1967 against Che’s detachment and Che’s group could never overcome that damage. Despite heavy risk Che kept on helping the Doctor Moro, who was in very poor physical health.Castro opines that never in history has so small a number of men set out such a gigantic task. Castro has also highlighted the bravery of Che in fighting his last battle on 8th October, trying to save his poor  health two comrades and fighting even he was wounded. In La Paz, dictator Barrientos and defence chief Ovando decided to murder Che, that was done in most cruel and brutal manner. It was Che, who said firmly to his killer—‘Shoot! Don’t be afraid’, still the drunk killer could shoot him in side, Che’s agony for last few hours of his life  was very bitter and Fidel puts it aptly-No person was better prepared than Che to be put to such a test’. Castro reveals that diary of Che was obtained without any financial payment and was published simultaneously in France, Italy, Germany, US; and in Chile, Mexico in Spanish.Fidel concludes by famous slogan of Che- Hasta la victoria siempre!-Ever onwards to Victory.
  25 pages spread Glossary gives details of almost all people involved in this epic struggle on both sides. In Appendices the first Appendix refers to Instructions to Urban cadres, which is mentioned as Document III, it is dated 22nd January 1967. This document was written by Che and was Loyola Guzman, when she visited Che on 26th January. According to this document’s reference National Liberation Army (ELN) was established in March 1967.Che has given detailed instructions in this document regarding all organisational aspects for the army like supplies, finances, transport, and contact with sympathisers etc. Appendix II, refers to Document XVII of ELN and is issued as Communiqué no.1 to the Bolivian people, it is dated 27th March 1967. The general title of the regular communiqués is given as ‘Revolutionary truth against Reactionary Lies’, under this very title there is Communiqué no. 2, issued on 14th April 1967, and given the document no. as XXI. Communiques no. 3, 4 and five issued as Documents no. XXII, XXIV and XXV are also included in Appendices, issued on May 1967 and two in June 1967. In the communiqués it is made clear that ELN is the only responsible party for the armed struggle. In one of these communiqués, Che Guevara makes an impassioned plea to join ELN, as ‘we are restructuring the worker-peasant alliance that was broken by an anti plebeian demagoguery.’ Che is confident at this moment that ‘we are converting defeat into triumph.’
   The Bolivian dairy of Che begins on 7th November with the inspiring first sentence-‘Today begins a new phase... The diary gives brief description of the day and makes an interesting entry on 12th November-‘My hair is growing, although very sparsely, and the grey hair are turning blond, and beginning to disappear; my beard is returning. In a few months i will be myself again.’(Page 38). How much revolutionaries like Che and Fidel love their beard that they feel lost without it!Che entered Bolivia with fake passport and with clean shaven shape, which could not be recognised even by Fidel castro and Che’s comrades in Havana, when Castro gave him a farewell lunch! Manila is fictitious word for Cuba and Che refers to the existence of 12 insurgents on 27th November. Che made it a point to write review of the each month’s diary at the end of every month and November’s anaylysis records Che’s opinion –Everything has gone well; my arrival was without incident and half of the troops have arrived , also without incident...
     In diary for December, on 7th December Che notes that ‘I will give the summaries at the end of each month’. In 12th December’s entry, Che made certain appointments in the group, giving charges to various people. 19th December’s diary tells us about almost whole night discussion in the group without sleeping a bit. 24th December was celebrated as Christmas Eve. On 31st December, all important meeting with Monje takes place. There was discussion on each point and some understanding was reached, which was not followed by Monje later. In the analysis of the month, Che notes with satisfaction that Cuban team has been successfully completed, but Bolivians are few in numbers. Che is satisfied at the morale of the group.
  In January diary, Che plans Tania’s trip to Argentina, On 6th January, Che notes-‘importance of study is indispensable for the future...On 26th January Che noted—Loyola made a very good impression on me, she is very young and softly spoken but one can tell she is very determined. In the analysis of the month, Che notes with anguish—‘As I expected, Monje’s position was at first evasive and then treacherous; Che notes with concern that party (Communist party) has taken up arms against us...Che concludes ironically-‘Of everythins that was envisioned, the slowest has been the incorporation of Bolivian Combatants.’ (Page 78)
   In February diary, 13th February entry is father’s birthday date. 18th February diary notes wife Josefina’s birthday, 24th February is Che’s youngest son Ernesto’s birthday. February was not a very conducive month for the group. Group is divided into two. They had been walking miles and miles. Che has also noted the death of Comrade Benjamin.
 In March diary Che notes on 14th March, ‘we heard parts of Fidel’s speech in which he makes blunt criticism of Venezuelan communists and harshly attacks the position of Soviet Union on Latin American puppets. (Page 102).’ Inthe same month on 16th, Che mentions about eating horse. On 17th, Che notes another loss for revolutionaries, lot many crucial weapons on backpacks were lost in crossing river. On March 23&24, they make gains, they capture many weapons from enemy and kill and arrest many. There is mention of French leftist Regis Debary visiting ELN. In March 25th meeting of the group, liberation army is given the name as National Liberation Army of the Boloivia, ELN in short. Che made a detailed analysis of March month activities and notes that ‘The phase of consolidation and purging of the guerrilla force-fully completed’.(Page 118) Che also notes that there is slow development in incorporation of some Cuban elements, als0 as initial phase of struggle precise and spectacular blow, but gross indecision. Che notes that enemy is totally ineffective so far and is trying to moblise peasants to isolate us. Che organises guerrilla force into vanguard, Rear guard and Centre group, keeping himself in centre.
   In April, Che notes of ‘total disaster’ on 4th, ‘great tension’ on 6th, on April 10th Rubio’s death is noted, April 11th records radio news of ‘new and bloody encounter’ with mention of nine dead from army and four guerrillas. On 12th April Che notes with some pride that first blood spilled was ‘Cuban’. April 22nd is noted for ‘making mistakes’, 25th as ‘Bad day’ with the best guerrilla Rolando dyeing in ambush. Summary of the month confirms death of Rubio and Rolando as a ‘severe blow’. April analysis opines the certainty of North America’s heavy intervention, already sent helicopters and Green Berets; but Che notes the morale of combatants as good.
   May Day is celebrated by clearing vegetation in guerrilla camps, 8th May ambush by guerrillas got them three army men dead and ten prisoners. The dead include Second lieutenant Henry Larado, whose wife had asked to bring ‘a guerrilla fighter’s scalp’ to adorn in their living room. On 16th May, Che suffers intense abdominal pain with vomiting and diarrhea. They walk some 15 kilometers on 17th may. 20th May is noted for Che’s son Camilo Guevara’s birth day. The day also mentions Debray’s status as journalist being rejected by dictator Barrientos, Debary is facing trial now. Summary of the month is worrisome- Che notes total loss of contact with Manila (Cuba), La Paz and Joaquin (Other guerrilla group) of ELN, reducing the strength of group to 25; complete failure to recruit peasants, though they now admire ELN, Che notes that it is slow and patient task. Che is happy at clamour on Debary’s case, which has given momentum to ‘our movement than 10 victories in battle’; Che is also happy that ‘ morale of the guerrilla movement is growing stronger.’(Page 164)
   In June diary 14th is mentioned as birthday of Che’s youngest daughter Celia Guevara, but which is his own birthday as well, which he notes simply as-‘I turned 39 (today) and am inevitably approaching the age when I need to consider my future as guerrilla, but for now I am still “in one piece”. (Page 171). June 17th is noted for 15 kilometers walk in five and half hours. June 21st is birthday of Che’s mother Celia de la Serna, referred as ‘The old lady’. Che notes on 23rd June that ‘asthma is becoming a serious problem for me and there is very little medicine left’, 24th is noted for worsening of asthma, 25th-asthma continues to grow worse and now it will not let me sleep well. 26th June brings the sad death of Tuma, who was bodyguard to Che and Che felt about him ‘as if he were my own son’. Tuma is painfully buried on 27th June. On 29th, Che notes that they are now 24 men and counts Chino to be among ‘examplary men’. On 30th June, Che notes that ‘Debary apparently talked more than was necessary’. Bolivian army commander in chief Ovando made official announcement about Che being in Bolivia is also noted. In analysis of the month, Che notes the total lack of contact, continued lack of peasant recruitment, lack of  contact with Bolivian communist party, Debary’s case and Che’s recognition as ‘the leader of the movement’. Che again notes about the morale of guerrilla force being strong and their commitment of the struggle increasing, emphasising that ‘all the Cubans are exemplary in combat. Che notes the urgent task of recruiting at least 50 to 100 men in the movement.
   The very first day of July diary mentions Bolivian dictator Barrientos’s press conference calling guerrillas as ‘rats and snakes’ and wiping out Che Guevara and punishing Debary. On July 3rd Che notes in irony that ‘my asthma continues to wage war’, again on 7th, my asthma is getting worse. On July 14th Che notes with concern that Bolivian ‘government is disintegrating rapidly. Such a pity that we do not have 100 more men right now.’ (Page 191). From 15th to 17th, Che is relieved as asthma is much better, but on 27th, he mentions-My asthma hit me hard and those measly few sedatives are just about gone. July 30th comes with the death of Ricardo. On 31st, mention is made of loss of a book by Trotsky, Debrays’s book with Che notes on it and finally ‘We are 22 men with two wounded, and me with full blown asthma.’ Analaysis of the month focuses upon continuous negative points, three encounters causing army 7 dead, taking of Samaipata, lost two men. Important features- Total loss of contact continuoing, lack of peasant recruitment continuing, guerrilla force is becoming legendry, morale and combat experience of guerrilla force increasing with each battle. The most urgent tasks noted as-‘To re-establish contact, to recruit combatants, and to obtain medicines.’ (Page 204)
  Month of August starts with asthma worries, on 2nd, Che notes-my asthma is hitting me very hard and I have used up my last anti asthmatic injection, all I have left are tablets for about ten days.’ August 3 is as bad, but on 4th it improves a bit. On 6th August Che speaks on Bolivia’s Independence Day and on 7th he notes-‘Today marks exactly nine months since I arrived and we established the guerrilla force. Of the initial six, two are dead, one has disappeared, two are wounded and I am suffering from asthma with no idea how to overcome it.’(Page 207). On August 8th, Che makes a speech to his comrades and mentions the difficult situation of them, Che admits that ‘I am a complete wreck and the incident with the little mare shows that I am beginning to loose control....but Che speaks further-‘This is one of those moments when great decisions have to be made, this type of struggle gives us the opportunity to become revolutionaries, the highest form of human species, and it also allows us to emerge fully as men.....(page 208). On 9th, Che is down with fever and painful heel with abscess. On 10th, mention is made of Fidel’s speech attacking the traditional communist parties, Che still not well. On August 12, another guerrilla lost-Antonio Fernandez. Che foot recovers by 13th, but asthma is mentioned on 14th as ‘condemned to suffer from asthma indefinitely, the news of cave being found out and seizure of all photos and documents makes it bad day with worst blow. August 28th mentioned as ‘distressing day’, so are 29th and 30th. Summary of the month mentios blow of loss of all he documents, medicines, loss of two men, one desertion(first one) Other features of the month remain same, but morale factor changes to ‘decline’, though Che hopes it to be ‘temporary’. Che underlines about guerrillas being at ‘low point in our morale and in our revolutionary legend’, but concludes with recognition of ‘inti and Coco becoming ‘more and more outstanding as revolutionary and military cadres’.(Page 222)
  Month of September begins with much worse news, 2nd September mentions the radio broadcast of ‘annihilation of 10 guerrillas led by Cuban Joaquin in Camiri area’, this includes the killing of Tania as well. Che does not feel like believing it as local radio did anot announce, but Castro in Cuba could believe it. On 3rd Che thinks it to be a ‘trick’. Again on 7th September, Che is not inclined to believe the news of radio Cruz that body of guerrilla Tania recovered from Rio Granade bank, even as 8th entry mentions the attendance by Barrientos at the internment of remains of Tania the guerrilla, given as ‘Christian burial’. Mentioning 10th as bad day, Che makes interesting and funny entry-‘I forgot to mark an event: Today I took a bath after more than six months. This constitutes a record that several others are already approaching.’(Page 232)11th entry mentions of Barrientos claim of Che being ‘already dead’.13th entry mentions a shot fired on Debary’s father’s head, his documents for defence being confiscated. 15th and 17th entries mention about Lyola’s arrest and protest over it. It seems Che reconciles with Joaquin’s group’s annihilation around 22nd, when he mentions Barrientos-Ovando press conference announcing their ‘wiping out’. 26th entry begins with word ‘Defeat’, 28th begins with the words’Day of anguish’, perhaps Coco is annihilated, 29th is ‘another tense day’, so is 30th. This month’s summary is sad- loss of Miguel, Coco and Julio in ambush, ruined everything and left us in ‘perilous position’, losing Leon as well, losing Camba is a net gain. Che now accepts –‘we must consider Jouquins group wiped out, still hoping the report to be ‘exaggerated’ and ‘small group wandering around’. Che mentions the bitter fact that army is now more effective and peasants are becoming ‘informers’. Che underlines most important task as ‘to escape and seek more favourable areas; then focus on contacts, despite the fact that our urban network in La Paz is in shambles, where we also have been hit hard. Che still mentions the morale of rest of the troops as ‘fairly high’.
  October 2nd mentions the birthday of another guerrilla Antonio Pantoja Tomao.3rd entry is ironic, capture of two ‘guerrillas-Antonio (Leo) and Orlando (Camba), both betray and give information. Debary is praised for his courageous stand in the trial.5th entry shows Che taking care of Benigno and El Medico given an injection. The last entry of diary on 7th October begins as-‘The 11 month anniversary of our establishment as guerrilla force passed in bucolic mood with no complications. Che mentions that ‘the 17 of us set out under a slither of a moon, the march was exhausting, no nearby houses...Last lines—The army issued an odd report about the presence of 250 men in Serrano to block the escape of the 37(guerrillas) that are said to be surrounded. Our refuge is supposeddely between the Acero and Oro rivers. The report seems to be diversionary. Altitude=2000 meters.
These were the last words penned by Che Guevara before his capture next day 8th October and subsequent brutal murder on 9th October.
   The Bolivian Diary of Che Guevara records the eleven month glorious struggle to liberate Bolivia from the crutches of dictator Barrientos and its brutal army working directly under US imperialists as its lackey. I took look at The Motorcycle diaries and The Bolivian diary of Che Guevara together, though two diaries entirely different in content and style, one can understand Che Guevara’s marvellous and heroic character, which made him the best icon of international revolutionary in each part of the world. Wherever the resistance movements have erupted in any part of the world after 1967 murder of Che Guevara, everywhere Che’s photographs/posters/souvenirs have been the most visible part of demonstrations/processions etc. Che has become an icon, most ideal for the youth. One can see it from the conduct of Che’s life. Even from The Bolivian diary, it is amply clear that how selfless and caring Che’s personality has been towards his comrades. How despite his horrible asthmatic conditions suffered all the hardships of guerrilla life, walking 15-20 kilometers a day, performing all the duties of a guerrilla, like giving guard duty etc. and never complained, always remained full of optimism, even when things were going completely beyond control. Though Che has realistically analysed the weaknesses of the movement through his diary. Che was an idealist, despite being a Marxist, conditions were not ripe for him to go to Bolivia, this was the opinion of Fidel Castro also, but Che was restless to go. Che Guevara and Bhagat Singh like personalities create role models for youth or struggling people by their complete selfless conduct. Che was probably hoping to create another Cuba by his 25 men or so, as in Cuba just 15 or 16 of them mobilised whole of Cuba and defeated 80 thousand army of Batista. But Che underestimated US role after Cuban revolution. It would not allow another Cuba in Latin America at any cost and that is what it did in Bolivia by killing Che and many more senior Cuban revolutionaries in Bolivia in 1967. Yet the saga of Che Guevara’s bravery and struggle became a legend for long term inspiration for liberation of human kind from all kinds of oppression. Che could be impulsive in Bolivia, but by his sacrifice, he created a much more powerful Che for US imperialism, to which it can never kill with bullets as it has become idea personified and you can kill persons, people, but not an idea, that is what Che is today, to live forever and as a burning shot in the eyes of imperialism! Same is the icon of Bhagat Singh is South Asia, with similar characteristics of the character.
2. ‘The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey’, Ernesto, “Che” Guevara, Preface by Aleida Guevara, Introduction by Cintio Vitier, Ocean Press, Melbourne, New York, London, first ed. 2004, 14th printing 2007 from Colombia, pages 175, Price Rs. 350/
    Eduardo Galeano finds this book to be ‘journey of journeys, solitude found solidarity; ‘I’ turned into ‘we’.
 Aleida Guevara, daughter of Che, in her preface tells us that she read these notes before publication and was glad to be the daughter of this writer. She notes beauty and intensity of feelings in the writing. Aleida shares her felling that ‘the more I read, the more in love I was with the boy my father had been’. She underlines ‘the sense of humour’, ‘tenderness’. Aleida feels these notes to be written with ‘so much love, eloquence and sincerity’, which make her feel ‘closer to my father’. Aleida wrote her preface in July 2003, concluding with the words-‘I shall leave you now with the man I knew, the man I love intensely for the strength and tenderness he demonstrated in the way he lived. Enjoy your reading! Ever onwards!’
  Book includes Aleida’s preface to first edition of 1993, biographical sketch and brief chronology of Che’s life. Map and itinerary of the diaries is given, with introduction by Cintio Vitier. The journey starts in December 1951 with Alberto Granade and they stay in Argentina till 11th February 1952. They move to Chile in February 1952 and stay till 22nd March, after which they enter Peru on 24th March, staying till June 21, perhaps the longest in any country during the trip. They stay in Columbia from 23rd June to 13th July and then in Venezuela for brief period of two weeks in July. Che returns to Argentina in August via Miami in US.
      In his introduction Cintio Vitier considers Che to be most popular Latin American hero throughout the world after Bolivar. Che and his friend take on abroad on noisy motorcycle-La Pedrosa-II. Cintio refers to Jose Marti’s campaign diary in comparison.He describes ‘These youthful adventures-veined with cheerfulness, humour and frequently self directed irony. Che published an article in December 1953 in Panama on Machu Pichu in Peru, which they visited in this trip.
  Diaries are spread into132 pages, and Che’s speech to medical students in 1960 is included after the diary. Delivered on 20th August 1960, Che tells medical students that as a medical student he also-‘wanted to succeed like everybody else, Che dreamed of being famous researcher, working tirelessly to put something at the disposal of humanity. Che refers to his travels and refrs to Guatemala in 1954, where he was when CIA sponsored coup took place against popularly elected President Arbez. Che realised at that time that to become a revolutionary doctor or a revolutionary, there must be a revolution first. Che talks about integration of doctors to revolutionary movement. Che defines individualism –‘Individualism as such, as the isolated action of a person alone in a social environment must disappear in Cuba. Individualism tomorrow should be proper utilization of the whole individual to the absolute benefit of the community.’-(Page 171). Che urges young doctors to earn people’s gratitude. He quotes Jose Marti in conclusion ‘The best form of saying is doing’ and let us then march toward the future of Cuba.’ It is an inspiring address to students.
         The diaries start with the chapter ‘So we understand each other’, the first para declares the aim of the journey-‘This is not a story of heroic feats, or merely the narrative of a cynic; at least I do not mean it to be. It is a glimpse of two lives running parallel for a time, with similar hopes and convergent dreams.’ (Page 31). It is nine months odyssey on La pedrosa, they begin from their place Cordoba, the home of Che in Argentina. Titles are given to small chapters. Che quotes a poem by Venezuelan left wing poet Miguel Otero Silva, the last lines of which are-she stayed, unable to cry/Wait! I will come walking with you..... (Page 36). Friends, families express surprise at their planned trip just one year before their completion of medical course...So the journey starts with Che getting shiver in early days, getting hospitality. Motorcycle start troubling from the very beginning, and they have to use ‘wire’ as its repair tool .They take hospitality at different people. They work at hotels as ‘boys’ and clean the things and sometimes get Albertos’ friend’s hospitality. In January Che writes to his mother, showing the kind of love he has for his mother.
From some doctors travelling around Che and Alberto got introduction letter for Chile, where they entered and Che remarked-‘Chilean hospitality, as I never tire of saying, is one reason travelling in our neighbouring country is so enjoyable,  WE MADE MOST OF IT.’(Page 57)Motorcycle’s funny behaviour continues, now breaking its gearbox. Then they taste Chilean wine at party, which is great and Che drinks too quickly. In a village dance, a man asks him to dance with his wife, who is ‘hot’ and ‘clearly in mood’, but her husband’s attention made them run...At this stage La Pedrosa leaves ‘its ghost’ as Che describes it, so next stage of their journey is ‘bums without wheels’. Che and Alberto are lured by Chilean women, as they have a ‘certain spontaneity and freshness that captivates immediately.’ They get rid of their motorcycle ‘in a truck bearing the heavy weight of us freeloaders.’(Page 67). They visit Easter Island, where the weather is perfect, women are perfect....’Here thesy see the social injustice scenes as well. In Chile, they make friendship with a communist couple as well, who are numb with cold.Che notes that Chile produces 20% copper of the whole world. After having lot of fun, they say ‘goodbye to that hospitable Chilean land. Che makes review of Chile as country and refers to popular front leader Salvador Allende, who is supported by Communists. Che notes with concern Yankee US involvement in Chile.
  After Chile, they enter Peru and see the lake of the sun.They see Cuzco, surrounded by mountains and also Machu Pichu mountains.They click photographs of these places, included in this book. Che gets hospitalized also, due to his asthma, they reach Ayacocho, where Bolivar won decisive battle, little town has 33 churches. To have food, Che plays trick everywhere by refusing to have drink, the reason, he would tell that they have only with food, so the host serves them food. Che refers Lima to be pretty city, they like here Museum of Archaeology. From Peru on 4th June 1952, Che writes to his father, they visit leper colony in the san Pablo. Che notes on 14th June 1952, that he has turned 24 that day. Che reads some Garcia Lorca and on 6th July 1952, Che sends another letter to his mama, wishing her happy birthday and tells her-‘A huge hug from your son, who misses you from head to toe.’(Page 157). Their last stop is Caracas in Venezuela, where they enter on 14th July, Che has worst asthma attack also. At the conclusion of journey, Che writes ‘A note on the Margin’, in which he notes-‘The future belongs to the people and gradually, or in one stroke, they will take power, here and in every country... Che ends the diary with positive note hoping for the triumph of the proletariat.
   Style of diary is extremely enjoyable and Che has great literary talent like Marx. Diaries are glimpses of delightful young men’s adventures and written in more enjoyable style!
3. Marxs and Engels, Che Guevara, Left Word, New Delhi, 1st ed. May 2009, with license from Ocean Press, pages 80, price Rs. 150/
 In 1956, Che wrote about Marx as St. Marx to his mother.Che called this work as ‘biographical syntheses. Che as per his temperament looks for human qualities in Marx and Engels, apart from defining them as foremost thinkers of socialism.
 This small book is like introducing Marx and Engels to young adults, like Shiv Verma’s series on Marxism. But Che Guevara absorbed most difficult concepts of Marx and Engels, through their real hard works like-das Capital, The book includes at the end, Che’s reading list on Marx and Engels, including lot of their correspondence. Che admires Franz mehring’s biography of Marx-‘Karl Marx’, but wishes for more advanced biography as well. This small monograph narrates all the important events in both thinker friends lives, even the personal tragedies and Engels dedication to Marx, who lived later to complete Marx’s left incomplete works like Theories of Surplus value, and even two volumes of Capital, of which only first volume was published during Marx’s time. Che refers to Marx’s love for his family, who underwent lot of traumas, deprivation due to poverty, death of his daughter and wife both named Jenny, death of 8 year old son Edgar, which affected both Marx and Jenny.
  It is good exposure to Marx-Engels and Marxism.
4.Global Justice;Liberation and socialism,Che Guevara, edited by Maria del Carmen Arier Garcia, Leftword Delhi with Ocean, first Indian ed. 2004, pages 72, price Rs.100/
  This small book includes Che Guevara’s three major writings-At the Afro-Asian Conference in Algeria (1965), Socialism and Man in Cuba, Create two Three many Vietnams.
   The book is first publication of Che Guevara Studies centre Havana, which is located in the house, where Che lived from 1962 till his final departure in 1966 from Cuba. Brief bio-sketch is given of Che and Introduction has been written by Maria del Carmen Ariet Garcia from the Che centre. Some good photographs are included in the book. Maria tells us in her introduction that ‘Che was able to merge philosophy, politics and economics in his all encompassing, coherent revolutionary vision.’(Page 1) Maria refers to Portugese Noble winner writer Jose Saramago, who tells how Che’s clandestine posters came in Salazar’s Portugal. Maria underlines Che’s concept of internationalism and his humanism, which was integral to his thought. Che believed that there are no borders in this struggle (for revolution) to the death.-‘a victory by any country over imperialism is our victory, just as any country’s defeat is our defeat for all of us.’
1.     At The Afro-Asian Conference in Algeria-Che addresses the conference on 24th February 1965, as ‘Dear Brothers and Sister’. Before ‘Third World Theory’ term was used in China, it was Che, who made use of this term at this conference in 1965, by saying-‘ Immense problems confront our two worlds-that of the socialist countries and that called the Third World-problems directly concerning human beings and their welfare, and related to the struggle against the main force that bears the responsibility for our backwardness’.(Page 24)Che describes Algerian liberation leader Ahmed Ben Bella as our dear companero(Comrade)
2.     Socialism and Man in Cuba-This article is written in letter form to Carlos Quijano, Uruguayan weekly, Matcha, and was published on 12th March 1965. Che refers to the date 26th July 1953, when Fidel Castro attacked Moncada barracks as the beginning of revolution in Cuba, culminating in its victory in January 1959. Castro assumed Prime Minister Position in February 1959. President Urrutia, who was blocking the social change programme of revolutionaries, was forced to resign under mass pressure in the same year. Che refers to stage of Guerilla struggle in Cuba during attack at Sierra maestra during 1957-58. In this seminal essay, Che describes the relation of individual to society and how an individual can become a complete personality only by participating in social process. Che tells the need to turn whole society into gigantic school to create new man. Che underlines the need for self education and institulization of the revolution. Che defines the terms like ‘work’, individualism, new impulse for artistic experimentation. Che has clear role defined for the individual and emphasises upon love of living humanity. Some of his precise observations are- -'It is not a matter of how many kilograms of meat one has to eat, or how many times a year someone can go to beach, or how many petty things from abroad you might be able to buy with present day wages. It is a matter of making the individual feel more complete, with much more inner wealth and much more responsibility...At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love.It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality....We socialist are freer because we are more fulfilled: we are more fulfilled because we are freer...Our freedom and its daily sustenance are paid for in blood and sacrifice..Our sacrifice is conscious one: an instalment paid on the freedom that we are building....'
3.     Create two Three Many Vietnams-Message to the Tricontinental. In January 1966, this conference of solidarity with the people of Asia, Africa and Latin America was held in Cuba. Che was in Tanzania at that time, but he sent this message for the conference. The message according to Manual Pineiro was written in Cuba at a training camp for guerrilla training in Pinar del Rio, from where Che proceeded to Bolivia. This message was published in 16th April 1967 issue of magazine ‘Tricontinental’. It is noted in notes that in April 1965, tens of thousands of US troops invaded Dominican Republic to crush popular uprising.
4.       Che refers to Korean War of 1950’s and Vietnam War of late 1960’s. Che admits that ‘The world panorama is one of great complexity. He refers to Latin America being ‘a more or less homogenous whole and in almost its entire territory US monopoly capital holds absolute primacy.’)Page 51) Che analyses the situation in Asia, Africa and Latin America and advises that ‘This is the road to of Vietnam. It is the road people must follow. This is the road that Latin America will follow.’ Che emphasise upon the need to avoid needless sacrifice. Underlining it to be a long war against imperialism, Che concludes the message with a clarion call-‘Our every action is a battle cry against imperialism and a call for the unity of the peoples against the great enemy of the human race: the United states of North America.
  Wherever death may surprise us, let it be welcome if our battle cry has reached even one receptive ear, if another hand reaches out to take up our arms, and others come forward to join in our funeral dirge with the rattling of machine guns and with new cries of battle and victory.’(Page62)
   In this little book of three essays, Che Guevara is at his inspirational best with socialist humanism and morality at the core of his writings.

5. Guerrilla Warfare(Authorised version), Ernesto Che Guevara, Foreword-Harry “Pombo” Villegas, LeftWord/Ocean, New Delhi, first Indian ed. 2009, pages157, Price Rs. 250/
This is one of the classic books by Che Guevara, which is read attentively by both revolutionaries and anti revolutionaries. This treatise is written in three main chapters with one chapter including three appndices and then 21 sub chapters in earlier three chapters. Forward is written by Che’s comrade in Bolivia and one of he three survivors of Cuban guerrillas. The book has biographical note on Che and editorial note. Che’s comrade in arms Harry “Pombo” Villegas in his forward justifies the slogan for Cuban Pioneers as ‘Be like Che’. Pombo mentions the names of major leaders of Cuban liberation, the vanguard, led by Fidel Castro, as-Raul Castro, Juan Almeida, Camilo Cienfuengos and Che Guevara. Pombo refers Che’s Reminiscences of Cuban and Congo revolutionary wars as other classics. Pombo also mentions that for Che- ‘the people are to the guerrilla fighter what water is to fish, that is their means of existence’, it is like Chinese leader Mao’s saying. Pombo concludes his brief forward by referring to Cuban national hero Jose Marti, comparing with Che. Che himself has written a detailed ‘Dedication to Camilo’, who should have read this manuscript and corrected it, but whose fate prevented him from carrying out the task’. Camilo was killed in aeroplane accident in October 1959. Che refers to Camilo as ‘the companero of a hundred battles, the intimate confident of Fidel in difficult moments of the war, the stoic fighter, who always made sacrifice into an instrument for stealing his own character and forging the morale of his troops.’ Che quotes Danton’s maxim favourably for revolutionaries-‘Audacity, audacity and more audacity’. Che tells that Camilo practised loyalty like religion. As per Che’The slightest shadow of weariness or discouragement never entered in Camilo’s head and he concludes his tribute by saying that ‘In his continual and immortal renewal, Camilo is the reflection of the people.’(Page 9)
Chapter 1: General Principles of Guerrilla warfare
i.                    The essence of guerrilla warfare-Che underlines three fundamental lessons-a. Popular forces can win a war against the army, b) it is not always necessary to wait for the revolutionary conditions exist, the insurrection can develop subjective conditions based on existing objective conditions.In underdeveloped America(Jose Marti’s term for Americas) the countryside is the fundamental arena for armed struggle. Che acknowledges the fact that in some form of popular vote elected government system, guerrilla movement will face great difficulties. Guerrilla fighter counts upon the full support of the local people. Che quotes Mao and Ho Chi Minh’s experiences favourably.
ii.Guerrilla strategy-Essential task to keep himself from being wiped out. Blows should be continuous.
iii.Guerrilla Tactics-Tactics are the practical methods of achieving great strategic objectives. Treatment of the people in the zone, greatest clemency towards enemy, prisoners shall be set free.
iv. Warfare on favourable Terrain-practical to establish base and expand with new combatants.
v. Warfare on Unfavourable Terrain-Strikes in the night, guerrilla could walk 30-50 kilometres during night. Only 10-15 member band/squad.
vi. Urban Warfare- Discipline and discretion of highest degree. Urban struggle’s importance extraordinary.
2. Chapter II: The Guerrilla band
i.) The Guerrilla Fighter: Social Reformer-Agrarian reform main task, ideological issues, set personal example.
ii.) The Guerrilla Fighter as Combatant-inhabitant of the zone, night combatant, should risk their life when necessary, ready to die, rapid adaptability, physical qualities, close lipped, best age 25-35, could be 16-40, exceptions like 65 years guerrilla in Cuban war. Must carry house on backpack,, eat when they can, may have to skip meals for 2-3 days, without affecting work, vary essential and accessory equipment, ammunition like apple of the eye, book must, periods of boredom for guerrilla.
iii.)Organisation of a Guerrilla band-commander for 100-150 guerrillas, 30-40 guerrilla group with captain and 8-12 fighter squad with lieutenant. Food, clothing, medicines, total silence during march,, test of guerrilla during encirclement, and approaching people.
iv.) Combat- Combat most important drama of guerrilla life
v.)Beginning, development and end of a Guerrilla war
3. Chapter III: Organisation of the Guerrilla Front
i.) Supply—good supply of primary importance, salt, mule,
ii.) Civil organisation-The civil organisation of the insurrectional movement is very important on both the external and the internal fronts. Justice, revolutionary laws, administration,-vital, popular organisations of workers, professionals, peasants,
111.) The Role of Women-of extraordinary importance, teach basic of reading, revolutionary theory, medical matters-nursing and doctors.
iv.)Health-medicines, clinics
v.) Sabotage-invaluable weapon, sabotage nothing to do with terrorism, we sincerely believe that terrorism is negative, it can turn people against a particular revolutionary movement. Sabotage against communications key factor.
vi.) War Industry-shoes and leather goods, toolkit, armory, iron and tin, cigarette and cigar factories.
vii.) Propaganda-Truth is the best policy, through whatever media, dissemination of revolutionary ideas, radio, and main newspaper on national hero name.
viii.) Intelligence-Chinese proverb-know yourself and your adversary and you will be able to fight a hundred battles without a disaster, like biblical palm for guerrilla warfare. Nothing helps than correct intelligence.
ix.)Training and Indoctrination-Shooting basic training, teacher’s training school necessary, reading at all times.
x.) The organisational Structure of the army of a Revolutionary Movement-military chief-commander-in chief-Fidel, disciplinary punishment must, punishment like privation of sweets and cigarettes, total deprivation of food etc.
4. Chapter IV: Appendices
i.)Underground organisation of the first Guerrilla band-Guerrilla warfare develops in accordance with a series of laws. Underground work start with small nucleus, absolute secrecy, prohibition of relations with women-‘The revolutionary in a clandestine situation preparing for war should be a complete ascetic, this is also a test of one of the qualities that will be later be the basis of their authority: discipline’(Page 135), weapons same as of regular army, In Cuba, at one time just 12 men formed the nucleus of the future army, economy and utilization of ammunition down to the last bullet almost a religious tenet.
ii.) Holding Power-former regime must be systematically destroyed, transition with caution.
Iii.) Epilogue: Analyses of the situation in Cuba, present and future-agrarian reforms, rent law alarm bell for parasite, eliminate the interests of United Fruit Company of John Foster Dulles and the empire of Rockefeller’s company. Monopolies affected, trying to kill Castro-Che, international solidarity, in attack, navy, air force will be organised, and two great masses of workers and peasants are united against aggression.
  The revolutionary laws should be discussed, explained, studied in every meeting.(Page 156), The participation of the people in politics, must be constant. Camilo ’the army is the people in uniform’ (page 157)
   Che Guevara has explained Guerrilla warfare in such a lucid and explicit manner that even an ordinary person can understand it clearly. A significant book for left movement.

 6.‘Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War’, authorised edition, Che Guevara, Preface by Aleida Guevara, 1st Indian ed. 2009, LeftWord with Ocean press, New Delhi, pages 307, Price Rupees 450/
         This very important book by Che Guevara, has Editorial Note, Biographical Note, Map, Chronology and Preface before Che’s memoirs of the war begin. Actual description of war is given in 33 chapters and three chapters in appendices are at the end of the book. A glossary of important terms, places/individuals has been included at the end of the book.
     The memoirs are based on the original diaries of Che from Siarra Maestra and Santa Clara, the original diaries were scheduled to be published in 2009. Aleida Guevara in her preface has noted that these recollections were published for the first time in 1963, which are based upon his diaries of this period.Aleida specifically mentions ‘The Murdered Puppy’, which she says remained deeply etched in my memory. She concludes her short preface with these words-‘Today, the most useful weapons are knowledge and understanding-let us continue to fight, together for a better world. - Hasta la Victoria siempre! Ever onward to victory!
 Che Guevara wrote the Prologue of the book in 1961. The first chapter begins with the title-‘A Revolution Begins-1955-56’. Che refers to main events in Cuban history in the very first paragraph military coup on 10th March 1952 by Fulgencio Batista, going back to 1933 intervention by US Ambassador, Che refers to 1901, then to Adams Smith in 19th century. Che notes that this situation existed in almost all Latin American countries. Che refers to his meeting with Fidel Castro in Mexico and in very first meeting Che enrolled himself for a liberation war fighter for Cuba. Che has returned from Guatemala in 1954. In 1955, when they were planning to travel on Granma, a yacht to Cuba, many of them got arrested and spent some time in jail finally they left on yacht on 25th November 1956, making Castro’s word real-‘In 1956 we will be free or we will be martyrs.’ (Page 13). Within hours of sailing, except for 5-7, rest of 82 crew men were sea sick, vomiti, psychic ng. On 30th November, Frank Pais started uprising in Santiago de Cuba. On 2nd December at 2 a.m, they landed at Belic on Las colardes beach. In Che’s words-We were an army of shadows, ghosts, walking as if to beat of some dark, psychic mechanism. The crossing had been seven days of constant hunger and sea sickness, followed by three more days, terrible days- on land. They reached Algria de Pio(Joy of the pious) on 5th December.
 2. Algria De Pio
   Castro army lost all equipment, lft with some wet ammunition. Army attacked Che got wounded in neck and chest. Che was sure that he is just killed and was trying to die with dignity. He later notes that 5th December 1956, was our baptism, which was going to become ‘the Rebel army’.
           3. Adrift-December 1956
  After few days of facing attacks from army, Castro comrades could meet again by 15 persons.
5.     The Battle of La Plata-January 1957
 Che counts the weaponry left with guerrillas-23 in all. Che recounts initial treacheries like that of Eutimio. Chicho Osario was notorious overseer in the area, who was executed. This was first victorious battle of guerrillas, in which two were dead, five wounded and three prisoners taken, not a scratch on guerrilla side, many weapons seized.
6.     The Battle of Arroyo Del Infiefrno-January 1957
Five enemy troops killed and lot of weapons/ammunition taken
7.     Air Attack-Jan.-Feb.1957
More people had joined our ranks; Eutimio brought planes to attack us
8. Surprise Attack at Altos De Espinosawe On 12th February 1957, had the ‘Revolutionary Unified Army’ of 18 men.
9. Death of a Traitor-Feb. 1957, Eutimio was caught and executed, a peasant tempted
10. Bitter days-Feb. March 1957
 Revolutionary group now of 17 original men and three companeros from Granma joined. On 22nd Feb. 1957, Che had first asthma attack, no medicine, bad condition, 10 most bitter days of struggle.
 11. Reinforcements-March 1957
  New companeros joined and troops in new level of excellence with new men.
12. Tempering the Troops-March-Ap. 1957
Months of restructuring and apprenticeship of new troops. Horse eating.
13. A Famous Interview-April 1957
 Fidel had no radio those days, borrowed from a peasant, Journalist Bob Taylor came. Peasants were being offered 300 pesos to kill Castro.
14. On the March-May 1957
Che lost the way, confused, compass of no help
15. The Weapons Arrive-May 1957
Granma companeros sentenced, Magistrate Urrutia disagreed, and he earned Presidentship of Cuba after revolution for this gesture. A Yankee journalist and GBI agent came. Bob Taylor film shown in US, marvellous sight of weapons,
15.                The Battle of El Uvero-May 1957
One of the bloodiest battles, 14 dead soldiers. Preoccupation with truth always central in rebel army.
17. Caring for the Wounded-May-June 1957
Blind and unrewarded sacrifices also made the revolution
18. Return to Journey-June 1957
Asthma aggravated
19. A Betrayal in the making-July 1957
200 troops, better morale, genuinely liberated territory in Siarra Maestra, manifest issued. 12th July 1957, Sierra Manifesto published in the newspapers, Che made commander by Castro of second column, second only to Fidel. ‘Bit of vanity hiding within everyone of us and I felt like the proudest man in the world that day’ (Page 125)
20. The Attack on Bueycito-August 1957
Beloved companero-Maceo killed, deserter killed. Frank Pies murdered in the streets of Santiago, one of the purest and glorious lives of Cuban revolution ended.
21. The Battle of El Hombrito-August 1957
This battle more or less marked the moment of withdrawal of Batista’s troops from Sierra Maestra.
22. Pino Del Agua- September 1957 painful incident companero Roberto Rodriguez, punished to be disarmed for insubordination, committed suicide
23. An Unpleasant Episode-October 1957
Lalo Sardinas, a brave fighter, supporter of discipline, accidentally unintentionally shot a companero, in reaction, guerrillas demanded his execution. Long discussion, I defended, Castro pleaded his best; still his life could be saved only by 6 votes, 76 voting for saving and 70 for execution. The group which lost left the movement itself. Some bandits/criminals neutralised, who were using revolutionary movement name to sleaze people
24. The Struggle against Banditry-October 1957
Chino Chang, tried and condemned to death, US journalist watched it.  The Echevarria case poignant, admitting errors, he wished to die in battle, not be execution, wrote to his mother, justifying the sentence to him, and could have been hero of the revolution like his two brothers, but committed crime at wrong time. Another colourful charcter executed was-‘El Maestro’, lived immorl life, tried to rape peasant girl. By October end re-established in EL Hombirto.
25. About 40+ photographs in centre-
The Murdered Puppy-November 1957
This is the piece felt intensely by Aleida Guevara, when in guerrilla life, one may have to kill the pet, and you love, for the needs of guerrilla life, as puppy won’t stop barking. Felix and Che both felt guilty after getting it strangled.
26. The Battle of Mar Verde-November 1957
This battle on 29th November 1957, took the life of guerrilla Ciro Redendo, promoted posthumously.
27. Altos De Conrado-December 1957
Che wounded, loss of guerrillas, murderer army leader Sanchez Masquera destroyed much.
28. One Year of Armed Struugele-December 1957
   As per his regular habit, Che here reviews and analyses one year of guerrilla war launched by revolutionaries led by Fidel Castro. Landed on 2nd December, badly beaten on 5th December, guerrillas till May 28 1957 with El Uvero victory, have slowly established links with city.Che remembers the deaths of comrades in this period, mentioning names of Nico Lopez, Juan Manuel Marquez, Nano and Julio Diaz, Ciro Redendo, Captain Soto. On 13th March 1957, presidential palace was attacked, the life of University Students union President Manazanita Echeverria was lost. At the end of first year, a general uprising throughout the country was on the horizon. Acts of sabotage, terrorist acts led to loss of innocent lives also. Small radio transmitter by end of year. People joined more in 1958, including Vilma Espin, now women federation President. Felipe Pazos tried to appropriate 26th July movement name by agreeing to Miami pact, Castro wrote famous letter of 14th December 1957 to the leaders of- The Cuban revolutionary party, The Orthodox party, The Authentic organisation, Federation of University students, The Revolutionary Directorate and The National Workers Front, denouncing Miami pact. In this letter Castro makes it clear to make Dr. Manuel Urrutia to be made President. Fidel again asserts that ‘We shall conquer or die, alone’ (Page 220)
29, Pino Del Agua II_Jan. Feb. 1958
Fidel personally led 16th February 1958 attack, some guerrillas lost lives, and enemy had 11 dead, 5 wounded prisoners, including lieutenant Laferte, who joined guerrillas. Final tally of the battle till 19th February enemy suffered 18 to 25 deaths lot of weapons/ammunition seized. On 19th February nearly hundred guerrillas, including Ch wrote to Fidel Castro, not to endanger his life by participating in battles directly.
30. Interlude-April 1958
 April-June1958 was period of both ebb and flow in insurrectional wave. Che refers to asthma, killing of magnificent guerrilla Marino.
31. A Decisive Meeting- May 1958
 National Committee meeting on 3rd may 1958 at Sierra Maestra, Che invited specially to participate to discuss 9th April failure. Sierra Maestra front strengthened, Castro given central authority.
32. Letters to Fidel Castro (About the Invasion)-
These are Che’s letters to Fidel, during this period, first is written on 3rd September from Oriente Plains, second from Camaguey plains on 8th September at 1.50 a.m, 3rd from same place on 13th September at 9.50 p.m, giving details of battles.
33. The Final Offensive and the Battle of Santa Clara-May-December 1958
9th April 1958 general strike proved to be resounding defeat. Yet Batista’s 10000 men were ineffective against guerrillas 200 rifles. In two and half month’s hard battles, enemy lost 1000 men and a tank and 600 weapons. Hardest days, tiring marches, reference of Trinidad in Cuba, Camilo Cienfuegos controlled north. Che entered Santa Clara in December, functioned from University. There were treacheries in the last phase also by other groups supporting revolution but for personal benefits. Che enters victoriously in Santa Clara.
 In Appendices three touching memoirs of Che are given
34. El Patojo
Julio Roberto Caceres Valle, Guatemalan, Castro accept him in Granma, though he offered, he came to Cuba after revolution triumphed, worked in various branches of public administration, but his quest was to fight for Guatemala’s liberation. Che met him in 1954, while working in Guatemala. El Patojo was a journalist, he took photos during unemployment, he was part of Guatemala’s labour party (Communist party). He has no military or guerrilla training, yet he felt it his duty to go and fight in Guatemala. Che gave him some lessons and advices, but as he left and came the news of his death. He died in battle, but region was poorly chosen, men were not prepared yet. His verse were found later in Cuba, for the woman whom he loved- Take this, it is only my heart/ Hold it in your heart/and when the dawn arrives, /Open your hand/ and let the sun warm it...
 Che says emotionally that Patojo’s heart remains with them, in the hands of his beloved and ion the loving hands of an entire people...
35. Lidia and Clodomira
Che met 45 years old Lidia in Sierra Maestra, his son was part of guerrilla group, she has limitless audacity, daring, fearless. She was principal means of communication. Che refers to his fondness for puppies and Lidia’s promise to bring one for him.Clodomira had become her comrade in danger. She already got a puppy for me, but the trip could never took place, as she and clodomira captured due to an inferior companero’s fault. She fought. Their bodies disappeared, may be their remains wil be found one day. Che pays glowing tribute to women fighters of rebel army!
36. A Sin of the Revolution
  In this last memoir of the book, Che is at his moral best, when he attacks the selfish interest spoiling the serenity of the revolution and call for purity in revolutionary life. Reference to second national front of Escambray, its commander Carreras drunk half bottle already, half of his daily quota. Its another unit following Camilo entered Havana ‘heroically’ and its leader’s bill from hotel Capri came for fifteen thousand US dollars for food and drinks for small beneficiaries. 100 captains and some commanders looked for comfortable state jobs for graft. As per Che, this kind of idea of unity was ‘a sin of revolution’. (Page 287). This sin made us pay succinct salaries to people like Felipe Pazos, Tete Casuso, Barquin, who avoided conflict and remained ‘freeloaders;, parasitical, ready to betray. Che feels happy that they all left to Miami. Che says emphatically-Revolutionary conduct is mirror of revolutionary faith. ‘When someone who calls themselves a revolutionary does not behave as such, they are no more than charlatans. (Page 289)
  This is a great book by Che Guevara, while leading the struggle in such hard conditions, with having asthma, yet taking motes of the events and then turning those notes into narration of a great historic event of Cuban revolution in 1959, almost unbelievable with just 82 men starting on a mission with such commitment, left with just 15-20 men, yet fighting 10 thousand men and total of 80 thousand Batista army, perhaps no other example in history of such amazing feat by revolutionaries. Che’s own spirit is simply marvellous, which later took the tragic form in Bolivia, but for Che personally, that was a moment of glory, though facing just alone in most hostile conditions. I simply bow my head before this one of the greatest revolutionary of all times. Viva Che!
7. Che Guevara Reader: Writings on politics and revolution, Edited by David Deutschmann, LeftWord with Ocean, New Delhi, Ist Indian ed. 2004, reprint 2004, pages 437,, Price Rs. 450/
 In this selection, some major writings of Che Guevara from different books or articles have been put together. Book includes, apart from Introduction by the editor, sketch of Che, Choronolgy of his life, Glossary of events and persons, Index and a listing of Che Guevara’s all writings and speeches as Bibliography and notes as well. It is very well annotated edition of Che’s major writings, which shows him to be a very mature thinker, even on economic matters. Che Guevara’s theoretical writings have been so important that Fidel Castro realised after the fall of Soviet Union in 1989, that to save Cuban society from falling into the trap of western consumer culture, the revival of Che Guevara’s purity of revolutionary thought and practice is essential, that is how Che Guevara’s major writings, apart from His Bolivian Diary published earlier were published in Cuba and abroad in other languages. In this book, Che’s writings have been included in four parts. Part 1 are selections from Reminiscences of Cuban Revolutionary War as The Cuban revolutionary war. Part 2 titled as ‘The Cuba Years-1959-65 includes 12 of Che’s speeches and writings. Part 3 as ‘International Solidarity’ includes 8 of his speeches and writings and part 4 includes 21 of his most touching letters with personal touch. In a way this one volume offers glimpse of Che Guevara’s personality in almost totality, as person and thinker.
  Editor David in his introduction has mentioned that the book was published for first time in 1997 to mark the 30th anniversary of Che’s martyrdom. Editor also wishes to dispel the somewhat narrow image of Che as ‘heroic’ or ‘adventurer’, which has been promoted by media more, his contribution to Marxist theory remained unknown partly as English editions were not available of Che’s writings.
Part I of the book is covered under Reminiscences, Part II The Cuban years include the following essays:
1.     Social ideals of the Rebel Army-29th January 1959-dream of Jose Marti.All the Cuban people must become guerrilla army
2.     Political Sovereignty and Economic Independenc-30th March 1960
First in television series-‘people’s University’-2nd world war took 40 million lives, perhaps more. Tradition of Cuban struggles before January 1959 victory—July 26th 1953, 12th August 1933, 24th February 1895 or 10th October 1868. Latin American struggles further-Upper Peru-25th May 1819, Buenos Aires 25th May 1810. 10th March 1952-Batista seizing power... Marti saying-‘A radical is nothing less than that-one who goes to the roots’...This revolution is determined to eliminate injustice at the roots, as Fidel has said paraphrasing Jose Marti’ (Page 103).
   ‘Revolutions can’t be exported, Cuba does not export revolutions. Revolutions take place when there are a series of insurmountable contradictions within a country.’(109)
3.     Speech to medical students and health workers-20th August 1960) covered in another book
4.     Notes for the study of the ideology of the Cuban Revolution-October 1960)
One can point to certain mistakes of Marx as thinker and an investigator of the social doctrines and of the capitalist system in which he lived. We Latin Americans, for example. Cannot agree with his interpretation of Bolivar, or with his and Engels’s analysis of the Mexicans, which accepted certain theories of race or  nationality that are unacceptable today.......We recognize the essential truths of Marxism as part of humanity’s body of cultural and scientific knowledge. We accept it with the naturalness of something that requires no further arguments.’ (Page 122)
  ‘The laws of Marxism are present in the events of the Cuban revolution, independently of whether its leaders profess or fully know these laws from a theoretical point of view.’ (Page 123)
   28th May 1957, milestone for victory in El Uvero.-a territory gained now.
5.     Cuba: Historical exception or vanguard in the anti- colonial struggle?-April 1961
‘What is exceptional about Fidel Castro’s personality...Fidel is person of such tremendous personality that he would gain leadership in whatever movement he participated....his personal gifts of audacity,, strength, courage, extraordinary determination always to discern the will of the people-... his ability to assimilate knowledge and experience in order to understand a situation in its entirety without losing sight of the details, his unbounded faith in the future and breadth of vision...’(page 131)
January 1959, first social revolution in the Caribbean and the most profound of the Latin American revolutions dawned-132 page
Lumumba savagely assassinated, in the greatness of his martyrdom showed the mistakes that cannot be committed. Once the anti imperialist struggle begins, we must constantly strike hard, where it hurts the most, never retreating....stronger action of the masses.-Page 142
6.     A new culture of Work-21st August 1962-Speech to Trade unions
New factories to be built, national trade unions-the revolutionary nuclei (of the party), the entire government and the workers.-Page 148
Sacrifice is part of building a new society.  -Same-
Enthusiasm, discipline, self sacrifice and necessary technical knowledge...P.150
We have reached socialism and we continue forward! Venceremos-We will win-P.152
7.     The cadre: Backbone of the Revolution-September 1962
8.     To be a young Communist-20th October 1962
The Union of Young Communists (UJC) evolved from Association of Young Rebels
   Must be the vanguard of all movements
‘we are a flaming torch, that just as we are all individually a model for the people for Cuba, we are also model for the peoples of Latin America and the oppressed peoples of the world, fighting for freedom-P.166
9.     A party of the working class-1963
‘A Marxist must be the best, the fullest, the most complete of human beings-but above all, a human being.’ Page 176
10.     Against Bureaucratism-February 1963
Bureaucratism is like a ball and and chain weighing down the type of official...healthy self criticism, we must never forget that the revolution’s economic management is responsible for the majority of bureaucratic ills...Page 180
‘War on bueaucratism. Streamline the state apparatus. Production without restraints, and responsibility for Production.’ Page 183
11.    On the budgetary finance system-February 1964-published in journal of Economics
‘The socialist state uses the law of value, exercising-through the financial and credit system-control over production and distribution of the social product’ Page 200
12.    Socialism and man in Cuba-1965 letter to Carlos Quijano, editor Marcha weekly from Uruguay.

Part 3- International Solidarity
 Includes 8 speeches and writings
1.     Speech to the First Latin American Youth Congress-28th July 1960-
Jacob Arnez, deposed democratically elected President or Guatemala in 1954 by CIA, given special welcome.Puerto Rico patriot Albizu Campos extended special greetings. Batista’s man killed Cuban patriot in Venezuela’
2.     The OAS conference at Punta del Este-August 8 1961.
Che greeted by thousands of Uruguayan youth on arrival at airport. Che exposed US in presence of its delegation with proposal of ‘Alliance for Progress’
‘The Cuban revolution is invincible, because it has a people and because it has a leader like one leading Cuba.’(Page 274)
3.     The Cuban Revolution’s influence in Latin America-May 18, 1962-speech to security at Cuba, not published till Che’s death.
Revolutions have this characteristics, they expand ideologically, they do not remain limited to a single country, and they expand to other areas...Page 276
Ultra leftists-or sometimes, provocateurs-try to implant the Cuban experience without thinking particularly about whether or not, this would be right place to do so...Page 278
Peru has iron-copper-other metals, Chile has copper, Argentina has uranium, Venezuela has oil, Mexico has sulphur, and Congo has uranium, copper, diamonds.
Our great virtue is that we have never engaged in torture or other similarly terrible behaviour...Page 290
 Opportunism is the enemy of the revolution and flourishes where people do not have control.-291
4.     Tactics and Strategy of the Latin American Revolution- Oct.-Nov.-1962-published after Che’s death-in 1968
The blood of the people is our most sacred treasure, but it must be used in order to save more blood in future-page 298
5.     The philosophy of plunder must cease-25th March 1964-Speech on UN conference on Trade in Geneva-
Unfavourable trade balance
6.     At the United Nations-1st December 1964-speech at 19th General assembly of UNO.
Exposed US imperialism, greeted liberation struggles, spoke in support of China, condemned NATO, demanded Guantenamo territory of Cuba to be returned illegal occupation by US.
7.     At the Afro-Asian conference in Algeria-24th February, 1965-speech delivered at Economic seminar of Afro-Asian solidarity.
8.     Create two, three, many Vietnams-Message to Tricontinental-April  1967, published on 16th April,when Che was in Bolivia

      Part 4- Letters
This section contains 23 of many letters of Cuban revolutionary war.
 One letters to Editor Revolucian Carlos Franqui-snubbed him for unnecessary eulogisation.
In another letter was born in Argentina, I fought in Cuba and I began to be a revolutionary in Guatemala.-page370
The first thing a revolutionary who writes history, has to do is to stick to the truth like a finger inside a glove.-374
Advice to a father, let his son, go through that.
Letter to Maria Rosario Guevara I don’t think you and I are very related, but if you are capable of trembling with indignation each time that injustice is committed in the world, we are comrades, and that is more important-a revolutionary greetings Page376
31st August 1964 letter to President University Extension, University of Havana-while declining the offer to deliver lecture for the audience, Che snubbed him for offering remuneration for the lecture.
In a 1965 letter to children-Hildita, Aleidita, Camilo, Celia and Ernesto
Che advises them to grow good revolutionary and study hard.
1965 letter to parents big hug to mother from ‘obstinate and prodigal son’
15th February 1966 letter to eldest daughter Hildita-advises to be best in school, obey mother, good conduct, seriousness and love for the revolution...
1965 letter to Fidel Castro at leaving for Bolivia, read by Castro much later. Ends with ’I embrace you with all my revolutionary fervour.
 Last leeter to children fro Bolivia in 1966...
If imperialism still exists, we will set out to fight it. If it is finished, you, Camilo and I will take ‘vacation on the moon’.
Margin...To Hildita, another elephant sized kiss and tell her I will writ soon, but now I do’nt have time....

 In bibliography—1. In Articles and books-35, including two books, 5 prefaces, 33 episodes of Revolutionary war, 25 articles with Pseudoname- ‘sharpshooter’
In part 2-Speeches and Interviews, there are two interviews in 1958, then 51 in 1959, 35 in 1960, 39 in 1961, 32 in 1962, in 1963 there are 33, in 1964 there are 43, in 1965-12 total 245 plus tv shows. There are 71 letters are listed here.
  The book is very important and includes various facets of Che’s personalities. Many letters are very touching. Che loved children that are sure.

1.Tania-Undercover for Che Guevara in Bolivia, Ulises Estrada, 1st ed. 2005, Ocean Press, Melbourne... pages 331, price Rupees 295/
Ulises Estrada, editor of Tricontinental, joined Cuban revolution from the very beginning as part of 26th July movement in 1953. He was part of Cuban liberation war 1957-59 and later worked with Che Guevara in many assignments including in Congo. He was close friend of Tania, fiancée in today’s terminology and they were supposed to marry after the success of Tania’s mission in Bolivia, which unfortunately resulted in her, Che Guevara and many more guerrillas’ assassination at the hands of Bolivian army. After their assassination, USA and western media vilified Che and Tania to demoralise revolutionary forces and to hid their own crimes behind smokescreen of this vilification. However Tania’s mother fought for the reputation of her daughter and got the vilifires convicted.
 Tania’s real name was Haydee Tamara Bunke, she was born in Argentina from German communist couple, who have to go to Argentina to save themselves from Hitler’s fascism. Tamara was born on 19th November, 1937 and was martyred on 31st August 1967 in the jungles of Bolivia by Bolivian army, before completing even 30 years of her life.
     In 1970, Estrada with another writer has published-Tania-The Unforgettable Guerrilla. That time many things could not be made public, now in this expanded and exhaustive biography with lot of secret documents made public for the first time in Appendices, Tania’s heroism, bravery and sacrificing spirit comes to fore. Her letters, her personal account of life, all make this book more enriching.
The book is rightly dedicated to Nadia Bunke, mother of Tamara-Tania, who knew Tamara had wanted to marry Estrada, ‘who treated me as her own son for more than 35 years’, in author’s words, who has written a detailed and touching dedication with the regret that Nadia Bunke would not be able to see the book, as he passed away before the publication of the book. Exhauvtine contents of the book include-Acknowldgements Preface by author, Prologue by editor-Luis Suarez and Tania’s biography in 14 chapters and 137 pages. There are 17 documents as Appendixes in Appendices, Notes, List of Acroynms and List of Aliases in further abut 2oo pages. One feature of Ocean publications missing in this book is Choronology, which is generally part of all books on Che and Castro, in case of Tania, that was even more necessary. But in totality, with nearly 30 rare photographs, makes the book a significant contribution to biographical literature.
   In Preface, Ulises Estrada narrates his intense personal relationship with Tamara, bunking the western sensalization of Tania-Che romantic liaison. Ulises aexplains that except for few companerosand Tania family, no body knew about this relationship till 1969, two years after the assassination of Tania. Only when the author collaborated in first book on Tania, author published Tania’s letter about their relationship to her mother. After that Tania’s mother identified the “negrito” (Afro-Cuban), whom Tania dreamt of marrying and producing many “mulatito” (kids).
   As per the author Che and Tania were discredited for political objectives or profit motives by many writers like French Pierre Kalfon, Mexican intellectual Jorge Castaneda. Later in last chapter of the book, author detailed how West German publisher in 1997 published the libel by Uruguyan writer Jose A. Friedl Zapata under title- ‘Tania the woman-Che Guevara Loved’. Nadia at 81 years of age dragged the publisher to the court and won the case by getting 14 defamations removed from the book in 1998 and also getting him fined. There were many more in the west, who through their cheap sensational writings had vilified the revolutionary spirit of the two great revolutionaries of the world. But it is not new phenomenon. Karl Marx was described as ‘Red bandit’ and all communist leaders have been vilified, US has vilified and continue till now to vilify Fidel Castro.
       In Prologue Luis Suatez has mentioned Tania was denigrated by some intellectuals in pay roll of ruling classes in US, Europe and Latin America by describing her as ‘femme fatale’, who had ‘useless sacrifice’ for “her secret and sordid extramarital affair with Che.” She was also described as ‘Triple Agent for Cuba, East Germany and KGB of ex Soviet Union. These villifiers described Che Guevara also as ‘seeking death’, because of his differences with Cuban leadership. All these lies have been bunked with documents bow being published from Cuba, putting an egg on the faces of these so called ‘intellectuals’ and ‘writers’ holding rabid anti communist views. On the contrary great writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez have upheld Cuban revolution and its heroic leaders, including Fidel and Che Guevara.
Chapter 1-Historical context
   In this introductory chapter Ulises has explaned Che’s plans to expand liberation guerrilla struggles to other parts of the world as true internationalist. First they tried in Congo, where popular freedom fighter and Prime Minister Patric Lumumba was brutally assassinated by CIA in 1964. There were dictators in Haiti, Nicaragua like places. Ulises has travelled with Che secretly to Congo through Tanzania; stayed clandsinely in Prague.Che spoke of his best relations with Fidel and Raul during those days. These days in these preparations writer got linked to Tamara, who had come to Havana.
Chapter 2- Operation Fantasma
  Tamara was mentioned by Pineoro for the operation recommended by Che.
Chapter 3.The Tania Case-
Tamara born in Argentina, came to East Germany with her parents when 14 years old and joined youth organisation, visited Soviet Union as youth delegation, heard about Cuban struggle, well informed about war in Sierra Maestra and demonstrated solidarity. In 1959, she acted as interpretor for Che Guevara, when he visted East Germany. She became enthused to come to Cuba and finally arrived in 1961, at 24 years. Worked as interpretor/translator, associated with ‘Assocation of Young Rebels’ turned into ‘Union of Young Communists’ (UJC), on 4th April 1962... Tamara highly educated, knew many languages-German, French, Spanish, and English, well versed in music and literature, and studied philosophy at Humboldt University. She was working with Sandanista, planned to fight in Nicaragua. Che interviewed for mission in Bolivia and she end up by saying-I will not betray this trust while I am alive and breathing’-Page 29
Chapter 4-Operational Training in Cuba-
Tamara worked with Ulises during training period and they came close, though violating revolutionary code of not being personally close. Tania sung Argentine folk songs, played Guitar
Chapter 5-Preparing for Latin America-
Che told her about her mission in Bolivia and to take up legal residency there.
Chapter 6-Tania and Ulises-
Author honestly tells that ‘we both knew that our relationship was forbidden in clandestine work, but we also knew that we could no longer retrain ourselves. We were convinced of the purity of our feeling and that these would not affect our professional relationship’-Page 56. Ulyses shared with his senior comrade Diosdado, Tamara shared with her parents by writing to her mother on 11th April 1964 from Prague. Writer knew about this letter only when he joined Marta Rojas and Mirta Rodriguez Caldron in writing the book-Tania: the Unforgettable Guerrilla, published in 1970, where this letter was published. Ulises divorced his wife and remarried years after Tania were killed. Ulises Writes longingly: ‘i have to confess that she still remains alive within me. Not just as Tania, but also as Haydee Tamara Bunke Bider, the exceptional woman, compenera, and friend I once loved with all my heart.’-Page 59
Chapter 7-Failed Cover
Tania was sent ot Prague for further training, but this time Diosdado was assigned the task to train her, writer was heart broken, he also felt it as punishment for breaking the rules. Diosdado sent positive reports about Tania’s progress.
Chapter 8- The Birth of Laura Gutierrez Bauer
 Tania was first planned as Italian cover Vittoria Pancini, which was dropped due to language deficiency and other practical problems.This time it was planned as Argentine woman, she was well versed with country and language. There have been funny instances of Tania-Diosdado stay in Prague. Tania always made Diosdado read her letters to her parents, even to Ulises, despite his reluctance to do so.
Chapter 9 Tania’s first year in Bolivia
Riding aa mule, Tania entered Bolivian border from Peru on 17th November 1964. Got into touch with all high and mighty in that society, through showing her interest in Folk lore and met painters, writers, journalists, once even had dinner with dictator Barrientos, with a ‘friend’. Her network included intellectuals, professionals, politicians of right wing; she always projected her as anti communist. For legal residency, she even married an enginnering student Mario Martinez Alvarez, who helped her in exit procedures, she had new passport now, travelled to Brazil as translator. Comrade Mercy sent a positive report about her.
Chapter 10-An encounter with Ariel-Tania came to Mexico from Brazil in 1966 to meet Cuban officer. Che was clandestinely working from Cuban embassy in Tanzania. Tania did not know that Che was behind her selection for the mission and he had been involved in Operation Fantasma, which determnined the following years of Tania’s life, her sacrifice, and her transformation into Tania the Guerrilla.
Chapter 11- Reunion with Che-
Che checked about Tania’s well being and about her marriage, whether it was with her free will. In 1966, as planned earlier, Tania got divorce from her husband, but helped him in his training in Bulgaria by arranging scholasrship for him. Che arrived in La paz on a passport of business person with Uruguyan passport as Adolfo Mena Gonzalez. Che probable met Tania on 4th November. Tania arranged for Che travel documents to travel the whole of Bolivia. The letter present to Sr. Adolfo mena mentions ‘special envoy of OAS to research on economic and social situation in Bolivarian countryside’, recommending all possible cooperation for research from all national and private institutions. Page 107
 On November 20-19th December she brought ranch to jungles, not supposed to do then she accompanied Mario Munje, Bolivian cp leader on 31st December 1966 crucial meeting, disagreed, tense. Bolivian Communist party inside Moscow line and Peking line, Monje Moscow line. Che predicted ‘difficult time’ ahead and announced to work for ‘the unity of all those who want a revolution’. Tania later visited Argentina to arrange Che’s liasions with revolutionary support. AS PER WRITER TANIA FOLLOWED DIRECT INSTRUCTIONS OF Che from 2nd January 1967 to 19th March 1967. Tania brought Regis Debray and Ciro Roberto Bustos, both now ‘regret’ to committement to revolution. Che criticised Tania for being there, as two Bolivians deserted and difficult situation developed.
Chapter 12-Tania the Guerrilla-
23rd March 1967, first encounter with army-25th March Bolivian ELN, liberation front announced in meeting of 43 Bolivian, Cuban and Peruvian combatants. On 27th March, situation worsened. On 31st March Tania given M-1 rifle and became combatant. She had fever of 102 and Che attached her to Cuban Joaquin’s command on 17th April, where she remained till 31st ambush by army, in which ten of the combatants were killed by army. Tania fought, falling with bullets in river, body found after aweek on 7th September. Bolivian peasant Honorato Rojas betrayed and led army to ambush gurrellis. 35 members of army killed 7 of 10 member Joaquin’s column combatants. Che‘s impression of Rojas on 10th February was ‘a potentially dangerous man’.
   On 8th October Che ambushed, killed brutally on 9th October. With that out of 49 Cuban, Peruvian, Bolivian, majority of guerrillas killed.
Chapter 13-Return to Cuba
Officially death of Tania declared on 7th September, people wanted her body to be treated with respect, but army officer cruel. For pubilicity stunt Bolivian dictator Barrientos photographed with Tania corpse on 10th September, saying he ordered burial of Laura G baeur, Argentine woman with Tania alias ‘with military honour’. But Christian burial was given to Tania due to pressure of women of area Vallegrande. But no one knew the remains later till 1997, when President Lozada has to order investigation.On 28th June 1997, Che’s remains discovered and buried with honour in Santa Clara on October 8, 1997 on 30th death anniversary of Che. Tania’s remains found on 19th September 1998, brought to Cuba in December 1998.
Chapter 14-‘My Little Ita’
 On 29th December 1998, Tania’s remains interned in Santa Clara alongwith Che and other guerrillas in presence of her mother Nadia Bunke. Nadia died in 2003, her deepest feeling expressed in her ‘little ita’, an autobiographical note- They came to Argentina in 1935.Erich got job as teacher, had two children-Tamara and boy Olaf, pet name Tamarita, she too little say ita, she signed as Ita, happy optimist, energetic, tireless, vibrant, romantic, liked Argentine folk songs and folk music, attached to Latin America. Ulises assures Nadia and Erich that ‘Tania is and will always be alive among us’-Page 144.
1.     Personal Records prepared for the Tania case –Secret
Tamara Bunke wrote this autobiographical note in preparation for her new identity as Tania.-
Born in Buenos Aires, parents Communist, anti fascists, helped Jew refuegees, returned to Germany in1952, settled in Stalinstad, arrived in Cuba on 12th May 1961
Appendix 2-Tania’a Operational Plan for the Cienufegos Practical exercise
Secret-Havana-12th February 1964
Appendix 3-Tania’s report on the Cienfuegos Exercises-
Only Copy-Secret
To Ulises-Tania’s report on work from 21st Feb. To 1st March 1964
Appendix 4- Tania’s Message from Prague after her first trip to Western Europe
To: MOE from Bolivar
Secret message 3
Appendix 5-Tania’s message from Prague before her second trip to West Germany
Secret To: MOE meant for Ulises Estrada
Appendix 6-The Laura Guetierrez bauer Cover Story
 July 25, 1964
Top Secret
To M1 Copy 1- From MOE page 1
Appendix 7- Message to Mercy from HQ regarding Future contact with Tania in Bolivia
Mercy Message 5, November 1965, start
Appendix 8- Mercy’s report on contact with Tania in Bolivia and Brazil-To MOE From Mercy Report on the various contacts made between 7 January and the last days of March 1966
Appendix 9-Tania’s oral report on her first year of work in Bolivia given to Ariel on 16th April 1966 in Mexico
Appendix 10 Document Denying Tania’s link to Stasi-GDR agency-1997
Appendix 11- Document denyingTania’s link to KGB
Russian Fedration –Dec. 5, 1997
Appendix 12-Document denying Tania’s link to Soviet intelligence -1997
Appendix 13- My Battle for Truth-An interview with Nadia Gunke
 Interview by Chritoph Wiesner, published on 7-8 March 1998, in Junge Welt
 There are many groups and institutions that are named after Tamara Bunke or Tania in Cuba, also in Bolivia, lot of children are named Tania or Ernesto
Appendix 14-Nadia Bunke’s letter to Fidel Castro on Tania’s remains be buried in Cuba-25th December 1995
Appendix 15-Fidel Castro’s Reply to Nadia Bunke-1st April 1996
Apendix 16-Fidel Castro’s speech at the burial of the remains of Che Guevara and his Companeros-Santa Clara-17th October 1997
 I see Che as a moral giant who grows with each passing day, whose image, strength, and influence have multiplied throughout the earth.
Che was a true Communist and is today an example and a paradigm of the revolutionary and the communist, -Page 285
Che is taking up and winning more battles than ever.
 This land is your land, these people are your people, and this revolution is your revolution. We continue to fly socialist banner with honor and pride-page 287
Appendix 17- Ramiro Valdes’s speech at the Burial of the remains of Tania and others internationalist combatants-30th December 1998
   Tania, she filled a glorious page in the history of Che’s actions in Bolivia, giving her life in hostile environment, side by side with other Bolivian, Peruvian and Cuban Companeros
Welcomt Tania, immortal example of a woman and a communist-page 293-Socialism or death, homeland or death, we shall overcome
Patrice Lumumba founded Congo on 30th June 1960, assassinated on 17th January 1961 Mobutu Seiku became dictator and was overthrown in 1997 by Laurent Kabila, with whom Che had differences
Ciro Bustos drew sketches for army and US services, confirming Che’s presence in Bolivia.
     A well written book and an apt tribute to Tania!