Monday, January 16, 2012

Comrade HN Parial: An Exemplary Leader


Comrade HN Parial:
An Exemplary Leader

By Basudev  Dass

With his 'Never Say Die' attitude H.N. Parial till in his early eighties had engaged himself to the cause of welfare of common people in Andaman & Nicobar Islands.  He had proved the saying 'every man should leave some memories behind' given by Swamy Vivekananda and would utter it on many occasions. He translated the statement into practice throughout his life barring last couple of months before saying adieu to this materialistic world on 5th January 2012. A cross-section of people, trade unions, workers' associations and political parties irrespective of their principle and policies paid rich tributes to the departed soul while mourning the death of Comrade H.N. Parial. 
Survived by his wife and two sons, Comrade Parial is perhaps the last Left stalwart of the Island who had always thought Right for the common people.  His death will definitely prove a setback to the Left parties in the islands as he was one of the right thinking Left leader who acted above petty politics, accepted a very senior party leader from Congress.
Born in 1929 at Chittagong, present Port City of Bangladesh, he was of a spirited character as he had seen and heard many great revolutionists who were groomed in the city of the then undivided Bengal and sacrificed their lives for the freedom of India.  The revolutionary ingredients were distinctly evident in his long 50 years of dedicated service in the upliftment of the poor strata and underprivileged section of the society.
Alighting in these islands in 1955, Parial joined government service under Andaman & Nicobar Administration.  From the very preface of his service career in the then Marine Department, he raised voice against injustice fighting for the poor port labourers to provide them a better living condition. Further, during his posting at Mayabunder, Middle & North Andaman District he felt the immediate necessity to address various issues of concern pertaining to working conditions of Forest workers and other employees working in remote areas under the Administration. 
The indifferent and arbitrary attitude of the then senior administrators further aggravated the desolations of the employees that stimulated HN Parial to make an uncompromising stand against the Administration by launching a strong movement while uniting the employees and workers working under different departments. 
Incidentally that was a crucial juncture when legendary trade unionist late PKS Prasad delivered a strong leadership in launching a mass movement by crafting Non-Gazetted Officers' (NGOs') Association in 1962.  Obviously Parial jumped into the main stream of the movement under PKS.  And then he never looked back in his fight for the needy and underprivileged workers and employees.   He naturally invited the wrath of the Administration which had the lone weapon in its cover in guise of 'Transfer' ,and as a result, Parial was transferred to Diglipur in 1965. The action could not tame the firebrand leader and Parial during his 5-year stint in Diglipur gave a crucial leadership to Consumer Co-operative Movement in North and Middle Andaman and pioneered to establish a Co-operative Society Store maintained by the common people of Diglipur.
Gradually HN Parial moved upwards in hierarchical ladder of different associations and made his presence felt all over the islands.  And came the glorious chapter of CPI(M), Andaman State Committee, when it attained majority in the Pradesh Council as well as in Port Blair Municipal Board.  Parial took over the Chairmanship of PBMB during 1990-92.  He will be immortal amidst the employees of the PBMB (now PBMC) for he was alone responsible for introduction of pension system for its employees and abolishing of "Manual clearing of Night Soil".  New roadmap and water supply system to provide potable water to the citizens under PBMB in a better way are other achievements to be remembered. 
The other remarkable movements which either Parial lead or happened to be the key factor can be counted viz. Jhupri Andolan in 1966 followed by pay fixation of Forest Workers (1969), free sea-passage with joining time and main initiators of causes viz. Andaman Special Allowance, Roaster for Seamen Union for Andaman recruit and Declaration of Port Blair as 'B' Class City.
Indisputably, with his death, the islands have lost a visionary person full of zeal and vigor to serve the humanity by extending and promising better civic life.

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