Man Mohan Adhikari, 1920-1999
On April 23, the chairperson of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), Man Mohan Adhikari, died. He was 78 years old.
Adhikari had been a tireless leader of the Nepalese communist and workers' movements for more than 50 years. True to his life, he collapsed while campaigning for the election of a CPN (UML) government in the May 1 national election, a government he probably would have led.
Man Mohan Adhikari was born in Kathmandu in June 1920. He became active in political activity in 1942 whilst studying in Benares, India. He joined the Quit India Movement against British colonialism and was jailed for one and a half years in India.
In 1947, he was one of the first organisers of the Nepalese workers' movement in Biratnagar, Nepal, and was arrested and again jailed, this time for three years. He was elected general secretary of the Communist Party of Nepal at the first party congress in 1953 and, in that capacity, played a central role in the struggle against the autocratic Panchayat system from 1960. He was one of the leaders of the pro-democracy mass movement which ended Panchayat in 1990.
He became chairperson of the unified Communist Party in 1991 and was prime minister of the first Communist-led government in Nepal, from 1994 to 1995. From 1995 he was the leader of the opposition in parliament and his party's candidate for prime minister.
His death is a great loss to the movement for justice in Nepal and throughout Asia. Under his leadership, the CPN (UML) played an important role in promoting collaboration and dialogue between left parties in the region.
Man Mohan Adhikari's example of a lifetime in struggle for socialism will always be an inspiration to his party, the Nepalese people and all those wanting justice throughout the world.
— Sean Healy