Obituary: Gursharan Singh

Lalkar is saddened by the death of the writer, artist and revolutionary dramatist, Gursharan Singh.  He had a long association with the Indian Workers Association (Great Britain) and Lalkar, which for a long time was the organ of the IWA-GB.  He visited the UK at our invitation twice with his drama troupe and performed several progressive plays to thousands in several towns in the United Kingdom.

We send our sincere condolences to his family and friends on the demise of this great son of Punjab and India.

We associate with, and reproduce below, an obituary of him which appeared in the November 2011 issue of Liberation, central organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist).



Liberation salutes Comrade Gursharan Singh, revolutionary playwright and theatre-person, who passed away on 27 September at the age of 82 after a long illness.

Gursharan Singh joined the communist party at the age of 16 and remained committed to communist values the rest of his life. He took theatre to the people, performing plays in villages, public squares, streets and towns with minimal equipment. His plays challenged feudal oppression, capitalist plunder, state repression and imperialism.

He played a major role in the formation of Jan Sanskriti Manch, and was elected its founding President in the founding conference of JSM in October 1985.

Gursharan Singh fearlessly performed plays committed to Bhagat Singh’s values, at the height of the separatist frenzy in Punjab. He worked closely with trade unions, a range of people’s movements, and civil liberties movements. Jailed during the Emergency, he became a symbol of the campaign against fake encounters and assassination of revolutionaries. His home was always a shelter for communist activists. He was a member of the national advisory board of the Indian People’s Front (IPF).

The 150 or so plays that he scripted and directed addressed political and social issues from a revolutionary perspective. Some of his memorable plays include ‘Baba Bolta Hai’, ‘Jangiram ki Haveli’ and ‘Gaddha.’ After Bant Singh’s limbs were mutilated by feudal forces, his play on the incident was performed in many parts of Punjab.

Comrade Gursharan Singh will remain a model and an inspiration for revolutionary cultural activists.

Long Live Comrade Gursharan Singh!