New Delhi,22 Apr, 2014: Sunil Gupta, the national general secretary of the Samajwadi Jana Parishad, who was popularly known as Sunil Bhai, died at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi at 11.30 p.m. on Monday 21 Apr, 2014. His funeral rites were held at the Lodhi Road crematorium on Tuesday.
Sunil, 54, is survived by his wife Smita and children Iqbal Abhimanyu and Shiuli Vanja.
A mentor to several socialists, most prominently Yogendra Yadav of the Aam Aadmi Party, Sunil led several movements in Central India ever since he began work here with former union minister George Fernandes' Lohia Manch in Hoshangabad's Kesla in 1984. Born in Mandsaur's Rampura, Sunil's politicial roots are in the Samata Yuvajan Sabha in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, where he did an MA in Economics.
He rose to prominence leading agitations for rehabilitation of Tawa Dam oustees in 1995 and established India's most successful adivasi fishing cooperative in the Tawa Dam area. It was later broken up when the catchment area was absorbed by the Satpura Tiger Reserve. In the recent past, Sunil avoided merging his party with Aam Aadmi Party during the Wardha Conference of social activists in January this year, on grounds that it did not offer alternative economic and development policies.
He suffered a stroke last Wednesday (16 Apr, 2014) after a fever, for which he did not take allopathic medication, spread to his brain. He was admitted in hospitals in Hoshangabad and Bhopal before being flown to Delhi where he passed away.
A person who practiced what he preached, he lived without any electrical appliances and used only non-detergent cow brand soap manufactured locally in Pipariya. He never used his surname, for himself or his children, in opposition to casteism.
Gupta was working on an editorial piece for his bi-monthly Samyik Varta where he suffered the stroke. He had plans for an alternative political experiment outside the confines of party lines after the Lok Sabha polls.
Additional sources for this story
The Hindu- Veteran socialist Sunil Gupta passes away
Delhi Daily News - Eminent socialist Sunil Gupta passes away
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