Vimla Dang rests in peace

Vimla-Dang.-Last-Rites-sm
Vimla Dang:  1926 – 2009

In Chheharta, this Sunday, a great Punjabi Kashmiri woman completed the journey of her magnificent life. She was a revolutionary activist from her student days who worked for social change with a singular determination, and was honored with many rewards including a Padma Shri award.

Vimla Dang was born in 1926 in Allahabad, and raised in Lahore where she married Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Satya Pal Dang in 1952, and moved to Chheharta the same year.

On May 10, 2009, after experiencing a brief illness, Vimla passed away. View her profile: A Great Woman from the Punjab.

Though expected, death is always unexpected in the moment of its appearance. On May 9, this comment was posted by Chitra, Vimla’s Grand Niece, on the above page:
Vimla Dang is Kashmiri, married to a Punjabi :) I’m proud to say she’s my grand aunt.’
In response, i had requested more information and photos.

The next day, yesterday, Amarjit Chandan forwarded an email message from Sukhdev saying ‘Vimla Dang is no more‘, and a few hours later, sent this photo titled ‘last Rites’.
.Vimla Dang. Last Rites

It is hard sometimes to feel gratified with the fulfillment of some requests. However, I was prompted again this morning with another comment ‘Vimla Dang passed away yesterday‘ from Bharat Bhushan.

Vimla Dang! What an inspiring life!
Thank you.

CPI leader Vimla Dang dead
She fought for downtrodden till her last breath

The Tribune Chandigarh May 10 2009

pb2

A pall of gloom descended on the industrial township of Chheharta, near Amritsar, when veteran CPI leader and former MLA Vimla Dang died at a private hospital here this morning after a brief illness. She was wife of Satya Pal Dang, also a veteran CPI leader.

Supporters and senior Communist and local leaders reached the house of the Dang couple to pay homage to the departed leader. She was cremated in the Naraingarh crematorium. The pyre was lit by Anil Dang, a nephew of Satya Pal Dang.

National general secretary, Communist Party of India (CPI), AB Bardhan, Joginder Dayal, national executive member, CPI, Bhupinder Sambhar, state secretary, Mangat Ram Pasla, state secretary, Marxist CP, Congress and BJP candidates for the Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency Om Parkash Soni and Navjot Singh Sidhu, respectively, and other senior Communist leaders attended the cremation.

Awarded with Padma Shri in 1998 for her contribution to the social sphere, Vimla, along with her husband, had fought many relentless battles for the cause of the downtrodden. They took a principled stand against militancy in Punjab. She remained president of the Punjab Istri Sabha and took up the cause of women’s emancipation and 33 per cent reservation for women.

She belonged to a Kashmiri Pandit family and graduated from Kinnard College for Women, Lahore, before shifting to Mumbai after Partition. She got married to Satya Pal in 1952 in Mumbai after she returned from Prague, where she represented India in the International Union of Students.

After marriage, the couple shifted to Chheharta. They decided not to have a child as they did not want to divert their attention from people’s struggle.

Though the couple led “underground” life during the British rule and both were entitled to Freedom Fighters’ Pension, they never claimed the same till date.

The couple retired from the National Council of the CPI and decided not to contest the assembly elections with the plea that there must be an age limit for holding a political office.

The Tribune Chandigarh May 10 2009


Photo: Satya Pal Dang (centre), husband of Vimla, and other leaders pay last respects to her in Amritsar on Sunday. Photo by Vishal Kumar

Fauzia Rafique
gandholi.wordpress.com
frafique@gmail.com

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