With profound regret, Lok Raj Sangathan announces the passing away of the well-known political scientist Shri Rajini Kothari on 19th January, 2015.
Shri Kothari played an important role in the founding of Committee for People’s Empowerment, nearly 22 years ago, which later on reconstituted itself as Lok Raj Sangathan.
In the aftermath of the destruction of the national monument, Babri Masjid, and the ensuing communal violence in Mumbai and other places, a protest rally took place at Ferozeshah Kotla on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg in Delhi, on 22nd February 1993, at the initiative of the Communist Ghadar Party of India. A group of courageous activists consisting of workers, women, youth and human rights organisations jointly carried out this action. They took a Pledge and issued an Appeal to all men and women of conscience in our country. They called on the people to unite around the program to replace the outdated party dominated system of democracy with a modern system in which people will exercise political power.
Prof Rajini Kothari was one of the activists. Others who took part were activists of Mazdoor Ekta Committee, Purogami Mahila Sangathan, Saheli, and Punjab Human Rights Organisation. The news of this act of defiance spread widely in the city and among progressive circles everywhere. A large number of political personalities, scholars, retired judges and civil servants signed the Appeal issued on that day.
That initiative led to the formation of the Preparatory Committee for People’s Empowerment on 11th April, 1993, which subsequently reconstituted itself as Lok Raj Sangathan in 1998.
Rajini Kothari continued his association with LRS and remained its honorary chairperson till his demise.
Rajni Kothari was one of the authors of the publication "Who are the Guilty", brought out right after the massacre of Sikhs in Delhi in 1984, which exposed and condemned the role of the leaders of the then ruling Congress Party in organising the massacre of Sikhs.
Among his other activities, Kothari was the founder of Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), a social sciences and humanities research institute, and Lokayan (Dialogue of the People), started in 1980 as a forum for interaction between activists and intellectuals.
He was also associated with Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), International Foundation for Development Alternatives and People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL).
One of the great political thinkers of the 20th-century, his well known works included Politics in India (1970), Caste in Indian Politics (1973) and Rethinking Democracy (2005).
His death is a great loss for the democratic movement and movement for rights. Lok Raj Sangathan conveys its deepest condolences to the family members and friends of Shri Kothari.