(selected portion from the article of F. Dias. The article is published in LOKBHUMI periodical's com. Narayan Dessai issue dated 15 September 2007)
Goan Freedom struggle produced men and women of great caliber and intellenct. They used their pen and energy for the liberation of men from exploitation, political and cultural.
The fascist regime in Portugal sent them to jail. Some went in exile. Some took shelter in India, British, Africa and Europe. Young Narayan Atmaram Desai was one of them who went to Mumbai and worked not only with Goan patriots but Indian freedom fighters.
After completing his early education in Marathi and Portuguese, he joined the higher education of the ‘Curso de Letras’ in Portuguese in Mapusa and acquired a degree of ‘Acharya’ of Bhartiya Vidya Peeth and turned to teaching and writing.
Mr. Narayan Desai was active in the progressive students movement in Mumbai and Pednem, Goa and wrote two plays ‘Kangal Bharat’ in 1945 and ‘Krantivir’ in 1946. Both the plays were banned and copies were confiscated in Mumbai.
In Mumbai, Mr. Desai set up Borivali Commune in 1948 and the police called it ‘Desai Guruji’s Borivali Den’. Many youngmen and workers, attracted by Marxist ideology, gathered around Desai Guruji and Borivali in the far away western suburb became a major centre of progressive activities.(sic). Desai Guruji edited newspapers like ‘salik’ and ‘Yugdeep’. He was detained by the Goa Police in Mapusa and later imprisoned in Aguada, Reis Magos and Panaji Jails. After his release he went to Mumbai in exile. The Goan movement with the Goan People’s Party and the CPI. (sic) He also contined his literary work. He was elected chairman of the Reception Committee of Gomantak Marathi Sahitya Sammelan at Lonavla in 1960 on the eve of Goa’s Liberation.
He was founder editor of weeklies like ‘Loksangram’, ‘Amche Shram’, ‘Amche Razhya’ and bi-monthly ‘Lokbharat’. It was at this structure, this writer met Mr. Desai.
As a member of the World Peace Council, he raised the issue of Goa’s Liberation at all its sessions. He was member of the freedom fighters delegation which met the member of the union cabinet under the leadership of Aruna Asaf Ali to discuss Goa’s Liberation before the Government took the decision of the armend action in Goa.
When the Indian army marched to liberate Goa, Mr. Desai organized Citizen’s Committee to welcome the soldiers and to show them the way to Panaji.
After liberation he joined Mr. Divakar Kakodkar, CPI leader, in organizing Goa Kisan Sangh in Tuem, Pednem in 1961 and its president till 1971.
He was founder member of the Goa State CPI formed in Belgaum and was elected on the CPI National council in 1964.
He visited USSR several times and was elected leader of the All Indian CPI Journalist delegation which went to German Democratic Republic in 1972, was awarded Gold medal in Philosophy for his ‘Shastriya Tatwadnyan’ by the Marathi Sahitya Sammelan in 1965. He also got a first award of the Kala Academy, Government of Goa, Daman and Diu for the Biography of Lenin in 1973. He also got the Soviet Land Jawaharlal Neharu Award in 1972 … His books have been translated into English and Gujrati.
Narayan Desai was connected with the Goan People’s Party, Bombay Youth League, apart from the CPI. Born on December 16, 1920 in Poroscodem, Pednem, he died recently in Pune. His friends paid him tributes in Panaji and Pednem.
Journalist and Freedom Fighter.