This section contains obituaries sent by individuals arranged in alphabetical order. (ed)


1. Antonio Artuso:  My deepest condolences to the members of the family and

friends of Comrade Hari Sharma. 


2. Rana Bose: My deepest sense of sorrow. Sadness envelopes me. I have seen Hari, as have many others, in a very personal and historic moment in India’s history. It is a loss that only those who know the expanse of his contributions will know. I do not know what else to say. I do not know who to write to and share this grief. I spoke to him two months ago. He was so warm and ready for battle. 


 Lives like this are poignant with encounters in many continents, many roads, villages and towns covering many eras,  many battles, many friendships. Let this be an inspiration for those Indians and other brothers and sisters who live abroad and want fundamental change in their country of birth. This was a life that dedicated itself for the poor and the disadvantaged and never stayed silent when words and presence needed to be heard and felt. 

C’est la lutte finale

  Groupons-nous, et demain


  Sera le genre humain 


3. Romir Chatterjee : I will always remember Hari. His cheerful enthusiasm and energy in support of progressive causes was infectious, and important to the success of many efforts such as the one to establish IPANA in the 1970’s.  This was what brought us in contact, and allowed me the good fortune to get to know him.  He will be greatly missed.



4. Dolores Chew: My deepest condolences to family, friends and comrades of Hari Sharma.  His death has left me sad and with a sense of a void.  Someone who was always there, who could be counted on, no longer is around.  I have known Hari for a good part of my life, having been involved in organizations and coalitions with him for close to four decades – groups dedicated to democracy and secularism in India and the Indian subcontinent, for justice, against racism and workers’ rights and dignity in Canada.   On a more personal note, it was Hari’s intervention on behalf of my first husband, that brought him to Montréal where we met.   As I recently told my children after Hari’s death, if it wasn’t for him, they might not have been born. 


My sense of loss also comes from the awareness that this is the passing of a generation. For a long time my peers and I were part of a younger generation, and even though years have passed and we have not been that young for a long time, it is the death of Hari that brings home the realization that my generation has become the older generation; that there are younger people who come after us and that we bear the burden of the responsibility that comes with being elders. 


Hari and I, like Hari and others had our difficult moments.   Issues around gender and patriarchy created rifts.  Hari could flare up. His blustering outbursts were familiar to those around him.  However, to Hari’s credit, he was never one to bear a grudge and his commitment to the wider cause, the ability to appreciate and learn from difference, to build bridges, his personal warmth and generosity of spirit, meant that eventually we were able to work together again.


I was fortunate enough to see him shortly before he died. He had been in hospital for a few days. He was very weak. But even then he was engaged.  My husband had just given a talk on land hunger in India at Simon Fraser university.  Hari remarked on how in the 1950s, the issues in this regard were clearer; they had become much more complex now.  He wanted to read the presentation.   


When it was time to leave, I rose to bid him farewell and took his hand.  I knew I would not see him again.  I did not know what to say. I simply said “Comrade.”  He tightened his grip on my hand.   The gap in his front teeth became visible as a smile broke out across his face.  I also smiled.  For a moment the gauntness melted away and the familiar Hari was there. 


Hari leaves behind a world of new complexity, which we have to contend with as we try to bring some clarity to the fuzziness.  He has left big shoes (or sandals) to fill.  We have to find ways to rise to these new challenges, as Hari did in his time; to build and foster coalitions and movements for solidarity and justice for our time.  And when our energies flag and we feel that things are hopeless, we must remember Hari with his energy and optimism, who never gave up.


5.  Taj Hashmi:  I am extremely shocked and saddened by this very sad news about the demise of Great Hari Sharma. We were in touch quite for sometime last year. He was supposed to visit and spend some time with us in Honolulu. He made sure that I would treat him with the finest whisky! I have fond memories of Hari Bhai. Although we met for the first time in 2003, I was familiar with his co-edited book since the 1970s.


His demise is a big loss for all of us. Very few people of such a big heart, courage, integrity, honesty and selfless zeal to help the poor and powerless irrespective of their race, faith or ideology.


6. Pervez Hoodbhoy: I am terribly sorry to hear about Hari’s death. Although I had met him him only a couple of times and did not know him very well personally, he was a man who had inspired many. I particularly remember his book with Kathleen Gough which was a kind of bible of our times. I am happy to know that his friends and colleagues celebrated him while he was alive.


7. Marianne Ignace:  After our long-ago departmental chair, Bob Wylie, whom only a few of us remember any more, enabled our department’s liaison with our Secwepemc indigenous group in the interior to bring Anthropology and Sociology courses and research training to the local First Nations, Hari took on the project as co-chair (along with Ron Ignace, my husband, as co-chair who was then Chair of the cultural society and tribal council).


Here at home in the Secwepemc Nation, we knew Hari as the “real Indian” as he called himself. As a Hindu “East Indian” Hari was a true oddity among those who work(ed) with First Nations, and he did so honestly, and putting his many years of experience of activism and his social and political beliefs to work for a new cause. We deeply and profoundly respect and love him for that.


Often with the late Ellen Gee in tow, these two were relentless fighters for our cause, and they were enormously effective!


Unlike others who in principle supported and championed this cause, Hari came here to teach our students in addition to his load in Burnaby, teaching such courses as Violence and War, Marxist Theory and Third World issues on different occasions, to an indigenous audience who appreciated how their issues could be contextualized with global issues.


8.  Syed Hussain Jalaluddin (Jalal): Thanks for the brief on the life of Sharma.  May his activist example be followed by others  and his movement gain from strength to strength, even after his sad death!



9.  David Jhirad: This is just to express my deep sadness at the passing of a courageous man. (David Jhirad, Professor and Director, Energy, Resources and Environment Center, Johns Hopkins University). 


10. Deepak Kapur: I am sorry to hear about Hari Sharma’s death.


11.  Arshad Khan (Lahore): Big loss for progressives everywhere, especially for those in the Indo-Pak subcontinent. I remember Hari Sharma mainly from reading, in my youth, his brilliant compilation and editing of essays about South Asia that he published in that seminal book with Kathleen Gough.

His other memory I have is from the conference in Boston that we both had attended so many years ago. He was brilliant and outspoken on behalf of peace and social justice in the region. Other times you had often fondly narrated stories about your visits to him in Canada, about his great passion for peace & justice. I am sure he will be sorely missed by all those who knew him and loved him.


12. Sharat G. Lin: It is indeed with deepest sorrow that we hear of the passing of Professor Hari Sharma. I first met Hari in the mid-1970s.  Many of my activist and academic colleagues and I were to spend many years following the Declaration of Emergency in June 1975 working with Hari — and through him, IPANA and NRISAD — in the common struggles against state repression, imperialism, and racism, and for revolutionary change in India.


Hari’s passing leaves an immense void.  He will be deeply missed by all who have known him and been inspired by his foresight, energy, activism, and perseverance.


13. Ashok Mathur: Very sorry to hear about Hari Bhai passing away. I know he has been a dear friend of yours for many years, and he will be sorely missed by the legions who knew and admired him and all that he stood for.


14. Feroz Mehdi: I was very sad to hear about the sad demise of comrade Hari Sharma.


15.  Shree Mulay: Dear friends and comrades of Hari Sharma

When I heard of Hari’s passing, I felt it was the passing of an era because there are few people who are left who identify themselves with the dream of Naxalbari and the victory of peasant revolution in India. Whatever ones differences are with Hari over political positions, there was no question of his passion and dedication to building support for progressive movements in the world in general and in  Canada in particular.

I was touched when I heard from Raj Chouhan that Hari closed his eyes for the last time to the tune of the International sung by his comrades of over forty years.




I first met Hari when soon after joining McGill University I was asked to tour some of the well known Asian studies centres to explore what form our nascent program  might take in Montréal. One of my stops was Vancouver where I met the newly arrived Hari. We were both caught up in the energy generated by opposition to the US imperial adventure in Vietnam and the founding meeting of the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars.


Hari was a complex man, with a lashing tongue unencumbered by the constraint of the need to seek universal approval. He had a firm conviction, and a thoughtful analysis which was unshaken and unshakable. Where he did seek approval was from those who were voiceless, or so they were commonly categorized. While he may smile at the description, he was a true organic intellectual who understood with a ferocious tenacity that struggle was the universal norm and that while one has a commitment to the ongoing battles in ones country of birth, one also has an abiding commitment to those where one lives; a true synthesis of the universal with the particular. No issue was too trivial and no struggle too remote. Hari was there in the vanguard. There was a tenacious glare that only the sightless were excluded from, and even there I somehow have the feeling that he sought to give them vision.


What in many ways was strikingly emblematic of Hari Sharma was his loyalty which transcended any momentary tactical dispute. He could be harsh in his critiques but it was always tempered by that twinkle which implied that one day we will again find common cause.


Hari also had the unique capacity of effectively blurring the line between his multiple interests. Once at a Kampuchea Conference in Bangkok the camera ever slung around the neck, as I looked over to him, the shutter clicking was endless. Out of the thousands emerged some true gems sensitively reflecting both reality and humanity.


Dear Hari, A Red Salute (Lal Salaam!)


17. Stephen Orlov: I did not know Hari Sharma well, we last met about 30 years ago.  I remember him as having a larger than life presence, often flashing a captivating smile and always peppering his political debate with principles and passion.  He stood for the common man, especially those oppressed in his native land of India.  But he also was a Canadian and an internationalist, who provoked his students to think critically and inspired his community to act for justice. 


18. Anand Patwardhan: Just heard the terrible news, made more shocking because I did not even know Hari had been sick with cancer. I am only grateful that he had so many loving and loyal comrades around him when he went.


Over the years like many of us did, I too had differences of opinion with him but one thing stands out in my memory. No matter how heated the political exchanges may have been, on the personal front Hari was always generous to a fault and never held a grudge.


You all knew him better than I did so I won’t go on except to say that to earn the loyalty of so many for so long, one had to be special. In grief


19. Herman Rosenfeld: I was thinking about his death in the past few days. This is such a moving and impressive obit, that it simply takes one’s breath away – every issue, every aspect of the struggle, this was a man who instinctively understood and took the side of the oppressed. A lifetime of trying to apply Marxist

principles to 2/3 century of challenges stands as an example that so many young activists today (and older ones as well) would be well to heed and learn from.

20.  Raj Sahai: I am saddened to hear the passing of comrade Hari Sharma. He struggled for our common dreams and aspirations.


I met late Maharaj Kaul and Hari Sharma in 1974 and 1975, and worked with them on what mattered to us in common: that another world is possible and was necessary.


Although our views of the world somewhat diverged over the years, our common belief in humanity as the basis of our common dream endured and they remained my cherished friends, whose passing away so untimely, has deeply saddened me.


As the current crisis of capital in the imperialist centers is becoming apparent to us all, there may begin a new global consciousness and birth of a powerful new movement for a radical change. (For if it does not, we may face a barbarism similar to the early 20th century again.)


If that happens, and I remain hopeful that it will sooner rather than later, the lifelong commitment and diligent work of these two friends would be confirmed in some measure to have inspired and contributed towards it.


21. Joya Sen (Atmabhavana):  I just read the obit with a sense of love and adoration, very poignant indeed. He’d be forever present in our hearts and minds. Wish he did not have to go thru so much pain. But I felt assured that you and Harinder were there by his side at the end. In great appreciation to all of you.

22.  Sukla Sen: I had some personal interactions with Professor Hari Sharma. But much before that, as a young activist, had come across his name as the co-editor of ‘Imperialism And Revolution In South Asia’.


It was in November 2000 that I met him for the first time. That was the inaugural convention of the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP) in Delhi. Delegates had come from all over India and also various corners of the globe. I was on a three-member panel of (discussion) initiators on “Nuclear Nationalism in India” along with Teesta Setalvad and Javed Laiq. He was among the participants.  But that was all, for the time being.


In 2006 December, he wrote to me to examine the possibility of holding an international seminar somewhere in India on the then ongoing Indo-US Nuclear Deal, to mobilise opposition, in collaboration with the Cairo-based Afro-Asian Peoples’ Solidarity Organization (AAPSO). He had apparently no memory of our earlier meeting. But in the meanwhile, as it appears, was regularly receiving my flood of mails. And, Ms. Hamsa Genedy of the AAPSO had approached him for help. They had apparently got acquainted in the preceding WSF Conference in Vancouver, the seat of Prof. Sharma.


The CNDP and AAPSO did hold a hugely successful three-day conference in Mumbai in March 2007. (Ref.: http://www.aapsorg.org/site/docs/international/MeetConfer/MumbaiResolution.htm>.).

Many other organizations, local and even international, endorsed. The Vikas Adhyayan Kendra (VAK), from the city, provided major support – financial, and also otherwise. Prof. Sharma was to be one of the leading speakers.

Unfortunately, at the last moment, he had to drop out on account of some personal difficulties. His paper was presented in the conference.


Prof. Sharma visited India subsequent to that in connection with the release of a book of his on China and also the Nandigram struggle. But did not come to Mumbai. And we had no opportunity to meet. We would have occasional exchange of mails though.  I do sincerely mourn his death.


23. Swati Sharan:  It is indeed very sad to hear about Hariji. I know at least I will miss him for sure. It’s a big loss to our socially active South Asian community to say the least.


24. Naushad Siddiqui:  I wish to express my deep appreciation of Comrade Professor Hari Sharma for his commitment and dedication. I convey my great respect and solidarity with him and he will  always be our hero.

25.  Rahul Varma: Condolences. He worked very and untiringly for what he believed in. Peace.


26. Ved Prakash Vatuk:  Thanks for your e-mails. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the memorial service for Hari. I just returned from Hawaii where they had a memorial for another dear friend, Prof. Jagdish P. Sharma. However, if possible I would be grateful if you could read a short tribute to Hari for me.



It happens in history all the times


People are betrayed by the rulers they choose


Dark times fall


Masses are reduced to be insects-


Powerless and without a voice


So it happened in our dear land


The innocent looking beauty


A charming Kamdhenu


Turned out to be an arrogant bull


Hungry for absolute power


In a moment the whole nation became a prison


Gagged in silence


And you cried


No, you are not the nation


Indira is not India, no matter what your chamchas say


And she declared


You are evicted from this land


You would not set your foot in India again


You did not care


You made the whole world India, your dear land


And kept fighting to win


You refused to be bound by any boundaries


Land, religion, class, caste or race


You strived to be human


And let your dreams remain alive


The dreams of equality, justice and humanity


Freedom remained your goddess to worship


Freedom for all


You may be gone, but the dream is alive


As long as even one of us believes in it


And struggle to make it come true.


Long live Hari, long live the revolution.



27.  Bob Weil: Though not unexpected, it is still shocking and deeply saddening to hear of the death of Hari.  I only had the chance to know him for a brief time, but so strong was his character and dedication to our common causes, that I feel as if I had known him for a lifetime.  I am highly honored to have been able to call him a friend and comrade, and appreciative of the two opportunities I had to exchange ideas with him in Vancouver, learn from him and help to celebrate his lifework.  I am sure that you will carry that on, though none of us will be able to fill the void he has left.  I hope that our relation will continue too, and that we find new ways to work together. 


With deepest sympathy to his family, his colleagues, and those who joined him over the years in struggle.

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