On the 30th of November, the commemorative festivity for our dear comrade José Sales Pimenta took place in Brazil with a huge mass turnout. CEBRASPO on this occasion published a video, that also depicts our comrade in his youth, agitating and engaging the police. Furthermore, we share the statement issued by the Indian intellectual Amit Bhattacharyya for this very occasion, who also contributed with several talks to the 5th Conference on bureaucratic capitalism that took place 2016 in Rio.

Message in memory of my dear friend, Pimenta

It is really painful to know about the untimely departure of Pimenta from this world. I distinctly remember the first time I came to know him. My first trip to Brasil was made possible due to the kind invitation I received from the Universidade Federal Fluminense to talk at a conference on 'India: Historical and Social Reality' in August 2011. The trip proved to be not only educative, but enriching and exciting, too, for me. One has to go through it in order to believe it. The warmth, friendship and love of the people of Brasil that I received will live deep in my memory.

The day I landed at Galeao airport, Rio de Janeiro from Sao Paulo past midnight on 3 August 2011, I came to know about an ongoing strike launched by the school teachers. My friends--Raquel, Pimenta and Fatema had been waiting to receive me at the airport. It was Pimenta who drove the car to Nazira'a place. On the way, I noticed steel walls on both sides of the road, and on enquiry I came to know that those walls were erected to hide slum areas from public gaze.That was my first acquaintance with Pimenta and the poor people of Brasil. Pimenta appeared to me as a man in his mid-'40s, handsome, well-built and very jovial in temperament.

Since then, Pimenta had been my companion on many occasions--in seminars, visits to the Copacabana beach, driving cars and drinking Caipirinha Cachhaca in the restaurant. Once he nicely told me, "Amit, you know good Portuguese", when my knowledge was limited to "Bom Dia" and "Obrigado".

The last time I visited Brasil in 2016 I stayed in his place at Rio for a few days. I shared many happy moments with him, his son, Raquel and others. That time too, and for the last time, he drove me to the airport to see me off.

The people of Brasil, as I understand, have been going through difficult times and striving to turn bad into good. They have been fighting against injustice, exploitation, humiliation and repression for the creation of a new democratic society where human values would triumph over the greed for profits. It is a struggle worth fighting for. Pimenta was a brave participant in that noble struggle in the cause of the people. One can also feel the pain and suffering that he had to go through during his period of illness.

Let me pay my respectful homage to his memory and convey my condolence to his son, his comrades and near and dear ones. May his memory live on.

Amit Bhattacharyya
Kolkata, 25 November 2018.