Bangla Mirror Desk:
A memorial service was held for Rev Aloke Biswas on 10 October at Tower Hamlets Community Church in Poplar, East London, organised by the Bengali Christian Fellowship UK.
The veteran anti-racist activist Rev Aloke Biswas passed away on 2 October in Kolkata, West Bengal, at his residence. He had been suffering from multiple ailments and was in his 70s when he died.
The memorial service opened with a prayer by Mitu and a reading from the Bible by Trisna. Then, pastor Tony Uddin highlighted Rev Aloke Biswas’s life, political struggle, his quest against injustice and his involvement with the Christian community. Following screenings of video clips of Aloke Biswas, some of his former colleagues from the 1970s paid their tribute. Amongst them was Rajonuddin Jalal from the Bangladesh Youth Movement, Shiraj Haque & Rafique Ullah from the Bangladesh Youth Front, Cathy Forrester, Clare Murphy, Ansar Ahmed Ullah and Raju Nathan from the Altab Ali Foundation. They all stressed his anti-racist activism and shared their memories of working with him and his lifelong commitment to humanity regardless of faith and ethnicity. Rich tributes were also paid by members of the Bengali Christian Fellowship, including Nikson Robinson, Almas, Andrew, Nicholas, Mitu, and Sinthia.
Aloke Biswas was one of the most prominent anti-racist activists of the resistance movement in the 1970s in East London. He will be remembered as a key figure in East London’s Bengali community for his tireless work towards empowering the community. He inspired the Bengali community to fight back against the racists and establish themselves as a mainstream force.
Aloke Biswas was a good orator and could deliver fiery speeches to inspire people to unite and fight against racial violence in East London. He was instrumental in organising the first Black Workers Strike in East London to highlight racist violence against the Bengali community.
On behalf of the Altab Ali Foundation, his former colleagues Rajonuddin Jalal said, ‘He was a good friend and brother to many of us and our colleague in our fight against racism.’