Aravindan Balakrishnan (1940-2022): A Great Revolutionary Leader is Laid to Rest! (5.5.2022) 

A Great Revolutionary is Laid to Rest!

“Understanding, Support and Friendship Are More Important Than Anything Else.” 

“谅解、支援和友谊,比什么都重要。” 

Selected Works of Mao Zedong – Volume 4: “Working Methods of the Party Committee” 

《毛泽东选集》第四卷《党委会的工作方法》 

The funeral of Comrade Bala was held in St George’s Chapel at the South London Crematorium (situated in Rowan Road, Wandsworth), and was scheduled for 11:00 hrs, on Thursday, May 5th, 2022. Despite a 20-minute delay (due to slow-moving traffic in and around South London), a very suitable, respectful and sombre ‘secular’ ceremony was initiated, which was attended by a group of around ten people, comprised of close family members, and a group of those ‘invited’. Also, in attendance were two Funeral Directors who remained at the back of the room during the proceedings, but who appeared at set (and precise) times to ensure that every part of the process unfolded respectfully and on time. 

Comrade Bala was 81 years old when he passed away, being in his 82nd-year. His wife gave an outstanding speech that excellently encapsulated an extraordinary life well lived – and his Revolutionary world outlook – which was forged in Singapore against the historical backdrop of the Malayan peoples’ Anti-Japanese Resistance, followed by their equally heroic struggle against British imperialism (and its “reign of terror”). Although factual from beginning to end – the emotional impact upon those present was tangible – enhanced by moving accounts of the practical love and service he demonstrated to all he encountered throughout his exemplary life!  Family members made special mention of their gratitude to Comrade Bala (sometimes called ‘Ara’) – particularly for the devoted care he showed toward his sister-in-law. The prevailing and defining characteristic of this gathering was one of ‘respect’. Indeed, this feeling of ‘respect’ was so great a manifestation, that all the injustices, lies and misrepresentations that often accompany such a great life – had no place in this centre of conventional mourning! For this was a place of ‘truth’ and nothing else. Indeed, the truth that manifested was so strong – that the deficient ignorance of those who would do him harm could not manifest or gain a foothold! 

For Revolutionary movements, often it is the concept of an ‘eternal flame’ which holds sway. Indeed, part of this ceremony involved an image of a large candle with burning-flame, situated to the right of the central platform upon which the coffin rested. A photograph of Comrade Bala was placed at the foot of the coffin, whilst those in attendance took their turn standing at the lectern placed to the left of this central platform. Those attending were dispersed and sat on both sides of the room – being asked to stand at various points as speeches unfolded and musical offerings (of both Western and Asian origin) were played. This stage of respectful mourning lasted around 45-minutes. 

Eventually, the curtains surrounding the coffin were respectfully ‘closed’, and the cremation proceeded. Those in attendance were then directed through a now opened double-door (situated behind the lectern) and were directed out into the Garden of Remembrance. The family members now separated from the other attendees and were respectfully greeted and presented with cards and flowers by those attending from outside the family. The flowers and cards were then placed in a specific ‘space’ reserved to receive tributes to Comrade Bala. After around 15-minutes of condolences and respectful interaction – the family and attendees left the Garden of Remembrance, and the ceremony came to an end. 

Comrade Bala’s daughter – Katy Morgan-Davis – did not attend. 

A Very Well Organised and Respectful Place and Ceremony!

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