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The legacy of Che Guevara
I was still in my sunny teens when on 9th day of October in the year 1967, the socialist revolutionary and guerilla leader Che Guevara was killed by the Bolivian army.

The US-military-backed Bolivian forces captured Guevara on October 8 while battling his band of guerillas in Bolivia and assassinated him the following day. His hands were cut off as proof of death and his body was buried in an unmarked grave. In 1997, Guevara's remains were found and sent back to Cuba, where they were reburied in a ceremony attended by President Fidel Castro and thousands of Cubans.

The news of his murder I can vividly recall even today. It had shaken many of the communist elders of town to their roots. I was born and brought up in an aristocratic society and it was fashionable in those days to be addressed as Comrade. Though religion used to run in our veins yet we were represented in UP Assembly by Comrade Sharafat Hussain Rizvi and our Member of Parliament was Comrade Moulana Ishaque Sambhali – both die-hard communists. Contrarily, the teachings of Imam Ali (AS) and Imam Hussain (AS) have had a lot of echo in the new communist doctrines. How these thoughts – one based on absolute faith in Almighty Allah and other atheistic could co-exist was a paradox. After the Prophet of Islam (PBUH), these Imams are the pivot to our fundamentals. But as a child I was able to relate how these iconic revolutionaries spoke the same language.

"I've realized God through the defeats of ambitions."..........Imam Ali (AS)

"Live your life not celebrating victories, but overcoming defeats."............Che Guevara

"It is preferable to die with honour than live with shame"............Imam Hussain (AS)

"Better to die standing than live on your feet."...........Che Guevara

Che Guevara was an atheist and ruthless revolutionary. Here begins the cleft of thoughts. We had to learn to live in the world of contradictions and loved both the streams with a degree of variance. Now, as a mature senior citizen I've learned what Che used to say - "We cannot be sure of having something to live for unless we are willing to die for it."

"Democracy cannot consist solely of elections that are nearly always fictitious and managed by rich landowners and professional politicians."........Che Guevara

As a political figure Che had been buried long ago, but he still survives as a revolutionary leader. He is a popular icon, a shining light for youth all over the world. We have just bypassed his 50th anniversary. He was born in Argentina in 1928. Initially, a doctor by education but as a student while studying medicine at the University of Buenos Aires, he took time off to travel around South America on a motorcycle. He witnessed the poverty and oppression of the lower classes and had the first-hand idea of its devastation. He received the medical degree in 1953 and continued his travels around Latin America and actively participated in the activities of Left-wing organizations.

In the mid 1950s, Guevara met up with Fidel Castro and his group of exiled revolutionaries in Mexico. Guevara played a key role in Castro's seizure of power from Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959 and later served as Castro's right-hand man and minister of industry. He was in-born revolutionary and guerrilla fighter by profession who achieved the international fame alongside the future Cuban president Fidel Castro. Once he achieved his target, he moved his beat of revolt to Congo and Bolivia.

In 1967 he was captured by Bolivian government's troops and shot. He was an Argentine Marxist who was a highly politicized and controversial figure and in death his stylized image has been transformed into a worldwide emblem for resistance, a generic symbol of the underdog, the idealist, the iconoclast and a martyr. Guevara strongly opposed US domination in Latin America and advocated peasant-based revolutions to combat social injustice in third world countries.

He is also accused of ordering the deaths of hundreds of people in Cuban prisons during the revolution.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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