The peasant leader and veteran politician who was equally popular among friends and foes for his witty, candid and no-holds-barred remarks Comrade Mir Mohammed Talpur is no more. He died in Tando Jam on Tuesday. He was 88.

The late Talpur who led a very simple and rustic life was a great orator. He embarked on his political career by joining the Khaksar Tehreek in pre-partition days and became a leader of the Sindh Hari Committee after independence. He later joined the PPP.

He was a founder member of the PPP and Sindh Hari Committee. Very outspoken, straightforward and often blunt in political speeches and writings, Talpur was a courageous person who had the guts to speak the truth to the face of any man regardless of his political or social status.

Once at a party convention when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto claimed during a speech that the PPP is a party of peasants and workers and there is no place in it for feudal lords. Comrade Talpur stood up and said: “Are Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi and Makhdoom Talibul Maula landless peasants! This is the height of stupidity.”

Talpur was liked by friends and foes alike for his candid, frank and no-holds-barred remarks which often landed him in trouble. He angered PPP workers when he made scathingly blunt remarks against PPP leaders at a public meeting of Sindh Hari Committee at Chambbar.

For months the party activists had been boiling with rage and preparing to give him a befitting answer but they were dissuaded from any action by senior leaders.

Recently, at a book launch ceremony of Comrade Rochiram, Talpur was forced to stop his speech halfway when he launched into scathing criticism and very rough language.

Talpur was an avid reader who also contributed over a dozen articles to different newspapers.

A man with keen observation and sharp wit, Talpur wrote four books “Kara Munh Achha Munh” (white faces and black faces), memoirs, “Kaneen Budho Ankheen Ditho” (whatever heard and seen) and “Puchhano” (accountability). His books are full of political jokes and funny side to history of his times.

He resigned from the PPP over Zulfikar Ali Bhutto government’s decision to launch a military operation in Balochistan.

Talpur has the honour to work with peasant leader Haider Bux Jatoi, G.M. Syed and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He was on friendly terms with Abdul Hameed Bhashani, Khan Ghaffar Khan and Faiz Ahmed Faiz as well as leaders of pre-partition Indian National Congress and Communist Party of India.

He had constructed a monument in memory of youth killed at Thorhi Phatak during Gen Zia’s military government and fixed epitaphs on the graves of some historical personalities of Sindh.

Sindh will dearly miss a man who was not only an eyewitness to many important historical events but was also an active participant in these events spanned over half a century. He will always be remembered for his natural wit, political acumen, straightforwardness and courage to speak the truth in all circumstances.

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