Smitu Kothari passed away on 23rd March 6 a.m IST. He died of a cardiac attack after a complicated heart surgery at AIIMS in Delhi. He was one of the founders of Lokayan (“Dialogue of the People”), and Intercultural Resources. He was well known, well regarded and respected as a scholar and activist. We in Focus on the Global South deeply mourn the passing of a dear friend and a staunch supporter. We extend our most caring thoughts and solidarity to Bindia and all of Smitu’s loved ones.  We stand by you….

Smitu may not be here in flesh and bone, but he is here with us through his family, his wide circle of friends and colleagues, and his work, which speak volumes for the type of person he was and the values he embodied in his thoughts and actions. Smitu was that rare combination of activist-intellectual who was committed to bringing about progressive social and political change through the mobilisation of peoples’ movements as well as through informed public debates and discourses.  He believed in the aspirations and abilities of subjugated and marginalised communities to claim their rightful places in national and international arenas;  at the same time, he was a fierce critic of the capitalist development model that sought to systematically suppress the creative potentialities of communities and societies.  Smitu’s writings and activism spanned some of the most crucial issues before us: popular democracy, social justice and inclusion, equality, peace building, and ecological sustainability and security.  Although he travelled and taught in many parts of the world, he never lost his commitment towards local struggles for self determination, peace and justice.

People live on in the earthly world in a variety of ways.  Smitu: you will live on with us through everything you have shown us, taught us and done for us; through all the people you have brought together in organisations, networks and coalitions; and through all the friendships you have helped to build through your warmth, caring and generosity.

>From all of us at Focus on the Global South

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