Jit Pumisak
         Music by Caravan


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   เขาตายในชายป่า
   เลือดแดงทาดินเข็ญ
   ยากเย็นข้นแค้นอับจน
   และแล้ววันพราก
   เขาลงมาจากยอดเขา
  ใต้เงามหานกอินทรี
   ล้อมยิงโดยกระหยิ่ม
   อิ่มในเหยื่อตัวนี้
   โชคดีสี่ขั้นพันดาว

   เหมือนดาวร่วงหล่น
   ความเป็นคนร่วงหาย
   ก่อนตายจะหมายสิ่งใด
   แสนคนจนยาก
   สิบคนหากรวยหลาย
   อับอายแก่หล้าฟ้าดิน
   เขาจึงต่อสู้
   อยู่ข้างคนทุกข์เข็ญ
   ได้เห็นได้เขียนพูดจา
   คุกขังเขาได้
   แต่หัวใจปรารถนา
   เกิดมาเข่นฆ่าอธรรม
   แล้วอำนาจเถื่อน
   มาบิดเบือนบังหน
   กี่คนย่อยยับอัปรา
   สองพันห้าร้อยแปด
   เมฆดำปกคลุมฟ้า
   ด้วยฤทธามหาอินทรี
   ร้างเมืองเหมือนไร้บ้าน
   ออกทำการป่าเขา
   เสี่ยงเอาชีวีมลาย
   พฤษภาห้าร้อยเก้า
   แดดลบเงาจางหาย
   เขาตายอยู่ข้างทางเกวียน
   ศพคนนี้นี่หรือคือ จิตร ภูมิศักดิ์
   ตายคาหลักเขตป่ากับนาคร
   เขาตายในชายป่า
   เลือดทาดินอิสาน
   อีกนาน อีกนาน อีกนาน
   เขาตายเหมือนไร้ค่า
   แต่ต่อมาก้องนาม
   ผู้คนไถ่ถามอยากเรียน
   ชื่อ จิตร ภูมิศักดิ์
   เป็นนักคิดนักเขียน
   ดั่งเทียนถ่องแท้แก่คน
He fell at the edge of the forest
His blood soaked the troubled land
A land impoverished and bleak.
(repeat)

On the day he came
Down from the mountains,
Under the giant eagle's shadow.
His killers were gleeful.
His death brought good fortune:
Promotion, four stars and many stripes.

As a shooting star falls,
So fell his life.
But how long can we expect to live?
Ten rich men
For each hundred thousand poor,
A shame between heaven and earth.
But his lot was cast
On the side of the poor,
Speaking out all he had seen.
Prison may hold his body,
But never his hopes,
Determined to struggle for justice

His path blocked and twisted
By traitorous rulers,
So many like him were destroyed.
In the year of 1965*
Dark clouds blocked the sky
With the spell of the giant eagle

He left home and village
For guerrilla life in the jungle,

A life of unending risks.
In May of 1966
Sun and shadow fled.
On a oxcart path he died.

This body, this body is Jit Pumisak
He died where town and jungle meet.
He died at the edge of the forest,
His red blood soaking into
The northeastern soil.
Its red color will last on and on.

He did not die in vain;
His name steadily grows.
The people still learn from his thoughts.
Jit Pumisak, thinker and writer,
Has become a candle
Giving light to humanity.

* 1965 = year Thai government declared it would "wipe out the communists within three years."

     Jit Pumisak is considered by many to be Thailand's most distinguished leftist intellectual. Born in the coastal province of Prachinburi in Eastern Thailand in 1930, he was raised by his mother, attending primary school in Kanchanaburi province and secondary school in Pradabong (now part of Cambodia). His higher education was in Bangkok from 1950 to 1957 at Chulalongkorn University. He was an avid scholar, studying literature, art, linguistics, English, French, and economics. In the area of language he was influenced by Dr. William J. Gedney, an American linguist teaching at Chulalongkorn in 1955. In literature he was influenced by "Nay Pii," (the pen name of Astanii Ponjan), a lawyer and writer who was the one of the first members of the Communist Party of Thailand. In economics he was influenced by Supaa Simanon, who translated Marx's Capital into Thai.
     Jit was the first person to do a serious analysis of Thai history using a Marxist framework. His book,
The Face of Thailand Feudalism, is a formidable work of critical scholarship. He wrote a long work on the origins of the Thai language, another on the role of women in Thai society, and a book entitled Art of Life, mostly on Western art. For a period of time he was a teacher at Petchburi Teachers College in Bangkok.
     In the aftermath of the September, 1957 coup of Sarit Thanarat, Jit was arrested in 1958 for his political writing in a student publication. He was able to do some writing during his stay in prison, until his release in 1965. On release, he joined the armed struggle in the Northeast and was killed the following year by government troops.
     When the ban was lifted from Jit's writings after October 1973, his works were widely read and he became a hero of the student movement. His picture was widely seen on posters and even printed on school notebooks, the face very thin, a cigarette dangling from his lips.

      For addtional reading about Jit Pumisak and the decade of the 70's in Thailand, two excellent works are:

yelround.gif (1008 bytes)IN THE MIRROR  by Benedict. R. O'G. Anderson and Ruchira Mendiones. Bangkok: Duang Kamol. 1985.

yelround.gif (1008 bytes)THAI RADICAL DISCOURSE: THE REAL FACE OF THAI FEUDALISM TODAY
by Craig Reynolds. Ithaca, N.Y.: Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University. 1987.

There is also available a documentary video entitled "14 October" produced and distributed by Thammasat University Archives. It can be borrowed from Northern Illinois University.

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