Lal Salam

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For a Malayalam film with the same name, see Lal Salam (1990 film).

Lal Salam (Urdu: لال سلام‎, Hindi: लाल सलाम, Bengali: লাল সলাম, meaning 'Red Salute') is a salute, greeting or code word used by communists in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, which is used when both hello and goodbye would be used in English. In Hindi and Urdu (as well as in several other South Asian languages) Lal means red, the color of communism, and Salam is an Arabic/Persian loanword in use in India and Pakistan. In Arabic it literally means 'Peace', but this usage is in line with the Persian usage, with the meaning 'Salute'.

This greeting is common among all communist parties in India, such as CPIM and CPI. Naxalites often use this phrase, e.g. on recruitment posters.[1]

In Pakistan, the equivalent phrase "Surkh Salam" (Urdu: سرخ سلام‎) is used interchangeably.

The tribute arranged by comrades after the death of a Naxalite is also called the "Lal Salam".[2]

A Malayalam feature film called Lal Salam deals with the growth and deterioration of the Communist government in Kerala, South India.


  1. ^ New naxalite outfit active in Chhattisgarh, One India, June 12, 2008
  2. ^ Anti-naxal operations streamlined, The Hindu, Nov 22, 2004