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Charu Majumdar (Bengali: চারু মজুমদার; 15 May 1919 – 28 July 1972), popularly known as CM, was a Communist leader from India, and founder of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist). Born into a progressive landlord family in Siliguri in 1918, he became a Communist during the Indian Independence Movement, and later formed the militant Naxalite cause. During this period, he authored the historic accounts of the 1967 Naxalbari uprising and his writings – particularly the Historic Eight Documents have become part of the ideology which guides the movement.
|General Secretary of the CPIML|
|Darjeeling district secretary of CPIM|
|West Bengal state committee member of CPI|
|Born||15 May 1919|
Siliguri, Bengal Presidency, British India
|Died||28 July 1972 (aged 53)|
Calcutta, West Bengal, India
|Political party||Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)|
|Spouse||Lila Mazumdar Sengupta|
|Alma mater||North Bengal University|
Pabna Edward College
Majumdar was born in 1919 in Matualaloi, Rajshahi (now Siliguri) to the Zamindar family. His father was a freedom fighter during the Indian independence movement. Majumdar dropped out of college in 1938.
After dropping out, Majumdar joined the then banned Communist Party of India (CPI) to work in its peasant front. Soon an arrest warrant forced him to go underground for the first time as a leftist activist. Although the CPI was banned at the outbreak of World War II, he continued CPI activities among peasants and was made a member of the CPI Jalpaiguri district committee in 1942. The promotion emboldened him to organize a 'seizure of crops' campaign in Jalpaiguri during the Great Famine of 1943, more or less successfully. In 1946, he joined the Tebhaga movement in the Jalpaiguri region and embarked on a proletariat militant struggle in North Bengal. The stir shaped his vision of a revolutionary struggle. Later he worked among tea garden workers in Darjeeling.
The CPI was banned in 1948 and he spent the next three years in jail. In January 1952 he married Lila Mazumdar Sengupta, a fellow CPI member from Jalpaiguri. The couple moved to Siliguri, which was the center of Majumdar's activities for a few years. He was briefly imprisoned in 1962.
During the mid-1960s Majumdar organized a leftist faction in Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) in northern Bengal. In 1967, a militant peasant uprising took place in Naxalbari, led by his comrade-in-arms Kanu Sanyal. This group would later be known as the Naxalites, and eight articles written by him at this time—known as the Historic Eight Documents—have been seen as providing their ideological foundation: arguing that revolution must take the path of armed struggle on the pattern of the Chinese revolution. The same year, Majumdar broke away and formed the All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries which in 1969 founded the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist)—with Majumdar as its General Secretary.
He was captured in a state of bad health at his hideout on 16 July 1972 at 3 am by an officer of Calcutta Police, Ranjit Guha Niyogi (alias Runu Guha Niyogi) and his team. As per the police, Majumdar died of a massive heart attack at 4 am on 28 July 1972. But all the fractions of Naxalaites opine that it was a custodial murder and he was killed by not providing medicine in the police lock up. His body was cremated at Keoratola crematorium under surveillance of armed police and paramilitary forces.
The radical leftist movement in India has seen many ideological splits since Majumdar's death. The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation observes Martyrs day in the day of Majumdar's death. The Communist Party of India (Maoist) observes Martyrs Week in the last week of July in remembrance of Majumdar's death, where members revisit his ideology and memorialise his influence on their movement.
Books on Charu Majumdar's lifeEdit
- Roy, Arundhati (29 March 2010). "Walking With The Comrades". Outlook India. Archived from the original on 25 February 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
- "Charu Majumdar – The Father of Naxalism". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012.
- "नक्सल आंदोलन इन्होंने शुरू किया, आज उनके नाम पर आतंकवादी घूमते हैं". thelallantop.
- "Naxalbari@50: Maoist uprising was sparked by this tribal woman leader". hindustantimes. 23 May 2017.
- Banerjee, Rabi (3 July 2016). "The man India loves to forget". theweek.in. Archived from the original on 29 June 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
- "The last of the three - Indian Express". archive.indianexpress.com. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
- "The last of the three". The Indian Express. 25 March 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
- "Charu Majumdar -- The Father of Naxalism". Hindustan Times. 9 May 2003. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
- "Charu and Son: Revisiting the Legacy of a Revolutionary Father 50 Years After Naxalbari". The Wire. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
- Kujur, Rajat (2009). "Naxal conflict in 2008: an assessment" (PDF). Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies.
- Bhattacharjee, Sumit (31 July 2020). "Is Charu Majumdar's ideology relevant today?". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 18 October 2021.