July 28, 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the martyrdom of Comrade Charu Majumdar, one of the leaders of the liberation struggle of the exploited and oppressed people of India, one of the prominent leaders of historic Naxalbari upsurge and one of the chief founders of the revolutionary party CPI(M-L) and its first general secretary. It is well known that during Congress rule when Siddhartha Shankar Roy was Chief Minister of West Bengal Com. Charu Majumdar (CM) was picked up by police from a shelter at Kolkata on 16th July 1972 and after few days was found dead at Lalbazar police lock up of Kolkata on 28th July 1972. It is nothing but a planned cold blooded murder in police custody, for which there was no impartial enquiry or any trial to this day. It is a shame for the so called Indian democracy.
Charu Majumdar was born in a progressive landlord family of Rajshahi District (now in Bangladesh) in the year 1919. His grandfather along with his family later shifted to Siliguri town of present Darjeeling district of West Bengal.
During his student days in British India CM became active in progressive student movement and joined Anushilan group led All Bengal Student Association (ABSA). During freedom movement he dropped out of college in 1938. After that he joined Communist Party of India (CPI) and started work primarily among peasantry. He became a whole timer and got party membership in 1942 and worked under Jalpaiguri District Committee of CPI. During famine of 1943 he organized people in some areas in ‘crop seizure ‘ movement. In 1946 he joined the ‘Tebhaga movement’ in Jalpaiguri region and led many peasant movements with the demand of Tebhaga (2/3 rd share of produced crop for sharecroppers and 1/3 rd for landowner). Along with organizational work among peasantry Com. CM started work among tea garden workers in Darjeeling district. After start of Great Telengana Armed Struggle, Communist Party of India (CPI) was banned in 1948. Com. CM was imprisoned and was in jail for three years. Coming out from jail he again started political activity and party work under CPI. In January 1953 he married a party comrade of Jalpaiguri District Com. Lila Majumdar and both of them shifted to Siliguri Town and started party work with Siliguri as centre. Com. CM became associated with the peasant movement in Terai region including Naxalbari. CM was dissatisfied with the reformist politics of CPI. During 1962 India-China war he opposed war and went to jail. In 1964 when CPI (M) was formed breaking away from revisionist CPI he sided with CPI (M). But soon he became dissatisfied with neo revisionist politics of CPI (M) leadership and started struggle against that politics, started struggle for establishing a revolutionary political line in Indian communist movement and for formation of a revolutionary party. And that was the most important part of his life from the perspective of Indian revolution and biggest contribution by him in Indian communist movement. Combined with struggle against revisionism by other comrades the ideological political struggle by Com. CM helped in organizing the historical Naxalbari upsurge of 1967. Naxalbari upsurge was not only an upsurge against landlords; confiscated their lands and property and distributed it among the peasantry particularly among landless and poor peasants, smashed the authority of the landlords in the countryside and established the authority of the peasant association, carried out agrarian revolution but it also shook the semi colonial semi feudal set up of the country thus targeting feudalism as well as imperialism. In the political sphere Naxalbari upsurge drew a line of demarcation between revisionism and Marxism in practice. The neo-revisionist CPI (M) leadership and revisionist CPI leadership stood with landlords against peasantry by siding with ruling United Front Government who sent police forces that tortured and fired upon struggling peasantry to suppress the upsurge. Naxalbari struggle put forward a line of agrarian revolution against the line of parliamentary cretinism, a line of social revolution against the line of social reform. The credit that goes to CM is that he not only played a leading role in placing the line of agrarian revolution and strongly fought against the parliamentarism of neo revisionist CPI (M) before the upsurge but also that during the upsurge while some of the important leaders of the movement were vacillating towards compromise with United Front Government Com. CM stood strongly against any compromise with government or revisionists. This stand of Com. CM helped in drawing demarcation with revisionism and establishing a new line, Naxalbari line that paved the way for setting up a new revolutionary party and starting a new revolutionary practice on the basis of Marxism- Leninism- Mao Zedong thought. Thus Com. CM played historical role in anti neo revisionist struggle. It is a fact that revolutionaries under his leadership committed serious mistakes of left deviation, left adventurism, anarchist, individual annihilation line in politics and sectarianism and close-doorism in organization particularly during latter phase of coordination period and after the formation of CPI(ML), due to which party and revolutionary movement faced great losses. It is also a fact that though many other leading comrades also bear the responsibility for the development of this ‘left ‘ deviation inside the organization and movement but Com. CM had bigger responsibility for those mistakes as he was the main leader and general secretary of the party. But despite these shortcomings the contribution of CM outweighs his mistakes and limitations. So people remember him even today. Ruling classes physically removed Com. CM but revolution for which he lived and died continues to resonate.
Today, when the country and people are being constantly crushed by exploitation and rule of imperialism feudalism and comprador bureaucratic capitalism, when the RSS-BJP leadership is suppressing the people under the Prime Ministership of Narendra Modi, when the country is rapidly moving towards the establishment of fascist state, when minorities specially Muslims are being physically attacked especially in states ruled by them, when the government has started all out attack on the people to hand over land, industry, mineral wealth and other resources to the corporate, the need for a strong revolutionary movement is being felt.
On the 50th anniversary of the martyrdom of Com. Charu Majumdar, let us pay homage to and honour this communist revolutionary leader – highlight the tradition of Naxalbari and armed revolution.
Long Live Com. Charu Majumdar!
Long Live Marxism-Leninism- Mao Zedong Thought!
Long live Indian Revolution!
CPI (ML)-New Democracy
July 28, 2022