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12 March 1916|
Siliguri, Bengal Presidency, British India
|Died||28 July 1972
Calcutta, West Bengal, India
|Alma mater||University of North Bengal
|Political party||Communist Party of India
Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)
|Spouse(s)||Lila Mazumdar Sengupta|
Charu Majumdar (Bengali: চারু মজুমদার; 1916–1972) was a communist revolutionary from India. Charu Majumdar's life is a story of "riches to rags". Born in a progressive landlord family in Siliguri in 1916, he later joined the militant Naxalite cause. He also authored the historic accounts of the 1968 Naxalbari uprising and his writings have become the ideology which guides red revolutionaries even today.
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He was born in 1916 in Siliguri. His father was a freedom fighter. Majumdar dropped out of college in 1938. In 1946, he joined the Tebhaga movement in Jalpaiguri region. He was briefly imprisoned in 1962.
Dropping out of college in 1937-38 he joined the Indian National Congress and tried to organise bidi workers. He later crossed over to the 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 Left 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 organise a 'seizure of crops' campaign in Jalpaiguri during the Great Famine of 1943, more or less successfully. In 1946, he joined the Tebhaga movement 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 1954 he married Lila Mazumdar Sengupta, a fellow CPI member from Jalpaiguri. The couple moved to Siliguri, which was the centre of Majumdar's activities for a few years. His ailing father and unmarried sister lived there in abject poverty .
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 become 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 from his hide-out on 16 July 1972. He died of a massive heart attack at 4 am on 28 July 1972, aged 56 in the same lock-up, the CPI (ML) records say.
"Even the dead body was not given to his family. Police, accompanied with immediate family members carried the body to crematorium. The whole area was cordoned off and no other relatives were allowed in as his body was consigned to flames," CPI (ML) records say . Though the radical Leftist movement has seen many ideological splits since late 70s, naxalism continues to inspire a number of Leftist groups across the country.
- Naxalite-Maoist insurgency
- Anuradha Ghandy
- Cherukuri Rajkumar
- Kobad Ghandy
- Kondapalli Seetharamaiah
- Mallojula Koteswara Rao
- Muppala Lakshmana Rao
- Narmada Akka
- Prashant Bose
- Varavara Rao
- Sabyasachi Panda