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Thursday, Sep 23, 2021
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Naxalbari: Home To The Revolution

"They thought they'd wipe out the man's philosophy by breaking his statue."

Naxalbari: Home To The Revolution
Prashant Panjiar
Naxalbari: Home To The Revolution
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

When night falls, they put a lantern on the ground between Kanu Sanyal and me. There's no electricity in Sebdella village, just off the town of Naxalbari near the West Bengal-Nepal border. The one tubewell is also almost dry. Within a few days, the people will have to start drinking from the dirty stream nearby.

This is where it happened: the peasant revolt that, in 1967, gave the world a term—Naxalite—which still evokes hope, rage, grief and fear. Sanyal was one of the key early leaders of that attempted armed revolution, perhaps next to only Charu Majumdar (CM). We are sitting in the courtyard of the late Jangal Santhal, another legendary figure of that movement. It's getting cold. Naxalbari lies on the cusp of the mountains and the plains, a place where you always know you are close to the hills but you never see any. "The Naxalbari peasants' uprising was a true armed mass struggle," says Sanyal. "But after that, the whole so-called Naxalite movement took a terroristic path, a complete deviation from what we stood for here. CM's line...

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