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Naxalbari uprising was an armed peasant revolt in 1967 in Naxalbari block of Siliguri subdivision in Darjeeling district, West Bengal, India. It was mainly led by local tribals and the radical communist leaders of Bengal and further developed into Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist) in 1969. The event became an inspiration to the naxalite movement which rapidly spread from West Bengal to other states of India creating division within the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) party.
The uprising occurred in such a situation that a great turmoil was going on with in the communist organisations of the world and also the Indian nation following the Sino-Soviet split. The leader and idiologue of the uprising Charu Majumdar presumed that the time was ripe for launching an armed protracted people's war in India following the Chinese Revolution (1949), Vietnam War and Cuban Revolution. Charu majumdar wrote the Historic Eight Documents which became the foundation of the naxalite movement in 1967.
The communists in 1965-66 already had gained grounds in the Naxalbari region. The so-called "siliguri group" launched the uprising by giving the call for initiation of armed struggle. Many peasant cells were created throughout the region. On March 3, 1967, some peasants seized a plot of land in the region and started harvesting crops. By 18 March the peasants started seizing land from jotedars (landlords) landowners who owned large plots of land in the region were called jotedars). Peasant committees were set up throughout the region within four months. The first clash occurred between the peasants and landlords when a share-cropper Bigul Kisan was beaten up by landlord gentries. Following this violent clashes occurred when the peasant committees seized land, foodgrains and arms from the landlord gentries. The government started mobilizing police officers.The inspector of Jharugaon village was killed by peasant committee members. In retaliation the police open fired killing nine women and one child on 25 May 1967. By June the peasant committees gained hold in the regions around Naxalbari, Kharibari and Phansidewa seizing lands, ammunition and food grains from the jotedars. The tea garden works around Darjeeling region participated in strikes supprting the peasant committees. The upheaval sustained till July 19 when the paramilitary forces were sent by the government. Leaders like Jangal Santhal were arrested. Some of them like Charu Majumdar went underground. And others like Tribheni Kanu, Sobham, Ali Gorkha Majhi, and Tilka Majhi were killed.
The uprising got moral support from the communists of Nepal and China simultaneously deteriorating the relation of the later with the Communist Party of India (Marxist). The CPI(M) expelled many of its members who supported the uprising. Charu Majumdar, Souren Bose, Mahadeb Mukherjee and Dilip Bagchi were expelled on the same day. Expelled communists later on organised themselves into one organisation (AICCCR) further developing into the CPI(ML). CPI(ML) remained the centre of the naxalite movement till 1975. A large number of enthusiastic youth joined the movement. Although the uprising was suppressed but it remained a landmark of the India polity which further lead to several other similar kind of movements in parts of Bihar (see Lal Sena) and the Naxalite–Maoist insurgency.