Charu Majumdar Recalled

Birth Centenary of Charu Majumdar


Considering 'boycott of election' as a strategic slogan, 'Guerrilla warfare' as the only means of struggle, 'that a revolutionary situation existed in every nook and corner of India' etc. such slogans reflected doctrinarism and Marxism.

Authoritarianism, bureaucratism or egoism was prevalent and mass line was violated. However it was CM's very efforts that sowed the seeds of the demarcation of revisionism and the upholding of Mao Tse Tung thought in India. Quoting 1983 Liberation organ of CTCPI (ML) "Proper evaluation of Comrade CM has not yet been done on the basis of dialectics of historical materialism, which requires a thorough study of his writings and deeds. It requires time for such research of his writings and deeds. Thus it is not proper to make any irresponsible comment on CM, even if a rectification of his errors is necessary, CM's main line of thinking was not isolated but evolved through the process and development of 2-line struggle inside the CPI and CPM, who were concurrent with the 2 line struggle in the international arena .particularly the great debate. Comrade CM tirelessly fought against class collabora-tionist line of the revisionists and waged bitter fight not only in theoretical field but practical field.

Quoting journal A World to Win in 1999 "Much has been said about the so-called "sectarianism" and "adventurism" of Charu Majumdar which supposedly "isolated" the party from the masses and caused setbacks. Yes, elements of one-sidedness, spontaneity and subjectivism which run counter to Charu Majumdars overall Marxist-Leninist-Maoist stand, viewpoint and method are evident in his works. But what strikes one most forcefully while reading them now is the resolute clarity in his criticism of revisionism, a keen grasp of the key question of seizing power, deep faith in the masses and robust revolutionary optimism. Far from isolation, his leadership deeply entrenched the party among the masses and created a-vast reservoir of support which is still being tapped by genuine revolutionaries. His name continues to haunt the ruling classes and inspires revolutionaries".

Quoting one of the founding members of CPI (ML) Party Unity, Bhabani Roy Choudhary "It was wrong to quote any international communiqué like 'China's chairman is our chairman'. In Presidency jail or Bhabani Roy's view Charu Majumdar made a self criticism of that statement, claiming he was going to withdraw it. Bhabani Babu even stated that basically Charu Majumder was correct in propagating line of agrarian armed struggle.

Suniti Kumar Ghosh was critical of CM for his long silence regarding CPCs criticism of the CPI (ML) agenda. In his view although the criticisms were known to Charu Majumdar for a long time he did not act upon it. Charu got avail of the CPC criticisms by 1970 party Congress. Another criticism was that Charu was changing his party line gradually so that the line changed remained in conformity with the line of that of the CPC. Essays quoted were 'On Party's work in the rural areas: a note, 'March forward by Building up people's Liberation Army', However it was not done on basis of sufficient self criticism and summing up experiences of past struggles. Suniti Ghosh felt it was unfair to blame Charu Majumdar for the mistakes attributing the errors to the entire CPI (ML) Party. Gosh never openly criticized Charu Majumdar for his errors but attributed it to party leadership as a whole. He was critical of many leaders and intellectuals for solely putting the blame on Charu. Sushital Roy Choudhary was very critical of the party's line terming it 'left-adventurist' and 'neglecting class and economic straggles'."

Charu Majumdar himself admitted in his speech in the rally at Shaheed Minar on 11 November 1967, the leader of Naxalbari was not him but the local organisers including Kanu Sanyal, Jangal Santhal. Kadam Mallik and Khokan Mazumdar etc. Naxalbari was built by rejecting the proposal which was put forward by Charu Majumdar in his eight document series in which he began his agrarian revolution not through mass line, rather on "left" adventurist basis. Naxalbari peasant-uprising was in fact a proof of the success of revolutionary mass line and concrete rejection of "leftist" deviation. But it would be wrong to say that there was no role of Charu Majumdar and his eight documents in it, because there were two aspects of the 'eight documents'. Its important aspect was that it brought the clear proposal of the re-formation and re-building of an All-India Revolutionary Party in the agenda by making a decisive blow on revisionism and parliamentary dogmatism. Its negative aspect was that instead of determining the strategy and general tactics of Indian revolution through the study of Indian economic-social-political structure, it not only gave the slogan of blindly following the programme and path of Chinese revolution, but it also made the guerrilla peasant struggle as synonym of 'action' of armed secret squads by denying the importance of political education and propaganda along with economic struggle and by rejecting the importance of all kinds of mass activities and mass organisations. The leadership of Naxalbari rejected the second aspect, but the first aspect became its ideological political basis. The organisers like Kanu Sanyal etc. too had prepared themselves politically against the revisionism of the CPM leadership during their stay in prison but it was Charu Majumdar who wrote the series of documents against it, made an attempt to take it to the cadre and after coming out of prison of Kanu, etc, to provide theoretical basis for the act of rebellion against the CPM leadership in the form of the 'eight documents'. Hence, while on the one hand it is incorrect to say that Charu Majumdar was the leader and architect of the Naxalbari peasant uprising, on the other hand it must be admitted that he played a fundamentally important role in preparing its ideological basis. It can be said that Charu Majumdar played a decisive role in undertaking radical rupture from CPM politics. Had it not been for Charu Majumdar perhaps the Naxalbari struggle would remain as merely the next episode of various radical economic and democratic (or political to a limited extent) demands under the communist leadership in that area in the decade of sixties.

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Vol. 52, No. 20, Nov 17 - 23, 2019