Maoists are commonly known as Naxalites. Actually these are the people who inspired by the naxalbari movement. Naxalbari is the name of a village in northern part of the state of West Bengal. Naxalbari became famous for being the site of a left-wing poor peasants uprising in 1967, which began with the “land to tiller” slogan, an uprising continuously ongoing to this day. The “Naxalbari” incident was triggered on 25 May 1967 at Bengali Jute village in Naxalbari when the police opened fire on a group of villagers who were demanding their right to the crops at a particular piece of land. The firing killed 11 persons including 2 children. Since then a movement started from this village Naxalbari and the people belonging to this movement known as Naxalites. Initially there was one group associated with this movement.
In view of the fact that West Bengal is strong base of Communism, in 1967 after the Communist Party India (Marxist) won a good number of seats in the Assembly elections and decided to participate in the Government. A section of leaders particularly from West Bengal, Orissa, A.P. and Kerala opposed the idea. The same year Charo Majumdar and KanoSanyal broke away and formed the All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries (AICCCR.) and started the struggle against ruling Communist Party. The Communist Party India (Marxist) Government did not last long. A period of uncertainty began. The radicals, meanwhile, broke away from the party. Naxalite became a new word in political dictionary of India. Similar movements began in Orissa, A.P. and Kerala. Char Moajamdar, Kanu Sanyal and Jangal Santhal were the cult figures from Bengal. Most leaders went underground. Some were captured and jailed.
The Communist Party India (Marxist) and its allies swept the polls in 1969. It freed the arrested leaders. But the ashes were far from being doused the emotions were high. If anything, they burned more fierily. On May Day, 1969, Kanu Sanyal announced the birth of a new party, the CPI (Marxist-Leninist), at a huge rally in Calcutta with Majumdar as its secretary. Presidency College was the hub of student activism, the “jhola” being a trademark. Beards a lal Che Guevera had arrived. It was very common to see policemen giving hot chase to young people around College Street. Many were killed.
It was frequent to hear of someone’s father, brother or son having been whisked away by the police for “questioning”. The early 1970s were the most turbulent period in “armed revolution”. “People’s Courts” gave summary judgments. Landlords, masters of all fled from remote villages to safe towns. Pockets of “liberated areas” sprung up. This was also the period when the State used its heavy hand the heaviest way. State started the tactics of all inhuman methods to suppress revolutionaries “Encounters” became the order of the day in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. Police killed hundreds of people in the name of “Encounter”. In the year 1981, there was barely a current on the Naxalite front. The group had split into several factions. Most top leaders had been arrested, some were still underground and many were “encountered”.
One of the top leaders of naxalite movement Mr. Nagabhushan Patnaik, who led the Srika Kulam arm struggle in Andhra Pradesh and had spent 12 years in prison (including three on death-row) once, said “It is true that Marxism-Leninism brooks no individual terrorism. We are not worshipers of violence, but we do not mince words. We do not skulk away from our responsibility of launching revolutionary violence to meet counter-violence.” I have no fear. We have only class enemies and no individual enemies. Class enemies as such would never dare to come upon us, because we have the vast support of the masses.
Since With the established system of socio-economic inequity, political corruption, mounting corruption and rising prices, the common people have natural attraction towards this movement.