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News & Views on the Revolutionary Left

Nandigram gets Naxalbari advice

Naxalbari: It was for the control of land that Pawan Singh's mother Dhaneshwari Devi and eight other tribals were killed in police firing on May 25, 1967 in Naxalbari.

And now Pawan Singh, who was an active participant in the Naxalbari peasant uprising has a simple advice for the farmers in faraway Nandigram.

"These rallies, bands and meetings are of no use. There is only one way - take up arms and start a guerrilla movement."

In 1967, Naxalbari's peasants had taken up arms and launched the Naxalite movement which then spread to other parts of the country, though in Naxalbari itself the movement was short-lived.

With Nandigram and Singur on the boil now, veterans from '67 believe an armed Left radical struggle is still possible.

Says Co-Founder Naxalbari movement, Kanu Sanyal, "We gave the slogan 'protect land with arms in hand' and it became the Naxalite movement. In Singur and Nandigram where the peasantry is rising against the government, the situation can't remain in political vacuum."

Sanyal, a veteran of the Naxalite movement, however, has mellowed with time. He warns fellow Naxalites against mindless terror.

"They don't understand that revolution doesn't mean only destruction. It means creation also," says he.

And Naxalites like Avijit Mazumdar of CPI (ML- Liberation), son of Naxalbari's biggest ideologue, Charu Mazumdar, want the movement to adapt itself to 21st century requirements.

"It is quite a fact that history doesn't replicate itself in quite a same manner, but so far ideology is concerned, yes it does," says he.

And indeed, Naxalbari has lost some of its significance as the place that lent both strength and voice to the repressed and the marginalised, but in times of repression as in Nandigram, it suddenly becomes the reference point - a name that forever inspires the extreme Left all over India.

The Naxalbari movement an inseparable part of an ideology that has inspired generations of revolutionary thought whenever there has been a social uprising like the one that happened here 40 years ago. IBN

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posted by Resistance 3/21/2007 09:05:00 AM,


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