Naxalism: Origin and History

On 6th April 2010 75 CRPF personnel and a policeman were killed by the Naxalites in the Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh. Has this always been the objective of Naxalism? Let us find it out by going through its origin and history.
The term Naxalites comes from Naxalbari, a small village in West Bengal. In April 1967, a landless farmer, who worked on the land of a powerful landlord, was ousted from his land. He then appealed to the Krishak Sabha, whose leader was Kanu Sanyal, to intervene on his behalf. Then peasants laid siege to the landlord’s land but the landlord used his political influence to ensure the police take action against the agitating peasants. This led to a series of police raids that culminated in the police-peasant standoff on May 24, in which a policeman was killed by the peasants’ arrows. The next day, the police opened fire at a Krishak Sabha meeting in Naxalbari, and 11 people were killed. The peasant uprising then spread like wildfire in the region.
Despite the heavy police clamp down, the movement had captured international attention and was being seen as a source of inspiration for peasant struggle in other parts of the country. In Nov. 1967, the All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries was formed. The top leadership was constituted by Kanu Sanyal, Charu Majumdar and Jangal Santhal.
In April 1969, police crackdown on the party became more severe and ideological differences began to crop up within the top leadership.   In Charu Majumdar’s view, the Naxalbari movement was a part of the process of overthrowing the prevalent social order and seizing state power, whom he held responsible for their plight. But Kanu Sanyal argued that the Naxalbari movement was an agrarian uprising that would finally culminate in an armed movement. He was also very critical of the activities of present day Naxalites, and denounced on more than one occasion their “wanton killing of innocent villagers”.
The Naxalite violence was at a peak...