» News » 'Kanu Sanyal was unabashed in criticising the CPI-M'

'Kanu Sanyal was unabashed in criticising the CPI-M'

March 23, 2010 20:58 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

Kanu Sanyal, one of the founders of the Naxal movement in India, committed suicide at his residence at Seftullajote village in north Bengal on Tuesday.

Association For Protection of Democratic Rights member and civil rights activist Sujato Bhadro tells that in the end, the veteran Communist leader had become disillusioned by the actions of the Left-wing parties as well as the Maoists in Bengal.

To Kanu Sanyal, the world consisted of two things -- right and wrong. There was no in between. Inspired by hardcore radicalism, Sanyal was someone who would fight till his last breath.

Which is why I am startled by his suicide. Why would someone who was willing to lay down his life for others hang himself? What ailed him?

Was it his own disillusionment or his frustration at the failure of a movement that he and his friends laid down their lives for? Did his idealism receive a jolt?

I had met him on several occasions and he always came across as upright and bold, stern and righteous. Though he spearheaded a violent movement that dreamt of a new India, he never endorsed the present day violence.

Kanuda was extremely vocal about the 'unlawful' land acquisition in Singur and Nandigram and he fought tooth and nail for the peasants' cause.

In fact, the peasant activism in Singur and Nandigram breathed a new life into his revolutionary ideals. And it was his anti-land grabbing stand that alienated him from his present day comrades.

We had often had discussions about the present Maoist problem that plagues India. It appeared to me that Kanuda was saddened by mindless violence that was being practised in the name of Maoism and its counter-measures.

It is indeed ironical considering that the Maoists owed their ideology to the teachings of his trusted friend and comrade Charu Majumdar, whose motto was gram diye sohor ghero -- surround the cities with villages. Terror campaigns cannot solve problems, he would often say.

He believed that ruthless killings could never bring change. He was unabashed in criticising the Communist Party of India-Marxist as a party of the corrupt.

Therefore, when former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu had asked him to return to the party, he had said defiantly, "We have burnt our bridges in 1967, we cannot go back."

Towards the end of his life, he had lost faith both in the CPI-M and in the Communist Party of India, as he thought neither believed in total land reforms.

As told to a correspondent in Kolkata

Get Rediff News in your Inbox: