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'We alienated Kanu, we must be punished'

By A correspondent
March 24, 2010 00:07 IST
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Naxal leader and Kanu Sanyal's friend Ashim Chatterjee speaks about Kanu Sanyal's life and death. Chatterjee broke ranks with Charu Majumdar in 1971 after the failure to build an armed movement in the Debra-Gopiballavbur area of West Bengal and also because of the CPIM-L's opposition towards the liberation of Bangladesh. He was imprisoned during 1972-78. Chatterjee formed the Bengal-Bihar-Orissa Border Regional Committee CPIM-L as a separate faction. Chatterjee also formed the Communist Revolutionary League of India.

"Kanu (Sanyal) has no right to commit suicide. He cannot take his life. He is not a person who would do such a heinous thing. A thorough investigation needs to be done to ascertain the real cause of death.

If the probe proves that he actually committed suicide, then all his comrades, including me, are to blame.Today, we should all admit our responsibility. It is us that alienated Kanu, we treated him like an alien.

Politics at present has changed its stature, its basic tenet has attained a somewhat unrecognisable look. We, Kanu's friends and colleagues, have started believing in one maxim -- split by itself is a virtue. If Kanu decided to end his life out of extreme isolation, then I am guilty and I should be punished," Chatterjee said.

"The memories of days of struggle are still fresh in my mind. The leaders of the Naxalbari uprising broke away from CPI-Marxist in 1969 to form the Communist Party of India Marxist-Leninist. Kanu and I belonged to the CPIM-L's central committee. We worked together,shared many a hope and despair, laughed and perhaps even cried together.

We enjoyed a strong camaraderie, shared common idealism and were bound by a similar urge to usher in a new 'age' in India.We dreamt together, walked in tandem and fought our enemies hand in hand.Kanu's death is a great loss for the country as also for the cause of the people's movement in India.He was an upright person, fearless to the core -- someone who never hesitated to call spade a spade.

Though the world knows that Communist revolutionary Charu Majumdar, started the Naxalbari movement in West Bengal and Sanyal helped found the CPI-ML, many are not in the know about the differences between the two.

Kanu had the guts to mention in his work --More on Naxalbari - Naxalbari was created inspite of Charu Majumdar. He was a man with nerves of steel. Which is why I still cannot accept that he took his life.
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A correspondent in Kolkata