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. (August 2011)
Charu Majumdar (May 15, 1919 – July 28, 1972), popularly known as Comrade CM, was a communist revolutionary from India. Born in a progressive landlord family in Siliguri in 1918, he later formed the militant Naxalite cause. He also authored the historic accounts of the 1967 Naxalbari uprising and his writings have become the ideology which guides the Naxal movement.
Majumdar was born in 1919 in Matualaloi, Rajshahi (now Siliguri) to the Zamindar family. His father was a freedom fighter during the Indian independence movement. Majumdar dropped out of college in 1938.
After dropping out of college in 1937–38, Majumdar joined the then banned Communist Party of India (CPI) to work in its peasant front. Soon an arrest warrant forced him to go underground for the first time as a leftist activist. Although the CPI was banned at the outbreak of World War II, he continued CPI activities among peasants and was made a member of the CPI Jalpaiguri district committee in 1942. The promotion emboldened him to organize a 'seizure of crops' campaign in Jalpaiguri during the Great Famine of 1943, more or less successfully. In 1946, he joined the Tebhaga movement in the Jalpaiguri region and embarked on a proletariat militant struggle in North Bengal. The stir shaped his vision of a revolutionary struggle. Later he worked among tea garden workers in Darjeeling.
The CPI was banned in 1948 and he spent the next three years in jail. In January 1952 he married Lila Mazumdar Sengupta, a fellow CPI member from Jalpaiguri. The couple moved to Siliguri, which was the center of Majumdar's activities for a few years. His ailing father and unmarried sister lived there in abject poverty.
He was briefly imprisoned in 1962.
During the mid-1960s Majumdar organized a leftist faction in Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) in northern Bengal. In 1967, a militant peasant uprising took place in Naxalbari, led by his comrade-in-arms Kanu Sanyal. This group would later become known as the Naxalites, and eight articles written by him at this time—known as the Historic Eight Documents—have been seen as providing their ideological foundation: arguing that revolution must take the path of armed struggle on the pattern of the Chinese revolution. The same year, Majumdar broke away and formed the All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries which in 1969 founded the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist)—with Majumdar as its General Secretary. He was captured at his hideout on 16 July 1972 at 3 am by officer Ranjit Guha Niyogi (alias Runu Guha Niyogi) and his team. He died of a massive heart attack at 4 am on 28 July 1972 – aged 53 – in the same lock-up, the CPI (ML) records say.
The radical leftist movement in India has seen many ideological splits since Majumdar's death.