NAXALBARI: A lot of water has flown down the Mechi river since the first shots were fired in Naxalbari on this day (May 25) fifty years ago. From being the womb of extreme Left politics, the region bordering Nepal is now slowly making way for Hindutva politics, which is worrying the present-day Naxals.
Slogans such as “BJP come and see, Naxalbari is still alive” and “Unite to resist the Fascist RSS” reverberated in the 10,000-strong CPI (ML) Liberation rally from Siliguri Junction to Bagha Jatin Park that marked the 50th anniversary of Naxalbari revolution at Siliguri on Thursday. However, some 200 workers from Trinamool Congress, CPM and Congress from Naxalbari-Bagdogra-Khoribari belt are expected to join the BJP on May 29.
“The radical Left has to stand up to the Hindutva fascist agenda of the BJP-RSS combine. Hindutva politics is the biggest threat to the country and is the main agenda of 50th Naxalbari anniversary. Combating the communal forces is the biggest challenge for us,” said Prof Avijit Mazumdar, son of eminent Naxal leader Charu Mazumdar, to The New Indian Express.
The CPI (ML) Liberation Darjeeling district secretary and national committee member feels that social engineering done by BJP and RSS in Naxalbari is causing disharmony among the tribals. “Though BJP has not seen a quantum electoral rise in the region, it is trying to penetrate through various social engineering programmes such as preaching Hindutva songs and dances at Adivasi Vanavasi Ashram schools and giving monetary aid to Adivasi families during marriage in lieu of filling up membership forms at Rs 100. We are not taking the BJP threat lightly,” he said.
On the other hand, Darjeeling district BJP president Praveen Aggarwal said that they are following the party line for expansion in Naxalbari. “We are conducting booth-level man-to-man contacts for increasing our presence. We are not conducting any social engineering. We are only trying to groom the Adivasis, whom we call Vanavasis, to conserve their culture and build confidence among them. We have given them only culture, not money,” he said. BJP president Amit Shah recently visited a few houses in Naxalbari and had lunch at an Adivasi household.
Charu Mazumdar’s son Avijit says that the zamindari system against which his father had fought is still deep-rooted in India and West Bengal. “The corporate mafia is the new zamindar. Government lands which were used for research and development for indigenous agricultural research have been taken over to form ‘land banks’ of Mamata Banerjee,” he said.
Speaking on differences between the ideology of his father and present-day Maoists, the professor of English in Siliguri College said that for Maoists, gun has become more important than politics. “Guns are running the show due to which extortion is rampant,” he said.
However, the veteran Naxal leader’s son upheld his father’s ‘annihilation of class enemy’ line. “If you don’t annihilate the class enemies, they would annihilate you. To break the nexus of class enemies and the state, arming of the people is important,” Avijit Mazumdar said.