Tej Pratap Singh

The Maoist Insurgency in India

The Indian Maoist movement, popularly known as the Naxal movement, arose from the broader communist movement in India. The words Naxal/Naxalism/Naxalite owe their origin to the Naxalbari village of the Darjeeling district in the state of West Bengal, from where the peasant insurgency led by the Maoists began in 1967. The Naxal uprising was led by Charu Majumdar (chief ideologue), Kanu Sanyal (peasant leader) and Jungel Santhal (tribal leader). Chinese media described the Naxal movement as a ‘spring thunder’ which quickly spread to other parts of the country and caught the imagination of the nation. The movement nevertheless subsided after the death of Charu Majumdar and the arrests of Kanu Sanyal and Jungel Santhal in 1972. However, the movement was revived in the 1980s by the Peoples War Group (PWG) in Andhra and the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) in Bihar. The Naxalites are currently considered to be the most radical groups among the Indian communists. (Read more)