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Adherent of Charu Mazumdar who failed to confront policy of annihilation of class enemy

By Harsh Thakor 

Communist Revolutionary leader Chandi Sarkar expired at 76 years old at his home in Krishnanagar of Nadia on, 5th April, at 11 pm. He has carved a permanent niche amongst the great Communist Revolutionary leaders of India. Till his last breath he blazed the spirit of revolution. Few leaders in West Bengal, more ressurected spirit of Naxalbari. Only with characters like Sarkar, can the Indian revolution ever advance. With unflinching resilience he defended Mao Tse Tung Thought and concept of peoples War.
Chandi Sarkar was born on 15 August 1947 in a landlord family of Maharajpur village of Chandra Police Station of Nadia district. His father’s name was Ashok Sarkar. He was an accomplished sportsman since childhood, being given a trainee job as a for hockey player.
He dipped his first feet in politics with friends of same age in the intense food movement of the 1960’s. Later he joined the CPI (ML) with Naxalbari Farmers Movement, stirring his very soul. He even engaged in the task as a party courier for the first few days, he left the job within a few days and appointed as an all time employee.
At that time, Krishnanagar city was an operating of Naxalite revolutionaries. The military had to be deployed at that time to crush the rebellion of Krishnanagar. Resistance against the military was garnered through the bravest youths like Comrade Chandi Sarkar. In an accidental bombing in 1971 he became victim of an injury. Some companions fell martyrs.. Police arrested Chandi Sarkar He went on to face police torture and seven years imprisonment in lockup.

Evolution in CPI (ML) Party Unity

After Karamukti, in 1977, when Marxist-Leninist camp was disintegrated, right- opportunism and left-adeventursim raising their heads in the question of party lines, Comrade Chandi government joined CPIML (Party Unity) to construct a farmer's struggle association in a vast region of Nadia Murshidabad. Chandni Sarkar was an important architect in self –critically assessing earlier errors, and formulating a coherent mass line, with agrarian revolutionary movement.
Chandi Sarkar was one of the strongest adherents of Charu Mazumdar’s line of agrarian Struggle, but was amongst the pioneer’s of the self –criticism of the party in terms of building up mass movements and mass organisations. Chandni Sarkar laid stress on building partial struggles, to pave path for political struggles.
Chandni Sarkar also as party leader in the 1980’s played a constructive role in the unfolding of the peasant and agricultural workers movement in Jehanabad.He was one of the architects in preserving it’s balance in remaining mass based and not a front of armed squads or any ruling class party.
The manner the CPI (ML) Party Unity flourished after growing into a cohesive force in the 1980’s and early 90’s owes a lot to Chandni Sarkar. In 2013 Chandni Sarkar gave one of the most illustrative or lucid interviews of the movement and history.He recollected the mass character of the Jehanabad and Palamau movement led by the Mazdoor Kiasn Sangrami Samiti and the circumstances of the killing of leader Krishna Singh.Chandi Sarkar gave invaluable information to Amit Bhattacharya in his book ‘Storming the Greats of Heaven.’

Leader of Kriskak Sangram Samiti

The Krishak Sangram Samiti undertook capturing land for the tiller, capture of vested land, forcible occupation of benami land, struggle for wage hike, opposing corruption on panchayats ,organising bagaradar movement, opposing social repression, challenging money lenders and real goons. theives and dacoits and raise demand for escalating price of Jute.Channi Sarkar played role of a major architect in these struggles.
He played the role of a guide to the Sangrami Farmer Mancha. His knitting the structure and powerful acceptance in the vast areas of Nadia-Murshidabad was unquestionable. In Nadia, under leadership of Chandni Sarkar, the KSS confronted attacks by oppressive jotedars and activists representing the CPM or Congress Selected annihilations were conducted integrating or supplementing the mass resistance struggles. The struggle spread like wildfire, engulfing Naoda,Hariharpara, Domkal ,Rejinagarr and Malda.
Under his leadership and courageous guidance, land seizures and wage hike movements were undertaken in numerous villages on the banks of Jalangi river, land occupied, wage hike movement in Chara, Shantipur, Kotwali, Bhimpur, Nakashipara, Tehatt, Karimpur and Murshidabad districts's Naoda, Rejinagar, Domkal police station area. Farmers waged armed resistance against local robbers, reactive leaders and rural curse. Chandni Sarkar with high resilience defended spirit of revolutionary mass line, listening and addressing people’s problems with meticulous patience.
A sizable mass movement was formed in the Kalinga river demanding the rights of fishermen. Gradually, the farmers' association was crystallising and engulfing every village in this vast flat area. Facing situation, the state unleashed merciless terror in this area. Many members of the local leadership of the farmer movement got arrested.

Workers Front

Channdi Sarkar also gave a boost to work on the workers front. Work was undertaken among electricity workers, jute mill hands, engineering department, motor mechanics, hospital staff, jute mill hands, canteen workers and electronic workers.3 branch committees were formed in Dalhousie and another in Haldia.Forum of workers confronted ant-worker policies of the govt., and organised demonstrations against the imperialist lot of the country. Condemnation was also made in no unstated terms of the attacks on workers by owners of factories, and solidarity endorsed to revolutionary peasant movements. Significant that these workers forums did not belong to the party, and enlisted members, with divergent views. incoherent with the party. Still some were attracted by the party and went on to join it.
Sarkar promoted work among the youth in 1981, raising youth issues in conjunction with solidarity movement with oppressed peasants, workers, closure of factories, state repression, and corruption in municipalities. Movements were organised for opening of factories, Imperialist plunder evicting of Hawkers and Communal forces.

Leader of CPI (Maoist)

Chandni Sarkar was amongst the stoutest defenders in the formation of the CPI (Maoist) in 2004 and the C.P.I.(M.L) Peoples War in 1998.Braving the most tortuous paths o steepest hurdles Sarkar would shimmer the flame of revolution. Few leaders tackled adversity with such daunting courage or with more determination combated revisionism or rightist trends. I strongly admire the tenacity with which waved the banner of the C.P.I. (Maoist) and illustrated why it was the most positive torch-bearer of the Communist Revolutionary line in India. To the last tooth he defended the cutting edge of the Communist party and armed movements. Admirable the prowess he displayed in overcoming revisionist or right deviationist currents, the resilience with which he defended the Maoist Movement in Bastar.and the courage with which he raise his voice against Saffron fascism.
Chandi Sarkar was arrested again in 2005 on grounds of being a member of the state committee of CPI (Maoist) from Kathgara village of Chandra police station. He plunged into the Revolutionary Farmer's movement in 2013 after being released from jail. Twice, even after 15 prolonged years of captivity in prison walls, he led many movements in prison for rights.
In recent times in spite of adverse health, he boldly steered forces in anti-repression attacks on issues of Operation Green hunt and Hindu Communal fascism. I can’t forget his impactful presence in rallies at College street against demolition of Advivasis and Maoists in Chattisgarh. The procession that took place in the area with his dead body had vibrations of thunder. He carved a permanent niche in the history of Naxalbari stream politics in this region.

Errors

Chandni Sarkar was unable to confront the policy of ‘Individual annihilation of class enemies’, which later had bearing in the setback to the Lalgarh movement. He was also unable to crystallise a proper mass line, with regard to mass movements or properly combat tendency of converting mass organisations into Maoist party fronts. or strive for a correct military line Sarkar could hardly check the left sectarian trend or defective armed squad actions replacing mass line with military line Sarkar was unable to completely extricate himself from the left sectarian trend. At the end of his life he was unable to steer the scattered or fragmented communist revolutionary forces on a common ground. Today mass movements are at their lowest ebb in West Bengal, with Communist forces splintered, and with things appearing doomed for major revival to bring revolutionary movement back to the rail.
---
Harsh Thakor is a freelance journalist who has extensively researched o the Naxalbari and Communist Revolutionary movement in India. Thanks inputs from Revolutionary Students Front and Swarnava Bhattacharya

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