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Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)

The 25 May 1967 peasant uprising at Naxalbari in Darjeeling district of West Bengal began under the leadership of revolutionary communists belonging to the Communist Party of India - Marxist [CPI(M)]. The Naxalite movement that emerged from the revolt was headed primarily by militants disenchanted with the Communist Party/Marxist. On 22 April 1969 they formed the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist).

The revolutionary struggle for seizure of political power by the Indian proletariat faced a serious debacle in 1972. On 16 July, Charu Mazumdar, the only top leader of the Communist Party of India Marxist/Leninist (CPML) still at large, was arrested in Calcutta. The 56yearold revolutionary gained notoriety as an organizer of the infamous peasant revolt in the Naxalbari area of West Bengal in 1967. Mazumdar went on to become a founding father of the extremist CPML in 1969.

Disavowing a constitutional approach in favor of armed revolution, the CPML was the only formally organized party in the declining terrorist Naxalite movement. Mazumdar left, at most, a few hundred hardcore followers in West Bengal. Although there were a few potential leaders among the small number of capable young Naxalites still at large, it was unclear whether anyone would emerge to replace Mazumdar and his dead or jailed colleagues. Moreover, Indian security forces had become increasingly successful in controlling the activities of this group of self-styled Maoists.

The threat of Violent revolution by extreme leftists, which troubled Indian authorities a few years earlier, had almost disappeared, at least for the present. Radical fringe groups remained, however, in West Bengal and Bihar, and to a lesser extent in the Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala. Barring economic collapse or political turmoil, their efforts over the next several years was limited to debates over strategy, interspersed with occasional attacks on "class enemies" and rival leftwing groups.

By 1978 meaningful attempts were initiated to revive the revolutionary struggles and also the party by the CPI (ML), as tactical understanding became more realistic in accordance with the Indianisation of Marxism-Leninism and Mao Tse Tung thought.

In India today there are many Maoist parties and organizations that either predate the CPI-ML or emerged from factions when the CPI-ML split after the death of Charu Majumdar. Three of them, the CPI-ML (People's War), CPI-ML (Party Unity), and the Maoist Communist Center (MCC), are engaged in armed struggle.




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