Despite a huge setback in Bengal, CPI(Maoist) general secretary Mupalla Lakshman Rao, alias Ganapathy, has pinned a lot of hope on Kolkata’s students and intellectuals, who, he thinks, will help rebuild the Maoist movement in the country and in the state.
In a sub-section titled “Brief political report of last five years” of the 17-page letter he wrote to party leaders in and out of jail, he said, “Although the Lalgarh movement has receded temporarily, its leaders sacrificed everything to the great cause of emancipation of entire mankind …
“Likewise the role of Kolkata students and intellectual movements have also a lot of significance in the present scenario of revolutionary and democratic movement of India.”
Students and intellectuals of Kolkata played a significant role in the three years of the Lalgarh movement (November 2008-November 2011), with several doctors providing free health care services and teachers and scientists writing reports and articles in favour of the movement, building public opinion, organising rallies and press meets, and so forth.
Reacting to Ganapathy’s clarion call to Kolkata’s students, a senior intelligence officer said, “We know the Maoists are banking on Kolkata’s students and intellectuals to rebuild the movement in Jangalmahal (districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia), as well as rebuilding the party’s network in several other parts of the state.”
He added, “That’s why we’re keeping a close watch on a number of students and intellectuals.”
“We’re extremely keen on clamping down on any movement by students to serve the Maoist cause.”
Their key targets are some students associated with the United Students’ Democratic Front (USDF), which played a significant role during the Lalgarh movement. Some Jadavpur University professors are also on police radar.
Kolkata’s students and intellectuals had a large role during the Naxalite revolution (1967’72), when thousands of them responded to the call of an ultra-Left uprising by Charu Mazumdar.
The students in those times left their studies to fight the police in the city and camp in the rural areas.
Such institutions as Presidency College and Jadavpur University became the centres of ‘revolutionary activities’.