People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 13

March 28, 2010


                        Bengal CPI(M)   on Kanu Sanyal


WHEN the news that Kanu Sanyal, who had been one of the organisers of the Naxalbari movement in the mid-1960s, had died after choosing to take his own life, Biman Basu reacted to the news and spoke to PD, at length. Sanyal was 78 years old.

Biman Basu recalled that Sanyal had started his life in the Communist Party before independence and that he maintained direct relations with the common people, especially with the kisans. In the post-1947 years and decades, Sanyal worked tirelessly for the masses.

Subsequently, in 1967, Sanyal switched to Left sectarian politics. Sanyal, said the CPI(M) Bengal state secretary, was the one of the early organisers of the Naxalbari movement and the CPI(M-L).  The CPI(M) leader clarified to say that though Sanyal chose to remain with this brand of left sectarian political outlook and activities, he �was gradually undergoing a political change�. 

Sanyal, said Biman Basu, started to face and judge issues based on reason, and very recently, when the �Maoist� menace started to take shape in the Bengal political scene, Sanyal had remarked, echoing Mao Zedong that there was �nothing called �Maoism.�  Sanyal also agreed with the notion that there was a Communist Party of China and that what Mao practised was Marxism-Leninism.  That was Sanyal�s firm stand to the last. 

�During the last couple of years�, Biman Basu said, �we have noted that whenever slogans were raised against imperialism and communalism, he and his party, the COI (M-L) associated themselves with the Left and democratic forces. 

On a number of occasions, Biman Basu recalled, how �we worked with Kanu Sanyal in the city of Kolkata against imperialism and communalism.   �We also had had a discussion with him but that session did not materialise into anything fruitful.�

Biman Basu concluded to say, �Sanyal�s demise and the report of how he had ended his life life, is sad.  Nevertheless, we must ponder over the austere life he led at Hatighisha in a remote part of the terai region, and the way he chose to stick to his own conviction, and this is really something from which we are to learn the correct lessons.� 

(B P)