Saturday, July 08, 2006

'Mod' Naxalites

'Mod' Naxalites

During the years of 1969 and 1970, naxalite ideology attracted many students of the University campus in Delhi. The institutions particularly affected were the St Stephen's College and the Delhi School of Economics. the total number of Naxalites was around fiffty only but they had large group of vocal and silent supporters and admirers among the student community.

The girls were not to be left behind and there were small groups of Marxist-Leninists in Indraprastha College,Miranda House and Lady Sri Ram College. It has been said that some of them were drawn to the ideology because their boyfriends were Naxalites .

Delhi University had a well identified group of students and teachers who had pronounced leftist inclinations.They openly talked of violent methods for restructuring society and initiating reforms. Such ideas were freeely debated in the associations and clubs.ONe such politico-cultural club known as 'Yugantak'particularly caught the imagination of the youth for its open advocacy of revolution.It staged many plays in the campus and outside.

A powerful case for revolution was made in a play called 'India 1969' staged in Miranda House and Tagore Hall.In what appeared to be a real life denouncement of the play, the stephenians who had acted disappeared in 1970 to work for the revolution they had talked of from the stage.About twenty students were found missing from the University campus and were reported to have gone to West Bengal,Bihar and Assam to work among the poor and landless peasants.

It is interesting that most of them came from the higher strata of society .
Three of them were sons of ICS(Indian Civil Service) officers, one was the son
of an academician and the others were wards of senior government officers.

It would however,appear that these students were attracted more by the romance
of Naxalite philosophy.They were not able to stand the rigours of village life
and in due course , the 'mod' naxalites returned to their hearths.

Excerpt from the book "The naxalite movement in India" by Prakash Singh

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