Kanhai Chatterjee


Com. Kanhai Chatterjee, popularly known a com. KC , was born to a well-off family in 1933 in village Baruikhalli, Barishal district of today’s Bangladesh. From his childhood days the anti-British movement had a big impact on him and he developed much hatred for British colonial rule. While passing his B.Com., and participating in student activities he joined the undivided communist party. In 1953 he began work in the Tiljalla suburban area of Baliganj in Kolkota that had a vast working-class slum population. He developed deep relations with the oppressed masses of the area actively leading them in numerous struggles. He was particularly popular amongst the Muslim masses as he developed close ties with their problems and movements.

In 1959 com. KC became the secretary of the Baliganj Local Committee of the undivided communist party. In 1959 he participated in the “food movement” led by the CPI. During that movement the police resorted to firing. About 81 people were martyred and com. KC was seriously injured when hit by a bullet in the leg. During the 1962 India-China war, because of his opposition to India’s aggression on China, he was arrested. While in jail itself he raised the banner of revolt against the opportunist leadership of the CPI. He came in touch with comrades Amul ya Sen and Chandrashekhar Das who were also imprisoned. On coming out they formed a secret centre within the CPM called “Chinta”.

The secret magazine launched a detailed exposure of the revisionist line of the party. To increase its impact and the reach of the group’s exposure of revisionism, com. KC began bringing out the open magazine “Dakshin Desh” from early 1966. Around this time Khruschev revisionism began to assert itself.The struggle between Marxism and revisionism in India began to sharpen. Com. KC intensified the struggle within the CPM and declared the 1964 party document as revisionist. Adopting the GPCR call that it is “Right to Rebel”, com. KC broke all links with the old revisionist party. In 1967 the historic Naxalbari uprising took place under the leadership of Com. Charu Mazumdar. The revolt against revisionism spread like a wave. But, due to differences on the method of the formation of the party, the “Dakshin Desh” group could not join the CPI(ML). Under the leadership of Com. KC and together with comrades Amulya Sen and Chandrashekar Das, the MCC was established on October 20 1969.

Some of Com. KC’s invaluable contributions to the development of the line for Indian revolution were: a document related to Strategy and Tactics and a Tactical Line for India’s armed agrarian revolution; a correct approach towards the nationality question in India; an approach towards the election question in India and the determination of the basic line of the Indian revolution. To implement this line in practice he put in herculean efforts. With the goal of establishing the people’s army and base areas he selected strategic areas for work; undergoing untold difficulties he laid the seeds of the new organisation; and he initiated the agrarian re volutionary guerrilla struggles along the path of protracted people’s war.

Com KC’s communistic life-style remains a living example of how a true communist should be. His total and undeviating devotion to the workers, peasants and oppressed masses is a bright example for us all. Unfortunately he died at the young age of 49, on July 18, 1982, due to illness. Today the seeds sown by Com. KC have grown into a great tree, with deep roots, flowering and blossoming in the vast countryside of India.

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