When Bangladesh was born in 1971, West Bengal was in the throes of a socio-political turmoil. Its best and brightest were leaving colleges and universities to wage a “class war”. Campuses were filled with the rallying cry of ‘Amar bari, tomar bari, Naxalbari, Naxalbari’ (Your home, my home is Naxalbari).
Naxalbari, as it was even then, is a sleepy hamlet in Darjeeling district in northern West Bengal. The otherwise nondescript village literally shook the entire country with a violent peasant uprising in 1967, making its place in history.
Soon the flame of revolt spiralled into a gigantic fire, leaving a trail of brutal killings and equally vicious police reprisal.
Among the noted victims of the violent lunacy carried out in the name of class battle were vice-chancellor of Jadavpur University Gopal Chandra Sen, whose throat was slit by a group of Naxalite students on the campus in 1970, and 76-year-old chairman of the All-India Forward Bloc and veteran freedom fighter Hemanta Kumar Basu.
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