During the 1960s and 1970s, severe power shortages, strikes, and a violent Marxist–Maoist movement by groups known as the Naxalites damaged much of the city's infrastructure, resulting in economic stagnation. The Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 led to a massive influx of thousands of refugees, many of them penniless, that strained Kolkata's infrastructure.During the mid-1980s, Mumbai (then called Bombay) overtook Kolkata as India's most populous city. In 1985, Rajiv Gandhi dubbed Kolkata a "dying city" in light of its socio-political woes.After independence in the year of 1951 and 1956 the Corporation act was amended. Lastly in 1980 West Bengal Government amended this act. In 1984 a revised new law was effected. In the period 1977–2011, West Bengal was governed from Kolkata by the Left Front, which was dominated by the Communist Party of India (CPM).It was the world's longest-serving democratically elected communist government; Kolkata was a key base for Indian communism.The city's economic recovery gathered momentum after the 1990s, when India began to institute pro-market reforms. Since 2000, the information technology (IT) services sector has revitalised Kolkata’s stagnant economy. The city is also experiencing marked growth in its manufacturing base.
Naxal, Naxalite and Naksalvadi are generic terms used to refer to various Communist guerrilla groups in India, mostly under the influence of the CPI-Maoist. The term 'Naxal' derives from the name of the village Naxalbari in West Bengal, where the movement had its origin. Naxalites are considered far-left radical communists, supportive of Maoist political sentiment and ideology. Their origin can be traced to the split in 1967 of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), leading to the formation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist–Leninist).Initially the movement had its centre in West Bengal. In later years, it spread into less developed areas of rural southern and eastern India, such as Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh through the activities of underground groups like the Communist Party of India (Maoist).For the past ten years, it has grown mostly from displaced tribals and natives who are fighting against exploitation from major Indian corporations and local officials whom they believe to be corrupt.
The term Naxalites comes from Naxalbari, a small village in West Bengal, where a section of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) led by Kanu Sanyal,and Jangal Santhal initiated a violent uprising in 1967.On 18 May 1967, the Siliguri Kishan Sabha, of which Jangal was the president, declared their support for the movement initiated by Kanu Sanyal and readiness to adopt armed struggle to redistribute land to the landless.The following week, a sharecropper near Naxalbari village was attacked by the landlord's men over a land dispute. On 24 May, when a police team arrived to arrest the peasant leaders, it was ambushed by a group of tribals led by Jangal Santhal, and a police inspector was killed in a hail of arrows. This event encouraged many Santhal tribals and other poor people to join the movement and to start attacking local landlords.
These conflicts go back to the failure of implementing the 5th & 9th Schedules of the Constitution of India. In theory these Schedules provide for a limited form of tribal autonomy with regard to exploiting natural resources on their lands, e.g. pharmaceutical & mining, and 'land ceiling laws', limiting the land to be possessed by landlords and distribution of excess land to landless farmers & labourers. The caste system is another important social aspect of these conflicts.
Mao Zedong provided ideological leadership for the Naxalbari movement, advocating that Indian peasants and lower class tribals overthrow the government and upper classes by force. A large number of urban elites were also attracted to the ideology, which spread through Charu Majumdar's writings, particularly the 'Historic Eight Documents' which formed the basis of Naxalite ideology.
At the time, the leaders of this revolt were members of the CPI(M), which joined a coalition government in West Bengal just a few months back. Leaders like land minster Hare Krishna Konar had been until recently "trumpeting revolutionary rhetoric, suggesting that militant confiscation of land was integral to the party's programme".However, now that they were in power, CPI(M) did not approve of the armed uprising, and all the leaders and a number of Calcutta sympathizers were expelled from the party.
Subsequently,In November 1967, this group, led by Sushital Ray Chowdhury, organized the All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries (AICCCR).Violent uprisings were organized in several parts of the country. On April 22 1969 (Lenin's birthday),the AICCCR gave birth to the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) (CPI(ML)).
Practically all Naxalite groups trace their origin to the CPI(ML). A separate offshoot from the beginning was the Maoist Communist Centre, which evolved out of the Dakshin Desh group. The MCC later fused with the People's War Group to form the Communist Party of India (Maoist). A third offshoot was that of the Andhra revolutionary communists, mainly represented by the UCCRI(ML), following the mass line legacy of T. Nagi Reddy, which broke with the AICCCR at an early stage.
During the 1970s, the movement was fragmented into disputing factions. By 1980, it was estimated that around 30 Naxalite groups were active, with a combined membership of 30,000.
Violence In West Bengal
Circa 1971 the Naxalites gained a strong presence among the radical sections of the student movement in Calcutta.Students left school to join the Naxalites. Majumdar, to entice more students into his organisation, declared that revolutionary warfare was to take place not only in the rural areas as before, but everywhere and spontaneously. Thus Majumdar declared an "annihilation line", a dictum that Naxalites should assassinate individual "class enemies" (such as landlords, businessmen, university teachers, police officers, politicians of the right and left) and others.
Throughout Calcutta, schools were shut down. Naxalites took over Jadavpur University and used the machine shop facilities to make pipe guns to attack the police. Their headquarters became Presidency College, Kolkata.The Naxalites found supporters among some of the educated elite, and Delhi's prestigious St. Stephen's College, alma mater of many contemporary Indian leaders and thinkers, became a hotbed of Naxalite activities.
The chief minister, Siddhartha Shankar Ray of the Congress Party, instituted strong counter-measures against the Naxalites. The West Bengal police fought back to stop the Naxalites. The house of Somen Mitra, the Congress MLA of Sealdah, was allegedly turned into a torture chamber where Naxal students from Presidency College and CU were incarcerated illegally by police and the Congress cadres.CPI-M cadres were also involved in the "state terror". After suffering losses and facing the public rejection of Majumdar's "annihilation line", the Naxalites alleged human rights violations by the West Bengal police, who responded that the state was effectively fighting a civil war and that democratic pleasantries had no place in a war, especially when the opponent did not fight within the norms of democracy and civility.
Large sections of the Naxal movement began to question Majumdar's leadership. In 1971 the CPI(ML) was split, as the Satyanarayan Singh revolted against Majumdar's leadership. In 1972 Majumdar was arrested by the police and died in Alipore Jail. His death accelerated the fragmentation of the movement.
Hungry Generation or Hungryalist Movement was an Indian literary movement in Bengali language that focussed primarily on poetry and was launched by a group of young Bengali poets spearheaded by the famous Hungryalist quartet, i.e. Malay Roychoudhury, Samir Roychoudhury, Shakti Chattopadhyay, and Debi Roy (Haradhon Dhara).It was launched during the early 1960s in Kolkata, India. The movement shook the roots of the Bengali literary and cultural establishment in India. Due to their involvement in this avante garde cultural movement, the leaders lost their jobs and were jailed. They challenged and significantly changed the language and vocabulary used by contemporary Indian literature.
The Hungryalists wanted to confront and disturb the prospective reader's preconceived colonial canons. According to Pradip Choudhuri, a leading philosopher and poet of the generation, whose work has been extensively translated in French, their counter-discourse was the first voice of post-colonial freedom of pen and brush. Besides the famous quartet, Utpalkumar Basu, Binoy Majumdar, Sandipan Chattopadhyay, Basudeb Dasgupta, Falguni Roy, Subhash Ghosh, Saileshwar Ghosh, Tridib Mitra, Alo Mitra, Arunesh Ghosh, Ramananda Chattopadhyay, Anil Karanjai, Karunanidhan Mukhopadhyay, Subo Acharya, were among the leading writers and artists who joined the movement.
The word Hungry was coined from Geoffrey Chaucer's line " In Sowere Hungry Tyme". The philosophical background of the movement was based on Oswald Spengler's idea of Non Linear Time in a particular culture. The movement spanned from 1961-1965. It was launched in November 1961 from the Patna residence of Malay Roychoudhury and his elder brother Samir Roychoudhury. As always, the west lives with the misconception that the movement was inspired by the Beat Generation writers especially because Ginsberg lived with Malay and Samir Roychoudhury for a while in Patna in the spring of 1963. Octavio Paz and Ernesto Cardinal had also visited Malay during the 1960s.
This movement is characterized by expression of closeness to nature and sometimes tenets of existentialism. Although initially based in Kolkata, it had active membership in North Bengal, Tripura and Benares. The movement influenced Allen Ginsberg as much as it influenced American poetry through the Beat poets who visited Calcutta, Patna, Chaibasa And Benaras during the Sixties decade. Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, later a professor and editor, was associated with the Hungry Generation movement. Shakti Chattopadhyay, Sandipan Chattopadhyay, Saileshwar Ghosh, Subhas Ghosh left the movement in 1964. More than 100 manifestos were issued during 1961-65. Malay's poems have been published by P. Lal from his Writers Workshop publication. Howard McCord published Malay Roychoudhury's controversial poem Stark Electric Jesus from Washington State University. This poem has been translated in several languages of the world and was included in the anthology "Poems for the Millenium" edited by Jerome Rothenberg and Pierre Joris.
The work of Hungry writers appeared in the Citylights Journal, edited by Lawrence Ferlinghetti and in special issues of American magazines including Kulchur edited by Lita Hornik, Klactoveedsedsteen edited by Carl Weissner, Elcorno Emplunado edited by Margaret Randall, Evergreen Review edited by Barney Rosset, Salted Feathers, Intrepid, and San Francisco Earthquake, during the 1960s.
The Hungry Generation Movement also known as Hungryalism challenged mainstream literary genres. The group wrote a largely deviant poetry and prose in style, form and content. It had also influenced Hindi, Marathi, Assamese, Telugu & Urdu literatures.