Narayan Sanyal [1935-2017]

Long Live Comrade Narayan Sanyal, Tireless Warrior of the Revolutionary Movement in India

Narayan Sanyal, 82, one of the senior most leaders of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), passed away on the night of 17April at a Calcutta nursing home.  He was suffering from cancer.

Com Sanyal left a bank job in the 1960s to join the Naxalite movement. He worked as a CPI(ML) whole timer in West Bengal, before taking charge of the Bihar unit of the party, replacing Satya Narayan Singh. He was arrested in 1972.

After his release from Hazaribagh prison in 1977 following a general amnesty for political prisoners in response to the movement for the release of political prisoners, he decided to focus on rebuilding the fragmented party, while continuing his grassroots political work among the peasantry and the poor. He was instrumental in the formation of CPI ML(Party Unity), a party that led militant anti-feudal struggles in undivided Bihar and West Bengal, mobilising large masses of peasantry and landless labourers towards radical land reform and elimination of caste oppression. 

Com Sanyal or Bijay da, as many of his comrades would call him, remained unwavering in his faith in the revolutionary potential of the Indian masses and in his struggles for a New Democratic Revolution in India. Creative and unorthodox in his thinking, he worked tirelessly at the twin tasks of building ground level organization and to unify and politically consolidate the communist revolutionary forces in India. The movements he led in central Bihar are still the stuff of legends, striking fear in the hearts of the notorious casteist landlord armies and creating hope for the poor peasantry.

His work spread from undivided Bihar to West Bengal and north India. Under his leadership CPI ML (PU) merged with PWG to form the CPI ML(People’s War) in 1998. In 2004 CPI ML (PW) united with the other major revolutionary party, MCC – forming the CPI(Maoist). Com. Sanyal was one of the main theoreticians and architects of this unification process. 

After the unification, Com. Sanyal was elected to the Politburo of the new party and worked on an all India canvas, building and leading revolutionary movements across the length and breadth of the country.

He was arrested in 2006 from Raipur and incarcerated without bail for almost 10 years, despite his advancing age and the obviously false cases that were slapped on him. He was finally released on bail in November 2014 and despite his age, immediately threw himself in political activity. However, his health was failing. In early 2016 he was detected with oesophageal cancer, metastasized to lungs and liver. It had spread beyond the possibility of a cure. 

A life-long fighter, Com Sanyal put up an incredible battle against the disease that was eating away his innards. Through sheer will to live and to keep on doing his work, he survived much beyond the early prognosis and predictions of his doctors, before succumbing to cancer on 17th of April.

A lifelong communist revolutionary, Narayan Sanyal was an exceptionally humane leader – candid, unorthodox, deeply non-secterian and democratic in his approach. His critical ability and courage of conviction will remain an example for future generations of revolutionaries and political workers.

He will not be forgotten.

Lal Salaam to Com Narayan Sanyal !


20 APRIL, 10 AM 
ADDRESS: 62 B Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road (Wellesley Street)
Near Elliot Road Bata More
Near Park Street
Calcutta 16


On behalf of Com. Narayan Sanyal Memorial Committee

Purnendu Sekhar Mukherjee

Tilak Dasgupta


%d bloggers like this: