The term Naxalites comes from Naxalbari, a small village in West Bengal, where an extremist section of Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) led by Charu Majumdar and Kanu Sanyal led a violent uprising in 1967, trying to develop a "revolutionary opposition" in opposition to the CPI(M) leadership. The insurrection started on May 25, 1967 in Naxalbari village when a farmer was attacked over a land dispute. Maoists in the guise of farmers retaliated by attacking the local landlords and escalated the violence. Majumdar greatly admired Mao Zedong, and advocated that Indian peasants and lower classes follow in his footsteps and overthrow the government and upper classes whom he held responsible for their plight. He strengthened the Naxalite movement through his writings, the most famous being the 'Historic Eight Documents' which formed the basis of Naxalite ideology. In 1967 'Naxalites' organized the All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries (AICCCR), and later broke away from CPI(M). Violent 'uprisings' were organized in several parts of the country. In 1969 AICCCR gave birth to Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) (CPI(ML)).
Practically all Naxalite groups trace their origin to the CPI(ML). A separate tendency from the beginning was the Maoist Communist Centre, which evolved out of the Dakshin Desh-group. MCC later fused with People's War Group to form Communist Party of India (Maoist). A third tendency is that of the Andhra revolutionary communists, which was mainly presented by UCCRI(ML), following the mass line legacy of T. Nagi Reddy. That tendency broke with AICCCR at an early stage.
During the 1970s the movement was fragmented into several disputing factions. By 1980 it was estimated that around 30 Naxalite groups were active, with a combined membership of 30,000. A 2004 home ministry estimate puts numbers at that time as "9,300 hardcore underground cadre… [holding] around 6,500 regular weapons beside a large number of unlicensed country-made arms". According to Judith Vidal-Hall (2006), "More recent figures put the strength of the movement at 15,000, and claim the guerrillas control an estimated one fifth of India's forests, as well as being active in 160 of the country's 604 administrative districts." India's Research and Analysis Wing, believed in 2006 that 20,000 Naxals are currently involved in the growing insurgency
Today some groups have become legal organisations participating in parliamentary elections, such as Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation. Others, such as Communist Party of India (Maoist) and Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Janashakti, are engaged in armed guerrilla struggles.
Violence in Bengal
The Naxalites gained a strong presence amongst the radical sections of the students movement in Calcutta. A few students left their education...