Some educational institutions in Kolkata and other cities in the country have become breeding grounds for urban Naxalism.
Many students get led on to the path of extreme left in these universities.
Silently and stealthily, below the radar of intelligence and security agencies, an army of urban Naxals is being bred in the toxic environs of some reputable institutions of higher learning in Kolkata and some other cities of the country over the past few decades. Many of them have taken up jobs and migrated to other parts of India where they form veritable sleeper cells, awaiting the “revolution” and indulging in or facilitating various types of insidious, anti-India activities.
The primary breeding ground of these ultra-left radicals who believe in a violent overthrow of the Indian state, ‘annihilation’ of all those they consider ‘class enemies’, and imposition of a harsh and regressive communist dictatorship is the Jadavpur University (JU) and, to a lesser extent, Presidency University (PU). A group of teachers who hold radical leftist views in these two reputable universities has been incubating and sheltering these urban Naxals, and preparing them for the revolution to come.
Though these urban Naxals have been operating under the radar for many years now, their existence came to light with the destruction of a bust of Syama Prasad Mukerjee in Kolkata early last month. A hitherto unknown group of left-wing terrorists called “Radicals” was behind the vandalism. Subsequent police investigations have revealed that the roots and tentacles of these left-wing terrorists run deep, wide, and strong. They have built up a spider-like web through many cities and towns of the country, including the National Capital Region (NCR). Some teachers, alumni, and students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and some colleges affiliated to Delhi University (DU) form an important part of this red terror network.
Coming back to Kolkata’s JU, a handful of faculty members – some of them very senior – are the mentors of these red terrorists, who are indoctrinated at a very young age in many schools in the state. “Many ultra-leftists are school teachers and though they mask their extreme political ideology very carefully, they silently indoctrinate their bright young students very slowly and insidiously over the years. These ultra-left teachers are very smart – they identify school kids who are sensitive and intelligent, pay extra attention to them, and win their confidence. They then introduce these kids to mainstream communist ideology which, in theory, professes to improve the lot of the toiling masses. At a later stage, mostly in the higher classes, these kids are introduced to extreme left ideology on the pretext that mainstream communist parties have become ‘bourgeois’ parties which have compromised with the ultimate communist goal of establishing a communist state that is a ‘dictatorship of the masses’. And a violent revolution is necessary to overthrow the Indian state to realise the ultimate goal,” said a former Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer who spent many years studying ultra-left organisations in India and the neighbourhood.
This officer, who retired a couple of years ago as a deputy director of the bureau, said that the process of indoctrination and making of a red terrorist is not as casual as it may appear. “The ultra-left school teachers, who are the primary recruiters, go about their mission (of converting bright young students into red terrorists) in a very planned manner. It is as if they follow a manual. They themselves remain in touch with seniors – overground and underground – of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and regularly report to them about the students they are indoctrinating. These students, once they reach the high-school level, are put into two categories: the ones that can join the ranks of the Maoist terrorists and wield the gun, and the others, who will be groomed to become doctors, engineers, and professionals and provide overground support to the terrorists,” said the former IB officer. The brighter of the students who show an intellectual spark are put in the second category.
The students in the second category are encouraged to become professionals and groomed to appear for entrance tests to medical and engineering institutes. A handful make it to Jadavpur and Presidency Universities, where they come under the direct tutelage of the ultra-left faculty members. The ones that do not make it to these premier universities and get admitted to other institutes are also introduced to these faculty members. Nearly a dozen and a half faculty members of JU and PU have ultra-left leanings. Many such indoctrinated students also make it to universities and institutions of higher learning in other parts of the country, where they are put in touch with ultra-left teachers and ‘intellectuals’. The IB has a list of over 250 such faculty members spread over many universities and professional institutes in the country who groom, harbour, and nourish red terrorists.
According to a serving IB officer of assistant director rank, all these Maoists are well-networked. “They have a strong presence in the academia, in some of the media houses, in professions like those of doctors, engineers, lawyers, and chartered accountants, and even among bankers. There are scores of red terror modules across the country that act as virtual sleeper cells. These modules have also been active in fomenting trouble and even organising violent agitations in many parts of the country over the past couple of years. They are very active in some major industrial belts where they have been trying to organise industrial workers along militant lines,” the officer said. These urban Maoists are believed to have instigated the 2012 Manesar Maruti factory violence.
The danger, say these IB officers, lies in the fact that these red terrorists who are firmly embedded in India’s academia, media, and various professions are spreading a toxic ideology that poses a grave danger to the Indian state and democracy. “Many intelligent students are being indoctrinated into this dangerous ultra-left ideology every year and, together, they and their mentors form the fifth column in the country,” said the retired IB officer. Since they share the goal of overthrowing the Indian state with some other organisations, like that of Islamist radicals and other anti-Indian and breaking-India forces, the red terrorists have no qualms in joining hands with Islamist terrorists and terror groups of the North East to destabilise the country. This is a real and grave danger that the country faces.