The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost
"And the three men I admire the most
The Father, Son and the Holy Ghost
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died..."
So sang Don McLean in "American Pie" about the tragic death of his musical inspirations (Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper and Buddy Holly) in a plane crash in 1959, and I guess these are the words that must have been recalled by supporters (apologists?) of the Naxal movement when the news of Kanu Sanyal's suicide broke. Being born in a family that last owned land about the time Lokmanya Tilak was giving the British a run for their money and having spent most of my life in urban Maharashtra, I have close to zero understanding of the Naxal situation in large tracts (34 districts across 8 states) of the country's forested belt - I say close to zero because I do read about the problem in the media, but that is biased either in one direction or the other, so one gets to read propaganda more than anything else anyway. But even I have read of Kanu Sanyal, enough to be able to differentiate between him and today's Maoist Naxalites that resort to violence against innocents.
Charu Mazumdar was the public face of the Naxal movement that began in the Naxalbari village in West Bengal in 1967 - he was the one who always spoke to the press, and can be loosely called the Father in this rather stretched analogy. Jangal Santhal, the legendary tribal hero, stretching the analogy to its breaking point, would be the Son, but Kanu Sanyal was without doubt the Holy Ghost of this movement. (The analogy doesnt come anywhere close to the appropriateness of it when the British used it to describe Motilal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi, where I originally got this idea).
Sanyal's idea of revolution did not involve the elimination of individuals, he strove to distinguish the violence of his times with that of today and was a grassroots organizer (http://www.dnaindia.com/opinion/column_a-true-leader-of-the-unwashed-masses_1363010). His death marks the end of this trinity (Charu Mazumdar died in prison in 1972, Jangal Santhal "drank himself to death" in 1981) and is the most tragic of the three, not just because it is a 78-year old committing suicide, which is tragic enough, but because he might have perhaps made himself available in the negotiations that one hopes the two sides get down to soon enough, before we all catch the last train for the coast...