People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 17

April 25, 2010



SC Status Demanded for Dalit Christians


S P Rajendran


DALIT Christians were being socially discriminated in society, the Communist Party of India (Marxist)�s Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat said while addressing a special conference of dalit Christians at Thirunelveli, the southern city of Tamilnadu on April 14. She also said that the discriminatory practices should be abjured.

Appreciating the role of chief minister M Karunanidhi in demanding implementation of the recommendations of Ranganath Misra commission report by sending a letter to the prime minister, Manmohan Singh, she asked whether the DMK ministers at the centre would emphasise the need for implementation of the recommendations.

The DMK ministers at the centre were only holding discussions in the closed cabinet meetings, but how far it would be made practical in terms of implementing the commission, she asked.

Referring to the price rise of essential commodities, she said tears start rolling down even before one peels an onion because of the soaring prices.

Widespread protest would be staged in various parts of the country against price rise and she appealed the people to support the Left parties, which were constantly highlighting the common people's plight.

R Krishnan, former MLA of the CPI(M) and district president of the Tamilnadu Untouchability Eradication Front, presided over the conference that sought the scheduled caste status for dalit Christians. Bishop Jude Paulraj of Roman Catholic Diocese, Bishop Christudoss of Church of South India Diocese, CPI(M) state secretary G Ramakrishnan, Untouchability Eradication Front  president P Sampath, CPI(M) state secretariat member S Noor Mohammed and its Tirunelveli district secretary V Palani also spoke. Nearly 10,000 people participated.

The conference had decided to stage demonstrations at all the district headquarters on May 6, pressing the need for implementing the Ranganath Misra commission's recommendations.




Leaders of the Left parties, along with MDMK general secretary Vaiko, met AIADMK general secretary Ms Jayalalithaa on April 16 to discuss preparations for the nationwide hartal on April 27 to highlight the problem of spiralling prices of essential commodities owing to the new economic polices of the Congress-led UPA government at the centre.

A joint statement issued by the leaders called upon the people to participate in the protest and make it a success. The statement charged that wrong economic policies of the UPA government are causing the steep price rise which is affecting all sections of the society.

The meeting was held at Ms Jayalalithaa's Poes Garden residence in Chennai.

This is the first time that the AIADMK, CPI(M), CPI, AIFB and MDMK have come together for joint action. �It assumes significance in the sense that five political parties have joined hands against the Congress-led government at the centre in which the DMK is a partner,'' CPI(M) state secretary G Ramakrishnan told.

Explaining the purpose of the meeting, Vaiko said economic policies of the UPA government were adversely affecting all sections of society.

Veteran CPI(M) leader and Central Committee member N Varadarajan, CPI  National Control Commission chairman R Nallakannu, its state deputy secretary C Mahendran and the Forward Bloc�s state general secretary P V Kathiravan were among those who met Ms Jayalalithaa.

After this meeting, Jayalalithaa called her party cadre to conduct a campaign for the April 27   general strike in full swing across the state, along with the Left parties� cadre.

Meeting at Thiruchi on April 17, CPI(M) district secretaries also decided the modality of an intensive campaign programme to make the general strike a grand success in Tamilnadu.




The CPI(M) will organise protest in front of the new secretariat if the government fails to issue pattas to the people living on government lands for years, warned the party�s state secretary G Ramakrishnan on April 19.

Addressing a protest fast in support of the demand for pattas at Chennai, Ramakrishnan said lakhs of people living on temple, government and poromboke lands in Chennai and in suburban areas and other parts of the state were facing the threat of eviction, with the government treating them as encroachers.

Though the government had issued an order for issuing a patta if a person was living in a place for more than three years, the condition is that it can be issued only if the government did not require the concerned land. This has so far remained a stumbling block.

Recalling his meeting with chief minister M Karunanidhi with the request for issuing pattas for those who had been living on temple lands, on the line of a decision taken by the E M S Namboodiripad government in Kerala, Ramakrishnan said the money from the sale of such lands was deposited in banks and utilised for the maintenance of temples.

�The chief minister agreed to constitute a committee to study the Kerala model. We want to remind him about it,� he said.

The fast was organised by both the South and North Chennai district committees of the CPI(M). Central Committee members N Varadharajan and A K Padmanabhan, state secretariat member A Soundararajan, CPI(M) MLA S K Mahendran and district secretaries T K Shanmugam and K Bhim Rao also spoke. More than 2000 attended.




Major industrial trade unions in the country have come together to fight against some of the key issues such as price rise and the lack of new employment opportunities, said the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) president A K Padmanabhan at Madurai on Sunday, April 18.

Speaking to reporters, he said that though there were differences of opinion on policies among various industrial trade unions, the CITU, HMS, INTUC, AITUC and BMS had joined in public interest to fight against the governments unitedly. �We will continue to do so and the trend would spread,� he said.

Listing out some of the issues, he said that the steep rise in the prices of essential commodities and the disinvestment of stocks of public sector undertakings by the centre was unfair and shocking. The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government appeared to be unmindful of the pressures on the common man.

Officers of the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (up to the rank of deputy general managers) had to go on a stir from April 20; workers of Coal India Limited were opposed to the disinvestment of its shares by the government and are to strike in May, the CITU leader said.

Under the guise of �reforms,� the UPA government has implemented anti-labour measures such as disinvestment. What could not be achieved by the rulers in the previous regime is being taken up now under the pretext of �reforms.�

The trade unions are united and would fight it tooth and nail, Padmanabhan said.

For the prevailing electricity crisis in Tamilnadu, he accused that there was the lack of a long term planning. While many towns suffer scheduled or announced power cuts for long hours under the pretext of maintenance or load shedding, Chennai also experienced unannounced power cuts at night in the recent days, he said. The public hearing on tariff revision by the TNERC was nothing but eyewash, he said.

Padmanabhan said the DMK government must ensure that recognised labour unions were admitted in the industries that were started in the recent past in Tamilnadu. While recognition was mandatory, the government should see to that the industries adhered to the rules. �We don't want any concession, but the authorities should compel the managements to go by the Indian statutes,� he added.

A K Padmanabhan was on a visit to the city after becoming the national president of the CITU and was accorded a rousing reception. CITU district secretary B Vikraman, district president V Pitchai, CPI(M) leaders R Annadurai and R Jyoithiram, among other functionaries, participated in a meeting at Sellur in the city later in the evening.