People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
October 21, 2007
Implement Sethusamudram Project
Youth Demand UPA Govt
DYFI organises cycle rally in Tamilndu
S P Rajendran
THE Democratic Youth Federation of India's Tamilnadu unit conducted cycle campaign from four points of south Tamilnadu to Rameshwaram demanding the central government to implement the Sethusamudram Canal project without any hesitation. The sangh parivar is communalising the Adams bridge issue and the stay order of the Supreme Court to dredge the Adams bridge at the Gulf of Mannar has also affected the project.
Hundreds of DYFI members started from Madurai, Virudhunagar, Tuticurin and Sivagangai on October 8, 2007 under the leadership of S K Mahendran MLA, state president of DYFI, S Kannan, state secretary, S G Ramesh Babu, state joint secretary and R Velmurugan, treasurer.
The cycle rally campaigned throughout the southern districts from October 8-10, 2007 and culminated on 10th evening at Rameshwaram. Thousands of youth, women, fishermen and small traders extended a warm welcome to the rally. A mass public meeting was held demanding the implementation of the Sethu project and creating employment opportunities for the youth.
CPI (M) state secretary N Varadharajan, DMK's organisational secretary TKS Elangovan, Ramanathapuram district panchayat president Ravichandra Ramavanni of Congress, DYFI all India president Sri Ramakrishnan, state leaders S Kannan, S G Ramesh Babu, R Velmurugan, M Rajkumar and AIYF secretary Muruga Bupathi addressed the gathering. S K Mahendran presided over the meeting. G Siva, DYFI Rameshwaram secretary proposed vote of thanks.
Addressing the meeting, N Varadharajan, CPI (M) state secretary gave a call to the Tamilnadu youth to unite and fight against the communal forces which are opposing the implementation of Sethusamudram canal project. He said, "Sethusamudram project is a longtime dream of Tamil People, because there will be thousands of employment opportunities created for the youth of south Tamilnadu. But, unfortunately after sixty percent of work has been completed, there are obstacles created by the communal forces as well as the apex court of the country. This will not help the economic development."
TKS Elangovan, DMK organisational secretary questioned what the Sangh parivar would do if the Sri Lankan government decides to develop the port of Colombo which involves dredging the so called 'Ram Sethu' at their part of the sea.He said the BJP and Sangh parivar are creating a controversy over the project with an eye on the Gujarat elections.
Sri Ramakrishnan, DYFI all India president said that in north India, particularly in the BJP ruled states like Madhya Pradesh, the Sangh parivar is carrying a hate campaign against Tamil people and warned that this type of hate campaign against one particular race of people is very dangerous to our national integrity.He criticised the BJP for its double standards and said that it was the BJP that started the project work when it was in power, but now, they are opposing the project in the name of Ram, when they are not in power.
S Kannan, state secretary gave a detailed account of the positive effects of the project. He recounted that when they began the cycle rally to Rameshwaram from Virudhunagar, the southern most poor district, there were very few people in most of villages; they had migrated to Tirupur, Coimbatore, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Dubai, Singapore and Malaysia etc., in order to find a job, to earn a livelihood, because there are no industries in the southern districts of Ramanathapuram, Sivagangai, Virudhunagar, Madurai, Pudhukottai and others. Drought conditions and the crisis in agriculture, heavily hit the life of poor people in south India, he said.
In these particular districts, caste riots took place in 1996-97. Two commissions headed by Justice Mohan and Justice Gokulakrishnan probed the riots and submitted reports. In their reports, they clearly said that the only one main reason for the caste riots is unemployment. Particularly, for dalit youth there are no opportunities to earn a living. In this background, the Sethu project is of immense importance, Kannan added.
He said that once this project is completed, there would be heavy ship traffic via Tuticorin, Rameshwaram, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore, Pudhuchery and Chennai. Nearly 3000 ships would move through Sethu canal and with this transport, many industrial units will come up in the 13 coastal districts of Tamilnadu. From Chennai to Kanyakumari, 13 ports would be constructed including fishing ports, ship building port and ship destruction port. Hundreds of export - import units, sub units, workshops and also hundreds of substitute servicing jobs would be created. With these enormous opportunities, the youth of south Tamilnadu need not migrate from their own villages, their own soil, Kannan said and criticised the Sangh parivar and its Tamilnadu 'ally' Jayalalithaa for trying to deny these job opportunities for the youth.