People's Democracy

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


No. 05

February 04, 2008




PR Centenary Memorial

Foundation Stone Laid 

N Srinivasan


VEPPATHUR, a small village on the banks of Cauvery river, in Thanjavur district where Comrade P Ramamoorthy was born and brought up, had a very different experience on January 26, 2008. On this day, the foundation stone for building a centenary memorial for Comrade PR was laid by K Varadharajan, Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M) amidst loud slogans of “Long live Comrade PR” from the audience. N Varadharajan, secretary, Tamilnadu state committee of the CPI(M) presided over the function.


The 19th state conference of Tamilnadu has given a call to celebrate the birth centenary of Comrade PR. Earlier, on the day when the birth centenary began, i.e., on September 20, 2007 a life-size statue of Comrade PR was inaugurated by Prakash Karat, CPI(M) general secretary at Madurai. It has also been decided to conduct a massive meeting in Chennai on September 20 this year when the centenary year ends.


As a part of centenary celebrations, the task of building a memorial at Veppathur has been taken up by Thanjavur district committee of the CPI(M).


N Varadharajan recalled the role played by Comrade PR during the struggle for independence and after, sacrifices that he made for the cause of the working class and socialism, his vision for the advance of the nation and his long years of contribution in parliament and Tamilnadu assembly. A memorial in his native village, he said, would be a fitting tribute to him and it also would educate the younger generation. He added that the CPI(M) is growing in strength because of the correctness of its political line. No force on earth could stop the progress of socialism. N Varadharajan said that Ettayapuram is popular because Bharathiyar was born there; Tiruppur is famous because Tiruppur Kumaran sacrificed his life for independence; Likewise Veppathur is popular because PR was born here. 


K Varadharajan paid rich tributes to Comrade PR and said we have to learn many things from his life. His dedication to protect the interests of the working class, simplicity and the keen interest he showed in developing Party cadres, fight against untouchability, his ability to face unto any situation were someamong his top qualities. He recalled his stay for over a month in the hospital during the last days of PR in Chennai. PR’s daughter, Vaigai also was there with him. VIPs like governor, chief minister etc., used to send bouquet to PR. Then PR used to jocularly ask whether they had come to a conclusion that he would die soon. 


R Vaigai, daughter of Comrade PR who has donated this land to the Party expressed that even during his last days Comrade PR wanted to only teach and train Party cadres. He loved the Party so much, she said, that family members were only secondary to him. Radhakrishnan, son of Comrade PR’s brother also spoke on the occasion.


The function at Veppathur was an atmosphere full of emotions. Later addressing a largely attended public meeting at the nearest town, Thiruvidaimaruthur, K Varadharajan criticised the cental governmert for pursuing anti-people economic polices. UPA government is also planning to increase the prices of petrol and diesel. The CPI(M) has warned of massive agitations against it. When the centre could get Rs 4000 crores more than the expected revenue through taxes this year, where was the need to raise the prices of petrol and diesel which would only increase burden on the poor and ordinary people, questioned the speakers. National Rural Empolyment Guarantee Act would not have come but for our efforts. He criticised the BJP for obstructing the Sethu Samudhram project by creating Ramar Sethu issue. 


N Varadharajan criticised AIADMK leader Jayalalitha for inviting Modi for lunch. It clearly indicated that both are joining hands. All democratic and secular forces should unitedly fight against the efforts of communal forces to raise its head again. He welcomed the announcement of DMK government to take steps to provide reservation for Arunthathiar community which was the lowest among SC/STs. He stressed that DMK government should issue pattas for house sites for the poor and requested to stop its move to evict those residing in areas which were catchment areas once upon a time. He also wanted the government to speedily provide two acres of land to landless agricultural workers as promised during elections. He added that serving the interests of the poor was the topmost priority of CPI(M). Due to increase in prices of essential commodities, all sections of the people were affected and the worst hit are the poorer sections. So the CPI(M)’s state conference held at Madurai earlier this month has called upon for a weeklong campaign among the people from January 28 and Picketing before central and state government offices on February 5, 2008. He called upon the people of Tamilnadu to participate in the picketing in large numbers and strengthen the struggle of CPI(M). 


G Neelamegam, Thanjavur district secretary, presided over the meeting. Others who participated in the meeting included G Veeraiyan ex-MLA, K Balakrishnan, S Thirunavukkarasu, R C Palanivelu, A V Murugaiyan, Nagapattinam district secretary, I V Nagarajan, Tiruvarur district secretary, C Pandiyan and P Karunanidhi.