People's Democracy

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


No. 38

September 28 , 2008


P Ramamurthy Centenary Year  Concludes With Huge Celebrations

A A Nainar

ALTHOUGH the centenary celebrations commemorating the centenary year of comrade P Ramamurthy are over, the memory of PR would continue to serve as a beacon light for the working class of the country for centuries to come. The concluding ceremony of the centenary celebrations was addressed among others, by Prakash Karat, general secretary of the CPI(M), in Chennai organised by the CITU.

In his address he said that the nation and its parliament have been betrayed by the prime minister, Manmohan Singh with his denial of bringing the IAEA Safeguards agreement and NSG approval for parliament sanction before formally signing the 123 Agreement with United States on September 25, 2008. He had promised to do so on July 1, 2008 but did not keep his word, said Prakash Karat. The Left would continue its opposition to the deal irrespective of whether the US Congress adopted the 123 Agreement or not, he added. He dared the Congress to take the issue to the people in the ensuing polls and expressed confidence that the patriotic minded people of the nation would reject the Congress line and defeat it.

On the issue of communalism, Prakash referred to the happenings in Orissa, Karnataka and Gujarat, especially in the Dangs district and vehemently criticised the procrastinating role played by the UPA government. It had come out with an advisory only recently after much persuasion and public pressure. He condemned the central government for issuing an unwarranted similar advisory to the Kerala government and equating them with the rank communal government headed by BJP in Karnataka.

He elaborated the events unfolding in the American financial sector and said that it was only comparable to the Great Depression of 1929. Those who espouse the cause of free market and advocate eschewing government intervention in business had to finally intervene and pump 700 billion US dollars from public exchequer to recoup the private losses.

Prakash Karat recalled the spartan role played by Comrade P Ramamurthy, assuming various roles as a freedom fighter, a political leader, a parliamentarian, a trade unionist and a theoretician of Marxist Philosophy. It is very unique and only very few leaders have had all these qualities in them. PR fought against social oppression and for emancipation of the dalits. His class approach and brilliance in explaining complex ideological questions in simple terms that could be understandable to common people was adored by everyone. Prakash Karat with his valedictory address formally concluded the centenary celebrations with a call to carry forward the valuable teachings of PR to develop the movement in the country.

Incidentally the formal launching of the centenary celebrations took place at Madurai on the September 20, 2007 in which too Prakash Karat participated and unveiled a life size bronze statue of Comrade P Ramamurthy. From then on, the centenary celebrations were conducted throughout the state of Tamilnadu for the past one year. To culminate and conclude commemorative events, the CPI(M) state committee had decided to conduct final celebrations in four centres where the leaders of the Left, trade union movement and other political parties would participate. They recalled the invaluable services rendered by the legendary leader PR for liberation of the people from all forms exploitation and oppression. His contributions as a freedom fighter, one of the founding leaders of the communist movement, as a trade union leader, legislator, parliamentarian and an ideologue of classical Marxism, for social transformation and Indian revolution were succinctly put forth by all the leaders in those meetings.

In Mannargudi on September 20, 2008 the culmination of centenary celebrations was conducted in the form of a hall meeting where thousands of peasants and workers participated with their families. K Varadarajan, Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M) addressed the meeting along with Vijayaraghavan, MP and the general secretary of the All India Agricultural workers Union.

On the very next day another meeting took place at the southern tip of our country, Nagercoil in which Sitaram Yechury, Polit Bureau Member of CPI(M) and MP, T K Rangarajan, Central Committee member of the CPI(M) and MP participated. From estate workers to anganwadi workers, students, youth, women and people from all walks of the society took part in the meeting.

The next event took place at Coimbatore on September 22, 2008. The RS Puram maidan was decorated with red flags in a fitting manner to add colour to the celebrations. Sitaram Yechury, while talking about the contributions made by PR, appealed to the people to be vigilant against the forces of communalism which is trying to rear its head in the likely scenario of the fall of the UPA government and impending Lok Sabha polls. The Indo-US nuclear deal had virtually put our independent foreign policy into jeopardy and all other policy prerogatives of the nation were subjugated to the imperialismís strategic requirements, he added. He expressed hope that a viable front at the national level will be formed to take on the Congress and BJP led alliances and it is sure to win the elections for undoing the damages done by these combinations.

In Chennai, on September 23, a massively attended public event was organised by the CITU, Tamilnadu state committee, in Kamarajar Arangam, Teynampet. The meeting began with the inaugural address by Dr M K Pandhe. The leaders of CITU, Mohammed Amin, Dr Hemalata, A K Padmanabhan, W R Varadarajan, A M Gopu of AITUC, N M Sundaram of AIIEA, S Venkatesan of TNPWA and a galaxy of leaders participated and addressed the celebrations. In another meeting, tributes were paid to the memory of PR by veteran leaders R Umanath, N Sankaraiah and R Nallakannu. A practicing lawyer at Madras High Court, R Vaigai, daughter of PR addressed the gathering and T K Rangarajan, Central Committee member of the CPI(M) chaired the session.

In the concluding session which was chaired by A Soundararajan, general secretary of the CITU state committee, N Varadarajan, state secretary of the CPI (M) and Prakash Karat, general secretary of the CPI (M) delivered their special addresses. Earlier the souvenir in memory of PR published by Theekathir was released by Prakash Karat. Appunu, district secretary of the CITU proposed a vote of thanks.