(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
August 02, 200
MUDIGONDA MARTYRS OF LAND STRUGGLE COMMEMORATED
Struggles on People’s Problems will Continue: Manik Sarkar
M Venugopal Rao
IT was two years ago on July 28, 2007, the Congress government of Andhra Pradesh unleashed its brutal police on the peaceful struggle for land and house sites for the poor, being waged under the leadership of the CPI(M). Mudigonda town, 13 km away from the district headquarters of Khammam, witnessed this unprecedented brutality as the police aimed their AK-47s, SLRs at the chests of peaceful, unarmed protestors and shot to death seven comrades and injured 20 others. They were holding a peaceful rasta roko in the town as part of the district wide protest against repression on land struggle when a large posse of police descended on the place and started indiscriminate lathicharge and firing on the protestors.
On the occasion of the second death anniversary of these martyrs, leaders of the CPI(M) asserted that struggles and movements on people’s issues, both inside the parliament and outside, would continue irrespective of the parliamentary strength. They asserted that carrying forward the aims for which the martyrs of Mudigonda land struggle laid down their lives would be the real tribute to them.
In Mudigonda, the leaders of the CPI(M) and CPI paid homage to the martyrs at the memorial pillar at bus stand centre and later addressed a massive public meeting organised on this occasion. Addressing the meeting, Manik Sarkar, member of the Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) and chief minister of Tripura, lashed out at the Congress government in the state for its attempts to take away the lands of the poor and give the same to the rich under various pretexts, including in the name of cooperative farming. He made it clear that trading in drinking water by the government should not be tolerated. After electing the Congress government once again, the people of the state were being cheated by the government, he said. The electoral victory of the Congress was possible mainly because of the division of the votes of the opposition parties, he explained. Manik Sarkar pointed out that the Congress should remember that such gaining of power was not permanent but limited. The Congress government is working to protect the vested interests of the blakcmarketeers, capitalists, landlords and smugglers, he criticised. It is not implementing land reforms because it is not palatable to those classes, though it knows that distribution of the land would benefit the people, he said.
Pointing out that the sacrifice of the Mudigonda martyrs is not a small affair, Manik Sarkar explained that repressive measures on people’s struggles in the country have become a routine affair. He felt that it is not a new thing for the people of Andhra Pradesh, who have inherited the spirit of the armed Telangana peasant struggle, to face such repression. The people of the country had felt that after Independence the Indian rulers would do justice to them, but even after 62 years their aspirations have not been fulfilled. Along with the Congress, the other parties who shared power with it at the centre, had not thought of issues land reforms, land to the tiller, drinking water, irrigation and remunerative prices to agricultural produce, etc.
Since the earlier UPA government depended on the support of the Left for its survival, it had hesitated to take anti-people measures. Now that the present Congress government is not dependent on the support of the Left, it is recklessly going ahead with its anti-people agenda. Struggles are inevitable for soling the problems of the people, he asserted.
Manik Sarkar explained that the reason for successive victories of the Left Front government in Tripura is its working together with the people of the state. He pointed that the government has been explaining all issues, including its limitations to tackle some of the issues, to the people. Explaining the measures taken by the Tripura government for the benefit of the people, the chief minister pointed out that land reforms were implemented and water for 88 per cent of the irrigated land was provided. Pattas were distributed to 62,000 people on 1.12 lakh acres under the Forest Rights Act and with that all the tribals in Tripura have got their rights on land, he explained. A monthly pension of Rs 400 each is being given to widows and orphan women. Under the scheme of girl protection, a sum of Rs 300 per month is being given to the family with two girls till they attained the age of 16 years. Employment opportunities are being created for 15,000 people per annum. A lot more needs to be done, Manik Sarkar said.
B V Raghavulu, secretary of the state committee of the CPI(M) and a member of its Polit Bureau, asked the Congress government not to play truant with the people on the issuing of rising prices. If there is no change for the better in the situation, it would have to face united struggles, he warned the government. Reminding that the Congress could not win the elections with its own strength and that it is a lame and blind government, having lost support of majority of the people, Raghavulu accused it of taking away the lives of seven martyrs in Mudigonda for demanding distribution of land. Secretary of the Khammam district committee of the CPI(M), P Sudarshan Rao, presided over the meeting. Member of the central committee of the CPI(M), Thammineni Veerabhadram, district secretary of the CPI, Bh. Hemanta Rao and others addressed the meeting.