People's Democracy

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


No. 08

February 21, 2010




A Rejuvenated Party Organisation Poised for

Greater Struggles and Growth


A A Nainar


THE Tamilnadu state committee of the CPI(M) conducted a mid-term organisational review in its meeting held in Chennai for three days beginning February 12. It unanimously resolved to relieve N Varadarajan from the responsibility of the state secretary. Of late, he has been finding it difficult, owing to his age and volatile health, to cope with the increasingly demanding requirements of the party organisation. He was elected to this position in the 17th state conference of the party and re-elected at the 18th and 19th conferences. The meeting elected G Ramakrishnan as the new secretary of the state committee. BORN in a middle peasant family, the 60 years old Gopal Ramakrishnan joined the party in 1969, when he was a student. He worked in Students� Federation of India and in the Democratic Youth Federation of India during his student life. He practised as a lawyer in Cuddalore for eight years. G Ramakrishnan also worked in CITU.  He became a full time worker of the Party since 1981.


Earlier, the 34 party district committees had concluded their respective mid-term organisational reviews after the decision was taken in the July 2009 state committee meeting held at Coimbatore. It was a culmination of the other reviews conducted by the intermediate level committees in every district. This exercise brought to focus the strengths and weaknesses of the organisation in carrying out the tasks and fulfilling the objectives as decided by the 19th congress of the party.


Against Price Rise: Besides implementing the calls of the Central Committee, the party in the state took many people�s issues and organised movements during this period. A high point of this intervention was the picketing conducted by the CPI(M) and the CPI on December 7, 2009, against the unprecedented rise in the prices of essential  commodities. In the picketing, about one lakh volunteers participated and 65000 courted arrest.

Struggle for Land and House Sites: Similarly, on the question of land and allotment of house sites for the poor, a continuous and sustained movement is taking place in the state under the CPI(M)�s leadership. The Kisan Sabha and the party held various programmes, including the picketing of government offices, to force the ruling DMK to fulfil its electoral promise of allocation of two acres of land to all landless farmers in the state. On the issue of annexation of public land by Justice P D Dinakaran, the exposure campaign and various movements organised by the party in Thiruvallur district was able to make the government appoint an inquiry into the episode. On the question of house pattas too, the district committees, especially the two district committees in Chennai urban agglomeration, took initiatives. As late as on February 14, the concluding day of the state committee�s review meeting, a massive public meeting was held at Purasawalkam in Chennai, addressed among others by the CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat.

Dalit Issues: Another significant and unique initiative by the Tamilnadu state committee was to highlight dalit issues through a mass organisation called the Tamilnadu Untouchability Eradication Front (TNUEF). Throughout the state, a survey was taken to identify various forms of untouchability practised by the caste Hindus. At all such places the TNUEF intervened  to curb the practice by mobilising the democratic minded people along with the volunteers of the CPI(M). Demolition of the Untouchability wall at Uthapuram and later at Coimbatore; demand for reservation of Arunthathiyars; temple entry movement for dalits etc are only a few examples cited here. The movement continues with vigour, amid a lot of expectations and support from the dalits.

Trade Union Struggles: On the trade union front, new initiatives were taken during this period. At all places where MNCs --- from Hyundai to Visteon, and Ford to Nokia --- have set up industries in the form of SEZs and under special additional packages from the state, inhuman exploitation of labour is taking place in different forms. Workers are looking for avenues to express their resentment and anger. Apart from mobilising the unorganised workers of various sectors in huge numbers that resulted in its expansion during this period, The CITU mobilised the workers who confront the foreign monopoly capital operating in and around Chennai. There have been cases of victimisation and physical attacks by goons with state support; nonetheless the CITU has become a rallying point for such highly skilled new industrial workers. The benefits of such initiatives are sure to pay rich political and organisational dividends in the days to come.