People's Democracy

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


No. 01

January 02, 2011

AIKS Condoles Pappa’s Demise


THROUGH a statement issued by its president S Ramachandran Pillai and general secretary K Varadha Rajan from New Delhi on December 18, the All India Kisan Sabha has expressed heartfelt condolence at the sad demise of Comrade Pappa Umanath on December 17. She was a member of the CPI(M) Central Committee for a long time and one of the pioneers of the women’s movement in India.


She was involved in many struggles from early childhood and was first arrested at the young age of 12. She was brought up by her widowed mother who was actively involved with the Left movement and soon became a part of the movement while a child. In 1948 she was imprisoned when the Communist Party was banned and was offered to be released to attend her mother’s funeral provided she quit the party, which she firmly rejected. She was arrested many times and also spent long durations underground. She was involved with trade union activities and was an organiser of the Southern Railway Employees Union.


In 1973, when the Democratic Women’s Union was formed, she was one of its main organisers and led many agitations against crimes against women. When the AIDWA was formed, she played an active role in building the organisation in Tamilnadu and was the founding general secretary of its state unit of AIDWA. Her leadership role in organising people against the killing of girl child, against the dowry system, the two-tumbler system and caste oppression won her a lot of respect. She was elected to the state assembly from Tiruverumbur and was known for her interventions in the assembly.


The AIKS said Pappa Umanath will remain an inspiration for generations to come. While offering condolences to her husband and daughters, the AIKS dipped its red banner in her memory.