People's Democracy

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


No. 30

July 29, 2012



50 Years of Theekkatir


THEEKKATIR has completed half century of existence. It was a rough and tough journey throughout the years. Theekkatir was born as a weapon for the ideological fight against the then right revisionists in the Communist Party of India. It was June 29, 1963 when Theekkathir was started as a weekly organ from Chennai with the fund collected by Coimbatore mill workers. Its first editor was Comrade Arputhasamy, fondly called as Appu.


When CPI(M) was formed in 1964,Theekkathir became the official organ of the Party's Tamilnadu state committee and its regular edition was launched in 1969 at Madurai, a stronghold of the Party. Theekkathir became a daily newspaper in 1971 with headquarters at Madurai.


The paper's second edition was started from Chennai in 1993. It was inaugurated by Comrade EMS Namboodiripad. Its third edition, in a multi-colour form, was launched from the industrial city of Coimbatore on May 23, 2007. It was inaugurated by CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat. The fourth edition from Tiruchirapalli was inaugurated by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury on September 5, 2010.


From the very first day, Theekkathir established itself, in a militant and vibrant journey, as an organiser of the Party and as a spokesperson in the political-social history of modern Tamilnadu. It played a crucial role in the history of class struggles of the working class in Tamilnadu for the past 50 years.


Under the editorship of the veteran leaders of the CPI(M) N Sankarish, K Muthiah, and V Meenakshi Sundaram, the daily's contributions for the buildup of the Party, class and mass organisations as well as imparting Party education have been priceless. In this connection we must also remember. We should here remember the veteran leaders who dedicated themselves for the growth of the paper, late Comrades P Ramamurthi, M R Venkatraman, A Balasubramaniyam, A Nallasivan, N Varadharajan and S S Giri.


The tireless journey of Theekkathir has now entered into its historic Golden Jubilee year on June 29, 2012. The state committee of the Party decided to celebrate the golden jubilee year with massive participation of the readers. Statewide special subscription drive aiming to increase the wide circulation and the readership of the paper has been planned; felicitation of senior news agents, readers and reporters; family meetings of the daily's staff; a special souvenir publication; competitions for students and some other edition-wise programmes have been planned. And finally, a big and massive function to commemorate the end of golden jubilee year would be held at Madurai on June 29, 2013.




The beginning of the Golden Jubilee year of Theekkathir was very impressive and had drawn more than 5000 people, mostly agricultural workers, at Thiruvarur, a stronghold of the Party.

On behalf of the Tamilnadu state committee of the CPI(M), the Thiruvarur district committee of the Party held a colorful inaugural public meeting on June 29. CPI(M) Polit Bureau member K Varadharajan inaugurated the golden jubilee celebrations at this meeting. State secretary G Ramakrishnan, central committee member K Balakrishnan MLA, state secretariat members MNS Venkatraman, N Srinivasan, senior leader G Veeriahan and district leaders spoke in the meeting. Theekkathir editor V Parameshwaran presided over the meeting.


Earlier in the morning, at the offices of the daily’s four editions – Madurai, Chennai, Coimbatore and Tiruchi – impressive inaugural programmes were held. At Madurai campus, veteran leader of the Party and a dedicated administrator of the daily, A Abdul Wahab raised the Red flag. And veteran leaders N Sankaraiah and R Umanath raised the Red flag respectively at Chennai and Tiruchi. P R Natarajan, CPI(M) MP, hoisted the flag at Coimbatore edition office.


In Madurai office, which has the legacy of the entire history of Theekkathir, senior comrades A Abdul Wahab, freedom fighter I Mayandi Bharathi, writer N Ramakrishnan, novelist D Selvaraj, Professor Arunan and ‘Theekkathir’ R Narayanan were honoured by CPI(M) state secretary G Ramakrishnan. All those comrades had dedicated themselves for the daily’s growth at its early stages.


A modified library named after Comrade K Muthiah, long served editor and multi-faceted icon of the paper, was opened by N Ramakrishnan, who penned many books on the history of the Party’s growth and struggles in Tamilnadu and dedicated himself from the very first copy of the paper.


A photograph in memory of Comrade N Varadharajan, former state secretary of the Party who had established his love and affection on the day to day growth of Theekkathir was unveiled as also that of K Muthiah’s. Senior comrades who have completed 25 years of service to the paper were felicitated by MNS Venkatraman.


Senior leader of the Party and the editor of Semmalar, literary monthly of the party, S A Perumal presided over the function. In all the four editions, workers, including the editorial and administrative staff, and Party leaders and cadres from the respective districts participated along with their family members.