People's Democracy

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


No. 36

September 09, 2012


Sundarayya’s Birth Centenary Observed at Ranchi


ON August 27, the Gossener Theological Hall at Ranchi was packed with the participants who came from different parts of Jharkhand to observe late Comrade P Sundarayya’s birth centenary. They belonged to different sections of the population like intellectuals, youth, students, women, peasants, etc. CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat inaugurated the centenary celebration programme by laying a garland on the portrait of Comrade P Sundarayya and by making an address on the occasion.


It is to be noted that the P Sundarayyan birth centenary celebrations are going to be observed over the year. The programmes are to be organised by an organising committee whose president is Rajendra Singh Munda, a former MLA, while Prof Shishir Kumar and Dr Prabhat K Singh of Ranchi University are its conveners.


On the day of inauguration of the celebration programme, conveners and members of the organising committee welcomed Prakash Karat at the Ranchi Airport in the morning. A procession of hundreds of motor cycles, carrying red flags and shouting slogans, escorted him to the Jharkhand state office of the CPI(M), from where he was taken to the venue of the programme.


The programme was conducted by Dr Prabhat Singh while Prof Shishir Kumar of Ranchi University welcomed the participants. Rajendra Singh Munda presided over the function.


Prakash Karat also inaugurated a blog on Comrade P Sundarayya --- on this occasion. It was prepared by Shashikant Singh on behalf of the organising committee.


In this inaugural address, Prakash Karat recalled Comrade P Sundarayya’s very simple life, adding that he was a revolutionary who led the social reform movements since his student life. He struggled against the social evils such as untouchability. During the struggle of independence he visited every nook and corner of rural Andhra Pradesh and learnt the types of class exploitation and social oppression prevailing in the society.


P Sundarayya was the first person who organised the agricultural labourers and formed an organisation of this class. He faced the brutality of the Nizam rule of Hyderabad against the peasants. He organised an armed peasant force and led the historic Telangana movement which liberated about six thousand villages in Telangana area from the Nizam dispensation. After independence, the Communist Party of India won most of the parliamentary seats, with big margins, in this area. When the CPI(M) was formed in 1964, he became the first general secretary of the party.


In his address, Prakash Karat said the toiling masses of the country are badly suffering today due to the neo-liberal policies while big scams are coming to the surface everyday. The central government is pursuing pro-rich policies in the interest of the capitalist- imperialist forces instead of caring for the interests of the people. While a few dozens of Indians are among the richest people of the world, the other side of the picture is that Indians account for the largest number of poor people also in the world. More than 50 per cent of Indian children are malnourished, and this too is the highest ratio in the world. Corruption, loot and price hike are rampant in India due to its neo-liberal policies. In such a situation, the life and values of Comrade P Sundarayya and his struggles become all the more pertinent and relevant.


Karat said under the UPA-2 government the prices of essential commodities are rising day by day. This government appears keener about appeasing the international finance capital and providing it greater opportunities for profit maximisation in India instead of pursuing such policies as may economically empower the mass of the Indian people. This government has to be forced to reverse its current thinking and adopt a policy regime that may ensure sustainable growth while improving the livelihood status of the people. The yearlong observance of the birth centenary of Comrade P Sundarayya must be taken up as a campaign to build and strengthen the party, Karat concluded.