People's Democracy

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


No. 41

October 13, 2013







Successful Struggle for Housing Pattas


S P Rajendran


TOWARDS the end of September, a massive protest of downtrodden people particularly poor farmers and agricultural workers was held demanding land and housing pattas across Tamilnadu. More than 50 thousand of people laid siege in front of the taluk offices at various centres under the leadership of the Tamilnadu Vivasayikal Sangam (Kishan Sabha) and the AIAWU.


Nearly 25 lakhs of families in the state are living without a small piece of land or housing patta. They are living in porompoke land or in very small rented rooms. Majority of the porompoke lands or the so-called rental houses are situated on the banks of huge drainage channels; the road sides and in the dried lands near water bodies. Ironically, in the state of Tamilnadu, the project of giving pattas for the landless poor is in implementation for the past 50 years.


While the price of land is rising sharply as the real estate players’ speculative trade has been spreading without any control, not only the poor people, but even the middle class people too are not able to buy a piece of land for their own housing.


In this background, TNKS and AIAWU in Tamilnadu are continuously fighting for the free housing patta and land patta for the poor and landless. Recently, on September 12, the leaders of both the organisations K Balakrishnan MLA, P Shanmugam, A Lazar, MLA and G Mani had met Tamilnadu revenue minister and submitted a detailed report on the state of housing patta project. They demanded the distribution of waste lands to the lakhs and lakhs of landless poor and reiterated their demand for extension of the time limit to give pattas.  They also wanted the government to distribute pattas for the traditional dwellers who are living in the lands owned by the temples, churches, mosques, mutts and trusts.


After this, the TNKS and the AIAWU gave a call to siege the government offices till the protesters receive the pattas. Responding to the call, thousands of poor farmers and landless farm workers laid siege on September 26.


At various places, the government authorities responded positively to the demands and assured the protesters to identify the patta lands.


In some places, the protest continued even in the night. Particularly in Tambaram, near Chennai city, hundreds of people from Thiruneermalai town panchayat decided to wait in front of the taluk office till they get a response to their demands. The militant struggle lasted for six days. TNKS leaders and members of 136 families resolutely observed sit-in-wait and made the premises their social kitchen, took bath and food there. The officials had no other choice but to consider and accept their demand for pattas. At last, on the sixth day evening, October 2, the revenue minister of the state and authorities announced that the government accepts the demand and ministers of the government would be giving pattas directly to the people.    


The people of Thiruneermalai, who were unable to win pattas for the past 50 years, thanked the TNKS and its leaders. Earlier, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) conducted a demonstration in support of the struggle in Tambaram.




RESPONDING the call of the Central Committee of the CPI(M) to expose and agitate against the crimes on women, the Party’s Virudhunagar district committee in Tamilnadu had organised a massive public convention against the menace of dowry on September 26.


Central Committee member of the CPI(M) U Vasuki has voiced concern over the deteriorating status of women in society.


Speaking at the convention, she said marriages and human rights were becoming a business. Educational system should focus on the significance of social justice, equality of men and women and on moral values, she said.


The Party would fight crimes against women and for the equality of women. Vasuki called upon the people to join hands with the Party since the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) never bothered about the basic problems of the people. Even while the country was making rapid strides in various fields, there was no corresponding improvement in the status of women, she noted.


G Ramakrishnan, CPI(M) state secretary, said the Party has always been raising its voice against violence on women and striving for equality of women on all fronts. There has been no end to the agony of women in homes and in society in view of the dowry menace, and other atrocities against them outside their homes.


Eight persons who had married without demanding or accepting dowry were honoured on the occasion.


AIDWA state general secretary P Suganthi and others spoke. Earlier, J J Srinivasan, town secretary, welcomed the gathering. District secretary A Sekar presided. State committee member S Balasubramaniyan, K Arjunan and others participated.