Peasants hold meeting in Tamilnadu's Thoothukudi district

In June 2017, Tamizhaga Vivasayeegal Sangam (Sangam) organized a meeting of peasants near Pasuvandanai in Thoothukudi district of Tamilnadu. Peasants belonging to the nearby villages took active part in this meeting. Besides Sangam leaders and activists, the leaders and activists of Communist Ghadar Party, Workers Unity Movement and Unorganized Workers Federation also took part in this meeting.

Among those who addressed the meeting were Thiru. Saravana Muthuvel, district coordinator of the Sangam, Thiru. Ramasamy of Jambulingapuram and Thiru. Deivaraj - leaders of Sangam, Com. Krishnamurthy leader of Unorganized Workers Federation, Com. Baskar - leader of Workers Unity Movement, and Comrade Wilson - spokesperson of Communist Ghadar Party of India.

Speakers talked about the severe drought in Tamilnadu and the most difficult conditions faced by the peasants. For lack of irrigation, farmers are unable to save their crops. In many areas even drinking water is in such short supply that cattle are dying. Peasants are in great distress seeing their fields and cattle perish. Some peasants who have outstanding loans, have been unable to bear the humiliation they were suffering and committed suicide. Many others have shifted to cities in search of livelihood. Speakers blamed the government for not controlling the input prices and not procuring farmer's produce at remunerative prices and thereby putting the farmers in severe distress.

They pointed out that the economic orientation, in which essential services are being privatised and government is abdicating its responsibility, has adversely affected the farmers. Demonetisation and consequent tightening of currency operations has made the situation worse. They demanded that the government must waive off the agricultural loans. Speakers also highlighted the fact that Cauvery river waters were not being used in the interest of farmers in both Karnataka and Tamilnadu states and the governments were continuing their policy of "divide and rule". Agricultural cooperative banks and government administrative machinery are being used to harass the farmers rather than offering help in this period of distress. Farmers are being denied the use of fertile soil from dried up lakes and ponds that has traditionally been available to them free of cost. Government is not giving free power connections for pump sets although it continues to lie to the people that all farmers are using free power. They condemned the government for not ensuring that the drought relief actually reaches them.

Speakers hailed the militant unity of the peasants and extended full support for their just demands. Com. Wilson emphasised that only the political power in the hands of workers and peasants will solve these issues of the farmers once and for all.

Besides stressing on their demands such as waiving off all agricultural loans, resolving the river water disputes, the meeting has also passed the following resolutions:

  1. Peasants must be allowed without any conditions and interference to make use of the fertile top soil from the ponds and lakes of the villages.
  2. Government must immediately lift the ban and provide free power connections to all pending pump set applications for agricultural purposes.
  3. Request government authorities to immediately shift back Kudirai Kulam and Nagampatti villages to Ottapidaram taluk from the newly assigned Kayathar taluk.
  4. Denounce the arrogant and callous response of the official Pasuvandanai Primary Agricultural Cooperative Credit Bank to the villagers

Meeting ended with determination to unite the peasants and build a strong organization to defend their rights.

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peasants    Tamilnadu    Jul 16-31 2017    Struggle for Rights    Economy     Popular Movements     Rights     2017   

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