Southern Jatha Ends at Bhopal

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Southern leg of the Sangharsh Sandesh Jatha merged with the Western Jatha at Bhopal on 12th March, 2013 after having traveled over 3350 kilometres. Over the last 17 days the Jatha touched over 10 lakh people directly and conveyed the message of struggles. People received it with great enthusiasm everywhere and reaffirmed their commitment to struggles.

The Southern leg of the Sangharsh Sandesh Jatha was flagged off on 24th February 2013 from Kanyakumari by CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat by handing the Red Flag to the Jatha leader S. Ramachandran Pillai and the team members.

The Jatha completed its journey in the four South Indian States of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, as well as Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh before merging with the Western Jatha at Bhopal. The Jatha completed 17 days and traveled over 3350 kilometers before reaching Bhopal. The Jatha leaders addressed meetings at seventy venues and had receptions in more than fifty locations. The Jatha touched more than 10 lakh people directly in the course of its journey. In addition to this people lined the streets to greet the Jatha all through the route. It was received everywhere with great fervor with different cultural programmes and folk art forms as well as the guard of honour by red volunteers.

The Jatha traversed through the different venues of heroic struggles like Marthandam in Tamilnadu, the venue of protests against the oppression of the princely State of Travancore, revolutionary Punnapra-Vayalar anti-feudal struggle, the places of Moplah rebellion in Malappuram, Tiruppur, the venue of martyrdom of Kumaran in the independence struggle and workers’ struggles, Salem the venue of the martyrdom in the Jail rebellion, Dharmapuri witness to the heroic Vachathi struggle of Adivasis and struggles of Dalits against caste oppression, Kurnool witness to resistance against the British and the regions witness to the historic Telangana armed struggle against feudal landlords and the Nizam which was an added source of inspiration. The Jatha members garlanded the statue of Babasaheb Ambedkar at many places and resolved to take forward his struggle against caste discrimination and oppression. The Jatha members stayed at the Sewagram at Wardha and visited the Ashram of Mahatma Gandhi.

The Jatha went through regions facing extreme agrarian distress and expressed solidarity with many family members of farmers who committed suicide. The hoisting of the Party flag at Khanapur in Adilabad District wherein tribal people have occupied government land and built huts was a memorable experience. Drought-prone regions, wet-lands, rain-fed regions, arid regions, coastal, highland and plain regions were covered touching different topographically and climatically varied regions. The Jatha traveled through regions growing different crops ranging from paddy to cotton, mustard to wheat, sugarcane to oil palms, plantation crops and horticultural crops. Important industrial centres of Kochi, Coimbatore, Bangalore, Adoni, Hyderabad, Nagpur and Bhopal were covered by the Jatha. The plight of the weavers in Doddaballapur and Adoni (also known as second Mumbai) as well as workers in the textile units in Tiruppur was serious. Large scale retrenchment, migration and suicides also were reported.

All sections of toiling masses, the landless, homeless, peasants, agricultural workers, fishers, fish workers, coir workers, cashew workers, weavers, religious minorities, Dalits, Adivasis, students, youth and women including anganwadi workers, ASHA workers, domestic workers, home-based workers and other unorganized sections, came in large numbers and felicitated the Jatha as well as submitted memoranda on their problems. The Jatha received more than 200 memoranda by different sections of society. The participation of women in the various meetings and receptions all through the route was impressive.

Freedom fighters, eminent academicians, film personalities, folk artists, retired judges, artists, poets and sportspersons met the Jatha leaders and expressed solidarity to CPI(M)’s message of struggle. The Jatha leaders also felicitated more than a hundred families of martyrs, freedom fighters, cultural personalities, sportspersons and social activists.

People’s anger against the anti-people policies, landlessness, homelessness, water shortage, closure of factories, ruin of traditional industries, rising prices, falling employment, corruption, violence against women and social injustice was palpable all through the route of the Jatha.