Southern Jatha in Karnataka

Silk weavers and farmers should intensify struggles
S. Ramachandran Pillai from Sangharsh Sandesh jatha

The Southern jatha of Sangharsh Sandesh proceeded from Bangalore to the northern regions of Karnataka. Meetings were organised in Doddaballapur, Bagepalli and Gudibanda.
In Doddaballapur, the jatha interacted with the local people and found out that water scarcity and lack of electricity are adversely affecting the livelihoods of the people there. Women are found waiting for water since 5 AM in the morning for more than six hours and water finally trickled at around 11 AM. It seems it is a daily routine for them and many times most of the women who wait for water cannot fill their pitchers as water stops before that.
On the other hand, due to the erratic power supply power looms largely lie idle. Doddaballapur is predominantly a town whose people depend on weaving. They weave the famous silk sarees of the region, which consumers buy in fancy showrooms for thousands of rupees. The weavers in Doddaballapur work for more than 14 hours a day to weave two sarees. They have to work all through standing in small dingies. For all this hard labour they are paid at a piece-rate of 150 rupees for a single saree. Due to the erratic supply of electricity, now the weavers are unable to weave even a single saree per day. The rising input costs is adding to this and are forcing them to either leave the profession and migrate or as some have done commit suicides. It is to be noted here that even silk farmers are committing suicides due to the lack of proper support from the state. The government is happy in announcing many industrial complex in the region, but not showing any interest in addressing the issue of the weavers and farmers.
S. Ramachandran Pillai, Polit Bureau member and leader of the Jatha spoke about these problems and explained the anti-people policies of both the Congress led UPA government at the Centre and the BJP government in the state. He called upon the people to join the struggle against these policies. He urged the people to strengthen the CPI (M) stating that it is only the Left that can usher in alternative policies and ensure the well being of people.
M.A.Baby, Polit Bureau member, Sudha Sundararaman and V. Srinivasa Rao, members of the Central Committee also spoke during the course of the day where many public meetings and receptions were organised.
The jatha was escorted from Doddaballapur to Gauribiddanur by an impressive rally of nearly thousand motorcycles. The jatha is to finish its engagements in Penugonda and Pavagada today.