Thousands of militant peasants from all over Tamilnadu converged at Thilagar Thidal, Thanjavur in Tamilnadu on 29th December and expressed their anger against the government which is adamant and refusing to repeal the Anti-peasant laws. AIKSCC of Tamilnadu gave a call for a Rally and mass meeting of Peasants in Thanjavur to show the solidarity of peasants and people of Tamilnadu with the struggling Peasants of Punjab, Haryana, UP and other states in Delhi and the demands of peasants all over India demnanding the repeal of the anti-peasant bills as well as legal guarantee for implementing the MSP. Many peasant organizations who are the constituent of AIKSCC – TN including Thamizaga Vivasayigal Sangam and many other organizations took up this call very seriously and made vigorous preparations for the rally. Peasants all over TN have expressed their anger and determination to fight to repeal the anti-peasant acts enacted by the central government.
Instead of defending the interests of peasants and opposing these Acts, Government of Tamilnadu has expressed its support to these pro-capitalist Acts. In its eagerness to show its support to Modi, Chief Minister of TN has been opposing the just demands of peasants. He has set the Police to deny any permission for the mass rally. In order to get the program going, organizers of the protest program were forced to call off the mass demonstration and hold only the public meeting. But as a next step Police started arresting the leading activists and leaders of peasants all over TN. On the day of the meeting, police blocked large number of Peasant vans and other vehicles coming from all over Tamilnadu from entering Thanjavur district and arrested large number of peasants.
But in spite of all such brutal attacks, very large number of peasants evaded the Police and gathered at the venue of the meeting in Thanjavur in thousands. The entire meeting ground was filled with red and green flags of peasants unions. They were shouting slogans denouncing the Central and State governments for their anti peasant. anti people and pro-capitalist legislation and activities.
E Saravanamuthuvel, leader of Thamizghaga Vivasayigal Sangam – Thoothukudi district along with a group of peasants from Ottapidaram – Pasuvanthanai region took part in this meeting. Various organizations, including Thamigzha Vivasayigal Sangam have issued leaflets in support of the peasants and were distributed in the meeting.
The meeting was chaired by the Convener of AIKSCC-TN, Sri K Balakrishnan. Meeting commenced after standing in silence for few minutes paying respects to over 40 peasants who took part in this agitation and died at the borders of Delhi due to extreme cold weather and exhaustion and the adamant and unjust stand of the government.
Besides K Balakrishnan, meeting was addressed by Comrades N.V.Kannan of AIKSCC, Shanmugam, Samy Natarajan, S. Gunasekaran (Ex MLA) and P.S.Masilamani of Tamilnadu Peasants Sangam, M. Selvaraj – MLA from CPI, Durai Chandrasekar – MLA from DMK, S. S. Palanimanickam (ex MP) from DMK, Simson of All India Peasant Maha Sabha, Dr. A Rangasamy of All India Agricultural labourers Sangam, P.S.Kaliraj of Vazgha Vivasayigal Iyakkam, K.V.Illangkeeran of Kaveri Delta Vivasayeegal sanga Kootamaipu, Agri Ka Pasumaivalavan of Vivasayigal Defence Sangam, Ke Ve Ponnaiyan of Tharsarbu Vivasayeegal Sangam, Sheelu of Tamilnadu Women Joint action Committee, Pozhilan of Periyariya Ounarvalargal Kootamaipu, Kaliappan of Makkal Adhikaram, Aaduthurai Murugan of MDMK and Pa Balasundaram of AIKSCC
Leaders of many peasant organizations were also present on the stage.
All the leaders spoke in detail about the terrible consequences for the peasants of India once these laws are fully implemented. They pointed out that instead of improving the terrible conditions of the suffering peasants – due to high cost of agricultural inputs such as seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, water, power, labour, interest rates and due to the unpredictable market prices and weather, government is trying to open the doors for further loot and plunder of meager resources of the peasants by big capitalists.
Denial of minimum support prices, guaranteed procurement of crops by government, insurance for crop failures due to natural calamities, etc are going to completely ruin the peasants and drive out vast majority of them out of their livelihood. This and the consequence of removing all key food crops from the purview of Essential Commodities Act will expose our entire population to the greed of the big corporations due to hoarding of all essential items and manipulation of prices. Some of them also pointed out that this further weakens the powers of the state government and concentrates the control over agriculture in the hands of the Central government. Speakers demanded that government must act in defense of the interests of vast majority of peasants and the people and not for the profit-greedy minority of big capitalists.
Speakers denounced and severely condemned the servile attitude of Chief Minister of TN for supporting the anti-peasant acts brought in by the Modi government. They condemned the Government of TN for taking repressive measures against the peasants all over TN and preventing thousands of them from attending this protest meeting at Thanjavur. They demanded the government of TN must stand on the side of peasants and pass a resolution in the Assembly against the Central government to immediately withdraw these anti-peasant and anti-people acts.
AIKSCC-TN convener declared that the struggle of TN farmers along with the peasants in Delhi will be intensified in the coming days till the government scrapes these laws. Soon a date will be announced and all the peasants of TN will also converge in Chennai to stress their demands.
Anger and determination can be seen in the faces of all the thousands of peasants who have gathered defying the blockade and repression imposed by the Police and the government. Through this militant mass meeting, peasants of TN have sent a very clear and stern warning to the central government and the Indian big capitalists that they will not tolerate the unjust legislations and the brutal arbitrary rule any longer and with immediate effect they must withdraw these anti-peasant acts.