First State Conference of AIALA in Tamil Nadu

A IALA Zindabad ! , “Agricultural Labour-Workers unity Zindabad!!” – slogans rented the air in Myladuthurai town on 25 December (the anniversary of Keezh Venmani massacre in which 44 agri-labourers were burnt alive in 1968), when thousands of AIALA members and CPI(ML) activists marched through the main streets of this town on the occasion of the First State Conference of AIALA in Tamil Nadu.

This was culmination of a 9-month-long propaganda campaign. The colourful procession named ‘Agricultural Labourers Right’s March’ was participated by more than 4,000 people. A folk drum-beating ‘troupe’ marched in the front, followed by volunteers carrying 44 AIALA flags symbolizing 44 agricultural labourers burnt alive by the neo-kulak-landlord Gopala Krishna Naidu.

As the Rally reached the ‘Venmani Martyrs’ ground, CPI(ML) General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya received the torch from ‘Keezh Venmani’ martyrs memorial. Comrade Khitish Biswal, National Vice-President of AIALA and the Central Observer for the conference, received the torch of martyr comrades Chandrakumar-Chandra Sekar from Manalore (Tanjore District).

Veteren Left leader and Senior Party member Comrade Nagarajan hoisted the AIALA flag followed by a two-minutes' silence in memory of countless martyrs of the state. Following this ‘Chennai Kalai Kuzhu’ staged a play depicting the struggle and mission of Comrades Chandrakumar and Chandrasekar.

Speaking on the occasion Comrade Dipankar said: ‘Today when we are remembering the martyrs and taking a pledge to carry forward the cause of agrarian labourers, Vajpayee is celebrating his birthday. It is a shameful thing that the nation is called upon to celebrate the birthday of a person who had no role in the freedom struggle’. Emphasising the necessity of the struggle by the rural poor, he called upon the Sangam (AIALA) activists to march boldly and resolutely to fulfil the dream of countless martyrs.

On the Tamil Nadu situation he said that as a result of the bankruptcy of Dravidian politics, a political vacuum has emerged in Tamil Nadu. The Left ranks must rise to the occasion and assert independently, and in this context the agricultural labour organisations led by the left parties have an important role to play.

Congratulating the Sangam and the CPI(ML) activists for their endeavour Comrade Dipankar exhorted them to undertake larger struggles in the coming days.
Comrade Kitish Biswal and Comrade Bangar Rao, AIALA National Secretary, greeted the conference. Also present in the conference were Comrade DP Buxi, CPI(ML) Polit Bureau member and incharge of South Zone, Party Central Committee members S. Kumarasamy, V. Shankar and Party’s Pondichery State Secretary Comrade S. Balasubramaniam and Tamil Nadu State Secretary Comrade Balasundaram. The conference was presided over by Comrade S. Annadurai.

Com. Gunasekaran placed the resolutions. A 51-member State Council, 21-member State Executive committee and seven office bearers were elected unanimously. They include S. Annadurai (President) D. Pandian, Avudaiappan, Sugunthan (Vice-Presidents) N. Gunasekaran (General Secretary), Ilangovan, Viduthalai Kumaran, Eraniappan and Janakiraman (Secretaries).