08 August 2019

Thousands March to Kalpatta, Wayanad on July 18 in Solidarity with Land Struggle !

Thousands of Adivasis and landless peasants along with others expressing solidarity marched on18th July to Wayanad District Collectorate demanding land to the landless. In Kerala after 72 years of so called Independence 5.25 lakh acres of land are still encroached by foreign plantation companies and local mafia with the help of Kerala governments (either Left Front or Right Front) whoever is in power. The All India Krantikari Kisan Sabha, Adivasi Bharat Mahasabha and the Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) Red Star organized this march. Under the much trumpeted Land Reforms of Kerala, the State Governments, either Left or Right, distributed only about one lakh acres out of the eight lakh acres declared as surplus land at the initial stage under ceiling laws. In Kerala, land has become a commercial and rare commodity to buy and sell at sky rocketing prices. The real estate mafia are taking benefit out of it.  As a result lakhs of Adivasis and other landless peasants are thrown out of land, many have become landless and pushed to rented houses or caste based tiny huts in colonies because of the so called Developmental activities in the name of highways and corporate projects. In this situation, the Thowarimala movement is now getting momentum and many leading people’s movements are reaching at the collectorate gate where Adivasis and landless peasants are sitting in dharna from 23rd April after they were thrown out of the Towarimala land they had occupied.

The Towarimala land struggle should be seen in the context of Adivasis’, Dalits’ and other landless people’s land question becoming an increasingly serious question all over India. While vast stretches of land are given to corporates and land mafias, and even foreign corporates are allowed to keep lakhs of acres of land illegally for decades as in Kerala, the Adivasis and others at many places have no land even to bury their dead relatives. Though land ceiling laws were enacted in almost all states, nowhere the surplus land was distributed to the landless peasants, the real tillers of the land.  It is in this situation the ongoing Towarimala land struggle in Wayanad district of Kerala is very important. More than 1000 families, who occupied this land taken over from the Harrison Plantations in 1970s for distributing to Adivasis, but not distributed still, were thrown out by force on 23rd April. They are continuing dharna in front of Kalpatta district office from that time.

On 18th July thousands of families of landless people marched towards Kalpatta struggle centre demanding taking over of illegally held land from the foreign corporates and its distribution to the landless families. Declaring solidarity with this march and supporting the Towarimala land struggle many leaders of people’s movements, activists, writers, cultural activists etc addressed the thousands of Adivasis and other landless people mobilized there. While the LDF government is totally neglecting the movement and trying to suppress it, this struggle is inspiring the numerous struggles of the landless people al over the state. Let the revolutionary peasant movement led by AIKKS and the Adivasi Bharat Mahasabha get organized more militantly mobilizing the Adivasis and other landless people, and intensifying the movement. n

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Kabeer Katlat

The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.