(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
August 21, 2011
Struggle Restores Not Only Path, Dignity Too!
MEDIA may have got tired saying
"untouchable wall". They coined a different word to describe the wall
Initially, the administration was trying to create a wedge between the democratic forces and the people living on the other side of the wall. They tried to pass on a misinformation saying that the dalit population was interested only in settling the old issues like basic amenities to their area. But, the Arunthathiyars of Raman Colony stood behind the TNUEF and the DYFI. A peace committee meeting was arranged by the district officials. In that, it was decided to settle the issue amicably. The TNUEF and the DYFI were firm in their stand. It was people's will that the wall should be demolished.
The caste Hindus had tried to create confusion by saying that the wall was constructed on the patta land. On this, the TNUEF and the DYFI had demanded a re-survey. But the process at the official end was going on at a snail's pace. Hence, the TNUEF had decided to conduct a demonstration to demand the speedy disposal. On August 9, many volunteers from the TNUEF, DYFI, SFI and AIDWA took part in the demonstration. P Sampath, president, TNUEF presided over the programme. In his speech, he described the wall as a shame on civil society and insisted that there is an urgent need to demolish the same. He also demanded that basic amenities should be provided to the dalit population in their habitation.
When the survey was conducted, it became clear that the wall was constructed illegally. With pressure mounting up, the district administration had no other option but to demolish the illegal structure. On August 13, "Shame wall" was brought down. The people welcomed the action and the mood was celebrative among the 500 Arunthathiyar families. They thanked the TNUEF and the DYFI for settling the issue that was troubling them for the last 15 years. It was their feeling that the struggle not only restored their path but also their dignity.
The TNUEF has also decided to take up other issues which haunt the dalits. Drainage, street lights and drinking water facilities still elude them. They have not been issued the house pattas. The public toilets in that area are in very bad condition. The struggle will continue for such facilities.