Resurgence - Sammooha Ezhuchi Manadu - Tamil Nadu State Conference
Friday, February 26th, 2010
People of Tamil Nadu
EM Abdul Rahman
Madurai / 21 February 2010
E. M. Abdul Rahiman
Popular Front of India
This Grand Public Meeting is not merely a show of organizational strength – the strength of its organizers, we the Popular Front of India in Tamil Nadu. The noble objective of this conference is implied in its very name ‘Samooha Ezhuchi Manadu’, that is Social Resurgence Conference. Our brothers and well wishers of Popular Front of India in Tamil Nadu, by convening many thousands of men and women from the length and breadth of the state, declare here that they are opening a new movement of social resurgence. I am sure this event will not be an end in itself. If at all this gathering shows any strength, definitely it is a show of social strength which heralds a new beginning. You are here being witness to, you here are being comrades of, a great beginning, a new beginning of social and political change.
Popular Front of India is a neo-social movement committed to the cause of equally empowering all classes of people of India, irrespective of any distinctions and ending all discriminations. Popular Front was dedicated to the people as a national movement coordinating the state organizations in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in the historic Empower India Conference held at Bangalore in February 2007. The Empower India Conference launched a new caravan for a new India, Naya Caravan Naya Hindustan, that is, a caravan for creating a new India of Equal Rights to All Indians. And this movement which was initially confined to the South, now has networking in 16 states stretching from Tamil Nadu to Delhi and Rajasthan to Manipur. Last year, in February 2009, we have convened yet another very big conference attended by around 3 lakhs people in Calicut, again with a specific message, as the name of the event indicated – National Political Conference. Now here in Tamil Nadu also we have convened its first state level conference, not just as a show, but with a specific aim –Samooha Ezhuchi.
While standing here in front of this ocean of people to formally open Samooha Ezhuchi Manadu, I remember the great tradition of Tamil Nadu in social resurgence, in fighting casteism and communalism and bringing justice to the lives of outcastes and untouchables. Let us all salute the memoriesof Periayar Ramaswamy Naiker, the pioneer of Suya Maryadai Eikam ( self-respect movement), who showed the way for all other social justice movements in whole of India before and after independence. You are now attempting to regain that great Tamil kalacharam, to recreate that great charithram of this land.
Yes, there is a need to regain our lost values and to launch a new movement – oru puthiya ezhuchi, oru puathiya Tamilagam, that is a new movement for a new Tamilagam. Unfortunately we find that the social evils which the great Dravidian movement eradicated in the past are not only prevalent even now in its different manifestations, but also that various reactionary forces are trying to promote caste hatred and create communal divide among the Tamil brothers and sisters. It is shameful that here even today the dalits happen to be the victims of caste discrimination, the people belonging to the lower castes are socially and physically assaulted not only by upper castes, but even by other backward castes.
It is matter of relief that when religious minorities like Muslims and Christians in other parts of our country are frequently haunted by Hindutva fascist outfits, the people of Tamil Nadu could defeat their nefarious designs. I should say that if at all BJP, the political tool of RSS got a few political gains in the past, a few seats in State Assembly and Parliament; it is not because of their own influence. It is because the so called secular political parties whether it is DMK, AIADMK or any other Dravida Kazhagoms betrayed their tradition. This exercise of political opportunism even at the cost of social harmony and justice by the parties that ruled Tamil Nadu after C. N. Anna Durai, is the reason for the caste and communal bias of some sections in state administration and police. In latest elections to State Assembly and Parliament, when both DMK and AIDMK decided to distance BJP, the Hidutva representation reached to the level of a big zero in terms of number of MLAs and MPs from Tamil Nadu. On behalf of the people assembled here, and in the best interest of the state, I appeal all secular political parties of Tamil Nadu not to ally with Hindutva parties again and to cleanse government and administration from casteism and communalism.
The situation is worse in other parts of the country. The discrimination based on caste and religion is against the spirit of our constitution and political system which is secular, socialist and democratic. Unfortunately, the various branches of government such as legislature, executive and judiciary have not only failed to check this discrimination, instead they have become tools in the hands of the ruling class against the genuine rights of the vast majority who constitute the poor people, rural population, labour class, farmers, tribals, dalits and Muslims. When people because of their hunger, protest against the ruling class for food, shelter and livelihood, the police and military forces are deployed to suppress them to create fear among them. Those movements and individuals who are in the forefront of agitations are either eliminated or alienated naming them terrorists and extremists.
Adequate representation of all classes, castes and communities in government, their due share in political power, is a basic requirement of Indian democracy. In the Indian parliament when the Muslim community which is 15% of population has a right to have 15% of members, that is around 80 members, never during the past 63 years it crossed the half mark. In the more colourful second term of the secular UPA in the centre, the number of Muslim MPs have come down to 30, a fall of 6 MPs from the strength of 36 in the last Lok Sabha. Popular Front has now realized that there is an urgent need to build a new political movement at the national level in order to put an end to the worthless practice voting for others and to mobilize Muslims and other marginalized masses to vote for themselves in elections. We look upon the newly formed Social Democratic Party with the slogan “Freedom from Hunger, Freedom from Fear” as new ray of hope to those who are hitherto exploited as mere vote banks by different parties.
During these months of February and March Popular Front is conducting a National Campaign for Muslim Reservation. Your state is participating in this campaign in a very big way through this conference. All official records such as the recently submitted Sachar Committee and Misra Commission reports have brought to light the under-representation of Muslims in education and employment. They are more backward than other communities. The central government has ignored the important suggestions of Sachar Committee and just limited it into a scholarship scheme. Regarding Misra Commission the central government has just tabled it in the parliament without pronouncing any action. In the case of Liberhan Commission report which pin pointed the top leaders of RSS and BJP responsible for the demolition of Babri Masjid, the central government has declared on the floor of the parliament that they are not going to take any action against the culprits. I would like to make it clear than no government in the centre or states can ignore the Muslim right to reservation. We call upon the central government to earmark 10% reservation for all Muslims in India in education and government service as recommended by Misra Commission. We have welcomed the decision of the Tamil Nadu state government to give 3.5% reservation to Muslims. At the same time we urge upon the DMK government for an effective implementation of quota reservation among the Muslims to raise their share in education and employment equal to their 5.6% share of state population. May I also ask the secular state government to look into the fact that the Muslim representation in Tamil Nadu prisons is much more than their population percentage, that is 9.6% and take appropriate steps to end this unwanted over-representation.
Lastly I request Tamil Nadu Muslims to start empowering themselves, without waiting for others from outside. While you have the right to get your due share of development from the government, you cannot blame others for all your problems. Popular Front is engaged in this task of community development by educating and organizing Muslims, and agitating for rights at the grass root level throughout India. I request you to continue your cooperation and support to all our activities. Also please remember that as Muslims you have to build strong social bonds with other deprived communities and join hands with them for justice to all. I call upon the members, associates and well wishers of Popular Front who have assembled here to take this message to every nook and corner of Tamil Nadu.