CPI(M) State secretary K. Balakrishnan on Tuesday said his party could say with pride that it had always entered the fray to fight for the victims of human rights violations and other forms of oppression even though it was not a major political force in Tamil Nadu.
“We are not a ruling party. Neither had we ruled the State. It is not certain whether we will emerge as an (principal) opposition party. But we can say with pride that if there is a human rights violation in a corner of a State, we immediately fight for the victims. We fight against the atrocities against SC/STs, women, children and other weaker sections and pulverise the oppressive forces,” he said.
Mr. Balakrishnan made these comments at a function to unveil the statue of late leader P. Ramamurti and a hall in memory of former secretary M.R. Venkatraman in the State headquarters.
He wondered who would fight for the people if the communists were not in the field. “We waged a legal battle for many years to get justice for the victims of Vachathi. It is an achievement of the Red Flag,” he said.
He advocated for bringing together all the secular forces in the country against the BJP even though the communists had some differences with other secular parties. “The outcome of the Assembly elections in the five States this year should be a forerunner to the defeat of the BJP,” he said.
Mr. Balakrishnan said the family members of Mr. Ramamurti had contributed ₹10 lakh to organise a memorial lecture every year. They had also come forward to set up a research centre at the Centre of Indian Trade Union office in Delhi in memory of Mr. Ramamurti with a fixed deposit of ₹10 lakh. Senior advocate R. Vaigai and daughter of P. Ramamurti and other family members attended the event.
“By honouring leaders like PR and MRV, we are learning lessons from history and perspective to create our own history,” he added.
Senior leaders including T.K. Rangarajan, G. Ramakrishnan, P. Sampath and others recalled the contribution made by P. Ramamurti and M.R. Venkatraman, the longest serving State secretary of the party.
Mr. Ramamurti was particular about marrying a woman outside his community and had decided to wed only after his mother’s death, as she did not approve of an inter-caste marriage. Former State secretary and Polit Bureau member G. Ramakrishnan fondly recalled PR’s marriage to his wife Ambal in 1952, who was also a freedom fighter and a communist.
“He was the Leader of the Opposition of the composite Madras Presidency. He went to the Registrar’s office and registered his marriage before attending the Assembly session that very same day. E.V.R. Periyar, who knew about the marriage, organised a simple reception that evening,” Mr. Ramakrishnan said.
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