KANNUR: The farmers of Keezhattoor are going ahead with plans for their long march to Thiruvananthapuram to bring the plight of the farmers to national attention. The CPM Kannur district leadership is also under pressure from state and central leadership to influence the Keezhattoor comrades to drop the long march and bring the expelled rebels of Keezhattoor back to the party fold.
However, the issue has triggered a discussion on the historic 1934 'Long March' and the teachings of Mao Zedong among party circles, with some CPM leaders sarcastically calling Suresh Keezhattoor as 'Keezhattoor Mao.' Many leaders believe that it would be tough for the party to defend itself if the peasants take out a march in the name 'Long March,' mimicking the revolutionary symbols and slogans.
All-India Kissan Sabha (AIKS), the farmers' arm of CPM which had conducted a successful farmers' agitation in Maharashtra, also had expressed its displeasure over the failure of the state unit in resolving the issue. An AIKS leader who preferred anonymity told DC that the national leadership had directed the state leadership to settle the agrarian issue without antagonizing the peasant comrades.
"A march of the farmers to Thiruvananthpauram at a time a Left government is ruling the state and AIKS has been organising protests of farmers against the right wing regime at the centre would damage the image the organisation achieved at the national level after the Mumbai march," he said. However, Suresh Keezhattoor, the leader of Vayalkkilikal, is confident that the farmers would remain under the banner till the victory of the agitation.
"We are farmers. We have the right to walk in protest on the highways. We will announce the date at the right time," he said. On the attempt by the CPM district leadership to woo the expelled workers back to the party, Suresh Keezhattoor said that leaders will come and go, but the comrades would remain. "We are villagers and we have the strength of the village," he said.
On the speech of chief minister that there will not be any elevated highway in Keezhattoor, Suresh said that the action council never asked for an elevated highway. "But if the government is ready to construct one in the town, it would avoid the acquisition of 70 acres land for the project which would need hardly 20 acres. "What we demand is a discussion in the presence of experts on resolving the issue. The government should keep an open mind," he added....