Fighting Injustice in Polepally SEZ

…more than courage it takes WILL to stand up against injustice !

All Political party MAHA DHARNA at Polepally

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Finally Polepally brought all the political parties of the state to the village challenging SEZ atrocities. Recently a Round Table conference of all opposition parties was held at Hyderabad on 19th under the leadership of Dr. Narayana, General Secretary, Communist Party of India (CPI). They identified few issues to fight together and they started from Polepally. Major parties like CPI, CPI (M), CPI ML, CPI (New Democracy) Janata Dal (S), Loksatta, MBT, Praja Rajyam, TDP, and TRS came to Polepally.

Its very historical moment to get all parties under one roof at Polepally on 4th November, 2008. There were Erram Naidu(TDP), KCR(TRS), Narayana(CPI), Parakala Prabhakar(PRP), Raghavulu(CPI,M) and other members on one dais and to speak against SEZ in one voice.

Polepally turned to different colors with party flags of all colours which the people have not seen ever and so many all at one time! Around three thousand people came and the village echoed with their slogans. Some farmers spoke about their agony and questioned directly every political party about their stand on Polepally. They also stressed where were all these parties for last four years when forty farmers died due to SEZ atrocities.

A week before, all party local leaders came to Polepally and conducted a meeting. They managed to grab some committee members into their fold. They said that all the demands put forth by Polepally committee (Madhu & Sujatha) were not possible. They told that villagers can’t get their lands back and they have to only fight for better compensation. This came out from CPI and CPI (M) and other local parties in our absence. We told them firmly that the process of planning and demands of Polepally are an outcome of long struggle and they need not waste time trying to split the villagers by saying some demand of some leader was not feasible. We had to tell them there was no second opinion on the demands of Polepally people.

The political party chaps discussed about it again and again to confuse people. Villagers told that it is fine if the parties wanted to support or else they could choose to do something else. Initially they agreed to support the same demands which were put forth by Polepally committee. There was lot of debate among committee members and finally they clarified and resolved to stay put with the demands they chalked from the struggles all along past four years

Seenaiah Goud, Chukkamma spoke about their painful stories and expectations from political parties. Saleem, muslim farmer started saying suddenly all the CPI’s demands and that 10% of share in SEZ and market value etc would be better than asking the company to go back. All the other committee members shouted at him to stop his speech. All the political leaders were shocked to see the strong response from other farmers.

Finally, every party spoke in favour of Polepally but none of them, said anything in particular in support of the demands of Polepally Anti SEZ Committee. Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) told that they will do justice once their Government is formed but the leader was very positive about the movement and the demands. CPI (M) Raghavulu said that they need to have proper package before establishing SEZ. Similarly other parties blamed present Government and expressed their anger on Congress Party. Some groups who came to support Polepally committee supported the demands of Polepally.

Polepally villagers in a way were disappointed with the all party show. Farmers thought that all parties will really stop the construction work of Aurabindo and Hetero companies and will speak of something concrete and a demand that could be translated into action. Alas all these parties only talked about what their party will do if they come to power. None of them uttered a word about the demands and struggles waged by the people of Polepally. Chukkamma, a dalit farmer, went to the dais and asked about it, they said that they need to look into it and examine each demand of Polepally Committee.

Everyone was disappointed. They were tired of these politicians and the meetings. They had great hopes that all these political parties would do something and that they have changed their silence on the atrocities meted out to the Polepally since years. These parties have not changed their behavior or outlook.

It was a mega show of crocodile tears and blaming the ruling YSR but no single promise to put an end to the Polepally SEZ

In our review meeting they said, all these days we are all happy with one slogan. When these parties came into village they started splitting the group spirit. We thought all these big leaders will do justice but they only gave a stereotyped bhaashan and went off.

We did initial exercise of inviting every political party with clear demands. We thought that they will do something if not for the people at least for their own benefit. When we met all party leaders they expressed their total support to Polepally. But when they came there, they weren’t clear about their stand, only beating around the bush

Anyway, one positive aspect is extensive media coverage of Polepally. Second thing is all parties started speaking about SEZ, whether they would do any justice or not.

Its a real big positive sign of Polepally movement to compel all political parties to come to the village albeit after years. Polepally reminded these parties their responsibility. It made them to speak about true movement and burning issues. The negative side of it was too much of their interference of many parties. These parties started trying to drag committee members into different ways. They wanted to split the group by provoking the farmers to reject leadership of Sujatha and Madhu. They tried many unhealthy things but in vain.

We are still hoping and planning to follow up different parties again to take some action programme. Our work actually increased now to rebuild the confidence of people again and again. Many were frustrated and disgusted with the events happening in All Party Meeting in Polepally.

One way, the present Congress Govt managed one caste group in Polepally, and two SEZ giants deposited 70,000/- for affected family and took sign on it that farmers do not have any objection for the SEZ. Besides, CPI and CPI (M) and other small parties and local leaders are trying to encash the weakness and helplessness of some farmers. We are happy that many of them are still withstanding all these pressures. They are still fighting for justice and looking forward with more determination.

Today we got the news that again pharma SEZs are plyaing with the ignorant farmers. Recently they have deposited 70,000/- after BhuSatyaGraham. They are taking signature of farmers on a document which is in English, it says that all farmers are agreeing to SEZ and they will not fight against SEZs anymore. BalaGopal said that its illegal and something that adds strength to the struggle. Tomorrow, the villagers are planning to protest against this fraud.

Rajesh Naik of Telangana Girijana Bheri, was arrested in Hyderabad, his team started padayatra on 2nd November from Polepally, they reached Hyderabad on 4th and they were arrested for supporting the cause, same day they were released with the support of NTTP party and media.

Now Polepally movement had seen almost all the sections of the society. We now have added responsibility to see that no political party enters into the struggle or village with vested interests.

The struggle will go on till we get justice !


Jai Telangana,

Sujatha Surepally.


Written by Sujatha Surepally

November 7, 2008 at 2:02 am

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