Saturday, June 22, 2019

Petition to Save Ganapathy from Tambikottai, India

Indian Daily Mail March 28, 1949

On 28th March 1949, the Indian Daily Mail reported that people of Tanjovore village of Muthupet from Tambikottai and Jambuvanodai submitted a petition to Governor-General Sri Rajagopalachari also fondly known as Rajaji and Prime Minister Nehru and as well as Premier of Madras O. Ramaswami Reddiar, urging intervention of Indian leaders with regard to the death sentence passed at the Selangor Assizes on A. Ganapathy. Ganapathy was a native of Muthupet.

It is also said that the deputation from the villagers shall be meeting President of Tamil Nadu Congress Committee, Mr. Kamaraj Nadar. 

Ganapathy Murdered Says WFTU

Indian Daily Mail - 8th May 1949
On the 8th May 1949, the Indian Daily Mail reported news on Ganapathy's execution. WFTU regarded both Ganapathy and Veerasenan death as inhuman.
The news as follows:

It is Inhuman, Says WFTU

Paris, May 7 - The World Trade Federation of Trade Union last night issued from its Paris headquarters a protest against the execution of Mr. A Ganapathy, Indian trade union leader, under Malaya Government's emergency powers on a charge of carrying arms.
The protest referred to "the assassination by the British authorities of the Chairman of Pan Malaya Trade Union Federation, Ganapathy, hanged on May 4 in the prison at Kuala Lumpur capital of Malaya, and of his successor Veerasenan, slaughtered the following day by a patrol" 
(Mr. P. Veerasenan who succeeded Mr Ganapathy was shot by a Gurkha patrol while felling with a Chinese from a guerilla camp in dense jungle in Negeri Sembilan
The protest said the WFTU had long been aware of "inhuman measures" by the British authorities against Malaya workers. It, therefore, raised its voice against "these flagrant violations of the most elementary rights of man - rights which are universally recognized by all governments, including the British Government" - Reuter

Note: Correction to the report above: Veerasenan was shot dead a day before (3rd May 1949) Ganapathy to be executed.   

Malaya Tribune - 7th May 1949

On the 7th May 1949, Malaya Tribune reported on its first page "Ganapathy Murdered" Says WFTU. A strong message indeed! The contents almost similar to the what was reported in Indian Daily Mail on the May 8th. 

PMFTU Pledges Support to All Political Bodies

Taken from Morning Tribune, 6th April 1948 (Page 3) 

Morning Tribune April 6th, 1948

In April 1948, a ten-day conference was organised to celebrate the third anniversary of PMFTU. In the general assembly:

1. Ganapathy pledged support to all political bodies striving for the enhancement of the social and political status of all Malayans. Ganapathy also spoke about Malayan labourers had drawn to WFTU's sincere cooperation. He also reminded local government not to underestimate labour uprising in West and the Malayan labourers would draw to the awakening. 
2. Secretary of Singapore Communist Party - Chan Min Ching warning indication showing Singapore to be turned into anti communist headquarters for SEA. 
3. Agent of Government of India to Malaya T.G Nadarajan Pillai spoke about the necessary to establish a profit sharing system for labourers similar to many trades in United Kingdom, establishment of cooperative societies among labourers and government provide small plots of land for labourers. 

PMFTU Pledges Support to All Political Bodies 

Speaking at the general assembly of the third anniversary celebration of the Pan Malayan Federation of Trade Unions in Singapore yesterday, Mr. S.A Ganapathy (Chairman) pledges the support of the organization to all political bodies “striving for the enhancement of the social and political status of the people of Malaya”

The interests and welfare of the labourers of the world had drawn the serious attention of the World Federation of Trade Unions to which was also extended the sincere co-operation of the workers of Malaya, he said.

“The local government authorities should never be under the hallucination that the revolutionary spirit prevailing in the West and other awakened countries of Asia would not draw into its orbit the labourers of Malaya.” Mr Ganapathy added.

No Danger of War

Secretary of the Singapore Communist Party Mr. Chan Min Ching, said that although the present international situation was comparatively tense, there was no immediate danger of third world war. Confrontation with an impending economic crisis and the ever-developing upsurge of the colonial peoples, the imperialist bloc was fanatically making preparation for war.

The Five-Power military pact recently signed in Western Europe, in his opinion, was identical with former Axis agreement and was only a pretext persecuting democratic and leftist forces. For instance, the recent anti Communist persecution in Burma and India. Mt Chan said was coupled with the persecution against trade union leaders and strikers who demanded better living conditions.

Referring to the British Government he said, that the Labour Government in England, instead of leading Malaya towards self-government, “is leading us towards war. The Colonial Secretary (in Singapore) openly called for war preparation recently when he spoke at an RAF Association function. Lately, a defense department for the Colony had been established under Mr. G.Hawkins.”

There was very indication, Mt Chan said, that Singapore “may be made” the anti-Communist headquarters for Southeast Asia.” To suggest that Malaya today was threatened by foreign aggression was absurd, he said, because any aggression could only come from American imperialism.

A Query

One should not wonder why imperialism is deadly anti-Communist because (Mr. Chan said) Communist parties have long been known to be most revolution in their opposition to ruthless exploitation of the popular masses and violation of civil rights. War preparations under the present circumstances could only mean more unbearable taxes to the people and preparation against the people and against democracy he added.

Workers’ Handicap

In a country like Malaya where much of the workers were immigrants without an inch of land or roof of their own the workers unions would be very much handicapped in their bargaining power, said Mr. T.G Natarajapillai, Agent of the Government of Indian in Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, speaking next. The country’s economy depended mainly on rubber and tin for progress and prosperity. This being the case, in the event of depression, workers would have to accept lower wages, unemployment or repatriation to their countries of origin, he said.

One way in which to ensure industrial peace (he said) was to make the workers feels that they were partners in the industry by devising a system of profit sharing as done in some trades and industries in the United Kingdom and other commonwealth territories.

Co-op Societies

Co-operative societies, he thought also might help workers to save some money. But the only was to avoid a feeling of frustration was for government to enable people who have lost touch with their motherland to own small plots of land and settle down.

Comparing the financial solidarity of the employers’ organization and that of labour, the speaker said labour should be very thoughtful before embarking upon direct action. He called upon union leaders to study the pros and cons of all problems and encourage conciliation and other means of settlement of disputes.

Among other speakers were Mr. P.V Sharma, who spoke on behalf of the Malaya Council of World Affairs; and Mr. Eu Chooi Yip, on behalf of the Malayan Democratic Union.

Greeting telegrams from Sian and Indonesia Trade Union movements were read.

The annual assembly of the Federation is expected to last ten days.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Newpapers in Tamil Nadu Protested Against Ganapathy's Sentence

The Singapore Free Press 19th April 1949
The Singapore Free Press dated 19th April 1949, (around two weeks before Ganapathy to be executed)  published an article on the sentiment in Tamil Nadu upon learning status of Ganapathy's failed appeal in Malaya Federation High Court.

This could be one of the last efforts to pressure Indian government to pursue on her efforts to save Ganapathy.
But, they failed at the end.

Ganapathy Protest

Madras newspaper yesterday demanded that the Malayan Government restore "civil liberties and civil law, " particularly with reference to A. Ganapathy who was recently sentenced to death by the Federation High Cour
Sankara Krishna Cettur, former Indian Government Representative in Malaya, said that the death sentence on Ganapathy "will be grave discredit on the motive and integrity of the British administration in Malaya, especially when Ganapathy's connection with PMFTU is remembered - AP 

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Protest for Ganapathy in Beijing

The Malaya Tribune dated 23rd May 1949 stated that Malayan in Peiping (old name for Beijing) held protest over the execution of Ganapathy on the 4th May 1949.

Malayan Reds Are In Peiping

San Francisco Sun-

Malayan labour leaders in Communist held Peiping have protested against the recent execution of S.A Ganapathy, Indian born former President of banned Pan Malayan Federation of Trade Unions, Peiping Radio Reported tonight.

Lu Cheng, Chairman of the Federation and Yej Mia Sui, a member of Central Executive Bureau, who are both in Peiping said the execution was a "brutal murder by the British authorities in Malaya."

They further alleged that "over 15,000 innocent Malayan have been arrested, imprisoned, flogged, tortured, deported or killed since last June by the British imperialists"

Ganapathy was hanged on may 4 for illegal possession of a revolver and ammunition - Reuter

Jananayagam - 5th May 1945 - Ganapathy's Short History

Jananayagam (Democracy) published on the 5th May 1949 carried the life story of Ganapathy on its first page - "Thukkilidapatta Ganapath...