Agrarian struggles in the 20th century – Tanjore peasant struggle


Owing to 10 per cent price hike, the peasants of Anaithandavapuram

in Mayawaram taluk revolted against mirasdars for higher wages during

harvest. The mirasdars conceded to the demands and provided 1¼ marakkals

of paddy per kalam35. However, some mirasdars of Tanjore district violated

the terms of Tanjore legislation and employed musclemen to deny the demands

of peasants. Pattamaniar Damodara Mudaliar, a mirasdar of Aliyur in

Nagapattinam taluk refused to give 1½ marakkal of paddy per kalam as

kalavadi. Moreover, using police force, the mirasdar carried away the paddy

and refused to give peasant‟s wage36


The peasants of Mavudukurichi village in Pattukkottai taluk in

Tanjore district were harassed by the village officials. The tax collectors

charged kist collection above the normal rate in the range of Rs.28/- to Rs.35/-

for one acre of land. The tax officials decided to collect kist arrear from each

peasants between Rs.30/- and Rs.200/-. In Peravaruni, the peasants who paid

kist on 21 July, 195737

, were harassed by the officials to clear the balance due.

In addition to this, bulls and other grains were also forcibly taken away from

them. The Sub Collector of Pattukkottai also warned the peasants to clear kist

dues. The peasant organisation strongly condemned the government and

demanded to withdraw forcible debt collection with immediate effect.

Elsewhere in the district, the leaders of Kisan Sangham protested against the

government and asked to fulfil the demands of peasants. On the other hand,

the police raided the offices of Kisan Sangham and arrested leaders including

Gnanam and Bharathi Mohan. Similarly in Vallam village 8 leaders of Kisan

Sangham and 155 peasants were arrested