- The 28th Conference of AIKS started with flag hoisting by President Com N. Sankariah, at 4 P.M. on 19th November ’95 at the gate of K.V.K. Auditorium Hall and offering of floral tributes to the martyrs column.
- Proceedings started with the adoption of the condolence Resolutions, and Resolution on martyrs moved by Com. N. Sankariah.
- General Secretary, Com. R.N. Goswami proposed the timetable and Agenda for the conference and also the names for (a) Steering Committee, (b) Credential Committee, and the (c) Minutes Committee.
a. The Office-Bearers were to function as steering Committee,
b. Credential Committee: Com. Rathin Roy, Convenor(West Bengal) ii. Unikrishan Pillai(Kerala) iii. S.P. Tiwari(Bihar) iv. Mukut Singh(U.P.) v. P. Shanmugham(T.N.) and
c. Minutes Committee- I. Ashutosh Mukherjee(W.B.) ii. Kishan Swaroop(Haryana) iii. Ganga Dhar Nautial(U.P-) iv. N. Parmeshwaran Potty(Kerala) v. Md. Ali(T.N.).
All these proposals were adopted unanimously
- General Secretary of the Reception Committee Com. Jagannath Mishra delivered his Welcome Speech, in which he briefly recalled the history of Orissa peasant movement, along with underlining the burning problems of the peasants-movement, along with underlining the burning problems of the peasants, both at State and AH India level, which he hoped would be taken note of in the conference.
- After a brief, opening remarks by the then President N. Shankariah, the veteran Kisan leader and the Vice President of AIKS, Com. H.S. Surjeet formally inaugurated the Conference.
- Then, Com. R.N. Goswami introduced General Secretary’s Report.
- On 20 th November ’95 the discussion on G.S. Report began, 25 comrades representing different states participated in the discussion. The Report was adopted unanimously on 21st November ’95 in morning session, after reply of Com. R.N. Goswami. (Synopsis of Reply Annexed)
- Then, the Conference was divided into 4 commissions for detailed discussions with commissions.
- Reforms and land related issues:-
Chairman: Com. P.K. Tandon
Panelists: 1. Com. Samar Baura(W.B.)
- Com. E.M. Sreedhatan(Kerala)
- Com. Amitab Basu(W.B.)
- Com. P. Ramayya(A1AWU)
- Com. Bajuban Reang(Tripura)
- Com. Subodh Roy(Bihar)
- Agricultural Development:
Chairman: Com. Biplab Dasgupta
Panelists: 1. Com. Samar Chaudhuri(Tripura)
- Com. V. Srinivas Rao(Andhra Pradesh)
- Com. Prithivi Singh(Haryana)
- Com. Lahmbar Singh Taggar(Punjab)
- Com. Krishnan Nayar(Kerala)
- Com. Suneet Chopra(A1AWU)
- Com. Nilotpal Basu, M.P.
- Role of Pachayat institutions and Co-operatives
Chairman: Com. T.K. Ramakrishnan
Panelists: 1. Com. Surjya Kant Mishra(W.B.)
- Com. V.A. Karuppa Swami(T.N.)
- Com. Narayan Rupini(Tripura)
- Com. Ramdev Verma(Bihar)
- Com. Vijay Raghvan(AIAWU)
- Democratic Functioning of Kisan Sabha
Chairman: Com. Benoy Konar
Panelists: 1. Com. K. Varadarajan(T.N.)
- Com. Kortala Satyanarayana(A.P.)
- Com. Ramachandra Rao(Karnataka)
- Com. Tarun Roy(W.B.)
- Com. K.P. Aravindakashan(Kerala)
- Com. Hannan Mollah(AIAWU)
- The Commissions continued then discussions till 8 P.M. 96 delegates took part in discussions in the different commissions. Their reports were reported to the conference which directed the new C.K.C. to formulate the tasks on the basis of commissions reports.
- The conference adopted the following Resolutions :
a. Against Imperialist Blocked of Cuba.
b. On 60th Anniversary of AIKS.
c. On Puri Firing.
d. On flood and cyclone in Orissa.
e. On Hood and Drought in various states.
f. Against New Economic Policies.
g. Against rising.prices.
h. Against Growing danger of communalism
I. Against divisive forces.
j. Against Corruption in high places
- Com. P.K. Tandon placed the Account for three years and was adopted.
- The convenor of Credential Committee Com. Rathin Roy presented the Credential Report, which was adopted(Annexed)
- Com. N. Sankariah President proposed the name of Com. Benoy Konar, as the next President, and that was approved unanimously by the conference with thunderous aplause.
- Then the Conference elected 119 members to AIKC keeping six vacancies to be filled later.
15.The new AIKC met and elected other Office-Bearers and CKC member(Names annexed)
- The Delegate Session ended with the concluding remarks by the new President Com. Benoy Konar, Com. H.S. Surjeet and outgoing President Com. Sankariah. All these leaders lauded the work done by Orissa comrades to make the All India Conference a grand successes. Despite severe cyclones and floods the Reception Committee tried its level best to guarantee that no inconvenience is met by any of the delegates. The conference concluded successfully and became a memorable one due to untiring work done by the Reception Committee in co-operation with other left- democratic, secular and patriotic people of the state. Com. Mallick expressed thanks on behalf of the Reception Committee.
- In the afternoon of 22nd November a massive open session Rally was held at Bhuvaneshwar, which was addressed by Comrades H.S. Surjeet, J yo ti Basu, S. Ramchandran Pillai, Shiva ji Patnaik and Janardan Pati, Com. Benoy Konar, presided over the Rally.
- Greetings: The Conference was greeted by Corns. Bhogendra Jha (of 4 Windsor Place AIKS), M. K. Pandhe(CITU) Pattaru Ramaiah(AIAWU), Brinda Karat(AIADWA), Y. Venkateswar Rao(SFI) and Ravindran(DYFI).
COM. M.K. KRISHNAN
The 28th Conference of AIKS is shocked to mourn the sad demise of Com. M.K. Krishnan, General Secretary, All India Agricultural Workers Union at Trishur on 14th Nov. last, while attending Kerala State Kisan Conference. He was to attend our All India Conference also. In his untimely death the peasantry, agricultural workers and other toiling masses of the country have lost a li fe long selfless fighter for their cause.
Com. Krishnan was a member of the Kerala Assembly from 1967 to 1969 and later from 1979 to 1981. He served as a Minister for Forests in his first term in the Assembly and as Minister for Excise in the second. In 1971 he was elected Member of Parliament for Ponnai Constituency in Kerala.
Coming from a Scheduled Caste family, Com. Krishnan rose to become the General Secretary of the Union after undertaking many struggles for the betterment of agricultural workers, poor peasants and other working people of the country and Kerala in particular. He was also the President of the Kerala State Karshaka Thozhilali Union since 1984 to date.
His death is an irreparable loss for the entire democratic movement of the country. This Conference of All Kisan Sabha dips its banner in his memory and sends its heartfelt condolence to his bereaved family.
COMRADE UDDARAJU RAMAM
The 28th Conference of AIKS deeply condoles the death of Comrade Uddaraju Ramam, a veteran freedom fighter and our former President, who passed away on November 27, 1994, Comrade U. Ramam played a key role in developing Kisan movement in Andhra Pradesh. He was an active participant of Telangana peasant struggle, and was highly respected for his selfless services to the people and for his qualities as a patriot and as revolutionary. He was elected as the President of AIKS in its 24th Conference held at Midnapur in 1982. This Conference pays its homage to the memory of Com. Ramam and sends its heartfelt condolences to bereaved family.
The 28th Conference of AIKS deeply mourns the sad demise of the three C.K.C members during this period—Com. Achintya Bhattacharya,Com. Dalip Singh Johal, and Com. Haranath Chandra.
Com. Achintya Bhattachaya a veteran peasant and Left leader of Assam was one of the great popular soldier of the historic Surma Valley Struggle. Having joined the freedom struggle at a very young age, he joined Kisan Sabha in 1936 and remained loyal and active till he breathed last as President of State Unit of Kisan Sabha.
Com. Dalip Singh Johal was the President of Punjab State Kisan Sabha- at the time of his death. He had joined organisation since its inception. He was imprisoned several times and was underground for 8 years. He contributed to the growth of peasant movement in Punjab.
Com. Harnath Chandra, whose life was dedicated to the downtrodden section of society, was an outstanding leader of the peasants’ and left – democratic movement of West Bengal.
This Conference pays its respectful homages to the memory of these Comrades and sends its heartfelt condolences to their bereaved families.
PROF. N.G. RANGA
The 28 th Conference of AIKS deeply mourns the death of Prof. N.G. Ranga, who passed away on 8th of June this year at the age of 95. He was a veteran freedom fighter. In early days of his life specially before independence he was actively associated with peasant movement and Kisan Sabha. He was elected General Secretary of All India Kisan Sabha in its foundation Conference held at Lucknow in 1936, then its President in its 2nd Conference held the same year at Faizpur and again as General Secretary in the 3rd Conference held in 1938 at Comilla. The Conference expresses its deep sorrow at the death of Prof. N.G. Ranga and sends heartfelt condolence to the bereaved family.
COMRADE GOPEN ROY
The 28th Conference of AIKS mourns the death of Com. Gopen Roy, a veteran freedom fighter and peasant leader of Assam, who was one of the founder leader of peasant movement in Barak Valley, and an active participant of Tebhaga upsurge. He had been President of Assam State Kisan Sabha for a long time. We send our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.
This Conference mourns and condoles the death of Com. D.S. Tapiala and Com. Jogindcr Singh veteran peasant leaders and Freedom fightersos Punjab, Com. Gancsh Ghosh and Bi joy Modak the immemorable freedom fighters of West Bengal Com. R. Krishnan (Kerala) our AIKC member, Com. Biren Dutta of Tripura, Com. Venkatpathi, former AIKC member from Andhra Pradesh, Com. Bijaya Baliar Singh and Manmath Lanka of Orissa, Com. Motilal Sharma of M.P. and sends its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.
RESOLUTION ON MARTYRS
The 28th Conference of AIKS salutes the memories all those martyrs, who have sacrificed their lives for the cause of peasantry and other toiling sections of the society and for the perseverance of communal amity and national unity of the country. We dip our banner in their memory and sends our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.
Inaugural Speech by Com. Harkishan Singh Surjeet
He outlined the importance of its perspective and of the peasantry as the motive force of an anti-feudal, anti-imperialist revolution to be carried forward to socialism under the leadership of the working class.
He recounted how this perspective and the uncompromising stance of the leadership of the peasant movement galvanised the peasantry whose sharpest rebuff to feudalism came during the high tide of anti-imperialist struggle of the post-war upsurge, especially the Telengana armed struggle against the Nizam of Hyderabad. That struggle was not manufactured overnight, but was the culmination of struggle for division of the share-cropper’s and landlord shares in the field, for a third of the share or a half, against oppression and eviction, leading to a situation where not only were land reforms effected in a state like West Bengal, but where one third of the adult peasants were members of AIKS – something that is a lesson to the peasant movement the world over.
However, Surjeet noted, in many other states those lessons had not been applied with equal success. So a concrete study of the situation was essential if we wish to change the correlation of class forces in favour of the peasantry and the democratic movement as a whole.
The situation had become far more complex since Independence. Uneven development and divisions created by the ruling classes had made peasant unity a much more difficult thing to achieve.
Also sections of the peasants had benefited from Zamindari abolition and the Green Revolution, while we also failed to rally broader sections on other issues or counter sufficiently the illusions they were under.
Now, once more world-wide resistance to capitalism was on the upswing. Even in the UN as many as 104 countries supported Cuba against the US blockade. It was evident that the laws of history would prevail. Sensing that, the ruling classes are once more resorting to a castiest and communal tactics to divide the masses and prevent a united opposition to their exploitation. In India it is necessary for them to drive a wedge in the peasant movement to achieve their purpose.
Surjeet went on to emphatically assert that the hopes of both the Congress and BJP of coming to power at the Centre were likely to be shattered in the coming election. In the case of a hung parliamant, the role of the left and democratic forces would naturally be much more important and they would be in position to change things much more effectively. And obviously imperialist forces do not want. So, the peasant movement would have to ensure that its base is broadened and strengthened. And that could only be done by orienting the peasant movement in relation to the changed conditions.
For example, the new economic and agrarian policy was using the price mechanism to rule the rich peasantry to its side, but those below the poverty line had increased from 33% to over 40%. In fact, these policies were aimed to benefit a mere 15%, while 80% faced pauperization and starvation. A strategy relying on the unity of the poor peasant and agricultural labour was the only an answer in such situation and where the peasant movement did this, it succeeded. But nothing remains static. In West Bengal and Kerala too contradictions emerge between peasants and agricultural labourers, but they must be resolved democratically with the understanding that worker-peasant unity is the core of the development of the peasant movement wherever it had succeeded.
He concluded his address with a call to involve broader and broader sections of the peasantry in the decision making process of the organisation. Without involving people at large the movement could not develop. And in order to do that, he outlined a wide range of demands that could be taken up. He stressed, however, that only those demands should be entertained that the people voiced. He called for this AIKS conference to be turning point in the history of the peasant movement, taking up demands that were raised by the people.
General Secretary’s Report
The 27th all India conference of the All India Kisan Sabha was held in Hissar from 27th to 30th September 1992. The three years since the Hissar conference was a period of important developments. The imperialist countries, the World Bank, IMF, GATT, WTO etc are imposing new conditionalities on all third world countries. The interests of Indian economy and agriculture have been adversely affected by these pressures. The economic policies and agricultural policies of the Congress government at the centre are attacking the interests of the peasantry while trying to give higher prices to certain agricultural produces and to satisfy the richer sections. Unemployment both in the rural and urban areas has increased. Poverty among the peasantry is growing. The new economic policies of the government have increased the miseries of the people. The communal forces led by RSS/VHP.BJP combine demolished the Babri Masjid and led the country into communal riots and are continuing their nefarious activities. Hundreds of people died and many crores worth of properties ruined during this communal riots. The caste foreces are continuing their attempts to perpetuate caste division among the people for their narrow electoral gains. Floods and droughts have affected most of the states. There were elections to many state Assemblies and by-elections to many constituencies and also elections to panchayats and co-operative societies. The poor sections who constitute the overwhelming majority among the peasantry have been slowly realising the adverse effects of the new economic and agricultural policies and rallying together campaigns and struggles against these policies.
This report intends to review the implementation of the decisions of the Hissar conference and the meetings of CKC and AIKC, the activities of the All India Kisan Sabha during this period, achievements, shortcomings and weaknesses, the emerging agrarian scenario, the prospects and problems it poses to the peasantry and the country, and to formulate the future tasks both in policy matters and organisational aspects. We divide this report into four parts. The first part explains the important decisions of the Hissar conference and the meetings of CKC and AIKC, The second part reviews the activities and points out our achievements, shortcomings and weaknesses. The third part attempts to portray the emerging agrarian scenario its prospects and problems and our future tasks. The fourth part identifies our tasks on organisational matters.
Decisions of the Hissar Conference and the CKC and AIKC
The Important tasks decided by the Hissar conference and the subsequent meetings of the CKC and AIKC are summarised as follows:
- To launch campaigns and struggles against the new economic policies and new agricultural policies of the Central government.
- To launch campaigns and struggles on issues connected with land and land reforms.
- To launch campaigns and struggles for expanding irrigation, power and other infrastructural facilities and for more public investments in irrigation, power, science and technology.
- Campaigns and struggles against the actions of the government in increasing water and power charges.
- Asking for the continuance of subsidies to fertiliser, pesticides, agricultural implements etc.
- To expand credit facilities.
- To give market protection to the poor sections among the peasantry.
- To work actively in panchayats, cooperative societies and utlilise these institutions for giving relief to the people.
- To defend the socially disadvantaged groups particularly Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, other backward sections, minorities etc.
- To take up the issues affecting women.
- To run vigorous campaigns to isolate the caste and communal forces.
- To expose the game of the imperialist for and to support anti-imperialist resistance.
- To popularise the achievements of the Left Front governments.
- While streamlining the functioning of committees at all levels, special efforts are to be made to guarantee the regular and democratic functioning of the primary committees, i.e. village or panchayat level committees. Activise the primary committees to make expansion and advance of the movement.
- To project the identity of the AIKS as an independent organisation of the peasantry in the country through conscious efforts. To activise the organisation at all levels. Apart from strengthening the lower level organisations centres, further strengthening of the All India and State centres should be done.
- To organise studies of particular problems of the different states and regions and to make proper plans for building movements based on those studies. The All India Centre should establish a study and research nucleus to study the various changes happening in the agrarian sector.
- The all India centre should prepare a syllabus for cadre training and organise classes.
- Though the membership enrollment campaign should continue throughout the year but intensive enrollment should be done by observing a month or fortnight and each agitational campaign be followed by a vigorous membership drive and “whoever is enrolled as a member should immediately be attached to a unit”.
- United actions should be organised at all levels.
- Independent initiative, united actions and proper balancing between propaganda, agitation and organisational work will help breaking the stagnation and advancing in newer areas.
- Regular reports from lower committees to higher committees be guaranteed, along with reporting from above.
- Training of cadres and then deployment and check up of the work done by them must be done on a regular basis.
Review of Activities
We are circulating a short summary of our activities in states, in a separate document. Here we wish to concentrate mainly on the lessons we draw from them.
OUR FIGHT FOR ALTERNATIVE POLICIES FOR AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
One of the important tasks performed during this period was the evolution of an alternative agricultural policy. The Hissar all India conference noted the growth of capitalist production relations and directed the A1KC and CKC to concretise the tasks. We held a national seminar on September 25-26, 1993 in Delhi with experts in different fields and All India Agricultural Workers Union national leaders. Then we held our AIKC meeting to evolve the alternative policies.
The Alternative Agricultural Policy Document adopted by the AIKC exposes the adverse effects of the new agricultural policies based on the strategy of higher prices and export oriented agriculture, on the peasantry, on agriculture and on the country. The new government policies ignore the interest of the majority of the peasantry and are based on the interests of the capitalist landlords and the rich peasants. The alternative agricultural policies based on the interests of the majority of the peasants, of agriculture and of the country stressing the importance of increasing productivity and production and equitable distribution.
The alternative policies stand “for completion of land reform measures, distribution of land to agricultural labourers and poor peasants, expansion of irrigation facilities, supply of adequate power to agriculture, making more public investments in irrigation and power, making more public investments in science and technology, expanding infrastructural facilities, use of improved varieties of seeds, pesticides and modern technology etc. giving subsidies to protect the interests of the small and middle peasants, assuring remunerative prices, protecting the interest of the peasantry from natural calamities by providing a comprehensive crop insurance scheme, tackling the problems of agricultural workers by providing land to them, passing a central legislation providing minimum wages and social security measures for agricultural labourers, expanding public distribution system, giving priority to food grains self-sufficiency, prohibiting multi-nationals and big business, entering into agro-bascd industries, generating more jobs in the agrarian sector, promoting agricultural research, expanding drinking water facilities, public health, public education etc., expanding rural employment generation scheme, linked to the development programmes, democratisation of panchayat institutions and co-operatives and changing their functions to help the interests of the poor sections, solving the problems of the tribals, taking adequate measures for protecting the environment, regeneration of degraded areas, prevention of soil erosion etc.
We organised classes and seminars in various states to educate the cadres on the basis of the alternative policy document. Much more has to be done to raise the consciousness of the cadres on the basis of the new understanding. We must be able to expose each of the new policy measures of the Central government and project our alternative based on the interests of the majority of the peasantry and agricultural and build movements.
CAMPAIGNS AND STRUGGLES AGAINST THE NEW ECONOMIC POLICIES
During this period, the All India Kisan Sabha has participated in all campaigns and struggles against the new economic policies, GATT agreement independently and along with other mass organisations.
The 27th conference of the All India Kisan Sabha noted the essence of the new economic policies and characterised them as anti-people, anti-peasantry and anti-national. The conference called Upon the units and members to continue the campaigns and movements against the anti-people policies of the government uniting with other toiling masses. The conference also rioted the dangerous implications of the ’Dunkel Draft’ and called upon the people to reject it.
At the call of the 27th conference, a large contingent of peasants and agricultural workers participated in the Delhi rally organised on 25th November 1992. The Left-oriented kisan and agricultural organisations met on 25th December 1992 and decided to launch joint campaigns and movements for national unity, for making changes in the draft agricultural policy resolution and also against the new economic policies of the government. The All India Kisan Sabha joined with other mass organisations to build a joint pla tform of mass organsiations to figh t against the anti-people economic policies of the government. A comprehensive charter of demands and a declaration were prepared containing all the important issues concerning all the sections toiling masses specially affected by the new economic policies and liberalisation. Kisan Sabha participated in the national convention held in Delhi on 15th April, 1993.
According to the decisions of the CKC meeting held in April 1993, we organised a protest week from May 24-31, 1993 asking for rejection of Dunkel draft, reversal of anti-people economic policies, radical changes in the approach of the new agricultural policy resolution and also for rejection of the Narasimham committee report. Various state committees organised this programme in different manner. We have hold many seminars and symposiums during this period for educating the cadres about the adverse effects of Dunkel draft, new economic policies and the new agricultural policies. The office bearers of the AIKS participated in many seminars and symposiums. We published one pamphlet in Hindi written by Com. P.K. Tandon on Dunkel draft draft during this period.
The peasantry particiapted in large number for the success of the court arrest programme organised on 19th August 1993. Peasantry also took part actively in making Bharat Bandh organised on 9th September 1993 a success. Agricultural labourers and poor peasants massively participated in the rally organised in Delhi on 5th April, 1994 mainly from neighbouring states. During the civil disobedience movement from August 16 to September 9, 1994 about 12 lakh people participated in the movement. Majority of the participants were poor peasants and agricultural workers. In West Bengal more than 60 lakhs of people participated and majority of them were from the poor sections among the peasantry. Peasantry participated in big numbers in the Rail Roko struggle on 20th September 1994 and in the general strike organised on 29th September 1994. The All India Kisan Sabha participated in the convention organised in Delhi on 15th July 1995 to chalk out campaigns against the new economic policies.
The All India Kisan Sabha has been an active particiapant in the struggles against the new economic policies, agricultural policies and the GATT agreement. The poorer sections among the peasantry is experiencing the adverese effects of the new economic policies and agricultural policies ofthe government and are slowly coming forward to resist these policies. Wherever we made some systema tic efforts to mobilise peasantry in these struggles we have been able to mobilise them successfully.
The state units of West Bengal, Kerala, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab took active interest in building movements against the new economic policies. The state units of UP, Bihar, Maharashtra, Assam have not taken up this issue seriously. The state units of Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat have not organised any independent activity.
We have to continue the struggle against the new economic policies and agricultural policies by mobilising more and more peasants. We can’t allow the lethargy of certain state committees who have not activised their units and members, to continue.
We tried to expand land struggle into new areas. We also decided to take up all issues connected with land reforms such as the issue of updating land records, the issue of oral tenancy and problems faced by sharecroppers, the issue of fair rent fixation, the issue of conferring pattas to occupants, the issue of restoration of tribal land to triblas, the issue of distribution of ceiling surplus land etc. In Bihar, the land struggle assumed a mass character in some Districs. The movement spread to Purnea, Dhairbhanga, Supaul, Samastipur, Madhubani, Sitamadhi, Bhagalpur, Begusarai, Champaran, Nalanda, Khagaria, Ranchi, Dhanbad etc. We had Organised huge rally of one lakh peasants and agricultural workers in Patna on 8th November 1993. Bihar land struggle movement had attracted national attention. The West Bengal P.K.C. had donated Rs. 90,000 to Bihar unit as a fraternal help in this land movement.
We have occupied about 36,000 acres of land and land was distributed among agricultural labourers and poor peasants. The goondas of the landlords and the police of the Laloo government have murdered 36 of our comrades in that struggle.
In Andhra Pradesh, Kisan Sabha and Agricultural Workers Union expanded land struggle in some districts. In Karnataka, we have occupied about 5,000 acres of land recently.
In Orrissa, we have occupied 6,000 acres of land.
In Mharashtra, 800 acres of forest land without green cover has been occupied in Thane district in the Tansa lake area.
In UP, we have started land struggle in Varanasi district and in some other areas.
In Madhya Pradesh-we have occupied hundreds of acress of land in different places.
The experiences show wherever we have planned and tried to expand the movement, there we have been able to occupy land and expand land struggles. The agricultural workers and poor peasants have participated in these struggles actively. The land occupied was mainly government land, village common land and forest land without green cover. In some places the government land and forest land occupied by the landlords have been occupied. The occupation of the land and the continuing cultivation gave a new confidence to agricultural labourers and poor peasants wherever we have successfully planned the struggle.
Even though we have taken up the issue of updating of land records, issue of oral tenancy, issue of fixing fair rent etc, campaigns and struggles for achieving these goals remained restricted to certain areas in certain states.After an initial upsurge, the Bihar movement has been stagnating. There is lack of conscious attempt on the part of the Bihar unit to expand the movement and consolidate the gains. We should lso not forget the importance of raising the consiciousness of the peasantry to launch the land struggle. Some comrades forget this and act as hero-like benefit givers. This outlook has to be corrected. Some comrades who became addicted to ’routinist’ work do not wish to expand the land struggle and to involve in it. In Karnataka, when the state government amended the land reform laws, our unit acted and mobilised the peasantry against it. Our Maharashtra unit has failed to take up such issues and come in the forefront.
IRRIGATION AND POWER
During this period, droughts and floods affected all the states in different seasons. We took up the issues of expansion of irrigation and power facilities in most of the states. Dhamas, pickettings, mass squattings, rasta rokos, local bandhs etc were organised in state of Kerala, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam etc. Conventions and seminars were also organised in many states. In certain parts continuous struggles have also been organised for the implementation of certain projects. In Bihar, UP, Orissa, Maharashtra, we have not taken up these issues and build movements. At the time of droughts and floods, we organised relief work among the peasantry. In many places creditable work have been done by our comrades. All sections among the peasantry participated in these campaigns and struggles. We also witnessed the participation of agricultural labourers and poor peasants. They are more severely affected by the adverse impacts of floods and droughts.
FERILISER PRICE INCREASE
After the cut in subsidies to the fertiliser and decontrol of certain categories of fertiliser, fertiliser prices are going up. There is also severe shortage of fertilisers. Our units took up this issue in various forms in different states. There are no reports from Bihar, UP, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat that they took up this issue.
MOVEMENTS AGAINST INCREASE OF WATER CHARGES, POWER CHARGES, FREIGHT CHARGES AND TAXES
We took up all these issues or many of these issues in Taminadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Haryana, UP, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh etc. We organised dharanas, pickettings, rasta rokos, local bandhs etc against the increase in charges and taxes. The “No Tax Campaign” organised in Tamilnadu during 1993 March had compelled the Tamilandu government not to implement the higher rates. We have achieved such concessions in many states.
PRICE FLUCTUATION AND PRICE FALL OF CERTAIN CROPS
Even though the prices for cereals, pulses and oil seeds have been high during the entire period, the prices of certain crops fluctuated. There were also instances of steep fall in the price of certain crops particularly commenrcial crops. The prices of coconut, cotton, tobacco, jute etc had fallen during certain periods. In the case of coconut, the price fall happened at the time of the coconut seasons. The price fluctuations and the steep fall in price of certain crops during certain seasons mainly affected the poor sections among the peasantry. Against price fluctuations and price fall we conducted different forms of struggle in West Bengal, Kerala,Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh etc. We had pointed out the importance of taking up the issue of increasing productivity and production along with our demand for remunerative prices. We also decided to expose the present policies of the government as they hinder the efforts to increase productivity and production.
PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
The higher price of the foodgrains adversely affected the interests of the common people. The growing unemployment also restricted the purchasing capacity of the poor sections. There is no substantial difference between the prices in the open market and the prices of the commodities distributed through the public distribution system. In many places the quality of the commodities is Distributed is substandard. We raised the issue of reducing the prices of commodities distributed through the public distribution system. We also took up the issue of free supply of food grains to the poor sections at the time of floods, droughts, cyclones etc.
SHRINKAGE OF CREDIT FACILITIES
The steps taken by the government on the basis of Nara- simham Committee Report had effected considerable reduction in the available credit facilities to the peasantry. Due to the shrinkage of credit facilities moneylenders have appeared in many places. They are charging exhorbitant rates of intersts and forcing the peasantry to sell their crops at distress prices during the harvesting season or pre-harvesting stage.
We took up this issue in some states and not in all states. Dharnas, pickcttings, demonstrations etc had been organised. Wherever we organised struggles we had been able to mobilise considerable number of peasants.
In Kerala, on 1st October, 1993 a huge demonstration was organised for the issuance of pattas to the cultivated land. In Tamilnadu, Kisan Sabha took up the issue of atrocities against tribal women. In states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Tripura, West Bengal we took up different issues affecting the tribal people. The West Bengal unit organised convention at Bankura on 2.41993 for the cultural advancements of adivasis. The convention decided to combat the influence of reactionary ideas and to enrich the positive aspects of tribal culture. We took a decision to hold state conventions and then an all India convention to high-light the issues affecting the tribal people. Many of the states did not hold their state level conventions and hence the all India convention had also been postponed indefinitely.
The Hissar conference and the subsequent CKC and All India Council meetings decided to take up the question of social oppression against Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Trible and other backward classes. Our strong state units are active in taking up the issues of oppressed sections. But our weak state units failed to take up this issue with the seriousness it deserves. Some of our lower level leader’s caste bias and semi-feudal attitudes are restricting our activities. Some of our weak state units do not show enough courage to take up this issue. The future expansion of the movement is also dependent on how successfully we take up these issues.
ISSUES AFFECTING WOMEN
There are daily reports about atrocities committed against women from most parts of the country. Our strong units are taking up this issue. As in the case of social oppression our weak units do not give attention to this problem. They ignore such incidents and shut their eyes. We have to wage a continuous fight among ourselves in some of our units to build a consciousness to take up such issues.
The 27th conference called upon all Kisan Sabha units, peasantry, toiling masses and the secular democratic foreces of the country to resist and stop the attmpts of the communal forces to pit the people against each other on communal lines. The demolition of Babri Masjid and the widespread communal riots shocked the secular conscience of our country. Our units joined with other Left democratic and secular forces, tried their best to maintain the unity of the people. Small and big rallies had been organised in all the states and in which our leaders and cares actively particiapted. In the human chain organised in West Bengal on 26th January 1993, approximately 2 crores of people joined and pledged for national unity. In the anti-communal human chain organised in Kerala on 30th March 1993 more than 10 lakh people participated. AIKS was an active participant in the campaigns for national unity. Peasantry participated in the Delhi rally on 14th April 1993. The “campaign or national unity” decided to organise mass meetings for strengthening national unity on 12th August 1993 and declared it as Kisan Day. On this day our units at various levels organised different types of programmes to propagate the message of national unity.
PARTICIPATION IN ELECTIONS
During this period elections to the various level panchayat institutions have taken place in most of the states. There were also elections to the management of the cooperative societies. State assembly elections were also held in many states.
All India Kisan Sabha workers and members actively participated in these elections and sincerely worked for the victory of the Left and democratic sections.
The Hissar conference and the subsequent meetings of the CKC and A1KC had decided that we should actively participate in the better functioning of panchayaths and cooperative institutions. In West Bengal, Kerala, Tripura, Andhra Pradesh and in some other states our activists are actively participating in the functioning of these institutions.
OUR CONTRIBUTION TO THE HEROIC CUBAN PEOPLE
The heroic Cuban people are resisting the attempts of American imperialism to subvert their revolutionary gains. America expected that they could subvert the revolutionary regime with their criminal blockade. The Indian people sent foodgrains and medicines to the heroic Cuban people. The peasantry enthusiastically participated and contributed generously.
In the middle of this year Indian people again sent detergents and soaps to Cuba, the Kisan Sabha units and workers actively participated in this programme. We have given Rs. 3,75,750 as contribution from the states. The state who contributed to the fund are:
West Bengal – 2,50,000
Kerala – 50,000
Tamilnadu – 25,000
Tripura – 20,000
Andhra Pradesh – 13,650
Assam – 5,000
Rajasthan – 5,000
Bihar – 2,500
Orissa – 2,000
Maharashtra – 1,500
Haryana – 1,000
Manipur – 100
Total Amount – 3,75,750
The Emerging Agrarian Scenario And Our Tasks
Let us now examine the main characteristics of the emerging agrarian scenario. By giving higher price to certain cereals, pulses and commercial crops, the Central government try to keep the landlords and richer sections in good humour. They claim that the export of agricultural produce has increased considerably and helped us in gaining foreign exchange. They want to shut our eyes to the adverse effects of the export of pulses, onion, oil seeds, on the poor sections among the peasantry and the common people. They also claim that the foodgrains’s production has reached record level and the godowns of the Food Corporation of India are all full. The government is trying to portray a rosy picture about the agrarian situation.
But the reality is just reverse. The policies pursued during the post-independence period have failed to solve the problem of agriculture and the peasantry. But now the new agriculture Policies instead of solving the problems are aggravating them.
The acclaimed increase in the production of agricultural produce thas failed to solve the problem of poverty.The new agricultural policies and the new economic policies have increased the number of persons living under the poverty line. The Mid-term Appraisal of the Eighth Five Year Plan reveals this reality. The mid term appraisal document of the Planning Commission shows that the people living under the poverty line in the rural countryside has increased from 33.7% in 1989-90 to 40.7% in 1994-95. Thus, the new agricultural policies have thrown 7% more of the rural people below the poverty line during the last five year period. Such a steep increase in the poverty has not happened at any time during the post-independence period.The poverty alleviation and the special employment programmes have failed to make any progress in alleviating poverty and giving employment.
The number of unemployed and underemployed in the agrarian sector are increasing. While announcing the Eighth Year Plan the government declared that they had been implementing an employment strategy of achieving near full emplyoment at the end of ten year period 1992-2002. The government also declared that they would be able to create of about 9.4 crores of additional employment opportunities and for that the average annual rate of employment growth would have to increase at 2.7% peryear during the period 1992-2002. In other words, additional employment opportunities of the order of 85 lakhs per annum on an average was envisaged during the Eigbth Plan period. But according to the Midterm Appraisal document prepared by the Planning Commission that the additional employment opportunities of the order of only 18.78 million are to have been genera ted during the first three years of the Plan in the place of 25.50 million employment opportunities planned. The additional employment generated in agriculture, forestry and fishing declined from 4.24 million in 1992-93 to 2.20 million in 1993-94 and 2.59 million in 1994-95.
MARGINALISATION AND PUAPERISATION AMONG THE PEASANTRY
The pauperisation and marginalisation of the peasantry are taking place at a faster ratedue to the impact of the new agricultural policies of the government. Due to the increase in the prices of all agricultural inputs, decline of public investments in irrigation, power, science and technology, lack of credit facilities, lack of market protection, the poorer sections among the peasantry are finding it difficult to compete with richer sections and they are forced either to sell or lease out their land to landlords, rich farmers and big business enterprices coming up in agriculture or agro-based industries. The poorer sections among the peasantry are loosing their land. They are being thrown out of land to becomes landless agricultural labourers. The number of landlessness in the countryside is increasing.
DECLINE IN INVESTMENT IN AGRICULTURE
The investment in agriculture is declining since eighties. The decline in investment in agriculture results in reducing rate of growth in productivity and production in future.
Gross investment in agriculture has declined from 4,636 crores in 1980-91 to Rs. 4,580 crore in 1991-92. From 18% of the total gross domestic capital formation in agriculture in 1980-81, it has sharply declined to 11% in 1991-92. The decline in capital formation in agriculture by public sector is more perceptible. It has come down from 1,796 crores in 1980-81 to 1,043 crore in 1991-92. This decline in public investment has dampened the incentives for private investments in agriculture. This has started affecting the growth in productivity and production.
THE INFILTRATION OF MULTI-NATIONAL COMPANIES AND DANGER ARISING OUT OF IMPERIALIST PRESSURES
The conditionalities of IMF, World Bank, GATT, WTO, the pressures of the imperialist countries and the policies of the Central government have increased the danger of infiltration of multinational companies in the agricultural sector and agrobased industries. Many of the state governments have given vast extent of land to MNCs and Indian big business for different crops- horticulture, floriculture, pisciculture, tree crops etc. The seed MNCs are culture, pisciculture, tree crops etc. The seed MNCs are charging exorbitant rates for the seeds. The capital intensive technologies of these companies are increasing unemployment in the rural countryside.
They will ruin the existing small scale rural industries which today are biggest employers of rural labour.
The new set of agriculural policies, reversal of the land reform measures, reduction in public investment in irrigation, power, science and technology, reduction in subsidies to fertilisers, water, electricity, shift in priority from food grains self- sufficiency to export oriented crops, virtual disbandment of the public distribution system, the attempt to change the patent laws making it adverse to the interests of agricultural and industry etc are the effects of the pressures of IMF, World Bank, GATT etc.
If the present policies are allowed to continue Indian agriculture and peasantry will suffer irreparable loss and great hardships. The liberalisation of import export policies are causing great fluctuations in the prices of certain crops. Change in the cropping pattern also is taking place. The attempt of the imperialist countries is to make India a supplier of certain crops at cheap rates for their industries and consumption, and a dependent on them for foodgrains and diary products.
THE NEW AGRICULTURAL POLICY OF THE NARASIMHA RAO GOVERNMENT- A STRATEGY BASED ON THE INTEREST OF THE NARROW RICHEST SECTION
The whole strategy of agricultural development of the Narasimha Rao government depends on price increase and export of agricultural produces. The government declares that higher prices and export of agricultural produce can attract more investments in agriculture and as a consequence productivity and production would increase and the additional wealth produced around the richer sections will trickles down to the poorer sections and eventually lead to overall development and prosperity.
The agricultural policy resolution of the Central government states: “Realisation of a prosperous and sustainable agricultural economy would require a new policy reorientation. The decelerating trends in capital formation in agriculture would be arrested. The resource allocation regime in the agriculture sector will be reviewed with a view to rechannelising available resources from current support measures towards capital formation and infrastructure building. An economic climate will be created for increasing farmers’ own investments and efforts through a favourable price and trade regime.”
This is the essence of the new agricultural policy. They find price and export are the panaceas for all ills in India agriculture. Both the diagnosis and the remodies are wrong. They will only aggravate the illness.
A considerable section among the peasantry produce for their own consumption. In north eastern region, their percentage is more than in the north west. The higher price alone cannot act as an incentive for more investment in agriculture. There is not much scope for export of cereal in the international market. There is also cut throat competition in international market on many items. There is not much scope for expansion of exports. The export of certain agricultural produces may not help the overwhelming majority among the peasantry. The development strategy of the present government is capitalist path based on the interests of a narrow section among the peasantry. Hence the government is taking retrograde steps in every sphere.
The government has given up priority for foodgrains self-sufficiency as part of the new set policies. This has dangerous consequence to a country like India which has a population of more than 90 crores of people.
OUR ALTERNATIVE AND DEMANDS
The policies of the government are against the interests of the overwhelming majority of the peasantry, agriculture and the nation. They only care the interests of a narrow stratum. We stand for a development approach based on the interests of the overwhelming majority of the peasantry. We stand for increasing productivity and production and equitable distribution. We also stand for remunerative prices for the agricultural produce and export of surplus agricultural produce and the special crops have. They in the present context can protect the interests of the overwhleming majority of the peasantry and agriculture. We have to organise campaigns and struggles based on the following issues:
a. Land Reforms: Implementation of genuine land reform is a starting point of India’s overall development. It fulfills the economic requirement of productivity increase, employment creation, a better income distribution and an agricultural surplus for generation of capital for investmentments. It can also provide improved health, education and other services in the coutnryside. It also helps in breaking up the old class structures of traditional system that hinder the process of development. It can also help the political needs of establishing economic and political citizenship for the excluded masses and their integration into a cohesive nation. It creates basis for democratisation of rural society and better functioning of Panchayati Raj institutions.
The experiences of West Bengal and Kerala amply justify the need for genuine land reforms. The All India Kisan Sabha has been demanding in other states the plugging of loopholes in the land reform laws and their immediate implementation. Instead of implementing land reform measures, the state govenments except the Left-led governments are amending existing laws to reverse the entire land reform process. Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and certain other state governments have made changes in the land reform laws and their rules and regulations. Karnataka government has virtually nullified the ceiling provisions.
The continuing hesitation and waveringness on the part of state governments other than Left-led and the present reversal of the land reform measures will further accentuate the skewed nature of the ownership pattern of the agricultural holdings. Multitinationals and big business groups can now possess vast extent of land.
The state governments other than the Left-led states governments are not distributing government land, waste land, land torest without green cover to the poor sections among the peasantry. Wastelands are being distributed to Indian monopolists and foreign multinationals. There is no justification for their argument that the poor sections among the peasantry cannot develop the waste land. Actually these Indian monopolists or foreign monopolists are taking substantial credit from the nationalised banks in India. The government is also partly subsidising part of the cost of developing wasteland by industrial corporations. The goverments can form the cooperatives of the poor sections and provide loans and grants for developing the land to them.
The land reform measures if genuinely implemented would have attracted more investments in agriculture, generated more employments and solved the problem of poverty. The correction of land records and its maintainance is an important matter and we should take up this issue.
We should intensify our struggles for plugging the loopholes of the land reform laws and for their genuine implementation. We should resist the attempts of the state governments in reversing the land reform process. Wherever occupation of government land, is available we should organise the poor sections among the peasantry to occupy those land and cultivate. We should make concrete plans for expanding the present centres of struggle to newer areas. We should also organsie democratic public opinion against the rei versal of the land reform process and for the implementation of genuine land reforms. We should also take up all issues connected with reforms and land.
b. Expansion of irrigation, power and development of science and technology: Only 34% of the land is irrigated. Power supply is available in about 25% of the cultivable land. The growth in agriculture attained during the post-independence period is apart from land reform measures due to the expansion of irrigation and power facilities, the use of modern science and technology, the high yielding variety seeds, chemical fertilisers, price support measures and subsidies on inputs etc. The use of chemical fetilisers and modem tecnology depend much on the availability of water.
Every year droughts and floods affect many states. The severity of the floods and droughts are also increasing as years go by. It is estimated that 100 million hectres of land is either drought prone or flood prone area. The extent of loss of life of human beings and cattle, destruction of standing crops, damage of public and private property goes on increasing. During such periods rural poor suffer the most due to fluctuations in employment opportunities, loss of property as well as income, shortage of foodgrains due to damages to standing crops and rise in price of all essential commodities.
We have been demanding the government for implementation of a scientific water management policy for irrigating the land and for controlling the floods. As per the new agricultural policies, the government has taken a decision not to take up any new irrigation projects in the country. As per the present allocations,some of the ongoing projects may take two or three decades for their completion. It seems that the government is satisfied with the present level of irrigation facilities. The government has substantially reduced investments in irrigation and power. The allocations for science and technology and other infrastructural facilities are not all sufficient. Instead of public investments the government stands for private investments. The reduction in public investment will adversely affect the interests of the overwhelming majority of the peasantry who have no capacity to make private investments and find it difficult to increase productivity and production.
The government is taking steps to hand over the irrigation and power projects to private companies and corporations. Many of the projects have been already handed over. The research and development of some of the high yielding variety seeds has also been transferred to the private companies. These privatisation will increase prices of water, electricity and seeds. The privatisation process is not only against the interest of the overwhelming major of the peasantry but also against the interests of agricultural development.
We should ask for more public investments for the expansion of irrigation, power facilities, other infra-structural facilities, science and technology. These can help the interest of overwheling majority. We should also organise movements on the basis of different projects. We should also try to project these issues at state and national level.
c. Priority for foodgrains self-sufficiency: The government has been giving priority for foodgrains self-sufficiency for the last four decades. Thishas helped in increasing foodgrains production. A1 though foodgrain imports have not totally stopped their burden on our scarce foreign exchange has been greatly reduced alonwith our dependence on USA for supply of this essential commodity to feed our growing propulaion. Now the government is satisfied with the quantity of production of foodgrains. But the present quantity of production and the rate of growth is not all sufficient to meet the required nutrition level or the future needs. By the end of this century India would need 240 million tonnes of foodgrains. If monsoons are favorable and if we can maintain the present rate of growth the maximum we can produe during the coming years would be an additional 10 million tonnes of foodgrains. That means we will be facing a shortage of more than 40 million tonnes of foodgrains by the turn of the century. This shortage can create serious problems for the people and the country. The assumption of the government that we do not require this quantity of foodgrains is based on unrealistic calculation of calories of chicken, mutton, eggs, milk, cheese etc. All these items are inaccessible to the common man.
Giving up priority of foodgrains production will be a dangerous step to the interests of the common people and to the country. We should ask the government not to give up priority on foodgrains production and to provide all help to the peasantry to make foodgrains production a viable and remunerative venture.
d. Credit facilities: Already many of the rural branches of the commercial banks have been closed down. The lending ratio to the agriculture sector by the commercial banks have been declining. Whatever money is disbursed by the commercial banks goes to the rural rich and that too mostly for non-productive prusposes. Co-operative societies are facing shortage of financial resources. NABARD has also restricted supply of loans to the agriculture sector at subisdised interest rates. They have put a condition on co-operative banks to advance loans at subsidised interes rates from their own funds. This condition has put many cooperative banks in real trouble. The poor sections among the peasantry are not getting sufficient institutional credit for investment in agriculture. This has forced them to sell their agricultural produce at very low prices. The indebtedness among the peasantry is increasing in those areas where there is not sufficient irrigation facilities. Moneylenders have appeared in a big way in many parts of the country. The present situation is a deliberate creation of the policies of the government.
The government does not want to help the poor sections by giving them credit facilities for investment for increasing productivity and production. In the present situation credit facilities are available only to the richer sections. By making use of the credit facilities they increase their productivity and production. The poor sections who do not have access to creadit facilities and exploited by money lenders finding it difficult to continue in cultivation. They either lease their land or sell their land to landlords or richer sections.
We should ask for expansion of the credit facilities to the poor sections. We should organise the peasantry at various levels against the present policies of the government.
e. Subsidies to agriculture: The decontroll of certain varieties of fertilisers particularly potasic and phosphatic has resulted in closing down of several fertiliser factories and more imports of such fertilisers. As these fertilisers have become costlier peasantry started using more of nitrogen fertilisers. This has adversely affected productivity and production.
The government has also increased the rates of water and power charges. The price of the pesticides and agricultural implments are also going up.
The new policies of the government caused a steep rise in price of all agricultural inputs. Those who have got large surplus to sell only get the benefits of the higher prices of agricultural produce. The poor sections among the peasantry are adversely affected by these hikes in prices of agricultural inputs and facing serious difficulties.
f. Price fluctuations and price fall of certain cash crops: The new policies of globalisation and import of agricultural produce are causing great fluctuations in the price of many agricultural commodities. On certain occassions the prices fluctuations in a way benefit the richer sections among the peasantry and adversely affect the poorer sections. The poorer sections having no capacity to hold on, are forced to sell their agricultural produce irrespective of the price they get in the market. The richer sections can wait for a favourable opportunity to sell their agricultural produce.
Last year the government has exported pulses valued at Rs. 90.36 crores. The export of pulses caused a very steep rise in price of pulses. The pulses production has been stagnating for the last three decades and the per capita availability of pusles came down to half what it was three decades earlier. The government also exported onions and oil seeds last year. They caused steep rise in the prices of these products in the domestic market. The price rise of these agricultural products did no help the common peasantry. The common peasantry and the common people have been adversely affected by these price rises. The richest who have got enormous surplus and those who have access to the corridors of power got benefits.
We stand for remunerative price for all agricultural produce. Remunerative price means cost of production plus reasonable profit. We also stand for export of agricultural produce mainly the surplus we produce and the special crops we grow. But we should not give up our national priorities particularly the improtance of foodgrains self-sufficiency and feeding our people better.
g. Ecological changes: Serious ecological changes are taking place. The defective planning, over utilisation or even the destruction of the resources, indiscriminate use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, indiscriminate felling of trees, indiscriminate use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, indiscriminate felling of trees, indiscriminate prawn cultivation are some such issues. According to water management experts, 87 million hectres of our good agricultural land currently under production are in effect seriously affected by soil erosion, water logging and salinity. If we add to this 48 million hectres of various forest land having practically no tree cover and 40 million hectres of culturable waste and fallow lands which are currently unproductive but capable of production after some development, the total area of land expected to yield either crop production or forest products or grass will come about 175 million hectres. If 40 million hectres of land which is annually affected by floods is also included the total sick land exceeds 200 million hectres. That is as much as two thirds of our total land resources. This proves the urgency of an integrated and efficient management of our land and water resources. This requires effective control of soil erosion and soil conservation measures and intensify efforts for re-plantation of degraded forests and promotion of both social and farm forestry. The rich bio-diversity of our country must also be preserved. The peasants should be educated on scientific methods of cultivation. The receding of water table is another serious phenomenon we eperience in many parts of India. We should ask the government to take necessary measures for replenishing the ground water resources in such areas. Both the Centre and state should study the issues and concretise our approaches to the different issues already posed.
h. Public distribution system: The revamped public distribution system has not expanded to all needy sections. By radical hike in the issue price, the government is virtually disbanding the public distribution system. The common people including the poorer sections among the peasantry is affected by this. We should take up the issue of reduction in prices of commodities of the system to all needy sections particularly in rural where it is almost absent in most states.
i. Comprehensive crop insurance scheme: The present crop insurance scheme does not given any substantial benefits to the majority of peasants or crops. We stand for a comprehensive crop insurance scheme that covers the entire peasant population and all the crops.
j. Employment generation and poverty alleviation programmes: Even though the government spends many crores of rupees on such policies only a small portion of amount reaches the real beneficiearies. There are large leakages at different levels. A great percentage of the beneficiaries are not really poor. The level of investment is too low to generate adequate incomes and the capacity of the poorest among the poor to absorb the investments and sustain the venture and repay the loans is limited. The employment generation programmes also do not create durable productive assets and build infrastructural facilities to help increase in agricultural production.
We should demand that the programme should be oriented towards meeting the needs of sustainable development, every effort should be made to involve the people in their implementation through democratically elected village Panchyat. We should also train our village level units to see that the benefits of these programmes reach real beneficiaries.
k. Panchyat institutions and Cooperatives: Panchayat institutions and co-operatives can play an important role in protecting the interests of the peasantry and agriculure. Panchyat institutions are nearer to the people. They can bring people in the planning and execution of developmental activities. They with the help of cooperatives can organise group farming, build storage facilities, take measures for increasing productivity and production, marketing, expanding minor irrigation etc. The West Bengal experience of the panchayat institutions and the Kerala experience of the cooperatives have to be further studie and comprehensive approach has to be evolved.
In states where our movements are weak these institutions are controlled by richer sections for their interest. We should intervene and try to expand the democratic nature and content of these institutions.
There are other issues we should apply our minds for builing a strong peasant movement in the country.
Tribal issues: We should hold the all India conference of the tribal people by the end of 1996. Before that all state conferences should be held. Special cadres should be deployed to organise tribals and a continuous monitoring of the work also should be done.
Social oppression: We should continue our efforts to support the oppressed sections. Wherever there is oppresion we should come in the forefront and chamipion their casuse.
Conscious attempt should be made to raise the consciousness of the state and lower level leaders to take up the issues of social oppression. Without taking up these issues and reducing the influence of caste forces we cannot build broad peasant unity in the country.
Issues affecting women: We should keep in our mind that ending of social oppression and ensuring equality of women with men are the tasks of the agrarian revolution. Some of the state committees do not wish to take up the issue of social oppression or issues affecting women. Along with other democratic organistions, we should try to strengthen the social reforms movements. Along with other democratic organisations, we should try to organise an all India convention to identify the issues affecting the rural women and building united movements on such issues.
Communal and fundamentalist forces: The communal forces are again active now. The VHP-RSS-BJP combine is trying to arouse majority communal feelings for their narrow political gains. Other communal forces are also active. The communal propaganda let loose by the communal forces are dividing the peasantry on communal lines and diverting their attention from the real issues affecting them. We should continue our efforts against the communal forces and also for building and strenghening unity among the peasantry.
The fundamentalist forces and the secessionist forces are continuing their nefarious activities. Some of these groups are getting support from foreign countries. We should continue our efforts to expose and isolate them from the people.
The caste forces are trying to perpetuate caste feelings for their narrow electoral gains. They are dividing the peasantry. We should try to unite the peasantry on class basis and expose the caste leaders’ game.
Unity with agricultural workers: The AIKS is consistently upholding the important task of building the unity of peasants and agricultural workers and always striving to achieve this. We also know that with the growth of capitalist production relations, the conflicts between the agricutural workers and peasants are bound to increase. But the growth of capitalist production relations based on the interests of a narrow startum, the liberalisation and globalisation measures, the infliltration of the MNCs in agriculture, the existing semi-feudal remnants in agriculture exploiting the agricultural workers, poor peasants middle peasants and even the rich peasants. The interests of the agricultural workers and peasants can be protected only by reversing these policies. The peasantry needs the unity of agricultural labourers to defeat these policies. The peasantry should take deliberate steps to build unity with agricultural labourers. The AIKS should help the agricultural workers in their struggle for wage increase, better service conditions, pension and other social security measures. The AIKS units should try to bring about settlements of the issues arising between kisans and agricultural labourers amicably and build united struggles of both against common enemies.
Unity with all fighting forces particularly unity with working class: During the last three years period we have launched many united struggles with peasant organisations, agricultural workers union organisations, student, youth, women and working class organisation. In order to defeat the retrograde new economic policies and the challenges against the sovereignty of our country we have to further strengthen united action with fighting forces particularly with the working class. We should identify areas on which united struggles can be built and strengthen untied movements.
UNITED ACTION WITH LEFT-LED PEASANT ORGANISATIONS
We united with all Left-led peasant organisations and conducted movements against the new agricultural policies and new economic policies of the Narashimha Rao government. This is not sufficient in the present situation. The emerging situation demands further strengthening of the united actions of the Left-led peasant organisations. The Kisan Sabha should try to expand united actions with them.
IMPORTANCE OF CONCRETE STUDIES-SAMPLE SURVEY
We have also decided that the state committees and the lower level committees should discuss and identify the various issues to be taken up for expanding the movement on the basis of the new understanding. The office bearers visited various state committees, initiated discussions and identified certain issues. We have to continue this process. New changes are taking place in most parts of the country. The character of the changes and their magnitude varies from place to place. The acuteness of the differnt problems also varies from place to place, section to section and crop to crop. The emerging situation demands the importance of concrete study of the changing situations and immediate intervention from our side, especially at the level of the state committees.
Some state committees like Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal have made certain attempts to study the changes taking plance in the agrarian scenario by conducting sample surveys in certain villages. We should continue this exercise and complete sample surveys in states in the immediate future.
Projection of Kisan Sabha’s identity: During the days of the freedom sturggle and the two and more decades of the postindependent period, the AIKS had been able to project its separate identity and was able to influence the public opinion in the country. “Land to the tiller”- the slogan of the AIKS:-was accepted by most of the political parties including the Congress. The AIKS has been a consistent champion of the cause of genuine land reforms. The strength of the movement, the struggles conducted by the AIKS and the existence of the Left from govenments in Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura have influenced the implementation of land reform measures in these states. In many other states our struggles forced the governments to take certain land reform measures.
Much more has to be done in projecting the separate identity of Kisan Sabha in the present period. Even though Sharad Joshi, Tikaiet etc are losing their influence in the B.K.U. and other organisations, their ideology of ’vertical integration’ in which the interests of the overwheleming majority among the peasantry are subjugated to the interests of narrow sections of landlords and rich peasants; has became the officially declared policy of the government. The government is more vigorously implementing this through their new agricultural policies. Our line is entirely different and is based on the interests of agricultural workers, poor peasants, middle peasants and majority of even the rich peasants. We are mobilising these sections of the peasantry against landlordism of both types and against the wrong policies of the bourgeois-landlord state governments. Our developmental approach is based on the interests of the overwheling majority. We should approach all issues on this basis. We should always try to expose the class bias and bankruptcy of the landlord policies and also try to reduce their ideological influence over the peasantry in order to isolate them from the peasantry. We should try to project our identity as a qualitatively different type of organisation basing on the interests of the overwheling majority of the peasantry, agriculture and the country. Our state comittees should make a review of the slogans and movements to make necessary corrections in our approaches so as to distinguish ourselves from the peasant organisations based on the interests of landlords and richest sections.
I. Expansion of the Movement
Ours is the single largest mass organisation in the country. Our present membership is 1,32,39,480. No other mass organisation in the country has a membership of this nature. But this is only a side of the picture. West Bengal claims a membership of 1,05,38,499 and Kerala claims 12,26,488. This shows that membership from the rest of India is only about 14 lakhs. Except in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, the AIKS cannot claim to be an organisation of mass nature. There has been no increase in membership in Bihar, UP and Maharashtra. The membership figures have been fluctuating in Rajasthan, Bihar and UP. There is a substantial fall in Andhra Pradesh membership. We have not made any substantial expansion during this period. Many reasons can be attributed to the present situation.
Activisation of Membership
A mass organisation even with millions of membership cannot remain a mass organisation unless it is able to mobilise and enthuse the peasantry independently from its own platform and earns respectability. We have been able to activise the membership in the human chain programme in West Bengal and Kerala and in some struggles against the new economic policies. Without activising the membership and projecting AIKS as a distinct Kisan organisation, before the peasantry in India through our constant activities our movement cannot expand in our weaker states. A deliberate and planned attempt should be made to activise the members.
Consolidation of the Movement
In the struggle against the new economic policies thousands of poor peasants and middle peasants participated. In Bihar, thousands of peasants took part in the land struggle and in our campaigns and movements. But the membership figures show that we have been able to enroll only a small number of peasants who participated in these struggles. This weakness in consolidating gains and organising the peasants who have taken part in struggles continues. This also restricts our attempts for expansion. The weaknesses and shortcomings have to be rectified.
Organise Members in Units
Members are to be organised in units. There should be periodical general body meetings of the members to report on Kisan Sabha position on current problems, collect opinions of comrades on them and report back to leading committees. Without organising the members in units, involving them in campaigns and struggles, raising their consciousness and making them act as a distinct force we cannot expand the movement. This work is neglected in many states. They do not feel the importance of this organisational task. We have to change this style of functioning. All members should be organised in units and higher level committees should see that it becomes a regular feature of our organisational activities, to involve them in the process of decision making.
Membership enrollment is practically neglected. Some of the figures given by the states are round figures in thousands. The All India Centre should conduct a scrutiny of the membership after the membership campaign is over and the state committees should organise scrutiny of the membership at the district and lower level. In some states the membership campaign is not done by Kisan Sabha units.
We should keep in mind that except in some states Kisan Sabha is as yet weak force and its role as the important force to bring about the consummation of agrarian revolution is not properly understood. Hence, it is absolutely necessary even now to carry the message of Kisan Sabha to every kisan and every village through a vigorous enrollment campaign which should be an important activity of our village level units.
The membership enrollment should be conducted in an organized manner. The units and the members should be involved in the enrollment work. It should be a collective effort. The intensive membership campaigns should be completed at the stipulated time but the enrollment for the next year should be continued throughout they year and there should be conscious attempt to enroll peasants who have taken part in campaigns and struggles as members.
Expansion of the Movement Among the Poor Sections
There is much scope for expansion of the Kisan Sabha among the poorer sections. Certain state committees failed to take up the issues affecting the poor sections. The rich peasant bias of some of the state leaders is a hindrance in making use of the possibility of expansion among the poor sections. The All India Centre should initiate a critical assessment of the work of the various state committees and initiate a process of re-orientation. Women also should be recruited in large numbers brought into campaigns and wherever possible elevated to the leading committees at all levels.
II. Work of All India Centre
In order to successfully discharge the tasks the all India centre should be strengthened.
The Centre should be equipped with cadre, staff and material to conduct studies about the changes taking place in the agrarian scenario. Many experts are available both in the Centre and in the state. The AIKS can take help from these experts and conduct studies for further concretising the demands. The product of the these studies must be periodically circulated to all committees who must study them and send their comments and suggestions to all India centre. The office set-up of the organisation also requires restructuring and strengthning.
The all India centres should intervene in all national issues. The centre should always try to project our identity before the peasantry and nation.
Many state committees are not making use of the material we produce at the Centre. Even copies of the important domcuments are lying undistributed in certain states and cadres are unaware that they exist. The bulletins we produce from the Centre were not even unpacked in certain states. The bulletin is also stopped.
III. State Committee and Lower Level Committees
Many of our state committees in the weaker belt are inactive and treat campaigns and struggles as mere formalities or conducted nominally. Even the Presidents and Secretaries of the Kisan Sabha in certain states find it difficult to devote time to do Kisan Sabha work. This is true in the the case of districts and lower levels also. This state of affairs should be changed. The present set up is restricting the possibilities for expansion and keeping our movement a stagnating and declining force. Some of the comrades insist to become an office bearer or a member in the committee as a matter of prestige and some of them after that refuse to take up the responsbilities of office bearers or members. We should show courage and determination to bid goodbye to this style of organisation building. The respective committees should also see that wholetime workers at all levels are provided with minimum requirements to devote their full time and energy to do Kisan Sabha work. They should not be overloaded with responsibilities of other organisations with which they may also be connected.
Democratic Functioning of the Committee
Some committees do not hold regular conference. They give all sorts of explanations for postponing the conference. Postponement of a conference in a particular season due to some unexpected happening can be understood. But the postponement of the conference for many years is an unhealthy practice. Conferences should be held regularly and conscious attempts should be made to involve the members in the evolution of policies and election of leadership.
IV. Style of Functioning
The style of functioning of some of the committees and leaders are not conducive for expanding the movement. Some of the leaders and committees make parrot-like repetitions of the basic slogan and do not formulate concrete slogans on the basis of the concrete situation. Some of them are doing this delibertely to avoid the difficult task of building movements and struggles and confronting enemies. They do not care to learn the hopes, aspirations, anguish, anger of the people. Hence, many of the decisions of such committees float over the heads of the peasantry in air. Some comrades collect statistics but they fail to understand the feelings of the peasantry. Some involve in individual advise giving or prescription giving. The leaders should go to the lower committees and to the peasantry and discuss with them their problems and guide them in taking decisions and activise them. The post office like functioning of receiving circulars from above and sending circulars to down below will not help in building movement. Some of the committees and leaders are showing reluctance to come out of the shell of routinism. A critical assessment of the present style of functioning and purposeful changes are required in the case of many committees and leaders.
V. Care Development
In many states our organisation experiences shortage of capable cadres. Conscious attempt should be made to develop sufficient number of cadres to do Kisan Sabha work. They should be given necessary wages. Regular classes should be organised both at the Centre and the states to train the cadres.
Many of the committees complain about the shortage of funds. Regular fund collection for conducting the activities of the organisation and giving wages to cadres have become a story in the past in the case of certain committees. Fund collection drive should be conducted at least once in every year at the time of harvesting season. This also is an organisational and a propaganda work.
We have tried to identify important policy and organisational tasks. The preseirt situation demands immediate and genuine implementation of these tasks.
During the freedom struggle and the post independence years the All India Kisan Sabha played an important role in championing the cause of the peasantry. The All India Kisan Sabha has earned acceptance and prestige not only among the peasantry but also among all patriotic forces in the country. At present the peasantry and agriculture are facing serious attacks from the pressures of imperialist countries, institutions like IMF/World Bank and agreements such as GATT and new agricultural policies of the Narashima Rao government. The building up of a powerful all India peasant movement and united struggles with all other democratic sections alone can defeat the dangers and save the peasantry and agriculture from their challengers. We call upon all members and units of the Kisan Sabha to successfully rectify the shortcomings and weaknesses and make efforts to expand the kisan movement as powerful as possible and launch struggles on the basis of issues affecting the peasantry. We also should unite with all forces fighting against the new economic policies and imperialist pressures. We request the delegates to make contributions through your purposeful interventions and discussions to enrich our understanding on the agrarian situation and the future tasks. Let us all make this Conference another important stage in the history of the peasant movement in the country.
|7.||Jammu & Kashmir||4,000||4,000||4,500||5,000|
Discussion on General Secy’s Report
SAMAR BAORA (W.B)
State Reports should be first analysed by the Centre and then circulated as to take proper lessons and guidance. After implementation of land reforms in West Bengal the initial upsurge is not continuing in the same form. We are trying to implement 2nd and 3rd Amendments on land-reforms, which give us some scope to take over and distribute some ceiling surplus land. Through campaigns and social by cotts of landlords, we are trying to compell the landlords to come out from courts for settlement. We are taking the help of Panchayats also. Due to implementation of land reforms now 60%^ of lands are owned by small and marginal farmers breaking the land concentration in few hands. In recent years agricultural workers movement have also become strong. Wages have increased to a great extent implementing the minimum wage Act. There is some vaccillation among cadres of middle class origin which we are trying to overcome. To raise the consciousness of agricultural workers and poor peasants, we are organising literacy movement, cultural and sports programmes etc. In order to supply credit and inputs, we are trying to organise co-operatives but it is yet to be taken as movement.
E.M. SHRIDHARAN (KERALA)
This Conference has special significance in present situation marked with new policies of the Govt. In this period our achievements are to be mentioned, our struggle against Govt’s policies, and also our intervention and participation in co-operative movement and for Panchayat Raj institutions. Due to withdrawal of subsidies prices of fertilizers and other inputs have increased resulting reduction in production. Fluctuating prices of cash crops are affecting Kerala peasantry. This year prices of coffee and rubber have increased while that of coconut has decreased affecting majority of peasants. The statement of the Report that the whole strategy of agricultural development of the Narashima Rao government depends on higher price for agricultural produce is wrong and has serious cannotations. Prices of agriculture produces which are meant for mass consumption have generally increased while that of raw materials necessary for industries generally decreased, due to Govt’s policies. For betterment the peasantry should be given remunerative prices, and the Govt, at the same time should bear the subsidy to “provide general people through public distribution system. The Report gives the impression that AIKS views better prices as something bad. In Kerala there is shortage of land and also shortage of agriculture labourers. In many areas paddy could not be harvested due to shortage of labourers. Agricultural Workers are getting fair wages due to our struggle and this shortage. We should have done much more at National level and the leading Office Bearers should have visited more states including Kerala.
BAJUABN RIANG (TRIPURA)
While agreeing with the G.S. Report we want to raise same burning problems of Tripura for your consideration and help, Extension of VI scheduled of constitution, introduction of inner line permit, more power to District Autonomous Council, recovery of tribal’s lands, allotment of forest land to tribals, problem of chakma refugges etc are the burning issues in Tripura. Tribal people are loosing confidence in Congress (I) and TUJS. We have to fight for their cause that we are trying to do. But we need help and guidance from central leadership. Before independence tribals were in majority in Tripura, but now they have been turned into minority due to migration from Bangladesh. Still the illegal in-filltration is continuing. It is a question of existence for tribals of Tripura. Central Forest Act is also a hinderance for their development. The development of tribal language is also very important. On all these issues, we need your assistan>
V. SHRINIVA.S RAO (A.P.)
We admit our weakness in enrollment of membership, which has decreased this year. We are trying to overcome our organizational weakness. Due to Govt’s policies tendencies to shift the crop pattern i.e. from agricultural to commercial is increasing. Ceiling limit has been raised, power and watercharges have been increased, subsidies are being withdrawn, creating serious problems for peasants, particularly poor and middle. We have organised campaigns on these issues and a number of seminars. Mass participation is increasing on the issues of irrigational facilities, against blackmarketing of fertilizers etc. We look up the issues of land like temple land and other land issues. Still we are weak on taking up the issues of landless against landlords. We are also taking up the issue of co-operatives. We have 18 D.K.Cs. 50 divisional units, and 70 wholetimers. We have to stress more on “democratic” functioning and develop a proper cadres policy.
Because of Govt’s new policies, problems of all sections of peasantry are increasing. We have taken up the issues of fishermen also, who are affected by MNCs penetration in this sector through prawn farming, deep sea fishing etc. Several Jatha have been organised on these issues. Participation is encouraging. AIADMK activists backed by the State Govt, are grabing Govt. lands. We are resisting. There are some common issues throughout the country. Wc should organise the peasants by campaign and movements and to prepare them by educating through Seminars, conventions etc. For this, strong organisation is necessary. In our state we are attempting for stream lining the organisation. Both State and Central functioning should be improved. Some more study on Dams, rivers, flood and drought issues is required by the Central leadership to help the concerned states.
C.S. BALE (KARNATAKA)
Generally agree with the Report. But more elaboration is required to explain imperialist attacks on third world countries specially on their economies. AIKS leadership has failed to give independent calls to oppose NEP though we have participated in a number of joint movements. All India Centre has to be strengthened more. W. Bengal and Kerala units should provide more cadres for centre to meet the situation. In Karnataka, Janta Dal Govt. is pursuing anti-peasant policies. We are opposing them by organising various campaigns and movement.
L. B. DHANGER (MAHARASHTRA)
Our State is facing serious drought and famine this year. There is shortage of drinking water in many areas. Conservation of water is mostly needed. We have decided to launch movement for that. Agitation for raising cotton price is also continuing. We are asking for monopoly purchase by Govt. agencies while Sharad Joshi is opposing. Surrender by Shiv Sena-BJP Govt, on ENRON has given us again opportunity to fight against it. Now All India initiative is needed on this issue. More explaination is needed, to explain why and on what conditions MNCs are invited in West Bengal. Organisationally we are weak, we lack wholetimers. Now, we have decided that at least District committee Secretary should be wholetimer. We are also taking up tribal issue seriously.
P.L. MISHRA (MADHYA PRADESH)
There are vast tracts of waste land in M.P. a good portion of which are cultivable Govt, land, occupied by, mainly landlords. Now the Cong (I) C.M. is inviting big business to improve and own waste land. We have decided to oppose and launch land struggle. Govt is claiming that implementation of ceiling Act and distribution of land is complete. If all the Govt, land is really distributed among the landless then there will not be any landless in M.P. Problem of irrigation and power shortage is there. Tribal issue is also very important in M.P. We are weak, but trying to take up all these issues and improve the organisational strength.
N. MADHUSUDAN (MANIPUR)
During last three years we have organised a number of meetings, seminars etc against NEP/NAP, IMF etc. Question of paddy price is very important for Manipur. So, we demand procure paddy at remunerative price in time and distribute rice to the people on subsidised rate through P.D.S.
BALRAM ADHIKARI (SIKKIM)
Ours is the newest unit organised. Due to lower consciousness of the people and special situation in Sikkim we have framed a separate Constitution for our state in conformity with AIKS Constitution. We have planned to fight for land reforms, irrigation and for remunerative price for peasants producer. We need central help.
GULAM NABI MALIK (J. & K.)
The Continuous turmoil in J. & K. has led the State into a difficult and different position. Ours main problem is political. A large number of people are alienated. It is difficult to build a strong Kisan Movement with alienated people. Still we have been trying to raise the issues of peasants like those of apple growers and silk coccon growers. We have organised some meetings, conventions, and small demonstrations specially in Jammu region. P.D.S. has already collapsed, creating very serious problems for poor people.
ANIL BOSE (WEST BENGAL)
We are in general agreement with the Report. The L.F. Govt. is continuing for 18 years, thus creating stability with the support of people. This is due to peasant unity achieved through various forms of class struggles. The communal forces are checked due to this strong unity of the people. There is a stable Panchayat system under our leadership comprising mainly of toiling people. We have to continuously campaign to educate the people on the limitation of the L.F. Govt. as to differentiate between a State L.F. Govt and Central Govt. As a result of various measures, the purchasing capacity of rural population has increased leading to possibility of Industrial developments. The state Govt recently announced its Industrial Policy for balanced development. Recently survey has been conducted in 205 villages to understand the nature and mode of capitalist penetration in agriculture and its impact on rural life. Specific steps have been taken to raise the consciousness of rural poor and to develop leadership from among them. During 18 years of L.F. rule more than 1300 of our cadres have been martyred in West Bengal. This shows the intensity of class struggle going on in our state even under. L.F. rule. It is heartening that Bihar Kisan Sabha captured and distributed 36000 acres of land despite sacrificing lives of 36 cadres. But the central leadership has to examine why this movement is stagnating now? Where and what are the weaknesses? Take timely steps to correct them. For building a strong Kisan Movement both united and independent activity and movements are required. Today we lack independent activity. That we should overcome immediately.
VIJOY KANT THAKUR (BIHAR)
In recently held state conference at Katihar we have underlined our weaknesses and decided to overcome them in time. We have captured and are defending more than 35,000 acres of land in 27 districts. Two third of this land belongs to landlords, who had illegally captured. 40 cadres have sacrificed their lives in this struggle. Voilent attacks were organised against us. Even women fought back at more than two dozen places. Our bases have expanded and so our prestige and influence. After 1992 Joint Convention on Land movement CPI led organisations withdrew only after few months, and ML leadership gave the slogan of “land nationalisation”. We continued our struggle. The C.M. Sri Laloo Prasad announced the names of 378 big landlords and promised to distribute the ceiling surplus land but did little. Still more than half poor people who were alloted land and given pattas still could not occupy the land. And at many places the lands already under the occupation of landless and poor for years and decades have been distributed in the name of other poor people creating conflict among the same poorer section. This is being done at the instigation of local landlords and police. In Tibal areas money lenders, contractors, mafias and landlords are exploiting the poor tribals, but so called ’Jarkhandis’ parties are not raising these issues rather they are only repeating the slogan of “Separate State.” While supporting the “regional autonomy” for tribals we are raising their class issues. Due to these class struggles we have been able to stop communal riots at many places. Besides land struggles, we have jointly organised three Bihar Bandhs against NEP. Due to frequent flood and drought people of Bihar have to face serious catastrophe. No repairing of river and canal bunds for years. There is serious shortage of power. No steps are taken to expand irrigational facilities, and old facilities are dying out. No credit facilities & Mafias have captured cooperatives. There is rampant corruption both in Bihar State and Central Govts. Huge amount are dues to cane growers and mill employees with sugar mills. We have decided to raise the issues of Jute, Banana and betal growers. We are going to take steps to build independent and strong state centre as to advance the movement and consolidate the organisation. While fighting against social atrocities, we are also vigilant against forces of castism and communalism. We are trying to streamline the organisation, alongwith organising movement and campaigns on all the burning issues of the peasantry.
KAILASH SARANGI (ORISSA)
Previous Janta Dal Govt. of Biju Patnaik was the open supporter of NEP of Central Govt. Cong.(I) State Govt, dissolved all the Panchayat bodies. Now it is the rule of corruption. Power charges have been increased. Rush for privatisation is going on, P.D.S. is collapsed. Torture of women is on the increase. At many places Boodan lands are occupied by landlords. Serious cyclones and floods were there in Orissa. But very meagre central assistance was provided. We have launched agitations demanding distribution of Chilka land among landless and poor peasants. The Govt has planned to allow MNCs and big business for Prawn cultivation in Chilka. Tribals are being driven out of forest areas. Orissa is mainly poverty stricken state. In many areas poor people sell their children for rice. Price of sugarcane has decreased. We are demanding minimum wages for agricultural workers and equal wages for men and women. We have reviewed our weaknesses in recently held state conference. We need more help and advice from CKC.
DEENA NATH SINGH (U.P.)
As is known to all, for some years in past, we have been facing attacks from communal, castist and terrorist penetration in U.P. Uttarakhand movement has also disturbed us. But now the situation is improving. Our state conference concluded that unless we take up the local issues seriously, we can not break the stagnation. Recently we have taken up the land movement in the districts of Varanasi, Mirjapur, Sonebhadra etc. We have also planned to take up the issues of electricity and its charges, irrigation, sugarcane growers etc. We have noted our weaknesses too. We have decided to strengthen the State Centre, by inducting one more wholetimer. Majority of our village and Mandal Committees are no active. We have to activise them. From centre to state, we are all concerned about U.P. We hope to overcome our organisational weaknesses soon with the help of central leadership to advance the movement and strengthen the organisation.
DULI CHAND (RAJASTHAN)
Membership of Kisan Sabha in Rajasthan this time is more than double from last Conference. But still we are not satisfied with the progress. In Rajas than the old leadership of historic movements are with us so we expect more progress. In 15 of 31 districts, we have our organisations big or small. In recent years, we have organised a number of campaigns against NEP—convering a good number of villages. In our State land-laws were made by Rajas and Maharajas, So, it needs drastic changes. But the State BJP Government is trying to turn it in more reverse way. Land issue is very improtant for Rajasthan. Specially in Indira Gandhi canal ara, where the desert land is now turning into irrigated good producing land. The Government is leasing this valuable land to big affluent elements. We are protesting. Our State can be divided into main three region:
a. Tribal areas- where unemployment and poverty is forcing tribals to migrate to other States in search of livelihood.
b. Irrigated areas- likeGanganagar and Hanumangarh where the issue of proper irrigation, inputs, prices, agricultural labourers etc are the main issue.
c. Unirrigated or desert areas— were the water level is very low even the drinking water problem is there. The demand of power supply, and question of water are the main issues there. We are trying to streamline the organisational functioning— increase the number of wholetimers—overcome the scarcity of fund for organisation to make advancement, under the guidance of CKC.
KISHAN SWAROOP (HARYANA)
After organising last All India Conference at Hissar a favourable situation was created for us increasing our influence and prestige. We organised some movements afterward but we could not fully untilise that favourable situation. Because we cannot raise the local burning issues properly. In Haryana, capitalism has penetrated into agriculture to a considerable extent, creating new situation and new problems. Contradiction and tension between local agricultural workers and migrate labourers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh is comingup because migrate workers are ready to work on lesser wages.
It is necessary to organise a survey in Haryana to exactly know, what changes have taken place in agriculture in recent years as to coin the proper slogan with the help of Central Leadership. In Haryana Irrigation/water issue has become a very much important and emotional. All the burgeoise parties are trying to exploit this issue. We also need guidance on this issue. Still there is backward and clan culture prevailing, some time creating very serious and complex social problem. In many areas rich farmers are taking the lands of poor people an lease. This new phenomenon is increasing due to increasing price of inputs and water and power charges. We have supported the movement of Government employees also. We are raising the issue of coruption too. For Kisan Sabha cadres we should organise their education camps regularly.
GURDEB SINGH DARDI (PUNJAB)
We have organised a number of campaigns against NLP, against price increase of fertilizer, against the increase in power rate. A good mobilisation of peasantry was done in civil—disobedience movement. We participated in recently held Panchayat and Co-operative elections and won some seats also. Due to withdrawal of subsidies and NEP, small and marginal peasants are selling or leasing out their lands. Concrete steps are required to help these poorer sections. Loans of small and marginal peasants should be waived and they should be provided free power. There should be proper storage facility for agricultural produces, and inputs should be provided at subsidised rate to small and marginal sections. Because the small and marginal peasants are forced to go out of agricultural sector, so some concrete helps are required. Support price, and timely intervention by pruchasing agency are very important issues Central leadership should also advice a formula to fix the support price, which may give a reasonable profit for the peasants. Some all India actions are also required for the Government to conceed some demands. Our state conference decided to enrole 2 lakh membership in 1995-96.
SHIV KUMAR DWIVEDI (HIMACHAL PRADESH)
In H.P. 37% of agriculture has become commercial. And due to NEP, withdrawal of subsidy on inputs, fertilizer prices have gone up—creating serious problem for the peasants. For horticulture and fruits, problem of transport and storage is becoming acute. we have organised some campaigns and actions on these issues. In Shirnla we held a joint rally under the banner of Platform of Mass organisations, Memorandum with thousands of signatures has been submitted. Regarding Organisation our State Centre is still weak. We are trying to improve it along with some district centres. We had to posponed our State Conference due to coming Panchayat Elections.
UDDHAB BARMAN (ASSAM)
The Government of Assam is imposing all types of restrictions on the democratic activities. The whole State is placed under section-144. In a number of districts terrorists and divisive forces are active. Situation is more worsened due to Bodo-non-Bodo, Assames-non Assames, Tribals-non-Tribals and many such ethenic conflicts coming up. Role of BSF is also dangerous. In Assam 77% of the population is dependant on agriculture. But they use very little fertilizer-and now price rise has also dampened their use more. We have to face continuous floods and in some districts drought. No proper facilities of irrigation. Number of agriculture laboureres is increasing day by day. We have been demanding for the distribution of ceiling surplus land and also for pattas to the poor and landless cultivating forest land for decades or generations. But the State Government is trying to evict them, with an intension to handover these lands to the landlords or big buisiness. We are trying to mobilise the peasantry on these issues.
E.K. NARAYANAN (KERALA)
We should ponder over the fact, that why there is no develop merit of organisation in States other than West Bengal and Kerala? Regarding all India movement like issue of GATT why the AIKS did not take the lead rather only participated in joint programmes? If Bihar movement is stagnating today, what has been done by Central leadership to help there? What the Central leadership does to help the various State Committees to intiate and organise the movements? What are the concrete steps taken after Hissar Conference—and what are conclusions? Without concretely naming the cadres, we should not speak about caste bias otherwise it will make us suspicious against each other without any valid reasons. Why not required booklets were published on GATT and other issues? More seriousness is requred at central level. More fund collection and contribution is required to help the weaker state units. We should really try to build and project independant image of AIKS, in practice, which may be visible by peasants also in our actions.
PAVITRA KAR (TRIPURA)
We want, that some specific calls for all India movement should go from this Conference on the burning issues of the peasantry. In Tripura we have organised campaigns against NEP/ NAP and on other issues. CKC must plan steps to streamline and expand the organisation in weaker States. In North-East region Assam and Tripura can help other States. We should take lesson from Bihar where despite glorious land movement, the membership has fallen— why? Proper explanation is required for this type of weakness. In Tripura, despite serious difficulties, we have held Panchayat Elections— with reservation (even Office Bearers) And we have won most of the Panchayat bodies. More than l/3rd of population is under our leadership, Gan Mukti Pari shad (organisation of Tribal Peasants) is also working under our leadership helping and strenthening the bond between tribal and non-tribal peasants.
TULSI DAS (A.P.)
We also agree with the criticism made by Kerala comrade. Why there is stagnation in membership enrolment exept in W.Bengal? It seems as if our good decisions are not reaching to lower units. We should learn from the experience of West Bengal— how they have developed and how they are developing? In our State women membership has increased, but education is lacking. Very little has been done organisationally. What steps are being taken in different States to mobilise the poor peasants- we should be informed. Democratic functioning of the units is the necessary ingredient for strenthening out organisations. The Central Leadership should review the organisational status of each State.
K. VARDARAJAN (TAMIL NADU)
Our delegation feels that on all India plane we have not fulfilled the tasks deeded by Hissar Conference, both on specific, and all India issues. In our State 60% of poor own only 2% of land while 5% of rich occupy 40%. We are taking up the issues of sharecorppers, their registration, loan waivers after studying and concretising the demands. On the issue of Irrigation also many demands are buring CKC must help the States in studying the agriculture situation and formulating the demands accordingly. On organisational question also, stress from centre is required specially for separate functioning and independent projection with some able and exclusive cadres. If the State and District centres function properly they can and must activise the primary and local units. Concretisation of tasks and demands, both agitational and organisational— is must. Some time CKC also fails in intervenining in the developing situation, that weakness must be overcome. Whole CKC and AIKC must be involved in formulating tasks etc.
NRIPEN CHOWDHARY (WEST BENGAL)
Favourable International situation developing, so, we should have done more, and that should reflect in General Secretary’s Report.
On organisational aspect also, what we have done after Hissar that should be stated. In 8 States our membership has gone down, why? In West Bengal we are holding regular election of Panchayats, and we are leading in overwheling majority of them. There are two trends visible one to treat Panchayat as “our own property” and other to completly ignore the organisation. Both are to be corrected, And PRIs should be properly utilised for further consolidation and expansion of organisation. So more co-ordination is required between our cadres working in Panchayat and those in Kisan Sabha units. Because various reactionary forces are waiting to utilise our mistakes and discontent of the people, so we should be more vigilant, active and cautious.
Reply to the Discussion on G.S. Report by Com. FLN. Goswami
Many positive suggestions have been put forward by comrade delegates, which will help us in further strengthening our Report and formulations. During this period, many state committees have taken up the issues of land, like, ceiling surplus land, fallow land, forest land, reights of sharecroppers etc. and some others have taken up the issues of water, irrigation, power charges, P.D.S. fertilisers etc. They have organised various forms of struggles on these issues, and have tried to consolidate their gains despite the difficulties and obstacles. Here also many of them have narrated their achievements and weaknesses in a self-critical manner.
Almost all the speakers are in agreement with the Report. Only 2 or 3 comrades expressed some reservations on some points. Some have raised the question of functioning of the AIKS Centre its shortcomings etc, and some have raised the question of uneven development.
So, far as the shortcomings in Central functioning, we have also mentioned in our Report, that it requires more strengthening and streamlining. But it does not mean that there is any deterioration as compared to earlier periods. No. we have visited more states, we have prepared an Alternative Agricultural Policy Resolution, we have met number of times, we have participated in a number of joint and independent campaigns and movements, and as a result of all these, we are more united in our perception today. Regarding unevenness of the organisation, we can only say that we are trying our best to overcome this unevenessnes, which has been a product of the long history of Indian peasant movement. Thus it will take time to finally overcome this lag. But we are trying.
Some comrades have asked for analytical reports of different states. So far general analysis of All India situation is concerned— our G.S. Report is based on overall analysis and these conclusions are based on the experiences common to all states. But some special features are there in each state—which differ from state to state, and region to region or even district to district. These are to be discussed and analysed by the different state committees. C.K.C. certainly will help the state committees in this task.
Some comrades have raised the question “why Bihar land movement is stagnating” and who is responsible for that? When we from centre say, that, Bihar movement is stagnating—it does not mean that it has been defeated, or going backward. Still we are holding the lands we occupied. It only means—that the speed of the advancement has been slowed down, due to lack of organisational consolidation. The membership has decreased, conferences delayed, and thus the momentum could not be kept up, as was possible and required. They have also acknowledged these weaknesses in recently held state conference. And steps are being taken to overcome them.
On the question of remunerative prices and export of agricultural produces, we have time and again stated that we are for remunerative prices, and we are not opposed to export of surplus produce. But we have to keep the fact in mind that in present day scenario, when the countrywide and world wide market is emerging, if we fail to increase the productivity, we will not be able to get remunerative price and the agriculture of pooer and middle section will not sustain in that situation. So, we should fight for cheap technology, cheap inputs and assured irrigation, and uniterrupted supply of power to agriculture sector, and that too on afforable rate, so that on the one hand productivity is increased and on the other the cost of production will be decreased. Then only we will be able to get proper income.
So far as other issues are concerned, we have mentioned the danger of communal, separatist and divisive forces and we have noted the heroic sacrifices made by our cardes and other secular and patriotic forces in struggles against these darkforces. We should also guard against forces of castism— who try to keep people divided. While fighting against castism, we should also curb the caste—prejudices, if found at any level. Because in feudal and caste—divided society, these prejudices and biases, are naturally reflected in a number of ways, even among our cadres. Taking lead in fighting social atrocities specially against S.C. S.T. Women and other weaker sections is a must to consolidate and unite the peasant movement. Keeping unity of the agricultural workers and poor peasant high on the agenda is the guarantee for further development of the movement.
Alongwith achievement we have noted our weaknesses too and those of some states also. But it does not mean that we are pessimistic. All our units alongwith AIKS Centre have been active during this period. Punjab comrades have been busy fighting for irrigation and power charges, while struggling against militants. U.P. comrades had to face the onslaught of communal and castist forces, while raising the issues of peasantry, and so is the difficult conditions in North Eastern states. Situation varies from state to state.
We should note our achivements and weaknesses in a balanced, constructive and objective manner, as to take the proper lessons for further advancement of movement and organisation. With full faith in future and in the strength of our organisation, I conclude.
Reports of Commissions
We are giving the Commissions’ reports in full. The C.K.C will consider these reports and formulate the tasks.
COMMISSION NO.- 1 Report of Commission on Land Reforms and Land Related Issues
The Commission met at Cuttack, during the 28th All India Kisan Sabha Conference on 21st November ’95 under the chairmanship of Com. P.K. Tandon, joint Secretary All India Kisan Sabha.
An information note prepared by Com. P.K. Tandon had been cirulated among comrades and it was introduced at the outset by its author in a brief speech which was followed by brief speeches by pannelists, viz. Com. Samar Baora (W. Begal), Com. E.M. Sridharan (Kerala), Com. Subodh Roy (Bihar), Com. Bajuban Riyang (Tripura), including these pannelists a total of 23 comrades spoke in the meeting. ,
On the basis of the degree of effectiveness of the implementation of land reforms and penetration of capital in the Agrarian economy, at Hissar, we divided the country into following four broad divisions:
- Areas where semi-feudal conditions still prevail e.g., parts of Bihar, U.P. Karnataka, M.P., Rajasthan, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Assam.
- The Areas where capitalist relations are expanding and capital penetration is more than in other states e.g. Punjab, Haryana, Western U.P., Wastal Andhra and some pockets in other states.
- Areas where a certain amount of land reform measures have already been carried out eg. Kerala, W. Bengal and Tripura.
- Areas where a pre-feudal modes of production prevail with collective or community landownership e.g. in some triabl areas including those in North Eastern States, Bastar in M.P. and Jharkhand areas of Bihar.
These are only broad divisions and sometimes features of more than one above mentioned categories coexist in different parts of the same state. Assam is an example of pre-feudal forms existing in some tribal dominated areas, with semi-feudal forms existing in other parts of the state. Also intensity of one particular socio-economic form, varies from region to region and even village to village. So we have to undertake detailed and painstaking studies of each village and each region before working out concrete slogans and tactics.
In the first category we will have to take note of the various loopholes that have been deliberately left in the land laws of each state, which have to be plugged. These include permission to transfer land (including Benami Transfers) among friends, relatives or to resume land for “self-cultivation” without insistance on the condition of cultivation by family labour or labour of the land holder himself otherself. There may be oral or informal tenancies like share cropping in a particular state without any provision for recording or security of tenure for such tenants. Non-existence of reliable and updated land records is another problems that comes in handy for landlords to evict poor and middle tenants. While in some states some provisions may exist in law which restrict transfers or granting some form of security though in practice they are ignored due to collusion between, landlords and revenue officials friendly to them. We must identify surplus ceiling land which should have been distributed among landless or poor peasants due to any of the above reasons, run campaigns demanding plugging of loopholes and effective implementation of land reforms involving the intended beneficiaries in the process of distribution. We should suggest amendments to existing laws, hold seminars and convention to secure democratic support of all peasant and other mass organisations, intellectuals, journalists etc. and organise agitations to demand enactment of amending laws. Along with ceiling surplus land so identified, there exist in each state fallow and cultivable wastelands, lands under the control of state forest Department which has no green cover, other government land or land owned by village coroporate bodies (like Gaon Samaj) which can be distributed. Wherever possible such lands should be occupied, distributed among landless and poor peasants and such occupations should be defended against landlord attacks till pattas are granted by authorities to the occupants.
It is AIKS which through struggles led by it in post Second World War years brought land reforms on the national agenda. Land Reform Legislations were enacted but as mentioned above, lot of loopholes were deliberately left in these laws to prevent land passing from the hands of landlords to the landless and land poor, and hardly 1.5 percent of total cultivated land has been distributed so far as a result of implementation of ceiling laws. The process of implementing redistributive land reforms was given a gobye by the middle of seventies end now P.V. Narasimha Rao Government is reversing the whole process of land reforms to facilitate acquisition of land held and operated by landless agricultural labourers and poor peasants by landlords, rich farmers, industrialists and MNCs., entering the fields of farming of crops that can be exported and their processing. The existing land laws are being amended to permit bigger holdings for horticultural or aquacultural farmers or certain types of plantation. We should resist this process which is bound to bring misery and ruin to bulk of our peasants who are poor and landless, whose productivity is low and being denied access to credit and modern inputs, they are unable to improve their cultivation and make it viable. Hence they have no option except selling or leasing out their land to big farmers or big business both Indian and foreign ready to invest in agriculture and agro-based industries. We must demand that suitable labour intensive and less costly technologies be developed for these poor farmers, necessary inputs must be made available to them at subsidied and controlled prices, they should have access to necessary Institutional credits and ensured remunerative prices for their produce.
In the second category of states and regions where capitalist relations are expanding and productivity of land is high, there is the problem of settlers on evacuee land or land on which refugees from Pakistan were settled several decades back without permanent pattas. The Government now wants to auction this land and realise exhorbitant prices from these settlers, bulk of whom are small farmers. We must support the demands of these settlers to grant them legal pattas at nominal prices and stop evictions and auctioning. In many canal irrigated areas there is the problem of seepage, water logging and soil erosion, which must be speedily tackled. Small farmers with higher cost of cultivation and low returns on investments are unable to compete with rich peasants and landlords, are forced to sell or leassout their lands and seek outside farm jobs. They must be helped by supplying credits, improved inputs at low costs to increase their productivity and margin of profit so that their agriculture becomes viable. Repeated hikes in electricity and irrigation rates create further difficulties for them and we must demand reversal of such policies and measures and there should be no hike in prices of inputs, power and irrigation rates for poor and middle farmers, whose cost of cultivation is higher but returns from investment as well as productivity is lower than of rich peasants and landlord farmers. The poor and middle peasants also want irrigation water, inputs and energy. Ground water level is failing in many places in Haryana and other areas, which requires more powerful motors which again enhances cost of irrigation. Those living at tail ends of canals also suffer from paucity of water. These problems should be tackled.
In some areas where irrigation projects have been completed, government is auctioning land, instead of allotting it to landless and poor peasants, who naturally can not compete with rich persons in bidding. We must demand that such lands should be allotted to landless and poor peasants and only nominal prices should be charged from them.
In the third category are states like W. Bengal Kerala and Tripura, where peasant movement is strong and as a result of big struggles and sacrifices, peasantry has been able to secure more effective, implementation of land reform than in other parts of the country. Although landlords have lost of their former social, economic and political power, it would be wrong to assume the feudal remanants have totally vanished and exercise no influence over social and political developments. Sustained by bourgeois—landlord government, working at the centre and exercising its power, under the bourgeois constitution, these elements still pose a challenge to the strong peasant and working class movement with a ding dong class struggle continuing and often assuming serious dimensions, even involving supreme sacrifices by peasant and other left wing activists. Here the main problems that of small landholders, whose average size of holding goes on declining and unless efforts are made to increase productivity and agriculture of small land holders viable, they will lose their land and join the burgeoning army of landless agricultural labourers. The Left Front Government in W. Bengal has made commendable efforts in this direction, due to which W. Bengal today has the highest rate of growth in food grain production and is today the leading paddy producer State, in the country. Sharecroppers, agricultural labourers and poor peasants, now managing the village panchayats and planning and implementing development projects, in their respective villages themselves, have evolved novel methods to extend minor irrigation, build roads and provided amenities to the rural poor. In Kerala, group Farming has been successfully tried to make paddy farming viable and sustainable. These experiences tell us that work in village Panchyats and Cooperatives can be useful and beneficial to bulk of rural poor, who are landless and poor peasants, if pursued with tact and vigour.
In the last category which are regions with a substantial proportion of tribals, with various forms of collective and community ownership of land and subject to pre-feudal forms of exploitation. Land in these areas owned by tribals, under existing laws, can not be legally transferred to non-tribals, but is actually being illegally transferred, in all such areas, to moneylenders and capitalist landlords in the main. Heavily indebted tribals enagaging in most primintive forms of cultivation (like jhoom or shifting slash and burn cultivation) readly agree to sell their land at throwaway prices when some non-tribal offers them money and liquor. We have to educate them in modern stable agriculture and other gainful economic activity, which alone can save them from exploitaiton by money lenders and capitalist landlords and prevent transfer of land. They should also be provided with credits, implements and inputs and marketing outlets for their surplus agricultural or forest produce.
We should not be in hurry to impose upon them a sterotyped pattern of land relations and should study their existing social organisation to find out who are the exploiting classes and what are their concrete forms and methods of exploitation. While maintaining the collective social forms we should suggest changes that will reduce the burden and ultimately abolish exploitation and bring about a democratic reorganisation of their society, ending backwardness and paving the way for modernisation and prosperity, with their consent and involvement. Naturally the exploiting elements will not like such a development and the whole process will be a class-struggle, which will require tact and leadership that will have to be evolved and trained. We should help them in working out concrete demands like development of irrigation, power, communication and transport facilities, providing modern amenities like educaiton, cultural and medical facilities, building townships and dwelling habitations etc. We should see to it that their rich cultural heritage is preserved and their separate identity is not disturbed.
Large tracts of land inhabited by tribals are being acquired for constructing various projects like extension of towns and creating new urban areas, industries, irrigation and power projects, aerodroumes, railway lines and stations, schools and institutions for higher education and research government offices and buildings for various levels of government and semi-government bodies etc. Before such lands are acquired, we should demand that adequate arrangements should be made for tribals, who will be up rooted, in the form of alternative land, gainful employment and adequate compensation. If alternative land is provided for housing, it should be properly developed and equipped with marketing, transport, sanitary, medical, educational and recreational facilities.
By conducting campaigns for land reforms and land related issues, on above lines, we can bring about desired changes in the correlation of class forces, which is the basic preconditions for such social, political and economic changes that alone can end poverty, unemployment, backwardness and pave the way for building a prosperous, modernised, industrial economy.
COMMISSION NO. 2 Report of the Commission on Agricultural Development
- The commission worked for six and half hours, in the course of which 40 comrades participated: seven panelists, Chairman and 32 delegates. In fact, several more were keen to participate but, in view of time constraint, they were requested to withdraw. The discussion was lively and rich and reflected the diversity of conditions and issues that our organisation in faces in different parts of the country. Contributions in local languages were permitted, and translations were given in English.
- After introduction by the Chairman, seven panelists participated, each specialising in one particular area of concern. Comrades Prithwi Singh and Dalijit Sing drew on the experiences in two of the most agriculturally developed states of the country- Harayana and Punjab- and outlined the problems- mainly of access to inputs (particularly irrigation and power) at prices within the means of the small farmers, facing agriculturists under modern, capitalist agriculture. Comarde Srinivas Rao examined the problems of accentuating inter-regional inequality that arise with capitalist penetration in agriculture, and Comrade R. Krishna Nayar pointed to problems facing commercial crops, mainly with reference to coconut, rubber, coffee and spices. Comrade Samar Choudhury outlined the difficulties facing the tribal population and attempts by the Tripura government to resettle them in rubber and tea plantation and other regular agricultural activities. Comrade Sunit Chopra emphasised on increased peasant differentiation and unequal growth, while Comrade Nilotpal Basu raised issues relating to power structure in rural areas.
- In the discussion that followed, 32 delegates narrated their experience on a wide range of issues. Broadly speaking, the following issues were highlighted: (a) those relating to the impact of NEP, (b) the capitalist development of agriculture, and (c) the role of MNCs.
- Impact of NEP on agriculture: (i) While discussing the impact of the new economic policy the delegates mainly emphasised on the higher cost of inputs- mainly fertiliser, water and power- because of phased withdrawal of subsidies, and specially its implications for the small farmers who would be priced out of the market. The delegates also feared that the prices would be pushed to higher levels if parties supporting NEP return to power after the next election, (ii) the delegates pointed that while the procurement prices have been raised, those relating to many commercial crops have declined as they are facing competition from imports; the country is importing many commodities whose domestic producers are finding difficult to sell at fair prices; (iii) the lack of public investment- in irrigation and power in particular- has reduced the scope for increase in production, and (iv) both inter-regional inequality and inequality within a rural area have increased, given varying resource positions of areas and farmers.
- Capitalist Development in Agriculture: The participants agreed that the process of capitalist development in agriculture has been accentuated by the new economic policy. Even the small farmers are producing for the market and buying inputs from shops. There is a significant shift in favour of commercial cropping, the substitution of labour-intensive paddy cultivation by tree crops, plantations or marine fisheries in coastal areas. All these are taking place at the cost of food and other subsistence crops. Tractors, tubewells and pumpsets are increasingly in vogue in many areas, sharecropping giving way to direct production with agricultural labourers, while highly personalised semi-feudal relationships are being replaced by the market-based ones. New types of labour use emerging, e.g., contract labour, decline in hired attached labour and a corresponding increase in hired casual labourers and the movement of rural migrants from less developed to more developed rural areas. However, the intensity of capitalist development varies significantly between areas. Whereas in Punjab, Harayana, western UttarPradesh and some other areas such capitalist development is more fully developed, in Bihar semi-feudal relations sill prevail, while some areas in North eastern states are characterised by pre-deudal modes of production.
- The role of the MNCs in agri-business:- The delegates took serious note of the increasing penetration of MNCs in Indian agriculture. In several states they are deploying various means to bring a large amount of land under their control and are urging the state governments to relax ceilings for this purpose. The adverse impact of MNCs, like Pepsi-Cola and Kellogs was noted. However, not enough of details was forthcoming, and the delegates undertook to further study the issue in all its details.
- The delegates urged a greater emphasis on co-operatives in order to counter, as far as possible, the adverse effect of the market forces on the smaller farmers. It sought greater awareness of these issue by the general peasant masses and the need to conduct struggles to protect the interests of the peasants. They also asked for detailed and in-depth studies on agrarian relations for individual states.
COMMISSION NO. 3 Report of the Commission on the Role of Panchayat institutions and Cooperatives in Protectings the Interest of Majority of the peasantry- Task of Kisan Sabha
The commission finalised the following report after detailed discussion held on the basis of the outline of eight issues presented before it and also took up the issue of maximising Kisan Sabha’s support to the members elected from the economically and socially disadvantaged sections including SC, ST and Women. Besides Chariman and the panelists of the commission, 17 other delegates from different states participated in the discussion. The Commission has also taken into consideration the ’Information Documents’ and appreciates the immense help rendered by these documents. This report being brief does not intend to deal with the points and informations available in these documents in details. The commission considers these as very useful background materials to arrive at the understanding of this report.
SUMMARY OF THE DISCUSSIONS
Three type of situations prevailing in the country emerged from the discussions. Firstly, the states like West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura where Left and democratic movement and kisan movement are strong enough to intervene in the funtioning of the panchayats and cooperatives. There are the states where we should concentrate on further consolidation and perfection of our activities in these institutions. The second category includes the states where elections have been recently held but because of the lack of political will and land reforms these institutions are yet to be empowered with any meaningful devolution of powers and finances and whatever power remains with them are by and large exercised by the rural rich and reactionary feudal elements to strenthen their class domination. Here the immediate task of Kishan Sabha is to lunch mass struggle for more power to the panchayats and democratisation of the cooperatives while at the same time intensifying the struggle of economically and socially oppressed sections directed against domination of rural reaction. Thirdly, there are states where the elections to these institutions have not been held long and the Kisan Sabha has to build up mass movement for immediate election. During the last two decades West Bengal has been the only state in the country to have held election to all three tries of PRIs, in a single day at regular five years intervals for four consecutive terms. More than 70% of the panchayat members belong to the rural poor and toiling sections, a class composition, diametrically different from that of panchayat of the non-left-led states. This has its basis on the successful implementation of land reforms measures backed by the political will of the state govt. combined with organised struggle of the peasantry.
The distribution of land matched with the credit from the cooperatives and other non land inputs delivered through the panchayats resulted in a major breakthrough in the agricultural production in the states since independence. The highest growth rate in food grains production and per capita consumption of cereals in the country.
In Tripura and Kerala Cong(I) Governments did their best to undo whatever achievements were made in this regard during the stay of the earlier left-led governments. After the left front government was established in Tripura the election to sabotage the election to Autonomous District Council could be successfully defeated. In Kerala LDF achieved a spectacular victory in the recent elections to the local bodies. The cooperatives in the states having over 10 million membership represent by for the most democratised institutions of this type in the country. This had its basis in the earlier efforts of the Communist and left-led governments based on massive land reform measures. It makes no difference so far as the attitude of Cong(I) and BJP governments of other states to these institutions are concerned. There is no devolution of power or finances. Except for the places where we are strong these institutions are utilised by the feudal-bureaucratic nexus for corrupt practices. The election are yet to be held in Bihar and Tamilnadu. The Cong(I) Government of Orissa has dissolved the panchayats soon after being voted to power. In all these states however the Kisan Sabha has started intervening in a positive way to the extent their strength permits and there is no indifferent attitude about this.
THE ROLE OF PANCHAVAT AND OUR TASKS
- All India Kishan Sabha will continue to expose the role of Cong(I) govt, in the centre and both Cong(I) and BJP ruled state governments so far as their pretentions of democratic decentralisation are concerned. Our struggle for more power to panchayats should form an integral part of struggle for devolution of power from centre to the states. Their lack of political will for democratic decentralisation and land reforms has to be exposed. On the other hand alternative approach of growth based on land reform and panchayats successfully pursued by the left led governments has to be propagated among the peasantry in the states.
- The Kisan Sabha activists working in panchayat and cooperative institutions must utilise these as instruments to realise the following three basic objectives: (i) These have to be utilised as platform for broadest possible mobilisation of peasantry by mixing their participa tion in their day to day activities e.g. identification of local needs, schemes, beneficiaries, implementation of schemes through beneficiary and users committees. Transparency of our activities in the form of placing accounts to gram sabhas etc regularly for public scrutiny is the only guarantee against corruption, nepotism etc. (ii) Both panchayats and cooperatives can be effectively utlised as instruments of unleashing class struggle for land, wage, homestead, credit, water, inputs etc to bring about a change in the correlation of class forces in favour of the rural poor. The struggle against caste and gender disparity has to be integrally linked with these class and mass struggles. The scheme meant for welfare of SC/ST’s along with the schemes for development of women and children in rural areas should be implemented in a way that leads to real empowerment of these sections. The elected representatives from these sections has to be effectively nursed by the Kisan Sabha to build up effective amongst cadres from them, (iii) All these struggles for realisation of partial demands must be combined with our propaganda for basic land reforms in such a way that people out of their own experience earned in the process of participation, become aware of the limitations of the existing socio-economic order and come to realise the need of changing the same.
- The question of resolving various types of disputes among the peasantry whether on use Of common resources or on issues of land and wages has to be addressed from the angle of peasant unity and’ change of correlation of class forces. Our representatives should not give the verdict themselves but involve the people in working out the solution in such a way that the interest of agriculture labourers and poor peasantry becomes more and more firm in this process.
- This Kisan Sabha and its representatives in the local bodies should always propagate the need of protection of environment for sustainable development, for soil and water conservation through integrated micro watershed development, use of organic fertiliser and biological control in reasonable mix with inorganic fertilizers and pesticide, conservation of forest, wild life with active community participation etc.
- the literacy movement combined with the health movement along with the sports, cultural activities and science movement particularly among the poor and working people in the rural area has to be combined with the mass initiative for developmental programmes so as to give the entire movement an integrated and lively shape.
- In the panchayats, where we are in opposition, the kisan sabha representative should strive for principled intervention inside the local bodies by emerging as champions of the causes of the people, against corruption and discrimination. This has to be invariably combined with mass mibilisations under the banner of Kisan Sabha for demonstration, deputation and various other forms of movements to reverse the anti-people measures taken by the panchayats there.
- The Kisan Sabha units must not take any indifferent attitude about the cooperatives and make all positive efforts to democratise them by universal membership enrollment, particularly from the rural poor, SC, ST and women etc. We must fight for the right to credit for each and every member of the cooperative while maintaining a strict public vigil over the transaction of the society. These institutions have to be utilised effectively for supply of inputs marketing, sale of essential commodities etc.
Our representatives in cooperatives have to be helped to improve the efficiency of management so that these can be successfully utilised as instruments of self-reliance. The onslaught of NEP pursued by the Central govt, on the cooperative movement, the negative role played by RBI and NABARD etc. have to be thoroughly exposed. Efficient management, deposit mobilisation, expansion of credit among the disadvantaged sections are indispendsable in these days of unequal competition. Only a powerful coopeative movement based on peasant unity built around the poor and working sections of the peasantry can meet this challenge.
The Commission while recommending the aforesaid step is fully aware that it is only the strength and might of the kisan movement in the locality that will determine the final outcome of our efforts of intervention in these local bodies and institutions. Effective intervention will expand our strength and increased strength will enable us to intervene more and more effectively. To utilise every opportunity unfolded before us and to overcome the complexities that comes in our way and the challenges ahead which we must prepare ourselves to meet right now.
COMMISSION NO. 4 On Democratic Functioning of Kisan Sabha
The discussion continued till 8 p.m. all together 24 comrads including the panelists and the Chairman took partin the discussion. Chairman’s submission was as follows:
- The title of the subject does not correspond to the outline of issues as referred to the commission. The title should have been problems of strengthening organisation and the outline should contain anotheritemsuchas ’Democratic funcitoning’ of the Kisan Sabha’.
- a. Strictly speaking, the peasantry is not a class in itself, but a social category tending to be split into two seperate classes, i.c., the bourgeoisie and the proletariat or landless labours with the advance of capitalism which is the order of the day. The upper section of the peasantry has its closeness with the industrial bourgeoisie and the lower section has closeness with the rural labourers. The entire peasantry including the rich section has its conflicts with the T.N.Cs and big bourgeoisie. With the advance of capitalism in agriculture the grip of the T.N.Cs and monopolies upon the agrarian sector will increase. Plough will be replaced by tractors, natural fertiliser by chemical fetiliser, old irrigation devices by modern pumps. Use of pesticides and hi-breed seeds will increase. All these items are controlled by the T.N.Cs and monopolies. Even in matters of storage and marketing, they will largely remain the dominating force. With the deepending o the crisis, this conflict is likely to grow.
Two types of peasant unity are there, one-peasant unity under the influence of the bourgeoisie where rich and middle peasants would be a guiding force (this type of unity prevails in most parts of India which is of no use for the growth of the L & D forces, required for social change), the other- peasant unity under the influence of working class, where the poor peasants will play the domiant role. This is what we desire. But weaker force cannot draw thestronger force closer. Hence, the poor must be made a power. Only by organising themselves on their own demands and by uniting with the agr-labourers, which makes them strong, and by lending active support to the cause of the richer section in its conflict with the big capital, this type of unity can be achieved. It is a complex and simultaneous process.
b. Though part of the peasantry, the agr-labours are emerging as a distinct class. They are the most poor with most revolutionary potential. They must be made a pioneer force in the peasant movement. Two kinds of main contradiction are there in the rural areas. One, the contradiction between the agr-labs and their employers and the other – contradiction between the peasantry as a whole (including agr-labs) and the landlords, the T.N.CS and monopolies. Where landlordism is weak, the domination of big capital over agriculture is stronger. The former contradiction is direct, easy apprisable even with low level of consciousness, w hereas the latter, though stronger than the former is indirect and demands higher level of consciousness to be apprisable. Agr-labs-peasant unity-where age-labs play the guiding role is a must. For this, the agr-labs must be organised on their own specific demands (wage, social security, house-sites, against social discrimination and atrocities and thus be made a force to reckon with, at the same time they must not be made selfish but be roused and rallied in defence of the interest of the peasantry against the onslaught of the landlords, Y.N.Cs and the monopolies. As far the agr-labs are organised for their own cause, as far they actively fight for the cuase of the peasantry and as far the conflict between the peasants and their main enemies sharpens, so much unity will be achieved.
Method of agr-lab’s struggle for wages etc should not copy that of industrial workers. In industrial sector, the number of workers far outnumbers that of employers. But in rural sector, the agr-labs, though large in numbers are still minority and the number of the employers is generally larger and they are stratified. Hence agr-labs must remain firm in their demands but must be flexible in their approach. Unless the agr-labs are able to win over a good section of the employers-peasants by way of reason, campaign and appeals for unity against their real enemies, it would be hard for them to achieve success. In industrial sector, the T.Us conduct campaign for mobilising public opinion not for winningover empoyers, but to inflict defeat upon them. But in rural areas the task of organising vigorous campaign for winning over a good section of the employers is imperative. In rural areas the T.N.Cs, the monopolies remain veiled and both the agr-labs and the employer- peasants tend to treat each other as main enemy and thus miss the common enemy. Only by organising the agr-labs and by organising persistent and educative campaigns we can make the both conscious about the real enemy. Reformism denies the necessity of organising the agr-labs on their own issues in the name of peasant unity and secteriaism denies the importance of unity. In reality both of these trends shield the real enemy.
To initiate wage struggle in new areas, Tamilnadu experience be taken into account of. They sclcted a number of contiguous villages, conducted campaign and ground work. The demand was very moderate (not statutory wage). Quantum of increase was not their concern, their concern was to see that whatever increase is there it is realised through struggle. It created confidence among the agr-labs which realised through struggle. It created confidence among the agr-labs which could help them to advance the struggle further. Initially it was the experience of West Bengal also.
- Reformist concept of kisan unity based on dominance of rich and middle peasants still hunts our Kisan Sabha in most of the areas. This erroneous outlook has to be fought out at all levels. The centre have to sit and discuss the problem with at least state-level and district-level leaders at the state centre.
- Besides land and wage movement, identification of concrete issues in a locality is not difficult provided one cares for this. Basic contradiction expresses itslef in many piece-meal contradictions in the society. A small embankment, a drainage scheme, a small irrigation scheme, a village connecting road, school, an eviction from land or homestead, a dispute over getting back of mortgaged land, a police-repression, a case of social atrocities, local crisis over fertiliser, a co-operative, Relief problems and even matter of family feuds can be the issues. Initially peasants objective remains limited to the immediate issues. But we should not attempt to tie-up them to the immediate issues only but by taking the thread of the issue, try to bring the whole truth before them, try to broaden their outlook so that they realise that all these issues are ncft isolated but are part and parcel of the basic problem. Evert the wage and land struggle be conducted with this objective. It will help in recruiting new activists who have to be educated and brought into organisation subsquently. With this small struggles the peasants will eventually help increase our mobilising capacity.
- Cast prejudices and discrimination is rampant in most parts of India. Even in advance states, it is there, though in subtle form. This issue, if takn up earnestly and seriously, can help a lot in spreading our influence and organisation. We fail to take up issues of social oppression because we ourselves suffer from feudal prejudices. Class origin of our cadres and the social environment have its constant effects. Our comrades even cannot identify the feudal prejudices. We have to organise vigorous campaign over these issues among the peasantry and educate our comrades as well. If we can take up the issues, the very logic of struggle will lead us to joining hends with other organisations and forces that can be united. In reality it is a struggle against feudalism.
- Problems of cadres is very serious. Hence proper planning should be there to depute them properly. Whenever there is a struggle in any locality, the state committee or the D.K.C. should not leave it to the local leaders but rush to the area, help our comrades in organising and leading the struggle. Only thus confidence can grow and new cadres come in. Whatever cadre is there should be judiciously u tilised to build some struggle in some areas which will in turn be a source of new cadres for extending struggles to newer areas.
- Cadre training and recruiting vs Bureaucratic funcitoning
Cadre is the vital question. Training has two sides, one theoretical, other practical. Theoretical classes should be there but it would be of no use unless they are trained through practice. Bureaucratic and hero-like functioning of the leader impedes the process of cadre building. Habits of readymade prescription giving like mobile physician and hero-like functioning makes the cadres intellectually inert. Whatever problem is there in a locality, the responsible leader should go to the area, meet the committee there, discuss the problem, analyse the situation and help the comrades to reach a decision. Only in this way cadres learn how to analyse a given situation, judge the correlation of forces and dialiectically come to a conclusion. Individual prescription giving by different leaders always tend to create disruption within the organisation. The heroes foreget that the peasantry itself are to emancipate themselves. They lack confidence in the capabilities of cadres. Democratic funcitoning is lacking in many areas. This practice has to be seriously dealt with. At every level the committee, how much weak it may be, should be met, problems discussed and debated and course of action should be decided upon there. Feudal habits and outlook always breeds individualism and bureaucratic attitude. Constant watch should remain there to check it. b) Membership There remain elements of doubt about the membership figures. By mainpulaiton we can only cheat ourselves, not the enemy. Weakness if not admitted cannot be overcome. Enrollment of membership should be taken as a campaign and movement. Whatever forces arc there in a locality, they should collectively organise street corner, village group meetings, speak out to the peasants thcaimsand objective of Kisan Sabha and enroll members. Issuing of leaflets and pasting of posters for the purpose? Would be useful. just after any struggle, our cadres should appeal and ap- praoch the concerned peasants to be members of K.S., a committee be formed with the best elements as choiced by the peasant themselves. List of members be prepared and kept at the Taluka or Block level in weaker areas and at G.P. levels in areas where very large number of members are. enrolled.
- This task is very essential for stren thening organisation. Not to speak of giving wages to wholetimers, comrades fail to attend even committee meetings because of dear th of fund. The state committees should organise fund collection drive and activise the lower committees in this respect. In weaker states mass collection on its true snse will be a utopia at this stage. Even where there is no mass base worth its name, there arc many friends among the peasants scattered over the Taluk or Block area. The Block committee should prepare a list of them and approach them at the time of harvest to contribute generously. At harvest time, before one puts his crop in grannery, remains liberal about giving contribution. Even donating one bag full of paddy or wheat is not uncommon. After any struggle is conducted, peasants should be apealed for fund. Fund collection has to be taken as a class struggle, not as begging. We have to make peasants realise that it is their own interest to contribute to the fund for building their own organisation. Money coupons should be used for small collections.
- Deputing Cadres – Not to speak of lower levels, even the state or district centres have no cadres exclusively for working for the centre in many states. All state committees should depute a number of wholetim- ers for the centres. Initially it may be 2 or 3 or 5 in the weak states. Same process should be followed for the district centres. The C.K.C. should sit with the respective state committee and help them to chalk out progrmmes for the purpose. It should be borne in mind that wholetimers do not men employees of kisan movement. They must be recruited from among leading comrades or comrades having potential qualities sand sacficing ideals. Proper wages should be provided to them as well.
- Committees and Conferences
Villages with at least 25 members and G.P. areas having 100 or more members should have village or panchayat committees and annual conference should be held. In weaker states or areas Block/ Taluk level conference be held annually. Exept without holding regular committee meetings and taking some programmes of campaign, agitation or struggles new cadres cannot be built. Specific comrade or comrades of higher committee should remain present in the lower committee meetings.
- Literacy work, health and science awareness, cultural movements etc help to enlighten the peasantry and should be included in the agenda of kisan sabha. Even in areas where organising struggle on class issues is not possible for the moment because of lack of confidence or fear psychosis, movements on these issues can help us to penetrate in new areas. Even in strong areas of class struggle the importance of all these issues is formidable. The peasantry at large and particularlythe vast poorer section of them remain intellectually and culturally depressed and it becomes very difficult to bring up leadership from them. Enemies are also very much active in polluting the people with degenerating culture. Hence these movements are very much necessary to raise the intellectual level of the peasantry at large and the poorer section in particular. These movements are often taken as reformist movement, as no element of excitement and militancy are there in these movements and no immeidate effect is tangible. Comrades fail to realise its far-reaching effects.
- Mass organisation
KisanSabhaisan independent mass organisation but not at all void of any political aim. Proper understanding about this dual character is lacking in the organisation. Recruitment of millions of members alone cannot make it a mass organisation in its true sense, unless it is able to rouse and activate its members from its own platform and earns their confidence. While organising peasants on various issues, trend of using the platform of political party are rampant. Postering, wall writings, issuance of leaflets are seldom done in the name of Kisan Sabha. Even in mass meetings, speakers often forget that they are speaking on behalf of Kisan Sabha. In India all political parties have their own mass organisations. This practice also adversely influences us. Political identity of peasants, rather than the merit of their issues influences our cadres more in our attitudes towards them. It restricts us to draw and politically enrich the peasants who for the time being are in the political camp of the enemies. Comrades forget that even if all the members of a committee are members of a particular political party, still it is a mass organisation and discussion in the committee should be conducted accordingly. This habit goes down to the lower levels ancT even to the level of meeting of peasants. Sustained efforts should be thereto change the existing habits and thinking. Seperate officiesmustbe there, but how far or near are those offices situated from the offices of a political party, matters little. The deciding factor is the style of funcitoning.
Benoy Konar Chairman
ON SOLIDARITY WITH CUBA
The 23th Conference of the All India Kisan Sabha strongly condemns the attempts by US imperialism to overthrow the socilalist government of Cuba led by Comrade Fidel Castro, by nefarious designs that range from attempts to physically annihilate the leader of the Cuban Revlutions to the imposition of an illegal economic blockade in order to starve the people of Cuba to death. While its policy of keeping Cuba isolated from the rest of the humanity has not worked and 104 countries have called for its revocation in the U.N. General Assembly recently. But the recent legislation in the United States Congress proposes further punitive action against countries that continue to trade with Cuba. The Conference notes that latest legislation violates the sovereignty of an indepenent country, deplores this latest imperialist attempt and urges democratic anti-imperialist people all over the world to rise up in protest against this abject and reprehensible act and to induce their governments to continue to trade with Cuba despite all threats.
The Conference also takes note of the serious violation of international ethics and code on the part of the United States, by refusing to extend to Com. Fidel Castro the courtesies that are normally shown to the heads of states when he attended the last session of the United Nations at New York. The Conference also deplores the vindicative attitude of the government of the United States when a year or so ago it refused the sale of wheat to India, because of the previous shipment of paddy by India to Cuba, a shipment which had a significant contribution of AIKS in it. The conference congratulates the role played by the kisans and various organisations of the working people to mobilise supportfor the Cuban brothers and sisters who are under severe economic and diplomatic pressure, and are living under continuous threat. The Conference urges the democratic people all over the country to sustain the moral and financial support and to help this brave socialist regime survive the imperialist onslaught and observe 27th November in solidarity with Cuba and in condemnation of the US Administration as never before and at as many places as possible.
CELEBRATE SIXTIETH BIRTH ANNIVERSAY OF THE KISAN SABHA
The 28th Conference of the AIKS resolves to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the foundation of the AIKS from April 1996 to April 1997. It calls on the CKC to prepare a definite plan to observe this as widely as possible with exhitions, seminars, study camps, public meetings, demonstrations and a powerful thrust to the peasant upsurge against the NET, NAP to go forward for resolving the pressing problems the peasantry, facing in the militant tradition of the AIKS that has made it the premier organisation fighting for the rights of the peasant masses in the country today.
ON PURI FIRING
The 28th Conference of AIKS condemns the killing of four innocent people including a DYF1 activist Prasanna Naik and seriously injuring 10 others at Puri by the Police, who resorted to unprovoked firing without warning to clear the way for Cong(I) Chief Minister ofOrissa. The people were only asking for theC.M. to stop and express a few words of sympathy to the family of a 5 years old boy, who was crushed to death by private bus. The C.M. did not stop and the police used this barbaric method to teach the people a lession. We demand a judicial enquiry by a sitting High Court Judge, compensation to the families of those killed and injured, and immediate suspension of the S.P., and stern punishment to other guilty officials. We send our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families.
ON CYCLONE AND FLOODS IN ORISSA
The 28th Conference of AIKS, notes with hearfclt sympathy, the agonies of the people of Orissa, who had to face several cyclones and floods only a few weeks earlier. Crops, houses, liverstocks and other private and public properties of hundreds of crores of Rupees have been damaged. More than two dozen of people have lost their lives. But the Central Govt, is not sanctioning apropriate amount for relief and rehabilitation. State Govt, machinery has also been lethergic in taking preventive steps and providing relief measures to the affected people. We demand immediate sanction of requred amount from the Central Govt, and apropriate measures from state Govt, to provide compensation and relief and take permanent preventive steps by expanding irrigation system and drainage.
AGAINST THE NEW ECONOMIC POLICY
The 28th Conference of AIKS strongly denounces the anti people new economic and agricultural policies pursued by Narsimha Rao govt, adopted under the pressure of IMF/W.B. undermining the economic sovereignty have led to rccedented price rise, largescale pretrenchment and unemployment and growing pauperisation of the peasantry and other common people. There is a clear shift from hither to pursued policies of self-reliance, the leading role of public sector, social secutity measures, planning process etc. There is a mad rush of privatisation and invitation to MNCs. in name of liberalisation and globalisation of economy. Widhdrawal of subsidies on agricultural inputs, power and irrigation due to these policies are making the agriculture costly day-by day, thus forcing the poor, marginal and middle peasants to leass out or sell their lands to rich farmers or landlords. Signing of GATT agreement by the Govt, despite the countrywide opposition and likely surrender on Patent Law are posing a very bleack future to our economy and the common people particularly the peasantry. The Conference congratuates the peasants in general and its cadres in particular, for participating in a number of independent and joint movement opposing these anti-people economic and agricultural policies, and resolves to continue the fight till the policies are reversed in favour of the people.
AGAINST RISING PRICES
The 28th Conference takes serious note of rising prices particularly of consumer goods. The policies of the government such as withdrawal of subsidies on agricultural inputs, and free hand to big-business, MNCs. and speculates etc on the one hand and disbandment of the PDS, are responsible for futher price increase. Sky-rocketing of prices of daily necessaities is creating great hardship with common people. The Conference demands immediate steps to halt this price increase, strengthen P.D.S. in all the corners of the country, through which the foodgrains should be supplied at 50% reduced prices, and all the 14 essential commidities should be made available there and at all the fair price shops. For rural areas; food for work programme must be initiated immediatedly on large scale. The Conference resolves to launch movement on these demands.
ON FLOODS AND DRAUGHTS IN VARIOUS STATES
The 28th Conference of AIKS notes with distress that every year immense damages are caused to human lives, livestocks, crops houses, roads, bridges, canal embankents, tubewells, electric installations, ware houses and other public and private properties due to floods, cyclone hail storms and heavy rains, in a number of regions. And in some regions the serious drought and famine conditions worsen the lives of the peoples, who have to suffer even for drinking water. The Central Govt, under the dictates of W.B./ I.M.F. has been reducing the budget allocations for irrigation, water management and reliefs in the period of national calamities. No new irrigational projects are being taken up and old embankments are suffering due to lack of proper maintainable for years. This Conference demands from the Central Govt, to give up its callous anti-people and in-humane aproach and immediately work for a proper water management policy with required fund to prevent or atleast minimise the loses to crops, properities and lives in regions which are flood or drought prone and cover all the crops under comprehensive Insurance Scheme.
RESOLUTION ON GROWING DANGER OF COMMUNALISM
The 28th Conference of AIKS expresses its serious aprehension at the nefarious games of communal forces like RSS, VHP, Ba jrang dal etc, who are trying to whip up communal frenzy on the eve of Parliamentary poll. They are trying to rake up the issues of Krishna Temple at Mathura, Kashi Vishwanath Temple at Varanasi and are demanding the right to build the temple at the disputed place in Ayodhya, where they dmolished Babri Masjid on 6th Dec. 1992. Activities of majority communalists encourage minority communalismand vice-versa, thus dividing the common people who are fighting the an ti-people policies of the government. This Conference appeals to the peasantry and other secular forces in general and AIKS cares in particular to step up their vigilance and foil the game of these communal forces as to preserve the unity of the peasantry and the people .
AGAINST DIVISIVE FORCES
The 28th Conference of AIKS takes serious note of the continuing activities of a number of divisive forces in various parts of the country particularly in border states like J.&K. and in North-East region. These dark forces are encouraged by fundamentalist ideology and are getting assistance from abroad. The imperialists are interested in destablishing India, and this part of Asia. The Conference salutes those cadres and patriots, who have sacrificed their lives fighting against these dark forces for the preservance of national unity and integrity, and resolves to continue this fight to foil their game of destablisation and division of India.
AGAINST CORRUPTION IN HIGH PLACES
The 28th Conference of AIKS notes with indignation the ever increasing news of scandals and corruption in high places. During last 3-4 years the people of this great country have noticed with pain one after another exposer of those scandals like Banks scam, scam in disinvestment, Havala scam, Telecome scam and all these added by Chandra Swami episode. This conference demands high level and expedious enquiry of these corruptions and scams and stern punishment to the guilty politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen and their god fathers like Chandra Swami
Report of the Credential Committee
1. Total No. of elected delegates: 661
CKC Members: 41
Delegates present: 637 CKC Members present: 37
Total 674/- as per CKC report
Total Nos. credential forms received 668.
Male: 660 Female: 8
2. State-wise break-up:
|Elected delegates||Delegates present||Forms received|
|1. West Bengal||300||300||296|
|3. Andhra Pradesh||38||38||37|
|4. T. Nadu||38||38||38|
|13. Madhya Pradesh||11||10||10|
|16. Himachal Pradesh||5||5||5|
|18. Jammu & Kashmir||4||3||3|
|21. CKC Member||41||36||36|
|Upto 40 yrs.||125|
Oldest delegates: Com. Krishnan Nair- 81 yrs. of Kerala Youngest delegates Com. Balaram Adhikari of Sikkim- 25 years.
4. Whole Timer Part Timer
——–— ——-–— 491 177
5. Class Origin
|Other Middle Class||134|
6. Present Occupation
|Middle class employers||112|
7. Land Owned
|Upto 1 acres||114|
|Upto 3 acres||134|
|Above 10 acres||30|
|Dry land owned by||114 delegates|
|Wet land owned by||105 nos. delegates|
|Both types of land owned by||72 nos. of delegates|
8. Monthly Income
|Upto 5 hundred Rupees||75|
|Above 5 thousands||31|
10. Married Unmarried
Higest No. children of a delegate is 9.
12. Organisational Status:
13. Year of joining AIKS:
In 1936 Com. H.S. Surjeet & Com. M.P. Narayanan Nambiar joined AIKS.
14. Jail Life
|Upto 1 yrs.||250|
|Above 10 yrs.||1|
Com. Binod Das of CKC suffered the longest time prisonment- 11 yrs. 5 months & 15 days.
15. Elected Position
|Village Panchayat Member||12|
|Village Pradhan Mukhia Sarpanch||23|
16. Participation in Important Movement
i) Six of our respected old guards took part in the past glorious Kisan Movements and anti-imperialist freedom struggle.
ii) 229 of our delegate comrades took part in various land and land-related movements including wage movements of Agricultural Labourers throughout the country.
iii) 71 of our delegate/comrades took active part couragiously against separatist, divisive forces, against semi-fascist tarror, against authoritarioanism throughout the country.
Rathin Roy Convenor
Bearers, CKC, and AIKS Members of AIKS (Elected the 28th Conference)
- President Com. Benoy Konar Com. H.S. Surjeet Com. R.N. Goswami Com. Paloli Md. Kutty Com. K. Vardarajan Com. S. Ramchandran Pillai Com. P. K. Tandon Com. N.K. Shukla Com. V. Srinivas Rao
- Vice President Com. H.S Surjeet
- Vice President Com R.N.Goswami
- Vice President Com. Paloli Md. Kutty Com. K.
- Vice President Vardarajan Com. S.
- General Secretary Tandon Com. N.K. Shukla Com.
7 . Joint Secretary V. Srinivas Rao
- Joint Secretary
- Joint Secretary
- Com. B. Venkateswara Rao
- Com. B. N. Reddy
- Com. Nurul Huda
- Com. Udhav Burman Bihar—
- Com. Radev Verma
- Com. Vijay Kant Thakur
- Com. Kishan Swaroop
- Com. Kuldip Singh
Jammu & Kashmir
- Com. Gulam Babi Malik
- Com. P. Ramchandra Rao
- Com. T.K. Ramkrishnan
- CKP Padmanabhan
- Com. K. Balakrishnan
- Com. B.S. Dhakar
- Com. Krishna Khopkar
- Com. Jagannth Mishra
- Com. Rachhpal Singh
- Com. Lambar Singh Taggar
- Com. Shopat Singh
- Com. N. Sankariah
- Com. Thambuswami
- Com. Badal Chowdhury
- Com Narayan Rupini
- Com. Dinanath Singh
- Com. Dharm Pal Singh
- Com. Benoy Krishna Chowdhury
- Com. Samar Baora
- Com. Pita Basan Das V
- Com. Tarun Roy
- Com. Manindra Gope
- Com. Biplab Dasgupta
OTHER A.I.K..C. MEMBERS
- Com. V. Narasimha Rao
- Com. B. Chandra Reddy
- Com. Y. Kesava Rao
- Com. S. Malla Reddy
- Com. T. Narasimhaiah
- Com. Koratala Satya Narayana
- Com. Hemendas
- Com. Bipin Hazarika
- Com. Mahodhar Pathak
- Com. Puma Bodo
- Com. Nizamuddin Khan
- Com. Subodh Roy
- Com. Krishna Kant Singh
- Com. Ramashray Singh
- Com. Rajendra Singh Munda
- Com. S.P. Tiwari
- Com. Bawa Singh
- Com. Maruthi Manpade
- Com. P. Jagannath
- Com. C.S. Bale
- Com. C. Krishna Nair
- Com. M.P. Narayanan Nambiar
- Com. K.V. Ramkrishnan
- Com. K.P. Aravindakshan
- P. Belan Vaidya
- M.K. Bhaskaran
- Com. Gopi Kttamurikkal
- Com. P. Sudhakaran
- Com. Com. E.M. Srecdharan
- Com. Yamuna Prashad Shastri
- Com. Narendra Malusare
- Com. L.V. Dhanger
- Com. Prasanna Panigrahi
- Com. Major Singh
- Com. Rathan Sing Randhawa
- Com. Gurdial Singh
- Com. Indarjit Singh
- Com. Duli Chand
- Com. Amara Ram
- Com. V.A. Karuppa Swami
- Com. Rajappan
- Com. N. Govinda Rajan
- Com. N.R. Rama Swami
- Com. P.V. Shanmughan
- Com. Samar Chaudary
- Com. Aghoro Dev Barman
- Com. Khagen Das
- Com. Bajuban Riang
- Com. Karam Veer Singh
- Com. Mukut Singh
- Com. Vijay Shant
- Com. Surendra Singh Sajwan
- Com. Benode Das
- Com. Gour Saha
- Com. Amitav Basu
- Com. Mehboob Zahidi
- Com. Surya Mishra
- Com. Farooque Azam
- Com. Pa lash Pramanik
- Com. Anil Saha
- Com. Sudhen Raha
- Com. Shibendra Narayan Chowdhury
- Com. Ananda Banerjee
- Com. Manabesh Chowdhury
- Com. Ashutosh Ghosh
- Com. Gunadhar Chowdhury
- Com. Ranjit Dutta
- Com. Anil Basu
- Com. Upen Kisku
- Com. Nripen Chowdhury
- Com. Razzak Mollah
- Com. AnilPatra
- Com. S.K. Israil
- Com. Jayanti Bhattacharya
- Com. Sudhir Pramanik
- Com. Dinabandhu Banerjee
- Com. Ranjit Mitra
- Com. Jayanti Bhattacharya
- Com. Sudhir Pramanik
- Com. Dinabandhu Banerjee
- Com. Ranjit Mitra
- Com. P. Madhusudan
Jammu & Kashmir
- Com. Bishan Dass
Date: 19-22 November 1995