The 19th Session of the All India Kisan Sabha was held at Madurai, (Madras State), from January 26 to 28, 1968. Originally, the session was to be held at Sonar Pur, 24 Pargana District, West Bengal. But due to the dismissal of the United Front ministry of West Bengal and large scale repression let loose by the Congress Rulers and its puppet Dr. Ghosh Ministry, the venue of the session had to be changed and at a very short notice of less than one month, the Tamil Nadu State Kisan Sabha was requested to make arrangements for holding the session.
During the last few years, Tamilnadu State Kisan Sabha had acted for the second lime, as host for the All India Kisan Sabha Session. Not very long ago, the 16th Session of the sabha was also held in April 1959, at Mayavaram, in Madras State.
The 19th Session of the sabha was held after quite a long time; 18th Jubilee Session of the sabha having been held at Trichur, Kerala State, in April 1961. The repeated attacks of repression launched by the Congress Rulers in October 1962 and the detention without trials of large number of Kisan Sabha functionaries at all levels during this period, made it impossible to hold the session for such an unusually long period of time.
Having passed through repeated attacks of repression and dislocation of the normal functioning of the sabha, the 19th session assumed an added burden of responsibilities, because of the treacherous role of the Right Communists, When the entire Kisan Organisation was under attack of Congress Rulers, and large number of Kisan Sabha functionaries were in jails, the Rights Communists, who enjoyed perfect liberty from the Congress Rulers, Utilized the opportunity to disrupt the Kisan Sabha. They set up rival Committees at various level, to the exclusion of those who were n jail. Finally they pronounced the culmination of their disruptive role by breaking away from the All India Kisan Sabha in October 1967 and setting up a rival “All India Kisan Sabha”.
The 19th session was therefore, convened at a time, very critical for the country, for the toiling masses and for the Kisan organisation.
The session represented nearly one million Kisan Sabha membership enrolled by 18 State Kisan Sabha Units and about two lakh membership enroled by Independent Agricultural labour organisations in the states like Andhra and Punjab. The Session was also significant in the sense that independent mass organisations of agricultural labourers in various parts of the country had approached the Kisan Sabha for organsational affiliation and the powerful Agricultural labour organisation of Andhra State, representing membership of over one lakh, participated in the Session with a large number of its delegation.
Inspite of the very short notice for the session and various other difficulties , 213 delegates and 75 fraternal delegates, in all 289 delegates attended the session. After modification of the Constitution, and grant of affiliation to the Andhra Pradesh agricultural labour organisation, the 40 delegates from Andhra Pradesh, listed as fraternal delegates, became regular delegates to the session. Com. S. S. Mirajkar, President, All India Trade Union Congress, personally participated in the session. Shri Indu Lal Yajnik, M.P., an Ex-President of the Sabha greeted the session through his written message.
Because of the civil disobedience movement launched in West Bengal, only 59 delegates, out of its full quota of more than 260 could participate in the session. So much so, that even the leading members of Central Kisan Council from West Bengal, Comrades Abdulla Rasool and Hari Krishna Konar could not attend and greeted the session by their written messages.
Inspite of the various difficulties and a very short notice it goes to the credit of Tamil Nadu State Kisan Sabha, that the session was organised in a most impressive nd colourful manner. The delegates were provided with a very comfortable lodging and above all with the services of a very well organised and disciplined team of volunteers drawn from the workers of Madurai industries, the students and the peasants.
The session started at 11 a.m. on 26th January at the delegates Pandal, with the Flag hoisting Ceremony performed by Shrimati Janaki Amma, M.L.A., Vice President, Tamil Nadu State Kisan Sabha. The setting up of the Flag for this Ceremony, acquired its own significance.
Three processions from three villages in Madurai district arrived at Delegates Pandal on 25th January evening, one after another. The first to arrive brought the flag cloth, placed on a rickshaw, decorated with the photos of Kisan Martyres and Heroes.
Similarly the second procession brought the long string for hoisting the flag and the third one brought a 50 feet long pole, loaded on a cart.
Another silken flag and silken string, costing more than one hundred rupees was presented by Tanjore district Kisan Sabha.
Both the Flags presented, were hoisted side by side in the delegates Pandal.
After the Flag hoisting ceremony, Com. R. Ramraj, Chairman of the Reception committee welcomed the delegates and then it adjourned till 3 p.m.
At 3 p.m. January 26th, after passing condolence resolutions, Com a.k. Gopalan, President, of the Sabha addressed the delegates.
After the Presidential Address, Com. Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri presented the General Secretary’s Report. The report is a comprehensive printed document covering 74 pages. It deals at length, with the Agrarian crisis, the problems of peasants and agricultural labourers, the struggles, the state of Kisan organisation etc. It also deals at length, with the disruptive activities of the Right Communists.
The General Secretary’s report was followed by supplementary reports by the delegates from various states.
Comrades Bagla Guha (West Bengal). Nrioen Chakravarty (Tripura), T. Nagi Reddy (Andhra), N. Sankaraiah (Tamil Nadu), P.K. Tandon (UP.), Dalip Singh Johal (Punjab), Ramanand Singh (Bihar), S. Gurad (Maharashtra), Sivaji Patnaik (Orissa), Brosh Misra (Assam), Chattunni Master (Kerala), M.H. Krishnappa (Karnataka), Khagen Das (West Bengal), Chattar Singh (Haryana) Dhangar (Maharashtra) and Guansambandam (Tamil Nadu) delivered supplementry reports depicting the agrarian situation, the problem and struggles of peasant masses in their respective states.
After the supplementary reports, S.S. Mirajkar greeted the delegates session on behalf of the All India Trade Union Congress, in which he emphasised the importance of worker-peasant unity, and condemned the Right Communists for causing a split in the Kisan Sabha.
Apart from the various resolutions the session adopted important changes in the Constitution in the light of practical experience gained in the course of implementing the Constitution. It adopted an important provision in the Constitution providing for proportional representation in the elections of office-bearers and committees at all levels.
The delegates session concluded at 12-30 noon on 28th January, after the election of office-bearers and a 33 member Central Kisan Council, including its office-bearers.
When the delegates session was still going on, lorries and buses decorated with Red flags and Mottos started coming round the Pandal, with the occupants houting slogans, greeting the session. A large number of such vehicles, full of kisan workers arrived from all parts of Madras State. From Tanjore district alone, about 20 such buses, occupied mainly by the agricultural workers, reached Madurai Town, covering a distance of nearly 150 miles. The total number of such buses and lorries reached nearly one hundred.
A large number of peasant families arrived in their bullock carts carrying their food provisions for the day along with them.
Nearly 2,000 workers came on cycles, besides a large number, who came on foot, on trains and buses.
A Jatha of peasant workers travelled 50 miles and joined the procession after stopping over for the night on the way.
The procession started from the Bypass Road at the Eastern end of Madurai. It was headed by 2,000 Red Shirt Volunteers, mainly the youth in their teens and twenties and followed by the portraits of leaders and Martyres, 2,000 cyclists also marched in the procession.
All the delegates from various states participated shouting the slogans and singing in their own national languages.
Comrades A.K. Gopalan. President of the Kisan Sabha, S. S. Mirajkar, President All India Trade Union Congress, E.M.S. Namboodripad, Chief Minister, Kerala State, P. Ramamurty, P. Sundarrayya, Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, N. Prasad Rao, N. Sankaraiah and Guntur Bepanayya were seated on a lorry decorated by flags.
A huge portrait of Ho-Chi-Minh, was carried in the procession by the workers.
In between were the lorries, buses and bullock carts, which reached covering many miles from various parts of the state.
The procession started at about 5. p.m. from the Eastern end of the Madurai city, it passed through the thickly populated workers colonies, all the main bazars, to the Western end of the city, from where it crossed the river and reached the rally ground at 8-30 p.m.
On the way the procession passed through dozens of specially constructed gates and arches and was greeted by lakhs of peoplemen, Women, and children, standing on both sides of the streets, As a matter of fact the whole city population was on the streets, waiting for the procession from 4 p.m.
The open rally started at 8-30 p.m. Comrade A.K. Gopalan took the chair. Com. Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, introduced to the audience, the newly elected office bearers and members of the central Kisan Council.
The rally was addressed by Comrade A.K. Gopalan, the President of the Sabha, N. Sankaraiah, S.S. Mirajkar, Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, E.M.S. Namboodripad and P. Ramamurti.
Presidential Address of Com. A. K. Gopalan
At the outset let me thank you for electing me once again, to the high office of the President of the All India Kisan Sabha, Although I must frankly admit that during all these years I have occupied this post. I have not been able to fully discharge the responsibilities properly for so many reasons-some of them being unavoidable.
No President or General Secretary, by himself can bring about a radical improvement in the working of All India Kisan Sabha, unless he is assisted in this work by a chain of organisations and functionaries, working right from the village level to the All India Kisan Centre. Reports of work and conditions in the villages must flow to the centre, from where proper guidance is expected, by the organisers at all levels. This two way traffic is the key to the efficient functioning of any democratic mass, organisation and of any section of our toiling masses.
If all of you collected here take a solemn vow in the name of all our departed Kisan martyres to work in a more systematic manner. I can also assure that I will also do my best to discharge my responsibilities as the President, better in the coming year. This alone will ensure that All India Kisan Sabha becomes a real revolutionary organisation of the Indian peasantry and shall not remain for all practical purposes a paper organisation.
AGRARIAN QUESTION-THE FOREMOST NATIONAL QUESTION
Comrades let us be conscious of the key importance of the Agrarian question, to the solution of which we all have dedicated ourselves. It has been rightly described as the Foremost National Question.
The country is faced with an acute food crisis which despite expectations of a bumper crop is nowhere near solution. Without solving the agrarian crisis and giving land, implements and fertilizers etc., to the tiller, we cannot produce enough food and agricultural raw materials, in needed quantities, to fulfil our aim of becoming self-sufficient. Without lifting the impoverished peasantry out of its sub-human living conditions we cannot assure a growing market for our industrial development and these hungry millions will continue to flock to the towns to swell the army of the unemployed and help the industrial employers to launch fresh offensives on the living conditions of the working class. Without raising the living standards of the rural masses, we cannot hope to raise their cultural and educational standards, to free them from age-old backwardness, illiteracy and darkness.
AGRARIAN CRISIS AND WEAKNESS OF KISAN ORGANISATION.
Thanks to the reactionary policies of the Congress Government the agrarian crisis gets deepened instead of being solved. It is a part of the general economic crisis which is daily becoming more acute. Every section of our people is revolting against the worsening of living conditions brought about by rising prices, rising burden of taxes and growing unemployment which all happen to be direct results of the anti people policies of the Congress rulers, serving the interests of monopoly Capitalists and big landlords. We have seen big movements of Government servants. School teachers, other sections of urban middle classes, workers etc.
But can we say that side by side with these urban sections of our working masses, the rural poor have also come out in struggle in the same manner? Obviously not Peasantry has yet to come out in big mass struggles against the anti-people policies of the Government, which are imposing harder and harder conditions of life not only on the working masses in the cities but not less so on the rural toiling millions.
Our rural poor died in hundreds during the recent drought which embraced half the population. Millions more faced starvation, famine, unemployment and untold misery. The rising prices, increasing tax burdens, disintegration of handicraft industry and unimaginably low wages and living conditions of agricultural labourers are all effects of the same devastating crisis that prevails with equal force in the country side as in the towns.
If, despite all these conditions, the peasant masses feel helpless and do not come out in militant struggles, it is due to the low level of Consciousness of the rural masses and poor state of their organistion,
We, of the All India Kisan Sabha, remember with pride those glorious struggles which our great organisation has led all over the country in the past. But this pride in the past and respect for our martyrs, must make us accept this challenge of the present. We must decide here and now, how to overcome this weakness, how to organise and lead the struggles of the poor kisans and agricultural labourers, and how to bring millions and millions of our rural toilers in heroic struggles as allies of the urban working people who are already fighting against the worsening living conditions, against the rapid inroads on the civil liberties and the drive towards a Police State that the Congress rulers have launched to-day.
Activise thousands of New Workers
This cannot be done if running and functioning of Kisan Sabhas and Agricultural Labour organisations is confined to the few leading workers as is the practice today, at all levels of course with few exceptions. We must activise thousands of new Workers particularly those belonging to poor peasants and agricultural labourers. They must take responsibiliy of running the organsation from the lowest village level, right up to the A.I.K.S. Centre. Unless we build a team of workers at all levels, unless we add thousands and thousands new and active cadres to our team of Kisan Sabha workers, in such a vast country like ours we shall not be able to fulfill our responsibilities to the peasantry or to the nation.
Every possible step must be taken to overcome this crying weakness of our organisation and to implement the slogan of a Kisan Sabha unit in every village, in the coming year.
WORK OUT CONCRETE SLOGANS
Vast changes are taking place in our countryside. Now agrarian legislations have been enacted and implemented by the Congress rulers in every state since the dawn of freedom. Our country has seen three five year plans completed.
These plans and policies of agrarian development have operated within the framework of a policy to develop our country along capitalist lines.
What changes in the rural society this policy has brought about we have yet to study in their concrete details, in every region of the country. We have to find out in what form capitalist relations have penetrated in the countryside and in what forms feudal relations still exist. Capitalism always creates division in the peasantry and we have to study, what form these differentiations in the peasant masses are assuming. We have to work out concrete slogans on the basis of such a study in every region and in every village.
IMPORTANCE OF AGRICULTURAL LABOURERS AND POOR PEASANTS.
We must remember that old type Kisan unity is not possible today as a result of these growing divisions in our peasant masses. Agricultural labourers now constitute 25 to 40% of the population in most of the states and we have to make them the hub of all our activity. Reluctance to take up their specific demands fearing that this will drive the rich and middle peasant away from us, will have to be given up.
These agricultural labourers and poor peasants are the most exploited and most oppressed sections of our rural toilers. They are rising up in struggles in every state for land and for better living.
We have so far underestimated the militancy and the role that they have to play in the Kisan movement. This must go and we must pay increasing attention to their demands and problems, bring them in larger and larger numbers in the fold of our organisation and promote active workers from amongst them to the leadership at all levels.
New Kisan unity will be built round these militant masses of agricultural labourers and poor peasants. Side by side with championing the demands of these agricultural labourers and poor peasants, rural artisans and even rich peasants.
CONGRESS AGRARIAN POLICIES
Congress rulers seek to develop capitalism in our country forgetting the basic fact that for developing agriculture along capitalist lines in a vast country like ours, we require such a large number of machines and implements of a new type. Such huge amounts of fertilizers and pesticides etc. and such an enormous number of technically trained personnel, that our industry and our scarce foreign exchange resources cannot provide us for centuries at the present rate of our development.
Nearly a thousand crores of rupees every year is garnered by landlords and money lenders in the shape of rent, share in crops, installments on bonds etc., and interest. To this should be added the enormous profits earned by speculators who purchase cheap from cultivators at harvest times and sell dearly later on to consumers. Unless this huge drain from rural toilers to the parasitic classes is stopped even the most ordinary development of agriculture even on traditional lines is impossible.
The Congress rulers are doing exactly the opposite. They are not anxious to end all forms of feudal exploitations but their agrarian policies are based on compromising with the feudal classes, strengthening them in various ways and actually helping them to impose new types of exploitations on their old methods of feudal exploitation.
Keeping the monopoly of land intact the Congress rulers have by their policies created a, new type of landlords, who continue to exploit in the old feudal manner as well as in the new capitalist way. The tenant under this new landlord is at once a wage worker and a pauperised self obedient to the wishes of his lord. The agricultural labourer is besides being a wage worker, a pauperised peasant, who being unable to secure an alternate employment is forced to work at even the most miserable pittance called wage and to remain tied to the tiny pieces of land that he may be occupying at most onerous conditions.
LAND MONOPOLY AND AGRICULTURAL WORKERS
Under these conditions the struggle for wages launched by the agricultural workers 9which include poor peasants) are not two separate struggles, but have become combined into one. Unless land monopoly is broken by distributing land to the vast masses of landless and semi-landless who will get gainful employment in this manner, the struggle for wages by agricultural labourers is bound to be weakened by the presence of huge and growing army of pauperised peasantry.
All the laws of ceiling that have been enacted in various states have not touched even the fringe of this problem of concentration of land and have proved to be a mere hoax. The following figures comparing the results of 8th and 16th rounds of National Sample Survey, with a period of a decade intervening amply bear this out:-
|Group based on||Percentage of holding||Percentage of land|
|size of holdings||in the group to total||held by the group to|
|number of holdings||total land held|
|8th Round||16th Round||8th Round||16th Round|
|Over 50 acres||0.27||0.27||3.39||4.41|
These big land holders include ex-landlords along with a small number of rich peasants who have acquired proprietory rights and have added to their holding by purchasing lands of either small absentee landlords or poor peasants. Both of them have acquired big chunks of the cultivable waste lands or lands made cultivable by the state in forests, swamps or weed infested areas foothills, or land brought newly under irrigation etc.,
Problem of Wastelands.
According to land utilization statistics for the year 1964, land categorised as “Other uncultivated land excluding fallows” was 36.4 Million Hectares or about 7.5 Crore acres. In the category “Other than current Fallow” were 10.2 Million Hectares or about 2.6 Crore acres. Both these categories together come to more than 10 crore acres and can be classed as cultivable waste lands.
Even if 25% of this land can be distributed to landless agricultural labourers and poor peasants and they be helped to bring it under cultivation, this will not only provide gainful employment to more than 80 lakh families, but also add about 90 lakh tonnes of foodgrains to the nation’s stock of food or produce an equivalent amount of agricultural raw materials for industry or valuable cash crops for export.
The Government of India has not been able to complete within more than 20 years of Congress rule, even a survey of these waste lands. The incomplete survey has, however, located nearly 53 lakh acres of waste land which can be brought under cultivation immediately. Even if this much land is distributed amongst the agricultural labourers and poor peasants it would mean a relief to more than 17 lakh families besides an additional food production of nearly 15 lakh tonnes for the country.
But best of this land is being handed over to ex-landlords retired bureaucrates or army officials, Congress leaders (in the name of political sufferers) and even rich persons or big businessmen like Birlas who want to invest as Capitalist farmers or utilise these lands for “whitening” black money. This deliberate policy of denying this land to the agricultural labourers and poor peasants is a part of the pro-capitalist and pro-landlord policies of development pursued by the Congress rulers in the field of agricultural development as already mentioned.
Fight to reverse these anti-people policies.
This policy has to be fought tooth and nail. If the agrarian crisis has to be solved the pro-landlord and pro-capitalist policies of this landlord-bourgeoisie Government working under the leadership of big bourgeoisie must go—lock stock and barrel.
But to bring about a total reversal of these policies, in the interest of the people, including working peasantry, requires a united struggle of the workers, peasants, urban middle class and other sections of the people. This struggle can bring about such a reversal only, after replacement of the present government and State through a People’s Democratic Revolution.
We must prepare the peasantry to take its due place in this revolution side by side with other sections.
Struggles for land, against evictions, for radical agrarian reforms, against repression and in defence of democratic rights etc., prepare the peasantry for this historic task.
Let us go from here and lead these struggles.
Let us take up the question of distribution of wastelands everywhere to begin the struggle for land.
Let the state provide irrigation facilities to all cultivators instead of providing only to richest ones.
Let us take up the question of urgent land reforms in the form of big agitations and struggles and prepare the peasantry to defend its land.
Let us demand channelisation of all aid for agricultural development to the most needy section of the peasantry, the poor and the middle peasants-instead of ex-landlords and rich peasants getting the lions’ share as is happening to-day.
Side by side with these main demands let us take up local demands of a pressing nature on which we can move the peasantry in a big way in the region concerned.
Strengthen Kisan Sabha Organisation
All these tasks cannot be performed unless we build a stronger Kisan Sabha and a Kisan Sabha unit in every village.
The basis of Kisan Sabha Organisation should be made the village unit under its own local leadership duly elected by members enrolled in the village itself. These organised villages must form parts of compact areas chosen in every district, concentrated work round which we must expand in a planned manner. In every such village we must have a volunteer corps to defend our movement and save our active workers from attacks by the class enemies.
Comrade Delegates: Before you go you must take quotas of membership and number of volunteers, Kisan fund collection for building the Kisan movement in your States.
Let us go from here with the hope that in the coming year we shall see a bigger and stronger Kisan Sabha, leading big mass movement and struggle of the rural poor, side by side with the struggles of workers, middle class employees and other sections of our people.
Long Live All India Kisan Sabha!
COPY OF THE MESSAGE
Mission Road. Ahmedabad.
My dear Lyallpuri,
Thanks for your invitation to attend the Kisan Conference to be held from 26th instant at Madurai.
As you are aware, though ex-President of the Sabha, I have not been in close touch with the day to day work of the Sabha except in general. I have only just returned from a tour of South Gujerat where poor Kisans and landless labourers are fighting for their rights under the leadership of Shri Thakurbhaishah, Secretary, Gujerat Kisan Sabha.
I may assure you that I am as keenly interested as any in promoting the struggles of the peasants and labourers for the achievement of their just rights.
I think it is high time that the Sabha should boldly call for a piece of land, however small, from the big lands of rich landlords to reduce the economic inequality that persists today, twenty years after the achievement of Swaraj.
With best wishes for the success of the Conference.
Yours sincerely, sd/- (INDULAL YAJNIK)
ACCOUNTS OF THE KISAN SABHA
After the release and withdrawal of warrants of all the Office Bearers and C.K.C Members in May 1966, fresh accounts of the AIKS were opened. The Present balance sheet, therefore relates to a period of nearly 20 months and is upto 19th January 1968.
We opened our accounts with a loan of Rs. 1500/- During the year 1966-67 there was very little income to the All India Kisan Sabha. It recorded a membership fee quota from the States of West Bengal (Rs. 1149.85), Bihar (Rs. 238.), Madras (Rs. 250), and U P. (Rs. 60), a total of Rs. 1697.85 only.
During the year therefore an additional loan had also to be incurred.
Membership fee quota (Rs. 16, 005.93) has been received for the rear 1967/68 from 18 State Kisan Sabha Units. This membership fee quota also includes the amount received from certain State Kisan sabhas after the due date and in lieu of disputed membership. It would be found, therefore, that the total amount of membership fee quota received does not tally with the total membership accepted by the C.K.C. for 1967/68. Membership fee quota has been the only source of income during this period.
The expenditures are mainly under the heading of Establishment, travelling, publication and Office routine expenditures. Establishment includes the major item of monthly allowances to two functionaries of the AIKS, only:- Comrade Hari Singh, Office-in-charge and the General Secretary.
During the period we have incurred expenditure on printing the Constitution and a Pamphlet on “Food Problem’ by Com. Tandan.
The Central Office also contributed Rs. 233.05 to the Vietnam aid fund of Rs. 2000/- forwarded to the Consulate of Democratic Republic of Vietnam in New Delhi.
The balance amount with the All India Kisan Sabha on 19th January 1966 is Rs. 6,19299 in the Bank Savings Account, Rs. 20775 in the current account and cash in hand Rs. 2,376.13.
|From 22.6.1996 to 19.1.1968||Cr.||Cr.|
|4. Travelling Allowance||1,806.25|
|6. News paper etc.||88.19|
|7. Membership fee||500.00||18203.78|
|10. Vietnam Fund||2,000.00||1766.95|
|11. S/B. A/c 7981||12,774.19||6581.20|
|12. Current Account||2,589.01||2382.16|
|13. Guests etc.,||17.30|
|14.With General Secretary||653.87|
|No.||State||Total Membership||Quota delegates||Delegates||Attended Freternal||Total|
|11.||Jammu & Kashmir||17,000||9|
Page IV Line 16 read “and thus” instead of ”are”. Page IV Add at the end of line 16 “National Liberation movement” Page VII line 25 read “Straffing” instead of “Strifing” Page XII Line 8 read the full line as “landlords and the various State Governments and the refusal to distribute” Page XIV Line 33 read “Vast” instead of “Vost” Page XV Line 17 “jumming” instead of “zumming”. Page XVI Line 11 read “jumuning” instead of “zumming” Page XIX In the end add note: —
Note:- The session draw the attention of all to the General Secretary’s Report to this Sesssion in which the disruptive activities of the Right Communists in the Kisan Sabha have been dealt with in fuller details.
RESOLUTIONS OF THE 19TH SESSION OF THE ALL-INDIA KISAN SABHA (Madurai, January 26-28, 1968)
HOMAGE TO KISAN MARTYRS
The 19th Session of the All-India Kisan Sabha pays its homage to a large number of Kisan Sabha functionaries, who devoted their life for the cause of toiling peasants, agricultural labourers and other rural poor and who in kisan struggles were brutally murdered by landlords’ gangs and killed in police firings and dips its banner to their memory.
HOMAGE TO OUR DEPARTED LEADERS AND COMRADES
The 19th Session of the All-India Kisan Sabha pays its homage to a large number of Kisan Sabha functionaries who devoted valuable periods of their life to the cause of toiling peasant masses and for building the great organisation of the All-India Kisan Sabha, and have departed from us due to their death, after the last Jubilee Session, held at Trichur in April, 1961.
This Session, in particular mourns the passing away, during this period, of the following leaders and founders of the All-India Kisan Sabha:
- Comrade Bankim Mukherjee, Ex-President of the All-India Kisan Sabha;
- Comrade S. V. Parulekar, Joint Secretary of the All-India Kisan Sabha;
- Comrade Srinivasa Rao, President, Tamilnad State Kisan Sabha and member of the Central Kisan Council;
- Dr. Bhag Singh, Ex-General Secretary, All-India Kisan Sabha;
- Pt. Karyanand Sharma, Ex-President All-India Kisan Sabha.
Paying its revolutionary homage to those colleagues, leaders and founders of the Kisan Sabha, this Session pledges to uphold the banner handed over by them to us.
HOMAGE TO “CHE” GUEVARA
The 19th Session of the All-India Kisan Sabha pays its homage to the memory of “Che” Guevara, the South American revolutionary and outstanding fighter in the national liberation movement, who was foully killed by the American stooges and Bolivian militarist Government. “Che” Guevara, along with Dr. Castro, was the main architect of the Cuban revolution, which ushered in Socialism in the American continent and after laying the foundations for Socialist Cuba, he renounced his ministership and other leading posts in the Cuban Government and left for South American countries to carry on guerrilla struggles against American imperialism and its stooge Governments. It was in this struggle that he was killed in Bolivia. Ernesto “Che” Guevara is an inspiration to all fighters for freedom and national liberation and this Session pledges to carry forward the high objective for which he laid down his life.
ON VIET NAM
The 19th Session of the All-India Kisan Sabha expresses its firm solidarity with the heroic fighters of Viet Nam who are waging a glorious war of liberation against U.S. imperialists and its stooges.
The American imperialists have imposed a puppet regime on the people of South Viet Nam, sent more that half-a-million troops to suppress the freedom-fighters and thus blatantly violate the provisions of the Geneva Agreements.
The U.S. and puppet troops commit heinous atrocities by using napalm bombs and chemical weapons, by destroying crops and villages and by killing of innumerable innocent women and children. However, the glorious people of Viet Nam are marching ahead victoriously and have liberated more than four-fifth of the territory of South Viet Nam. Despite escalation of the criminal war by the U.S. imperialists in North Viet Nam, the people have courageously resisted the wanton bombings and shot down thousands of most sophisticated planes throughout North Viet Nam.
Faced with the possibility of their total defeat, the U.S. imperialists are every day escalating their aggression and thus threatening all the neighbouring countries, including the People’s Republic of China, in Southeast Asia.
At the same time, in order to cover its naked aggression and inhuman barbarities against the people of Viet Nam, the U.S. imperialists on the one hand spread false and slanderous charges against the Socialist Governments of People’s Republic of China and Democratic Republic of Viet Nam and on the other hand propagate the hoax of their readiness to open negotiations for peaceful settlement of the Viet Nam issue.
Just like giving a crushing rebuff at the battlefield, the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam has thoroughly exposed the hypocrisy of the U.S. imperialists, by its recent declaration in which it expressed its readiness to start negotiations provided the U.S. imperialists stop bombing of the territories of North Viet Nam and all other war like actions.
The recent statement of President Johnson of the USA in response to the statement of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam, expose the height of insolention the part of U.S. imperialist aggression in which it puts on the same footing the aggressor and the victim of aggression.
The All-India Kisan Sabha is glad to note that the dmocratic public opinion throughout the world is not deceived by the false and slanderous propaganda of the U.S. imperialists and the U.S. imperialists stand isolated and condemned by the peace and freedom- loving people everywhere. The Sabha is further glad to note the American people are also increasingly realizing the aggressive nature of their Government and a powerful movement in support of the suffering of the Vietnamese people and against the war is gaining momentum in the United States itself at this time.
At the same time, the Sabha notes with indignation, the attitude shown by the Government of India on this question. Instead of playing an honourable role as Chairman of the Control Commission for Geneva Agreements, the Government of India under pressure of U.S. imperialists refuses to squarely condemn it as blatant aggressor. While it has stopped trade with North Viet Nam it is carrying on supply of trucks, steel products, copper sheets and other equipments to the puppet regime in South Viet Nam, essential for the prosecution of its civil war. Directly and indirectly, the Government of India maligns the liberation struggle of the people of Viet Nam, prohibits circulation of publications bringing out U.S. aggression and atrocities in Viet Nam and peddles the hoax of peaceful negotiations spread by the U.S. imperialists. The Kisan Sabha appeals to all kisans and to the people of India to fight these shameful policies of the Government of India.
The All-India Kisan Sabha is convinced that the lasting and just solution of the problem of Viet Nam lies in the Four-Point Declaration of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam and the five-point programme sponsored by the National Front for Liberation of the Vietnamese people. It regards National Front for Liberation as the real and sole representative of the people of South Viet Nam and extends its wholehearted support to its programme and the epic struggle waged by it for the peace and freedom of the people of Viet Nam.
The Sabha notes with satisaction that the Central Kisan Council initiated a special campaign in solidarity with the heroic people of Viet Nam, in its meeting of July, 1966 and directed all its units to consider this campaign as a permanent part of its programme till the people of Viet Nam are completely victorious.
This Session of the Sabha sends its fraternal greetings to the brave men and women of Viet Nam, the National Front for Liberation and the Socialist Government of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam, who are carrying on with determination and success, a struggle for liberation against the U.S. imperialists, the common enemy of the freedom and peace-loving people of the world and decides to further step up its campaign in solidarity with this struggle.
GREETINGS TO FREEDOM FIGHTERS OF ASIA, AFRICA AND LATIN AMERICA
This Session of the All-India Kisan Sabha offers its hearty greetings and felicitations to the freedom-fighters of Burma, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines: Guatemala, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia; Angola, Mozambique, Guinea and Zimbabwe; Congo, and in many other countries in the great continents of Asia, Latin America, and Africa, who fighting for achieving their national liberation are playing a world historic role.
ON SOLIDARITY WITH THE WORKING CLASS STRUGGLES
The 19th Session of the All-India Kisan Sabha sends its warmest greetings to the working class of India, which is in the forefront of struggles against capitalist exploitation, for betterment of its living and working conditions as well as the other democratic struggles of the masses.
The bankrupt path of capitalist development, sought to be pursued in collaboration with foreign imperialism and by compromising with the landlords in the country, has led the economy of India into the morass of an all-round economic crisis, as a result of which the working class is the most seriously hit.
With a view to prevent the workers from launching struggles against the onslaught of the bourgeoisie, the Congress rulers are not only suppressing the trade union and democratic rights of the workers, but are also using the most brutal weapons for supressing their struggles.
The All-India Kisan Sabha feels very closely concerned over the ever-deteriorating living conditions of the workers, their unbridled exploitation by the capitalists and brutal suppression of their struggles by the Government, especially because a large number of pauperized peasants are already earning their livelihood, and as the agrarian crisis deepens, many more peasants have to seek employment in the ranks of the Indian working class.
The Sabha notes with pleasure that Indian workers are courageously waging their struggles and thus inspiring and leading other sections of the toiling masses to launch their struggles against the capitalists, the landlords and the Government and is increasingly coming forward and mobilizing the masses for political struggles against the bankrupt bourgeois-landlord rule in India.
The All India Kisan Sabha may appreciates the value of an alliance of the working class and toiling peasant masses in the struggles for their emancipation and, therefore, while extending its support to all struggles o the working class, issues a call to the peasant masses to demonstrate their fighting solidarity and thus bring about a solid and firm worker-peasant alliance in the country.
ON UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES (PREVENTION) ACT
The 19th Session of the All-India Kisan Sabha strongly condemns the Congress rulers in India for enacting a highly undemocratic, anti-people, “black legislation”, known as the “Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act”.
Although the notorious “Emergency Rule” enorced by the Congress rulers since October, 1962, is supposed to have terminated on January 10, 1968, it does not mean that the Congress rulers are prepared to restore fundamental democratic rights to the people of India. Before the desicion to revoke the Emergency rule in India, the Government has armed itself with the “Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act”, passed in Parliament in December, 1967, which enables the Congress rulers to curtail democracy and civil rights of the people in a much more serious manner.
The “black legislation” purports to be aimed against any organisation, party or institution, which in the opinion of the Government, is in league with an outside enemy or is advocating the secession of any territory from India or is working for the overthrow of the Government by show of force or violence and empowers the Congress rulers and its bureaucracy to be the sole judge of such allenged unlawul activities.
Actual experience of the last 20 years under the Congress rule and misuse on its part of the notorious legislations like the Preventive Detention Act, the Defence of India Act, the Emergency Regulations, etc., clearly shows that the Congress rulers are determined to safegaurd the corrupt and oppressive regime of the bourgeois-landlord classes in the country, perpetuate their exploitation of the common masses and for that purpose utilize all such legislations to suppress the democratic mass movements.
The “Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act”, too has been enacted for that purpose alone. Faced with the rising tempo of the mass struggles of various sections of the toiling masses and the growing democratic movement against their anti-people rule, the Congress rulers have armed themselves with this “black legislation”.
This Session of the AIKS, therefore, warns the people of India about the dangerous manner in which this Act would be used to suppress the mass movements and the organizations, parties and individuals who champion the cause of the masses and head their struggles. It further calls upon the peasant masses to join the common struggles of the masses against this “black legislation” and for the defence of the democratic rights in the country.
The 19th Session of the All-India Kisan Sabha notes with deep concern that the Congress, being in the helm of the bourgeois-landlord state, have increasingly been taking resort to repression of all legitimate mass movements of the kisans, workers, employees, students and suppression of their democratic rights. Caught in the deep bog of economic and political crisis, which their anti-people policies have inevitably generated, they today find that only by suppressing the raging struggles conducted by the toiling people in defence of the vital democratic rights and living conditions, they can hope to save their hated regime; thereby they hope to pass on the burden of the crisis on the people. That is why they have surpassed all their previous records of brutal repression. The Congress today are unwilling to tolerate even the many restricted right the Constitution provides for the people, and are out to subvert anti-Congress Governments in States and suppress legislative assemblies.
In Naxalbari in West Bengal, when the oppressed Adivasi and other peasants wanted to get back their lands, the vested interests aided by the Central Government and the then Home Minister of West Bengal unleashed terror against the peasant masses and their leaders, in spite of the democratic parties especially the Ministers belonging to West Bengal kisan movement fighting against this repression. All the vested interests tried to misrepresent this struggle of peasants for land as struggling for forming liberation bases to establish Communist Government in India. They are dubbing every struggle of the peasants for even partial economic demands as Naxalbari liberation struggle.
The Kisan Sabha refutes this mischievious campaign of the vested interests and the Congress regimes and demands the release of all peasants arrested and confined in prison in connection with Naxalbari and in other parts of the country and also demands that the police terror in these areas be put an end to.
In West Bengal, where the people, building broad democratic unity, are resisting their shameless attack on the democratic rights and living condition of the masses, the Congress have let loose repression in a scale which could put to shame the Anderson regime in Bengal. Fourteen persons including boys, killed by bullets, 23,000 jailed, thousands beaten, police orgy let loose in the precincts of Univercity and colleges-such are the aspects of satanic attack on the people. In West Bengal the police alone rules today.
This Session notes with alarm that the struggles of the kisans and workers are sought to be put down with utmost brutality. Apart from shooting, beating and mass-scale arrests, large-scale terrorization is being Inreasingly perpetrated against the people in different parts of the country. The Sections 107, 144 and the curfew are being used widely and for prolonged periods, to strangle the people’s rigms of speech and assembly. In Tamilnad and Andhra, U.P., Bihar and Mysore they have been seeking to suppress the kisan struggles with great violence. The law and order was taken over by the landlords and their goondas, aided by the police. Kisans and Kisan Sabha workers are being shot dead and murdered by the landlord goondas! Lives have been taken by police bullets and penal methods have been used against people as a whole.
The legitimate movements of the students in defence of their rights and democratic rights have been receiving particular attention of these oppressors, who, it seems, derive special satisfaction in breaking the spirit of the youth. Only in recent months, several young lives have been taken by the police bullets.
Their attack on the struggles of the tribal peasants for land as in Srikakulam in Andhra, Tripura and Assam and for autonomy as in the hilly regions of the country’s eastern frontier, has reached the apex of brutality. Not only large-scale military actions, strifing from air etc., have taken place in the hills, but even the obnoxious method of forcible uprooting of villages and putting them in the so-called protected villages has been introduced. These methods, used by the imperialists against colonial peoples, are being used against a section of our countrymen today!
This Session notes with grave concern that, in order to intensify the present campaign of repression, the Congress Government, retains D.I.R. for six months even though the Emergency is gone, and have passed a most draconic, law, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the teeth of opposition from all Opposition parties. They continue to apply the D.I.R. and Preventive Detention against T.U. and kisan workers and political parties. They have already applied the new Unlawful Activity Act against a party of the Hills tribals and there is no doubt that they plot, in dark corners, to attack the democratic parties, and mass organizations with the same weapons. The most sinister aspect of this current attack on the people’s democratic rights and living condition is the readiness of the Congress Government to call in or use the armed force against the peaceful and unarmed movements of the kisans, workers and the popular masses in general. This growing practice, if not checked and challenged, would lead to complete undermining of democracy and may bring in instead, odious police raj or military rule.
That the decisions of the Kerala Government and West Bengal U.F. Government when it was in power, to ban the use of repressive forces of the State against the kisans and T.U. movements or democratic struggles, roused the wrath of the reactionaries, exposes the real motive of the anti-people elements.
This Session notes with great gratification that the people are not taking these attacks lying down and that, mighty struggles are being waged in West Bengal, in defence of the democratic rights of the toiling masses, and broad sections of the workers, students, and kisans in many parts of the country are relentlessly upholding their rights and living conditions, defying jails, lathis and bullets. Such struggles in defence of rights and just demands alone would ensure the defeat of its brutal attack.
Similarly the people in Punjab are fighting the puppet Gill Ministry which has unleashed a brutal repression against the wave of the people’s protest movement against it.
This Session, therefore, calls upon the people, to the kisans, workers and employees in particular, to organize broadbased struggles against repression on the basis of following demands:—
- Withdraw the Black Act, i.e., the Unlawful Activities Act, the DIR and stop applying Preventive Detention Act against the leaders of the kisan, working class and democratic parties and organizations.
- Restore democratic rights and remove all curbs on the civil liberties and rights to agitate and struggle for the just demands of the workers, kisans, students and others.
- Ban use of police and military against the democratic movements and struggles.
- Release from jail and detention all workers and leaders of the mass kisan and T.U. organizations, and all other democratic parties and organizations.
ON THE DISMISSAL OF WEST BENGAL GOVERNMENT
The Central Congress leadership, through employing every vilest method conceivable to topple the United Front Government in the State of West Bengal, had conspired to dismiss the Ministry headed by Ajoy Mukherjee and installed the puppet Ministry of P. C. Ghosh, representing a small clique of renegades who blatantly destroyed the pledges given to the electorate of West Bengal during the fourth general elections. This desperate step by the Central Congress party and Government is nothing except a base conspiracy against the democratic institutions in the country, since it is aimed at nullifying the electoral verdict of the people of West Bengal, a verdict which decisively rejected the Congress party and punished it for its anti-people crimes during its twenty-year old monopoly rule. In short, the toppling of the U.F. Ministry and insisting of P. C. Ghosh Ministry comprising of betrayers and renewdes is a frontal challenge to the popular and progressive masses of West Bengal and all the values of democracy and decency they cherish. It is quite evident that the U.F. Government has earned the hatred and wrath of big capitalists and landlords and their political representatives because the U.F. Government refused to be docile enough to freely use the state bureaucracy and police to suppress the workers, peasants and other middle classes who were struggling against the unashamed attempts of the exploiters to shift the burdens of the economic crisis on to their shoulders. Precisely because of this alone the U.F. Government of West Bengal has endeared itself to the great mass of the toiling and progressive people despite the fact that the State Government has extremely limited powers under the present Constitution and the relief it could provide for the suffering people is meagre and scanty.
It is but natural that the people of West Bengal do not take this affront of imposing the renegade Ghosh Ministry by the Central Congress leaders lying down. All the non-Congress democratic parties and mass organizations in Bengal have unitedly launched a civil disobedience movement, a movement demanding the resignation of the puppet regime of Ghosh and for the ordering of a mid-term poll where the electorate can freely pronounce its judgement on the renegacy of political parties, groups and individuals. The Ghosh Ministry, in reply to it, has unleashed a rule of terror, and mass arrests, detentions, lathi-charges and shootings by the police have become the order of the day. The stooge Ghosh Ministry as well as the Congress leaders, finding that police repression has failed to cow down the people of Bengal had thrown their political masks off and concluded a pact to set up a coalition Government where the Congress party predominates. Thus the Congress party which got trounced at the polls in the general elections has shamelessly staged a come-back to power in the State.
What alternative is left to the people except to fight for the government of their choice or surrender themselves to be ruled by the treacherous clique of renegades in alliance with the disgraced Congress party? Surely, they chose to fight in defence of their democratic rights.
The All-India Kisan Sabha warmly supports the people’s struggle in West Bengal and appeals to the peasantry to join in the struggle in their thousands and lakhs. It strongly condemns the police repression and atrocities perpetrated on the people. It also urges upon all its units throughout the country to voice their protest against the repression and organize a powerful Solidarity campaign to force a retreat on the big capitalist-landlord offensive let loose on the people of the country.
The attack on the U.F. Government of West Bengal is not fortutious; it is a prelude for an all-out attack against the democratic movement in the country and against the non-congress Governments in other States. The Hyderabad session of the Indian National Congress has given the green signal for this offensive against democracy and the defeat of U.F. Government in Bihar just on the eve of the Republic Day by every foul and heinous method, is the first fruit of this diabolical plot against democracy. Unless this is fought and checked, democracy and people’s movements in every State will be in great danger, and hence this Session calls upon all democratic parties, mass organizations and individuals to join their forces and fight against this menace to democracy and people’s movement.
ON AGRARIAN CRISIS
The 19th Session of the All-India Kisan Sabha expresses its deep concern at the growing and deepening agrarian crisis in our country. The crisis is seen in the growing misery and backwardness of millions of our peasants and agricultural labourers, in the growing pauperization of the peasantry, in the concentration of land in the hands of landlords, in three-fourths of our agricultural population having practically no land of their own or having very little land, and in the growing octopus grip of the landlords over the rural economy. The crisis is further seen in the plunder of the vast number of peasants and agricultural labourers through rack renting and exorbitant interest, through high taxes and manipulations of the market, dominated by the monopolists, speculators and blackmarketeers. The crisis is further seen in the semi-feudal exploitation of vast millions of agricultural labourers through low wages, forced labour, greater exploitation of women and child labour and through social discrimination as also seen in mass unemployment and under-employment of the agricultural population. The crisis is best revealed in the continuous and growing food crisis that has become chronic now.
The agrarian question has become the foremost national question today, without solving which the country cannot attain its goal of self-sufficiency in foodgrains and valuable agricultural raw materials for industry. Without solving the agrarian crisis, without abolishing landlordism and distribution of land to agricultural labourers and poor peasants and without lifting millions of the rural poor out of their present life of misery and starvation the internal market cannot be expanded to serve the growing national industry. Without raising the standard of living of the rural masses, their cultural and educational standard cannot be raised and we cannot get out of our age-old backwardness. The agrarian sector being responsible for half our national income, the nation cannot acccmulate enough savings for a rapid all-round development of our economy, unless the forces of production in agriculture are released from their present fetters and move forward rapidly.
The 19th Session of the All-India Kisan Sabha is firmly of the opinion that the present situation of deepening agrarian crisis, is the direct result of pro-landlord, pro-capitalist and pro-imperialist policies of the Congress rulers of the country, who want to develop the agriculture in our country along capitalist lines without smashing the feudal and semi-feudal fetters which chain down the productive forces.
To develop the agriculture of such a vast country like ours requires an enormous amount of capital in the shape of credits, irrigation projects, fertilizers, machines and implements etc., besides a vast army of agronomists-mechanics and other technical personnel. This capital cannot come unless the exploitation of landlords, usurers, speculative grain traders, and other big monopolists is abolished and the surplus value earned by them is ploughed back into agriculture. Our industry cannot develop fast enough to provide us with the requisite quantity of machines, implements, fertilizers etc., or provide us with enough foreign exchange to purchase part of the above from abroad, unless the entire planning and development policies are totally reversed.
Congress rulers have adopted a policy of relying on a handful of big landowners, ex-landlords and rich peasants to produce enough foodgrains and cash crops needed for industry and exports. All their “inputs” in the shape of credit, fertilizers, improved and high-yielding variety of seeds, loans for construction of minor irrigation projects or purchasing tractors etc., go to this narrow upper section of the rural population. They utilize part of these credits for speculative grain trade or giving loans to poorer sections of peasantry who do not get loans either from cooperatives or other State and semi-State agencies and thus earn extra profits at the cost of both smaller producers and the consumer. The result of this policy is that nearly ninety per cent of our cultivators and nearly 50 per cent of our cultivated land which they occupy, does not derive any benefit from he Congress policies of agricultural development, besides being subjected to ruthless and increasing exploitation by the new type of feudal-cum-capitalist landlords, speculative traders and usurers. The agriculture of these bulk of our rural producers being denied of every form of State aid and being subject to ruthless exploitation goes on deteriorating and declining.
Nearly 25 to 50 per cent of our population in most of the States consists of land-hungry agricultural labourers. We have nearly 7.5 crore acres of waste lands and nearly 2.5 crore acres of permanent fallows. The Government of India has not even completed a proper survey of these waste lands and despite its solemn declaration is not distributing these cultivable waste lands to agricultural labourers or poor peasants. Best of these lands have been permitted to be occupied by ex-landlords and rich peasants and several State governments have auctioned them to rich persons and monopolists desirous of becoming capitalist farmers or utilizing these lands for “whitening” their black money.
The eviction of thousands of kisans all over the country by landlords and State Governments and their refusal to distribute waste lands to the land-hungry landless and semi-landless kisans, despite a growing demand and countrywide movement for their distribution, is a part of the pro-landlord and pro-capitalist, policies of the Congress rulers who are determined to serve the nar row and selfish interests of rural exploiters at the cost of the nation and particularly the millions of our rural poor. The policy leads to a waste of enormous store of labour power in the countryside as well as crores of acres of our cultivable land, besides making our country precariously dependent on heavy food imports from the imperialisit USA.
This very policy hands over the bulk of whatever the country produces internally to speculative wholesale traders who with the help of big banks owned by monopolists, on the one hand and in league with the big landowners, on the other, cheat the rural producers of the just price for their produce and pushes up prices of foodgrains beyond the pockets of even the, middle class consumers.
The refusal of the Congress Central Government to help in solving the problem of rural indebtedness, whose magnitude is growing every year, is driving lakhs of poor peasants into the ranks of paupers, and is pumping hundreds of crores of rupees, in the form of interest, out of the agrarian sector.
The agrarian crisis, thus perpetuated and deepened by the long and uniterrupted rule of the Congress cannot be viewed in isolation from the all-round economic crisis in which our country is plunged today. Food crisis, financial crisis, foreign exchange crisis, crisis in balance of trade, inflation, these manifold crises have the agrarian crisis at their root. No national economic problem can be solved without first solving the agrarian problem and thus, the agrarian crisis has become the crux of the national problem.
This Session of the All-India Kisan Sabha calls upon the kisans of the country in particular and the Indian people in general, to rise together in a strong united struggle against this anti-people and anti-national, pro-landlord and pro-capitalist policy of agrarian development which serves only a handful of rural exploiters at the cost of the nation and its honour—a united struggle of the entire Indian people against evictions and for abolition of landlordism, and for distribution of land to the agricultural labourers and poor peasants, for abolition of debts of agricultural labourers and poor peasants owed to the landlords and money lenders, for guaranteeing fair wages and service conditions to the agricultural labourers and for a democratic state.
ON FOOD PROBLEM
The All-India Kisan Sabha holds that the present serious shortages the people of India are suffering from is entirely due to the failure of the Central Government to procure all the surplus grain from the top 10 per cent of the landowners, and equitably distributing it to all deficit areas and States and to all needy persons at a reasonable price. On the other hand, it is withdrawing even the food subsidies which it has been paying earlier. The Central Government in league with the landlord-big traders and vested interests in the State Governments is allowing them to corner the grain and soil it at enormous blackmarket prices. It is depending mainly upon American PL 480 imports to maintain the existing poor ratio in limited areas and thus making Indian economy more and more dependent upon the American imperialists.
The All-India Kisan Sabha condemns the Central’ Congress Government’s persistent refusal to supply even the promised rice and other foodgrains to the Kerala U.F. Government and thus try to rouse the people of the State to turn against their Government. Its refusal to allow the Kerala State Government to purchase from other States of India or from other countries and provide the necessary financial resources, while not carrying out its own responsibility of supplying foodgrains to Kerala only goes to highlight Central Congress Government’s conspiracy to topple the Kerala Government.
The All-India Kisan Sabha demands that the Central Congress Government immediately take all necessary steps:
a. To make every State Government proeure all the surplus foodgrains from the top 10 per cent of the landowning classes at prices fixed at the beginning of harvest season, which is more or less uniform throughout the country.
b. To purchase all the grain that is offered by the rest of the landholders to the Government Agents by paying a bonus over and above the procurement prices.
c. Taking every step to guarantee supplies of all essential commodities to the landholders at cheap and controlled prices.
d. Distribute the procured supplies to all deficit areas both in towns and villages, to assure an equal ration to the consumers’ at fixed and reasonable prices and that the Central Government must bear the financial burden of the difference of the continued subsidizing foodgrains between the procurement prices and the price to the consumer.
The All-India Kisan Sabha appeals to all the toiling peasant masses to agitate and develop mass movement to force the Central Congress Government to implement the above food policy and to fight the landlord-usurer-big holder combine in the rural areas, in defence of their own rights to equitable price for their agricultural produce and for supply of all essential commodities at cheap and controlled prices; it is only united democratic struggles of the toiling, peasant masses and urban working class and other working middle classes that would ultimately guarantee the rights and demands of the peasant masses and that would usher in a democratic society for the peasants and all the toiling people.
ON WASTE LANDS
This 19th Session of the All-India Kisan Sabha notes with serious concern that the problem of cultivable waste lands has not yet been solved to the satisfaction of the rural poor. These lands consist of an area of ten crore acres. Some of these lands are already occupied by the rural poor and some are yet to be distributed. A considerable part of these lands is occupied by the landlords. Besides this some of the forest lands are under occupation of the peasants of forest areas, tribal and non-tribal. Big tracts of such lands are being given to the big capitalists like the Birlas for large-scale farming.
The rural poor occupying these lands are not only paying assessment and penalty every year, they are becoming victims to corruption. In spite of this they are not yet given pattas. The same is the case with forest lands. All these poor peasants are threatened with eviction.
The Government waste lands under major and medium irrigation are not being distributed to any rural poor. Instead cultivators are threatened with evistion, using police force also. Steps are being taken to auction these lands.
Vost areas are still lying fallow. These are yet to be distributed among the landless and the rural poor. The Government is persistently refusing to take steps to distribute these lands to the poor.
The Central and State Governments falsely proclaim that they are going to distribute these lands, but nothing has yet been done in this regard.
In view of the above situation, this Session calls upon all the committees of the Kisan Sabha to take up this issue, to organize the rural poor into struggles, to get the Government cultivable fallow lands distributed, to defend the lands under the possession of the poor, to evict landlords and big capitalists from such lands, to give pattas to all the occupants including those of forest lands.
ON TRIBAL PROBLEMS
Twenty years of unbridled exploitation by capitalists, landlords and money-lenders, under Congress regime, has ruined the tribal agriculturists who form the most backward section of our population, both economically and culturally.
The discontentment among other tribal population is bursting up all over the country, and this discontentment has led the Naga and Mizos to armed struggle.
In spite of the much-boasted safeguards provided in the 6th and 5th Schedules to the Indian Constitution against the alienation of tribal land to non-tribals, land is fast passing to non-tribal money-lenders, under various types of ‘Benami’ transfers and the blood-sucking systems of money-lending, like Dandan etc., continues.
In tribal areas where the 6th or 5th Schedules to the Constitution have not been introduced, the Government claims of bringing about development in living conditions of the tribals through setting up of Tribal Development Blocks, which proved to be a great hoax. While these Blocks helped a very small section of the tribal Sardars to line up with the corrupt bureaucrats and exploiting elements in rural areas, the vast masses of the tribal agriculturists have hardly been benefited. The number of landless tribal agriculturists are on the increase and the tribal youth remain unemployed, illiterate and downtrodden.
Over and above this, the draconic Indian Forest Act, as operated by heartless bureaucrats, is being ruthlessly applied in order to deprive the poor landless tribal agriculturists from their hereditary Zumming (shifting cultivation) rights and rights over forest products in Reserved and Protected Forests, as a result of which they now face starvation death. Large tracts of cultivable waste land remain fallow in such Reserved and Protected Forests, tribal attempts to reclaim them being brutally suppressed.
Under the above circumstances, this Session of the All-India Kisan Sabha demands:
a. That the Government forthwith abandon their policy of ruthless suppression of the tribal people, including the Nagas and Mizos; that they settle the Naga and Mizo problems through peaceful negotiations; that the principle of introducing fullest possible regional autonomy to contiguous tribal-dominated areas, with traditional historical background be adopted by the Government in solving the tribal problems all over the country.
b. That the provisions under 6th Schedule to the Indian Constitution be so revised that the contiguous tribal-dominated areas with distinctive features and historical background may enjoy the regional autonomy in their respective Indian States or separate statehood in Indian Union, if so desired by the tribal people of these areas.
c. That the provisions of the 5th Schedule to the Indian Constitution be suitably amended so that the declared Tribal Areas may have more effective and real safeguards for the economic and cultural developments of the tribals and protection of their languages.
d. That in these tribal-dominated areas where 5th Schedule to the Indian Constitution has not yet been introduced, the amended provisions of the Constitution be brought into operation as early as possible.
e. That the Indian Forest Act be suitably amended to offer more opportunities to the landless tribal agriculturists for Zumming in Reserved and Protected Forests, for collecting forest products and for release of fallow cultivable waste land for their economic rehabilitation.
This Session notes with great alarm that reactionary vested interests, in order to retain their exploitation and domination over the tribal masses, take advantage of the current conflicts in tribal areas to rouse chauvinistic anti-tribal feelings among the non-tribal people, a section of the tribal leadership also fails to see that the tribal peoples’ struggles for land and autonomy will be strengthened only if linked up with democratic struggles of the entire people, and, seeks to encourage separation that harms the cause itself.
This Session urges upon the masses of tribal-dominated areas to fight both dominating chauvinism as well as certain separatism and forge out fighting tribal-non-tribal class unity against the Congress regime who are their common enemy.
ON LANGUAGE ISSUE
The 19th Session of the All-India Kisan Sabha is of the opinion that the present situation of conflict and turmoil in the country over the question of official language has been brought about because of the policies of the Central Government which has attempted to impose Hindi on non-Hindi people.
Taking advantage of the natural anger of the non-Hindi people against this attempt to impose Hindi, reactionaries are raising the demand that English should continue to be the sole official language.
This Session demands a democratic solution of the language problem on the following lines:
- Recognize the equality of all Indian languages.
- All the languages listed in the VIII Schedule to the Constitution should be recognized as official languages of India.
- All Bills, Laws, Orders and other publication of the Central Government should be published in all the languages listed in the VIII Schedule.
- All offices of the Central Government in different States must transact business with the people in the language or languages of the States.
- The State Governments should have the right to correspond with the Centre in their own languages.
- Parliament must transact its business in all the Indian languages with simultaneous translation.
- Immediate and energetic steps should he taken to ensure that administration and courts in the States are carried on in the language of the State, and that the medium of instruction upto the highest level in the language of the State.
7.a. No imposition of the three-language formula on children, but only provision of facilities to learn English or Hindi or any other modern Indian language from the secondary stage, at the option of the child.
- Minorities should have the right to receive instruction in their own mother tongue upto the secondary stage.
- Until these steps are completely implemented, English along with Hindi should he continued as at present for all administrative purposes at the Centre.
- For recruitment to Central Services, a knowledge of one of the languages listed in the VIII Schedule or English alone should be sufficient.
This Session is of the opinion that only the implementation of these proposals will enable the masses to take their full part in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the country, and go to strengthen the unity of the country.
ON DISRUPTIVE ROLE OF THE RIGHT COMMUNISTS IN THE KISAN SABHA
The 19th Session of the All-India Kisan Sabha condemns the action of the Right Communists led by Dr. Z. A. Ahmad, Biswanath Mukherjee, Y. V. Krishna Rao, Manali Kandaswamy and others, who have broken away from the Sabha and announced the formation of a rival organization, and are thus attempting to disrupt the unity of the Indian peasant masses under the banner of this great traditional organization.
This Session further notes that this disruptive step on the part of the Right Communists is the result of their considered move and is the culmination of such activities as have been carried on by them during the last few years.
Ever since October, 1962, when “Emergency Rule” was enforced, the Right Communists stepped up their activities to disrupt the Kisan Sabha.
While the Kisan Sabha and its functionaries were repeatedly subjected to the repressive attacks by the Government and hundreds of leading workers in all the States were detained in jails without any trial, the Right Communists were conspicuously spared by the Congress rulers. And these Right Communist leaders who enjoyed the liberty during this whole period of severe fascist repression, instead of campaigning for the release of Kisan Sabha functionaries and defending the organization against the fascist attack, parrot-like repeated the slanderous charges of the Congress rulers against those who were subjected to repression and supported the Government in its moves to burden the peasant masses with additional taxes, levies and collections.
At the same time, they took steps to disrupt the kisan organization at the State and District levels in many States by setting up rival committees to the exclusion of those who were behind the bars in various jails. By the time all the Office-bearers and C.K.C. members came out of jails in May, 1966, the Right Communists had already disrupted the Kisan Sabha and set up rival committees in the States like Punjab, U.P., Andhra, Tamilnad, Maharashtra, Assam etc.
The C.K.C. at its very first meeting held in July, 1966 called upon these rival committees to come to agreed solution by mutual discussion by September 15, 1966, to set up unified committees, failing which it decided to restore the committees elected in 1961-62.
The Right Communists defied this Resolution of the C.K.C. and continued with the rival committees set up by them.
In spite of their open violation of the decisions, the Central Kisan Council patiently continued to persuade them to desist from these disruptive moves, as a result of which Dr. Z. A. Ahmad signed on agreement on behalf of the Right Communists with Comrades A. K. Gopalan, the President and Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, the General Secretary of the Sabha, in which, among other points, he agreed to abide by the decision to restore 1961-62 committees, and participate in the Session of the Sabha to be held on the basis of membership enrolled within the due date fixed by the Central Kisan Council.
This Session notes with regret that the Right Communists, who signed this agreement for the smooth joint functioning of the Kisan Sabha on July 19, 1967, were not at all genuine in its implementation. They refused to disband their rival committees in the States and failed to submit the membership fee within the due date to the valid committees of 1961-62. On the contrary, they cooked up bogus membership from various States and long after the due date and without even the State affiliation fee quota, submitted it to the C.K.C. and insisted that, in clear violation of the terms of the agreement as well as provisions of the constitution, this membership should he unconditionally accepted. They had worked up the bogus membership so as to capture almost all the State Kisan Sabhas.
It is clear that in spite of the agreement the Right Communists had not abandoned their old game of capturing the organization by fair or foul means. And because the Central Kisan Council rightly refused to yield before their blackmailing, the Right Communists have broken away and set up a rival kisan organization of their own.
The Right Communistis have taken this step to disrupt the Kisan Sabha, when the kisans all over the country are engaged in struggles in defence of their rights, when the landlords and the Government have jointly resorted to most ferocious attacks on the peasant masses, when the country as a whole is in the grip of a serious economic crisis and when to meet this situation a broad-based unity of the peasants under the single banner of their class organization, the All-India Kisan Sabha, is the most pressing need of the hour.
The Session, therefore, alerts the peasant masses about this treacherous role of the Right Communists and calls upon kisan workers to defeat this game of disruption and maintain the unity of the peasant masses under the banner of the All-India Kisan Sabha.
The office bearers and Central Kisan Council members elected at the 19th Session of the All India Kisan Sabha.
|President||A.K. Gopalan M.P.|
|General Secretary||Harekrishan Konar, M.L.A. (West Bengal)|
|Vice Presidents||1. M.A. Rasool|
|2. Harkrishan Singh Surjeet|
|3. Mrs. Godavari Parulekar.|
|Joint Secretaries||1. Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri|
|2. N. Prasads Rao|
|3. Partap Kumar Tandan|
Central Kisan Council Members
|Jammu and Kashmir||Krishan Dev Sethi|
|Punjab||Dalip Singh Tapiala M.L.A.|
|Dalip Singh Johal|
|U.P.||Satya Narayan Singh M.P.|
|Uma Shanker Shukla|
|Shyam Prasana Bhattacharya|
|Assam||Suhrid Mullik Choudhary|
|T. Nagi Reddy M.L.A.|
|Tamil Nadu||G. Baphanayya|
|N. Sankariah M.L.A.|
|Kerala||T.K. Rama Krishnan M.L.A.|
|K. Chathuni Master M.L.A.|
|Karnatak||A.V. Aryan M.L.A.|
|Gujarat||Thakur Bhai Shah|
|Rajasthan||Ch. Ghasi Ram.|
Date: Madurai, January 26-28, 1968.